Archives for February 2014

“Recovery for Shore” Treatment Advocacy Group Sponsors Landmark Documentary

If the turnout and applause Wednesday night at the Avalon Theatre in Easton for the screening of the documentary film, “The Anonymous People,” is a core sample of the Mid-Shore’s hunger for addressing addiction recovery issues, a historical moment may be at hand.

Keith Richardson , Clinical Director at Warwick  Manor Behavioral Health introduces the film.

Keith Richardson , Clinical Director at Warwick Manor Behavioral Health introduces the film.

“Recovery for Shore,” an advocacy group networking Mid-Shore social services, health, mental health, business and non-profit organizations, as well as concerned citizens, offered the breakthrough film about addiction recovery as their first initiative.

Keith Richardson, Clinical Supervisor at Warwick Manor Behavioral Health in East New Market introduced the film to the 400 attendees.  “We’re here because we want to help build a national and local addiction treatment advocacy,” he said. “We want people to feel that they can step out of the shadows of the old stigma and to feel good about their long term recovery.”

Addiction is a chronic brain disorder—not a behavioral problem— with an annual cost of $350 billion a year.  Much of the public still views addiction as the result of poor choices, or a moral weakness. Science flatly disputes that interpretation.

Gary Pearce, Director of Talbot Partnership, makes sure guests have treatment information.

Gary Pearce, Director of Talbot Partnership, makes sure guests have treatment information.

“At its core, addiction isn’t just a social problem or a moral problem or a criminal problem. It’s a brain problem whose behaviors manifest in all these other areas,” says Dr. Michael Miller, past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, as quoted in

Since the “Just Say No” War on Drugs campaign in the early 1980s, the criminalization of addiction has created the largest documented incarcerated group of citizens in the world with 65% of all US inmates meeting addiction criteria.

Historically the Recovery message has been overshadowed by the stigma of failure, shame and punishment. These powerful negative connotations, amplified by media images of the depraved addict, have kept many addicted people from seeking the treatment they need through professional addiction counseling, addiction treatment programs, or recovery groups like Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

The film’s message rebukes the negative associations of addiction by empowering individuals in long term recovery to “go public” with their personal story to encourage active addicts to seek treatment.

With 23 million Americans now engaged in long-term recovery from alcohol and/or drugs, this powerful dynamic is emerging, one that emphasizes the success of recovery rather than just the horrors of addiction. Through the public sharing of personal stories, advocacy, community organizing and networking, the addict’s stigma of shame and criminality are being challenged and replaced by a new emphasis on the positive experience of long term recovery achieved by millions of people who live it every day.

 “The Anonymous People” film was produced by, to help kick-start this new dialogue about addiction and  is highlighted by individuals going public with their powerful message. Actress Kristen Johnson, former Miss USA Terra Conner, ex-NBA basketball star Chris Herren, a former Congressmen, and news anchor, among dozens, spoke unabashedly about their lives in long term recovery.

“This (addiction) is our black plague. It’s everyone’s problem. Two-thirds of American families are impacted by addiction,” say Kristen Johnson.

Even the linguistics of self-description are changing. Where one might have heard, “I’m an alcoholic,” one now will be hearing “I’m in long term recovery which means I haven’t had a drink in 5 years.” This reframing of self-identity underscore the positive message of recovery.

The film paid tribute to past mobilization efforts to address the stigma of addiction and honored the pioneering and ongoing work of Alcoholics Anonymous while not casting itself as contrary or alternative.  The “ campaign is not an alternative treatment program. It is rather a networking effort to send out a new message about addiction to erase the stigma and shame that hinder existent treatment and recovery opportunities.

At the end of the film, local Easton resident, Dr. David Hill, President and CEO of Hill Hospitality, took the stage to speak about his life in long-term recovery. “I would not be standing here before you today had I not found my way into treatment and embraced a life of long-term recovery.” he said.

Dr. David Hill spoke after the screening to support the film's call for those in long-term recovery to speak out and advocate for more funding, resources and programs to support persons seeking to recover from alcohol and/or drug addiction.

Dr. David Hill spoke after the screening to support the film’s call for those in long-term recovery to speak out and advocate for more funding, resources and programs to support persons seeking to recover from alcohol and/or drug addiction.

Ex-NBA player Chris Herren notes, “I want people to know that long term recovery is cool and there’s no room for shame.”

