Local author gives back with each book

By Catherine Brown
Posted on May 18, 2021

Last November, Maryland children’s book author Zoe Michal received an unexpected and very exciting email. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, had chosen Michal’s second book, Mission: Protect Bear, to read on her YouTube channel, “Storytime with Fergie and Friends.” Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew, who has written four children’s books, started the channel during... READ MORE

Made in Baltimore with love

By Margaret Foster
Posted on May 18, 2021

A few years ago, Teresa Stephens was working in a community garden in West Baltimore when a disheveled man stumbled in from a nearby alley, alcohol on his breath. The man, who told her he had grown up on a North Carolina farm, seemed interested in her work. Stephens, now 52, offered him a plot of his own. “I provided everything: a shovel, a hoe, the seeds he said he wanted,” she... READ MORE

Mentors help students grow

By Catherine Brown
Posted on May 17, 2021

Two decades ago, pediatric social worker Chaya Kaplan met an 8-year-old boy who became a lifelong friend. “T.B.” was a student she tutored through a program for disadvantaged children run by the Howard County Public School System and the Department of Social Services. He was one of eight children being raised by his grandmother. “I tutored/mentored T.B. weekly for about five years, ... READ MORE

How plants communicate with pollinators

By Lela Martin
Posted on May 12, 2021

Since between 75 to 90% of flowering plants require pollinators for reproduction, and since they’re clearly immobile, they must have strategies for attracting pollinators to themselves. Pollinator syndrome describes the way plants have developed over time to attract specific pollinators. The more we learn about a flower’s appearance as well as its food rewards of nectar and pollen,... READ MORE

A virtual violin competition and festival

By Catherine Brown
Posted on May 11, 2021

In 1983, Joji Hattori, now 52, participated in the first-ever Menuhin Competition — a musical contest started by Yehudi Menuhin, one of the 20th century’s greatest violinists. This year Hattori is one of the judges of the international competition for violinists under age 22. Known as the “Olympics of the Violin,” the Menuhin competition is typically held every two years, but, as ... READ MORE

Reasons to pay one’s taxes cheerfully

By Bob Levey
Posted on May 07, 2021

At my advanced (and advancing) age, it’s not smart to ruin friendships. They are harder than ever to repair and replace. But I fear I may have just blown things up with an equally ancient pal. You be the judge as to which of us is at fault. This friend and I were talking on the phone about taxes. He was bemoaning the burden they place on him, a single man in his 70s who lives mostly ... READ MORE

Recent anthologies can open our minds

By Dinah Rokach
Posted on May 06, 2021

The Bibliophile In the digital age, shorter attention spans have made anthologies an ideal format for readers. Feel a sense of accomplishment as you complete each self-contained entry. Happy Half-Hours: Selected Writings, by A.A. Milne, 180 pages, Notting Hill Editions hardcover, 2020 A. A. Milne, the renowned author of Winnie the Pooh, was a prolific writer of novels, plays, poems... READ MORE

Lifelong volunteers are top role models

By Margaret Foster and Catherine Brown
Posted on May 04, 2021

Delores Cole of Rockville, 84, has been helping others as a volunteer in her community since 1970, and she’s still going strong. Ann “Nancy” Aldous of Laytonsville, Maryland, 79, has been a volunteer for more than 50 years and doesn’t plan to slow down, either. For their lifelong commitment to helping others, Cole and Aldous were each named a Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award ... READ MORE

Kojo Nnamdi takes a step back

By Robert Friedman
Posted on May 03, 2021

He may be semi-retired, but radio personality Kojo Nnamdi is still on the go — hosting “The Politics Hour” Fridays on Washington’s NPR station WAMU, getting set to write a memoir of his 76 years, and planning trips to South Africa, India, Nepal, the Himalayas, and other not-yet-visited parts of the world. “You could say that I’m semi-retired, since I no longer have my daily... READ MORE

Dinner theater returns to Columbia safely

By Margaret Foster
Posted on April 20, 2021

Last March, as the pandemic spread locally and nationally, actors at Toby’s Dinner Theatre realized that their rehearsals for an upcoming musical were all for naught. Like other businesses, Toby’s had to shut down. “When we were closed down last year, nobody knew how long this would last,” said Mark Minnick, executive director of Toby’s in Columbia. “We were one week away... READ MORE