Letter to the Editor: Don’t Count on Star-Democrat For Entirely Accurate County Council Coverage


A front page article in the December 19, 2018 print edition of the Star-Democrat did not include two important facts that helps refute recent concerns by some that “bloc voting” will be the norm on the Council. This article failed to report that Councilman Pete Lesher publicly stated his agreement with Councilman Frank Divilio’s suggestion that discussion on applicants for appointments to Boards and Committees should be done in Executive (private) Session.

The article also failed to report that such discussions have always been done in Executive (private) Sessions. Whether these omissions were intentional or due to a reporter at the meeting not paying attention to the Council proceedings and not knowing historical precedent, one has to wonder about the commitment of the Star Democrat to accuracy in their reporting. One also has to wonder whether or not omitting important facts is an example of a deliberate effort to present information that unfairly portrays certain Council members in a negative light while including grandstanding comments by another Council member on the need for “transparency”.

While the Star-Democrat did post a revised and more accurate article on their online version, I have yet to see a correction included in any print editions. Accordingly, all those who only read the print version of the article are likely unaware that the original article was incomplete and misleading. Going forward, Talbot County citizens need to be very cautious on making assumptions or drawing conclusions based on any information included in the print and/or digital editions of the Star-Democrat.

David Reel

Letters to Editor

  1. Debbie Leber says

    Thank you David, for pointing out this. Appreciate this information.

  2. Thomas Alspach says

    “Omitting important facts”?
    How about omitting the important fact that Sears Wheeler actually was Matt Albers, a shill for Nick and his Republican Central Committee?

  3. Julie Imirie says

    Now he wants to shoot the messenger. The voting “bloc” will prove itself to be just that in the coming months, I’m sure. And, as for transparency, that’s a laugh seeing as how Mr. Reel wasn’t honest about his ghost writing throughout the campaign, nor the other antics of the candidates. Fake facebook pages, a fake media company, fake website …. probably not a good idea to question the integrity of the newspaper that you rely on to print your lies.

  4. I haven’t subscribed to “The Star of the democrats” for years because of the majority of democrat mouthpieces ….”journalist” on their editorial staff.
    Will be interesting to see how they “report” now that the rinos in our county have elected a democrat on the County Council. ( If history repeats itself it will be slanted toward the….democrat) … Since I don’t subscribe I’ll have to follow The Talbot Spy to find out.

  5. I don’t think that those who voted for Pack, Callahan, Divilio and Lesher expect their candidate to blindly go along with Price. Yet these “bloc vote” conspirators would have you think that that is exactly what they should do and any time Price is out numbered they cry foul. The Star Democrat is feeding into this baloney too.

  6. Sarah Ensor says

    Why on Earth would you post an image of targets with bullet holes through them to accompany a letter attacking a news organization? Do you find this funny? I’ll tell you who wouldn’t at all find it funny: the friends and family members of Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters, who were murdered on June 28, 2018 in the (Annapolis) Capital Gazette office by Jarrod Warren Ramos, who didn’t like the way someone at that organization had reported news. A dear former coworker was on assignment that day and away from the office; he returned as soon as he heard the news; and he spent the rest of the day covering the tragedy. Your choice of image is dangerous, vulgar, and (hopefully) thoughtless.

    • David Reel says

      Sarah Ensor

      The target pictures were posted by The Talbot Spy after I submitted the letter. I did not include any pictures with my letter nor do I have any control over what The Talbot Spy chooses to post with submitted letters to the editor. I also knew one of the journalists who was killed at the Gazette and would never denigrate any of those who lost their life in that horrific shooting. I respectfully suggest you contact The Talbot Spy to register your thoughts on this matter.

      David Reel

    • Sarah Ensor says

      My apologies. I regretfully missed Rob Hiaasen’s name. Rob Hiaasen was one of the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting.

      • David Reel says

        Those of us who followed this tragedy closely have not missed or forgotten the names of any of the victims.

