Archives for September 2016

Food Friday: Back Into the Kitchen

Summer ended last week. It is time to reacquaint yourself with the pots and pans and woks and cast iron skillets and cookie sheets that are going to be your seasonal life savers. Turn up the heat and welcome back to the kitchen.

I have some favorites that will be coming back into rotation now that I can’t foist most of the evening grilling on Mr. Friday. And I am relying on one of my favorite food resources, The New York Times.

Some folks have headed back to college, and have gone off their comfortable meal plans, and are fending for themselves for the the first time. There is more to life than ramen noodles and cold pizza. The rest of us come crawling into the kitchen each night, and wonder what on earth we can possible make for dinner without feeling totally keelhauled. Before heading directly for the cheap white wine (although it will be time to switch up to a nice inexpensive Malbec soon!) I want to point out that here are some basics that work without much risk of disappointment or failure.

These are easy peasy, as we are wont to warble. Throw that chicken in the oven and let the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast amuse you with their take on the intricacies of modern culture. And now you can have some wine.

Fettuccine Alfredo:

If that seems too fancy, here are eight, 8, ways to make mac & cheese:

Salmon, for the fish eaters:

Cast Iron Pan Steak:

Bearnaise to go with that fine steak: Because if you are going to hell, you might as well go in style. Yumsters.

Because you really could have spaghetti every night.

It took me years, YEARS, to get rice right. Here is a never fail approach:

Craig Claiborne’s Beef Stew: It is going to get chilly, honest.

Even easier is a good meatloaf. Although if your household is anything like ours, you have some ancestral meatloaf recipes in place already. Still, does yours count pancetta among the ingredients? Doubtful.

And here is the definitive list of the New York Times’s 50 most popular recipes:

You are on your own for salads and desserts. For this week, at least. Next week – breads!

“No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”
-Christopher Morley

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Cuts the Grass

Wye House, settled in the 1650’s and home of 12 generations of the Lloyd family, is a beautiful historic home in Talbot County, Maryland! The Talbot Historical Society is excited to be having our fundraising event there Sept. 30, 2016 from 5-8. We are so grateful to the Tilghmans for offering their home to the Talbot Historical Society for our party venue. Call 410-822-0773 for an invitation! Photo found in the Collections at the Talbot Historical Society.

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

Second Saturday in St. Michaels

The A.M. Gravely Gallery located at 408 S. Talbot Street in St. Michaels is pleased to announce that designers, Joe and Bonnie Masslofsky, will demonstrate at the Gallery how they make their elegant sea glass and gem stone jewelry at the Second Saturday Arts Event, October 8, from 5 to 7 pm. Refreshments will be served.

For more information: A.M. Gravely Gallery 410/745-5059


Bonnie Masslofsky


Joe Masslofsky

Easton Beer Fest

beer-festThe Easton Beer Fest presented by Hair O’ The Dog: Saturday, October 8, 2016, 12noon to 4pm.  The Easton Beer Fest will feature Craft Beers brewed by 31 different Craft Breweries from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, DC.  “I’m Drinking Beer”Admission includes tasting glass, all you can drink, music by Blackwater.  A “Designated Driver” Ticket is available along with Food, Vendors, Raffles and Games of Chance.  This is a Fundraising Event hosted by the Easton Volunteer Fire Department, located at 315 Aurora Park Drive, Easton, MD.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.  For more information and tickets go to

Eric Applegarth Retires from CBMM

Long-time Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum employee Eric Applegarth of Claiborne, Md. recently retired after 28 years of service. Applegarth worked as the Exhibits Specialist at CBMM, creating diverse props, art, and structures from his various creative talents, including woodcarving, metal-working, and painting.


Applegarth stands in one of his many hand-crafted structures, a pair of big waterman’s boots.

Connected to the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay through a long line of heritage and through personal interest in what the Bay has to offer, Applegarth joined CBMM in 1988 after a few years of part-time work.

