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A library card

“What’s cooler than being cool? Having a library card,” says ‘Joe Cool’ Snoopy. That’s because kids who use the library do better in school.     Library cards are free and can be used at any Maryland public library for e-books, e-magazines, downloadable movies and music, reference resources, HelpNow! homework help and Brainfuse free online tutoring.

Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade seeks young poster artists

Almost as famous as the Eastport Yacht Club’s Christmas Lights Parade are its annual posters. Kids can get in on the glory and possibly win some cash. Winning artwork will be displayed on the Yacht Club Lights Parade Facebook page and may be used for posters and T-shirts.     Posters should be festive, conveying the spirit of Annapolis and of the Lights Parade; include the Eastport Yacht Club burgee. Size is 81⁄2 by 11 inches. Put artist’s name, address, phone and email on the back.

Highway construction is a long and bumpy road

Ready for the end of road construction delays on your commute?     In early spring, heavy construction equipment arrived. Graders, backhoes and bulldozers dug into a summer of frantic activity, working on a backlog of road projects to alleviate traffic hold-ups and increase safety, in  part by adding left-turn lanes. As most road projects are concluded with new paving, timing counts. All the prep work needs to be complete so that roads can be laid before asphalt plants close for cold weather.

Four days to a plan-in-a-nutshell

If you could design your hometown, what would you want?     North Beach townsfolk just considered that question, describing their ideals to a team of planners from the American Planning Association. The pros listened, and in four late summer days, returned a quick-sketch plan complete with start-up instructions.

Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

Sandy Point State Park is a fine place to soak up the sun. Soon those rays will be turning into energy.     The Board of Public Works approved a $535,870 contract with Baltimore-based Bithenergy to evaluate, design and install park upgrades, reducing total energy consumption by an estimated 45 percent.     “Once installation is complete, Sandy Point will be the first state park to host alternative energy projects of this size and scale,” says parks superintendent Nita Settina.

CalvArt Gallery September show doubles as an early-season coat drive

September is time to put away the beach gear and take a good look at fall and winter wear. While you make the shuffle from shorts to long sleeves, pull out gently used coats for CalvArt Gallery’s upcoming coat drive.

Take a trip back to Tudor England at this annual royal affair.     Perhaps you’ll meet King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and their royal court in Revel Grove. Their highnesses, dressed in their finery, arrive in the village to meet distinguished foreign visitors, including the Imperial Ambassador Jehan Jonglet, Georg von Frundsberg, victor at the Battle of Pavia and captor of  France's King Francis and the Queen's sister, Juana of Castile, also known as Juana the Mad.

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

Starting next week, 800-plus big yellow school buses take to Anne Arundel and Calvert county roads. Throughout Maryland, some 7,500 10-ton behemoths join the traffic flow.     Hauling kids back and forth to 12 grades in 23 public schools in Calvert and more than 110 in Anne Arundel — all with staggered schedules — keeps school buses on the roads pretty much all day. Indeed, bus drivers work from 4am to 6pm, according to Anne Arundel County transportation administrative specialist Sharon Whitcher.

Once retired, school buses go to auction.     Who would want to buy an old school bus? If you’re thinking the Partridge Family, you’re warm. Thousands of Partridge families around the country buy retired school buses and convert them into RVs, dubbed Skoolies.     The appeal of Skoolies runs deeper than the 1970s TV show. School buses are stout enough to handle rollovers, have a superior ground clearance and are often equipped with diesel engines, which can run on biodiesel or even vegetable oil.

In Deale, Petie Greens lives on

Petie Greens is a name worth money.     Along with the building bearing the nameplate, a third Petie Greens Bar and Restaurant is scheduled to open in Deale in fall.     Petie Greens earned popularity for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout southern Anne Arundel and northern Calvert counties under the ownership of Sam ‘Petie’ Petro, who restored the rundown site and reputation  early in the century. Bobby Crane took ownership a few years later, keeping a moniker that was money in the bank.