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Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

You’ll have to be as high as Mike to enjoy this stoner comedy

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

Distilling Sloop Betty, a 40-year first

As Bay Weekly’s 20th birthday approaches, we reflect on entrepreneurial courage. What crazy notion compelled three family members to start a community newspaper on a wing and a prayer?     Innovative thinking drives small, independent businesses. Some like to follow, some to lead and others to create. Creating is risky, expensive and typically fueled by passion. That’s the American way.     The same spirit motivated brothers Chris and Jon Cook to get...

If you want to start your garden right, learn what your soil needs for plants to thrive

Why are you so hesitant to have your soil tested?     Now that spring is here, interest in gardening is on the rise. No matter where I go, people approach me with gardening problems. Most are directly associated with nutrient deficiencies in their soils. How to Prune Raspberries and Blackberries I know how to prune raspberries, but I’m not so sure about blackberries. I would appreciate it if you would enlighten me.    –Barbie Walter, via email When...

You heard right: Trolling is no longer required

Not everyone trolls during trophy rockfish season. A growing contingent of shore-bound anglers fish bloodworms or cut bait on the bottom. They have been catching an ever-more impressive number of big migratory stripers.     An equally expanding cadre of small- and medium-sized boat anglers have also been chumming and chunking fresh menhaden (aka alewife or bunker) to hungry post-spawn giants. A big, juicy bloodworm on a bottom rig is just as effective fished from a skiff as it...

The waxing moon makes predawn skies your best bet for this annual meteor shower

The moon is at first-quarter phase Thursday the 18th. Even with only half its face illuminated, the moon washes out the stars of amid the constellation Cancer the crab, in which it rests that night. But if you look beyond the moon, you will see that it is juxtaposed between a triangle of three more or less equally bright stars: Procyon to the west, Regulus to the east and Pollux to the north.     Friday evening the moon is to the right of Regulus, and by Saturday it is just a...

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A rousing tribute to a baseball hero

In 1940s’ America, Major League Baseball was a white man’s world. Talented black players were relegated to Negro League teams, where they endured smaller ballparks, poor equipment and shabby transportation.     Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford: Cowboys & Aliens) upsets the applecart by bringing an African American player to the big leagues. He is not acting out of the kindness of his heart. “Dollars aren’t black or white, they...

Three surprising sources combine to make comedy

Theater starts with the written word, comes to life in the voices of actors and endures in the memory of its audiences. Sometimes, as with Carl Sternheim’s The Underpants, written in 1910, it gets forgotten until someone rediscovers it, reimagines it and breathes life into it — as comedian Steve Martin did for The Underpants in 2002.     A German farce, The Underpants seems a comedic take on Ibsen’s The Doll House, which debuted 31 years earlier. The themes of...
Sporting Life columnist Dennis Doyle wrote last week that the newly elected president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, Robert T. Brown Sr. of St. Mary’s County, was apprehended by Natural Resources Police illegally setting nets off of Chapel Point State Park.     Those were fighting words to Mick Blackistone, executive director of the Association.      Blackistone:     The Maryland Watermen’s Association and members are...

Six destinations to remind you we are not meant to live on land alone

These are six of 99 stops in Simarski and husband Guy Guthridge’s six-year voyage of Chesapeake discovery aboard Bright Pleiades. Other journeys appeared in Bay Weekly between 2007 and 2008 under the title Voyages of Discovery.   Pilgrimage to the Top of the Bay     Our trawler curved along the channel of the Susquehanna Flats toward the very top of the Bay. Bedazzled by ducks, I had long wanted to see the flats, a legendary waterfowl hunting ground whose depths once...

John Maounis marked the trail for you

The Chesapeake Bay is not any old park. When is the last time you saw a park that was entirely on the water?     When John Maounis started work as superintendent at the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay office seven years ago, he had never seen such a thing either. His job was to find the best way for the National Park Service to be a part of Bay protection.     Maounis was no stranger to parks. He’d worked at parks and historic sites across the country...

30-year-old Bay-built has no fear of “young and modern boats”

The brotherhood of Dickerson sailboats stretches far and wide.     Built on the Eastern Shore under three owners from 1946 to 1987, Dickersons became so beloved that afficionados compete in the Find a Lost Dickerson Sailboat contest to complete the registry of every Dickerson ever built.     So it’s big news that Polish Sailor Krystian Szypka plans to race one of the Chesapeake-built boats across the Atlantic in OSTAR 2013. The challenging single-handed...