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1.3 million acres protected this decade

      At a time when preservation efforts are being diminished, from monuments in the West to endangered and threatened species, a report this week from the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership offered good news.             From 2010 until the end of last year, more than 1.3 million acres of land throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed has been permanently protected, according to a report citing data from the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Calvert Library ends fines

Closing a chapter in book-lending history, the Calvert Library has voted to permanently adopt the fine-free policy introduced in March.     “We wanted to be sure that the practice had more positive outcomes than negative,” said library board president Carolyn McHugh. “We now feel confident that being fine-free has not significantly impacted material availability, and we are delighted to be able to remove barriers to information access for our community.”

September 1 the ban begins

To-go diners, cafeteria eaters and grocery shoppers in Annapolis now carry home no Styrofoam packaging with their purchases.     The city’s ban went into effect September 1. Anne Arundel County follows on January 1, after Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Our whole state bans Styrofoam food and drink containers next July 1.     The ban includes restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, vending trucks, food carts and institutional cafeterias, including school cafeterias.

How many roads is just right?

      Build too many new roads, and development will overtake Calvert County in the next two decades. Build too few, and the future is gridlocked. How much road construction — hence commuting time — is just right? That’s the question Calvert County transportation planners are asking.             The best prep for answering that question is reading the revised Transportation Plan now online. But commenters will have to hurry: The online public comment period ends September 6.

Vanishing islands to be restored from Baltimore Harbor dredging

      Since Bay Weekly was young in the 1990s, we have watched as fast-disappearing Poplar Island, a getaway for Franklin Roosevelt, was rebuilt with the dredge spoils form Baltimore Harbor. Over the years, 34 million cubic yards of materials from the harbor bottoms have dramatically expanded the landmass off Tilghman Island, and we’re told now that the project is about done.

Growing and thriving over 43 years

     Do you smell the roasting smoked turkey legs? Hear the clanging of steel as jousters meet on the field of battle? Spot courtiers from the 1500s showing up in everyday scenes?       Yes, it’s that time of year again. The Renaissance Festival is Chesapeake Country’s unofficial sign that summer is ending.

Honor the memory of the enslaved

      August 25 marks the 400th anniversary of the first landing of enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America. They arrived on the White Lion, an English privateer ship sailing under Dutch authority, at Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, now part of Fort Monroe National Monument, a unit of the National Park System.

Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest supplies 400 kids

         It takes good school supplies to get the school year off to a good start. To make sure that a few hundred kids have exactly what they need, Chesapeake neighbors have joined forces.             In Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest Saturday, August 24, backpacks brimming with school supplies will be handed out.

What we know about dogs in combat

       In our case, the answer was not much.      For instance, what big dog does NOT make a good military working dog?        That was one of the few we got right on a Defense Department quiz [https://bit.ly/2ZcAtdH] that landed in our inbox — on which we scored an F.

Having had his moment, DeJuan Neal wants more

      DeJuan Neal, a 2014 graduate of Anne Arundel’s Southern High School, lived his dream — for one memorable game.        On Thursday, August 15, 2019, the 5-foot-10-inch, 190-pound, 23-year-old cornerback played football for the Washington Redskins. The Cincinnati Bengals spanked the ’Skins 23-13 in Neal’s one and only NFL appearance.       Within seven days, he was signed as a free agent, then waived by the Redskins.