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Highway construction is a long and bumpy road

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

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...

Beauty is in a guy’s eye

High school is a lot like the Occupy Wall Street movement: Only one percent of the student body is satisfied with their looks and lives. For the other 99 percent, it’s a four-year slog toward graduation.     Bianca (Mae Whitman: Parenthood) is a senior who thinks she’s part of the one percent. Best friends since childhood with beautiful, smart and kind Jess (Skyler Samuels: American Horror Story) and Casey (Bianca A. Santos: Happy Land), Bianca takes it for granted...

The road was long and never smooth for Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman made history as an abolitionist, as the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War and as a suffragist. Now, over 100 years after her death, she is making history again.     In December 2014, Congress voted to establish the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. It is the first national park honoring an African American woman.     Araminta Harriet Ross, later to be known as Harriet Tubman, hails from Dorchester...

After 9 years, Coast Guard mascot Rosie gets First Class promotion

At a Coast Guard station, where the crew is often separated from friends and family, the extra boost provided by a dog goes a long way. About half of all Coast Guard stations has a mascot dog.     “It’s about morale” says fireman Justin Singleton, who’s been at Coast Guard Station Annapolis for a year. “She keeps us in good spirits.”     Rosie, a black Lab, had served as station mascot for nine years without a promotion. All...

Calvert Marine Museum lures big names to Solomons

It’s getting closer. The warm nights of spring and summer are just around the corner with Calvert Marine Museum’s announcement of its first two outdoor concerts.     Fast forward to Saturday, May 23, when Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Heart warm up the Waterside Pavilion. Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson have wooed fans and topped charts since the 1970s with hits like Barracuda, These Dreams and 2012’s Red Velvet Car. Tickets go on sale March 24.  ...

For Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, navigators had to break the 4,500-nautical-mile run into manageable pieces

Before leaving the dock, Brunel navigator Andrew Cape christened the 4,642-mile third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China, the “s••••y leg.”     “We will encounter a lot of fishing boats,” he wrote. “Everywhere along the coast of India, Vietnam and Malaysia there are fishing nets and lines in which we can become snared.”     A Volvo navigator is a grumbling gremlin lashed to a cramped...

Mars and Venus together at dusk

An ever-so-thin sliver of moon appears low in the west at evening twilight Thursday briefly before sinking beneath the horizon. The Evening Star Venus blazes above and to the moon’s left, with much fainter Mars just above Venus.     Sunset Friday finds the two-day-old crescent moon within two degrees of Venus and Mars, all so close they easily fit within the eyepiece of binoculars and modest backyard telescopes.     Come Saturday evening, the moon is...

It’s the most important link between you and your fish

Working at sports stores has given me a long-term look at a critical and often overlooked item of tackle: monofilament fishing line. Taking your line for granted can lead to very unfortunate results.     Monofilament fishing line was developed more than 75 years ago by DuPont Chemical Company as a spin-off of nylon, the first synthetic plastic. Those early efforts produced stiff, springy lines that had too much memory, tangled easily and were brittle.     Braided...

Some bloom only in short days; ­others, only in long days

Did you know that in many plants, flowering — and bulbing — is based on the number of hours of exposure to light?     This fact of plant biology explains many mysteries. Understand it, and you’ll be a smarter and more successful gardener.     If you expose a chrysanthemum or poinsettia to more than 11 hours of light each day, it will never flower. The triggering mechanism that forces these species into flowering is exposure to no more than 10...

These spies could use some sensitivity training

There aren’t many gentlemen in Eggsy’s world (Taron Egerton: The Smoke). His stepfather is an abusive criminal, his friends are petty thieves and his mother refuses to let him leave home. When a stolen car and a high-speed chase through London land Eggsy behind bars, the outlook is bleak, until Harry Hart (Colin Firth: Before I Go to Sleep) shows up.     Hart has the pull to get Eggsy sprung and charges his dropped. Hart, it seems, has always felt the need to repay...