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Local artist takes you 15,000 feet for this Commissioning Week highlight

National Aquarium answers marine life SOS

As the South Riverkeeper, I am ­helping to make the river healthy for my children and yours

Every crab pot needs a turtle excluder

Goats are fuel-efficient lawn-care specialists

Since 1946, these Navy fliers have been delighting audiences with their aerial feats

You remember those days, the excitement — or terror — a new school year brings, mixed with the sorrow of letting go of summer.     It’s a story each of us shares and each generation repeats. Yet each person’s story enriches the theme with delicious detail.     As the 2013 school year begins, we’ve asked 12 kids (and one surprise returnee) — kindergarten through 12th grade — for their views.     We’ve...

Local community colleges boast new buildings so smart they’ve earned top honors

New buildings at both Anne Arundel Community College and the College of Southern Maryland are working just like good students do to achieve perfection.     Anne Arundel’s renovated Andrew G. Truxal Library has already graduated LEED (short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) with top honors. It’s only the eighth building in Anne Arundel County to achieve those honors.     The just-completed green building on the College of Southern...

Our neighbor, warts and all

The American toad may be the most-seen amphibian in Chesapeake Country. I’ve seen several in my yard this summer, and you probably have, too.     Odds for spotting an American toad are best near their preferred habitat: garden, forest or meadow. They are active mostly at night, which is when I always find them hopping around my yard or sitting on my patio.     American toads are large; they grow up to four and a half inches long. Full-grown adults are...

Help make sure every kid goes back to school with the supplies for success

You loved shopping for school supplies. You’re out of school, maybe your kids are, too, but you still find yourself walking down the school supply aisle, drawn to untouched spirals, sharpened No. 2s, creative folders and a backpack to carry all.     Regain that pleasure this August by buying and donating to local back-to-school programs that make sure every kid returns to class with supplies for success.     Anne Arundel County Social Services collects...

Acid-loving plants need iron but rusting metal won’t help

A Bay Weekly reader told me he throws a handful of nails in the bottom of each planting hole whenever he plants trees or shrubs. The tradition has been handed down from grandpa to grandson. The purpose, he says, is “to provide an adequate supply of iron to the roots, of course.”     He could not tell me if nail size, such as ten-penny, finish nails or shoe tacks, made any difference. He had no preference for rusty nails or new nails. Squash Plants Want Sun Q...

A dozen kids add the now to our then

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear … Memory does see the past through rose-colored glasses. Looking down all the years to my own school days, I remember anticipation as it shivered through me before school started.     School is much more exciting in these days than in mine. Rote learning, regimentation, overcrowded classrooms, overworked nuns and bullies took much of the fun out of my school days. Husband and I challenge each other for the best...

Full moon is like a celestial movie screen

As the sun sets, Venus beckons above the west horizon until it sets around 9pm. This evening star is losing ground, setting a little earlier each night.     Saturn is in the southwest at dusk and sets around midnight. Don’t confuse its steady golden glow with twinkling Spica a dozen degrees to its east.     Jupiter, Mars and Mercury command the pre-dawn sky, appearing in a spread-out line in the east-northeast. Jupiter is the highest and brightest, while...

An entertaining transposition of Shakespeare to the 1950s

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing endures because audiences love smart love stories. Twenty years ago, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson revived it on film. Joss Whedon’s critically acclaimed remake — now showing at the West End Cinema in D.C. — is set in modern-day California.     So I was excited about the Shakespeare Company’s version, set in the Fabulous Fifties. The production is no exception to the reputation The Annapolis Shakespeare...

Beautiful execution of a half-baked idea

In the year 2154, the world is in a sorry state. Overpopulated, polluted and desperately poor, the 99 percent toil in sweatshops or resort to crime. Brutal robots keep the people in their place. The lucky one percent lives in Elysium, a space station floating above the ruined planet, where people are healthy, homes gorgeous and creature comforts abundant. Understandably, everyone on Earth wants to get to Elysium. The elite are equally determined to keep the riffraff out of their paradise....

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have their day

A butterfly or two is an everyday pleasure.     A dozen or more, a sign you’ve planted well, raising a native garden of plants that bloom in sequence so emergent broods find the food they need to survive.     But an atmosphere thick with butterflies, bushes shimmering with butterflies: What is that?     The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail irruption of summer 2013, according to reports from throughout Chesapeake Country.     Eastern...