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Look for Chessie Ruckus and his partner Officer First Class Jake Coxon in Annapolis

A barking good time for all at Quiet Waters Park

Becoming a Riverkeeper was my way of helping change ­people’s lives

After three years in Chesapeake waters, Pride of Baltimore II resumes her voyages of goodwill

Byway meadows help pollinators thrive

It’s just a game for Senior Olympic billiards player Blaine Jacobs

92 and never, never, never giving up

Wind-driven waves roiled the river into a sandy soup for Bernie Fowler’s 29th annual Patuxent River Wade In June 12.     “It feels like the surf in Ocean City,” laughed a wader bound hand-in-hand to every other in the long line radiating out from the 92-year-old retired state senator and Patuxent River champion.     Thirty-one inches in, Bernie Fowler lost sight of his white sneakers. That’s the inch mark measured on the leg of his extra-...

Stovy Brown turned two generations windward

“No student who wanted to join the young sailors has ever been turned down for lack of funds,” says Stovy Brown, who has introduced two decades of Southern Maryland youngsters to sailing.     To get kids to the water, Brown founded three groups: the Southern Maryland Sailing Association, Sailing Center Chesapeake and, in 1999, the Southern Maryland Sailing Foundation, to support the other two training programs with funding, boats and equipment.     ...

Scientists refute their reputation as oyster bandits

The rays are back. Anglers and paddlers are already spotting schools — sometimes called fevers — of cownose rays in Bay waters.     Perhaps this year they will be met with a warmer welcome than in years past thanks to a long-awaited acquittal for their impacts on wild oyster populations.     These gentle gliders migrate up the Bay in May to give birth to their pups. They generally stay till October. A decade ago, cownose rays in the Atlantic were...

Chesapeake Curiosities

Sonora Smart Dodd wanted a holiday to match Mother’s Day in honor of fathers because she and her five siblings were raised by a widower. She worked to gain — and found — community support. Her home state, Washington, was the first to have a recognized Father’s Day in 1910. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.     In the intervening years, the idea drew some controversy. In the early years,...

Modern fathering is new to me. But I like what I see

As it’s time once more to talk about fathers, let me ask you a question.     Did you grow up in a patriarchy? Or a matriarchy?     Matriarchy for me. Like elephant calves, I grew up surrounded by women. From the center out: my dominant, buzz-saw mother, Elsa; my doting paternal grandmother, Florence Martin; my godmothers Virginia Dalton and Kay King; the waitresses at our family restaurant and the cook, Lovie.     Because we lived in or near...

A very good play balancing good ­fortune with bad luck

“To live in poverty is to exist in a war zone,” award-winning Colonial Players director Edd Miller notes in the playbill for Good People. “Not necessarily with bullets and bombs but with situational choices of conscience.”     Do choices pull people out of poverty? Determine our lot in life? Or is it luck? Or hard work? Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and Miller ask us not to decide but to ­consider.     The 2011...

You’re not alone in loving soft crabs

In early morning, we were drifting bridge structure for rockfish on a slowly moving tide. I had already dropped down my bait, lightly weighted with just a quarter-ounce twist-on sinker, and fed out plenty of line. Thinking it finally near the rubble-strewn floor 30 feet below, I put my thumb on the spool and lifted the rod tip to give the bait a bit of motion. I may have waited too long. Apparently my rig was hung up on the bottom.     Shifting the Yamaha into reverse, I crept...

Once trees reach a certain size, roots cannot re-stabilize the plant

The combination of saturated soil and strong winds has tilted trees and tall shrubs. If the trunk of a tilted tree is thicker than four ­inches, it is unlikely that the tree can be straightened and remain upright without permanent support. This is also true of large shrubs. The problem lies with the inability of roots larger than two inches in diameter to regenerate and develop sufficient size to stabilize the plant.     This spring I have seen several large arborvitae,...

The sequel to Pixar’s Finding Nemo is a less nuanced tale but no less enjoyable

A year after blue tang Dory (Ellen DeGeneres: Ellen) helped clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks: Concussion) find his son Nemo (Hayden Rolence), Dory remains forgetful. She never remembers where she is or what she’s doing. Marlin finds her short-term memory loss annoying.     When a trip to the migrating grounds of the Pacific triggers a memory, Dory becomes obsessed with finding her family. Now a vague idea of her parents’ whereabouts sets her off. Because Dory’s...

Now is not the time to become complacent in Bay cleanup

Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, June 4 to 12, is a good time for each and every one of us to stop what we are doing and realize what we have. Chesapeake Bay is a remarkable resource that provides something very special in our lives. It is more than just a pretty view, an occasional fishing trip or a crab cake. Its presence permeates our lives. Like arteries in a living body, the rivers, streams and marshes of the Bay bind us together.     As a teenager, I remember wading into a...