view counter


Digging out of last year’s snow cost over $54 million; guess who paid?

April, when we pay our taxes, may be the cruelest month. But winter is the most expensive season. At least it was in 2009-10, when what we saved in autumnal hurricanes was lost in the avalanche of winter snow.  In Maryland alone, last year’s record-setting snow cost American taxpayers $54,699,527.85 — yes, the fed counts down to pennies. That’s how much cash the Federal Emergency Management Agency has shoveled into Maryland to help dig out from under last winter’s budget-busting snow. 

The candidates speak for themselves on our Bay and communities

This election is like few others we’ve seen. With so many voters fed up with the course of governing — and with so many candidates struggling to tap into this palpable anger — 2010 brings a new strain of the old throw-out-the-bums electoral fever. There’s demagoguery out there, too, in this season of discontent. So it’s hard to know who’s telling it straight and who’s trying to exploit our body politic at a vulnerable moment.  

There’s a lot of life in those old sails yet

The Haughwouth sisters’ parents had passed away, and the boat was long gone, but when their childhood sail resurfaced, Penny and Pixie couldn’t bear throwing it away. Instead they turned it into two jackets. Then they turned it into a business, Sea Fever Gear. Sailors don’t have many options for worn-out sails other than throwing them away. “So many hold onto them,” says Haughwouth, “because they carry an emotional tie. Who owned it before? Where has it been? What has it gone through? Each sail has a story of its own.”

A new breed of wind-sellers can lower your utility bill while saving the environment

In wind power, the money is in the marketing. We learned as much long ago from the experiment of William Wrigley Jr., the millionaire whose success you’ve no doubt chewed on more than once. The maker of Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum, among other chewables, kept a weather eye on opportunity.  How he put chewing gum in vending machines at about the turn of the 20th century is a milestone of entrepreneurial capitalism.

For SMECO, it’s a big job feeding our demand for electricity

Something alien is growing in Calvert County. The aliens have sprouted up in the front yards of homes along quiet, winding Bowie Shop Road. Still more are appearing on Route 4. They are big, very big, towering over the landscape. Eventually there will be 23 of them. These aliens are behemoth power poles, erected by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative in the name of progress. The new metal poles bear little resemblance to the old wooden poles they are replacing, and they don’t exist anywhere else in Calvert County.

Goats, sheep clear the way for endangered turtles


There’s plenty of fun to go around

Growing oysters is about the future of our children — and about the child in us. Watching the squigglies living among the oysters is fascinating fun for all ages.  

Making these marvels is just as much a puzzle as finding your way through them

Well-trod paths lead to dusty dead-ends. Back to the last turn. Go right instead of left, left instead of right. Until, finally, light at the end of the corn row. High fives all around. A corn maze has been successfully navigated. A sure sign of fall, these tricky trails through acres of dried cornstalks are a growing business as agri-tourism blossoms.

á la mode lingerie wins in European Flair

  More pressurized than a mammogram. More daunting than a marathon. Able to break women shoppers in a single trip. That’s my definition of buying a bra. So when my first assignment sent me to cover an award-winning brassiere shop, I felt like the new kid in first grade.

Discarding the remnants of the race to the polls

  Maryland’s September primaries are over, the polls have closed, and — for the most part — the results have been determined. For most winners, the looming general election — where the stakes are all or nothing — leave little time to celebrate. For the losers, there’s plenty of time to rue and wish Maryland had enacted late, rather than early, voting. Plenty of time to pick up — and pack up? — all the signs that proclaimed their hopes and ambitions.