Archives for April 2012

What’s In Your Cereal ?

Yet one more reason to make your own granola; E The Online Environmental Magazine is reporting that a Rhode Island health food store owner has taken Kashi cereal, as well as Barbara’s, Bear Naked, and Peace off his shelves after realizing that “the cereals labeled “organic” or “natural” contained genetically-modified (GMO) ingredients and/or the same presence of pesticide residues found in conventional cereals costing much less.”

read the article here

Don’t have time to make your own granola ? Nonsense. You can do this while you’re making dinner or on the computer, just set the timer.

350 degree regular oven or 300 convection oven

1 rimmed sheet pan
2 1/2 to 3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant, and preferably organic)-cover pan in a relatively thin layer
2 teaspoons honey (or maple syrup) or more, according to taste, drizzled over the oats
1 teaspoon salt, preferably kosher, less if regular salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or nutmeg, ginger, cardomon…)
2 teaspoons veg oil of choice drizzled over oats

(you can put all of this in a bowl and toss around if you like)

Mix the oats around a bit to distribute the honey, oil,  spices.  Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven and spread around so it browns evenly.

At this point you can add:
1 cup or more of chopped nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans…
1/2 cup coconut (preferably unsweetened, but sometimes hard to find)

Put back in oven for another 10 or 15 minutes, or until all is nicely browned. Add any dried fruit (cranberries, currants, raisins…) once pan is out of the oven.

Really, the possibilities are endless; customize away.  Chocolate chips ? Banana chips ?  The last few days I have served mine with a topping of  warm strawberry/rhubarb compote and fresh yogurt. Divine.

Strawberry/Rhubarb Compote

1 pound rhubarb- cut in 1/2 inch pieces (if stalks are fat, cut lengthwise first)
juice from one orange (or approx 1/3 cup oj)
2 tablespoons honey/brown sugar/white sugar
1 cup sliced strawberries

Optional: 1 tablespoon grated orange rind, a dash of dried ginger, or some fresh ginger

Put rhubarb, juice and honey in non- reactive pot, bring to boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 5 minutes or until rhubarb is soft, but not mushy. Remove from heat, add berries, stir to combine. Delicious cold or hot, as is or with ice cream, on granola…

 

 

 

 
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Tall Ships, Visiting Vessels Come to CBMM May & June

From June 15-17, the replica tall ship HMS Bounty will be harbor side at CBMM.

The St. Michaels harbor will transform to an image of days gone by with several tall ships and visiting vessels docking at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) beginning this May and continuing throughout the month of June.

From May 5-12, the schooner Sultana will be dockside at the museum, and open for boarding to all CBMM visitors from 2:30 to 4:30 pm on Tuesday, May 8. The schooner Sultana is a replica of a Boston-built merchant vessel that served for four years as the smallest schooner ever in the British Royal Navy. Using the British Admiralty’s documentation of the original Sultana, she has been recreated to offer a glimpse of 18th-century seafaring life. Launched in 2001 at her base port of Chestertown, MD, Sultana provides educational programs for more than 5,000 students each year.

From June 4-7, the schooner Wolf comes to the CBMM, with free dockside tours offered from 1 to 3pm each day. The Wolf is a classic 74′ topsail schooner built in the early 1980s in Panama City, FL and now home ported in Key West, FL. The Wolf sails the seven seas representing Key West and the Conch Republic, and is available for charters in Florida, Bahamas, Jamaica and other ports in the Caribbean and US.

From June 15-17, the replica tall ship HMS Bounty will be harbor side at CBMM, offering tours to CBMM and Antique & Classic Boat Festival visitors at $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free for children five and under. A replica of the tall ship known for the infamous 1789 mutiny in Tahiti, the current HMS Bounty was built in 1960 for the movie, “Mutiny on the Bounty,” and was later featured in “Treasure Island” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” Now touring the U.S. East Coast after a European tour, the tall ship offers dockside tours, sail training and youth educational programs.

From June 4-7, the schooner Wolf comes to the CBMM, with free dockside tours offered from 1 to 3pm each day.

