Catching Up on St. Michaels Plans with Commissioner Bill Boos: Summer 2019

In our ongoing interviews with Talbot County leaders at the county and local municipality level, we continue with a catch-up session for William (Bill) Boos who will be serving as the president of the Town of St. Michaels Commission unto 2020.

In this check-in session, the Spy gets an update on the town’s plans for street improvements, a new town commissioner, the status of the St. Michaels new town hall plans, and finally a discussion of transparency with Town of St. Michaels government and elected officials.

This video is approximately six minutes in length.

Two Friends Talking: Resilience

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the Spy’s most recent effort in using the podcast model as one of our many tools in telling stories. While we welcome our readers to watch these broadcasts, they have been created with listening in mind, without significant editing, and to be enjoyed as a long-form presentation.

And that is undoubtedly our intention here as the Spy starts a new series entitled “Two Friends Talking.” Knowing of the joy, humor, and a good bit of wisdom that comes when two close friends sit over coffee and chat about a serious subject, the Spy was eager to find some way to share the remarkably educational moments that come with that exchange. Beyond the hard talk of local politics or neighborhood chatter, these conversations can unexpectedly drift from the mundane to the intellectually-demanding task of understanding the meaning of words like faith, compassion, death, kindness or forgiveness.

While many nationally-broadcast programs bring well-known personalities together for such dialogues, the Spy wanted to bring this kind of exchange to the local level; respectfully listening to, and learning from, the heart-to-heart talks of those in Talbot County known in the community as being both wise and candidly self-aware.

Two of those that truly fit that bill are Amy Haines (founder and owner of Easton’s Out of the Fire) and her friend of many years, Mid-Shore artist and educator, Sue Stockman. And with the Spy’s eternal gratitude, these fearless two have agreed to be part of this experiment.

Once a month, Amy and Sue will randomly select a word out of a large bowl filled with dozens of words that the two agreed in advance on as worthy of a conversation. All of which was to take place one Sunday every month in Amy’s cozy basement.

Beginning each program with the aromatherapeutic benefit of burning a bit of palo santo, Amy and Sue plop down on the sofa with that one word for thirty minutes for thought-provoking, humorous, and sometimes touching moments of reflection.

This month: Resilience (part one)

This video is approximately twenty-five minutes in length.


A Community Unites to Remember John Cassidy

Over 500 residents of the Mid-Shore gathered in front of the Easton YMCA Sunday night for a candlelight vigil in honor of John Joseph Cassidy who is the victim of a horrific crime that took place at the Peachblossom Road branch last Thursday morning.

The service, led by Rabbi Peter Hyman from Temple B’nai Israel, and joined by Talbot County Council President Corey Pack, Father Nash of Saints Peter and Paul, the Rev. Dr. William T. Wallace of Union United Methodist Church in St. Michaels, and Pastor Craig Fadel of the Bay Area Community Church in Easton, all spoke of the common need for the greater YMCA family to honor John Cassidy’s life, and to begin the painful but necessary process of healing.

With a moving rendition of Amazing Grace by the Bay Area Community Church members Sarah Weidlewalt & Rachel Pletts, those in attendance wept, hugged, and lit candles to grieve alongside the Cassidy family and take comfort. 

The Spy was there to share some of those moments with our readers.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length

Spy Minute: Tapping with Avalon’s 42nd Street

Who doesn’t love the classic Broadway musical “42nd Street?” Every time its performed, the audience leaves the theater with a smile on their face as they hum their way out of the lobby after protagonist Peggy Sayer has her dream come true in the finale.

At that’s the goal this time as well director Kimberly Stevens’ new production that debuts at the Avalon this weekend with the Avalon Children’s Theatre.

This ultimate show-biz musical is a celebration of Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre. Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. The question is – Will Peggy be able to step in at the last minute and become the star of the show?

Chock-full of Broadway standards, including “Go Into Your Dance,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street”, this is definitely a sure bet starting Friday.

The Spy spent a few minutes with Kimberly and a few members of the cast to get a feel of how much fun it can be.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Avalon Box Office at 410-822-7299

42nd Street – Young Performers’ Edition
Performed by the Avalon Children’s Theatre
Friday, May 31 at 7 PM
Saturday, June 1 at 2 PM
Sunday, June 2 at 2 PM
Avalon Theatre
Adults – $20; Students – $10

Not at the Academy: Student Art at the Shore Regional Health Pavilion

For Constance Del Nero, the Academy Art Museum director of Children’s Education & Community Programs, almost every vacant wall in Talbot County is an opportunity to display art. So when it was suggested that the new Shore Regional Health health Pavilion on Idlewild Avenue in Easton had plenty of those, she jumped at the chance to work with Talbot County Public Schools to fill the gap.

And over the last year, Connie and her fellow art teachers gathered a remarkable collection of some of its most promising artists not only to show off their talent but to provide an uplifting environment for patients and family members while visiting the building.

With Frame-it-Easy generously donating over a $1,000 worth of frames for the project, the health pavilion is now filled with some of Talbot County’s youngest artists work.

