Letter to the Editor: After a College Suicide, A Campus Needs Healing

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I know the Washington College students are in pain, because four years ago I was one of them.

A fellow student committed suicide on campus grounds in the first week of my senior year. Losing him left a deep, slow-healing wound on everyone. In the following days, the college administration made clear efforts to support the students as they grieved.

Now that I have left, I know that sharing news about this type of death is never simple. Considerations, like whether an announcement would cause more pain, must be made.

With a college that sells itself on being like a small town — and which at times can be as claustrophobic — news travels quickly. By the time then-President Reiss issued a public comment through a campus-wide email, students already knew what happened.

Five hundred students, including myself, stood in Martha Washington Square while Reiss and a pastor held a moment of silence for our classmate and friend.

National studies have found that suicide rates, particularly those among college-aged men and women, are on the rise in America. The suicide rate is 12.5 per 100,000 population among ages 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Five suicides in the last four years can be connected to Washington College, two of which occurred on campus. Two deaths happened this year, and one occurred weeks ago.

Reports from students on the administration’s response, particularly regarding a student-led vigil to honor their friend, puzzled me. I understand that the administration waited out of respect before announcing the student’s death.

I cannot fathom why students were told not to walk to the same place where four years earlier, hundreds of students mourned.

These students were ordered to grieve out of the public eye, and that is upsetting and offensive to me, as an alumna that shared this experience.

A question to the administration: what has been done to improve mental health care on campus in the last four years?

Is there a plan to increase access to care to students and staff that are hurting? Or a prevention campaign that not only ends the stigma of talking about this, but encourages those to speak out if they see a friend struggle?

I am heartsick of the repeating news of another tragedy at my college. The students may not know me, but I know them. They are not alone.

Katie Tabeling

Atlantic Security’s Famed Ospreycam Is Back and Better Than Ever

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Atlantic Security, Inc. (ASI) has just announced the return of its Ospreycam for the 2018 season.

The ospreys return to the Mid-Atlantic region in mid-March, right around St. Patrick’s Day, and this year the first sighting of our resident ASI ospreys was on March 16th.

Once an endangered species, the ospreys, also called “fish hawks” have made a strong comeback and are abundant in our Mid Atlantic area during the spring and summer. They typically nest near any water source where fresh fish are plentiful, which makes the Chesapeake Bay region a perfect habitat. With an average length of 22-25 inches and an average wingspan of 4 ½ -6 feet, the osprey is one of the largest birds of prey in North America. While smaller than the bald eagle, the osprey has no trouble standing up to its larger foe and skirmishes between the two species are not uncommon.

Atlantic Security installed its first Ospreycam in 1996. At that time the hard-wired camera was mounted in a tree on the shoreline and aimed at the nest. The image was displayed on a small television monitor in the kitchen of ASI’s president’s home. Eventually the camera was mounted above the nest and the black and white image was replaced with color. As technology rapidly improved, so did the Ospreycam which now wirelessly transmits an HD image straight from the nest to your computer, tablet or phone. Infrared night vision allows night viewing.

The female osprey typically lays 2-3 eggs, with 2 chicks hatching. We have seen 3 chicks hatched and raised successfully on several occasions, and one year even 4 which is very rare. Eggs are laid in April, with chicks hatching mid to late May. This year the first egg was spotted in the nest on April 11. Both the male and female osprey take turns sitting on the eggs and fishing.

Atlantic Security Inc would like to state that webcams such as ours can be valuable educational tools which show daily activity that occurs in the nest. Unfortunately, at times real life is not completely cute and fuzzy, and things such as sibling rivalry, bad weather and predator attacks can occur. These things are part of nature and will occur whether on camera or not. While it is true that we own the camera and equipment, we do not own the ospreys or the nest, nor are we responsible for anything that might happen to the ospreys or the nest while our camera is in place.

Based in Chestertown, Atlantic Security Inc has been protecting fine homes and businesses since 1977. Our Ospreycam can be viewed on the “live camera feed” page of our web site and on our dedicated osprey information page.

WHEE partnered with Kent County Schools

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Last Fall, WHEE partnered with Kent County Schools, community organizations, and individuals to create the Make a Movement Project, a performance art project about climate change and the effects of heat-trapping gases on our planet. Please check out the video that shows the community’s involvement in the project and events.

WHEE’s Make a Movement project is now creating a parachute with the First Day Friends Meeting of Washington, DC and facilitating leaders to create parachute projects at Salisbury University, in Stamford, Conn., Pomona, NY, Sunderland, Mass., Benga, Malawi, and El Menzel, Morocco.

Inspired by the AIDS quilt, first displayed in 1987 to raise awareness about the disease, the call for Parachutes For The Planet is for individuals and communities to create their own parachute to raise awareness of the effects of climate change and living sustainably. All parachutes will be gathered for an exhibition on the Mall in Washington DC and then toured around the US and internationally. Check out the website for details.

