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Expert tips for the new year and beyond

That’s our hope for you in 2017

Your pot must runneth over

A triumph of hope over experience

We’ve saved the best for last


My favorite stories of 2016

Help plot the stars and shine a light on light pollution

With the moon waning through pre-dawn skies, this week marks the year’s second Globe at Night backyard observing drive, which aims to enlist you in charting the night sky. The goal: “to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone.”     This month’s target constellation is Orion. To get started, log onto...

The donuts are all that’s missing in this theatrical treat

Welcome to Superior Donuts in Uptown Chicago, established by the Przybyszewski family c. 1950 and static ever since. You know the place: checkerboard floor, lettered window, illuminated menu board, vintage register. All that’s missing in Colonial Players’ set is the sweet aroma and some napkins for the dispensers.     Arthur (Terry Averill), the aged hippie who owns the place, hasn’t had his heart in it lately. What with his ex’s death, his daughter...

Friends don’t let friends date poorly

Debbie (Joy Bryant: Parenthood) and Danny (Michael Ealy: Almost Human) aren’t much for relationships. When they are brought to a bar by their friends Joan (Regina Hall: The Best Man Holiday) and Bernie (Kevin Hart: Ride Along), who have had a one-night stand, both believe they are along for moral support. In fact, Bernie and Joan are playing matchmaker to set up their best friends.     Sparks fly for Debbie and Danny, whose physical pairing blossoms into romance. As Debbie...

Love is great medicine when you’re fighting for your life

“Love is about when things look like they cannot get any worse and you still manage,” says Debbie Gurley of Edgewater. For 17 years, Gurley and Mike Kinnahan have managed bad and worse with love leavened by hope and laughter.     First relationships after divorce rarely work, they learned the night they met at a support group for the newly divorced. They defied those odds. Gurley and her daughter Elizabeth moved into Kinnahan’s house after a year of dating. The...

Four weeks in the world of online dating

Imagine walking into a bar where all the people wear T-shirts listing their age, salary range, likes and dislikes. Some walk up, look at you and walk away. Or maybe wink at you but say not a word. Welcome to the world of online dating.     I entered that world via a $5 Groupon for Match.com. What single woman in search of could resist a discount of 80 percent? Not this separated 30-something with two kids and now her very own Match account.     The plan was to be...

Help scientists track these invasive fish

What’s big, blue and whiskered and doesn’t belong in the Chesapeake?     If you guessed blue catfish, you’re right.     Introduced in the 1970s to Virginia rivers for sport fishing, blue catfish have been slowly but steadily making their way up Chesapeake Bay. The resilient freshwater fish have adapted to the southern Bay’s salty waters and have made their way into Maryland’s Nanticoke, Patuxent, Choptank, Sassafras and Susquehanna...

Nace Butler’s mother was enslaved by love

I ran away in February 1785 …         Thus begins the story of Nace Butler, a young man born to a bold Irish indentured servant and an African male slave.     Nace’s mother Eleanor Butler, known as Irish Nell, arrived on one of the ships of Charles Calvert, the fourth Lord Baltimore.     At the time of her marriage to Charles Butler, a 1664 law required that any free woman who married a slave would herself be enslaved,...

Chef John Moeller introduced Chesapeake flavors to the White House

The president of the United States represents people across our 50 states and leads the free world, but while in office, he lives in our neighborhood. So when a White House chef like John Moeller introduced the “fresh and local” concept, our local bounty found its way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.     White House chef from 1992 to 2005, Moeller grew up under the influence of the Bay. For Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, their families and...

Every love story has to start somewhere

Love is a quest we all have in common.     But where to find it? Ah, that’s the question.     Every story in Bay Weekly’s now 21-year-old annual Valentine’s Day perusal of life and literature’s great theme has touched on that question.     Don’t look to this year’s pair of love stories to break the rule.     The quest is the adventure of “Winking at Mr. Darcy,” pseudonymous writer Liz...

Here’s what to sow when

It’s time to start on your garden.         Sow slow-germinating small seeds inside in late February through March. These include begonia, celery, impatient, petunia, snapdragon, etc. These small seed plants are not only slow to germinate but slow to grow.     Wait until March to sow larger seeded plants. Broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi and pac choi should be sown so that the plants will be tall enough to transplant...