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Op-Ed: Vote Your Values by Johnny O’Brien

Vote your values and value your vote.

This is likely the most consequential election in our lifetimes. America’s challenges and opportunities are bigger and more complex than ever. So our country desperately needs effective leadership at this critical period.

All of us value our right to free speech. Voting for who leads this great nation is a priceless form of our freedom to express ourselves. It’s our most important way of being heard in the civic arena. Cherish it. Exercise it. Vote!

And make sure your values get heard through your vote. Beyond the election hype and spin, we each know what we value at our core. What we stand for deep down. Some of my core values are:

RESPECT and CIVILITY toward all.
SERVICE for the GREATER GOOD ( Country above self )
COMPASSION for those in NEED

When we pick our greatest U.S. presidents ( like Washington, Lincoln, FDR, etc.), we heavily weight their character — who they were not just what they did — in our ratings. They all scored heavily on these core principles. As did my hero, Milton S. Hershey, who saved my life and the lives of countless orphans. How do the candidates measure up to your heroes?

What are your core beliefs? I urge you to require candidates to meet your test of what truly counts. For sure, the character of our leaders in the Oval Office and Congress matters enormously.

You and your voice count. Your vote matters. Please vote and vote your cherished values.

Johnny O’Brien is the former President the the Hershey School in Hershey Pennsylvania.

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ChesMRC Highlights ‘Healthy Family’ Programs in October

The future of the Eastern Shore will be created by the people who live here, who work here, and who build a life for themselves and their families here. The best way to build a better future for the Eastern Shore is to build stronger communities by helping to build strong families. For October’s newsletter we are focusing on the healthy family programs of ChesMRC and how they are helping make our communities stronger.

Healthy Families Make Healthy Communities

At ChesMRC, we assist families with making good decisions in support of their physical and mental health and well being. By helping them navigate through the process of obtaining affordable health insurance, identifying a primary health care provider and offering a variety of health education classes and workshops, ChesMRC makes sure accurate health information is accessible to all.

ChesMRC is supported in its effort to build healthier families by a Minority Outreach & Technical Assistance Grant (MOTA), local government grants and partners with a number of community organizations.

urlChesMRC’s 3rd Annual Think Pink Night

The Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has awarded ChesMRC with the MOTA grant for Talbot County. This will be ChesMRC’s 3rd year as the counties MOTA grant recipient. Over the years ChesMRC has developed several signature health events to successfully reach and engage minority communities in Talbot County. Last Thursday we held our 3rd Annual Think Pink Celebration in lieu of breast cancer awareness month. The night featured a pink glove salsa dance, presentations by Talbot County Health Department and UM Shore Regional Breast Center as well as an outstanding talk given by breast cancer survivor Alice Hubbard. Over 40 women attended the event and took part in the festivities.

ChesMRC – Now Authorized to Enroll!

This year ChesMRC received a 2-year contract from Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (SEEDCO) under the “Connecting Kids to Coverage” Program to assist with outreach, education, enrollment and re-certification services regarding health insurance for children and their families in Talbot & Caroline County.

ChesMRC now has Certified Application Counselors (CAC’s) on staff to provide in-person assistance with determining eligibility for insurance affordability programs including Medicaid and Quality Health Plans as well as completing enrollment for plans through the Maryland Health Connection Portal.

With open enrollment starting on November 1st, ChesMRC encourages anyone that needs assistance with health insurance or Medicaid to please call our office at 443-786-1120 to schedule an appointment.

Our goal is to make sure every child in Talbot and Caroline County has health insurance!

Funding Updates: ChesMRC receives grant award from DHMH – MOTA

ChesMRC received an opportunity from a donor to match any donation made over $500.00 up to $5,000.00. This is specific to anyone that has never donated to ChesMRC or hasn’t donated in the past 2 years. So if you have been thinking about donating, now is the time as your donation has the potential to be doubled!

Our goal is to reach $25,000 in unrestricted funds by the end of October to assist with our youth development, resource center and immigration clinic programs. Please help us by donating today. ChesMRC is a registered 501 (c)(3) organization and your contribution is 100% tax deductible.

Discover Easton This Weekend: October 28-30

Come discover Easton, Maryland this weekend! Film premieres and world-class musicians come downtown for a fun-filled time in Easton. There is so much to explore this weekend: the Chesapeake Film Festival, multiple concerts at the Stoltz Listening Room at the Avalon, the Easton Farmers’ Market, and Coffee with a Cop. Plus, bring the kids downtown for Easton Trick-or-Treat on Monday night!

Chesapeake Film Festival
Oct. 27 – Oct. 30 | Times vary
Avalon Theatre | Easton Cinemas

Hidden treasures of natural wonder and cultural diversity, the Eastern Shore is embodied in the Chesapeake Film Festival. Discover new talent, historical gems, and moving stories from around the world this weekend, with a special tribute to director John Avildsen

For more information on these and other events in Easton, please visit www.discovereaston.com.

