Publisher Note: Keep the Spy Spying in Talbot County

Eight years ago this month, a small button was pushed in downtown Easton, and a new and untested approach to education-based local news for Talbot County was launched.

Named to honor the great tradition of “Spy” newspapers in existence during Colonial America, founded as a safe harbor for free speech, the new electronic paper came into being online as an experiment in utilizing the powerful multimedia tools the internet now offers to even the smallest of websites to hyper-local coverage of public affairs, the arts, and regional culture.

In order to succeed, the Spy, lacking any significant start-up funding, had to attract the support and generosity of the community’s robust population of writers, videographers, photographers, poets, and opinion-makers to provide the much-needed content to make the newspaper relevant and useful to its readership.

In a country where civic involvement is at a record low, it was a bit far-fetched, even for a community like Talbot County, perhaps one of the most generous and supportive regions in the United States, to assume that professionals, who had spent a lifetime building a career or business, would offer their talents free of charge.

But come they have, and so have our readers.

To date, the Talbot Spy attracts more than 400,000 readers a year. In 2018, 1.6 million articles were read by those visitors. While impressive by almost any standard, those numbers gain added significance given the Spy serves a total population of 35,000 residents.

In short, this modest undertaking has become what its founder’s only aspiration was when the Talbot Spy was switched  on in 2011: a community asset that is trusted and useful.

The primary reason is simple; the Talbot Spy is the community. Whether it be the writer or the subject, our content is merely a mirror of this remarkable place we call home. From local government leaders, artists, historians, or profiling Rotary members, the Spy puts a special spotlight on what makes Talbot County work so well.

But it has also been the cumulative impact of a multitude of small gestures of support that made this success story happen. Gentle emails telling us of typos, alerting us to people and programs needing attention, or just as importantly, criticizing the Spy on its editorial judgment, bias, or digression from our mission, are examples of the caring that sustains and comforts its editors and writers.

While the Spy depends on the generosity of our contributors, it does have real costs. From the stipends we pay our editors to technical support, the Talbot Spy has actual annual costs that need to be covered.

The Spy is fortunate and gratified that almost every segment of the County’s business community is represented with our ad sponsorships, but we must depend on our readers as well to be whole every year. And once again, we are using our anniversary to launch our 2019 annual fund appeal.

For the next few weeks, the Spy will be in campaign mode, and we apologize in advance for the pesky pop-up donation request that will be showing up frequently as part of this program.

I hope you can help by making a modest tax-deductible donation so we can continue to spy on Talbot County for many years to come.

Dave Wheelan
Founder and Executive Editor

Publisher Notes: The Spy Welcomes New Columnist Dan Watson

I want to welcome our new columnist for The Talbot Spy this week, Dan Watson. Dan, a resident of this county for twenty-five years after a successful career in real estate development, will be regularly writing on a variety of subjects focusing on Talbot County, but with a particular interest in local government and our environment—both the “built” and “natural” environment.

Many of our readers will remember Dan’s role as chair of Bipartisan Coalition For New Council Leadership, a political action committee, which successfully led a campaign to vote out the former President of the County Council. Before the 2018 election, Watson was an outspoken critic of many zoning and land use decisions made by the Talbot County Council. He has been a frequent contributor to the Spy since 2013.

As with the case with all of our columnists, the Spy does not support, nor endorse Dan’s unique point of view. Some readers will undoubtedly find fault with some of his positions, and therefore, it is critical for our readers to use our comment section, or a letter to the editor format, to give fair but civil rebuttals to Dan’s positions.

The Spy expects from Dan’s columns a thoughtful analysis, insight, and persistent vigilance on what’s happening in Talbot County a useful perspective of local government. But that can be a slippery slope. At its very best, these observations can be an irreplaceable tool that profoundly improves how our government operates. It can also, without doubt, eliminate, or put a spotlight on, perceived political corruption and biased discretion in the creation of laws and policy.

But at its very worst, even with the most well-intended practitioners, the act of vigilance can lead to painful consequences for a community. A hyperfocus on personalities in particular can and does lead quickly to overreaction, paranoia, and even unfair character assassination.

And yet, on balance, the Spy believes Dan’s eye on Talbot County has the potential to produce a meaningful dialogue for our community and readers. While these conversations might be painful to have, the Spy believes they are critically important for Talbot County’s continuous commitment in finding its “true north” in protecting our special quality of life.

