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Articles by Sandra Olivetti Martin

In Chesapeake Country we are not alone

A twist of current? A floating isle of seagrass?
    In the next instant, my speculation took form as a large turtle rising through the bottle-glass water. A cousin of Calypso, the rescued sea turtle star of the National Aquarium in Baltimore’s Blacktip Reef exhibit? The star, too, of Kathy Knotts’ story this issue in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Rescue Center, she was on my mind. But the hooked beak then poking at the meniscus of the water marked this apparition as a snapping turtle. No baby ducks paddled on the cove this year. Even the resident heron was absent. Perhaps I know why.
    One way and another, it’s getting to be the turtle time of year. Box turtles will soon be crossing our roads. Humans are as dangerous to them as snappers are to ducklings. Our cars squash them; abandoned crab pots imprison them. From the marsh edge of Bay Weekly’s former office between Rockhold Creek and Tracys Creek, production manager Betsy Kehne and I once pulled out a derelict crab pot containing the empty shells of three box turtles that had wandered in but could find no way out.
    Diamondback terrapins can also die in crab pots. In this week’s paper, Bob Melamud tells you how to buy or rig your traps to avoid drowning Maryland’s mascot reptile — thus being a law-abiding citizen.
    Both those stories remind us that we are not alone. Chesapeake Country is full of life — from turtles, who give us occasional glimpses … to foxes, no longer unusual … to commonplace deer, raccoons and opossums … to squirrels, our everyday neighbors … to the constant companionship of birds big as eagles and small as hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and beetles.
    Thus this issue continues our series on our riverkeepers. This week’s installment is written by South Riverkeeper Jesse Iliff, who describes his personal journey from legal eagle to water guardian. Day by day, our riverkeepers embody the responsibility we citizens of Chesapeake Country share: living carefully in our rich but vulnerable ecosystem.
    Perhaps America’s wilderness-taming spirit suspects the word careful as a synonym for cautious. That’s not the reality. English gives us full as a generous suffix, enabling us to take a host of words, and qualities, as our own. Just as awful is full of awe, careful is full of care. When we are careful, we put our full care to our thoughts and actions, giving care to whatever prepositional object follows that phrase.
    Thus buying,crab traps with turtle excluders — or installing them on your own — is a careful act. Watching for turtles on the road is careful. As knowledge is a step toward becoming careful, knowing the work of our riverkeeper helps make us careful. As does knowing about the National Aquarium Rescue Center.
    We can be careful without endangering our national character. The Blue Angels you’ll also read about in this issue — in preparation for their usually annual visit to Annapolis for the Naval Academy’s Commissioning Week — are anything but cautious. But you can bet those pilots are careful as their A/F 18 Hornets fly within 18 inches of another’s wingtips.
    Careful is a lovely word, adding values to our selves, recognizing value in the world around us.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

With Bay Weekly’s Last-Minute Camp Guide

What to do with the kids this summer takes on new urgency as summer advances from someday to next month. So for parents, Bay Weekly’s Last-Minute Camp Guide offers solutions.
    Giving them direction is an important goal, but it’s by no means the only goal of this issue. There’s value here for each of us.
    For kids, their parents’ choice is much more than childcare. Camp is often our children’s maiden voyage into a wider world. As you’ll remember from your reading of children’s books, the adventure starts when parents are absent.
    Camps nowadays are many and varied, as you’ll see in this guide, but they all follow the no-parents rule — and in a different way than school. Teachers in most schools are legally bound in loco parentis. Camp counselors also have responsibilities of care and guidance, but they’re supposed to be buddies, too, and bring on the fun. So kids get to know almost-grown-ups in a new way. At the same time, they’re exploring new environments and developing new powers for navigating, for example, the latest highlight of outdoor camps, zip lines.
    You don’t snap on a harness and zoom through thin air in school. In camp you do, discovering new muscles, skills and dimensions to your personality. So the choices parents make for their kids’ summer camps are about more than a few days or weeks; they’re about lifetimes. This guide opens the door to hundreds of choices for parents and as many directions for kids as a tree has branches.
    For no-longer kids, this guide is fantasy camp, ­reviving memories of adventures you’ve had and opening adventures that can be yours in mind as well, perhaps, as in body.
    Read in another way, the Camp Guide makes a great short course in American Studies. Back-to-nature camps are but one variety, nowadays called traditional, of the diverse species of modern camps. Many others are skill-building camps that can be as intense as baseball’s spring training. Specialty camps range from sports, arts and crafts, drama and dance to science. Many get very specific. At Camp Hidden Meadows, for example, kids delve into GoPro Video production, culinary and performing arts, organic gardening and yoga.
    Adults can daydream of camp adventures. But kids don’t go to camp to wander Huck Finn-style in chance and imagination. We send our camp-bound kids to structured experiences designed to improve them.
    If you, like me, have been provoked by The Big Read to rediscover Tom Sawyer, you too may be feeling his envy of Huckleberry as a boy who “came and went, at his own free will.”
    That “romantic outcast … slept on doorsteps in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet; we did not have to go to school or to church, or call any being master or obey anybody; he could go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it suited him. … In a word, everything that goes to make life precious, that boy had.”
    So send your kid to camp. But leave a little free time for the kids — and yourself as well.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

