Archives for February 2015

UM Shore Regional Health March Calendar

Acupuncture, Massage, Psychotherapy and Reiki – Offered by appointment, Mon-Fri, except holidays. Center for Integrative Medicine, 607 B Dutchman’s Lane, Easton. Contact: 410-770-9400.

Free Blood Pressure Screenings – Every Mon & Tues, 9am-12pm, Diagnostic & Imaging Center, Easton; every Tues & Fri, 11am-1pm, UM SMC at Dorchester, Main Lobby. (Except holidays).

Survivors Offering Support (SOS) –Program pairing women who have breast cancer with mentors who are breast cancer survivors. If you need support or would like to become a mentor, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.

Transition to Wellness Workshops – Ongoing workshops for breast cancer survivors and patients who are ending treatment. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5866.

Carb Counting Class – Tues, 3/3, 1:30-3:30pm, UM SMC at Easton, UM Diabetes & Endocrinoogy Center. Overview of the most commonly-used method of meal planning for diabetics. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Diabetes Support Group/Denton – Tues, 3/3, 6pm, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Denton. Led by Doris Allen, BSN, RN, CDE, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center. Contact: 410-479-2161.

Breastfeeding Support Group – Tues, 3/3 & 3/17, 10-11:30am, UM SMC at Easton, 5th floor meeting room. Led by lactation consultants for new and expectant mothers. Contact: 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5200

Labor and Delivery Class I, II, III – Sat, 3/7, 9am-3:30pm, UM SMC at Easton, Health Education Center. Overview of pregnancy and birth for expectant mothers, spouses and birthing coaches. Contact: 410-822-1000 or 410-228-5511, ext. 5200.

Quit Smoking with Acupuncture – Mon & Thurs, 3/9 – 4/2, 12-1pm, UM SMC at Chestertown. Eight-session program based on Acu Detox, a five-point ear acupuncture treatment proven effective in supporting addiction recovery. Led by Marie Nuthall, L.Ac, M.Ac. Cost/registration: 410-770-9400,

Colon Cancer Symposium – Wed, 3/11, 7-8:30pm, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, Health Education Center. Michael Fisher, MD, of Digestive Health Associates, will provide an overview of colon cancer and the value of colonoscopy for early detection; Christine Allen, RD, CSO, LDN, clinical dietitian, will offer dietary suggestions for colon cancer prevention. Attendance is free.

Diabetes Self-Management Class – Thurs, 3/12-19-26, 1-4pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Education Center. Medical information and strategies enabling patients to manage their diabetes for optimal wellness. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Safe Sitter Class – Sat, 3/14, 9am-4:30pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Education Center. For youth ages 11-13. Pediatric nurses teach babysitting basics, including first aid, CPR and more. Cost: $40 (scholarships available). Limited seating, advance registration required. Contact: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Diabetes Self-Management Refresher Class – Mon, 3/16, 10am-12pm, UM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, UM SMC at Easton. For those who have completed diabetes education classes but want to take their self-care to the next level. Referral and advance registration required. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5195.

Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Caregivers Support Group – Thurs, 3/19, 6-7:30pm. UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown. Led by Stephanie Golebieski, RN. Contact: 410-778-4550.

Breastfeeding Class – Sat, 3/21, 9am-12:30pm, UM SMC at Easton Health Education Center. Led by lactation consultants for new and expectant mothers. Free. Contact: 410-822-1000; 410-228-5511,
ext. 5200.

Cancer Support Group – Mon, 3/23, 7pm, UM SMC at Chestertown, Education Center. Contact: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Breast Cancer Support Group – Tues, 3/24, 10am-12pm, Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton. Information and support for breast cancer patients at any stage of their journey – diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5411. Contact: 410-820-6800.

Stroke Support Group – Tues, 3/24, 12-2pm, UM Shore Medical Pavilion at Queenstown. Support and information for stroke survivors, families and caregivers regarding stroke recovery and caregiving. Bring lunch; light snacks provided. Contact: 410-822-1000, ext. 5068.

Ask a Dietitian: In Person or by Phone – Wed, 3/25, 9:30am-3:30pm, Kent County Public Library, Chestertown. Dietitians will be on site to discuss your concerns one-on-one and provide helpful nutrition information relative to diabetes, gastric problems, high cholesterol, weight reduction, bariatric surgery, special diets (vegetarian, gluten free, etc). Stop by or call in: 410-490-3128.