In that spirit, we welcome Dan and his perspective on Talbot County.

Dave Wheelan
Executive Editor and Publisher

Editorial: Fussiness and Kindness in Talbot County

As one of the news portals that were duty bound to cover the Talbot County Council election of 2018, it was hard for The Spy to put its finger on why things became so manifestly ugly at the end. For a community that has prided itself as having Quaker-like respect for listening to other points of view, there was a breakdown of those norms this fall in ways unimaginable in the recent past.

It is not within The Spy’s mission to determine the innocent and the guilty of this kind of thing. This happens in all towns, rich and poor, large and small. But its occurrence here is still considered at the Spy as a temporary departure from the Talbot County’s genuinely courtly DNA. This is not a permanent condition; things will be reset.

The “cause” of such things though is hard to answer. It is true that the Trump era has introduced an “in your face” approach to political dialogue, but how and when that gets trickled down to a community level like Talbot is hard to determine.

The Spy, however, has another theory and it involves fussiness.

Simply stated, Talbot County has more fussier people living here now. Some of the fastidious were born here, while a good number have moved here, but collectively they are surely growing in numbers.  This may be due to our ever-expanding retirement population; since it is a truism that the older one gets, the fussier one becomes; but to single out one group is a pure form of ageism.

Nor should fussiness be seen in negative terms.  The “fussy” count some of the world’s most successful people as part of their tribe. They have become accomplished in building businesses, leading governments, or other forms of enterprise because of that fussiness. They are by nature, according to Webster’s, “overparticular, fastidious, discriminating, selective, exacting, demanding, choosy, picky” in their fields of concentration. Without those traits, very few things would get done well in American life.

Nevertheless, this personality trait carries some baggage. When seen in a professional life, the use of fussiness can mean the difference between success and failure, or, in some cases, life and death; but in almost any other context, the characteristics of being “over-elaborate, over-decorated, ornate, fancy, overdone; busy” might be misunderstood as “stubborn, uncaring, arrogant, deaf, and mean-spirited.”  So when Talbot County’s fussiest, whether they be in public office or as concerned citizens, engage in such issues like zoning, development, noise reduction, comprehensive plans, or short-term rental policies it exposes them to significant criticism including being seen as very unkindly in a county that likes kindliness a lot.

The plight of the locally fussy is a sad one, since many, if not all, are known to the Spy as caring, generous, and passionately committed to improving and protecting Talbot County, even if that means offering their all too frank opinions on what are the correct decibels of noise in a particular neighborhood. The suggestion that special interests outweigh their instinctive (and typically uncontrollable) impulse to solve these problems on their own holds little weight.

Nothing is more frustrating or hurtful than being misunderstood but that is the price the fussy of Talbot County pay for this inclination. Quickly their “overparticular” approach to solving problems is quickly perceived as being off-putting, egotistical, and at times a bit threatening.  What seems to them as good common sense tend to be greeted with doubt, distrust, or even worse, as being seen as unkindly to those with different views.

The Spy is not the only one who suggests the fussy get a bum rap. Indeed, there is a classic handbook to help the fussy among us, entitled How to Do Things Right: The Reflections of a Fussy Man by L. Rust Hills more than forty years ago.

Self-aware enough to accept and embrace his own life as a fussy person, Hills, a highly respected fiction editor at Esquire for over 30 years, highlighted the challenges of being picky in the modern world.  He offers helpful suggestions on how to do things the right way in chapters which include “How to Refold a Road Map,” “How to Eat an Ice Cream Cone” and ways on “Mapping Out The Errand Routes,” but also useful guidelines for the fussy how to navigate such things like, “How to Avoid Family Arguments,” and “Training for Leisure.”

Perhaps the most helpful for the fussy in Talbot is Hills’ tips on how to appear more kind. Knowing that the perception of being unkind is a severe handicap in winning an argument, Hills provides some very basic strategies in his chapter, “How to be Kindly,” including tips like:

“The first step toward being kindly is to appear kindly. You should smile sweetly a lot, more or less all the time… Practice your sweet smile when you’re alone, in the bathroom mirror… practice saying soothing and reassuring things.”

