Op-Ed: Jesse Colvin Best for the Environment by Kate Livie

The counties in Maryland’s District 1 sprawl awkwardly across the map from Ocean City to Smith Island to Carroll County. But there’s one big thing we all share—access to the Chesapeake Bay. Our counties collectively possess more of the Bay’s shoreline than any other district—something that’s given us a front seat to the surges of sediment, freshwater and debris that’s pulsed down the Susquehanna and through the Conowingo Dam all summer long.

It hasn’t been pretty. Any waterman, boater, swimmer or homeowner can tell you that. Our wetter than average spring and rainy summer—the wettest in a century— has sent record high flows down the Susquehanna, causing the floodgates at Conowingo Dam to be opened multiple times throughout the summer. Behind the dam was the largest collection of garbage and floating detritus in 20 years. Although Exelon removed 1800 tons of trash from behind the dam, the rest poured into the Chesapeake in a thick brown torrent, rich with all of Pennsylvania’s topsoil and fertilizer.

District 1 watched it happen. This summer, we feared for our oysters, our waterfront, our maritime traditions, our tourism as we drowned in Pennsylvania’s waste. Meanwhile, our troubles here in Bay country have failed to motivate our leadership to make a change. Our current representative, Andy Harris, has made a few token votes for the Bay’s environment while also voting scores of times to undermine national environmental standards. Clearly, Harris cares far more about currying favor with his party than helping the people he’s been elected to represent. He’s weak on the Chesapeake environment in a way none of his constituents living close to the Bay can ever afford to be.

Now, more than ever, it’s time for a change. We need a strong District 1 leader who is willing to work with the northern states in our watershed to address our imperiled Bay. A leader who believes in a healthy Chesapeake environment and economy—one who is willing to champion a comprehensive, commonsense, non-partisan approach that’s about what’s best for us here in the Bay’s communities.

I believe wholeheartedly that leader is Jesse Colvin. Colvin’s position is clear—if elected, when a bill crosses his desk in Washington, he will put the needs and values of his District first. Colvin has strongly committed to Chesapeake advocacy, and will work across the aisle to build critical relationships. Colvin’s approach is something we desperately need if a watershed-wide effort to maintain the Bay’s economic and recreational vitality is ever to be accomplished.

As a young person living on the Eastern Shore I wonder—will my children or grandchildren eat crabs harvested off of Rock Hall or swim in the Chester River? Or will that be gone—buried under endless sediment—in my lifetime? I want to look forward to a future where I see watermen’s workboats hauling their catch to the dock. I want to see sails cutting across the Chester River. I want to see kids cannonballing off the end of their dock, catching crabs with hand lines and knowing the Chesapeake Bay that I have always held so dear.

I want Jesse Colvin as my District 1 Representative.

Kate Livie is a Chesapeake writer, educator, Kent County native, and author of the 2015 book, Chesapeake Oysters, The Bay’s Foundation and Future.

Mid-Shore SCORE Offering Business Workshops in Classroom or Online

Mid-Shore SCORE is our local resource for starting a new business, business advice, help with your business plan, business education, and more. These services are provided at no cost and with complete confidentiality by experienced business executives volunteering their time. Mid-Shore SCORE is located in Easton, Maryland and we serve the Mid-Shore (Talbot County, Caroline County, and Dorchester County) and the Lower-Shore (Wicomico County, Somerset County, and Worcester County). Learn about us.

Learn from the experts with SCORE’s small business training workshops. On this page you’ll find instructor-led training offered in a SCORE office. You can also find interactive courses to help you learn new business strategies.

Get Your Small Business Found Online
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
*
Starting and Managing Your Small Business
Monday, October 22, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM EDT
*
Quickbooks (Desktop Version) – Basic and Intermediate Applications
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
*
Effective Marketing- Crucial Tips for the Small Business Entrepreneur
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
*
Financing Your Business
Monday, December 3, 2018 from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM EST
*
Quickbooks (Online Version) – Basic and Intermediate Applications
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST
For more information please go here

Andy Harris Receives NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award

On Thursday, September 13, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) awarded Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) with the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award for the 115th Congress.

