Health Notes:Mental Illness is Not a Crime

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 2.15.11 PM

In Disney’s “Lion King,” three hyenas are depicted as emotionally out of control.  They roll their eyes and laugh hysterically. It is obvious that hyenas occupy the lowest level in the animal kingdom, unpredictable and to be feared.

To every child in the audience the message is clear: Those suffering from brain disorders are dangerous and violent.  They are laughable. They are different; they should be avoided.  The movies and other public media are among our most potent tools of socialization, and reinforcement of what is inaccurate and untrue about psychiatric issues stigmatizes those who suffer, alienating them from others

Recent events have focused on the mentally ill in our communities, and local news outlets have covered the issue with sensitivity and accuracy.  But as thoughtful as the coverage is, depictions in the press can portray those with brain disorders as dangerous.  If they hadn’t been involved in some monstrous act – a suicide/murder for example – they wouldn’t make the news in the first place. When someone is labeled bi-polar on the front page, even if the diagnosis is accurate, those who peaceably suffer in silence do so in even greater isolation.

One fact has been proven over and over by crime statistics: Those with psychiatric challenges are much more likely to be victims of crime than criminals. A 1999 study concluded that those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychosis are 2 ½ times more likely to be assaulted than those who are spared from those disorders. Yet public surveys reveal that two-thirds of Americans believe the mentally ill to be violent and unstable.

It isn’t just violence that is inaccurately pinned on those with psychosocial disabilities. Think of Otis Campbell, the fictional “town drunk” on the Andy Griffith Show.  Even in 1960s America, everyone in front of their black-and-white Admirals who struggled with addiction must have cringed to see the abuse that Otis suffered.

Science has taught us a great deal about the brain, addiction, and psychological issues since Andy hung up his badge in 1968.  We know that many disorders have their roots in genetics or in diagnosable, treatable, viral or bacterial infections.  Programs like the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s “In Our Own Voice,” by bringing people into contact with those who suffer from psychiatric problems, have taught us that those around us who are mental health care clients are in the most meaningful ways no different than everyone.

Above all, be aware that everything that is on the screen, in a novel, or in your favorite magazine, has the potential to alienate someone around you.  It is estimated that at any given time one in four of us is facing a psychological crisis.  Further isolating them from those who can help by stigmatizing them exacts an enormous cost to society.  The cure could start with you.

MENTAL HEALTH: KNOW THE FACTS, NO STIGMA is a year-long campaign sponsored by a dedicated group of partners on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore:

The Worcester County Health Department
The Somerset County CORE Services Agency
The Wicomico County Health Department
Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services
The Jesse Klump Memorial Fund, Inc.
Atlantic General Hospital
Salisbury University
Worcester County Department of Social Services
The Life Crisis Center
Go-Getters, Inc.
The Maryland Association of CORE Services Agencies
The Worcester County Drug and Alcohol Council

MENTAL HEALTH: KNOW THE FACTS, NO STIGMA culminates with a March 19, 2015 conference in Ocean City, Maryland..  For more information about the campaign and conference, and t register for conference attendance, visit

Like MENTAL HEALTH: KNOW THE FACTS, NO STIGMA on Facebook, and share the Facebook page with your friends and colleagues.

Ron Pilling

Jesse Klump Memorial Fund

Eastern Shore’s Hershey Selected as Minority Whip in Maryland Senate

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 7.43.52 AM

Maryland State Senate Republicans announced Sen. Steve Hershey (R-36-Upper Shore) as the Senate’s Minority Whip on Thursday. The vacancy in the leadership position arose with the resignation of Sen. Chris Shank (R-2-Washington County.) Governor Larry Hogan tapped Shank to serve in his administration as Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Upon the announcement, Hershey said, “I am humbled that my Republican Senate colleagues have entrusted me to help lead the caucus at this critical time in Maryland’s history. The caucus will work diligently to advance Governor Hogan’s agenda and change Maryland for the better. “

Knowing that Shank would leave the Senate after the Governor’s inauguration, Republican senators held elections to decide upon whom would join Minority Leader Sen. J.B. Jennings (R-7-Baltimore and Harford) as the chamber’s Minority Whip and chose Hershey, who formally took on the roll Thursday.

