About Dave Wheelan

Mid-Shore Arts: Lend Me a Tenor… from Goldsboro

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The Tred Avon Players have lined up a blockbuster collection of comedies for their 2017 season, and starting this weekend, this humor campaign continues with the opening of Lend Me a Tenor at the Oxford Community Center.

The recipient of Tony awards and overcoming critical praise, the play takes place in 1934 in a hotel suite in Cleveland as the local opera company prepares for its season premier with the world famous tenor Tito Merelli appearing. But as TAP’s cast and crew tell it in their interview with the Spy, things don’t always work out the way one plans it, and the characters desperately seek out a last minute replacement

The Spy sat down with producer Leigh Marquess, director Zack Schlag, and actors Nick Grande from Cambridge and young Jared Koenig from Goldsboro, to talk about the plot, the laughs, and Jared’s character Max comes out of nowhere to save the show.

Evening performances of “Lend Me a Tenor” are scheduled for Thursday (“Thrifty Thursday,” featuring two-for-one tickets), April 27; Friday, April 28; and Saturday, April 29, all starting at 7:30 p.m. A Sunday matinee on April 30 begins at 2 p.m. The following weekend, evening shows are set for Thursday through Saturday, May 4-6, at 7:30 p.m., with the run wrapping on Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. The Tred Avon Players are funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Secondary Education in a World of Fake News, Incivility, and Alternative Facts with Gunston’s John Lewis

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While it is fair to say that most adults in this country now struggle with such new cultural dynamics as fake news, incivility, and alternative facts, it could also be said that the role of educating younger people to prepare for these undesirable byproducts of the early 21st century is ten times more difficult. With students now facing hundreds of online news sources, social media sites, and a constant barrage of advertising and marketing aimed at their demographic, it is no surprise that teachers and schools have to work double time to instill values and critical thinking in teenagers for this new world.

The Spy has been curious about these new trends in the field of education and will be periodically checking with Mid-Shore school leaders about this added challenge, and we start this program with the headmaster of the Gunston School, John Lewis. We talk to John on how Gunston’s mission and curriculum prepare their graduates with essential life skills for this growingly deceptive world. We also talk about the health of private independent schools, a well as Gunston’s remarkable success story in the recruitment and retention of their student body over the last five years.

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

 

Spy Profile: United Needs & Abilities and the Shore’s Developmentally Challenged Residents

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For an organization that serves over 400 of the most developmentally challenged residents on the Eastern Shore, including Kent and Talbot County, United Needs & Abilities continues to struggle with name recognition. That might be partly due to UNA’s name change in three years ago when it decided that the Epilepsy Association of the Eastern Shore was far to limited in defining their work, but it also may be the result of the stigma that comes when serving those with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, autism, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy and other mental and physical impairments.

Board President Debbie Horner Palmer and Executive Director Michael Dyer want to start changing that mindset. Debbie, who suffers from Epilepsy herself, and who has played a number of leadership roles in the organization over the years, is determined to end this historical blind spot on the Shore by using her own story as a way to focus attention on the needs and aspirations of those with developmental disabilities. Michael, who has worked in management positions at Perdue Farms before taking on the day-to-day management of UNA, is also driven by the same goals as the organization sees new challenges in funding and outreach during a time of governmental austerity.

The Spy sat down with Debbie and Michael to talk about the mission of United Needs & Abilities and its unique role on the Shore at Bullitt House last week.

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

Maryland 3.0: Screaming and Shaking at Justine’s with Tyler Heim

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There is something rather extraordinary about a small town ice cream parlor. It inevitably strikes a nerve of memory and nostalgia for many Americans as they recall their families special trips in the early evening of summer to the local stand on Main Street.

And one of those very special places is Justine’s Ice Cream Parlour in St. Michaels.

Known for having the longest lines in town during the summer months, including those eager to visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Justine’s over the last 30 years has become on those iconic snapshots of life on the Eastern Shore.

But behind the counter is another great American story of young entrepreneurs taking the concept of the summer ice cream place to an entirely different level. And that was the motivation behind the Spy’s recent interview with ice cream maker Tyler Heim,who, along with his brother, Jared, has been managing Justine’s for the store’s owner (and aunt) Kathleen Lash over the last few years.

When we talked to Tyler last week in the store last week, Tyler gave us an excellent overview of the world of local ice cream, the art of milkshake making, and plans to scale up the Justine brand in the years ahead.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information on Justine’s please go here. Maryland 3.0 is an ongoing Spy series on entrepreneurship on the Mid-Shore. 

Spy Profiles: Chesapeake Harvest with Deena Deese Kilmon

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There seems to be a good bit of nostalgia about the traditional family farm on the Eastern Shore as of late.  Going back centuries, the idea of a self-sufficient, agricultural enterprise that’s focused on locally grown produce has had a minor renaissance as consumers continue to seek out healthy alternatives to commercial grown “fresh” fruit and vegetable sections.

That’s the good news. The not so good news is that in order for those local farmers to be competitive they are increasingly asked to certify their agricultural practices in order to qualify in the wholesale and retail markets.

This is not an easy undertaking. And that is why the work of the Chesapeake Harvest project formed by the Easton Economic Development Corporation is so critical to this important transition.

