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In Makerspaces workshops, you can make most anything

A missive 20 years delayed sent me into my future

Michael Bell’s new book explores life as teacher, artist and parent

Seven additions in AACo makes 56 properties in permanent preservation

One big, happy fungi family

Maryland in Miniature tucked behind Annapolis DNR building

Mary Davis earns two trophies, a crown and a summer reprieve from a bodybuilder’s diet

In the April Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders Catonsville Conquer, Mary Davis won two first-place trophies and a crown.     “I felt like I did the best that I could. With two firsts, I walked away feeling awesome.”     Still hungry for more prizes and more challenges, Davis competed in May 16’s NPC Capital Classic.     “I didn’t place as high as I hoped,” Davis said of a second place plus a fourth and a...

Citizen scientists join the search for other life forms

With summer comes longing for adventure. Motivated to engage with nature and be a part of something bigger, I signed up to study the parasite Loxo and mud crabs at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.     Small by any standard, the white-fingered mud crab, aka Atlantic mud crab, is “small as a flea” or large as an inch, according to Smithsonian scientist Alison Cawood. This small crustacean plays a large part in our Bay’s ecosystem. A key indicator...

Southern Maryland’s Heinz Thomet is making whole wheat loveable

The delectable, slightly tart and yeasty smell of baking bread wafts through the open door of Heinz Thomet and Gabrielle Lajoie’s farmhouse in rural Charles County. The aroma is fitting: The grains in the family’s bread are their farm’s staff of life.     The couple’s 86-acre Next Step Produce farm is one of only two ­organic farms in Maryland growing grains specifically for bread and food production (the other is Land’s End in Chestertown)....

League of Conservation Voters wants your photos

“It’s a great feeling to see my neighbors and fellow Marylanders enjoying our state — from the mountains in western Maryland to the wetlands in Southern Maryland to the beaches on the Eastern Shore,” says Danielle Lipinski of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “We truly have a little bit of everything here in Maryland, and I’m grateful to raise my family here.”     Lipinski and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters want to see...

In a dramatic turn, playwright’s dreams come true

A million may or may not be an exaggeration. Strictly speaking, Andrea Fleck Clardy was chosen Colonial Players’ Promising Playwright from a talent pool of 230 applicants in the theater company’s biennial competition.     But when you consider all the twists and turns of chance that led to this singular moment, the odds rise.     Clardy, a writer in life’s eighth decade, took up playwriting only after three or four careers.     ...

Don’t you wish you could join in?

Feeling sticker shock after seeing your first summer electricity bill? You aren’t alone. Even the state of Maryland feels the pain. But the state has more leverage than you and I. Enough leverage to trigger a bidding war for lower rates.     At the center of it all is a reverse auction. In a typical auction, prices rise for the seller’s benefit. In a reverse auction, prices drop in a bidding war, benefitting buyers.     “Electricity suppliers...

With the title comes accountability

As Gov. Larry Hogan revs up his reelection machine, he is burnishing his credentials. In the two weeks since Bay Weekly’s Father’s Day interview in his office, he’s been buddying up with fellow Republicans, “delivering on his promise to transform transit in Baltimore” and carefully styling himself an environmental, and particularly a Chesapeake, champion.     Hogan’s well-timed ascension to leadership of the Chesapeake Executive Council...

But when half of all crabs are ­harvested each year, we’ve got to work to keep the population steady

After almost three decades of effort, Maryland’s treasured Chesapeake Bay crustacean, the blue crab, has achieved a major scientific benchmark. The number of spawning females has at last reached the minimum target level for optimum species viability: 215 million sooks.     The 2017 Winter Dredge Survey put the female population at well over the minimum, 254 million, an impressive 31 percent increase from the prior year. This is an important moment, as just four years ago (...

Vertical mulch with Bloom

A mature tree not only increases the value of your home but also offers shade during these hot days of summer, thus reducing the cost of air-conditioning. Trees also provide branches for hanging swings and places for birds to nest and perch.     However, your surrounding lawn does not provide the best conditions for keeping mature shade trees healthy. Soil compaction is often a problem, as foot traffic, riding mowers and often other vehicles compact the soil surrounding the...

Women fight a rabbi and their ­husbands’ prejudices

A close-knit Orthodox community in Jerusalem has gathered to celebrate a bar mitzvah. As the boy steps up to read the Torah, the congregation literally collapses around him. The women’s balcony falls.     Among the injured is the rabbi’s wife.     Faced with this tragedy, he suffers a psychotic breakdown and is incapable of visiting his wife in the hospital, let alone guiding his flock.     Seeking a spiritual leader, the men find...