Archives for April 2016

Intergenerational Learning Thrives at Londonderry Community

Everyone likes to tell their story.  Five years ago, a language arts teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul  School, Karen McLaughlin, decided to create a project for her eighth graders that involved interviewing and writing about the residents of Londonderry on the Tred Avon. Each year, her eighth grade students are each paired up with a resident of Londonderry.  Students spend time with the residents, interviewing them about their lives, and then write up their interviews.  A month later the students present their findings to the whole Londonderry community.

ictured left to right are Sts. Peter and Paul School student Nick Ransom, Karen McLaughlin, language arts teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul School; Londonderry resident Frank Hinchion, and student Zach Pelczar.

ictured left to right are Sts. Peter and Paul School student Nick Ransom, Karen McLaughlin, language arts teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul School; Londonderry resident Frank Hinchion, and student Zach Pelczar.

Karen McLaughlin, the coordinator of the program states, “Having this generational learning experience with someone two generations older is invaluable.”  She adds, “There were so many emotions in the room when the students presented – tears and hugs were shared as students selected highlights of their stories, including the funniest and most memorable things they learned.”

McLaughlin explains that many of the students don’t often get to spend quality time with their grandparents because many of their grandparents do not live near them.  This writing and interviewing exercise provides the opportunity for students to interact with residents in a unique way. While students ask the residents about their lives during a different time period, the residents equally want to know about the students’ lives as well. Often they talk about common subjects such as discipline, sports, and activities that the students are experiencing in high school.

“This program encapsulates most of what I do in language arts – public speaking, thinking on their feet, and writing skills. Because the students actually give the written pieces to the residents, they work hard to do their best work.”

Londonderry resident, Frank Hinchion, who was partnered with eighth grade student Zach Pelczar, commented, “I felt youthful again talking to Zach.  We had things in common. I went to West Point and his father went to the Naval Academy.”  He adds, “I was especially impressed by Zach’s ability to write. It was very well done.”

Zach Pelczar wrote about Hinchion, “As a result of the potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century, Frank Hinchion’s grandparents immigrated to the United States of America.  They arrived in Boston and then moved to Salem, Massachusetts, which had many Irish immigrants. Growing up, Mr. Hinchion and his family maintained their Irish heritage.”

Among the findings of the eighth graders, were that one resident had met John F. Kennedy and one resident had worked with Coretta Scott King.  McLaughlin adds, “They were amazed at the lives these seniors had lived and their activity level today.”

Two years ago, McLaughlin added the Talbot Senior Center in Easton to the program.

Dana Newman Named New Talbot County Library Director

Barbara Lane, chair of the Talbot County Free Library’s Board of Trustees, announced Tuesday that Dana Newman has been chosen by the Board to serve as the library’s new director. Newman replaces Robert T. Horvath, who retired in October.

Dana Newman

Dana Newman

Speaking of the appointment, Lane said, “Over the past ten months, our search committee has reviewed scores of applications and held personal and Skype interviews with any number of excellent candidates. During that process, again and again, we were told how fortunate we would be to have Dana come to Talbot County. Under her leadership, I believe we can look forward to yet another exciting period of growth and innovation in the long and distinguished history of the Talbot County Free Library.”

Newman currently serves as the Chief of Public Services and Branch management for the Anne Arundel County Library system. In that capacity, she oversees the operations of 15 branch libraries as well as the library’s public service departments. Having played a leading role in public service initiatives that support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curricula, school outreach, and early literacy education, she is committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities to patrons of all ages.

Speaking of her commitment to libraries, Newman said, “My love for libraries began as a child. The staff at my hometown library was wonderful; they always told great stories and could be depended upon to help me find just the book I wanted. I believe libraries are magical places, gateways to new worlds. In today’s world, a modern, welcoming, up-to-date library is essential to the health and prosperity of any community … and that’s just the kind of library we’re going to give the people of Talbot County.”

Newman holds a Master’s degree in Library Science and a B.S. in Secondary Education-English. She is a graduate of the Maryland Library Leadership Institute, and a longtime member of the Maryland Library Association, the Public Library Association, the American Library Association, and the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators, among other professional affiliations. A lifelong reader, her favorite books include: Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” Anthony Doerr’s “All the Light We Cannot See,” and David McCullough’s biography of Theodore Roosevelt, “Mornings on Horseback.”

