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January 2013

Lived by Capt. Lawrence William Simns; written by Robert L. Rich Jr.

If anyone should write a book about being a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay, it should be Capt. Larry Simns, who has worked the water for seven decades and has served as president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association for 40 years. His efforts on behalf of commercial watermen, Chesapeake Bay and the seafood industry are all but ­legendary.

How fifth graders are taking over

Fifth graders are taking over the world in 2013. They’re starting at Junior Achievement’s BizTown.     In Central Maryland, BizTown is one of the nationwide organization’s approaches to teaching financial skills to kids of all ages.

If you’ve grown horseradish, it’s time to harvest and prepare it

Did you remember to plant horseradish? If so, you’re in for a treat.     Horseradish is a hardy herbaceous perennial plant that produces fleshy roots. Now that the tops of horseradish plants have died back to the ground, it is time to dig up the roots and make next year’s supply of ground horseradish.     Some of the roots are carrot-like but most are smooth and slender, averaging one-half to three-quarters-inch in diameter and growing horizontally in the ground.

You don’t have to wait until summer for the fun to start

The coming year will be filled with many outdoor opportunities on the Tidewater, particularly if you’re an angler. The best part is your adventures could start very soon, mid-January, in fact.     Yellow perch continue their remarkable comeback around the Chesapeake. The bite traditionally begins this month on the Susquehanna Flats at a large staging area near the mouth of the Elk River.

We’re speeding past our closest point to the sun

It’s counter-intuitive during these long, cold nights of winter, but early January brings the earth its closest to the sun in its annual orbit. Wednesday the second marked the actual point of perihelion, when we were two percent closer to the sun than usual. Earth’s orbit is not quite circular but rather egg-shaped, which creates a difference of a little more than 3 million miles from perihelion to aphelion — our farthest point from the sun — in July.

White people’s problems

A British family’s 2004 Christmas on a Thai beach paradise is spoiled when a massive tsunami devastates Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.     Maria (Naomi Watts: J. Edgar) and her eldest son Lucas (Tom Holland: The Secret World of Arrietty) are dragged by the wave through a battered countryside. Stranded in the middle of a foreign country, Lucas must figure out how to get his mother help before she succumbs to injuries.

In 2013, anything is possible

Welcome back to the future!         Don’t you love going though the tunnel and coming out on the other side?     I find the exhilaration habit-forming. Fortunately, it’s annual.     I go into the tunnel of year’s end gleefully, but I leave it dragging my feet against the re-emergence.

Why Must There Always Be a Price Tag?

I’ve been waiting for the day that the town of North Beach sticks its greedy hand out to charge fun-loving people the privilege to run into the frigid Bay. Even though I have never (and will never) run into the cold water, I’ve enjoyed watching the antics of New Year’s revelers plunging in for the fun of it. And that’s the point: For the fun of it. Now it’s for charity. Why can’t something be done for fun? Why must there always be a price tag?