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Letter from the Editor

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.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Open House givea us all a taste of the pleasures of camp life

Now I hardly go out there, but I’ve spent a lot of time on the Bay.     You won’t read those words, the nostalgic second clause of Tuck Hines’ description of his early days as a marine ecologist at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, in the senior scientist’s conversation with Bay Weekly this week. There you’ll read the serious stuff, like whether we’re doing ourselves in on this planet. But, as Hines’ words suggest, there is more to being a scientist than the lessons you learn.

I read the epic of motherhood in the comfort of home

Motherhood in her full span lives in my neighborhood.         In the eyes of eight-month-old Alexander Ehecatl Groves, Ana Dorates is queen of the universe. She is our Madonna, mother adored. But she is only one chapter of an ageless story.

Before you answer it, think safety

A glimpse of a small boat under full sail sets my heart racing.     Back to the Water is a season all its own in Chesapeake Country, aligned with spring but serving separate pleasures.

From heirlooms to exotics

You’re never too young to garden, as Leigh Glenn writes in this week’s feature story.     Nor too old. No doubt some devout urbanists can ignore the call of spring. But don’t you want to get your hands in the dirt to feel life stirring?     I do!