“Everyone knows that the way you act sooner or later becomes the way you are. If you act kindly long enough, surely you’ll really become kindly…Besides even if you can’t actually manage to become kindly, people may sort of let down their guard and begin thinking of you that way.”

While Talbot County should be extremely grateful that we have so many fussy people here, this “hard to please” crowd must build a certain degree self-awareness so that their wonderful ideas on land protection, economic development, the rights of property owners, or noise abatement will be heard by more people if they are perceived as doing it in a kindly fashion.

Equally, for the less fussy of us, the next time a controversial local issue comes up, or better yet, a letter to the editor rubs one the wrong way, L. Rust Hills would advise taking a deep breath and think of the special burden the fussy must carry as they share with us how to do things right in the right way.

In short, our fussy fellow citizens and elected officials really do care and, with the right tools at hand, will undoubtedly be more effective in the future after brushing up on their  kindness skills.


Editorial: There Can Never Be Enough Purple on the Mid-Shore in September

In the field of advertising, the old saying goes that it takes at least seven uniquely different exposures to a product before the consumer actually decides to purchase it. In the marketing of awareness and prevention of the opioid crisis, one should apply a multiplier effect of a 1,000 when the aim is to reach out to young people of the fatal consequences of a drug epidemic that killed 70,000 Americans last year.

Like other public health campaigns that have came before it, including such great successes as with the war against tobacco and AIDS, the strategy for drug awareness is simple; pound on the table as much as you can for as long as you can.

And that is the power and magic of the Purple project for the Mid-Shore this September.

Started last year in Talbot County by the Sheriff’s Office and the Tidewater Rotary with modest expectations, it turned out to be remarkably successful for reasons large and small as the community responded dramatically to “Talbot Goes Purple” through rallies, games, high school programs, and most importantly, the profoundly moving sight of entire towns lit up purple on almost every porch, storefront, street lamp, or dozens of other creative ways to show solidarity with oppied prevention.

As a result of this overwhelming response, Talbot Goes Purple became a model for other Mid-Shore counties to replicate, and it is profoundly moving that Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties have formed community partnerships with their schools, businesses, and neighborhoods to join “Mid-Shore Goes Purple,” including the Spy, which will become, we hope, a portal for news and stories from the five different purple campaigns.

But how do we know all this purple in September is working? Is this the most effective way to reach potential users of opioids?

The answer is an unequivocal “yes,” at least from the perspective of someone who is on the battlefield; Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. In his Spy interview to be broadcast today, Gamble points to data where deaths by overdoses have been reduced, and those receiving police-administered Narcan treatment (and therefore should be counted as lives saved) has increased.

Statistics like these remain the final test for how a county on the Shore is succeeding or failing on a drug epidemic, but one can not overlook the collateral benefits that have come with Talbot Goes Purple. From the creation of group homes for recovering drug users, the widespread training in the use of the life-saving Narcan, or the creation of student awareness groups at local schools, these examples demonstrate that Talbot’s collective response to the crisis is serious and sustained.

Our region has a long way to go before we are out of harm’s way with this horrific danger. The opioid crisis will take years, perhaps more than a decade, to be totally defeated. In the meantime, there can never been enough purple in September on the Mid-Shore and the Spy is proud to turn that color.

For information on how to help, volunteer, or just where one can pick up a purple light bulb for their home, please go here








Editorial: The First Congressional District and Election 2018

When thinking about the Eastern Shore’s historical relationship with the 1st Congressional District of Maryland, it’s important to keep one thing in perspective. The Shore, until recently, had mostly been served by one of their own residents for more than 150 years. From the election of James Stewart from “Tobacco Stick” in Dorchester County in 1854 to the defeat of Frank Kratovil from Stevensville in 2010, the 1st was always considered to be an Eastern Shore seat.

And, for the most part, the Shore had taken that responsibility seriously by electing men (no woman has yet to serve) of strong moral fiber and, at times, real political courage.

From Cecil County’s abolitionist John Creswell in 1862 to Easton’s Harry Covington, the founder of Covington & Burling, former Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton, and more recently, Kennedyville’s thoughtful and independent Republican Wayne Gilchrest, the Shore has a record of sending some of their very best and brightest to Washington.

But that all ended in 2010.

The moderate Democrat Kratovil could not survive the anti-Obama wave that election year. While Kratovil did not vote for the Affordable Care Act, a key issue in that election, GOP conservative Andy Harris was able to attract enough new voters from the far right, many of whom were motivated by such grassroots movements as the Tea Party, to win with 54% of the vote.

