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However you play it, natural gas export is a high stakes game

Have fun even with a sizzling sun

An American in Annapolis

Our flowering gardens are butterfly way-stations

Blue crabs at quarter-century low

Lesson 1: From the ground up

The answer’s just a phone call away

Way back when, starting in the 1930s, Americans got quick weather reports by dialing a phone number, usually ending in 1212. In the Information Age, those numbers have been giving way, replaced decade by decade by radio, television, Internet, PDAs and smart phones. The Baltimore-Annapolis area was one of the last places in the country to retain the service, with Verizon finally pulling the plug in June of 2011.     Now a new company — Telecompute Corporation...

Middle schoolers’ contest takes on cyber-bullying

Some kids are bullies, some kids are bullied; but at some point, all kids see other kids being hurt. What would you do if you learned that a friend has received cruel and intimidating messages?     An alliance of Maryland peace groups is sponsoring a writing contest to learn what actions middle school students would take to help a kid being bullied. All seventh and eighth graders in Maryland are encouraged to explain how they’d “work with other students to develop a...

I went 1,000 miles for this catch

By the time I got the 20-pound-class rod out of its holder, our mate was urging me to reel and reel fast. A fish had just taken a live herring bait, throwing lots of slack into the line. Winding madly, I eventually felt some tension. When the line came tight, I set the hook hard. That might have been a mistake.     My rod jerked down, and the spool blurred as something strong tore out line against a firmly set drag. The centrifugal force created by the whirling spool threw out a...

Meet Helen Tawes and Dawn Lindsay

History months — whether February for Black History or March for Women’s History — strike me as being as much about the march into the future as the march from the past.     That’s my excuse for commemorating Women’s History Month in our pages as March 2014 marches into history.     I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to relate to the people of the here and now than people in the past. The great thing about my job is...

Add soil-testing to your spring chores

High winds have cluttered lawns and gardens with branches and debris. Rake thoroughly to remove anything that might be propelled into the air by a fast-spinning lawnmower blade. Don’t add yourself, your pets or your windows to the statistics of lawnmower injuries.     While you have the lawnmower in operation, raise its deck to four inches and push it through the flower garden. This is a great way of pruning the top of the perennials and annuals and pulverizing them into...

A delightfully demented tale of murder, theft and the service industry

As the concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes: The Invisible Woman) believes in offering his guests the best service. In the case of wealthy older women, Gustave’s services include wine, candlelight dinners and himself. The women get a boost in confidence; Gustave gets cash and returning customers.     Among the hotel staff, Gustave is a legend. Suave, mysterious and unflappable, he runs the hotel with an uncompromising commitment to its patrons....

Countless specks form the Zodiacal Light

The waning crescent moon ends the week low in the southeast before dawn. Sunday marks the new moon, the second in March. But it’s not gone long, reappearing as a thin sliver above the western horizon at sunset on the 31st.     With the moon out of sight much of the night, this week provides one of the best chances to see the zodiacal light, a hazy glow that extends like a cone from the western horizon pointing heavenward also called false dawn. It appears an hour or two...

In a three-day Maryland Day Celebration, you can loop back 380 years.

This weekend, you can loop 380 years back in time without breaking stride in history’s forward march.         March 24 is the birthday of Maryland’s modern history. That European encounter opened the door to all of us, native inhabitants excepted.     On that early spring day in 1634, voyagers from the ships the Ark and the Dove prayed on a Potomac River island, thanking God for surviving their long voyage, coming to land safely and...

If it’s right, the EPA needs to hear from us

This week we celebrate Maryland Day.         It’s a great thing to live in a state that knows its past and keeps it alive in legend, song, story and opportunity.     Our feature story, Time Out from the March of Time, guides you to dozens of ways to experience segments of Maryland’s 380-year history, right in the places where history lives on.     We’re also a state that puts great thought into our future. Smart...

Or two ... Or three.

The single best general-purpose fishing rod for Chesapeake perch is a six-foot-six-inch medium-power, medium-light-action spinning rod rated to cast one-eighth to one-half ounces of weight. Arm that with a light, good-quality spin reel that can carry approximately 100 to 125 yards of six-pound-test monofilament or an equal amount of eight- to 12-pound braid. That’s a great perch stick.     This outfit can easily cast lip-hooked minnows or grass shrimp on a small shad dart...