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Highway construction is a long and bumpy road

Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

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

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

Leon Tucker’s tour in Mongolia has him longing for Southern Maryland’s balmy winters

To step out into December’s minus-20-degree weather, Leon Tucker layers up “in bundles and bundles” with long underwear, thermal sweatshirts, camel wool socks and a North Face parka. This is not what he meant back home in Deale when he called himself “an outdoors person.”     Mongolia is not what Tucker’s mother, Kathy Norris, imagined for the son who always dreamed of travel. “I thought he was going to take off,” she says, “...

The rediscovered Chesapeake woodcuts of Eastport’s Philip McMartin

When Philip McMartin arrived in 1963, Annapolis was still a watermen’s town with workboats coming and going.     The 33-year-old journalist-photographer-filmmaker-sailor had fallen under the spell of the water, which drew him to Eastport, where he and his wife and four children lived a stone’s throw from Back Creek.     McMartin was fascinated by the rugged independence of life on the water. He carved images of Chesapeake watermen, skipjacks,...

Peace, goodwill and Slack Winery’s Pink Shoals

Read any good Christmas lists lately?         Good will and peace on Earth continue to top every list, as we haven’t gotten there yet. Despite the best efforts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, those eternal aspirations remain elusive.     Perhaps our continual striving is the point. Perhaps each round of striving is actually a cycle in an upward spiral. I’ve held onto that hope these many years, ever since my esteemed professor...

AACo connects families in need to people who want to help

What if you could see the child’s face light up when you drop off a new toy? Or watch the worry slip off the faces of a family when you deliver a Christmas dinner they weren’t sure they were going to have?     The Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services’ Holiday Sharing Program has been matching people who want to help families and seniors during the holidays for 32 years.     Tanya Steele, the special program and volunteer coordinator...

These tropical plants demand warmth and sun

A tropical plant that originated in Mexico, the poinsettia is very susceptible to chilling temperatures. If you purchase your plant on a cold day, wrap it completely before moving it from the store to your car. Place it in a sleeve stapled at the top to prevent rapid heat loss and to keep cold air from blowing onto the plant. As soon as you start the car, turn on the heat to a comfortable temperature.     When you arrive at home, the poinsettia should be the first package...

Barking up the Christmas Tree

As a field of expertise, Christmas trees — like medicine — has generalists and specialists.     Generalists decorate their trees with the collections assembled over lifetimes by inheritance, early childhood artistry, gifts and outright purchase.     Specialists prefer a theme.     A pair of animal-themed trees won our hearts this Christmas. After all, animals have a time-honored place in the Christmas story. They gathered at the manger...

Don’t get fooled by the email scam

Don’t let the emails fool you. There is no deadline to register your cell phone number to the national Do-Not-Call registry.     Every few years, an email comes around saying, “A directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published for all consumers to have access to. This will open the doors for solicitors to call you on your cell phones …”     The rumors started in 2004, when the wireless phone industry considered publishing a...

An asteroid spawns the Geminids

Thursday’s new moon provides dark cover for this year’s Geminid meteor shower, which peaks that night and into the wee hours Friday. The Geminids are perhaps the best of the annual meteor showers, but because of December’s chill, many people haven’t truly appreciated them.     The Geminids put on a great show, often delivering 60 meteors an hour under dark skies. But in 1996, another year when the shower coincided with new moon, skywatchers with clear...

The Bay offers good action nearly year-round

Yesterday a cold rain fell for hours. Wind followed. Today came with heavy fog and a chill that banished any thoughts of getting out on the Bay for one last fling at the rockfish. As Jim Morrison phrased it, “This is the end, my friend.”     But it has been a good, even a very good, season. The 2011 winter of no winter segued nicely into an equally mild early 2012 season. It was a bit windy, but lack of rain and warm temperatures made early season fishing comfortable...

With lines straight from Charles Dickens’ own hand, Twin Beach Players’ third adaptation of A Christmas Carol is its most realistic performance yet, according to director and producer, Regan Cashman.     It’s also the most endearing, as Ebenezer Scrooge’s tale of redemption is told through the eyes — and mouths — of children. As the all-kid cast learn their lines, they consult with adults in the company to understand Dickens’ meaning and...