The 2010 loss was a big deal for the Eastern Shore beyond the loss of Queen Anne’s Frank Kratovil. It was also the year that a decennial census took place which would make up the data used to help Maryland draw new Congressional districts for the 2012 election year.

With Democrats holding both legislative houses and the Governor’s office in Annapolis, senior party leaders drew up new boundaries in Maryland that many critics felt were designed to secure more congressional seats in Congress for Democrats. By moving high concentrations of predictably Republican voters from Carroll, Baltimore, and Harford Counties into just one district, the theory went, the odds improve for the Democrats in the other districts.

And that one district happened to be the 1st Congressional District.

Now separated from the Shore’s historically-linked sister counties of St. Mary and Anne Arundel, the new 1st arches across the top of the Chesapeake and moves west while cutting into Carroll, Baltimore, and Harford Counties to guarantee this super-safe Republican seat.

While the courts are now reviewing the constitutionality of that new districting plan, by November 2012 the results were clear. Congressman Harris beat his Democratic opponent with now 70% of the vote, which eventually placed it on the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voter Index as the 86th most reliable Republican district in the United States.

With that kind of outcome, Maryland GOP leaders would normally not worry too much about an upcoming mid-term election, but then Donald Trump became president.

The political maverick had accomplished what experts said was impossible in 2016 by defeating more than a dozen Republicans in GOP primaries and ultimately Hillary Clinton in the general election. With majorities of both the House, and now the Senate, the Trump mandate, however modest it was, based on an electoral college victory rather than the popular vote, was seen by the winners as a rallying cry for significant social and economic change in Washington.

Some of that change has now taken place. The Trump administration has wasted little time in the dismantling of the EPA, cut thousands of regulations, provided significant corporate tax relief, introduced an “America First” foreign policy, and dozens of other actions, large and small, that cumulatively may add up to be the largest deconstruction of the federal government in our history.

If those changes turn out to be what the voters truly wanted, the Republicans would have much to crow about as they enter into the 2018 midterms, and that would include Congressman Harris.

But these policy victories have come with unprecedented collateral damage. Since taking office, the new president has used his bully pulpit to literally bully his opponents, foreign leaders, ethnic groups, a national war hero, and even celebrities through his Tweeter feed and in public appearances. He is also considered to be by most Americans, including members of his own party, highly capricious in judgment and lacking moral authority, while at the same time is the primary story of a federal investigation of 2018 campaign collusion and obstruction of justice. The fact that he is also being sued by two women he may have had affairs with would make even the most objective onlooker believe the President is a major liability in the fall election.

For Congressman Harris, this is especially problematic since he has not only been a steadfast defender of the President, his own moral compass was thrown into question when he endorsed Alabama’s Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate well after credible reports showed the former judge’s history of having intimate relationships with underaged girls.

With all that in mind, the Spy now believes that, despite the remarkable political engineering it took to guarantee a safe Republican 1st District, the projected outcome in November is hardly certain.

That is why the Spy will be taking a special interest in the 1st District throughout the rest of the year. Over the next six months, we will be profiling Democrats and Republicans from most of the counties that make up the 1st to understand these very different communities and the people that live in those communities.

We start today with our profile of Carroll County through the lens of the member of the Democratic Central Committee there. The following month will be an active Republican in another county. Our stakeholder interviews will alternate between the two parties until the election takes place.

While the Eastern Shore may never return to a time when their U.S. Congressperson is from the Eastern Shore, and we hope that is not the case, that will not limit the Shore’s real interest in the 2018 election. We can only hope that our Spy coverage will only help further a thoughtful and civil conversation about how it will be represented in the future.


Publisher Notes: Please Chip in for the Spy this Month

Precisely seven years ago this month, the Talbot Spy began its life as an online news source for a community I had fallen in love with as an undergraduate at Washington College in 1974.  The premise was simple enough. By using the extraordinary tools that the internet provided, such as the ability to use multimedia, easy reader access, and relatively low cost start up, the Spy could be a powerful and useful complement to a legacy newspaper of record and engage more residents in the daily affairs, the arts and culture of their region.

