About Aaron Shier

Library Brown Bag to Feature Pete Lesher, CBMM Museum Curator

bugeye EdnaELockwood by Steve Aprile

The bugeye Edna E. Lockwood

Pete Lesher, the chief curator for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will be the Brown Bag speaker for the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library on Monday, March 7, 2016 at noon. The bugeye Edna E. Lockwood will be the subject of the talk.

Built on Tilghman Island in 1889, the bugeye Edna E. Lockwood dredged for oysters for 78 straight years before coming to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. She was saved in the late 1970s, when her topsides and deck were rebuilt, and now that she is 127 years old, her lower hull needs attention. In this talk, the Museum’s chief curator Pete Lesher will describe the preparations for this next restoration, from documenting her shape with laser scans to a training exercise in traditional Chesapeake Bay log boat construction techniques.

Mr. Lesher has served on the staff since 1991. In addition to overseeing museum exhibits, programs, and the restoration boat yard, he is responsible for the museum’s collections – ranging from floating watercraft to photographs and oral history archives. He graduated Lafayette College and holds an MA in history from Columbia. His research specialty is the history of wooden shipbuilding on Chesapeake Bay. Outside of work, he is serving his second term as an elected member of the Easton Town Council, he is active in historic preservation as chairman of the St. Michaels Historic District Commission, and he is a sailor, taking particular pleasure in his role as jib tender on one of the Chesapeake Bay sailing log canoes, the 1882-built Island Bird.

The Friends of the Library are sponsors of the speaker series and everyone is invited to bring their lunch or a snack and enjoy coffee and dessert provided by the library. All library programs are free and open to the public. For more information you can check the library website at www.tcfl.org or call (410) 745-5877.


Collaborative Effort & Oysters Key to Corsica River Recovery

In 1996, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) added the Corsica River in Queen Anne’s County to its list of impaired waterways. The problem? Algal blooms and other water quality issues were proving detrimental to aquatic life, and also limited recreational use of the river.

Today, the river is on the mend, the result of the implementation of the Corsica River Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS). Behind the strategy, an ongoing effort now in its eighth year, is a partnership between the Town of Centreville, the Corscia River Conservancy (CRC), the Queen Anne’s County Soil Conservation District, and other local partners, with management support by the the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and MDE.

The Corsica River's three subwatersheds are part of the Corsica River Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS).

The Corsica River’s three subwatersheds are part of the Corsica River Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS).

“The effort to restore the Corsica has required careful planning and the perseverance of local citizens, state and local government, and our partners in agriculture,” explained Frank DiGialleonardo, a Centreville resident who has long worked as a volunteer on the restoration of the Corsica watershed. “It’s remarkable what we have all been able to achieve together.”

Monitoring data from the river show significant improvement in nutrient loads of nitrogen and phosphorus, specifically in the nontidal tributaries of the Three Bridges Branch and Gravel Run subwatershed. Improvements are likely the result of a confluence of practices implemented through the WRAS, which are ongoing, and include:

  • Increased use of cover crops by farmers;
  • The implementation of other agricultural best management practices;
  • Multiple significant urban storm water infiltration projects, and;
  • Upgrades to Centreville’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The Corsica River action strategy has been a success from the start. After the EPA put its stamp of approval on it in 2005, it was highlighted as one of the nation’s best watershed plans at an annual Clean Water Act meeting. The same year, the governor chose the Corsica project for the state’s targeted restoration watershed program.

According to DiGialleonardo, despite the success of the project, the Corsica still faces challenges. “We continue to struggle with excessive nutrients that lead to too much algae and reduced water clarity needed for a healthy river ecosystem.”

How to continue to improve the Corsica? One of the answers might be oysters.

The Corsica was one of the first watersheds to partner with DNR in its Marylanders Grow Oysters program. Waterfront property owners are essentially gardening oysters in order to protect them during their vulnerable first year of life. Once sufficiently mature, they are planted on local sanctuaries, or oyster reefs, where they can play a role in filtering nutrients from the Corsica.

