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With this issue, we enter Chesapeake Country’s favorite season

Teens compete in the Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta

I’m eager to learn the skills and expertise employed by sailors for centuries

Memories of boats little and big

Whenever the weather lets you

Toys help patients having a rough day at Children’s Hospital

It’s a big job making sure Dr. Bear’s closet at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., is never bare.       For the children, it’s a closet as crucial as the closets that hold bandages and medicine.     Dr. Bear’s Closet stocks toys and games for children with a special request or who have a special day, like a birthday, coming up.     Often, a toy from the closet helps a child who...

It’s time for your close-up, Mother Nature

Capture family memories with the Bay as a backdrop, on top of one of Maryland’s mountains or in a leaf-filled meadow for Maryland League of Conservation Voters’ family photo contest.     The League wants photos of families having fun in Maryland’s great outdoors to enrich League publications and website while inspiring Marylanders to fight to protect our state’s natural beauty.     Email your photos, name and contact info by May 31 to info...

Animal stories spark the most talk

Forums are few and far between in Chesapeake ­Country. Like the forum of ancient Rome and town squares of cities around the world, Annapolis City Dock is a natural. It’s also a work in progress, with vision evolving and conflict between people and parking seeking resolution.     The libraries of Anne Arundel and Calvert counties give us 20 such forums. This Library Week, we celebrate that role in our Bay Weekly conversation with Pat Hofmann, who’ll leave us a...

Winners and losers in this year’s General Assembly

Not everyone made out well with environmental legislation this year.     “This session started with a landmark legislative win for the environmental community when the offshore wind bill sailed through both chambers,” said Karla Raettig, executive director of Maryland League of Conservation Voters.     “Unfortunately, the General Assembly killed or weakened many other environmental priorities.”     The pieces will finally...

Distilling Sloop Betty, a 40-year first

As Bay Weekly’s 20th birthday approaches, we reflect on entrepreneurial courage. What crazy notion compelled three family members to start a community newspaper on a wing and a prayer?     Innovative thinking drives small, independent businesses. Some like to follow, some to lead and others to create. Creating is risky, expensive and typically fueled by passion. That’s the American way.     The same spirit motivated brothers Chris and Jon Cook to get...

If you want to start your garden right, learn what your soil needs for plants to thrive

Why are you so hesitant to have your soil tested?     Now that spring is here, interest in gardening is on the rise. No matter where I go, people approach me with gardening problems. Most are directly associated with nutrient deficiencies in their soils. How to Prune Raspberries and Blackberries I know how to prune raspberries, but I’m not so sure about blackberries. I would appreciate it if you would enlighten me.    –Barbie Walter, via email When...

You heard right: Trolling is no longer required

Not everyone trolls during trophy rockfish season. A growing contingent of shore-bound anglers fish bloodworms or cut bait on the bottom. They have been catching an ever-more impressive number of big migratory stripers.     An equally expanding cadre of small- and medium-sized boat anglers have also been chumming and chunking fresh menhaden (aka alewife or bunker) to hungry post-spawn giants. A big, juicy bloodworm on a bottom rig is just as effective fished from a skiff as it...

The waxing moon makes predawn skies your best bet for this annual meteor shower

The moon is at first-quarter phase Thursday the 18th. Even with only half its face illuminated, the moon washes out the stars of amid the constellation Cancer the crab, in which it rests that night. But if you look beyond the moon, you will see that it is juxtaposed between a triangle of three more or less equally bright stars: Procyon to the west, Regulus to the east and Pollux to the north.     Friday evening the moon is to the right of Regulus, and by Saturday it is just a...

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A rousing tribute to a baseball hero

In 1940s’ America, Major League Baseball was a white man’s world. Talented black players were relegated to Negro League teams, where they endured smaller ballparks, poor equipment and shabby transportation.     Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford: Cowboys & Aliens) upsets the applecart by bringing an African American player to the big leagues. He is not acting out of the kindness of his heart. “Dollars aren’t black or white, they...

Three surprising sources combine to make comedy

Theater starts with the written word, comes to life in the voices of actors and endures in the memory of its audiences. Sometimes, as with Carl Sternheim’s The Underpants, written in 1910, it gets forgotten until someone rediscovers it, reimagines it and breathes life into it — as comedian Steve Martin did for The Underpants in 2002.     A German farce, The Underpants seems a comedic take on Ibsen’s The Doll House, which debuted 31 years earlier. The themes of...