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.

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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

Qlarant Foundation Grants $385,000 to Area Health Projects

Qlarant Foundation, the mission arm of Qlarant, recently awarded grants totaling $385,000 to 14 organizations in Maryland and Washington, DC supporting local healthcare-related quality improvement efforts.


Girls in the Game is committed to promoting the health and wellness of girls, educating them about alternatives to violence and strengthening underserved communities.

Of the 76 applications, 14 organizations received grants. “Again this year the Board was challenged with our grant selection,” said Dr. Molly Burgoyne-Brian, Qlarant Foundation Board of Directors chair. “The Board received many deserving applications, covering a variety of medical and social issues. It’s reassuring to know there are so many programs designed to improve the health of our most vulnerable populations. Ultimately, we chose a stellar group of programs covering a wide geographic area with diverse health and social concerns.”  Dr. Catherine Smoot-Haselnus, Qlarant Board chair, added “The work these organizations do is outstanding and often goes unnoticed.  We are proud to provide both funding and encouragement to the many volunteers and staff members who serve the community so well.”

Qlarant Foundation funded the following programs for 2018-19:

Access Carroll, Inc. – The Integrated Pharmaceutical Program helps low-income and at-risk residents of Carroll County achieve good health through access to free-of-charge medications and management of their chronic diseases and acute illnesses.

Breast Care for Washington, DC – Increasing Access to High Quality Breast Imaging for Medically Underserved Womenprovides mammograms, diagnostics and treatment to uninsured women at no cost to them.

Channel Marker, Inc. – Through the Health Home Program support is provided for clients in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties who suffer with pre-existing severe and persistent mental illness who also have other medical diagnoses.

Community Ministries of Rockville, Inc. – The Mansfield Kaseman Health Clinic provides quality healthcare and healthcare education to Montgomery County’s low-income uninsured and underinsured residents.

Eastern Shore Wellness Solutions, Inc. – The Health Outreach Workers Program provides care coordination for program participants and their primary care provider. It also is resource for the the social determinants of health, including housing, food and transportation.

Girls in the Game – The Baltimore After School Program addresses girls’ physical, mental and emotional health by exposing girls to a variety of sports and fitness activities in combination with nutrition, health education and leadership development.

Help and Outreach Point of Entry, Inc. – Homeless and poor clients on the Lower Eastern Shore receive medical assessments, health education and screening and referrals for treatment, with a focus on dental health, through the Tri-County Dental Health Outreach Program.

La Clinica del Pueblo, Inc. – Mi Refugio Community Mental Health and Support Program provides behavioral health services for unaccompanied and recently arrived immigrant youth at the Northwestern High School in Prince Georges County.

Maryland Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, Inc. – The Donated Dental Program recruits dentists and dental laboratories to provide services free of charge to low-income adults who are also disabled.

Miriam’s Kitchen, Inc. –The Social Services Program reduces barriers to medical and behavioral healthcare for District of Columbia residents who are experiencing prolonged homelessness and related complex health issues.

Mission of Mercy, Inc. – Expansion of the Shared Patient/Hospital Partner Program reduces hospital readmissions and improves health outcomes for uninsured or underinsured patients in Baltimore and Carroll counties as well as Baltimore City.

Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center, Inc. – The Holistic Opportunities for Prevention and Education Program addresses the gap in services offered to high-risk pregnant women on the Lower Eastern Shore.

University Legal Services, Inc. – The Jail and Prison Advocacy Program advocates for access to health care, mental health care, and comprehensive reentry support for currently incarcerated District of Columbia adults with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders.

University of Maryland Medical System Foundation – The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital Breathmobile Program provides free treatment and preventive care to Baltimore City underserved children with asthma.For more information on the recipients and their grants, go to  http://www.qlarant.com/about/qlarant-foundation/  Link

 

Spy Food: St. Michaels Farmers Market Turns 20 Years Old

On Saturday, June 30th from 8:30 to 11:30am, the St. Michaels Farmers Market invites everyone to come on over to 204 S. Talbot St. in St. Michaels to join them in celebrating their 20th year of offering fresh, healthy, delicious items from regional farms and local producers to the Bay Hundred community.

The Market will be a busier-than-usual beehive of activity for its 20th birthday with free tastings from guest chefs, including longtime Talbot County resident, Michael Rork; “birthday cake” from Arlene’s Creations; ice cream donated by Justine’s; and a raffle of market baskets full of tasty items donated by vendors.

As always, customers, families and friends are invited to come together to not only shop but also celebrate summer and yummy foods. On the special Market birthday, customers will be treated to music by Cambridge-based band, Blackwater, who will offer their unique repertoire of rock, blues, reggae and bluegrass. With an ever expanding array of original songs, and their own versions of not-so-familiar covers, something new is always on the playlist!

