Spy Moment: Chestertown’s Earth Day 2017

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This year marked the 47th annual Earth Day.  Chestertown celebrated in Fountain Park’s Farmers Market and across the street in Memorial Plaza by Emmanuel Church. More than a dozen organizations had booths or displays.  Despite the drizzle, quite a few people came out to celebrate the occasion.

Recycled Art from Bottlecaps – Student-Made “Blue Crab”

Ford Schumann

Ford Schumann of Infinity Recycling reported that  he had sold all his “guess” tickets. Each ticket allowed the purchaser to “guestimate” the weight of two bales of trash – one large, one small.  Tague Hurley was the winner for the smaller bale.  Tague’s guess was only three pounds less than the actual weight of  845 pounds. The best guess for the the larger bale – which was filled with tin cans – came from Colette Hearn who guessed 1200 pounds (real weight 1289 pounds.)  Prizes were gift certificates from local sponsors Figgs Ordinary, Procolino’s, and Play It Again, Sam’s.

Chesapeake bay Foundation table volunteers

There were, of course, recycling bins available and you could bring paper to be shredded.  The ukulele club provided live music.  Some planned activities were cancelled or curtailed due to the rain.  But spirits were high!

Meanwhile in Washington, DC, New York City, and more than 600 cities around the globe, tens of thousands of people honored Earth Day by Marching for Science.  The official Earth Day website said “Thank you to the 150,000 supporters of climate science and evidence-based facts who came out on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day to stand with us for truth. We stood solidly together in the rain as if our lives depended on it. And they do!”

March for Science, Earth Day, National Mall, Washington DC April 22 2017 (photo credit – http://www.earthday.org/marchforscience/)

Except where otherwise noted, photos for this Earth Day article by Peter Heck. Text by Jane Jewell. 

 

Comptroller Franchot Visits Rock Hall, Honors Volunteer Fire Company

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Peter Franchot, the Comptroller of Maryland, paid a visit to Rock Hall Wednesday, April 19 to recognize the 90th anniversary of the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company.

Captain Micheal Pinder of Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company holds a certificate from Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (left of PInder) recognizing the company’s 90th anniversary. Other RHVFC members plus Mayor Brian Jones, council members Rosalie Kuechler and Brian Nesspor, Town Manager Ron Fithian and Delegate Jeff Ghrist are also pictured.

Greeting Franchot were Mayor Brian Jones, council members Brian Nespoor and Rosalie Keuchler, Town Manager Ron Fithian, District 36 Delegates Jay Jacobs and Jeff Ghrist, and a good turnout of volunteer firefighters, led by Chief Michael Pinder.

Franchot presented the company with a certificate recognizing the anniversary. He said that in addition to their bravery and community services, volunteers represent a large saving to the state, which would otherwise need to pay for firefighters and other emergency services throughout Maryland. In recognition of this, he gave each of the volunteers a brass medallion, a copy of one created to honor his father, a World War II veteran.

Franchot also took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the start of Rock Hall Restaurant week, April 22-29.

Following his firehouse visit, Franchot boarded the Rock Hall tram for a visit to several downtown businesses, including Hickory Stick, Java Rock Coffee House, Bayside Foods and Haven Harbor Marina. He stayed at the Hickory Stick a little bit longer to find and buy a gift for his wife and then had a cup of coffee at Java Rock across the street.  At each stop he chatted with the business owners and gave them medallions recognizing their contribution to the community and the economy.

Franchot at Haven Harbor Marina, Rock Hall MD . (19 April 2017)

 

Following the tour, Franchot went to town hall, where he and local officials shared a lunch prepared by local restaurants and discussed ways to bring tourist business to the town, both for the Restaurant Week and other upcoming events. Rock Hall has several marinas and is a favorite spot for boaters during the summer tourist season.

36th District Delegates Jeff Ghrist and Jay Jacobs with Franchot at Haven Harbor Marina. (19 April 2017)

For more information on Rock Hall, MD, including – restaurants, marinas, lodging – click here.

Franchot Visits Rock Hall, Honors Volunteer Fire Company

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Peter Franchot, the Comptroller of Maryland, paid a visit to Rock Hall Wednesday, April 19 to recognize the 90th anniversary of the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company.

Greeting Franchot were Mayor Brian Jones, council members Brian Nespoor and Rosalie Keuchler, Town Manager Ron Fithian, District 36 Delegates Jay Jacobs and Jeff Ghrist, and a good turnout by volunteer firefighters, led by Chief Michael Pinder.

Franchot presented the company with a certificate recognizing the anniversary. He said that in addition to their bravery and community services, volunteers represent a large saving to the state, which would otherwise need to pay for firefighters and other emergency services throughout Maryland.  In recognition of this, he gave each of the volunteers a brass medallion, a copy of one created to honor his father, a World War II veteran.

Franchot also took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the start of Rock Hall Restaurant week, April 22-29.

Following his firehouse visit, Franchot boarded the Rock Hall tram for a visit to several downtown businesses, including Hickory Stick, Java Rock Coffee House, Bayside Foods and Haven Harbor Marina. He stayed at the Hickory Stick a little bit longer to find and buy a gift for his wife and then had a cup of coffee at Java Rock across the street.  He looked at the wine selection there but didn’t buy a bottle.   At each stop he chatted with the business owners and  gave them medallions recognizing their contribution to the community and the economy.

Following the tour, Franchot went to town hall, where he and local officials shared a lunch prepared by local restaurants and discussed ways to bring tourist business to the town, both for the Restaurant Week and other upcoming events. Rock Hall has several marinas and is a favorite spot for boaters during the summer tourist season.

