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Planning for spring starts now

Calvert Garden Club awards mini-grants of $100 to $1,000 to local non-profits to Beautify Calvert County.
    Last year, when the grant theme was educating a new generation, a $750 grant to Mt. Harmony Elementary School funded a vegetable garden and wildflower bed.
    Apply by Feb. 1: calvertgardenclub.com.

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Grasonville environmental center schools grown-ups

So you want to learn more about life in Chesapeake Country, but you’re just a bit intimidated by lengthy Master Naturalist classes with lots of study time and volunteer hours?
    The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville has the answer you didn’t know you were looking for.
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In the Maryland General Assembly, C. Rhoades Whitehill reads every last bill … Out loud

With up to 2,000 bills churning through each chamber in the Maryland General Assembly, you might wonder who reads them all.  
    Legislators? Not a chance.
    Who you gonna call? Only one number in Annapolis, that of C. Rhoades Whitehill, Reading Clerk for the Maryland House of Delegates.
    How many? Last year, Whitehill says, “That was 1,600, nearer to 1,700.”
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After being at the helm of the 8 Days a Week calendar for over a year, I feel as if I live and breathe calendars. So it’s a good thing I love a good calendar. One of the best tools for organization and prioritizing and goal setting, a calendar becomes a thing of beauty when used repeatedly. And beautiful they can be. We live in a region that lends itself spectacularly to photography. Those photos grace 12 months of pages in the wall calendars that came across my desk this month....

There’s room in the inn at local churches

Christmas is upon us; New Year’s to follow. It’s time for new beginnings.
    Just ask Oliver Sellman, now of Severna Park, who made a tough choice one Christmas season and, in the process, turned his life around.
    It happened in 2008, at a church along the Baltimore-Annapolis corridor, where Sellman was among the guests receiving shelter and spiritual support through Arundel House of Hope.
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City Dock menorah-lighting ­celebrates the joy of Judaism

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins at sunset on December 24 and continues through January 1, adding eight more days of lights, special meals and gift-giving to the festivities of the season. It’s an unusual extension, as Christmas and Hanukkah have overlapped only a handful of times over the last century....

NORAD, Civil Air Patrol track Santa’s flight

When Santa enters North American airspace, the North American Aerospace Defense Command switches its defense mission to monitoring his travels around the world in his sleigh.
    “Every year on December 24, 1,500 volunteers staff telephones and computers to answer calls and e-mails from around the world,” according to www.norad.mil. Live updates come in seven languages on the NORAD Tracks Santa website: www.noradsanta.org.
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Better options for bagging leaves become the rule

Be sure to ask Santa for compostable paper bags or a new bin for your yard waste in 2017. Beginning in January, neither Annapolis nor Anne Arundel County will accept plastic bags in its curbside pickup of grass clippings, leaves, Christmas trees and other yard waste.
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Dashing through the cold for a good cause

The temperature shivered in the high 30s Saturday morning December 10 as some 200 runners stripped down to briefs for the annual run up Main Street, Annapolis.
    Warmed by music from the kilted Chesapeake Caladonian Fife and Drum Band, they sped uphill from O’Brien’s to St. Anne’s Church, where they turned around and ran back down to O’Brien’s to celebrate the season and their daring.
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How I learned to make my own cookie cutter at the library

Fans of Star Trek are familiar with replicators, providing exotic drinks, gourmet meals, and practical and important objects for all sorts of purposes in the future. Give voice commands to the computer, and the objects appear.
    In real life, you can take a first step toward this future by having your computer create solid objects.
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