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Allison Colden tweaked oyster reef balls to help break up dead zones

‘Chi Chi’ Ukeje aims for Poetry Out Loud title

Dark-eyed juncos make their sudden appearance

Look at oyster restoration as a saga and this week’s story as an episode

Fourth-generation apprentices in clock repair 

Maryland’s behind the curve

Once upon a Christmas Eve, Lindsey, Caitlyn, Anna and Kali, were off to Grandmother Ruby's house for a noon gathering with all the family bringing food and gifts. As we drove away, we waved merrily to Amelia and Lily, our two King Charles Cavalier spaniels who stood watching from the window. Before the family departed, Lindsey wanted to leave one of the three chocolate pies prepared for the family at the house for later. We left the homemade chocolate pie with hand crushed graham cracker...

Five friends find the gift of Christmas is in the giving

Five Children stood at the entrance to the park early Christmas morning. Three girls, Katelyn, Maddison and Isabella or Kay, Maddie, and Izzy as they are known to their friends, stood on one side of the wheelbarrow. Two boys, Nick and Eddie stood on the other side. In the wheelbarrow laid a pile of Christmas presents. "Do you think this is enough," asked Maddie. "I think so. We each brought three presents. There are only twelve kids," Eddie said, referring to...
It started with a phone call in mid-November. Between jobs, I was temping at a county workforce development office. The caller was almost in panic mode. She hired the staff for Santa photos in malls in our area. A manager had resigned; she needed a replacement right away. I asked what the job entailed — managing the staff, hiring elves, taking photos of children, running the stage area, scheduling, timesheets and bank deposits. “I can do all that,” I said. And so it began. An...

My Santa story begins many years ago, when Prince Frederick was just a small, simple friendly town with just one shopping center. At this Christmas season it needed a Santa and this Santa needed a job. Santa’s job began on Saturday evenings in a trailer in the shopping center’s parking lot, where the children come to sit on his lap, and for a small fee they could have their picture taken with Santa. Later the owner of the “Ben Franklin store” hired a Santa for his store...
I suppose many of us have a "Magical Christmas" that stands out from all the rest of Christmases we've had; that one Christmas, where everything was perfect and magical. I happen to have that Christmas.  It was back in 1955, the Christmas I was six years old. The Christmas where Santa was so real, I could actually see him peeking through my widow to see if I had been naughty or nice!   I was living on Long Island, New York, at that the time, in the town of...
DINING OUT   Asian Food Deale Umai Sushi House Bagel Shop Naval Bagels  Bakery Zü Coffee  Barbecue Mission BBQ  Breakfast  Evelyn’s Annapolis Happy Harbor Waterfront Restaurant & Bar Brunch Rod ‘N’ Reel Evelyn’s Annapolis Burger Five Guys Burgers & Fries Business Lunch Harry Browne’s Restaurant  Catering Main & Market  Cheese Shop Giolitti Fine Italian Market & Deli Coffee House Zü Coffee  Crab Cake Pirates...

My Favorite Stories of 2018

     Together, we turned a lot of pages over the course of a year. On many of them, you’ve found a moment’s insight or delight. Others told you just what you needed to know. Some stayed in your mind, even after all those words have come between you and them all that time ago. So I can still recount stories we ran five, 15 or 25 years ago.       Before I close the book on 2018 (yes, I really do have a large, heavy book labeled Vol. XXVI, 2018), I like to...

A moving true story gets too schmaltzy and becomes an endurance test for the audience

      The victim of a brutal hate crime, Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) survives with amnesia, crippling physical delays and PTSD. The once-talented illustrator can barely hold a pen. He’s plagued with nightmares, pops pills and hides at home.        But in his mind, he lives an adventure. Using dolls customized to look like people he knows, Mark has created an elaborate world. In World War II Belgium, Mark is a dashing flyboy who protects the town of...

If I got a Ginny doll, I’d never again want for anything. Life would be complete.

     ’Twas the week before Christmas, 1951, when Sandra unleashed a full-fledged crisis on her second grade classmates at Marlboro Elementary, announcing at recess that there was no Santa.       “He’s a fake. It was our parents who filled the stockings and put presents under the tree. But once we knew the truth,” she cautioned, “they’d likely stop, so we shouldn’t let on that we knew.”      So we didn...

Even soldiers in Vietnam set the table for a Christmas feast

     Christmas in Vietnam. Say or think what you want about the Army, good morale is what keeps it going. It does everything it can during the holiday season to raise the spirits of the soldiers, many away from home for the first time.      Individual units put their personal touches on the holidays, but throughout the world the Army makes sure the holiday meal is as close to home-cooked as they can get it: Boned and rolled turkeys, candied yams, cranberry sauce...