Volume 1 Issue 7 1993

Previously inaccessible archives from 1993-1997 now coming on-line, with more each week! Note that this is working copy (uncorrected text, no photos, including covers).

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Bay Indians Battle to Prove Who They Are
The Piscataways once ruled the whole Western Shore. Now they just want the government just to admit they’re Indians

Mervin Savoy, head of the Piscataway Conoys, spends much of her time resurrecting the past. In archives, courthouses and church basements, she helps her people trace their heritage.

She’d rather be doing something else.

“Because we don’t live in teepees anymore, they don’t think we’re real Indians,” she says. “Why do we have to keep proving we’re legitimate children?”

Savoy is a founder of the Piscataway Recognition Project, which has as its mission winning for her people the status of Indian tribe at the state and federal level.

From offices in LaPlata and White Plains, the three year-old project—funded by the federal government— works at the tedious chore of tracing the roots of Piscataways (pronounced pis-CAT-aways) back to the 1700s.

But all this digging is not as difficult as dealing with bureaucracies and government lawyers whose aim, it often seems, is keeping Indians scattered and powerless. Savoy recalls the Maryland state legislator who asked her, “If you’re Indians, why aren’t you living out in Oklahoma?”

Nonetheless, the Piscataways are making headway. In May, six years after Maryland passed legislation approving a recognition process, Gov. William Donald Schaefer approved the next step. The Piscataways are preparing to make formal application, which involves presenting a detailed history of their people.

Rebecca Seib-Toup, executive director of the project, is starting to write the first volume of that history—from 1634-1790.

By fall, she hopes to have completed the second of two volumes of that history. After that, Schaefer is to assemble a 9-member commission to pass judgment on the proof. Provided that their material is accepted, the governor would issue an executive order recognizing the tribe.

Next, they must jump through more hoops at the federal level.

So far, the lineage of about 1,000 Piscataways has been traced. Maryland has an estimated 8,000 Piscataways, most of them in southern Prince Georges and Charles Counties. Often, connections are made in county records and in boxes of papers in Catholic churches.

“Most people have to keep their papers for five years; we’re expected to keep ours for 200,” remarked Savoy.

The musty, yellowed pages of the Maryland archives has yielded some of the most significant finds. For instance, it was discovered recently in Vol. 4 of the 65 Maryland archives books that Mary Kitomaqund, a Piscataway, married landowner Giles Grent in April of 1648. The Piscataways see this bit of information as crucial in many genealogies.

Why go to so much trouble? Tribal status carries with it the potential of benefits. The Education Department and several federal agencies have money set aside for Indians. It can give Indians more leverage in preventing archaeologists and others from violating unearthed Indian bones.

Government lawyers—seen by Indians as obstructionists to their cause—worry that recognition will lead obligations by the state. Authors of the 1987 state legislation laying out recognition procedures carefully wrote into the bill that recognition would not entitle Indians to claims on land or other benefits.

Indians say that the recognition itself is vastly more important than anything tangible that might come their way .

“The primary benefit is re-establishing integrity of Indian people, which fosters self-esteem,” said Seib-Toup.

Indeed, the identity of many American Indians has been elusive at times, thanks to their treatment by the United States. Between the late 1700s and 1880, the federal government wrote about 600 treaties with Indians, many involving the transfer of vast tracts of land.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs will tell you today, with a shrug of its shoulders, that most of those treaties, if not all of them, were broken. Wording in many of the treaties was similar; in return for land, the federal government vowed to protect Indians forever, “until the rivers stopped running.”

Remarked Mervin Savoy: “The Potomac may have slowed a little, but it looks to me like it’s still moving.”

Indian identity is a special problem in the East, where indigenous people have dealt longer with their European invaders. Few tribes in the East have remained in tact. Like the Piscataways, dozens are seeking recognition, a task pursued as a matter of cultural preservation.

“We have been fighting this fight for 100 years,” Savoy said. “Right now, we have no race; we’re not caucasians. We’re not blacks. We’re not Hispanics. We’re ‘other’. What is other? Why do children have to grow up being ‘other’?”

Some Piscataways find degrading the government-ordered process of seeking recognition. They vow not to get involved—part of the reason for a split in the ranks of Maryland Piscataways. Others keep plugging away.

Especially Savoy, 50, who has been chairperson of the Piscataway Conoys for 13 years. She is a throwback to the time when many Indian chiefs were women. The Conoy Indians called them wizoes 200 years ago. These days, she heads Charles County Indian Education Resources Center, which is tucked into a woods near White Plains.

After all her work, the goal of tribal status appears close—provided the state of Maryland doesn’t erect a new set of hurdles.

Savoy says that when recognition formally comes, the Indians will have a humdinger of a celebration. Tribal elders will be especially pleased at the goings-on, she says.

“Our elders are sick and tried of having to prove to these upstarts who they are,” Savoy says.

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The Karaoke Characters of Calvert County and Confession
Whether your stage is song or comedy, you’re a star when you hold the karaoke mike.
by Jim Gscheidle

Tuesdays and Saturdays—those are the nights! Strangers by day, the karaoke characters of Calvert County then converge in the lounge of the Holiday Inn in Solomons for a night of dance and song.

Loretta, who goes all over Southern Maryland to karaoke nights, is tonight’s opening act. She sings Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner's Daughter” and gets a hand. “I realized after the first couple of times I went that no matter what people sing—good, bad, or indifferent—nobody makes you feel bad,” says the bookkeeper from St. Leonard.

People from all walks of life are brought together by the common thread of karaoke song. Braving the limelight that they crave, karaoke performers “cover” a song of their choice, relying on a TV monitor—the words of the song are flashed in time with background music—to prompt them if memory fails. Sony and Pioneer are the best systems, costing up around $8,000 for 30 discs with about 300 songs, and the mikes, the TV. About 50 different discs are available, with everybody drawing from the same pool.

“I do this because music gives a person a chance to express themselves and live out a life-long dream without putting out a lot of money, time or sacrifices. It’s a lot of fun,” says Ginny M of Lusby, a non-drinker. “It’s probably the most relaxing time that I can have in my life—the only time that I can totally unwind and be who I really want to be. And I’m appreciated for it.”

A hard-core group of 10 to 20 regulars shows up most nights, to sing between two and six songs each. Some are karaoke pros who don’t need screens to know the songs.

“Karaoke is addicting,” says Kathy from Charles County. “I travel from Waldorf to Solomons every night this is going on to sing for about 15 minutes. I’ll never be famous or good enough to make it big, but there’s always a chance! Even now when I sing, people hoot and make cat calls and dance and have a good time, and then I feel real good!”

Others just fill in the blanks. Occasionally, a virgin singer is coaxed into the web of karaoke.

Tom, in town on for a week on business, got coaxed: “The girls over here signed me up for a song. But I can’t sing! I can’t sing at all, but it’s going to change the course of the whole evening!”

Others get caught.

“We brought some new people over last week and they’re back again tonight,” says Sonda, a supply clerk from St. Mary’s County, who knows why. “We come out here and have a ball. It's funny watching people get up and sing like myself. When I get up and mess up you can’t do anything but laugh.”

If all goes well, the singer and the song will mix, creating a fairly good sounding version of a popular song. In many cases this does not happen.

Said one woman who did not give her name: “I can’t sing a lick but I got a hell of a smile!”

But much laughter and good-natured comments redeem any performance, providing the background noise so important to karaoke pleasure.

“The whole point of karaoke is to have fun. Trying to get new people up and singing is like trying to pull teeth. But once they see how fun it is, they gotta try it,” Dean of Calvert County explains.

Dean started singing karaoke while stationed in Okinawa from1971 to 1975. “It was 100 yen (about 50 cents) and they used eight track tapes. you had a book with lyrics in front of you, but you still had to know the beat—no flashing words in time with the music.”

“They loved ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ over there. If you couldn’t make a hit with that or ‘My Way,’ all you had to do was sing ‘Sukiyaki’ and it would bring the house down.”

Karaoke is one more Japanese import on which Americans are hooked. In Japan, where it’s been flourishing for 15 years, karaoke machines are in bars, homes, and motel rooms. It’s so popular that American journals advise Americans doing business in Japan “to seal the deal with karaoke.”

While most of America is not yet that devoted, karaoke nights are not without their share of fans and groupies.

Ginny’s biggest fan is Bob. “Everytime Bob hears me sing ‘From a Distance,’ he cries. Tears stream down his face.”

Most of the crowd does not sing (with a microphone), preferring to talk, dance, and mingle.

The self-proclaimed “Queens of Flash”—a group of young women in their mid-twenties—come in every Tuesday and Saturday night. “We don’t come here to sing; we just hang around the men’s bathroom,” they giggled.

Karaoke nights are a little like an encounter group and a little like a Dale Carnegie class. As Charlie from Dallas explains:

“Karaoke gets you up in front of people. If you keep working on that, you’re not afraid of anything.”

The heady karaoke mix is good for business.

“It’s a lot of fun and brings a lot of people in. People seem to lose their inhibitions, kind of a little fantasy world. There’s a lot of regulars, and they tip good, too,” says Sue, who works three nights a week as a waitress at the Holiday Inn.

So good that it’s creating a whole new occupational niche.

Disc jockeys are getting more jobs and bands getting fewer, believes Warren Parks, who is Holiday Inn’s DJ and karaoke system master. Why? “There’s just not the crowd involvement like on karaoke night.”

The crowd-involvement phenomenon exerts such a pull that even this writer’s objectivity deteriorated. It happened not at Holiday Inn but at the new karaoke joint in southern Calvert County, The Tavern in St. Leonard. I was, I confess, vulnerable before I arrived.

I’ll have to start at the beginning:
After a later afternoon shrimp feast and beer can recycling rally, five friends and I employed the Captain Hardcrab free taxi service for a ride to the Tavern’s newly inaugurated Karaoke night.

We arrived at 10:40pm in good spirits, full of hope and anticipation. We were not to be denied our shot at singing. Ed Menafee, commodore of The Slaughter Creek Yacht Club, launched into Schooner Fare’s version of “What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor” in the van on our way to the Tavern.

We were no more in the door than we had mikes in our hands.

Our first song was the old country standard “Crazy Arms,” which we breezed through without a hitch. (Ed and Bill Holland had sung this many times before!) Over the next hour, we sang four more songs (much to the chagrin of our wives, who were just along for the ride). We managed “All My Ex’s Live in Texas”; a rather good version of Willie Nelson /Faron Young’s “Hello Walls”; a lackluster version of the old Bobby Fuller Four song, “I Fought the Law”; and finally “Green Grass of Home,” where I actually remembered the ‘talking parts.’

We were back home by midnight, mission accomplished.

But before we left, Ed captured the karaoke scene.

Before our version of “Crazy Arms,” he asked several younger women in the crowd if they knew who he was.

“No,” said they, “we’ve never seen you before.”

“Well,” said Ed, “you’ll know me after my next song.”

Sure enough, after “Crazy Arms,” he returned to the each of the women with a personally inscribed paper napkin and announced, “Now you know!”

