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Features (News)

Maryland’s license plate heron in identity crisis

You see him every time you drive to pick up Chinese. He’s lined up in the grocery store parking lot. You stare at him during rush hour. And now, you get to name him. He — or is it she? — is the blue heron on Maryland’s Treasure the Chesapeake licenses plates.
    Who would have thought such a popular bird was nameless?
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New law funds spay-neutering with pet food surcharge

To combat shelter overpopulation and reduce the number of homeless animals euthanized, the Maryland General Assembly has passed the Animal Welfare-Spay/Neuter Fund-Establishment bill. Annual taxpayers savings of $8 to $9 million are projected.
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Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2012 Grade F (9 on a scale of 70)

Inspired this time of year by the earliest signs of spring to carry on their ancient species, shad don’t know they’re failing the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s survival test.     
    They’re just doing what comes naturally.    
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Many cash streams flow into cleaning up the Bay

Stormwater doesn’t stop running, especially in a Chesapeake season Noah could appreciate.
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UniStar Nuclear is too French for Uncle Sam

Local cheering for a third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs has seemed misplaced.
    The economics of nuclear power are next to impossible these days with the federal government no longer able to provide loan guarantees and cheap natural gas the happening new energy source.
    Then there’s Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster two years ago that rekindled safety concerns.
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Editor’s note
    Three report cards come to us in the early months of the year, each asking us to consider the health of the Chesapeake Bay and where — if anywhere — all our work is getting us.
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School-zone cameras add to General Assembly’s debate

Attention lead-foot drivers: Annapolis is watching you.
    The capital city is setting up speed cameras in 10 school zones. Drivers clocked going 12 mph over the speed limit from 8am to 6pm will be mailed a $40 fine. Tickets from the cameras don’t come with points and won’t be sent to insurance companies.
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Waterway Access Bill would get Charlie Stek — and you — safely to the water

Charlie Stek wanted his son to experience nature, fishing and paddling rivers. With Maryland’s 10,000 miles of rivers and streams — crossed by 5,176 bridges — that ought to be easy.
    Yet there was no safe way to get to the water.
    To fish the Patuxent, Stek and his son Alex had to park on blind curves, jump guardrails and scamper down banks.
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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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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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