It’s complicated

Except for Eve (and Adam) — as former Maryland poet laureate Michael Glaser points out in this week’s paper — every one of us has a mother.

remembering to Eve, try to imagine …

how she never knew a mother
or the fruit of a kind and nurturing hand.

    In turn, every one of us is a son or daughter. As the seven-year CBS standard-setting series The Good Wife ends on Mother’s Day, my thoughts turn to what it means to be a good daughter.
    “That’s ultimate praise,” I said the other day to a friend whose 94-year-old mother shares her home.
    “Do you think so?” she said, perhaps feeling the weight of obligation.
    With my mother 28 years dead, the weight I feel is regret. I feel the regret of missing her — and the regret of having been a very imperfect daughter. For what she wanted most was to be understood in her own terms. That I could not do when she was alive and ­kicking.
    For children, a great shadow blocks the light of understanding. We are throwing that shadow. Only a very little light passes around the child to illuminate the person on the other side of the mother-child relationship. Her motherhood is so central to our child that we can’t see beyond it to whoever she is besides our mother.
    Mother-blindness is not mine alone. That’s a ­discovery I made reading the poems that make up our Mother’s Day feature.
    In calling them to me, I made no hypothesis, primed no pump. I simply sat down on the floor to surround myself with the books of poetry on a small bottom shelf. Many of the thin books there are the brainchildren of local poets. T’was them I addressed, as well as one or two more whose poems I know by ear rather than eye.
    Will you contribute a poem? I asked each. My only stricture: It must be about — ideally to — your mother.
    Most sent single poems, and I printed what I got.
    How often these mothers appear in the shadow of the child!
    Or emerging from that shadow, as in Glaser’s irresistible A Blessing for My Mother, one of the half dozen poems he offered for this issue

Though she drove me to the brink,
it wasn’t ’till I got there, I think,

that I finally understood:
what she aimed for was good.

Blessed be her intent
Blessed be what she meant.

    Read them in the feature story Better Than Hallmark, and you’ll see what I mean.
    Still, I think you’re in for another surprise — as I was. All together, they cover quite a bit of the sublimely complicated relationship of mother and child. Ranging from three lines to 33, each — being a poem — has more to say than is readily apparent. Though some will tease and fret you with elusive meaning, you’ll feel what they say. Poetry is good for complicated emotions because it doesn’t reduce them to abstractions.
    Have you figured out the terms of your unique partnership in this universal condition?
    In other words, what does your mother mean to you and you to her?
    The simplest answer: It’s complicated.
    No wonder so many people buy greeting cards to speak in their stead.
    To try your own, follow this feature with What’s a Mother For, on how grieving granddaughter Janice Lynch Schuster used drawings to tap into motherlove.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

