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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

Join in to be a part of history

You’ve proudly hailed the Star Spangled Banner by many a light, including the twilight’s last gleaming.     This summer you can get closer, as the revered 30-by-42-foot flag commissioned for Fort McHenry in the summer of 1813 is restitched in replica.     Stitching begins on Independence Day at Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine, where Francis Scott Key saw, through the rockets’ red glare, that our flag was still there.   ...

Find him — and prizes — in Annapolis

The famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting Annapolis this month. He — and his look-alikes — are hiding in 25 local businesses. Spot him to win prizes.     To join the hunt, pick up  your Find Waldo passport at The Annapolis Bookstore (35 Maryland Ave.). Get your passport stamped or signed at the 25 stores listed inside. The first 100 Waldo seekers with 10 verifications head back to collect prizes. Collect...

There’s good science to my advice

My annual recommendation for lawns is cut it tall and let it fall. To understand why cutting height makes a difference, consider that each blade of grass is a factory.     A tall blade of grass contains more chlorophyll and is capable of manufacturing more sugars and other metabolites than a short blade of grass. When you set your lawnmower to cut your grass no less than four inches, each blade remains a bigger factory, capable of manufacturing more of what it needs for good...

It’s the dawn bite that pays off this time of year

July is here, and with it the heat waves that inevitably mark summer on the Chesapeake. Ninety-plus degrees with a blazing-hot sun will slow the fish. Even if it ­doesn’t, that sun can make being on the water after high noon uncomfortable if not unhealthy.     The solution is painful, at least for me. We have to get up early. It’s the dawn bite this time of year that pays off. The air and surface water will still be cool, the fish will be hungry, and your...

It’s not enough to break the heat

If you’re up Friday or Saturday morning before dawn, look for the waning crescent moon low in the east-northeast. Friday look for the bright star Aldebaran, the heart of Taurus the bull, positioned just above the two points of the thin crescent, while farther to the north are Mars and Jupiter just reemerged from behind the glare of the sun. Saturday morning, the dwindling sliver of moon is just a few degrees above the two planets. By now, the three are so close to the horizon that you may...

Are you prepared?

Plan a parade in Chesapeake Country, and odds are it will be rained on.     How many times did you fall back to Plan B this weekend? Did your picnic stay al fresco? Did your crab feast rush inside? Did thunderstorms cancel your day at the pool? Keep your boating dreams high and dry?     Do fish bite in the rain?     Living as we do in the age of wacky weather, we’re getting used to settling down to Plan B.     In some areas...

How to be nine people’s favorite thing

[title of the show] is a musical about two men writing a musical about two men writing a musical. Think of seeing M.C. Escher’s optical puzzles dramatized.     At Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, you’ll see the clean version. Apparently there is also a racier adult version.     Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell created this musical about their own experience for a theater competition in 2006. Bowen wrote the music and lyrics and Bell the script. They...

A gender-bending twist gives raunchy life to a buddy-cop comedy

Special agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) is good at her job. She’s a wealth of information, always on top of her investigations and can find stashed drugs faster than the K-9 unit. Unfortunately, what Ashburn boasts in brains she lacks in people skills. Half of the FBI wants her to fail; the other half avoids her.     To finally prove that she is the best Fed in the agency and win a promotion, Ashburn chases a new drug dealer who...

Did Ray Caden Catch Diamond Jim?

Fifty thousand dollars is at stake in the Maryland Fishing Challenge.     Catch a Maryland fish, and you may also catch some of the money.     The big bucks — $25,000 — are riding on Diamond Jim. Jim’s a rockfish whose identity changes throughout summer. Each month, Maryland Department of Natural Resources fishers catch, tag and release one genuine Jim plus hundreds of imposters.     Catch one, and you’re guaranteed $500....

Your Fireworks Guide

Friday July  1 Chesapeake Beach Fireworks go up from a barge anchored off shore at Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa. View on grounds, from the tiki bar or air-conditioned restaurant (tables reserved), where Split Second Band plays (5-9pm). For water fun with your fireworks, view from Chesapeake Beach Water Park or the beach at neighboring North Beach. For free views, come early to claim your space at Chesapeake Beach or North Beach boardwalk. Or watch by boat: www.chesapeake-beach.md.us....