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Articles by Sandra Olivetti Martin

Where government is a friend, not the enemy

 

The year’s political babble has the tenor of a neo-Freudian emergency room. Lots of people in obvious psychic pain are loudly blaming government — not mom or dad — for all that’s wrong in the world.

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On one, I ask you to be the judge

Your letters are the high point of my week. Of course praise is ice cream after dinner. Of that I had a full serving in W.R. Kraus’ words from Edgewater:

We very much enjoy your paper. Since we moved here in 2004, it has helped us understand the area we live in; manage our garden; and find lots of fun things to do. It also has the added benefit of not making me want to jump off the roof after reading the news!

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From here to Venezuela

Where have our osprey gone after abandoning Chesapeake Country over the last six weeks?

In general, we know that Chesapeake osprey fly from between 2,000 and 4,000 miles. Their journey takes 15 to 50 days, depending on the individual’s flight plans.

Transmitter-tagged birds can tell us much more.

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What fascinates us comes to define us

What fascinates you?

I’ve built a career of getting people to tell me their answer to that question. Over the years, I’ve learned that people are fascinated by many things, often things you or I might call odd. Like stretch-and-sew sewing. That was the short-term fascination of one dear old friend whose obsessions, I’m glad to say, changed frequently. I’m glad because I’d hate to sum up Sue’s life by saying she hand-made T-shirts. 

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Telling the stories of a city at work

 

“Oh my Lord, thank you. I never thought I’d live to see this day,” gushed Mrs. Beatrice P. Smith, 89, of Annapolis, after throwing her arms around former President Jimmy Carter on Pleasant Street, just around the corner from — but out of sight of — downtown Annapolis.

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A new breed of wind-sellers can lower your utility bill while saving the environment

In wind power, the money is in the marketing.

We learned as much long ago from the experiment of William Wrigley Jr., the millionaire whose success you’ve no doubt chewed on more than once. The maker of Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum, among other chewables, kept a weather eye on opportunity. 

How he put chewing gum in vending machines at about the turn of the 20th century is a milestone of entrepreneurial capitalism.

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U.S. EPA says Stop spoiling the Chesapeake on junk food!

If pollutants were calories, our Chesapeake would be obese, short of breath and diabetic.

So it’s good news that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new plan to require other states to follow Maryland’s lead in counting — and limiting — the junk they’re feeding the Chesapeake.

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If they want to win

 

Bay Weekly Primary Primer helped you get to know the candidates crowding this year’s race to the general election. Even more important, it helped you cast your vote. Or would-be vote, if you were locked out of primary voting because of your political independence or residence.

That’s what you’ve told me, by letter, phone, email and in person. 

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The new era begins now

In a decade or two, we might be hearing this conversation:

You know, fat oysters like that one you’re eating used to be hunted in the wild, like the buffalo.

Really?

Like cowboys, Chesapeake watermen rode out on low-rise boats, even in the worst weather in the middle of winter, and scraped oysters from the bottom of Chesapeake Bay.

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Or weep when you see who you’ve hired

It’s downright terrifying how much control we give away on Election Day.

Scarier still is how few of us bother with these decisions. 

What we’re really doing when we go out to vote is hiring people for a job with vast responsibility over our public and private lives.

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