Women’s Singing Group Moves to Easton and Seeks Singers

Shown are Director Roni Gapetz (left) and members on risers (L-R from the top) Laura Van Wie McGrory, Claudia Horney, Natalie Moon, Nancy Lorsong, Patty Blad, Gale Guinand, Dale Huffman, Gladys Kaplan, Susan Eddy, Joanne Groom, and Mary Jacquette.

The Women’s all cappella chorus Harmony on the Bay, the local chapter of Sweet Adelines International, is delighted to announce its move to Easton!  The group rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 6:15 to 9:00pm at the Elks Lodge (502 Dutchman’s Lane, Easton).

The group plans to increase its membership and welcomes experienced altos and sopranos.  The chorus sings at community events and looks forward to providing sweet harmony to Talbot county.

Contact 301.512.3288 or harmonyonthebay@gmail.com for more information.

 

 

Trump’s Wall Hits a Wall by Steve Parks

When asked what I miss most following my retirement two years ago, I’m reminded that in my two decades as a New York theater critic and arts writer my tickets to shows I reviewed displayed the cost to me: $0.00. That usually gets a laugh from whomever poses the question. But there’s nothing funny about furloughed federal government workers who, starting last week, received pay stubs bearing their value: $0.00.

To what end? The president insists there’s a security crisis at our southern border and that the only remedy is to build Wall from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. The $5.7 billion for said Wall over which he has shut down much of the government would cover only 200 miles, if that. There are already 700 miles of barriers in strategic places along the border with Mexico, which would leave another 1,000 Wall miles to build. To figure the total cost you might suppose that quintupling would cover it–$25 billion and change. You would be incalculably wrong. The Wall will never be completed in Trump’s lifetime or anyone else’s. Just as we all should have known that Mexico was never going to pay for it. Forget that the president now insists he never said that. Who does he think he’s fooling? There are hundreds, at least, of videos proving what he promised time after time, often leading call-and-responses: “What are we going to build?” “The Wall!” “And who’s going to pay for it?” “Mexico!”

Don’t tell me the president doesn’t lie. “I never said Mexico was going to write a check for the Wall,” he said along the Texas border recently. He wants us to believe he was speaking metaphorically. But read any of his endless streams of mostly mindless Tweets and you’ll see that the president wouldn’t know a metaphor from a meatball.

But what matters right now is all the suffering he’s causing for a stupidly impossible vanity project. A week before Christmas, Trump was ready to sign off on a compromise that would leave the government open. All departments would be funded except the Department of Homeland Security, which would stay open with a continuing resolution until a compromise could be reached on border security, with $1.3 billion already on the table for Trump’s Wall. The compromise now sits on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk. All he has to do is put it up for a vote. It would pass, perhaps by a veto-proof margin.

But Trump spends much of his “executive time” watching cable news. (If you doubt it, just look at the timing of his Tweets.) Right-wing commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter derided him as a fake president should he back down from his central campaign pledge. Forget Mexico paying for it. Just build Wall anyway and let middle-class American chumps pick up the tab. The word “fake” must have riled Trump, who’s always throwing it around regarding news dispensed outside of Sean Hannity’s Fox orbit.

Trump shut down the government over comments delivered by a blowhard former prescription drug addict and a wicked-tongued woman who once said of 9/11 widows who questioned George W. Bush’s Iraq invasion that they “reveled” in their husbands’ deaths. These are Trump’s “advisers” now that he’s chased away most of those who have some clue of which they speak.

All of this to build a Wall that can never be realized and would be ineffectual anyway. When Trump visited the border, he was shown pictures of tunnels dug beneath portions of walls, fences or other barriers. And he was asked about photos showing a steel-slat barrier, which he’s favored lately, that had been sliced through using a hacksaw you could buy at Lowe’s or Home Depot. His response? “That wall was built by previous administrations” (translate Obama), ignoring the lineup of other prototypes ordered by Trump clearly visible in the background. He further lies that 4,000 terrorists crossed the southern border in the last year and dispatched his vice president, secretary of homeland security and hapless press secretary to repeat his lie. The figure from the latest year available, 2017-18, from the president’s own Department of Homeland Security, is 6. And these were only suspects, such as people who bore similar names to known terrorists. Other numbers show that illegal immigration at our southern border are lowest they’ve been in this century.

