Archives for November 2013

Maryland Tourism Honors Battle of St. Michaels

bicentennialThe Town of St. Michaels won two awards at the recent Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit for the Battle of St. Michaels Bicentennial event they staged this summer.

Commissioner Ann Borders, Town Manager Jean Weisman, and Talbot County Tourism Director Cassandra Vanhooser accepted the Maryland Cultural Heritage Tourism Award on Thursday, Nov. 7 at an awards luncheon at The Hotel at Arundel Preserve.

Later that evening, Maryland’s Chesapeake Campaign, a series of weekend festivals that commemorated the bicentennial of the War of 1812 actions across the state, won the Cooperative Marketing Partnership Award from the Maryland Tourism Council.

“Two hundred years ago, the British Navy launched its ‘Chesapeake Campaign,’ looting and burning and creating economic devastation in Maryland towns along the Bay,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.  “The War of 1812 in Maryland is our most important national heritage story, when diverse Marylanders from every walk of life banded together to defend our freedoms.  Maryland’s Chesapeake Campaign celebrates a national story of triumph while creating tremendous economic benefit for Maryland towns and businesses.”

On August 10 and 11 this year, the Battle of St. Michaels Bicentennial commemoration filled the historic harbor town to near capacity with an estimated 5,500 guests. According to a research study conducted by Forward Analytics, a market research firm whose clients include festivals and events throughout the United States, the total direct and indirect economic impact of visitor spending is estimated at $524,790.

During the celebration, the town’s waterfront and historic district turned back time to 1813 with re-enactments, boat rides, canon firings, horse drawn carriage rides and a Talbot Street parade.  The battle was a “whole town” event with residents, visitors, and businesses all contributing to the red, white and blue festivities.

The Battle of St. Michaels commemoration also corresponded with Talbot County’s annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day held at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.  This event featured celebrity guest appearance of reality television shows, Deadliest Catch and Swamp People.  Highlights included live music, boat docking contest, museum tours, and all-you-can-eat steamed crabs.

“We always enjoy welcoming visitors to our town,” said Ann Borders, a St. Michaels commissioner.   “Seeing our restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions filled was a great testament to the economic benefits of the statewide celebration.  We are particularly pleased that this event focused attention on our rich history, and we believe we’ve created a lasting legacy for future generations.”

..

Eya Ensemble at Christ Church Easton

eya ensembleOn Sunday, December 1, the award-winning Eya Ensemble based in Washington D. C.  will perform a concert entitled “The Jesse Tree” at 4:00 p.m. at Christ Church in downtown Easton.  Specializing in the interpretation of medieval music for women’s voices, Eya has established its place in the Baltimore/Washington, DC community as an early music ensemble of impeccable vocal quality, deep spirit, and smarts.

Directed by Allison Mondel, Eya presents concert programs that interweave diverse repertories of the 12th through 15th centuries, from Hildegard von Bingen to Notre Dame to the flyleaves of early English manuscripts and beyond. Through this lens, these programs seek to tell a story that forges new points of connection between contemporary audiences and medieval repertoire, underlining our common humanity with these early poets and composers.

Eya’s performers are some of the finest young early music specialists in the region. Audiences have praised the ensemble for its vocal beauty, fascinating and accessible programming, fresh and inspired interpretations, and musicianship of the highest standard. Most recently, Eya is the proud recipient of the 2013 Greater DC Choral Excellence Award for Best Specialty Group: Early Music.

For centuries, the season of Advent has been recognized over four weeks leading up to Christmas.  The concert, based upon Isaiah’s ancient prophecy, “a shoot shall come out from the root of Jesse and a flower shall grow out of his roots,” is particularly appropriate for the season as December 1 marks the first Sunday in Advent.  The symbol of the “Jesse tree,” as representing the spiritual and genealogical lineage of Jesus, lit the medieval imagination. Stained glass windows and illuminated manuscripts testify to the prominence of this image within the visual arts. In medieval music, countless works examine this theme, realized in works of both humble devotion and exuberant praise. Eya explores these fascinating and thoughtful interpretations of Isaiah’s prophecy in a program ranging from the monasteries of 13th-century England, to the visionary songs of Hildegard von Bingen, to the grand splendor of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Christ Church is located at 111 South Harrison Street in Easton.  A freewill offering will be taken and refreshments will follow in the parish hall.  This concert is a part of the 2013-14 Christ Church Concert Series and is sponsored in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  For information call 410-822-2677.