With this issue, we enter Chesapeake Country’s favorite season

How lucky are we?    
    Having lived the first half of my life landlocked in America’s great Midwest, I look at the Chesapeake each day with gratitude and awe.
    Now comes the time when fair days invite all of us children of the Chesapeake to do more than look.
    Of course some of us are heartier than others. The Chesapeake and its many rivers are always there. Beachcombers and dog walkers go out in all seasons, even when nor’easters blow their hair southwest and throw sand in their eyes. If you paddle your own kayak or canoe, you’ll find good boating weather all winter long.
    Anglers will abide most any weather, as Sporting Life columnist Dennis Doyle reminds us. With the opening of rockfish season April 16, the lure of trophy giants has fishermen and women biting just as they hope the fish will.
    From now through November, Chesapeake waters will be the best place to feel what life in this region is all about.
    So in this issue we take you there in ways we know best, words and pictures. Each of this week’s features takes us back to the water. A couple illuminate the lore and lure of sailing: Tom Hall’s story about high school sailing teams and the Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta; and Mike Rusinski’s first-person account of his midlife switch from power boating to sailing — Trading Our Combustion Engine for the Power of Wind is Rusinski’s Bay Weekly debut.
    Another, Nostalgia by Diane Knaus, recalls the thrill of driving your own boat — as well as the pitfalls.
    For safety’s sake on the water, our inquiring Chesapeake Curiosities columnist Christina Gardner reminds you to examine your life jacket.
    Two more stories invite you to our rivers this Saturday, April 30: The Southern Maryland Celtic Festival and Highland Gathering on the Patuxent at Jefferson-Patterson Park and the inaugural Pigs and Pearls event on the West River at Pirates Cove in Galesville.
    As getting you to the water is our goal, this issue also shines the spotlight on five Bay Weekly partners offering special opportunities on that element: the Wild Goose Chase bike tour at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and Boaters Expo at Herrington Harbour North, both two weekends hence; plus the town of North Beach, Flag Harbor Marina and SUP2U Kayak Rental.
    See you on the water, the element of the season.

Hale and Farewell: Lee Boynton
    I cannot end My Back to the Water letter without paying tribute to Lee Boynton, the Annapolitan and American impressionist painter who died April 24 at the age of 62, taken by colon cancer. For I am one of hundreds taught by Lee to see the water as well as aspire to painting it.
    In the beginning, there was light. Those are the first of Lee’s words recorded in my journals of the half dozen watercolor classes where I was his student. The life is in the light; the life is in the paint.
    Lee radiated the light of life as he spoke those words. A religious man, he believed in the divinity of the light God had created.
    Light reflects as well as illuminates, Lee explained as he sought to teach us to paint lowlights as well as highlights, gradations, reflections and shadows. We caught some of the reflection of his light. He made us understand, believe and see with his life-inspired eyes.
    So I see the water now in the color it takes from light, sky and atmosphere. I search my vocabulary for the words for those colors and my palette for their pigments. With opened eyes, I see the atomic vitality of the dance of life. I am one scintilla of the legacy left by Lee Boynton on this earth.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

Goshen Farm, powered by grassroots

“The grassroots is the source of power. With it you can do anything,” wrote Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson of the wattage behind his bright idea.
    Is it shining still?
    Take an Earth Day No. 47 visit to Goshen Farm, and you’ll see the light.
    From the grassroots, a community rose to save the last Colonial-era farm on the Broadneck Peninsula. Its work has created a hidden oasis of 22 undeveloped acres, surrounded by Cape St. Claire and Walnut Ridge on the Broadneck Peninsula.
    “I became slightly obsessed,” Barbara Morgan, told Bay Weekly of her discovery that a ramshackle neighborhood property was settled in the mid-17th century.
    From Morgan’s obsession, the Goshen Farm Preservation Society rose to save the old house from demolition by the Anne Arundel County School Board, which owns the property.
    It took four years, from 2006 to 2010, for the Society to gain its renewable lease. Then came a Sharing Garden, the offshoot of Nicole Neboshynsky’s dream. Like the Goshen Farm Preservation Society, the garden found many hands.
    More dreams and more hands followed. Volunteers and visitors range from neighbors to school children to scientists to Midshipmen.
    “We’re integrating the concept of environmental awareness into their daily life,” says Society president Lou Biondi. “It’s not just something they learn, it’s something they do.”
    Visit to see for yourself three gardens, a tunnel greenhouse, an orchard and apiary, all producing food for the Sharing Garden’s 60 families plus local food banks and Goshen Farm festivities. The Colonial Kitchen Garden and the Henson-Hall Slave Garden honors 12 slaves known to have lived and labored on the farm; namesakes, Jack Henson and Nace Hall, are recorded by surname in the Maryland State Archives.
    Four more preservation sites feature tobacco, cotton and a grove of white oaks, Maryland’s state tree. The oddest, the Goshen Farm Soil Health Pit, was dug by the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen Action Group as a classroom on sustainable soil.

