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Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

You’ll have to be as high as Mike to enjoy this stoner comedy

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

Harriet Tubman now conducting tours

History is a bigger hall nowadays, with room at the table for more people than the old white guys who used to rule there. So a good story for any week of the year is the new prominence coming to Harriet Tubman as a hero of Maryland, New York and our nation.     Harriet Tubman, a contemporary of Abe Lincoln, escaped slavery only to return home, to Dorchester County, to conduct many more enslaved people along the Underground Railroad she had followed to freedom.   ...

On February 28, 1994, my granddaughter was born six weeks premature in Anne Arundel Medical Center. Katie weighed less than five pounds and had a mild case of jaundice. Because she was such a preemie, for four weeks they kept her in the hospital, where she was initially connected to several devices. I credit the nurses and staff at the hospital for their excellent skills and care in ensuring that she survived those early weeks.     I visited Katie so frequently that the nurses...

For years I have traveled throughout Maryland and seen the Maryland State Flag displayed improperly at private residences, on boats, at restaurants, fire departments, government buildings and even the Annapolis Visitors Center. Now that Under Armour has popularized the Maryland colors with their sports clothing it seems to be everywhere. So let’s do the right thing and fly the Maryland State Flag correctly.     Briefly, the flag consists of two heraldic emblems. The black...

One man is the difference between life and death for creatures great and small

Deep in the maze of Chesapeake Ranch Estates, St. Francis of Bay Country gives sanctuary and modern medicine to the creatures of our wild. From tiny to the mighty, all are welcome — within the guidelines of federal and state agencies and six permits that control the work of Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center.     “My main thing is that every life form has a right to live,” says Ron Wexler, whose lifelong calling is giving “the helping hand that makes the...

Oh, the creatures we’ve seen

You find them sitting atop shelves at libraries, inside toy chests and in the hands of parents turning well-worn pages in a nighttime ritual of reading the rhymes, words and wisdom of Dr. Seuss and his unforgettable characters.     From 1928 until his death in 1990, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated 60-plus books for children and adults as Dr. Seuss.     The Seuss menagerie includes Horton the elephant who preaches that all people are important; the...

Learn from plantsman Bill Cullina and ­benefit Unity Gardens

This time of year gardeners feel the itch for warm weather. We’re wistful about anything green and have gardening books spread out in inconvenient places in eagerness for another season.     Scratch the itch by honing your design skills with plantsman, author and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens executive director William Cullina. He comes to Annapolis March 7 to talk about the botany of design.     Raising consciousness of things local extends to the plants...

Can our Free Will Astrologer break the late-winter blues?

Now is the winter of our discontent.         Cold February lingers like a crust of dirty snow. Pipes freeze and people shiver. Spring may be only weeks away, but getting there is a slog.     You’ve got to be real creative to talk yourself out of such a state.     Enter Rob Breszny, our Free Will Astrologer.     His get-out-of February advice for you Scorpios is so good that I’ve made an editorial decision...

There’s work overhead on the ISS

Thursday evening the waxing gibbous moon stands above the constellation Orion, appearing as if it were the hunter’s head in profile. The next night it is above and to the left of Betelgeuese, Orion’s shoulder, and the two form a nice line with Rigel, the hunter’s foot. Saturday Luna is below the twins of Gemini, Castor and Pollux, and above Procyon, the lead star in the constellation Canis Minor, the Little Dog. Off to the east is brilliant Jupiter. Sunday the moon rests in...

Put your down time to work

Don’t wait for April to begin tackle or boat preparations because by then it will be too late. This weekend if not today, check on your fishing gear. Examine your rods, inspect your reels, check out your boat equipment.     Which reels need to be re-spooled? Which need maintenance? Turn your reel handles with pressure on the spool. Are your drags smooth? Do they freeze or hesitate before they release? The drag washers may need to be cleaned and repacked with grease....

Native seeds need to cool down before sprouting

Seeds of native plants in the temperate region require chilling, called stratification, before they can germinate and grow seedlings. The acorn of the mighty oak must be stratified before it can germinate in the spring. But don’t go placing acorns in the freezer before planting.     In nature’s cycle, acorns fall to the ground in the fall, while the ground is still warm and moist. On the ground, some are covered with leaves; some are gathered and buried by squirrels...