It is cool. Let the shadows fall away.

The screening was sponsored by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, Talbot County Prevention Program, Mid-Shore Mental Health, Talbot County Department of Social Services, Rise Up Coffee, Washington Street Pub, Warwick Manor and Recovery for Shore.

More information about Recovery for Shore and how to get involved may be obtained by visiting the Recovery for Shore Facebook Page or contacting Sharon Dundon, CAC-AD, Addiction Specialist for UM Shore Regional Health and a key player on the Recovery For Shore steering committee, 410-822-1000, ext. 5452






Treasurer, Comptroller Urge Senators to Restore $100M Cut in Pension Funding

Md. Treasurer Nancy Kopp at her 2011 swearing in with Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Md. Treasurer Nancy Kopp at her 2011 swearing in with Gov. Martin O’Malley. (Photo by Jay Baker, Executive Office of the Governor)

In unusual joint testimony, Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, chair and vice-chair of the state pension board, pleaded with Senate budgeters not to permanently cut $100 million in state payments to the retirement system.

They said the cut proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley had high long-term repercussions and undermined the state’s credibility with bond rating agencies by reneging on promises made in 2011 pension reforms.

Leaders of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee asked the state two top financial officials where they would make up the $100 million O’Malley has used to balance the budget as the senators search for other potential ways to trim the $39 billion spending plan.

“Help me out,” said committee vice chair Nathaniel McFadden, D-Baltimore City, and say where to cut the rest of the budget.

“We find ourselves a week away from having to make a final decision,” said budget chair Ed Kasemeyer.

Revenue write down expected

The committee members had already been told to expect an official write-down of revenue estimates next week of $100 million to $200 million. They were also seeking to boost what they saw as an inadequate surplus of only $30 million O’Malley had left as a cushion for unexpected expenses that often average more than $100 million each year.

Comptroller Peter Franchot

Comptroller Peter Franchot

Kopp and Franchot, former delegates who served as appropriations subcommittee chairs in the House, declined to propose any cuts in other areas of the budget while advocating for a higher pension contribution.

“We think this was a wrong choice,” said Kopp, repeating comments she had made to other lawmakers.

Promises made in 2011

In 2011, the legislature passed major reforms of the pension system that raised employee contributions from 5% to 7% of salaries and reduced future benefits — moves strongly opposed by state employees and teachers. In exchange, the legislature promised to use $300 million of the savings to bolster future liabilities.

“While in the short term, [the governor’s cut] does save money from the general fund,” Kopp said, in the long term, over 20 years, “it costs $1.75 billion to the employer — the taxpayers,” because the lost funding must ultimately be made up along with all the expected investment returns on the missing money.

“We would urge you to recognize the reforms and stick to them,” Kopp said.

Franchot said, “Backing away from our commitments undermines our credibility … in the eyes of the financial community.”

Other committee members asked about making the $100 million cut in pension contribution, just for fiscal 2015, rather than over the next 20 years.

In reports released last week, two New York rating agencies that reaffirmed Maryland’s triple-A rating for its March 5 bond sale noted that the legislature had already cut $100 million in this year’s budget, setting aside the money in case of federal budget cuts.

This would be the second year in a row that the state has not lived up to the promise made in 2011 pension reform.

In general, legislators cannot add money to the governor’s budget. But in this case, the $300 million extra contribution is written into law and the legislature must approve a change in the law to reduce it to $200 million as part of the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA, or burfa in State House parlance.)

By Len Lazarick

Original story>


Report Shows Some Improvements in Bay Restoration

ANNAPOLIS-Amidst statewide debate about how to fund restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, a report released Thursday shows that many local and national efforts to curb pollution have had a positive effect on the watershed.

The New Insights report was conducted by the Chesapeake Bay Program and looked at more than 40 case studies in the Chesapeake bay watershed examining whether practices aimed at reducing nutrients in the water worked.

According to the report, wastewater treatment plant improvements, reductions in nitrogen released in the atmosphere and reducing agricultural land runoffs were three of the most effective long-term practices for water quality improvement.

This was the first time the program had looked at that many sites and monitored data from before many pollution controls, or best management practices, were implemented, said Nicholas DiPasquale, Chesapeake Bay Program director.