There is a crisis at the border, a humanitarian one as Trump mentioned in his Oval Office address. But the crisis is of his making, starting with separating children, even preverbal babies, from their parents. Many parents who’ve not already been deported are held in internment camps while their children are detained separately in other obscenely for-profit facilities. And we’re all paying for it. Not Mexico.

Trump’s Wall will never be built no matter how loudly he huffs and puffs. Most of the land along the Rio Grande as well as parts of the desert west of Texas is privately owned. The president has threatened to divert FEMA funds meant to help American citizens devastated by wildfires and hurricanes and also the Defense Department budget to pay for Wall. But that’s only part of the bill. To build his Wall, the president has proposed declaring “military eminent domain.” That sounds like martial law—using force to take private land from ranch owners and others. Still, they would have to be compensated at whatever is deemed “fair market value.” One ranch owner said he wouldn’t sell “if they offered me a trillion dollars.” Eminent domain, even with a military threat—does the president propose arresting anyone who doesn’t take his offer?—means litigation. A massive government takeover of thousands of square miles of private land would occupy courts along the southern border for decades at an astronomical cost unimaginable even to Trump.

The best outcome I can foresee is that the president goes through with his threat to declare a national emergency and the courts give him even a partial go-ahead. Before an ounce of concrete is poured after all the court challenges, Trump will be out of office. We’d be left with a precedent for the next president to use for a global emergency—climate change. Maybe we’ll still have time to save the lowlands and islands of our Chesapeake region from being swallowed up by rising sea levels.

May that be your ironic legacy, Mr. President.

Steve Parks is a retired journalist now living in Easton.

  

   

Homage to Poet Mary Oliver: “When Death Comes”

Editor’s Note: Poet Mary Oliver passed away this week at the age of 83 years old. Oliver was a special favorite of the Spy and we sadly mourn her passing. 

We asked one of the Spy’s other favorite poets, Sue Ellen Thompson, to suggest a fitting poem to honor Oliver, and she very quickly responded with Oliver’s classic, “When Death Comes.”

When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
                              
–Mary Oliver

Under African Skies by Angela Rieck

I have been mesmerized by the deepest cerulean blue of oxygen-starved icebergs on the Antarctic Circle. I have absorbed the mysticism and spirituality emanating from the temples of Angor Wat. I have been transformed by the serenity of the Buddha in Thailand. I have marveled at the beauty of the Sydney Opera House and Botanical Gardens. I have seen the treasures of America’s cities and America’s national parks; and been entranced by the history of Europe and Rome. Yes, I have been very, very fortunate to have traveled all over the world. From each trip, I returned satisfied and enriched by the experience–but there is one place that calls me back…Africa.

My daughter and I went South Africa last fall. And I must confess that while I am an adventurous traveler, I require comfort. Once I hit my 20’s, tents became an uncomfortable memory. So we chose to stay in places that had individual guest bungalows. Cape Town was lovely, but it wasn’t until we went into Kruger National Park that our world changed.

Our park experience began before dawn, when we blindly put on as many winter clothes as we could (it was in the 50’s) and jumped into an open-air Range Rover accompanied by our driver (an experienced ranger) and a tracker sitting in a jump seat in the front of the vehicle. We began each safari feeling the cold, dry, expansive air and experiencing the African sunrise, silently marveling at the large red sphere climbing over the horizon to welcome us to our homeland. The air is large, the fragrance both complex and indescribable. I asked one of our guides which bush was the source of the scent, but he looked at me puzzled, these are African skies.

We were jostled and bumped to see our quarry, one of the big five (cape buffalo, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant) or our favorites, the giraffes and zebras. We were under strict orders to remain in our vehicle while we watched the animals that warily allowed us into their world. It took all of my willpower not to try to touch them, we were so close. Part of the excitement was the danger, but mostly it was being able to watch the richness of a natural life. We stayed out for 3 hours, and then returned at dusk to experience the red African sunset and spend another 3 hours observing the night show. Most animals emerge at night—the prey under the cover of darkness, the predators using their other senses to conquer their victims. Even the hippopotamuses emerge from their river sanctuary.

