Archives for January 2016

On Mailing a Letter by George Merrill

I walked three miles to mail a letter. Although it happened a couple of years ago, it was a memorable event. The letter was a birthday greeting to a friend who was turning ninety-one. I wanted to be sure she received it on time.

At the time, I was staying in Puerto Rico, and the post office, although minutes by car required a lengthy walk along a beach that would take me close to an hour. A hefty trek for such a small task.

I made my way along the beach– and with nothing else on my mind, I became aware that I was walking; simply putting one foot in front of the other. How many years of my life had I actually spent walking, I wondered? At seventy-eight, then, considering I’ve slept away a third of my life and spent possibly another third sitting around, walking was a prudent choice. As years mount, every step counts.

The sand was russet hued and course, like the beaches that I recall from my boyhood on Staten Island. My steps sunk into the sand making the walk laborious. Having to lift and place my feet so deliberately annoyed me at first. I wished for a harder surface, one easier to walk on.

Being barefoot I noticed how the sand yielded to my steps and although slowing me down, it warmly caressed each foot as it sank in, as if the earth were welcoming me, the way in ancient times our ancestors once received their guests by first washing their feet. It pleased me that the earth still welcomed me. Recently the earth’s inhabitants, myself included, have been trashing the planet, overwhelming her with plastics. Sea glass has become almost obsolete.

I found my toes regularly unearthing plastics of all kinds – bottles, bottle caps, toys, plates, knives bowls, forks and a Frisbee. I remember beach combing from my childhood. Then plastics were rare. On beaches then, the ocean washed up varieties of used and broken glass but the sand and sea transformed them, even beautifying the glass by fashioning new and lovely creations from what were old, useless castoffs. Plastics, seem deathless but lifeless, too, eternally young, resistant to time and transformation.

When she turned ninety, I remember my friend commenting on death. “When I’m no longer useful, I want to be out of here.” She added, “First, though, I want to go up in a hot air balloon.” She preferred ascending to walking.

Leaving the beach, I put on sandals, and walked a macadam road up a steep hill to the post office. I liked the firm certainty of the macadam underfoot but trudging up the hill I missed the intimacy my feet enjoyed with the beaches’ sandy ground: macadam’s efficiency displaced the sand’s hospitality and I wasn’t walking the earth, anymore. I was hitting the road.

I found the post office and gave the postmistress the letter. She spoke in Spanish. I understood enough to understand I just missed the pick up. My friend would get the letter a day late but I was sure that was time enough.

Returning, I saw two women on the beach; one elderly and the other I surmised was her daughter. The old woman – my contemporary, I wondered? I don’t reckon ages well any more. She was on a walker, intently negotiating the sandy beach and as she slowly placed each foot in the sand, her daughter stood apprehensively at her side watching each step. The daughter behaved like a mother, hovering and protective, and the mother like a child, lost in her own play, oblivious to all else.
The Evangelist John once wrote that when we’re young, we go where we want. When we’re old, someone else carries us where we don’t want to go.
The old woman wanted to walk the beach, I was sure of that; she seemed into it. She felt her toes in the sand, experienced the sensuality of being alive, the simple pleasures we never forget, like the caress of sand underfoot or watching a balloon rise in the air.
How much longer can she choose to place bare feet on the earth and have them welcomed and embraced, as they were on this day and when she was a little girl? I passed by her slowly, and in my heart, silently cheered, yes, yes.
Shall I, one day, be taken where I don’t want to go? I don’t want to go and sit in plastic and chrome chairs in rooms where the flooring is composed of synthetic compounds and smelling like disinfectant, floors hard and unyielding underfoot, preventing my toes from feeling the warm earth. I’ll leave no footprint behind on floors like this.

And should that be my lot, there will be no more long walks to post letters, anymore. I’ll have pick up and delivery to my room every day, from those who still remember who I am.

Columnist George Merrill is an Episcopal Church priest and pastoral psychotherapist. A writer and photographer, he’s authored two books on spirituality: Reflections: Psychological and Spiritual Images of the Heart and The Bay of the Mother of God: A Yankee Discovers the Chesapeake Bay. He is a native New Yorker, previously directing counseling services in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Baltimore. George’s essays, some award winning, have appeared in regional magazines and are broadcast twice monthly on Delmarva Public Radio.

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UM Shore Regional Health Calendar of Events for February

ASK THE EXPERT

“Ask the Expert” Podcasts – To listen to informative interviews with UM SRH specialists on diabetes, childbirth and parent education, men’s health, women’s health, stroke awareness, interventional radiology, integrative medicine and urology, visit UMShoreRegional.org/ATE.