Some of the data analyzed in the report was from as far back the mid-1980s, said Bill Dennison, an author of the report and vice president for science applications at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

While some of the information in the study was expected, DiPasquale said the research team did not expect as high a reduction of airborne nitrogen as the report showed.

Some of the reasons for the improvements were regulatory programs aimed at reducing air emissions from power plants, legislation like the Clean Air Act and an increase in fuel-efficient automobiles.

He said the air quality in other states can impact the Chesapeake bay watershed because west to east winds from states like Ohio and Michigan can affect the nitrogen content of Maryland’s air which then can impact the state’s waters through rain.

But the report also highlighted efforts by Marylanders using local solutions to clean up the watershed.

The town of Centreville, on the Eastern Shore, used several best management practices, such as stormwater wetland ponds, manure management and using cover crops to reduce winter soil erosion.

The study showed that because the town aggressively implemented many of these practices, there was a significant reduction of phosphorous and nitrogen in two tributaries of the Corsica River.

While the study showed several positive signs for water quality improvement around the state, population growth – which causes intensified land use – remains a major challenge, research team members said.

In addition, while many best management practices have short-term results, some, especially those involving groundwater, have a lag time and patience is required in order for the benefits to be realized, said Scott Phillips, Chesapeake bay coordinator for the United States Geological Survey.

Dennison said the study helps show Marylanders that efforts across the state and the country have led to some water quality improvements.

“We’ve got demonstrable evidence that shows that we can improve our air and water and land, and it’s going to work, so hang in there,” Dennison said.

Phillips said that he thinks that because the study shows a summary of what is working, it could potentially lead to better decision-making regarding bay restoration. It could also lead to the application of effective practices in other parts of the country, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

Capital News Service

States’ Support of Chesapeake Lawsuit Draws Thousands of Petition Signatures

Three weeks after 21 states signed on to a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay pollution limits, more than 25,000 people have signed a petition condemning the suit.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation petition has garnered an unusually high response from the public in the 23 days since the attorneys general from states such as Florida, Kansas and Alaska filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit.

“It’s quite a statement of the public’s interest in this issue,” said Kim Coble, the Bay Foundation’s vice president for environmental protection and restoration.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the National Association of Home Builders and other related industry groups, challenges pollution limits set by the EPA under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and several partners sued the EPA in 2009 asking a federal court to require the agency to reduce pollution in the bay after it became clear states wouldn’t meet a cleanup goal they agreed to in 2000. As part of the settlement, the EPA created pollution limits in 2010, which the Chesapeake Bay Program refers to as the bay “pollution diet.”

Each state in the Chesapeake Bay watershed created cleanup plans to reach the pollution diet goals. The EPA can impose consequences on states that fail to reach them by designated two-year milestones.

Efforts by Maryland and other states to restore the Chesapeake Bay have been underway since 1983. The Chesapeake watershed includes all or parts of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and the district.

The 21 states opposed to the plan question the EPA’s authority to impose pollution limits, also known as Total Maximum Daily Loads or TMDLs, saying the agency is violating states’ rights.

“EPA’s untenable interpretation of its authority under the CWA has unlawfully usurped States’ traditional authority over land-management decisions,” the attorneys general wrote in their amicus brief, filed February 3.

The Bay Foundation’s Coble said the arrangement with the EPA is the best approach to cleaning up the bay and gives states the autonomy to decide how to meet EPA goals. It has been very successful so far and the Pennsylvania court found no evidence of federal overreach, she said.

“This lawsuit, the appeal of the decision and the friend-of-the-court brief that has been filed threatens and potentially ends the success that we’ve been seeing with the cleanup plan. There’s a lot at stake,” Coble said.

Nitrogen levels in the bay decreased by 18.5 million pounds between 2009 and 2012, a reduction that represents a quarter of the long-term goal, said Rich Batiuk, associate director for science with the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program office.

Nitrogen is one of the top three bay pollutants, and it comes from many everyday human activities. An excess of nitrogen can disrupt the bay’s system, harm drinking water and lead to habitat loss, Batiuk said.

“There are over 17 million of us that call the Chesapeake Bay watershed home… Life in the mid-Atlantic is really so intricately tied into the Chesapeake Bay and its hundreds and hundreds of rivers and streams,” he said.

