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Your chance to peer behind the “bubble”

At St. John’s College this Sunday, I’m sure to be asked how I got the access to write my latest book, Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership.     It’s a question I’m used to, for I answer it all the time.     The theme is a natural extension of my work as chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report. This has been my job since 1986, and President Obama is the fifth commander in chief I’ve covered.

Early returns say yes

Mike Pantelides — whose campaign slogan is Sweep Annapolis Clean — is sweeping Josh Cohen out of office, according to early election returns. With all but absentee ballots and one precinct counted in the Annapolis mayoral race, challenger Pantelides leads incumbent Cohen by 84 votes, 3,728 to 3,644.     At one point in counting, Pantelides’ lead was only 20 votes.

Annapolis mayor Josh Cohen and challenger Mike Pantelides pause in their pre-election schedules to talk with Bay Weekly

How are you managing this last week before Election Day November 5? Josh Cohen    A campaign is kind of like a pregnancy. You forget how difficult it is, so you do it again. We’ve been through this several times, and we’ll get through this one. But — and I just had this conversation with my wife — I’ll be a little more stressed than usual this week.

Anne Arundel students harvest 165,000 pounds of food for the hungry

Six-year-old Katie Asher is just beginning to understand the meaning of caring and giving. Every morning she drops a can of food into the collection boxes at Davidsonville Elementary, where she is a first-grader.     “We’re giving food to the poor people,” she says.     Fifth graders like 10-year-old schoolmate Julia Cobb are understanding that not everyone has as much as they do, so they should share with people who have less.

It wasn’t so long ago that boating shifted from a way to earn a ­living to a sport and pastime

With sailing the rage all over the Chesapeake, waterfront communities organized sailing clubs, fleets and regattas for sport and competition.     The Annapolis Yacht Club — in our times embarking on a $10 million expansion — reorganized in the late 1930s, after World War I and the Great Depression nearly put the venerable club out of business. The club was founded in 1886 and thrived in the first decade of the new century with races and regattas for small sailboats, canoes and shells.

Three boys in the summer of 1940 try to salvage an abandoned skipjack

Around and about the Sailing Capital of America, pleasure sailing is a way of life.     Yet it’s a recent invention, relatively speaking.     It took hold in one community in the summer of 1940, when Paul McDonald was an admiring 10-year-old summering on the Chesapeake in Fairhaven, way down south in Anne Arundel County. The late McDonald’s memoir, written 69 years later, takes us back to that summer. *   *   *

Ann-Wallis White floods the Caribbean with children’s books

The biggest catamaran at the U.S. Sail Boat Show is so highfalutin that only VIPs can board. Orion is reserved for the invited guests of Cruising World Magazine.     You and seven friends could charter the 90-foot Catana — with amenities including four cabins, indoor and outdoor dining salons, Jacuzzi and crew of four — for a week in the Caribbean.     It would be “time out of time, a magical experience,” says charter broker Ann-Wallis White of Eastport, that would cost you only $39,000 — off season.

West River Wickets take their croquet mallets to Maryland ­Senior Olympics

Bill Brewer plays croquet with the dedication of a founding father.     From his back yard, croquet rose from an excuse for a party “with lots of rum” to a championship game played by ambitious senior Olympians.     Next week, Maryland Senior Olympics competition adds its first croquet tournament. Brewer’s team, the nationally recognized West River Wickets Croquet Club, will be there to strike for gold.

Bay Gardener Frank Gouin honored for community good deeds

For the difference he makes in “the fabric of life for South County residents,” Bay Gardener Frank Gouin was honored this week with the Southern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gene Hall Community Service Award.     “He’s done so much for the community in so many levels,” says Chamber board member John Hiser, last year’s Hall award winner.

It’s what’s underneath that counts

You wouldn’t think it to look at him, but Spiggy is this year’s Calvert You Are Beautiful Volunteer. Yes, Richard ‘Dave’ Spigler, the guy who added frump to female impersonation by donning a hog nose, big-hair wig and old grandma dress. The very Spiggy whom with a cadre of friends, formed the Washingon Redskins’s Hogettes cheering section for 19 years.     The beauty beneath that surface is a big heart dedicated to raising big bucks for good causes.