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Highway construction is a long and bumpy road

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

Tiny frogs seldom seen but often heard

Spring has sprung.         Spring peepers are wide awake and calling out loud.     These tiny frogs are among the first to call and breed. Only the males sing. They’re calling for mates.     Competition’s tough.     Females choose a mate by the quality of his call.     You can tell a peeper by a prominent dark X mark on its back.     That is, if you can find one. They...

Brussels sprouts on pizza … Soft-shell crab on an Old Bay waffle

I admit to food biases. Some foods I have no interest in wasting calories on: sweet potatoes (even the trendy fried version), liver and onions (I get nauseous thinking about it) and fois gras (there’s that liver again). So when I was invited to try two new dishes at California Pizza Kitchen at the Westfield Mall, you’ve gotta give me credit for venturing outside of my comfort zone for two of my least favorite foods: Brussels sprouts and beets.     Seasonal and...

Dress warmly to explore our shared history

With spring and winter still grappling in their annual wrestling match, I’m hoping the gentler season will gain the upper hand with its official arrival at 7:02am March 20.     In truth, I’m longing for a nice spell of sunny warmth. For spring is clearly inching into control. Look around and you see the truth: Nature’s palette is brightening with sap greens, lemon yellows and ultramarine violets. Nature’s music is lilting with bird and frog song.  ...

Prune hard, now!

A Bay Weekly reader lamented over how tall her azaleas had grown. She could no longer see out of the living room windows and would have to pay to have them replaced. I told her that all she had to do was cut them back to at least two inches below the ledge of the window. The plants would rejuvenate. The expression on her face clearly indicated that she thought me a complete idiot.     Plants are survivors. If you know which species can be rejuvenated and which cannot, you can...

The Addams Family has nothing on these people

In a palatial old home filled with dead birds and 1960s amenities, 18-year-old India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska: Lawless) is searching for her birthday present. This year the box is empty and her father is a no-show at dinner. India is devastated when she discovers that her father was killed in a car crash.     An odd girl who can’t stand being touched and prefers silent observation to social interaction, India withdrawas even further and ignores her well-meaning but...

This Night is so dark that you strain to see the actors

Bowie Community Theatre is up to its rafters in shady business again. The troupe that brought you Murder By Misadventure and Who Dunit? now turns to the segregated South for a crime drama with the twisted face of bigotry. Matt Pelfrey’s 2010 stage adaptation of In the Heat of the Night is based on the John Ball novel that inspired an Oscar-winning film and an Emmy-winning TV series.     The place: Argo, Alabama. The time: 1962. The crime: murder. The victim: developer...

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....