Big Game Hunting Program on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be hosting a public meeting to discuss big game hunting on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (BNWR) on March 24, 2018 from 10am-12pm. The meeting will be an opportunity to learn more about big game public hunting opportunities on the refuge, ask questions, and provide comments on the hunt program in general.

Topics will include the results of the first ever deer population density survey with the University of Delaware, as well as public input on dates,improvements to handicapped hunt units, new units, and modifications to boat access. The meeting will be held at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, address 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a strong economic engine for the surrounding area.  The refuge receives 180,000 visitors annually who contribute to the local economy.   On average the refuge returns $4.87 to the local economy for every $1.00 Congress appropriates to fund the refuge (Banking on Nature 2010 report).

Project Leader Marcia Pradines encourages everyone to provide input on the hunt program for 2018 either at the meeting or in writing.  Comments may be emailed to, or write to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD 21613.

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, protects over 29,000 acres of rich tidal marsh, mixed hardwood and pine forest, managed freshwater wetlands and cropland for a diversity of wildlife.  To learn more, visit our website at or @BlackwaterNWR.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Stayin’ Alive Elegant Dinner & Wine Pairing at Scossa Restaurant

The Third Annual Stayin’ Alive Elegant Dinner & Wine Pairing fundraiser for Baywater Animal Rescue will be held on Saturday April 7, 2018 at Scossa Restaurant in Easton, MD.  Executive Chef Giancarlo Tondin and Massimo Bebber, Executive Chef at NYC’s Cipriani’s, pair up to bring Italian Nouvelle Cuisine to Scossa for your pleasure.

Four Courses! French Wine! Signature Cocktail! Your evening begins at 6pm with a Baywater Signature Cocktail and Hors d’oeuvres. Browse the Silent Auction and bid on your favorite items. The four course wine pairing dinner blending Italian Nouvelle Cuisine with wines from the French Countryside begins at 7pm. A live auction adds to the fun.

Chef Massimo Bebber comes from a food-loving Italian family in Northern Italy. He began his apprenticeship as a teenager working in several restaurants in Italy and then coming to New York to cook for Cipriani.  Chef Bebber became the first Italian executive chef at the renowned french restaurant, Le Cirque, in NYC. Now back as Executive Chef at Cipiriani’s, Bebber blends his love of Italian food with the elegance of French Nouvelle Cuisine.

“Both Chef Tondin and Chef Bebber share their lives with their dogs and are animal lovers.  We’re honored that they have teamed up to bring this fabulous meal to the Eastern Shore to help raise funds for the animals.” said Tom Divilio, president Baywater Animal Rescue.

Baywater Animal Rescue is the leading no-kill animal shelter on the Eastern Shore.  We are celebrating more than 70 years serving Dorchester County. Every one of our animals requires medical care while waiting for their forever family to bring them home. Some even need surgery! Additionally, the buildings that house the more than 70 cats we are caring for desperately needed upkeep. 60 years of hard winters and hot summers have taken their toll.  Baywater is completely dependent upon donations and events like this to support the work that we do.

Come out for a fantastic night and help Baywater Animal Rescue create more Happy Endings for homeless animals. Funds raised at this event go specifically to the medical, surgical and housing needs of our animals.

Space is limited. Buy your tickets online today at Reserve your seat by March 21. We sold out early in both 2016 and 2017!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available.  If you are unable to make the event but are interested in being a sponsor, please call Laurie Frame at 410-924-5743.

About Baywater Animal Rescue

Baywater Animal Rescue is the Eastern Shore’s leading No-Kill Animal Shelter.  Serving Dorchester county for over 70 years, we help the animals in our care find their forever families as well as help the people of Dorchester County keep their pets in their homes through pet pantry and behavior counseling.  We also provide low cost spay/neuter services to reduce homeless animals.  See more about our work, pets available for adoption and ways that you can help us create more Happy Endings at

Baywater Animal Rescue is a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit.  All donations are tax deductible.

