Come Discuss “Villages,” A Support Network for Aging in Place

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The local chapter of the National Aging In Place Council (NAIPC) requests your presence at a community wide informational meeting regarding the development of a” Village for Talbot County”.

The aim of the Village movement is to help senior citizens remain in their own homes as they age. Villages recruit volunteers to provide a range of services and activities that seniors may need from changing a light bulb to transportation to a doctor’s appointment. A Village does not take the place of other, already established services; however, acts as a resource and referral service and a complement to other services. Businesses can be vetted and may even offer discounts to individuals that are members of the Village.

Please join us on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Easton Volunteer Fire Department for a discussion about how Villages can improve the aging process in Talbot County and about how you can help with this movement. There will be a brief presentation defining Villages followed by ad Q & A session. Light refreshments will be available. The Fire Department is located at 315 Aurora Park Drive in Easton.

For additional information please feel free to contact Lee Lynch Newcomb at 410-770-8741 or lee.newcomb@maryland.gov .

We hope to see you on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Easton Volunteer Fire Department.

If you are interested in learning more about Villages prior to the meeting please visit the Village to Village website at: http://www.vtvnetwork.org

The following links are to videos about existing Villages:

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/it-takes-village-seniors-thrive-while-living-home-n16131

http://www.vtvnetwork.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=691012&module_id=117139

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/aging-in-america-stuck-in-the-middle/

Local Real Estate: Eastern Shore Holds Promise for 2015

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The real estate market looks positioned for a good year according to an overview put together by Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate.

They just released their “Eastern Shore Real Estate market 2014 Year End Numbers” with a forecast for a climb back to normal to continue through 2015.

“We’re bullish on both Kent and Talbot markets for 2015, ” says Hugh Smith, broker/owner of Coldwell Banker Chesapeake. “If you look at economic indicators in the national economy like lower unemployment, we’re seeing this as a tipping point for an upswing in Kent and Talbot sales. Even a stock market correction can be a good thing as people start to look for different kinds of investments and the possibility of an interest rate increase will probably knock some people off the fence from watching to buying,” he added.

The study and projection include Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Kent and Cecil Counties:

Sold Dollar Volume: Sellers on the Upper Eastern Shore closed $890,448,394 in real estate sales in 2014 – down 42% from the peak of the last boom market in 2005. This represents only a marginal improvement year-over-year and but a 45% improvement over the bottom of the market which was achieved in 2011. Every year since 2011 has shown a slow but steady improvement in this metric. Look for this trend to slowly accelerate in 2015 and thereafter as national economic fundamentals and consumer confidence continue to improve and waterfront buyers return to the shores of Chesapeake Bay.

Average Sold Price: The average sold price of an Eastern Shore residential property was $282,772 in 2014 – down from a high of $383,488 achieved in 2007 and down marginally year-over-year. The average sold price continues to suffer for the continued absence of luxury and waterfront buyers from the eastern shore markets. Look for this number to improve as the tax climate for high net-worth buyers improves with the new administration in Annapolis.

Median Sold Price – The median sold price of $210,000 continues to hover near the bottom of its 10-yr range. This reflects the continued high number of foreclosures and short sales in the market and the previously mentioned absence of luxury buyers. The median Sold Price will improve in 2015 and thereafter as the inventory of foreclosures declines and luxury buyers return to the market.

Units Sold – The absorption rate of Eastern Shore real estate was still off its 2005 highs (when 4,411 units were sold) but at 3,149 units it is a vast improvement over the low of 2,050 units posted in 2008. Look for this trend to continue as gas prices continue to fall in 2015 and the Washington/Baltimore metroplex becomes more congested and expensive for first-time and first move-up buyers.

Average Days On Market – The average of 160 Days on Market (DOM) for all sold listings is a significant improvement over the high of 203 experienced in 2011. Look for this trend to continue in 2015 as value conscious buyers recognize the good values to be found in most Eastern Shore markets. A rising interest-rate environment will also prompt buyers to jump of the fence in 2015.

Average List Price For Solds – The average list price for solds at $302,572 is just off its bottom of 299,425 experienced in 2011This metric has experienced considerable downwards pressure from short sellers and sellers will continue to make significant concessions to achieve timely sales for lifestyle reasons. Look for this trend to continue through 2015 as excess and shadow inventory continues to be absorbed.