The business plan was also just as simple. Generate enough revenue to cover these costs and provide modest stipends for the Spy’s editors and writers.  There was no vision for media domination or commercializing the “product” to monetize investment. The payback would come with a community well informed and respectful of diverse opinion.

Nor was there any guarantee of success. While I had known Talbot County relatively well,  it was hard to predict if this was a value-added proposition for a community that prided itself on not being an early adapter to most things.

Seven years later, the Talbot Spy has 15,000 readers a month reading it on average five times a month. It has attracted over 200 sponsors and has been able to pay its editors and writers the small stipends they were promised.

More importantly, the Spy has been able to remain true to its mission and aspirations. Over 2,000 educational video programs have been produced, over 10,000 original content articles or local opinion pieces have been published, and 15,000 vetted reader comments have been posted.

With the increased awareness that the Spy was indeed a community asset worthy of philanthropic support, I made arrangements with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation to become the Spy’s fiscal partner, allowing us to receive funding from private foundations as a non-profit entity starting in 2013.

All of these ingredients have worked together to keep the Spy afloat over these years, but the reality is that we, like every nonprofit organization, must seek a highly diverse revenue flow, and must now ask you, gentle reader, to chip in.

For the balance of March, the Spy will not be shy about asking for this support. Taking a page out of the playbook of other fundraising programs online, we will have a “pop-up” appear for a few moments to beg the question of a modest monthly contribution or one-time donation to keep the Spy going.

I hope with your help the Spy can continue to serve Talbot County for many decades to come with your help.

Please make a contribution here.

Dave Wheelan




Editorial: Not so Wild a Notion – A Small Grocery Store Can Work in Easton

There is probably not a day that goes by in downtown Easton when at least a few of the pedestrians that pass the now abandoned Safeway on Harrison Street don’t shed a tear for that missing food store. While a few might have some affection for the food store chain itself, it is more than likely that much of the grief is felt for the end of an era when walking or biking to a grocery store was an real option.

Since Safeway’s departure, a solid core of downtown residents now must now pile into their cars (if they have one) to head off to the larger food stores off the Bypass or Route 50, adding to Easton’s traffic pressures and rush hour congestion.

What makes this a particularly melancholy affair is the growing feeling that the old Safeway will not be occupied anytime soon with a replacement. In fact, it is more likely that no large food chain, even if permitted to locate there, would find it cost-effective to establish a such a small footprint venue.

This predicament is not unique to our community. With a return on investment in doubt and competition severe, these corporations are electing to drop their small stores and expand the number of “superstores” outside downtowns, allowing more parking and easy access for cars.

The result for Easton, sadly enough, is a substantial retail gap in our downtown district and, more importantly, quality of life.

But maybe it is not so wild a notion to imagine a return to a smaller scale, traditional grocery store (think of the beloved Todd’s on Aurora Street) capable of serving Easton’s growing pedestrian community and provide a modest profit.

The fact of the matter is that there are several models, in all different types of settings, that show that one does not need a 50,000 square-foot grocery chain store to succeed.

One remarkable example can be found on Race Street in downtown Cambridge. The Simmons Center Market has been serving its community since 1937 with marginal parking and a less than a convenient location for motorists. But with a regional reputation for quality meats and reasonable prices, the Central Market continues to strive notwithstanding its proximity to a Walmart Superstore and Food Lion chain store in the same town.

Looking beyond the Eastern Shore is the extraordinary story of the Bi-Rite grocery store in San Francisco, which provides no parking in a community without parking, and yet yields $4,000 per square foot. By contrast, traditional supermarket revenues are said to produce $200 to $300 per square foot while a Whole Foods store brings in $900 to $1,000 per square foot.

A four minute mini-documentary on Bi-Rite Market

It is with these kinds of case studies that should encourage one of our many local entrepreneurs (and their potential investors) to see a way forward to offer a similar experience for Easton’s downtown. We can only keep our fingers crossed that they do.


Senior Nation: Introducing “Ask Irma” on Aging and Senior Life

As we age, change is our constant. Our bodies, our minds, and our relationships are all affected with the passing of time. These changes can be scary for us, and for our family and loved ones, too. The key to making the most of our later years is acknowledging these changes, asking for advice when needed, and developing strategies to work through our options.

Irma Toce

Senior Nation is committed to offering resources to help us deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging. To that end, we are launching a new monthly column called Ask Irma, where we focus on all topics related to aging.