The Opioid Epidemic, A Talbot Rising Forum on March 19

The country, state and county are in the grip of an opioid epidemic. In Talbot, eight people died from opioid overdoses from January to September 2017. By comparison, two Talbot residents suffered from alcohol-related deaths in the same period.

And it’s not likely to get better soon. Recent Maryland health department data show that fentanyl has overtaken heroin as the deadliest drug in the state, with more than a 500 percent increase in fatalities from 2015 to 2017.

What are we doing to help those addicted and their families? What treatment approaches work best? What else could we be doing?

Join Talbot Rising 7-8:30 p.m., Monday, March 19, at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, 114 S. Washington St., Easton, for an in-depth discussion.

Dr. Fredia Wadley, head of the Talbot County Health Department, and Dr. Benjamin Kohl of Eastern Shore Psychological Services and a lecturer at Washington College,  will talk about what they are seeing in the trenches, what problems they face, what treatments appear to work best, and what could or should be done to stem this scourge.

Talbot Rising is a non-partisan progressive group for the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

For more information, please contact: Ridgely Ochs, 631-871-2172;

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Responds to High Demand for Services in 2018

Mid-Shore Pro Bono is growing its programs and locations to reach more low-income individuals and families requiring civil legal services across the Eastern Shore.

“It’s an exciting time at Mid-Shore Pro Bono,” said Sandy Brown, Executive Director. “The demand is growing for our programs and services as our low-income neighbors continue to face hardships that require legal assistance. We are reorganizing and refining our practices to leverage our limited financial and human resources, so we can provide quality legal advice and services to as many individuals and families possible.”

To support this increased demand, Mid-Shore Pro Bono has adopted a holistic approach to client and community services and has reorganized into project teams based on legal service areas. These teams will work together to ensure all client needs are met by providing comprehensive case management services. Each project is supported by a volunteer attorney who provides oversight and direct services to our clients facing emergent situations. The project teams are Elder Law, Family Law and Economic Stability. In addition, Mid-Shore Pro Bono also provides two programs with unique concentrations: the Community Conferencing and Youth Programs Program, and Vulnerable Populations Project.

Pictured is the Mid-Shore Pro Bono Staff: Mandy Caulk, Alicia Myers, Kim Corley, Cappy Callahan, Sandy Brown, Ivette Salarich, Meg Rekstis and Megan Ryan.

The Community Conferencing Project aims to keep young people out of the juvenile justice system through community-based dialogue around specific incidents or issues. The Vulnerable Populations Assistance Project is the organization’s newest program and provides assistance to local immigrant families trying to navigate the civil legal system. This project is headed by a bi-lingual project manager who recently became accredited by the Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals to practice limited immigration legal services. All project teams throughout the organization are dedicated to removing the socio-economic barriers to legal help on the Eastern Shore.

In addition to the project teams, Mid-Shore Pro Bono will continue its Court Liaison Program where staff members bring legal services closer to constituents across the Shore and are on site at or nearby county courthouses to meet with potential clients, refer them to community resources and complete the intake process.

To extend Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s reach across the Shore, a grant from the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation has provided the support needed to open a satellite office in Salisbury to expand elder law programs and services to the citizens of Wicomico County. The new location at 212 West Main Street, Suite 302 is slated to open on or about March 1st. Mid-Shore Pro Bono also has offices in Easton and Centreville and maintains a regular presence in Chestertown and in Cambridge on the Chesapeake College Campus as part of the organization’s efforts ongoing efforts to network with community partners and resources.

“The new Salisbury location enables us to extend our reach and services to low-income individuals and families on the lower Eastern Shore,” said Brown. “Given the expansive land area of the Delmarva Peninsula, it is imperative that we remove the geographic barriers to justice that are unique to rural communities. This generous grant from the Stulman foundation allows us to serve the aging population in Wicomico by making our programs and services accessible in their community.”