The lawsuit opposing the pollution diet originated in 2010 and was struck down in federal court in Pennsylvania in September. The Farm Bureau and associated parties appealed to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and all parties will have filed briefs in the appeal by the end of April.

The opposed states, some of which have major natural resources of their own, like the Lake Michigan and Florida Everglades watersheds, said they want to regulate land use within their own borders.

“(T)his case has far-reaching implications for States across the country,” they said in the brief. “If this TMDL is left to stand, other watersheds, including the Mississippi River Basin (which spans 31 states from Canada to the Gulf Coast), could be next.”

In Florida, the state is working with the EPA and using state and federal money to fund restoration of the Everglades. State officials signed a long-awaited $880 million deal with the federal government last year.

All the states whose attorneys general signed the brief are outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed except West Virginia, whose Republican attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, replaced Democrat Darrell McGraw, who was in office when the cleanup agreement was approved.

The attempt by out-of-region states to influence the Chesapeake and the appeal of what Coble called a “very, very strong, legal, solid decision” make this conflict a singular struggle in the bay’s history, she said.

“There’s, needless to say, many challenges with the work of restoring the bay, but this one’s unique,” Coble said. The circumstances “make the situation much more urgent than other challenges we’ve had.”

By Justine McDaniel, Capital News Service

Food Friday: Stewing in Your Own Juices

Let’s hunker down together for the last few weeks of winter. March will be here on Saturday, and I am hoping there has been enough leonine weather behavior lately that we can just segue into a mild and picturesque spring. Let the lambs gambol! Let the robins gather and sing their springtime anthems. In the meantime, let’s eat.

There are many schools of thought (and even more recipes) about beef stew. Every family does it differently. It is a good and hearty meal to have bubbling away on the back burner; fragrant and fortifying. Julia Child’s famous Boeuf Bourguignon might be a little daunting, as can be seen in the fey (and much admired) Nora Ephron film, Julie and Julia. Lots of steps, lots of prep work, lots of cooking time – for a meal that gets consumed in a flash! You have barely ladled the chunky, meaty morsels into a pretty antique porcelain soup plate, just scraped the knob of sweet Irish butter across the hunk of artisanal French bread, and had your first sip of perfumed red wine – when the meal you have labored over for two days is but a memory. Poof!

My mother watched Julia Child on The French Chef on PBS, back in the old days, on the black and white Zenith console TV in the living room. She kept many little three by five notecards to remind herself of some Julia witticism or a helpful kitchen technique. This must been the time when my mother suddenly decided to add red wine to her stogdy winter staple: beef stew. Otherwise, the fanciest she had ever gotten, cooking-wise, was when she bought a garlic press and introduced her WASP-y family to the flavors of Continental cuisine. Julia Child then brought us into the vibrant 20th century world of the global kitchen. Good-bye Jell-O molds! So long to Velveeta! Howdy, La Tarte Tatin. My mother never got to level of Pâté de Canard en Croûte, probably because the butcher she patronized up the street would never have stocked duck, but her curiosity and appetites were whetted and our meals certainly became more flavorful.

I haven’t had a chance to recreate many of Julia Child’s recipes. I dip in and out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking from time to time – when I want something ceremonial or mind-blowingly impressive. Boeuf Bourguignon is not a recipe to be entered into lightly. However, given a couple of snowbound days and a well-stocked kitchen it is a good way to while away the hours.

Be sure you have wine, bread, a small salad and then whip up a batch of Julia’s favorite brownies while waiting for the snowdrops to bloom. Spring is just around the corner!

And if you would like to addle your sad winter-tinged brain with more possibilities and permutations – here are 42 recipes from the clever folks at Food52, who had a contest for the best beef stew recipe ever. This should keep you in the kitchen and away from onerous snow shoveling duties for a little while!

“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
-Dr. Seuss

Jacob’s Oyster Dredging Bill Heads to Environmental Committee, CBF to Oppose

Del. Jay Jacobs will try to move a bill through the House Environmental Matters Committee on Friday to allow power dredging of oyster beds north of the Bay Bridge. CBF’s Fisheries Director will testify against the bill.oysters

“Tomorrow I will introduce a bill to permit power dredging for oysters above the Bay Bridge,” said Jacobs, R-Kent. “I have the unanimous support on this bill from watermen organizations up and down the entire Bay. The bill allows for some limited harvesting, but also includes a plan to clean oyster bars, plant new oyster spat and create a sustainable fishery for generations to come.”