“Eric’s impact can be seen in virtually every corner of CBMM, from the perfectly cluttered decoy carver’s shop in our Waterfowling exhibition, to the metal outline mannequins in At Play on the Bay and the carved wooden faces and hands of the crew on the skipjack E.C. Collier in Oystering,” says CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “Eric’s cheerful willingness to do absolutely anything that needs to be done, his self-deprecating humor, and his sunny demeanor made him the most beloved member of CBMM’s staff for more than a quarter of a century.”

In his retirement, Applegarth will spend time in Claiborne, Md., and in New Haven, Ct., with his wife Michelle Zacks, an associate director at Yale University.With hopes to continue his passion for art and carpentry, Applegarth plans on volunteering with New Haven’s local museums and will stay connected to CBMM through continued work on exhibitions.

“I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of creating non-technical interactives to continue the story line of CBMM’s exhibitions,” says Applegarth. “I’ve also enjoyed the time that I’ve spent growing up along the Chesapeake, doing the things I love—from trapping muskrats, to boatbuilding, and working with watermen.”

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving nearly 70,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated in a park-like, waterfront setting along the Miles River and St Michaels harbor. For more information, please visit

Growing Number of Watermen Could Pose Threat to Oyster Comeback

The recent uptick in the Bay’s oyster population has reversed the long-term decline in the number of watermen pursuing the bivalve. But as another oyster season begins October 1, some worry that what’s good in the short term for harvesters could harm the incipient oyster comeback.

In Virginia, the number of watermen who’ve paid the fee required to harvest oysters from public bottom has grown by 50 percent since 2013. In Maryland, the ranks of those who’ve plunked down $300 for the same right doubled since 2008.

That’s produced some tension on the water, particularly at the beginning of the season in October, as scores of boats jockey for position at times to find a good spot to harvest.

“I tell you, it’s a rat race,” says J.C. Hudgins, a veteran waterman from Mathews, VA, who says boats sometimes nearly collide on opening day as they circle over a promising reef. He figures there’ll be a mob scene again at the start of this season.

Watermen ply Broad Creek on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for oysters. (Dave Harp)

Watermen ply Broad Creek on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for oysters. (Dave Harp)

For the first month, just one area on the Rappahannock River will be open for harvest using “hand scrapes”—small rake-like power dredges that are popular in the fishery because of their efficiency at scooping up oysters.

Beyond the risks of boats bumping, the oyster rush has prompted concerns in some quarters that it could short-circuit the recovery of a shellfish that’s important to the Bay ecologically as well as economically. After increasing steadily for several years, the harvest from public waters dipped last season in Virginia, and it has slipped the last two years in Maryland.

Harvests generally fluctuate with the success, or lack thereof, of oysters’ reproduction. But Virginia regulators, worried that harvest pressure has reached unsustainable levels, recently acted to reduce the number of watermen licensed to go after oysters.

At a meeting in late August, the Virginia Marine Resource Commission — concluding that too many watermen were chasing too few oysters — voted unanimously to gradually reduce the number of commercial harvest licenses over the next several years through what one regulator called “voluntary attrition.” No new licenses will be issued, and future license transfers will be limited either to direct family members or to those license holders who’ve logged at least 40 days of harvesting the previous season.

“The fishery had gotten just way too big,” explained Jim Wesson, chief of oyster conservation and replenishment for the commission.

In Maryland, though, the issue has gotten scant attention. Some watermen say they’d like to see the Department of Natural Resources emulate other aspects of Virginia’s oyster management. They’re particularly interested in its “rotational harvest” regimen, where oyster bottom is opened for scraping or dredging only once every two or three years. But suggestions to look at limiting Maryland’s fishery have been brushed off, as watermen and regulators focus instead on getting more oysters to harvest by reopening sanctuaries created six years ago.

The fishery curbs in Virginia were a long time coming, and watermen there only reluctantly agreed to a gradual reduction in the ranks of harvesters.

“It’s an unpopular subject, no doubt,” says Hudgins, who is the unofficial head of the Virginia Waterman’s Association. “Being in the waterman’s association, I hate to see anybody lose the right to go on the water. But when you have limited resources, you have to be able to manage that.”

According to the VMRC’s Wesson, fishery regulators had run out of other options.