Coffee with a Cop
Friday, October 28 | 10 a.m.
Talbot County Free Library
The Easton Police Department and the Talbot County Free Library have partnered to give residents a chance to meet their local officers, ask questions, and voice concerns.

Brooks Williams
Friday, October 28 | 8 p.m.
Stoltz Listening Room
Ranked one of the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists, Brooks Williams brings his musical stylings and touring tenacity to the Stoltz stage this Friday evening. Brooks roots music is sure to please.

Easton Farmers’ Market
Saturday, October 29 | 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Market House Parking Lot
Come by the Easton Farmers’ Market for fresh fruit and veggies, coffee, spirits, crafts, and live entertainment.

Frances Luke Accord
Saturday, October 29 | 8 p.m.
Stoltz Listening Room
Hailing from Chicago, Frances Luke Accord brings their modern folk sound to the Stoltz stage this Saturday evening. With inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul, and rock, the duo of multi-instrumentalists hopes to dazzle with their fluidity and harmonies.

Special Feature: Easton Trick-or-Treat
Monday, October 31 | 6-8 p.m.
Downtown Easton
Bring the kiddos out on Monday, October 31 for Easton’s Halloween night. From 6-8 p.m. children are invited to trick-or-treat at participating residents’ homes in the Town of Easton.

For more information on these and other events in Easton, please visit www.discovereaston.com.

All the World’s a Campaign by Michele Volansky

The room is upstairs in a town hall that was built in 1924.

The room is a converted metal factory from 1891.

The room is a theatre that used to house a market, then the Masons, then the Shriners, and then the movies.

The room is an arena that hosts ice hockey and indoor football.

The room is in a former railroad station that was converted into a hotel in 1983.

The room is the lobby of a sports arena at a Division I university.

In a time when historic characters sing about being in “the room where it happens” onstage, the common perception is still that politicians are making policies in back rooms somewhere, far away from the nosy public eye. That may be the case, but the road to the Oval Office is very public, paved in arenas in towns and venues across the U.S. Campaigns choose towns for demographics, or in the belief that an impressive crowd can be drawn, and venues are selected because decades of advance teams have shared contact information or because of one staff member’s familiarity with the area.

What is less clear are the other choices made on the campaign trail: Who picks the music? Why does one candidate use a chandelier while another uses house lighting? Is there meaning to be deciphered in the decision to place a bottle, glass, or pitcher of water on the podium/stool/dais? What about those homemade signs? And finally, what does this level of theatricality say about our political process in 2016?

Despite the (often incorrect) overuse of words like “kabuki drama” and “political theatre” by pundits, the message conveyed to what Aristotle called “the polis” relies on the medium of theatre. If the selection of a candidate comes down to who makes the better argument to the American voters—the script, if you will—there are also decisions to be made about everything that goes into presenting the script: lights, sets, costumes, sound, text, directing, and, perhaps most of all, acting.

It’s not “just” theatre, of course. As I followed six candidates on the campaign trail through the primaries this spring and summer—John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton—what I found most compelling was the tension between what was presented live on the stage at events and what was designed exclusively for audiences elsewhere: social media, radio and television, print, and other outlets. It became apparent that the latter was of primary concern to the campaigns, though those audiences/voters who were actually in the room (myself included) certainly found ways to connect with the candidates.

As anyone working in live theatre is aware, the audience is part of the performance. Staged events, from “town halls” to “public conversations” to “rallies” to large-scale arena events (there is no clear definition or delineation among them), rely on a candidate connecting emotionally and commanding the room. In a political season in which authenticity and straight talk have seemed to be unusually determinative forces, in-person audiences allow a narrative about “approachability” to emerge. Voters in 2016 no longer want to have a beer with the candidate; they want to take a selfie with them. Spending time live and in person with a candidate certainly appears to sway voters; Iowans and New Hampshirites have proven this since 1972 and 1920, respectively.

What follows are my reports from the trail on how candidates used that quality time with audiences—both the ones in the room and the ones on the other end of the cameras.