The real estate markets of the Eastern Shore are slowly returning to normal market conditions and should continue to improve in 2015 along with consumer confidence and national economic conditions. There is no reason to believe that we will return to the bubble conditions of 2005 anytime soon nor is there any reason to anticipate another bust like 2008-2011. Sellers who position their asking prices well relative to the market should anticipate selling in a reasonable period of time. Buyers who jump in in 2015 should find excellent choice and good values. Buyers who wait until late in 2015 or beyond, risk missing the most pronounced Buyers’ market conditions in a generation.

Recently Retired Talbot County Planner Sandy Coyman Joins Earth Data

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Forty years of experience in watershed planning, permits, community action and comprehensive planning have made recently retired Talbot Planning Officer Sandy Coyman a powerhouse of knowledge and experience in solving municipal problems. Now, he’s signed on to help grow a new division of Centreville’s Earth Data Inc., a field-oriented consulting firm specializing in groundwater, geospatial, watershed restoration and environmental projects.

Coyman has been at the design and planning table during the Chesapeake Bay’s TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) watershed improvement planning process since it began. His expertise includes an understanding of cost-effectiveness of best management practice (BMP) implementation strategies. “We’re at a critical time now to meet the Chesapeake Bay clean water goals by 2025 – and that’s only ten years away. Local governments are now choosing best management practices to implement, and often, with no knowledge of their cost-effectiveness. I can help them with that” Coyman said.

Founded in 1974, Earth Data Inc. has completed more than 4,700 private, local, municipal, county, state, and federal-level projects involving the collection, analysis, management and distribution of data. With the addition of Coyman as a consultant, the company intends to reach out to all Chesapeake watershed jurisdictions to use leading edge technologies such as GIS and aerial LiDAR scanning to pinpoint exact locations for best management practice solutions and technology to measure effectiveness in helping jurisdictions meet their Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) goals.

“Data is our middle name” said Earth Data Inc. President and CEO Mark Williams. “We have the technology to get the data, but more importantly, Earth Data has the expertise and ability – from hydrogeology and soil science to GIS, watershed, and LiDAR analysis – to solve real problems. I believe it to be true that we are making the world a better place.”

Tragic Car-Truck Accident on Route 50 and MD 213

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The Baltimore Sun is reporting that five members of a Virginia family, including a pregnant woman and a 2-month-old boy,  were killed in a crash with a tractor trailer in Queen Anne’s County early Saturday morning. The family was on their way to visit relatives in Baltimore and was driving in a Suzuki Forenza on Rt. 50 in Wye Mills shortly after 1 a.m. when they collided with the truck as they passed through an intersection, according to police.

Read the full story here

 

 

Crossroads Community Receives Support For Mental Health Initiatives

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Queen Anne’s County residents accessing Crossroads Community’s network of mental health recovery resources will benefit from grants awarded by the Queen Anne’s County Mental Health Committee (QACMHC). Two 2015 grants will fund several initiatives supporting clinic and residential services offered by Crossroads Community and its clinic, Corsica River Mental Health Services.

“Serving the uninsured and underinsured is a challenge to any organization whose mission is to provide service regardless of the ability to pay,” according to Crossroads Community Executive Director John Plaskon. Corsica River Mental Health Services clinics offer a sliding-fee scale to the uninsured, based on income and family size. One QACMHC grant will assist up to six individuals with various therapeutic needs.

Queen Anne’s County Mental Health Committee board members recently presented a check to Crossroads Community representatives as a grant in support of Crossroads’ mental health services to Queen Anne’s County residents. Left to right, Corsica River Mental Health Services Board President Roger Harrell; QACMHC Board Members Debbie Dean, Marybeth Downes, Amy Brice and Linda Carroll; and Crossroads Community Executive Director John Plaskon and Board President Dan Rosendale.

Queen Anne’s County Mental Health Committee board members recently presented a check to Crossroads Community representatives as a grant in support of Crossroads’ mental health services to Queen Anne’s County residents. Left to right, Corsica River Mental Health Services Board President Roger Harrell; QACMHC Board Members Debbie Dean, Marybeth Downes, Amy Brice and Linda Carroll; and Crossroads Community Executive Director John Plaskon and Board President Dan Rosendale.