Our guest contributor is Irma Toce, CEO of Londonderry on the Tred Avon. Irma has over 25 years’ experience work with seniors. Her years of experience in the field is accompanied by BS in social work and an MA in health management, Irma not only leads the dynamic community of Londonderry, but she is also nationally recognized as an expert in the field of aging. Most recently she presented at the Leading Age Conference in New Orleans.

Irma welcomes your aging-related questions via email, All questions submitted will be handled in confidence. Are you a senior, an adult child of a senior or a friend or neighbor? Ask Irma will do her best to answer your questions, providing the support you need to deal with the challenges of aging.

The Spy Holiday Poem: Old Dog by Sue Ellen Thompson

The Spy continues our tradition in sharing the best of local poetry as our way to celebrate this holiday season. Once again, we turn to Oxford’s very gifted Sue Ellen Thompson for this tender and moving ode to old dogs which have a very special place in the hearts of all Talbot County residents.

The Talbot Spy editors, writers, and volunteers send our best Seasons Greetings and best wishes for a wonderful new year.


Old Dog

They haul her in across the frozen yard

for supper on a carpet scrap. Overweight,

gums speckled, slack, she lets herself be raised

and lowered, urged to eat and praised

for doing what she must to keep her furred flanks

heaving heavily in what is mostly sleep.

When I get old, my mother said once,

toss me in a snowbank. Now she taps

the colored capsules on her flattened palm

until the old dog lifts her nose and sends

her tongue out in a slow unfurling sideways.

At night, my father lugs her by the collar out

to the frost-rimed slope behind the shed

and bracing her hindquarters with his feet,

presses gently on her bladder. Before

the first snow fell, he dug a hole for her

up by the rusted harrow where the Christmas trees

are dumped, the last wild place in all

their five tamed acres. Now she rehearses

by the wood stove in a doze so deep

she doesn’t hear the vacuum cleaner prowling

all around her, or the snap of her leash

against my father’s thigh, or down the hall,

the teenage cousins playing their guitars,

singing how they’re going to live forever

and when they die it will be for love,

by which they mean despite it.


Sue Ellen Thompson, of Oxford, MD, is the first “featured writer” in the Delmarva Review. These poems are from a collection in the journal’s first edition, in 2008 edition. Among her published works, a fifth book of poems, THEY, was published in 2014. She has been an instructor at The Writer’s Center, in Bethesda, since 2007, and has previously taught at Middlebury College, Binghamton University, the University of Delaware, and Central Connecticut State University. She received the 2010 Maryland Author Award from the Maryland Library Association.

Editorial: The Color of Purple in Talbot County

It’s hard to think that those of us who live in Talbot County can ever go back to what the color purple meant to us after the last thirty days. Gone forever are the associations of that color with the Baltimore Ravens, ecumenical symbols, Purple Heart citations, or even an artist formerly known as Prince.

No, the color purple now stands out as strikingly different to thousands of us in the community because of the flawless launch of the “Talbot Goes Purple” awareness campaign, sponsored by the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, which powerfully drew attention to the horrific opioid crisis on the Mid-Shore.

The selection of the color for such use is remarkable in itself. Purple is considered the most complex on the color spectrum. Before a dye was accidentally created in a chemistry lab a few hundred years ago, purple could only be produced by using rare sea snails, leaving it to be the exclusive property of the very rich or religious orders of the times.

Perhaps because of this rarity, purple has always been historically linked to royalty, magic, and mystery, but more recently it has been seen to represent spiritual awareness, physical and mental healing, strength and abundance.

The latter might explain why it was the perfect color to use in Talbot County last month. As one of Alice Waters characters said in her classic novel, The Color Purple, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

And notice it, we did.

From bumper stickers to grids of purple lights glowing nightly in downtown Easton, the community could not avoid the color nor what it represented for local families overwhelmed by the most savage drug epidemic in our country’s history.

And yet even with this sad connotation, it is a feeling of hope that remains purple’s best quality. In can move us beyond hopelessness and remind the community of what ties us together. As demonstrated over the last month, it has become a sign of compassion and support to all those impacted by this cruel and evil force. As more and more residents of Easton replaced their traditional exterior lighting for purple bulbs throughout the last four weeks, there was a glowing sense of a county sharing something very much in common.


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