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Articles by Sandra Olivetti Martin

What fascinates us comes to define us

What fascinates you?

I’ve built a career of getting people to tell me their answer to that question. Over the years, I’ve learned that people are fascinated by many things, often things you or I might call odd. Like stretch-and-sew sewing. That was the short-term fascination of one dear old friend whose obsessions, I’m glad to say, changed frequently. I’m glad because I’d hate to sum up Sue’s life by saying she hand-made T-shirts. 

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Telling the stories of a city at work

 

“Oh my Lord, thank you. I never thought I’d live to see this day,” gushed Mrs. Beatrice P. Smith, 89, of Annapolis, after throwing her arms around former President Jimmy Carter on Pleasant Street, just around the corner from — but out of sight of — downtown Annapolis.

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A new breed of wind-sellers can lower your utility bill while saving the environment

In wind power, the money is in the marketing.

We learned as much long ago from the experiment of William Wrigley Jr., the millionaire whose success you’ve no doubt chewed on more than once. The maker of Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum, among other chewables, kept a weather eye on opportunity. 

How he put chewing gum in vending machines at about the turn of the 20th century is a milestone of entrepreneurial capitalism.

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U.S. EPA says Stop spoiling the Chesapeake on junk food!

If pollutants were calories, our Chesapeake would be obese, short of breath and diabetic.

So it’s good news that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new plan to require other states to follow Maryland’s lead in counting — and limiting — the junk they’re feeding the Chesapeake.

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If they want to win

 

Bay Weekly Primary Primer helped you get to know the candidates crowding this year’s race to the general election. Even more important, it helped you cast your vote. Or would-be vote, if you were locked out of primary voting because of your political independence or residence.

That’s what you’ve told me, by letter, phone, email and in person. 

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The new era begins now

In a decade or two, we might be hearing this conversation:

You know, fat oysters like that one you’re eating used to be hunted in the wild, like the buffalo.

Really?

Like cowboys, Chesapeake watermen rode out on low-rise boats, even in the worst weather in the middle of winter, and scraped oysters from the bottom of Chesapeake Bay.

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Or weep when you see who you’ve hired

It’s downright terrifying how much control we give away on Election Day.

Scarier still is how few of us bother with these decisions. 

What we’re really doing when we go out to vote is hiring people for a job with vast responsibility over our public and private lives.

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It’s back to work we go

A holiday is always welcome, no matter when it falls.

But many of them seem to fall as randomly as the leaves that will soon illustrate for us the meaning of deciduous.

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Maryland’s Most Humane Lawmakers

The Maryland General Assembly is a pretty animal-friendly place, according to the Maryland Humane Scorecard released this month.

Across both houses, 117 of 188 members scored 75 percent or higher; only 12 legislators scored less than 50 percent.

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Despite embarrassment, indignity and mess, animals are our family

The animals in our lives can get us in trouble.

There’s a story circulating through the Bay Weekly office, and possible beyond, about Nipper’s appearance at a family picnic. It wasn’t Nipper’s family picnic.

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