From June 22-24, the Viking ship Norseman will be at the museum offering a real-life look at a Viking ship and the type of people who sailed them more than 1,000 years ago.

On June 21 & 22,, the Pride of Baltimore II will be dockside at CBMM, with tours available to museum visitors. An 1812-era topsail schooner privateer reproduction, Pride of Baltimore II is Maryland’s working symbol of the great natural resources and spectacular beauty of the Chesapeake Bay region. Pride of Baltimore II was commissioned in 1988 as a sailing memorial to her immediate predecessor, the original Pride of Baltimore, which was sunk by a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986. Both ships were built in the Inner Harbor as reproductions of 1812-era topsail schooners, the type of vessels, called Baltimore Clippers, which helped America win the War of 1812 and finally secure its freedom.

From June 22-24, the Viking ship Norseman will be at the museum offering a real-life look at a Viking ship and the type of people who sailed them more than 1,000 years ago. Norseman is a 40-foot half-scale replica of the famous Gokstad ship that represents one of the many types of sailing vessels built and designed by Vikings. The Norseman’s crew will wear authentic Viking attire at a small encampment, which will be complete with iron and woodworking tools, and period music. The ship is based in Wilmington, DE at the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard.

For more information about other upcoming events at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, visit www.cbmm.org, or call 410-745-2916.
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May 19th Elf Classic Yacht Race Benefits CBMM

The 1888 racing yacht Elf as seen out on the Chesapeake Bay in last year’s inaugural Elf Classic Yacht Race. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, May 19, beginning at the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis and concluding at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD. Photography by Dan McGrath.

Launching early from Annapolis’ Eastport Yacht Club, the second annual Elf Classic Yacht Race brings the centuries-old tradition of yacht racing back to the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday, May 19. Proceeds from the race benefit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD, where race winners will be announced and celebrated later in the day.

Organized by the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild (CYRG), the race’s flagship is the CYRG’s restored 1888 racing yacht Elf. A fleet of classic yachts will join Elf in a cloud of traditional sail for an 1880s-style race from Annapolis to St. Michaels. Featuring the nautical version of a “Le Mans start,” yacht captains will row to their vessels in the Annapolis harbor to raise their anchors and sails, before getting underway.

Spectators are invited to watch the 9am start from the Eastport Yacht Club and then spend the day along the Miles River and St. Michaels harbor as participants cross the finish line at CBMM. Captains will finish the race by anchoring off, rowing to shore, and signing the race log at the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand on the museum’s grounds.

A visit to CBMM on May 19 also includes admission to the annual Maritime Model Expo, which runs from 10am to 5pm and features live music, family activities, demonstrations and exhibits, and a variety of food on campus.

To register a yacht for the race, download a complete registration package under the “Events” tab at www.cyrg.org, or contact CYRG’s Rick Carrion at elf1888@earthlink.net. Early registration is recommended—with wooden, classic and traditional yachts given preference when participating vessel limits are reached.

The Classic Yacht Restoration Guild is a membership organization dedicated to the preservation of maritime heritage through the maintenance and operation of the Elf. Built by the renowned Lawley Yard in Boston, Elf was restored to historically accurate condition by the CRYG and re-launched in 2008.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the stories of the Chesapeake Bay and the people who have shaped their lives around it. With 18 waterfront acres in the historic town of St. Michaels, the Museum offers exhibits, demonstrations, boat rides on the Miles River, and annual festivals that celebrate Chesapeake Bay culture, boats, seafood, and history. For more information about CBMM, visit www.cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.

Saturday, May 19, 2012
9am start in Eastport, MD
Finish ? in St. Michaels, MD
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Spy Chat with Artist Rebecca Clark

 On Friday, the Academy Art Museum in Easton opened an exhibit titled “Anima Mundi” by artist Rebecca Clark. The exhibit includes 27 pencil drawings of animals and nature, with a focus on bees. The exhibit will be up until May 28, 2012.

