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$29k helps Spay Spa and Neuter Nook keep cat — and dog — numbers down

Multiply 400 cats — as they’ll do without any assistance — and in a year you’ll get 4,000 kittens, more or less.     “It can cascade,” says Kathy Evans of Rude Ranch’s Spay Spa and Neuter Nook.     Four thousand fewer unwanted kittens in 2015 sounded like a pretty good investment to Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Spay and Neuter Advisory Board. So good that the seven animal advocates on the new board voted to...

Read the book, meet the author

Gardeners don’t need degrees in botany. But knowing a little botany — plus a bit about the history of human relationships with plants — creates a deeper gardening experience. Just ask local author Ruth Kassinger.     Kassinger takes a warm and humorous approach to the green world in her book A Garden of Marvels: The Discovery that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of the Way Plants Work. From her own adventures growing citrus at our latitude...

End-of-year deadline for ­Colonial Players Promising Playwright Competition

God created the heavens and earth, planets, stars and creatures, in seven days.     Playwrights, naturally, take longer.     So you’d better get busy if you aspire to create a play for The Colonial Players of Annapolis’ biennial Promising Playwright Contest. Entries are due by Dec. 31.     Prizes are big and requirements few — beyond the act of creation.     Plays may be one act or full length, drama or ­...

Bid to play Santa for SPCA

Christmas comes in November for the home-seeking animals of the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.         Or will, if you’ll play Santa. It’s a job you won’t regret. Accept it, and you’ll do your holiday shopping early and easy.     Through Nov. 23, the First Annual Auction for the Animals invites you to shop online for gifts for your animals and animal-loving friends. You’ll find animal-themed art, jewelry, gift baskets,...

It takes good eyes to encompass a world of wonders

Could there be more out there than meets the eye?         It may be so, just like it was impossible to predict the forces that led to this week’s wave election.     On faith or evidence, the world is full of believers in forces unseen, seldom seen and selectively seen.     Believers in God and gods live in a universe populated by alternative species. Classified with military precision, their supernatural numbers range from the...

With catches cut by 20 percent, the species could rebound in two years

You’ll hear the same story from most anyone who fishes recreationally for rockfish (aka striped bass) in Chesapeake Bay along the Atlantic Coast: There are not nearly as many fish today as there were 10 years ago.     Science agrees. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission — whose task it is to manage the striped bass population — conducted a benchmark stock assessment in 2012. It found that the total population of striped bass has fallen some 30...

Now’s the season, so do it right

Mistakes made when planting shade trees grow up to haunt you. Mistake 1: Choosing the wrong tree for the wrong place.     Research the nature and habits of the species you want to plant. Do those qualities match the place you want to plant it and the job you want it to do? Mistake 2: Planting too close to buildings, driveways, sidewalks or driveways.     Plant the tree where it will provide shade in areas desired and as a backdrop for the landscape. Avoid...

You’ll see Shakespeare at its most involving and theater at its finest

In four years of existence, Annapolis Shakespeare Company has enriched the local theater scene not just by providing a venue that focuses on the classics, but also by doing so with productions that are engaging and accessible. The Company has achieved its goal of becoming a professional company. Now, Annapolis Shakespeare Company moves from the Bowie Playhouse to its own black box Studio 111 on Chinquapin Round Road in Annapolis. The space is smaller, but the standards remain high.  ...

The lonely star swims with the fishes

Thursday’s full moon is known as the Beaver Moon or the Frosty Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise. Friday and Saturday the moon is with Taurus, the bull’s red eye Aldebaran high to the left and the Pleiades star cluster higher still. Monday night look for the moon near the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux.     Mercury is at the tail end of its best pre-dawn appearance of the year. The innermost planet rises in the east-southeast around 5:30 at week...

Michael Keaton wows in this darkly funny drama

Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton: Need for Speed) was in style about the same time as acid-wash jeans. The superstar lead of the popular Birdman film series did not fare well as a real actor. His fall was fast from blockbuster action star to bad bit parts.     Now nearly forgotten, soft in the middle and desperate to prove his relevance, Riggan has mortgaged his home and sunk his assets into bringing his favorite book to Broadway. He plans to adapt, direct and star in the...