Archives for August 2014

Students Invited to Audition for Choral Scholars

Christ Church Easton has announced auditions for its 2014-2015 Choral Scholars.

The group comprised of high school and college students from throughout the eastern shore offers students a unique opportunity to perform in both small and large ensembles accompanied by a broad range of instrumental combinations while singing a variety of literature spanning more than six centuries.

Successful applicants also have the opportunity to hear and observe other musical styles and genres in some of the region’s most prestigious venues including the U. S. Naval Academy and The Washington National Cathedral.

Most recently, choral scholars had the opportunity to perform in a July concert at the historic Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.

As a limited number of applicants are chosen, interested students should promptly contact Christ Church in Easton at 410-822-2677 to schedule an audition.

UM Shore Regional Health September Calendar

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2014 Shad Run Varied Widely Across the Region

American shad showed up in Virginia tributaries in their strongest numbers in years this spring, but their struggles on the Susquehanna River continued as biologists reported the lowest-ever shad count at the Conowingo Dam.

In between, biologists on the Potomac and Nanticoke rivers reported decent spawning runs, while hatchery operators generally reported average success in efforts to stock young shad into Bay tributaries.

This year’s spawning run was also delayed, biologists said, probably because of the long winter and protracted cool temperatures during the spring.

That may have contributed to the problems on the Susquehanna, where the first American shad did not reach the Conowingo Dam fish elevator until April 24 — weeks later than usual. Then, storms at the end of April resulted in higher-than-normal flows that appeared to hamper efforts to get fish upstream.

American shad (Dave Harp)

American shad (Dave Harp)

“The Susquehanna was definitely disappointing this year,” said Joshua Tryninewski, a fisheries biologist with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “That was definitely a combination of the late spring and high flows.”

Ultimately, just 10,425 American shad were lifted over the 100-foot-high dam, located 10 miles upstream from the Bay. That was the worst year since 1997, when a series of passages on lower Susquehanna River dams began trying to get migrating shad up the river.

The Susquehanna basin was historically the largest shad spawning grounds on the East Coast until a series of hydroelectric dams closed the river to migrating fish a century ago. Tens of millions of dollars have been invested in fish passages over the last quarter century, but their success has been limited. This year, just eight American shad made it past all four dams.

The news was better in other places, particularly at the other end of the Bay, where an annual survey by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found solid shad numbers on the James, York and Rappahannock rivers.

“It was pretty impressive,” said Eric Hilton, the VIMS biologist who oversees the survey

The greatest increase was on the York, where the VIMS shad index had hovered near record lows for more than a decade. This year’s preliminary index — which factors together the weight and numbers of shad caught in survey nets — was about 10, more than double that of most recent years, and the best index since 2002.

The preliminary James index was about 7.4, up from about 4.5 last year, and the Rappahannock continued its steady increase of recent years with a preliminary index of 8.6 — the highest since the monitoring program began in 1998.

The Rappahannock River has performed well enough that state officials are planning to stop stocking hatchery fish in it next year.

“Certainly the Rappahannock has been the bright spot over the last six to seven years,” Hilton said.

On the adjacent Potomac River, biologists observed a “decent” shad run, said Jim Cummins, living resource director for the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. They caught 28 shad per net deployed, up from 20 last year though less than some years a decade ago.

Still, the Potomac shad population is considered the healthiest around the Bay, and the only one considered “sustainable” by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a state-federal body that regulates migratory fish catches along the coast.

“To me, sustainable is one thing, robust is another one,” Cummins cautioned. “It is not robust yet, but it is doing better in general.”

On the Eastern Shore, the Nanticoke River also had a solid spawning run, said Johnny Moore, a fisheries biologist with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fisheries.

“Even though the water temperatures were down and it was a little bit late, all in all, it was about a normal run,” Moore said.

Meanwhile, hatchery-based stocking efforts around the watershed placed about 15 million juvenile shad in Bay tributaries this spring and summer. That was similar to last year, though well below levels seen in the late 1990s, when Baywide totals routinely exceeded 20 million.

Shad and river herring are anadromous fish that spend most of their lives swimming along the coast but return to their native rivers to spawn. Once their numbers were staggering — stories from colonial times tell of migrations so dense that fish would be crushed by wagons crossing streams. For much of the 20th century, shad supported the most valuable commercial fishery in the Bay.