Jennings said, “Senator Hershey brings a crucial mix of private sector and public sector experience to the roll of Whip. The chamber benefits from an Eastern Shore perspective in a leadership position. I eagerly look forward to partnering with him to lead the Republican caucus.”

The newly elected Minority Whip added, “The role requires working closely with colleagues and Goverrnor Hogan to shepherd his agenda through the Senate chamber. That works for me, the people of the Upper Shore voted overwhelmingly for Larry Hogan. They want to see his policies implemented. Senator Jennings, I, and our Republican colleagues won’t stop until we see that done. “

Temple B’nai Israel to Host Lecture Series

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 9.37.19 AM

Temple B’nai Israel, 101 W. Earle Avenue, Easton 410-822-0553 will host the 2015 Lecture Series entitled “The Rise of Anti-Semitism and our Response” Wednesday evenings from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.  February 4, Mark B. Levin, Executive Director of the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry; February 11 Rabbi Steve Gutow, President and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; February 18 Oren Marmorstein, Head of Regional Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. and February 25 a representative from the Anti-Defamation League.  Lectures are open to the public and free of charge.


Remarks: Governor Larry Hogan’s Inaugural Address

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 3.25.39 PM

Governor Christie, thank you for being here, thanks for your tremendous support, and for that very kind introduction.

To my wife, Yumi, my daughters and my entire family, please know that it is because of your incredible love and support that I am able to stand here today.

I am privileged and proud to have Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford by my side. He has been more than a running mate. He is a friend. I am honored to serve with him.

Governor O’Malley, thank you for your gracious cooperation during the transition and for your years of public service.

Lt. Governor Brown, thank you for your service, not only to the state, but to our nation.

To my good friends Governor Ehrlich and Lt. Governor Steele, thank you for your leadership. It was an honor to serve in your administration.

Governor Hughes and Governor Mandel, thank you for all you have done for Maryland.

Senate President Miller, Speaker Busch, and members of the Maryland General Assembly, we have great challenges ahead of us, but I look forward to working together with each and every one of you.

Comptroller Franchot, Treasurer Kopp, and Attorney General Frosh, Chief Judge Barbera and the other members of the judiciary, Senators Mikulski and Cardin and members of our Congressional Delegation, and all the local elected officials and other dignitaries, thank you all for being here for this historic occasion.

Most importantly, I want to thank the citizens from all across our state, who put aside party politics and who came together and voted to change Maryland for the better.

I’m grateful, because I know something about putting aside partisanship in order to do the right thing.

Forty years ago, a Maryland Congressman, a Republican, sat on the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate, and the entire world was watching.

Would this man be willing to buck his own party, his own president, to do what he thought was right for the country?

Despite tremendous pressure, this statesman put aside partisanship and made the tough decision, and became the first Republican to come out for the impeachment of President Nixon.

That man was my dad, former Congressman Lawrence J. Hogan, Sr., who is here with us today.

He put aside party politics and his own personal considerations in order to do the right thing for the nation.

He taught me more about integrity in one day than most men learn in a lifetime, and I am so proud to be his son.

Ladies and gentlemen, today, we are gathered in front of our beautiful state house, which has been in service since 1772.

A few steps from where I’m standing is where General George Washington resigned his commission.

Two hundred and thirty one years ago, the Revolutionary War ended right here, inside this state house, with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1784.

And just a few miles away from here, when the future of a fledgling nation was in doubt, Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner during the War of 1812.

For Maryland, and for our nation, this is a place where great things begin, and where great things are accomplished.

Today, against this historic and majestic backdrop, Maryland once again starts a new chapter in our long, proud history.

Today’s inauguration marks a new beginning for Maryland, and the limitless possibilities before us.

I am a lifelong Marylander who loves this state. Every great experience, every great memory, every great moment I have ever had in my life, has happened right here, in Maryland.

