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Articles by Sandra Olivetti Martin

Crossword creator Ben Tausig wins Orca award for Best Crossword

When your favorite movie wins an Oscar, you can say I was there — virtually.
    You’ve gotten closer than that in the world of puzzles if you’ve matched wits with Ben Tausig, winner of the Orca for Best Crossword of 2012.

Here’s to Magic Weisner, Laura Neuman and the power of possibility

The Odd Chance

In 2002, a Maryland dark horse named Magic Weisner came within a half-length of stealing the Preakness Stakes from front runner War Emblem. Local small-scale trainer Nancy Alberts believed in Magic, who she named for the vet who saved the magically resilient foal’s life. That horse could run.
    Cheering with the rest of Maryland, I followed the story to Laurel Racetrack, where I interviewed Alberts and Magic.

In the literary economy, poetry is an art more in supply than demand. Nearly everybody writes poetry, or so it seems. But who reads it?
    Little kids love its melody and meaning, but by high school it’s force-fed. Most of the rest of us take it, often in the form of Hallmark verse, to help us express emotions for which we seem to have no words of our own.

Bay Gardener helped found an ­industry on nature’s fertilizer

For every job, there’s an association. Every association has heroes lauded for having discovered how to do the job better. The Bay Gardener, Dr. Francis Gouin, has just been enrolled as a hero of the U.S. Composting Council.

Chimps Go for Ravens, 49ers eat crow

The wise guys and gals of the world of sports gave Super Bowl XLVII to the San Francisco 49ers. The chimpanzee tribe of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, however, got it right.
    On Purple Friday, February 1, the zoo’s 11 chimps emerged from their night quarters into a dayroom decked out with footballs and two team banners: a red one for the 49ers and a purple one for the Ravens.

Love finds its match with Critter Cupids

This Valentine’s Day, woo your love with chocolate, flowers and a critter cupid. That’s the advice of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., whose animals are lending their images to a loveable fundraising campaign.

With Black History Month, remember that the Civil Rights movement swept America on television

With only 28 days, February has to hurry.
    Even more so on the Bay Weekly calendar, where our shortest month gets a late start this year. With January packed full of five Thursdays, our first paper of the month comes to you on February 7. So we’re already late for Groundhog’s Day, when Punxsutawney Phil and Chesapeake Chuck pop up to predict spring.

For Michelina Scotto, raising $10,000 is easy. It’s the 24 hours of cold water that has her worried

For Michelina Scotto of Stevensville, the easy part is raising the $10,000 qualification fee for joining the Super Plunge Team of the 17th Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge benefitting Special Olympics Maryland.

Feeling energized and confident? Good thing. We’ve got work to do.

It seems to be working, and aren’t we glad.
    The great old stories of rising from darkness into light, all synched to the winter solstice of our northern hemisphere, held the day. The battle of myths was lost by the doomsayers who predicted time’s termination on the ancient Mayan calendar’s last day. Now 12/21/12 joins Y2K in the museum of failed prophecies.

Forecasting this General Assembly’s environmental future

When your well runs dry — as Michelle Steel’s did, as you’ll read in this week’s feature story — you’re an outlier. In our part of the country, rural living is a luxury. Suddenly you’re paying for that luxury.