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Still dazzling after 35 years

A lot of ego sparks the famous boat parade on Ego Alley

The Messiah can’t be sung just once

They’re the decorations on Riverdale Baptist Church’s Living Christmas Tree

Create your holiday kingdom for the Greater Annapolis Lego Open

New loggerhead hatchling joins National Aquarium

Santa down the chimney, pests at the door

To give Santa a friendly welcome, have your chimney swept before he slides down on Christmas Eve.     Other seasonal visitors to your home are likely to evoke less hospitable greetings. For as the chill comes on, creatures come in. Mice, for example. And the creatures that like to eat mice.     There’s not much you can do to keep out a determined mouse. Mice can squeeze through the smallest of openings, gaps you never imagined and will likely never find....

Spoiler alert: Don’t let the kids read this

Santa Claus is coming to town. Love him or hate him, he’s a fact.     You’ll see him everywhere in the weeks ahead. If you shop at Westfield Annapolis Mall, you’ve been seeing him since the day after Veteran’s Day. With this issue, we acknowledge his inevitability. And we take a closer look at the man behind the snowy white beard.     Santa is a man of many faces, writer Diana Dinsick tells us in this week’s feature story. Over many...

Venison is benison to area food banks

If you’re a hunter, Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving can’t hold a candle to the next day, Buck Fever Saturday.     As hunters prepare for their favorite time of year, one Maryland organization takes advantage of the frenzy to put food on the table of hungry families. Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry helps hunters donate their harvested deer to area food banks.     “The No. 1 need of all food banks is high quality meat, and we...

Give a little, get a lot

The vegetable gardening season does not end with the first killing frost. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet corn, snap beans and lettuce may have been killed by the first frost. But if you are an avid gardener, kale, collards, peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and Brussels sprouts should still be growing.     If you planted Brussels sprouts in late July or early August, you should be cutting off the tops of the plants now to force the sprouts along the stems to...

See this charming film about a girl who dares

Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho in her screen debut) was born to greatness. Beloved by all, she will be her people’s next chief. She returns their affection and promised to become an excellent leader.     Still, she has a secret love: the ocean.     More than anything, she wants to take a boat and explore the vast expanses of water that surround her island.     But the ocean is forbidden. Not even fishermen are allowed beyond the...

I couldn’t cure anyone, but I hoped my hair would give hope

I have a lot of hair. Never as long Rapunzel’s, but my hair has grown to my bellybutton. As a newborn baby, I had a head full of thick hair. This fact is recorded in family photos. Growing up, I loved having long flowing hair. It was pretty, easy to make into a fake beard to stroke as I pondered life’s difficult questions (Why wasn’t I given Gushers in my lunch? Could I get Shaffer to share his Gushers? Do I really need to know how to multiply to leave elementary school?)....

Give, and good comes back to you

It’s the season of giving, when our grateful hearts yearn to reach out to help one another. Yet the number of Americans volunteering annually is declining, leaving non-profit organizations scrambling to meet the needs of their communities.     How can you turn your gratitude into action? Join the ranks of the 6,000 Anne Arundel Countians registered as potential volunteers with the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center.     The Anne Arundel County Volunteer...

Memory is a timeless place

The most important story in the world is one you know best: your own.     Lifelong Annapolitan Ralph Crosby tells his in Memoirs of a Main Street Boy.     “As I started thinking about my grandchildren and the story I might tell them, two things came to mind, two things I knew better than anything else: my own life experiences and my city, Annapolis,” the 82-year-old told me. “Wouldn’t it be great to pass on how the city’s unique...

DNR considers protections from bowfishers

Like osprey, cownose rays have abandoned Chesapeake Country for warmer climates. But they’ll be back late spring, finning through our waters to eat, mate and give birth. Baby rays are born, not hatched like their marine cousins, the skates.     Does their proliferation endanger the recovery of our native oyster, both in the wild and in aquaculture operations?     That’s been their rep in recent years, for favorite ray foods are oysters and clams....

Coyotes yes, bears no

The region is home to many types of animals, but not many large predators. Historically, bobcats, cougars, bears and wolves lived in Chesapeake Country.     Coyotes are newcomers. The western species wasn’t seen in Maryland until 1972. Since then, they’ve expanded their territory to all Maryland counties. They’ve thrived in part because they don’t face much competition from other predators as we have no more of similar size.     “The...