..

Park Donated in Honor of Man Who Rescued Stevensville Landmarks

STEVENSVILLE – The man who helped preserve many Stevensville landmarks will be remembered with a park in his name on property his son donated to Queen Anne’s County.

Roger W. Eisinger started buying as much property as he could in Stevensville in the 1980s, rebuilding an antique store and developing an arts district. His son, Bob Eisinger, still owned 5.27 acres of a farm Roger Eisinger purchased in the 1980s and wanted to preserve the parcel in his father’s name.

Queen Anne’s County agreed to take ownership of the donated parcel and placed a conservation easement on it with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.

The park would be open to the public and could possibly be the landing site for a pedestrian bridge over U.S. Route 50, connecting the two sides of The Cross Island Trail. Queen Anne’s County officials have struggled for years to figure out how to get people safely across Route 50, said County Administrator Gregg Todd.

Todd contacted Dick McIntyre, who designed the Cross Island Trail. McIntyre agreed to sketch a design for a possible pedestrian bridge. The county plans to pursue funding for implementation.

“The county is very grateful to the Eisinger family for dedicating this property to us which will be dedicated as the Roger W. Eisinger Jr. Park,” said Commissioner Dave Dunmyer. “We are also very excited about the park’s potential to serve as a gateway to a pedestrian walkway over Route 50 and as an environmental educational site through our partnership with the Midshore Riverkeepers.”

When ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen saw the parcel, he thought it would make a great park and began talking to community members and interested parties about it being a pedestrian bridge landing site.

In the mid-1990s, he said, the Stevensville Community Plan team identified the property as a good spot for a park because of the way the headwaters from Thompson Creek came into town, but no progress was made at that time.

“I am delighted by the generosity of the Eisinger family and by the partnership that has emerged around this new park and connecting trail,” Etgen said. “We look forward to working with Queen Anne’s County and the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy to make the Roger W. Eisinger Park and connecting trail a treasure for everyone.”

The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy will offer kiosks for public messaging and will explore other options, including native plantings.

“Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy is delighted that we were able to play a role in steering Bob Eisinger to Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and helping to interest Queen Anne’s County in the potential for accepting this property,” said Midshore Riverkeeper Executive Director Tim Junkin. “We are confident that the park and pedestrian overpass will be a wonderful asset for folks on Kent Island and around the area.”

Domino’s in Easton Robbed at Gunpoint, Follows Six Other Robberies in Midshore in 30 Days

The Domino’s on Dover Street in Easton was robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday at about 10:35 p.m., said Brent Miller, the assistant manager who was on duty when two men entered the store and demanded cash from the register.

“One guy waived a 9mm at my head and my stomach and threatened to kill me,” Miller said. “I’m pretty sure the other guy had a gun too.” Miller said the other suspect stood by the window as a look out.

First to arrive at the scene was a K-9 unit of the Easton police — followed by Maryland State Police units moments later, Miller said.

Miller said the police arrived within a minute of the robbery.

Law enforcement officials in Easton, Centreville, and Chestertown believe the robbery of  Domino’s in Easton fits the pattern of six other robberies over the last 30 days in all three jurisdictions.

Anyone with information can call,

TFC William Abey with MSP, 410-758-1101

Chestertown Police, 410-778-1800

Centreville Police, 410-758-8437

Easton Police, 410-822-1111

Christmas Parade Ready for Dec. 7

EASTON — ‘Tis the season! The Town of Easton and Easton Downtown Partnership proudly present the 2013 Easton Holiday Parade, Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Easton. 