Director of WHEE, Hope Clark, is working with Allen Fawsett, the Chief at the Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Economic Branch who’s team wrote the Paris Agreement and created the archived EPA Student Guide to Global Warming used by the Make a Movement project in Kent County, MD.

Perhaps you know an environmental club or group in your neighborhood who would like to participate? For more information and support contact@wheelbarrowproductions.org

Dem Jesse Colvin Outraises Harris in Contributions for Second Consecutive Quarter

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Democratic candidate for Maryland’s 1st Congressional District Jesse Colvin outraised Republican incumbent Representative Andy Harris in total individual contributions over the first three months of 2018.

As reported by The Washington Post on Monday, Colvin’s fundraising over the past six months has helped turn what was once thought to be a solid red district into a competitive race.

After edging Harris by 38% in total fundraising during the last three months of 2017, Mr. Colvin continued to build momentum through the first quarter of this year, outraising Harris for the second consecutive quarter in individual contributions, which represented 99% of the contributions Colvin received. Harris, meanwhile, raised 36% of his money from national PACs, including the NRA and the Koch brothers.

“We’re focused on voters, not corporate PACs,” Colvin said in a statement about the quarter’s results. “The community we’re building around this campaign is what ensures we have a real shot at flipping this seat in November — folks from all walks of life are fed up with career politicians like Andy Harris.”

Having nearly doubled the campaign’s cash on hand, Colvin is focused on engaging as many voters as possible across the district, which is geographically one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“Winning an election requires the tireless commitment of citizens coming together for a common cause. But it also takes resources, whether that’s printing yard signs or filling my truck up with the gas it needs to get to every corner of this district.”

Free Cappella Concert on April 22

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Washington College’s Premier A Cappella Group will be performing on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at the Emmanuel Church located at 101 North Cross Street in Chestertown, starting at 4pm.

No cost for admission. There will be a basket for a free-will offering.

ShoreRivers Needs Some Help: Development and Event Coordinator Position Available

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ShoreRivers seeks a Development and Event Coordinator to join their team and help fulfill our mission to protect and restore our rivers and the living resources they support. The ideal candidate will be an energetic, outgoing individual who is organized, detail oriented, and enthusiastic about the environment and the communities they serve. The position is located in our Easton, Maryland office at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center.

ShoreRivers seeks to protect and restore Eastern Shore waterways through science-based advocacy, restoration, and education. We work collaboratively with our community yet maintain an uncompromising voice for clean rivers and the living resources they support.

We have a dedicated staff of educators, scientists, restoration specialists, and advocates focused on policies and projects that will improve the health of our rivers. Our staff includes four Waterkeepers who regularly patrol and monitor our waters and serve as key spokespersons: Chester Riverkeeper, Choptank Riverkeeper, Miles-Wye Riverkeeper, and Sassafras Riverkeeper. Our Waterkeepers and staff are a strong, collective voice for Eastern Shore waterways.

ShoreRivers was created in 2017 when the Chester River Association, Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, and Sassafras River Association merged. We have more than 3,500 members and supporters across the Eastern Shore who help us achieve our vision of healthy waterways.

For more information please click here

Good Stuff: Garfield’s Annual Gala Raises $15,000

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This past Friday the Garfield Center for the rts held their annual gala fundraiser, “Broadway by the River.” Hosted by New York’s drag queen sensation, Marti Gould Cummings (formerly of Kennedyville) brought Broadway stars to Chestertown for an evening of intimate performances and conversations. Christine Dwyer from Wicked and Rent, Marty Thomas from Wicked, Xanadu and the Secret Garden, and Katrina Dideriksen from the Voice, Hairspray and Finding Neverland, all performed, while Blake Allen accompanied on the piano.

The evening was a resounding success, raising $7,000 for the Garfield’s programming in ticket sales, and an additional $8,700 to fund Playmakers and MUSICAMP, the Garfield’s summer camps for children ages 8-15.

Photos by Jeff Weber

Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s Elder Law Project Starts April 12

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Do you have an advance directive, power of attorney and a current will? Are you concerned about senior-specific homeowner and consumer related issues? Are you considering a reverse mortgage? Do you want to change a deed? Do you worry about elder abuse or neglect for yourself or someone else?

Join our guest speakers, Marla Owczarek, Esq. and volunteer attorney with Mid-Shore Pro Bono and Meg Rekstis Foreclosure, Housing and Consumer Protection Project Manager to learn about these issues and have questions answered that require legal assistance. Clinics are offered monthly in Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, but this will be a special program given for HomePorts.

UU Church: Karen Lee Scrivo on “Called to Repair the World” March 25

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On Sunday, March 25, at 10 a.m., Rev. Karen Lee Scrivo will give a sermon entitled “Called to Repair the World” for the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Dr., Chestertown. There’s no shortage of justice work that needs doing in today’s world. How do we find the work that we are called to do and the faith and strength to sustain it, and ourselves, for the long haul?

Religious exploration for youngsters and childcare for infants and toddlers will be available during the service. For more information call 410-778-3440, or visit us on Facebook. All are welcome!