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Tested and true lures and bait

Mulch, mowers and weed wackers can be murder on trees

A clever premise and charming leads make the year’s best Halloween scare
SPCA to keep holiday tails wagging
Maryland municipalities rise to the challenge of driving positive change 

October 25 is Eastport Yacht Club Light Parade’s how-to seminar

End-of-year deadline for ­Colonial Players Promising Playwright Competition

God created the heavens and earth, planets, stars and creatures, in seven days.     Playwrights, naturally, take longer.     So you’d better get busy if you aspire to create a play for The Colonial Players of Annapolis’ biennial Promising Playwright Contest. Entries are due by Dec. 31.     Prizes are big and requirements few — beyond the act of creation.     Plays may be one act or full length, drama or ­...

Bid to play Santa for SPCA

Christmas comes in November for the home-seeking animals of the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.         Or will, if you’ll play Santa. It’s a job you won’t regret. Accept it, and you’ll do your holiday shopping early and easy.     Through Nov. 23, the First Annual Auction for the Animals invites you to shop online for gifts for your animals and animal-loving friends. You’ll find animal-themed art, jewelry, gift baskets,...

It takes good eyes to encompass a world of wonders

Could there be more out there than meets the eye?         It may be so, just like it was impossible to predict the forces that led to this week’s wave election.     On faith or evidence, the world is full of believers in forces unseen, seldom seen and selectively seen.     Believers in God and gods live in a universe populated by alternative species. Classified with military precision, their supernatural numbers range from the...

With catches cut by 20 percent, the species could rebound in two years

You’ll hear the same story from most anyone who fishes recreationally for rockfish (aka striped bass) in Chesapeake Bay along the Atlantic Coast: There are not nearly as many fish today as there were 10 years ago.     Science agrees. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission — whose task it is to manage the striped bass population — conducted a benchmark stock assessment in 2012. It found that the total population of striped bass has fallen some 30...

Now’s the season, so do it right

Mistakes made when planting shade trees grow up to haunt you. Mistake 1: Choosing the wrong tree for the wrong place.     Research the nature and habits of the species you want to plant. Do those qualities match the place you want to plant it and the job you want it to do? Mistake 2: Planting too close to buildings, driveways, sidewalks or driveways.     Plant the tree where it will provide shade in areas desired and as a backdrop for the landscape. Avoid...

The lonely star swims with the fishes

Thursday’s full moon is known as the Beaver Moon or the Frosty Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise. Friday and Saturday the moon is with Taurus, the bull’s red eye Aldebaran high to the left and the Pleiades star cluster higher still. Monday night look for the moon near the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux.     Mercury is at the tail end of its best pre-dawn appearance of the year. The innermost planet rises in the east-southeast around 5:30 at week...

Michael Keaton wows in this darkly funny drama

Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton: Need for Speed) was in style about the same time as acid-wash jeans. The superstar lead of the popular Birdman film series did not fare well as a real actor. His fall was fast from blockbuster action star to bad bit parts.     Now nearly forgotten, soft in the middle and desperate to prove his relevance, Riggan has mortgaged his home and sunk his assets into bringing his favorite book to Broadway. He plans to adapt, direct and star in the...

If there be spirits, now’s the time to find them

Storm clouds shot lightning in the distance across the water that cool, damp evening. The flash of the camera was the only other light that pierced the night. Nothing could be seen in the screen except two small balls of light. But when the picture was enlarged, a man appeared: a bearded man in a long coat with — perhaps — a lantern in his outstretched arm. Later, this same face appeared in the photo of a window pane.     Those photographs were our reward on an early...

Al ­DeCesaris is running down the East Coast for Sturge-Weber syndrome

Millions of people dump ice water on their heads to raise money for ALS. Hundreds of thousands walk for breast cancer. Can one lone person hope to make a difference? Especially fighting a plight out of the limelight?     Annapolis lawyer and St. Mary’s High School graduate Al DeCesaris knows he can.     For the second year in a row, he’s crossing vast distances under his own power to raise money for a condition most of us have never heard of, Sturge-...

The Volvo Ocean Race is on its round-the-world blitz again

The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-’15 began October 11 and finishes next June in Gothenburg, Sweden, by way of the ends of the earth.     By then, the seven boats will have sailed 38,739 miles from Alicante, Spain, visiting 11 ports on five continents.     Newport, Rhode Island, their seventh port, brings them closest to us, early next May.     The seven entries come from around the world — United Arab Emirates, China, Turkey and four from...