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For $1,000, maybe you should try

Could you write a play? It’s a tough job, as you’ve got to create plot, characters and conflict. Tougher still, you’ve got to do it all in dialogue.     Would winning a $1,000 cash prize make the challenge any easier?

Beekeepers political activism rewarded

Buzzing through the halls of the Maryland Statehouse during the 2016 legislative session were some distinctive lobbyists: beekeepers, dressed in full regalia, advocating for a Maryland ban on home use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.

New plates replace War of 1812

Have you noticed? Maryland is showing a new face to the driving world.     The Maryland Proud license plate, on the roads since September 26, has shoved the bicentennial War of 1812 plate to the curb. There’s still a flag, but Maryland’s heraldic black and yellow, red and white replace the Stars and stripes. We also lose, with few regrets, the industrial-looking structures that to all the world looked more like a prison than Fort McHenry.

It’s official; We have a new seal

Steve Schuh moved into the executive’s office in December of 2014, determined to change the image of Anne Arundel County. Now he’s done it.     He’s redesigned the official Anne Arundel County seal. The problem, said Schuh, was that over the years, the design approved in the County Code has evolved into multiple versions.     With historically accurate elements and a high-resolution vector image that facilitates clear and vibrant reproduction, the new seal gives the county a consistent official image.

Anne Arundel’s 32nd cartop boat launch opens at Discovery Village

You’ve got one more place to launch your paddle craft in Anne Arundel County.     On October 7, paddlers and county reps cut the ribbon on a car-top boat launch for kayaks, SUPs and canoes at Discovery Village in Shady Side. Discovery Village is the county’s ninth new small boat launch since 2012, for a total of 16. The county maintains only one boat ramp for trailering, in the north at Fort Smallwood Park.

Serialized in Bay Weekly’s second year, Alex and the Eagle returns between its own covers

It’s the Game of Thrones … The Sopranos … Breaking Bad … The Wire phenomenon. Get hooked on a compelling story, and you can’t stop.     Same with novels.     Since the 19th century, newspapers and magazines have made hay on that addiction. Like fans lined up to buy each new Harry Potter book, readers pushed and shoved to buy, by installment, novels by the likes of Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose Sherlock Holmes stories meant wealth for The Strand magazine.

Taking the chain saw to invasives along Route 50 and Interstate 97

Pretty is as pretty does, or so the old saying goes. When it comes to the vegetation lining the roadsides of Bay Country highways, the State Highway Administration couldn’t agree more.     Take the callery pear.     Almost anywhere you drive in Maryland in springtime, you’ll be greeted by beautiful clouds of white flowers tinged with green. But the impact of this native of China and Vietnam on our native woodland is far from lovely.     The invasive callery crowds out native species.

How a monthly get-together grew into an arts festival drawing thousands

I love a good mystery, and I was staring at one on West Street in Annapolis on the first Sunday of August as I enjoyed the First Sunday Arts Festival. Not my first time, but the first in at least a year — and something was different. What was it? Larger, more interesting, more vibrant, more alive? Had the Festival changed, or had I?

Solar array earns St. Margaret’s Church Silver-Plus LEED certification

Ninety-eight solar panels now top the roof of St. Margaret’s Church formation building, already LEED silver-certified for environmental friendliness. St. Margaret’s, a congregation more than 300 years old, is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and located on the Broadneck peninsula.     “Our vestry board supported the idea that the new building be as environmentally responsible as possible,” said the Rev. Peter W. Mayer, Rector at St. Margaret’s.

Millennial musicians break bigger

The capital city music scene is thriving. Over the last decade, the downtown bar scene and plentiful local venues have bred musicians now flourishing on a larger scale. Reggae rockers Joey Harkum — whose band Pasa­dena honors his home town — and Brandon Hardesty — who inspired Bumpin Uglies — went from strumming on the docks and breaking into open mikes to selling out local venues and touring coast to coast. They’ve headlined festivals like Silopanna and Bay Funk and still play weeknight solo acoustic gigs at downtown Annapolis bars.