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February 2013

Their innovation is award-winning

Chesapeake Bay waterman were coming close to extinction in 2010 when a group of Chesapeake non-profits got innovative. The bright idea: Training captains who make a living on the Bay to give tours of the water and their craft.     Now, 80 watermen guide tours through the Bay where they make their living, earning extra cash during the slow seasons.

How Bay Weekly's Betsy Kehne got the shot

Betsy Kehne had been waiting for three decades for the bird perched a stone’s throw from her window.     At five years old, she’d grieved at learning that the pesticide DDT was pushing bald eagles to extinction.     DDT was banned in 1972. By the end of the century, the number of nesting eagles in Maryland had increased sixfold to 260 pairs. Today, more than 2,000 bald eagles make their homes in the Chesapeake region, so that seeing them soaring overhead is no longer rare.
Read Moviegoer Diana Beecehener's full weekly review

Joyless performances make for a bad day for moviegoers

As one who thinks Die Hard one of the best action films ever, I must with a heavy heart urge all fans of John McClane to skip this movie.     In 1988, off-duty cop John McClane (Bruce Willis: Looper) walked into an office Christmas party and became a terrorist-killing legend. Twenty-five years later, McClane has dispatched baddies in office buildings, airports, the burroughs of New York and the streets of D.C.     The fatigue is starting to show.

Colonial Players’ two-person show Trying will surprise you in a good way

Trying will surprise you in a good way. Colonial Players is promoting this delightful two-person show as a work rich in history and contrasts, and it is. It is also a love story, refreshingly sweet and platonic.

As Anne Arundel replaces a flawed county executive, it’s time to rethink how we hire our top leaders

On a scale starting with your favorite Valentine chocolate and dropping to a shot of syrupy cough medicine, where would you rank county government?     Most of us, I fear, don’t place it in a heart-shaped satin box.     Certainly not many of us who live in Anne Arundel County, which is one of eight of Maryland’s 23 counties governed by an executive.

What if the cure is worse than the disease?

In our world of Zoloft commercials, it’s become easy to believe that popping a pill will magically end your depression. What happens if those Prozac promises turn out false? What if there is no magic pill for your mental malaise? What if that magic pill makes you worse?

Bay Gardener helped found an ­industry on nature’s fertilizer

For every job, there’s an association. Every association has heroes lauded for having discovered how to do the job better. The Bay Gardener, Dr. Francis Gouin, has just been enrolled as a hero of the U.S. Composting Council.     This month, Gouin received Hi Kellogg Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the composting industry in research, teaching and promoting the use of compost by nursery and greenhouse growers and by home gardeners.

In the literary economy, poetry is an art more in supply than demand. Nearly everybody writes poetry, or so it seems. But who reads it?     Little kids love its melody and meaning, but by high school it’s force-fed. Most of the rest of us take it, often in the form of Hallmark verse, to help us express emotions for which we seem to have no words of our own.     It takes a clever poet to sneak in under our defenses.

Our match was made, not born

“Count these records,” said Charlie after introductions.     The year was 1969. The records were five-inch vinyl-printed cardboard squares recorded by our candidate in the Northern Virginia district where I lived with my parents. The square records would be dropped off at every house to deliver his campaign message.     Hundreds were loose in each big three-foot-square box. I started counting. I was fairly nimble at age 26, but the older lady next to me was faster.