The Board of Trustees commends the entire staff of the library for their excellent work during this transition. Special thanks go to Scotti Oliver, our capable and tireless Acting Director, to Robert T. Horvath, the previous Library Director (whose preparations for this transition were thorough and helpful), and to the members of the search committee, who found a great leader for our library.

Newman is expected to take up her new position at the Talbot County Free Library May 23.

Food Friday: Artichokes for Streaking

How are you getting ready for May Day? Are you practicing your May pole dance? Have you shaken out the dust and the bells on your Morris dancing costume? Are you looking for love? Are you going to participate in the much-loved rite of spring: streaking? If you answer “Yes!” to any of those questions then you might want to buy some artichokes in preparation.

Long considered an aphrodisiac, the artichoke is technically a flower bud that has not yet bloomed. Such a potent symbol: prickly on the outside, soft and yielding on the inside. In 1576, Dr. Bartolomeo Boldo wrote that the artichoke “has the virtue of … provoking Venus for both men and women; for women making them more desirable, and helping the men who are in these matters rather tardy.” Stock up on equal opportunity artichokes, they are good for everyone!

Greek mythology gives Zeus the credit for creating of the artichoke. After he had been spurned by a beautiful woman, Zeus turned his love object into a thorny thistle, the artichoke. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought the artichoke was a rare and delicious delicacy. What better time than the beginning of May to celebrate the artichoke, particularly when it is at the peak of its season? And Sunday is May Day, so you should get off on the right foot.

After the Greeks and the Romans the artichoke spread to Spain. Catherine de Medici was supposed to have brought the artichoke to France when she arrived to marry the future Henry II. Catherine was known for her voracious appetites for both food and romance, and she scandalized the French court by eating lots of artichokes, and enjoying the sexy reputation that resulted. Shortly thereafter the artichoke crossed the Channel, where Henry VIII, he of many wives, was thought to be quite fond of them.

The French brought the artichoke to America. George Washington grew them at Mount Vernon. Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery contains a 17th-century recipe “To Make Hartichoak Pie.” At one point in Hamilton, the current Broadway show, it is remarked that Alexander Hamilton was a serial philanderer, and “Martha Washington named her feral tomcat after him.” One wonders if she ever served Alexander Hamilton Harty Choak Pie, too.

From Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery:

To Make an Harty Choak Pie:
Take 12 harty choak bottoms yt are good & large, after you have boyled them, take them cleere from ye leaves & cores, season them with a little pepper & salt & lay them on a coffin of paste, with a pound of butter & ye marrow of 2 bones in bigg pieces, then close it up to set in ye oven, then put halfe a pound of sugar to halfe a pinte of verges [a sauce made with green herbs] & some powder of cinnamon and ginger – boyle these together & when ye pie is halfe baked put the liquor in & set it in ye oven againe till it be quite bak’d.

Most artichokes sold in the United States today are grown in Castroville, California. In keeping with the artichoke’s somewhat sensual reputation, it should be noted that in 1947 Marilyn Monroe, then Norma Jean, was crowned Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen.

If you are going to get up to corporeal mischief this weekend, here are some helpful pointers:
This is a useful video of Jacques Pepin prepping an artichoke:

I have a fantasy life where on the weekends we are visited by our sophisticated and witty friends, who are stealing time away from their fascinating and glamorous careers in the arts. The only breakfast I could dream of serving them would be this:

It never hurts to have elegant imaginary friends.But if I expect a little romance myself this weekend, I had best up our breakfast game. I am going to give this a whirl: Sadly, the Saturday morning reality is just Mr. Friday and me sitting blearily at the kitchen table, reading the papers, and considering our list of weekend chores while shoveling sticks and twigs into our gawping mouths. On Sundays we add bacon. This weekend I will throw a some inspiring artichokes into the mix and trust to fate!

“Tra la! It’s May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev’ryone goes
Blissfully astray.”
-Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, Camelot

Here is a nice Maryland variation on the artichoke theme that Food52 suggests we try:

Ruth Starr Rose: Spirituality on the Eastern Shore

As part of the Spy special coverage of the art exhibition Ruth Starr Rose (1887-1965): Revelations of African American Life in Maryland and the World, we continue with a discussion of spirituality on the Eastern Shore and a primary theme of her work.

