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Fireworks, parades and vocal citizens are all part of the tradition

Two hundred thirty-six years ago, America made itself a nation with a formal Declaration of Independence. The plan for what this new nation would be, our Constitution, took 11 disputeful years more.
    The places we live have had less help in taking shape. Like Topsy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, our communities “just growed. Don’t think nobody never made me.”
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Farmers markets now selling local corn and peaches

Farmers market shoppers in the know arrive at the Sunday morning Freshfarm Market in Annapolis before 10:30am, when Bob Miller of Nice Farms Creamery sells out of his famous chocolate milk.
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Bay Weekly’s Summer Book Guide

What’s that you’re reading?    
    Another person’s nose in a book makes your nose itch to get in for its own sniff. The casual pass, the sidelong look, the binocular stare: They’re techniques we’ve all tried to pick up a title.  
     The sight of another reader’s wordy intimacy with a story is an irresistible provocation.
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You’ll have to rise early and stay up late to see all five naked-eye planets

The nascent crescent moon emerges from the glow of sunset low in the west-northwest Thursday evening. Above the moon is Mercury with the Gemini twins Pollux and Castor higher still. Sunset Friday finds the waxing crescent a little higher in the west with Mercury, Pollux, and Castor farther to its right.
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The four-masted, 141-foot Kalmar Nyckel drops anchor in Solomons this weekend

The tall ships have sailed out of Baltimore, where for a week the harbor looked as if it were 1812. The 40-strong flotilla — including 25 tall ships representing a dozen nations — marked the anniversary of the declaration of war on Great Britain and the official start of the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.
    A million people visited over a week.
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Bay Weekly commemorates the War of 1812 bicentennial with a look at this week in history.

Bay Weekly commemorates the War of 1812 bicentennial with a look at this week in history

By June 23 of 1812, the United States of America was at war with Great Britain. Though neither nation was aching for a fight, trade disputes, Britain’s support of Native American rebellion and the forceful conscription of Americans into the British Navy pushed the old and new nations to an impasse.
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Kids do the darndest things, like stab people with lefty scissors

Two troubled 12-year-olds find that their broken pieces fit perfectly in this latest Wes Anderson (The Fantastic Mr. Fox) fantasy.
    Sam (newcomer Jared Gilman) is an orphan with emotional issues and excellent scouting skills. Suzy Bishop (newcomer Kara Hayward) is a quiet girl prone to violent outbursts, observing the world through the detaching lens of binoculars and wearing too much eye makeup.
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Here’s how to make it work

Making compost in a drum composter is very different from making compost in a bin on the surface of the ground. When you’re composting in a bin on the ground, any excess water drains from the compost into the ground. Any moisture released in the air surrounding the pile is quickly disbursed by wind and air currents.
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Good fishing, good eating and good news

Casting up tight to the riprapped shoreline, I flipped the bail closed on the small spin reel and started my retrieve. I wanted to keep the Rooster Tail lure up and off the submerged rock below. My retrieve slowed as the lure came away from the stony structure and I let it settle, slow rolling it down, close to the bottom where I hoped some big blackbacks were holding.
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Books on baseball are keeping me happily turning pages

If your summer needs a good book, you’ve come to the right place. With the official start of the season (the sun is standing still as I write) comes Bay Weekly’s annual Summer Reading Guide.
    All the good books our 17 dedicated readers recommend in this issue will have to wait for fall before I crack their covers — or sample them on my Kindle.
    This summer, I’m reading baseball.
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