Oysters sampled at the Corsica Reef. Photo by Chris Judy, who is responsible for the MGO program at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Oysters sampled at the Corsica Reef. Photo by Chris Judy, who is responsible for the MGO program at the Maryland
Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Oysters are among the most effective tools in improving water clarity,” said DiGialleonardo. “Each oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. CRC is glad to be partnering with DNR to restore a historic oyster bar on the river.”

Sampling of the oyster reef by DNR indicates this approach is working so far, a boon for the Corsica and all who rely on it. While the impact of placing caged oysters in the river is limited compared to more intensive oyster reef restoration, the success of the MGO program may help pave the way toward future large scale projects in the Corsica.

Additional information about the oyster restoration program in the Corsica, including a short video, can be found at corsicariverconservancy.org and below. A recently published report about general progress with the watershed restoration project can be found there as well.


Church Alley Gallery Presents June Show

An exciting art show can be seen at the Church Alley Gallery during the month of June.  Opening on First Friday, June 6, oil paintings done by ten Brooklets Place art students will be on display.  There will be more than thirty works of art.

Initially offered as a class for beginners, the group has progressed over several years with students advancing to a high level of accomplishment.  Even students who have been in the class only a short time have produced some very nice paintings.  There is a tremendous variety of style, ranging from very precise detailed work to more impressionistic painting, more than thirty pieces in all.  Most work will be for sale, with a portion of the profit going to benefit the Senior Center at Brooklets Place.

After the show opens on June 6 between 5 and 7pm, the Church Alley Gallery hours are 9-5 Monday through Friday.  The Gallery is located at 32 South Washington Street.  For further information please contact Jane Bollman, 410-770-8611.

Magnolia on Discovery by Joi Pairo

Magnolia on Discovery by Joi Pairo


Save the Date: Famed Plein Air Painter Ken Auster at Easton Studio July 19

Easton Studio, known for offering art workshops by nationally known professional artists, is hosting a special painting demonstration by plein air painter, Ken Auster on Saturday, July 19th as a special event during Plein Air Easton’s 10th Year Anniversary, the demo will include an elegant wine reception. For a lucky few, there will be a separate 3-course dinner later that evening with the artist.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.29.40 AMCalifornia artist Ken Auster is a top tier plein air painter and winner of many firsts at various competitions. A member of Plein Air Painters of America, Ken is known for his vibrant personality and bold approach to his paintings. This former surfer and graphic artist is at the forefront of the American contemporary impressionists and continues to draw hundreds of
students who travel from around the world to attend his workshops. “Since Ken will be teaching
a workshop at Easton Studio beginning July 20th

we thought that an event like this would be the perfect tie-in with Plein-Air Easton,” says Easton Studio director Nancy Tankersley. “Having the opportunity to see a painter of Ken’s caliber work is a special treat, and the Inn at 202 Dover offers the ideal venue and an elegant respite from the heat and crowds of the other Plein Air Easton events.”at the historic Inn at 202 Dover in Easton. Offered and having an artist of Ken’s renown in town,

The painting demonstration and reception is $25 per person and takes place from 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Dinner will be at 5:30 pm. The cost for the dinner is $100 per person and is limited to 12
guests. Prepared by the Inn’s award-winning chef, this intimate dinner will be held in its own
private room and includes wine pairings, tax and gratuity.

For reservations or more information, contact Easton Studio, 410 770 4421 or email eastonstudio3@verizon.net.

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Easton Studio, formerly known as Easton Studio & School, is a multi-use arts facility. Primarily used for workshops, classes and artist’s studio, the space is also available for events. To learn more about Easton Studio, call 410-770-4421, or visit www.easton-studio.com


Hill Drug’s Heather Stallings Talk on Making Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Life Easier June

When the Easton CMT Support and Action Group meets on Saturday, June 7, from 10 AM until Noon at the Talbot County Free Library, the guest speaker will be Heather Stallings of Hill’s Drug Store.

