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Local civic groups help make the world a better place

Add lifesaving gear to your holiday giving

Tundra swans return to Chesapeake Country

Good for laughs but not much else

After six days pheasant hunting, we were exhausted, wind-burned — and ecstatic

You say you want a revolution. Well you know, we all want to change the world.

How I learned to defend against zombies

I can’t claim to be unfamiliar with the living dead. I logged enough hours watching zombie movies as a kid that I could have received a PhD in zombiology from the George A. Romero School for the Aaaaaarghts.     However, I suspect in the event of an actual zombie outbreak I would get eaten pretty quickly. In a zombie movie, I would be the type of character who might not get eaten first but who will get eaten before the end credits.     Thus it was to my...

Touch a Truck fundraiser adds to $35K from county

Kara McGuirk-Allison was ecstatic that Anne Arundel County approved $35,000 to update the Broadneck Playground built in 1991.     “There isn’t really a playground in Anne Arundel County that serves the needs of kids with disabilities,” says McGuirk-Allison. “We want it to be so cool that people go out of their way to the playground.”     The park will follow the American Disabilities Association’s requirements, including ramps...

Plastic bottles sprout into art in Annmarie’s newest sculpture garden

Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. That’s Dale Wayne’s motto on merging the arts and the environment.     This summer’s artist in residence borrows from the African tradition of bottle-trees — whose branches have been capped with bottles. Her bottle blossom trees are made from plastic bottles salvaged from Calvert County’s Appeal landfill.     Nothing goes to waste making these blossoms grow.     Cut, curled and glittered, the...

Good for the garden and for myth making

Masters of disguise, praying mantises camouflage themselves to capture beetles, bees, spiders, lizards and even frogs, then dine on the prey head-first.     Mantises don’t hunt their prey. Instead, they wait unmoving and invisible on a leaf or twig, ready to seize any insect or amphibian unfortunate enough to cross paths.     Turning their triangular heads up to 180 degrees in search of an insect, mantises are efficient and deadly predators. Excellent...

Worth the trip to see a brand new way to bring peace in the Middle East

War is destroying a small town in Lebanon. The bridge connecting it to the outside world is a bombed-out disaster, navigable only by scooter. Minefields blow up local livestock and occasionally injure roaming children. Women make frequent pilgrimages to the cemetery to mourn those lost to war. A single television brings the modern world to them in static-filled snippets.     For years, a tenuous peace has held the town’s Muslim and Christian communities together. Both are...

Elvis lives in Talent Machine’s musical comedy

Elvis lives. You’ll find him — and his spirit — in The Talent Machine’s musical comedy All Shook Up, a compilation of two-dozen Elvis songs arranged to tell a story of rocky love.     Sparks fly when Chad — a guitar-playing, motorcycle riding, leather jacketed stranger — rides into a mid-century American town where good times have been outlawed. Natalie — and all the girls — fall in love with him, and the town rocks. But there are...

Six young winners bring their plays to life

See how kids interpret the world in the Twin Beach Players Seventh Kids’ Playwriting Festival.     The festival invites kids from all over the state to write their own plays, with the six winners bringing their play to life. Winners and performers range from age seven to 19.     The festival not only fosters new talent but also keeps theater alive for the younger generation, who play with iPads and Wii’s.     Plays range from...

From the Bay, you can enjoy a little more

After yet another great rockfish dinner, I decided to do a little research on past warnings about contaminants in our Bay waters, hence in our striped bass.     Checking out the latest Maryland Department of the Environment Updated Fish Consumption Advisory for Maryland, I found great news and a little bad news.     Good news first: The most recent testing of Bay rockfish showed a decided decrease in contaminant levels, meaning more rockfish can now be safely...

They’re infesting roses and spruce

While driving I passed a planting of roses that did not appear normal. Up close I saw that the plants were heavily infested with spider mites. The foliage and stems had a rusty red color and were covered with fine webs. The variety of roses appeared to be Knockouts, which are advertised as very resistant to insects.     This summer’s hot, dry weather is ideal for the growth and development of spider mites. The small spider-like creatures are about the size of the pointed...

Three points to summer’s triangle

Thursday’s full moon brightens the sky from dusk till dawn. American Indians called this the sturgeon moon, as it marks the time when these great fish once began their migration and were most easily caught. Sturgeon have been plying our waters for more than 150 million years, yet today most species are endangered.     More common names for August’s full are the grain moon, the lightning moon, the green corn moon and the red moon.     As darkness...