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Where and when to find autumn’s peak colors
       Eventually we will bid the hot and humid summerlike weather goodbye, and the landscape will explode with vibrant colors of orange, red and yellow. Kids will be jumping into newly raked piles of leaves, and we’ll all fall back to Eastern Standard Time and grab that extra bit of sleep.        Autumn officially arrived the early morning of Sept. 23. Now all across Chesapeake Country the leaf-peepers are waiting for the signs.

Action is needed to rescue our iconic species

     A handful of vehicles, mostly pickup trucks and SUVs, lined up behind a small steel gate on a warm summer morning. Inside them was the regular 7:30am crowd, striped-bass fishermen patiently waiting for the Thomas Point ranger to arrive to give them access to one of the Bay’s most sought-after fish.     In opening the gate, the ranger is allowing the men their daily shot at a species that can often grow upward of 50 pounds and offers some delicious eating. Excitement charges the air.

Performers make the magic happen

     They are bedraggled hermits, shouting village sheriffs, enchanting shopkeepers and battle-worn knights. They are crowned, jolly kings and gallivanting princesses and run-down peasant rabblers.      Other times of the year, they are people with everyday lives. During this special season, however, they shapeshift into magical time travelers intent on bringing you with them at the 27-acre Renaissance Festival in Crownsville.

Check out the Voter Bill of Rights

     On Wednesday, September 25, 1789, Congress proposed 12 amendments to the legislatures of the then-11 states. Numbers three through 12 were later adopted as the U.S. Bill of Rights.          That historic date is commemorated in Calvert County this year with a Voter Bill of Rights.          This Bill of Rights is a brochure explaining the rights of all voters.

Electric cars take over City Dock

     More than 500 Chesapeake residents are likely one step closer to hitting the streets around town in an electric vehicle.          They took that step at Annapolis Green’s Electric Vehicle Showcase at City Dock this weekend.          The annual event — now in its seventh year — is part of National Drive Electric Week, a celebration to heighten awareness of the widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight their benefits.

Mobile dental van visits West River

      Once again the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Mobile Dental Van is making a visit to Southern Anne Arundel County. This time you will find the dental services van parked at Bay Community Health in West River Sept 21.          Children age three to 12 board the dental office on wheels, designed to be especially friendly and comfy, for a complimentary two-minute visual screening. The goal of the mobile office is to raise awareness about the importance of children’s dental health.

Shelter overflow leads to free adoptions

      A population boom of cats and kittens means that you can add one to your family for free.          The usual $40 adoption fee for cats and kittens is waived through the end of September at the Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter in Prince Frederick.          Now cats of all ages and personalities are waiting to be adopted, including many kittens. Summer months are high kitten season.

Canadian company to blow past menhaden ­harvest cap

      Omega Protein Corp., which has battled for years to harvest more menhaden from Chesapeake Bay, says it intends to exceed recommendations from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for the company’s takes this year.          Two years ago, the regional commission recommended a 40 percent cut to 51,000 metric tons — or more than 112 million pounds — in Omega’s annual take. The company, which operates out of Reedville, Va., converts baitfish from the Chesapeake into fish oil supplements.

Smithsonian’s Year of Music comes to SERC

     “We call it eelgrass music,” says Jeff Holland from his office on the campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater. “Eelgrass seems an apt descriptor for the genre of ethno/eco-music we’re trying to create as part of the effort to build music into the legacy of the Bay.”

Traffic flows freely over the new Fishing Creek Bridge

     The troubles a new bridge can pose are nothing new to Chesapeake Beach. In the 1950s, the newly built Chesapeake Bay Bridge lured visitors away from the historic resort to Ocean City. The move to the suddenly accessible Eastern Shore cost the town many of its tourism dollars.      Half a century later, Chesapeake Beach recreated itself as a popular resort with a boardwalk, water park, spa hotel, restaurants and marinas