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January 2014

Donald Sheckells: Stuck on oystering

If oystering has been your life for more than 40 years, what do you do when age catches up with you?     If you’re Donald Sheckells, you’re still working.     The Shady Side waterman no longer braves winter on the water to harvest oysters. But he’s still shucking and selling them.

Even fur coats can’t keep pets warm

Baby, it’s cold outside. These record low temperatures are hard on all of us, people and pets. Puppies, kittens and shorthaired animals are especially vulnerable in cold weather.     Keep your pets inside except for quick bathroom breaks. Both dogs and cats can get frostbite. Ears, tails and footpads are most susceptible.

Four SEALs fight for their lives in this gripping action film

Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg: 2 Guns), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch: Savages), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch: Bonnie and Clyde) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) are proud frogmen. They run long distances at great speeds, push their bodies to their limit for fun and take deadly assignments as part of the job.

But learn their tastes, and they’ll give you flowers

Are your African violets blooming?         If not, read on to learn why and what you can do to bring out the flowers.     African violets’ long-standing popularity grows from lush foliage and their habit of winter flowering. The plants are challenging, but not more than many in-home gardeners can manage. Even propagation is possible with a little knowledge on your part.

That’s the closest you can get to fishing when winter howls

The 10-day weather forecast calls for wind and consistently low temperatures, occasionally a bit of rain and clouds. Not the kind of outlook that lifts your spirits, unless you’re a waterfowler. I hadn’t joined a hunt club this season, so that didn’t include me.

A recent solar flare could present Northern Lights to Southerners

A powerful solar flare on January 7 launched a barrage of plasm our way, which has the chance of producing auroras at much lower latitudes than usual. Scientists expect the activity to begin before dawn Thursday, January 9, which is too late to help given this issue’s release that day. But solar astronomers don’t rule out more blasts to come, as this solar flare, technically called a coronal mass ejection, was caused by an eruption from a massive and very active sunspot, AR1944, which is facing earth head-on.

The scoop on this year’s General Assembly

For reliable sources, you can’t do better than Thomas V. ‘Mike’ Miller. The 27-year president of the Maryland Senate knows the inside story of pretty much everything that’s happened in Maryland politics for the last 40 years. Nor is his knowledge limited to the past. If anybody can predict the future, he can. He is — and he’ll tell you so — the man who says what goes where and what goes nowhere in the Maryland Senate.

Meet Secret Life of Bees author Sue Monk Kidd … at Sam’s Club

Sue Monk Kidd, author of the bestselling novel The Secret Life of Bees, is coming to Annapolis.     She’s selling and signing her newest book, The Invention of Wings, not at familiar book haunts but at Sam’s Club, a newcomer in author appearances.

First-time candidate Mitchelle Stephenson hopes to put her people skills, knowledge of the issues and local contacts to work for voters

You’re more likely to growl your revenge at a politician than kick a dog. Dogs have got a vast grassroots constituency rooting for them. Politicians not so much. On preferential polls, politicians rank below dog poop.     So why would you want such a job?     This election year, Bay Weekly is asking that question of politicians of various stripes. Among them: first timers, try-a-second-timers and winners turned losers trying again.

Wild Orchid chef takes over Sam’s kitchen

It’s a new year. With the flip of a calendar comes a chance to renew, refresh and remodel.     In Annapolis, the new year offers opportunity for two local restaurateurs to help each other.     Andrew Parks, owner of Sam’s on the Waterfront, has announced his new executive chef, Jim Wilder. Chef Wilder recently closed his Westgate Circle restaurant Wild Orchid after a difficult three-year tenure.