As Ed turned his back and walked away, the women looked at each other and laughed.

And they knew.

Jim Gscheidle, the owner of Lazy Moon Book Shop in Solomons, is an amateur folklorist and creator of tall tales. His lips are sealed; our secrets won’t leak out. But if they do, be assured that some day, in some way, shape or form, they’ll appear in New Bay Times.

Where to Look for Calvert County Karaoke Characters— or Become One
The Holiday Inn at Solomons features karaoke singing every Tuesday and Saturday night from 9:30pm till 1:30am.

Go early to see how the night evolves and get a good seat. If you choose to sing, place your request early: many singers will be in line.

The Tavern in downtown St. Leonard (halfway between Prince Frederick and Solomons) has just begun karaoke nights every other Saturday (July 24, Aug. 7 and 21), but may go to every Saturday if demand warrants.

Tips: So far, you can walk right into the Tavern and sing—but probably not for long. You can take a free taxi home if you’ve had too much to drink (tip Capt. Hardcrab!). St. Leonard Tavern karaoke hours are 9pm till 1am.

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Mosquitoes Are Annoying Pests
by Sonia Linebaugh

So are midges, horseflies and gnats, but pest managers spend their money on mosquitoes. That’s because mosquitoes carry disease as well as annoyance. Malaria has been controlled in much of the world by drainage programs and quinine. But even in the twentieth-century United States, mosquitoes can still sometimes transmit sleeping sickness (encephalitis) from birds and small mammals to humans.

Calvert County leads the region in controlling mosquito populations. Their strategy, Integrated Pest Management, fields several lines of assault. “We consider spraying our last and least effective line of defense says V. Wilson Freeland, the county’s head of Mosquito Control and a member of the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Mosquito Control Association. To kill, malathion spray droplets must actually hit the mosquitoes.

Still, an integrated pest manager like Freeland will spray when other methods aren’t practical. For instance, Calvert County sprays when the source of the mosquitoes can’t be found. Then spraying is done before 9am or at twilight, when mosquitoes are out and busy biting humans and their pets as well as birds, turtles, frogs and snakes.

Malathion, the poison used in spraying, was developed in the early 1950s, and, at the ultra-low volumes used for mosquito control has not been proven to cause health problems. Freeland, who started as a spray truck driver just out of high school and later took over the Mosquito Control Program after a stint with the Parks Department, has been around malathion for 12 years. He says, “Employees who work with malathion have shown no signs of chronic or acute effects as shown by blood tests.”

But malathion has its critics. ADD FROM FLYER

Time has discredited another traditional method of mosquito control, filling in swamps and wet lands. “Now that we realize the importance of the wetlands to the overall health of the ecosystem, we use other strategies,” Freeland says.

One of those strategies is a fish.

Calvert County is a leader in using mosquito fish, Gambusia holbrooki, to destroy mosquito larvae. Mosquito fish are top feeders who thrive in storm water ponds and in the still, fairly salt-free waters in those small pools at the edges of wetlands—the very same still, fairly salt-free waters favored by mosquitoes for their breeding grounds. Mosquito eggs laid in rafts in these waters hatch and, as larvae, rise to the water surface to breathe. This is where, before they ever get to be bloodsucking adults, they meet their doom from the top-feeding mosquito fish.

Salt marshes are mosquitos’ favorite breeding spot. To make the hungry fishes’ work easier, pest managers sometimes take to the marsh edges themselves. High marshes—areas not influenced by daily tides and prone to drying up in droughts—are diverted to create small shallow ponds. One portion of the pond is dug deeper so the fish can survive during spells of hot, dry weather. Ditches are then dug in a radiating pattern around the pond so the fish can easily move with rain water into muddy areas where mosquitoes also lay their eggs. When stocked with mosquito fish these waters never require spraying. Maintenance is needed only once in a decade.

The mosquito population of salt marshes is falling, thanks to fish and digging, but, Freeland says, “mosquitoes produced within communities” are increasing. That’s because of standing water in birdbaths, gutters, unstocked storm water ponds, plastic swimming pools, and old tires—especially old tires. “If a spot holds water for five days or more it,will most likely breed mosquitoes,” he counsels.

His mosquito control program gives free mosquito fish to communities and individuals. (See our “Not Just for Kids” pages for one boy’s success story about mosquito fish.) Calvert County has become so well recognized that it’s exporting mosquito fish to Delaware.

The Maryland State Department of Agriculture is now helping Anne Arundel County control its mosquitoes. As in Calvert county, biological controls lead their defenses, according to Cyrus Lesser, chief of the state’s program. In addition to mosquito fish, the state uses bacterial larvacides to kill larvae outright, and methoprene, a growth regulator which doesn’t kill the larvae but keeps them from developing into adults.

To get mosquito fish from the state, you must be approved by a Department of Agriculture Office entomologist. They also plan to “institute more community and individual involvement. As soon as next March and April we’ll be inviting the public to a series of meetings on mosquito control,” Lesser says.

You May Be a Culprit
Stop breeding mosquitoes in your own backyard. Remember, “If it can hold water for five days or more it can breed mosquitoes”

Here’s how to prevent mosquito births:

  • Throw out or store inside those cans, buckets, barrels, jars, vases, flower pots and old tires cluttering your yard.
  • Invert or cover boats, wheelbarrows, trash cans and wading pools if you won’t be using them for more than three or four days.
  • Add mosquito fish or goldfish to your garden pool.
  • Clean your gutters, drains, ditches. Wet leaves and plants create tiny pools that attract mosquitoes.
  • Change water every day in birdbaths, pet bowls and flower vases.
  • Cover or chlorinate your swimming pool even if you’re not using it this month or this year.
  • Check the drainage of your septic system and your storm water.
  • Call in a professional if you have standing ground water for more than four days.

How do you know where mosquitoes are breeding?
Calvert County sends out teams of volunteers armed a sort of vacuum cleaner that looks like it’s been made from an old flashlight barrel. Community Assisted Landing Rate volunteers then suck up sample mosquitoes so their species and site can be identified.

Anne Arundel County pays seasonal inspectors as bait to attract and collect mosquitoes. When getting bitten wears, they also use light traps, scrutinize aerial photographs and visit suspicious looking areas.

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Healthful Eating
Quiet Water Farms Brings “Native” Organic Goodies to Annapolis
by Adriana I. Pena

Summertime, and the living is easy. For many organic food lovers in Annapolis, it will get easier still. With the opening of Quiet Water Farms, field-fresh organic produce and fruit has come to town.

“This is the kind of outfit that we ought to encourage,” said Annapolis Alderman Dean Johnson at the grand opening. “It brings back the times when a family would know where their food was grown and how.”

Quiet Water Farms—situated next to Quiet Waters Park on Annapolis Neck Road—is three cultivated acres set into a 20-acre wilderness. Rows of raspberry bushes are small but full of fruit. Tomatoes are coloring. Banana peppers (sweet in spite of their hot-pepper-characteristic dagger shape) are ready to eat. Beans and peas are moving from flower to fruit. Working toward later days are cabbage, corn, eggplant, okra and sunflowers.

Herbs grow in raised beds and small pots ready for sale. Smelling sweet under the hot summer sun are mints and chamomile for tea; parsley, rosemary, thyme, fennel, sage, and tarragon for cooking; basil for everything; borage for salad; lavender for color and fragrance; and catnip for felines.

Food is grown organically at Quiet Waters Farm, and that, as farm manager Linda “Sam” Wastler explains, is more work than will fit in a sentence. Fertilizer is provided by compost, fish emulsion, and LeafGro, the nutrient Maryland Environmental Service makes from yard waste. Earthworms are so much part of an organic farm’s earth-improving staff that Quiet Waters has built a special area to lure them: a couple of boards set over a dank spot.

Bugs like organic fruits and veggies as much as other Quiet Waters customers, but they’re less welcome. Companion planting is the farm’s first line of defense. Raspberries share their rows with sunflowers. Repellant flowers grow alongside cabbages and lettuces. Garlic and marigolds add their bug-awful aromas.

Herbs are a second line of defense. Wastler is experimenting with nicotiana plants, rue, feverfue, and santolina.

If the bugs prevail, Wastler and staff trap ‘em, spray ‘em with insecticidal soaps, pick ‘em off by hand, and import ladybugs and preying mantises. Their wilderness also provides them an efficient bird patrol. In sum, they use all the techniques of Integrated Pest Management but one. When all else fails, IPM resorts to chemicals. Wastler won’t; she says she’d rather lose a crop.

But such disasters are not fit talk for today; Quiet Water’s early days are heady with hopes. Farm owners George and Art Lewis (she’s George; he’s Art) and Christian Giddens are full of plans. Quiet Water is their dream come true. After many years at desks, they can now get on their knees, sink their hands in the dirt, and see their efforts repaid in plants and flowers.

Already they’re seeing the flowering of designer-mananger Wastler’s go-organic plan.

Next, Art Lewis thinks he’ll make kiwi wine. “The kiwi is ideal for Maryland; the climate in New Zealand is the same as here,” he says, imagining vines heavy with the stubbly, egg-shaped fruit.

Marketing Director James Marshall has the future all booked up. There’ll be a pond for ducks and fish who are planned to provide the farm its own fish emulsion fertilizer. There’ll be wilderness cabins, native trees, and wildflowers. There’ll be dried-flower arranging classes and such special events as a children’s Halloween gala with pumpkin patches and spooky stories.

Quiet Waters’ future is promising and its present quite alright. The bumper crop on the vine is getting drip irrigation against the heat. Squash, flat beans, and peppers are ready for eating, with a bounty of tomatoes expected soon. Mums are flourishing and pumpkins swelling .

Share in the harvest at the Quiet Waters Farm and Florist on Hillsmere Drive; or sign up to be a farm member and go direct to the vine. (410/263-6720)

Adriana Pana, born in Argentina and living in Annapolis, is a scientist, writer and Dark Shadow fan.

Just What Do We Mean, “Organic Fertilizers”?
Here’s the true story behind two, ComPRO and Leafgro

You’ve heard the one about the salesman so slick you’d thank him when he sold you…

Since you’ve heard that one, you know what he’s selling.

We need more skills like his nowadays, with our waste piling up so high—and getting in so many of the wrong places—that we can’t do with it what we’d like most: forget about it.

So it’s good news that when Maryland Environmental Service sells you ComPRO, you’re going to like it.

Before you find out where they get it, you’d better hear where it winds up.

It’s what makes the lawns at the White House grow so lush and green. OK, you say, so there’s justice in the world?

Mount Vernon spreads ComPRO on too, and so do the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the William Paca Gardens in Annapolis.

There’s a name for sludge that keeps such company as that: soil conditioner and organic fertilizer.

Maryland Environmental Service’s slick trick with ComPRO is to transform the “biosolids” that remain after Washington D.C.’s sewage has been treated into stuff that you want to dump on your lawn. Your flowers (but not your azaleas or hollies, for its lime contents will neutralize the acid they love out of your soil). Even on your vegetable garden.

