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One-year delay looks to re-evaluate “transmission planning methods”

Plans for towering transmission lines to bisect Calvert County and hop across the Bay from a gigantic power conversion station in sleepy little Port Republic have been put down for a nap.     The Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway proposed by PEPCO is a high-voltage 152-mile interstate transmission project. The project was in review by Maryland Public Service Commission when, in a surprise turn of events, PEPCO asked the Commission to delay.     PEPCO’s request...
I was stunned by the article [Sept. 22] reporting that Olive had been murdered. I appreciate being informed even though it was disturbing news. I attended a Chamber of Commerce cruise in late spring and picked up a business card that I shared enthusiastically with others, saying, Look, this bird has her own business card!     I am sorry, but 10- and 14-year-olds know better than to shoot a bird off her nest for any reason. That is not hunting. It’s just massacre. Those...

Catch one last glimpse of these orange beauties before they head south for the winter

Each year as the leaves turn orange in Maryland, orange-tinted butterflies turn south. Monarch butterflies, easily recognizable in bold orange and yellow hues, visit Maryland each spring and summer to enjoy nectar and liquids from fruit.     While the monarchs might be fun to spot in your garden, make sure to keep pets and children from trying to sample the insects. As larvae, the monarchs eat a strict diet of only milkweed, which helps them develop cardenolides — a poison...

They don’t call it craft because it’s fast

Astronomy tells us summer left us only last Friday, September 23. But the seasonal gears of creatures change sooner, following the light. Like farmers making hay under September’s Harvest Moon, we humans feel this is the month to get something done.     So every September brings me a new crop of writers.     Enthusiasm whisks them in, for you have to be under the power of some heavy confidence to call or write an editor. I love their bright ideas and...

Another week, I’m sitting home cleaning the gear

The past two weeks have been frustrating. Constant marine forecasts for morning rain and thunderstorms have been followed by calm, balmy mornings with lovely overcasts that have not only been rain-free but ideal for working the edges of the Bay for marauding rockfish.     Those same low clouds are excellent concealment for any nasty squalls that do make their way down the Chesapeake. A squall could be on you with no warning whatsoever. Over my many years on the water, I’ve...

Without a soil test, you can’t know what your lawn needs

Fall is the season to renew your lawn. Earlier this month, I advised you that lime is the best treatment you can give to your lawn. Now, I’m cautioning you that fertilizing your lawn may well be counterproductive.     If you have been applying conventional lawn fertilizers for years, most likely you are wasting your money and contributing to the pollution of the Bay.     Lawn grasses require very little phosphorus (P) as compared to nitrogen (N). A single...

Sometimes you have to hunt for the night’s best sights

Just a week past equinox, the balance between day and night is shifting fast, with a loss of nearly 20 minutes of sunshine already.     The sun sets this week before 6:50, with Saturn and Venus in its wake tight against the horizon, although you may need binoculars to find them. At week’s end, the two are just a couple degrees apart, but Saturn is on its way out of our evening skies, while Venus in its retrograde orbit climbs a bit higher night by night.   ...

A trio of killers leaves a bloody path and a pretty entertaining movie in their wake

Let’s get this out of the way now: Killer Elite is not high art. Though veiled under the pretense of a globe-trotting spy thriller, the movie is basically an excuse to watch attractive men beat the heck out of each other.     And that’s fine. In fact, it’s pretty fun.     The movie follows mercenary Danny (Jason Statham: Gnomeo & Juliet) as he leaves the gun-for-hire business and tries to start over after nearly killing a child on his last...

In two new local novels, truth wears the thin disguise of fiction

Captivity, corruption, escapes, flights in truth and fantasy, murder, messages from the dead, revenge, suicide …     The stuff of thriller fiction. But in the lives of authors Donald Shomette, Helena Mann-Melnitchenko and Eugene Melnitchenko, such events were terribly real.     Wars, internments and such tragedies can be buried in memory, but they’re not forgotten. Writing puts a frame around memories, rendering them more manageable. These authors...

After Irene and Lee’s one-two punch, hands big and small help Chesapeake Country rise

It’s taking hands big and small to help Chesapeake Country rise from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee’s one-two punch. Lending those helping hands have been neighbors, combined efforts of individuals, local and state agencies, the American Red Cross and big corporate citizens like Dominion Cove Point.     “Virtually every local organization has helped in some manner or the other,” said Susan Shaw, president of the Board of Commissioners in Calvert...