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Letter from the Editor

It doesn’t need to be the Appalachian Trail to push you forward

Have you had your summer adventure yet?         Kids are going to camp, families to the beach, couples on cruises, boaters daring the Great Loop, RVers traveling the highways, sisters reuniting for long road trips, roamers climbing mountains, paddlers kayaking unfamiliar passages, sightseers wandering ­exotic cities …

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

Mayhem at the Deale Library, I feared, on seeing the Batman logo on its window and remembering that stylized bat, projected by searchlight, was Gotham City’s cry for the superhero’s help.     No, librarians explained. Anne Arundel and Calvert are among the Maryland libraries using the national theme Every Hero Has a Story to encourage kids to keep reading all summer long. Hence the bat logo and, hand-painted on the library door, the question Who’s your hero?

The eating is good and local

Plant a seed and it will grow. That’s the truth of midsummer, especially this wet midsummer when Earth up here in our northern hemisphere is cloaked in vegetation. You’ll remember it wasn’t like this six months ago; sticks and Earth were bare. Now it’s gangbusters.     Corn grows rampant. Cucumbers and squash hang pendulous and beans in curtains on their vines. Canes break out with raspberries. Tomatoes swell and burst in the sun. Earth reverts to the Garden of Eden, where it’s all yours for the picking.

Who gets to march in our parade?

Did you see America as your neighborhood’s Fourth of July parade marched, rolled and roared by?     That’s what we’re looking for, don’t you think, as we watch and wave from sidewalk and roadside.     The parades of Chesapeake Country were fresh in my mind the afternoon of this July Fourth when my son Nathaniel called from St. Louis to report on the parade in his community, Webster Groves.

Beyond pomp, parade and fireworks to shared heritage

Weather in Philadelphia in early July 1776, was hot and sticky, just as ours is 239 years later. Fifty-six suited, vested and stockinged men, some bewigged, were embroiled in a quarrelsome task: finding the words to declare independence from Mother England. Opinions, drafts and revisions flew. If the tall windows of Constitution Hall were open, as some paintings suggest, papers that made history rustled and declared their own independence.

Let’s give the guy a little respect

Parenting is a job that leaves nobody satisfied. Children, like Freudians, lay the blame for all sorts of neuroses at their parents’ feet. Spouses bash one another for inherited faulty genes and difficult personalities. Parents censure with themselves, even — or maybe especially — those who’ve read a book or two on the developing human body, mind and emotions and whose kids give behavioral testimony to their parental units’ having done a pretty good job. Try to compliment one of those, and you’ll hear a litany of nitpicking should-haves.

Wondering how we’ll fare as leadership changes at DNR

A pre-visit look at Bay Weekly’s Facebook post of a toothy snakehead had my visiting family afraid to go in the water.     No need to worry, I assured them. We’re reporting snakeheads in ponds, creeks, streams and rivers, not in the Chesapeake proper. On the other hand, visitors at the next-door Smiths waded with a pod of cownose rays. Then ensued a conversation about whether the first recorded encounter with a stingray was the fault of the stinger or of the stung, Captain John Smith.

That’s what we want in stories — and libraries

For sharks like Mary Lee, the great white star of this week’s Creature Feature, mobility is the law of life. Though even she can’t be two places at once — despite a suggestive reading from her satellite transmitter that she was swimming toward Chesapeake Beach on May 29.     For others of us, it’s hard to be anywhere but where we are. Though firmly rooted creatures like trees and oysters broadcast their seeds in uncountable abundance to transcend their immobility.

No matter which county issued your card, you can use any library in Maryland

Libraries are this week’s feature story, specifically Anne Arundel public libraries, which have come to the fork in the road and must, as Yogi Berra said, take it.     Wherever you live, this story of one county’s conflict touches you. For there’s magic in your Maryland library card. No matter what library issued it, your card opens the door to every public library in the state. Wherever you roam, whatever special collections you want to browse, you’re a welcome visitor.

But first we must remember

With Memorial Day upon us, I know you’re as eager as I to slip into something more comfortable — like fewer clothes, bare ankles or the water of a just-opened swimming pool.     But not just yet, for first I have a promise to keep.     Never to forget the original meaning of Memorial Day. That’s what Bill Burton asked of me.