Jon Kurrle, Vice President of Federal Government Relations, awarded Congressman Harris with the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award on behalf of the congressman’s “strong small business voting record in the 115th Congress” and his “support of small business and free enterprise.” The Congressman received the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award three times previously during the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congressional Terms. This will be his fourth consecutive Congressional term receiving the award.

Congressman Harris issued the following statement upon receiving the award:

“I am honored to receive the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business. The NFIB is a strong advocate for small businesses across America. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators are the backbone of our country and employ the majority of our workforce.  For many people, owning their own business is part of the American Dream.  I will continue to support efforts to reduce the tax and regulatory burdens faced by our small employers.”

Letter to the Editor: Open Letter to Council Member Corey Pack

We are counting on you to vote to support Amendment #4 to Bill 1401, introduced by Laura Price and supported by Dirck Bartlett. Since you will be away when the Council meets to consider this issue, we request that you sign a proxy vote in support of Amendment #4 to Bill 1401.

This amendment – not Jennifer Williams’ Amendment – will ensure that sewer alone will not be a justification for new development. We and our family and neighbors are watching this issue and will remember on November 6th who voted to support Laura’s Amendment and protect the rural character of our western villages.

Again, we do not support Ms Williams’ amendment on this subject.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hambleton, Sr.
Royal Oak, MD 21662

Letter to the Editor: Septic Lines Could Produce Unwanted Growth

I have been following the controversy associated with the zoning ordinance that is the result of the Next Step 190 deliberations. As one who cherishes the open space that farm fields and forests provide for us in Talbot County, like many others, I am fearful that the much needed septic lines that are planned to remediate failing septic systems, could inadvertently produce unanticipated and unwanted growth.

We are fortunate, however, that Laura Price, with the support of Dirck Bartlett, has offered an amendment that will remedy this situation. Her amendment #4 to Bill 1401 states: the fact that a sewer-line is extended past a property is not, standing alone, sufficient to show “substantial change”. For those not familiar with the Comprehensive Plan and the zoning that flows from it, “substantial change” is required when deviation to the zoning in place is proposed. Thus Laura Price has come up with a solution to the threat undesirable development that could otherwise occur. I urge the County Council to support this amendment. Please listen to what is an overwhelming cry to do so, Council President Jennifer Williams, Chuck Callaghan, and Corey Pack.

Abby Lewis
Easton

 

Letter to the Editor: Ethical Conduct Matters on Proposed Talbot County Noise Ordinance Bill

My comment pertains to Councilwoman Jennifer Williams. After hearing and seeing all her previous comments on the proposed Noise Ordinance Bill 1403, I find that it is a foregone conclusion that Councilwoman Williams has already made up her mind to favor the increased 65dBA daytime residential noise level as recommended by the Noise Ordinance Task Force (NOTF). It appears that the primary interest and representation of Councilwoman Williams in this matter is to the Miles River Yacht Club (MRYC) where she is a House Committee Member and the MRYC Commodore is a NOTF member who voted for the 65dBA.

In addition, not only is Councilwoman Williams a Facebook friend to the Commodore but she is also a reciprocal Facebook friend to another NOTF member who voted for 65dBA. It was these two NOTF members from her St. Michaels’ area that caused the NOTF recommendation that the residential noise level be raised to 65dBA.

I believe Councilwoman Williams has compromised her official position in this Noise Ordinance Bill matter and left open the door for the appearance of conflict of interest and a quid quo pro situation being a Talbot County Council Member favoring the business interests of these two NOTF members. I believe Councilwoman Williams should make things right and recuse herself from the voting process on this entire Noise Ordinance Bill 1403. Honest ethical behavior does matter, especially at the polls.

Leo Myzick
Easton

Kent Goes Purple Campaign Officially Launched

Kent County is going PURPLE and folks are fired up about it.

