Archives for September 2012

Cardin, LaFerla & Edwards to Speak at Rally Against the War on Women

Congresswoman Donna Edwards, MD 4th district, will speak at at a rally in Easton’s Idlewild Park for women’s rights October 6.

Senator Ben Cardin,Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland’s Fourth District and Democratic write-in candidate John LaFerla of the First District will be among the speakers on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 1 to 3 p.m., at a rally in Easton’s Idlewild Park for women’s rights.

The rally, sponsored by the Democratic Women’s Club of Talbot County, will also hear from Bishop Charles Cephas of the Full Gospel Church of God in Hurlock, Dr. Mila Kofman of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, state Delegate Heather Mizeur of Takoma Park, and Washington Times columnist Catherine Poe. This “Rally Against the War on Women” is the only Women for Obama event planned in Maryland during the presidential campaign.

“The point is to educate women about just what they have to lose in the upcoming election if Barack Obama is not re-elected,” said Joyce Scharch, president of the club.

Rally organizers said that Republicans would have a radical effect on the lives of millions of American women. The Paul Ryan budget, which Republican Mitt Romney said he would sign if he had the chance, would fundamentally change Medicare and Medicaid, both of which disproportionately benefit woman. Romney has promised to destroy Planned Parenthood, which provides a variety of health services to women. Ryan and Romney both support a constitutional amendment to declare that a fertilized egg has all the rights of a person, which would ban all abortions and most common forms of birth control. The Republican platform vows to outlaw abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Rep. Edwards is considered a rising star in national politics and is a frequent guest on TV news programs. She is known as a strong advocate for women’s rights, including the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which helps ensure that women are paid the same as men for doing the same work, and benefits such as insurance coverage for health screenings and contraceptives that are included in the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. LaFerla, an OB-GYN physician from Centreville, is running against incumbent Congressman Andy Harris, who voted against the

John La Feral, write in candidate for MD’s first district, will also speak at the women’s rights rally October 6 in Easton.

Affordable Care Act, against the Lilly Ledbetter Act and against other efforts that would benefit American women. He said recent Republican comments about “legitimate rape” and whether woman can “shut down” the pregnancy process during rape are “a giant step backward and one more example of the Republican Party’s War on Women.” His write-in campaign is supported by the Maryland Democratic Party.


Skywatch: October 2012

The brightest star in Scorpius, known as Antares – the reddish-orange star in the lower left of the picture.

The planet show includes just a few of them in October with the two best, Jupiter and Venus, being seen late at night or early in the morning before sunrise, in the eastern sky. A third planet, Mars, puts on a nice show on the night of October 19th. Mars appears then just a few degrees above the brightest star in Scorpius, known as Antares. Antares is a reddish-orange star and Mars is a reddish-orange planet, and they will have almost the same level of magnitude (brightness; at +1.2). They will appear very similar. But to see them, we will need to look low in the southwestern sky right after it gets dark and for about an hour afterwards, because Scorpius is now very low and both Mars and Antares will set only a little while after twilight has ended completely.

Venus, on the other hand, is easy. It rises around 3:30 am in the East and will be visible even after the Sun comes up if one watches it as darkness fades and dawn approaches and marks its position. >From October 1 to October 3rd, Venus, among the stars of Leo, will appear close to Regulus, the brightest star in Leo (though Venus will be 100 times brighter than Regulus). On October 1st the two will be only two degrees apart. This gap narrows even more over the next two mornings, going down to less than a Moon’s width apart on October 3rd. Venus will remain visible all through October, but it will be rising later (around 4:30 am) by the end of the month as its orbit takes it closer to the Sun and farther from Earth.

Jupiter shines brightly at –2.6 magnitude between the horn stars of Taurus the Bull, rising in the East at 10 pm at the beginning of October and by 8 pm at the end of the month. The waning gibbous Moon will be seen just below Jupiter on the night of October 5/6, and again close to Jupiter on October 31st to help light the way for the Halloween trick or treaters. That evening the Moon and Jupiter will rise together between 7 and 8 pm.