The Spy stopped by a few weeks ago to talk to Connie about this uplifting community art project to understand more about the Academy Art Museum’s goals to move beyond their South Street location to bring art to their community.

his video is approximately one minute in length. For more information about the Academy Art Museum, please go here

Publisher’s Note: The Spy, David Montgomery, and the Limits of Free Speech

On Monday of this week, the Spy published David Montgomery’s opinion piece on the recent school shooting in Colorado that took place earlier this month. In his commentary, David contrasted the terrorist motives with the heroism of the students who charged the assailant, one of whom was killed during this courageous act. Within his column, Montgomery expressed concerns that one of the murderers, who had been questioning his gender identity at the time of the crime, was the result of our society “brainwashing teens into gender dysphoria.” It was tortured logic at best.

Nonetheless, it has always been the Spy’s mission to provide a safe harbor for very different perspectives, even those that might be repugnant to this publisher or the vast majority of its readers. It was the my hope that readers would use the comment section to refute or challenge these outrageous views. That didn’t happen. In fact, serious damage was done.

In the spirit of doing no harm, or more harm, I have removed David’s commentary from the Spy. There are limits to free speech and the stigma he has attached to transgender people crossed a line that I wish I had the sensitivity as both an editor, and a gay man myself, to see the damage it presents to all of us that live in a culture that remains hostile to the notion of being different.

In my desire to find a full spectrum of thought for Spy readers, I failed my own test in judgment. I am horrified by this gap of moral direction.

Since I started the Spy started in 2009, it has been unambiguously supportive of gay rights, same-sex marriage, transgender protection, and, more importantly, we have celebrated Chestertown’s long history of diversity. I regret that David’s column has put this commitment into question.

Dave Wheelan
Publisher and Executive Editor

Mid-Shore Arts: Ian Ghent Will Pop Up in St. Michaels over Memorial Day Weekend

It is no secret that the Spy loves pop up stores of every kind. These short term wonders of gorilla commerce consistently offer patrons products that typically are never available on most American main streets, and that is particularly true for visual art.

That is why we were excited to hear that New York City-based artist, Ian Ghent, decided to showcase his work in St. Michaels using that format at the end of May. Ghent, a successful advertising creative director by day, uses oil and watercolor to capture the essence of urban life, with a particular emphasis on people and animals that evoke both insight and humor through his portrait work.

The Spy was able to connect with Ian via Skype the other day to talk about his work and methods.

Ian Ghent
314A Talbot Street
St. Michaels
May 25, 26, and 27  from 9:30 – 6:00

Mid-Shore Aviation: Helping Students See the Big Blue Sky of Aviation Careers

One of the most underreported challenges facing American aviation these days is the high demand for jobs in the fields of air traffic control, aviation maintenance, piloting, drone operators, and flight paramedics. In a world that has been pushing vocations like truck driving, EMS technicians, or master welders, the field of aviation tends to get far less attention, but its need for a trained workforce has never been greater.

That’s the point of view of Easton Airport’s newly appointed manager Micah Risher.

Risher, whose own path was dramatically changed when the Trappe native was introduced to the field of aviation as a teenager at the Mid-Shore’s popular airport, has made it a top priority to develop education programs that inform and excite young people about careers that are both high-paying and can be close to home. That is why this year the airport announced the establishment of its own Aviation Careers Education (ACE) program to expose high school students to these high demand, good-paying career opportunities.

Through the use of lessons in flight planning, aviation history, and the physics of flight as well as field trips to aviation-related sites, Easton Airport’s ACE seeks to stimulate student interests that can lead to a secure career down the road.

The Spy caught up with Misah at a recently converted hangar which has now become the new AEC Center at the airport to understand more.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about the Easton Airport please go here

At the Academy: Curator Scott Shields on the AAM Diebenkorn Exhibition

It is actually quite accurate to suggest that the Academy Art Museum has a blockbuster exhibition going on with its current exhibition of the early work of California artist Richard Diebenkorn.

While the small but mighty Academy has a history of pleasantly surprising visitors with powerhouse shows with the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, and James Turrell over the years; with Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955 it has set a new high point for the Delmarva peninsula as the only venue on the East Coast to show this remarkable collection the artist’s early work.

In partnership with the Diebenkorn Foundation and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, the AAM has worked with Scott Shields, the exhibition’s curator, to document the extraordinary artistic journey of one of America’s greatest modern art masters.

The Spy sat down with Scott at the Tidewater Inn a few Sundays ago to understand more how Diebenkorn’s early work demonstrates his unique progression before 1955 which marked his rise to the forefront of American modernism.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955 please go here

Remembering Nick Panuzio

The online site has reported that former Talbot County Republican leader Nick Panuzio died Friday evening in Easton.

The former Republican mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut was the Senior Partner of Panuzio & Giordano Public Affairs with offices in Alexandria, Virginia and Hartford.

Nick Panuzio was an advisor to the Talbot Spy from 2013 to 2018. We interviewed Nick in 2015 about his career in government.

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