Republican presidential hopeful Gov. John Kasich addresses the crowd at a town hall campaign event at Plymouth, Mass.’s Memorial Hall in February 2016. (Photo by Bobbi Clark/95.9 FM WATD)
Republican presidential hopeful Gov. John Kasich addresses the crowd at a town hall campaign event at Plymouth, Mass.’s Memorial Hall in February 2016. (Photo by Bobbi Clark/95.9 FM WATD)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich exploited his personal style as a way of separating himself from the rest of the field, particularly Trump. Kasich was the folksy candidate who refused to join in the usual mudslinging, a point he made at the start of his remarks on Feb. 29 in Plymouth, Mass.: “I would rather lose than degrade myself…kids are watching this.” His tie loose and his shirt unbuttoned, he shed his jacket when he started engaging with the audience, which he did after speaking for 15 minutes. Kasich relied on a local vendor to provide music (a mix of male-heavy tunes from groups like Zac Brown Band, John Fogerty, and Mumford and Sons). He chose a bright and open historic town hall, set up with seating for 235—a stark contrast to the larger spaces of other campaigns. Kasich’s event, according to a seasoned advance team member, was designed to appeal to the older, potentially swing-voter audience, who’d been polled for their thoughts on the theatrics of the rest of the field. Emphasizing jobs, family, and security, Kasich said, “A president has the moral duty to create jobs because they will secure kids and build better neighborhoods,” while evoking local heroes Tom Brady and Paul Revere, plus Republican patron saint Ronald Reagan. The audience, invited to ask questions (this was the only event I attended where that was an option), brought up Common Core, veterans’ issues, gay marriage, and religious liberty.

The gathering was clearly designed to be personal; what was seen by spectators in the room was nearly identical to photos in the press. The overall impression was of a candidate wanting to be seen as a transparent, common-sense option—and, like a lot of common-sense options, not all that dynamic. His message and his style was best summed up by his peculiar conclusion: “I need your help. Please vote for me. And if you didn’t like my presentation, don’t tell anyone.” At press time, Kasich had yet to endorse his party’s more flamboyant nominee, despite suspending his own campaign the first week of May.

In contrast to Kasich’s staid audiences were the raucous and youthful supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign I witnessed in Reading, Pa., on April 21. (Total man-buns observed: seven.) He was clearly on their wavelength. He led his audience in roaring “$27!” when asked how much his average campaign donation was. While other candidates appeared tailored down to their socks, Sanders didn’t attempt to tame his frizzy white hair or his slightly oversized blue suits. Sanders’s outsider status was also apparent in his music choices: songs about revolution and change by Tracy Chapman, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen (all appropriately licensed), played alongside, curiously, at least three songs by Diana Ross and the Supremes.

It was clear why Sanders engaged so many first-time voters: His message was direct and targeted at them, whether he was offering solutions to crippling student debt or pairing the legalization of marijuana with an income-inequality message. He was equally responsive to the other side of his support base—people who recalled the “Food Not Bombs” movement that began in the 1980s. Sanders’s 2016 version became “Jobs and education, not jails and incarceration.”

It was at the Sanders rally where the differences between what the audiences in the room saw and the public watching on the evening news, reading online, or in the paper became apparent. A member of the Sanders advance team described planning events with “the vibe and energy of a Bernie concert,” aiming to reach as many people as possible. Creating this was a delicate balance that involved deciding what the lighting in the room should be: adjusted for television—historically “hot”—or, as the candidate preferred, less bright so he could better see his audience? The Sanders campaign also wanted to make sure that all venues were signatories with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns have contracts with the union).

In other words, the Sanders campaign, like others on the trail in 2016, worked to marry the message (pro-union) with the medium (a theatre with enough light to be able to point out the members of striking Verizon workers in the audience). In addition, of the 58 individuals seated behind the candidate (in the shot for the cameras in the back row of the theatre), 14 percent were people of color—a much higher percentage than was evident in the 1,700-seat theatre. The campaign acknowledged that the selection of background faces was intentional, as the message it wanted to present to the audience outside the room was about immigration. Polling at the time suggested that it would be advantageous to court Latino voters; that’s why three of the four individuals who spoke prior to Sanders spoke in Spanish to the crowd. The campaign succeeded in conveying the message: Though only a small part of the live event, these pre-Sanders speakers were forefronted in broadcasts on national and local media outlets.

Marco Rubio and his family embrace after he suspends his campaign at a rally at Florida International University in Miami in March 2016. (Photo by Angel Valentin/Getty Images)Marco Rubio and his family embrace after he suspends his campaign at a rally at Florida International University in Miami in March 2016. (Photo by Angel Valentin/Getty Images)

When a campaign is clearly in its last throes, as was the case with U.S. Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz  of Texas in mid-March and late April, respectively, the room takes on a completely different atmosphere. All the blue suits, white shirts, and red ties become nearly interchangeable.

Rubio’s farewell took place at Florida International University in Miami on the day of the state’s primary. The polls predicted a Trump victory, and as a result, the event, originally planned to take place inside the arena where the Panthers play, was moved to the lobby instead. Two American flags were draped on either side of the podium touting MarcoRubio.com, and a banner hung behind him with “New American Century, New American Jobs, New American Leadership” printed on it. The atmosphere among the crowd felt like a mini-family reunion; there was a lot of hugging and welcoming, but with a somber air.