Rebecca Clark grew up in Annapolis and received her BA in Art History from Swarthmore College in 1983. She studied painting and drawing at the Maryland Institute of Art+ Design, and landscape design at the George Washington University. Her work has been included in group and solo exhibitions, in publications and in private collections. She has worked for 28 years as a registrar in the Washington DC fine arts community, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Phillips Collection, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and currently at the US Department of State’s ART in Embassies Program.

1.       Anima mundi – the title of your show – seems at first to mean something like “animals in the world”. But it actually means “soul” in Latin – and refers to the interconnection of all living things on the planet, similar to how the soul relates to the human physical body. Can you tell us a little about this concept and why you chose the name for this particular show of work?

I love that the title suggests animals!  Yes, “anima mundi” translates to “world soul,” but the word animal derives from the same Latin root, anima, which means “breath, or soul.” The original definition of animal (animale in Latin) was any animal – including humans – that breathes.  We’ve come to forget that we, too, are animals. And in forgetting, we detach ourselves from the natural world.

When Erik Neil first approached me about showing at the Academy Art Museum, I knew I wanted to exhibit a body of work that somehow conveyed the interconnectedness of all living things – the wonders of which I witness daily within the confines of my own backyard.  I first became aware of the concept of anima mundi through Godfrey Reggio’s powerful 1992 film of the same name.  The completeness of that phrase resonated with me.

2.       Your style is very interesting – kind of Japanese, very minimalistic, but with incredible attention to detail. You focus on your subjects so clearly, and they appear on a white background – almost floating in air. How did this style evolve – have you always focused only on your subject matter, and let the background disappear? By removing the background do you change the context of the subjects?

 What you’ve described must be a hybrid of two distinct personal influences: the highly detailed realism of Northern Renaissance painting (Van Eyck, Durer, Hoefnagel); and the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic which honors beauty in imperfection, impermanence, the small, and the humble.  The sharp focus on my subjects, whether an insect, a bird, or a leaf, is a conscious attempt to portray them as individuals.  I want people to connect with these animated beings, on a deep level, a heart level. I’ve learned that by simply sitting in nature – quietly observing, listening, and feeling the vibrations around me – my heart rate slows, the useless chatter in my head fades away, and I begin to enter an ancient but familiar world from which we all came.  I know this sounds very abstract and out-there, but by ‘becoming one’ with the bees and the blades of grass, I develop a deeper level of compassion.  This connection, this compassion, informs my drawing. 

 To answer your question about the white background of my drawings: I’ve come to appreciate the negative space as much as the positive space.  My hope is that the blankness will provide the viewer with a sense of space — or breath — so as to fully appreciate the subjects in a calm and peaceful way.

3.       Why bees?

 Because the bees really need our help right now.  And we really need the bees.  Seventy percent of all plants on the planet depend on bees for pollination, and what we utilize from these plants is crucial for our own existence.  As we know, honeybees are disappearing at alarming rates – a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder.  I hope that by reminding people about bees, by including them in my art, I help raise awareness about CCD.  I also draw them because they are incredibly beautiful, intelligent, and mysterious creatures.

4.       I love the pieces that show movement – the bird, for example – flying off the page, you only show part of the wing extending off the side of the paper. And the bees that are flying around the page – it seems that you’re offering the perspective of one of the group – as if a bee is looking out at the scene. Can you talk about that?

Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head!  In the process of entering my drawings, one is engaging with the birds in the air, or the root buried within the earth. I draw from the perspective of the subject.  By cropping the wing off the side of the paper, and employing a sort of snapshot sensibility, it helps bring me into their reality.  Otherwise, it’s just another pretty nature drawing from the detached human perspective.

 5.        Why graphite?

There’s something very basic about a graphite pencil that holds a visceral pleasure for me.  It’s a simple tool, it’s easy to carry, and the process of drawing does not require much preparation.  But most importantly, only with pencil can I achieve the level of detail that I desire.

 6.       Can you talk about the wisps of color? Only one or two pieces seem to have strong elements of color in them. What does color do or not do, to your pieces, and how/why do you choose that?

