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Tested and true lures and bait

Mulch, mowers and weed wackers can be murder on trees

A clever premise and charming leads make the year’s best Halloween scare
SPCA to keep holiday tails wagging
Maryland municipalities rise to the challenge of driving positive change 

Don’t give up on that missed strike

      I sent the Rat-L-Trap sailing out over the water in the longest cast I could manage. Pausing for a slow four-count to allow the lure to sink near the bottom, five feet down, I began the retrieve with long upward sweeps of my rod, followed by brief pauses to allow the lure to descend back toward the bottom.       The braided 20-pound-test line had no elasticity, which allowed me to feel not only the lure’s vibration but also any collisions with rocks or...
A fascinating drama about one man caught between his tradition and his family
     Brooklyn’s Hasidic community is a world of its own. The orthodox laws of Judaism are followed to the letter in this Yiddish-speaking enclave. Menashe (Menashe Lustig in his feature debut) lives by the rules until the rules refuse him his son.        As a ­widower, he is an unfit parent. His strict brother-in-law takes in his son. Meanwhile Menashe tries to prove himself a capable single father, but in truth he may not be.     ...
     Could it be 40 years ago?      Yes, it’s been four long decades since John Travolta’s sinuous moves in Saturday Night Fever made a generation believe we could dance our cares away.       You can revisit those heady nights of disco dancing this Saturday, September 9, when the tribute band the New York Bee Gees reprises the band that set the sound tone for the 1977 movie.      Jefferson Patterson Park’s pavilion...

A look at who we are through what we do in snapshots of Chesapeake Country ­working people aged 17 to 89.

Summer officially ends with Labor Day, aptly the day America sets aside to celebrate the people who made and make the nation.       The holiday began as part of working people’s campaign to claim the benefits of their labor. Much has changed since the determined, often life-and-death labor struggles of the late 19th century. Industries have flourished and fallen. We do different jobs, contributing to a far different give-and-take than New York City’s 1892 Labor Day...

In more ways than one, a lifeline

     What’s Your Line? was a TV quiz show so popular that it ran for 17 seasons — 1950 to 1967 — and 877 episodes.       For the four B-List celebrities (can you name one or two of them?) asking questions and the millions watching, the point of interest was typically the oddity of the job or the improbability of the match between job and holder. For added challenge, they could seek only yes or no answers. All in all, there was more fun in the...

Turns out it’s complicated

     I was casting to a rip-rapped, Bay shoreline laden with the remnants of an aged dock. There were multiple piers, railings and decks, long fallen into total disrepair. Curiously, there were no nearby buildings of any kind that explained the structure’s presence. It was, however, a white perch playground.      It was also a hazardous place to throw a spinner-bait, but if one managed to keep the lure away from the pilings and planks there was a good chance...
You’ll have to call in the big guns with poison ivy and English ivy
     Late summer is the best time to kill poison ivy and English ivy. As both of these species have extensive root systems capable of regenerating from pieces of roots, they are nearly impossible to eradicate by digging them out of the ground. The heavy wax covering the leaves makes them difficult to chemically eradicate as well. An exacerbating factor with poison ivy is that mature plants generate seeds that can remain dormant in the soil for years. Their potential germination...

A young woman aspires to rhyme her way out of her dying town

      Patti Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald: The Rachels) spends her waking hours serving drunks in a dim bar in the bowels of New Jersey. When she’s not being harassed by customers, Patti must wrangle her mother, a hopeless alcoholic who uses the karaoke nights at Patti’s bar to relive her dreams of singing professionally. In her free time, Patti is the primary caregiver for her grandmother, who has accrued enough medical bills to keep Patti and her mother in debt for...

The Brothers Osborne on Nashville, Merle Haggard and growing up in South County

     Once upon a time, when the Brothers Osborne were just kids in Deale playing with their dad, you didn’t have to go farther than your local watering hole to hear them. Now they’re big time, chronicled in Rolling Stone and celebrated as Country Music Association’s Vocal Duo of the Year. Last year’s Dirt Rich tour sold out across America and Canada.       But their roots remain deep in Chesapeake Country. Their breakout hit, Mix It...

Behind this regal persona is a man of many faces

     It’s opening weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, when the magical 16th century English village of Revel Grove awakens for its annual harvest festival — attended as always by the magnanimous Henry VIII, portrayed by Glen Burnie’s own Fred ­Nelson.      Heads turn as the entourage approaches. King Henry VIII, courtiers in tow, has come to the countryside to visit the faire.        His Majesty is resplendent in...