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June 2013

Fatherhood is a lifelong calling

Father to four, grandfather to eight and great-grand­father to seven, retired state senator Bernie Fowler doubles as father of Patuxent River recovery.     That Chesapeake tributary rises and ends in Maryland. If we can’t clean up the Patuxent, says Fowler, what chance does the Bay stand?     So Bernie waded into the river of his youth, sending ripples that haven’t stopped yet. From his determination flow Maryland’s two most powerful calls to environmental action.

It’s a lesson for life

Children learn so much about life from working in the garden. Watching a seed germinate and develop into a plant, then watching that plant develop and produce flowers, fruits and more seeds teaches them the cycle of life. Sowing seeds of different crops and watching them develop into different shapes, flowers, fruits and vegetables teaches them that variability is as common in plants as it is in humans.

Croaker in the cooler makes for good eating at the table

My young sons were doing their best to emulate my actions as we drifted bloodworms over a hard shell bottom in a gently moving tide that June evening. My one-ounce sinker sent a tic-tic-tic flicking up the line on my light casting outfit. The rod tip was twitching right in rhythm.     Harrison’s rod suddenly arched. He struggled to keep the rod from being pulled over the side while avoiding the hard gunnel.

The strained relationship of Cepheus and his daughter Andromeda

When we look to the night sky for father figures, we’re hard-pressed. There are heroes and rogues, serpents and dragons, birds and beasts, fish and fishermen, harps and chariots. But there is only one father among the constellations, and not a good role model at that.

Father’s Day celebrations often revolve around cooking out.     My father is neither a cook of any skill nor a deft grill master. Yet come Father’s Day dinner, he is put to work. If left to his own devices, peanut butter and jelly and Lean Cuisine with a side of Entenmann’s donuts would supply all the sustenance he requires. But Father’s Day is more than about the man. It’s about the role he plays in the family dynamic, and for that he’s got to man the grill.

Humane Society of Calvert pays, but you don’t have to live in Calvert

The Humane Society of Calvert County will pay for your cat to be spayed or neutered. Fix A Cat Today, FACT, is available in Anne Arundel County south of Annapolis; Bowie and points south in Prince Georges County; and Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.     FACT is supported by a limited anonymous grant and will continue until funds are exhausted. Any cat, feral or domestic, is eligible. So are multiple family cats.

What could have been an interesting political satire or a subversive black comedy is instead a dreadfully dull horror movie laden with stereotypes

In 2022, the American government has come up with a solution for crime: The Purge. Once every year, for 12 hours, all crime is legal. You can murder, rape, assault and rob to your heart’s content and get a free pass. Government officials are protected, emergency services are shut down and the rest of the country lets it rip.

Take to the Road with Mr. Pish

Move over Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Benji. Make way for Mr. Pish, the latest rising star in the doggy world.

Libraries make summer reading fun

School’s out! Children yell and jump for joy, getting pumped for a fun summer of beaches, lazy days and reading. Anne Arundel and Calvert Libraries are helping kids Dig into Summer Reading, a national initiative to make books part of summer’s fun.     Anne Arundel and Calvert libraries are spicing summer reading with jugglers, mad scientists, magicians and puppets.

This frothy farce reflects on commitment as characters at crossroads take literal and figurative steps

British farces are not usually my cup of tea; I find madcap, bawdy romps to be silly and exhausting. But Alan Ayckbourn’s Taking Steps is a delightful summer infusion of iced chai: more cool and spicy than hot and saucy, with suspenseful plot twists to make it fun. Colonial Players’ production delivers on its promise to present “a set of very probable, though quite amusing characters in a series of improbable situations that uncover a treasure trove of truth about human nature.”