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Articles by Kathy Knotts

Middle-schoolers learn to see through the lens to bring everyday images to life

This summer middle-schooler ­Kinsey Helmly discovered something surprising about photography.
    “I love how every picture has a story behind it,” she writes. “In my photo Blissful Forest, my model has words written on her hand from a classmate at school. That’s why her hand is closed. But you would never have known that had I not told you. That’s what I love about photos. They all have a secret.”
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Your old books benefit local libraries

Finding a taker for old books can be a challenge. Anne Arundel County Public Library now offers a solution.
    Novels, children’s books, fiction, nonfiction, hardback, paperback, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks are all given new life after you donate them at the Discover Books blue collection bins at all county library branches.
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Spa Creek Conservancy fights phrag

Crews and volunteers with Spa Creek Conserv­ancy are claiming success against a nasty foe.
    Thick stands of the invasive reed phragmites, a common enemy across the Bay watershed, have been choking Spa Creek. The grasses quickly take over a marsh community, crowding out native plants, changing hydrology, altering wildlife habitat and increasing the danger of fires. Tall stems and dense growth block light to other plants. Its rhizomes spread rapidly.
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Unity Gardens grants up for grabs

Plants and flowers aren’t all that grow in gardens. Leadership and civic involvement can also bloom. That’s a motivating idea behind Unity Gardens, a nonprofit that backs its philosophy with dollars.
    So twice each year when Unity Gardens gives away seed money, in the spring and fall, human growth potential is a top giving criteria.
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Paddlers wanted to ­monitor the Severn’s underwater world

The Severn River Association needs your help surveying underwater grass beds in the Severn River, mostly in and around Round Bay, July through early August. You’ll locate the beds, take samples and identify the grasses by species while recording water temperature and visibility.
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Don’t you wish you could join in?

Feeling sticker shock after seeing your first summer electricity bill? You aren’t alone. Even the state of Maryland feels the pain. But the state has more leverage than you and I. Enough leverage to trigger a bidding war for lower rates.
    At the center of it all is a reverse auction. In a typical auction, prices rise for the seller’s benefit. In a reverse auction, prices drop in a bidding war, benefitting buyers.
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League of Conservation Voters wants your photos

“It’s a great feeling to see my neighbors and fellow Marylanders enjoying our state — from the mountains in western Maryland to the wetlands in Southern Maryland to the beaches on the Eastern Shore,” says Danielle Lipinski of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “We truly have a little bit of everything here in Maryland, and I’m grateful to raise my family here.”
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Chesapeake waters are inviting

As summer draws you to the alluring shores of Chesapeake Bay, take heed to check the waters before you splash in.
    The good news is that Maryland beaches were open for swimming with no health-based advisories nearly 99 percent of the time for the fifth year in a row last summer, a Maryland Department of the Environment report shows.
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Swimming the Bay is an endurance act of charity

Calm winds and sunny weather greeted the 650 swimmers who braved the sometimes-turbulent waters of the Bay Sunday, June 11, for the 26th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Swim.
    Just how long does that take?
    Less than 90 minutes for the fastest swimmer, Andrew Gyenis, 22, of Herndon, Va., who crossed in 1:29:07. Katie Fallon, 21, of Warren, NJ, claimed the title of first female to finish, with a time of 1:40:11.
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New parents take books home with babies

First-time parents in Anne Arundel County now have another bundle to carry home from the hospital: Baby Learns to Read Bags.
    The bags include board books, a library card application and activity cards for early literacy as well as guidance for parents on being their child’s first teachers.
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