New Leadership and A New Home for Mid Shore Community Mediation Center

There was plenty to celebrate at Mid Shore Community Mediation Center last Wednesday, July 10th as volunteers, staff, community members, and local government representatives alike came together to welcome Jenn Williams as the newly appointed Center Director and officially open the Center’s new location on Brooks Drive in Easton.

Williams grew up on the Eastern Shore, graduated from St Michael’s High School, and currently resides in Royal Oak. She attended Hood College and earned her master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Salisbury University. Williams began working at Mid Shore Community Mediation Center in 2012, where she partnered with leadership in the Dorchester County Public School System to create a nationally recognized school-based mediation program, the Peace Team. The Peace Team Program is a service that enables professionally trained mediators to provide mediation services to students, staff and families, both in community settings and in school buildings during the school day. This school-community collaboration is a model for other districts throughout the state and will continue into its 9th school year this Fall.

Williams describes herself as ‘conflict competent’ and loves the work she does: “I’ve combined my academic foundations with the practical tools I gained in basic mediation training to, I hope, become an effective conflict interventionist. It is both so humbling and rewarding to support people through difficult conversations. To hold space for people to communicate freely, to be able to listen to those people without judgment or agenda it’s really an incredible experience.”

Dr. Lorig Charkoudian, Director of Community Mediation Maryland and Maryland Delegate, was on hand to help open the new building and welcome Williams. Charkoudian said, “Jenn is a skillful, experienced mediator and an entrepreneur. I’m delighted to welcome her in her new role as Director and look forward to what she will achieve.  I know it will be good for Eastern Shore communities.”

Williams, along with her staff team, Jessica Basom and Abby Hastings, both also graduates of Salisbury University’s Conflict Resolution Department, have big plans for the Center.  New programs are reaching people re-entering their communities from incarceration, as well as individuals who are in recovery from substance abuse addiction.  According to Williams, “Research on the impact of mediation for people leaving incarceration shows that even one session reduces the likelihood of recidivism (re-incarceration) by 10%. It is our hope to have similar impacts on individuals and families in the recovery process. “

Colleen Kennedy, a Substance Use Disorder Specialist working in the Caroline County Detention Center, is enthusiastic about the impact of the addiction recovery and re-entry mediation initiatives, “I have already seen the Mid Shore Mediation program act as a catalyst for individuals in recovery to begin their healing process during a lonely and difficult time.  This program benefits not only the individuals reentering the community but also the community as a whole.”

These new programs join the Parenting Plan, Adult Guardianship and Community-focused mediations the Center has been offering since 2005. On average, the Center holds more than 400 mediations each year.  Most mediations are facilitated by community members who have volunteered their time and skills to undergo professionally training in order to effectively facilitate conversations. Of all the situations brought to mediation, 8/10 achieve resolution through the process and, regardless of whether an agreement was reached, nearly 85% of mediation participants say they were able to express themselves and feel heard during mediation.

Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is a not-for-profit organization offering no-cost mediation for residents of Dorchester, Caroline, and Talbot counties. Community Mediation is voluntary, confidential, and non-judgmental.

To request mediation, become a volunteer mediator, or donate, visit www.midshoremediation.org or call (410)820-5553.

CBMM to Host Free Sunday Funday

The public is invited to join the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for a free Sunday Funday on July 21, from 1—4pm. This event will include an afternoon of music, lawn games, and friendly competition.

Bring your friends for a round of giant Jenga or cornhole, or perhaps test your balance on the slackline. Sailing and rowing small craft will be available for rent, and the Mt. LeConte Jug Band, a grassroots Americana group from Spring City, Tenn., will be playing from 2–4pm. Sunday Funday is a great way to connect with old friends and meet new ones, all while enjoying excellent music and games.

This event will take place on CBMM’s Fogg’s Landing, with participants welcome to bring their favorite food, beverage, or game. Grills, coolers, and ice will be available for use. No registration is required.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all. Every aspect of fulfilling this mission is driven by CBMM’s values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship, along with a commitment to providing engaging guest experiences and transformative educational programming, all while serving as a vital community partner. For more information, visit cbmm.org.

Harold Baines Hall of Fame Ceremony Induction Watch Party July 21

The St. Michaels Alumni Association is sponsoring a “Watch Party” for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony of St. Michaels Graduate Harold Baines. The Community Party will be held in the high school auditorium, starting at 12:30. The Ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. The Milestone will have pit beef and pulled pork platters for sale to benefit the Alumni Association. The Event is free of charge, seating for 500 is available. Please RSVP to info@smsaintsalumni.org

Upcoming Programming at the Library July 22 to 25

St. Michaels Library to Screen Animated Film

On Monday, July 22, at noon, the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will show an animated film, rated PG, on its big, professional screen.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this screening.  For more information (including the title of this film, which, due to licensing requirements, we cannot publish here), please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Easton Library to Host Drone Mapping Program (for ages 9-12)

On Tuesday, July 23, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., and repeating on Tuesday, July 30, again from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will play host to a drone program, presented by Horn Point Lab, for youths aged 9 – 12.