The number of Virginia watermen who paid a user fee to harvest oysters on public bottom areas grew from 661 in 2013 to 991 last year. And with a total of 1,124 licenses already issued, still more could jump in at any time simply by paying the $50 or $300 annual fee, depending on whether they harvest the old-fashioned way, with scissors-like hand tongs, or with power-driven hand scrapes or larger dredges.

“We have to control the harvest in order to keep something out there for the watermen to harvest down the road,” Wesson told commission members at a July meeting.

Though many Virginia watermen still use hand tongs, the bulk of the wild harvest comes via mechanical means, which are so efficient they can remove virtually all of the large oysters from a given reef in a matter of days or weeks. Harvests have remained stable in some areas subject to scraping and dredging, which under the state’s rotational harvest system are only open for two to three months every three years. Nonetheless, there’s been a big drop in the catch in a few key areas, particularly in Tangier and Pocomoke sounds, which are open to harvest every other year.

To reduce the harvest pressure, the state has cut the workweek for oystering on public grounds from five days to four. But Wesson told marine commissioners that he feared any further moves to curb catches — such as shortening the season, reducing the daily catch limit or restricting the use of mechanized harvesting gear — would make it too difficult to make a living by oystering.

Earlier, concerned about the growth in the fishery, the commission had announced that it may cut off the right to oyster for anyone who entered the fishery after July 1, 2014. But after hashing out various reduction scenarios with watermen and an advisory commission, Wesson said regulators shied away from that approach because the newer participants in the fishery tended to be younger, and could be its stalwarts in future years as more aging watermen leave the business.

Lewis Carter culls good oysters from his catch while tonging on Broad Creek during the first week of oyster season in 2013. (Dave Harp)

Lewis Carter culls good oysters from his catch while tonging on Broad Creek during the first week of oyster season in 2013. (Dave Harp)

Much of the growth in the fishery has been on a part-time basis, which could be undermining the viability of those who oyster full-time for a living. More than half the people reporting harvest by scraping or dredging went out fewer than 20 days the last two seasons, VMRC data show. The number reporting that they harvested less than 50 bushels all season using any gear doubled, to around 300 last year.

Meanwhile, the number of “high rollers,” as Wesson called them, who reported large harvests of 500 bushels or more in a season, has been going down. “The amount (of oysters) available to each harvester gets smaller and smaller as the number of harvesters increases,” Wesson told the VMRC.

The curbs approved by the VMRC in August reflect a year’s back-and-forth between regulators and the commercial fishing industry. They’re intended, Wesson said, to help those who rely on oystering for their livelihood while weeding out some part-timers.

With the restrictions on transferring licenses, it could be several years before the number of harvesters drops back to 600, a level regulators consider sustainable.
“It was a hard sell,” Wesson says, “[but] I think that everyone [in the fishery] is happy to see it. They all complain about too many people on the bars. Over time, hopefully, they’ll see the benefits of it.”

In Maryland, the number of watermen licensed or authorized to harvest oysters has grown from 570 in the 2007-2008 season to 1,146, according to DNR figures.
Over that time, the harvest jumped from 83,000 bushels in 2008 to a peak of 431,000 bushels in 2014, the biggest landing since the late 1980s, when a pair of oyster diseases began to devastate the Bay’s bivalve populations.

The wild harvest has slipped the last two years, though, to 383,000 bushels, and it’s expected to be lower still this season. Biologists say two good “spat sets” of young oysters in 2010 and 2012 spurred the harvest increase, but that landings are on the wane now because there hasn’t been good reproduction the past few years.

The waters in Maryland open for wild oyster harvest also get crowded at times.
“The first day last year, there were 200 boats on Broad Creek,” Talbot County waterman Jason Schmidt told the advisory commission recently, recalling the scene on a Choptank River tributary that’s historically had abundant oysters.

“It’s not sustainable,” Schmidt added. But he made it clear he believed that’s because watermen have fewer places to harvest.

In 2010, under former Gov. Martin O’Malley, the state expanded its network of sanctuaries where oysters would be protected for their ecological value, filtering nutrients and sediment from the water and providing habitat for fish and other marine creatures. The total sanctuary area grew from 9 percent of the state’s viable oyster habitat to 24 percent. While that still left 76 percent for the wild harvest, watermen contend the state made sanctuaries out of some of their best harvest areas.