The new leadership for the Market has grown it in several new directions this year. It’s ‘producer-only’ focus—meaning everything sold at the market is grown or produced by the person selling it—makes the St. Michaels Farmers Market a unique asset for the mid-Shore community. This year, they have expanded to include an adjacent lot, allowing for several new vendors, and have made the Market SNAP-friendly so that more people and community can purchase the fresh healthy meats, vegetables and other goods available.

To keep up with the St. Michaels Farmers Market and the celebration, check them out at www.facebook.com/loveyourfarmer.

Bountiful Flooring’s Debbie Mohr now Store Manager

Bountiful Flooring is pleased to announce that Debbie Mohr has been promoted to the position of Store Manager. Mohr is well known by Bountiful Flooring customers. She had previously served as a Flooring Specialist with the company for several years. She has a total of 33 years of industry experience and brings many qualifications to her new position. Mohr is a certified Hunter Douglas installer and regularly attends workshops and classes on various flooring products and installation techniques.

In her new role, Mohr will be responsible for overseeing the service and quality of Bountiful Flooring’s products and installers. She will also manage the store’s extensive vendor relationships to ensure access to the best product selections. “We carry so many unique products, and I love how creative that allows us to be with design,” Mohr said. “I especially love working with tile. The design possibilities are endless, and we can come up with something that truly ‘wows’ the customer.”

Mohr will be leading an upcoming expansion of Bountiful Flooring to a larger location later this year. The move will enable the store to further expand its selections and provide more space for design consultations with customers. “I’m thrilled to have Debbie leading this important strategic initiative for the store,” said Jamie Merida, owner of Bountiful Flooring and its sister-store Bountiful Interiors. “She has a great vision for how the new location will better serve our customers.”

Bountiful Flooring is also pleased to announce that Carol Smith has joined its staff as a Flooring Specialist. Smith worked as an upholsterer for many years and is well known by Bountiful customers. Her experience working with different materials and textures has prepared her well to assist customers with flooring designs and selections.

Bountiful Flooring is currently located in the Talbot Towne Shopping Center at 218 North Washington Street in Easton. The store is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, please call 410.822.2622 or visit bountifulflooring.com.

St. Michaels Museum July 4th Celebration and Children’s Parade

The St Michaels Museum will again celebrate Independence Day with a beginning with children’s parade.  The festivities begin at St. Mary’s Square at 10 am. Patriotic dress is encouraged by all, and children, bicycles, wagons, and pets are welcomed to participate.

Follow the parade route from the museum at St. Mary’s Square, along Talbot St, and back to the square.  The patriotic program begins at 11am. The Pledge of Allegiance and flag raising will be led by Boy Scout Troop 741.  

Enjoy refreshments from the fire department’s food truck and Justine’s Ice Cream.  Phillips Wharf’s Fishmobile and Magician John Dodge will be there for the children’s enjoyment.  

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Curator Pete Lesher will speak on “Frederick Douglas and Freedom Through Education”. The Museum will be open so parade attendees can tour the current exhibit, “Business in St Michaels” and the Permanent Exhibit of the Life of Frederick Douglass.

For more information, please call 410-745-0530 or visit www.stmichaelsmuseum.org

Sherwood Seminars Held on Third Tuesday of Each Month

Sherwood Seminars are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Sherwood Church Hall on Sherwood Landing Road, Sherwood, MD. The programs are open to the public in the Bay Hundred area. Topics vary each month and may include anything from health and well being, to land conservancy, to holiday crafts and caroling. Refreshments are available at 6:30 p.m. and our programs start promptly at 7 p.m.

Our next seminar is Tuesday, June 19th. Ken Kozel, President and CEO of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, will tell us how the Easton Hospital has expanded and improved its services and what is planned for the future. Attached is more information about the program on June 19th.

Andy Harris on the Eastern Shore June 1 to Talk Vet Issues

On June 1, Congressman Andy Harris will host a roundtable discussion with local veterans at American Legion Post 18. Congressman Harris and the veterans in attendance will discuss several issues American veterans are currently facing, and the proposed solutions under consideration in Congress. After this event, Congressman Harris will meet with local farmers at MidAtlantic Farm Credit to discuss this year’s farm bill, crop insurance, and other agricultural issues.

The Congressman will conclude the day by attending the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in Easton, where he will read the names of America’s fallen heroes and participate in the ceremonial wreath laying. Media is welcome to attend all of these events.

June 1, 2018

Veterans Roundtable
3:00 – 3:45 PM
Jeff Davis American Legion Post 18
2619 Centreville Road, Centreville MD 21617

Farm Credit Bureau Roundtable
4:15 – 5:00 PM
MidAtlantic Farm Credit
379 Deep Shore Road, Denton MD 21629

Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall Opening Ceremony
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Easton VFW Post 5118
355 Glebe Road, Easton, MD 21601