Program participants will discover what it’s like to be a drone pilot and geospatial scientist, capture aerial photos to study water quality, and, finally, learn drone safety, manual flight skills, and coding for autonomous flight.  The program will be taught by Anna Windle, a Ph.D. student at Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

All library programs are free and open to the public, but space for this program is limited, so pre-registration is required.  Patrons my pre-register at http://www.tcfl.org/child/programreg/, or by calling 410-822-1626.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Easton Library to Host New Moon Theater Production: Minwa

On Wednesday, July 24, at 10:30 a.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library will host a highly interactive theatrical performance of three traditional Japanese tales by the New Moon Theater troop.  These tales highlight our shared values of kindness, generosity, acceptance, and community responsibility.  They also feature adventure, monsters, and a very large battle!

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Talbot County Free Library and the Talbot County Arts Council, with funding from Talbot County and the Towns of Easton, Oxford, and St. Michaels.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this performance.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

St. Michaels Library to Hold Japanese Cultural Celebration

Bill Peak

On Wednesday, July 24, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will hold a Japanese cultural celebration for children 5 – 12 years of age (children 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult).  There will be a Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese crafts, professional storytelling, and a Japanese puppet show staged by New Moon Theater.  All library programs are free and open to the public, but patrons do need to pre-register (at 410-745-5877) to participate in this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Some Hints on Writing Your Memoirs from “Library Guy” Bill Peak

On Thursday, July 25, at 11:00 a.m., in the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library, “library guy” and author Bill Peak will share some of the tricks he uses to turn memories into the kind of stories people like to read.  Learn how memory’s weaknesses can strengthen your storytelling.  Find out which of the senses has been shown to stimulate memories better than any other.   Discover the ways in which you can investigate a memory to add flavor to your writing.

In addition to serving as the Talbot County Free Library’s communications manager, Peak is the author of “The Oblate’s Confession,” a novel that won four national awards and was named to Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2015 list.  Memory, its uses and flaws, is a sub-theme of the book.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

St. Michaels Library to Host Family Games

On Thursday, July 25, at 3:30 p.m., the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will host an afternoon of board games and fun educational children’s games for all ages (children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult).  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-745-5877, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Talbot Humane Petparazzi Calendar Contest Now Open

Talbot Humane’s first photo calendar contest, Petparazzi, offers pet lovers the opportunity to enter their dogs, cats, or other small companion animals in a photo competition while raising funds for the shelter’s animal care and community outreach services.

Penny Pyewacket, a Talbot Humane alumnus and Petparazzi contestant.

The photo contest opened for entries July 1 and remains open until the contest ends on August 16. Entrants promote their pet by email and social media, urging their family, friends, and co-workers to vote for their pet on the contest website. One dollar equals one vote; each of the top five dogs and cats, and top two “other” animals who receive the most votes in their respective categories at the end of the contest will be featured as a Pet of the Month in the 2020 Talbot Humane Petparazzi Calendar. The pet who raises the most funds overall in the voting will also appear on the cover of the calendar. The entry fee of $25 is considered a tax-deductible donation to Talbot Humane and includes a copy of the 2020 calendar with each entry, a $15 value. Pets entered in the contest are not limited to Talbot Humane alumni, or even to Talbot County; all pets are welcome!

The shelter’s fundraising goal for the 2020 Talbot Humane Petparazzi Calendar contest is $10,000.  All funds raised will be used to help animals in need in our community. For more information, or to enter your pet in the contest, visit www.gogophotocontest.com/talbothumane

New Exhibit at St. Michaels Museum

Our new exhibit about Historic St Mary’s Square is open. St Mary’s Square has a long history covering two hundred and forty-one years. It was the center of a 1778 town plan put together by English factor James Braddock during the American Revolution. Braddock’s plan featured the Square surrounded by twenty lots, a market house and two entrances gates, a north gate and south gate. It was the center of the early town with St. Michaels 1st Methodist church, Sardis Chapel, and schools including the 1880 High School, now the location of St Michaels Museum.We are located at 201 E. Chestnut St, on historic St. Mary’s Square, in St Michaels where there is usually plenty of street parking. The St. Michaels Museum is open Fridays from 1-4, Saturdays 10-4, Sundays 1-4. For more information call 410-745-9561 or check the website at www.stmichaelsmuseum.org.