Diabetes Support Group/Chestertown –Tues, 3/31, 6:30pm, UM SMC at Chestertown Conference Center. Contact: 410-778-7668, ext. 2175.

Be Prepared: Free Emergency Planning and Response Course

The Talbot County Department of Emergency Services is offering a free emergency planning and response course to county residents. The CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) course is designed to enable citizens to prepare for a disaster, and to mitigate the effects of that disaster. CERT is a twenty-one hour course that includes emergency preparedness, fire safety and fire suppression, emergency medical treatment, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, and includes a final disaster exercise that utilizes skills and knowledge acquired during the course.

CERT is presented as seven three-hour classes, each Monday evening at 6:30 PM beginning on March 9th. It concludes with the disaster exercise on April 20th. All class sessions will be held at the Talbot County Operations Center located at 605 Port Street.

All class participants will receive a training manual and a CERT kit that includes personal protective equipment such as a flashlight, first aid kit, and high-visibility safety gear. Participants who complete the course will be awarded a certificate acknowledging their accomplishments.

In a widespread emergency such as a hurricane, public safety resources will be stretched to the maximum. CERT will enable residents to care for themselves, their families, and their neighbors until police, fire, and medical responders are able to reach their neighborhoods.

The curriculum is interactive, a combination of lecture and “hands-on” activities, and is open to all county residents. There is no charge for the class, but space is limited and you must register by calling 410-770-8160. For more information, contact Jim Bass, Emergency Management Coordinator, at 410- 770-8166 or email him at CERT is a program of Citizen Corps under the aegis of Homeland Security.

Spying On Talbot County: Should Talbot Join the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition?

Representatives of the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition came calling on the Talbot County Council this week. Carroll County Commissioner President Doug Howard, the newly elected chair of the eleven county coalition, outlined the mission and benefits of having strong advocacy for the smaller, more rural counties in Annapolis. He was joined by Sara Visintainer, chief of staff, for Caroline County, in making the case.

This video is approximately six minutes in length

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Harris Creek 1977

The Talbot Historical Society thanks Dan Cox for messaging us this picture from “Growing up Tilghman.” Dan messaged this explanation of the picture from Buddy Harrison, “1977 – The freeze up had lasted over a month. These guys went up Harris Creek and cut a hole in the ice to drop the scrape in – then cut a track to drag it along the bottom – then cut another larger hole to pull it back up and get the oysters. They would put the oysters in baskets and then put them in the skiff and take them to shore. Then go back and start over.”

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Food Friday: All Day, Every Day Cornbread

Perhaps it is true of all breads that they can be eaten at any meal, all day and every day. I remember my wicked delight in gobbling up a petite, perfectly baked baguette and drinking scalding hot chocolate at the pensione when I spent a week in Paris. Bread and chocolate for breakfast! How exotic and wonderful it was to pretend to be French. It was easy to do as I strolled along the river, hoping to be mistaken as a graceful, mousy blonde, American Gigi, who knew little French and less about sophistication.

Years ago, when I lived in London, I often visited a pub around the corner from our flat that served free sandwiches at lunch – which is when I discovered the sinus-clearing side effect of liberal lashings of Colman’s mustard on a warm, fresh baguette piled high with sliced turkey. Those days have gone by, too. I doubt if pubs in London give away sandwiches any more. But then, I can’t remember the last time I had a couple of beers for lunch, either.

Growing up we had Pepperidge Farm Parker House rolls for ceremonial birthday dinners, but when I lived in North Carolina, those same Parker House rolls were an acceptable substitute for homemade biscuits when serving brunch ham biscuits, with a milder spicy brown mustard and thin slices of onion and a wisp of Swiss cheese. We don’t do bunch much, either, any more. And I remember the breakfast sausage biscuits were the best at Jan’s House diner, in Jamestown, North Carolina. Carbs are us.

There is not a week that goes by that we don’t have garlic bread at dinner. That might be the one varietal that does not translate into something palatable for breakfast. Though one might argue that pizza is just as redolent with garlic, yet we find pizza perfectly acceptable for breakfast, even if the grown up nutritionists among us might look askance that we have not put our childish college ways behind us…

Have you started watching The Great British Baking Show on PBS? It is a competitive cooking program with grace, humor and manners. I do not normally watch reality television programs, but this show is unusually cheerful and chipper. It is totally wonderful, and ridiculously I cannot stop buttonholing people, jabbering on about its many charms.

