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Bay Weekly Interviews

Father is supposed to know best. But does he? Are his enduring lessons taught by determination as he strives to pass along life-guiding values? Or by accident, as a man doing the best he can — and some not even that. By words? Or by example?         Hence our question in this year’s edition of our annual effort to understand that great life role: What lesson did your father teach you — intentionally or otherwise — that guides you to this day?
Tattered sneakers tell a river’s story. Retired state senator Bernie Fowler tells his.
This Sunday, June 8, Bernie Fowler will tie on his white sneakers to wade into the Patuxent River. Well-wishers, family and friends, school kids, politicians and reporters will join him, linking hands in a human chain, striding into the water until they can no longer see their shoes. Then, if history is a guide, Steny Hoyer — the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Congress — will measure the height of the watermark on his old friend’s overalls, declaring the Sneaker Index for 2014.  

Plant scientist Bert Drake warns that in Earth’s changing climate, plants are odds-on winners. It doesn’t look so good for us.

Hailing from Maine, Bert Drake likes cool weather. So you’d expect him to be riled about a world getting warmer. The issue is more than comfort, says the plant physiologist, who retired in 2010 after a 40-year career at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater.     Like Noah, Drake worries about flooding. And crop failure, which would have been an issue for Noah, too. Drake, however, might top Noah on the anxiety scale, for he’s got drought on his mind as well.     How did he get so anxious?

Anne Arundel Community ­College president Dawn ­Lindsay puts her money on empowering people

At Anne Arundel Community College, where two out of three students are women, women’s history is a forward-heading story. Dawn Lindsay continues a two-decade tradition of female leadership, following Martha Smith, who served 18 years as college president.     Lindsay took over in August, 2012, leaving Glendale Community College in California, where she was also president, for “the place I’d had my eye on for some time, an amazing college with a great national reputation.”

First-time candidate Mitchelle Stephenson hopes to put her people skills, knowledge of the issues and local contacts to work for voters

You’re more likely to growl your revenge at a politician than kick a dog. Dogs have got a vast grassroots constituency rooting for them. Politicians not so much. On preferential polls, politicians rank below dog poop.     So why would you want such a job?     This election year, Bay Weekly is asking that question of politicians of various stripes. Among them: first timers, try-a-second-timers and winners turned losers trying again.

Annapolis mayor Josh Cohen and challenger Mike Pantelides pause in their pre-election schedules to talk with Bay Weekly

How are you managing this last week before Election Day November 5? Josh Cohen    A campaign is kind of like a pregnancy. You forget how difficult it is, so you do it again. We’ve been through this several times, and we’ll get through this one. But — and I just had this conversation with my wife — I’ll be a little more stressed than usual this week.

There’s no retirement for these serial careerists

Versatility is a life preserver through changing times, and these are changing times.     For Labor Day’s Back to Work feature this year, we wanted to explore how citizens of Chesapeake Country were riding the waves.     So we set out in search of career changers.     That choice meant we’d be talking to people who’d been in the water for a while; thus people of a certain age. Our sample brought us ages from 42, Jared Littmann, to 75, Jim Lyles.

A Bay Weekly conversation with ­Vinnie Bevivino, the ­mastermind of ­Chesapeake Compost Works

Give me your trash! says Vinnie Bevivino, the mastermind of Chesapeake Compost Works, of the organic and biodegradable material taking up 20 to 30 percent of all landfills.     Chesapeake Compost Works — begun in 2010 as a 40-page business plan and a drawing — has risen as a 55,000-square-foot warehouse in Baltimore’s Curtis Bay. At full capacity by year’s end, 60 tons of compost will be cured there every day.

Former Governor Parris Glendening discusses Smart Growth, long hair and tweeners in stretch limousines

How is life different after politics?     I used to get a haircut every two weeks because I was so often on camera, which exaggerated the slightest curl. Now I get one every five or six weeks. One of the percs of not being in office.

Farr Yacht Design’s Patrick Shaughnessy on creating the boats that sail round the world

Sailing legend Bruce Farr’s career began long ago and far away in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand. By the 1970s, Farr — then in his 20s — had established a reputation for designing fast, cheap boats that were easier to build and sail than most of the competition. His designs won one-quarter, one-half, three-quarter and one-ton world championships.