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Highway construction is a long and bumpy road

Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

You’ll have to be as high as Mike to enjoy this stoner comedy

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

Chris Swarth’s swan song gets you closer to nature

Jug Bay’s new wetlands boardwalk at the Glendening Preserve in Lothian is for nature enthusiasts, ecosystem exploring and kayakers and canoeists.     The new boardwalk extends out to Old Galloway Creek, a Patuxent River tributary. It’s an official site on the Patuxent River water trail.     “We needed a boardwalk in this part of the sanctuary to take advantage of it, both for park research and visitors,” said Chris Swarth, director of Jug...

Eagle Cove School reaches way downstream for environmental education

While we are getting last-minute gifts, hanging garlands and hitting every holiday party in the neighborhood, Tim Decker will be teaching kids in Costa Rica about environmental and community stewardship.     Decker teaches science at Eagle Cove School, a small, independent school for three-years-olds to fifth graders in Pasadena. Environmental education is the mission throughout the curriculum, and the Bay is a classroom. Eagle Cove is located on the Bay, and bags of oyster...
A fantastic concept gone horribly awry, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of the first time an English king visited America. It wasn’t a social call. In 1939, England was in grave danger from Nazi Germany and needed help.     President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray: Moonrise Kingdom) invited the king and queen to his New York estate, Hyde Park.     This tale of political turmoil and cultural understanding is only the B-plot of Hyde Park on Hudson...

Getting old isn’t for sissies.

From the outside, Debbie (Leslie Mann: ParaNorman) and Pete (Paul Rudd: The Perks of Being a Wallflower) have it made. A big house, two adorable kids and lots of luxury playthings. But look a little closer and you see the cracks.     Debbie is having trouble dealing with her fading youth. Turning 40 years old has made her a neurotic mess. She fights with Pete, worries about their daughters and constantly seeks validation.     Pete is head of a record label that...

If the world doesn’t end, winter begins

With any luck, Friday, December 21 will not mark the end of the world, but rather the usual beginning of winter for the Northern Hemisphere. The Mayans and their vanished civilization are a true mystery, made all the more poignant by their accomplishments, building great pyramids and devising an elaborate calendar. That calendar, like those of other civilizations throughout history and around the globe, recognizes December 21 as the end of the year — and the beginning of the new.  ...

This bright flowering holly was first found in a nearby bog

Winterberry shows at its best this season, inviting you to cut it for Christmas decorating. The native deciduous forms of holly grow as shrubs six to eight feet tall. At this time of year, the ends of the branches are filled with clusters of bright red berries.     Maryland has two native species, Ilex verticillata and Ilex serrata. It is not uncommon to see them planted along highways. They are increasingly being used because they can tolerate growing in boggy wet soil as well...

Menhaden gain recognition and protection

Friday, December 14, 2012, is a day that makes a difference. On that day, menhaden — a fish virtually inedible to humans and once numerous but now endangered — gained recognition and protection as a vital component of our complex marine ecosystem.     Meeting in Baltimore, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission declared its intent to protect Atlantic menhaden from continued commercial over-fishing, which has reduced the species to eight percent of its...

Two books with local connections are treats to put under the tree for younger children.

Denise Blum’s Chesapeake Bay Crab Challenge is about Jay, a young boy who wakes up one morning to find his pet crab Clay missing from his aquarium. Where could Clay be? Will Jay find him?     Blum takes readers on a hunt through Chesapeake Country’s Lusby, Oxford and Cambridge — to stores, restaurants and parks.     Children will recognize some of the local landmarks; the story begs a field trip to the unfamiliar places. (I wanted to climb into...

Can Canada’s answer to Neil Simon match the American’s wit?

Snows may soon cover the golf course, but golfers can escape to the links this winter at The Bay Theatre, where Norm Foster’s comedy The Foursome is now playing. If you long to crack open a few beers and play verbal tackle over a friendly wager, then this is the play for you.     Foster, Canada’s answer to Neil Simon, is the Great White North’s most produced playwright. Despite his immense popularity, I found his humor — save for some zippy one-liners...

A winter’s wind blows water from the Bay, revealing relics from the past

On a cold winter day, with a stiff northwest wind blowing the Chesapeake Bay south toward the Atlantic, 11-year-old twins Cole and Wyatt Greene stumbled on a strange sight as they explored the exposed mudflats of Herring Bay. Buried in the mud appeared to be the remains of an old ship. A really big ship.     The two boys announced their find to their mother. Back they ran with an iPhone and tape measure to record the shipwreck. It measured a whopping 129 feet by 25 feet. Nearby...