Decades of overfishing, dam construction, habitat destruction and pollution have reduced their numbers to a fraction of historic levels. Efforts around the Bay have sought to rebuild populations through stocking; the removal of dams and construction of other fish passages; and improved water quality, but populations have remained low.

By Karl Blankenship
Bay Journal News Service

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Encore Cabaret Raises Funds for Talbot Mentors

Talbot Mentors welcomed more than 130 guests to The Milestone on Saturday, August 23, for “A Cabaret Spectacular!” to benefit its mentoring program, reprising the event’s popular debut last year.

The Free and Eazy Band led the entertainment, with gutbucket-player Dick Nolker, standing, as the evening’s emcee.

The Free and Eazy Band led the entertainment, with gutbucket-player Dick Nolker, standing, as the evening’s emcee.

The evening of music from the Great American Songbook began this year with the Free and Eazy Band, led by the event’s emcee, Dick Nolker, on the gutbucket, providing entertainment while guests mingled and enjoyed cocktails and appetizers.

Shore Strings’ Carey Miller, Meredith Buxton and Laura Ellison returned to serenade guests during dinner, which was served at tables decorated with sunflowers donated by Oxford’s Bill Eason. The featured performer was once again local musical artist Christine Noyes, accompanied on the keyboard by William Thomas. Noyes rounded out the evening with renditions of familiar tunes from musicals and movies.

Major sponsorship for the Cabaret was provided by Dock Street Foundation and The Milestone. Additional sponsors included Benson & Mangold Real Estate; Hair O’ The Dog; Hollis Cronan & Fronk, P.A.; LaMotte Properties; and SCORE Mid-Shore Chapter 626.

Talbot Mentors Executive Director Paige Jernigan expressed her appreciation to the performers and to all the sponsors for their support. She added special thanks to Linda Featherman, Richard Marks and Al Smith for their personal sponsorships and to Jessika Best, Dick Nolker, Rachel White, Javana Bowser and Peter Zukoski for helping coordinate the event.

The Cabaret raised more than $17,000 for Talbot Mentors’ program of matching volunteers with students who can benefit from the friendship of adult mentors in their lives.

For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.

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Talbot Historical Society’s Project Rewind Goes Back to School

Project Rewind- Talbot County: Back to school somewhere in Talbot County!! Maryland law provided for the establishment of the first public High Schools in 1865. The first High School was opened in Easton on October 1, 1866 in the private academy building on Hansen Street. Boys and girls were taught separately and had to be 12 to be admitted. There were many one room school houses, some private schools and tutors before that. Facts: “Easton Album” HSTC 1986. This H. Robins Hollyday Collection item at THS is not dated.

What is your date guess? Contact: Cathy Hill cvhill@atlanticbb.net . Comment, share your old photos ,Like our page and join THS.

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Food Friday: End-of-the-Summer Grilling

It’s the end of summer, and sadly, we are not jetting to the Hamptons or the Vineyard, (though no one else is either because of the President!) but are having a little three day stay-cation at home. It is still plenty hot, so we will not be waxing nostalgic about the summer weather, but we will be standing around the grill, wearing white, twirling kebabs, and hoping that the high temps cool down sometime soon.

I just love this quotation from Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal: “Protein prices are just so visible to people because they build their meals around it,” says Stacie Rabinowitz, a senior analyst with research firm Consumer Edge Research. “All incomes feel it.”

http://online.wsj.com/articles/high-food-prices-lead-to-trade-offs-even-in-upper-income-households-1409094494?tesla=y&mg=reno64-wsj

Prices are soaring, so we need to analyze the best way to deliver protein to our families. Yikes. Beef prices are up, but so is everything else. We were planning on grilling chicken this weekend, eating economically and eating “more better”, to quote Dan Pashman from The Sporkful podcast.

We didn’t feel as if we were scrimping when we whipped up these kababs last weekend: skewered chicken, Vidalia onions and red, green and yellow peppers, served with grilled ears of corn, a nice green salad and the usual accompaniment of cheap white wine. Beer was available for the non-bon vivants.

Best Beloved’s favorite chicken strategy is to allow the chicken to marinate in one of his concoctions for about an hour. First he chunked the boneless chicken breasts (bought on sale) and let the large cubes steep in a bowl of white Worchestershire sauce, with a handful of capers, some good quality olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. And then he threads the ingredients onto metal skewers. Then he wrapped shucked corn in aluminum foil, with a big pat of butter. He tossed skewers and the ears of corn onto the grill, drank a beer, threw the ball for the dog and then walked inside to sit down to eat. In the interim, I managed to boil up a pot of rice, wash a bowl of salad, lighted some candles and poured the wine. Phew! It is had work being a weekend sous chef!

