Mid-Shore Food: Sprout Moves into Town

The Spy has been watching, documenting, and eating Sprout food almost for two years now. Almost from the moment Emily and Ryan Groll started cooking in their trailer kitchen just outside of Trappe and home delivering local food freshly prepared to Talbot County, we knew this was one of the startups on the Eastern Shore worth watching.

And they have not disappointed. Since those early days,  the Grolls have taken seriously their mission to give their customers a convenient way to buy and eat healthy, locally-sourced meals. After locking in almost 400 clients on the Mid-Shore for home delivery, Sprout quickly invented the concept of Spoutletts; small, self-contained pickup stations at wine stores, office buildings, and gyms where those not able to use home delivery can pick up their meals using the honor system when it fits their schedule.

Now, Sprout has moved into a new flagship store and kitchen on Aurora Street in Easton for an entirely new phase of their business plan. Open every day, with new offerings like homemade bread, a creative partnership with Night Kitchen Coffee from Denton, and simple “grab and go” floor plan, Sprout is now taking another innovative step in this remarkable home-grown business.

The Spy chatted with Ryan last week about Sprout’s new home.

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


Spy Spotlight: Shore Exportations with Patrick Rogan

Most of Patrick Rogan’s professional life is that of a designer of exhibitions for museums. His work, at that of his firm, assemble, works collaboratively with those institutions to tell compelling stories through images and other multimedia tools. The results of which can been seen in such nationally known museums as the , National Building Museum, Carnegie Institution for Science, or the Maryland Science Center, and more locally with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Horn Point Laboratories, the Talbot Historical Society, and Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area and Historic Easton.

But through the process of developing these installations, Patrick also saw that these techniques could also apply directly to the learning process of children. The act of gathering material, doing research, and designing presentations of findings fits exceptionally well in a new era for the modern classroom, where students can use the same tools to examine the past, present, and future of the Mid-Shore.

Drawing from the life and legacy of Talbot County’s Frederick Douglass, Rogan is working closely with Talbot County Public Schools, the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and the Talbot Historical Society during his Bicentennial year on two week interpretive workshops with local sixth and seventh graders, and TCPS teachers Colin Stibbins and Kyndell Rainer, to lead them through an exploration of our history, ecosystem, and culture to seek a better understanding of their past, present and future on the Mid-Shore.

The Spy talked to Patrick at the Waterfowl Building last week about Shore Explorations one month studio where participants will be using the legacy of Douglass and some of the Talbot Historical Society’s remarkable photographs as essential tools in sharing their hopes for the future for our area.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. We have also added clips of a video that the students created this summer as another example of Shore Explorations special approach. For more information about Shore Explorations please go here.




One Maryland, One Book 2018 – Bloodsworth with Tim Junkin

Long before Sarah Koenig’s brilliant Serial on NPR or Netflix’s award-winning Making a Murderer, which highlighted the importance and use of technology to save those falsely accused of high crimes, Talbot County’s Tim Junkin had already “been there, done that” with his pioneering and highly-regarded Bloodsworth some ten years before.

Destined to be a book that created an entirely new sub-genre of true crime since its publication, Bloodsworth tells the dramatic tale of  tale of Kirk Bloodsworth, a Dorchester County man charged and convicted of the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl in 1984. But, as Junkin documented in Bloodsworth, an introduction of  DNA evidence into the appeals process led to Bloodworth’s eventual release from prison.

Over a decade later, Tim Junkin’s Bloodsworth is back in the news as the 2018 selection for the popular One Maryland, One Book program, which encourages all residents of the state to read the same book in the hope of starting community conversations. In this case, it’s doubtful that will be a problem.

The Spy caught up with Tim at the Bullitt House a few weeks ago and thought it would be the most interesting to our readers to hear his account of this remarkable moment in the country’s pursuit of justice.

This video is approximately ten minutes in length. For more information about One Maryland, One Book please go here.



Mid-Shore Goes Purple: Social and Family Factors in Adolescent Substance Abuse by L. J. Pezor

Substance Abuse in youth today has reached crisis proportions. Several national and local initiatives have raised awareness to this epidemic. Awareness is the first step to prevention. Examining the factors that lead to these addictive behaviors can also help with primary prevention, identification and treatment of youth in our community.

Several areas of risk in the development of substance abuse behaviors can be identified. Addressing these areas of risk can provide the foundation for prevention and treatment.

The areas of risk include; cultural, interpersonal, psycho-behavioral and genetic.

Cultural factors include current legal standards and laws that seem to target the underprivileged and less fortunate, social norms that in many lower socioeconomic communities favor or “glamorize” substance use, economic deprivation that fuels unemployment, homelessness and lack of social supports and the general disorganization of the neighborhood and family.

Interpersonal issues in childhood leading to increased risk include inconsistent family rules and structure, aberrant family attitudes and behavior (parents who are abusing substances) and severe family conflict and abuse. In adolescence, risks include negative peer relationships (bullying or trying to “fit in”), severe life stressors (social and school) and association with abusing peers (“hanging out with the wrong crowd”).

