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Celebrate the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a toy, not a turtle

It may surprise you to know that 99.9 percent of turtles have little to no ninja skills. Yet thousands of small turtles have already been purchased for children by parents anticipating the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. On the eve of the film’s release, Maryland Natural Resources Police begs parents to stick to reptilian action figures and skip buying baby turtles.       “These tiny animals aren’t toys, and they require a commitment to keep them healthy and safe,” says Natural Resources Police Cpl. Michael Lathroum.

Conowingo eels might just be one of the most important species in our waters

The only eel I have seen in the last 20 years was on sushi.     That changed in a big way as I gazed at a tank teeming with the wriggling creatures.     “We call them pencil eels; they’re about four inches long,” said my guide, Ian Park of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At the base of the Conowingo dam on the Susquehanna River, we were tending to an experiment that could unlock a key to restoring Bay water quality. Park’s job was to move the eels from a collection tank to a holding tank.

In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Tap and dance along with 12 Celtic bands and five schools of Irish dance at the Annapolis Irish Festival. The music starts on Friday, July 11, at 4pm on three stages and continues through Saturday night.     Festival organizer Eddie McGowan loves “the whole community feel of the festival. It is not just a beer-drinking festival. It is a family event with all ages coming out. The Irish heritage in Annapolis is strong.”

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

     For stage-smitten elementary-, middle- and high-schoolers, winning a spot in Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival means they’ve made it to the All-Star Game. The nine-year-old competition — open to all school-age children in Maryland — gives kids their moment to shine with an added bonus: $100 for top six winning plays.     But it’s love, not money, that sparks these playwrights.

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

     Talent Machine is a gifted crew of kids and volunteers who make magic for audiences of every age. This year, the seven- to 14-year-old troupe is working on Peter Pan; the kids have learned lines, choreography and music to captivate audiences. From this experience, they’ll take away more than memories and new friends.     As actors, they have learned to manage their time, to carry on when things didn’t go according to plan and to work with different people. Most of all, they have gained confidence in themselves.

Before you vote, read up on ­candidates for governor and Anne Arundel County executive

The candidates we elect in this Primary have excellent chances — often 50-50 — of holding the Chesapeake’s future in their hands for the next four years.     This Primary season, we bring you top candidates’ views on the environment, expressed in their own words.

Four giants of yore sail up the Patuxent

Tall ships ruled the sea during the age of exploration. Tall ships discovered America, brought colonists to Virginia, Maryland and Delaware and brought the British to wage a couple of wars.     In 1812, the new United States Navy was short on tall ships. British naval strength towered over ours, bringing big guns to the fight. Our Navy used flotillas of small, everyday boats to run up the rivers in defense. The small ships took advantage of the Bay’s landscape while the tall ships of the British could only stay in the deepest waters.

You’re never too young to compete as a triathlete

Bay-area dads had a Father’s Day blast watching their kids dive into the 2014 Truxtun Park Triathlon in Annapolis. My dad was blown away as his two daughters crossed the finish line after a 100-meter swim at the park pool,  five-mile bike ride and one-mile run along the Silopanna Trail and halfway around the track at Bates Middle School.     I earned second place in the 10 and under age group. My seven-year-old sister Alders, just off training wheels, also did well for a first-time racer, finishing seventh in her age group.

They’re playing the World Cup

The first week of the 2014 World Cup has set a wild tone for the month-long tournament: passionate play, buckets of goals and shocking upsets. Just how crazy was this week?     For starters, the mighty have fallen. Spain has won every major tournament in the last six years, losing just one match. Last World Cup, Spain defeated Holland in the final match 1-0 in extra-time. This time around, Holland rocked the soccer world with a 5-1 victory.

See and feel what inspired Francis Scott Key

Every American knows the story of Francis Scott Key watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, then penning the Star Spangled Banner as dawn broke to reveal the Stars and Stripes still flying proudly over the fort. He watched the battle from a prime harbor seat: a British war ship on which he was detained.