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Articles by Sandra Olivetti Martin

Careless use of pocket lasers is dangerous and potentially criminal

For a couple of hundred dollars, you can buy the world’s most powerful handheld laser. “It’s stunning to behold, magnificent to wield and absolutely wicked to own,” according to its online advertisement.
    What would you do with such a tool?
    According to the manufacturer’s website, you’d wonder “how can you use this power in the most awe-inspiring way imaginable?”
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Hunting license fees add 126 acres to ­Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Conservationists have reason to celebrate at funding for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge’s growth by 126 acres.
    Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore, is home to one-third of Maryland’s tidal wetlands, earning its ranking as a Wetland of International Importance.
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Calvert protects 100-plus more acres

Calvert County has a plan to get people back to nature. The county comprehensive plan sets 40,000 acres of prime forest and farm as its preservation goal.
    More than 28,000 acres is already preserved or protected. That total includes property protected by the county and state as well as land privately owned by American Chestnut Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy.
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Camp lets ’em play like Tom Sawyer or ­Preston Hartge

With Kid Summer beginning June 8, now’s getting to be the time to figure out what the kids will do without the routine of school. Just in time comes our Last-Minute Camp Guide, laying out lots and lots of ways your kids can have more fun this summer than is likely on your agenda. I read about these camps with such desire that I’d almost be a kid again to get to go to camp....

Anne Arundel invests $1.5 million in dredging it from our waterways

No matter how willing your spirit or ready your boat, you’ve got to have a clear channel to get back to the water.
    Water flows downhill, carrying all it can find, including sediment that chokes waterways and undermines water quality.
    Removing silt and sediment is a heavy-duty dredging job requiring heavy equipment, some place to put the dredge spoils and lots of money.
    The money comes first.
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Sorry, but you’ll have to catch your own fish

When you want to check out a book to read, you probably wouldn’t head to your local tackle store. Yet if you want to catch a fish, you might start at the library. Specifically, the Anne Arundel County Library on Mountain Road.
    Fishing poles are the latest addition to the library’s multimedia collection to, in the words of County Library chief Skip Auld, “educate, enrich and inspire our customers.”
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Crabs and osprey in, oysters and swans out

In Chesapeake Country, creatures define seasons more accurately than weather. Crabs and osprey are the creatures of this season, even now replacing oysters and tundra swans on the calendar of Chesapeake life. Each comes, and goes, with fanfare.
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Peter Franchot tells us just what it is that a Comptroller does

By April 18, you’ll be communicating with Maryland’s Comptroller, likely writing him a check — or hoping he’ll write you one because you’ve already given him too much of your money. Our comptroller is our tax man. He — so far comptroller has always been a man — gets to count money and lead a big, smart and supportive staff in chasing bad guys.
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Help make this World War I legacy a National Marine Sanctuary

A World War I legacy on the Potomac River needs your help to achieve protection as a National Marine Sanctuary.
    Mallows Bay, on the coastline of Charles County, is the final resting place for 88 World War I wooden steamships of the U.S. Emergency Fleet. The ships were built between 1917 and 1919 to supply European and American troops.
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Books — and Bay Weekly — in Bloom at Calvert Library

Writing a book is hard enough using words. Trade in words for flowers, and it’s harder still.
    So far, I haven’t proved I know how to write a book. I do know how to write a newspaper. That’s why Bay Weekly is my entry in Books in Bloom, Calvert Garden Club’s second annual words-to-flowers display at all four Calvert libraries.
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