We felt at home under these African skies, where our ancestors had trekked over these lands. At night, we dined on food roasted on an open fire in the BOMA, a communal outdoor eating area.

One particularly cold night, the fire was smoking so badly that my asthma kicked in and I had to return to my bungalow to get my inhaler. Since the bungalows were within the park, policy dictated that I had to be accompanied by a ranger to protect me from unexpected encounters with wild predators. However, I had grown weary of this requirement. Our rangers worked on African time and it could take as long as 20 minutes to find an escort. So I started to sneak out on my own, only to be discovered by a very handsome, tall 30-something ranger who insisted on accompanying me. Thirty feet in front of our bungalow, he grabbed me around my waist and moved me to the side. A 30’s version of me would assume that he was putting a move on me, but now in my 60’s I knew better.

“Stop,” he whispered and pointed his flashlight to a crouched leopard glowering at us from 4 feet away. “She is not the one I am worried about, I can’t see her mate,” he commented as he slowly pulled a large knife out of his back pocket.

Our rangers have been trained to slit the throat of an attacking lion or leopard; and are able to kill a charging rhino or elephant with a single shot; so despite my heightened senses, I was not afraid.

“What do I do?” I whispered, exhilarated and grateful that I had allowed him to escort me.

“We remain still until she stops staring at us. That will be the sign that she is no longer interested in us.”

So we waited in frozen silence, my asthma attack vanquished by the adrenaline now flowing inside me. Then at his silent signal, we slowly and calmly walked to my bungalow.

That night I heard the loud, anguished growls of mating leopards. Like the African sky, this growl must be experienced; an unnatural, intense guttural moan. Their cries surrounded and vibrated through my bungalow. I learned later that this pair was using my bungalow grounds as their “love nest”. The female had chosen a new mate, cheating on the dominant male with his virile son. As we have discovered in the human kingdom, this handsome younger guy turned out to be a disappointment. A female leopard, driven by a need to reproduce, mates every two hours, while this particular male was quite content with his single conquest. All night they growled at each other in mutual frustration—he wanting to be left alone and she, singular in her pursuit.

Ignoring caution, I instinctively opened the windows and went outside to replace the heavy wooden doors with screens, oblivious to the cool air and the danger from two angry leopards. I needed to be a part of that African night. I needed to absorb those strangely familiar sounds that had been encoded in my DNA.

Angela Rieck was born and raised on a farm in Caroline County. After receiving her PhD in Mathematical Psychology from the University of Maryland, she worked as a scientist at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. Throughout her career, she held management jobs at AT&T, HP and Medco, finally retiring as a corporate executive for a large financial services company. Angela is also a wife, mother and an active volunteer serving on the Morris County School Board for 13 years and fostering and rehabilitating over 200 dogs. After the death of her husband, Dr. Rieck returned to the Eastern Shore to be with her siblings. With a daughter living and working in New York City, she and her dogs now split their time between Talbot County and Key West, FL.  

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum selected to build Maryland Dove

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has officially been selected to build a new Maryland Dove, a representation of the late 17th-century trading ship that accompanied the first European settlers to what is now Maryland. Maryland Dove is owned by the state of Maryland and operated and maintained by the Historic St. Mary’s City Commission.

“HSMC and CBMM are natural partners in this project,” said Regina Faden, Executive Director at Historic St. Mary’s City. “It fulfills both our missions and delivers a new Dove to tell the story of (early) Maryland.”

Maryland Dove is Historic St. Mary’s City’s floating ambassador and one of its most popular exhibits. The goal of the new ship design is to be as close to the 1634 original as possible, including features that were not known when Maryland Dove was built in 1978.

Ship design work will commence in January 2019, and construction is anticipated to begin at CBMM by mid-year. The launch of the new Maryland Dove is targeted for 2021. All work will be done in full public view, allowing the public to experience every stage of the project.

“We are thrilled and honored to have been selected to build a new Maryland Dove,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “Over the course of the next few years, our shipwrights and apprentices will build a historically accurate replacement to the existing ship, and we welcome guests to be a part of the construction and education experience.”