It is such an incredible honor to be standing before you today as the 62nd governor of the great state of Maryland.

I am truly humbled and deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve my fellow Marylanders, and I vow to work tirelessly every single day to prove worthy of this great honor that you have granted me.

Today, we celebrate a new beginning for Maryland, remembering our past, while striving for a better and more promising future.

The question isn’t whether Maryland is a great state. The question is: What will we do, all of us, to reinvigorate this great state that we all love? What will we do to ensure that our future is better than our present or our past?

I believe that the time has come to cast aside the status quo, and to come together to build a better future for our state and all our citizens.

We must set the bar higher, and create a bolder vision of the future.

Let’s create a Maryland that is thriving, growing, innovating, and is responsive to the needs of all its citizens. Let’s strive to make Maryland the best place in America to work, raise a family, start a business, and even to retire.

Let us renew our sense of optimism, and make Maryland a place of unlimited promise.

Together, let’s make Maryland a place that we can all be proud of again.

Today, I am reminded of those brave Marylanders who first came to this land seeking freedom and opportunity when they landed in St. Mary’s City in 1634.

While the challenges facing us today are different, I know that the courage and the spirit of Marylanders is the same.

We seek the freedom to compete without the undue burden of high taxes and bureaucratic regulations, which make us less competitive. We seek opportunities to build better communities, better businesses, and better lives for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children. And most of all, we cherish both the freedom and opportunity to decide our future.

And today, we celebrate that freedom and opportunity.

What I envision for Maryland is not just an economic and fiscal recovery, but a rebirth of our spirit, and a renewed commitment to our common purpose.

The citizens of Maryland expect great things from us, and they deserve great things from us.

Too often, we see wedge politics and petty rhetoric used to belittle our adversaries and inflame partisan divisions. But I believe that Maryland is better than this. Our history proves that we are better than this.

It is only when the partisan shouting stops that we can hear each other’s voices and concerns.

I am prepared to create an environment of trust and cooperation, where the best ideas rise to the top based upon their merit, regardless of which side of the political debate they come from.

No problem faces us that hard work, honesty, and courage cannot solve if we work together.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can improve the tone in Annapolis, and we will. And we can move toward a common-sense, solutions-based government. The problems we face are great, but so is our resolve to fix them.

President Kennedy once said, “Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.”

In that spirit, let us sit down together and come up with real, bipartisan, common sense solutions to the serious problems that face us. That’s what the people of Maryland voted for, it’s what they want, and it’s what they deserve.

The history of our great state is rich and deep, and our commitment to freedom and justice has always been our strength.

In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act, one of the first laws that granted different faiths the right to freely worship, was enacted. Since then, over the many years, Maryland has blossomed into a state wonderfully defined by our vibrant culture of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity.

In our hearts, Marylanders are hard-wired for inclusiveness. It’s who we are, it’s our founding principle, it’s part of our identity, and it is our greatest strength.

Our culture of tolerance and mutual respect must also extend to those with whom we happen to differ on politics.

Today is not the beginning of an era of divided government. Today is the beginning of a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation in Annapolis.

There is so much that unites us: a love of our state, a commitment to fairness, and a desire to be economically strong and successful.

And to those who would divide us, or drive us to the extremes of either political party, I remind you that Maryland has been called “a state of middle temperament.” Our politics need that middle temperament as well.

The politics that have divided our nation need not divide our state.

In the days ahead, I ask all Marylanders to seek that middle ground, where we can all stand together.

I recognize that the events of 2014 stirred strong feelings throughout the nation. But in keeping with the moderate tradition of Maryland, we expressed our passions in a positive, open, respectful, and civil way, as concerned neighbors.

It’s one of the many reasons I am proud to be a Marylander.

Our greatest challenge has always been reaching the high expectations set for us by our founders. That is why we will always keep trying, always keep growing, and why we shall never fail.

In the end, it isn’t about politics; it’s about citizenship, and the ability to understand the difference – that is what it means to be a Marylander.

