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The stories behind the restaurants — and the people who make them

This old west melodrama could do with more bullets and less monologues

Is there a smarter way to package our takeout?

Now at home in Maryland Zoo

Should we give up plastic bags?

Make a habit of carrying out lunch, and you’ll be as bad as Jonas

How I resurrected a 1971 sailboat

Making old things new again is part of my family history. When I was a boy, my mother furnished our home with used furniture purchased at auction. I would often help her strip the paint or varnish from the wood and apply a new finish.     So I wasn’t daunted by the challenge of restoring a 1971 24-foot Ventura MacGregor sailboat. Wife Clara has long had a desire to own a sailboat. When we were offered this one, with trailer, for $1,400, I tested the hull for soundness and...

Sometimes you have to sail across the ocean and to faraway lands to get back to where you started

Until you don’t have a home, you don’t think about exactly what it is. At least I didn’t. Is it a house you know well in a familiar neighborhood? Someplace close to your friends and family? Maybe it’s no specific place. Maybe it can be anywhere as long as you’re with the one dearest to you.     I’ve learned that, for me, time is essential to making a home. Time salves the hard edges of a just-moved-into house. With time, it starts to feel...

Timothy Hyman’s 66 years on the job

If you’re under the age of 50, can you imagine life without the Chesapeake Bay Bridge? Or I-95 connecting us to the rest of the East Coast? Timothy Hyman remembers. He was there as the bridge — originally only one span, now carrying traffic eastward — was built. And as seven decades worth of interstates opened to motorists. Doing his job as state highway administration photographer, he captured now-iconic images of the roads and bridges that take us where we want to go....

What’s in your suitcase?

Twenty seahorses do not belong in your suitcase. Which led to trouble last month for a Vietnamese traveler arriving at Dulles International Airport.     All 20 live seahorses, found in a routine baggage check by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, were seized. Had the seahorse collector possessed only four, she could have kept them: The baggage limit is four seahorses.     Because of over-harvesting for aquarium trade and medical research, seahorses are protected...

BGE is the first utility to make ­Certified Wildlife Habitat’s green list

Maryland has just gotten a little friendlier to wildlife.     Six right of ways beneath power lines carrying electricity generated at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant are now Certified Wildlife Habitats. Certified Wildlife Habitats can be our backyard, cities, public spaces and now utility easements. Baltimore Gas and Electric, which manages the property, is the first utility on the green list.     You know what these right of ways look like: They’re...

Give them a purposeful new life

Tired of seeing all those unused broken crayons in the arts and crafts box? Here’s how to recycle them and do some good work at the same time.     Suzy Provine and the Glen Burnie Civitan Club are collecting those broken bits to send to The Crayon Initiative, which will turn them into new ones. These new crayons will then be put into the hands of children at schools, hospitals, arts programs and other child-focused organizations.     The Crayon Initiative...

Free exchanges, kids’ writing contests ­promote mutual understanding

Since 2002, world artists from Estonia to Egypt have made stops in Annapolis in free cultural exchanges organized and funded by World Artist Experiences.     This week, Colorful China comes to St. John’s College for a show (7pm Sunday October 11) featuring music, dancing and the traditional costumes of such ethnic minorities as the Uyghur, Dong and Miao peoples of China. The performers stay in local homes to get a feel of life here.     Every autumn, a...

October is fickle; take your fun on the first fair day

For the sake of fair weather for the rest of October, I hope you’ll join me in prayer, rain dance, even in singing Sting’s Heavy Cloud No Rain — whatever your preference. It’s not for my sake I ask; I’m fine with wind, rain and fog. I’m asking for all the folks whose outdoors fun and festivities were rained on, rained out or blown away. Cancellation notices flooded October’s first weekend, dampening plans and spirits.     Who wants to go...

Some days it takes perseverance to fill your cooler

It was nearly noon. My skiff was getting low on gas, a chop was building and my cooler was still empty. Having started in the early hours, searching and fishing from Sandy Point to Hackett’s and Tolley’s then up to Podickery and over to Love Point, I was now on my way back to the ramp without a single rockfish.     My eyes ached from looking for feeding sea birds. The only ones that I had spotted appeared as baffled as I was. My bucket of chum was back on ice, as was...

Necessity is the mother of interstellar invention in this great film

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon: Interstellar) wakes up alone on Mars.     In a raging sand storm, Watney’s Aries III team abandoned the Red Planet, leaving behind what they assume is his lifeless body.     He comes to alone but with a wire jutting out of his abdomen and suit and through his bio-monitor. He struggles back to the expedition’s temporary housing unit, and, in bloody initial scenes, operates on himself.     Resolve and...