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Places

AACo Library waives fines for 45,000 patrons

      The holidays came a little early this year for some 45,000 Anne Arundel County Public Library patrons. With the generosity of a converted Ebenezer Scrooge, all overdue fines accumulated between September 24 and December 14 have been waived.        “We are happy to offer this gesture of goodwill to our customers who patiently stood by us during our recent cyber attack,” said Library CEO Hampton ‘Skip’ Auld.

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.” 

Plans to increase biking gain national attention

     Chesapeake Country isn’t just friendly. We’re also bike friendly.      So says the League of American Bicyclists which, on December 6, recognized Annapolis and Anne Arundel County with a bronze Bicycle Friendly Community award.       Both county and city join 464 biking districts across the country.

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.

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.

More damn dam debris

      Unless you’re a driftwood enthusiast, the news from Conowingo Dam is troubling. Again.       At the end of the rainiest November ever — in what could be the rainiest year in recorded history — dam operators announced last week that all the flood crest gates would be opened “until further notice.”

It took a neighborhood to make this book

      After years of swapping stories and researching their shared history, a group of Arundel-on-the-Bay residents have finally published their collected neighborhood history in a fully illustrated book.

Give yourself a gift by savoring the Seasons Bounty as you shop

     If you’re one of those people who love to shop, you can stop reading now and go wrap some presents.           But if it takes eight crazed reindeer to drag you to the store during the holidays, this story is for you.