 I’ve been trying lately to incorporate more color into my work, albeit with subtlety and discretion.  I understand the power color holds, and the inherent implications of life and joy that it brings.  I’ve avoided it in the past, though, because of my dedication to pencil drawing, because color tends to dominate and can upset a delicate balance, and because I haven’t found a way to technically use colored pigments with the same degree of detail as that of a needle-sharp 5H pencil. But I’m experimenting more and more, as you can see in some of the drawings in the Anima Mundi show.  It was my plan to use color only in strategic areas where a dynamic life force might be present.  That is obvious in some of the drawings, such as “All Will Be One” and “Emerge,” but I’m afraid the temptation of color has lured me into other areas, as well…!

7.       Some of the pieces have an other-worldly sense about them. The dandelions, for instance – change from a very scientific, representational look, to a mystical look, or Celtic. What are you saying there? Is it about the relationship between the elements of nature?

The dandelion was a breakthrough for me.  While drawing one late last summer, I became entranced by its beautifully complex patterns and suddenly realized I was staring at nature’s version of a mandala, a sacred geometric circle representing the cosmos – a microcosm of the universe.  All patterns in nature are, of course, amazing and it was at that point I realized I wanted to take my art to a more symbolic level to better convey that sense of universal interconnectedness. One of my art heroes, Charles Burchfield, so beautifully expressed the mystical in nature, and his painting, “Dandelion Seed Heads and the Moon,” from 1961-65 was a huge inspiration for me.  I believe nature can serve as a vehicle for transformation to the spiritual and I hope my art will continue to evolve towards that expression.

 8.       How does the cat fit in with the rest of the pieces? It seems so domestic in comparison to the others.

Homer is our cat.  He was a stray who adopted us when we moved into our bungalow. The backyard was his home long before we arrived, and he enjoys hanging out with me there, as well as in my studio while I draw.  I’ve learned so much about animal nature from Homer that I felt he deserved to be included in the show.

 9.       The show seems very accessible – you don’t have to be an art historian to appreciate this work. It seems that even young children would enjoy seeing this show. Have you had responses from a wide audience about this work?

 Because my inspiration is drawn directly from the same world we all share, I hope it resonates with all.  I do think children enjoy my drawings.  They are so much closer to nature than adults, and I think they identify with animals on that heart level of which we spoke earlier. I had a bee show at a community center art gallery last April and the curator left a notebook for guests to leave comments.  Most of the comments were from children and their honesty was so refreshing! A nursery school class wrote: “It was neat the way they were drawn like their wings were fluttering.  It was neat.  We really liked the baby bumblebees.”  And a child just learning to write, who signed in as “me,” and dated her comment “now,” simply drew a girl (presumably her) with a big smile and a hand that morphs into a giant heart. 

 I really like the vibrant community spirit of the Academy Art Museum – its active art and dance studios; its vigorous exhibition schedule promoting the work of local artists as well as that of internationally acclaimed heavyweights; and its K-12 educational programs that allow children the rare opportunity to interact directly with the artwork in the galleries.  I’m excited to see how the local kids respond to my drawings.

10.   Your diamondback terrapin piece seems to be narrative. What story are you telling here?

There is no conscious narrative, per se, on my part, other than portraying a moment in the life of a terrapin and a fly.  It’s early fall, so the summer grasses are still around, but the falling leaf signifies the coming of fall and pending death.  To me this drawing symbolizes the cycles of life.

 11.   You have focused on recording the details of a micro world and it feels very scientific. Do you have a background or influences in the world of science?

Whatever scientific exactitude I’ve mustered in my work is a result of highly developed observational skills and total awe for my subject matter.  I am not scientific in the least bit, but I appreciate the creativity of scientists who are uncovering the mysteries of our universe.  I recently saw a fantastic illustration that showed two intersecting circles, one labeled ART, the other labeled SCIENCE.  The middle section they both shared was labeled WONDER!