ComPRO’s a rich, russet-colored, dry and absolutely odorless compost by the time you get it from your nursery, garden center, or soil and gravel trucker (in bulk, your truck or theirs). It’s so light and airy it almost blows out of your hand. It’s so hearty that it can transform either clay or sandy earth into soils you don’t often see this side of Illinois.

If you didn’t know where ComPRO came from, you’d never guess.

That’s how long a way ComPRO goes from DC toilets to your lawn and garden. The transformation takes 51 days, during which that old sludge is first blended with nice clean woodchips, then composted, sanitized, aerated, screened, and cured. Even the raw materials are nothing but the best: DC’s sludge is high quality by industry standards, contaminated by very little chemical pollution from industry. Not just any woodchips are added, either: these are also pretty free from chemical toxins, having been “recovered” from woodland cleanup and from pallets.

Do dig ComPRO in (one-third by volume), and smile while your lawn and garden grow, because you’ve been sold a good deal.

So your plants want acid? Then Leafgro’s your recycled organic solution. Create spectacular topsoil by mixing one part Leafgro to two parts of any soil that needs improving. Lawns, vegetables, flowers—even azaleas and hollies—love it. So do houseplants, trees and shrubs.

It’s another of that clever Maryland Environmental Service’s two-birds-with-one-stone solutions. Leafgro not only helps your greenery grow but also solves the weighty problem of what to do with greenery that’s outgrown its usefulness: leaves and lawn clippings.

The easiest way of reducing the burden of solid waste with which we tax our landfills is detouring tree and yard wastes to more productive uses, explains Ann Bowie Rice, MES’s sales manager for Leafgro and ComPRO. Leafgro comes from two of Maryland’s largest counties responsible for that reduction—Prince George’s and Montgomery.

Now, instead of bulking up their landfills, leaves from those counties are collected and composted in huge, 40-acre plants. The leaves of fall are spread in nice long row, then turned like clockwork until April 15 or so, when grass cuttings start to be added in. The blend cures 60 to 90 days until, by mid-September, what’s left is a rich, black organic compound ready to go to work for you and your garden.

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Coping With Poison Ivy
by Ben Gruda, Alternet Wire Service,
(with New Bay Times’ suffering staff)

Now that summer is here, so are “itchy” threats--poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.

Whadda you mean, summer? I can show you a woman who caught it in the dead of winter from carrying in fireplace logs wrapped in old vines. She scratched right up to the spring equinox.

Over 60 plants can cause a rash or sensitivity, but the Anacardiaceae biological family—those dang ivies—are the most troublesome .

Poison ivy is found in abundance throughout the United States and Canada.

But the Atlantic Coast is where it belongs. It ought to be Maryland’s state flower. Elsewhere, it thrives only in disturbed habitats. Here, it doesn’t have to wait for bulldozers, roads, or lightning storms. It’s a happy native.

Identify it by its characteristic three-lobe clusters of leaflets on stalks and white berries that appear in the fall. It grows
as a vine or shrub and causes problems for most individuals who come in contact with it.

Yeah, but we all know the smart aleck who says he or she doesn’t get it. Tell ‘em for me they could be next. You don’t necessarily stay immune.

The real culprit is a complex product known as urushiol that is distributed throughout the plant. Surprisingly, casual contact with an unbruised or unbroken plant will not cause a problem; it is only when the stem or leaf is broken and the oily urushiol resin comes in contact with the skin that a rash or dermatitis will occur.

A farmer I know who lived on 12 poison-ivy-filled acres raised goats. The goats never got poison ivy, but he knew he would. So he drank the milk of the goats who grazed on poison ivy to desensitize himself. As usual, they didn’t get it. He did.

Exposure usually produces an itching or burning rash followed by raised lesions with fluid accumulating in blister-like formations on the skin. The rash may be swollen or hot and oozing and usually becomes dry and crusty.

Don’t rash or dermatitis me. Those first few innocent bumps soon erupt into a blistery blaze that’s a good introduction to leprosy. Then you ooze and itch like devils are under your skin.

Urushiol also clings to clothing, tools or shoes. The oily resin remains active for months if contaminated articles are not thoroughly laundered or cleaned.

Tell me about it—but wait a few weeks, till I’m wearing or using contaminated articles I’ve forgotten to wash or clean.

The rash can develop in odd places that are touched by contaminated clothing or hands. Even a pet dog meandering through poison ivy can cause problems by having the resin stick to its fur. Stroking the animal will yield an unpleasant surprise.

“Here kitty, kitty,” I said one spring morning while I was dressing. A few days later my whole chest was weeping and bubbling and itching. This year I got it drying my dog. Now I’m scratching ivy like he does fleas.

Urushiol does not travel in the air unless the plants are burned. Smoke from burning plants can carry a significant
amount of the irritant and cause problems to those exposed to it.

You don’t know from problems until you’ve breathed it. I know a guy who was so swollen up he almost stopped breathing. If they hadn’t dripped antihistamines into him, he’d have been a goner.

Because different areas of the skin are more sensitive to the irritant, the rash may develop at different times on different parts of the body, making it appear like the rash is spreading, but the rash only develops where urushiol resin makes contact with the skin. Contrary to popular belief, the fluid in the blisters does not spread the rash.

Tell that to the people who move away when they see me coming.

The best form of treatment is prevention. Knowing how to identify poison ivy and other irritating plants and avoiding them, as well as laundering, cleaning or discarding any clothing or objects that have come in contact with the plants is the best way to prevent problems.

Irritants from the plant enter the skin very rapidly, but if the exposed skin is washed with soap within 10 minutes of exposure it can sometimes prevent the rash from developing.

Once a case of poison ivy develops, many people can get relief using a number of over-the-counter medications. A mild
case can be relieved by applying a calamine type lotion to the skin.

Applying soaks or wet dressings made from diluted aluminum acetate solution (Burrow's solution or Domeboro D) or even saline or sodium bicarbonate solution to the area up to four times a day can relieve itching. Colloidal oatmeal for soothing tub baths are also available and provide relief of itching over large areas of the body.

I’ve soaked whole days in tubs full of Domeboro solution. It works fine until you get the urge to scratch

If the rash is more severe and blisters have formed, try puncturing the edges of the large blisters with a sterilized needle. Leave the tops of the blisters intact to protect the skin. The rash will not be spread by the fluid in the blisters.

If the irritation and rash is widely spread over a large portion of the body and there is major swelling involved, see a doctor. A prescription for cortisone-type drugs will provide safe and sometimes dramatic relief from symptoms.

Itch, itch.
Over-the-counter lotions or creams that contain anesthetics can relieve itching. Anesthetics such as lidocaine, benzocaine
and dibucaine stop itching or pain by interfering with the nerves that transmit the itch and burn sensation. But they work only on the area they are applied to.

And only temporarily. Itch, itch.

External preparations containing antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, have been available for many years and can provide relief from itching. However, antihistamine tablets, capsules or liquids taken by mouth work much better especially when large areas of the body are affected.

Itch, itch. Hydrocortisone is available in ointments, creams and lotions in 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent concentrations. The products provide fast relief from itching and can be applied to the affected area three or four times a day. Some products also contain ingredients such as menthol, phenol and camphor that provide a cooling affect to irritated or itchy skin.

Not fast enough or cooling enough. Itch, itch.

Scratching the rash will sometimes produce an open wound, so infection can be added to ivy. An application of an antibiotic cream or ointment containing bacitracin, neomycin or polymyxin or other antibacterials and a sterile dressing may be needed.

Some combination products contain anti-itch ingredients and antiseptic drugs to bring relief as well as protect against infection.

When I’ve got poison ivy, I’m like the young lady from Natchez, whose clothing was always in patches. When comments arose, on the state of my clothes, I say “Where I itches, I scratches.”

When using any medication, read and follow all label directions and avoid using any medication that is outdated or contains ingredients that you may be allergic to. People who are sensitive or allergic and very young children should first consult a physician. If symptoms become severe or a large portion of the body is affected, see a physician for treatment.

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Your Sail Racing Primer:
Tips to Help You Race or Watch Better
by Dale Bennett

Did you pay attention? Back in June, I told you that few thrills equal sailboat racing. “It’s a chess game, pitting your tactics against your opponent’s.”

Here’s what you’ll need to know to play or be an informed spectator.

Sailboat races divide into two broad categories:
  • Point-to-point, such as the Annapolis to Newport race, and
  • Course or around-the-bouys races

Some are raced under a handicap system, where you can beat the boat right next to you and still lose on handicap. One-design racing, on the other hand, puts you right up against your competition. Nobody needs a handicap because all boats are equal.

One-design races again divide down. Match races, such as the America’s Cup, are one-on-one. You have only one opponent on which to concentrate. Fleet races, the other kind of one-design race, pit you against many opponents.

What weapons do you have in your arsenal to fend off the hordes? The four positioning techniques of blanketing, backwinding, covering, and luffing.

To blanket, you maneuver your boat directly upwind of an opponent. In this way, your sails stop the wind from reaching your opponent’s sails. Opponent slows down; you get the advantage.

To backwind, you position your boat ahead and slightly leeward of your opponent. The wind flows off the trailing edge of your sails and into your competitor’s. This disturbed air, again, slows your competition.

To cover, you keep your boat between an opponent and the next marker. Theoretically, the opponent can never reach the mark before the covering boat. Remember, however, that you’re racing more than one opponent and be wary of concentrating on only one opponent in a fleet unless it’s someone you want, metaphorically, to grind into the dust.

To luff, you begin downwind of its opponent. Then turn sharply upwind so that to avoid you, your opponent must vary its course. This maneuver can only be used until the helmsman of the opposing boat comes directly abeam of your mast and hails, “mast abeam.”

Also in your arsenal are two right-of-way rules that may be used to your advantage quite legally and fairly.

  1. Starboard tack (wind from starboard, boom out to port) has right of way over port tack, and
  2. Downwind boat has right of way over the upwind boat.

Use these rules often and loudly to cause another boat to change course. Scream “starboard” and everyone may think you know what you’re doing. Psyching out your opponents is fair game.

On the opposite side of the coin, keep yourself out of these traps. If you see one forming, tack out of there, quick.

Before you set out for the races, here are four more rules you need to learn:

  1. Stay out of everybody’s way when tacking
  2. Hold your course when being overtaken
  3. Don’t run into anything
  4. Don’t cause anybody else to run into anything.

When your race day dawns, get to the club early to sign up, rig your boat and get it in the water early. Attend the skippers’ meeting; study the race circular. Then get out on the course early to get a taste of the race’s actual conditions and plan your strategy. Get a feel for how the wind is shifting. Note the current.

Courses will vary; they can be windward-leeward, triangular, or variations. Though most will start with a windward leg, the starting line is never quite square to the wind. The wind will always be closer to one side. Sail up the the starting line and face your boat directly into the wind, so that your sails are luffing and your boom is centered on the boat. The side to which your boat points has the advantage. With a good start on the advantaged side, you will actually sail a shorter course to the windward mark. Honest.

Because everyone else is trying to start at that very same end, it may behoove you to settle closer to the middle to start in clear air.