A traditional celebration of family, friends and community, visitors and residents can expect to see an evening lineup of pure jolly culminating in floats decked with boughs of holly. They will delight in row upon row of revelers donned in holiday apparel, of bands and choirs all chiming in with Yuletide carols. Mixed into the joyous melee will be dancers, classic cars, fire engines, furry friends, girl and boy scouts, local sports teams and many more. And … don’t forget Santa, of course.

Easton Utilities will host the traditional tree-lighting ceremony at Thomson Park at 6:00 p.m. on Dover and Washington streets where Santa will make his first appearance to start the season and the parade with flair and the flip of a switch.

The Tidewater Inn will be hosting FREE carriage rides for the public that day from 3 to 6 p.m., as well as on Saturday, Dec. 14 and 21, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Bring a coat, mittens, some spare change for cups of steaming cocoa and heart-warming snacks and let the holiday festivities begin!

For more information on the parade, including the route map and instructions for participants, please visit www.discovereaston.com or call 410-690-4395.

EASTON—The Tidewater Inn will be hosting FREE carriage rides for three days only this December to celebrate the upcoming 2013 holiday season.

Residents can enjoy a tour of downtown Easton’s streets decorated with festive Christmas cheer on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. and on Dec. 14 and Dec. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The carriage will leave the Tidewater Inn and travel down Harrison Street and include a tour of Washington and Goldsborough streets.

The Tidewater Inn is offering the rides free of charge.

For more information call the Tidewater Inn at 410-822-1300.

UM Chester River Kicks Off Tree of Lights Campaign

University of Maryland Chester River Home Care & Hospice is kicking off its 26th Annual Tree of Lights campaign.

This holiday tradition enables members of the community to honor or remember special family members and friends through the purchase of votives which will be illuminated at the annual tree lighting event to be held on Thursday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m., at Emmanuel Church in Chestertown.

Votives can be purchased from the University of Maryland Chester River Health Foundation for $10 each.  Names of those honored will be displayed in downtown Chestertown throughout the holiday season. The display is updated twice weekly to reflect all donations made throughout the campaign.  All proceeds from the Tree of Lights campaign will benefit hospice services provided by UM Chester River Home Care & Hospice on the Upper Shore.

“The Tree of Lights celebration has become a holiday tradition here in Chestertown,” comments Cindy Bach, OT, Director, UM Chester River Home Care & Hospice.  “This event allows people in our community to pay tribute to those special family members, friends and loved ones who they hold most dear, all while supporting the care and compassion that our home care and hospice staff provides our patients each and every day throughout the year.”

Bach continues, “By honoring those loved ones with whom you have shared the most cherished moments of your life, you are helping to fund hospice services that will assist patients and their families during some of the most challenging moments of their lives.”

For additional information about the 26th Annual Tree of Lights or to purchase commemorative votives, contact the UM Chester River Health Foundation at 410-810-5660.  Purchases can also be made by visiting www.chesterriverhealth.org.

Vehicle Accidents in Maryland Involving Bikes Increase Sharply in Last Five Years

There were 841 accidents between cars and bikes in Maryland in 2012, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, a 5 percent increase over the 799 bike-car accidents in 2008.

Harford County resident Pam Moore never worried about sharing the road with cars until she was struck by one while riding her bike in August. She lost consciousness and suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs, abrasions and a concussion from the accident, she said.

“There was nothing I could do different,” Moore said. “I was following the laws. I was where I was supposed to be.”

In 2012, five people in Maryland died from bike-car crashes and 689 people were injured.

Many motorists do not view bicycles as vehicles that have an equal right to use the road, said Neil Buchness, president of Chesapeake Spokes, a bicycle group in Harford County.

“We’re actually people. We aren’t just something to contend with in the road or go around,” he said. “Give us a little more respect out on the road.”

Buchness said the state needs to ensure motorists know the law.

