Editorial: Look for Answers not Blame In Aftermath of Jacob Marberger’s Death

The only good news that might come out of the profoundly tragic news of WC student Jacob Marberger’s suicide this weekend is that more information will come to the surface which could prevent these sad circumstances from being repeated in the future.

Like any tragedy of this proportion, the response individually and institutionally should always be, “What could have been done to prevent this from happening?” But in Jacob’s case, this takes on a special meaning given the multitude of people, departments, and social organizations who had contact with this young man in the weeks leading to his dramatic downward spiral.

Even with the little we know, it is clear that bullying, alcohol abuse, and zero tolerance policies might have played a role in Jacob Marberger’s swing from a fully engaged campus leader to an isolated and despondent outsider. Given that this transition seemingly happened only within a matter of weeks, there is much to process here.

It seems inconceivable that Washington College will not take this self-examination very seriously. While the immediate disappearance of Jacob posed an important test for college leadership, it will now be how well the school responds in the aftermath of his suicide that will determine any long-term harm to reputation or mission.

But beyond the institutional response, one can only hope that the students who had contact with Jacob will also undertake a form of self-examination. Was there enough tolerance, enough listening, enough empathy or were there quick rushes to judge and stigmatize? Those kinds of painful questions must be considered as part of any successful healing process.

The danger in this is the impulse to play a blame game rather than participate in a learning experience. Only one person decided to end Jacob’s life, and that person was Jacob himself. The eagerness to point fingers might be predictable, but it is a wasteful exercise that needs to yield quickly to a more thoughtful analysis for both the school and all who knew him.

As Carl Jung pointed out years ago, “Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” For Jacob’s sake, let that not happen here.

Spy Tip: Tom Chapin Hits Dover Street Sunday Night

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.22.23 AMGrammy-winning singer-songwriter Tom Chapin, whom The New York Times calls ‘one of the great personalities in contemporary folk music,’ shares this double-bill with Eva (formerly the Jammin’ Divas) for a special evening of unforgettable folk music in the Avalon!

In a career spanning five decades, Chapin’s infectious songs, sterling musicianship and personal warmth consistently shine through, whether he’s performing on record or in a concert hall, an outdoor festival, in front of a symphony orchestra or in an intimate coffeehouse.

Featuring breathtaking voices with roots in Australia, Ireland, the UK & the USA, EVA performs a seamless mix of traditional and contemporary original folk music. Kath Buckell, Liz Simmons and Nicole Zuraitis lend their three distinct voices to songs that meld worldly sensibilities with time-honored musical traditions. EVA’s powerful three-part vocal harmonies are bedded on the textured landscape of guitar, piano, and percussion.

https://tickets.avalontheatre.com/orderticketsarea.asp?p=853&a=123

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Spying on a New Spy Store in Downtown Easton

The Spy Store in Easton opened yesterday during the town’s famed WaterFowl Festival. Situated next to the historic Bullitt House, and across the street from the Tidewater Inn, the Avalon Theater, and our blockbuster restaurants of Harrison Street, the store will be selling a very small collection of books, art, and crafts from Mid-Shore authors, artists, and craftspeople. All profits are donated to the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and the Talbot Spy.

Currently, the Spy Store will be highlighting the works of Oxford poet, Sue Ellen Thompson, Chestertown’s Idiots’ Books, Queen Anne’s County potter Marilee Schumann, Easton’s Verdant Gryphon, Bay Hundred’s Kevin Gerber and Kathy Bosin, Emily’s Produce in Cambridge, Unicorn Books in Trappe,and Oxford art historian Barbara Paca.

The Store will be open during special evening events and Saturday mornings with plans to expand hours in the Spring. Please come visit.