The object of the start is to be going at full speed over the advantaged side of the line just as the gun fires. A good start gets you out in front of the pack at top speed, in clean air.

Well started is part way home.

Dale Bennett, of Annapolis, races one-design boats. Keep reading New Bay Times to race with him.

Giant Leatherback Meets its End in the Bay
Perhaps nothing could have been done. But some people wonder as they mourn the death of a rare and endangered Leatherback, the world’s largest turtle.

Joseph Mohr was working his crab trotline on the first Saturday morning of this month in Jones Creek off the Big Annamessex River in Somerset County above Crisfield. He saw something brownish-black bobbing in the water, something big.

“At first, I thought it was a body,” said Mohr, 75, of Perry Hall.

On closer inspection, Mohr discovered something that few people have seen in the Chesapeake Bay—a Leatherback turtle. The huge, live creature was enmeshed in 25 feet of thick line, the sort that connects a crab pot with a float.

Mohr and his crabbing partner, Richard Albright, went to work. Mohr unraveled the line and Albright sliced it away with a pocket knife. When they had finished, they marveled at what they saw. The turtle was over six feet long from head to tail. From flipper to flipper, it measured seven feet.

Indeed, no turtles on earth are as big. Leatherbacks typically weigh in at 800-1000 pounds, and one found in Wales in 1988 was 2,038 pounds. Leatherbacks are distinctive in other ways, too. Unlike most turtles, they have no hard, bony shell to protect them. Their covering is pliable and rubberlike—hence the name Leatherback.

They’re gentle as can be and inveterate globetrotters. A Leatherback found in Africa 20 years ago had migrated 3,658 miles from South America. Another one tagged in the Chesapeake Bay in 1985 was found dead in Cuba a year later.

Leatherbacks’ diets alone are enough to endear them to Baysiders—they consume huge amounts of jellyfish. These turtles are quite rare, too. Worldwide, they are classified as an endangered species.

Down on Jones Creek, Mohr and Albright tried to point the Leatherback they had unfettered toward the Bay. But for some reason, it wanted to head farther up the creek. The crabbers knew they needed to do something.

They flagged down people on the shore, who telephoned the Department of Natural Resources. DNR then called the National Aquarium in Baltimore, which set in motion the Marine Mammal Stranding Network—which covers Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. The aquarium dispatched a truck.

A crowd began to form as word spread in nearby Crisfield of the unusual creature. People scooted and pulled the turtle on to a grassy shore, carefully keeping it watered-down and shaded from the searing, mid-90s sun until help arrived. At times, it was tended by 20 people or more.

Around nightfall, the aquarium’s truck arrived—a converted 1963 Hercules donated from the military installation at Ft. Meade. It was nearly midnight when the big yellow truck had returned to Baltimore, and work on the turtle began.

‘It was in very bad condition,” said Vicki Aversa, spokeswoman for the aquarium. “It was so damaged that there was nothing anybody could do.”

Aversa said that one of the Leatherback’s flippers was nearly severed by the crab line. She said that the turtle died before a decision was made whether to put it to sleep.

Mohr and some of the rescuers remain troubled. They know the turtle was badly injured, but they wonder about the effects of hauling it for three hours to Baltimore in a truck without air-conditioning. “It wasn’t looking in that bad of shape when it left here,” he said.

Aversa said that the National Aquarium has been unable to afford air-conditioning for its rescue truck. But she insisted that plenty of efforts were made along the way to keep the turtle cool with ice.

“When a mammal is transported, it is going to be a stressful time for it. That is a decision you have to make in situations like this,” she said.

Some people on this earth see larger meaning in the death of a turtle. American Indians revered them; they named this country Turtle Island. Many Chinese wear magic turtle qigongs around their necks as cure-alls.

From now on, when Mohr crabs in Jones Creek, he’ll look at the spot where he first noticed the gentle giant and think about whether he might have done things differently.

“I wish now that I’d have just towed it out to open water and let it go,” Mohr says. “It couldn’t have turned out any worse.”

Bay Model Collapses
A mini-Chesapeake Bay tucked in the basement of the Museum of Natural History in Washington may soon be no more, a victim of disinterest by sponsors and the government.

The elaborate model of the Bay was built by the Smithsonian Institution seven years ago as a research project into what makes the Chesapeake tick. It is the only living model of the Bay that exists.

By now, the model was to be turned into a public exhibit so that visitors to Washington could get a sense of the Bay’s complex workings and fragile state. But unless something unexpected happens soon, the model will be gone without the public ever seeing it.

“It is in jeopardy,” observed Chris Luckett, a research ecologist at the Smithsonian and one of the model’s builders.

The $400,000 mini-Bay was born thanks largely to donations from Ethyl Corp., a Virginia-based chemical company. Researchers had hoped for a much larger grant from the same company in order to go public with the exhibit and start serious research.

But Ethyl has decided to direct its charity dollars elsewhere. And with Congress in the deficit-cutting mode, researchers hold little hope for a gift from Capitol Hill.

So what does the Bay in a basement look like? It is a 40 feet-long series of eight, 2,500-gallon tanks that approximates every condition you’ll find in the Bay. It has beaches, marshes, varying salinity and over 400 kinds of creatures and plants.

Crabs, oysters and many kinds of fish swim in the water, which is up to five feet deep. Even the tide is controlled thanks to a tank fitted with a timer that releases water from above.

Unfortunately, Luckett and his colleagues have been without money to do the kinds of research they wanted, such as measuring effects of pollution. So the tanks just sit, requiring the equivalent of a full-time worker to maintain them.

The only live solution at present short of bailing out completely is donating the model to a school system in Wilmington, Del., which is trying to put together money to operate it.

Smithsonian workers are distressed at the prospect of watching their handiwork dismantled along with the potential of Bay-saving research.

“It would have made a fabulous exhibit,” sighed Luckett.

Browner on the Bay
The money comes and it goes. During her first visit to Annapolis, U.S. EPA administrator Carol M. Brower said last week that the Clinton Administration would keep $22 million for the Bay in its budget request this year.

That’s encouraging since the EPA’s overall budget is down. About $2 million of that will be spent for restoring lost habitat, including oysters and shad.

Browner said all the right things about the Bay being a model for the nation and the value of cooperation among states. She observed that water pollution from far away—even from her own community of Takoma Park—ultimately reaches the Chesapeake.

About the only thing Browner didn’t do was the traditional boat ride by visiting dignitaries. Why not? The new EPA head gets seasick.

Way Downstream...
We reported last issue on the young eagle found injured near Edgewater that eventually died. It was blind in one eye, a congenital deformity that probably caused it to crash into a wire or fence.

Bald eagles all over are running into problems. The National Wildlife Federation reports that four deformed eaglets were found along the Great Lakes shoreline in Michigan recently. Three had cross-bills and the fourth a condition similar to clubbed feet.

The deformities make it impossible for them to hunt and live in the wilds. These eagles, if they survive, are likely to spend their lives in cages at Michigan State University.

These problems appear to result from toxic chemicals. Eagles, like many birds, become poisoned from eating contaminated prey. Then it disrupts development of the embryos, bringing deformities to eaglets.

“This insult to our nation’s symbol is a tragic reminder of the damage that toxic chemicals are doing to wildlife and the environment,” observed Tim Eder of the 57 year-old wildlife organization...

If you move to Washington State, your lawn furniture and other outdoor equipment will not be allowed in without physical inspection. Your favorite hammock, camper, tent, boat canvas or lawn chair may be harboring a hitchhiking female moth. While the female is short-lived, her eggs may survive to hatch the caterpillars that will terrorize Washington State woods.

We marvel at governments’ curious solutions. In Alaska, the state Board of Game finally has decided on a plan involving airplanes and wolf killing.

Trappers and hunters have been pushing for the right to shoot from the air, a method conservationists found disturbing. In fact, a group called Defense of Animals is on the verge of organizing to block tourism in Alaska.

Here’s the Game Board’s compromise: You can shoot a wolf as long as you’re 300 feet from your airplane. Presumably, this would give wolves a running start after the plane is landed. But in wild-and-wooly Alaska, we might be seeing parachutists blazing away...

Sister Bay Update...In Hawaii, gorgeous Waimanalo Bay is cleaner since Meadow Gold Dairies agreed three years ago to clean up its wastewater pollution. Two weeks ago, the company announced it would spend another $500,000 to finish the job. Buy a pint of milk to note your thanks...

Creature Feature...It may seem like Australia has taken over creature feature, and perhaps it has. But instead of bringing you more news of huge worms and Tasmanian Killer Starfish, we tell you a tale about the loveable Koala Bear.

Problem is, the Koala is just too loveable. As a result, several groups are calling for legislation to make Koala cuddling a crime. Why? Because of stress that hyper humans cause these happy, lethargic creatures.

“It doesn’t take an animal genius to realize that picking up an animal, passing it around from person to person when it has such an extremely low energy level, puts a completely unnatural stress on it,” remarked Deborah Tabart of the Australia Koala Foundation.

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Boaters without Brains
An amazing story of callousness at the helm comes to us from Quarter Cove on the Eastern Shore, home for more than 20 years to a pair of mute swans.

Barbara Villone, who grew up on a farm along the cove, tells of a shocking scene repeated over a period of weeks: boaters in motorized inflatables blazing in from the Wye River to chase one of the swans.

She says she saw four different Zodiac-style vessels harassing the majestic bird.

A male swan does not sit idly by during terror near a nest. When a boat arrived in the cove to torment, its mission was to lure the intruders away. He would do so by flying toward the boat, then landing near it farther and farther from the nest.

To the swan, it was instinctual, as is their mating for life. To the boaters, it was great sport.

Last month, they found the swan with his wing broken and his body badly lacerated, almost certainly from a boat motor. The swan made it to shore, where people who had fed him by hand over the years euthanized him rather than allow him to suffer.

Last weekend, Barbara Villone reported seeing three small cygnets swimming in Quarter Cove behind the surviving female swan. With the boating season in full throttle, she worries for their safety, too.

This case is extreme, but not isolated. Over the July 4th weekend in Herring Bay on the Western Shore, we saw a boater dive in the water and climb up a pole to peek in an osprey nest.

We saw a large cabin cruiser bear down on a catamaran and nearly scare its sails off before veering at the last instant. We trailed a runabout, using our crab net to scoop up silver beer cans they tossed overboard.

We like to give boaters the benefit of the doubt. But it sometimes seems we’re seeing an outbreak of hooliganism on the Bay.

By no means do we condone what Barbara Villone told the Department of Natural Resources as she mourned the death of the Quarter Cove swan. But let boaters without brains beware that people have had it with their antics.

“Is there anything we can do," she asked, “short of shooting one of those boats out from under people?”

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Shopping the New Bay Times Way
Dear New Bay Times,
Wanted you to know how much we enjoy your paper, which we pick up at Orient Express (in Churchton) every issue. We read ads, articles, and classifieds—which are both amusing and useful.

Our favorite article described the death of kayaker Philippe Voss. It was really moving.

Who writes “Laughing Gourmet”? We tried the Calvert House on the basis of your review and were very pleased.