I used to think I was a decent baker, until I saw the incredible range of skills required in that baking tent. The bakers have produced a prodigious assortment of cakes, pies, biscuits, rolls, breads, pastries, baklavas, profriteroles, macarons, and Choux pastries; the list goes on and on – the show has been broadcasting for five seasons, after all. I have discarded my early romantic notion of a French way of life, now I would like to be a competent, amateur British baker.

The winsome and hardy, non-professional British bakers would not flinch at the thought of baking a baguette, or a Parker House roll. They would not feel challenged by baking bagels, baguettes, batards or boules. They would not break into a vulgar sweat at the notion of baking Southern breakfast biscuits or twirling out some brioche.

Sadly, since I am not likely to emigrate this week to be discovered by the BBC, I must take my head out of the fantasy clouds of Sachertortes and puffy crème pâtissière, and worry about whipping up a batch of humble cornbread to go with the vat o’chili I am making to keep us warm this weekend. And happily, cornbread is in my skill set. I can bake it since it does not require yeast or kneading or ingredient weighing. And it is something we can cheerfully eat at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every day. The Tall One goes through mountains of cornbread when he puts in an appearance, which validates my time spent in the kitchen.

Here is the Mark Bittman’s recipe for cornbread – the easiest recipe of all – leaving me time to get back to and reruns of The Great British Baking Show:
Our friends at Food52 hit a homer with this recipe – which is very appealing to all of the bacon lovers around here. Last weekend, when we had a houseful of family, you could see the cloud of bacon grease over our house – we must have cooked three pounds in two days! Everyone’s fave was the bacon infused pancakes. And we wonder why we waddle!

And if you want to wander through some of your own French daydreams, here is an entertaining blog and website. It never hurts to have crème pâtissière skills honed and up-to-the-minute – you might want to bake éclairs for breakfast sometime soon!

“To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread. We were just a family. In a family even exaggerations make perfect sense.” –John Irving

Spying on Talbot County: Zoning Change Approved

Zoning discussions at Talbot County Council meetings can be tiresome at times, but they are nonetheless important ones to take notice of since land use changes can have major consequences for the community as a whole.

In their meeting on February 24, the Council took up the matter of resolution 218 that would allow Easton to annex 22 acres of land owned by Aphena Pharma Solutions into the town’s limits. The land, would allow APS the water supply needed in order to expand their enterprise.

The annexation would allow the packaging company of pharmaceutical, animal health, consumer health and medical device products to remain compliant with federal law that requires any company doing business in a chemically involved industry to begin their processes with potable water.

The Council heard from Easton town planner Lynn Thomas, County attorney Michael Pullen, and Town of Easton Attorney Sharon Van Emburgh before approving the change.

Health Advocates Want MD to Stop Taxing Bottled Water

Health advocates moved to make water the “default drink of Maryland” by submitting a bill that would repeal the 6% sales tax on bottled water.

Some health foundations spoke before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 574 on Wednesday, where legislators identified the elephant in the room — a possible general fund loss of $20 million annually.

The estimates vary agency to agency because of the lack of data collection on bottled water sales. According to the bill’s fiscal note, “the decrease may range between $7 million and $20 million annually.”

The Comptroller’s Office estimated the exemption could reduce general fund revenues by $7 million based on 2012 bottled water sales data provided by the International Bottled Water Association.

However, according to Sugar Free Kids Maryland and the American Heart Association, the question isn’t what the state will lose but what the state will gain by reducing the number of “sick kids” in Maryland.

“We are becoming sicker than we can afford to be in our state,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president of the Horizon Foundation in Columbia.

“The direct and indirect cost to Maryland’s economy to be approximately $11.5 billion annually from the impact of obesity,” said Vernick.

The foundations hope to encourage the purchase of water over other sugary drinks by making bottled water more affordable, especially to lower income families who are counting pennies in their budgets.

Currently, the state does not consider water a tax-exempt “food,” according to the Department of Legislative services.