Maryland’s greatness is in her goodness. Partisanship should never denigrate the unique legacy entrusted to us by our founders.

To all my friends across the aisle, I assure you that partisanship will never play a role in my decision-making. Everything we do will be guided by four common-sense principles.

First: Fiscal responsibility.

Our state government must provide essential services, yet still live within its means. We must run our state government more efficiently and more cost effectively.

Second: Economic growth.

Maryland has an educated workforce, world-class universities and colleges, great community colleges, and public schools.

We have our beautiful Chesapeake Bay, the Port of Baltimore, and a great location in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region. We must leverage these amazing assets to transform Maryland into a place where businesses can flourish and create more jobs and opportunities for our citizens.

Starting today let me say loudly and clearly: Maryland is open for business.

Third: Reform.

We must improve our state government’s ability to be more responsive to, and to better serve and represent all of our citizens.

Fourth: Fairness.

We must restore a sense of fairness and balance for Maryland’s hardworking and beleaguered taxpayers, in order to rebuild our forgotten middle class.

We must get the state government off our backs, and out of our pockets, so that we can grow the private sector, put people back to work, and turn our economy around.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can accomplish these things, and together we will.

This is our chance to build a government that works for the people, and not the other way around.

To accomplish these objectives will require leadership. I’m not talking about any one leader. It will take many, all of us, working together, rolling up our sleeves, acting with mutual respect, and doing our jobs for the people of Maryland.

It will require listening, education, and bold actions. And it will take the courage to do things differently.

A commitment to doing things differently will be challenging. But it will be worth it. We’re worth it. And more importantly, Maryland is worth it.

One hundred years from now, I want Marylanders to say, “This was when Maryland’s renaissance began.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you today, full of hope, hope for our great state, hope for our people, and hope for our future.

I want Maryland’s future, to be brighter than it’s present, and brighter than it’s past.

It can be, and it will be.

Before my father cast his vote on the impeachment committee, 40 years ago, he quoted President Lincoln, who said, “We cannot escape history.”

And, we cannot escape our future – it’s out there, waiting for us.

Let us show our fellow Marylanders that government can work, that we can work together, that change is possible, and that Maryland can live up to the promise of our founders.

Let us always act worthy of the great task entrusted to us, to renew and advance our great state.

Let us appeal to the better angels of our nature so that we can achieve the great and shining promise of Maryland.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can change Maryland for the better. And together, we will.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the great state of Maryland.

Op-Ed: Stop Industrial Pollution On The Shore by Dan Watson

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 7.32.28 AM

Poultry production is a manufacturing process. Think Sparrows Point. Think Detroit. But instead of rolls of steel or lines of autos, a few Delmarva industrialists—Allen Foods, Perdue, Mountainair–push out hundreds of millions of processed chickens annually. According to Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. these industrialists shipped some 565 million chickens in 2013, or around 3 billion pounds. As that trade organization proudly reports: “Each week about 1,000 refrigerated truckloads of chicken are shipped from the Delmarva Peninsula to wholesale, retail, and food service outlets throughout the eastern part of the United States and around the world.” Think about it: a thousand truckloads per week! That is great thing to say for our local economy, and for the thousands it employs.

But as with all industrial processes, there are residual materials, waste that must be dealt with. No one today would say its OK for Bethlehem Steel to dump its waste into the adjacent rivers, or for GM to discharge PCBs, even though they did so for years in the past, and even though they also employed thousands. And no one would excuse them for poisoning of our water because to do otherwise would cost Bethlehem Steel a penny a pound or GM $25 per vehicle. Nor would we tolerate highly profitable industrialists hiding behind the skirts of “family steelworkers” or “family assemblymen”.

Chicken manure is unquestionably a waste product. But we know that it is not inherently a poison; it’s a rich organic resource of value in the right situation. (Predictably, Perdue AgriRecycle LLC is dedicated to making serious money on that waste product.) But on those fields already saturated from decades of spreading this phosphorus-containing waste, the material indeed has become a poison to our rivers.

