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When the Bay Bridge looms, Kent Island Shuttle Service will do the driving

Reaching heights that exceed 200 feet; spanning a gap of over four miles; accommodating more than 1,500 vehicles — per five lanes; and carrying over 27 million vehicles each year — the Chesapeake Bay Bridge may be a wonder of modern (or, not-so-modern) conveyance. But a select few view it as a crossing more insurmountable, a ­barrier of fear.     These select few suffer from gephyrophobia, or fear of bridges.     “The phobia is real,” says Carol Claiborne. “I’ve experienced it.”

20 minutes to better boating

I take my boating safety seriously. For the past 20 years, I have signed up for Coast Guard Auxiliary safety inspection. My spring ritual assures I will be safe, legal and prepared should the Coast Guard or Natural Resources Police choose to stop me for a random on-water inspection.     Every year I pass the formal inspection, but the inspector always makes multiple recommendations for improving my safety. This year I wanted to pass with no recommendations.

Farewell, Dignity Players

Less is more.         For nine years, Dignity Players proved it. The focus of this unique volunteer theater company was not on complex sets, colorful costumes, tricky lighting and sound effects. It couldn’t be, because for Dignity those things didn’t exist. All that existed was the small, bare stage at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis.

Beat me while you can

By July 2014, the weekly crossword feature I’ve been writing for just under 10 years will be disassembled.     I start a full-time job as a professor of music in the fall, plus caring for my son.     Yet pressing send for each so-long letter felt like tearing down a beautiful and still very livable home. Bay Weekly the eaves, Cincinnati City Beat the moldings, Chicago Reader the foundation. As each part fell, I remembered crafting it.

Handicapping Maryland’s leg of the Triple Crown

The Crowd     On Saturday, May 17, 120,000 people will pour into Pimlico Race Course for the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes, Maryland’s leg of thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown.     Next to that crowd, Maryland’s other sporting crowds are dwarfs.     Baltimore’s Orioles topped out with 49,828 fans on Camden Yards’ biggest day, July 10, 2005.

3EYZ BBQ cooks up big money

Is Owings Mills a hometown team for us in Anne Arundel or Calvert ­County? With the 58 other competing teams from all over the Eastern United States, Owings Mills is the hometown favorite. That team, 3 EYZ BBQ took home the Grand Champion prize of $2,500 at the Parole Rotary Club’s Naptown barBAYq festival.

Young artists needed to retell a grand old story

It’s a story every American knows. A citizen is held captive on an enemy warship attacking our homeland. The defenders are bombarded; everyone expects the defenses will be overwhelmed and the city overrun. But after a day and a night of battle, the shelling stops, dawn comes and the Stars and Stripes are still flying proudly over Fort McHenry. Baltimore is safe; Frances Scott Key pens a poem destined to become our national anthem.

Alana Johnson: In her own words

"Of course I know about Earth Day!         I just started my garden. I’m growing strawberries, zucchini, squash and mammoth sunflowers. You should’ve seen those sunflowers last year. They were huge — taller than me.

If you shop at a Maryland Farmers’ Market, it’s likely because of Tony Evans. Evans, who died January 24, planned most of Maryland’s Farmers’ Markets as the final and favorite assignment of his 30-year career with Maryland Department of Agriculture.     On Earth Day 2014, Evans was eulogized as a “legendary character” and a blossoming Floating Cloud Eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) planted in his honor at the department.

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.