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Into gifts that can change lives

Six small ways Chesapeake neighbors are making a better world 

Play Santa in ways that matter

How to sing Messiah for St. James’ sing-along

Coming our way from Kootenai National Forest, Montana

You can catch a fish, but take care not to catch hypothermia

Or weep when you see who you’ve hired

It’s downright terrifying how much control we give away on Election Day. Scarier still is how few of us bother with these decisions.  What we’re really doing when we go out to vote is hiring people for a job with vast responsibility over our public and private lives. Everybody we hire to work for us in both county boards and councils and the Maryland General Assembly will be deciding how to spend our money. We give our county hires huge control over how we’ll live: how...

Week 26: The End … and the Beginning

I finally I saw Junior bring a fish of his own, grasped in his claws, to the nest site. He didn’t eat it in little beak-sized pieces like his mom fed to him, but rather tore at it voraciously, ripping it into pieces too big to swallow that he then had to step on with his foot to rip into pieces small enough to get into his beak and down his throat. It appears Junior has graduated summa cum laude from Osprey U and is now on his own. At night he sits alone on the platform. His dad has...
  In the backwoods of Depression-ravaged Tennessee, grizzled hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) emerges after 40 years of solitude. Though he’s lived with only mules and dogs for company, the town rumor mill has already invented stories of Felix that range from him killing men in fights to shooting trespassing children. But Felix doesn’t want to kill. He wants to party. He wants to throw himself a funeral, while he’s still alive, inviting everyone in four counties to come...

A criminal family falls to shambles around the ears of a shell-shocked teen in this smart and bruising drama.

Joshua (newcomer James Frecheville) is a 17-year-old at the seam of the Melbourne underworld. When his mother died, he moved in with his uncles, a trio of criminals led by eldest Pope (Ben Mendelsohn: Knowing). It’s not a very happy place to be. Tensions simmer as an aggressive police task force puts the squeeze on the family, boiling over when a family friend is gunned down by renegade cops. Pope declares vendetta, and Joshua is drawn into the thick of violent grudge. Now the teen’...

There’s more to Shaula and Lesath than appears at first glance

Soon after sunset on September 10th and 11th, the nascent crescent moon joins Venus low in the west. These two are the first two lights to appear after sunset, around 7:20 Saturday, when Venus shines six degrees to the right of the moon. Sunday, the moon and Venus form a loose triangle with the dim star Zubenelgenubi in the constellation Libra. Monday, the waxing crescent moon shines just a few degrees to the west of Antares, the heart of Scorpius. A summer constellation traveling along the...

Celebrating Labor Day

Where oh where did summertime go? Even though the weather will likely remain warm for at least another month, the calendar tells us it’s the end of summer — marked by the arrival of Labor Day. The long weekend pleads for one more picnic, one more barbecue, one more nap in the hammock. Then vacation is over. Labor Day traditionally means it’s time to put away the white shoes, deflate the pool floats, pull out the marigolds and plant mums. But Labor Day wasn’t established...

A Bay Weekly conversation with the captains of Deadliest Catch, Sig Hansen and brothers Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand

For six seasons, the Discovery Channel’s reality show Deadliest Catch has followed Bering Sea crab boats on their quest to find king and opilio crab. The conditions are dangerous: Freezing temperatures adding dangerously heavy ice to over-laden boats, mountainous waves careening across the decks and heavy machinery swinging overhead. This is a job where men are men and women are nearly non-existent. The perilous profession is ranked the deadliest job in America. The show is ranked as...

Week 25: The Days of Free Food Are Numbered

I have seen no evidence of any interest by Junior in fishing. He continues to be provided sustenance by his mom and dad. He never misses meal times on the nest platform, and his parents always oblige. Spoiled? You bet. He doesn’t realize that his days of free food are numbered. The three are away all day except mealtimes, probably sitting in shady branches of nearby trees. As a result, seagulls often land on the platform looking for leftover tidbits of fish in its crevices. They figure it...

These pet insurance claims will make you check your policy

Insurance covers many members of your family, including the furry ones. The nation’s oldest pet insurance company, Veterinary Pet Insurance, rewards the most daring clients with its annual VPI Hambone Award, celebrating the most unusual claim. This is not the Darwin Awards. All pets considered for the competition have made full recoveries if not learned their lesson. The 12 most bizarre insurance claims are posted on the VPI website, where readers and pet fanciers vote for their favorite...
Dear Bay Gardener: I enjoyed your article (Aug. 19) about pruning blueberries. I have been growing blueberries since the early 1980s and have done very limited pruning. My five bearing bushes gave me 40 quarts this summer. We had to move the bushes earlier this month (had them professionally moved) because we are putting an addition on our house. Although this is not the proper time of year to transplant bushes, they appear to be doing well. I would love to watch you prune your berries in March...