Spying on Easton Airport: On Environmental Studies and Drones

The Talbot County Council heard an interesting quarterly report from airport manager Mike Henry on the airport’s ongoing efforts to complete an environmental impact assessment related to possible runway extensions to comply with FAA regulations, as well as the significant increase in use at Easton Airport and the increased concern over recreational drone use in the airport’s restricted airspace.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length 

Spying on Easton: On Parking and Parking Lots in Downtown

The Spy’s ears perked up at last week’s Easton Town Council meeting when discussion turned to downtown parking issues. Town Manager Robert Karge introduced resolutions to change two Easton parking lots to free parking and for changing the parking permits in another.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length

Spy Tip: Jenny Van West in the Stoltz Room November 6

Jenny Van West hits the Stoltz Room stage at the Avalon this coming Friday. Jenny’s original songs hit with passion and humor on the many facets of human vulnerability. Nowhere is that more obvious than on her recently released debut album Something Real. This collection of heartfelt originals combines insightful poetry with inspired chord progressions and embodies the poignancy, joyfulness, tragedy and, above all, humor of being human.

Jenny’s performances are delivered with a potent stage presence and vocal horsepower that listeners have compared to Alison Krauss and Emmy Lou Harris.

Jenny Van West
Friday, November 6, 2015
Doors: 7:30 p.m.; Show: 8 p.m.
Stoltz Listening Room $20

Spy Tip: Robbie Schaffer in the Slotz Room this Thursday

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.53.21 AMWhether you know Robbie through concerts in the Avalon with his acclaimed indie folk/rock band Eddie From Ohio, or through his work when he’s in town teaching local kids the joy of creating music, you know what a warm and genuine performer he is.

In this special solo show, you can experience Robbie?s engaging, upbeat songs and dazzling guitar work up close and personal in the intimate setting of the Stoltz!

Since the 90s, Robbie and EFO have created a large and loyal following across the U.S. and Canada (the mailing list now tops 25,000 names), and has released 9 CDs, selling upwards of 150,000 copies, all on their own Virginia Soul Records. He?s also released three well-received solo albums on his own.

With a wide repertoire ranging from soft folk to more poppy, up-tempo tunes, The Washington Post says of his solo shows that they have ?all the heart of EFO but strip away the more rock tones. What’s left is something akin to Schaefer unplugged, and that?s a lovely sound.

Robbie Schaefer
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Doors: 7:30 p.m.; Show: 8 p.m.
Stoltz Listening Room $30

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http://talbotspy.org/51125-2/

Spying on the McCord Building: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Cuts the Ribbon

Finally, with more than a few temporary setbacks, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, joined by fellow environmental groups, and a cross-section of the conservation community of the Mid-Shore, cut the ribbon on their renovated new headquarters in the old McCord Laundry Building on South Washington Street last Friday afternoon.

The new arrivals include the MSCF, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Town Creek Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited, with a few other nonprofit organizations on their the way.

An operative of the Talbot Spy was there to get peek of the new gigs.

This video is approximately one minute in length and was co-produced by the Avalon Foundation

Spy Tip: DuPont Brothers in Easton Saturday

No, these fellows are not chemists from Wilmington, Delaware. They’re from Vermont but have been on the hot list ever since they became overnight stars at Austin’s South by Southwest music festival last year.

Since that time, the brotherly duo has hit the ground running since they formed a band in 2013.

They’ve released their acclaimed debut album “Heavy As Lead,” and shared the stage with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Ben Sollee, Gin Wigmore, Chris Thomas King, and Langhorne Slim, to name a few.

Their lush finger-style guitar work is complemented by the elegant prose of their lyrics, and a vocal blend that could only be matched by blood relation.

Dwight and Nicole will play with The Dupont Brothers. Dwight & Nicole, an American roots band formed by recording artists Dwight Ritcher and Nicole Nelson, released their sophomore LP, aptly titled Shine On, on April 22, 2014. An inspiring mashup of folk, blues, pop, jazz, gospel and reggae, the album can’t be categorized easily.

Dupont Brothers & Dwight and Nicole
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Doors: 7:30 p.m.; Show: 8 p.m.
Stoltz Listening Room $20