Archives for November 2014

Auxiliary Illuminates “Tree of Lights” for its 31st Year

The Tree of Lights at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton was illuminated by (from left to right) Walter Atha, MD, FACEP, regional director of Emergency Medicine, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Ryan Foster, MS, RN, CNML, NEA-BC, nurse manager of Emergency Services, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Nancy Espenhorst, Tree of Lights campaign chair; Debbie Hayes, president, Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton; and Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health.

The Tree of Lights at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton was illuminated by (from left to right) Walter Atha, MD, FACEP, regional director of Emergency Medicine, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Ryan Foster, MS, RN, CNML, NEA-BC, nurse manager of Emergency Services, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; Nancy Espenhorst, Tree of Lights campaign chair; Debbie Hayes, president, Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton; and Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health.

The Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton kicked off its 31st Annual Tree of Lights Campaign with an illumination ceremony on Tuesday, November 25 at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. Holiday entertainment was provided by the Bay Country Chorus and the Mid-Shore Early Learning Center.

This year’s Tree of Lights campaign will support the funding of new ultrasound equipment for the Emergency Department at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. The Auxiliary’s goal is to raise $10,000 for this equipment which is used in emergent care to evaluate and diagnose injuries and multiple pathologic conditions.

For a contribution of $10 or more, a red or gold light can be purchased for the holiday tree in front of University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. Red lights are tributes to family members and friends, living or deceased. Gold lights honor loved ones serving in the military. A donation of $100 or more will purchase a white Life Light, which will be illuminated every year. The name of each person recognized through the purchase of any light will appear on scrolls displayed in the Medical Center throughout the holiday season.

The Auxiliary of Memorial Hospital at Easton is a volunteer organization that raises funds to benefit programs and services at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton. For additional information about the 31st Annual Tree of Lights or the upcoming tree lighting ceremony, contact Nancy Espenhorst at 443-746-3338 or by e-mail at


Op-Ed: Eastern Shore Idealist on Preserving the Bay by Kirk French, Jr.

On March 12, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order intended to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. According to the order, it aims to “protect and restore the health, heritage, natural resources, and social and economic value of the nation’s largest estuarine ecosystem”: the Chesapeake Bay. It also places the federal government (via the Environmental Protection Agency) in charge of developing the development and restoration policies that affect the six states bordering the Chesapeake Bay: Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, as well as Washington D.C.

During the 2014 gubernatorial debates we saw Larry Hogan and Anthony Brown stand on opposite sides when it came to how to address environmental concerns regarding the Chesapeake Bay. Anthony Brown voiced his support for the “storm water management” program that Maryland was forced to adopt, by new EPA regulations. In essence, this involved state legislators forcing county governments to fund a storm water remediation program which ultimately led to counties raising taxes to pay for it. Carroll County was the lone county that had adequate funding set aside for any economic uncertainties. After a brief dispute with state officials, it only raised county taxes by a penny.

On the flipside, Larry Hogan voiced his overwhelming support for federal action, stating that the surrounding states (Pennsylvania and New York) do “their part” in keeping pollution from entering the bay. Hogan’s biggest environmental concern focused on the Conowingo Dam, a dam that spans on the lower Susquehanna River at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Hogan stated that the “[Conowingo Dam] is a sediment trap and traps approximately 3.5 million pounds of phosphorous and dirt behind it each year.” Since the Conowingo Dam has an estimated storage capacity of 204 million tons and sediment travels down the river, to the tune of 3 million tons per year, the crucial question is “When will the Conowingo Dam reach its storage capacity?” If we take the Anthony Brown approach, it’s not an issue and the focus should be on future prevention. If we take the Hogan approach, it is of vital importance to the preservation of the Chesapeake Bay.

Even environmental scientists can’t agree on where the state should spend its money. “If the state implemented better soil management practices further upstream and established regulations that aimed to reduce run-off and other forms of pollution, it could not stop the dam from over filling” (according to a study conducted by the USGS) causing a worst case scenario for Chesapeake Bay inhabitants and those who rely on the Bay for their income. Not even the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can give a time table with any certainty for when the Conowingo Dam will reach critical mass. So, if Governor-elect Hogan advances his agenda through the General Assembly or signs an executive order, would the clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay yield a greater return on the investment? The bottom line is no one truly knows the answers to those questions.

The United States government shut down in 2013, because members of Congress couldn’t agree on how much each side wanted to spend for the upcoming fiscal year. This is a common occurrence when debating how state governments should deal with the Chesapeake Bay restoration. Take for example, a recent study by the Maryland Public policy Institute and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Both Independent studies stand on opposite sides of the environmental movement. The Chesapeake Bay is a problem with no clear-cut solution.