Robert T. Brown, president of Maryland Watermen’s Association, says the state’s oyster fishery is already capped, and no one new can get into it. To him and other watermen, they simply need more areas to harvest and more oyster shells to put back on the bottom for young oysters or spat to settle on.

While the fishery is capped, the ceiling is so high that the number of participants in Maryland’s wild oyster harvest could double again, to nearly 3,000, according to DNR data.

Under Maryland’s licensing regulations, anyone who has a tidal fishing license or who buys an oyster harvest authorization can fish commercially for the bivalves. Both have been capped, according to Schatz, the DNR spokesman, so no more can be sold. There’s a waiting list with more than 70 names of people hoping to buy an oyster harvest permit.

In the 2014–15 season, 1,146 people paid the $300 surcharge that the DNR requires to participate in the wild harvest. But the total number who could have paid the surcharge and gone out is 2,769, Schatz noted, as there were 2,117 individuals holding a tidal fishing license and 652 with an oyster harvest authorization.

Maryland needs to bring that number down, says Bill Goldsborough, senior fisheries scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “I think there’s too many potential participants,” he says. “Anyone who is full-time is affected when all those people jump in, take the cream off the top and go back to their other jobs. It’s no wonder these watermen are looking for more bottom.”

Chris Judy, who manages the DNR shellfish program, says watermen have complained to him before about part-timers, but there has also been a reluctance to exclude anyone. And in a way, Judy adds, the number of people harvesting oysters is self-regulating. “It’s not a precise process,” he says, “but as oysters go down, in a downturn, you’ll see people drop out.”

But Goldsborough contends the state can’t afford to assume everything will work out, either for the oysters or watermen. “The people that are making a living off the Bay, we want [them] to survive,” he says. “I don’t think we appreciate how many the Bay can support.”

By Timothy B. Wheeler, Bay Journal News Service

Timothy B. Wheeler is managing editor and project writer for the Bay Journal. He has more than two decades of experience covering the environment for The Baltimore Sun and other media outlets.

Op-Ed: Blessed are the Peacemakers by George Merrill

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God, states one of the Beatitudes. At four thirty last Thursday in Easton, at the five corners bordering Idlewild Park, I saw sixteen children of God.

Some held plaques bearing the timeless inspirational phrases of peace and reconciliation, witnessing to the hope for peace and justice in the world. A ploughshare stood at the front of the small group. The group consisted mostly of aging people who have been witnessing for peace here in Easton weekly for twenty years. A young mother brought her infant and an older child to participate. The older boy waved the U.N. flag. A bevy of small national flags were placed in a semi-circle along at the corner. As cars drove by, some drivers beeped and waved in solidarity, most looked straight ahead and one driver, shaking his fist, yelled from his car, “build the wall.”

September 21st was the World Day of peace. The U.N invites us to celebrate the universal vision of peace and justice. The day comes and goes every year, largely unnoticed, unlike the anniversaries of military victories, which we celebrate with music, parades and bargain sales. Experience reveals that military victories don’t bring peace. Like the eye of the hurricane they bring a brief calm before the violence resumes again, this time from another quarter.

Peace on earth is tenuous. One of the great ironies of our human condition is that while most everyone yearns for peace, it’s achieved only episodically. War and violence, on the other hand, which almost everyone abhors, we wage regularly on one another.

St. Paul understood this: “The good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do,” he writes.

I see peace as something that ascends like incense, rather than trickling down, like water. The faith earned in the hearts of individuals possessing a spiritual vision of peace, like Dag Hammarskjold, has ways of working its way upward and outward, offering the potential to calm and heal a troubled world. A state of peace achieved by warring factions does not necessarily trickle down to individuals – individuals may remain deeply troubled long after hostilities have ended, say, in our own civil war, in Germany between World War I and II, and the transient truces of the Middle East conflicts. Rage can smolder just under the surface of declared peace.

