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Clear your calendar for these holiday traditions

What: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Tom Crockett’s trains at Tan’s Cycles

     “He created a destination with his trains,” Marygrace Baergen says as she gestures across the kitchen table to her brother Tom Crockett.       A pile of thank-you notes and old pictures are scattered on the table. Cardboard boxes wait to be unpacked in Crockett’s new house in Rose Haven, where he moved from the apartment at his former business, Tan’s Cycles in North Beach.

10 Reasons to Remember Him

     1. Dick Lahn, who died November 22 at the age of 76, was really smart. Way back in 1967, at a League of Conservation Voters’ lecture, he saw the light: “I was working as a mathematician for NASA, and suddenly I knew that protecting our environment was what I really wanted to do.”      2. When Dick Lahn put his mind to a problem he always found the solution. He always made it fun and shared the credit with others.

Galway Bay makes a splash big enough to celebrate 20 years

      It takes an Irish boat and crew to ferry beer across the Chesapeake. They won’t be dying the Chesapeake green — as the Irish of Chicago dyed the Chicago River for St. Patrick’s Day — but they’ll be transforming the Bay into an Irish Channel to bring Galway Bay its special 20th anniversary brew. 

What should we do to push back the tide?

      Dozens of islands in Chesapeake Bay were home to human populations, farms, forests, even a few stores and hotels, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Starting in the early 1900s, islanders migrated to the mainland. Now all but two of these offshore islands have disappeared or no longer sustain the communities that once thrived in isolation.

More damn dam debris

      Unless you’re a driftwood enthusiast, the news from Conowingo Dam is troubling. Again.       At the end of the rainiest November ever — in what could be the rainiest year in recorded history — dam operators announced last week that all the flood crest gates would be opened “until further notice.”

It took a neighborhood to make this book

      After years of swapping stories and researching their shared history, a group of Arundel-on-the-Bay residents have finally published their collected neighborhood history in a fully illustrated book.
Chesapeake Country kids repurpose rubbish as art
      If you want something done right, ask a kid.        That’s what the Maryland Department of the Environment did. Since 2001, high school students have celebrated America Recycles Day by competing in the annual Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest. The contest tests students’ sculpture skills. Their medium? Recyclables only.

High marks and praise for Chessies

      Watching football while digesting Thanksgiving Day feasts is one ritual. Another is tuning in to the National Dog Show. Many who prefer terriers and hounds to fellows in helmets and pads cheered when Ducky, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, captured the crown in the Sporting Dog Group — even though he was nosed out for Best in Show by a sleek Italian greyhound named Whiskey.

Without even lifting a shovel

      At Christmas time, when so many trees are cut, the right gift for people who have most everything — or whom you wish to honor or commemorate — might be a tree. A tree is a gift that lasts, offering beauty, shade and habitat-enhancing air and water quality and reducing energy costs every day of its potentially long lifetime. All the better if your gift tree demands not a bit of care.       Maryland Department of Natural Resources promises to make the Gift of Trees effortless.