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After 22 years, the Chesapeake Bay Monster is spotted anew

The following is an account of my strange sighting. For what it’s worth, I swear on my life it is without exaggeration.     My friend Dave and I frequently park my car on the side of Arundel Beach Road and admire the view of the Magothy River while chatting and eating McDonalds. We are down at the location a few nights a week and have been for the past two years, Dave even longer. The early morning hours of August 5, 2014, showed us a sight I could not explain.

Big rig T880 is bringing Christmas to our nation’s capitol

In a 50-year tradition, the Christmas tree that shines throughout December on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol is cut in one of the nation’s states.     This year’s Capitol Christmas Tree, a whopping 88-foot white spruce, was cut in Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest on Oct. 29. Followed by a caravan of caretakers, it will make more that 30 celebratory stops on its 2,000-mile truck journey to Washington, D.C. It is carried by a Kenworth Truck Company T880, assembled for the honor in Chillicothe, Ohio.

$29k helps Spay Spa and Neuter Nook keep cat — and dog — numbers down

Multiply 400 cats — as they’ll do without any assistance — and in a year you’ll get 4,000 kittens, more or less.     “It can cascade,” says Kathy Evans of Rude Ranch’s Spay Spa and Neuter Nook.

End-of-year deadline for ­Colonial Players Promising Playwright Competition

God created the heavens and earth, planets, stars and creatures, in seven days.     Playwrights, naturally, take longer.     So you’d better get busy if you aspire to create a play for The Colonial Players of Annapolis’ biennial Promising Playwright Contest. Entries are due by Dec. 31.     Prizes are big and requirements few — beyond the act of creation.

Bid to play Santa for SPCA

Christmas comes in November for the home-seeking animals of the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.         Or will, if you’ll play Santa. It’s a job you won’t regret. Accept it, and you’ll do your holiday shopping early and easy.     Through Nov. 23, the First Annual Auction for the Animals invites you to shop online for gifts for your animals and animal-loving friends. You’ll find animal-themed art, jewelry, gift baskets, gift cards and pet supplies.

If there be spirits, now’s the time to find them

Storm clouds shot lightning in the distance across the water that cool, damp evening. The flash of the camera was the only other light that pierced the night. Nothing could be seen in the screen except two small balls of light. But when the picture was enlarged, a man appeared: a bearded man in a long coat with — perhaps — a lantern in his outstretched arm. Later, this same face appeared in the photo of a window pane.     Those photographs were our reward on an early October ghost hunt at the historic Point Lookout Lighthouse.

Al ­DeCesaris is running down the East Coast for Sturge-Weber syndrome

Millions of people dump ice water on their heads to raise money for ALS. Hundreds of thousands walk for breast cancer. Can one lone person hope to make a difference? Especially fighting a plight out of the limelight?     Annapolis lawyer and St. Mary’s High School graduate Al DeCesaris knows he can.     For the second year in a row, he’s crossing vast distances under his own power to raise money for a condition most of us have never heard of, Sturge-Weber syndrome.

The Volvo Ocean Race is on its round-the-world blitz again

The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-’15 began October 11 and finishes next June in Gothenburg, Sweden, by way of the ends of the earth.     By then, the seven boats will have sailed 38,739 miles from Alicante, Spain, visiting 11 ports on five continents.     Newport, Rhode Island, their seventh port, brings them closest to us, early next May.     The seven entries come from around the world — United Arab Emirates, China, Turkey and four from Europe — but not from the Americas.

7 million Books for International Goodwill

B.I.G. stands for Books for International Goodwill. Taken at face value, the word tells another truth. Books for International Goodwill is big. This week, the 18-year-old Parole Rotary Club project packs its seven millionth book in its 300th shipping container.     Those milestone figures tell only part of this big story. Books come in at the rate of 1,500 a day. Local readers make many of the contributions, dropping off loads of books 24/7 at the B.I.G. Annapolis warehouse at 2000 Capital Drive. Overprints from publishers add volume.

A second life for a worthy craft

Have you outgrown — or out-aged — your boat? It may have a second life helping the Severn River     The Severn River Association needs a small boat to monitor the Severn watershed. The ideal boat is small enough to get into nooks and crannies so volunteers can inspect and photograph shorelines to monitor compliance with Critical Area regulations.