Our own classified for yard maintenance got responses for two weeks. The man we hired promises us a beautiful lawn.

Keep it up.

Barbara and Gene Miller, Fairhaven

No Hands?
Dear New Bay Times,
Please, how does one “shape dough into firm ball,” “fold edge under…flute edge” and “never touch dough with fingers”?

P.W. Hughes, Lusby

Dear P.W. Hughes,
Conscientiously, with a fork! In the interests of clarity, our best pie crust maker reminds us that her hands-off rule relaxed once the crusts have been rolled out.

Reflections and Confessions
Dear New Bay Times,
With great delight, I read my piece “Chesapeake Beaches” in the “Bay Reflections” column of your June 3-June 16 edition—my first published article. But my pleasure didn’t stop there. My continued appreciation, enjoyment, and memories of the Chesapeake Bay are reaffirmed by your paper.

And an extra bonus is the crossword puzzle, both fun and challenging. I finished your last puzzle, consulting my reference books only a few times. Okay! It was a dozen times. All right! I didn’t quite finish, but I came close.

Todd W. Tyson, Laurel

Editor’s Note: Todd W. Tyson, a letter carrier and student at University of Maryland University College, is preparing a second piece for New Bay Times.

104.5, but She’s Never Too Old to Learn
Dear New Bay Times,
I am 104 years 6 months in age and I have lived those years in Shady Side, a few miles from Deale, and have wondered why and where so many new residents are building homes there. Guess what? I discovered the answer recently.

Last Sunday, we took a ride and as usual my son-in-law, Howard Shenton, who served for years as a Chesapeake Bay policeman in reference to oystering, did the driving and selected the roads we drove on. He chose the Deale road, which led to the gorgeous waters of the Chesapeake. And there was my discovery!

There I was riding along the shore line that showed me the gorgeous water of the Chesapeake to which all residents along its edge went to build their lovely homes. It is no wonder that Deale attracts new residents.

All my life I have known Deale through its Methodist church. When I was a mere girl of 14 to 16, we drove to the church to participate in special services held in evenings. And, too, I had many close friends years and years ago—the postmaster and others. I was postmaster in Shady Side. I did not visit there at all, but I liked my Deale friends.

I’m very happy I have discovered my answer and I’ll not be disturbed anymore.

F. Ethel Andrews, Shady Side

From Bay to Bay
Dear New Bay Times,
Page after page, your paper brings a smile to my face as I recall the place and the people who made life in Fairhaven Cliffs truly wonderful. Bays of a different kind fill my eyes these days, but your pages effortlessly transport me back to the first I’d ever known. (And let it be said that folks out here are greatly impressed by sharks’ teeth.)

Congratulations and good luck!

Christi Dickerhofe, Seattle, WA

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A Way to Fight Injustice

I walked into the electronics warehouse store and approached the customer service counter, attended by a young woman.

“Can I help you?”

“I’d like to return this television.”

“Is there anything wrong with it?”

“It’s made in China.”

The girl stopped, not sure what to write on the return slip. A college student standing nearby broke in: “Yeah, I know what you mean. This stuff wears the non-union label.” The girl smiled faintly.

“No, this isn’t a union thing,”I said, pushing the box across the counter. “I’ve got a problem buying stuff made by prison labor.”

“Okay, sir, if you’ll just sign here.”

I left the store feeling silly and angry. Angry, in fact, for feeling silly. Why should I care if China makes easy profits from
exploited labor?

Although the TV was labeled “Made in China,” I didn’t know that my TV had been made by prison labor. Not any more than executives of Seagram’s had known their Shanghai joint venture partners used prison labor to package wine coolers. When the practice was inadvertently discovered in April 1991, it was halted.

Today’s China is a new booming nation, with much to lose if it shuns world opinion. The communist government has allowed foreign investors to enter the retail, real estate and banking sectors. Direct investment contracts worth $31 billion were signed in the first nine months of 1992, nearly triple the value for all of 1991.

China has boosted exports to the U.S. by nearly 40 percent during the third quarter of last year and exports more goods to the U.S. than do Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines combined.

The result: Chinese-made goods—from shoelace tips, bicycles, thermometers, negligees, barbells, and children’s clothing to computer boards and consumer electronics— hang on clothing racks and occupy shelves in virtually every major retailer. The products are practical, arcane and hip. Stores say they can’t afford not to carry them.

In turn, U.S. exports to China surged 27 percent to $8 billion in 1992. AT&T employs 1,600 Americans in the export of $100 million worth of goods and services to China. General Motors, in a joint venture with Shenyang, hopes to assemble 60,000 trucks in the country by 1998, and Motorola and Kentucky Fried Chicken are now in business on the other side of the Great Wall.

Would we be so happy to trade with China if we knew what was happening there? China is a horror house of human rights abuses, a country that forces men, women and children into prison factories; tortures and kills its political opponents; practices genocide; shamelessly pilfers technology and innovation; floods the U.S. with cheap guns and sells nuclear technology to friends of terrorist nations.

Amnesty International reported in May that torture in China is far more widespread now than 10 years ago. Some 300,000 Chinese troops occupy Tibet, where 1.2 million Tibetans—one-sixth of the population—have died since China’s “peaceful liberation” in 1960 of the Himalayan mountain country. Tibetan women are subjected to mandatory sterilization and forced abortions.

Meanwhile, China’s forced-labor colonies are vast and growing.

There are 133 prisons in one Chinese province alone, and Japan and Taiwan may invest venture capital in the flourishing prison-factory system.

Simultaneously, China shows every sign of a regime intent on becoming a regional superpower, steadily increasing its military spending. The Chinese also have built a nuclear reactor in Algeria. U.S. officials say the reactor—too small to generate electricity and too large for research—may be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.

And China has sent parts of its M-11 missile system to Pakistan and may sell its M-9 missile to Syria, which could put all of Israel under nuclear threat.

There is also an arms threat here at home. China has become the largest foreign supplier of guns to the American market. Nearly two million guns have flooded the U.S. between 1989 and 1991. A Chinese-made AK-47 semiautomatic was used by a gunman on Jan. 26 to kill two people and wound three others in front of CIA headquarters.

High-tech, creative theft is conducted with impunity. The blatant piracy of computer software, movies and books is condoned and sponsored by the People’s Republic. Piracy helped push China to a rate of 12 percent growth last year—the world’s highest. And China now has the third largest trade surplus with the U.S., behind Japan and Taiwan.

Yet China is permitted U.S. “most-favored-nation” status, which permits low import tariffs enjoyed by our best trading partners. It is difficult to find a more cynical arrangement in the name of free trade.

President Clinton wants to continue his predecessor’s carrot-and-stick approach to China. He has proposed extending most-favored-nation status on the condition that human rights there improve.

In fact, the most effective action may occur at the checkout counter. In the free market, we all get a vote. Products live and die by the buying decisions of consumers. Is it beyond the consumer movement to improve the lot of men, women and children in China? If shoppers can be tough customers in shopping for product safety, why not for human rights?

by Dave Patrick de Felice PeaceNet

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Shower Power
by Joel Makower

We waste a lot of water. A steady faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day. A leaking toilet can waste 200 gallons a day. At the water pressure found in most household plumbing systems, a 1/32-inch leak in a faucet can waste up to 6,000 gallons a month.

All of that wasted water costs money. If it is hot water, you also waste the money and energy it took to heat it and keep it warm.

This needn’t be the case. You can save a great deal of water without making major sacrifices, and save money in the process in the form of lower sewer, water, and energy bills. If you have a septic tank—30 percent of the population still does—conserving water will reduce the wear and tear on your system, and will require less energy from pumping well water. And then there are tax dollars saved by not having to expand existing water treatment plants or build new ones.
Everyday things, such as flushing the toilet, washing our hands or taking a shower, can be done with less water. But it may require installation of new products.

You probably already have heard of water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators. They have become quite common and are sold in most hardware stores and even some supermarkets. And there’s a good chance you’ve put off purchasing these products because you didn’t want to spend the money. The fact is, most low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators pay for themselves in less than a year, then begin producing savings in the form of lower water and water-heating bills.

How much can you save? If you were to invest $20 in a savings account, you’d earn about $1.20 interest a year. If you invested that same $20 in a low-flow shower head, you could “earn” about $20 a year in reduced energy costs if your home has gas water heating; if you have electric heating, your “earnings” could be as much as $55.

How do you know whether you can take advantage of these devices? One easy test is to turn on your shower at its normal volume, then hold a bucket under the shower for 20 seconds. If more than 1 gallon accumulates, you need a low-flow device.

Shower heads and faucet aerators are easy to install. In most cases, installation takes only a few minutes. If you can use a simple wrench, you can install the devices. Other water saving devices—low-flush toilets, for example—may require a plumber’s help.

If you’d like a list of companies selling water-saving devices, along with a description of their products and additional water-saving information, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-sized envelope with 52 cents postage to Water, c/o The Green Consumer, 1526 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20036.

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Creature Feature

Close Encounters
Human care saves an osprey endangered by human carelessness
by Tom Curley

A few years ago, a friend and I traveling into Annapolis by boat noticed two osprey circling their nest atop a large channel marker at the mouth of Back Creek. Another osprey sat in the nest, flapping its wings.

Returning later to Bay Ridge, we neared the nest again. The apparent parents again flew off and circled. The other, although flight-grown, just flapped its wings. Sensing something wrong, I climbed the ladder with camera in hand. The bird was entangled in a pile of monofilament fishing line.

Osprey often build their nests atop channel markers, using whatever they can gather from nearby shorelines—parts of trees, rope, whatever is available. The parents must have carried a length of discarded fishline to their nest. When the young bird hatched, its right leg apparently got down into a bird-made half-hitch in the nylon. The fledgling’s leg was growing into the tough line. It was cut right to the bone but was not bleeding. The bird must have been trapped for sometime, unable to leave the nest.

After I took a few photographs of the unlucky bird, we returned home and called the coast guard. They referred us to the Department of Natural Resources Marine Police, who told us to call the coast guard. No one was interested.

We returned to the marker with our dauntless friend Anne Usilton, who was armed with a knife, heavy ski gloves, a large towel, and her son’s “Star Wars” stormtrooper helmet to protect her from the large talons. It was quite a dangerous situation.

A woman ashore spotted Ann climbing the marker and called the marine police. (It’s a serious violation of several laws to climb upon makers even without nests.)

The parents continued to circle, seemingly calling to their distressed offspring. As Anne put a towel over the huge predator, it seemed to understand she was trying to help it. Although the bird went right through the towels she had wrapped around her arms, she got the bird free and brought it into the boat. The line had worked right down to the leg bone, and the leg was very swollen.

Returning home with the injured osprey, we called the marine police again, learning we were reported. But this time, they promised to send help .

Meanwhile, we placed the bird in a large birdcage in the backyard. The following day, Dennis Hammett, from the Wildlife Division of DNR, carried the osprey in his portable cage to Norman and Diane Kraft of Prince George’s Country, volunteer bird-rescue specialists who work with DNR.

