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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

Back to school hasn’t been this exciting since kindergarten

This is going to be my best college year

I had a lot to learn
 

Boys and Girls Clubs helping “to inspire and enable all young people”

Thoughts from a 20-year teacher

This sexy take on a children’s story is sure to bring up some uncomfortable questions

Antonio Banderas burst onto the American film scene in 1995 with his star-making turn as El Mariachi in Desperado. Since then, he’s added a few more Latin lovers to his filmography, with the latest an orange tabby cat. Beyond retelling the Zorro mythos — which Banderas also tackled in the ’90s — Puss in Boots lets you know that the Puss, voiced with breathy charm by Banderas, is one sexy kitty.     By the time the opening credits roll, Puss has had a one-...

Take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia and meet merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers

Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights is not your same old Ali Baba, Sinbad and Aladdin story. None of them appears in this 15-story sampling of the bawdy and moralistic tales. But if you take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia, you will meet the masses: merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers.     The stories center on the Khalifah Shahryar (James Frevola, looking every inch an Arabian prince), a cuckolded bridegroom who seeks revenge...

It’s harvest time for Genetically-Modified Organisms

This isn’t the movies. It’s real life. Surrounding you left and right. But you don’t see it — any more than Dr. Kate Lloyd and her team of Norwegian expeditionaries recognize The Thing.     Through October, the local aliens have gilded the countryside, improving your vista as you travel Maryland highways. Lately, the gold has been fading to sere brown. In the last days of October, farmers will drive their combines into the fields, harvesting soybeans that...

This invader transforms from trick to treat

Since 2002, when the northern snakehead made its Chesapeake debut in a Crofton pond, it has been nothing but trouble. The pond was poisoned and drained. The species set up housekeeping in the Potomac and its tidal tributaries, whence it could eventually migrate to the Bay.     After all that trickery, who’d expect the snakehead to turn into a treat?     Yet the snakehead now is attracting fishermen, chefs, seafood marketers and gourmets.   ...

Pros and community, our theater companies go on with the show

Second acts abound in theater. So it’s a good thing for Chesapeake theater lovers that Lucinda Merry-Browne practices that art and thus is immune to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous flawed dictum that There are no second acts in American life.     With Lost in Yonkers, the curtain rises on a second — or third or fourth — act for Merry-Browne (Merry is her birth name, not a lingering high school affectation, in case you worried). The first production...

Gravestones chronicle changing Annapolis

A friend of mine was fond of saying that cemeteries were pleasant places to walk. They’re also great places to reflect on local history and, especially this time of year, to feel the spirits of the past.     The cemeteries of St Anne’s Church and the old City Cemetery near the heart of Annapolis are a pair of open spaces wedged between busy Rowe Boulevard and West Street.     Historic St. Anne Church, rebuilt three times on Annapolis’ second-...

Was this year’s good news because of — or in spite of — our fishery practices?

The Young of Year Survey for striped bass spawning success in the Chesapeake Bay for 2011 is a whopping 34.6, the fourth highest on record since the Department of Natural Resources began this statistical measurement 58 years ago. Since our resident rockfish population has declined by approximately 30 percent over the last decade, this is great news indeed.     Twenty-two survey sites are visited monthly from July through September each year by DNR biologists, who collect fish...

Damp-loving needle cast disease thriving this year

Most narrow-leaf evergreens will shed their old needles, some more often than others. In the fall each year, you can anticipate that white pine, Virginia pine, red pine etc. will develop yellowing needles that fall and accumulate on the ground beneath the branches. Evergreens such as arborvitae, chamaecyparis, Leyland cypress and white cedar trees will also shed their needles but at a much slower rate.     Most pine trees will retain their old needles for 18 months or so...

Plotting a course to triumph

The new Compass Rose Studio Theater in Eastport’s Bay Ridge Shopping Center has hit on a winning strategy for success, debuting with Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Lost in Yonkers. That strategy: deliver family entertainment starring student-child actors alongside seasoned professionals, and watch them grow. It’s inspirational on a human and artistic level.     Picture two kids in a candy store, spoiled and happy. Now turn your expectations upside...

Twin Beach Players’ cast and company unite for toothy fun.

Twin Beach Players brings Dracula to the light of day in North Beach. Needle-sharp teeth sink into soft flesh ... but I digress.     By the way, did you know that a vampire’s fangs are retractable? They are. I’ve often wondered about that.     The mood of the play is established by a lengthy, somber intro and an eerie set, evoking the interior of an old castle. Wolves  howl in the background. Just across the valley sits another old castle, which...