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Get help with your bills as winter blows in

As the temperature goes down, utility bills go up. The Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency wants to help.     The agency helps eligible Anne Arundel Countians pay utility bills. The state is the ultimate source of funding, so you’d be getting a bit of your taxes back.

Crab Pots Are Evergreen in Chesapeake Beach

Chesapeake Beach has a new Christmas tree.         It’s not pine, spruce or fir.     It’s 255 crabs pots stacked 20 feet tall and trimmed with buoys, garland, lights, soccer-sized sparkly balls and a larger-than-life blue crab.     The nautical tree is dedicated to the watermen of Chesapeake Country.

State Highway Administration hasn’t ­collected a penny

Counting any fewer roadside signs as you drive through Chesapeake Country?     After $25 per fines on signs on the right-of-way on state highways were promised last year, we expected postings to go down. Didn’t you?     In the weeks before the November 6 election, signs bloomed. Many were gone before Election Day, though business-as-usual signs — Christmas Lights was an omnipresent one — quickly returned.

The fall flocks arrive this month

Bird enthusiasts and hunters wait for them every fall. Flocking to the Chesapeake from the prairie pothole region of north-central United States, south-central to northern Canada and Alaska, the ducks arrive. They dabble in our coves and lend their voices to the symphony of winter, harmonizing with the sonorous hooting of tundra swans and geese.     Though the vast numbers of the past are no longer, this year’s duck factory output has bird-lovers cheering.

To elephants, pies and shoots

Thousands of pumpkins are carried away to homes all across the country to be part of harvest festivals, decorations and Halloween Jack-o-lanterns.     What happens to the pumpkins that never find a home?

New menu rates members of ­Congress on food issue votes

Marylanders we send to Congress are accustomed to getting sliced, diced and rated by the likes of the National Rifle Association and an array of business and labor groups.     But who is watching how members vote on vital food policy issues, such as hunger, access to nutrition, farm subsidies and, perhaps, the wisdom of wide-scale conversion to genetically modified crops occuring silently in our midst?

If your wellhead was submerged, you’ll need a hose, bleach and bottled water

If you draw your water from a well, Hurricane Sandy may have brought you another chore.     Drilled wells are subject to saltwater and surface water contamination if the wellhead is submerged. If water puddle around your wellhead or saltwater drowned it, you’ll have to purge your well before your water is good to drink.

We’re closer to unity on birth control for pets than on who should be president

Anne Arundel County agrees more on spaying and neutering than who the next president should be according the Anne Arundel Community College Center for the Study of Local Issues survey.

Technology brings us closer to nature

We live in an app world. If I want a song, I Shazam it; If I want a paint color from a photo I just took, bam, I ColorSnap it. I search for apartments and add mustaches and cats to any picture I please, all in the iPhone that fits in the palm of my hand.     Now the National Park Service is using an app to get us closer to nature.

Apply by Nov. 1 for Beginner Training

So you think you wanna farm?         It’s easy to romanticize farming. Hard work, long hours and inflexible schedules are closer to the reality.     Learn the ins and outs from Future Harvest — Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture’s Beginner Farmer Training Program. Applications are open thru November 1 for training beginning January 18 and 19 and continuing for eight weeks.