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March 2014

Anne Arundel Community ­College president Dawn ­Lindsay puts her money on empowering people

At Anne Arundel Community College, where two out of three students are women, women’s history is a forward-heading story. Dawn Lindsay continues a two-decade tradition of female leadership, following Martha Smith, who served 18 years as college president.     Lindsay took over in August, 2012, leaving Glendale Community College in California, where she was also president, for “the place I’d had my eye on for some time, an amazing college with a great national reputation.”

In 1937, 30-year-old school teacher Harriet Elizabeth Brown successfully sued Calvert County Schools for paying her about half as much as an equally qualified white teacher: $1,100 a year for white teachers, compared to only $600 for African American teachers. She surely never imagined that students of today would be inspired by her actions, much less that they would develop award-winning History Fair projects documenting her pioneering success. Yet that is exactly what has happened.

A garden named for this Maryland first lady is a fine place to encounter spring

Spring is here, calling us outdoors.          Sample the season at Helen Avalynne Gibson Tawes Garden, an out-of-the-way treasure hidden in plain sight at Maryland Department of Natural Resources headquarters in the Tawes Building.     The gardens are known to local birders as a hotspot for migrating warblers in April, when waves of Virginia bluebells bloom along the walkways.

Shop New American Beagle ­Outfitters

Do you look like your dog?         Do you want to?     French bulldogs, hairless Chinese cresteds, pugs and chugs may give their human companions second thoughts on cultivating the legendary cross-species resemblance.     Dressing like your dog, and vice versa, may be a better option. That’s the apparent thinking behind American Beagle, the dress-alike campaign debuted this month by American Eagle Outfitters, the niche retailer of casual clothing for the 15- to 25-year-olds.

The answer’s just a phone call away

Way back when, starting in the 1930s, Americans got quick weather reports by dialing a phone number, usually ending in 1212. In the Information Age, those numbers have been giving way, replaced decade by decade by radio, television, Internet, PDAs and smart phones. The Baltimore-Annapolis area was one of the last places in the country to retain the service, with Verizon finally pulling the plug in June of 2011.

Middle schoolers’ contest takes on cyber-bullying

Some kids are bullies, some kids are bullied; but at some point, all kids see other kids being hurt. What would you do if you learned that a friend has received cruel and intimidating messages?     An alliance of Maryland peace groups is sponsoring a writing contest to learn what actions middle school students would take to help a kid being bullied. All seventh and eighth graders in Maryland are encouraged to explain how they’d “work with other students to develop a strategy for ending the cyber bullying.”

I went 1,000 miles for this catch

By the time I got the 20-pound-class rod out of its holder, our mate was urging me to reel and reel fast. A fish had just taken a live herring bait, throwing lots of slack into the line. Winding madly, I eventually felt some tension. When the line came tight, I set the hook hard. That might have been a mistake.

Meet Helen Tawes and Dawn Lindsay

History months — whether February for Black History or March for Women’s History — strike me as being as much about the march into the future as the march from the past.     That’s my excuse for commemorating Women’s History Month in our pages as March 2014 marches into history.

Add soil-testing to your spring chores

High winds have cluttered lawns and gardens with branches and debris. Rake thoroughly to remove anything that might be propelled into the air by a fast-spinning lawnmower blade. Don’t add yourself, your pets or your windows to the statistics of lawnmower injuries.

A delightfully demented tale of murder, theft and the service industry

As the concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes: The Invisible Woman) believes in offering his guests the best service. In the case of wealthy older women, Gustave’s services include wine, candlelight dinners and himself. The women get a boost in confidence; Gustave gets cash and returning customers.