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Ten ways to help our planet and your purse

On the village Earth, we have many neighbors. As Earth Day turns 44 on April 22 — Bay Weekly’s 21st birthday— we propose 10 bright ideas to make our time in Chesapeake Country more Earth-friendly and our future more sustainable.     Some you can do in your home; others will take the will of cities and counties, with you behind them pushing. Bringing them home is a job for each of us, and the more of us there are, the better results we’ll get. To think globally and act locally this Earth Day, start here.

Jan Miles was bred to captain Maryland’s ­historic clipper ship

The man who grew up to be the captain of Pride of Baltimore II, one of the great tall ships of our age, started his sailing career in Annapolis in the late 1960s.     Jan Miles grew up in a family that sailed for fun, mostly overseas where his father was stationed as a foreign service officer. When the family retired to Annapolis, the teenage Jan had trouble adjusting to life in the states.     “My parents thought it would be good for me to take a year off to collect my wits,” Miles relates.

We have food pantries all over the state. Why not furniture pantries?

Bruce Michalec’s bank needs a new vault. Deposits are bigger than ever in the three months since Anne Arundel County Food & Resources Bank merged with the Maryland Food Bank. Soon, all the food will crowd out the resources.     Michalec founded a food bank for Anne Arundel County in 1985. Soon, need and opportunity combined to bring other resources like furniture and medical supplies into the bank.

Three years in, I’m planning ahead for optimal success

I didn’t move to Annapolis three years ago because our capital city hosts a barbeque festival. The Naptown barBAYq was one of those pleasant discoveries I made after arrival.     That happy coincidence has helped me realize that how we experience is just as important as what we experience. With the Parole Rotary’s 2014 Naptown barBAYq Contest and Music Festival just around the corner — May 3 and 4 — I’m planning to maximize the experience.

Tuition just got cheaper at St. Mary’s College in Maryland

College is more likely to impoverish the family than get the kid a job. At least that’s what parents of this year’s high school graduates say.

Once over lightly

Minimum-wage earners, marijuana users and safe drivers came up winners in the Maryland General Assembly, which wrapped up its session this week. And environmentalists are scoring a win — among many defeats — in fending off 20 bills to take back earlier action to control stormwater runoff.     But seafood lovers lost their legislative fights.     Over the next four years, Maryland’s hourly minimum wage will rise to $10.10. Two steps come next year: $8 an hour in January and $8.25 in July.

A garden named for this Maryland first lady is a fine place to encounter spring

Spring is here, calling us outdoors.          Sample the season at Helen Avalynne Gibson Tawes Garden, an out-of-the-way treasure hidden in plain sight at Maryland Department of Natural Resources headquarters in the Tawes Building.     The gardens are known to local birders as a hotspot for migrating warblers in April, when waves of Virginia bluebells bloom along the walkways.

The answer’s just a phone call away

Way back when, starting in the 1930s, Americans got quick weather reports by dialing a phone number, usually ending in 1212. In the Information Age, those numbers have been giving way, replaced decade by decade by radio, television, Internet, PDAs and smart phones. The Baltimore-Annapolis area was one of the last places in the country to retain the service, with Verizon finally pulling the plug in June of 2011.

Middle schoolers’ contest takes on cyber-bullying

Some kids are bullies, some kids are bullied; but at some point, all kids see other kids being hurt. What would you do if you learned that a friend has received cruel and intimidating messages?     An alliance of Maryland peace groups is sponsoring a writing contest to learn what actions middle school students would take to help a kid being bullied. All seventh and eighth graders in Maryland are encouraged to explain how they’d “work with other students to develop a strategy for ending the cyber bullying.”

In acting, production and design, local theaters claim the gold

It’s official. Anne Arundel County has some of the region’s best amateur theatrical troupes, as was proven again this year at the 14th Annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors — WATCH — Awards. With 500 thespians and designers from 33 theaters gathered at the Birchmere in Alexandria for their version of the Oscars, Colonial Players and 2nd Star Productions took home a quarter of the awards. If you saw 2nd Star’s Camelot or Colonial’s Shipwrecked, Trying or 177 — four of the night’s most nominated shows — you know why.