Upcoming Programming at the Library July 15 to 18

Bill Peak

Easton Library to Offer “Stitching Time”

On Monday, July 15, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library invites patrons to come in and work on their favorite project (knitting, crochet, card making, what-have-you) with a group.  Limited knitting and crochet instruction will be provided for beginners.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Some Hints on Writing Your Memoirs from “Library Guy” Bill Peak

On Monday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, “library guy” and author Bill Peak will share some of the tricks he uses to turn memories into stories people actually want to read.

Learn how memory’s weaknesses can actually strengthen your storytelling.  Find out which of the senses has been shown to stimulate memories better than any other.   Discover the ways in which you can investigate a memory to add flavor to your writing.

In addition to serving as the Talbot County Free Library’s communications manager, Peak is the author of “The Oblate’s Confession,” a novel that won four national awards and was named to Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2015 list.  Memory, its uses and flaws, is a sub-theme of the book.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Easton Library to Host Book Discussion: “All You Can Ever Know”

On Monday, July 15, at 6:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, the Easton Book Group (which is open to all) will discuss “All You Can Ever Know,” an award-winning memoir by Nicole Chung.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

St. Michaels Library to Screen Animated Film

On Monday, July 15, at noon, the St. Michaels branch of the Talbot County Free Library will show an Oscar-nominated, animated film on its big, professional screen.  This movie is rated PG.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this film.  For more information (including the name of this film, which, due to licensing requirements, we cannot publish here), please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

“The Sky is NOT the Limit!” Children to Learn about the Stars at the Easton Library

On Thursday, July 18, at 10:30 a.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, children of all ages will have the chance to reach for the stars and explore the universe beyond.

Before telescopes, people looked at the stars and dreamed.  They told stories, drew pictures, and imagined how the stars came to exist in the night sky.  Participants will learn the stories of the stars as told by the ancients … and those told by modern science.  They will travel across the world and back in time to develop their understanding and decide where the stars came from and what lies beyond them.

Dr. Michael Cone

This program is sponsored by the Eastern Shore Regional Library.  All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

Easton Library to Host Talk on the Battle of Gettysburg: “Three Long, Hot, Historic Days”

On Thursday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m., in the Easton branch of the Talbot County Free Library, Dr. Michael Cone will give a talk on what may very well have been the most important battle of the Civil War.  Using photos from the battlefield and first-hand accounts of those that found themselves in the thick of things, Cone will tell the story of three days that changed the course of American history.  As an added bonus, he will also provide tips on how to find your civil war ancestor.

Cone is a retired physician who specialized in neonatal care.  A graduate of Baylor University and Louisiana State University School of Medicine, he now spends his time at his home off Dixon Creek, enjoying life as an avid amateur civil war historian and genealogist.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  Patrons do not need to pre-register to attend this program.  For more information, please call the library at 410-822-1626, or visit www.tcfl.org.

CBMM to Host Introduction to Greenland Paddling Workshop

On Saturday, July 27, join Qajaq USA (pronounced “kayak”) and Delmarva Paddlers Retreat at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum for a workshop focusing on the origins and techniques of Greenland paddling. This workshop will run from 10am–4pm and launch from Fogg’s Cove on CBMM’s St. Michaels, Md., campus.Registration is required.

Greenland paddling is a tradition based on a 1,000-year-old Inuit design, which provides reduced stress on hands, elbows, and shoulders without any loss of control or power. The Greenland paddle has a long, narrow blade about the width of the kayaker’s shoulders and less than four inches across, which tapers to a shaft or “loom.”

CBMM Shipyard Education Programs Manager Jenn Kuhn practices a kayak roll with a Greenland paddle.

Participants are encouraged to try paddling one of the skin-on-frame kayaks over the course of the workshop. Skin-on-frame kayaks are lightweight, built traditionally of seal skin covering a driftwood frame. Today, these kayaks are usually made with woven fabric and are surprisingly tough. Paddlers will also have opportunities to learn about the proper sizing of gear, how to execute wet exits, proper paddling techniques and strokes, and more. There will be introductions to bracing, advanced strokes, and rolling for those who are interested. The workshop is customizable, with extensive options for both new and advanced paddlers.

For more information about Qajaq USA, visit qajaqusa.org. For more information about Delmarva Paddlers Retreat, visit delmarvapaddlersretreat.org.

The cost for the workshop is $100 for non-members, with a 20% discount available for CBMM members. To register and for more information, visit cbmm.org/greenlandintro.

