Those innocent-looking sippers are one of the Top 5 plastic ocean pollutants

The least you need to know about solar power

For more than 45 years, Bill Ticknor has kept the 326-year-old St. James’ Parish abreast of history

Plant milkweed to support this ­butterfly’s long migration

1,271 is this week’s magic number

­Put your hand where Nodosaurus tred

Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

Sandy Point State Park is a fine place to soak up the sun. Soon those rays will be turning into energy.     The Board of Public Works approved a $535,870 contract with Baltimore-based Bithenergy to evaluate, design and install park upgrades, reducing total energy consumption by an estimated 45 percent.     “Once installation is complete, Sandy Point will be the first state park to host alternative energy projects of this size and scale,” says parks...

CalvArt Gallery September show doubles as an early-season coat drive

September is time to put away the beach gear and take a good look at fall and winter wear. While you make the shuffle from shorts to long sleeves, pull out gently used coats for CalvArt Gallery’s upcoming coat drive.     The early-season drive is inspired by the gallery’s exhibit Coat of Many Colors, opening September 5. Artists Mary Blumberg and Pamela Callen are supplying the color, representing emotion and thought in their playful paintings, which are not of coats...

In a word, sustainability

In Chesapeake Country, newspapers can say, with Mark Twain, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Out and about, you can fill your arms with free paper-and-ink weeklies and special interest magazines, many of them stacked right next to Bay Weekly. What makes us different?     The answer is sustainability.     For me, that’s an easy word to define.     In part, it means that this week you’re reading the 35th edition...

These sensitive trees show you air pollution in action

If your Heritage birch is dropping yellow leaves, blame it on the Orange Alert of early August. Heritage birch is a clone of river birch, which is highly sensitive to both ozone and sulfur dioxide. Both of these gasses are present in an Orange Alert.     An Orange Alert is announced to warn the elderly and people with pulmonary disorders to remain indoors in air-conditioning and minimize outdoor activities until the alert is lifted. Heritage birch, the...

Finding feeding seabirds will save you time and speed up your catch

The seabirds, scores of them about 100 yards away, were wheeling, screaming and diving. We could see the splashes of fish wildly feeding just under the surface. They were not the explosive strikes of the big stripers we had hoped for, but it was impossible to ignore them.     Running ahead but well outside of the feeding school, I chopped the skiff’s throttle, turned and eased within casting range. My partner and I flung our lures just to the edge of the action. I was...

    The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse is a Chesapeake Bay treasure that belongs to all of us. It has a wonderful history and still stands where it always has on Thomas Point on the South River’s northern shore at the entrance to the Bay. It is listed on the National Historic Register as the last remaining screw-pile-style lighthouse in its original location and still an active aid to navigation.     The lighthouse has been undergoing major restoration since...

Take a trip back to Tudor England at this annual royal affair.     Perhaps you’ll meet King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and their royal court in Revel Grove. Their highnesses, dressed in their finery, arrive in the village to meet distinguished foreign visitors, including the Imperial Ambassador Jehan Jonglet, Georg von Frundsberg, victor at the Battle of Pavia and captor of  France's King Francis and the Queen's sister, Juana of Castile, also known as...

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

Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg: The End of the Tour) is a loser. Ambitionless, he works a dead-end job managing a convenience store and suffers from a plethora of phobias. The only bright spots in this life are Mike’s endlessly understanding girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart: Still Alice) and the mountains of marijuana he smokes each day.     The action begins with words mumbled by a convenience store customer. Mike thinks the pot has addled his brain, but when two men...

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

Starting next week, 800-plus big yellow school buses take to Anne Arundel and Calvert county roads. Throughout Maryland, some 7,500 10-ton behemoths join the traffic flow.     Hauling kids back and forth to 12 grades in 23 public schools in Calvert and more than 110 in Anne Arundel — all with staggered schedules — keeps school buses on the roads pretty much all day. Indeed, bus drivers work from 4am to 6pm, according to Anne Arundel County transportation...

Once retired, school buses go to auction.     Who would want to buy an old school bus? If you’re thinking the Partridge Family, you’re warm. Thousands of Partridge families around the country buy retired school buses and convert them into RVs, dubbed Skoolies.     The appeal of Skoolies runs deeper than the 1970s TV show. School buses are stout enough to handle rollovers, have a superior ground clearance and are often equipped with diesel engines,...