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$29k helps Spay Spa and Neuter Nook keep cat — and dog — numbers down

Multiply 400 cats — as they’ll do without any assistance — and in a year you’ll get 4,000 kittens, more or less.
    “It can cascade,” says Kathy Evans of Rude Ranch’s Spay Spa and Neuter Nook.

Big rig T880 is bringing Christmas to our nation’s capitol

In a 50-year tradition, the Christmas tree that shines throughout December on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol is cut in one of the nation’s states.

Bring Your Play to Life

End-of-year deadline for ­Colonial Players Promising Playwright Competition

God created the heavens and earth, planets, stars and creatures, in seven days.
    Playwrights, naturally, take longer.
    So you’d better get busy if you aspire to create a play for The Colonial Players of Annapolis’ biennial Promising Playwright Contest. Entries are due by Dec. 31.
    Prizes are big and requirements few — beyond the act of creation.

If there be spirits, now’s the time to find them

Storm clouds shot lightning in the distance across the water that cool, damp evening. The flash of the camera was the only other light that pierced the night. Nothing could be seen in the screen except two small balls of light. But when the picture was enlarged, a man appeared: a bearded man in a long coat with — perhaps — a lantern in his outstretched arm. Later, this same face appeared in the photo of a window pane.

Good Ol’ Boat Needed

A second life for a worthy craft

Have you outgrown — or out-aged — your boat? It may have a second life helping the Severn River
    The Severn River Association needs a small boat to monitor the Severn watershed. The ideal boat is small enough to get into nooks and crannies so volunteers can inspect and photograph shorelines to monitor compliance with Critical Area regulations.

Maryland bears and hunters coexist

Maryland is a pretty wild place, and getting wilder all the time. Foxes are joining deer, groundhogs, opossums, raccoons and squirrels as regular neighborhood families; skunks and coyotes are occasional visitors.
    Lest black bears rejoin the list of wildlife returning to their original statewide range, some 1,100 hunters stalked them, killing 69, in Allegany and Garrett counties from October 20 to 23.

The Volvo Ocean Race is on its round-the-world blitz again

The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-’15 began October 11 and finishes next June in Gothenburg, Sweden, by way of the ends of the earth.
    By then, the seven boats will have sailed 38,739 miles from Alicante, Spain, visiting 11 ports on five continents.
    Newport, Rhode Island, their seventh port, brings them closest to us, early next May.

Al ­DeCesaris is running down the East Coast for Sturge-Weber syndrome

Millions of people dump ice water on their heads to raise money for ALS. Hundreds of thousands walk for breast cancer. Can one lone person hope to make a difference? Especially fighting a plight out of the limelight?
    Annapolis lawyer and St. Mary’s High School graduate Al DeCesaris knows he can.

Before you vote them in, read their words on the Bay

How do you use the Bay, and what will you do to keep this great resource alive and well?

District 27 State Senate

8th-grader’s plan wins statewide peace writing contest

“I hear a buzz. … It’s a group text but all the numbers are blocked. It reads check out this geek, and the picture connected to it is of my best friend Sarah.”
    Those words, and the thousand following, won Central Middle School’s Jenna O’Connell first prize in this year’s Fred B. Benjamin Peace Writing Contest for Middle Schoolers.