With the help of a federal grant, Chesapeake Harvest has made it its goal to work with 30 of these family farmers over the next three years to prepare them for USDA gap certification, the most common and well respected endorsement, while at the same time branding and marketing the notion of being “Bay-friendly” through the adoption of these production conservation standards.

Leading this marketing and outreach effort for Chesapeake Harvest is Deena Deese Kilmon who has not only had the invaluable background of coming from a family farm background, spent time in the wholesale food world but also owned restaurant in St. Michaels before joining the organization.

We caught up with Deena in Kent County a few weeks ago before she and her team of volunteers worked with the local farmer to do a risk assessment of that farm’s practices and make recommendations that will move that farm into a gap certified agricultural center.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Chesapeake Harvest please go here

Ecosystem Long Form: Author John Englander on Rising Sea Levels at the Chesapeake Bay

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As John Englander, noted oceanographer and author of High Tide on Main Street and more recently, Rising Seas and Shifting Shorelines, recently noted in his keynote address sponsored by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy last Saturday morning, one sometimes needs to say something seven times to make sure your audience gets your most important point. In John’s case, it is undoubtedly the under-reported consequences of rising sea levels on rural communities.

As part of the ESLC’s ongoing conversation about the impact of climate change on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the author was invited to give a summary of the research and increasingly grim data has been collected in recent years that points to the Chesapeake experiencing from three to six feet in sea levels over the next one hundred years as opposed to the one to two feet forecast currently being used by local and state government and other policy organizations as they anticipate this severe environmental event.

The Spy was at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center for John’s remarks and present them in their entirety.

This video is approximately twenty-nine minutes in length. For more information on ESLC please go here 

 

 

The Faces of Mental Illness: The Photography of Michael Nye at Chesapeake College

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While it may be true that most people on the Mid-Shore have a very real and distinct impression of the toll of mental illness in our society, it still is hard for many of use to truly understand the profound impact that these conditions has on victims and their families.

A new art exhibition, sponsored by the Mental Health Association of the Eastern Shore in partnership with Chesapeake College in May, might very well help change some of those perceptions using the stunning images and oral narratives of those victims by award winning  photographer Michael Nye.

Some fifty photographs and recorded messages of people who suffer from various forms of mental illness will be on display as part of a major educational effort to remove the stigma and misunderstanding of a growing problem in our communities.

The Spy spoke the Association’s director, Jackie Davis, last week at Bullitt House to talk about the show and the important work of the organization in serving families impacted by mental illness throughout the Shore.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about  Mental Health Association of the Eastern Shore and their opening reception, please go here 

A Serious Warning from Horn Point Lab: Director Mike Roman Talks of Climate and Sea Levels

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Yesterday afternoon, the President of the United States travelled to the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters in Washington to sign a number of executive orders to gut his predecessor’s hallmark Clean Power Plan and nullifying many of this country’s climate change efforts, reviving its coal industry, and, as the New York Times pointed out this morning, “effectively cede American leadership in the international campaign to curb the dangerous heating of the planet.”

There could be no better backdrop to the Spy’s recent interview with Michael Roman, director of the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Laboratory,  who, in no uncertain terms, warns of the grave consequences of these anti-science actions and policies, which will have profound consequences for the entire Chesapeake Bay ecological system.

From this very candid and forthright interview with Mike, we learn first hand from one of the most respected research centers in the world of the devastating impact that would take place with President Trump’s new initiatives to seriously dilute, if not completely withdraw, America’s pledge to honor the historic 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than one quarter below 2005 levels by 2025. 

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about the Horn Point Laboratory and its mission please go here.

 

Welcome to the 21st Century Mid-Shore ​Health Care with Dr. Marc Zubrow

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Approximately a year ago or so, there was a good bit of anxiety on the Mid-Shore about the plans of the region’s two major hospitals in Chestertown and Easton. In Chestertown, there was a growing fear that UM Regional Shore Health would eventually eliminate the existing hospital and replace it with an urgent/emergency care center. While in Easton there were increased concerns that Shore Health would abandon its plans for a new hospital.

Those community apprehensions turned out to be fortunately unfounded thanks to a combination of the politicians interceding to create a state study group on rural hospitals and a more stable economic climate which allowed for the advancement of a new hospital near the Easton Airport.

But one of the major takeaways of these two episodes was how profoundly attached communities are with their local hospitals. For a variety of reasons, including interest in patient comfort, proximity, and in some cases, mere nostalgia, residents were determined to fight to keep their local facilities alive and functioning.

The other takeaway, perhaps not as well noticed by many, was the increasing awareness that through advanced technology and efficiency, there is an emerging radically new way to provide health care in the 21st-century and is the growth of telemedicine.

The Spy, which has had an ongoing curiosity about the use of technology and how it may impact rural health delivery, was lucky enough to secure an interview with Marc Zubrow, Vice President, Telemedicine and Medical Director, eCare in charge of telemedicine for the entire University of Maryland Medical System. And in our interview, Dr. Zubrow makes a compelling case why this use of remote medical consultation will be dramatically improving patient care and outcomes regardless of location.

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