Alzheimer’s Support

Alzheimer’s/Dementia Caregivers Support Group – Thurs, 2/18, 6-7:30pm, UM Shore Nursing & Rehab Center at Chestertown. Led by Stephanie Golebieski, assistant director of nursing, UM SN&R Center
at Chestertown. Contact: 410-778-4550.

Find information about skilled nursing, inpatient rehab and respite care in Chestertown online at UMShoreRegional.org/about/facilities/rehabilitation.

Breast Cancer Support

Transition to Wellness – Free workshops for breast cancer survivors and patients who are ending treatment. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.

Survivors Offering Support (SOS) – Free program pairing women who have breast cancer with mentors who are breast cancer survivors. If you need support or would like to become a mentor, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.

Look Good … Feel Better – Mon, 2/15, 10am-12pm, Cancer Center, Easton. Free ACS program for women with cancer includes hair, skin and make-up tips, samples and a visit to the wig room. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5355.

Cancer Support

Cancer Patient Support Group – Tues, 2/2 & 2/16, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Contact: 443-254-5940.

US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group – Tuesday, 2/9, 6:30pm, Cancer Center, Easton. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Contact: 410-820-6800, ext. 2300.

Prostate Cancer Support Group/Chestertown – Mon, 2/15, 7pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Conference Room. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Contact: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Cancer Support Group/Chestertown – Mon 2/22, 7pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Education Center. Information and support for patients at any stage – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Contact: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Find more information about cancer treatment and support services online at UMShoreRegional.org/cancer_program.

Childbirth & New Parent Education

Breastfeeding Support Group – 2/2 & 2/16, 10-11:30am, UM SMC at Easton, 5th Floor meeting room. Led by lactation consultants for new and expectant mothers. Contact: 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5700.

Labor & Delivery Class – Sat, 2/6, 9am-3:30pm, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center. Overview of maternal reproductive health; signs, symptoms and stages of labor, including pain management; techniques for a successful birth experience; cesarean delivery; and recovery after the birth. Free; register by phone, 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5200.

New Mom, New Baby: Safety & CPR – Sat, 2/20, 9am-1:30pm, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center. Baby topics (feeding, taking the baby’s temperature, circumcision and core care); mother topics (postpartum care, handling emotions and stress, returning to work and birth control); and, safety topics (childproofing your home, immunizations, car seat safety, infant security, poisoning prevention and when to call the doctor). Includes tour of the Birthing Center. Register by phone, 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5200.

Big Brother, Big Sister: Sibling Preparation – Sat, 2/27, 9:30-11am, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center. Designed for children ages 3-8, includes a tour of the Birthing Center and story time or video. Register by phone, 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5200.

Find more information about The Birthing Center’s programs and services at UMShoreRegional.org/ programs/birthing /services.

Diabetes Education and Support

Carb Counting Class – Tues, 2/2, 1:30-3:30pm, UM SMC at Easton, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. Overview of the most commonly-used method of meal planning for diabetics. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Diabetes Self-Management Class/Easton – Two sessions: Tues, 2/2-9-16, 9am-12pm; and Weds, 2/3-10-17, 1:30-4:30pm. UM SMC at Easton, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. Medical information and strategies enabling patients to manage their diabetes for optimal wellness. Referral and advance registration required.
Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Diabetes Support Group/Denton – Wed, 2/3, 5:30pm, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Denton. Led by Doris Allen, lead diabetes educator, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. Contact: 410-479-2161.

Gestational Diabetes Classes – Mon, 2/8 & Mon, 2/22 10am-12pm, UM SMC at Easton, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. Single-session class addressing care during pregnancy and what to expect afterward. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Diabetes Self-Management Class/Chestertown – Thurs, 2/11-18-25, 1-4pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Education Center. Medical information and strategies enabling patients to manage their diabetes for optimal wellness. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Diabetes Self-Management Refresher Class – Mon, 2/15, 10am-12pm, UM Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, UM SMC at Easton. For those who have completed diabetes education classes, but want to take their self-care to the next level. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Diabetes Support Group/Easton – Mon, 2/15, 5:30pm, Talbot County Senior Center, Easton. Information and support for diabetes patients and family members. Led by Karen Hollis, diabetes educator. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Diabetes Support Group/ Dorchester – Wed, 2/24, 5:30pm, Dorchester County YMCA, Cambridge. Information and support for diabetes patients and family members. Led by Renee Woodward, diabetes educator. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5196.

Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown – Tues, 2/23, 6:30pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Conference Center. Information and support for diabetes patients and family members. Led by Chrissy Nelson, diabetes educator. Contact: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Find more information about diabetes treatment and support services at UMShoreRegional.org/programs/endocrinology.

Integrative Medicine

Acupuncture, Massage, Psychotherapy and Reiki – By appointment, Mon-Fri, except holidays. Center for Integrative Medicine, Suite 300, 522 Cynwood Drive, Easton. For information about services, providers and scheduling, visit UMShoreRegional.org/programs/integrative/about, or call 410-770-9400.

Pulmonary Support

Friends and Family CPR Class – Tues, 2/16, 2-4:30pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Education Center. Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Skills that can be used in an emergency. Pre-registration required. Cost: $10 per person. Contact: 410-778-3300, ext. 2222.

Safe Sitter

Safe Sitter® Class – Sat, 2/27, 9am-4:30pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Education Center. Pediatric nurses teach youth ages 11-13 the basics of babysitting, including the first aid, CPR and more. Cost: $40 (scholarships available). Limited seating, advance registration required. For more information or to register: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Save the Date

Shoot for the Stars Casino Night – Sat, 4/9, 7-11pm, Garfield Center for the Arts, Chestertown. A fundraiser to benefit the patients and residents served by UM Shore Nursing & Rehabilitation Center featuring local “celebrity” croupiers and authentic gaming tables! Limited seating, reserve early. For more information visit UMShoreRegional.org/help/donate/chesterriver/shoot-for-the-stars, or call Deb Lauser: 410-810-5661.

Screenings

Free Blood Pressure Screenings/Easton & Cambridge – Easton: every Mon & Tues, 9am-12pm, Diagnostic & Imaging Center. Cambridge: every Tues & Fri, 11am-1pm, UM SMC at Dorchester, Main Lobby. (Excluding holidays.)

Stroke Support

Mid-Shore Stroke Support Group – Thurs, 2/4, 12-2:30pm, Presbyterian Church, Easton. Topic: Questions and Answers About Medication After a Stroke. Presenter: Tom Sisca, Pharmacist, UM SMC at Easton. Stroke survivors and family/caregivers welcome. Contact: 410-310-9280, midshorestroke@gmail.com.

Queenstown Stroke Support Group – Tues, 2/23, 12pm, UM Shore Pavilion at Queenstown. Topic: Stroke Treatments, What You Need to Know. Presenter: Jessica Fluharty, Neuroscience specialist. Stroke survivors and family/caregivers welcome. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5068, jfluharty@umm.edu.

Find out more about stroke symptoms, treatment and recovery at UMShoreRegional.org/programs/stroke.

Food Friday: Hot Potatoes!

We have survived the first snowstorm of the season! Hurrah! And with the end of January approaching this weekend, it seems that we should be in the clear and maybe contemplating our spring wardrobes. Silly me, what was I thinking? It is still cold, and we still need good hot, peasant food to get us through the winter months.

The reality, I am afraid, is that February, although it is the shortest month and is packed with some festive and colorful events (Mardi Gras, the Super Bowl™, Valentine’s Day, Washington’s Birthday, Chinese New Year, and Linus Pauling’s birthday), it tends to drag its icy, leaden feet inexorably from one long cold dark night to another.

Pollyanna note: Just the other day I noticed that the sun is setting a wee bit later every day, which is an important dog wrangling detail in my life. Luke the wonder dog and I head out for our last afternoon stroll around 5, so we can watch the sun set over the river. Luke never misses it. Now it is still light when we scamper down the stairs at about 5:10. In December we were used to switching on the lights before leaving at about 4:45. Hooray!

Every culture has delicious and hardy traditional potato dishes which ward away the gloom of the gelid polar evenings. The Brits enjoy bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, Cornish pasties, bubble and squeak, not to mention the exquisite chipped potato. The best British chips come from chippies – shops devoted to the fine art of deep frying chipped potatoes. I could wax poetical here about the sheer glory of a perfectly crisp, furnace-hot chip, dusted with salt, steaming in its paper nest, but I must not rhapsodize in the middle of a thoughtful piece of food journalism. Hot chips (and fries) are perfection. I actually sent some fries back at a restaurant the other night. Some people are wine snobs; give me an indifferent glass of plonk anytime, but be sure the fries are right out of the grease, please.