“I think the biggest thing that will help us is education. Getting it out there. The more people that realize that we are cyclists and we do have a right to the road,” the better, Buchness said.

According to the law, drivers must leave three feet between their car and bicyclists when passing them on the road.

“I think a lot of motorists feel that bicyclists are trespassing on the public roadways and that leads to resentment,” said Michael Jackson, director of bicycle and pedestrian access for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Still, responsibility on the roadways doesn’t just lay with drivers, said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists.

“It starts with following the rules of the road,” Clarke said of bicyclists. “Behaving responsibly and predictably and making sure you’re visible. Making sure people know what you are going to do.

Pam Moore thinks Maryland needs to increase the passing distance between bikes and cars and do a better job enforcing existing laws.

“You’re going to have people that don’t like cyclists, people who don’t like runners, people who don’t like that because they don’t want to share the road,” Moore said. “I think you have to have stricter laws.”

Even if the law does change, Moore said doesn’t know if she’ll return to the hobby she once loved.

“I’m not sure if I will get back on a bike. I want to because I don’t want to let this accident define something I really, really enjoyed,” Moore said.

By JOSH BIRCH
Capital News Service

The New Whigs—A Bridge to Partisan Fighting?

WASHINGTON – The Whigs, the 19th century political party that disbanded before the Civil War over the question of slavery, is trying making a comeback as the voice of reason between embittered modern day Republicans and Democrats.

In Philadelphia, the election of Heshy Bucholz, a software engineer and first candidate to run and win as a Whig in that city in 157 years, has brought national attention to the party and spurred hundreds of new members to sign up.
In Maryland, where the Whigs held four of their national conventions in the mid-19th century, the hub of the renaissance is in Cecil County. Tim Zane, a registered Republican and a former vice president and senior cash manager at a large international bank, is in talks to be in charge of the Maryland branch of the new and improved Modern Whig Party.

Like Maryland, Idaho, Arizona, Virginia and Hawaii are seeking new chapter leaders.

There are about 200 members of the Modern Whig Party in Maryland, and another 200 support the group by receiving its newsletter. Maryland would benefit from a third party because of its problem with representation, Zane said.
“Maryland has two major parties and two minor parties. It’s a strange way of looking at it,” Zane said.

The major parties, in Zane’s view, are the progressive Democrats and moderate Democrats, while moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans form the minor parties. He cites tax increases, including Gov. Martin O’Malley’s infamous “rain tax,” a stormwater fee, as evidence that a Democratic monopoly on decision-making is bad for Maryland’s citizens.

“Everything in Maryland is controlled by the counties between Baltimore and Washington,” Zane said.

Four Whig National Conventions were held in the old Maryland Institute in Baltimore, a grand building which stood at the corner of Market Place and East Baltimore Street. It burned down in 1904, and now in its place is the Power Plant Live! entertainment center.

After a century and a half of dormancy, the Modern Whig Party was relaunched in 2007 by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and claims 30,000 members. Historically a party of compromise, the Whigs believe in incorporating ideas from multiple viewpoints to arrive at the best solution.

Modern Whigs favor allowing issues to be decided at the state and local level, painting themselves as the party of logic, research and reason. The Whigs see themselves in stark opposition to the two main political parties, which brought about the recent government shutdown.

In Washington today, “one side shuts down so the other side doesn’t talk,” said Brendan Galligan, chairman of the New Jersey chapter of the Modern Whig Party, and an elected school board member in Westfield, N.J.
Galligan’s own foray into Whigism began after he discovered the Westfield, N.J., school budget had increased by nearly 30 percent in five years. Propelled into action, he ran unopposed as an independent in 2012 and was elected to the Westfield School Board with 7,000 votes at age 23.

“They haven’t done anything for a couple hundred years, but let me click on their link,” Galligan said about his discovery of the Whigs.

An electrician working in New York City, he was recently re-elected to a three-year term, coming second by 200 votes among four candidates.

“The old Whigs were about building the country. Now it’s about helping us from falling apart,” Galligan said.