A Chesapeake original, hand-crafted by artisans each week

Bay Weekly turns 23 this week.
    That’s old enough to have graduated college and be looking for a job.
    By my 23rd birthday, I was a wife and mother of a three-month-old baby, working my way through grad school by teaching freshman composition and English as a Second Language at St. Louis University. I thought I was smart, though I’ve since proven myself largely wrong.
    Now I’m old enough — and smart enough — to believe that every stage of life has its unique wisdom. So I don’t feel so dumb — or arrogant — when I say Bay Weekly was born smart.
    We sure thought so, the three founders of this enterprise born as New Bay Times back on Earth Day 1993. Of course every proud parent believes its offspring is special. Mine was proving me right, for that baby, John Alexander Knoll, had grown up to partner with me and his stepfather Bill Lambrecht in making a newspaper from no more than our wits, will and experience — with our silent partner, Apple’s wonderchild Macintosh.
    “We want to create something new,” cofounder Bill Lambrecht wrote in our first editorial, Hello Baysiders. “In these pages, starting today, New Bay Times will explore how we of the Chesapeake Bay can live as best we can in a smart and sustainable way.”
    We imagined ourselves peaking the wave of change — as well as immersed in Chesapeake Country.
    That first issue lived up to our boast with stories on issues still hot nearly a quarter-century later.
    Look back on New Bay Times Vol. 1 No. 1, and you’ll see stories on Bay pollution, the plight of blue crabs and crabbers and kayaking. (Find Vol. 1 No. 1 at
http://bayweekly.com/old-site/1993/93v01.html).
    The 2016 crabbing season begins with crabs in abundance — up 35 percent from last year in the Winter Dredge Survey — and crabbers lobbying to increase their catch. Pollution has proved more complex than simple trash, but trash has grown into a still-bigger problem. And yes, kayaking has become a favorite sport on the Bay.
    Complementing those issue stories was a profile of Miss Ethel Andrews of Shady Side, then approaching her 105th birthday.
    How many more such stories have followed in 1,167 issues! I can’t count them, but many of them I can remember.
    A favorite from that first year on a topic just as urgent now: Toilet Training: The Least You Should Know about Your Closest Link to Nature (Vol. 1 No. 12.)
    That story was written by Carolyn Martin, a journalism pro we titled New Bay Times Special Environmental Correspondent. Photos were shot by David Hawxhurst, who has since shot for National Geographic.
    So many talented people helped us keep our promise that first year. Fairhaven neighbor Sonia Linebaugh came in to help out and stayed four years. Bill Burton, who stands tall among America’s great outdoors writers, drove down to Deale one June day to offer himself to us as he’d retired from the Evening Sun long before he’d run out of stories. He gave us weekly columns for 16 years, retiring again only weeks before he died.
    Each of these 23 years has brought its own share of talent, and I could name writers and their stories by the dozens if my son — the final editor we call Chainsaw — would give me enough room. Since our last birthday, we’ve gained Kathy Knotts as our staff writer, Karen Holmes as a dedicated new contributor and more than a dozen prospects coming May 5 to a workshop for new writers.
    In all of the countless stories we’ve assigned, shepherded, edited and published in 23 years, writers have given their best. Almost every story has been a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted original, special to these pages.
    With this issue we proudly celebrate 23 years of local stories hand-crafted by artisans, written for you and about this estuarine region that is our shared home.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

