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You’ll find good news aplenty in this week’s paper — and some bright spots in the classifieds, too

Editor and publisher Sandra Olivetti Martin, vacationing with husband and Bay Weekly co-founder Bill Lambrecht, both of whom celebrate birthdays within a week of the year’s mid-point, asked for a week off from her usual letter. So I write you in her stead, aquake at the responsibility of filling this coveted space.
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The stars and planets are the original fireworks

While these are the shortest nights of the year, many a fond memory is set star-gazing on warm summer evenings. And in between the bursts of flame and the clouds of smoke honoring our independence this week, Friday’s new moon provides a dark backdrop highlighting the greatest show in the heavens.
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While they don’t bite, mosquito-like giants do pester

First it was the invasion of the stinkbugs that had Bay Country residents bugged. Those pests have, for the most part, left our homes for the outdoors — unfortunately to eat their way through summer crops. But that’s another story.
    Now it’s another flying insect driving some of us nuts.
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This update on Shakespeare is fun all the way to the interplanetary nether regions

Twin Beach Players’ Return to the Forbidden Planet is a howler, and I mean that in a good way. It’s original and it feels spontaneous, but a ton of work had to go into this production. The large cast, comprising 14 teenagers and one adult, take over the spacious stage for a romp that takes us out to the spatial interplanetary nether regions, and it’s fun all the way.
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JJ Abrams writes a love note to Stephen Spielberg with aliens, explosions and boyish wonder

Did you ever wonder what would have happened if ET had been found by the government instead of that adorable moppet Elliott?
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The celebration of a nation of immigrants

It’s no wonder that fireworks are Independence Day’s signature. The holiday is explosive with emotion.
    And packed with participation.
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The buyer needs to beware — and to be aware

To get the topsoil you want, you’ll have to be precise in your order.     
    Ask a sand and gravel company to bring a load of topsoil without any more specific instruction, and you may get more, or less, than you bargained for.

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Nobody’s the loser when perch is on the table

We were horribly late. The informal perch tournament had started promptly at 10am, but it was closer to 11 before our boat finally joined the fray. Easing up to the first stop on the planned search pattern, Roger Sexhauer and I made quick casts to within inches of some ancient pilings just off the rocky shoreline while Mike Ebersberger, our captain, set a small anchor.

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It’s easier to say that popular word than to define it

Buying local is all the rage. But what is local? Until now, there has been no way to guarantee that what you’re buying is grown locally — whatever that is — or even grown in Maryland.
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The work starts early each year to make bombs burst in air on Independence Day

Every July, Americans celebrate our nation’s birthday with fireworks. The crowd gets quiet as the sun goes down, waiting for the countdown to illuminate the sky in a bombastic and awe-inspiring yearly birthday ignition.
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