About Mid-Shore Pro Bono
Mid-Shore Pro Bono Mid-Shore Pro Bono connects low-income individuals and families who need civil legal services with volunteer attorneys and community resources. The organization serves citizens of all Eastern Shore counties. For more information or to make a donation, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit

Resolutions Address Gender Gap in Maryland Businesses

Lawmakers in Annapolis are calling attention to a gender diversity deficiency in Maryland’s boardrooms and influential private sector companies: Women are not being equally represented in top management positions.

Women make up 49 percent of the labor force in Maryland and 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force, according to the Maryland Commission for Women.

In 2016, a “Census of Women Board Directors in Maryland” by a Baltimore-based women’s advocacy group found that 14.6 percent of board seats at 77 publicly traded companies headquartered in the state were held by women.

Within those 77 companies, 10 had no women in executive positions or in their executive suites. The number decreased from 14 companies in 2015, according to that “Census.”

Overall, the number of women holding board seats from 2015 to 2016 increased by three, to 93 women directors, the Census found.

House and Senate joint resolutions urge all private-sector companies in Maryland to increase their gender diversity. Supporters hope that by December 2021, at least 30 percent of the directors of all companies doing business in the state will be women, and that companies measure their annual progress toward a goal of equal representation of men and women in leadership positions, according to the resolutions.

Both resolutions have been heard in their chambers’ respective committees, but by Wednesday afternoon had not advanced.

The resolutions were prompted by request by the Executive Alliance, an organization based in Baltimore that focuses on the success and leadership of accomplished women, according to Delegate Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore, lead sponsor of the House resolution.

The group put out their 10th “Census of Women Board Directors in Maryland” this year, said Karen Bond, president of the Executive Alliance Board and executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore.

“We were shocked … to see how the needle had barely moved at all (from previous years),” said Bond of the Census findings.

“We felt we needed to go to our lawmakers and ask ‘Is this level of progress acceptable to you?’” added Bond.

“We have to break down those mythical barriers that have always existed and reach out to all of the successful women running companies…or we will never make it to the 30 percent (goal),” said Avis Yates River, president and CEO of Technology Concepts Group International, and a former executive at Exxon.

“There is a lot of value into investing in women entrepreneurs,” said Betty Hines, founder and CEO of the Women Elevating Women Symposium and Chapter Chair for the Women Presidents’ Organization, a nonprofit organization for women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies.

Hines acknowledged Maryland as a leader that has made many strides for gender equality, including having a greater percentage than the national average of women in the workforce, but also noted that to stay ahead the state must continue making progress.

“When corporate boards meet, each board member should bring a guest from outside and get to know them/ help give them more experience…I know many women who are more than qualified and deserve a seat at the table,” said Hines.

By Hannah Brockway

Chesapeake Harvest Hosts Free Wholesale Readiness Workshop

Responding to requests from regional growers, Chesapeake Harvest is hosting a free, wholesale readiness workshop on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Beginning at 3:00 PM, farmers in all phases of business development are invited to start the experience with a one-hour tour of the facilities at Other Side Produce located at 9654 Brickyard Drive, Seaford, Delaware, 19973.

Other Side manager, Dallas Lister elaborates, “The mission of Other Side Produce is to bring the highest quality produce to market for restaurants, schools, and other institutional entities. In order to improve purchases from the local market, we feel it is beneficial to helps local farmers understand how our customers expect to receive their product.  We welcome the opportunity to work with local growers on how packaging, storage, and transportation of produce translates to the end user.”

Following the Other Side tour, workshop attendees will travel (transportation not provided) to Parkside High School in Salisbury, MD where, beginning at 4:30 PM, they will further explore the unique standards for produce harvesting and post-harvest handling when selling into wholesale markets.

Ashley and Johnny Harrison, owners of Terrapin Farms, a hydroponic operation in Berlin, MD, will provide a look at their journey from 2015 startup to thriving 2018 farm operation, including the challenges of keeping products in top condition until they reach the end user. Ashley remarks, “We are looking forward to sharing some of what we’ve learned over the past few years and hope our knowledge can help guide other small farms that seek to sell wholesale locally.”

