Articles by Sandra Olivetti Martin

Previews of the Maryland General Assembly

Americans have a thing for lawlessness.    
    If we had a mantra, it might go something like this: The fewer laws the better — except as they benefit us personally.
    From the Pilgrims, Conquistadors and New Dutch to explorers, pioneers and cowboys — not to mention robber barons — we’ve made our own laws.
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Grass beds survived storm to welcome waterfowl, Bay babies

Housing stock is on the rise for the young fish and crabs who’ll be sheltering at the top of the Bay come spring. The vast grass-filled Susquehanna Flats, the circular area where the Susquehanna River meets the Bay, appeared unexpectedly healthy in aerial survey images made late last year.
    The valuable Bay habitats seem to have survived fall 2011’s deluge of runoff and sediment.
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Here’s what all the fuss is about

Read any good plans lately?    
    Maryland’s state plan has no suspense, sex, violence or drugs, not even any characters.
    Yet PlanMaryland, which Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proclaimed by executive order last month, is becoming notorious.
    The 11-page document has a web page, a Facebook page with nearly 500 likes and a game you can play.
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Circulating is now free

    Going to Annapolis?     
    Since cars claimed roads designed for horse traffic, parking has made visiting our capital city easier by boat than by car.
    Where to put the vehicles that bring the city a million visitors each year has kept city planners scratching their heads.
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People on the move in the Maryland General Assembly

Lawmaking is not the only thing on the minds of the members of Maryland’s 430th General Assembly. Among local highlights:

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Bird artists flock to 2012 competition

Duck stamps have been preserving marsh and wetlands for waterfowl since the Great Depression, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the federal Duck Stamp program to support the purchase of land for national wildlife refuges.
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Hot-blooded Marylanders hoping for icy reception

The frostbite swimming season began January 1 with barely an icicle.
    At 43 degrees, Chesapeake waters were cold. That was the common report from plungers at North Beach’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim.
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Sneade’s donation adds $2,000 to Calvert Hospice’s Festival of Trees

Woodchips and memories will soon be all that’s left of this year’s Christmas trees hauled curbside in Anne Arundel or to Calvert’s convenience centers for recycling. Not so for the 64 trees in Calvert Hospice’s 23rd annual Festival of Trees. Decorated and sponsored throughout Calvert, the trees annually add about $100,000 to Hospice coffers.
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A New Year’s lesson

When the clock struck 12, pushing Saturday, December 31 into Sunday, January 1, in that moment it was thinkable that a new you would rise from bed and into the world on New Year’s Day. Not too early that day.
    A lot of energy rises from that possibility.
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Meet the winners and learn their secrets of success

We’ve saved the best for last.    
    The Best of the Bay is our last word for 2011. It’s the news of the 11th hour of the 12th month.
    It’s your judgment on who gives you the best value, service and satisfaction for your buck. On where you go for a good time. On what you like to do best in Chesapeake Country.
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