Ruth Starr Rose not only documented the spirituality of her subjects through her artwork but was an active member of the St Stephens AME Church in Unionville herself after moving to Hope House. And it was through this church connection that Rose was befriended by Unionville and Copperville residents and who eventually became subjects of her art.

Over the last six months, the Spy interviewed a few current and former Unionville residents to understand the importance of spirituality in these small communities and its role in the daily life of African-Americans on the Eastern Shore.

This video is approximately three minutes in length

Ruth Starr Rose: Revelations of African American Life in Maryland and the World
April 30 to June 16
The Waterfowl Building
40 South Harrison Street
Easton, Maryland


Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Checking Out the By-Pass

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 12.13.50 PMove finding pictures like this one! Md. 322, the bypass, was constructed in the mid 1960’s! The first section from Rt 50 North to the St. Michaels Rd. was completed in 1965. St. Michael’s Rd to Oxford Rd. was completed in 1966 and from Oxford Rd. South to Rt. 50 in 1970. This Talbot Historical Society H. Robins Hollyday photo shows early signs of construction , note the new Easton High School, now middle School, to the right. Lots of open spaces back then! Facts: Wikipedia ” Maryland Route 322″.

Contact: Cathy Hill to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!

Free Skin Cancer Screenings to be Offered Throughout Region

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers with roughly 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer diagnosed in the United States annually. It is estimated that more than 73,000 cases of melanoma – a more dangerous form of skin cancer – will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016.

To promote early detection of skin cancer, a number of free skin cancer screenings will be offered throughout the region.

Saturday, May 7, 9am-12 noon, Kent County Health Department, 125 Lynchburg Street, Chestertown. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Andrea Edwards, RN, at 410-778-7970

Thursday, May 19, 5-8pm, Easton Dermatology Associates, 403 Marvel Court, Easton.
Pre-registration is required for this location; to schedule an appointment, call the Cancer Center at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at 410-820-6800.

Thursday, June 23, 5:30-7:30pm, Dorchester County Health Department, 3 Cedar Street, Cambridge. Pre-registration is required for this location; to schedule an appointment, call the Cancer Center at UM Shore Regional Health at 410-820-6800.

All screenings are open to the public. Underinsured and uninsured are encouraged to participate.

Brian Leutner, director of Oncology Services at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health comments, “The Cancer Program at Shore Regional Health extends sincere thanks to our many community partners, including the Dorchester and Kent County Health Departments, Easton Dermatology Associates, Shore Dermatology, Talbot Dermatology and participating health care providers, for making these free screenings possible and for helping us to live our mission of ‘Creating Healthier Communities Together.’”

Additional information about services and annual screenings offered by the Cancer Program at UM Shore Regional Health can be found by visiting

717 Gallery Presents “Unseen Secrets: Florals & Interiors” by Louis Escobedo

Through May 27th, 717 Gallery in Easton, Maryland presents “Unseen Secrets: Florals & Interiors,” a fascinating solo show of florals, still lifes, and interiors by nationally-recognized artist Louis Escobedo, who is exclusively represented by the gallery. Meet the artist at an opening reception during Easton’s First Friday Gallery Walk on May 6 from 5-8pm.
Louis Escobedo has a unique talent for creating extraordinary paintings inspired by ordinary subjects. Part of the appeal of his paintings comes from his choice of surprising, otherwise overlooked subject matter. “My subjects come out of nowhere,” he muses. “An empty room, an antique treasure, a basketful of flowers, fruit ripening on a kitchen windowsill . . . they present themselves to me almost like unseen secrets.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 11.56.39 AM

Louis Escobedo ‘Marilyn Where Are You’

Once a subject presents itself, the magic begins. Escobedo’s brush breathes life into scenes painstakingly transformed into beautiful masterpieces. Elements of light, color, and composition turn commonplace objects into fascinating studies. “Even an empty room is beautiful,” Escobedo believes. “Depending on how the light falls into a room, the perception of a vacant space can be artfully embellished. A piece of furniture can make an interior painting more intriguing. Even something as rudimentary as a light socket hanging down or a simple throw pillow is interesting and could say something to the viewer beyond the thing itself. To me, it’s all about celebrating color and emphasizing how light makes an object look, both literally and evocatively.”

