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Government officials learn how to prepare for such unexpected and budget-busting events as this year’s record snowfall

You expect the people working for your local government to be in the know and up to the minute on all the issues you care about. So to get a head start in working for you, officials from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore city go to summer school. From August 18 to 21, while you’re soaking up the last rays of summer, they’re taking classes at the Maryland Association of Counties’ Summer Conference.

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The Bridge, from Baltimore, headlines Stage 2 at Annapalooza. The bluesy Baltimore rock band has a strong local following and a relentless touring schedule. Cofounder Kenny Liner adds two distinctive elements to the band: He mimics a beatbox using only his mouth. This hip-hop tactic is unheard of in a rock band. Liner also plays the mandolin, an instrument more common in bluegrass, folk, and country than rock bands.

Q    How did you first discover you could beatbox?

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Expect great music — if not great theater

Buddy Holly was a remarkable music innovator; he heard disparate influences and blended them to expand the limits of the newly named rock and roll musical genre....

Dear Bay Weekly: I’d like to add my belated praise for Diana Beechener’s July 15 story “Hope Is In the Melody,” on the group that entertains wounded soldiers. In a time when so much news evokes cynicism, I’ve rarely found a story so moving. Well done! –M.B. Lefkowitz, Holland Point...
Dear Bay Gardener My son-in-law has a Lavatera shrub that I want a cutting from. How do I go about getting a good start from the original plant? I can’t find a Lavatera. The only nurseries that have them seem to be in England or Ireland. –Vicki Marsh, Deale ...

These high-tech floats monitor conditions on the Chesapeake, sharing its findings and the Bay’s history with cruisers on the water and on the Internet

A flotilla of big, yellow buoys bobs in Chesapeake Bay. The smart buoys of NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System do more than help boaters steer a safe passage — though they do that, too.

With their monitoring equipment and advanced satellite technology, these smart buoys give scientists, boaters, educators — anyone interested in the Bay — daily real-time data about the estuary.

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Goodness gracious!

In the deepening twilight, Venus, Saturn and Mars blink into view above the west horizon. Thursday the waxing crescent moon joins the fray, with none farther than seven degrees from any other. The planets set around 10pm at week’s end, and while Mars and Venus remain just a few degrees apart through most of the month, Saturn drops from sight over the next few days.

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Exhausted learning to fly, this young fish hawk needed many helping hands

At 7:45am on Tuesday, July 21, my phone rang. Rosemary Roberts, who lives down the road in Chesapeake Beach, announced she’d found an osprey in the middle of the road. “It can’t fly. It needs help,” she screeched. Roberts had read my book, Oscar and Olive Osprey (www.oscarandolive.com) so she was sure “the osprey lady” would know what to do. I didn’t, but I knew who would. ...
Dear Bay Weekly: Glad you put together the summer reading list! Some good selections in that July 1 issue. My most recent book to be finished was Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, which everyone but yours truly read eons ago. Particularly interesting because we detoured to Asheville, NC, and saw the scene — and heard how some townsfolk resented his romans-a-clef. I think of the recurrent question in our memoir-writing workshop, Re-Create Your Life: What will people say? ...
Dear Bay Weekly I was pleased to see the recent oil spill response bill (CLEAR Act) pass the U.S. House of Representatives with full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund included. All of us should take a moment to thank Congressman Steny Hoyer for his part in shaping the legislation and in helping build bi-partisan consensus in this hard-won victory. ...