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From the movies to your own tales

Ah, we’ve already used up one of the irreplaceable months this no-longer-quite-so-new year gives us.
    Which brings us to Groundhog Day, that frivolous-seeming cross-quarter day whose significance in the forward march of time hides behind a furry hibernating mammal.
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   Azure         

Fresh, local and sustainable have become bywords. But you might still be surprised to find native translations in a nationwide hotel chain: In that, Azure at the Annapolis Westin Hotel, takes the lead under the direction of chef James Barrett.
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A story this important deserves better than this second rate film

In the times before Martin Luther King put momentum behind his dream, African Americans had to be twice as good to get half as much as their white counterparts. Racism was justified and equality denied by spurious science.
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It’s sure to fill you up

This is a very hungry week.    
    Thinking about restaurants, talking to chefs and owners and reading menus makes me want to eat my way through Bay Weekly’s annual Dining Guide.
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Before I could sleep tight, I had to learn more about these invading pests than I ever wanted to know

Editor’s note: This story is true. The author goes nameless to protect the innocent.

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Behind this glowing mass of cosmic gas is a stellar nursery

The waning crescent moon reaches new phase Monday, leaving our night skies free of its overpowering glow. As darkness settles and the stars come into view, the familiar outline of Orion is appears above the southeast horizon.
    Easily the most recognizable constellation, Orion has marched through the heavens and played a role in the mythology of every civilization and culture on earth.
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Some seeds are worth trying; others you should avoid

My 2011 vegetable garden was the most productive I have ever had. Even as I write this column in early January, I am still harvesting kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, cabbage, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts. I also had the best harvest ever of fall peas, snap beans and carrots.
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Find out with our multiple choice quiz

Where’s the money coming from?    
    Anne Arundel County is counting on a nice windfall to help it pay its $1.2 billion in bills in the next fiscal year.
    Can you guess from what tree that money will fall?
1. Your property taxes?
2. The county’s share of income taxes?
3. Switching money from county pocket to pocket?
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We’ll know by spring

Elk could once again roam the forests of western Maryland — unless citizens say no way in a survey beginning next month.
    Elk are big. Females reach 500 pounds; males, which grow the towering antlers, get up to 700 pounds. They’re herbivores, but it takes a large range to feed the appetites of creatures so big. Thus farmers worry about their crops.
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Meryl Streep is all teeth, no bite, in this boring biopic

What do you do when you’re making a movie about a political figure whose politics you don’t agree with? Avoid the subject, cast Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and give her an immense set of dentures. The formula worked. Streep and her dentures just took home a Golden Globe.
    The teeth are right. But the rest of the film is all wrong.
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