The General Assembly adjourns; Marylanders finally get to vote

The oceanic roar of political passions in the presidential primaries perhaps deafened you to the estuarine rumble of the Maryland General Assembly.
    But an energy reading of Annapolis would show a precipitous drop after April 12, as our 188 elected representatives and the lobbyists who throng them retreated after another Assembly’s end.
    For 90 days starting the second Wednesday in January, the capitol throbs with the business of making laws. This year, 2,817 bills were considered; 834 become laws. In a marathon on April 12, Gov. Larry Hogan signed 106 into law.
    Most affect an individual life in small ways, as will this year’s revision of Maryland divorce law allowing uncontested divorce without a witness to a couple’s separation of at least a year.
    What will be the biggest legislative deal of 2016?
    In the long shadow of Freddie Gray’s death, Baltimore gets millions to reduce urban blight.
    Noah’s Law makes a sentimental favorite, memorializing a young officer killed in the line of duty — and perhaps saving many more on the roads — by expanding the range of convicted drunk drivers bound to use ignition locks.
    Environmentally, we’ve agreed to further reduce greenhouse gasses by 2030. Oysters in the wild come a step closer to gaining protection as a regulated fishery. Still, there’s no spotlight environmental success this year, when once again disposable plastic bags survived a legislative ban. But from that sector comes a measure of how hard it is to make a bill into law.
    Maryland League of Conservation Voters reports organizing more than 6,750 emails and over 8,000 phone calls to legislators for the sake of environmental legislation. “Environmental voters also showed up in force on Lawyers’ Mall, in committee hearings and legislators’ offices in the hundreds to rally for our healthy environment and future,” said Executive Director Karla Raettig.
    That number includes a swarm of human bees in favor of more pesticide controls.
    From concept to the General Assembly — even to fail — takes a massive effort. For legislation moves by consensus, and ideas draw virulent opponents as readily as they do enthusiastic supporters.
    A bill with the name Maryland Healthy Working Families Act surely must have been loved by at least some of its 80-plus sponsors, including Anne Arundel Delegates Mark Chang and Ted Sophocleus.
    But to Calvert Del. Mark Fisher, it was one front of “Maryland’s War on Work.”
    Fierce as are the tempests that rage in the General Assembly, the storms roil few citizens — but the hyper-committed. In terms of fans, lawmaking is not prime-time material. Too much head-scratching and back-slapping, plus listening and thinking.
    Politicking is a lot more dramatic, particularly presidential, and particularly this year. With Maryland’s late primary, we have had to get our electoral thrills vicariously. Finally, it’s our turn.
    Early voting opens April 14 and continues through April 21. For the first time this year, you can register to vote at every early polling place, all open 10am to 8pm. To register, bring your MVA-issued license, ID card or change of address card, or your paycheck, bank statement, utility bill or other government document with your name and address. Find your closest at ­www.elections.state.md.us/voting/early_voting_sites/2016_EARLY_VOTING_SITES.pdf.
    As this is a primary election, you must vote by party — Democratic or Republican — for president, senator and congress-person and delegates to your party’s national convention. Candidates for judge in Anne Arundel and School Board in Calvert run independent of party, so all voters can weigh in on them in
    If you’d rather vote with your neighbors, Election Day is Tuesday, April 26. Polls are open 7am to 8pm.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

Look who’s inviting your community to play(s)