Other healthy choices are already exempt by the sales tax, including food sold in grocery stores, excluding certain prepared foods, and vending machine sales of milk, fresh fruit and yogurt.

“We already give an exemption to most food products in this state…and it seems to me water deserves not to be taxed, as it is a staple of life.” said Sen. Guy Guzzone, D-Howard, sponsor of the bill.

“Bottled water is regulated by both federal and state laws as a food product,” said Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association.

“During natural or manmade events we are strongly recommended by government agencies to go out and purchase bottled water…so if the government is telling us to buy it, why should we tax it?” said Donoho.

While there was no panel of opposition to the bill, Sugar Free Kids Maryland Executive Director Robi Rawl wondered why the American Beverage Association had not joined them in support.

“We find that intriguing, since most of the companies that are a part of the American Beverage Association, such as Coke and Pepsi, also produce bottled water. So we’re curious as to why they are not coming out in support of this bill as it also supports their products,” said Rawl.

Ellen Valentino, chair of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association, came to the committee hearing to comment but not take sides.

“Know that we are here and we are committed to the health and wellness phase…there are facts to deliberate on,” said Valentino.

Valentino continued on to say that health-conscious changes her companies were making included listing calorie count on beverages, which is something that is not required and was done “because the moms wanted it.”

Maryland is one of 17 states with a sales tax on water, and it is also one of the top 4 states that taxes water at a higher rate than other food and drink, said Rawl.

By Rebecca Lessner

Annapolis: Trio of Measures on Data-Gathering Presented at House Economic Matters Hearing

A trio of snooping-related bills dominated the agenda at a Maryland House Economic Matters Committee hearing Wednesday.

Delegate Will Smith, D-Montgomery, is sponsoring a bill that would require businesses to display a sign that clearly states that it is using consumers’ wireless Internet or cell phone signals to track their shopping habits.

Much like Internet browser activity can trigger related advertisements, stores are tracking consumer behavior to help figure out what customers want, Smith said.

Smith made it clear that the bill does not prohibit the use of this technology; it just requires that businesses tell consumers that they are being monitored.

Not abiding by this bill would violate the Maryland Consumer Protection Act as a deceptive or unfair trade practice. Offenders would be subject to fines of up to $1,000 for a first offense, and up to $5,000 for subsequent offenses, and, since a violation would be considered a misdemeanor, up to one year in prison.

According to Smith, the only way consumers can opt out of such technology would be to turn off their cell phones, which the signs would indicate.

Other legislation presented Wednesday also relates to consumer rights.

A bill presented by Delegate Rick Impallaria, R-Harford and Baltimore Counties, would prohibit a telephone call between a business and a consumer from being recorded, unless the employee notifies the customer that the call may be recorded, gives an option to accept or decline a recorded call, and clearly obtains consent. Maryland law requires two-party consent for recorded conversations, yet the common current opt out for customers unwilling to have their calls recorded is to hang up and use other methods to fix their issue, according to Impallaria.

“People should have the ability to opt out of a recorded conversation,” Impallaria said. “It should be the other party’s decision whether they want to hang up and say, ‘We don’t want your business anymore.’”

Sean Looney, vice president of state government affairs with Comcast in Maryland, protested the bill, saying recorded phone calls help the company ensure their employees are properly serving customers and it helps assure customers that if there is a mistake with their bill, audio evidence exists that can prove it.

For customers who choose not to have their call recorded, options include only traditional mail and email, which lead to longer wait times for customers and more work for Comcast employees, according to Looney.

“This bill just creates more problems than it solves,” Looney said.

Other legislation presented to the committee Wednesday:

–Delegate Susan McComas, R-Harford, presented a bill extending the term of a license from two years to three years for agencies to provide private detective services. Current two-year fees are $400 for a firm and $200 for an individual; three-year licenses would cost the same, saving private investigators about 33 percent annually.

–Junk and scrap metal dealers would not be allowed to purchase shopping carts, flatbed carts or other similar devices marked by a business without its approval. They would also be banned from purchasing copper or other metal piping stolen from a house, according to a bill presented by Delegate Jill Carter, D-Baltimore. Carter said the bill acts as a deterrent for thieves and holds the buyers of scrap metal accountable.