Similar bills have failed in the House and Senate over the years but Jacobs thinks there is momentum for passage this session.

Maryland Waterman’s Association President Robert Brown said dredging will help repair some of the silt damage from Tropical Storm Sandy in 2011.

“We need to get the 28,500 acres north of the Bay Bridge productive again,”  Brown said.  “It may take a few years to get the productivity back, but dredging will help remove the sediment from Sandy and pull the shells to the top. It will give us more brood stock and we will then plant these areas for future harvesting.”

Kent County Commissioner Ron Fithian is expected to testify in favor of the bill.

“It will go a long way to regenerate the oyster population north of the Bay Bridge,”  Fithian said. “Power dredging is a proven method used south of the Bay Bridge and in Delaware, Virginia, and New Jersey to let mother nature grow new oysters. Letting oysters stay buried under silt coming from the Conowingo Dam continues to keep oyster populations down and harm the waterman industry in the upper third of the Bay.”

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Will Oppose 

CBF Fisheries Director Bill Goldsborough said he will testify against the bill because he believes the oyster population north of the Bay Bridge cannot sustain itself with the introduction of power dredging. He said the low salinity content in the upper third of the Bay doesn’t allow for oysters to naturally replace themselves at the rate they would be harvested.

“Power dredging is the most efficient harvesting technique we can have, so we have to make sure the resources where there is dredging have the reproduction to replace the oysters we’re removing,” Goldsborough said. “You only want to allow harvesting where the spat set is consistent from year-to-year.”

“The salinity is just too low in the upper Bay,” he said. “The average spat set has produced about one baby oyster per bushel, per year over the last 10 to 12 years, and only a small percentage survive to adulthood.”

He said a five-year pilot program in the lower Bay reveals the oyster populations there can merely survive power dredging — but there is no evidence that power dredging actually leads to an increase in the population there. He said the harvests in Tangier Sound have resulted in a zero-sum-gain in the oyster population.

“The data shows that the spat set has only been sufficient to replace the oysters that have been removed,” Goldsborough said.

Goldsborough pointed to a five-year study of the Swan Point bar off Rock Hall, north of the Bay Bridge, where the harvest has decreased dramatically in the first three years from 2,000 bushels in the first year to “zero” in the third year — “with no appreciable spat set.”

But Del. Steve Arentz, R-Queen Anne’s, said the buried oysters need to be harvested or they will simply die.

“State-restricted dredging areas simply are not working,” Arentz said. “By not harvesting oysters in these areas, they grow too large and die.  We need to work with our watermen for common-sense policies that will insure they can harvest enough oysters to make a living.”

The hearing will start at 1 p.m., Feb. 28, in the House Office Building, Room 230, Annapolis, MD 21401-1991
for information call 410-841-3519


2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Gala to Feature Caterina Zapponi

Caterina Zapponi

Caterina Zapponi

The 2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Gala, “All That Jazz,” will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD. The Gala will begin with a concert headlined by international award-winning jazz vocalist, Caterina Zapponi, and her ensemble.

Zapponi, a talented cabaret singer and the wife of legendary jazz pianist Monte Alexander, has performed music ranging from jazz and American popular song to cabaret and musical theater at prestigious venues, including New York’s Birdland and The Blue Note, and internationally at the Verbier and Saint Barthelemy festivals. She also performed “A Song For You” in the film “For the Love of the Game” with Kevin Costner.

The Chesapeake Chamber Music Gala is underwritten by Wye Financial & Trust, in partnership with Gilman Hill Asset Management. The Gala benefits the free and subsidized tickets provided during the annual two-week Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival in June, as well as YouthReach, and the free violin programs, “First Strings” and “Presto!” for grade school students.

Concert only tickets for non-mezzanine balcony seats at the Avalon will be available for $30 each at, or by calling the office at 410-819-0380. For further information, visit the website at, or call the CCM office.


Corsica River Mental Health Services Improves Services for Mid-Shore Residents

Corsica Health's new logo

Corsica Health’s new logo

Corsica River Mental Health Services (CRMHS) recently unveiled its new logo and an interactive website that makes it easier for mid-shore residents with mental health issues to get the services they need. CRMHS has clinics in Centreville, Cambridge and St. Michaels and is a subsidiary of the nonprofit Crossroads Community, which provides mental health recovery resources to a five-county mid-shore area including Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties.