If the bird had not been cut free, it would have died from gangrene, said the Krafts. They nursed the osprey back to good health, even feeding it intravenously. In a couple of weeks, the osprey was ready to return to the Chesapeake.

Usilton, the Krafts, the osprey and I went to the banks of the Severn. When Diane Kraft took the bird out of the box and held his legs, he looked magnificent, sun shining on his gorgeous feathers, his head circling as he checked out the water. He flapped his wings, and she let him go.

He flew straight out and circled us a few times. It was a real tearjerker for us and a happy ending for an osprey who had a very close call.

Somewhere flying over the Bay is an osprey who has benefitted from close encounters of the first kind with humans.

Annapolis photographer Tom Curley especially likes taking pictures of wild animals.

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Stars and Stripes at Shady Side
by Bob Weckback

A 20 foot firecracker, a beautifully restored ’54 Chevy, a Washington “Skins-mobile,” the local van club, a bicycling bugler who tooted patriotic songs, the Deale Volunteer Fire Department, and a vast flock of youngsters peddling bicycles decorated in red, white, and blue—these are some of the 25 attractions that paraded Shady Side this Fourth.

The heat was sweltering, the still air oppressive, but the community spirit was undaunted for the citizens of this all-American town.

There was more than the usual patriotic cause for celebration this year as proud citizens redeemed an annual event with a troubled past. Last year, the event was a “One Truck Parade” in which students Amy Clarke and Gina Strong rode through town in the back of a decorated pickup.

Their aunt, Shady Side’s notoriously energetic Leigh Woodling, saw to it that the town had a real Fourth of July parade this year. “She has a mind for this kind of thing,” said Amy, adding that Auntie Leigh’s knack for organization also comes in handy on family camping trips.

“Sixteen minutes and counting everybody,” announced Leigh to the kids’ bicycle contingent before she bolted away on her own bike to coordinate the assembly of the many engine-powered entries gathering at the post office.

Unlike larger cities where Independence Day Celebrations come ready-made from chambers of commerce or offices of promotions, Shady Side has to organize from the bottom up. Ed Boarman, born and raised in Shady Side and member of the Kiwanis Club there, explained the difficulties in pulling together the celebration.

“Last year, everybody got discouraged,”he said. “We couldn’t do everything at once and the money didn't come in time,” he said of grants applications Shady Side sent to Anne Arundel County. Financing the celebration left no energy for coordinating a parade.

But Boarman was proud of this year’s turnout and of his giant firecracker float. “We enjoy doing this and do a float each year. There’s a lot of pride here in Shady Side.”

That pride showed as the floats, vans, trucks, cars, and cyclists filed into line on Muddy Creek Road and streamed through the cheering crowd. Finally, the Boy Scouts raised the flag and St. Matthew’s Choir sang a rousing round of patriotic songs.

The celebration ended with a 50/50 raffle to benefit the parade fund and float judging. “We’ve sold almost 1000 tickets,” said Ruth Mamill, mother of Leigh Woodling and parade volunteer. “We hope this money will allow the parade to continue next year.” Winning the float competition were “Proud to be an American,” a trailer lavishly decorated by the kids of Avalon Shores; the Kiwanis’ “Firecracker,”and Michael Wilkins’ “Betsy Ross.”

For as much fun next year, let’s not “get to taking these things for granted.”

There will be a parade next year, said Ed Boarman, who promised Kiwanis support. But the price we’ll pay is fireworks: someone else will have to pick up that ball.

“With some support from businesses and community groups, we’ll give them any kind of help we can,” said Boarman, “but we just can’t do it by ourselves.”
This year, Shady Side and the Kiwanis want to thanks Chris Schlegel for the tugboat, the Crandell brothers for the barge, and Francis Ray Moreland for sand to help set up the fireworks. Kudos to them and to all who made Shady Side a success this Fourth.

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In the Garden
A Field of Many Colors
“A hobby gone wild,” is the way Mary-Jo Blaine describes her daylily business. While husband James was selling produce and hay, Mary-Jo toyed with the idea of selling her daylillies. Her husband thought it would never work, that no one would ever pay for flowers when they found it hard to part with the price of a cantaloupe. He finally agreed to put up $400 to prove his point.

But six years later, Blaine’s Daylilies in Sunderland has 6,000 flowers to choose from in 70 delicious looking varieties. In a field surrounded by woods and scented by oaks, to the low of cows and the caw of crows you can choose familiar Bayside lilies, but you might find yourself drawn to the apricot colors of Scene Stealer, or the tangy daffodil yellow of Cartwheel, the broad copper-orange petals of Egyptian Spice or any of more than five dozen other elegant and beckoning choices.

Daylilies are easy to grow and have few diseases or insect pests. They adapt to most soils and tolerate drought admirably. They can be divided and transplanted in virtually any weather and, while preferring full sun, will also grow well in partial shade. Daylily blooms last only for a day but each stem puts out a succession of flowers so that the blooming season lasts and lasts. You can extend that season even more by planting early, mid-season and late varieties.

Ms. Blaine says, “My husband still can’t believe it. Customers will choose this one and that one and another one without ever asking a price and will calmly write a check for even $100, while they might refuse to buy a tomato for 25 cents. Sometimes someone will say, ‘I want one of everything but I guess that’s not possible.’ He’ll reply, ‘Why not? My wife has one of everything. You can too.’”

There are bushes of money next to my house. A member of the Lunaria family, the Money plants hosted showy red-purple flowers byMay but are now flaunting their translucent coins, as many as 50 to a plant. By fall, these stiff-edged seed pods showing their seeds through skins of white parchment will be dry enough to grace many dried flower bouquets. Also known as Silver Dollar, the plant is a biennial growing to three feet in partial shade. It’s less showy cousin is called Honesty.

Good Bugs
When July’s fauna’s got you itching and twitching, it’s well to remember that there are bugs who’ll do you good. Preying mantises, now a green inch long, are quietly gathering in buggy spots to hunt. Remember to treat these curious creatures gently. Charles County ag extension agent Pam King advises the same golden rule for the less-known soldier beetle. When you work in your garden, you’re likely to find this firefly-lookalike creeping from your flowers, where they’re eating pollen, right onto your arms. Resist the urge to swat it. It’ll do you no harm, and its larvae will gobble up obnoxious small caterpillars, maggots, and grasshopper eggs.

In the Water
Capt. George Prenant, who operates Stormy Petrel out of Deale, reports that fishing has really picked up in the Middle Bay area with all this hot weather. Hot, dry conditions have increased the Bay’s salinity and hastened the movement northward of bluefish.

“Fishing’s been great,” he said.

He reports nice catches of blues in the 2-4 pound range at Sharps Island Light, the Stonerock and the Gooses. Spot fishing also is excellent in the Sharp’s Island area and in the Choptank River.

“Black drum delighted anglers on Saturday and Sunday,” Prenant said, referring to the 50-pound whoppers that usually are scarce this late into the season. A few trout were caught, too, he said.

Capt. Prenant also reports scattered blues in front of Deale Beach and Franklin Manor. Most of them are in the smaller categories but they’re travelling with biggies in the 12-14 pound range. Want to know more? Call the Captain at 301/261-9075.

Jellyfish are Here—and How!
Everyone on the Bay fears the day when jellyfish show up and spoil the swimming, but how do so many show up so big and so fast?

Though sea nettles are weak swimmers subject to the tides, they can sort of propel themselves with the rhythmic contraction and expansion of their bells. But they definitely could not have all swum here so fast from Virginia.

It’s their reproductive cycle and astonishing growth rate that got them here so big so fast.

In summertime, the male nettles release sperms into the water daily. These sperms are taken into the bells of the females where they fertilize the eggs. Released from the females, the fertilized eggs, or planulae, settle to the bottom and attach to any hard surface—oyster shells are common.

Planulae form polyps that lie dormant in times of stress such as when the water is too fresh or cold. But when the salt level and temperature rise, look out! These little polyps can produce new nettles many times over as bits of tissue flake off and form whole organisms. Add to that the fact that the polyps were all over the place to start with.

But how do they get so big all of a sudden? “They grow really fast, partly because they’re eating comb jellies, a type of pseudo-jellyfish," said Jennifer E. Purcell of the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies. Because jellies are mostly water and salts, with organic materials making up only 0.2 percent of their live weight, a small amount of food can sustain an immense amount of growth.

So next time you dive into a jelly-splat in the face, at least you'll know where it came from.

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by Chuck Shepherd

Pack Rat
In Elk River, Minn., landlord Todd Plaisted reported that his tenant, Kenneth Lane, had fled the area. This is part of what Lane left behind in the rented farmhouse: 400 tons of used carpeting, 10,000 plastic windows from Northwest Airlines planes and rooms packed with sofas, mattresses and washing machines. Lane was also observed burying carpet with a tractor before he departed. He told townspeople that he ran a recyling operation, but no one ever saw anything leave the farm.

Frontiers of Science
—An Associated Press profile of Greg Lewbart of North Carolina State University reported that he is one of the few veterinarians in the country who treat pet fish. Dr. Lewbart’s fees range from $100 for a checkup—X-rays included—to $250 for surgery. He said that business is good.

—In Wales, Professor Lance Workman of Glamorgan University reported in April that his research shows that robins found in England chirp in a different dialect, including pitch, lilt and intonation, from robins in Wales. And when the robins are near one another, each assumes a defensive posture when exposed to the other’s chirping.

—Knight-Ridder News Service reports that groups are trying to teach awareness of hyperacusis, a condition in which small sounds become magnified to unpleasant levels. One man described in the story wears earplugs and industrial-strength earmuffs and keeps his referigerator in his garage because he can’t stand the hum. Another must wait in the car while his home air-conditioner cools the house because it makes too much noise.

—Speaking of ear problems, the Sun newspaper in London reported recently the cause of a man’s painful earaches. Doctors removed a pregnant spider nesting in his ear. The man, identified as machinist Craig Eames kept the spider for a pet. But he wears earplugs when he sleeps now.

—The Denver Post reported recently that the U.S. EPA has been spending $33,000 a day for many months trying to contain some of the 160 million gallons of toxic cyanide spilling from a gold mine in Colorado. The chemicals already have killed many fish in a nearby river. A company brought in the mercury for the mining operation, but went bankrupt before using it. The federal government could be socked with a $60 million clean-up bill.

—In the Republic of the Congo, Bernadette Obelebouli, 34, recently gave birth to triplets—at the rate of one per day for three days during a 60 mile journey on foot. Each time, she assumed that she was through birthing, but the babies kept coming. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Joanne March, 29, gave birth prematurely to the first of her triplets on April 30. But doctors decided to leave the other two until they grew healthier. They were born on June 14.

—The San Francisco Chronicle reports that an increasing number of men in South Korea are undergoing plastic surgery in order to look more Western. Why? They think it will make it easier to get jobs with Western companies doing business in South Korea. The operation involves adding layers of skins to the eyelids to make them look less Asian.

