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If there be spirits, now’s the time to find them

Al ­DeCesaris is running down the East Coast for Sturge-Weber syndrome

The Volvo Ocean Race is on its round-the-world blitz again

7 million Books for International Goodwill

While the wind blows, I’m ­getting a handle on things

After 100 years in New York, a storied mahogany bar finds a new home in Mayo

Prost! will make room for salute when you next click glasses at the bar at the new Old Stein. That’s because owner Mike Selinger has imported the bar of a famous Manhattan Italian eatery to keep the old in the Old Stein, which he hopes to reopen at its Mayo location in August after December 31’s fire.     For over a century, the mahogany bar and bar back was the centerpiece of Carmine’s, a rustic Italian gathering spot in New York City’s South Street...

Monthly dunkings will keep them moist all the way through

A reader called to ask if she could visit me with a large houseplant she purchased last summer. It was dropping most of its leaves, and the margins of the remaining leaves were turning brown.     After questioning her on how she was caring for the plant — watering practices, fertilizer and quantity used, proximity to windows and room temperatures — I invited her to the farm. Soon after I hung up, I saw the car coming down the farm lane. Her husband was driving while...

We have several planets to look for, but they’re disappearing fast

The waning moon reaches last-quarter on Saturday, rising around 2:30am and shining high in the south as the sun rises at 7am. If you’re up before this time, look to the east for blazing Venus.     At magnitude –4, Venus is by far the brightest star-like object in our sky. So low in the sky, Venus puts on quite a display, dancing and shimmering above the horizon. While Venus is always bright, no matter its position in the sky. But when it is so close to the horizon,...

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

As my doctor read through my records during my yearly physical, he exhaled a worrisome Hmmmmmmm. That’s never good when you’re visiting a doctor.     “Let’s see,” he said. “According to your chart you turned the big Five-Oh this year.”     To me, it sounded more like the big Five-Uh-oh.     Rubbing his hands together, he peered like a crazed scientist from a bad 1950s sci-fi movie. “When would you...

A raunchy alien makes men out of two nerds

Graeme (Simon Pegg: The Chronicles of Narnia) and Clive (Nick Frost: Pirate Radio) are two nerds living the dream. The Brits combine their savings for a trip of a lifetime to California’s Comic Con. Spending money on essentials — a Gorn mask and signed copies of Jeffrey Shadowchild’s (Jeffrey Tambor) latest sci-fi tome — the pair is looking forward to an RV trip to see the great American sights.     If you don’t speak nerd, that means the pair is...
    Buy-local campaigns are common, especially around the holidays, and on the increase. Often organized by chambers of commerce, the idea is to convince consumers to spend their money in their hometowns versus leaving town to shop at big-box retailers. According to an Institute for Local Self-Reliance survey, independent businesses in cities with an active buy-local campaign fared better than those in cities without a push for localism.     The survey gathered...
Dear Bay Weekly:     It seems that your columnist, Dennis Doyle, is once again using your paper as a forum for his advocacy against commercial fishing and for the Coastal Conservation Association and Maryland Saltwater Sport Fishing Association (week of March 13). It is no secret that both of these groups would like to put commercial watermen out of business so that they can have all the fish for themselves. Thus Doyle’s endorsement of a commercial net ban.   ...

Will ‘tweaking’ help shrink the Bay’s dead zones?

The osprey is in.     Promptly on March 15, the first osprey appeared in my part of Bay Country, no doubt hungry and tired after flying from as far away as deep in the Brazilian Amazon. Fast, determined birds can make the trip in as little as a week.     Pussy willows are fat catkins. Weeping willows are chartreuse with life. Crocuses, daffodils and forsythia are screaming the yellow message of the returning sun. Earlier warming Washington, D.C., is pinking with...

An army of volunteers give a rare Chesapeake marsh a second life

A boardwalk leads through pinewoods to the water. From its beginning, you see a sliver of shining Bay. As you walk along the worn planks raised over marshland, the Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas facility — the industrial campus, the seven vast blinding-white storage tanks — disappear. At the end, the marsh and the tall reeds give way to the low dunes of Cove Point Beach.     From the beach, you can see across the Bay to Taylors Island. But the view is not...

Anne Arundel County hopes larger containers amount to a greater recycling haul

The bigger, the better. That seems to be the theory behind Anne Arundel County’s push to distribute 65-gallon recycling containers throughout the county.     “Recycling is a budgetary priority of this administration,” says County Executive John R. Leopold. “I’m always looking for ways to enhance the convenience of our recycling plan.”     Our recycling habits now fall 10 percent short of the county goal of 50 percent recycling...