There were also a lot of reporters, who at times seemed to be roaming around the room looking for anyone who was a supporter and not a fellow member of the media. Two screens airing Fox News hung on the second-floor balcony, with the audience looking up frequently and expectantly. At 7:25 p.m., chants for “Rubio!” began, but they died quickly. At 8 p.m., polls closed and Trump was declared the victor.

Rubio’s appearance was received warmly, but the candidate was subdued. After noting that he had called Trump to congratulate him (which the crowd booed), he observed: “There is nothing more that you could have done…America is in the middle of a real political storm, a real tsunami, and we should have seen this coming.” He commented on the political climate, adding, “The politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party, they are going to leave us a fractured nation,” and sounded frustrated as he talked through the rise of the Tea Party, lamenting that while it “gave Republicans a majority in the House, nothing changed.” This refrain, “Nothing changed,” was clearly his message for the evening, though he concluded on a note of optimism: “We are a hopeful people.” He ended by quoting a passage from Corinthians. It was unclear to the dramaturg in the room what the intention of this was, but it appeared to salve a deeply wounded audience. The event was over by 8:35 p.m.

Cruz would ultimately suspend his campaign on May 3, but on April 22, he was in a small ballroom at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pa. Unlike the Trump, Sanders, and Clinton campaigns, security for Cruz was light. There were no visible signs of the Secret Service, no airport-style screening machines, and only a handful of state police. The line to enter was only 40 people deep, but they were adamant in their commitment to the candidate; they were not interested in the eventual Republican nominee. The room itself was generic, with a thrust stage set up in the middle and seats for roughly 300. The press pool, which took up large areas at other events, was limited to six cameras and four tables on risers.

An official from a local foundation introduced Cruz, and the presenter responded to chants of “Cruz Cruz Cruz” with the statement: “He will stand up and fight for us no matter what the Washington cartel says.” Cruz himself responded, “We are here because our country is in crisis…and I am here today with a word of hope and encouragement. All across Pennsylvania and all across this country, people are waking up and help is on the way.” This was a candidate who didn’t waver from his message of jobs, freedom, and security, even at his campaign’s twilight—and in the face of a vocal audience. To the audience member who agreed, “It’s disgusting,” when Cruz said, “Grown men should not be allowed to go into the little girls’ room,” the candidate did not respond. Similarly, he did not turn to look at the voter who shouted, “Israel is our friend,” to his observation, “For seven years, we have seen a leader alienate our allies and appease our enemies.”

He also offered the most pointed punch lines, taking shots such as, “Let’s hear it for the Democrats: a wide-eyed socialist whose ideas are dangerous to America and the world. And also Bernie Sanders,” and, “Do you know the quickest way to clear out a Sanders rally? Tell everyone there they need to go and get a job.” Those in the room cheered, but Cruz’s campaign was effectively over.

A Hillary Clinton event is orchestrated in much the same way as a well-made play: There is a clear beginning, middle, and end. There is anticipation that something will happen, and there is defi­nitely the sense that an audience member is in experienced hands, as with Ibsen. Or Tracy Letts.

In Philadelphia in late April, Clinton was close to securing the nomination, and the crowd assembled was certainly enthusiastic about this fact. Though the event was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (and the candidate herself didn’t come on until 7:46 p.m.), lines started forming at 3:30 p.m., and campaign workers took advantage of a captive audience, moving among the crowd to secure volunteers and approval for other candidates, and to talk about issues ranging from Social Security to gender equality. Hillary’s Spotify list is highlighted by songs from female artists about joy, happiness, and celebration, feelings that were enhanced by a live band called the Sermon.

As was the case with Sanders, the frame behind the candidate was heavily curated. “Homemade” signs were handed to audience members (“Clinton Country,” “I’m With Her,” and “Rise Together”) along with small American flags, and staffers were seen teaching proper clapping techniques. At 7:33 p.m., another staff member poured water into a glass and placed a cough drop next to it.

Clinton’s appearance, from her suit to her message, was refined and specific. Though she was losing her voice, she appeared relaxed in the wake of a successful debate appearance six days earlier and a well-received speech in New York City the day before. In Philadelphia, her message, “I have a plan,” and her assertion, “It’s not enough to diagnose the problem, you’ve got to know how to solve the problem,” were cheered each time she said them, proving that repetition can be as effective a campaign tool as a well-worded tweet.

Clinton, who has faced criticism for a purportedly inauthentic tone and style—even the way she smiles has been scrutinized—was rumored to have been coached by an actor to improve her breath control. Coaching or not, it’s apparent that she is a seasoned performer; she moves through the world as though it were her own proscenium stage.