Following the Harrison’s presentation, Chesapeake Harvest consultant, Lindsay Gilmour, will offer a detailed discussion of wholesale, post-harvest handling requirements, particularly as relate to food safety regulations.

Included with this information-packed evening will be a bagged supper, prepared by members of the Parkside High School culinary program, and a student-led tour of A+ Garden Centre, an award-winning, community-supported and student-operated Career Technology Program (CTE), under the direction of Mr. Jerry Kelly. Kelly notes, “”We appreciate the work of Chesapeake Harvest and our region’s farmers in providing students with opportunities for both analysis and hands on experience in the local food movement.” Students will be on hand to discuss their farm research and greenhouse growing program at the March 20th event.

Elizabeth Beggins, production manager with Chesapeake Harvest, notes, “The end goal with this free workshop is to support regional growers in their efforts to showcase the products they work so hard to produce. Whether by walking them through the food safety certification process, connecting them with buyers, or – as with this workshop – offering wholesale readiness training, we are helping regional farmers expand their local food markets. We care about increased access to Delmarva-grown produce in the Chesapeake Bay foodshed, and we are here to help make that possible.”

In addition to wholesale readiness workshops and wholesale buying opportunities, Chesapeake Harvest offers individualized food safety consultations for farmers seeking Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.

For all training opportunities, registration is required.  Call 410.690.7348, email or visit To register online for the free classes, participants can also use the Events tab on the Chesapeake Harvest Facebook page.

About Chesapeake Harvest:

Chesapeake Harvest, a project of the Easton Economic Development Corporation, is working to build a vibrant local food economy on the Eastern Shore producing healthy food bursting with flavor. Chesapeake Harvest is committed to sourcing local, clean, and diverse ingredients that fuel the growth of a regional Chesapeake Cuisine. Chesapeake Harvest seeks out farmers who show their commitment to regenerative agricultural practices that protect the future of the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Harvest gives preference to those who share our belief that sustainability is not a fixed point but a pathway of continuous improvement

About the EEDC:

Easton Economic Development Corporation was launched in 2013 to drive economic vitality, smart redevelopment, and business creation in the historic Town of Easton, Maryland to foster a healthy quality of life for all generations. The EEDC works toward managing Easton’s continued growth as a diverse and healthy “smart town,” leading innovation where the land and water meet.

Upcoming Programming at the Library March 19 to 22

John F. Ford

St. Michaels Library to Take Children on Walk Across Maryland

On Monday, March 19, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites children to come in and walk on a giant map of Maryland that will be set out on the floor.  All participants must wear socks, and there will be special activities for children 6 and older.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit

Contact: Diana Hastings, telephone: 410-822-1626

Children to Read with a Certified Therapy Dog at Easton Library

On Tuesday, March 20, at 4:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites children 5 and older to bring in their favorite book or choose one from the library’s shelves to read with Janet Dickey and her dog Latte.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to participate in this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit

Contact: Laura Powell, telephone: 410-822-1626

Easton Library to Host Discussion: The Parallel Lives of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

John H. Miller

On Thursday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, as part of our community’s ongoing celebration of the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth, John F. Ford and John H. Miller will compare Douglass’s writings with those of America’s other great nineteenth century orator, Abraham Lincoln.

For over fifteen years, Ford and Miller have co-taught literature courses at the Academy for Lifelong Learning.  They have also facilitated discussions on literature and medicine for staff at Easton Memorial Hospital, under a grant from the Humanities Council of Maryland.

Ford received his BA in English from Towson University and pursued graduate studies in literature at Washington College in Chestertown.  He is currently Facilities Manager at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and, since, 2003, President of the Easton Town Council.

