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Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2012 Grade F (9 on a scale of 70)

Inspired this time of year by the earliest signs of spring to carry on their ancient species, shad don’t know they’re failing the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s survival test.     
    They’re just doing what comes naturally.    
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You can still catch this comet
 

Comet PanSTARRS is still with us for 30 to 45 minutes immediately following sunset. Look for it due west 20 degrees below the crescent moon Thursday, March 14. Shining around second magnitude, PanSTARRS at first appears as a modest star. Binoculars — and with ideal viewing conditions, even the unaided eye — will reveal a wispy tail pointing almost straight up....

Calvert County author Peter Abresch has a new mystery out just in time to add a touch more intrigue to the election of a new pope.
    Recycling Jesus, the author’s 10th novel, is a mystery wrapped in the Church’s most venerated relic, the Shroud of Turin. The crime might have gone undetected had not the Shroud’s guard been killed.
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Pay no attention to the misogyny behind the curtain

In drab Kansas, a two-bit magician named Oz (James Franco: Lovelace) bamboozles country folk with black powder flashes and cleverly hidden wires. He dreams of greatness but settles for life as a glorified flimflam man in a traveling circus, seducing gullible farmers’ daughters.
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Many cash streams flow into cleaning up the Bay

Stormwater doesn’t stop running, especially in a Chesapeake season Noah could appreciate.
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UniStar Nuclear is too French for Uncle Sam

Local cheering for a third nuclear reactor at Calvert Cliffs has seemed misplaced.
    The economics of nuclear power are next to impossible these days with the federal government no longer able to provide loan guarantees and cheap natural gas the happening new energy source.
    Then there’s Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster two years ago that rekindled safety concerns.
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Grading the Bay’s health and Maryland’s ­congressional delegation

Sister Ignatius enters her final week at Bay Theatre Company, but Sisters Alphonse, Clotilda and Extrema cast an eternal shadow in my memory. I suspect it’s the image of numbers inked in their neat hands that makes me to this day averse to report cards.
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Rites of Spring

Irish loaves and burning socks

This Sunday is the day to celebrate your Irish roots or embrace the Irish heritage and culture through food, drink and jigs. Some find their Irish thru green beer and shots of Jameson’s whiskey (which often helps with the jigs). A traditional favorite is slow-roasted corned beef and cabbage.
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Editor’s note
    Three report cards come to us in the early months of the year, each asking us to consider the health of the Chesapeake Bay and where — if anywhere — all our work is getting us.
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