Chesapeake Bay's Independent Newspaper ~ Since 1993
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Volume XVII, Issue 52 ~ December 24 - December 30, 2009

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Joining the Revolution

Local growers recognized for their blooming business

Greenstreet Gardens had innovation in its roots. What began as a poinsettia bedding nursery has blossomed after a decade into a major gardening retail center. This year Greenstreet is listed among Today’s Garden Center’s Revolutionary 100, a list of independent garden stores that strive for innovation and customer service.

Stacy and Ray Greenstreet’s business has branched into community events, eco-friendly pursuits as well as year-round retail. The garden center boasts 55 acres of greenery, including nurseries for many species. The thriving business owners have worked hard to grow in spite of the flagging economy.

“We’re taking a different approach,” Ray Greenstreet says. “While others were cutting back, we hired an operations manager and painted. We tried to invest in our company and be positive.”

Today’s Garden Center ranked Greenstreet Gardens among the Revolutionary 100 because of the business’s continued commitment to its employees and to customer service. Greenstreet encourages continuing education programs for employees; focuses on controlling overhead and labor costs — to save both business and customers cash in troubled times; and holds community events.

“The main thing we’d like to do is to thank our customers for their loyalty and support,” Greenstreet says. “It has always been our goal that our customers have fun and success in their garden.”

See Greenstreet’s revolution or pick up a plant: 8:30am-5pm daily; 8:30am-6:30pm Th @ 391 West Bay Front Rd., Lothian: 410-867-9500;

–Diana Beechener
photo by Dan Haas

Passing Comfort

Relief ship travels to Haiti via the Chesapeake

The USNS Comfort passed Thomas Point Lighthouse on the overcast morning of January 16. The 894-foot ship, based in Baltimore, was on its way to earthquake-devastated Haiti to support relief and humanitarian operations. A medical treatment facility, USNS Comfort has the mission of providing “a mobile, flexible and rapidly responsive afloat medical capability for acute medical and surgical care.”

Comfort is staffed by nearly 1,300 people and equipped with 1,000 care beds and 12 operating rooms. Four on-board distilling plants can distill 300,000 gallons drinking water from sea water each day.

This Week's
Creature Feature

Do you look like your pet?

“Some owners share an uncanny resemblance to their pets,” says Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold, whose pets include both a Himalayan cat (the breed looks like long-haired Siamese) and a Labrador retriever.

Is 10 weeks long enough for the angular, balding executive to cultivate his resemblance to either species? Possibly, but he need not bother, as all he’d get for his trouble is the resemblance.

That’s because he’s one of three judges who’ll rate and reward look-alike pairs at a May 2 festival at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

“Quiet Waters Park was the first dog park and beach in the county, and it is a fitting location for a fun event such as this that brings pets and their proud owners together,” Leopold said.

Ten weeks gives you plenty of time to improve on the ways you and your pet resemble one another. If you share your home with a greyhound, you’ll have to step up your running routine to get your flanks nice and lean. A buzz cut will help, too. How you’ll match that long, whiplike tail we’ll leave to you.

As the judging beings with photographs, you might also manipulate images, as we have here with grandchild-granddog pair Elsa Knoll and Bay Weekly’s Moe.

Six categories compete, by species and age. On the animal side, the categories are dog; cat; and other. On the human side, the categories are owners 12 years and under; and 13 years and older.

You have until April Fool’s Day to perfect the resemblance. Submit photos of your look-alike pair to

In the next month, entrants in each category will be narrowed to 10 finalists, 60 in all.

At 10am on Sunday, May 2, three judges — Leopold, Animal Welfare Council Chairwoman Wendy Cozzone and Director of Recreation and Parks Frank Marzucco — convene at the park to compare the likenesses of the finalists in each category. First, second and third places in each categories will win prizes, and two Grand Champions, one from each owner-age group, will be crowned. All finalists will receive a gift bag.

The contest is co-sponsored by the County Executive’s Office, the County’s Animal Welfare Council, Friends of Quiet Waters Park, SPCA of Annapolis, Pets on Wheels, Anne Arundel County Animal Control and many private businesses.

Mark May 2 on your calendar to see the fun — perhaps to claim your prize.

–Sandra Olivetti Martin

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