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Before you vote them in, read their words on the Bay
 

8th-grader’s plan wins statewide peace writing contest

What to do when skunks move into the neighborhood

The catching is still good if you can stick with the search

From pot to rooting medium to placement, these plants have ­special needs

The pomp and parades of Independence Day date back to the nation’s founding

Independence Day provides us with a free day of homemade and heartfelt celebrations, ranging from small-town parades to Washington, D.C.’s capital show. Complete with cannon fire, that extravaganza of sound and light lets you imagine the bombardment that drew The Star-Spangled Banner out of Francis Scott Key’s soul.     With the bicentennial of the War of 1812 upon us, it’s tempting to think that our Independence Day fireworks celebrations imitate those rockets...

Farmers markets now selling local corn and peaches

Farmers market shoppers in the know arrive at the Sunday morning Freshfarm Market in Annapolis before 10:30am, when Bob Miller of Nice Farms Creamery sells out of his famous chocolate milk.     Miller is one of 12 farmers and producers who sell at the market near City Dock. Nine hail from Maryland, two from Virginia and one from West Virginia. The market requires producers be part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They offer fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers, meats, cheese,...

Calvert County keeps citizens in the know

Calvert County is taking the lead in helping citizens and developers figure out how they’re affected by Maryland’s new law restricting residential development served by septic systems.     For the Chesapeake watershed, the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 helps reduce pollution and meet federal Clean Water Act limits on pollutants reaching waterways.     Closer to home, it means the geography in the watershed controls where...

Anne Arundel leaders need your tutoring to up their environmental grades

If you live in Anne Arundel County you’ve got a job to do.     Unless you want our quality of life, and environmental future, to go down the tubes.     On the latest green report card, Anne Arundel County leaders — the guys you voted into office in 2012 — got very bad grades.     County Executive John Leopold scraped by with a grade of C- on his support last year for the environment, according to the Anne Arundel League of...

Fireworks, parades and vocal citizens are all part of the tradition

Two hundred thirty-six years ago, America made itself a nation with a formal Declaration of Independence. The plan for what this new nation would be, our Constitution, took 11 disputeful years more.     The places we live have had less help in taking shape. Like Topsy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, our communities “just growed. Don’t think nobody never made me.”     In the three decades I’ve been looking, Annapolis and Anne Arundel and...

Each species has a different trick

Crows, morning doves, pigeons and black birds love to pluck sprouting seeds of corn, snap beans and lima beans in the garden. Robins love to eat strawberries, while mocking birds and brown thrush love to eat blueberries as they ripen. Birds can also do a great deal of damage to maturing sweet corn. They will rip away the husks and silk and peck out the kernels from the tops of the ears.     How to deter them?     Scarecrows are fun to look at but about useless....

And what to do if perch is your only bait

I could feel the five-inch white perch on my line swimming toward the bottom 30 feet down. The pulses of its efforts transmitted plainly up the line on my bait-casting rod. As the baitfish reached its goal and settled down, I lightly thumbed the narrow spool of my casting reel and lifted my rod tip just enough to make the fish’s movements a bit more frantic.     I was drifting over some nice marks on my depth sounder off the mouth of the Severn, and I suspected the arches...

See if you can beat Galileo’s 40

As the sun sets this week, its latest of the year at 8:35, Saturn and Mars appear in the darkening skies, Mars high in the southwest and Saturn trailing 25 degrees at due south. Mars sets at midnight, with Saturn following 90 minutes later.     Our neighbor isn’t called the red planet for nothing: its orange hue is quite distinct and a real contrast to golden Saturn, although both shine at around first magnitude and are as bright as any star.     See if you...

Never accept a tart from an angry teenager

Being a lady in ancient societies was a real drag. You had to truss yourself up in uncomfortable dresses, follow the rules of court and be prim even as the men around you acted like imbeciles. If you were really good at following the rules, your grand reward was to be married off to some drooling noble who made up in breeding what he lacked in intelligence and sensitivity.     So it’s not that surprising that young princess Merida (Kelly McDonald: Boardwalk Empire) balks...

Teens play Shakespeare’s silliest for fun

Put Will Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will, in the hands of the junior corps of Twin Beach Players and what do you get? A celebration performed by actors who seem to be playing for the joy of it. The Players’ uninhibited festival of uncertain purpose may be just what Shakespeare had in mind.     As a performance in a carnival spirit, this party is appropriate, given that for Shakespearean England the 12th night after Christmas was occasion for a no-holds-...