Now, if you want to get fancy, like our friends at the Wall Street Journal did, then you could add a couple of hundred people, vats of potato salad, fancy drinks, and a band, and then wonder why hamburger prices have gone through the roof. We aimed for a more modest production. We listened to jazz on Pandora, lighted the candles and ate dinner. Enough is as good as a feast, as Laura Ingalls Wilder often wrote.

We also returned to childhood and had a Famous Wafer refrigerator cake. The recipe and the informative photo are right on the side of the box, in case you have forgotten how to whip cream and stack layers of cookies. Food52 gussied it up a little bit, as is their wont, although they did say, “The best summer dessert is also the easiest.” How right they are! https://food52.com/blog/7061-how-to-make-any-icebox-cake-in-5-steps

This “Chicken Under a Brick” recipe from Bon Appétit sounds first rate: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-under-a-brick

But if you want to stick to skewers, this is far more exotic than ours: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/sambal-chicken-skewers

Martha weighs in with her fancier-than-thou chicken skewers: http://www.marthastewart.com/341224/cajun-kebabs-with-chicken-and-andouille#Grilled%20Chicken%20Recipes|/275423/grilled-chicken-recipes/@center/276943/grilling-recipes|341224

Here is another podcast I enjoy: The Sporkful. (http://www.sporkful.com/) Dan Pashman gets to the root of many a food conundrum: Is a hot dog a sandwich? What is that gizmo in the Guinness can? What is the best weather-themed dessert? So many concerns you had never before reflected upon! It is a highly amusing and informative podcast, which often brings a smile to my face. Give it a try!

Enjoy the end of summer. It’s hard to believe it is really here, though the children are back at school already, and it is still stinking hot out there. But have you noticed the light is changing? Most nights Luke-the-wonder-dog and I walk out to the end of the street to get a good view of the sunset, and last night we dawdled a minute or two sniffing some most fascinating leaves of a bush, so we were too late for that golden moment. The pinks were fading to grays and the cardinals had started singing their nighttime songs. Revel in your long weekend!

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck

Sotheby’s Affiliate Expands Team with Addition of Lisa Hoon

Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is expanding its presence on the Eastern Shore with the addition of veteran sales agent Lisa Hoon.

Originally from Baltimore, Hoon moved to Chestertown in 1982, where she and her husband Phil, an
attorney, raised their two sons. Previously with another Chestertown firm, Hoon combines decades of local knowledge with over 10 years of real estate experience.

“The addition of Lisa Hoon to our team is a big win for BFPSIR,” Says partner Laird Bunch, “We represent several high-end listings in Kent and Cecil counties, and she knows that market and understands the nuances of handling complex properties, which is hard to find in an agent.”

When she is not busy with real estate transactions, Lisa enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is an avid reader whose other interests include travel, her pets, cooking and gardening.

Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty represents buyers and sellers of exceptional properties in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Annapolis and the Eastern Shore.

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Skywatch for Sept. 2014: Longer Nights and the Equinox

When September arrives, the hours of darkness grow longer in the Northern Hemisphere, while day-length decreases. The shorter daylight hours trigger all kinds of biological events, such as animal migrations and fall leaf color changes. The longer nights bring greater opportunities for skywatchers to view the wonders of the night sky. Meanwhile, September 22nd this year will mark the time of the Autumnal Equinox, which occurs at precisely 10:29 pm EDT. This marks the moment when the Sun appears to cross the Celestial Equator, appearing to move below or south of it. Earth’s tilt and its constant annual motion around the Sun cause this each year. This means that we are heading towards winter. Winter’s cold is still months away and September nights are very comfortable for getting outside.

