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New effort to protect Chincoteague ponies

      Those wild ponies roaming Assateague Island have been around since the 17th century after surviving a shipwreck, as the story goes. They’ve withstood wars, hurricanes, drunk drivers and tourists trying to feed them potato chips.       But four centuries after their arrival, the Chincoteague ponies may be falling victim to another scourge: climate change.

$10K helps make veteran-service dog matches

      Trained to retrieve items, alert their partner to important sounds such as a doorbell or alarm, operate light switches and seek help in an emergency, service dogs help many veterans and first responders with disabilities achieve independence. Partnering with a service dog is free.        But preparing those dogs is an expensive and specialized business. The cost of the dog, medical fees and training can run close to $25,000.       Now, Maryland will help pay the bill.

And learn to politely disagree

       A debate on Asian oysters engaged Sunderland Elementary School students in reading, writing and speaking — skills the world’s first universities considered essential for leading and for promoting the best ideas.       Rising to the challenge, students went beyond arguing pro or con.

Borrow for four months fine-free 

      Looking to “better serve the modern library,” the Calvert Library’s Board of Trustees is testing out dropping an age-old policy.       March begins a four-month pilot of no late fees for checked-out materials. That means materials checked out at Calvert Library branches incur no fees if kept beyond their due date. Automatic renewal will continue for four circulation cycles if no one is waiting for the item.
Street stickers latest effort to help downtown Annapolis cyclists
      In another effort to make downtown bike-friendly, Annapolis is turning to sharrows, painted bike lane indicators.       “It’s a great visual cue,” said Jon Korin, chairman of Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

Polystyrene ban passes in Anne Arundel

        Say your goodbyes to Styrofoam.               Anne Arundel County passed a bill to ban polystyrene products from any food service establishment by January of 2020.          The success comes eight months after former County Executive Steve Schuh vetoed similar legislation.

Statues of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass to stand in Maryland State House

      The intersection of public art and politics is a hard one to negotiate. Lots of traffic — history, symbolism, myth, ideals, politics and budgets — is moving in different directions.

Bonnie Ott tells us who’s who

      When you hear a sparrow, do you envision only those birds under your bistro table? Bonnie Ott is here to expand your view to the many native sparrow species in our area. An expert naturalist, photographer and lifelong Howard County resident, she is more familiar with little brown birds than just about anyone.
       A healthy future for Maryland begins with healthy kids. Those kids are at risk when the buses and cars taking them to and from school churn out pollution in the drop-off and pick-up lanes.        Under a new program from the Department of the Environment and the Department of Education, those arrival and departure areas will become idle-free.
Ban bills return to Anne Arundel, Maryland 
      Another domino has fallen in the war on plastic, toppling close to home.        A bill banning polystyrene, the chemical that gave us Styrofoam, has been introduced for the second year in the Anne Arundel County Council. If passed, it will prohibit the use of food-service polystyrene products in the county by next January.