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Our best family night at the theater — ever

Not all Christmas trees are equal

He has many faces; here you’ll see some

Where will he be on Christmas Eve?

Spoiler alert: Don’t let the kids read this

Venison is benison to area food banks

Skateboarding rewards diligence, not age

Skateboarders of all ages are grabbing their decks for a new era of the perennial sport. In Calvert County, 18-year-old Joey Jett and 46-year-old Wayne Cox represent opposite poles in a new skateboarding brotherhood supported by Joe Smialek’s Prince Frederick shop Aggro Joe’s. With hard-driven passion, all three have turned their love for skateboarding into careers. •   •   •     At Walker Mills Skate Park in Prince Frederick, a half...

Your library card gets you access to fun destinations free

Your library card can open many doors in Chesapeake Country. Doors to museums, gardens, pools, parks, wineries and golf courses.     In Anne Arundel County, any Maryland cardholder can check out a family pass, good for one week and up to four people, for admission to Historic London Town and Gardens. You do not have to live in Anne Arundel County to use your card to get a museum pass.     “Library cards are available to all full- and part-year residents of...

Find out as six young playwrights speak out in Twin Beach Players’ 11th Annual Playwright Festival

Twin Beach Players has unusual success in getting kids to say what’s on their minds. Over 11 years, youngsters from elementary to high school have taken to the Kids Playwright Festival stage, writing plays that describe the world as they know it.     The Player and the Festival are “safe spaces for kids of all backgrounds to express themselves,” says company president Sid Curl. “Kids feel they can be themselves and have fun doing it.”  ...

Just passing through

A big mother of a terrapin the size of our cast-iron frying pan lumbers from the swamp beyond the small garage, up the stones and through the poison ivy and, without stretching her long neck for a glance backward over her carapace, heads non-stop across our lawn toward the far woods to lay her eggs.     She is my first sighting of this summer, already August, and in recent years all turtles have been scarce.     She will dig a hole in the lawn or by the swamp at...

Chesapeake Curiosities

A small building in the Rhode River is built up over the water like a duck blind. But it doesn’t quite look like one, and it’s surrounded by Smithsonian Environmental Research Center land. What is it?     The structure, an instrument shed, was built in the 1970s, according to Kristen Minogue of Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Initially it was one of a series of similar stations that monitored the Rhode River. The stations provided data on water chemistry...

Treating the whole person for ­overall wellbeing

By the time patients come to the Maryland Disc Institute, they are sick and tired of being in pain.     “They’ve been to their primary care provider, a chiropractor or therapist and taken pain killers. Some have had injections without any lasting relief. They do everything else first, and then when that doesn’t stop the pain, they come to me,” says Dr. Kathryn Hodges.     “I’m not a patient’s first stop,” Hodges...

Progress in the Bay … Opportunity in the Cook-off

It takes a long time — two to three years — for an ­oyster to grow up.     It takes even longer for science to puzzle out how to make the best environment for healthy oysters.     Just out is the first five-year report on how oysters are faring since Maryland decided to give our native oysters the best chance for survival. The best chance scientists and fishery managers could imagine, that is.     In the Bay and rivers, sanctuaries...

One is American, the other speaks with a soft Scottish accent

When our expanding family moved from our small house in Annapolis proper to a larger abode in Cape St. Claire on the Broadneck Peninsula, we were greeted by one of the more garrulous and distinctive birds in America, the crow. A large flock of the all-black avians was ensconced in and around the many trees that abounded in our new neighborhood.     They did not sound like the crows I had grown up with long ago in Pennsylvania. These Broadneck crows seemed to have a different...

Crop rotation keeps you harvesting into winter

If you planted potatoes, you could already be harvesting. Since potatoes are grown in wide rows, the ground they occupied will be ideal for planting a fall crop of peas and snap beans.     If you have harvested cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi, use the space vacated for okra. If you planted a spring and early-summer crop of snap beans, the free space can be used for planting fall and winter crops of carrots, beets, kale, collards, turnips, rutabaga, radishes and ­...

Old-school effects and good storytelling make a cool chiller

Something is scratching at Martin’s (Gabriel Bateman: American Gothic) bedroom door. While he shivers in terror, his mother chats with an invisible friend, Diana.     There is something lurking in the dark, ready to attack when the bedside lamp goes out. Martin watches in vigil night after night as the thing in the dark tries to come closer.     When it gets Martin’s father, he turns to his estranged stepsister, Rebecca (Teresa Palmer: Triple 9), who...