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People

That’s Charles Baker, streetside entertainer

On the corner of Ego Alley and City Dock at weekends when the weather is at its best, The Balloon Man pumps and twists latex into masterpieces to tickle kids and tease the stiffness out of adults.     On an average sunny Saturday, Charles Baker makes up to 100 balloons from Elmos to penguins, flowers to swords.     “My grandson thinks he is grandpa,” says a customer. “I am sure it’s the grey hair.” The grandson brandishes an inflated miniature sword just made for him by Baker.

Solving problems, finding solutions

If Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Claro and Ray ‘Ray Ray’ Werwie Jr. had not stepped up to help, Enzo Tannozzini would have been in long-term rehab.     Instead, through a series of happenstances, Tannozzini’s happily back home.     The World War II veteran had fallen and broken his hip. Now he could come home … if their Franklin Manor home had wheelchair access. With little hope and less money, wife Juanita Tannozzini didn’t know what to do.

Skateboarding rewards diligence, not age

Skateboarders of all ages are grabbing their decks for a new era of the perennial sport. In Calvert County, 18-year-old Joey Jett and 46-year-old Wayne Cox represent opposite poles in a new skateboarding brotherhood supported by Joe Smialek’s Prince Frederick shop Aggro Joe’s. With hard-driven passion, all three have turned their love for skateboarding into careers. •   •   •

Treating the whole person for ­overall wellbeing

By the time patients come to the Maryland Disc Institute, they are sick and tired of being in pain.     “They’ve been to their primary care provider, a chiropractor or therapist and taken pain killers. Some have had injections without any lasting relief. They do everything else first, and then when that doesn’t stop the pain, they come to me,” says Dr. Kathryn Hodges.

Queen Clawdia will be steamed but not eaten

Only one crab can be Queen of the World’s Largest Crab Feast, and it might be the one to be steamed first.     Stifled in a 10-legged felt and Styrofoam crab suit with accompanying long fuzzy pants and sleeves, Lucy Mackinnon risks heat stroke every time she plays the part of Queen Clawdia, as she will for the Rotary Club of Annapolis Crab Feast. To cope with the heat, Mackinnon fills zipper bags with water and alcohol and hangs a battery-powered fan around her neck — inside the suit. But there’s no telling if that will be enough.

You can’t catch any fish if they ain’t there

Being the Severn Riverkeeper is not so much a job as a roller coaster ride. Having a biologist wife, Nancy, to teach me the science and a good friend, Sarah Caldes, to do the grant writing have made it a fun ride.     My early childhood was all about trying to catch fish in Baltimore’s Lake Roland and the Homeland Lakes and in the Severn River. When I was 10, every spring started with a trip to the Severn for the early spawning runs of its iconic fish, the yellow perch.

Ham radio enthusiasts stand ready to step in when all else fails

On a sunny Saturday morning in late June, in a field overlooking the Patuxent River in Lusby, men assembling two 25- and 30-foot steel towers, section by section. Atop the shorter tower is a contraption that looks like an upside-down umbrella.     What in the world is going on here?

Success on the rebound

In 2008, she knew the winds were changing, so she started writing a business plan. In April of 2009, after 25 years with Annapolis Lighting, her position was cut.     The nation was entrenched in the worst economy since the Great Depression, but Teri Leisersohn took her plan — and a huge leap of faith — and started her own business.

Honoring the Greatest Generation of veterans starts at BWI

If you can read this, thank a teacher … If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.     The words printed on the back of Honor Flight T-shirts are words World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans live by. As do the younger generations who call those men and women their heroes.     For 11 years, Honor Flight has been flying World War II, Vietnam and Korean War veterans into all three Washington airports out of 130 hubs in 44 U.S. states. The Honor Flights usually starts mid-March and end on Veteran’s Day.

North Beach is drowning.          Each time the sea surges forward, homes, buildings and the infrastructure supporting them are at risk. Floodwaters can rise up to erode Route 261, a main thoroughfare and emergency evacuation route.     “North Beach really is a microcosm of what’s going on in coastal communities up and down the Eastern seaboard faced with rising sea levels,” says town mayor Mark Frazer.     Now one hole in the dyke has been plugged.