CRMHS opened its first clinic in Centreville in 2009 after the local health department clinic closed, and an assessment found a significant need for mental health services in the area. While Crossroads Community serves a narrower range of clients who must meet certain qualifications, the clinic is able to serve anyone in need of mental health assistance.

Demand for those services and the need to aid more residents within their own communities led to expansion, with the St. Michaels clinic opening in 2010 and Cambridge in 2012. The three facilities currently serve almost 750 clients.

The new website,, is an effort to engage individuals who may be reluctant to make an initial request for help in person, said Clinic Director Kathleen Van Fossen, LCSW-C. “Maybe they aren’t quite able to bring themselves to pick up the phone or walk in the door,” she said. “It can be easier to overcome that initial psychological hurdle in reaching out for help by filling out the first contact form on our website.”

Left to right, Administrative Assistant Kathy Chance, Psychiatrist & Medical Director Justin Hall, MD, and Clinic Director Kathleen Van Fossen, LCSW-C

Left to right, Administrative Assistant Kathy Chance, Psychiatrist & Medical Director Justin Hall, MD, and Clinic Director Kathleen Van Fossen, LCSW-C

Those still exploring treatment and counseling options can find information on the website about the types of services offered at the clinic, along with a list of the documentation necessary to bring with them for registration.

Both adult and child information packets can be downloaded, printed and filled out at home ahead of time, making the in-person registration at the clinic quicker and easier. Individuals generally leave the registration with an intake appointment scheduled within five to seven days.

At the intake appointment, a professional clinician works with the client to arrive at an evaluation and treatment plan, deciding whether the individual needs referral to one of the clinic’s doctors. “The client drives his or her own recovery process and works with the staff to determine the goals of any treatment,” said Van Fossen.

The clinics offer services for everyone, regardless of age, insurance or diagnosis. More than just psychiatric services are available. The clinics provide couples and grief counseling; individual, family and group therapy; health education and medication management; both child and geriatric specialty services, and more. In addition, staff from the Cambridge and Centreville clinics provide school-based mental health services in their communities.

Van Fossen described the website as interactive, colorful and meant to reflect the commitment of the CRMHS staff to its clients’ journeys toward mental health. “We are warm, caring and supportive,” she said, “and want people to successfully go through the recovery process.”

For more information or to make an appointment, contact Corsica River Mental Health Services in Centreville at 410-758-2211, Cambridge at 443-225-5780 or St. Michaels at 410-745-8028, or visit its website,


Upcoming Programming at the Talbot County Free Library, March 9-15

The following is a list of upcoming programming at the Talbot County Free Library for the Easton and St. Michaels locations, which includes activities and events for both children and adults/

Easton Library

Children’s Programs

Family Crafts
Saturday, March 15, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Adult Programs

Stitching Time
Monday, March 10, 3:00-5:00 p.m. Bring your needlecraft projects to work on in a group. Limited instruction for beginners. All ages welcome.

Dee Herget Painted ScreenThe Painted Screens of Baltimore—a 300-Year Journey
Thursday, March 13, 6:00 p.m. Author Elaine Eff talks about her new book, The Painted Screens of Baltimore: An Urban Folk Art Revealed. Eff’s work is the first to document and describe this original form of Maryland folk art.   Baltimore’s famous painted screens are the product of self-taught artists who insured the privacy of their homes while beautifying the downtown streets of East Baltimore with these hand-painted works. One of the artists explained the advantages of painted screens as: “You see out. No one sees in.” Baltimore icon John Waters called Eff’s 256-page labor of love “an un-ironic treasure trove of amazingly researched information that elevates the most Balto-centric one time rowhouse kitsch to its proper place in art history.”

Elaine Eff is the authority on landscape painted screens. Her book is the result of four decades of research. Eff served as folklorist for the city of Baltimore and Maryland at the Historical Trust and State Arts Council. The exhibition that accompanies her book, Picture Windows, is on display at the Maryland Institute College of Art through March 16. She founded and directs the Painted Screen Society of Baltimore, Inc.

St. Michaels Library

Children’s Programs

Family Crafts
Tuesday, March 11, 4:00 p.m. Seasonal crafts for the whole family.