The political debate on the environment has never been as contentious as it is today. Both sides claim their ideas can “fix” the problems facing the environment. Both also agree that only the government, whether state or federal, can fix those problems. This involves more spending and almost always more regulations that, in some cases, hurt an economy.

But what about taking a counter position to environmental concerns? A position that can shift certain transaction costs from governments to private industry, allowing the power of the market to explore the possibilities of a cleaner environment without government interference. Since the resolutions to the problems facing the Chesapeake Bay aren’t concrete, what would happen if the state allowed property owners to expand their ownership to the common areas of the Bay?

The idea that state governments should recognize property rights in regards to the Chesapeake Bay, or anything for that matter is not something new. The creative extension of property rights to ecological resources could help address environmental problems because they are a viable means of sustainability when compared to the political alternative. The largest obstacle facing this movement is the fact that no empirical evidence exists in favor of what would be a deregulation of environmental policy that, coupled with the fact that the Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to millions of individuals. Proponents, however, do point to the Common Law principle of enforcing the law based on property ownership. Although tort law would be an adequate way to protect private regulations, the transaction costs involved when dealing with millions of property owners would be enormous.

More importantly, states that do recognize property rights of the commons have been successful when keeping their focus on the local level of governments. Virginia currently allows property owners to plant oyster beds along the waters off of their property, allowing the owners to contribute to their replenishment. Virginia also allows its watermen to lease oyster beds, giving them incentives to preserve their resource. This keeps that part of the bay from being over harvested. Moving from states to international waters, in 2007, Iceland took the “international property rights” approach to local fisheries. The Iceland ITQ (individual transfer quotas) system has contributed to a “regeneration of stock and a strengthening of a number of other marine species stock.”

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

Obviously, Maryland will not focus its efforts on privatizing anything related to the Chesapeake Bay, but that doesn’t mean that solutions that are currently on the table will achieve the best results. The fate of the Chesapeake Bay is too economically and environmentally important to be left all to government solutions. County governments should do their part in more of a prevention approach in keeping the Chesapeake Bay preserved. Ultimately, the mitigating factor on the Chesapeake Bay cleanup is the economy. With the Eastern Shore economy not rebounding as fast as the counties on the western shore, and the fact that agriculture is the main revenue generator of the economy, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of county governments imposing new restrictions on our farmers. That is, unless the recovery program was associated with some sort of expansion of property rights.

Kirk French, Jr., is a member of the Republican Central Committee of Talbot county. His views and opinion are not shared by any party members unless stated otherwise. He publishes the blog “Eastern Shore Idealist”

Ring in the Yuletide with Adkins’ Candlelit Caroling Celebration, Dec. 13

Enjoy the magic of caroling along candlelit woodland paths when Adkins Arboretum hosts its annual Candlelit Caroling Celebration, a special evening celebrating music, light and nature, on Sat., Dec. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Participants of all ages are invited to sing carols while strolling along candlelit woodland paths, sip cider by a roaring bonfire, and uncover the mysteries of the winter sky with help from Delmarva Stargazers. Hayrides beneath the stars, stopping for hot chocolate, cookies and tree decorating at the children’s Funshine Garden, will add an Eastern Shore touch to these traditional holiday festivities.

Candlelit Caroling

Guests will continue the magical and memorable evening in the Arboretum Visitor’s Center gallery with a wine bar and hors d’oeuvres, along with live music by Dovetail and Bells of Praise handbell choir.

Tickets for adults are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Children under age 18 are $6, and children 2 and under are free.

To reserve tickets for the Candlelit Caroling Celebration, visit or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0.


Exelon Commits to Pepco Charities

Local charities are looking forward to continued support from Pepco, the region’s oldest utility provider, even as state authorities review a proposed merger with Chicago-based utility Exelon.

Philanthropies were initially concerned that management changes would affect Pepco’s commitment to non-profits. But Exelon has issued assurances that the company will remain committed to Pepco’s 2013 level of philanthropic giving.

That is good news for charities throughout the region.

“I look forward to watching our Pennies for Patients program surpass the million dollar mark,” said Beth Gorman, executive director for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, speaking of one of her organization’s regional projects. “With Pepco’s help and commitment I know that we’ll be able to get there.”

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is one of the world’s largest health organizations, dedicated to funding blood cancer research and helping patients through more than 60 chapters in the U.S. and Canada.

Pennies for Patients has been around for about two decades. In the metro area, the majority of the approximately 470 participating schools come from Maryland.

In the last two years combined they raised close to $1.7 million by encouraging schoolchildren of all ages to bring spare change and dollars to school to support the society’s mission.

Exelon has pledged a total commitment of about $50 million in charitable contributions over 10 years in the Pepco service territory, which spans D.C., Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. That’s about equal to the $5 million a year, or so, that Pepco has been giving.

“We’re…going to…continue to work with non-profit partners without missing a beat. We have already been there. And Exelon’s support to what we have been doing is just going to continue,” said Debbi Jarvis, Pepco’s vice president of Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility.

Gorman said she would like to see the partnership with Pepco expand.

Each year about 20 local high schools compete against one another in a fundraising effort as part of the Pennies for Patients program.

“In fact, our two top high schools typically come from the Maryland area,” said Gorman, adding that out of all the participating institutions, Walt Whitman and Walter Johnson high schools each raised more than $80,000 this year.

The society’s goal for the program in the upcoming season, which lasts January through April, is $900,000.

Pepco became involved with the program three years ago, Gorman said.

In addition to a direct contribution of about $45,000 a year, Pepco has provided a summer internship to one student from the school that raises the most money, Jarvis said.

“Over the next five years, Exelon alone on the utility side of the business will be investing $16 billion in the communities we serve,” said Chris Crane, Exelon’s CEO, when questioned about implications of the acquisition for the local philanthropies at an October event in Washington.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the proposed merger of Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings last Thursday.

The company is now awaiting approvals on the deal from public utility commissions in the district, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

According to the Maryland Public Service Commission, the next set of hearings where public comments about the merger will be heard are scheduled for January.

By Yevgeniy Trapeznikov
Capital News Service

Easton Studio to Host Holiday Show

Easton Studio will be hosting their sixth annual Holiday Show on the evening of Friday, December 5, 2014.

Along with food and refreshments, there will be an exhibit of paintings for sale by artists who have studied at the Studio in 2014. A scholarship will be awarded to the “People’s Choice” and the winner will be selected by popular vote during the reception.  Workshop students as well as students who have studied with Nancy Tankersley at her weekly clinics will attend.

The reception will be held at Easton Studio, 307 E. Dover Street, 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The exhibit and sale will continue on Saturday, December 6, from 10:00 am – 4 pm.

Easton Studio is a multi-use arts facility, offering classes and workshops by nationally known professional artists.

"Slumber" by Jill Basham People's Choice Award, 2013 Holiday Show

“Slumber” by Jill Basham
People’s Choice Award, 2013 Holiday Show


Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Looking for Thanksgiving Turkey

Project Rewind finds itself on Bozman Rd. ,West Sherwood Farm circa 1937. This H. Robins Hollyday Collection Talbot Historical Society photo was a “Star Democrat” THS Mystery photo Nov. 22, 2004. Esther Burns called in and identified Olivia Burns Wilkinson as the woman standing amongst the turkeys on this turkey farm. The caller said at that time the farm was owned by Ernest Burns and in 2004 it was owned by Edward Burns and his son Ernest Burnes. Olivia was Edward Burns’ sister.

Do you know the Burns family? Contact: Cathy Hill to share your old photos.

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Food Friday: Love the Leftovers

And here we are, the day after Thanksgiving. Post-parade, post-football, post-feast. Also post-washing up. Heavens to Betsy, what a lot of cleaning up there was. And the fridge is packed with mysterious little bundles of leftovers. We continue to give thanks that our visiting college student is an incessant omnivore. He will plow systematically through Baggies of baked goods, tin foiled-turkey bits, Saran wrapped-celery, Tupperwared tomatoes and wax papered-walnuts.

It was not until the Tall One was in high school that these abilities were honed and developed with ambitious ardor. His healthy personal philosophy is “Waste not, want not.” A sentiment I hope comes from generations of hardy New Englanders as they plowed their rocky fields, dreaming of candlelit feasts and the iPhones of the future.

I have watched towering constructions of food rise from the plate as he constructs interesting arrangements of sweet, sour, crunchy and umami items with the same deliberation and concentration once directed toward Lego projects. And I am thankful that few of these will fall to the floor and get walked over in the dark. Of course, now there is the dog, Luke, so nothing much makes it to the floor.

I have read that there may have been swan at the first Thanksgiving. How very sad. I have no emotional commitment to turkeys, and I firmly belief that as beautiful as they are, swans are mean and would probably peck my eyes out if I didn’t feed them every scrap of bread in the house. Which means The Tall One would go hungry. A veritable conundrum.

