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Tuning into the Bay Weekly Forum

Animal stories spark the most talk

Forums are few and far between in Chesapeake ­Country. Like the forum of ancient Rome and town squares of cities around the world, Annapolis City Dock is a natural. It’s also a work in progress, with vision evolving and conflict between people and parking seeking resolution.
    The libraries of Anne Arundel and Calvert counties give us 20 such forums. This Library Week, we celebrate that role in our Bay Weekly conversation with Pat Hofmann, who’ll leave us a legacy when she retires this summer: the transformation of Calvert County Public Library from small-town book-lenders to a modern system of information centers at the heart of community life.
    Bay Weekly is a forum of anther kind: a portable community in miniature where you can find just about everything you need, including stories that set you thinking and talking. Every issue is a conversation opener, or so we hope. Animal stories spark some of the most passionate conversations. Letters and comments flow in their wake, creating an ever-widening circle.
    What to make of that? Perhaps our interspecies connections are among our most rewarding.
    In the wake of a series of animal stories — our regular Creature Feature and Cathryn Freeburger’s April 4 kitten-focused story The Rescuers — here are some of the disparate conversation we’ve been hearing:
    Lori Harrington at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in Dunkirk reports the success of another rescue, of five starving mustangs:
    On Sept 11 last year, Harrington writes, we found them in an emaciated state with very little human contact. One mare died before we arrived. Another mare had recently had a foal and was nursing both hers and the orphan when she herself was nothing but skin and bones. We brought them in to our horse rescue and nursed them back to health, got them acquainted with human touch and love, trained them for riding and they now are very healthy and happy.
    Three have been adopted and are being ridden on trails and have found their forever home. Two are still looking for their special someone.
    Do you have it in your heart to help, perhaps even adopt? Reach Harrington at 301-806-1708.
    Daniel Bastion writes from Annapolis urging we transform our relationship with animals by eating no more of them:
    We have sacrificed the lives of 10,000 American personnel and trillions of dollars in waging two wars to avenge the deaths of 2,600 Americans in the 9/11 attacks. When will we wage a bloodless, low-cost war on the killer meat-based diet, potentially responsible for as many as 1.3 million American deaths annually?
    In the meantime, we have the power to raise our own life expectancy by adopting a meat-free diet.
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals remind us to keep our cool when the Brood II cicadas emerge after 17 years underground:
    This spring, cicadas will emerge along the East Coast after 17 years underground. These friendly bugs are causing a lot of buzz — and not just because of the drum-like love song that male cicadas make to attract females.
    Cicadas are a boon to the local ecosystem. Cicada nymphs construct chimney-like tunnels as they emerge, naturally aerating the soil even better than earthworms do. The tunnels remain, allowing more water to reach trees’ roots.
    People who’ll do just about anything for animals have a lot to say. We also hear from people for whom animals do an amazing lot. This Sunday, April 28, is the annual Sails and Tails fundraiser in support of training puppies as Canine Companions for Independence. Catch up with Canine Companion Eaton, who was a puppy when you met him last year, in this week’s Creature Feature. Join the party at Annapolis Marriott Waterfront (details in 8 Days a Week).
    The forum continues below in Your Say and online at bayweekly.com.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com