Several bright first magnitude stars grace October evenings, but most are not part of true fall constellations. Deneb in Cygnus the swan, Vega in Lyra the harp, and Altair in Aquila the eagle form the well-known asterism called the Summer Triangle, which is now seen high in the western sky. Over in the northeast, just above the horizon, bright Capella starts to show up. But Capella is part of the oddly named winter constellation, Auriga, the goat herder.

The only true fall 1st magnitude star is in a dim constellation called Pisces Austrinus, the southern fish. This should not be confused with the zodiac sign constellation Pisces (the fish), which appears in the fall sky but well above Pisces Austrinus. Indeed, only half of this constellation appears above our horizon. One needs to go much farther south to see all of it.

But Fomalhaut is up at the top and can be seen in the south to southeast sky, very near the horizon throughout October. Fomalhaut is an Arabic name as are many “common” star names. Arabic traders used the stars to navigate at night as they traveled from Europe to Africa and Asia, often in desert lands, using the night as a cooler time to travel. Their legacy is carried on today in many star names.

Fomalhaut is a a hot white star some 23 light years from Earth, and when seen it often twinkles a lot because we are seeing it close to the horizon and the thicker air nearer Earth’s surface makes the light wiggle.

Moon phases this month include: Last quarter on October 8th; New Moon October 15th; First Quarter October 21st, and Full Moon October 28th.


$42,000 of Contraband Cigarettes Seized in Kent County

Agents for the Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division, along with the Kent County Sherriff’s Office, seized 7000 packs of contraband cigarettes worth $42,000 and arrested two people for allegedly smuggling contraband cigarettes during a traffic stop on Route 301 in Kent County on September 21.

“I’d like to thank Corporal Harry Kettner and Sheriff John F. Price of the Kent County Sheriff’s Office for helping my agents continue the fight against cigarette smuggling in Maryland,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “As soon as Corporal Kettner realized this wasn’t a routine traffic stop, his office contacted my agency’s Field Enforcement Division and agents were immediately dispatched to assist with the investigation. Every smuggler caught is one more opportunity to crack down on illegal activity and I applaud the agencies involved for helping to aggressively uphold and enforce Maryland’s tax laws.

Released from Office of Communications
Comptroller of Maryland

Wye River Upper School celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

With their future home, the Centreville Armory, standing next door and beckoning the future, the students, staff, Trustees, families and friends of Wye River Upper School gathered in Donaldson Hall at St. Paul’s Church in Centreville MD to celebrate the school’s past, and first major milestone, ten years of service to the youth of the region.

Wye River Upper School is an independent college preparatory school, educating bright high school students with learning differences and those that may benefit from small class size and innovative instruction.

WRUS parent Pam Reid, her son Julian and grandparents James and Addie Hill

With introductions from WRUS Chair John Devlin, Executive Director Chrissy Aull shared remarks with the guests. Noting the young school has graduated sixty one young adults from nine Maryland counties east and west of the Chesapeake Bay, Aull prefaced “That number is impressive in that many of our students are those who have not met with success in larger, more traditional schools, despite the fact that they are bright, talented, and motivated to succeed. In fact, many come to us on the verge of dropping out. Not only do they graduate, our seniors have been accepted to over twenty different colleges and post secondary programs, ” Aull stated.

The significance of her remarks was not lost on the guests, as spontaneous applause noted.

“While we gather to celebrate the wonderful stories we have generated here these past ten years, it is the future of this young school that now takes priority and deserves our collective focus and support,” remarked Aull, referring to the Armory

Aull introduced special guests beginning with Stuart Bounds, President of the Mid Shore Community Foundation. Bounds recalled the opening of the school in 2002, on the campus of Chesapeake College, where he served as President. “I was admittedly concerned about the daily presence of a younger age group on the campus of college students. It turns out my concerns were unfounded as the students were stellar in conduct and participation within the college culture. The school has been an asset to the college, not simply in a business sense, but in terms of the mission of education that both institutions serve.”

Bounds noted his expectation that Barbara Viniar, current President of Chesapeake College would support that statement.