A historical comparison between the old and Modern Whig Party is difficult because the United States is dealing with a completely different set of issues, said William Anthony Hay, an associate professor of history at Mississippi State University, and author of a book on 19th century Whigs.

“It is a rebellion against gridlock in Washington,” Hay said.

But that doesn’t mean the party will resonate today.

“I think if you ask people about the Whig tradition today, they’d think you were talking about a hairpiece,” Hay said.

While they date back to 17th century Scotland, the American Whig Party was originally formed in 1833 to oppose what opponents saw as President Andrew Jackson’s imperialist presidency and government expansion. The party split just before the Civil War over issues like state’s rights and slavery.

As a moderate party that tried to appeal to as many people as possible, its lack of concrete ideology seemed to contribute to its implosion. Many northern Whigs went on to form the core of the Republican Party, while southern Whigs turned to the Democratic Party.

“The Whigs … can claim to be the first real party of the people,” said Andrew Evans, national chairman of the Modern Whig Party, who counts Abraham Lincoln and John Locke among the party’s notable alumni.
“We are very proud of our history. We are a rebirth,” Evans said. “We’re not trying to take everything back to the 19th century, that’s crazy.”

A final death knell for the Whig Party was at its last official convention in 1856. The candidate nominated for vice president was Andrew J. Donelson, the nephew of “King Andrew” Jackson, the president the party was originally created to rally against.

The Whigs went into hibernation, and are now trying to re-emerge on the political stage as a third option for beleaguered voters.

During the government shutdown in October, a Gallup poll found that 60 percent of Americans asked believed a third party was needed. Only 26 percent of those asked believed the two main parties adequately represent Americans.
“There’s not a need for more parties. There’s a need for Americans to have options that can really represent them,” Evans said. “It’s about competition, as well. The quality of the product improves, the price goes down. Things are supposed to be better. Politics is the same.”

Interest in the Modern Whig Party coincides with public malaise at the gridlocked two-party system, Evans said. The party saw an uptick of new members during the recent government shutdown, and following the election of Bucholz to Judge of Elections in the Rhawnhurst section of Philadelphia there were 2,500 new Whigs in two or three days.

Bucholz garnered national attention as a breakthrough candidate in a political climate of near-constant partisan fighting, and won by 36-24 votes. Evans was “a little surprised” by Bucholz’s victory.
“Since we have two major parties here, I definitely think that a third party could mediate and move conversation,” Bucholz said.

But even three parties might not be enough.

Galligan believes the U.S. should adopt a five-party system, with the Socialists and Democrats on the left, the Whigs in the center, and the Republicans and Libertarians to the right of the spectrum. Multiple parties would allow people to caucus together, Galligan said.

“I’ve seen 4-year-olds in a minivan act better” than politicians in Washington, Galligan said.

 

By LUCY WESTCOTT

Capital News Service

 

Chesapeake Film Festival Turns the Spotlight on “Chesapeake, the Film”

Easton, Maryland –The Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) was pleased to bring to town, three (3) Virginia filmmakers working on a new film entitled “Chesapeake” to a group of local Talbot County residence. Bringing filmmakers into the region to interact with local audiences is part of CFF’s mission.  “It is such a great part of what CFF does – to invite our audience members to rub elbows with filmmakers.” says Sandra Johnson, a CFF board member who attended the luncheon at The Bartlett Pear Inn on October 29th.

 The film “Chesapeake” is in the pre-production stage; funding, casting, location scouting as they prepare for shooting in the summer of 2014. The two producers, Erica Arvold and Sara Elizabeth Timmins and the one writer/director Eric Hurt enjoyed an incredible gourmet menu thoughtfully prepared by Chef Jordon Lloyd with a dozen local residents who support the local arts in our community.  An important aspect for CFF was to introduce a few local foundations to the project as a main element in the film centers on conserving the Bay.