The Weirdo-American Community
In Los Angeles, Billy Davis has upset his neighbors with his bizarre security precautions, the Los Angeles Times reports. To protect his modest house in a middle-class neighborhood, Davis has barred windows, video monitors, infrared alarms, razor wire, 26 outdoor flood-lights and various “hair-trigger” alarms and sirens. A Doberman, too. Nonetheless, police say that Davis often stays up all night because he fears intruders, and calls police twice a day.

Least Competent People
Last month, Richard Simonetti, 17, and George Montenez, 21, of Brooklyn, N.Y., were arrested in Brooklyn, Conn., and charged with a robbery that had taken place earlier in the evening. Police said they had committed the robbery in Bridgeport, Conn., about 50 miles from Brooklyn, N.Y. But when they started to head home, they went in the wrong direction for more than 100 miles. When they saw the sign for “Brooklyn,” they exited the interstate, thinking they were just about home free. But soon they became more confused, tried to force a motorist to help them and were captured.

Terrible Way to Go
A four year-old boy, visiting his grandmother at a spiritual retreat near Baltimore in May, was killed when a statue of the Virgin Mary fell on him.

(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 8306, St. Petersburg, Fla. 33738.)

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No “City Plan for Country People”
We’ll all breathe easier. Once the Clean Air Act has been working a few years, we’ll see the kinds of palpable changes the earlier Clean Water Act helped bring to our Bay, rivers and streams.
But now, while the rule makers are writing the how-to’s that will bring the many-part law to life, there are growing pains. And worries.

Out here in Bay country, everybody’s suspicion of Washington is compounded by fear that what city slickers don’t know will hurt us. “We want to make sure people in rural areas get a fair shake and are not run over by urban areas,” said Calvert County Board of Commissioners President Hagner Mister at a joint Commissioners-Chamber of Commerce Press Conference.

Washington’s big shadow has already been cast over Calvert and Charles County: though largely rural, those two southern Maryland counties have been classed with their urban neighbor as “non-attainment areas.” “We’re worried that Calvert County will be held accountable for problems we’re not responsible for,” said Chamber of Commerce director Joan Connell.

The counties’ big-city classification carries special responsibilities that, conference callers worried, country counties can’t cope with.

Cars are going to take the biggest hit, because internal-combustion engines produce some of the most obvious and most easily correctable pollution. The law will use sticks and carrots to reduce the number of engines on the road. Mass transit will enjoy the carrots; single-car commuters will feel the stick. That general principle might mean, for example, that commuters will pay ever-higher gas taxes and employers will have to pay parking place taxes.
Growing into changes like that could be painful indeed for counties where you can go any place you like as long as you go by car.

Chemical-dependant businesses will also have to learn new ways of doing things as they face new regulations.

Worse, neighboring St. Mary’s County won’t have such tight standards because it’s just outside the “non-attainment area.” While existing businesses probably won’t flee, the Act may be enough to keep new ones from settling here, Commissioner Mary Krug worried.

May be are the key words in the Clean Air Act script. Whether the law helps or hurts us all depends on regulations now being written. With two Calvert County Commissioners sitting on the committee writing the regulations that will affect us most, we have a voice out of proportion to our population in the metropolitan area.

You can have a voice too. Stop by any public library and pick up a copy of all Clean Air Act proposals. Study them. Imagine how they can be best made to work for you and us. Then have your say at the region’s own Air Quality Public Forum—one of only four to be held in the whole region.

Make it a date: the Southern Maryland Air Quality Public Forum will convene Thursday, July 22 at 7:30pm at the Izaak Walton League building (Rt. 5) in Hughesville.

Oyster Summit
When government calls a meeting, the only thing certain is that taxpayers pick up the tab.

But when the Department of Natural Resources convened a gathering last week on oyster problems, urgency weighted the air.

“I’ve seen a lot of peaks and valleys in my time in the oyster business, but this is the deepest valley we’ve ever been in,” observed Buddy Harrison, a Tilghman Island businessman and one of the participants.

The meeting of state officials, experts, watermen and others with a stake in the proceedings was aimed at starting the ball rolling toward reaching agreement on what to do. The closed-door session took place at a yacht club near Annapolis.

Chesapeake Bay oysters have been ravaged in recent years by two diseases, MSX and Dermo, after declining for decades because of pollution and overharvesting.

In last week’s meeting, experts laid out the extent of the problem and touched on solutions. All would need broad support to succeed.

Harrison believes the real solution is an oyster hearty enough to withstand pollutants in the Bay—if such a thing can be found. Meanwhile, he hopes this year’s massive fresh water flow may have eradicated the diseases.

Few among the participants believes that a magic solution will be found. But Harrison, for one, believes that some groundwork was laid and that another gathering later this month can begin to produce some answers.

“I had a a good sense of the problem, but I learned a few things,” he said.

Shoreline Development
What government taketh away, government can giveth back.

Anne Arundel County is once again issuing permits for shoreline development after a month of confusion during rewriting of the county’s Critical Areas Laws.

In what amounted to a month-long moratorium, the county had halted permits in early June after the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission questioned procedures. But the commission ruled last week that the county did not need to hold up all waterfront projects while the new law was being redrawn.

As a result, permits for projects that had been approved before the confusion set in are being issued once again, county officials report.

Tick Identification
Worried about ticks? Maryland’s State Department of Agriculture will identify ticks for you.

Just a few species of ticks in Maryland are potential Lyme disease carriers. To set your mind at ease, mail yours—dead—to the Ag Department at 50 Harry S Truman Pkwy. Room 306. Annapolis, MD 21401. 410/841-5870.

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Oh, Go on a Picnic!
There’s great truth in the old saying that there’s no place like home, and that goes double for home cookin’. Not all fine eating is done in restaurants, as many Bay cooks will testify. Some fabulous food probably came from your mom's kitchen, forms part of your memory bank, and still influences you in what you cook, eat and enjoy today.

Conjure up childhood memories of picnics, and you’re likely to remember the fried chicken and potato salad, the sliced tomatoes and watermelon wedges, and the sweet, wickedly strong iced tea your mother fixed and packed in containers, maybe even in a split willow basket lined with a soft cotton cloth printed with flowers and fruit. As much a part of the American memory as fireworks on the Fourth of July, picnics are high on the social calendar of summer.

Today, leafing through popular cooking magazines, it might seem as if the old stand-bys have been stuck on the back shelf. They nearly have, for health reasons as much as anything. Fried foods have lost their popularity, as has anything with mayonnaise that’ll be out in the sun for more than a brief time. Remember, the old menus reflected what was available “back then,” before regional cooking classics slipped in almost unnoticed to enrich our options, and before cholesterol whisked away many of our summer soul foods.

Here are two menus, one traditional and one with a wider variety of foods than many picnics get. The first features traditional burgers spiffed up with New Bay Times spices (we’re crazy about spicy stuff here), and with easy and updated (and slimmed down) salads and accompaniments. The second highlights a special main dish from the Big Easy: the Muffuletta, a super sandwich that travels great. All recipes serve six Bay appetites.

Traditional Burgers with New Bay Times’ Spices
Handle the meat lightly or it’ll compact and taste more like good grade cardboard than juicy hamburger!

  • 2 lbs ground round or other low fat hamburger (ground turkey will do)
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 t your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 med onion, minced
  • New Bay Times Spice Mix: 1t each black pepper, dried basil, cayenne, garlic salt and dried mustard; 1T celery seed

Mix in a small bowl all ingredients but the meat. Add to meat, cutting in seasonings only until they are distributed. Immediately cover and refrigerate. This can be done the day before.

The morning of the picnic, dip your hands in ice water, then quickly shape patties and place between sheets of waxed paper or plastic film. Return at once to refrigerator and keep very cold until ready to cook. If you cook over an open fire, throw on a handful of wet wood chips—hickory is best—or several pre-soaked sprigs of basil or rosemary just before the burgers go on the grill.

Easy No-Mayo Potato Salad
Make this the night before. You can sneak in some mayo if you can’t bear the thought of an “un-gooey” potato salad, but the flavors in this recipe blend nicely with the burgers.

  • 2 lbs small red or white potatoes, scrubbed and quartered, and cooked in a lots of salted water until just tender, then drained
  • 1/4 C fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 C olive oil, best quality you can manage
  • 1/3 C chopped celery
  • 1/3 C chopped red onion (white’s okay but a clear second)
  • 1/3 C chopped stuffed olives
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

While potatoes are still hot, pour over lemon juice and oil, then fold in celery, onion, olives and spices. Let come to room temp; taste. Cool foods can take more spice than hot ones; this will probably need more cayenne and salt. Refrigerate until one hour before serving. This can sit in the sun or on a picnic table a lot longer than mayo-based salads, and actually improves at room temperature.

Cole Slaw with Sweet and Sour Dressing
This benefits from advance preparation, allowing the flavors to mellow. If you prefer a crisper slaw, add dressing only an hour before serving.

  • 1 med head green cabbage, cored and shredded or grated in a processor (about 4 C shredded)
  • 1 med green pepper, diced small, not shredded
  • 1 med white onion, diced small or shredded
  • 2 med carrots, diced small or shredded
  • 1/3 C chopped watermelon pickles (trust me!)

Mix all ingredients and put in refrigerator. Make dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, mashed with 1T each mustard seeds and paprika
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 3 T white sugar
  • dash hot sauce, your favorite
  • 1/3 C cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C salad oil

Put dry ingredients and garlic in bowl. Whisk or beat in half the oil in a steady stream, then beat for two minutes. Add hot sauce, then gradually beat in half the vinegar and beat another minute. Add remaining oil slowly, beat one minute, then rest of vinegar slowly and beat one last minute if you have the patience. Pour over cabbage mixture. Let stand at least an hour. Taste and correct seasonings to your preference.

Boston Betty’s Brownie Bars
From a flight attendant named Betty on a flight to Boston.
These can be made several days in advance, and if you hide them well enough, they’ll keep until the picnic. Be careful in not to over-cook these; double check your oven gauge and watch the clock.

For the cheese layer:

  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese (not Neuchatel or lo-cal)
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 T flour
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 3 T sour cream or light sour cream
  • 1 t extract: vanilla, almond, orange or rum

Beat cream cheese until fluffy, about one minute with electric beater. Add sugar and flour and blend. Add eggs, one at a time, then sour cream and extract, beating all the while. Beat until smooth; set aside.

For the brownie layers:

  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips, melted over hot water
  • 4 T butter or margarine
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 1-1/4 t extract: vanilla, orange, almond or rum
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 C flour

Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy, about one minute. Gradually beat in sugar, then add eggs and beat until light colored. Add extract, salt and chocolate; beat until smooth. Blend in flour and mix only until incorporated.
Pour half chocolate mixture in greased and floured 8” x 8” pan. Top with all of cheese mixture. Finish with last of chocolate mixture. Bake 35 - 45 minutes or until puffed. Watch carefully. Let cool in pan at least three hours before cutting.

Picnic 2 Muffuletta
Long a N’Awlins tradition where it’s also spelled Muffaletta, this delight is sold in slices or wedges in many French Quarter markets.... Central Market is probably the most famous. We've updated the meats in using the turkey-based coldcuts available today. If you’re really pressed for time, you can substitute a bottle of commercial Italian Olive Salad or Giardinera for the vegetables.