Richard Sossi attended as a representative of Congressman Andy Harris’ and presented the school with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for the school’s anniversary and continuing dedication to educating the area’s youth.

Guests were invited to tour the 1926 Armory, which the school purchased in late 2010. Using funds from the Building Great Minds. Saving Great Spaces campaign to raise capital, hazardous materials have been removed and all designs for the renovation are complete.

“The Armory stands next door and is “shovel ready,” announced Campaign Co- Chair Tom Seip. “We know that students, staff and the Mid-Shore community is eager to see renovations begin. However, the Board of Trustees is wise in their decision not to consider long term financing as an option to complete the project, so we continue our campaign to raise the funds.”

a vision of the Centreville Armory as the new home of Wye River Upper School in Centreville

Seip reminded the guests that the work of the larger campaign committee, including Co-Chair Ludwig Eglseder, M.D. had produced impressive results with slightly over half of the five million dollar project having been gifted or pledged. That total includes an $824,000. grant from the Maryland Sustainable Communities Fund, which is payable upon completion of the project.

“We know that the larger community is eager to help us meet this goal and so, plans are underway to take this campaign to a more public level. At the same time we continue to ask the many members of this Eastern Shore community who are able to consider a choice to support our success through gifts to the project.” added Seip.

Centreville Town Council Member Tim McCluskey was one of the evening’s guests. “I can’t think of a project more worthy of our support. Think of all the positives – It’s about educating our youth, repurposing rather than building new footprint and bringing much needed commerce into the community. What more is there?”


Eastern Shore Undocumented Students Pin Hopes on Federal Deferred Action, State DREAM Act

Veronica Martinez-Vargas, a 19-year-old illegal immigrant from Salisbury, couldn’t believe it when she turned in her application for the Deferred Action program enacted in June by the Obama administration.

“It was overwhelming,” she said. “I had my friend with me and we just hugged for a while.”

The program either stops or prevents deportation proceedings for undocumented youths for two years and allows them to obtain a work permit. To apply, immigrants had to be under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, but at least age 15. They also must prove they entered the country before their 16th birthday and lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.

Just 29 applications have been approved nationally, of more than 82,000 who applied since the program opened in August. It’s unknown how many Maryland students applied or are eligible, however, more than 350 Maryland students qualify for the Maryland Dream Act, according to the Department of Legislative Services, which shares many of the same requirements.

When Martinez-Vargas came from Mexico to the U.S. at age 10, she did not understand the gravity of her status. It wasn’t until she tried to volunteer at a hospital years later and was rejected for failing to include a Social Security number on her application that she realized her delicate status.

She dreamed of going to universities such as Loyola, but because she does not qualify for government aid, she could not afford them. Now 19, she is a biochemistry major at Wor-Wic Community College, paying out-of-state tuition, despite living in Maryland for nine years.

While she’s delighted by the Deferred Action program, she’s realistic, too.

“This is a placeholder, but not a solution,” she said. “It is exciting though, to be able to receive a work permit and finish school.”

Deferred Action may give some undocumented immigrants breathing room, but their status remains unstable.

Robert Koulish, a visiting government and politics professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, said the program is not law. It was created by President Barack Obama through an executive order, which provides much less certainty to the program.

“If Romney is elected in November, come January he could revoke it,” he said. “This is not permanent and immigrants are still left in a precarious position.”

Despite the low number of approvals, the processing of applications has gone relatively fast compared to other immigration programs, said Caroline Clark, president of the Immigration Law and Policy Association at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Other applications submitted to the UCIS could take as long as five years to approve, she said.

The limitations of Deferred Action makes passing the Maryland Dream Act, and even the Federal Dream Act, very important, said Clark.

“It is just a pause in removal proceedings,” she said. “It does not lead toward citizenship and every two years you have to reapply.”

The federal Dream Act has remained in legislative purgatory for more than 10 years. The most recent version of the bill creates a path to citizenship for immigrants who graduate from an institution of higher learning, attend at least two years toward a bachelor’s or higher degree of learning, or served in the military for at least two years.

It is unlikely that will pass in the next four years, Clark said, regardless of who is elected.