In Christianity, the mustard seed is the signature metaphor for faith. Faith, like the tiny mustard seed may be barely visible but once rooted, it grows to become a sanctuary for other living beings.

I am grateful for the vigil that our faithful peacemakers keep weekly. Without them, who’d keep the vision of peace alive for us?

Significant New Maryland Laws go into Effect Beginning October 1

Starting Oct. 1, various laws will go into effect in Maryland, including laws to deter drunken driving, increase police accountability and public safety, promote workers’ rights, establish opioid addiction outreach programs and protect the freedom of the press.

Here is a roundup, by subject area, of some of the legislation that begins Saturday:

Children in Need of Assistance, Guardianship, Adoption, Custody, and Visitation — Blindness of Parent/Guardian (SB765): In cases with disabled parents, disabilities, including blindness, cannot discredit the parent unless proven that the disability is not in the best interest of the child.

Divorce-Corroboration of Testimony (SB359, HB274): Reversing previous laws, this allows courts to enter decrees of divorce on behalf of one spouse without the agreement of the other. It also establishes that a separation agreement is no longer sufficient to show both spouses want an absolute divorce.

Testimony by Perjurer (SB150, HB237): People who have been convicted of perjuring themselves, or lying under oath, will no longer be prohibited from testifying in court.

–By Sam Reilly


Providing Alcohol to Underage Drinkers/Alex and Calvin’s Law (HB409): Following the death of Alex Murk and Calvin Li in a 2015 drunken-driving accident after a party, this law prohibits a person from allowing underage individuals to consume alcohol if they should have known that individual would drive under the influence.

Justice Reinvestment Act (SB1005): The law expands drug treatment in the state health department, and treatment for substance abuse and mental health through the corrections department, including risk and needs assessments to determine risks of reoffending. The law also calls for plans for inmate rehabilitation.

Public Safety and Policing Workgroup (HB1016): This law enacts a number of suggestions from the Public Safety and Policing Workgroup, including protecting law enforcement officers from being penalized or retaliated against for disclosing information, and establishing the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Seizure and Forfeiture (SB161/HB336): This law outlines procedures for seizure and forfeiture of property from a vehicle or other location, such as notifying the owner that it has been seized, within a specific amount of time. The law also repeals a provision that allowed for the forfeiture of drug-related money and weapons.

Child Abuse and Neglect (SB310, HB245): Anyone involved in an investigation of child abuse or neglect must report suspicions of another individual knowingly failing to report child abuse to the appropriate board, agency, institution or facility.

Criminal Law-Stalking (SB278/HB155): This law expands the definition of stalker from inciting physical fears or threats to include causing emotional distress.

Pretrial Release-Prior Crime of Violence (SB604): A District Court commissioner may not authorize the pretrial release of defendants who have been convicted of a specified crime or a crime of violence.

–By Sam Reilly


Equal Pay for Equal Work (SB 481): An expansion of the current law, this legislation prohibits employers from paying employees of one gender identity at a lesser rate than other employees. The bill also states that employers may not prohibit employees from discussing or disclosing salaries.

Minimum Wage for the Disabled (SB 417): Starting Oct. 1, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry cannot authorize a work activities center or other sheltered workshop to pay an employee with a disability a subminimum wage unless granted prior permission to do so. Until Oct. 1, 2020, however, employers with prior permission may continue to do so. Afterward, no employer — under any circumstance — can pay a subminimum wage to a disabled employee.

Apprenticeships (SB 92): Members of the Maryland Apprenticeships and Training Council and its consultants must reflect geographic, racial, ethnic, cultural and gender diversity within the state.

–By Katishi Maake


Student Journalists (SB 764): Student journalists in public elementary or secondary schools or public institutions of higher education have the right to exercise freedom of speech and freedom of the press in school-sponsored media, with some restrictions. Each county board of education and public institution of higher education must write a policy that may include limitations on abusive or threatening language or profanity.

University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act (SB 1052): The law cements a partnership between the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore and calls for them to be named the University of Maryland. Additionally, it calls for the University System of Maryland to create a headquarters in Baltimore by July 1. The alliance leverages resources on both campuses to improve academic programs, and economic and community development.