  • One loaf unsliced bakery bread (not Wonder-type), either long or round, cut in half lengthwise and hollowed out to leave a 1” shell. Reserve bread pieces.
  • 1 8-oz jar stuffed green olives, drained, chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 C chopped black olives (not California canned)
  • 1/2 C chopped Vidalia onion (or regular onion, soaked for an hour in milk, then drained)
  • 1/2 C chopped carrot, cooked for 1 minute in boiling water, then drained and chilled
  • 1/2 C chopped peperoncini (small green-yellow Greek or Italian peppers)
  • 2 C bread pieces, the size of a walnut
  • 1-1/2 T Italian spices or 1/3 C fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 1/2 lb each turkey ham and turkey salami, sliced not shaved
  • 1 t black pepper
  • salt to taste; go easy, remember olives are salty
  • 1/3 lb provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 good, red homegrown tomato, sliced thin

Combine olives, celery, onion, carrot, peperoncini and Italian spices/basil in small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Taste; add pepper and any other spice to your taste. Add bread pieces and mix well. Pack the mixture into both halves of the bread shell. On one half, lay the meats, then the cheese, then the tomato slices; do not lap over the edges of the bread. Put both halves together and wrap tightly, first with foil, then with plastic wrap. Refrigerate a minimum of four hours. Carry to picnic wrapped, then cut in thick slices or wedges at serving time.

A special thanks to Mary Flynn and the staff at the Calvert County Public Library at Prince Frederick for their tireless efficiency in researching this gen-u-wyne recipe.

New Bay Times’ Four-Alarm Muffuletta
You read it here first!

Substitute the following: for the ham, capacola; for the salami, pepperoni sausage; for the peperocini, fresh or pickled jalapenos; add 1/2 T hot sauce to olive oil. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes before wrapping.

Tomato and Red Onion Salad
Make this at the last minute, even at the picnic table. It freshness is a big part of its impact.

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, cored and diced in large pieces
  • 1 med red onion, diced coarsely
  • 1 med red or yellow bell pepper, diced coarsely
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled if supermarket bought, seeded and chopped coarsely
  • 1/3 C chopped parsley or fresh basil

Dressing: Beat together with whisk or fork 1T Dijon or other spicy mustard, 1/2 t each salt and pepper, 1/2 t sugar, 1/4 C vinegar and 3/4 C oil.

Rice and Bean Salad
Great to make ahead, especially if you like spicy foods, to give the jalapenos a chance to spread their warmth. The jalapenos can be put in a separate dish to spare the wimpish.

  • 3 C cooked white rice, salted as you usually would
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/3 C chopped green onion, including green parts
  • 1/3 C chopped parsley
  • 1 small can jalapenos or 3 fresh ones, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, minced

Mix all ingredients together. You can use a yellow bell instead of a red for color contrast.

For the dressing: Beat or whisk together 1T spicy mustard, 1/2 T cayenne, 1/2 t each black pepper and garlic salt, 1/4 C vinegar and 3/4 C oil. Before blending, taste and adjust taste to your preference.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey, Lime, and Ginger Dressing
Make this no more than four hours before serving. The dressing can be carried separately to the picnic if you like, then combined when you arrive.

  • 1 med. Maryland cantaloupe, cut in small chunks or balls
  • 2 nectarines, in small pieces
  • 2 peaches, in small pieces
  • 1 C red cherries, pitted and halved

Combine all ingredients and cover. Refrigerate.

Dressing: Beat or whisk together until well blended 1/3 C honey, juice of 2 limes, and 1/4 C Grand Marnier or dark rum. Substitute strong freshly-brewed tea if you don’t want to use liquor. Heating the honey (until runny, not hot) makes it easier to blend. Add 1/2 t ground ginger, dissolved first in the liquor or tea, or 1/4 C chopped candied ginger, to the honey/lime mixture. Pour over fruit and mix well.

Easy Fruit Dessert
Pile a platter with as many different kinds of fruit as you can find in your supermarket. Don’t overlook some of the more exotic ones such as star fruit. Put all in the middle of the table for an edible centerpiece.

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By nine these summer evenings, Jupiter is half way across the sky in the constellation Virgo. It’s slightly yellow and can be spotted even when the sky is too overcast for stars to be visible. Jupiter is considered the planet of luck and fortune, religion and philosophy, wealth and prosperity, and the gemstones yellow sapphire and yellow topaz.

The largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter is identified with the Roman god of the same name who ruled over all other gods and people. The Greek called him Zeus. Indians call him Brihaspati. All 16 of Jupiter’s moons are named after his mythological lovers. The four largest —Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Calisto— can be seen with a small telescope. Jupiter Pluvius is Jupiter regarded as the giver of rain. Hm-m-m. People in the Midwest must have said “Great Jupiter!” once too often.

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How to Create Your Own Wetlands Pond

1. Get a small (three feet across) rigid plastic wading pool at a hardware or toy store.
2. Dig a hole the size of the pool. Try wetting the ground with a hose to make it easier to dig.
3. Fit the pool into the hole. Pack dirt in as tightly as possible around the edges.
4. Add water with the hose plus about four buckets of swamp water.
5. Add a pile of rocks so that the critters have a place to hide.
6. Collect a few swamp critters like toads, frogs, minnows in a plastic bucket. Add a few swamp plants. Pour them carefully into their new home.
7. Be sure to add some mosquito fish. Otherwise your pool will be a breeding spot for mosquitos. Call 410/535-1295 and say, “How can I get some free mosquito fish?”
8. Add some rocks and plants around the edges of your pool.
9. Watch your pool everyday to see how the critters live. Keep a population count to see how your aquatic family grows. Add some water from time to time if it’s dry. Remove buckets full of water if there’s a lot of rain so your pool doesn’t overflow.

Winter’s are mild enough here that your animals and plants should survive without any special attention.
Invite your friends and family to visit the pool. It’s fun to watch the frogs, and toads and fishes swim and eat.

Kids Page Mini-Wetlands
“I wanted to have something here. I didn’t want to have to wait for my Dad to go down to the swamp,” Michael Niederberger, 12, explains. Mike’s “something here” is a wetlands pond that he created in the woods behind his Chesapeake Beach home.

This small habitat is reached by a curving path that Mike edged with rocks. In the spring the woods came alive with a multitude of daffodils saved from a neighbor’s discards and planted by Mike and his sisters Jessica, 9, Danielle, 8, and Rachel, 6. Next spring, rescued azaleas will splash their color in early summer.

The pond itself is a small pleasant pool in a circle of trees. Originally Mike tried lining his pool with a shower curtain, but it kept getting holes in it. Now he’s using a rigid plastic wading pool. Hiding in the rocks and plankton of the pool are a crayfish, toads, frogs, tadpoles, minnows and mosquito fish. Aquatic arrowroot plants float on top and the frogs are quick to hop up and take a look at the cluster of people looking back at them.

Mike caught most of the creatures in the swamp but the pool has attracted a few volunteer frogs and the mosquito fish came from Calvert County’s Mosquito Control program. Mike says, “The surface of the pool was covered with mosquito larvae. Then a friend of my Mom’s told me about the mosquito fish. A few days after we put them in the water all the mosquito larvae were gone.” Now the fish eat whatever insects fall into the pool and as well as any new larvae.

Perhaps there aren’t any new larvae because there are now no mosquitos to be seen.

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Lost on Dinosaur Bluff
by Sandy Irving

Annie skipped down the path towards the woods.

“Come on, Steve,” she urged. Her legs slowed to match the three-year-olds pace.

“Annie! Remember what I said,” Mom called from the house. “Stay on the path and take care of Stephen. I’m counting on you!”

“We’ll stay out of the water.” Annie called back. She stopped to pet Lady and King, Dad’s beagle hounds. The dogs barked as she walked away.

“Steve, it’s not fair. They still don’t trust me. It’s been a whole summer since I forgot to watch you and you fell off the dock.”

“Come on, slowpoke,” she called. “I’ll race you to Dinosaur Bluff.”

The path was narrow. It twisted as they went deeper into the woods. At last they collapsed on the sandy ground at the edge of a clearing. Sunlight flickered and the old oak cast shadows on the bay below.

“Hey, Steve, look, a dinosaur!”

“Oh boy, let’s go,” he said.

“Okay, but be careful. He might bite you,” she laughed.

“No, he won’t.” Steve scrambled up the trunk of the tree.

Annie was right behind him.

The tree was knotted and its trunk doubled over. It looked just like a giant dinosaur. Annie and Steve sat at the top, right on the dinosaur’s head. Below them the water lapped at the gnarled roots that stretched into the Bay.

“Look, Annie, a heron.”

“I see him,” she whispered. “Be real quiet and let’s see if we can get closer.”

As they tip-toed closer, the heron flew over the brush, across the water. Stephen ran into the water after it.

“Steve, we’re not allowed to get wet,” Annie called, but she splashed after him anyway.

The water was shadowed by oaks and their roots scratched at their legs under the cool water. Annie forgot her promise as they made their way further along the shore like explorers in a wild jungle.

“Tired now. Want to go back.” Stephen sat with a splash.

“It’s time now anyway,” she consoled, thinking “maybe we can dry off on the way home.”

She looked around. It was getting dark and the path was nowhere in sight. “This way...I think. Let’s go.”

They walked back into the woods. Annie shivered in the evening air. The shadows looked like giant monsters ready to grab her. Every noise made her jump like a rabbit.

“Why didn’t I listen to Mom?” she thought. “I’ve just got to get Steve home.”

“Are we lost?” Steve wailed.

“Don’t be silly, Steve. We’re almost home.” She tried to sound convincing. “Oh, Stephen, we’ve lost your shoe. Come on.” She picked him up and held him tight.

SCREECH! An owl called from its perch. WHOOSH, it swooped low, searching for food.

“Oh!” Annie sat on a moldy old log. Spiders’ webs slid across her face and clung to her hair. It was getting darker by the minute.

She got up and kept walking. Her legs hurt where the roots had scratched them. She still held Steve tightly and he slept soundly in her arms.

What am I going to do? How am I going to get us home? Finally, Annie remembered what Dad always said.

“If you ever get lost, Annie, just be quiet and listen,” he had told her. “Maybe you’ll hear a car, or a dog, or maybe you’ll hear me calling you. Just remember to listen.”

Annie listened. She didn’t hear anything but the creaking of the old oaks in the wind. Still she listened. Then out in the distance she heard the dogs. She heard Dad’s beagles! Lady and King always barked just before Dad fed them.

Yip! Yip! They barked in excitement. Still carrying Stephen, Annie ran to the barking. The barking got louder. Finally Annie saw them through a clearing. They were jumping and yelping, calling Dad to bring their food. Annie came closer and they jumped up to greet her, liking and panting.

“We’re home, Steve. Wake up. We’re home.”

Together Annie and Steve ran into the house.

Sandy Irving is a family woman and storyteller who lives on Broomes Island.

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