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You can do a lot of terrible things, but don’t kill a man’s dog

John Wick (Keanu Reeves: 47 Ronin) is hanging on by a thread. Numbed by the death of his wife, he goes through his daily routine on autopilot. Anticipating her husband’s reaction to her demise, Wick’s wife planned a companion for his recovery: a beagle puppy named Daisy.     As Wick warms to the pup, a trio of Russian gangsters warms to his tricked-out Mustang. They break into his house, beat him senseless, kill poor Daisy and abscond with the car.   ...

Before you vote them in, read their words on the Bay
 

How do you use the Bay, and what will you do to keep this great resource alive and well? District 27 State Senate Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D–Chesapeake Beach) Lawyer; lawmaker since 1971, all but four years in the Senate with a record 27 years as its president, making him Maryland’s most powerful lawmaker, apparently immune to Calvert’s current Republican leaning.     A healthy Bay is critical to our quality of life. We must prioritize our efforts to reduce...

8th-grader’s plan wins statewide peace writing contest

“I hear a buzz. … It’s a group text but all the numbers are blocked. It reads check out this geek, and the picture connected to it is of my best friend Sarah.”     Those words, and the thousand following, won Central Middle School’s Jenna O’Connell first prize in this year’s Fred B. Benjamin Peace Writing Contest for Middle Schoolers.     Sarah is author O’Connell’s creative response to the cruelty of cyber-...

What to do when skunks move into the neighborhood

We’re a little worried about our new neighbors. They’re a well-dressed couple, but their reputation precedes them — malodorously.     Skunks are more often smelled than seen. Now that we’re seeing them, can smelling them be far behind?     Not necessarily, according to Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It costs a skunk a lot of energy to spray a load of musk at you or your dog. That’s energy they’d rather preserve,...

Why your vote matters

To a lot of us, Election Day means no more than Push-the-Peanut Day.     A record low of 21 percent of Marylanders voted in June’s Primary Election. General Elections about double that percent.     That indifference I don’t quite get, for I love to vote. Election Day is as patriotic a date to me as the Fourth of July. True, punching my ballot, even for the candidates I most believe in, isn’t as much fun as parades and fireworks. But I feel...

The catching is still good if you can stick with the search

We were almost back home when the fish hit.     Gulls wheeling about and feeding are the single best indicator of rockfish surface action. Having seen not a single bird — much less any stripers — for more than three hours, we were packing this trip in.     Fishing farther south or north was out of the question, for the wind was kicking up high, wet whitecaps in both directions.     In a last desperate stop before the marina, we trolled...

From pot to rooting medium to placement, these plants have ­special needs

Orchids are becoming one of the most popular potted plants. They have the advantage of long-lasting flowers and very attractive leaves. However, after they have flowered, they are often neglected and only watered on inspiration.     Orchids are epiphyte, meaning that they obtain most of their moisture from the air through root-like structures. In nature, they live in tropical forests, growing on trunks and branches of trees. The terrestrial forms of orchids, most commonly...

Even eclipsed, this star blinds

If you didn’t already know about the partial solar eclipse just before sunset Thursday, you’re not likely to have solar glasses at the ready. Do not look at the eclipsed sun for even a moment as it can cause lasting eye damage or blindness. But you can still watch safely with little preparation.     Try projecting the image through binoculars. Cover one lens and aim the other at the sun, pointing the eyepiece toward the floor or a piece of paper until the sun’s...

Hearts beat in time with the building suspense

Twin Beach Players’ Halloween season production of the eternally terrifying Legend of Sleepy Hollow took seven months in the making — from spooky sound effects to thick fog and period costumes to uniformly spot-on acting.     Eerie sound effects help transform a gymnasium into the town and forest of Sleepy Hollow, where I edged forward on my seat as suspense built to the hair-raising climax.     Washington Irving gave us this story now embedded in...

Violence and horror make a surprisingly beautiful war story

Working in a tank is a special kind of hell. For five men the cramped chamber of a motorized cannon is their home, their battlefield and, often, their coffin. With limited visibility, thin armor and light firepower, Sherman tanks were often easy targets, especially against the superior German Tigers.     The crew of the Fury has so far beaten the odds. Led by Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt: The Counselor), the team has survived combat in Africa, France and Germany...