Consumer Protection Provisions (SB 427): Private career schools and for-profit institutions can no longer enroll students in programs that are intended to lead to employment in fields that require a license or certification in Maryland, but don’t meet state requirements. Violations will be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

–By Katishi Maake


Greenhouse Gas Emissions (SB 323): This bill repeals the termination date of the current requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 2006 levels by 2020 and requires the State to reduce GHG emissions by 40 percent from 2006 levels by 2030.

Pollinator Protection Act — Bees (SB 113/HB 132) (SB 198/HB 211): Repeals the requirement that a person must request or provide an entry permit from the Maryland Department of Agriculture before shipping or transporting a bee colony or used bee equipment into the state. However, any colony or used bee equipment shipped or transported into the state must still carry an inspection certificate from the state of origin.

Solar Electric Generating Facility (SB 811/HB 440): Requires electric companies to issue final approval to operate a customer-generator’s solar electric facility on the company’s distribution facilities within 20 business days after the completion of the installation process and receipt of paperwork. An electric company must meet these requirements for at least 90 percent of installations during the year in their service territory.

Oysters: Aquaculture – Liability for Trespass (HB 799): Establishes that a person who willfully, negligently, recklessly, wrongfully, or maliciously enters any area leased to another person for aquaculture purposes to harvest, damage, or transfer shellfish or to alter, damage, or remove any markings or equipment is liable for specified damages, which may include attorney fees or court costs.

Oysters: Dredging (HB 319): Makes some provisions related to dredging for oysters, including limited authorization of dredge boats to be propelled by an auxiliary yawl boat, applicable only to vessels that meet specified standards. The law also repeals requirements for numbers that must be displayed on a dredge boat.

–By Eleanor Mueller


Maryland Income Tax Refunds – Warrant Intercept Program (SB 425/HB 390): If an individual has an outstanding warrant, county officials may request that the comptroller withhold that person’s income tax refund, including active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The state must also study the program to ensure there is no racial bias.

Senior Citizen Activities Center Operating Fund (SB 98, SB 805/HB 262): This law increases, from $500,000 to $750,000, the minimum annual funding to the fund, requires additional expenditures under specified circumstances, and alters how the funds are distributed to jurisdictions.

–By Eleanor Mueller


Gaming – Home Games (HB 127): Anyone 21 years or older can bet on home card games or mahjong as long as the games do not occur more than once a week and are played with friends. There is a $1,000 limit per 24-hour period and no fees may be charged.

State Lottery and Video Lottery Facility Payouts — Remittance of Intercepted Prizes (SB 78): The bill repeals the 15-day waiting period for the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to transfer the lottery prize payout of a winner who is overdue on child-support payments.

–By Robbie Greenspan


Opioid-Associated Disease Prevention and Outreach Programs (SB 97): The bill repeals Prince George’s County AIDS-related needle exchange program, and will instead authorize health departments or community-based organizations in every county to establish an opioid-associated disease prevention and outreach program, with the approval of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Hospitals – Designation of Lay Caregivers (HB 1277): A hospital is required before the patient is discharged to provide a patient or their legal guardian with an opportunity to designate a “lay caregiver.”

State Board of Physicians – Licensing Exemption – Physicians with Traveling Athletic and Sports Teams (HB 119): Physicians are exempt from state licensing requirements, including the requirement to submit to a criminal history records check.

–By Robbie Greenspan


Open Meetings Act – Agendas (HB 217): Agendas for public body meetings must be made available to the public at the time of the notice of the meeting or at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Open Meetings Act – (SB 17, HB 984): Public bodies will keep a written copy of minutes or video or audio recordings for five years instead of one of an open session.

–By Vickie Connor


Drunk Driving Reduction Act/ Noah’s Law (SB 945): The Motor Vehicle Association will require people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drivers found to have a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher to use the Ignition Interlock System Program for a specific amount of time. This bill was initiated after Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta was struck and killed by a drunk driver. A sticker honoring the officer will be on each interlock device.