The Pilgrim Sandwich is the Tall One’s magnum opus. It is his turducken without the histrionics. It is a smörgåsbordwithout the Swedish chef. It is truly why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Please keep in mind that the dark ooze in the illustration of the sandwich above this story is not my rich, homemade gravy, made after many hours of precise turkey basting. It is barbecue sauce, from a bottle, without which, no decent, self-respecting Pilgrim Sandwich (in our house) is devoured. And pray note the unique side dishes: corn bread and a spare pig-in-blanket. Round One of Leftovers vs. The Tall One.

This is way too fancy and cloying with fussy elements – olive oil for a turkey sandwich? Hardly. You have to use what is on hand from the most recent Thanksgiving meal – to go out to buy extra rolls is to break the unwritten rules of the universe. There are plenty of Parker House rolls in your bread box right this minute – go use them up!

This is a recipe for simpletons. Honestly. And was there Muenster cheese on the dining room table yesterday? I think not.

And if you are grown up and sophisticated, here is the answer for you. Fancy Thanksgiving leftovers for a grown up brunch:

Here are The Tall One’s ingredients for his signature Pilgrim Sandwich:
Toast (2 slices)
Turkey (2 slices)
Cranberry Sauce (2 teaspoons)
Gravy (2 tablespoons)
Mashed Potatoes (2 tablespoons)
Stuffing (2 tablespoons)
Barbecue Sauce (you can never have too much)
Bacon (if there is some hanging around)
Mayonnaise (if you must)
Lettuce (iceberg, for the crunch)
Celery stalk (more crunch)
Salt, pepper

And now I am taking the dog for a run before I consider making my own sandwich.

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found. “
-Calvin Trillin


Maryland Democrats Debating Where to Go Next

Maryland Democrats, looking to rebound from the upset victory of Republican Larry Hogan over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, are debating whether to treat the loss as a brief hiccup in the blue state’s politics or as a sign of more serious voter discontent.

“I think everyone thinks it was just a one-off,” said David Heller, a political consultant who works for several Maryland Democrats, including U.S. representatives Elijah Cummings and Dutch Ruppersberger.

Heller said the general feeling around Democrats he represents is that the Brown loss was caused by a “perfect storm” of factors, such as a weak Democratic candidate, frustration over Gov. Martin O’Malley’s performance and a general negative attitude toward the state. A similar storm is not likely to come around again, he said.

“No one can imagine another Hogan victory again in four years. No one,” he said.

But David Moon, a newly elected Democratic delegate for the state’s 20th District, which covers parts of Silver Spring and Takoma Park, said Democrats would be foolish to think the party can go back to business as usual and voters will simply come back.

Moon ran a progressive campaign that focused on issues such as banning corporate contributions to candidates and combating climate change. In light of the Hogan victory, he said, he plans to turn toward more basic pocketbook issues, such as paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage when he enters the General Assembly in January.

The party has had scores of major victories with social policy over the last eight years, he said. Democrats need to address economic issues with the same urgency.

“Like it or not, voters said something,” he said. “We didn’t do a good job of selling them on what we’re offering them. If we don’t begin to address their economic needs directly, it’s entirely possible we’ll be in the same place in four years.”

Hogan’s victory is largely credited to his ability to address voter dissatisfaction over the state’s economy and taxes, which were raised substantially under O’Malley. He campaigned as a businessman who understood the pinch to working families of having to fork over dollars to pay for government programs.

But many Democrats have argued that his victory was more due to Brown’s lack of discipline as a candidate, an inability to connect with voters and his lack of a progressive vision for the state.

David Lublin, a professor of political science at American University who runs a blog, Seventh State, dedicated to Maryland politics, said voters may have just met the point where their liberalism conflicts with their pocketbooks.

“It’s hard to believe that that would’ve got the Democrats more votes,” he said of Brown presenting a progressive vision. “It doesn’t mean necessarily that Maryland has gotten more conservative. It just means there’s a limit to how much people want to pay for social programs.”

On Monday, Maryland U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski held a meeting at the state party headquarters in Annapolis with Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation, statewide elected officials, and the presiding officers of the General Assembly.

The meeting was held to discuss “the path to new leadership” for the party in the wake of the election loss.

Structurally, the composition of the state still favors Democrats. The party holds nine of the state’s 10 seats in Congress and has large majorities in both state houses. Other major state positions such as attorney general and state comptroller are held by Democrats.

