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Features (People)

Donald Sheckells: Stuck on oystering

If oystering has been your life for more than 40 years, what do you do when age catches up with you?
    If you’re Donald Sheckells, you’re still working.
    The Shady Side waterman no longer braves winter on the water to harvest oysters. But he’s still shucking and selling them.
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Meet Secret Life of Bees author Sue Monk Kidd … at Sam’s Club

Sue Monk Kidd, author of the bestselling novel The Secret Life of Bees, is coming to Annapolis.
    She’s selling and signing her newest book, The Invention of Wings, not at familiar book haunts but at Sam’s Club, a newcomer in author appearances.
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First-time candidate Mitchelle Stephenson hopes to put her people skills, knowledge of the issues and local contacts to work for voters

You’re more likely to growl your revenge at a politician than kick a dog. Dogs have got a vast grassroots constituency rooting for them. Politicians not so much. On preferential polls, politicians rank below dog poop.
    So why would you want such a job?
    This election year, Bay Weekly is asking that question of politicians of various stripes. Among them: first timers, try-a-second-timers and winners turned losers trying again.
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Courthouse Square now looks a lot like Christmas

On December 3, the Parish Hall At Christ’s Church in Port Republic bustles with four dozen Calvert Garden Clubbers preparing to decorate the county courthouse with evergreens harvested a day earlier at four local farms.
    “We call it the Greening,” says cochair Mary Berkley.
    Wearing monogrammed aprons, they work likes elves trimming magnolia, grapevine and boxwood for wreaths, fragrant sprays and evergreen ropes.
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Michael Ryan’s baton and mighty voice bring the Messiah home to St. James Parish

Late afternoon on Thanksgiving Sunday, singers file into the 1765-church. Some carry their well-thumbed scores of Handel’s Messiah; others will borrow or buy a score, $10 at the door.
    As 4pm approaches, some 200 wait for director Michael S. Ryan to lower his baton. 
    For the 27th year, annual Advent Messiah Sing-Along opens the Christmas season at historic St. James Parish with joyful impromptu song.
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Local animal lovers read local Short Leash writer

If you read Marley and Me and cried like a baby, we may have the book club for you.
    The readers in this club carry their passion about animals into their taste in books. They’ll read any animal-themed book. They started on The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and The Pitbull Placebo by Karen Delise.
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After generations harvesting wild oysters, Chesapeake watermen are learning to raise them

Where have all the nicknames gone?
    Once upon a time you had one — Popeye, Spanky, Hambone — if you were an oysterman working the Bay.
    Nowadays, oystermen are mostly gone, along with their nicknames. In Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, only about a dozen commercial oystermen still work.
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John Page Williams honored for 40 years of conservation

John Page Williams, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s senior naturalist, has been made an Admiral of the Chesapeake by decree of Governor Martin O’Malley. The rank, which dates back to the middle of the last century, recognizes a lifetime of environmental contributions.
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Area soccer youth draw ­inspiration from local star

World Cup-bound soccer star Kyle Beckerman grew up here in Chesapeake Country, in Crofton, where many a young player hopes to run in his footsteps.
    The 31-year-old has been making a name for himself in the international soccer world through solid performances in the 2013 International Football Federation — or FIFA — Gold Cup and the 2014 World Cup qualification tournament for this summer’s games.
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Anglers from the boat Bluejay show off the 13.8-pound rockfish that earned them third place in this year’s Fish for a Cure tournament. From left: Brian Wood, Capt. Tilghman, Capt. Mike Cassidy, Greg Lilly, Brendan Kelly, Greg Gunning and Marty Cassidy.
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