Annapolis native Naval Aircrewman Mechanical 2nd Class Morgan Dalton, right, salutes during a Memorial Day ­ceremony at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
 

Time for Annapolis to gaze at the heavens again

21st century tools reveal secrets of 17th century town 

Their prayerful attitude is deceptive, for all three species are cannibals

Bay Blues, Safe Boating, Cow Laser Eyes

Repair on budget and early
       If you’re an Annapolis driver, you’ll be happy to hear that the repair work on the Weems Creek Bridge has been completed two weeks early. If you’re a Maryland taxpayer, you’ll be glad to know the work was finished on budget at $120,000.         This may be all you want to know. But if you’re an engineer or a gearhead or interested in things mechanical, there’s an interesting backstory here.      ...

Our roads have sweated through a real workout, and it shows

       Cutting salt use on roads 30 percent without compromising motorist safety.    That’s the target state, city and county road crews were shooting at.         So what’s with all the large amounts of residual salt on our roadways? How does that square with the salt-reduction program?        Two factors contribute to salt left on the roads: Very cold temperatures, and small snowfalls.      ...

Help second-graders develop a ­lifelong love of the printed word

       When did you learn to read?        That lifelong magic happens very young, at five or six. Young as it is, seven may be too late. The high school dropout rate for kids who haven’t learned to read at grade level by the third grade is 40 percent higher than for those who do. That’s why Linda Barbour, executive director of Start the Adventure in Reading, and Anne Arundel County site coordinators Joanne Ward and Kit Gibson organize 150...
Surprised Allison Felton wins the Oscar of Education
        “Could it be me …” Allison Felton wondered in amazement as eyes turned her way in the Annapolis High School auditorium Wednesday, January 24. “When I first started teaching, I really questioned whether teaching was for me, but thanks to support from my colleagues I decided to stick with it,” she said through tears.          Felton, an algebra teacher at Annapolis High School, had just found out she was the...

There’s something like Zen in the art of beer making

       “Home brewers may dream of quitting their day jobs to live off the fruits of their fermentation,” I write in this week’s feature story.       In Homebrew to Microbrew, you’ll read about those dreams and how they fit in the lives of four Chesapeake Country neighbors. I think you’ll find these brewers likeable, as I did, and I hope you make opportunity to find their brews drinkable.         A dream to...
Getting Our Websters Straight       It was Noah Webster who published a dictionary in 1828, not his grandfather, Daniel, or cousin, Daniel. And, although he did not become tutor to George Washington’s stepchildren, it is because he asked not to be considered, as George Washington was considering him as a candidate. My source: The Forgotten Founding Father, by Joshua Kendall.       P.S. I was taught cursive and still use it, although as I am at 66 years...

The cold-weather cycle opens up ice fishing at Deep Creek Lake

       A number of fish lay scattered upon the ice: slab-sized crappie, a few big northern pike, some nice yellow perch, a beautiful walleye and a few giant bluegills. It was cold, really cold, but the anglers gathered at Deep Creek Lake were glowing with excitement.       A La Niña weather pattern predicted for this winter has fallen upon Maryland big time. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency has been studying the effects of this weather cycle, and...

The best comes from your own patch

        Once you have eaten fresh homemade horseradish sauce, you will never want to eat the store-bought brands. It’s even better if the roots come from your own garden.        If you grow horseradish plants, now is the time to convert the roots to sauce. The hard freeze a couple weeks ago killed the foliage, and that dieback is essential to making a horseradish sauce that has the kick of a mule.         I have discovered...

Humanity is the danger in this depressing western

      Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale: The Promise) is an Indian fighter. He knows the tribes, customs and languages. He’s made a career of tracking, moving and culling them from U.S. territories. He’s committed atrocities, and been paid back in kind.        Ready to retire with his demons, he gets a last assignment before riding off into the sunset. Imprisoned Cheyenne chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi: Empire of the Heart) is dying of cancer,...
Is cursive an evolutionary dodo?
       Can you sign your name in cursive?        For much of American history, handwriting was a hallmark of education and character, taught in classrooms as part of the triumvirate of reading, ’riting and ’rithmatic. Students who persevered through eight grades took as much pride in their penmanship as John Hancock, whose graceful cursive on the Declaration of Independence made his name a synonym for signature, as in sign your John Hancock...