Psycho-behavioral issues include age, environmental stressors and psychological factors such as co-morbid mental illness.

Finally, there is a growing body of research supporting the genetic predisposition of addiction and addictive behaviors.

So what can be done to intervene and work toward a model of prevention and not just treatment? Available substance abuse treatment programs, rehabilitation centers and use of medically assisted treatment have expanded to address the growing number of patients struggling with addiction.

More attention must be given to addressing the areas of risk before addiction takes over.

There are interventions for families, schools, religious organizations, community services and law enforcement agencies to consider in trying to support the healthy development of children and potentially decrease the risk of substance abuse.

Positive interventions may include a focus on the family and child’s living environment. Efforts to maintain a stable living situation and work to foster the caregiver – child bond are essential.

Promoting consistent adult supervision and discipline allow children to grow in a healthy environment.

This can be accomplished within the nuclear family or through community organizations that provide structure and purpose when the family may not have the resources to do so. By attending to this structure and consistency, children can be instilled with a purpose and increased motivation to achieve appropriate goals and encouraged to maintain socially appropriate behavior and relationships.

These social opportunities allow for positive peer interactions and the opportunity for exposure to drug free behaviors.
Finally, frequent and consistent community wide messages addressing the risk of substance abuse open the dialogue and uncover the secrecy of this addictive and deadly behavior.

L. J. Pezor, MD is the chief medical officer and child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Eastern Shore Psychological Services
in Easton, Maryland

New Book on Frederick Douglass Discussed at Waterfowl Building September 8

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society is pleased to welcome Celeste-Marie Bernier, Professor of Black Studies and Personal Chair in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland for a discussion of her new book, If I Survive. The program will focus on the private life of Frederick Douglass as a family man, whose reform work was made possible not only through his own vision and determination but with the support and collaborative efforts of his family.

Marking two hundred years since the birth of Frederick Douglass, If I Survive is a collection of previously unpublished essays, speeches, autobiographies and letters written by the women and men in the Douglass family. Working together against a changing backdrop of US slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Douglass family fought for a new “dawn of freedom.” The 900-page book includes a Douglass family biography with beautiful, powerful and breathtaking letters, stories and photographs of Frederick Douglass and his sons, Lewis Henry, Frederick Jr. and Charles Remond Douglass. Unafraid to die for the cause, each dedicated his life to the emancipation of slavery and to social justice.

“These are timely, relevant topics,” says Eric Lowery, President of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society. “Frederick Douglass is an American hero. His vision and willingness to fight for his ideals through reason, consensus-building and peaceful advocacy are vital messages for all of us, especially our youth.”

This event is part of a series of evening programs held in conjunction with Shore Explorations, Land Water and Life, a month-long immersive exhibition focusing on what it means to be “of the Eastern Shore”. The inspiration for the exhibition comes from Frederick Douglass, perhaps the best known Eastern Shore native. The renowned social reformer, abolitionist, orator and statesman maintained life-long connections to the Eastern Shore community.

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society is offering this program as a free event to the community. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Waterfowl Building /Festival Hall at 40 S. Harrison Street and will include music by Friends in Faith, followed by Professor Bernier’s presentation. To reserve your seat, please call 410-316-6061. Books will be available and can be purchased with cash, check or credit card for $25 at the event.

For more information about the Frederick Douglass Honor Society visit www.frederickdouglasshonorsociety.org.

Letter to the Editor: Additional Housing in Royal Oak Will Lead to Overwhelmed Wastewater System

Everybody who votes for additional housing in Royal Oak should know that their vote stands for supporting a very costly stormwater-management and waste-water-treatment plant for this low sea level area under tidal influence.

Currently, when flash floods occur, the St. Michaels Wastewater Treatment Plant overflows releasing effluent into the waters. As much water as we have around us, most of it flows very slowly. If this water is contaminated with bacteria and unknown substances, such as chemicals from a sewage treatment plant. We cannot expect that water be carried away by high stream velocities. Instead, the affected creeks will reek for months until the bacteria and chemicals from the sewage treatment plant have decomposed, or until a new flash flood has polluted the water again.

Higher density housing will simply add to an overwhelmed wastewater system and its operation..

The consequence for everybody will be skyrocketing costs . This vote will lead to unavoidable long term consequences making for growing tax burdens to cover costs for schools, streets, services – all of which will directly link to a increased local bureaucracy.

Whoever can afford to live here now, should know their vote for higher density housing could well force them to move. Increased property taxes will raise to a level that makes it impossible for lower and middle income homeowners . To make matters worse, a vote for higher density housing will lead to reduced property values, poorer quality of life and degradation of the environment.

Professor H. Lehman, Ph.D
Royal Oak

John O’Brien on Leadership and Self-Awareness in the Trump Era

Given the seemingly endless use of President Donald Trump’s Twitter account to attack political opponents and publically humiliate his own cabinet members, it is unfortunate that the Twenty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution does not include a clause that allows the country to formally intervene and send their CEO to a leadership training program before any talk about giving them the heave-ho.

