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Thanks to Dad, I’ve checked and refilled oil, changed spark plugs and batteries, tightened wires, satisfied in the knowledge I could do it

My father, Marlow Hankey, came back from the Army in 1952 after a few years in Korea. While in the service, he learned to like the work of fixing cars and engines in the Motor Pool. His later-life tag of Mr. Fixit stemmed from that time.
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Only poets have words for so tough a job

It’s that time of year again when, whether we deserve it or not, Hallmark tells us parents what a great job we’re doing raising our kids. Yet as we all know, perfection is unattainable. Toughing the job, Americans are increasingly parenting alone. Roughly a quarter of American children are raised by single parents, with nearly 20 percent single fathers, according to 2011 Census statistics.
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I want to grow up to be like ­Diamond Dave

When I was a little kid, I wanted to play the guitar like my dad did. He’s a great musician, a human jukebox who can play hundreds of songs, whatever you want. Diamond Dave is what his music partner Mike calls him, a name that reminds me of the 1960s and of Woodstock, the culture he was immersed in when he was about my age, a teenager. He’s been honing his skill for more than twice as long as I’ve been alive, and it shows.
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When every ounce is a drag on speed, how to provision for 5,500 calories per sailor per day?

In the nine brutal legs covering the 38,739 nautical miles of the Volvo Ocean Race, every ounce matters with the evenly matched, one-design boats. Sailors have been known to shave down their toothbrushes, and drinking cups often double as dishes.
    So what would the grocery list on a Volvo-65 look like on one of the longer legs, say from China to New Zealand?
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Widgeon grass has made itself a 13-acre bed around South River Farm Park, reports Riverkeeper Diana Muller, from her June 4 reconnoiter with the Underwater Grass Expedition Kayak Team. That expansion “is exciting news in water quality,” Muller says.
    A species native to the river, the underwater grass has great value for waterfowl, listed in the authoritative Life in the Chesapeake Bay as one of two “of the most important.”
 

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Citizen scientists can reverse the decline

Too many species to count are losing their habitat as native plant communities disappear because of human land management changes and occupation by invasive species. Hundreds of native insects, including many solitary native bees and other critical pollinators, have already vanished.
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Latest push to save honeybees

Plants pretreated for insect resistance with neonicotinoids will no longer be on the shelves at Ace Hardware. That’s good news for any bees in the area. A relatively new class of pesticides, neonicotinoids have come under scrutiny as a possible cause of the collapse of honeybee colonies. The chemical pesticide targets an insect’s nervous system, causing paralysis. Bees are apparently as susceptible as pesky bugs.
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Special Olympics athletes set their sights on the summer games in Los Angeles

Brandan Ehrmantraut of Prince Fredrick loves being part of Special Olympics. “It shows we aren’t different even with our disabilities,” the 20-year-old says. “We can compete like everyone else.”
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Sometimes stubborn hope pays off

Almost the whole of the week had been lost to high winds and rain. With the marine forecast calling for five-knot winds at dawn and only a 30 percent possibility of light, scattered showers, I rose early and was ready to go at 6am.
    Winds were still gusting out of the northeast at over 20 knots, showing no signs of abatement. Then came the rain, not just the predicted light shower but a torrent.
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Big strides toward a healthier planet

48 Days of Blue made waves. By the time the National Aquarium campaign to protect the environment (started on Earth Day) concluded on June 8, World Oceans Day, it had proved that small changes can help to protect the oceans that cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface.
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