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Meter rates down to $1

Once you’d paid the meter, you might as well have gone to D.C. as to Annapolis. Both capitals charge $2 per hour for meter parking. That’s 25 cents for seven and a half minutes, or 16 quarters to fill a meter. No wonder we who park in both cities carry rolls of quarters.     For Annapolis, the burden is lifted. Until March 31, rates fall to a mere $1 per hour at the city’s 384 meters.     So come to town, park and spend. Economic stimulus is the reason for the bargain rates.

Teachers draw the lines

Lineage, the new year’s first show at the ArtWorks@7th Gallery in North Beach, is telling secrets out of school.     Its painters, photographers and potters are the Southern High School art teachers, joining forces in their first faculty-only show.     On opening day, Southern High School students and alumni swelled attendance. To see their teachers’ other lives, National Art Honor Society vice president Mary Watts joined alumni Cat Allen and Tyler Mills, both past Best of Show ArtQuest winners.

Donald Sheckells: Stuck on oystering

If oystering has been your life for more than 40 years, what do you do when age catches up with you?     If you’re Donald Sheckells, you’re still working.     The Shady Side waterman no longer braves winter on the water to harvest oysters. But he’s still shucking and selling them.

Meet Secret Life of Bees author Sue Monk Kidd … at Sam’s Club

Sue Monk Kidd, author of the bestselling novel The Secret Life of Bees, is coming to Annapolis.     She’s selling and signing her newest book, The Invention of Wings, not at familiar book haunts but at Sam’s Club, a newcomer in author appearances.

First-time candidate Mitchelle Stephenson hopes to put her people skills, knowledge of the issues and local contacts to work for voters

You’re more likely to growl your revenge at a politician than kick a dog. Dogs have got a vast grassroots constituency rooting for them. Politicians not so much. On preferential polls, politicians rank below dog poop.     So why would you want such a job?     This election year, Bay Weekly is asking that question of politicians of various stripes. Among them: first timers, try-a-second-timers and winners turned losers trying again.

Wild Orchid chef takes over Sam’s kitchen

It’s a new year. With the flip of a calendar comes a chance to renew, refresh and remodel.     In Annapolis, the new year offers opportunity for two local restaurateurs to help each other.     Andrew Parks, owner of Sam’s on the Waterfront, has announced his new executive chef, Jim Wilder. Chef Wilder recently closed his Westgate Circle restaurant Wild Orchid after a difficult three-year tenure.

Broadneck Peninsula Trail links Arnold

In New England where I grew up, everyone knew everyone else and you always got a friendly nod or a smile, especially if you were out walking the family pooch or trekking to school in inclement weather. I loved running down country roads, knowing I’d likely see someone I knew at some point along my route.     We’re lucky that way in Annapolis, too. An abundance of trails and sidewalks make Maryland’s capital city a walking- and running-friendly town.

And the Winners Are ...

We’ve saved the best for last.     That’s Best of the Bay, Bay Weekly’s 16th annual report on what, and who, gives you the most satisfaction in Chesapeake Country.     I love this issue because of its scope.     First, Bay Weekly’s Best of the Bay encompasses more than 200 categories ranging from Best Crab Soup, Best Overall Restaurant, Best Gift Shop, Best View and many more.

Organize the coming year with one of these Bay calendars

Want to know where you’re headed before the clock strikes midnight on December 31? Buy your calendar now, and you’ll kick off 2014 with map in hand for your new year.     To guide you in a decision that will hang over you for the next 12 months, we reviewed 11 calendars with ties to Maryland and Chesapeake Country, plus the Farmers Almanac calendar, indispensible for Bay gardeners of all skill levels.

Calvert Marine Museum closing for three months of renovation

Now’s the time to pack up family and holiday visitors for a trip to Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons. Come January 1, the family-friendly, 43-year-old museum closes for three months for renovation. When it opens again, it won’t be the old familiar place.