Baked potatoes are easily the workhorse potato dish that crosses all the international borders. Use Idaho, Yukon Gold, Russet potatoes, Red Ruby or even sweet potatoes for your meal. Some people fill double-baked potatoes with sauerkraut: http://www.all-creatures.org/recipes/potato-stuf-sauer.html
Calcium seekers fill their baked potatoes with blue cheese and chicken: http://www.iofbonehealth.org/recipes/blue-cheese-and-chicken-stuffed-baked-potatoes
The Potato Hut in Dubai will serve you baked potatoes stuffed with fajita, steak, tuna and mayo, BBQ, or veggie delight. They are also looking for fanchisees. I would suggest an English-speaking proofreader for their website, though. http://www.potatohut.com/order/

I don’t want to make any more runs to the grocery store on skittery, icy roads than I have to. Prudently, we have a pile of potatoes and a fridgeful of topping ingredients in case of snow, or ennui. Some evenings when Luke and I stumble back in the house we can barely think about dinner prep. We want to have a glass of that reviving plonk, and warm up under the down throw and return to Bill Bryson walking his way back to Little Dribbling. So here are some things to keep on hand, to minimize your travel time and to maximize your reading time: bacon, chives, sour cream, crème fraiche, smoked salmon, ranch dressing, fried onions, pulled pork, cole slaw, Burrata, prosciutto, crab salad, Cheddar cheese, and sprouts.

Also veggies: tomatoes, peppers, onions, avocados, and salsa! Leftovers! What a concept. Use up the leftover chili, taco meat, beef stew and chicken pot pie! Use it up! Make it do! (Thanks, BA for the fancy ideas: http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/slideshow/top-baked-potato)

A plain baked potato, topped with good butter and fresh pepper can be a divine way to warm up, so don’t stress if you don’t have all the trendy ingredients. If you want to get fancy, you can. Or you can just root around in the fridge for some ideas, while also checking your sell by dates. Keep it warm and nutritious, because that’s what baked potatoes are.

More ideas: http://www.theyummylife.com/baked_potato_bar

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Takes to the Rails

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 8.55.47 AM

Project Rewind-Talbot County: Easton, Maryland 1899. According to our archive information this Talbot Historical Society’s H. Robins Hollyday Collection photo was featured in the book “Rails along the Chesapeake”. This photo’s caption states: ” It took two engines to fight their way through to Easton during the blizzard of 1899, pulling a single passenger car. No. 24 is a class D6 locomotive, while the engine behind her is an old D2. Notice the white flags displayed on the lead engine, indicating that this is an ‘extra train.” Just beautiful!

Contact: Cathy Hill cvhill@atlanticbb.net to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!

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Maryland Bill Would Punish Coaches Who Don’t Bench Kids with Concussion Symptoms

Concussions in football have become a national conversation in recent years and especially in the wake of the release of the Golden Globe nominated film ‘Concussion’ starring actor Will Smith. 
 
Maryland Delegate Mark Chang, D-Anne Arundel, told the state House Ways and Means committee on Thursday about a bill he is sponsoring that would penalize coaches for failing to remove a player with suspected concussion symptoms at the youth level. 
 
The bill would prohibit bringing back into a game prematurely a student who is suspected of having sustained a concussion.
 
“The goal of the bill is to have more accountability,” Chang said.
 
The bill states that a student removed from play may not return to the field until they have obtained written clearance from a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions; and information on concussions must be provided to the individual and their parents or guardians. There also has to be a notice on the youth sports program registration form that includes directions on how to receive concussion information electronically.
 
The bill states that if a coach violates the law, a copy of charges will be sent to the coach in question and they may request a hearing within 10 days after receipt of the charges. The coach would then have the opportunity to be heard before a county board and to bring a witness to the hearing. 
 
Each respective violation would bring a stricter degree of punishment. The first violation would have the coach suspended for the remainder of the current season; a second violation would signal a suspension for both the current and following season, and a third violation would result in a permanent suspension from coaching any athletic activity.
 
Coaches can be put in a situation where they are urged to keep certain players in games even when they have suffered head injuries, said Dr. Tim Romanoski, who specializes in primary care sports medicine and works at Centreville Family Medicine in Centreville, Maryland. 
 
“Many times we have parents pushing coaches to push their star athletes back into the field due to scholarships,” Romanoski said. 
 
Robert Graw Jr., CEO and medical director for HeadFirst, a sports-injury concussion care center, said that the punishments in the bill are appropriate, but only if coaches have training geared toward spotting head injuries.
 
“They (legislators) should write in the bill that a school board needs to have a rigorous educational policy,” Graw said Thursday in a phone interview.
 