But if the US did have those powers, it is quite likely the our Donald would have been sent to an executive leadership retreat which was run by John O’Brien.

For much of his professional life, Johnny O’Brien has had a very small niche segment in the leadership training industry. O’Brien developed specialized programs for the very elite corporate leaders of Fortune 500 companies. It also didn’t hurt that John had “walked the walk” himself for several years as the CEO of the Hershey School and its $14 billion endowment.

Given the national and local conversation we are now having on what leadership means, we thought it would be a good idea to have a check in with Johnny about the state of our union and its leaders.

This video is approximately five minutes in length.




Caroline County is Going Purple in September

This September, Caroline County, in partnership with Drug-Free Caroline and other community stakeholders, will be launching “Caroline Goes Purple,” a month-long project to build awareness of the critical opioid epidemic facing our community.

“The crisis is real – and it’s here,” said Sheriff Randy Bounds. “This epidemic is like nothing I’ve seen in my law enforcement career. This drug does not discriminate and families from all walks of life are being hit hard. But we can’t fight this with arrests alone – prevention is the long-term key to success. That’s why Caroline Goes Purple is so important.”

Overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for those under age 50. In fact, overdoses kill more people each year than car accidents and homicides – combined. Four out of five heroin users started with recreational use of prescription painkillers. Seventy-five percent of teens say they can easily get prescription painkillers from a family member’s medicine cabinet. And in Caroline County, 5% of high school students report that they have tried heroin.

Join the Movement!

September is National Recovery Month, and its signature color is purple. For the month of September, we encourage all Caroline County residents to “Go Purple” in any way they can and to focus their attention on this issue their community is facing.

Go Purple! Light your home purple and think of creative ways your workplace or business can show support and raise awareness by Going Purple.
Spread the word! Share our educational messages on social media.
Talk about it! Engage in a conversation with your family about prescription drugs, and really listen to what your kids say.
Take action! Lock up your prescription drugs and safely dispose of ones you aren’t using. Get Narcan trained and carry it with you – you could save a life.
Join the conversation! Attend one our community conversations about the opioid crisis.

A Vital Community Conversation

The month-long awareness campaign will culminate with two community showings of the film “If Only,” which chronicles a teen’s pathway to addiction. This film addresses one of the most serious health issues facing our society today. Screenings will be held September 24 at North Caroline High School and September 27 at Colonel Richardson High School, both at 6:30 PM.

The screening will be led by the film’s Producer, James Wahlberg, Executive Director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. “Addiction touches every culture, every family, and ultimately every one of us,” Wahlberg said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to create a project that informs, educates and leads viewers to recognize the warning signs of opioid use and to participate in a solution.”

The event will include a talk from Wahlberg and from a local parent who lost their child to addiction, and the opportunity for questions. It will be followed by a free ice cream social, so families can continue the conversation about substance abuse. The event will also include a resource fair with more information on prevention and treatment and Narcan training. Free raffle prizes at each screening include a $250 Visa gift card, a Nintendo Switch, a Kindle Fire tablet, and gift cards including Google Play, iTunes, and Xbox.

“Every day our staff see families devastated by the opioid epidemic,” said Dr. Patricia Saelens, Superintendent of Schools. “Many of our students are from families experiencing addiction, and many of our parents are scared their children will succumb to drug addiction. We must work together to equip our students with the knowledge necessary to make good decisions. I strongly urge all members of the community to attend these presentations.”

For more information on Caroline Goes Purple, please contact Jennifer Farina at purple@drugfreecaroline.org or 410-479-0660.

Mid-Shore Arts: The Eyes of Three Generations

It can only be reassuring to many who love photography that even in this age of digital cameras and software, the tradition of using film, film paper, and spending hours in a darkroom to develop images still lives on.

That is indeed the case with the three photographers participating in a new exhibition at the Trippe Gallery in Easton. Representatives from very different generations, starting with the work of award-winning George Merrill as the group’s elder, gallery owner, and photographer Nanny Trippe in the middle, followed by her daughter, Charlotte Cutts, who is a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Set to open on First Friday in August, the three photographers compared notes recently at the Trippe to talk about the concept behind “The Eyes of Three Generations,” technique, and their passion for preserving the act of “developing” film.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information “The Eyes of Three Generations” please go here


BAAM Booming: The Future Plans of BAAM with Derick Daly

It’s hard to tell what was in the minds of Derick Daly and his wife, Dina, when they conceived the idea of Talbot County’s youth education program, Building African-American Minds, otherwise known as BAAM, but it is unlikely that the original concept would have included the creation of a BAAM campus that would consist of a “state of the art”academic building as well as athletic center.

But given BAAM’s unique track record since it launched in 2004, which has positively impacted hundreds of young boys in and around Easton, it now looks in hindsight as almost inevitable that this highly respected project would evolve into a remarkably sophisticated and financially stable institution worthy of these kinds of capital investment.

The Spy sat down withDerick last week to review the current status of BAAM’s strategic plan, the groundbreaking the athletic center, and the vision and design of the new academic center.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about BAAM please go here