Demographically, Maryland has seen its largest population growth among Hispanics, who tend to vote Democratic. Since the last U.S. Census in 2010, all but 4,200 of the state’s 111,000 population increase was due to the growth of minorities, according to Maryland Department of Planning figures.

The majority of state residents also tend to favor issues supported by Democrats. According to a 2013 poll conducted by Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc., which surveyed more than 800 of the state’s registered voters, 58 percent supported the gun control law enacted under O’Malley. Support for President Barack Obama’s healthcare law was 57 percent.

Much of the possible future success for Republicans resides with the man who will enter the governor’s mansion in January.

“He’s huge,” Joe Cluster, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said of Hogan. “The party goes where Hogan goes.”

Cluster said Republicans are counting on Democrats in the General Assembly pushing for the same progressive policies they’ve promoted the last eight years. If the state ends up gridlocked over policies the voters rejected, he said, Republicans will likely be the beneficiaries.

“I’m actually going to like to see the Democrats with large majorities,” he said. “It can only help us to have them pushing their agenda.”

Bob Fenity, executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party, said the party is in the process of looking at what went wrong in the election in terms of voter turnout and messaging. There has not been much discussion of policy changes, he said.

“It may be something we’ll have to look at,” he said. “But we’ve done a lot of good in the last eight years. Unfortunately we didn’t convey well enough what we stand for.”

By Mike Persley
Capital News Service

Upcoming at the Talbot County Free Library, Dec. 8-13

From December 8 through the 13th, the following programming will be offered at the Talbot County Free Library: a needlecraft program (Easton), readings from local authors (St. Michaels), memoir writing program (St. Michaels), annual book sale (St. Michaels), and holiday crafts (Easton). Details follow:

Easton Library to Offer Needlecraft Program

On Monday, Dec. 8, from 3:00-5:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to bring in needlecraft projects in progress (sewing, knitting, cross-stitch, what-have-you) and stitch with a group.  Limited instruction will be available for beginners. Newcomers are welcome. All library programs are free and open to the public. Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program. For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit

Contact: Chris Eareckson, telephone: 410-822-1626

Writers To Read Live at St. Michaels Library

On Tuesday, December 9, at 1:00 p.m., in the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library, local authors John Miller, Mary Eileen Russell, Susan Reiss, and Barbara MacInnes will read excerpts from their work and invite questions and discussion. All library programs are free and open to the public. Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program. For more information, call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

St. Michaels Library to Offer Memoir Writing Program

On Thursdays, December 11 – February 26 (always excepting the first Thursday of each month), from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to come in and share their 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. For more information, call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

St. Michaels Library to Hold Annual Book Sale

On Saturday, December 13, the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will hold its all-day annual book sale. Patrons are invited to come in and find a gently-used book at an extraordinarily low price.  For more information, call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit

Contact: Shauna Beulah, telephone: 410-745-5877

Easton Library to Offer Holiday Crafts

On Saturday, December 13, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will offer a program of seasonal crafts for all ages. All library programs are free and open to the public. Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program. For more information, call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit

Contact: Rosemary Morris, telephone: 410-822-1626


Easton Choral Arts Society to Perform “A Christmas to Remember”

Usher in this holiday season with a festive musical journey around the world. Under the direction of Artistic Director, Wes Lockfaw, the Easton Choral Arts Society will present a Christmas celebration you won’t want to miss! After boarding the “Polar Express,” and journeying to a “Winter Wonderland,” audience members will be taken on a whirlwind tour of the rich treasury of international holiday music. A sure highlight of the season, the concert will include many favorites such as “Carol of the Bells” by Leontovich and several different carols from around the globe.

ECAS group 72dpi 102614

Additionally, the choral society will be joined by a full orchestra, soprano Georgiann Gibson, and first time guest, Norma Bass, known throughout the Virginia Beach area for her nearly twenty-year run as “Ella Fitzgerald” with the Virginia Beach Legends. A particularly inspiring moment in the celebration will be the reading of Chris and Evie Stewart’s Christmas tale, “A Christmas Bell for Anya,” accompanied by Alfred Reed’s “Russian Christmas Music” and narrated by Josephine Batters. For those looking for a powerfully moving experience this Christmas season, don’t miss this compelling program, a listening feast for all ages! Refreshments will be served following each performance.

The performances will be held at the Easton High School Auditorium Saturday December 6 at 7:30 PM and Sunday December 7 at 4:00 PM. Tickets are $20 and $5 for students and are available on our website, by phone 410-200-0498 and from chorus members. You may also buy them at Crackerjacks store in Easton.

Easton Choral Arts Society is supported, in part, by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Talbot County Arts Council.