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Our best family night at the theater — ever

Not all Christmas trees are equal

He has many faces; here you’ll see some

Where will he be on Christmas Eve?

Spoiler alert: Don’t let the kids read this

Venison is benison to area food banks

Beekeepers political activism rewarded

Buzzing through the halls of the Maryland Statehouse during the 2016 legislative session were some distinctive lobbyists: beekeepers, dressed in full regalia, advocating for a Maryland ban on home use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.     Now, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters is honoring the beekeepers for their role in Maryland’s passage of the Pollinator Protection Act, the first law of its kind in the nation. At an awards dinner on October 13, the...

New plates replace War of 1812

Have you noticed? Maryland is showing a new face to the driving world.     The Maryland Proud license plate, on the roads since September 26, has shoved the bicentennial War of 1812 plate to the curb. There’s still a flag, but Maryland’s heraldic black and yellow, red and white replace the Stars and stripes. We also lose, with few regrets, the industrial-looking structures that to all the world looked more like a prison than Fort McHenry.     Not that...

It’s official; We have a new seal

Steve Schuh moved into the executive’s office in December of 2014, determined to change the image of Anne Arundel County. Now he’s done it.     He’s redesigned the official Anne Arundel County seal. The problem, said Schuh, was that over the years, the design approved in the County Code has evolved into multiple versions.     With historically accurate elements and a high-resolution vector image that facilitates clear and vibrant reproduction,...
It’s time to celebrate a huge success in oyster reef restoration efforts. Five years after targeting Harris Creek as the first of three oyster sanctuaries, a new reef is thriving thanks to $27.5 million in funding from federal and state agencies and other partners to pay for reef substrate, oyster spat and the planting of the oysters.     That’s the news from Stephanie Westby, who serves as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s coordinator for...

A little cause for hope and a lot of good eating

Oysters have been around a long time, in the vicinity of 500 million years.     Arriving somehow in the Chesapeake, which came into being only 35 million years ago, oysters made themselves at home. In the prehistoric broth, temperatures were moderate, oxygen abundant and food plentiful for the filter-feeders. In synergism over the eons, thriving oysters both kept the Bay clean and made welcoming reef homes for many species seeking shelter and prey. For immobile creatures,...

Twin Beach Players’ talented ensemble delivers a Vaudevillian ­circus of musical theater

“Musical comedies aren’t written, they are rewritten,” declares Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.     Just so, writers Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart of movie and television fame readapted a collection of Greek-themed works already adapted by the Roman playwright Plautus around the turn of the second century, B.C.     Something familiar, Sondheim writes in the show’s best-...

Water now or expect poor fall color — and a killing winter

This year’s dry late summer and early fall will put a damper on foliage colors. Don’t expect a long, lingering colorful fall. Many trees are already dropping their leaves due to the drought conditions we are experiencing. There is even premature coloration in the foliage of red maple, dogwoods and sweet gum.     Much of the early leaf drop can be attributed to the buckets of rain we had during the early parts of summer when trees generated an abundance of growth....

When the rockfish wanted to wrangle, I was more than ready

Trepidation is the condition of being uncertain of a situation’s outcome to the point of anxiety. Trepidation was also an apt description of my mental state as I prepped my casting rod and checked the three-quarter-ounce surface popper I had chosen to begin my quest.     I had just lowered my skiff’s Power Pole anchor onto the far end of a sunken rock jetty that ran for a good 70 yards from a boulder-encrusted shoreline. A few years ago this time of year, I had many...

A number-cruncher proves he can do more than balance the mob’s books

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck: Suicide Squad), a math genius with poor social skills and the ability to fire a .50-caliber round through a melon from a mile away,  becomes the underworld’s top accountant. He works with cartels, the mafia, gunrunners and terrorists — whoever will pay his price. He comes in, looks at the books, finds any missing money and leaves.     It’s a good system until one client is unhappy with what Christian discovers. Now the target...

Ask around when looking for service

I have to admit it: I’m very lucky. My husband is a talented Maryland Home Improvement Commission licensed and insured contractor, so I know a guy I can trust when my home needs renovation or repair. Of course I may be partial.     We’re not all so lucky, and we’ve all heard horror stories about less than reputable contractors who do shoddy work, don’t complete work they’ve been paid to do or charge too much for a job. In the worst cases, these...