 
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Schooner Sultana Visits CBMM May 5-13

Sultana Under Sail

On the afternoon of Saturday, May 5 and through the early morning of Sunday, May 13, the schooner Sultana is scheduled to visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD. The replica schooner will be docked harbor side at CBMM and sailing on the Chesapeake with students throughout the week.

The Sultana will be open for boarding to all museum visitors from 2:30pm to 4:30pm on Tuesday, May 8. The tour is free for museum members or with general admission.

The schooner Sultana serves as an on-the-water classroom for learning about the history and environment of the Chesapeake Bay. An almost exact replica of a British schooner that patrolled the North American coast just prior to the American Revolution, Sultana provides day-long programs as well as live-aboard programs for participants.

During Sultana’s visit, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s waterfront campus and 12 exhibit buildings are open 10am to 5pm, seven days a week. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.

Why I’m Running by Ann Borders

I first started coming to the Town of St. Michaels in grade school.  My Aunt Helen and Uncle Ed owned and operated Newnam’s market at the corner of Talbot and Cherry Street for many years.  Over the years, I watched St Michaels grow into this wonderful little Town where everyone wanted to be.  I purchased my Aunt’s home on Cherry Street in 1998, and after moving here full-time in 2009, it did not take me long to get involved.

I am running for Commissioner because I believe it’s time to reinvest in St. Michaels’ future.  You only need to walk down Talbot Street to realize the Town’s historic character is in danger.  This is a serious concern because tourists come for the historic charm and tourism drives our local economy.   So many empty storefronts on Talbot Street are a sign we may be losing our economic vitality and, with it, our small-town quality of life.

My background is in accounting, and since 2009, I’ve spent many hours attending Commissioners’ meetings, reviewing policies, and going over Town finances.  I found plenty of places to trim the fat without impacting services.  I am proud that, based on my research, the Town cut its property tax rate by 12% last year!  But we still pay the highest taxes of any town in Talbot County, so there is more work to be done.

St. Michaels needs Commissioners who will work as a team and maintain a professional and respectful atmosphere.  We also need:

  • Policies and procedures that ensure the Town resources are managed and used effectively.
  • Thriving businesses and job opportunities that also protect our fragile environment and residents’ quality of life.
  • Ordinances that are clear, effective, and enforceable.
  • An open and welcoming local government where residents are well-informed and encouraged to get involved.

I am asking for your vote because as a Commissioner, I will pursue these goals, and together, we can pursue a bright future for St. Michaels.

Colonial History Lives at Old Wye May Fair

Young and old alike can step back into Maryland’s Colonial past from 10 until 3 on Saturday, May 5 at the Colonial May Fair on the beautiful grounds of Old Wye Church in historic Wye Mills.

At last year’s May Fair, visitors enjoyed the chance to experience what life was like almost 300 years ago on the Eastern Shore. This year, the Colonial May Fair has expanded, providing many more opportunities for you and your family to experience living history. There will be blacksmithing, furniture making, beekeeping, spinning, basket weaving, candle making and other demonstrations.

Take a Clydesdale horse drawn wagon through Wye Mills to the 1682 Grist Mill, and see it in operation. Enjoy choral music and a docent-led tour in the historic 1721 Old Wye Church. Colonial games, crafts, and costumes, along with May Pole dancing will interest and delight children. A fife and drum corps will provide the appropriate musical setting for the day.

Just as in Colonial times, animals will be everywhere. Besides the handsome team of Clydesdales, there will be farm animals for petting and feeding, plus there will be a pony for small children to ride. The Maryland Park Service will bring a selection of native wild animals. Rev. Charlie Osberger, the rector of Wye Parish, will bless the animals, including yours if you bring him or her.

Dunkelberger the blacksmith

Local crafts will be available, such as handmade quilts and lavender products made in Queen Anne’s County from lavender grown in the County. A tent will be filled with flower and vegetable plants ready to plant in your garden. Children will have the opportunity to make a special Mother’s Day gift. And, of course, there will be lots of food to enjoy for lunch on the grounds or in the Parish Hall — or to take home for an easy dinner after your day of Colonial experiences.