The same grant will benefit children in the clinic’s school-based program. Funding mobile computing systems for clinicians who work with children in the schools and off site in summer programs will promote efficiency and accuracy through real-time documentation of services.

A second grant awarded to Crossroads Community by QACMHC will benefit the organization’s Adopt-A-House in Queen Anne’s County initiative.

About thirty Queen Anne’s County residents live in facilities and apartments with various levels of independence through the help of Crossroads Community. Plaskon noted that a significant component in the mental health recovery process is the living environment, where pride in one’s residence, however transitional for the client, is important to self-esteem.

Over the years, funding for the residences has been targeted primarily to renovations, maintenance and safety issues. The quality of the furnishings was a lesser priority, which could unintentionally make residents feel unworthy of anything better.

Last year, with support from QACMHC, Crossroads Community began the Adopt-A-House program, with a plan to provide all its houses in Queen Anne’s County with new furnishings over a five-year period. This latest grant continues QACMHC’s support for the program and will completely furnish one of the residences.

Plaskon expressed his appreciation to Queen Anne’s County Mental Health Committee for its continued support for Crossroads Community and its clients. “Recovery from mental illness is a journey,” he said. “We can offer help along that journey, but cannot do it alone. Queen Anne’s County Mental Health Committee, and our other donors and funders, are critical to our being able to provide the support our clients need to become independent, productive members of the community. We are grateful for that support.”

Crossroads Community offers access to mental health recovery resources to residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. Its Corsica River Mental Health Services clinics are located in Centreville, Cambridge and St. Michaels. For more information, to make a donation or to volunteer, contact Crossroads Community at 410-758-3050 or visit its website, www.ccinconline.com.

Health: Controversial Involuntary Treatment For Mentally Ill Proposed

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Meredith Cohn at the Baltimore Sun writes, “The O’Malley administration proposed a law Wednesday that would force some mentally ill people onto medications to control their illness outside of hospitals.

Administration officials say their aim is to help the mentally ill live productive lives in their communities. But the approach, known as “outpatient civil commitment,” has divided the mental health community.”

Continue reading here.

Hometown Heroes Barbershop Supports Hospice

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Hometown Heroes Barbershop in Centreville is sponsoring a fundraiser for Compass Regional Hospice. Shop owners Lisa and Gary Smith will donate one dollar to Compass Regional Hospice for every haircut stylist and shop manager Connie Kimbles Dill gives now through February.

Lisa Smith says “We challenge local businesses to join us in supporting Compass Regional Hospice. Donations for each haircut in any amount are welcome. We thank State Farm agents Frank Divilio and Richard Phillips for being the first business owners to take this fundraising challenge.”

Hometown Heroes Barbershop is located at 202 N. Commerce Street in Centreville. Lisa explains, “The building has a history of housing a barbershop as far back as the 1920s, when Mears Barbershop operated here. We are proud and honored to keep the legacy of a barbershop alive. We have maintained the warm and classic feel of a place for the male clientele. Connie uses updated equipment so that every gentleman leaves looking his best.”

Hometown Heroes Barbershop is open Monday and Thursday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Tuesday and Friday, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, and Saturday, 7:00 am to noon. No appointment is needed. Stay up to date on Hometown Heroes Barbershop news on their Facebook page.

Businesses that want to take the Hometown Heroes Barbershop fundraising challenge to support Compass Regional Hospice should call Lisa Smith at 410-829-6064.

Hometown Heroes Barbershop stylist and manager Connie Kimbles Dill (far left) is pictured giving co-owner Gary Smith a trim. Looking on are (left to right) State Farm agent Richard Phillips, shop co-owner Lisa Smith, State Farm agent Frank Divilio and Compass Regional Hospice Development Officer Kenda Leager.

Hometown Heroes Barbershop stylist and manager Connie Kimbles Dill (far left) is pictured giving co-owner Gary Smith a trim. Looking on are (left to right) State Farm agent Richard Phillips, shop co-owner Lisa Smith, State Farm agent Frank Divilio and Compass Regional Hospice Development Officer Kenda Leager.

Solar Lane Holds Ribbon Cutting and Open House

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Solar Lane of Easton, MD recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce in Easton, MD. The company was founded to provide businesses and nonprofits in Maryland with lower-cost electricity. Solar Lane is in partnership with Paradise Energy Solutions, a solar engineering and operating company located in Salisbury, MD, to install its Solar Generating Facilities. To date, the partnership has installed over 100 solar electric generating facilities on the Eastern Shore. Their latest installation, just completed this month, is for the Federalsburg Volunteer Fire Company, Federalsburg, MD.

Solar Lane is using local investors to fund solar projects on the Eastern Shore and is looking to find other local businesses and nonprofits which are interested in reducing their energy costs. For further information about what the benefits of solar electricity might mean to your nonprofit or business and to receive a free solar assessment, contact Scott Kane at 240-478-7672 or email contact@solarlane.net.

Pictured front row, left to right, at the recent ribbon cutting for Solar Lane are Solar Tom Duncan (Edward Jones Investments), Talbot Chamber President Al Silverstein, Sabine Simonson (Talbot County Free Library), Ron Lee (Armistead, Griswold, Lee & Rust), Solar Lane President Scott Kane, Susan Schauer John (SpiderWeb Connection), Courtney Kane (Solar Lane), Amy Steward (Steward Writing & Communications), David Gill and Lena Gill.

Pictured front row, left to right, at the recent ribbon cutting for Solar Lane are Solar Tom Duncan (Edward Jones Investments), Talbot Chamber President Al Silverstein, Sabine Simonson (Talbot County Free Library), Ron Lee (Armistead, Griswold, Lee & Rust), Solar Lane President Scott Kane, Susan Schauer John (SpiderWeb Connection), Courtney Kane (Solar Lane), Amy Steward (Steward Writing & Communications), David Gill and Lena Gill.

Benchworks Acquires Safe Chain Solutions

Thad Bench, CEO; Pat Boyd, Executive Director/Partner; Charles Boyd, President
Thad Bench, CEO; Pat Boyd, Executive Director/Partner; Charles Boyd, President

Thad Bench, CEO; Pat Boyd, Executive Director/Partner; Charles Boyd, President

Benchworks is pleased to announce that it has acquired Safe Chain Solutions, a rapidly growing pharmaceutical drug wholesaler serving hospital pharmacies nationwide, with a combination of cash and stock. Safe Chain Solutions has a pharmaceutical distribution facility in Cambridge, Maryland, a sales office in Miami, Florida, and a digital development office in Nagpur, India. Safe Chain Solutions also has a vibrant Third Party Logistics (3PL) business serving a wide variety of clients in the beverage, apparel, and manufacturing sectors.

“The acquisition of Safe Chain Solutions demonstrates our continued commitment to the life science industry,” said Benchworks CEO Thad Bench. “The pharmaceutical division at Safe Chain which is currently engaged in supplying hospital pharmacies will eventually be able to produce patient starter kits and support Rx sample programs for our existing and new pharmaceutical clients upon regulatory approval. This is a significant step in growing our revenues and adding strategic capacity to our family of companies.”

President of Safe Chain Solutions Charles Boyd commented, saying, “We are excited to be aligned with Benchworks and look forward to continuing our rapid growth and expanding our service offering. We could tell almost immediately that Benchworks’ and Safe Chain’s cultures meshed very well.”

Benchworks, a comprehensive marketing services firm headquartered in Chestertown, Maryland, was founded in 1991. The company specializes in the design, production, and launch of complete marketing and branding services. Clients include a wide variety of companies in the pharmaceutical, beverage, manufacturing, and education industries in North America and Europe. Additional Benchworks operating units include Benchworks Consulting and a licensed products division. For additional information, please visit www.benchworks.com or call 800-536-4670.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day Nov. 22

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Join with a community of suicide loss survivors around the world on this special day. Held from 10am-2pm on Saturday, November 22, at Chesapeake Community College.

 

Chesapeake College , Cadby Theatre
1000 College Circle, Wye Mills, MD 21679
For more Information, contact: Patricia Kotzen      pskotzen@atlanticbb.net
or 410-643-7674
To register to attend, contact: Mary Sites        andysangels12@comcast.net
or 443-827-6504

(There is no cost to attend, but seating is limited.
Please register In advance to reserve a seat.)

Download poster for details.

MID-SHORE ISOSL DAY FLYER