Kent Goes Purple is a county-wide substance abuse awareness initiative that is being led by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Chestertown Rotary Club to engage our community and youth to stand up against substance abuse. Everyone is getting on board – the county and municipal governments, first responder agencies, other service organizations, churches, the schools, Washington College, local media outlets, and prominent members of the arts, medical, legal, and business communities, are all expressing support for the initiative. Such support is including a stream of generous in-kind and monetary donations to help pay for the promotional and educational materials, projects, and events that have been developed to drive the message home.

“We’ve got a serious problem here in Kent County, and we’ve got to be proactive,” said Kent County Sheriff John Price. “Our belief is that Kent Goes Purple will be an effective way to educate adults and youth about the allure and stranglehold that opioids present.”

Kirk Helfenbein, a Chestertown Rotarian, member of the initiative’s Executive Committee, and funeral director with Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home said “I see on a daily basis the devastation that the opioid crisis is having on local families from all walks of life, and its roots and approaches to possible solutions need to be better understood by the public. We as a community have got to take a stand. I am gratified but not surprised by the outpouring of support, financial and otherwise, Kent Goes Purple is receiving from all corners of the County.” Along with Sheriff Price and Mr. Helfenbein, other members of the Kent Goes Purple Executive Committee include Lt. Dennis Hickman of the Sheriff’s Office, Billy Meekins, Drug Awareness Chairman of the Chestertown Elks Lodge, Chestertown Rotarian Lisa Webb, M.D. of Chester River OBGYN, and Chestertown Rotarian Andrew Meehan of MacLeod Law Group, LLC.

Kent Goes Purple will kick-off on the evening of September 7 when supporters will light up in purple multiple prominent buildings around the County to strengthen public awareness on the opioid epidemic, including at a ceremonial lighting of the County Courthouse during Chestertown’s First Friday festivities. Then get ready for colorful fun on Sunday morning, September 9, for the inaugural Kent Goes Purple 5K Color Fun Run, which begins and ends in Wilmer Park on the banks of the beautiful Chester River. Kent Goes Purple will also be distributing commemorative t-shirts to all Kent County high and middle school students and sponsoring a pre-game rally and halftime show at the Kent County High School v. Kent Island High School varsity football game on Friday, Sept. 14.

Kent is one of five mid-shore counties going purple this year to raise awareness on the region’s shared opioid epidemic, including Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, and Queen Anne’s. Each local initiative is being independently organized and funded. As a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, all donations made to Kent Goes Purple are tax deductible.

To learn more about Kent Goes Purple, to register for the Kent Goes Purple 5K Color Fun Run, and to donate online, visit: https://www.kentgoespurple.org/. Be sure to also find Kent Goes Purple at https://www.facebook.com/KentGoesPurple/. You can also make contact at kentgoespurple@gmail.com

Stay tuned for further announcements, feature stories, and updates.

To learn more about Kent Goes Purple, to register for the Kent Goes Purple 5K Color Fun Run, and to donate online, visit: https://www.kentgoespurple.org/. Be sure to also find Kent Goes Purple here. You can also make contact at kentgoespurple@gmail.com.

Letter to the Editor: Andy Harris is Out of the Mainstream of the Republican Party

Once again Representative Andy Harris lets us know that he resides at the far right edge of the Republican party.

We can all recall that Harris was one of the few Congressional Republicans who declined to withdraw his enthusiastic endorsement of Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race following the publication of multiple credible allegations that Moore was a sexual predator of underage girls.

Now, Harris has thrown his support behind the leaders of his Freedom Caucus in their effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein. Although not a co-sponsor of the impeachment filing, Harris supports the idea, telling a reporter “if this is what it takes, than this is what it takes.” Republican Speaker Paul Ryan has already thrown cold water on this misguided effort, saying that the tussle over documents between congressional Republicans and Rosenstein doesn’t rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” warranting impeachment.