These types of paintings present particular challenges. “The key,” says Escobedo, “is deciding how to place elements within a painting.” Whether from nature or a trip to the floral shop, Escobedo says it’s not only the beauty of florals that catches his eye, but the form—the shape of a blossom, the framework of a bundle of flowers. “It all starts with shape and color and how the light falls on an object,” he says, “that’s what makes the mundane magical.”
Objects wear out, decorations fade, flowers wilt, but art lives on. “I can capture the shape, color, and light of a flower, and keep that vision alive endlessly, preserving its beauty and bringing joy for years to come.”

717 Gallery, located at 717 Goldsborough Street just off Route 50, is the gateway to Easton’s vibrant arts scene. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment. There is additional parking across the street at The Country School. More information is available at and on Facebook. Or contact Yolanda Escobedo by email,, or phone 410.241.7020.

Shore Bancshares Merges Banking Divisions into Shore United Bank

Shore Bancshares, Inc., at its annual meeting discussed its plan to merge its two subsidiary banks, The Talbot Bank, headquartered in Easton, Maryland and CNB, headquartered in Centreville, Maryland, into one bank that will be known as Shore United Bank. “Merging our two banks provides efficiencies that will allow us to focus on strengthening client relationships while minimizing the ever increasing burden of regulation that banks face today,” said Shore Bancshares, Inc. President & CEO, Lloyd L. “Scott” Beatty.

The merger of the Talbot Bank with and into CNB and the corresponding name change to Shore United Bank is subject to regulatory approval. Applications for approval of the proposed merger have been or will be filed with the State of Maryland and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Shore Bancshares is not currently aware of any reasons that would preclude consummation of the merger. Subject to the satisfaction of all regulatory and corporate requirements and approvals, Shore Bancshares currently anticipates consummating the merger in the third quarter of 2016.

As a $1.1 billion bank, Shore United Bank will continue to operate all 18 existing branches, a loan production office, and wealth management office throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and Delaware. “Customers will now have the convenience of conducting all banking activity, not just account transactions, at any of our branch locations. The Shore United brand will make it easier for customers to recognize their bank,” said Shore Bancshares, Inc., V.P. Chief Marketing & Project Officer, Debra Rich. The Talbot Bank and CNB have been affiliated as members of Shore Bancshares, Inc. community of companies since 2000. The combination is intended to facilitate operational efficiencies, a consistent culture and united branding under Shore United Bank. “Our banks have a rich history that will continue with the same great people, products and service under a new name, Shore United Bank,” Beatty said.

Not Good News: Roadway Fatalities Increase in Maryland

With several hundred federal, state and local traffic safety experts meeting at the 2016 Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summit to develop solutions to save lives on Maryland roadways, officials from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Maryland State Police and National Safety Council today announced that in 2015, 520 people died in traffic-related crashes on Maryland’s roadways. According to data collected by MDOT, the preliminary figure represents an increase from the previous year when 443 people were killed and follows a trend that has seen roadway deaths increase nationwide.

“This tragic increase in people killed on our roadways is unacceptable,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports. “For all of us dedicating our lives to highway safety, this increase in fatalities is a call to action to strengthen and expand our efforts to save lives on our roads.”

Along with a rise in overall fatalities, Maryland experienced the following increases:
35 percent increase in commercial vehicle-related fatalities;
26 percent increase in young driver-involved fatalities; and
Double the number of bicycle fatalities from 5 in 2014 to 10 last year.

“Police officers in Maryland recognize the important mission we have in reducing traffic crashes,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi said. “Our strict enforcement of traffic laws is a daily reminder to drivers that our laws are in place for their safety and violation of those laws impacts the safety of everyone on our roads. Our goal continues to be changing driver behavior by enforcement that is focused on those areas and driving behaviors where the need is greatest.”

The data was announced at an event to formally kick off Maryland’s implementation of a five-year plan to combat traffic crashes and the resulting serious injuries and fatalities. Known as the Maryland Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), the effort brings together local, state, and federal partners and organizations such as the National Safety Council, AAA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, AT&T, and numerous other corporate, non-profit, and public sector partners. The SHSP contains more than 30 separate strategies to reduce overall roadway fatalities by at least 50 percent in the next two decades. The Plan emphasizes solutions from the “Four Es” of highway safety – Engineering, Enforcement, Education, and Emergency Medical Services – and comprehensively addresses the troubling increase in roadway fatalities.