While programs like Deferred Action or the Maryland Dream Act would solve part of the immigrant youth program, until an overall federal immigration reform bill passes, little things — as simple as transportation — will remain problems.

Just getting around is a nightmare for Eliel Acosta, a Deferred Action applicant brought to the U.S. at age 2, who is a junior in psychology at Mount St. Mary’s University. He makes the 40-minute drive from his home near Gettysburg, Pa., without a driver’s license. Luckily, he said, he has not been pulled over.

“It is too stressful,” he said. “Being in college and driving without documents is a very stressful situation.”

Acosta received help from his local priest to attend school. If he were to be deported he said he would have trouble working since his Spanish is not the best. Even though the program is only for two years, deferred action has given him, “a lot of hope that I can finish my education and possibly become a professor.”


Older Veterans, Do You Know About This Benefit?—Families of older veterans, this one’s for you.

There’s a little-known benefit that can help with the care of older veterans or their surviving spouses. It can be used for to cover the cost of caregivers (including adult children) in the home or to pay for an assisted living facility or nursing home.

(Continue Reading)


Talbot Count Sheriff’s Office Update

Easton – On September 20, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office served an arrest warrant on Myron Darrell Allen, 31 currently of Easton, MD. Allen is currently under home detention having been convicted in Federal Court on several drug trafficking offenses. Allen was sentenced to 120 months detention and is awaiting his federal detention assignment. As a continuation of the drug investigation, Allen was linked to transporting handguns in a motor vehicle with controlled dangerous substances. The warrant charges Allen with possession of handgun while engaged in drug trafficking; transport handgun in motor vehicle and transport handgun after being convicted of CDS distribution. Allen was seen by a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $1000,000.00 bond.

Easton – On September 18, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office extradited Bernard Richardson Kellum, 76 from Carter County, TN on a local arrest warrant. Kellum was wanted in Maryland for charges of sexual offense and assault. After obtaining an arrest warrant for Kellum, Deputies coordinated with law enforcement in Carter County, TN to have Kellum taken into custody. Kellum waived extradition and Deputies drove to Tennessee, where they conducted additional interviews and transported Kellum back to Maryland to face his charges. Kellum was ordered held at the Talbot County Detention Center in lieu of a $100,000.00 bond.

Easton – On September 22, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office stopped a motor vehicle on Ocean Gateway at Dover Road for failing to use headlamps when required. Upon contact with the operator, Ivan Dermaine Stanley, 26 of Easton, MD it was learned Stanley did not have a license to drive a motor vehicle. During the stop, probable cause was developed which led to the seizure of a CDS container from the vehicle. Stanley was issued a criminal citation charging him with possession of CDS paraphernalia, driving without a license and driving on highway without required headlamps. Stanley was released on his signature.

Easton – On September 23, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office were directing traffic around a motor vehicle accident scene when they were contacted by a motorist operating a 2006 Kia passenger car. Upon contact the Deputies detected the odor of marijuana and a search of the vehicle was conducted. The Deputies located a baggie of marijuana, a small glass pipe and a grinder used for processing marijuana. The operator of the vehicle, James Aaron Blann, 28 of Easton, MD was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Blann was seen by a District Court Commissioner and released on his personal recognizance.

Easton – On September 23, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, while checking High Banks Drive in reference to a fireworks complaint, discovered a vehicle being operated by a suspended driver. The driver, Cory Michael Crockett, 18 of Dover, DE was found to be consuming an alcoholic beverage while operating his motor vehicle. His passenger, Aubrey Brooke Brown, 18 of Easton, MD was also found to be consuming alcoholic beverages while under age. Crockett and Brown were issued civil citations charging them with possession of an alcoholic beverage while under the age of twenty one. Both were released upon their signatures.

Easton – On September 24, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office searched a prisoner who had been turned over from another agency and discovered a pipe utilized for smoking controlled dangerous substance in their possessions. The prisoner, Sarah Elizabeth Rorrer was charged on criminal citation for possession of CDS paraphernalia. Rorrer was incarcerated on unrelated charges and remained in custody at the Talbot County Detention Center.