Maryland’s 1st Congressional district leans Republican, but it is ill-served by Harris who advocates for an extreme and disruptive faction of the Republican party. Republicans should take a good look at Jesse Colvin who has been endorsed by our former Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (www.jessecolvin.com).

Warren Davis
Oxford, MD

Op-Ed: Wisdom of the Ages by Carol Voyles

As we await the next tweet and find ourselves scrambling in its aftermath, an historic perspective can offer relief. It not only reminds us of what we can accomplish working together, it is comforting to know our forefathers battled “fake news,” too — although not in quite so many venues. George Washington wrote a letter to Alexander Hamilton explaining that he would be getting out of public office because he no longer wanted to be “buffeted in the public prints by a set of infamous scribblers.”

Our forefathers did not always agree, but having experienced monarchy, they came together to “promote the general welfare.” Land, the primary measure of wealth then, was available to our settlers at little or no cost. South America headed in another direction. Oligarchs claimed it all.

Opportunity was ours, but we have since journeyed from having a president who could not tell a lie to accommodating a willful disregard for truth. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner suggested Republicans must be “kind of taking a nap somewhere.”

Our president has claimed we’re paying 90 percent of NATO’s way when we’re paying 22 percent; but we’re more concerned about what’s going on at home. Paul Ryan’s assurance that the tax plan is “for middle class families in this country who need a break” was music to our ears.

It’s looking like this “great Christmas gift” will cover the rising cost of gasoline or our Costco memberships. We do appreciate that, but the lion’s share is being funneled to the top when we already have CEO salaries hundreds of times our wages and a Great Depression level of income inequality.

Will Rogers warned us about “trickle down,” and our government has kept detailed records since. Our Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Treasury are reliable sources of precisely the undisputed data we need when our elected representatives harbor “alternative facts.”

We have a businessman in the White House, but it’s looking like his plan will add significantly to our debt. This may not be surprising. We can see that Republican administrations increased our nation’s debt by 431 percent as a share of our economy from 1979 through 2016. Democratic administrations, also serving five terms in office, increased it by 143 percent.

To put this in terms we might more easily relate to, Bush increased our debt by 101 percent and Obama by 74 percent. Democrats reduced deficits, but if President Trump spends the way he plans, the dollar amounts projected will add almost as much debt in in his first term as Obama did in two terms — and Obama had been handed our deepest recession.

All of these outcomes are impacted by our system of checks and balances and economic cycles; but Republican administrations defied all odds to hand us 9 of our 10 last recessions. Given a legislative majority and harboring a fondness for marketplace self-regulation, they delivered our Great Depression, Savings and Loan Crisis, Subprime Mortgage Crisis, and Great Recession.

If we truly want to “make America great again,” we’re aware that our economy has grown more during Democratic administrations since 1945. We’ve also created nearly three times as many jobs during Democratic administrations; and not surprisingly, higher wages and superior healthcare outcomes are found in Democratic states.

Governor Hogan is fond of pointing out that Maryland is doing better now than when O’Malley was governor. We always appreciate moving in a positive direction, but surfing a recovery has clearly been an advantage over being handed our deepest recession. Comparing our performance to a neighboring state’s could tell us more.

Our rate of job creation was higher than Virginia’s while O’Malley was governor, and we’ve been creating jobs at a slower rate since Governor Hogan took office. On the positive side, our governor is embracing bipartisanship somewhat more enthusiastically since Trump was elected.

Billionaire investor and author Ken Langone could lead us in a positive direction. He loves capitalism, as the title of his book suggests, but he also prioritizes positive outcomes and recognizes the 1950s as the premiere decade of our Golden Age of American Capitalism.

Our veterans got free education and no-money-down mortgages. We had livable wages. CEO salaries just 20 times an average employee’s were taxed over 90 percent at the top. And yet capitalism thrived as our middle class acquired 30 percent more purchasing power and our economy grew by a record 37 percent. We were paying our WWII bills, too.