And while Donald Trump has been able to command attention via social media and television, in the eyes of this dramaturg he was less successful on the trail because of his choice of venues, such as the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., on March 9. Unlike in ancient Greece, where the architecture and acoustics were designed to focus the audience’s attention on the actors, Trump routinely scheduled events that took place in arenas made for sports and crowds of more than 10,000 people. Such choices made for a yuge (sorry) challenge in connecting with the individual voter. While Trump certainly captivated many with his provocative rhetoric (“I am 100 percent committed to waterboarding,” “The border is letting in Syrians; we don’t know if they are ISIS,” and, “In the good old days, this didn’t used to happen, because they used to treat them very rough”), at times his audiences appeared to be more interested in their phones. None of the large video screens familiar to fans of hockey or basketball were used, leaving many unable to actually see his facial expressions and gestures. Bright fluorescent lighting provided little nuance, and his self-curated playlist—ranging from the Alan Parsons Project to Luciano Pavarotti—provided little context or point of view.

Of course, both campaigns climaxed with televised conventions that were stage-managed within an inch of their lives for viewers at home, and while there was the usual range of speeches from brilliant to dull, also as usual the real drama emerged from the unexpected, like Ted Cruz’s pointed non-endorsement of Trump at the RNC or the passionate, often tearful protests of Sanders supporters at the DNC.

After looking at several months of campaign events, I got a genuine sense that politics are being performed for the electorate rather than with us. There was never a dull moment. But perhaps there should be. Our republic, if we can keep it, is predicated on the notion that we be well informed. But are we? Do we want to actually engage with poli­cy or are we content with a two-dimensional democracy?

Alexis de Tocqueville, observing both our theatre and our politics in 1840 while touring America, noted:

The democratic audience listens in the theatre but does not read plays. Most of the spectators are not looking for pleasures of the mind, but for lively emotions of the heart. They want to see a play, not discover a fine work of literature and, provided the author writes his native tongue well enough to be understood, and his characters excite curiosity and arouse sympathy, the audience is satisfied. They ask no more of fiction, and go back immediately to real life.

If this dramaturg could implore readers, voters, citizens to do one thing based on what was experienced in 2016, it is this: Get in the rooms. All it takes is an RSVP of “yes.” You’ll inevitably grow tired of the song “Roar,” and perhaps not be able to unsee John Boehner dancing. But the real election is taking place live on stages around the county, not just on your screens.

Michele Volansky is chair and associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Maryland’s Washington College, and associate artist/conference dramaturg for PlayPenn. This originally appeared in American Theatre magazine, Vol. 33, No. 7. Used by permission from Theatre Communications Group.

Brookletts Place Announces November Highlights & News

Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day” and the date was chosen to commemorate the signing of the armistice on Nov. 11, 1918 with Germany that ended the hostilities during World War 1. However, the signing of the armistice did not officially end the war which continued until June 18, 1919.

At first, the focus of Armistice Day was on the veterans of World War 1, although it was always meant to honor the veterans of all foreign wars who risked their lives on the battle field to secure the freedoms of all Americans. Over time, the death of the World War 1 generation and the coming of new conflicts during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the focus on the 1918 Armistice was lost and the name of the holiday was changed.

The first celebration of Armistice Day took place in 1919 with Britain and the Allied nations of World War 1 observing the day. Parades and patriotic gatherings were put on display in many British Commonwealth counties.

If you are looking for a way to celebrate this year, here are four ideas of things to consider:

Attend or at least watch on television the Veterans Day commemoration at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA;
Watch or attend America’s Parade originally the “Veterans Day Parade” in New York City;
Tour the memorials and monuments in Washington, DC; or
Spend the day or part of it volunteering at a local VA
hospital or even just chatting with veterans who are there as patients.

Veterans Day is an important time to remember those who risked their lives to defend the freedom of others. We hope that you will take the time to say “thank you” to all veterans.

November Highlights and News Updates

Flu Shots by Hill’s Drug Store

Flu Shots will be available Tuesday, November 1, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Shots are FREE with Medicare Part B.

TDAP (Whooping Cough Vaccine) will also be available for $69.95 No appointment necessary.

Healthy Living with Diabetes Workshop
12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Thursday’s November 3, 10, 17 and December 1, 8 and 15, 2016

Living with or caring for someone with diabetes can affect your quality of life. This free six-week workshop facilitated by Barbara Jarrell, will give you the support you need to find practical ways to deal with your condition, discover better nutrition and exercise choices and learn how to talk to your doctor and family about your health. Advance sign-up is required.