Masterpiece Theater doesn’t tempt me with its behind-the-scenes insights into actors assuming character. I want my characters in character, just as I met them, preserving their fictional illusion.
    Community theater is a different story, with a local angle.
    Show after show, familiar faces transform like Hugo, Man of a Thousand Faces. (Don’t know Hugo? You have a gap in your childhood.) One of those faces may belong to your office mate.
    As you read, local theaters are imagining, mounting and striking another play — and another.
    Consider four we work with routinely.
    Twin Beach Players is making its home-stretch push toward Thursday April 7, opening night for The Miser. A 350-year-old French comedy is a leap for a grassroots, bootstraps local theater.
    “We’re strong enough to be judged on how well we do,” says Sid Curl, company president and theater pro.
    The 17-year-old company loves literary masters, which saves money, as it pays no royalties on plays aged out of literary protection.
    Twin Beach Players’ work with children in productions and in the annual Kids Playwriting Festival make it, Curl says, “the largest children’s organization in Calvert County with the exception of the public schools.”
    This year’s 11th Annual Kids Playwriting Festival is the other project keeping the company buzzing. Step one, again this year, is recruiting the playwrights.
    In Annapolis The Colonial Players opens Friday, April 8, with the musical The Secret Garden. Meanwhile, actors are just stepping into character for Colonial’s June production, Good People.
    At 67, The Colonial Players stands on the strength of heritage. A membership of some 100 theater supporters — dues are only $10 — gives the company plenty of energy, with new people stepping forward as others retreat. “We’ve got books and books of bylaws and procedures distilled from experience,” says Darice Cleewell, an actor, director and, by day, trainer who is completing her year-long term as Colonial’s president.
    Colonial’s standing shows in other ways. It already has its own home, its theater in the round in downtown Annapolis, plus a second property for sets, costumes and rehearsal. The company also has a reliable audience whose subscriptions guarantee revenue. “We’re able to take more risks than other companies, and we take that responsibility seriously,” says Clewell.
    2nd Star Productions is readying Guys and Dolls for a June 9 debut at Bowie Playhouse. Musicals are this all-volunteer company’s specialty, so even an ambitious play like this is not too big a stretch. It’s also likely to be a money-maker, which means surviving for another play, another season. Mounting a play, especially a musical, costs as much as $70,000, says company treasurer Gene Valendo.
    The actors who’ll play Guys and Dolls’ gamblers and molls work throughout the region. The board is small, dedicated and looking to expand. You don’t have to act to help.
    “I have no desire to be on stage,” says Jane Wingard, company president and award-winning set designer. A Prince George’s County drama teacher, she was an empty-nester when challenged to form the company.
    Part of that fun will be bringing to life next February’s much-anticipated Peter and the Starcatcher.
    “It’s the first Peter Pan play,” Wingard explains, “for a company that takes its name from Peter Pan’s second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.”
    April isn’t too soon for Annapolis Summer Garden Theater to get is 50th anniversary season started. The Wedding Singer opens May 26. This Saturday, April 9, is spring cleanup with volunteers needed to ready the lobby, garden, backstage and everywhere else. Show up at 10am at the theater, 143 Compromise St., Annapolis: ­volunteer@summergarden.com.
    That’s one of many ways to join your neighbors in play.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

Three-dozen helpers in keeping up with Mother Nature

Such energy is all around us! The miracle of humus, light, water and sap that brings Earth back to life each spring Mother Nature achieves apparently effortlessly.  She’s so good at her job that our own inspiration rises in wonder at her seasonal restoration. With Earth looking so good, I find myself saying, what about my own home and garden?
    Whether we live on green acres or way up in a high rise, whether our space is sprawling or tiny, we can follow Nature’s lead. For the size and scope of our spring projects matter less than the energy they release in our human beings. As Mother Nature’s children, we’re driven like all the rest of Earth’s creatures to renewal.
    Spring renewal brought crisp white linen slipcovers to the overstuffed chairs and couches of the most welcoming home I’ve ever visited, the Lewis family home in the haphazard village of Gillespie, Illinois. Florence, who ran the home, had an eye for perfection. Each object, each seasonal change, was a comforting act of invisible artistry. Those slipcovers, for example, were sewn by Florence and her mother-in-law, who had owned the house before her. Years later, they still stand as my talisman of domestic comfort. I’ve never dared such an invitation to soils and spills, though over time it’s occurred to me that the parlor they adorned was less used than the family room-library.
    My indoors ritual of spring renewal is to attack the windows. Washing, opening and hanging light curtains changes the home season. It’s my symbolic first step into spring, and I feel obliged to start with the equinox. Thereafter everything else, indoor and out, unfolds slowly as I find time, energy and money.
    The physical acts of remaking our home and garden is part of the reward — until it becomes a burden. So this Home & Garden Guide helps me scale my plans to my abilities and discover to whom to turn to carry out the dreams I can’t manage.
    I hope it will do the same for you, becoming your directory to the greater Chesapeake Country village where you do your spring renewal shopping.
    All the businesses you’ll read about here are advertisers who pay for the paper in your hand. Their investment in Bay Weekly, ours in you and yours in them: That partnership keeps us all in business. That continuity keeps our community culturally and economically strong. A strong community enriches our personal lives and supports our choices. That’s true all the way into our homes and gardens.
    This year’s Home and Garden Guide introduces three-dozen businesses to help you keep up with Mother Nature.
    From a bank, Realtor and insurer to support your biggest decisions … to who can build the projects you imagine … to call to tune up your heating and cooling system … to who’ll wash even your highest windows … to where to find art to open your horizons: You’ll find all these and more home improvers in these pages.
    Outdoors, we take you from nurseries to landscapers to lawn services to experts in outdoors living who can dig you a pool, keep your pool fresh and healthy and equip you well, from extravagant grills to outdoor kitchens.
    For what to prepare in those kitchens we take you to farms, farm markets and orchards where you can have a good time with the free time you’ve saved as well as find bounty to bring home.
    In our pages, you’ll read what each says they do best. When one strikes a chord, you can turn from our pages to that website to continue your research. After that, you might find that the project you dream of is only a phone call or visit away.
    We see great returns from this issue.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