The bill requires the state Department of Education to develop a program to provide awareness to coaches, school personnel, students and parents, in collaboration with other organizations. 
 
Those organizations include the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, the Maryland Athletic Trainers Association, the Brain Injury Association of Maryland, and the state Department of Mental Health and Hygiene. 
 
Chang said that the programs would educate coaches on the signs of concussions and that the training and educational programs would occur probably once a year.
 
Chang showed the members a video by the investigative series “E:60” that focused on former La Salle University football player Preston Plevretes, who in 2005 suffered a concussion in practice and returned to play two days later. A few weeks later, Plevretes again collided during a game and ended up suffering second-impact syndrome, a second injury on top of an original concussion that was unhealed. He now has severe, lingering symptoms, according to the “E:60” video.
 
Chang and Romanoski met opposition at the hearing from the Maryland Association of Counties.
 
Leslie Knapp Jr., an attorney for the Maryland Association of Counties, said he was concerned that by requiring an appeals process, the bill would inadvertently make it harder for a county to remove a bad coach.
 
MACo President Rick Anthony, who is also the director of Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks department, said that his county has a simple policy for coaches and officials making decisions on removing football players with suspected head injuries.
 
“Our policy is: When in doubt, sit him out,” Anthony said. 
 
Chang’s bill describes the term “concussion” as a traumatic injury to the brain that causes an immediate change in mental status or an alteration of consciousness resulting from either a fall, a violent blow to the head or body, or the shaking and spinning of the head or body.  “Youth sports program” is identified as a program organized for recreational athletic competition or instruction for individuals who are younger than 19.
 
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, is a degenerative brain disease that is found in people who have suffered repetitive brain trauma and was discovered by Dr. Bennet Omalu, the lead character in “Concussion,” according to the University of California Davis Health System website. 
 
CTE has been found in numerous former NFL players after they had died. Former San Diego Chargers and Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide in 2012, and post-mortem studies from the National Institutes of Health found CTE in his brain, according to a 2013 statement from the National Institutes of Health. 
 
Former New York Giants safety Tyler Sash died on Sept. 8 from an accidental overdose of pain medication. CTE was also later found in Sash, according to an article from The New York Times.
 
In April, U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody approved a $900 million settlement between the NFL and more than 5,000 retired players. The monetary awards would go to retired players diagnosed with certain neurological conditions, according to USA Today.
 
“It’s a physical game, but we can make it safer for our kids,” Chang said.
By Connor Glowacki

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A Valentine Celebration at Brookletts Place

Leah Weiss & Gary WrightOn Monday, February, 8, 2016 from 12:15-1:00pm, Leah Weiss and Gary Wright will present a Valentine celebration at Brookletts Place.

Seasoned and versatile performers, Leah and Gary play American roots music, drawing from the traditions of Appalachian old-time and country music: a rich blend of originals, reinvented traditional songs and driving fiddle tunes, and innovative contemporary covers, with tight harmony singing – plus a healthy dose of love songs for the occasion!

The concert series is co-presented by Brookletts Place and the Carpe Diem Arts Outreach Fund with support from the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Dock Street Foundation, Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council, and by individual contributions to Carpe Diem Arts and the Talbot County Senior Center.

The monthly 45-60 minute performances are FREE and open to the public. 
Lunch is available at 12 noon with advance reservations.

RSVP: 410-822-2869 / tgreene@uppershoreaging.org

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SouperBowl Soup Sale to Benefit Haven Ministries February 7

Royal Oak Community United Methodist Church is having a SOUPERBOWL SOUP SALE on Sunday, February 7 at the Church on Bellevue Road in Royal Oak from Noon to 4pm. Chicken & Dumplings, Chili, Corn/Potato Chowder, Navy Been, Vegetable Beef, Cheese & Broccoli and Turkey/Rice/Vegetable will be available in freezable containers as pints for $5 or quarts for $8. Eat in or Take out!! Get one of each to keep you warm all winter long. Proceeds will benefit Haven Ministries.

Hogan Pushes for Education Tax Credit

A tax credit for donations to public and private schools, and a scholarship for graduating early are among several education initiatives announced Wednesday by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Maryland Education Tax Credit, which would provide a tax credit to private citizens, businesses and nonprofit organizations that make donations to public and private schools to support basic education needs. Some of those basic needs would include books, tutoring and tuition assistance.

Three other initiatives included in the governor’s education agenda for this spring’s session included a P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) program; Maryland SmartBuy; and the Maryland Early Graduation Scholarship.

Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller said in a statement that she opposed Hogan’s Maryland Education Credit program and described the program as a “voucher-like scheme designed to move tens of millions of taxpayer dollars from public schools into private schools.”

“Not only does it create new tax breaks for corporations, it would only help students who can already afford to attend private school. It would do nothing for low-income students except make it harder to fund their public schools,” Weller said.

The “P-TECH” program offers students a six-year education program that combines high school, college, and workplace skills. According to its website, P-TECH schools are formed by the partnership of a school district, college, and an employer. Each partner plays a different role and the employer-partner identifies workplace skills and experiences for students to graduate ready to embark in a career.

State Sen. Paul Pinsky, D-Prince George’s, said that he hadn’t yet looked over Hogan’s initiatives, but he also said that he was concerned with a greater emphasis being placed on the P-Tech program compared to public schools.

“Are you privatizing high schools? Does it become a pipeline for some elements of the private sector?…I have problems with privatizing public school education,” Pinsky said.

State Sen. Adelaide Eckardt, R-Caroline, said she supports all of Hogan’s initiatives and that a company putting in money and resources into schools could end up making future investments.

“Those students could be a potential workforce,” Eckardt said.

Maryland Smartbuy would allow graduates to finance student loans when undertaking a home mortgage and the Early Graduation Scholarship program, which Hogan signed as an executive order, would allow students who graduate high school in three years or less to be eligible for a one time scholarship of up to $6,000 for tuition and expenses at any college in Maryland.

The Early Graduation Scholarship program was also announced as a new initiative that would make students who graduate high school in three years or less eligible for a one-time scholarship of up to $6,000 for tuition and expenses at any college in Maryland.

According to Hogan’s press release, there has been an average of approximately 1,000 students who have graduated early per year since 2010. The program will be organized by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and will be first available for students who will be attending college this fall.

Maryland SmartBuy is a mortgage product and a program that would allow graduates to finance student loans while signing up for a home mortgage. Maryland SmartBuy would be created by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The initiatives have offered differing opinions from both parties, but Eckardt said that Hogan taking chances is helping make the state better.

“If you don’t shoot high, you won’t get much,” Eckardt said, “I appreciate his boldness to make Maryland better. Getting our budget in order…making Maryland business-friendly and our education better.”

By Connor Glowacki

Tilghman Watermen’s Museum Appoints Two New Members

The Tilghman Watermen’s Museum has announced the appointment of Kate Baker and Lisa J. Gowe to its Board of Directors. Each will serve a three-year term, beginning immediately.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.55.34 PMBaker, who resides in Washington, D.C. and Tilghman Island, is a writer and history and travel enthusiast. She has lived and worked coast to coast and in six foreign countries. Her zest for learning different cultures has enabled her to make an impact in the expatriate communities where she resided. She has published numerous works, including an unusual collaboration with a Chinese tourism agency. Most recently, she returned to her family roots in Hinton, West Virginia, with the publication of a children’s book entitled River Old, River New. She has re-joined the board of a foundation called Asia Initiatives, of which she was an original member from 2000-2005 in Tokyo, Japan. She has owned a home on Tilghman since 1997.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.56.25 PMGowe has taught English at both the middle and high school levels, and has written curriculum at the high school level. She has a BA degree from Washington College and a MA degree from Frostburg State University. She has been a National Honor Society Faculty Advisor for five years. She has lead county-wide Professional Development programs, and was featured in a SFA training video used worldwide. She was both a Girl Scout/Brownie leader and a Cookie Mom for the Tilghman area for six years.

“We look forward to welcoming these new members and appreciate the time and talent they will bring to the museum as it develops its educational programming,” said Ann Polo, the museum’s vice president.

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717 Gallery Features ‘Winter Exhibtion’ of New Paintings by Louis Escobedo

Thru March 2016 – 717 Gallery presents “Winter Exhibition,” featuring new paintings by Louis Escobedo, a nationally-recognized artist exclusively represented by 717 Gallery. The exhibit includes pieces from the secondary market, including paintings by Zhang Win Xin, Carolyn Anderson, Ramon Kelly, and other artists.

717 Gallery is located at 717 Goldsborough Street in Easton, Maryland. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment. (717 Gallery will be closed February 5 and 6.) More information is available at 717gallery.com and on Facebook. Or contact Yolanda Escobedo by email at gallery717@yahoo.com or phone 410.241.7020.

“Local Depot” by Louis Escobedo

“Local Depot” by Louis Escobedo

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