Miller received his BA in English from Yale College and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught literature at Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, University of Clermont-Ferrand (France), Washington College, American University, and — most recently — as a visiting lecturer with the University of Virginia’s Semester at Sea program.  Former VP of Advancement at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Miller continues to teach literature and also serves as a consultant in institutional advancement.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not have to pre-register to attend this discussion.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit

Contact: Scotti Oliver, telephone: 410-822-1626

Clifford Coppersmith to Become 6th President of Chesapeake College

The Chesapeake College Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Clifford P. Coppersmith to be the school’s sixth president. Dr. Coppersmith was chosen by a unanimous vote of the Trustees from a pool of 72 applicants in a nationwide search that was narrowed down to four finalists who visited the campus in late February.

Coppersmith, 55, is currently Dean of City College, an embedded community college within Montana State University Billings with 1,400 full and part-time students. He’s been the school’s chief executive officer in charge of academics, student affairs, finance and facilities since July 2015.

Dr. Clifford P. Coppersmith

Prior to City College, Coppersmith held several administrative and academic positions including over 19 years at two institutions: Pennsylvania College of Technology, a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University; and Utah State University – Eastern, formerly the College of Eastern Utah.

“Dr. Coppersmith’s background and experience were a great match for the qualifications and expectations established at the outset of our national search for a new president,” Chesapeake College Board of Trustees Chair Blenda Armistead said. “We were looking for someone with a proven track record in developing programs to address workforce needs in the community, and he brings that experience to the Mid-Shore. Dr. Coppersmith also understands and has extensive experience with the transfer mission of community colleges. As an individual who began his higher education in a community college in upstate New York, he is committed to ensuring that Chesapeake College will serve as a gateway to further education for all of our residents.”

Armistead noted Coppersmith’s ability to collaborate with public school leaders, local government, and business and industry partners to develop both credit and non-credit programs focused specifically on workforce needs. These have included programs in emergency management, nursing and allied health, computer science, metal and construction trades, diesel technology and automotive repair.

“Cliff has worked effectively with state and local government, and this was one of our priorities in our search for a new president,” she said.

“He understands the economic and social challenges in rural areas similar to the Shore. Moreover, the trustees are confident in his ability to strengthen the sense of community among all constituencies within the College, which was another expectation established for our new president.”

Community engagement will be among Coppersmith’s first priorities.

“Right off the bat, I want to establish those relationships and connections that are so critical to the success of the College,” he said. “I anticipate working closely with the members of the Board of Trustees, civic and public education leaders and the local business network to strengthen Chesapeake and its vital role in serving the five-county region as a center for higher education, cultural activities and economic development.”

Coppersmith met with the Board and participated in on-campus forums with students, faculty, staff and Mid-Shore community leaders last month.

“I had a great exchange with all those groups when I interviewed,” he said. “I was extremely impressed with the quality of the campus and its facilities and the engagement of the faculty and staff, and I considered my meeting with the students the highlight of the visit.”
Coppersmith and his wife Kathleen have strong personal connections to the region.

“Kathy and I are excited to return to a part of the world we love in which we’ve had many great experiences,” he said. “We were married in Kensington outside D.C.; spent the first night of our honeymoon in Chestertown; and for 11 years, the Chincoteague and Assateague Island seashores were our family’s favorite vacation spot. The Eastern Shore has been a special place for us for that reason and others.”

Born in the West Indies, Coppersmith said saltwater is in his blood. He looks forward to sailing, kayaking and canoeing on local waters and visiting the beach.

The Coppersmiths have three adult children – including two living in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – three grandchildren and close family members in Frederick and Northern Virginia.

A former commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard and an intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, Coppersmith believes strongly in executing the mission of the College which is critical to his vision for Chesapeake.

“It comes from my military background,” he explained. “Almost everything I do on a daily basis is premised on serving the mission of the school and its students. I’ve been successful in figuring out what the strengths of an institution are, what its mission is, and then connecting that to the community I serve.”

His service background also includes 45 years in scouting with the Boy Scouts of America.

Coppersmith holds four academic degrees: A doctorate in history and anthropology from Oklahoma State University; a master’s in history from St. Bonaventure University in New York State; a bachelor’s in political science and Latin American studies from Brigham Young University in Utah; and an associate in social science from Jamestown Community College in New York State.