Old Wye Church is at 14114 Old Wye Mills Rd. (Rt. 662) in Wye Mills. The proceeds from the Colonial May Fair benefit the outreach programs of Wye Parish. There is no charge for admission to the Fair.

Saturday, May 5, 2012
10 am – 3 pm
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Washington Post Looks at Easton Lacrosse Player Suspension Reversal

The Washington Post has given Metro section front page attention to the State of Maryland’s recent decision to reverse the suspension of two Easton High School lacrosse players for possessing knifes in their equipment bags.

Read the full story here

May Skywatch: Planet Show and a Missed Eclipse

For the last several months skywatchers have been able to focus on great views of the planets. This will prove to be true throughout the month of May as well. Those of us with telescopes can obtain dramatic views of phase changes in Venus, spectacular rings around Saturn, and neat surface markings on Mars. But if we lived on the west coast of the USA, we would be treated to the first “annular” solar eclipse to touch any of the states since 1994 on the late afternoon of May 20th. Unfortunately for us east of the Rocky Mountains, the Sun will already have set, and we will miss it entirely.

An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon directly on the Earth-Sun line also reaches the farthest point from Earth in its orbit around us, and therefore appears a little too small to fully block the Sun. About 90% of the Sun will be blocked in this eclipse, but at mid-point of eclipse, the Sun will appear as a “ring” of light in the sky. (The name annular comes from the Latin word for ring, annulus ——- thus it is an annular eclipse). The next such event will not happen until 2023. But let’s get back to what we CAN see.

Venus will jump out at us early in May as soon as the sky darkens. Look west for this brilliant “evening star.” It is at maximum brightness of -4.7. On May 1st it will be some 30 degrees above the west horizon and not set until 11:30 pm. But its orbit around the Sun, smaller than ours and inside ours, is bringing it closer to us and “tucking” it between us and the Sun. Indeed by May 31st, Venus will only be about 10 degrees above the horizon, and will set just 40 minutes after the Sun. But look at it on May 22nd when the crescent Moon will be seen just 5 degrees below and left of it.

Venus’s orbital motion will also cause the telescopic views of it to change as well. It will appear crescent all month, but the crescent will shrink (less lit-surface seen) while the overall size of the planet image will increase by about 40%. Next month I will feature a Venus transit event for June 5/6 in my article, when with eye protection we can look at the Sun and watch the planet Venus appear as a black dot crossing in front of the Sun’s surface.

Mars begins May just a little left(east) of Leo’s brightest star Regulus, high up in the southern sky. Its orbit will take it away from Regulus through the month, so it will be twice that distance left of it by May 31st. Mars outshines Regulus by almost 4 times and its reddish color makes a nice contrast with the blue-white color of this hot star. Telescope views this month will reveal the white north polar cap and some dusky surface markings.

Saturn can be found by shifting your gaze due east. It too is among the stars of a zodiac constellation; in this case, Virgo. And it too is near the brightest star of this constellation, Spica. This month these two will appear to remain about 5 degrees apart; with Saturn to the left of Spica. Saturn is so far away that its orbital motion over a month’s time is not as noticeable in reference to background stars as the motion of Mars, which is much closer to us. Telescopes will show Saturn’s lovely rings, tilted 13 degrees to our line of sight, and can reveal several of the planet’s over 60 moons.

Full Moon is early this month; on May 5th, with last quarter on the 12th. First quarter phase will be seen on May 28th, and on May 29th, the Moon will appear just 7 degrees below Mars in the southern sky.
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State Shuts Down Bank of the Eastern Shore in Cambridge

The Daily Record is reporting that two Maryland banking institutions, Bank of the Eastern Shore in Cambridge and HarVest Bank of Maryland in Gaithersburg were closed Friday by the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, it was announced late Friday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The Bank of the Eastern Shore’s deposits and assets have been transferred to a new, temporary entity, Deposit Insurance National Bank of Eastern Shore, which will remain open for approximately 30 days to allow depositors access to their money.

Read the full story here