“We lose 100 people every day on our nation’s roadways, and every single one of these deaths is preventable,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “This uptick in crashes is serving notice: We need to prioritize our safety. Driving defensively and staying alert can help us reverse this trend in 2016.”

To reduce congestion, enhance roadway safety and fix all structurally deficient state-owned bridges, Governor Larry Hogan allocated nearly $2 billion in highway funds targeted to long-awaited improvements throughout the state. These improvements, along with recently announced roadway investments, include:

$24 million to improve 11 Salisbury Bypass bridges;
$81 million to reconfigure the MD 175/MD 295 interchange;
$86 million to widen US 113;
$100 million to reduce traffic gridlock along I-270;
$120 million to widen MD 404 from US 50 to the Denton Bypass; and
$152 million to widen a nine-mile stretch of MD 32.

The Hogan administration also is investing millions in targeted law enforcement strategies aimed at catching and arresting drunk drivers and educational campaigns focused on impaired driving, pedestrian safety, seat belt use and distracted driving. MDOT recently expanded a statewide campaign to help fight driver distraction by installing 26 signs prior to 13 rest areas alerting motorists of Maryland’s law that prohibits the use of handheld electronic devices while driving. “It Can Wait!” is written in large letters on the signs to remind drivers that their call/text can wait until they reach the next rest area.

Officials at today’s event highlighted areas that have historically been leading causes of deaths on Maryland’s roads, including:

Impaired driving;
Distracted driving;
Not wearing seat belts; and
Not using crosswalks.

MDOT and its partners remind everyone of a few simple rules that will help save lives:

Always drive sober. Use a designated driver, call a cab or rideshare, or use public transportation but never drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Park the phone before you drive. Driver distraction contributes to nearly 30,000 injuries and more than 200 deaths per year in Maryland.

Always buckle up! It’s the single most important way to save your life in a crash.

Slow down. Speeding will not get you where you want to go that much faster, but will contribute to a much greater likelihood of injury or death in a crash.

Use crosswalks and bike lanes. Being visible on the road is especially important for pedestrians and bicyclists. Wear bright clothing, obey the rules of the road while on a bicycle, and cross where drivers expect to see you. When driving, always look for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Look twice for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are sometimes more difficult to see so please look twice for them when changing lanes or pulling into an intersection.

Respect Maryland’s work zones. Speeding and distracted driving through work zones is dangerous to workers and to other motorists.

Move over. Drivers approaching from the rear of an emergency vehicle that is stopped on a highway must move over into the other lane, if possible, and slow down.

Maryland’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign focuses on preventing impaired driving, aggressive driving and distracted driving and promotes seatbelt use. For more information on the Toward Zero Deaths campaign, please visit .

Take the Survey: Help End Mental Health Stigma

Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. in Easton invites the Spy community to help with their survey about behavioral health attitudes and if stigma efforts were effective.

Kathy Stevens, Behavioral Health Coordinator at Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc., recently wrote this in the organization’s newsletter:

“Four Salisbury University graduate students are working diligently to survey 1,000 people living in the mid-shore region to determine what people think about behavioral health. Measure.

The students —Virginia Johnstone, Margaret Allen, Ashley Freeman and Caroline Egleseder— are completing a project as part of their master’s in social work program.

The survey, called the Mental Health Knowledge Schedule (MAKS), was employed in the United Kingdom to track attitudes about mental health just after the launch of Time to Change UK, a stigma awareness campaign launched in 2007. With startup funding, Time to Change surveyed 1,700 unique residents annually to measure effectiveness of the campaign and make adjustments.

Likewise, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. looks to measure attitudes about behavioral health. Completing the baseline survey is the first step. MSMHS and partnering agencies that comprise the Behavioral Health Coalition continue to devise strategies and implement programs aimed at reducing stigma related to mental health and substance use disorder.

Johnstone said other classmates’ projects consisted of handouts and attendance at informational events.

“We are all really excited about this,” Johnstone said about the endeavor. “This really feels like we’re doing something substantial and meaningful.”

Please take the survey here.