New Members Join CBMM’s Board of Governors

Richard Bodorff

The Board of Governors of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has welcomed three members to its governing body and approved its officers for 2018–2019.

Joining as new governors are Charles E. (Ned) Hennighausen and Scott R. Pastrick, with former governor Richard J. Bodorff returning to the Board. The newly elected officers are Diane Staley, chair; Frank C. Marshall, vice chair; Richard J. Johnson, treasurer; and Richard W. Snowdon, secretary. Retiring from the Board are Schuyler Benson, William S. Dudley, James P. Harris, and Francis Hopkinson, Jr.

Returning board member Richard Bodorff is a partner with Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, D.C. He received a BA, cum laude, in English literature from Denison University, and a JD from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Bodorff is chief volunteer officer of the YMCA of the Chesapeake, an emeritus trustee of the Academy Art Museum, and a trustee of the Broadcasters Foundation of America in New York. He previously served as chairman of the boards of Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation in Richmond, Va., and the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Md. He has also served on the boards of Denison University, America’s Public Television Stations, and Pickering Creek Audubon Center.

He and his wife, Ellen, cruise the Chesapeake on a Sabre 38, following nearly three decades as sailors. He is the immediate past commodore of the Poplar Islands Yacht Club.

Ned Hennighausen

New governor Ned Hennighausen was born in Baltimore, where his father’s family had resided since the 1850s, though his Eastern Shore roots trace back six generations. His family members still own the Centreville farm where his mother was raised, and as a young boy, Hennighausen spent weekends and summers aboard the family sailboat, which was moored in Worton Creek.

For more than 40 years, Hennighausen held senior and executive operations management positions in high speed consumer products manufacturing. His professional life took him to numerous locations across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He was employed by Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra Foods, and Lorillard, Inc.

Since moving to the Eastern Shore, Hennighausen has become involved with CBMM’s Rising Tide program as a volunteer. He lives in Oxford with his wife of 35 years, Joan, and their eight-month old chocolate Lab, Molly. He and Joan cruise the Chesapeake in a Hinckley T48.

Scott Pastrick is president and chief executive officer of Prime Policy Group. He began his work in Washington with the Carter Administration as the special assistant to the Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Legislative Affairs. Following his position in the administration, he went on to serve as staff director in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1984, he served as the deputy finance director for Vice President Walter Mondale’s campaign for president and senior adviser to Vice President Biden during his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Scott Pastrick

Throughout Pastrick’s career he has served at the Democratic National Committee. In 1994, he was appointed to the National Finance Committee and the Site Selection Committee. In 1995, he was elected treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and an officer of the Executive Committee, which he served through the successful re-election of President Clinton. Pastrick served as a senior advisor to both the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and, in 1992, headed the congressional’ outreach effort for then Governor Clinton.

Pastrick serves as the chairman of the Board of Catholic Charities, Gonzaga College High School and the Kennedy Center’s Fortes Trust. He is also a member of the board of the International Foundation for Election Systems and the Monumental Scholars Foundation, and previously served on the Board of Advisors of the Winston Churchill Library and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.

A native of Indiana, Pastrick was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash Award by the governor for distinguished service, counsel, and leadership. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College in political science and completed graduate work in political science at the George Washington University and the Indiana University School of Law. He resides in Chevy Chase, Md., with his wife, Courtney Clark Pastrick. They have five children— Carter and her husband, Bryan; Cameron and her husband, Jake; and Clark— and two grandchildren, Winnie and Nell.

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving nearly 80,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated along the Miles River and St. Michaels’ harbor. For more information, visit

Maryland Senate Passes Revised Cyber-Bullying Law 

Maryland lawmakers in 2013 passed “Grace’s Law,” a bipartisan bill that made it a misdemeanor to repeatedly and maliciously bully someone through use of a computer or cellphone. Five years later, some of the same legislators are back to update the law to reflect the new media landscape.

