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Middle-schooler’s project reminds us that we owe today’s big stripers to ’80s moratorium

Eighth-grader Brian Zagalsky has been fishing since he was three years old. Now his love of reeling in big fish is paying double dividends.     The Annapolis Middle Schooler’s class project for National History Day grew into a prize-winning exploration of Maryland’s five-year rockfish moratorium launched in 1985.

Southern Maryland volunteers strut 70 years of service

When a volunteer fire department and a small town come together to host the 70th anniversary of the Southern Maryland Volunteer Fire Department, the result is not your average party but a big city, bright lights affair.     Hosting all 40 departments from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties for the first time since 1987, the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department promises two days, April 29 and 30, rife with tradition and ceremony.

Anne Arundel invests $1.5 million in dredging it from our waterways

No matter how willing your spirit or ready your boat, you’ve got to have a clear channel to get back to the water.     Water flows downhill, carrying all it can find, including sediment that chokes waterways and undermines water quality.     Removing silt and sediment is a heavy-duty dredging job requiring heavy equipment, some place to put the dredge spoils and lots of money.     The money comes first.

Competitors in the Highland Games put brawn in their brag

You can wear a kilt, dance a jig or play a bagpipe to show the Celt in you. Or you can throw a tree, caber in Celtic parlance. You simply pick it up by the small end and run with it, then flip it end over end.     You’ll see all those gradations and more this Saturday at the 39th Southern Maryland Celtic Festival and Highland Games.

Species depend on your yard and you

What if your backyard were the last place for wildlife to live? What if now were your last chance to help?     It is, and it is.     So says Doug Tallamy, the University of Delaware entomology professor, who comes to Bowie for Earth Day to explain why.     “He has identified an environmental storm front the likes of Silent Spring,” says Elmer Dengler of the Bowie-Crofton Garden Club, a sponsor of Tallamy’s April 21 visit.

That’s the goal of Pirate’s Cove’s Pigs & Pearls Fundraiser to benefit the West & Rhode Riverkeeper

They say it was a hungry man who was the first to eat an oyster, but I disagree. I say it was a smart man, one who figured out how to set a bunch of oysters on a flat rock by a fire, cover them over with wet leaves and let them steam until they popped open, then slurped down all those succulent bits of salty goodness. Come to think of it, that was probably one smart woman who figured that out.

Take another guess or two

“What are those things?” a friend inquired.     The photos Shady Sider Kate King posted after she and son Caleb explored Calvert County’s Matoaka Beach showed a row of large concrete rings lined up on the shore.     “Alien spaceship remains,” King replied.     Are they really?     Steve Kullen of the Calvert County Department of Community Planning pulled back the curtain on this mystery.

SOFO business group to transform Annapolis Middle School fence from sad to glad

Thousands of commuters each day slog their way along Forest Drive, the busy Annapolis thoroughfare running from the southwest edge of the city to the Eastport Peninsula.     The South Forest Drive Business Association, SOFO as the coalition of local businesses calls itself, wants to give those drivers something to look at, beginning with a 500-foot rusty and battered chain-link fence topped with barbed-wire midway along the road at Annapolis Middle School.

Bloom is the best thing to come out of D.C in a long time

The demand for organically grown food continues to increase. Because chemical fertilizers cannot be used in its production, growers must depend on natural sources for nutrients, such as animal manures, compost and green manure crops. The demand for compost is so great that it exceeds the supply.     The problem may soon be solved by recent developments in processing biosolids.

Up close and personal with nature’s most ­powerful birds

His talons are long. This six-week-old osprey already has the equipment he needs to fend off foes. But biologist Craig Koppie goes barehanded into the nest.     For Koppie, working with raptors has been a passion since he was a boy.     “I come from a family of pilots,” Koppie says. “Everybody has some kind of thrill for flying or fondness for nature, and I’ve been fascinated with flight ever since I knew about airplanes. Instead of piloting planes, some of us fly as biologists.”