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Divergent paths through the Civil Rights era

As a young boy in 1920s Georgia, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker: The Last Stand) learned how the world worked for black people. On a whim, their white land-owner not only rapes Cecil’s mother but also shoots his father, who is buried by his fellow black sharecroppers in a shallow grave.
    In compensation, Cecil is invited in as a house servant. The work is
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But brilliant Sirius isn’t to blame

For kids heading back to school, summer has truly gone to the dogs. But neither that nor your canine companion panting on the cold basement floor is why the hottest days of the year are referred to as the Dog Days of summer. The answer shines in the heavens in the form of a star more than 81⁄2 light years away.
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Travel Maryland with your pets

You work all week and want to relax on the weekends — get away perhaps? The only thing keeping you on the leash at home is you can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind.
    Your problem is solved by Visit Maryland’s new directory of Fido-friendly destinations. The list includes places throughout Maryland where both you and your pet are welcome to visit, stay or play.
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    Calvert County’s feral cat sanctuary is home to many cats who would otherwise have been destroyed, yet there is not a scruffy one among them. All have beautiful thick coats in the winter, and I wondered how each cat would manage the transition to summer.
    Turns out, nature provides fallen tree limbs. Branches and still-pliable twigs serve as stationary cat-combs.
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Great vocal talents and imaginative theater choices lead you into the woods of an atypical fairy tale

As you enter Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, take note of the Into the Woods set, designed by show director and choreographer Darnell Morris. The woods are beautifully painted in soft pastels with large trees on each side of the stage, evoking a pastoral Monet sensibility. Appreciate the beauty while you can because, as advertised, “this is not your typical fairy tale,” and with Alex Doan’s lighting, the stage becomes dark and ominous very quickly.
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    Of course there are some who like it hot. In winter, Scruffy sits on a heat vent to warm his bottom. But in summer, Scruffy and Dewey leave the air-conditioned house and head for the warm and cozy garage. Dewey’s spot is under the car or in front of the garage door, while Scruffy lounges on top of the car or in an old lawn chair. In the garage, the boys search for bugs, lizards and mice to play with and eat — and sometimes bring into the house.
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Head to a new place, and the fishing gets better

It was in the middle of the week and we had our Norfolk spot for live lining caught by 7am. Jumping up on plane, we headed toward the Bay Bridge. It was already too late. The concrete supports where we had had such great luck a day earlier had two skiffs anchored at each, and our third and fourth choices were being eyeballed by a couple of approaching charter boats.
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Cullen Hunter knows firsthand how to help the furry paws at Calvert Animal Welfare League

What ingredients does it take to make a valuable volunteer for cats waiting for their forever home?
    Cullen Hunter, 19, and his grandfather Robert Sigona — both of Dunkirk — know firsthand how to help out the hundreds of furry paws at Calvert Animal Welfare League.
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Acid-loving plants need iron but rusting metal won’t help

A Bay Weekly reader told me he throws a handful of nails in the bottom of each planting hole whenever he plants trees or shrubs. The tradition has been handed down from grandpa to grandson. The purpose, he says, is “to provide an adequate supply of iron to the roots, of course.”
    He could not tell me if nail size, such as ten-penny, finish nails or shoe tacks, made any difference. He had no preference for rusty nails or new nails.

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You remember those days, the excitement — or terror — a new school year brings, mixed with the sorrow of letting go of summer.
    It’s a story each of us shares and each generation repeats. Yet each person’s story enriches the theme with delicious detail.
    As the 2013 school year begins, we’ve asked 12 kids (and one surprise returnee) — kindergarten through 12th grade — for their views.
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