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Some are fighting for survival; other have given up the ghost

      This is a tough year on trees.          “We are seeing a lot of health issues in our trees, particularly since this is the first really dry spell in about three years,” says Anne Hairston-Strang, associate director at the Maryland Forest Service.

Join the Green Hearts Coats and Cans Drive

     Brian Boru Pub asks your help in feeding and clothing our needy neighbors this winter. Donate to the Irish restaurant’s Green Hearts Coats and Cans Drive running through December 24.          Brian Boru in Severna Park welcomes your donations of new or gently used coats as well as non-perishables and canned goods.          “We start collecting in October, when people are cleaning out their closets,” says Heather Saffield, general manager of Brian Boru.

Family turns passion into businsess

      The Bowen family is making a career out of their passion for creating bath, body and home products.          For Lance Bowen and daughter Ella, that’s experimenting with scented items.          “They created soaps, candles, lotions, body wash, lip scrubs, salt and sugar scrubs and more,” says wife and mother Danielle Bowen.

Calvert Library extends your travel horizons

      Libraries have long booked our travels in time and space. Now you can not only check out books about dream destinations and browse the Mango Languages learning app. You can also get your passport to travel the world at Calvert Library in Prince Frederick. The library is now a State Department-approved passport acceptance facility.

Recycle your crayons, highlighters and markers

      The kids went back to school with fresh supplies. At home, you’ve got rising mountains of leftover markers, highlighters and crayons.          Cathy Vendryes of Shady Side is collecting those broken bits to send to The Crayon Initiative to be turned into new ones. The new crayons will be put into the hands of children at schools, hospitals, arts programs and other child-focused organizations.
It may be the most physical mind game you’ve never played
     You’ve played croquet; we all have. At family picnics, Uncle Henry brought out the croquet set. Inside its tall box were colorful balls, matching mallets and wire hoops you bent trying to stick into the ground in your backyard. You’d hit your yellow ball and watch it bump around rolling willy-nilly wherever it wanted through the crabgrass, finally stopping until Uncle Henry’s red ball hit yours. Then he placed his foot on his ball to whack yours across the street into the neighbor’s azaleas.

Action is needed to rescue our iconic species

     A handful of vehicles, mostly pickup trucks and SUVs, lined up behind a small steel gate on a warm summer morning. Inside them was the regular 7:30am crowd, striped-bass fishermen patiently waiting for the Thomas Point ranger to arrive to give them access to one of the Bay’s most sought-after fish.     In opening the gate, the ranger is allowing the men their daily shot at a species that can often grow upward of 50 pounds and offers some delicious eating. Excitement charges the air.
Your chance to discover treasure
      Chesapeake Country is once again the setting for a picking pair living out dream jobs. This time, you can be part of the treasure hunt. Your valuables take center stage on Sunday, Sept. 15, when Appraisal Roadshow comes to Owings. Todd Peenstra and Steve Gouterman are on hand to educate you on the worth of your item and regale you with its history.

Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest supplies 400 kids

         It takes good school supplies to get the school year off to a good start. To make sure that a few hundred kids have exactly what they need, Chesapeake neighbors have joined forces.             In Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest Saturday, August 24, backpacks brimming with school supplies will be handed out.

Must we eat our way out of this problem?

     Stopping at Bob Evans Seafood in Shady Side, Lou Hyde reports he routinely finds blue catfish in his 240 crab pots in Herring Bay. Some of the horned invaders are so fat that he tears up his pots cutting them loose.       Mick Blackistone, fishmonger, worries that they’re eating juvenile crabs.