Heeding spring’s reminder that water is a force in our lives

Once spring starts coming, you can’t nag it back underground. Wind and chill, I complain, stole the weekend. And when the weather was fair, flu kept me inside.
    What’s a little chill? We feel fine, the cherubic pink blossoms of magnolias proclaimed. Forsythia didn’t need sunshine to shoot yellow through its switches. Willow goes green as happily in the 40s as in the 60s. Maple is littering my lawn with a new bumper crop of spent blossoms before its last year’s leaves are raked. Sprouts wiggle through as if wet leaves didn’t weigh all the tons I’ll soon feel in my muscles.
    What I need, spring, is a little more time.
    And I need a little more knowledge, I realize as I read staff writer Kathy Knotts’ story Holy Waters: Churches on a mission to save the Bay.
    She’s writing about Watershed Stewards, many of whom take their vows to help their congregations — 16 churches so far and one temple — manage their waters for the earth’s sake. Of the 160 graduates of the Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy, 15 percent are church or temple sent. Why they come to this mission in such numbers, you’ll read in Kathy’s story.
    Religious or not, each of the 160, I realize, brings something of the knowledge of a hydraulic engineer to his or her place on this earth. Each of them understands the force of the water not only where it falls, but throughout its flow all the way it takes to navigate back to downstream to the big water it’s seeking. That would be the Chesapeake, and where I live it’s not very far away — and all downstream. So the water flows fast, off our roofs, through our gutters, down our streets and hills.
    I have dug a channel to catch and direct the flow from the buried drainpipes that lead from my gutters. Neighbors have rain gardens and rain barrels. As a community, we have put in swales and drainpipes. But we need more, and part of what we need is more sophisticated engineering.
    “Every church has a creek,” says Calhoun,” and every creek deserves a church.”
    I suspect those words are true of every home and every neighborhood as well. We’ve all got creeks, and we’ve all got stormwater exerting all its power to get to them.
    Fortunately, more and more of us, individuals and organizations, are gaining know-how in managing stormwater.
    The first step is looking at water in a new way.
    I like how Brian Van Wye, chief of program implementation for D.C.’s Stormwater Management Division, puts it: “For decades and decades, people designed in the city to get stormwater off of a site as fast as possible. What we’re trying to do is turn that on its head and slow it down and, as much as possible, turn stormwater into a resource on that site.”
    I read his words in a CityLab article distributed by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s listserve, explaining how private investors are taking on public stormwater retention problems in return for marketable retention credits: http://bit.ly/CityLnk.
    For me, that’s a new way of looking at water as wealth.
    Bigger thinkers than me are already there, and that’s a good thing because managing water takes moving elemental forces around, and that’s costly work. As you’ll read in Kathy’s story, the big project underway at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Eastport will cost over one million dollars.
    St. Luke’s is one of hundreds of projects big and small in Anne Arundel County, installed or undertaken by Riverkeepers, conservancies, schools, churches, businesses, neighborhoods, homeowners and Watershed Stewards and the county itself, often working in concert. Here at Bay Weekly we’re beneficiaries of some of that work, organized by the Spa Creek Conservancy. The stormwater fee we pay in Anne Arundel is one source of that money that gets the work done.
    But behind it all is the energy unleashed in each of us when, heeding the call of spring, we see the forces of water at work in our gardens and all the places we call home.
    I think my channel needs a series of step pools. I think I need to enroll in the Watershed Stewards Academy: http://aawsa.org.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com