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Into gifts that can change lives

Six small ways Chesapeake neighbors are making a better world 

Play Santa in ways that matter

How to sing Messiah for St. James’ sing-along

Coming our way from Kootenai National Forest, Montana

You can catch a fish, but take care not to catch hypothermia

The most wonderful time of the year starts now

      The great wheel of the year is turning. This time of year, the rotation is plain to see.        With Daylight Savings Time banished for another five months, real time throws us into early darkness deeper and denser than 10pm on a summer’s night.       Leaves are dropping by the millions. As their dense canopy falls, the horizon opens up as if a mountain range had disappeared.       Plus — get out your coats...

What our Thanksgiving tradition meant for one immigrant

      Anna Formici Smith can remember her first Thanksgiving as if it were yesterday.       The year was 1964. Seventeen-year-old Italian high school student Anna Formici was spending a year in the American Southwest through a student exchange program. She’d been living with a host family in Phoenix and had just spent a week with the Navajo tribe, learning of the plight of many of our Native Americans.      Then came Thanksgiving Day. While...

In Armenia, we say yerakhtapart

     Green Bean Casserole is my least favorite part of a traditional Thanksgiving, which is a pity, because my hometown in Armenia is famous for the quality of its green beans. At this time of year, though, with snow already on the mountains, the only beans we see are kidney shaped and devoid of pod.      We have turnips and carrots and potatoes, so my Thanksgiving guests — other Peace Corps volunteers from my part of the Caucasus — will not be short of...

Babes Boys Tavern looks beyond freak accident that left one dead

     After a car that seemed to be traveling at 80mph crashed through Babes Boys Tavern “like a bomb” at 1:29pm on October 24, the Tavern on the Hill is rebuilding.      “It was horrifying,” said partner Debbie Zentz, who was thrown off a stool at the end of the bar into the bathroom. “It was like a bomb when off.”      Lunch was in full swing, the dining room full. Location — on Marlboro Pike at Old Crain...

Theater like you’ve never seen it 

     The U.S. Naval Academy’s Masqueraders chose a daring format for their fall play, The Infinite Wrench: USNA Style.       The Infinite Wrench, according to its creators, the Chicago-based Neo-Futurists troupe, “is a mechanism that unleashes a barrage of two-minute plays for a live audience.” In each theatrical experience, 30 plays delve into the topics of the day as the performers have experienced them.      With a little...

A master detective is flummoxed by a killing on a luxury train

     Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh: Dunkirk) has made a career out of the miniscule. He notices all and discounts nothing. Details that would seem unimportant to even trained investigators help Poirot solve criminal cases all around the world.      The problem?      Poirot cannot turn off this insight. He’s hounded by minutia — if one thing is even slightly askew in his surroundings, Poirot’s day is ruined. His persnickety nature...

100 years later, a father and son relive the days of the Great War

     On this centennial year of the United States entry into World War I, memorial services and special exhibits are honoring the members of our Armed Forces, past and present, and showing us how war reshapes America.      Young though they are, Vince Turner and his namesake son, Vincent, II, both of Owings, can tell you how it was. This dynamic duo has combined forces to support events honoring service members, and in ways that don’t involve bombs, bullets...
     In a meeting Nov. 2, we learned the Maryland Department of Transportation wants to spend $6 million on 2.24 miles of road at the bottom end of Rt. 5.      The Department seems to think this road, which ends in another mile or so in Point Lookout Park, needs wider shoulders, upgrading and improved “safety” for those few motorists who wish to visit the park and the few people living along the road before the park.      In response to...

None should be forgotten

      Do you know the story behind the poppies artist Brad Wells has drawn in honor of Veterans Day for Coloring Corner in this week’s paper?       Red poppies came to be a recognizable symbol on both sides of the Atlantic after World War I. But the flowers had achieved their symbolic force a century earlier, after death marched through Europe with Napoleon’s armies. The hearty flowers were the first to take root in fields, where they were said to rise...
Struggling to raise funds in Annapolis, project pulling anchor at City Dock
      Plans to relocate the National Sailing Hall of Fame from Annapolis to Newport, Rhode Island, are gathering new momentum, with terms of the move expected to be final by Thanksgiving.       Gary Jobson, president of the Hall of Fame, outlined plans for the move last month at a public workshop with city officials in Newport. The city is offering its Armory, a large waterfront building that Jobson called “absolutely perfect” for the Hall of Fame...