Not surprisingly, Pew Research found that 73 percent of us trusted government to “do what is right” in 1958, while just 18 percent of us trust government today. Coincidentally, we also had more Democratic presidents and only Democratic legislative majorities in both houses of Congress for all but 4 years between 1945 and 1995.

The Republican Revolution found us “expanding our freedoms and rolling back the regulatory state,” or in lay terms, “getting government out of our way.” We elected more Republicans, and we got tax cuts. We also have the 2nd highest level of income inequality, the 3rd highest level of poverty, and the 4th highest infant mortality rate among the 36 industrialized nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. With just 8 of those OECD nations spending less, we may be getting what we pay for and ranking far too close for comfort to Mexico in too many categories.

The Wall Street Journal has reminded us that consumer spending drives 70 percent of our economy and is languishing at a 5-year low. We’re doing our best, but we also have less opportunity for advancement. A United Nations report has concluded that “the American dream has become the American illusion.”

Over a century ago William Jennings Bryan suggested, ”There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through onto those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, prosperity finds its way up and through every class.

”That has been our experience, and resentment has been cited as the reason Donald Trump is president. As author Matthew Stewart observed, “In order to make all of America as great as Trump country, we would have to torch about a quarter of total GDP, wipe a similar proportion of the nation’s housing into the sea, and lose a few years in life expectancy.”

On the positive side, fewer working age adults are contributing to lower levels of unemployment and could contribute to higher wages, and GDP growth is responding positively to tax cuts in the short term; but our current plan is forecast to maintain an extreme level of income inequality and be accompanied by large deficits, relatively low levels of infrastructure investment, and a slowing economy as tariffs levied on our allies lead toward recession.

We may be a deeply divided nation, but we agree that Congress is broken. We have no deal on immigration, no deal on health care, no deal on gun control, no deal on spending, no deal on NAFTA, no deal on China trade, no deal on steel and aluminum imports, no deal on Middle East peace, no deal on Syria, no deal on Iran, no deal on climate change, and while our military was undercut, no deal we can count on with North Korea.

Despite rumors of 200 more being laid off at Mid-Continent Nail Corporation due to the 25 percent tariff on steel imported from Mexico, the 60 employees already laid off remain largely supportive of our president. Some believe we shouldn’t do business with Mexico at all, but it may concern others that our banks won’t do business with Donald Trump. He refuses to show us the money, but Donald Jr. has assured us it is “pouring in from Russia.”

Plato warned of demagogues exploiting fear and prejudice, shutting down reasoned deliberation, and replacing democracy with tyranny. Athens remained a democracy, but nations have since fallen under the sway of demagogues primarily because people are hurting, not an excess of democracy.

It is up to us to make government work for us, and demanding accountability and voting accordingly will bring positive change. We might recall businessman Donald Trump advising, “I’ve been around a long time, and it just seems our economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.”

Fortunately, we don’t have to take his word for it.

Carol Voyles is a retired art director of educational media at Kettering Medical Center of Ohio and freelance designer and illustrator of children’s educational media and publications. Now residing with husband Robert in Sherwood, she has moved in the opposite direction of the many retirees becoming artists on the Eastern Shore and has served as Treasurer of the Talbot County Democratic Central Committee and Vice President of the Democratic Forum.

:

Grassroots Progressive Groups in MD 1st District to Protest Family Separation

Members of Together We Will Harford County/Upper Chesapeake, Talbot Rising, Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible, Worcester Indivisible, Queen Anne’s County Democratic Club, Harford Indivisible, Together We Will – Delmarva and Lower Shore Progressive Caucus will gather on Thursday in a coordinated effort to protest the treatment of asylum seekers and their families at the U.S. border, including the separation of parents and children and the placement of these children in internment camps.

Rallies will take place at Representative Andy Harris’s offices in Bel Air (15 East Churchville Rd.) and Salisbury (100 E. Main St.) at 5:00 pm and Kent Island (100 Olde Point Village, Chester) at 6:30 pm. Harris supports the inhumane immigration policies of the Trump administration.

For further information contact: talbotrising@gmail.org