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Stories that need to be told

Agricultural program grows at Phoenix Academy

They’re out to trap cast-off ­monofilament line

From osprey to elephants, it’s must-see TV

Everyone loves watching wildlife. Taking a break to see nature in action is a wonderful change of pace when you are stuck at your computer all day. Perhaps your children want to really know what a peregrine falcon sees from way up high. Wildlife cams make it happen.     Get to know some of the cameras keeping an eye on the wilds of the Bay. It’s must-see TV. Osprey Cams     Chesapeake Conservancy, Stevens­ville: Calico Tom and Audrey have returned to the...

Demystifying that red helicopter

You don’t have to have been sobered by the movie Eye in the Sky to know that the airspace between us and the constellations is getting more traffic.     What’s up there, you wonder?     For that red-and-white helicopter you’ll see hovering above utility lines this spring, here’s the answer.     It’s BGE’s utility contractor Catalyst Aviation inspecting electric transmission rights of way in Anne Arundel County,...

Will you drive cancer patients to treatment?

If you, a friend or a loved one has battled cancer, you know that getting to and from treatment adds one more challenge. The American Cancer Society program Road to Recovery helps overcome that one. Last year, across the nation volunteer drivers used their cars to give 341,000 free rides to patients.     Will you volunteer to help provide transportation for people in the greater Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay area? Schedules are flexible, and your gift of a lift puts patients on...

Why all the dilapidated barns around Southern Maryland?

Tobacco barns were good at drying tobacco; not so good at other jobs.     Since the Colonial era, the Atlantic coast from Maryland to Georgia all the way inland to Kentucky was known for sweet tobacco. The key cash crop for generations of local farmers, it was cultivated until the early 2000s when Maryland’s Tobacco Buyout, funded through the national 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, pretty much ended tobacco farming and encouraged other crops.     ...

A successful harvest depends on the right bulbs for our hours of light

Onions are good for your health, and generally they are easy to grow. Let me give you some advice on growing them successfully.     Plant onion sets and you’ll harvest only green onions. Most sets you buy are short-day onions, which produce bulbs only when grown during the winter months with 10 daylight hours or less. Planted in the spring, as daylight hours grow longer, they produce only onion tails, your green onions.     To grow onion bulbs, you must buy...

Their clock is set to the dogwoods

My first cast met with instant success and, as my slim rod bent down, a flashing, silver missile erupted vertically in the middle of the stream, arced over, splashed down and then grayhounded across the roiling current. Hickory shad had returned.     I knew it was time earlier that morning when I saw the first signs of dogwood blooms in my front yard. With their emergence the hickories had to be on their way.     Collecting some shad darts in bright colors and...

The General Assembly adjourns; Marylanders finally get to vote

The oceanic roar of political passions in the presidential primaries perhaps deafened you to the estuarine rumble of the Maryland General Assembly.     But an energy reading of Annapolis would show a precipitous drop after April 12, as our 188 elected representatives and the lobbyists who throng them retreated after another Assembly’s end.     For 90 days starting the second Wednesday in January, the capitol throbs with the business of making laws. This...

A man cub learns the laws of the jungle in this winning family film

Fierce tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba: Zootopia), slaughters a man who sought shelter in a jungle cave. But escaping Khan’s deadly eye, a toddler survives. The panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley: The Walk) takes pity on the pathetic man cub.     Seven years later, Mowgli (Neel Sethi in his feature debut) lives among a wolf pack while training with Bagheera in the ways of the jungle. He loves his family, but he is a failure as a wolf. He can’t run as fast or bite...

STEM program combines ­engineering and fun

Hallie Zlokovitz dips her fingers into a tub of sticky, greasy toilet ring wax and stuffs it into what looks like a film container. At the next table, Emily Ernst has pushed her sleeves up above her colorful bracelets so that she doesn’t get the wax on them. Kathryn Willhite takes sandpaper to the motors that power her Sea-3P0 model.     Wait, SEA-3P0? At first glance, the object in question appears to be little more than gold-painted PVC pipes. But once Willhite adds foam...

Rivers and creeks need floodplains to absorb and trap runoff

If you’ve ever biked or driven down Muddy Creek Road in Edgewater, you may have caught a glimpse of its namesake: a small stream called Muddy Creek, roughly half a mile south of Mill Swamp Road.     Six months ago, Muddy Creek was a wreck. Its steep banks dropped 10 feet to the streambed below, the result of decades of erosion. This spelled trouble whenever storms broke, sending water rushing through the channel in a raging torrent of sediment and pollution headed straight...