By Brian Marron

Shore Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival to be Held in St. Michaels

Ophiuroidea, located at 609 S. Talbot St. in St Michaels, Maryland, will host the 4th Annual Eastern Shore Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival, to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 10am – 4pm and Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 10am – 3pm. Parking is available at the St Michaels School Campus parking lot one block away, as well as municipal parking lots throughout the Town of St. Michaels.

The festival is $5.00 per person, for a two-day entrance fee, children under 12 are free. The entrance fee will also entitle the wristband wearer discounts from participating businesses, including restaurants, shops and lodging, throughout the Town of St. Michaels. The festival will be held outdoors (tented) and will be a rain or shine event.

Eastern Shore Sea Glass Mermaid Festival logo  2014-webThe festival is hosted by Kim Hannon, owner of Ophiuroidea “The O”, a coastal inspired home décor and art gallery, located in St Michaels, Maryland, and also a member of the North American Sea Glass Association Board of Directors. The first festival was held in 2011 and featured 12 local artisans. Each year the festival has grown, as the love of sea glass grows in popularity. This year, the Eastern Shore Sea Glass and Coastal Arts Festival expanded to include two fun filled days, and over 30 artisans from all over the East Coast, from Maine to Virginia, will participate.

Special guest, Richard LaMotte, noted sea glass expert and author of Pure Sea Glass will be on hand to sign his book and will be available for sea glass discussions Saturday only from 12-3pm. Festival attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite sea glass and pottery shards to learn more about their pieces with Richard and fellow beachcombers. Richard’s Pure Sea Glass book is a wonderful addition to any sea glass enthusiast’s library. Nancy LaMotte will also join us on Saturday, with her unique sea glass jewelry, Chesapeake Sea Glass, which will be available for purchase.

The Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s Fishmobile, a traveling marine science program that provides hands-on education and preservation in the Chesapeake Bay, will feature live animals from the Chesapeake Bay on Saturday from 10am – 4pm.

The St Michaels Winery will feature tastings of their Maryland made wines, including their Gollywobbler collection, stop by their tent or join them in their tasting room next to Ophiuroidea.

As an added bonus, retail shops throughout town will also feature their favorite sea glass artisans all weekend long, a list of participating shops and galleries can be found on the festival website.

The festival will feature acoustic music by local Eastern Shore area musicians, Uncle Ward, Keri Glorioso, Kelsey Abbott and Fox Twin Trilogy, on Saturday and Sunday.

For a list of participating artisans, musicians, parking and general information, please visit


Horn Point Researcher Receives Sloan Foundation Fellowship

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York announced on February 23rd that Dr. Alyson Santoro, a faculty member of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory, is among the winners of the 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships.

alyson_headshotAccording to the announcement, “these early-career scholars represent the most promising researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Since 1955, Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win 43 Nobel Prizes and numerous other distinguished awards.” The prize provides $50,000 annually for two years to further Santoro’s research.

“We are delighted that Alyson was recognized by the Sloan Foundation for this award. She is a rising star in the field of ocean science and we are proud to have her on the Horn Point faculty” said Mike Roman, Lab Director.

Santoro’s research focuses on archaea—microbes in the ocean about which very little is known. Their unique status among fundamental biological organisms wasn’t even recognized until 1977. Once thought to live only in “extreme” environments, archaea are now known to be among the most abundant organisms on the planet and vital components of nutrient cycles in the ocean.

Investigating archaea’s contribution to the ocean ecosystem has been especially challenging due to the difficulty growing them in the laboratory setting. That is, until recently, when Santoro’s laboratory developed and described the first laboratory cultures of a type of archaea from the open ocean. When asked about her attraction to this research, Santoro said, “It excites me that it is a field where people are making fundamental, new discoveries. Our view of marine microbiology is completely different than it was even ten years ago. It is amazing to me.”

About the fellowship award, she said, “I am honored to be recognized among such an historically esteemed group of scholars, many of whom have gone on to do great things. It is humbling. From a practical perspective, it is wonderful to receive a pot of money to use for flexible, creative research. I hope that my research path will enable me to discover something within the next ten years that no one now knows.”

Santoro credits her scientific curiosity to growing up in the rural environment of Saranac Lake, NY where she explored the water and forests of the Adirondack mountains. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned both her M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in Environmental Engineering and Science. She resides in Cambridge with her husband, Nick Nidzieko, also a professor at Horn Point.