International tai chi champions

By: Robert Friedman

Many recreation centers provide instruction in the ancient martial art of tai chi. But it’s a rare program that sends 17 of its members to China to participate in an international competition, and no doubt even rarer when such a group sweeps the awards in their categories. That’s exactly what happened, however, when a group from the East Columbia 50+ Center’s tai chi class traveled ... READ MORE

From CPA to haute chocolatier

By: Carol Sorgen

As Valentine’s Day approaches, lovebirds will line up for chocolate-covered strawberries at Ruthie Carliner’s evocatively named Velvet Chocolatier shop in Stevenson Village. Her chocolates can also be found at Whole Foods, and Oprah included her creamy sea salt-topped caramel cups in her list of “favorite things” back in 2011. But Carliner’s calling in creating decadent... READ MORE

Picture book takes a romp through Richmond

By: Catherine Brown

Fun. Upbeat. Thoughtful. These three words perfectly describe Short Pump Bump! A Lyrical Spherical Rhyming Romp Through Richmond, a children’s book just published by lifelong Virginian Angie Miles. Short Pump Bump! pays homage to our fair city with a collection of poems illustrated by Scott DuBar, a VCU graduate with whom Miles has worked for the past eight years. Short Pump Bump!... READ MORE

Artist retires, rekindles dream

By: Rebekah Alcalde

This past August, LeeNan Hayden Manzari was watching “Project Runway” — the long-running fashion design reality television show — when to her amazement, her painting of a flamenco dancer flashed on the screen. She’d submitted it online to the show’s Remake It Work contest, where fans of the show submit artwork inspired by the program. But she never thought it would... READ MORE

TV to protect our fragile world

By: Robert Friedman

From fly fishing in the hemlock-shaded tributaries of the Savage River in Garrett County, to exploring the marshes and woodlands of Dorchester County that Harriet Tubman traversed to lead slaves north, Mike English is an intrepid explorer of Maryland’s natural environment. His Maryland Public Television (MPT) show, “Outdoors Maryland,” has given viewers more than 700 vivid slices... READ MORE

Foster parents give and find love

By: Carol Sorgen

The nationwide heroin epidemic has not left Baltimore unscathed. Drug-addicted parents who can no longer care for their children have led to an increasing number of kids who need a secure, stable and loving home environment — a home provided by foster moms like Janis Oglesby. Oglesby, who lives in Baltimore County and is “past 65,” has been a treatment foster care parent with the... READ MORE