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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

Winter visitors from the far north

      As the days get short and cold, flocks of huge white birds arrive in Chesapeake Bay to spend the winter. They seem to come all at the same time and at night.      When they fly, their wings make a high-pitched sound that caused Meriweather Lewis to name them whistling swans. Their wings do whistle, but they also make a loud honk when talking to each other, and they are quite loud as they slap the water when taking off. Tundra swans have an almost five-and-a-...
Each year we revive the spirit of the season in our homes and hearts
      This is the time of year you find yourself comparing Santa stories over lunch. Kids who grew up certain of Santa’s arrival, and even the outlier who didn’t, reflect on the glories of belief followed by the dark nights of wonder. Pretty soon out come the Santa’s lap photos, on smartphone and in faded Kodachrome, for a show and tell that seems to be a spontaneous outbreak of the season. And there you are, walking down memory lane …    ...
More Animal Lovers Needed        I volunteer at the Prince George’s County Animal Management Office on Brown Station Road in Bowie. Many times I am the only volunteer there. This is a huge difference from the AA SPCA in Eastport. At any given time, there were five to 10 other volunteers there with me. Lots of these Prince George’s dogs are housebroken, surrendered due to foreclosure or eviction. Seeing them frantic to go outside in the morning is heartbreaking....

Bay Weekly Moviegoer’s not-so-traditional takes on what to watch in the holiday season

      Movie-makers love the holiday season as much as you do. It’s a Wonderful Life and The Grinch are the bare tip of the iceberg. To take you far beneath the surface, I offer a sampler of 10 that prove the winter holidays can be an ideal backdrop for all genres. Take my challenge and dip beneath the surface …          An American Tail: Fievel Mouse­kewitz and his Jewish family of mice seeking a better life in America is the rare movie...

Every wall needs a calendar

      Even in this digital age, the old-school practice of following the year month by month — and enjoying a lovely scene each month with room for jotting down notes — is worth preserving. Consider these locally conceived calendars for yourself, as stocking-stuffers or as New Year’s gifts.   Baltimore Orioles Pet Calendar       The boys of summer paired up with adorable pets and shelter animals for 15 months of pinups. Proceeds from this...
If you’re not a fanatic yourself, I offer a few suggestions
      Christmas shopping for a dedicated angler is tough.        As editor Sandra Martin wrote a couple weeks back, “Sporting Life columnist Dennis Doyle regularly warns against giving tackle to anglers. Why? Because unless you’re as expert as they are, you’re vulnerable to making a choice they’ll scorn.”      It’s true. Usually, and unfortunately, the shopper has little to no knowledge of the needs or desires...
A love letter to the achievement and tragedy of a great artist
     In 1888, Vincent van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) wearied of the Paris art scene. The Impressionists want all artists to see as they do, no one buys his paintings and he hates the grey light of the city. Depression and mania are rising; even with the support of his brother, he can’t find his footing.       Taking advice from his avant-garde friend Paul Gauguin (Oscar Isaac), van Gogh travels south to Arles. In the midst of the countryside, he sees the color...

Clear your calendar for these holiday traditions

What: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever        Cool Factor: Feeling apprehensive about dragging your entire family out to a holiday theatre performance? Take our advice and bring them all to see the seasonal antics of the Herdman family in this production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, based on the book by Barbara Robinson. These delinquent children somehow end up center stage at the local church Christmas pageant and teach their community a little something about the...

Tom Crockett’s trains at Tan’s Cycles

     “He created a destination with his trains,” Marygrace Baergen says as she gestures across the kitchen table to her brother Tom Crockett.       A pile of thank-you notes and old pictures are scattered on the table. Cardboard boxes wait to be unpacked in Crockett’s new house in Rose Haven, where he moved from the apartment at his former business, Tan’s Cycles in North Beach.      Taking a break from organizing, the sister...

Send early, arm yourself against mishaps

      How’s your gift-getting going? With speed as well as inspiration, I hope. Speed is especially important if, instead of delivering your gifts by hand, you’ll be depending on Santa’s helpers to get them to the right destinations at the right time. For while Santa himself is utterly reliable, his corporate surrogates are not. That’s a hard truth I’ve learned again and again.      The stories are funny — in retrospect. ...