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Black on the Shore in the early 20th century, as painted by Ruth Starr Rose

African American Waterman Eldridge Meredith

Start at the beginning as you would for American ancestors of any race

It takes mental agility to compete at MathCounts

Peter Pan’s fantastical origins — with crackling one-liners, slapstick staging, flatulence and actors in drag

Alex Perez knows how to reel them in

Every half-shell you save makes a home for 10 baby oysters

Oysters don’t like to live alone. “They are very social,” says Oyster Recovery Partnership executive director Stephan Abel.     They also like to be close to their families. Oysters grow up together, indeed bonded together, on reefs constructed by generations before them. With the destruction of reefs through centuries of all-out harvesting, new generations of oysters depend on us to supply new reefs of old shell for them to grow on.     One...

It takes a lot of preying to make so big a bug

In summer’s abundance, praying mantises grow like corn.     Emerging in spring warmth from their tan, papery egg masses, they are tiny, pale-green nymphs. By autumn, after several exoskeleton sheddings and many good meals, the tan, winged adults can be six or seven inches long.     The habit of folding their long forearms gives the species the name praying mantis. They might better be called preying for they use those arms to grasp food, mostly other...

For $1,000, maybe you should try

Could you write a play? It’s a tough job, as you’ve got to create plot, characters and conflict. Tougher still, you’ve got to do it all in dialogue.     Would winning a $1,000 cash prize make the challenge any easier?     The Colonial Players of Annapolis thinks it would. Thus the 67-year-old community theater company has put that premium on its 2016-’17 Promising Playwrights Competition. Win, and you get not only the money but also a June...

Beekeepers political activism rewarded

Buzzing through the halls of the Maryland Statehouse during the 2016 legislative session were some distinctive lobbyists: beekeepers, dressed in full regalia, advocating for a Maryland ban on home use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.     Now, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters is honoring the beekeepers for their role in Maryland’s passage of the Pollinator Protection Act, the first law of its kind in the nation. At an awards dinner on October 13, the...

New plates replace War of 1812

Have you noticed? Maryland is showing a new face to the driving world.     The Maryland Proud license plate, on the roads since September 26, has shoved the bicentennial War of 1812 plate to the curb. There’s still a flag, but Maryland’s heraldic black and yellow, red and white replace the Stars and stripes. We also lose, with few regrets, the industrial-looking structures that to all the world looked more like a prison than Fort McHenry.     Not that...

It’s official; We have a new seal

Steve Schuh moved into the executive’s office in December of 2014, determined to change the image of Anne Arundel County. Now he’s done it.     He’s redesigned the official Anne Arundel County seal. The problem, said Schuh, was that over the years, the design approved in the County Code has evolved into multiple versions.     With historically accurate elements and a high-resolution vector image that facilitates clear and vibrant reproduction,...
It’s time to celebrate a huge success in oyster reef restoration efforts. Five years after targeting Harris Creek as the first of three oyster sanctuaries, a new reef is thriving thanks to $27.5 million in funding from federal and state agencies and other partners to pay for reef substrate, oyster spat and the planting of the oysters.     That’s the news from Stephanie Westby, who serves as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s coordinator for...

A little cause for hope and a lot of good eating

Oysters have been around a long time, in the vicinity of 500 million years.     Arriving somehow in the Chesapeake, which came into being only 35 million years ago, oysters made themselves at home. In the prehistoric broth, temperatures were moderate, oxygen abundant and food plentiful for the filter-feeders. In synergism over the eons, thriving oysters both kept the Bay clean and made welcoming reef homes for many species seeking shelter and prey. For immobile creatures,...

Twin Beach Players’ talented ensemble delivers a Vaudevillian ­circus of musical theater

“Musical comedies aren’t written, they are rewritten,” declares Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.     Just so, writers Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart of movie and television fame readapted a collection of Greek-themed works already adapted by the Roman playwright Plautus around the turn of the second century, B.C.     Something familiar, Sondheim writes in the show’s best-...

Water now or expect poor fall color — and a killing winter

This year’s dry late summer and early fall will put a damper on foliage colors. Don’t expect a long, lingering colorful fall. Many trees are already dropping their leaves due to the drought conditions we are experiencing. There is even premature coloration in the foliage of red maple, dogwoods and sweet gum.     Much of the early leaf drop can be attributed to the buckets of rain we had during the early parts of summer when trees generated an abundance of growth....