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Calvert rallies to bring warmth to kids

      Santa is checking his list, and Jack Frost is nipping at our noses, but it’s hard to bundle up against the cold without the proper gear. Calvert’s new Koats for Kids program hopes to give county kids all the bundling essentials this holiday season.       The program was born out of a partnership between Calvert Parks and Recreation and Maryland’s Department of Social Services. The partnership is new for Calvert, but community outreach is not.

Christmas crafting almost ruined my childhood

     From ages five through nine, I viewed the Christmas season with a mixture of delight and hesitation. There would be presents and cookies — and lots of work. As the child of a stay-at-home mom in a rural area in the 1990s, I became a worker in my mother and friend’s holiday craft sweatshop from the beginning of August well into November. 

We deck the boughs with tradition and meaning 

     How do you adorn your Christmas tree? Are you a traditionalist with balls and garland? Or is your tree decorated from the artistic palette of children’s creations, salt-dough handprints and laminated artwork?       Whatever we hang on the boughs, we are telling our story. Many cultures share traditional stories, while our American trees reflect our individuality.

New owners at Chesapeake Health and Fitness 

      Two former gym members are living their best lives by helping others do the same as the new owners of Chesapeake Health and Fitness Club in Deale.       Kristina Gardiner and Vanessa Runion purchased the club from Linda Strohecker.        The approximate 1,600 members are “an eclectic group of people,” Strohecker says. On the day the club opened in 2010, she spotted “two men on treadmills wearing work boots. We give people the opportunity to work out in their comfort zone.” 
Franchot applauds local business — and family
      Taking time from his busy fiscal schedule this week, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot took a tour through Deale to visit four family-owned businesses.       “It’s not easy to be successful, it takes a lot of hard work,” Franchot told Bay Weekly. “I think showing up and recognizing these businesses is a big part of my job.”       Franchot has trekked over 750,000 miles to make sure small businesses feel supported.

Clear your calendar for these holiday traditions

What: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Tom Crockett’s trains at Tan’s Cycles

     “He created a destination with his trains,” Marygrace Baergen says as she gestures across the kitchen table to her brother Tom Crockett.       A pile of thank-you notes and old pictures are scattered on the table. Cardboard boxes wait to be unpacked in Crockett’s new house in Rose Haven, where he moved from the apartment at his former business, Tan’s Cycles in North Beach.

10 Reasons to Remember Him

     1. Dick Lahn, who died November 22 at the age of 76, was really smart. Way back in 1967, at a League of Conservation Voters’ lecture, he saw the light: “I was working as a mathematician for NASA, and suddenly I knew that protecting our environment was what I really wanted to do.”      2. When Dick Lahn put his mind to a problem he always found the solution. He always made it fun and shared the credit with others.

Galway Bay makes a splash big enough to celebrate 20 years

      It takes an Irish boat and crew to ferry beer across the Chesapeake. They won’t be dying the Chesapeake green — as the Irish of Chicago dyed the Chicago River for St. Patrick’s Day — but they’ll be transforming the Bay into an Irish Channel to bring Galway Bay its special 20th anniversary brew. 

What should we do to push back the tide?

      Dozens of islands in Chesapeake Bay were home to human populations, farms, forests, even a few stores and hotels, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Starting in the early 1900s, islanders migrated to the mainland. Now all but two of these offshore islands have disappeared or no longer sustain the communities that once thrived in isolation.