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Ten ways to help our planet and your purse

Help give their migration a future

21 years into the culture of sustainable, new Bay times

It’s a shame to let April end with no pickerel

Here’s the right way to till the garden

Bright planets and shooting stars dazzle this week

Olde Severna Park turns a brighter shade of green

  When heavy rain falls from the sky, a deluge of water floods into Chesapeake Bay, carrying anything it soaks up on the way. In Olde Severna Park, neighbors are strategizing to keep their lawn fertilizers, nitrogen and chemicals out of the Bay. “We’re starting a rain garden as part of a stormwater project,” says Ann Jackson, who’s lived in Olde Severna Park for 16 years and does her homework on how to keep her charming, leafy waterside community Bay-friendly....

How One Bayside Community Tries to Balance Green Value with Coastal Preservation in the 21st Century

  Every Chesapeake neighborhood has its own way of looking at the water. Each is just as unique in how it lives with the Bay and its tributaries. One way or another, communities along about a third of Maryland’s 4,360 miles of tidal shoreline must manage erosion to keep their waterfronts. At the extreme, in neighborhoods on Calvert County’s prehistoric clay cliffs, erosion brings homes ever closer to the edge. Yet holding back the tide means destroying the habitat of the...

But fireblight will leave them looking burnt

  As we drove by a row of Bradford pear trees that had small clumps of black leaves clinging to the stems, my friend worried that the tree was dying. Similar black leaves on any pear, apple, crabapple or hawthorn don’t forecast death. They do show that the tree has been infected by a bacteria that causes a disease known as fireblight. The disease gets its name from the charred appearance of leaves and stems. This disease is caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, which becomes...

But their living memories are dying history

  The National World War II Memorial — epically situated in the memorial heart of our capital city, on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial to the west and the Washington Monument to the east — looks like it will be around for a long time.  It’s solid as a rock, built of granite and brass. It’s as basic as the elements, water and sky, that join with manmade structures in defining its reach. But the animating force of this great plaza survives now in...
  Look around your home. Do you see fine feline or canine hairs coating the couch, the floor or your clothes? Before you break out the lint roller, consider that all that excess animal hair in your living room could be floating on the Gulf of Mexico, absorbing harmful oil. Hair — from humans and animals — is woven or stuffed into sponge-like mats and booms that are flung onto the oil spill. The hairy barriers are laid near shores and marshes, helping to protect these fragile...

Is there a message in the Naval Academy’s challenge to the traditional rite of passage?

  History was made this week at the U.S. Naval Academy for the 71st and perhaps final year when the Plebe class scaled Herndon, a diminutive obelisk, to exchange a Plebe Dixie Cup cap for a midshipman’s combo cover. Formerly the final rite of passage earning Fourth Class midshipmen the “carry-on” privileges — and freedom from picayune circumscription — that upperclassmen enjoy, May 24’s feat resembled former assaults less in deed than in name. In today...

I’ve caught and eaten my first feast of crabs

  It started out as a tip from a friend. Fooling with his crab line in a distant, shallow cove, he had discovered a bumper load of crabs weeks earlier than he had ever encountered anywhere else on the Chesapeake. I wanted in on that. Experience with chasing the delectable Chesapeake blue crab had convinced me that catching enough for a good feast was probably not going to happen until mid-June. Before then, it always seemed that our state’s hallowed crustaceans had risen from their...

While binoculars help reveal distant stars and planets, our own galaxy is disappearing before our very eyes

  As the sun sets around 8:30 this week, Venus appears in the west, the brightest object visible. Note the difference between Venus and the two first-magnitude stars Castor and Pollux a few degrees above and to the left. Venus sets in the northwest around 11pm, and pretty much sticks to this schedule throughout summer. Sunset also reveals our other neighbor, Mars, high in the southwest. Mars has been inching to the east, toward the blue star Regulus of Leo the lion. The evening of Sunday...

-We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, 1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 •E-mail them to editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on-line by clicking here.

Living Shorelines Give Us the Best of Both Worlds Dear Bay Weekly: While I certainly appreciate the amount of work that the Holland Point community and Woody Young had to put into preserving their eroding shoreline, I think that Bonnie Lefkowitz leaves readers [Between a Rock and a Hard Place: May 31] with the impression that there is an inherent tension between doing the right thing by the Bay and protecting private property. A number of local communities with several miles of fetch across the...

Ed Sparks never left the land of rock and roll

  Dorothy Gale was caught up in a tornado and wound up in Oz. Ed Sparks was caught up in the winds of a changing pop scene and wound up in the Land of Music.  While Dorothy went home, Sparks is still there, following his own yellow brick road, playing, singing, songwriting, constructing instruments and making friends all over Chesapeake Country and beyond.   Born to Rock and Roll A tall man with soft white hair falling beneath his ears, a white mustache and a honeyed voice,...