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

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

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

7 million Books for International Goodwill

While the wind blows, I’m ­getting a handle on things

Ask if your marina is a Clean Marina. If not, why?

Boaters love the Bay. They love the look of it, the feel of it, the smell of it, the freedom of it, the generosity of it. All the Bay’s tributaries plus its ocean and fresh waters are part of that big love.     Choosing a Clean Marina as your boat’s home — and your second home — is one of the best ways boaters can, in return, protect the Bay.     If yours is a Clean Marina, it may be more Bay-friendly than your first home. In fact, your...

The hardest part of raising a puppy to be a Companion dog is saying goodbye

Since birth, Eaton’s destiny has been to serve. The golden retriever-Labrador mix was bred to be a calm, focused and obedient companion to a human in need. Aspiring to join the 1,721 active Canine Companions for Independence teams, Eaton hopes to help a disabled owner live a fuller life.     For duty’s sake, Eaton gave up a typical puppy-hood.     “We got him at eight weeks,” says Anne Arundel County Deputy Chief of Police Emerson Davis,...

Leg 5 of The Volvo Ocean Race breaks hulls, bows and spirits

When we last checked on The Volvo Ocean Race, 20 monsoon-drenched days from China to New Zealand had ended in a bone-crushing duel. Leg 5 takes a wild ride across the South Pacific from New Zealand around South America to Brazil. Record crowds lined Auckland Harbor and took to the sea to cheer Camper on to victory in her hometown in-port race. While the fleet battled the stiff currents of Freeman’s Bay, Skipper Chris Nicholson used local knowledge to sail along the shore, edging out Puma...

There’s more to April than National Anxiety Month

I could tell you that the General Assembly, which adjourned this week, managed to spin straw into gold and everybody’s happy.     But you wouldn’t believe me, because you know that even in fairy tales there’s a heavy price levied on too much cleverness.     Truth is that nobody’s very happy with the results. In this Assembly, one diner’s meat has been another’s poison.     If you were blown over by the prospect...

Rude Ranch Animal Rescue steps into the spotlight

With a nickname like The Best Little Cat House in Maryland, you might imagine that Rude Ranch earned its screen time on HBO. But Harwood’s unique no-kill shelter has won a prime spot on Animal Planet’s show Must Love Cats. The popular show features profiles of fascinating cats and the people who love them.     How did Rude Ranch get a feature? Through happenstance and the power of the Internet.     “We are friends with a pet blogger from Oregon...
A step up from failing is the score the West and Rhode rivers earned on their spring report card.     D was the average grade of five positive indicators — water clarity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, algae and underwater grasses — and one negative, bacteria.     The grades are based on data collected in 2011 by the West/Rhode Riverkeeper, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and Maryland Department of Natural Resources.    ...
You’ve got no control over where most of your tax dollars go. The exception is Line 35 on the Maryland state income tax form. Check that line and you make a direct contribution to Chesapeake Bay and the Endangered Species Fund. The Fund — split evenly between the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Maryland Department of Natural Resources — supports Bay restoration and conserves native wildlife and endangered species.     Last year, the tax check-off amounted to more than...

With the fun of fishing comes responsibility

Since we spend so much time on the Chesapeake, boating anglers have a particularly important responsibility in maintaining habits that promote a cleaner, healthier Bay. The foremost of those is avoiding polluting behavior in the first place. The single most effective action any angler can take is avoiding and discouraging the use of older, two-cycle outboard motors. Fishfinder     The dogwood trees have blossomed, and the hickory shad run is red-hot. The Conowingo Dam, Deer...

How many stars can you spot with the lion’s perch?

This next week marks the last of this year’s Globe At Night citizen-science sessions, where ordinary folks like you and me lend an eye observing the night sky. This month’s target is the constellation Leo. Armed with a star chart downloaded from the group’s website, backyard astronomers count how many stars they can spot. You can submit results — from one or more locations — thru the 20th.     Collectively, the data mined from the Globe At Night...

And cut out all stems infested by cane borers

Roses need to be pruned yearly to keep the plants strong and healthy. Now is the time to prune summer-flowering roses. Wait to prune spring-flowering roses until after they have flowered.     Hybrid T and floribunda roses in the ground five years or less should be pruned to within 12 inches of the graft union. Cultivate Your Asparagus Bed Now is the time to hoe out the weeds and cultivate the soil over the dormant roots of asparagus in your bed. Both chickweed and henbit...