Trip to Pleasant Day Adult Day Care
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Enjoy crafts, turkey bowling, turkey scavenger hunt, a tour of the Festival of Wreaths, lunch and much, much more. The bus will leave Brookletts Place at 10:00 a.m. Advance sign up required, space is limited on the bus. See attached flyer for additional information.
Pleasant Day Adult Day Care

Elder Law Clinic
10:00 a.m.
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Attorneys will be present (by appointment only) to discuss legal issues pertaining to seniors to include: elder abuse, adult guardianship; home ownership, consumer related issues and much, much, more. Contact Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 for an appointment or additional information.

Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sign up by November 3 for our annual Thanksgiving luncheon and celebration. We will have special guest waiters and waitresses.

Carpe Diem Arts @ Brookletts Place Presents
KINDRED SPIRITS: Steve and Ali Quillen
In Celebration of Thanksgiving
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The acclaimed husband and wife duo of Steve and Ali Quillen perform a marvelous and eclectic mix of Americana that features music from folk,
bluegrass, and Celtic traditions, along with Steve’s remarkable original songs. Join us for a memorable celebration of Thanksgiving!

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council, Mid-Shore Community Foundation (MSCF), Dock Street Foundation, Brookletts Place and by individual contributions to the Carpe Diem Arts Outreach Fund at MSCF. Advance signup required for lunch or you may bring your own.

Diabetes Support Group
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Monday, November 21, 2016

The support group is free and open to all patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes, their friends or family. No registration required however for any questions, please call The Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, 410-822-1000 ext 5188 or 5196.

Lockerman Middle School Advanced Chorus in Concert
12:30 p.m.
Monday, November 28, 2016

Mr. Leroy Potter and the students from Lockerman Middle School return to Brookletts Place. This amazing group of 7th & 8th grade students are not to be missed!! Advance sign up required for lunch , you may bring your own or just come for the concert.

Please see the attached calendar for information on all of our upcoming programs. You may contact Teresa Greene, Program Coordinator at 410-822-869 or via email at tgreene@uppershoreaging.org for additional information.

2016 Travel Log
We are still in the planning stages for our 2017 trips, but additional cabins are now available for the Alaska (2017) and Bahamas (2018) cruises. Please note the deadline for the initial deposit for the Alaska Cruise is December 1, 2016 and March 1, 2017 for the Southeast Coast & Bahamas Cruise. You may contact Teresa Greene, Program Coordinator at 410-822-2869 x 222 or via email at tgreene@uppershoreaging.org for additional information.

Program Spotlight: Oil Painting
Space is available in several of our self-pay classes. We will highlight another class next month.

Can’t draw a straight line with a ruler?

Do you think you’d like to try your hand at art, but can’t draw a straight line with a ruler? Do not despair! There is a class at the Brookletts Place – Talbot Senior Center for aspiring artists just like you.

Oil painting is taught on Wednesday mornings at a beginning and intermediate level. Students can paint between 9 am and 12 noon at the rate of $5 per hour.

Not sure if you want to invest in supplies? The instructor will supply materials for the first few classes so that new students are sure they want to proceed. For more information, anyone is welcome to stop by on any Wednesday morning to see what the class is all about.

This class is enjoyable for brand new painters or those who have simply not painted for awhile. No rulers are necessary, just interest in learning something new! For more information or to enroll in the class, please call Jane Bollman at 410-770-8611.

Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have a few hours to spare? If so, the following programs could use your help:

Upper Shore Aging, Inc.
Long-Term Care Volunteer Ombudsman

The Maryland Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program certifies volunteers to advocate for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Upper Shore Aging, Inc. is seeking volunteers for Talbot, Caroline, and Kent counties. Volunteers must have excellent listening and communication skills, be friendly and respectful of residents and staff, and observe standards of ethics and confidentiality.

Volunteers commit to a training program and several hours each month to perform facility visitations. For information call Upper Shore Aging, Inc. at 410-778-1182 or email tcardillino@uppershoreaging.org.

Meals on Wheels – Help needed packing meals, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from approximately 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Back-up drivers are also needed for meal delivery. Contact Peggy Perry, Meals on Wheels Coordinator (Monday, Wednesday or Friday), at 410-822-2869 x 225 or via email at pperry@uppershoreaging.org for additional information.

Partners In Care – If flexible volunteer time – when you want- as often or little as you want..then Partners In Care is for you. We are neighbor helping neighbor with a variety of services..transportation, minor home repairs, advocacy..AND when you donate services you are eligible to receive services..call Pam O’Brien to learn more 410-822-1803.

Friends of Brookletts Place – Invites you to join us. We are a dedicated volunteer team committed to collaborating with staff and members of Brookletts Place – Talbot County Senior Center to enhance the products and services offered to the senior community and thereby improve the quality of life. Please contact constancejm@gmail.com or call 443-385-0245 for additional information.

Talbot County Commission on Aging

SENIOR CITIZEN SPEAKER SERIES 2016-2017

The Talbot County Commission on the Aging, in conjunction with Chesapeake College are sponsoring a series of speaking engagements for senior citizens and their families.

