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Growing corn is a-mazing
      A staple of the dinner table has now become a staple of fall festivals.        At farms, garden centers and plant nurseries around the nation, the corn field is more about getting lost and having fun and less for picking and eating. Designs get more complicated by the year.

Beer and wine come to Quiet Waters

      As you enter Quiet Waters Park, you’ll see welcome signs, trail signs, pavilion signs and signs prohibiting alcohol.        If you want to have your wedding in the park, you’ll have to get the liquor license yourself. Other festivals and parades in the park have always been dry — until now.

Innovation to make all safer, a few richer

      This year’s accumulating stories of deaths and serious boating accidents on the Bay and our rivers have gotten to me. I no longer leave the dock without donning my inflatable PFD. It was expensive, but it’s comfortable, and I feel safer.
       In Calvert County, the late Tom Clancy’s 537-acre Bay-front estate is on the market. Asking price, $6.2 million.       Peregrine Estate, as the megabucks author of Hunt for the Red October and other best-sellers called it, is a 17,000-square-foot mansion, with a mile of waterfront and its own fossil-filled cliff.

Kids and school buses are on the move

      More than 83,000 students — the most ever — are now traveling to schools across Anne Arundel County every week. Calvert County’s schoolkids number 16,000. That’s a lot of children and teens walking to bus stops, car pools or directly to school in the early morning and afternoon hours.      Back to school time is time to remember to Look Up, Look Out, and be aware of kids walking during school arrival and dismissal times.

Fourth-graders free at state parks and more

      Autumn’s moderate days invite us to pack up the camping gear and head to a park. If you have a fourth-grade student, your park visit can be free.        For the fourth year, fourth-grade children and their families enjoy free admission to national public lands and state parks thanks to a partnership of Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

South County joins AACo’s short list of public ramps

       Anne Arundel County doubled its number of public boat ramps this month, opening a new one on Parrish Creek at Discovery Village in Shady Side. The county has 533 miles of coastline but only one other public trailered-boat launch. That’s at Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena.       “The second boat ramp opening in just two years demonstrates undeniable progress in bringing our citizens closer to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries,” said County Executive Steve Schuh.

Expanded calendar means more play time

      Squeezing the last remains from summer? Head to a county park, where you can launch a kayak, run trails, play fetch with your pooch or enjoy a picnic.       Beginning this week, four Anne Arundel County parks are open seven days a week, from 7:30am to dusk. That’s more time for you to get outside and enjoy all the Bay has to offer.      Visit Quiet Waters in Annapolis, Kinder Farm Park in Millersville, Fort Smallwood Park or Downs Park, both in Pasadena. 
       Fish are falling from the sky in Utah. No, we’re not talking about an osprey dropping an occasional croaker en route to the nest, like we see on Chesapeake Bay. What’s happening in Utah is tens of thousands of fish dropping from airplanes as wildlife workers stock remote lakes with tiny trout and Arctic grayling. 

A massive sewage spill attests to the perils of living downstream from Binghamton, N.Y.

       Binghamton, which is situated at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers, discharged nearly 50 million gallons of untreated wastewater starting Aug. 13 due to so much rain, the New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation reported.        The Susquehanna, as you probably know, is the longest river in the East Coast, flowing 464 miles through Pennsylvania, into the Chesapeake Bay and on to the Atlantic Ocean.