Thirteen is a Lucky Number for Chestertown RiverArts Tour

Evie Baskin is noted for her portraits in pastels.

In 2000, Chestertown RiverArts, formerly known as Artworks, held its first annual studio tour. Thirteen artists participated that year. Now, thirteen years later, there are some fifty artists, of which thirteen are new,from a vibrant Kent County Artists Community who will open their studio doors for the Chestertown RiverArts Studio Tour, October 27th and 28th and November 3rd and 4th, 10am-5pm, rain or shine. This fascinating, free, self-guided journey will lead you to discover amazing work by artists, many of whom are known and recognized for their achievements throughout the art world.

The art is as diverse as the artists who create it, with styles ranging from traditional to the avant-garde, expressed in a variety of media that includes painting, photography, sculpture, metal work, pottery, fiber, woodcraft, jewelry, furniture, glass and more. Every bit as joyful as seeing the magnificent art is meeting the individual artists and having the opportunity to buy original work at studio prices. It is also gratifying knowing that this tour is sponsored by Chesapeake Bank and Trust and Chester River Hospice and Health System.

Artist Rob Glebe with his acclaimed metal wall art.

Visitors have the options of walking through the 18th Century village of Chestertown and visiting the studios “downtown”. Or tour the countryside around Chestertown and Rock Hall and visit the studios in the outlying areas of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, a ride made more beautiful by the fall colors. Many studios overlook the Chester River, numerous creeks or the Chesapeake Bay. And visit Arts At Still Pond Station where RiverArts has its Clay Studio, the only one of its kind on the Upper Shore.

Examples of each artist’s work will be on display at the Chestertown RiverArts Gallery, 315 High Street, Suite 106, providing a chance to plan an itinerary that matches one’s interests. Brochures may be found at the Gallery and at restaurants and shops throughout Kent County; they provide a brief description of each artist along with directions to the studio and a user-friendly map. During the Studio Tour, Gallery hours are Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 10-5. Special receptions will be held Fridays, October 26 and November 2, 5-8pm.

Combine your Studio Tour with Chestertown’s Schooner Sultana Downrigging weekend October 27-28. Sultana is joined by many historic tall ships and Chesapeake Buy-Boats. Many interesting art studios are within easy walking distance of the ships. All this makes for a fun family outing.

For more information on the tour call 410-778-6300, email or go to our website, Brochures may be downloaded from that site.
We hope that you will join us for our thirteenth year. .


ALL October Offerings: Civil War, Science, Law, Ghosts and Ghoulies, Great Conservatories

The Academy for Lifelong Learning at CBMM will introduce a number of courses in October. Monday mornings will be all about the Civil War. “Financing the Civil War” led by Ron Lesher will run Monday mornings from Oct 1- 15, followed by “The Civil War: An Overview” led by Bob Lonergan running from Oct 1-29.

Greg Farley, Director of the Center for Leadership in Environmental Education at Chesapeake College, will teach a course beginning October 1 entitled, “Public Perceptions of Science.”

Also starting October 1 is “Public Perceptions of Science” which will explore the public perceptions of science, the politicization of scientific information, the use and misuse of scientific information in the public arena. This course, led by Greg Farley, Director of the Center for Leadership in Environmental Education at Chesapeake College, will meet Monday evenings 5:30-7pm from October 1 through November 12 at CBMM.

Judge Peter H. Wolf will lead a course covering the theory and principles of the legal system, entitled “The Legal Process” on Tuesday afternoons from October 2-30. Using the Socratic method, Judge Wolf will explore with the group how courts are organized in the United States, what kinds of cases they decide and how they decide them.

In preparation of Halloween, Nancy Hesser’s course “Ghosties, Ghoulies, and Things that Go Bump in the Night” will meet Wednesday afternoons from October 3- 24. This course will shed (sputtering candle) light of the “ghostly” tales of Henry James, Guy de Maupassant, Edith Wharton and other writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries who raised the shape-shifting short story to its current literary status.

Don't miss the “Great Conservatories of the 19th Century” on Tuesday October 23 at CBMM.

