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Where and when to go to catch summer's favorite holiday

The fun’s better when you stay safe

Star-spangled nun commemorates our national anthem

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate reason and high ideals

Chesapeake Bay gets a summer show

Travel Maryland with your pets

You work all week and want to relax on the weekends — get away perhaps? The only thing keeping you on the leash at home is you can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind.     Your problem is solved by Visit Maryland’s new directory of Fido-friendly destinations. The list includes places throughout Maryland where both you and your pet are welcome to visit, stay or play.     Anne Arundel County is a pet-friendly kind of place, with a dedicated...

Where to find the charity of interspecies connections

Not every human is an animal lover. Slip Mahoney, the subject of one of this week’s dog stories, drove quite a few people to the other side. But he also wiggled into quite a few hearts, even some outside his immediate family. One dog sitter called him Nurse Slip, crediting him with seeing her through an illness compounded by a broken heart.     For such people, dogs, cats, horses and a menagerie of odder and wilder animals open the careful human heart, helping us...

But brilliant Sirius isn’t to blame

For kids heading back to school, summer has truly gone to the dogs. But neither that nor your canine companion panting on the cold basement floor is why the hottest days of the year are referred to as the Dog Days of summer. The answer shines in the heavens in the form of a star more than 81⁄2 light years away.     Sirius, the Dog Star, is the brightest in the heavens and is the main star in the constellation Canis Major — the big dog. For us in the Northern...

Head to a new place, and the fishing gets better

It was in the middle of the week and we had our Norfolk spot for live lining caught by 7am. Jumping up on plane, we headed toward the Bay Bridge. It was already too late. The concrete supports where we had had such great luck a day earlier had two skiffs anchored at each, and our third and fourth choices were being eyeballed by a couple of approaching charter boats.     “We’ve got to start getting away from this traffic jam if we want some decent fishing,” I...

They’re building strength for a fall assault

Bay Weekly readers are asking me where the stinkbugs are.     Stinkbugs may not have plagued you this summer, but I can assure you that they are building their population.     After my fall, I have not been able to spray my few remaining peach trees or my vegetable garden. Surveying the peach trees, I could not find one peach that had not been infested with stinkbug stings. Every remaining peach was cat-faced from stings, with several stinkbugs actively feeding...

Divergent paths through the Civil Rights era

As a young boy in 1920s Georgia, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker: The Last Stand) learned how the world worked for black people. On a whim, their white land-owner not only rapes Cecil’s mother but also shoots his father, who is buried by his fellow black sharecroppers in a shallow grave.     In compensation, Cecil is invited in as a house servant. The work is easier than field labor, but he’s still treated as a sub-human.     Determined to overcome and...

Great vocal talents and imaginative theater choices lead you into the woods of an atypical fairy tale

As you enter Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, take note of the Into the Woods set, designed by show director and choreographer Darnell Morris. The woods are beautifully painted in soft pastels with large trees on each side of the stage, evoking a pastoral Monet sensibility. Appreciate the beauty while you can because, as advertised, “this is not your typical fairy tale,” and with Alex Doan’s lighting, the stage becomes dark and ominous very quickly.     Into...

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...