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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

Bring the whole flock to this family comedy

Shaun (voiced by Justin Fletcher: Gigglebiz) is a sheep on the edge. Every day, it’s the same old routine: Rise at dawn, greet the farmer, head to pasture, eat, head home. The only excitement is shearing day, when the pigs enjoy mocking Shaun and his flock.     Though he loves the farmer, Shaun needs a break. He conspires to get rid of the farmer and their loyal sheepdog Bitzer for a day. The plan works beautifully — until it doesn’t.     A...

Just how rare are two full moons in one month?

The full moon lights up the night Friday, the second full moon of the month, a Blue Moon.     The history of the phrase Blue Moon dates back several hundred years, but the meaning has evolved. As far back as the 16th century, it was an expression of absurdity. I’ll believe that when the moon is blue would have the same effect as saying I’ll believe that when hell freezes over.     Atmospheric conditions can affect the color of the moon. Volcanic...

Hiking the Appalachian Trail prepared him for his next journey as a Navy SEAL

Evan Metz’s awakening came on the Appalachian Trail.     To be exact, 125 awakenings. One each morning as he hiked the trail in the 41⁄2 months after his 2014 graduation from Calvert High School. Each morning and every mile brought the 19-year-old closer to embodying the values he sought to reach his goal of becoming a Navy SEAL.     With his Navy ship-out postponed, Metz had chaffed. To pass the months, family friend Steven Vilsack challenged Metz to...

World’s biggest crab feast August 7

Thanks to hard work and hungry stomachs, the Annapolis Rotary Club’s 2014 crab-cracking shared $62,000 among 29 local non-profits.     With this year’s 70th annual crab feast coming up Friday, Aug. 7, you can prepare to eat all the crabs you desire in good conscience, anticipating the good works to come from your good appetite.     Crabs are all No. 1 males, but this year’s low catch in the Chesapeake means most of the crabs will be imported...

Help Bailey find his way home

Oh where, oh where has this giant dog gone? Oh where, oh where can he be?     Five-year-old Bailey, a 120-plus-pound all white Great Pyrenees, ought to be hard to lose. But in the month since Bailey wandered away from his West River home, owners Janet and Bennett Crandell have found not a clue to his whereabouts.     “People from Edgewater to Waldorf are saying, I could swear that I’d seen that dog,” Janet Crandell says. “But the sightings...

Water quality up to D+

Slight improvement with a long way to go to in water quality. That’s the news in the just-released 2014 West/Rhode Rivers report card.     The annual report, funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, once again flags the rivers’ health with a D+. Water clarity, dissolved oxygen and nutrient levels were all slightly better or the same as last year’s. But the rivers are still failing in restoring underwater grasses.     Riverkeeper Jeff Holland notes...

See the world according to young artists

“Write plays that matter,” playwright Terrence McNally admonishes. “Raise the stakes. Shout, yell, holler, but make yourself heard. … Speak from the heart about the things that matter most.” This sage advice for aspiring dramatists comes from one of the best contemporary American playwrights.     For a decade, Twin Beach Players has led kids in following McNally’s advice. The Kid’s Playwriting Festival is a yearly spring competition of...

It doesn’t need to be the Appalachian Trail to push you forward

Have you had your summer adventure yet?         Kids are going to camp, families to the beach, couples on cruises, boaters daring the Great Loop, RVers traveling the highways, sisters reuniting for long road trips, roamers climbing mountains, paddlers kayaking unfamiliar passages, sightseers wandering ­exotic cities …     I was pretty impressed with 19-year-old Calvert Countian Evan Metz’s 41⁄2-month-long 2,189.2-mile hike...

Colonial Players awards $1,000 to 2015 contest winner Mark Costello

Over 67 years, The Colonial Players of Annapolis has made its reputation by producing top-quality plays and musicals like The Liar, which earned the British Embassy’s 2015 Ruby Griffith Award as the best overall community theater production in the Washington-Baltimore area.     The all-volunteer company also encourages new works. Since 1973 it has sponsored a biennial Promising Playwright competition. 2015’s winner was in the spotlight last weekend.   ...

Slow speed ahead

The honchos of the Chesapeake region met last week to decide if the Bay is still worth saving.     The good news is that the heads of state and policy in the Chesapeake watershed reaffirmed the commitment made by their predecessors in 1983 to restore the Bay.     Meeting at the National Arboretum last week as the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council were Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, sitting in for Gov. Larry Hogan, then in...