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However you play it, natural gas export is a high stakes game

Have fun even with a sizzling sun

An American in Annapolis

Our flowering gardens are butterfly way-stations

Blue crabs at quarter-century low

Lesson 1: From the ground up

Farewell, Dignity Players

Less is more.         For nine years, Dignity Players proved it. The focus of this unique volunteer theater company was not on complex sets, colorful costumes, tricky lighting and sound effects. It couldn’t be, because for Dignity those things didn’t exist. All that existed was the small, bare stage at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis.     But on the wood planks of that bare stage, Mickey Lund did a kind of theater that...

Commemoration …   

Tuesday and Wednesday, the Blue Angels awe us with fearless acrobatics, then streak into the wild blue yonder, our imaginations trailing.     Friday, the midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2014 receive their commissions.     Monday completes the cycle.     All the warriors we honor on Memorial Day were once young as those midshipmen, younger even, entrusting themselves to a future beyond their imagining.     They were as...

A tribute to one man’s time in Korea

Is it coincidence that graduation coincides so closely to Memorial Day, when we honor those lost in battle, so many of whom don a uniform upon leaving school?     When William Edward Alli, now of Bowie, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1950, he was barely 18 and not yet out of high school. “I had been clueless about what was happening to Marines deployed to a seemingly doomed southeast corner of Korea,” Alli recounts.     Within months of...

Barb Robbins, Sara Russell and Donna Kurrle

We were all best friends in high school, so we came here to a neutral location for a little reunion.     My dad served in World War II. He joined at 18, straight out of high school, and served until it was over. Every time I drive by this memorial, I think of him and my three uncles who served. My dad’s still alive, just turned 88.     My father served in the Battle of The Bulge.     Your dad served in Battle of the Bulge? How come you never...

Help stomp out Emerald Ash Borers and Hemlock Wooly Adelgids

You don’t want to know the hemlock wooly adelgid. The invader — no bigger than a period — is terrorizing towering trees, both hemlock and spruce.     These pests threaten to wipe out eastern hemlock forests, a loss that could be as dreadful as the loss of American chestnuts. The bug is loose in half the evergreen’s geographic range, 11 eastern states from Georgia to Massachusetts.     The fight is on, with two Maryland agencies injecting...

Beat me while you can

By July 2014, the weekly crossword feature I’ve been writing for just under 10 years will be disassembled.     I start a full-time job as a professor of music in the fall, plus caring for my son.     Yet pressing send for each so-long letter felt like tearing down a beautiful and still very livable home. Bay Weekly the eaves, Cincinnati City Beat the moldings, Chicago Reader the foundation. As each part fell, I remembered crafting it.     ...

Take an intimate look at private lives affected by corporate callousness.

Colonial Players has kept audiences engaged in a season that has swung from the ridiculous to reality: from a time machine to Death Row, and now from a tabloid fantasy to the Industrial Revolution. In Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives, a fictional treatment of a factual tragedy, we meet four victims of radium poisoning whose plight spawned a landmark Supreme Court decision on corporate responsibility and workers’ safety. Despite the legalistic dénouement, this story is less Erin...

Many virtues make it my favorite sweetwater fish

This is a special time of year for me. There have been a number of 80-degree days, trees are filling out nicely and the strawberries in our garden are ripening. The day lilies are blooming, brightening the landscape, and birds are busy, singing their songs and building nests just about everywhere.     Our freshwater ponds and lakes are also awakening. Water lilies are reaching up and extending their green pads and white blossoms above the surface. The frogs are croaking and...

Plan to dig, separate, store and replant in fall

As years pass, clumps of daffodils, narcissus, jonquils and hyacinths become crowded, resulting in smaller flowers. Shrunken flowers mean it’s time to dig and replant. Wait until after all of the foliage has died back to the ground.       Mark the location and flower color of clumps to be divided before all the foliage is gone. Make a large plant label and stick it in the middle of the clump.     Dig with a garden spade, starting at least six...

Hundreds of shooting stars possible this weekend

If you’re not a night owl, you’ll want to set your alarm clock for early Saturday. Before dawn that morning, earth will plow through the trail of a newfound comet, providing what many astronomers are predicting to be the best meteor storm in years.     Comet 209P/LINEAR orbits the sun over a five-year period, yet it was only discovered in 2004 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research project. It belongs to a family called the Jupiter Comets, which are steered and...