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Volunteer on MLK Day of Service to reap mental health rewards

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”  – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.            While an extra Monday off work or school may feel like a chance to relax and veg out, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was actually put in place for you to follow his example—making it a day “on,” not a day off.
      When its doors reopen in the spring, visitors to the Annapolis Maritime Museum in Eastport will find state-of-the-art, high tech exhibits that encourage them to reach out and touch things.        “It’s been more than a decade since Annapolis Maritime Museum opened with new exhibits after Hurricane Isabel,” says Alice Estrada, president of the museum. “The lifespan of exhibits is eight to ten years, so we are overdue.”

Anne Arundel Libraries erase more than $754,000 in old fines and fees

      Got a stack of overdue young adult novels or children’s picture books that didn’t quite make it back on time over the holidays? There’s nothing to fear if they were checked out from an Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL)– your fines have been erased.
     When I wrote my first story for Bay Weekly in the beginning of my senior year in high school, the Gingras name had already been mentioned in the paper’s pages.

Annapolis goes greener — with your help

      Add the City of Annapolis to the list of localities working to reduce their plastic footprint. Mayor Gavin Buckley signed a pledge encouraging all Annapolitans to reduce or eliminate their use of single-use plastics.          “We all know that there is far too much plastic waste. It’s in our landfills, in our waterways, polluting our oceans. We all have a responsibility to make the effort to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastics,” Buckley said.

AACo Lifeline 100 donates $33,250

       Seven local non-profits will start the year with a little something extra in their pockets, thanks to proceeds from the sixth annual Anne Arundel County Lifeline 100 Bicycle event last fall.          More than 800 cyclists of all ages and abilities pedaled around B&A and BWI Loop trails to help raise money for area charities.

Even small patches do heavy lifting

        A little green can go a long way.                Researchers at the University of Maryland have found that even small patches of urban forest are effective for managing and infiltrating stormwater.

In the glow along Chesapeake Bay

      In these deflating times, holiday lights offer a sure-fire pick-me-up, explosions of brightness that dazzle the senses and trigger images from a peaceful past.          We’ve seen no more compelling light presentation this season than the 25th annual Lights on the Bay holiday show at Sandy Point State Park, sponsored by SPCA of Anne Arundel County.

Three teenage friends playing Santa and his elves discover the joy of the season 

     What’s the first thing you look at when you see Santa? Sure, you take a quick glance at the outfit, the beard. But you’re drawn immediately to the eyes. You notice the joy, the special feeling that anyone assuming that role feels when eyes young and old are looking into his, children searching for the Spirit of Christmas, adults searching for their childhood. 

New fee aligns with other national parks

       Heading to the seashore is going to cost you a few more sand dollars.          The National Park Service plans to increase entrance fees across the board at all 112 parks that charge fees. Effective January 1, Assateague Island National Seashore bumps to a seven-day $25 per car or $10 per person fee. The annual pass climbs to $45.          The fee includes entrance to the National Seashore and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.