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Calvert high schoolers learn to lobby to save animals

I can’t resist a kitten. For six years I’ve mothered orphan kittens for Patuxent Animal Welfare Society.
    But it was the numbers I couldn’t help that made me an activist. Every year in Maryland, 45,000 dogs and cats are destroyed. Maryland ranks 39th on the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s state report card on animal-protection issues.
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Gardening expert Rick Darke strives to create “liveable landscapes” using both natives and exotics

You won’t find the word invasive — at least in connection with plants — in gardener, award-winning author, photographer and consultant Rick Darke’s vocabulary. Meet him on March 2, when he makes the trek from his garden oasis in Pennsylvania to Annapolis, and you’ll hear about balancing natives and exotics in the garden....

Red Wigglers demonstrate the inside story of composting

Red Wiggler worms are busy digging and dining in a compost Can-O-Worms at Annmarie Garden.
    Second graders visiting Annmarie Garden on daily CHESPAX field trips explore the world of composting with a little help from the Garden’s squirmy residents, about a thousand in all.
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In vernal pools, renewal is under way

This time of year, marbled salamander tadpoles are already swimming through the shallow waters of vernal pools. Vernal pools are temporary wetland habitats in our forests. They hold water long enough during spring to attract special animals that you aren’t likely to see anywhere else. Then the pools dry up, so fish and other large predators can’t live there.
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Crossword creator Ben Tausig wins Orca award for Best Crossword

When your favorite movie wins an Oscar, you can say I was there — virtually.
    You’ve gotten closer than that in the world of puzzles if you’ve matched wits with Ben Tausig, winner of the Orca for Best Crossword of 2012.
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And earn you a buck a bushel

Oyster shells could be worth more than the change in your pocket if the Oyster Recovery Partnership can talk the political talk.
    The nonprofit Partnership, which has planted four billion seed oysters in its work for recovery, is now seeking to persuade legislators to pass a bill giving a $1 tax credit for every bushel of oyster shells you recycle.
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Ann Widdifield’s Passing Through Shady Side, published with AuthorHouse in 2013
Billy Poe’s African-Americans of Calvert County, published by Acadia House in 2008
James Johnston’s From Slave Ship to Harvard, published by Fordham University Press in 2012


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How Bay Weekly's Betsy Kehne got the shot

Betsy Kehne had been waiting for three decades for the bird perched a stone’s throw from her window.
    At five years old, she’d grieved at learning that the pesticide DDT was pushing bald eagles to extinction.
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Their innovation is award-winning

Chesapeake Bay waterman were coming close to extinction in 2010 when a group of Chesapeake non-profits got innovative. The bright idea: Training captains who make a living on the Bay to give tours of the water and their craft.
    Now, 80 watermen guide tours through the Bay where they make their living, earning extra cash during the slow seasons.
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Our match was made, not born

“Count these records,” said Charlie after introductions.
    The year was 1969. The records were five-inch vinyl-printed cardboard squares recorded by our candidate in the Northern Virginia district where I lived with my parents. The square records would be dropped off at every house to deliver his campaign message.
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