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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

A few Marylanders still follow the hounds that follow the hares

Danny’s 12-gauge pump boomed out twice off to my left as a streaking gray rabbit cut in and out of a long, narrow copse of briars parallel to us. Raising my 20-gauge and trying to track the tricky rabbit as it neared my position, I fired twice as well, also to no effect.     Then the cottontail melted into cover. He was gone. Dejected, I opened my over-under to reload when out of the corner of my eye I caught a small motion. The rascal had cut back out of the briars and...

Taste your way around town Monday, February 25 through Sunday, March 3

It’s time to hit the gym and pull on the Spanx as Annapolis Restaurant Week begins Monday, February 25. Diners have a week to visit 39 restaurants, enjoy a variety of menus and taste a myriad of flavors. It’s an adventure in the local culinary arts.     From the 25th through Sunday, March 3, participating restaurants offer special menus — some just one but most offer multiple options — for a set price. Lunch is $15.95, dinner $32.95. Miss Shirley’s...

Their innovation is award-winning

Chesapeake Bay waterman were coming close to extinction in 2010 when a group of Chesapeake non-profits got innovative. The bright idea: Training captains who make a living on the Bay to give tours of the water and their craft.     Now, 80 watermen guide tours through the Bay where they make their living, earning extra cash during the slow seasons.     The idea is so bright that the Watermen Heritage Tourism Training Program has won the Maryland Historical Trust...

How Bay Weekly's Betsy Kehne got the shot

Betsy Kehne had been waiting for three decades for the bird perched a stone’s throw from her window.     At five years old, she’d grieved at learning that the pesticide DDT was pushing bald eagles to extinction.     DDT was banned in 1972. By the end of the century, the number of nesting eagles in Maryland had increased sixfold to 260 pairs. Today, more than 2,000 bald eagles make their homes in the Chesapeake region, so that seeing them soaring...

Joyless performances make for a bad day for moviegoers

As one who thinks Die Hard one of the best action films ever, I must with a heavy heart urge all fans of John McClane to skip this movie.     In 1988, off-duty cop John McClane (Bruce Willis: Looper) walked into an office Christmas party and became a terrorist-killing legend. Twenty-five years later, McClane has dispatched baddies in office buildings, airports, the burroughs of New York and the streets of D.C.     The fatigue is starting to show.   ...

Colonial Players’ two-person show Trying will surprise you in a good way

Trying will surprise you in a good way. Colonial Players is promoting this delightful two-person show as a work rich in history and contrasts, and it is. It is also a love story, refreshingly sweet and platonic.     Judge Francis Biddle, a national and international statesman, needed a personal assistant as he gathered his memoirs and responded to requests for information on the Nuremberg Trial, which he presided over, and the Japanese Internment of World War II, which he had...

As Anne Arundel replaces a flawed county executive, it’s time to rethink how we hire our top leaders

On a scale starting with your favorite Valentine chocolate and dropping to a shot of syrupy cough medicine, where would you rank county government?     Most of us, I fear, don’t place it in a heart-shaped satin box.     Certainly not many of us who live in Anne Arundel County, which is one of eight of Maryland’s 23 counties governed by an executive.     In the best of times, county government is medicine you’ve got to take. It...

What if the cure is worse than the disease?

In our world of Zoloft commercials, it’s become easy to believe that popping a pill will magically end your depression. What happens if those Prozac promises turn out false? What if there is no magic pill for your mental malaise? What if that magic pill makes you worse?     Emily (Rooney Mara: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is a fragile woman in need of help. She lost her friends, her husband and her accustomed life to an insider-trading scandal. Now that her husband is...

Bay Gardener helped found an ­industry on nature’s fertilizer

For every job, there’s an association. Every association has heroes lauded for having discovered how to do the job better. The Bay Gardener, Dr. Francis Gouin, has just been enrolled as a hero of the U.S. Composting Council.     This month, Gouin received Hi Kellogg Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the composting industry in research, teaching and promoting the use of compost by nursery and greenhouse growers and by home gardeners.     ...

In the literary economy, poetry is an art more in supply than demand. Nearly everybody writes poetry, or so it seems. But who reads it?     Little kids love its melody and meaning, but by high school it’s force-fed. Most of the rest of us take it, often in the form of Hallmark verse, to help us express emotions for which we seem to have no words of our own.     It takes a clever poet to sneak in under our defenses.     When a poem catches...