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People on the move in the Maryland General Assembly

Lawmaking is not the only thing on the minds of the members of Maryland’s 430th General Assembly. Among local highlights:

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One family proves that an environmentally progressive home doesn't have to look like a science project

Martha and Bill Sykora’s 1951 house looks like a conventional, home. Nothing sci-fi about it. Behind the façade, it’s anything but conventional. It will be Anne Arundel County’s first LEED Platinum-certified home.
    The Sykora home proves that an environmentally progressive building doesn’t have to look like a science project.

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Bird artists flock to 2012 competition

Duck stamps have been preserving marsh and wetlands for waterfowl since the Great Depression, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the federal Duck Stamp program to support the purchase of land for national wildlife refuges.
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Hot-blooded Marylanders hoping for icy reception

The frostbite swimming season began January 1 with barely an icicle.
    At 43 degrees, Chesapeake waters were cold. That was the common report from plungers at North Beach’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim.
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Sneade’s donation adds $2,000 to Calvert Hospice’s Festival of Trees

Woodchips and memories will soon be all that’s left of this year’s Christmas trees hauled curbside in Anne Arundel or to Calvert’s convenience centers for recycling. Not so for the 64 trees in Calvert Hospice’s 23rd annual Festival of Trees. Decorated and sponsored throughout Calvert, the trees annually add about $100,000 to Hospice coffers.
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Simple steps to lower your utility bills and ease the pressure on Mother Earth.

Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

    Keeping your home warm in the winter, or cool in the summer, requires a lot of energy. Control these costs with an energy-saving programmable thermostat. This thermostat is programmed by time and temp so that your heating or central air-conditioning is on when you want it to be and at the temperature you choose.
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Bay Weekly’s pick of 2012 wall calendars

In the language of old movies, falling calendar pages symbolized the passing of time. Years could go by in seconds, just as 2011 surely has done. Now December is about to top the pile of the last 11 months. So it’s time to choose a new calendar.
    Most of us still do that, you know. Or have a calendar chosen for us, as calendars rank high in holiday gifts exchanged among acquaintances.
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Finding — and giving — refuge from the storm

The deaf cat, a skinny princess getting on, could not hear her own purrs, nor our learned conversations above her head, at a festive gathering in a lovely house on St. Leonard’s Creek beyond Jefferson Patterson Park.
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A Hound’s Jolly Humbug!

As I decked the halls with boughs of holly

I put a Santa hat on this dog to be jolly.

When down to the dog park we went to play,

The strangest things my dog had to say!
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Arsenic additive accumulates in poultry, soil and us

It’s not just chicken feed; it’s arsenic as well that fattens chickens in their short seven-week lifespan from egg to market. The chicken we love to eat fried, sautéed, roasted and broiled contains traces of the poisonous element. That’s one finding of a new study commissioned by the Maryland General Assembly and done by the University of Maryland’s Harry R....