Terry Kokolis Brings Lifelong Passion for Corrections to Talbot County

Terry Kokolis, new Director of the Talbot County Department of Corrections, had a schedule on this particular day which included seeing that the lobby walls were painted a brighter more inviting color,  speaking to the Talbot County Council in the evening about his vision for the department, after which he would visit the night shift staff at his facility to get the tone of the jail after hours. His passion for his work is evident when you talk with him.

Kokolis says, “I am in Talbot County to impact the day-to-day operations of the department. I am proud when I can make a difference on both sides – empowering and training the 50 staff members to feel they are a significant part of the organization and creating a blend of programming which benefits the 70 or so inmates.”

He adds, “People support what they build, so I will work with staff to think out of the box and I think they will enjoy doing that.”

Kokolis replaces Director Doug Devenyns who retired in June 2019 after 29 years in the correctional services field. He brings years of corrections experience, serving most recently as Superintendent of Anne Arundel County Department of Detention Facilities. In that position he was responsible for the operations of the Jennifer Road Detention Center, a maximum security 750-bed intake facility hosting the Detention Division and Pretrial Services. Concurrently, he was also responsible for the Ordnance Road Correctional Center, a medium security 650-bed sentenced facility.

Terry Kokolis, the new Director of the Talbot County Department of Corrections.

His career in corrections began after he was discharged from the military. He attended American University on the GI Bill where he completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice. He comments about what attracted him to the field, “There were influential people in the criminal justice field. American University was one of the schools given grant money to improve programs affecting law enforcement and public safety during this time.”

He began his career as a correctional officer in Montgomery County, which was one of the counties working with the Vera Institute of Justice, an organization working with government and civil leaders to improve justice systems across the country, and the National Institute of Corrections Resource Center, which provided innovative correctional services and training. He states, “Everything exciting in corrections was happening in Montgomery County. I was able to be a part of implementing unique and new strategies in my early career and it captivated me.”

He quips, “No one grows up wanting to work in a jail. It’s being able to make a difference in people’s lives in this profession which has kept me in it all these years. As I moved up the ranks, I could control outcomes and that was very satisfying.”

Kokolis adds, “Doug Devenyns did a great job here and was an active administrator. I want to continue Doug’s programs, building upon the good relationships he established with the mental health agencies and medical providers, public partners, law enforcement, and the Circuit Court and District Court judges. I will continue those relationships forward.”

Some of the new initiatives Kokolis hopes to implement include enhancing and improving the technology for communication in the department, expanding staff development training, and recognizing employees’ accomplishments. He states, “We need to create staff enhancements to retain employees who will be with us for their careers.”

For the inmate population, Kokolis hopes to strategize and develop offerings which can best address an inmate’s re-entry in the community. This includes expanding the pre-trial release and diversion program, working with Parole and Probation to meet with clients before they are released to make an earlier contact in the probation process. He would like to expand the Medically- Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program, consolidating offerings to measure the program’s effectiveness. He also hopes to continue the “Inside Out Dad Program” and start an “Inside Out Women’s Program.”

He adds, “This is what I am comfortable doing. How you treat inmates reflects the civility of the population.”

Kokolis also has a history of advocacy for correctional systems, having served on numerous boards and commissions, as well as providing expert testimony to the state legislature. He was appointed by Governor Hogan to the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board and the Police and Correctional Training Commission representing Maryland’s 23 county jails.  He also served on the Commission to Reform Maryland’s Pretrial System representing Maryland Association of Counties.

Corey W. Pack, President, Talbot County Council, adds, “Mr. Kokolis has the proven leadership skills and knowledge to successfully lead the Department of Corrections and continue with the expansion of cognitive programs offered to the inmate population.”

Learn to Row July 13 in St. Michaels

Eastern Shore Community Rowers will be holding an Introduction to Rowing workshop on Saturday, July 13 from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. A rain date is set for Saturday, July 20, with participation limited, and advanced registration needed.

Led by ESCR members, participants will gain an understanding of the equipment rowers use and the physical techniques of rowing, along with the opportunity to be on the Miles River in a rowing shell.

Participants must be 14 years of age or older, and have the ability to swim and to lift and board a low-to-water rowing shell. Participants are encouraged to wear socks and non-baggy athletic clothing, and to bring drinking water in a re-usable container.

The three-hour workshop is $40 per person, with a 20% discount for CBMM members, and registration at cbmm.org/introrowing.

With a mission to foster a stronger, healthier community and environment by promoting, educating, and training individuals of all ages and abilities in the sport of rowing, Eastern Shore Community Rowers is a non-profit organization committed to bringing excellence in rowing to the diverse communities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. For more information, go to escrowers.org.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the entire Chesapeake Bay region, and making this resource available to all. For more information, visit cbmm.org  or call 410-745-2916.

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