 “Having that close interaction in the early stages of a project offers truly unique connections and opportunities to the people who attend.  Now the door is open for future interaction and long-lasting relationships.” says Liza Ledford, a CFF organizer, “Events like this support our chances of bringing the production back to our region for filming. It is a wonderful way to showcase our locations and generate economic incentives as well.” The production crew continued after lunch with Lisa Gowe of the Talbot County Watermen’s Association for a tour of St. Michaels.

 To find out more about “Chesapeake” the film, starring Keith Carradine, visit http://www.chesapeakethefilm.com/Chesapeake_The_Film/OFFICIAL_SITE.html

 The Chesapeake Film Festival, to be held September 19-21, 2014 in downtown Easton and Oxford, MD brings the best in independent film to Talbot County – along with wonderful music and loads of excitement – CFF invites its audience to “Watch-Think-Discuss” together as a community and experience the inspiration, education and fun that films can provide. If you would like to get the CFF newsletter and hear more about CFF events please sign up on the website.

 September 19-21, 2014 – Chesapeake Film Festival –  www.chesapeakefilmfestival.com.

 

About the Chesapeake Film Festival

The Chesapeake Film Festival (CFF) mission is “to entertain, enrich and inspire by bringing the finest in narrative, documentary and short film to the Chesapeake Bay community.” For more information, call 410-822-3500 or visit www.chesapeakefilmfestival.com or emailinfo@chesapeakefilmfestival.com.

front row left to right: Lisa Gowe, Sara Elizabeth Timmins, Jane Seldon, Sandra Johnson, Dale Rauch, Donna Roser, Stacey Brumbaugh, Al Girard Back row: Eric Hurt, Erica Arvold, Robbin Hill, Steve Seldon

front row left to right: Lisa Gowe, Sara Elizabeth Timmins, Jane Seldon, Sandra Johnson, Dale Rauch, Donna Roser, Stacey Brumbaugh, Al Girard Back row: Eric Hurt, Erica Arvold, Robbin Hill, Steve Seldon

..

Signs of Drug Use in Your Home

How can a parent know if their teen is using drugs? This is a complicated question that is not easily answered as it takes time and the ability to put together pieces of your teen’s behavior puzzle. But if you suspect your child may be using drugs or alcohol, it may be time to start looking for signs of teenage alcohol abuse or drug use. Privacy is important in a family, but not as important as taking the responsibility of parenting your teenager.

The bedroom may look like any teenagers’ room with clothes scattered on the floor, desks and tables cluttered with school supplies, makeup, jewelry, CDs, books, but behind the clutter, may lurk dozens of common items used to hide drugs, alcohol, and other contraband.

Here are a few things to look for:

Appearance of unusual containers or wrappers, or seeds left on surfaces, like Frisbees, used to clean marijuana.

A plastic bag containing white powder hidden inside a trash can.

Loose tobacco hollowed from a cigar or cigarette.

An empty can of the alcoholic drink Four Loko mixed in with similarly brightly colored, oversized ice tea cans.

Pipes, rolling papers, small medicine bottles, eye drops, butane lighters or makeshift smoking devices, like bongs made out of toilet paper rolls and aluminum foil.

Air fresheners, scented candles, or incense

Matches, spoons, small mirror, razor blades, glass or plastic tubes, and steel wool, used to prepare, cook, filter or ingest drugs.

Baking soda, starch or talcum powder used to dilute drugs.

Teens can also use their car to hide things they don’t want you to see, like drug paraphernalia, empty bottles, and more. Unusual smells in the car or bottles, pipes, or bongs on floor or in the glove box should be signs for concern.

It is very important for parents to determine whether or not their teen is using any type of drug as teen drug use can lead to sad consequences.

While the biggest warning signs for parents include slipping grades and changes in their teen’s behavior, the signs of substance abuse aren’t all physical. Talbot Partnership encourages parents to stay on top of dangerous behaviors by paying attention to what their kids’ might have that would indicate alcohol or drug use.

For further information on alcohol and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org. Please also visit our website at www.talbotpartnership.org or find us on Facebook.

..