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Dr. Joan Gaither’s quilts document lives and history

Lincoln was the first to use photos to shape public perception

Richard Edwin Wilson, December 16, 1931-February 11, 2018 

The acting is tight, the pace is fast, the one-liners fly and people die

Love stories from Chesapeake Country

When, where or how, love takes stepping outside your comfort zone

Obsession, compulsion and love are stitched together in this fascinating drama

       Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis: Lincoln) is a creature of habit. He gets dressed in a precise ritual. He eats breakfast in silence, working on sketches and preparing for the day. He depends on praise and adoration to fuel his creativity.          Reynolds’ quirks are tolerated because he is the genius behind House of Woodcock, a fine London couturier. His workers are the finest seamstresses in Europe, and his designs are sought by...

Making beer is fun. Can it also be a means to make a living?

       For beer lovers, this is a heady time. Some 1.15 million Americans brew beer at home, in their kitchens, garages and porches, according to the American Homebrew Association. Most are guys, and most older than 30.        “Access to information and equipment has never been better,” says John Morehead, the Association’s competition director, noting that in those areas, “the lines between professional and amateur bleed into each...

This time of year, a bird can’t be too particular

        I had followed the young hawk as it hunted along the Wildlife Drive at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. It would sit on a low branch and look intently into the grasses below, then suddenly drop down. On this drop, it came back to the perch with a shrew.        I’m sure that it did not realize that it held one of the world’s four venomous mammals, and North America’s only one. The poison is a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis. The...
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...