Ms. Stallings, who has been responsible for all medical equipment at Hill’s since 2001, plans to tell the group about the many ways that services provided by Hill’s can help to make lives easier for those with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorder.
Whether it is orthopedic shoes, canes and walkers, assist chairs or a long list of other services, Ms. Stallings will illustrate that life can be made easier with proper equipment. She will also talk about how to deal with Medicare billing for prescribed medical equipment.

In addition to the featured talk, members will discuss what they learned when they were recently invited to tour the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Translational Science CMT lab in Rockville. At the CMT lab they were introduced to screening robotics, illustrations of how CMT cells respond to candidate compounds, viewed CMT1a cells through the microscope and were able to speak with chief scientists in the lab. The report should be most encouraging and informational.
Please plan to attend the June 7 meeting, which is open to the public.

Are Our Lawns Making Us Sick?

A recent Letter to the Editor has called attention to our use of herbicides and pesticides. A growing body of scientific evidence gathered from epidemiologic studies is showing that our “accepted levels” of contamination does not account for the cumulative effect these chemicals have on our heath. Physician Diane Lewis writes in the New York Times that “many chemicals that we use very casually on our lawns cause long-term health problems in ways that have only recently been understood.”

To continue reading her article go here.


Financial Exploitation Workshop to Educate About Risks to Seniors

Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century,” according to the National Council on Aging. In addition, “The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse” reports that the annual financial loss by victims of elder abuse is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion, a 12% increase since 2008.

On Friday, June 13, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Talbot County’s Senior Financial Exploitation Task Force is hosting its second annual Financial Exploitation Workshop at the Talbot Senior Center at Brookletts Place in Easton, MD. The workshop, which coincides with National Elder Abuse Awareness Day that week, will educate the community about the risks and vulnerabilities that our seniors face, particularly in regard to financial, Medicare and insurance fraud and marketing scams. The issue of financial exploitation by mail, computer and phone is increasingly affecting seniors every day.

Awareness is key to preventing this abuse. Seniors, children of seniors, caregivers and concerned citizens who want to learn more about risks and vulnerabilities seniors face today are encouraged to attend. Topics for the workshop include financial exploitation awareness, insurance and Medicare fraud, adult protective services, Internet safety, and financial security in retirement.

The event is sponsored by a task force comprised of local professionals from The Talbot Bank,

the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP/SMP), Home Instead Senior Care, Talbot County Department of Social Services, the Maryland Insurance Administration, Easton Police Department, Easton Utilities, and Edward Jones. Candlelight Cove is a co-sponsor of the event.

The event is free to the public, but seating may be limited. Lunch will be provided. For further information or to register, contact Brookletts Place at 410-822-2869.

On Friday, June 13, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Talbot County’s Senior Financial Exploitation Task Force is hosting its second annual Financial Exploitation Workshop at the Talbot Senior Center at Brookletts Place in Easton, MD. Pictured left to right are some of the members of the Senior Financial Exploitation Task Force planning the event, including Michael Stefanowitz, Maryland Insurance Administration; Sgt. James Miller, Easton Police Department; Tom Duncan, Edward Jones; Laura Heikes, Talbot Bank; Lee Newcomb, Talbot County Department of Social Services; and Jane Bateman, Home Instead Senior Care.

On Friday, June 13, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Talbot County’s Senior Financial Exploitation Task Force is hosting its second annual Financial Exploitation Workshop at the Talbot Senior Center at Brookletts Place in Easton, MD. Pictured left to right are some of the members of the Senior Financial Exploitation Task Force planning the event, including Michael Stefanowitz, Maryland Insurance Administration; Sgt. James Miller, Easton Police Department; Tom Duncan, Edward Jones; Laura Heikes, Talbot Bank; Lee Newcomb, Talbot County Department of Social Services; and Jane Bateman, Home Instead Senior Care.