During an equinox, the Earth's North and South poles are not tilted toward or away from the Sun, and the duration of daylight is theoretically the same at all points on Earth's surface. (Wikipedia)

During an equinox, the Earth’s North and South poles are not tilted toward or away from the Sun, and the duration of daylight is theoretically the same at all points on Earth’s surface. (Wikipedia)

Saturn the beautiful ringed planet stays above our southwestern horizon all month, but it is getting lower each night. In the first week of September it is 20 degrees above the horizon one hour after sunset, with Mars just 5 degrees to its left. Both are down to magnitude 0.6, but Mars appears reddish-orange, while Saturn is more yellowish. By the end of September Saturn will only be 10 degrees above the horizon an hour after sunset, while Mars will appear to move much faster against the background stars all month because it orbits the Sun much faster than Saturn. This motion will take Mars east, or left, of Saturn out of Libra, across Scorpius, and into Ophiuchus. On September 27th, Mars will pass just 3 degrees above Antares, a red star and the brightest star in Scorpius. Saturn will be to the right, or west of Mars that evening, and the waxing crescent Moon will be seen just 0ne degree to the right of Saturn! Two nights later on the 29th, look for the Moon to be directly above the pair of planets.

In the early morning eastern sky we can find Jupiter at magnitude –1.8 rising about 4 am local daylight time in early days of September. During the month it will rise sooner and appear higher above the horizon. Venus may be spotted in early September, rising around 5 am and appearing even closer to the horizon. But with a good clear view to the horizon, we can spot it easily because it is so bright — -3.9 magnitude. By the end of the month it will be only a few degrees from the Sun and be lost to us in its glare.

The Full Moon this month will be on the 8th; Last Quarter on the 15th; and New Moon will be on the 24th.

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Programming at the Talbot County Free Library, Sept 7-14

What’s coming up at the Talbot County Free Library? At the St. Michaels branch: story time and a memoir writing program. At the Easton branch: needlecraft, one Maryland one book discussion, discussing the changing waterman culture, and a book discussion in Spanish. Read on for more details.

St. Michaels Library to Offer Story Time
On Mondays, Sept. 8-29, Oct. 6 & 27, and Nov. 3-17, at 10:30 a.m.. the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a Story Time program for children 5 and under accompanied by an adult. All library programming is free and open to the public but patrons are asked to pre-register for this program. For more information, call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

Easton Library to Offer Stitching Time 
On Monday, September 8, from 3:00-5:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to bring in their needlecraft projects in progress and work with a group. Limited instruction will be available for beginners. All library programs are free and open to the public. Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in this program. For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Chris Eareckson, telephone: 410-822-1626

One Maryland One Book Discussion at Easton Library
On Monday, September 8, at 6:00 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, and again on Thursday, September 11, at 3:00 p.m., in the St. Michael branch, Bill Peak will host a discussion of this year’s One Maryland One Book, “The Distance Between Us.” Reyna Grande’s memoir of growing up in Mexico and the U.S. is more than just a tale of the divide that exists between our two countries, it is a strong and powerful story of the ties that bind us one to another—human to human, parent to child, husband to wife. All library programming is free and open to the public. Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program. For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626

Easton Library to Host Discussion: The Changing Waterman Culture
On Thursday, September 11, at 6:00 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, writer and educator Bonnie Feldstein will discuss the future of the Eastern Shore’s iconic waterman culture. The evening’s special guest will be Smith Island native, songwriter, crab-picker, and natural-born comedienne Janice Marshall, whose real life story inspired Feldstein’s novel, “The Island Woman, A Chesapeake Story.” All library programming is free and open to the public. Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program. For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Sabine Simonson, telephone: 410-822-1626

Easton Library to Host Book Discussion in Spanish
On Thursday, September 11, at 6:00 p.m., Matthew Peters, director of the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, will host a discussion in Spanish of this year’s One Maryland One Book, “La Distancia Entre Nosotros.” Reyna Grande’s memoir of growing up in Mexico and the U.S. is more than just a tale of the divide that exists between our two countries, it is a strong and powerful story of the ties that bind us one to another—human to human, parent to child, husband to wife. All library programming is free and open to the public. Patrons do not need to pre-register for this program. For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Bill Peak, telephone: 410-822-1626

St. Michaels Library to Offer Memoir Writing Program
On Thursdays, September 11 – November 20 (always excepting the first Thursday of each month), from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a program on memoir writing. Patrons are invited to bring their lunch and share their memories of life and family with a group of friendly, like-minded people. All library programs are free and open to the public, but patrons are asked to pre-register for this program. For more information, call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

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Rep. Andy Harris’ Wife Cookie Dies of Heart Attack

WBAL-TV is reporting that Rep. Andy Harris’ wife has died. Sylvia “Cookie” Harris suffered a sudden heart attack Thursday, sources confirm with 11 News.

Read more here.