Pickering Creek… the Natural Choice by Tyler Redman

Ever since I was young, I have loved the outdoors. The animals, plants and overall atmosphere that came with it captivated me. So, when I heard I could help out at Pickering Creek as a Junior Naturalist (JN), I was elated. I had already been going there for school trips, so I was eager to start as a JN in my 7th grade year. The staff at Pickering Creek do a wonderful job of preparing the JNs by offering Citizen Science classes throughout the school year, where we learn all about the environment around Pickering Creek, outdoor safety, and about nature in general. We also go on several field trips to other natural areas like Patapsco State Park, Calvert Cliffs Park and Cunningham Falls State Park. In addition to the field trips, we volunteer at a number of events, including at the public library and at Pickering Creek itself, where we get to teach the community about different animals, such as an assortment of turtles and share information about nature and conservation.

Tyler Redman

One thing I love about Pickering Creek is that there is a heavy focus on helping the environment we live in to thrive. I have participated in bird-banding and Monarch tagging to collect data for research being done on migration patterns. Pickering Creek also encourages JNs to invite their family to help volunteer at events organized by Pickering Creek such as marsh grass planting in Dorchester County.

Pickering Creek has prepared me well to instill my love for the environment in the youth who attend Pickering Creek Eco Camp. It’s thrilling to see the young campers just as excited about nature as I was at their age. Whether through showing them a type of animal or playing a fun game, there is always something to do that teaches them more about the environment. It is fun to see the same campers year after year and to meet new ones because that means they are having fun, want to keep coming back, and are telling others about their experiences. The summer ends on a sad but extremely fun note. Even though we have to wait another year until the next EcoCamp, all of the JNs are invited to one big campout where we share fun stories about the past weeks, develop lasting bonds, and enjoy the great outdoors at Pickering Creek.

After all of the amazing experiences I’ve had at Pickering Creek, I began to wonder, “What could I do to give back to a place that has taught me so much and helped me develop so many life skills?” That is when I decided to do my BSA Eagle Scout Project at Pickering Creek. So, after reaching out to the Pickering Creek staff, I chose to re-route and create new trails. During my time as a JN this July, it was fun to see the campers enjoying the new trails I built and it felt great knowing that I gave something back to Pickering Creek. As well as building trails, I constructed two benches which were placed at ends of trails that overlook the creek. The views from each bench are serene so people will be able to rest and enjoy the beauty of Pickering Creek. I also built a birdhouse that I placed in a tree at the end of the creek overlook. It has the image of a Blue Jay wood burned onto the front of it and is specifically meant to provide a nesting place for Blue Jays or other birds. This bird house is special because “Blue Jay” is my JN nature name that the campers call me.

I know I’ll always love the outdoors, whether it means pursuing a career that relates to the environment and animals, or just exploring and going on outdoor adventures. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in both Boy Scouts and Pickering Creek, which have increased my love and appreciation for nature. I’m excited to continue to make more memories at Pickering Creek. This exceptional place has impacted my life in such a positive and incredible way and I will always remember it.

If it hasn’t already, I hope someday Pickering Creek will impact yours as well.

Tyler Redman is a Junior Naturalist at Pickering Creek Audubon Center. For more information, please go here.

Op-Ed: The State of Shore Regional Health in 2018 by Ken Kozel

Looking back at 2018, I want t to share the great progress made by UM Shore Regional Health in realizing our Mission, Creating Healthier Communities Together, and our Vision, To Be the Region’s Leader in Patient Centered Health Care.

November and December were dominated by preparations for our successfully completed week-long accreditation visit from the Joint Commission, followed by the transition to EPIC, our new electronic medical records system, linking patient care information within and outside of Shore Regional Health and the entire University of Maryland Medical System. Both of these achievements required an enormous amount of preparation and work for team members at all levels and all locations of our organization. I am particularly proud that throughout these near-simultaneous events, patient care remained our priority in every aspect of our inpatient and outpatient programs.

2018 was marked by several other important milestones:

Our Cardiac Catheterization Center exceeded our expectations in the number of life-saving emergency percutaneous coronary intervention (STEMI / PCI) procedures – when a heart attack results from a critically blocked artery and time is heart muscle. We are approaching 60 since the designation as a Cardiac Intervention Center (CIC) by MIEMSS in February, 2018. The Center’s Electrophysiology Service is effectively migrating patients from various medications taken prior to ablation and improving their quality of life.

