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Where and when to go to catch summer's favorite holiday

The fun’s better when you stay safe

Star-spangled nun commemorates our national anthem

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate reason and high ideals

Chesapeake Bay gets a summer show

Sort through hundreds of sunscreens rated from best to worst

As a fair-skinned mutt of European descent, I depend on sunscreen as my summer best friend. However, sunscreen has been found to contain harmful chemicals that make it inefficient and much more of a foe than the friend I need.     This year, I plan on winning the battle for sun protection. My weapon of choice is the Environmental Working Group’s extensively researched list of the most effective sunscreens.     The Washington, D.C.,-based Environ­mental...

A sure bet for a good time

From auditions to curtain, every theater production is a gamble, but 2nd Star Productions’ Guys and Dolls beats the odds. A period piece lampooning its own subculture, this 1950 Tony winner for Best Musical still feels funny and frisky from the opening Call to Post to the classic Fugue for Tinhorns. It grabs you by the lapels and doesn’t let go as Nicely Nicely Johnson (James Hulcha), Benny Southstreet (Nathan Bowen) and Rusty Charlie (Daniel Starnes) vow I Got the Horse Right Here...

We can’t eat salad forever. Now we won’t have to.

These are our salad days.         Billowy red leaf, upright sheaves of Romaine, tender baby lettuces, tart sorrel with its lovely red edges, verdant deep green spinach, peppery arugula that takes off like its English name, rocket. They, like my herbs, loved our cool, rainy May and are determined to fill our bowls and bellies before heat makes them bolt into bitterness.     At the same time, curly kale and rainbow Swiss chard are demanding to be...

Sometimes you need fertilizers

Am I an organic gardener? I’m often asked that question. I suspect that many who read this column conclude that my frequent reference to composting and compost in gardening means I must be an organic gardener. They seem shocked when I say that I use chemical fertilizers in addition to amending my soils with compost. My reasoning is that of a scientist.     Before my research into compost, my primary area of research was mineral nutrition of plants. My research for the...

Learn to work a chum slick

Our fish box contained three fat and healthy rockfish from 27 inches down to 24 inches. We had released a half-dozen smaller fish — and we had been fishing for only two hours. With one more fish to fill our limit, we were being pretty selective about who was good enough to keep. Ed Robinson and I had decided that it had to be over 30 inches, just to make it a challenge. Anything under would be unhooked and thrown back.     Anchored a bit south of the green can buoy off...

These detectives might not know what they’re doing, but it’s fun to watch

P.I. Holland March (Ryan Gosling: The Big Short) is hired to investigate a porn star’s car crash. It’s hardly the crime of the century, but he hasn’t turned down a check yet. His only lead is Amelia (Margaret Qualley: The Leftovers), a young woman involved in Los Angeles’ protest scene and possibly the adult film industry.     Amelia doesn’t want to be found. She hires Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe: Fathers and Daughters) to persuade Holland to drop...

Stories that need to be told

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, our national day of remembrance of those who gave their lives fighting for the United States across the world.     All over the country, patriotism abounds as festivities and events both large and small mark the day. Locally, the weekend marks the commissioning of a new crop of officers from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The weekend is also the beginning of summer fun. Families spend the long weekend trying out barbeques, pools and...

Honoring our fallen heroes

Memorial Day gets due honor at Chesapeake Beach. The annual Stars & Stripes Festival, now in its fifth year, remembers the soldiers and sailors, Marines and fliers who have given their lives defending the United States of America.     “The meaning of the day was becoming lost,” said Connie O’Dell, who manages special events for the Calvert County town.     During the three-day event, the press of daily living lightens. Speeches, historical...

Shady Side fifth-graders saving the Bay one handful of spat at a time

Some Southern Anne Arundel County students are taking the adage bloom where you’re planted more than a few steps further. Fifth-graders at Shady Side Elementary are planting oysters to help restore the Bay’s oyster population.     “We need oysters to clean the Bay,” said Lacey Wilde, 11, the daughter and granddaughter of working watermen.     Wilde is one of 75 fifth-graders in a year-long project with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to...

Agricultural program grows at Phoenix Academy

Next time you cruise down Cedar Park Road in Annapolis during school hours, you may well do a double-take as you pass the field next to Phoenix Academy. You’re likely to see rabbits munching greens in a sturdily built hutch, hear nanny goats bleating or glimpse teens carefully weeding a row of curly-leafed kale. Three years after a Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education was launched at this K-12 Anne Arundel County public school, there’s plenty of evidence that impressive...