Adult Programs

Movies @ noon (bring your lunch or a snack and watch a film)
Tuesday, March 11, noon. A free screening of the 2012 release: “Forty-Two.”

Memoir writing
Thursdays (always excepting the first Thursday of the month), March 13 – May 29, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Record and share your memories of life and family with a group of friendly, like-minded people. Participants are invited to bring their lunch. Patrons are asked to pre-register for this program.

Book Discussion: Wendell Berry’s Fidelity
Thursday, March 13, 2:00 p.m. Bill Peak hosts a discussion of Wendell Berry’s short story collection, Fidelity.


Finalists Announced for 2014 George Washington Book Prize

To mark the first president’s 282nd birthday, Washington College today announces three finalists for one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards, the George Washington Book Prize. Now in its tenth year, the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize honors its namesake by recognizing the year’s best new books on early American history.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.24.20 AMThe 2014 Washington Prize finalists tackle fresh and engaging topics about the nation’s founding era. In The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale), Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy explores the British perspective on the American Revolution. Jeffrey L. Pasley examines the lively politics surrounding the first contested presidential election in The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy (Kansas). Rounding out the slate of honorees, Alan Taylor offers new insights into race and slavery in the early Chesapeake in The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 (W.W. Norton & Co.).

“In very different ways, our three finalists not only reveal new understandings about the complex legacies of revolution in our young republic but also place American history within a larger, global context,” says Ted Maris-Wolf, Deputy Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College. “They challenge us to re-think many of our assumptions about race, politics, and diplomacy in early America.”

“These books are just too good to miss. Everyone should know about them,” adds James Basker, the president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which co-sponsors the George Washington Prize with Washington College and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “We want the George Washington Prize to bring great history to a larger public — to teachers, students and general readers everywhere.”
The Prize winner will be announced May 20 at a gala dinner at Mount Vernon.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.24.30 AMThis year’s prize holds particular significance for Mount Vernon. In September 2013, the historic estate opened a new state-of-the-art center for scholarly research and educational outreach, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington. “As we work more closely with scholars who are authoring new works, it becomes increasingly clear that there are many discoveries yet to be made about our country’s founding,” says Mount Vernon’s president, Curt Viebranz. “By honoring these finalists with such a prestigious prize, we are encouraging scholars and researchers to continue learning and sharing more.”

A jury of three distinguished historians, chaired by Gordon S. Wood and joined by Joyce Appleby and Annette Gordon-Reed, selected the finalists from among 40 books published in the past year. All three jurors are themselves renowned experts in the history of the founding era.

Although each finalist selection touches on Washington’s influence on American and world history, the three books explore decidedly different topics. In The Men Who Lost America, Andrew O’Shaughnessy follows the course of the American Revolution from the “enemy’s” perspective, and corrects popularly held misconceptions of the British. “In a series of deeply researched and clearly written chapters focused on the major British political and military figures,” the jury commented, “he persuasively demonstrates that the British leadership was remarkably talented and able. But he also shows the tremendous limitations under which these leaders had to operate, and in the process, he helps readers understand the eventual American victory.”

A dual citizen of Britain and the United States, O’Shaughnessy is the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean and is a popular lecturer with both scholarly and general audiences.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.24.35 AMJeffrey Pasley provides new insight into how the first contested presidential election set the stage for the democratic electoral process. “Pasley captures with verve and wit the frothy politics that emerged unexpectedly at the end of the eighteenth century,” the jury noted. “The First Presidential Contest makes it very unlikely that the 1796 presidential campaign will ever be thrust into the shadows again.”

Pasley is a professor of history at the University of Missouri. He is the author of a prize-winning book on the early American press, “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic. Before entering academia, he was a journalist and a speechwriter on Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign. He blogs extensively about early American history for Common-Place.

Alan Taylor’s The Internal Enemy is “a tour de force that is also a complete delight to read,” the jurors wrote. “With great insight and sensitivity, Taylor focuses on the War of 1812 and unveils the heretofore-understudied story of black people’s involvement in that conflict, creating a seamless, and quite rare, melding of social, military, and political history.” Taylor was recently appointed to the Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Virginia, after teaching at the University of California, Davis for 20 years. He is an award-winning author of seven books including William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early Republic (1995), which won the Pulitzer, Bancroft, and Beveridge prizes.

More information about the George Washington Book Prize is available at