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Impressionists turn Maryland’s ­capital into a city of light

You can pretend you’re in Paris this week, when artists in sunhats and paint-smattered smocks set up their easels all over Annapolis.     Paint Annapolis, now in its 15th year, attracts artists from all over — 12 states plus two countries this year — to test their skills and reflect our capital city in a new light. The city is the subject, and you’re the audience. But to watch, you’ll have to find them, for the 40 artists set up their easels wherever the image takes them.

Know what you’re getting into

Everything flows downstream. Ponder that maxim as summer draws you to the alluring waters of Chesapeake Country.     When taking a swim in the Bay and its tributaries, think of what’s traveled downstream. The big rains we’ve been having are expressways for pollutants entering the Bay. So some days our waters are not safe waters.

Sort through hundreds of sunscreens rated from best to worst

As a fair-skinned mutt of European descent, I depend on sunscreen as my summer best friend. However, sunscreen has been found to contain harmful chemicals that make it inefficient and much more of a foe than the friend I need.     This year, I plan on winning the battle for sun protection. My weapon of choice is the Environmental Working Group’s extensively researched list of the most effective sunscreens.

Stories that need to be told

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, our national day of remembrance of those who gave their lives fighting for the United States across the world.     All over the country, patriotism abounds as festivities and events both large and small mark the day. Locally, the weekend marks the commissioning of a new crop of officers from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The weekend is also the beginning of summer fun. Families spend the long weekend trying out barbeques, pools and the outdoors season.

Honoring our fallen heroes

Memorial Day gets due honor at Chesapeake Beach. The annual Stars & Stripes Festival, now in its fifth year, remembers the soldiers and sailors, Marines and fliers who have given their lives defending the United States of America.     “The meaning of the day was becoming lost,” said Connie O’Dell, who manages special events for the Calvert County town.

Agricultural program grows at Phoenix Academy

Next time you cruise down Cedar Park Road in Annapolis during school hours, you may well do a double-take as you pass the field next to Phoenix Academy. You’re likely to see rabbits munching greens in a sturdily built hutch, hear nanny goats bleating or glimpse teens carefully weeding a row of curly-leafed kale. Three years after a Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education was launched at this K-12 Anne Arundel County public school, there’s plenty of evidence that impressive hands-on learning is going on both within and outside the school walls.

They’re out to trap cast-off ­monofilament line

Girl Scouts Noel Pockey and Ashley Whicher are working to save the Bay from used fishing line.     When anglers toss line torn from their reel, the unbreakable and almost invisible plastic monofilament a death warrant to critters. The line ensnares animals, birds and fish, trapping the life out of them. The entangled fishing line continues its havoc, putting swimmers and boat propellers at risk — until it finally degrades 500 years later.

Local artist takes you 15,000 feet for this Commissioning Week highlight

Never in real life will you see the Blue Angels as Joe Barsin captures them in his iconic graphic on Bay Weekly’s cover. For the Annapolis artist’s eye encapsulates the whole of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Commissioning Week in a single soaring moment.

National Aquarium answers marine life SOS

Stepping inside the National Aquarium in Baltimore is like diving into the ocean depths: amazing creatures swim by your face inches away.     In the Blacktip Reef exhibit, you meet Calypso, perhaps the aquarium’s most famous resident, a 500-pound green turtle with only three flippers.

As the South Riverkeeper, I am ­helping to make the river healthy for my children and yours

Not too long ago, I was working in consumer-protection litigation. After law school, I took a job suing banks and shady lenders on behalf of consumers. That wasn’t where I really wanted to be.     In law school at the University of Maryland, I had earned a certificate of concentration in environmental law. When I graduated in 2010, environmental law jobs weren’t as plentiful as I had hoped. So I sued banks instead.