The series, entitled “Plan Well, Live, Well”, continues, highlighting a different topic and speaker(s) each month.

The November series will focus on Behavioral Changes in the Aging Population. The first session will be held 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 15 in the Health Professions and Athletic Center, Room 131, Chesapeake College. Parking is available in the lot with the solar canopies. Enter through the side door and it’s the 2nd room on the right.

Scott’s United Methodist Church, 3748 Main Street, Trappe, will host our second session, 2:00 p.m., Thursday, November 17. Scott’s U.M.Church is the church by the light directly across from High’s

Topics in future sessions include: January – Family Caregivers and Dementia; March – Senior Exploitation; and April – End of Life Planning.

The dates, times and locations of future sessions will be announced as the series moves forward. Each topic will have two sessions approximately an hour long, with one session each month recorded by MCTV for future distribution via DVD.

For more information, please contact Childlene Brooks.

News from our Community Partners

Upper Shore Dementia Caregivers Conference
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Heron Point – 501 East Campus Avenue
Chestertown, MD
Upper Shore Dementia Conference

AAUW Business Women’s Panel

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) will present a panel discussion with Talbot County business women, Monday, November 21, 7:00 p.m. at the Chesapeake College Cambridge Center, 416-418 Race Street, Cambridge. The panel will feature Susan Schauer John, affectionately referred to as the “Head Honcho” of SpiderWeb Connections®. SpiderWeb Connections is a full-service Internet marketing firm that specializes in web design, graphic design, content marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization); and Katie Reedy, assistant engineer for the Town of Easton. Others have been invited.

The speakers will discuss their respective professional positions, backgrounds, mentors, challenges rewards and educational preparation. Time has been allotted for questions and discussion. Refreshments will be served.

This meeting is open to the public. AAUW advances equity for all women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. For membership information, call Janet Harford 410-476-5961.

Maryland Hunger Solutions
Ending hunger and promoting well-being

Need Help Paying for Food??

The Food Supplement Program (FSP formerly known as Food Stamps) minimum benefit is going up! If you are 62 or older and are eligible for the Food Supplement Program yow may be eligible to receive an increased minimum benefit of $30 per month. For more information or to apply call 800-332-6347 or 410-528-0021.

Addiction Treatment Round Table Focuses on Rural Challenges

A round table discussion on solutions to the rural opioid epidemic was held Tuesday, October 18 at the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department in Chester. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted the forum, which was chaired by Jeff Eschmeyer, senior advisor to the Secretary of USDA.

Eschmeyer cited many issues specific to rural areas, including insufficient treatment and recovery facilities, the long distances people must travel to seek or access treatment, and fear of stigma in communities where everyone knows each other.

Additional attendees included other USDA officials, officials from the Farm Service Agency in Maryland and Delaware, law enforcement officers, mental health officials, and leaders in the community

The Star Democrat recently reported on the round table discussion and the challenges faced by drug addicts in rural areas here.

Letter to Editor: Support Annexation Plans at Easton Point

I am writing in support of the expedited approval of the annexation of Easton Point. It has been neglected far too long. Sewer and street runoff coupled with industrial remnants exude a distasteful first impression of Easton’s only waterfront access.

As new residents we are in strong support of restricting development along 322. We were informed a natural barrier between pavement and storefronts would be preserved. We were drawn to the charm of downtown with its absence of chain franchises. We believe this vision would benefit those local investments of downtown merchants who have been impacted by the development along 322. We understand concern with the GC component requiring a never ending diligence of leadership to withstand urban sprawl.

However, we believe Easton Point’s vision is one of transformation. The area has already been developed; Easton Point requires a fresh commitment. It needs to be elevated into an asset for the surrounding downtown businesses and nearby residential communities. The presence of the marina and boat ramp lend a recreational resource for those who come to the shore. Current scientific water sampling reflects a deteriorating reality most notably at Easton Point. Samplings confirm an enhanced water quality as samplings progress away from Easton Point toward Oxford. Rigorous application of best of class standards must be required by gatekeepers whose motivation is driven by wise stewardship not short term profit.

Donna Hager

The Arts are Alive in Shore Schools

Busy Graham of Carpe Diem Arts and Gerry Early of the Talbot County Arts Council recently compiled a listing of cultural arts assembly programs and artist residency dates by school for 2016-2017. Find your child’s school’s programming for this school year below.

TILGHMAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
All programs at 1pm
September 21 Noa Baum: Award-winning Storyteller
October 17 Womb Work Productions Bullying is Bad 4 your Health
November 16 Ball in the House: Totally Vocally (a cappella)
December 9 Max Bent: Outside of the (Beat) Box
January 20 Taikoza: Taiko Drumming
February 16 Quynn Johnson
March 6-10 Victoria Vox: Ukes on the Move residency c/o Carpe Diem Arts
April 12 Magpie/ Rachel Carson Writings
May 10 Le Vent Du Nord: Quebecois Music & Dance par excellence!

THE COUNTRY SCHOOL
All programs on Wednesdays, 9:10-10am — except Feb 3 (Friday) and March 9 (Thursday)
Sept 14 Wild by Design (Carnegie Science Center)
Sept 21 Noa Baum: Choosing Peace (YA) – storytelling/National Peace Day!
Oct 12 Skher Brown: Dancing Warriors (Capoeira)
Oct 19 Harriett Tubman: The Chosen One – Gwendolyn Briley-Strand
Oct 26 Bowen McCauley Dance: Victory Road–Dance/Rock/Country Music
Nov 30 Kim and Reggie Harris – Dream Alive — and residency with 6th-graders
Jan 25 Papageno! – Peabody Opera
Mar 22 Footworks: Irish Roots and American Branches (YA)
Apr 12 Magpie — program w/ tie-in to Rachel Carson writings (CAA)
May 10 Le Vent du Nord — from Quebec!
First Strings violin residency with Meredith Buxton: March/April 2017

ST. MICHAELS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Oct 7 Lesole Dance of South Africa
Jan 25 Max Bent: Outside the [Beat] Box
April 26 Jon Spelman: Teller of Tale Tales
First Strings violin residency with Meredith Buxton: September 19-30

ST. MICHAELS MIDDLE HIGH SCHOOL
Mosaic residency with Sue Stockman, May 9-13

SAINTS PETER AND PAUL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (grades PreK-8)
All programs at 9:00am and 10:00am
October 25 Bowen McCauley dance — “Victory Road: Dancing through the Decades”
January 31 Circus Flow: “Science of Awesome”
March 27 Marquee Brass
May 18 Caryn Lin “The Science of Sound”

SAINTS PETER AND PAUL HIGH SCHOOL
Mosaic residency with Sue Stockman, January 9-13

CHESAPEAKE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
All programs at 1:00pm
Tues, Oct 11 Andes Manta: Music of the Andes
Wed, Jan 18 Sparky and Rhonda Rucker: Let Freedom Ring — Honoring the Legacy of M.L. King
February 6 Fabulous Chinese Acrobats
March 6 Victoria Vox — kick-off of Ukes on the Move residency with Chris Noyes
April 13 Magpie: Living Planet (for Earth Day)
May 3 Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo
Ukes on the Move residency with Chris Noyes: 5 weekly sessions March 13-April 14, 2017

EASTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (Moton & Dobson)
9:30 and 10:30am – and 2:00pm
Mon, Oct 10 Andes Manta: Music of the Andes
Thurs, Dec 15 EMS Advanced Band
Jan 27 Christylez Bacon: Hip Hop/Beat Box
March 6 Shannon Dunne and Alex Boatright: Erin Go Braugh! Celebration of Irish American
Heritage Month

WHITE MARSH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Dates remain somewhat tentative — pending final confirmation
Thurs, Oct 13 Skher Brown: Dancing Warriors (Capoeira) An African-Brazilian Cultural Tradition Thurs, Nov 16 Ball in the House: Totally Vocally (a cappella program)
Feb 24 Keith Derrickson: Composers for Kids (Beethoven)
Wed, Mar 22 Footworks Percussive Dance Theater: Irish Roots and American Branches
May 16 Day-long artist residency with “The Drawing Zoo: Multi-sensory Drawing Class”
First Strings residency with Meredith Buxton: February 27-March 10, 2017

CHAPEL DISTRICT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Mon, Oct 17 Wombwork: Check Yourself – Bullying is Bad 4 Your Health
Thurs, Nov 9 Reptile Man
Dec 9 Max Bent: Outside the (Beat) Box
Jan 31 Step Afrika!
Apr 26 Maryland Science Center: Dinosaurs and Science Unscripted
Mosaic residency with Sue Stockman and 5th graders: January 23-27

AVALON FIELD TRIP SERIES 2016-2017
Avalon Outreach Programs for TC Public Schools
All programs at 9:30 am at Avalon Theatre
Funds provided for student bus transportation to five cultural enrichment programs at the Avalon Theatre in Easton:
Sept, Anansegromma, for 6th grade, with native music, storytelling, and dance of Ghana;
TBD, Papageno, for 4th grade, a children’s adaptation of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,”
Jan 20, Ball in the House, for 7th grade, an R&B/soul/pop a cappella group
March 17, Robbie Schaefer, for 2nd grade, with guitar and vocals
April 7, Jeff Antoniuk and The Jazz Update, for 8th grade