UM SRH programs earned recognition from several prestigious accrediting and certification organizations during 2018. Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs in our three hospitals were recognized by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). At UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, the Primary Stroke Center earned re-designation from MIEMSS, and the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus and Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus designations. Our Requard Center for Acute Rehabilitation earned re-accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
Expanding access to care, a challenge for rural health care organizations such as ours, has been an ongoing focus for UM Shore Regional Health. 2018 saw considerable progress in this arena, as UM Community Medical Group added 18 new providers in primary care and several specialties. In palliative care and behavioral health, barriers to care formerly posed by geographic distance and travel times have been greatly diminished by telemedicine programs launched during the past year.

The Regional Opioid Task Force, formed in 2017 by UM SRH and including representatives from law enforcement, health departments, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, accomplished its mission of creating a standard intervention for patients involved in an opioid overdose. Our four emergency departments now offer consistent interventions that include medical evaluation and stabilization, a voluntary behavioral health assessment, a standardized educational message, connection with treatment providers, and expedited referral to A.F. Whitsitt Center for continued treatment and rehabilitation.

Plans for improvements and additions to our physical facilities also moved forward during 2018. We filed a Certificate of Need (CON) application with the Maryland Health Care Commission in September for a new, six-story, 135-bed hospital to replace Shore Medical Center at Easton. Three other regulatory applications, known as Certificates of Exemption (COE), were filed in July, 2018. These detailed the proposed conversion of Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to a freestanding medical facility that will include a state of the art emergency department, observation beds, diagnostic services, primary and specialty care, outpatient services and ambulatory surgery. These applications include proposals to relocate the inpatient beds and the behavioral health inpatient unit from UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to the existing Easton hospital, with very minor renovations, possibly as early as spring 2021, when the freestanding medical facility campus is complete. Coming much sooner is our new Shore Medical Pavilion at Denton, slated to open in early February 2019, which will provide “close to home” care for residents of Caroline County. The new pavilion will house primary and specialty care providers, laboratory and imaging services, outpatient behavioral health and rehabilitation care, and a home health office. We look forward to a formal opening event in the spring.

The three volunteer Auxiliaries and Foundations associated with UM Shore Regional Health continue to play a key role in advancing the quality of care provided in our hospitals and our outpatient services. Auxiliary volunteers contributed more than 57,000 hours and thousands of dollars to their respective hospitals in 2018. Support from individual donors, local businesses and foundations enabled us to purchase upgraded medical equipment and life-saving technologies. We are so grateful for the support of the Auxiliaries and Foundations, and that of our UM Shore Regional Health Board members, who devote their time to our mission.

Our focus upon a service excellence culture has transformed the ways in which we provide care, how we interact with patients, family members and loved ones, and how we support each other throughout the organization. It is heartwarming to feel the positive energy, caring and compassion in our team, our physicians and advanced practice providers, and the many volunteers who support these efforts. I am grateful for the support of our communities and the dedication of UM Shore Regional Health team members – our board, our Foundations and Auxiliaries, our physicians and providers — in all locations throughout the five county region we serve. Shore Regional Health is Where the Health of the Eastern Shore Comes First and we are so proud to serve your needs.

Ken Kozel is the president and CEO of UM Shore Regional Health

Talbot County Bipartisan Coalition Reorganized and Refocused

The Bipartisan Coalition of community organizations and individuals that played such a large part in the past County Council election, helping to unseat the former Council President, has determined that it will continue in existence but with a modified mission appropriate to citizens’ needs in coming years.

The group’s Chairman, Dan Watson, said, “Our alliance has been re-christened for the long term as ‘The Bipartisan Coalition of Talbot County PAC.’ It will serve as a network of community groups and engaged individuals devoted to sound local government for Talbot County. While we came together at first focused on a single election, our stated goal from the outset has always been ‘good local government.’ That very positive, policy-focused objective has not changed. The community’s recent success has ushered in a new era of awareness and engagement for many voters which we hope to sustain and strengthen.”

