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Stories that need to be told

Agricultural program grows at Phoenix Academy

They’re out to trap cast-off ­monofilament line

Back in the mid-1960s, one animal shelter sufficed for all three Southern Maryland counties, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s.     What was good enough then might not work anymore for a growth region that’s gone from rural to suburban. This month, commissioners from all three counties joined a public hearing about needed renovations at the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville and future options.     What to do about lack of air-conditioning in the...
Pride of Baltimore II, Maryland’s ambassador under sail, has found a pot of gold nearer than the end of the rainbow.     Seizing on the replica 1812-era clipper ship’s power to promote economic development, Gov. Larry Hogan has promised $1.5 million, spread over three years to Pride of Baltimore Inc., the nonprofit that owns and operates the tall ship. The money will send Pride traveling around the country and to other nations.     “We are...

That’s to be feared when work stops on an oyster reef

In a Bay of 700,000 acres, why make a big deal about eight acres?     Could it be because those eight acres are the slippery slope on which restoration of Crassostrea virginica could lose its footing?     With Chesapeake Country under blizzard watch, you can understand why the slippery slope is a dreaded place.     Less understandable is what’s going on at the muddy bottom of the Eastern Shore’s Tred Avon River.     ...

Bird watching, fishing and hunting are all in season

Late January can be a great time for outdoor lovers, including bird watchers and waterfowl hunters. The arrival of colder weather has encouraged migrating waterfowl to finally head our way along the Atlantic Flyway. The Ches­apeake and its tributaries are ideal resting and feeding areas where these birds will linger, at least until additional foul weather convinces them to continue to warmer climes. Some will eventually travel as far as Mexico.     Now’s the time to...

Give them light, but go easy on water and fertilizer

In winter’s short daylight hours and cooler temperatures, houseplants require less watering and fertilizing. But they don’t want to be neglected. In winter and early spring, give plants as much light as possible. Even placing them near a lit lamp during evening hours will help considerably in keeping good health. Incandescent bulbs consume more energy, but because they emit red light waves that can be absorbed by the chlorophyll in the leaves, they are better for plants...

The Great Winter Circle beckons

The cold crisp air that might otherwise keep you inside provides some of the clearest and darkest skies of the year, so even with this week’s bright moon, some major stars and constellations stand out against its glare.     Sunset Thursday finds the near-full moon high in the east, between Betelgeuse, the shoulder of Orion, below, and the twins of Gemini, Pollux and Castor, above. From these two stars wends the stars the Great Winter Circle, more aptly called the Great...

Take the bus instead of riding with this comedy

Rookie cop Ben (Kevin Hart: Get Hard) is still hoping to prove himself to his future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube: The Book of Life), one of Atlanta’s toughest cops. Ben’s urgency to insert himself in James’ cases typically ends in gunfire.     When a mission ends in disaster, James has one chance to salvage his drug case: travel to Miami to apprehend a hacker who knows who’s supplying Atlanta’s dealers. James prefers to work alone, but he...

National Aquarium adds baby loggerhead to its family

A loggerhead turtle hatchling from North Carolina is now living the good life at the National Aquarium, free from the dangers facing the threatened species.     While loggerheads are less likely to be hunted for their meat or shells than other sea turtles, they are seriously threatened by bycatch — the accidental capture of marine animals in fishing gear.     This new addition joined the Maryland Mountains to the Sea exhibit last month thanks to a...

“We are building our future labor force here”

Senior year means dreams of the future. College, jobs, a chance to explore the world.     Seniors in the STEM program at South River High School in Edgewater along with students at Center for Applied Technology South have taken their final year and turned it into a project of, well, tiny proportions.     Sally Albright and Jake Mondoro are students in Michael Bartek’s Green Architecture and Sustainable Design class at SRHS. Think of them as the Tiny House...

Your Primer to the Maryland General Assembly

It’s worth your while to follow the action Who do you follow? The Redskins? The Terps? The Maryland General Assembly?     I bet I know the answer.     Yet between now and April 11, the Maryland General Assembly will decide how to spend billions of your money.     They’ll also be making decisions that shape your life. The air we breathe, the earth that supports us, the waters that flow around us, the food we eat, the schools that teach...