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On Capitol Hill, big bucks for the Bay

      It may seem like members of Congress do nothing but insult one another and then depart for “home district work periods.”          But legislation advancing stealthily last month contains wording that caught our eye beneath the headline, Reauthorization of Chesapeake Bay Programs: “$90,000,000 for fiscal year 2020; $90,500,000 for fiscal year 2021; $91,000,000 for fiscal year 2022; $91,500,000 for fiscal year 2023; and $92,000,000 for fiscal year 2024.”
It may be the most physical mind game you’ve never played
     You’ve played croquet; we all have. At family picnics, Uncle Henry brought out the croquet set. Inside its tall box were colorful balls, matching mallets and wire hoops you bent trying to stick into the ground in your backyard. You’d hit your yellow ball and watch it bump around rolling willy-nilly wherever it wanted through the crabgrass, finally stopping until Uncle Henry’s red ball hit yours. Then he placed his foot on his ball to whack yours across the street into the neighbor’s azaleas.

Make more of your retirement years

     In life, the first act is always exciting. The second act … that is where the depth comes in.          For advice scripted in the movies, that pronouncement from the 2010 movie Grown Ups is worth considering.          Now that you’re newly retired — or are planning your retirement — you’ll have time that needs filling.
Photo camp focuses on tweens
      Young people today know their way around a smartphone camera. But do they know how to handle the real deal? The Deale Elks Lodge and Muddy Creek Artists Guild are looking for teens and tweens (grades five thru eight) to join the 3rd annual Elkie Artists three-day photography camp to learn the ropes of photography beyond the selfie. 
A new job for our versatile oyster 
      What can’t an oyster do? It builds communities for underwater life, it filters its surrounding waters and feeds many species, including humans. Now scientists at the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge are putting it to work to help fight shoreline erosion.
Where and when to find autumn’s peak colors
       Eventually we will bid the hot and humid summerlike weather goodbye, and the landscape will explode with vibrant colors of orange, red and yellow. Kids will be jumping into newly raked piles of leaves, and we’ll all fall back to Eastern Standard Time and grab that extra bit of sleep.        Autumn officially arrived the early morning of Sept. 23. Now all across Chesapeake Country the leaf-peepers are waiting for the signs.

Action is needed to rescue our iconic species

     A handful of vehicles, mostly pickup trucks and SUVs, lined up behind a small steel gate on a warm summer morning. Inside them was the regular 7:30am crowd, striped-bass fishermen patiently waiting for the Thomas Point ranger to arrive to give them access to one of the Bay’s most sought-after fish.     In opening the gate, the ranger is allowing the men their daily shot at a species that can often grow upward of 50 pounds and offers some delicious eating. Excitement charges the air.

Performers make the magic happen

     They are bedraggled hermits, shouting village sheriffs, enchanting shopkeepers and battle-worn knights. They are crowned, jolly kings and gallivanting princesses and run-down peasant rabblers.      Other times of the year, they are people with everyday lives. During this special season, however, they shapeshift into magical time travelers intent on bringing you with them at the 27-acre Renaissance Festival in Crownsville.

Check out the Voter Bill of Rights

     On Wednesday, September 25, 1789, Congress proposed 12 amendments to the legislatures of the then-11 states. Numbers three through 12 were later adopted as the U.S. Bill of Rights.          That historic date is commemorated in Calvert County this year with a Voter Bill of Rights.          This Bill of Rights is a brochure explaining the rights of all voters.

Electric cars take over City Dock

     More than 500 Chesapeake residents are likely one step closer to hitting the streets around town in an electric vehicle.          They took that step at Annapolis Green’s Electric Vehicle Showcase at City Dock this weekend.          The annual event — now in its seventh year — is part of National Drive Electric Week, a celebration to heighten awareness of the widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight their benefits.