The network, formed initially by four community groups, has expanded to include people from all segments of the Talbot community, including members from the towns of Easton, Oxford and St. Michaels; people particularly focused on diverse issues such as education, the budget, and environmental issues; and, of course, registered Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. It is an open-ended and growing network, and everyone is welcome to enlist, whether as a formal member or even informally, as a means of staying informed.

The specific purposes of the Bipartisan Coalition going forward are, first, to maintain and grow our network of engaged organizations and individuals who recognize the importance of responsive local government to Talbot’s future. Secondly, we are committed to keeping our network reasonably informed, tracking activities at the County level, though not overloading people with minutia. The Coalition will also speak out as appropriate, whether in response to actions inimical to the Talbot’s future, or to advance positive initiatives that would strengthen the County. The Bipartisan Coalition of Talbot County hopes to play a positive and constructive role going forward.

 

Robert Brandt of St. Michaels has Passed

Robert Frederic Brandt, III of St. Michaels, MD died on Friday, December 28th, 2018 at Talbot Hospice.

Born in Louisville, KY on September 17, 1946, he was the son of the late Robert Frederic Brandt, Jr. and Dorothea Burton Brandt. Robert is survived by his wife Walda DuPriest-Brandt; sister, Ann Clayton Brandt of Versailles, KY; and his niece Andrea Leigh Hale and her wife Maureen
Hershman of Richmond, Va.

He was a graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism where he was managing editor of the student paper, “The Kernel.” He received an award for coverage of Robert Kennedy’s campaign in Kentucky.

Upon graduation he began his career at the “Hartford Courant.” He later worked at the “Tampa Tribune,” “Miami Herald” and “Washington Star” before moving to
“Newsday” on Long Island, NY.

During his 20-year career at “Newsday,” the newspaper received 11 Pulitzer Prizes for its news reporting. He eventually became Managing Editor and Vice
President of Operations. “Newsday” developed from a regional newspaper to a world class newspaper -and a total redesign on his watch.
From 1998-2001, he served as a judge for the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, helping to groom college students for careers in the field.

He served as Chairman of the Board of the Guide Dog Foundation based in Smithtown, NY. Several guide dogs were named “Bob” in his honor.
In 2001, Brandt retired from “Newsday.” He and his wife moved to St. Michaels, MD where he volunteered with “Christmas in St. Michaels” and served on the
board of the Talbot Humane Society, Inc.

In 2013, he published “Chameleon: The True Story of an Imposter’s Remarkable Odyssey” after several years of research
and travel to Brooklyn, NY and Caracas, Venezuela where his character had lived.

He had a life-long interest in music, stemming from playing guitar and singing in rock and roll bands in Louisville and Richmond, KY which played locally and
regionally. One band backed up Ike and Tina Turner in concert and toured with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, January 5th, 2019 from 10am until the time of the service at 11am at the Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home, P.A.,
200 S. Harrison Street, Easton, MD.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, 371 E. Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787 or the Talbot Humane Society, Inc., 7894 Ocean Gateway, Easton, MD 21601.

For online condolences, please visit: www.fhnfuneralhome.com

Letter to the Editor: Don’t Count on Star-Democrat For Entirely Accurate County Council Coverage

A front page article in the December 19, 2018 print edition of the Star-Democrat did not include two important facts that helps refute recent concerns by some that “bloc voting” will be the norm on the Council. This article failed to report that Councilman Pete Lesher publicly stated his agreement with Councilman Frank Divilio’s suggestion that discussion on applicants for appointments to Boards and Committees should be done in Executive (private) Session.

The article also failed to report that such discussions have always been done in Executive (private) Sessions. Whether these omissions were intentional or due to a reporter at the meeting not paying attention to the Council proceedings and not knowing historical precedent, one has to wonder about the commitment of the Star Democrat to accuracy in their reporting. One also has to wonder whether or not omitting important facts is an example of a deliberate effort to present information that unfairly portrays certain Council members in a negative light while including grandstanding comments by another Council member on the need for “transparency”.

While the Star-Democrat did post a revised and more accurate article on their online version, I have yet to see a correction included in any print editions. Accordingly, all those who only read the print version of the article are likely unaware that the original article was incomplete and misleading. Going forward, Talbot County citizens need to be very cautious on making assumptions or drawing conclusions based on any information included in the print and/or digital editions of the Star-Democrat.

David Reel
Easton