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Turning a pop phenomenon into challenging life lessons

Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

My guests were not who I expected

Billed as a smart and energetic musical comedy with a pop rock score and immensely likable story, this show delivers

A waterspout may get you if you don’t watch out

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

No. 1 waterman leaves a Chesapeake legacy

Word spread fast across marine radios from New Jersey to North Carolina, via e-mail, telephones and cell phones, Facebook, the Internet and Twitter on March 14. Captain Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association for 40 years, passed away at age 75. Watermen, environmentalists, seafood processors, politicians, state bureaucrats and many more of us stopped in our tracks. I did, though I knew Larry’s passing was coming.     Larry was known throughout...

He was ‘good for it’

“I’m the only Jewish redneck captain on the Bay. What could be better?” Captain Bob Slaff liked to say, with a huge smile beneath his signature handlebar mustache. Capt. Bob was an icon in Maryland’s recreational and commercial maritime communities. He was also my good friend, mentor and colleague.     Bob and his wife Ester ran a successful marine business in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., that included distributing British Seagull outboard engines and Avon...

Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2012 Grade F (9 on a scale of 70)

Inspired this time of year by the earliest signs of spring to carry on their ancient species, shad don’t know they’re failing the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s survival test.          They’re just doing what comes naturally.         That’s returning from ocean to Chesapeake to the river headwaters of their birth. To fish used to cold oceanic waters, 40 means spring. When water temperatures top that mark,...
Editor’s note     Three report cards come to us in the early months of the year, each asking us to consider the health of the Chesapeake Bay and where — if anywhere — all our work is getting us.     Each arrives at a different time, uses different criteria and grading systems and supports a different agenda. How to make sense of any — let alone all — of them? Here staff writer Ashley Brotherton offers a cheat-sheet on the basics....

Irish loaves and burning socks

This Sunday is the day to celebrate your Irish roots or embrace the Irish heritage and culture through food, drink and jigs. Some find their Irish thru green beer and shots of Jameson’s whiskey (which often helps with the jigs). A traditional favorite is slow-roasted corned beef and cabbage.     Another staple is Irish soda bread. Great Harvest Bread Company in West Annapolis is offering a variety of Irish-inspired breads, including made-from-scratch soda bread, rye bread...

Grading the Bay’s health and Maryland’s ­congressional delegation

Sister Ignatius enters her final week at Bay Theatre Company, but Sisters Alphonse, Clotilda and Extrema cast an eternal shadow in my memory. I suspect it’s the image of numbers inked in their neat hands that makes me to this day averse to report cards.     My grades were pretty good, in the 90s (except in arithmetic). But what we endured to earn those grades, 50 of us in a single classroom presided over by a nun whose patience had long since ended!     ...

Bay Weekly wasn’t many issues old when the first letter from J.A. Hoage, Severna Park, arrived. It was a duplicate, not an original, for letters from James Hoage fell like rain on every newspaper covering Anne Arundel County and his larger area of interest, state, national and global politics. I’m sure it was photocopied, but in my mind’s eye Hoage’s letters are mimeographed, as his handouts to his ­Severna Park High School and Severn School students would once have...

UniStar Nuclear is too French for Uncle Sam

Local cheering for a third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs has seemed misplaced.     The economics of nuclear power are next to impossible these days with the federal government no longer able to provide loan guarantees and cheap natural gas the happening new energy source.     Then there’s Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster two years ago that rekindled safety concerns.     But the overriding issue here is that UniStar Nuclear, which...

Many cash streams flow into cleaning up the Bay

Stormwater doesn’t stop running, especially in a Chesapeake season Noah could appreciate.     Neither does money stop flowing. Thus Maryland’s Board of Public Works — governor Martin O’Malley, comptroller Peter Franchot and treasurer Nancy K. Kopp — still have money to spend. Last week, they spent $16 million of several continually refilling pools, including the Bay Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Nonpoint Source Fund...
Calvert County author Peter Abresch has a new mystery out just in time to add a touch more intrigue to the election of a new pope.     Recycling Jesus, the author’s 10th novel, is a mystery wrapped in the Church’s most venerated relic, the Shroud of Turin. The crime might have gone undetected had not the Shroud’s guard been killed.     Retired DEA agent Duncan Crouther is recruited to investigate. He is joined by the well-traveled and good-...