“Grace’s Law 2.0,” which is designed specifically for social media cyberbullying, passed in the Senate unanimously Thursday despite pushback from First Amendment advocates last week.

Lead sponsor Sen. Bobby Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, remained firm that this is to protect against “egregious” messages, intended to personally harm, posted online. He’s determined to adjust laws to the speed of dissemination of such material.

“Facebook doesn’t stop when you leave the school grounds,” Zirkin told lawmakers. “Neither does Twitter or any of these other things. These are growing problems, not isolated to Maryland, and we have to get better at this.”

“Unfortunately, once somebody does this – (simulates pushing a button) – it’s all she wrote,” he said. “You’re about to do that harm the second you push that button to your thousand friends.”

In today’s media world, Zirkin said, a warning means it’s already too late. Which is the basis of his other proposal in the two-bill package.

Senate bill 725, which is expected to hit the full Senate floor next week, gives authority to school principals to report cyber abuse to law enforcement directly, instead of having to first go through a board of education. Based on legislation in Texas nicknamed “David’s Law,” created after 16-year old David Molak of San Antonio committed suicide in January 2016, it also makes it easier for victims to get court relief.

Under current rules, Zirkin said, civil injunctive relief requires a plaintiff to show “immediate, substantial and irreparable harm,” a process he believes is slow and outdated. “A single, huge act by that bully … you can’t take it back,” Zirkin said.

The more encompassing proposal of the two, Grace’s Law 2.0, cleared the Senate on Thursday.

That legislation, Senate bill 726, would increase the penalty for threatening or defamatory statements about a minor, or the parent of a minor, from a one-year maximum sentence and $500 fine to three years and $10,000. In addition, it adds a clause that would increase the jail term to 10 years if the violator intends to “induce a minor to commit suicide,” as written in the text.

The bill also broadens the scope of social media cyberbullying. Updates include prohibiting the creation of fake social media profiles and material meant to “intimidate, torment or harass a minor”; prohibiting logging into a minor’s social media account and distributing pictures; and establishing that telling a minor to “go kill yourself” online isn’t protected speech.

Lastly, Grace’s Law 2.0 incorporates David’s Law for school-related cyberbullying. For that reason, Zirkin said, the bills must go together. Reporting such incidents at school, he said, only helps if the revisions are adopted.

The effort doesn’t come without resistance. The ACLU, which stood in opposition to the 2013 law, is concerned about over-criminalization and too drastic of penalties.

“However well-intentioned – and I believe (Grace’s Law) is well intentioned – I believe this bill is hopelessly overbroad,” said David Rocah, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU, during the Feb. 20 hearing.

“One does not have to be unconcerned about bullying or blind to the incredible cruelty that people can inflict on each other, to also be concern about giving the government the ability to punish, as a crime, huge swaths of protected speech.”

Christine McComas, whose late daughter, Grace McComas, was the inspiration for Grace’s Law, joined a couple other mothers and an aunt of suicide victims to testify in favor of the bills. Grace killed herself on Easter Sunday in 2012, the victim of repeated cyber abuse. Christine said these laws would target “dehumanizing cyberbullying” faster.

“The proliferation of cyber equipment and applications continues to quickly morph and change,” McComas said. “Children need additional protections from those who would use it for harm.”

Marla Posey-Moss, vice president of advocacy with the Maryland PTA, said in an email Tuesday that her organization supports the Senate’s effort.

“Maryland PTA is pleased that legislation has been introduced to protect youth from bullying via the consideration of expanded forms of social media and technology,” she said.

Posey-Moss called the effort “very strategic,” but added that it’s important to be precise when criminalizing certain speech.

Zirkin, for his part, has acknowledged the difficulty in navigating such a law but told Capital News Service that if Maryland addressed it five years ago – and other states have since taken it a step further – Maryland can do it again.

“The ACLU had the same argument (against the 2013 law), but it wasn’t unconstitutional,” Zirkin said. “The sky didn’t fall down.”

By Zach Shapiro


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