Don’t miss the “Great Conservatories of the 19th Century” on Tuesday October 23 at CBMM.

Alan Stein, President and Director of Architecture at Tanglewood Conservatories, an American company specializing in the design, manufacture, and installation of conservatories, greenhouse and skylight systems will give a lecture entitled “Great Conservatories of the 19th Century” on Tuesday October 23 at CBMM. The lecture will explore the rich history of great conservatories of centuries past, and their architectural significance in a time when building with glass was unheard of. Revisit the tales of woes that befell some of these beautiful spaces forever lost in time- including several right here in Maryland. Hear stories of many of these amazing structures around the world that have endured the ravages of time and budget cuts to influence modern conservatories today.

For further information about these and other ALL Fall Semester courses, and to register, please call the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the CBMM at 410-745-2916 or download a catalog online at Also on Facebook.


Easton to Host ‘A Women’s Event’ Retreat Columbus Day Weekend

Do you need a weekend to explore, relax and reset? Women will have the opportunity to spend a day away from their normal routine to join like-minded women to enhance their knowledge of the arts, nature and wellness at A Women’s Event on October 5-7, 2012 in historic Easton, MD. This weekend getaway explores topics of interest to women today, offering them the opportunity to be creative and gain new insights, have fun with friends, and relax in a picturesque setting. There are more than 30 options for classes, workshops, tours and speakers in three energizing tracks, with topics ranging from painting and poetry to yoga and bird watching to slowing aging and improving balance in their lives.

Kay Jamison, Internationally-acclaimed expert on mood disorders and celebrated author and the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, a Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, will discuss her newest research at A Women’s Event on October 5 -7, 2012 in Easton.

Women can delve into arts through pottery, oil painting, pastels, photography, photojournalism, glass fusion, writing and poetry. The nature track offers participants the choices to explore nature on an early morning bird walk or to learn more about green living, such as green roofs, solar and geo-thermal systems, and electric cars. Other nature topics include extraordinary women gardeners on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and creating floral arrangements that are affordable, original, and fun. The wellness focus encourages participants to try yoga, Pilates and Reiki classes or to enjoy a round of golf or opt for a complimentary pro golf lesson at the Easton Club. Participants will also learn to lower health risks, gain insights into how to slow the aging process, and create greater balance in their lives.

Weekend speakers will explore contemporary issues and topics of interest to women. Over breakfast, Earl A. Powell III, Director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, will discuss how one of the finest collections in the world came to be. William C. Baker, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, will provide a straight talk about how well the “Save the Bay” efforts are progressing and what is on the horizon. Professor Kay Jamison, celebrated author and Johns Hopkins faculty member, will discuss her newest research into women, mood disorders, and the creative process.

Walking tours of Easton’s historic and picturesque streets, shopping in the town’s boutiques and many vibrant art galleries, and dining in the region’s best restaurants will round out the weekend experience. The Academy Art Museum’s photographic exhibition, “Women and Children in the World,” has been produced exclusively for this event by the International Photographic Society of the IMF and the World Bank Group and will be the site of the Opening Reception of A Women’s Event on Friday, October 5 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Nearby award-winning Inn at 202 Dover and Scossa will offer an exquisite lunch and cooking demonstration and women will be invited to mingle at a cocktail reception on Saturday evening as well.

Workshop locations include the historic Academy Art Museum, Tidewater Inn, and the Avalon Theatre, just to name a few. Sponsors of the weekend include Easton Main Street, Town of Easton, Shore Life, Academy of Art Museum and Talbot County Office of Tourism. Supporters of the event include Attraction, Delmarva Public Radio, the Star-Democrat, EVENTFARM, and River House Golf.

The event has limited seating. For further information, to purchase a ticket or to register, visit or e-mail The A Women’s Event All-Weekend Ticket costs $180 and covers events and sessions from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. A Women’s Event Daily Ticket costs $90 for each day and covers the events and sessions for either all-day Saturday, October 6 or all-day Sunday, October 7. All ticket holders are invited to attend Friday Night’s Opening Reception at the Academy Art Museum. Ticket purchases are non-refundable.