      • Sigrid Hayward says

        Was that an apology for missing Rob’s name or an apology to David Reel for falsely accusing him?

        • Susie, Sarah’s comment about the graphic obviously was for the Spy, not David, so your question alleging a false accusation is nonsense. In fact, David has agreed that that graphic was inappropriate in the context of his letter and asked the Spy to change it, which the Spy has done.

    • Sarah Ensor says

      Thank you for changing the graphic on this article. This is much more appropriate.

  7. Christine Dolan says

    Readers need to read Star Democrat’s response to Reel’s above submission at
    All based upon documents.

    And, then read this Star Democrat article below. All based upon court documents.

    Woman charged with harassment, illegal computer access

    By JOHN GRIEP jgriep@stardem.com Dec 20, 2018

    EASTON — One partner in JaKa Media has filed criminal charges against the other partner, claiming she illegally accessed accounts and deleted data and design for an e-commerce site.

    JaKa Media was formed by Julie Ann Stevenson of Easton and Keri-Ann Thomas of St. Michaels. The public relations, website design and social media firm had done work for the Common Sense Talbot PAC during the 2018 general election.

    On Dec. 6, Stevenson filed for a peace order against Thomas on the grounds of harassment and malicious destruction of property. Talbot County District Court Judge Karen R. Ketterman granted a temporary peace order after hearing from Stevenson, ordering Thomas not to contact or attempt to contact Stevenson in any way and not to enter Stevenson’s home, among other things.

    A hearing on a final peace order was set for 9 a.m. Dec. 13. The case was dismissed when Stevenson failed to appear in court.

    On Dec. 7, a day after seeking the peace order, Stevenson filed an application for statement of charges. As a result, Thomas was charged with harassment, telephone misuse: repeat calls, electronic mail harassment, illegal access of a computer, copying/possessing a database, illegally accessing a computer/database and causing damage, and malicious destruction of property $1,000 or more.

    Thomas was served a criminal summons on the charges on Dec. 10, according to online court records. A preliminary inquiry is set for Jan. 10 in Talbot County District Court.

    In a Monday phone interview, Thomas said the charges against her were merely retaliation related to issues concerning JaKa Media.

    In her application, Stevenson said Thomas continued to “contact, threat and harass me via e-mail, text, phone, website destruction and through third parties.

    “I instructed her on two occasions to desist any contact,” Stevenson wrote. “Her threats and harassment were volatile and unpredictable, including attacks on my person and character, pursuit of slander to me personally and professionally and extortion of monies via a third party to ‘make it go away.’”

    Stevenson, in court papers, said she was notified Oct. 26 of unauthorized access into a business subscription account via her work computer at her former office at 16 N. Washington St. She later went to the office with an escort from the Easton Police Department so she could remove the computer without escalating the situation.

    On Nov. 19, Thomas tried to access her Google email account, Stevenson wrote. She was notified of the attempted breach by Google’s security and fraud department.

    On Dec. 4, Thomas, without authorization, accessed a personal domain hosting account owned by Stevenson through Dreamhost.com, Stevenson wrote. While Thomas had access, she “changed the login and passwords, blocking my access to my account and businesses. She also changed registrations/ownership information of my websites from my contact information to her own.

    “In addition to changing the registrations, in an attempt to steal and take further possession of those assets, Keri-Ann Thomas maliciously deleted and permanently removed all data, design, database, content and functions of an e-commerce site and business named http://www.womenrulerealestate.com,” Stevenson wrote.

    “The deletion is irreversible and cannot be recovered. At the time of the deletion, the site was in pre-launch and collecting membership interest and developing a positive search engine relationship with Google,” Stevenson wrote. “As a result of the loss, the website is non-existent, the marketing links and advertising campaigns have been severed. In order to rebuild, recreate and relaunch the site, the cost associated is valued at” $6,500 to $7,500.

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