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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

Scary forces fight for souls, all in elegant bodies

A tonic to warm up the blood would do good in these heavy days of Pisces, where we’re stuck till the first day of spring. You’ll find it at Ballet Theatre of Maryland’s double feature, The Firebird and The Scarlet Letter, this weekend only at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.     Don’t do ballet? Dianna Cuatto, artistic director since 2003 of Maryland’s only professional ballet company, gives you reason to stretch out of your comfort zone....
When we last checked on The Volvo Ocean Race, the 15-ton, 70-foot-long boats were safely in Abu Dhabi — after hopping a stealth freighter to avoid pirates in the Indian Ocean. Leg 3 begins with the usual in-port race in Abu Dhabi, home of the boat in second-to-last place, and continues to Sanya, China, home of the boat in last place. An Arabian fairy tale came true as British Olympian Ian Walker skippered hometown favorite Team Abu Dhabi to victory in the Etihad In-Port Race. Walker...

But proposed registration increases need tweaking

Fishing and boating on Chesapeake Bay are among Maryland’s great attractions. But you’ve got to pay to play.     The list of what needs doing is long and constant:    Fishfinder           Yellow perch and pickerel are still the headliners for late February and going into March. The majority of neds are still small males, though short runs of larger males and gravid females are becoming a bit more frequent...

If you say no new taxes, what are you willing to give up?

Where’s the money coming from?         If you haven’t asked that question this week, you’re in the 99 percent.     And here come Uncle Sam and Uncle Peter, reminding us that tax day is just around the corner.     Taxes are a chilling thought, whether you’re the kind of tea partier who curves your little finger or the kind who wants to burn the boat, cargo and all. If you’d like to pay more taxes, you...

Teen Ania Kelly knows how to handle herself in the big show

At 16, Ania Kelly has already mastered the art of the leash. The Dunkirk teen took top prize in the Junior Showmanship competition at this year’s 136th Westminster Dog Show, pairing with her English cocker spaniel Wizard to best over 100 competitors.     A five-time veteran of Westminster, Kelly is a third-generation handler.     “My grandma originally started showing dogs,” says the Southern High School student. “We breed and show Vizslas...

These contests need writers

You have a story to tell. It’s the image that stays with you, whether you want it to or not. It’s that anecdote you tell at parties that makes people say, you ought to write that down.     Your story could be a winner in more ways than one. Maryland is fertile ground for budding authors, and writing contests abound.       Annapolis creative writing teacher Laura Oliver, whose new book, The Story Within: New Insights and Inspiration for Writers,...

There’s a dark side to surgically implanted medical devices

“Watchdogs Want More Oversight of Artificial Knees and Hips.”     So read the February 21 headline from Maryland News Connection, a startup statewide news service, leading us to wonder what kind of watchdogs they were talking about.     We should have taken the story seriously, but we couldn’t get beyond the headline.     In truth, this is serious business. Americans undergo nearly a million knee and hip replacements each year,...

From keeping to ordering to planting

Last year’s crop of onions was great. It was a bumper crop and should have supplied the family with fresh onions through March and into April as the previous year’s crop. However, due to the early sprouting and a disease called neck rot, we finished eating the last onion shortly after Thanksgiving. Having never experienced this problem before, I decided to investigate the cause.     A commercial onion grower advised me that I should have dragged a timber over the...

How many planets can you spot?

The waxing crescent moon and Mercury appear low in the west-southwest after sunset Thursday. While the moon is easy to spot, Mercury is 10 degrees lower, buried amid twilight’s glow. Your chance to catch the innermost planet hinges between its own setting, around 6:45, and the sun’s glare, which doesn’t give way to full darkness until 7pm. Scanning the horizon with a pair of binoculars will help. And while the waxing moon moves on, Mercury gets easier to see the next few weeks...

Love means never having to say you’re sorry about illegal surveillance

CIA agents Tuck (Tom Hardy: Warrior) and FDR (Chris Pine: Unstoppable) are top agents assigned to take down German terrorist brothers. The job goes bad, terrorist Heinrich (Til Schweiger: New Year’s Eve) vows revenge and the two agents are grounded in the Los Angeles field office.     What do bored agents do when they can’t wear suits and shoot up nightclubs?     They look for love in this crazy modern world.     Sensitive Tuck is...