Death or Injury by Vehicle (SB0160, HB157): The law increases penalties for offenders who commit vehicular manslaughter who have been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol previously. Offenders can now face up to 15 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Motor Vehicle Insurance — Carrying Proof of Coverage (SB 0544, HB 0720): This law requires drivers to have a current insurance identification card — paper, plastic or electronic — with them or in their vehicle, or face a $50 fine starting July 1.

Historic Motor Vehicles – Authorized Uses and Inspections (HB 0058): This law requires historic motor vehicle owners to certify that it will not be used for transportation to employment or school, or for commercial purposes. The law changes some requirements for vehicles from 1985 or earlier.

HOV Lanes – Plug-In Electric Drive and Hybrid Vehicles (HB 1179): This bill issues an HOV permit to a “qualified hybrid vehicle,” allowing the vehicle to be driven in the HOV lane on U.S. Route 50 between I-95 / I-495 and U.S. Route 301, regardless of the number of people in the vehicle.

–By Vickie Connor


St. Michaels Harbour Inn, Marina & Spa Names New Spa Director

laurie-tothSt. Michaels Harbour Inn, Marina & Spa has named Laurie Toth, a licensed aesthetician and massage therapist, as the new director of the Spa at Harbour Inn. In this role, Toth will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the on-site spa’s operations as well as working directly with clients.

“Laurie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our spa and is a great addition to our team,” said Robert A.W. Pascal of the Pascal Family Group, which owns the property. “She has some great ideas for enhancing the services we provide to our guests and we are excited to have her here.”

Toth has more than 18 years of experience in the spa industry. The founder of Skin Sense in Annapolis, she practiced there for 11 years before selling her business to move to the Caribbean. She subsequently worked at some of the Virgin Islands’ finest resort spas including the Ritz Carlton and Marriott Frenchman’s Reef on St. Thomas. Most recently, she was the Spa Director at The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore.

Toth is designing a new spa menu to include unique massage and body treatments and a variety of skincare options focused on corrective care. In the retail boutique, she plans on offering a French aromatherapy-based skincare line called Decleor, as well as a variety of face, body and hair products and gift items made by local artisans.

“I look forward to not only working with the Inn’s guests, but also building relationships with members of the local community,” Toth said. “My goal is to ensure that the treatments my clients choose are the best options given their specific needs.” She also plans to start a membership program for residents of the area.

The services at the Spa at Harbour Inn are available to both men and women and include a variety of facials, body treatments and massages. The spa is open seven days a week by appointment. Appointments outside of regular business hours are accommodated on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more about St. Michaels Harbour Inn, Marina & Spa go to For more information about the Spa at Harbour Inn or to make an appointment, call 800-955-9001, extension 155.

Garden Club of the Eastern Shore Lecture

author-photo-copyCan a Garden Have Everything? with Colston Burrell, Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, sponsored by the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore at the Acadeny Art Museum, 106 South St., Easton, MD.

C. Colston Burrell is an acclaimed lecturer, garden designer, award winning author and photographer. Cole is an avid and lifelong plantsman, gardener and naturalist. Cole is a popular lecturer internationally on topics of design, plants and ecology. He has shared his encyclopedic knowledge of plants and his abiding respect for regional landscapes with professional and amateur audiences for 40 years. He is principal of Native Landscape Design and Restoration, which specializes in blending nature and culture through artistic design. In 2008 Cole received the Award of Distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers for his work promoting sustainable gardening practices.

birdhill1Cole worked as curator at the U.S. National Arboretum and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. He has devoted a lifetime to studying native plants in the wild and in gardens which lead to undergraduate degrees in Botany and Horticulture. He has an M.S. in Horticulture from University of Maryland and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota. He is a lecturer in the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he teaches about plants and their ecological connections to natural systems and cultural landscapes.

After tending a city lot alive with birds and butterflies in Minneapolis, MN, he now gardens on 10 wild acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia, where he grows natives and the best plants of the global garden. Cole’s garden Bird Hill was featured in The New York Times and frequently appears in national and regional publications. The garden is a popular destination for national tours. Visitors discover a collector’s paradise set among a pastiche of woodland, meadow, and gardens inspired by the beauty of the regional landscape.

FREE admission. For more information, contact: