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“We want Annapolis to be known as the best city for sailing in the world.”

All you can eat plus sides of local culture at the Deale Volunteer Fire Department’s Oyster Roast

Sailors ­battle winter monsoons and South Pacific trade winds in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race

Marvels lie under the sea

Dress warm to catch ’em by the shore

Clip right to force branches of flowers

Black walnut trees don’t mind bulbs and ground cover, but they kill competing broadleaf species

The black walnut is a unique tree. It selects its neighbors and wipes out its competition. The roots, bark, wood, leaves and husks of the black walnut contain an enzyme called juglanace. This enzyme remains in the tissues until they are decomposed beyond recognition. The horticultural term used to describe the competition-controlling properties of black walnut is allelopathic response. Juglanace acts like a selective weed killer, allowing only certain noncompetitive species to grow in close...

Maryland Department of Natural Resources deserves to add Protection to its name

The relentless headlines the past week have told the first part of the story. Ten tons of rockfish, most of them 27 to 28 inches, were discovered in just three illegal gill nets set in waters south of Tilghman Island. That’s two thousand or more fish. Braving frigid weather and using simple grappling hooks dragged on long lines in the depths of the Chesapeake, Natural Resources Police finally gave credence to persistent rumors of significant commercial gill net poaching. Natural Resources...

What's With Calvert’s Ghost Town?

Dowell Road bisects a strip of land sandwiched between Back and Mill creeks in Solomons. Past new homes under construction, the road runs out of asphalt. There a hard-packed dirt road parallels sidewalks leading nowhere, crumbling foundations with no buildings to support and rusty fire hydrants with nothing to protect. In the middle of these ruins sits a long-empty swimming pool.  No disaster wiped out this abandoned village. Its demise was predetermined; it was never intended to be...

The Chesapeake Bay Rockfish

The striped bass, known around the Tidewater as the rockfish, is one of the most popular of all Eastern, saltwater, game fish. Found along the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to Florida, rockfish have a lifespan of up to 30 years and have been know to exceed of 100 pounds. The current Maryland rod-and-reel record is 67 pounds and eight ounces. Maryland rockfish are spawned in the freshwater reaches of Chesapeake Bay tributaries and remain in the Bay until the age of eight or nine, when they...

Eons formed our topography

Point 1: Why Are Calvert’s Cliffs Exposed? The Miocene epoch of geology lasted from 23 to 5.3 million years ago. The middle Miocene was a time of high sea levels worldwide. The fact that we have these marine sediments exposed today, above present sea level, partly reflects that sea levels are generally down from what they were.  Shallow seas, embayments of the Atlantic, episodically covered much of Southern Maryland from about 18 to 20 and eight to 10 million years ago. Sea level...

Last week belonged to the groundhog; this week belongs to lovebirds.

How’s your movie watching going? Minus Superbowl, of course, movies and a fire have warmed creatures in our burrow most nights since last week’s Groundhog Movie Review. But every since reading last week’s Sky Watch, All Hail the Returning Sun, I’ve seen evidence of the quickening — and with it signs of spring. February 5’s cross-quarter day is tickling me with hope. It’s hard to be gloomy when sunlight is flooding our hemisphere, promising us an hour...

Only the brightest stand up against the waxing winter moon

Thursday’s first-quarter moon appears almost directly overhead with sunset around 5:35. By the time the sky has become truly dark an hour later, the moon has pivoted westward and the red star Aldebaran, of Taurus, has taken its earlier place.  The next evening the waxing moon has edged closer to Aldebaran. While the bull’s eye blazes a dozen degrees to the east of the moon, you will have to hunt for the Pleiades sisters a scant two degrees from the moon’s upper edge,...

Burrow down until spring with these classic flicks

Each year, when Bay Weekly’s resident rodent cinephile Chesapeake Chuck comes out of hibernation on Groundhog Day, he presents his movie picks, knowing we’re in for six more weeks of homebound winter.  This year, Chuck found inspiration while watching the Academy Award nominations and decided to revisit the classics now — before the 2011 Oscars add more films to the pantheon. What makes a classic? Chuck selected two authoritative lists: The American Film Institute’s...

A few Hail Marys might have saved this horror movie

Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue: The Tudors) doesn’t want to join the family funeral business. To escape this morbid life, Kovak joins a seminary, hoping for a free education. As far as the drawbacks — the whole celibacy thing, the fact that he doesn’t believe in God — Kovak figures he’ll just quit before he makes his vows. What does the church do when this Doubting Thomas tries to quit? They send him to an exorcism class in Rome. Why a priest with actual...
Once again Arnold’s Mill Creek pumping station has failed, dumping over a quarter-million gallons of raw sewage into Mill Creek. This spill is being blamed on the failure of two separate backup power sources. The station has been plagued with problems, most notably 2005’s three-million-gallon sewage spill, for which the watershed is still undergoing restoration. It’s arguable that the pumping station remains grossly inadequate to the development that has occurred in the area...