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Get a taste of the West and Rhode rivers while supporting their heath

Local lasses drawn home by the dance and the culture

An absurdist retelling of a surreal moment in American history

Beekeepers know it takes a healthy Earth to build a healthy hive

Celebrate Calvert Marine Museum’s favorite mammal

Many cash streams flow into cleaning up the Bay

Stormwater doesn’t stop running, especially in a Chesapeake season Noah could appreciate.     Neither does money stop flowing. Thus Maryland’s Board of Public Works — governor Martin O’Malley, comptroller Peter Franchot and treasurer Nancy K. Kopp — still have money to spend. Last week, they spent $16 million of several continually refilling pools, including the Bay Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Nonpoint Source Fund...
Calvert County author Peter Abresch has a new mystery out just in time to add a touch more intrigue to the election of a new pope.     Recycling Jesus, the author’s 10th novel, is a mystery wrapped in the Church’s most venerated relic, the Shroud of Turin. The crime might have gone undetected had not the Shroud’s guard been killed.     Retired DEA agent Duncan Crouther is recruited to investigate. He is joined by the well-traveled and good-...

You can still catch this comet
 

Comet PanSTARRS is still with us for 30 to 45 minutes immediately following sunset. Look for it due west 20 degrees below the crescent moon Thursday, March 14. Shining around second magnitude, PanSTARRS at first appears as a modest star. Binoculars — and with ideal viewing conditions, even the unaided eye — will reveal a wispy tail pointing almost straight up. It appears a little higher above the horizon as it nears its peak on the 24th, edging to the northwest, or right, night by...

Pay no attention to the misogyny behind the curtain

In drab Kansas, a two-bit magician named Oz (James Franco: Lovelace) bamboozles country folk with black powder flashes and cleverly hidden wires. He dreams of greatness but settles for life as a glorified flimflam man in a traveling circus, seducing gullible farmers’ daughters.     When one cuckolded boyfriend turns out to be the circus strongman, Oz makes a dramatic escape via hot air balloon. If you’ve seen the 1939 film this movie draws from, you know what happens...

Cut before month’s end so you have plenty of fruit to pick later

If you want your high-bush blueberry plants to produce the giant fruit photographed and described in nursery catalogs, then you have to prune them severely. If the plants are not pruned yearly, before April, you’ll get clusters of small berries that are a chore to pick.     Don’t believe the myth that pruning lowers harvest yields. Research has proven time and again that pruning does not affect the yield but does vastly improve quality. You’ll harvest more...

Remembering the great blizzards of yore

I love winter. My growing up was Colorado, and cold-side Oregon, and cold and snow are in my blood.     But not in Maryland. Real winter has been missing so long that I fear global warming has turned it into a memory.     My hopes for a last chance at winter 2013 rose with this week’s forecast of snow, lovely deep snow. Rain fell instead, and with it my hopes.     But Beverly Spicknall of Owings remembers real winter.     ...

Calvert high schoolers learn to lobby to save animals

I can’t resist a kitten. For six years I’ve mothered orphan kittens for Patuxent Animal Welfare Society.     But it was the numbers I couldn’t help that made me an activist. Every year in Maryland, 45,000 dogs and cats are destroyed. Maryland ranks 39th on the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s state report card on animal-protection issues.     My passing-60 promise was to get involved in making broader changes, so I got up before dawn one...

Marshmallow creatures inspire creativity

Sam Born began selling Peeps in the early 1920s, in a small Pennsylvania grocery store he owned, under a sign that read Just Born.     Nowadays March brings Peeps madness.     The craze took off in 1953 as cellophane selections of packaged Peeps flew off neighborhood grocery shelves.     In my childhood Easter basket, I found one color and one flavor of Peeps: yellow chicks with black, beady eyes.     No longer just an Easter...

School-zone cameras add to General Assembly’s debate

Attention lead-foot drivers: Annapolis is watching you.     The capital city is setting up speed cameras in 10 school zones. Drivers clocked going 12 mph over the speed limit from 8am to 6pm will be mailed a $40 fine. Tickets from the cameras don’t come with points and won’t be sent to insurance companies.     Cameras came to the city at the beginning of March — just in time for a political showdown. AAA Mid-Atlantic is working to convince...

Waterway Access Bill would get Charlie Stek — and you — safely to the water

Charlie Stek wanted his son to experience nature, fishing and paddling rivers. With Maryland’s 10,000 miles of rivers and streams — crossed by 5,176 bridges — that ought to be easy.     Yet there was no safe way to get to the water.     To fish the Patuxent, Stek and his son Alex had to park on blind curves, jump guardrails and scamper down banks.     “We had this incredible asset right down the road that kids, families and...