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19th-century ne’er-do-well fathered Australian cricket legend

These flying cigars eat their weight in pesky bugs each day

This is the time to see their courtship dance

Giant Atlantic sturgeon spotting hopeful signs

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Polystyrene ban passes in Anne Arundel

        Say your goodbyes to Styrofoam.               Anne Arundel County passed a bill to ban polystyrene products from any food service establishment by January of 2020.          The success comes eight months after former County Executive Steve Schuh vetoed similar legislation.          “As most of us live around the...

Don’t lose fish to tired old line

      As the 2019 fishing season begins, the most important thing you can do — aside from renewing your fishing license — is also the most affordable: replacing your fishing line. It is also the one thing most commonly ignored.      Working parttime at a local sports store and teaching springtime light-tackle fishing classes at Anne Arundel Community College have given me a window into the equipment habits of a broad spectrum of anglers. Fishing lines,...

Starting from seed can transform your vegetable garden

     Early March is a great time to start your tomato seeds. It will make you feel like spring isn’t too far away. Tomato seeds need 70- to 75-degree temperatures, shallow planting (one-eighth-inch deep) to germinate and sunlight once they’re up. After they get their second set of true leaves, you can transplant them to larger containers.       I like to use a clean chopstick to prick the little seedlings out of their starter tray. Always handle the...
It’s man against nature in this gripping drama
     Overgård (Mads Mikkelsen) has timed his survival to the second. The only survivor of an Arctic plane crash, he’s created a strict regimen ruled by the beeps of his wristwatch. Mornings he visits the burial site of his co-pilot to maintain the massive SOS he has carved in frozen snow. Afternoons he grapples up to the highest point he can to hand-crank an emergency transponder in hopes someone will hear him. Evenings he checks his ice fishing lines for a trout to make...

Shakespeare, like, totally amped for the ‘80s

         The plays of William Shakespeare are often placed into more modern settings, and there couldn’t be a better match than The Merry Wives of Windsor and the 1980s. Shakespeare’s comedy stars Sir John Falstaff, who embodies the excess, greed and bombast of a decade that spawned Reaganomics, conservatism and MTV.          With themes of love, jealousy, revenge and wealth, Merry Wives may be one of the Bard’s...

Fred Tutman, the only African ­American ­Riverkeeper on the job

       Waterkeeping has become a regular part of environmental conservation in Chesapeake Country, where 18 riverkeepers protect their local waters from the Atlantic at Assateague to the Shenandoah in the Appalachians, from the James at the mouth of the Bay to the Middle Susquehanna at its source.       In that commitment, we’re in good company. From New York’s Hudson River, where riverkeeping began, the movement has spread across the nation,...

This year’s Big Read introduces a chapter of black history relevant today for its social commentary

      Jack Johnson shocked the world by rising from the culture of Jim Crow to become boxing’s first African American world heavyweight cham­pion. A century later, Adrian Matejka chronicled his life and rise to fame in The Big Smoke. In 2013 it was considered for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award — for poetry.         This year, The Big Smoke is circulating around Anne Arundel County as part of The Big Read, which began...

Statues of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass to stand in Maryland State House

      The intersection of public art and politics is a hard one to negotiate. Lots of traffic — history, symbolism, myth, ideals, politics and budgets — is moving in different directions.       Consider the now well-known Washington, D.C., memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was authorized by Congress in 1996. The design competition held by the King Memorial Foundation attracted 906 entries. By the time the field was narrowed to 23 finalists, four...
Annapolis Rotary Club Scholarships For: Up to four graduating seniors in Annapolis area high schools and homeschoolers (zip codes: 21401, 21403, 21409, 21144) planning to attend a college or university and with a demonstrated commitment to community service; awards of $1,000 each. Deadline: Apply by April 1; www.annapolisrotary.org/scholarships.   Anne Arundel Watermen’s Scholarship For: Two graduating seniors from Anne Arundel County schools pursuing a career in marine sciences or...

End of an Antarctic Quest

       It’s been more than 100 years since Ernest Shackleton’s ice-crushed ship Endurance sank in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea, sending survivors on a famous trek for survival across ice floes and near-frozen seas.        It was the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and Shackleton was known as a hero for miraculously protecting his 27-member crew from death in a small vessel dodging fast-moving chunks of ice. He gave his mittens to the...