Sheriff’s Report May 21

Cordova – On May 11, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office responded to a personal injury accident on Chapel Road at the intersection of Three Bridge Branch Road. The accident involved two vehicles, a silver Honda Accord which overturned on Chapel Road and a red Ford Mustang which was disabled on the shoulder. Information from witnesses revealed the red Ford Mustang was involved in a speed contest with a silver Ford Mustang just prior to the collision with the Honda Accord. The driver of the red Ford Mustang, Peter Elijah Skorupa, 19 of Cordova, MD was charged with eight traffic violations including driving vehicle in a race/speed contest on highway, reckless driving, aggressive driving, improper passing and other related charges all contributing to an accident. The driver of the silver Ford Mustang, a seventeen year old male from Easton, MD was also charged with several traffic violations, including driving vehicle in a race/speed contest on highway as well as possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. The juvenile was released to a parent and referred to juvenile services. Skorupa was released upon his signature on the citations.

Easton – On May 16, Deputies from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office were called to the 8000 block of Black Dog Alley for an assault in progress. Upon arrival Deputies made contact with Aaron Scott Jordan, 34 of Easton, MD who advised he had been involved in a verbal argument with his girlfriend, Amanda Dawn Smith, 31 of Wye Mills, MD, which led to a physical confrontation with her father, Palmer Frederick Knox, 56 of Wye Mills, MD. Deputies observed injuries on Knox consistent with a physical confrontation and placed Jordan under arrest charging him with one count of assault in the second degree. Jordan was taken before a District Court Commissioner who ordered Jordan held on a $25,000.00 bond.


Letter to the Editor: Support Fairness for All

Dear Editor:

During this past legislative session in Annapolis the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 was passed with large majorities in both chambers. This civil rights bill prohibits discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing and public places such as hotels, restaurants, theaters and sports venues. The bill’s purpose is to address problems facing transgender people living throughout Maryland including the Eastern Shore counties. Yes, believe it or not, there are transgender people married and single, with parents, siblings and children living in Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and all of our Eastern Shore counties! These families need basic support and protections just like the rest of our citizens. The Fairness for All Marylanders Act is designed to help these families!

The Republican Party led by Del. Parrott and House Minority Whip Kathy Szleiga announced that they are beginning a drive to force a November referendum on Maryland’s new (yet unsigned by Gov. O’Malley) “Fairness For All Marylanders Act of 2014.” During the conference they stated that they oppose SB 212 which they have called the “Bathroom bill” saying it “opens bathrooms to predators, not necessarily transsexuals.” They are using an image of a man peering over the top of a bathroom stall looking down onto a woman to launch their recall drive. This type of behavior (of a male peering over the top of a toilet stall) is fully prosecutable under existing laws and has nothing to do with the Fairness to all Marylanders Act. Please be reassured that transgender people have been using bathrooms that match their gender for hundreds years with out incident!

One of the stumbling blocks of the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960’s was the bathroom issue. Back in those dark ages some thought it was abhorrent that African Americans would use the same bathrooms as white people. This same tired old argument is being used again by the Republicans as they continue to instill unjustified fear among the citizens. It seems that Del. Parrott and the Minority Whip will preach “Liberty and Justice for all” but are unable to practice what they preach and will use gutter toilet tactics to defeat protections for groups they don’t approve of. This is really pure hate, fear mongering and the abuse of the people’s trust. Please DO NOT SIGN this petition and please ask your friends not to sign it either. If you see these petition people out and about, make it clear to them that thoughtful Marylanders and the people of the Eastern Shore know better than to stoop this low and expect a more civilized tone of debate.

Kendall Ruffatto, PFLAG Chestertown Chapter, President
Linda Dutton, PFLAG Chestertown Chapter Secretary
Jonathan Chace, PFLAG Chestertown Chapter Treasurer

Book Review: “Clean” by David Sheff

cleanNYT writer Mark Sussman’s reviews David Sheff’s book, “Clean,” beginning with,  “It must be the purest agony to be the parent of a child succumbing to drug addiction. David Sheff’s previous book was an account of his son Nic’s descent from a thoughtful boy to a sullen pothead to a self-destructive methamphetamine fiend, and of his own tormented and bewildered reaction”

Sheff also wrote the acclaimed book, “Beautiful Boy,” also about his son’s addiction.

Continue reading here.