Oh, but the chicken-industrialists are nowhere to be seen in the nutrient discussion. It’s all about the decimation of the Shore’s “family farmers”. People are not stupid: everyone knows the broiler industry escapes its responsibility through documents its lawyers devised decades ago, to “contract out” the manure-making phase of its manufacturing to “poultry producers” (most of whom work the chicken house only part time, as they primarily farm corn and beans—bought by the chicken-industrialists to process into precisely specified chicken feed those same producers are required to feed to the chicken-industrialists’ chickens).

No insult is intended in observing that “family farmers” holding legal title to chickens and tending them, in very strict accordance to the dictates of the chicken-industrialists while the birds put on pounds–and not incidentally produce tons of manure–are indeed industrial workers in that role, maybe like your granddaddy (a good family man too, no doubt) who might have worked down at the Point.

To couch this as a fight between environmentalists and the “family farmer” is a sad charade. Sure, some small farmers are partly responsible, as they signed the Faustian contracts that leave them with the manure problem.

But the people we must really engage to change the system, to fix the Shore’s nutrient problem, are men like Hong Kuk Kim, Chairman of Allen Foods, and owners of the four privately held poultry manufacturers. We all know, but for some reason ignore, the fact that these are the guys in power, the guys hiding shamelessly behind their “family farmers.” These are the people who seem to care more about another penny-a-pound of profit (on 3 billion pounds of product) than about the Chesapeake dead zone.

Experienced businessman that he is, I’m sure Governor-elect Hogan “gets it”, as do all but the dimmest of our legislators. Time to stop playing charades in Annapolis: engage with the chicken-industrialists and fix the problem.

Dan Watson

Mid-Shore Roundtable On Homelessness Conducts County-Wide Survey


A survey that captures one night of homelessness is slated Wednesday, Jan. 28 in each of the five Mid-shore counties. The Mid-Shore Roundtable on Homelessness, a collaborative group focused on the issues of homelessness for Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, is preparing to conduct its annual Point In Time Survey for 2015. Volunteers will gather demographic information on individuals and families suffering from homelessness. It is conducted just one night to capture the most accurate count. Information gathered is de-identified and then reported to the Department of Housing and Urban Development where it is then examined at a national level. This data is also used to illustrate the growing need for services for individuals and families affected by homelessness in our region.

This year, with funding from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Mid-Shore Roundtable will hold three Point In Time Events on Jan. 28. One event will take place at Delmarva Community Action Center in Cambridge, Maryland (100 Goodwill Avenue Cambridge, Md. 21613) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A second event will take place at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Denton, Md. (401 Aldersgate Drive Denton, MD 21629, the old Wesleyan High School) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and the third is at St. Vincent de Paul in Easton, Maryland (29533 Canvasback Drive, Easton, MDd.21601) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers will conduct surveys with homeless individuals and families at all events. Refreshments will be available and incentives such as warm winter items and food gift cards will be offered to survey participants. Volunteers also will work to connect participants with needed resources.

In an effort to count any homeless individuals and families that may not be able to attend one of the three events, volunteers will also be working in pairs to canvas homeless encampments in the five county region. These volunteers will have incentives and resource information for participants surveyed.

That night, service providers, faith-based organizations, county offices, and additional volunteers will administer a brief survey to homeless individuals and families. Most surveys will be collected in our area’s Cold Weather Emergency Shelters and from our community service providers. It is hoped that through the survey, individuals and families affected by homelessness will not only be counted as a number but will be linked with all services they may need in order to help them overcome homelessness.

It is the hope of the Mid-Shore Roundtable on Homelessness that this process brings awareness to the community of the ever growing need of services for individuals and families affected by homelessness. If you would like any further information on the Point in Time Survey or the Roundtable on Homelessness please feel free to contact Jeanine Beasley, Continuum of Care Coordinator, at 410-770-4801 or email at

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 2.36.58 PM

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 .

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:

The following links are to videos about existing Villages:

Local Real Estate: Eastern Shore Holds Promise for 2015


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

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 7.14.08 AM

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 4.19.20 PM

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