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November 2013

Pay for quick removal, or do it yourself slowly

Cutting down trees always leaves stumps that must either be removed or endured. The most common method of ridding your lawn of stumps is to grind it well below grade so that several inches of topsoil can be used for growing a lawn or garden.     Grinding a stump leaves wood chips that you can use as mulch on pathways and around deeply rooted trees and shrubs.

Planets and clusters and meteors

As the sun sets around 5pm, Venus blazes in the south-southwest. Our sister planet is at its farthest point east of the sun. But the geometry between Venus, the sun and earth doesn’t add up to a better view, as the evening star climbs only a dozen degrees above the horizon and sets within 90 minutes of the sun. Still, Venus is near impossible to miss, and Thursday evening it is joined by the waxing crescent moon a little higher in the sky.

Early returns say yes

Mike Pantelides — whose campaign slogan is Sweep Annapolis Clean — is sweeping Josh Cohen out of office, according to early election returns. With all but absentee ballots and one precinct counted in the Annapolis mayoral race, challenger Pantelides leads incumbent Cohen by 84 votes, 3,728 to 3,644.     At one point in counting, Pantelides’ lead was only 20 votes.

Survival is a lonely business in this gripping drama

Some people dream of setting out on their own to sail the vast oceans of our world. It seems like a grand adventure, until something goes wrong and you find yourself slowly taking on water hundreds of miles from help. What to do when your grand adventure turns into a disaster?

Annapolis mayor Josh Cohen and challenger Mike Pantelides pause in their pre-election schedules to talk with Bay Weekly

How are you managing this last week before Election Day November 5? Josh Cohen    A campaign is kind of like a pregnancy. You forget how difficult it is, so you do it again. We’ve been through this several times, and we’ll get through this one. But — and I just had this conversation with my wife — I’ll be a little more stressed than usual this week.

Anne Arundel students harvest 165,000 pounds of food for the hungry

Six-year-old Katie Asher is just beginning to understand the meaning of caring and giving. Every morning she drops a can of food into the collection boxes at Davidsonville Elementary, where she is a first-grader.     “We’re giving food to the poor people,” she says.     Fifth graders like 10-year-old schoolmate Julia Cobb are understanding that not everyone has as much as they do, so they should share with people who have less.

With fewer tree nuts than in recent years, squirrels are going crazy

I’m under attack. Everywhere I look, squirrels are scampering up trees, toting nuts in their mouths, scurrying across my yard and darting in front of my car.     The word squirrel was borrowed by the Romans from the Greek word skiouros, which means shadow-tailed. Ancient Greek naturalists found their bushy tails remarkable.

Despite excellent conditions, the Young of Year Survey is disappointing

Despite excellent conditions this past spring with plenty of rain and cool temperatures, the Young of Year Survey of rockfish reproduction success for 2013 is a very disappointing 5.6, well below the 60-year average of 11.7.     Over the past seven or eight years, Young of Year spawning numbers have come to look more and more like the profiles that precipitated the rockfish moratorium of the 1980s. The only recent high count came in 2011, when our spring weather was so violent that virtually nobody fished until late May.

Meet her at Barnes & Noble

Fans of award-winning author Lisa Scottoline have a treat this week. She’s coming to Annapolis for a reading and signing of her latest book, Accused.

This week: installment one of three on ­striking out hunger

Reading Learning to Care and Give, Bob Melamud’s story for this week’s paper, kindles a spark of envy in me.     Six-year-old Katie Asher is just beginning to understand the meaning of caring and giving, Melamud writes. Every morning she drops a can of food into the collection boxes at Davidsonville Elementary, where she is a first-grader.     By high school, he continues, students like Tina Depietro, who built a food-can sculpture for South River High, embrace the values of empathy, giving and volunteerism.