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Bay Weekly Interviews

Maritime historian Richard Dodds tells us how the era of recreational boating rose and flourished

From lighthouses to skipjacks, amphibious landings to speedboats, all that and more is in Richard Dodds’ portfolio as Calvert Marine Museum’s Curator of Maritime History. Inside the Solomons museum, runabouts, cruisers and speedboats that look both modern and classic illustrate how that chapter of maritime history rose and flourished in Southern Maryland. Visit the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis this weekend, and you’ll see the vast diversification of their descendants. It all happened in a very short time.

At stake: The location, size and scope of Anne Arundel County public libraries

You’d expect this kind of action in a thriller borrowed from your public library. Not over it.     Instead, Anne Arundel County’s public libraries are the story in a showdown with high stakes: The location, size and scope of public libraries for the county’s 555,743 people.

A Bay Weekly Conversation with Anson ‘Tuck’ Hines, ­Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Director

In 1962, the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C., found itself the beneficiary of farmer Robert Lee Forrest’s unanticipated bequest: a 368-acre dairy farm in Edgewater pushing up against the Rhode River — plus $1.7 million.

Senator Ben Cardin wants a system that’s fair and easy to understand

Everybody hates taxes, yet we want more and more services from government.     Trying to balance those two forces, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin wants to change our entire tax system, which he regards as out of whack, not to mention unfair.     The system he’s espousing essentially taxes us when we spend money rather than siphoning it from our paychecks, earnings, dividends and capital gains. Cardin is a Democrat, but many Republicans agree with him. So does Bill Gates.

The world’s most famous lagoon is created daily in Annapolis

I’m always surprised to discover someone world-famous living nearby. In New York City it would be routine, but not so much here. Everyone has to live somewhere, but why Bay Country?     For many people, home is dictated by family roots or livelihood. For some, it’s a choice of desirable characteristics rather than ties.     What brings Jim Toomey, creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon series Sherman’s Lagoon, to Annapolis?

Father is supposed to know best. But does he? Are his enduring lessons taught by determination as he strives to pass along life-guiding values? Or by accident, as a man doing the best he can — and some not even that. By words? Or by example?         Hence our question in this year’s edition of our annual effort to understand that great life role: What lesson did your father teach you — intentionally or otherwise — that guides you to this day?
Tattered sneakers tell a river’s story. Retired state senator Bernie Fowler tells his.
This Sunday, June 8, Bernie Fowler will tie on his white sneakers to wade into the Patuxent River. Well-wishers, family and friends, school kids, politicians and reporters will join him, linking hands in a human chain, striding into the water until they can no longer see their shoes. Then, if history is a guide, Steny Hoyer — the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Congress — will measure the height of the watermark on his old friend’s overalls, declaring the Sneaker Index for 2014.  

Plant scientist Bert Drake warns that in Earth’s changing climate, plants are odds-on winners. It doesn’t look so good for us.

Hailing from Maine, Bert Drake likes cool weather. So you’d expect him to be riled about a world getting warmer. The issue is more than comfort, says the plant physiologist, who retired in 2010 after a 40-year career at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater.     Like Noah, Drake worries about flooding. And crop failure, which would have been an issue for Noah, too. Drake, however, might top Noah on the anxiety scale, for he’s got drought on his mind as well.     How did he get so anxious?

Anne Arundel Community ­College president Dawn ­Lindsay puts her money on empowering people

At Anne Arundel Community College, where two out of three students are women, women’s history is a forward-heading story. Dawn Lindsay continues a two-decade tradition of female leadership, following Martha Smith, who served 18 years as college president.     Lindsay took over in August, 2012, leaving Glendale Community College in California, where she was also president, for “the place I’d had my eye on for some time, an amazing college with a great national reputation.”

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.