 

 

The Ark Sails on Sunday from Kennedyville…

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Amid the fields of corn and soybeans that surround Shrewsbury Parish, on Sunday April 30, the children of that Episcopal church will launch an ark they began building last July.

Fr. Henry Sabetti talks about raising rabbits.

The Vacation Bible School students will present a check for over $5,000 to Asmi Patel, Community Engagement Coordinator for Heifer International at the ten o’clock service. The “Ark” is a partnership with the VBS and Heifer International, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.

Last summer Shrewsbury kids learned firsthand that they could send gifts to children who don’t have enough to eat through the Heifer faith-focused VBS curriculum, Animal Crackers. Shrewsbury wanted to Teach the Children Well by making them aware they are part of a larger family, and show them a way to help others.

Thirty-nine youngsters from three to fourteen, a number from the Latino community, took on the mission with enthusiasm, raising enough money themselves to purchase two goats, two flocks of chickens and a trio of rabbits to help hungry children.

More than ten percent of the world lives with food insecurity. “The need is so great to provide sustainable agriculture through animals,” said The Very Reverend Henry M. Sabetti, rector of Shrewsbury.

Inspired by the VBS kids, parishioners and other friends of the church donated more than was required to fill an entire gift “Ark”. Bees, chicks, water buffaloes, cows, sheep and more are sent two by two, to produce life-giving milk, honey, wool and eggs. Impoverished communities benefit not only with animals, but also with training in husbandry to foster an ongoing income source.

All are welcome this Sunday, or any Sunday, to attend the celebration with a reception in Hughes Hall afterwards. The church is located
12824 Shrewsbury Church Road, Kennedyville. This summer Shrewsbury Parish VBS will host Animal Crackers Redux. For more information, call the parish office at 410.348.5944.

Taste of the Town Set for May 7

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One of Chestertown’s signature events, the 10th Annual Taste of the Town & County, will take place Sunday, May 7, noon to 3 pm in Fountain Park. Organized by the Downtown Chestertown Association (DCA), the affair pairs restaurants and diners, farms and chefs from throughout the county.

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Attendees can sample a tantalizing variety of dishes prepared by local chefs and caterers who are encouraged to partner with local producers in sourcing ingredients. Prior offerings included cream of crab soup, gnocchi, pulled pork, beef brisket, oysters, beet napoleon, lemon pie and chocolate bread pudding. People’s Choice awards will be given to Most Creative, Best Use of Local Ingredients, and Most Flavorful.

This year, Taste of the Town is partnering with the Maryland Wineries Association to bring wineries from across the state to Chestertown.  Wineries will work with chefs to develop perfect pairings of food and Maryland wines. The food and wine tasting pairings are included in the ticket price. Glasses of wine and separate wine tastings will be available for sale, as well as local beer.

Proceeds from the event and the popular raffle benefit the Samaritan Group of Kent County, which provides emergency shelter and other services for Kent County Maryland for those that find themselves in need and for whom no other source of assistance is readily available.

Advance pass tickets are $15, and are available at The Finishing Touch, 311 High St Chestertown or on line at www.TasteofChestertown.com through April 29. Admission at the door is $20.

The DCA is committed to maintaining a viable historic business district as an integral part of preserving the quality of Kent County life. For additional information, visit www.TasteofChestertown.com or call 443 480 1987.

Benchworks Hosts “Sip and Shop” Fashion Show

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On Sunday, April 30, Benchworks will host a “Sip and Shop” fundraiser to benefit the Kent County Food Pantry’s Backpack Program. This program provides weekend food assistance for 285 elementary and middle school students in Kent County. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Backpack Program.

The public is invited to attend the trunk show, featuring spring fashions by J.McLaughlin, anytime between 12-5pm. It will be held at Lauretum, a former bed and breakfast located at 954 High Street in Chestertown.

Josie Worthington, manager at J. McLaughlin, is excited about the upcoming event and explained that this program is vital to many children in the area. “This fundraiser is one way to help ensure that we can continue to provide meals for those children who otherwise would not have adequate food resources outside of the school day,” Worthington said. “We are thrilled with the support from Benchworks and everyone in the community who contributes in some way to this important initiative.”

Taylor Porter, account manager at Benchworks said, “This will be a fun event where people can shop, sample some spring beverages, and socialize. Plus, they will be helping to support the efforts of this very worthwhile cause.”

Benchworks, a comprehensive marketing services agency headquartered in Chestertown, Maryland, was founded in 1991. With offices in Philadelphia and Boston, the company specializes in the design, production, and launch of complete marketing and branding services. Clients include a wide variety of companies in the life science, pharmaceutical, beverage, manufacturing, and education industries in North America and Europe. For additional information, visit www.Benchworks.com or call 800-536-4670.

Michael Pugh to Succeed Jessica Coner as Clay Studio Manager

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RiverArts is pleased to name Michael Pugh as the new Clay Studio manager. Jessica Coner, who has managed the studio since 2014, will continue to participate as an experienced potter and clay teacher.

Pugh, a seasoned educator, has taught science and math in the Baltimore public schools and special adult programs for the past decade. He and his partner, John Schratweiser, are in the process of moving to Chestertown permanently. His avocation has always been in pottery and the American craft tradition. He brings strong technical and aesthetic skills to RiverArts after years of study and work in his own studio.

The RiverArts Clay Studio provides equipment and workspace for potters through its Open Studio hours, as well as offering introductory classes for potters and sculptors through advanced workshops.

Pugh wrote, “Artisans are known for their celebration of community and peer support.” He is a welcome addition to RiverArts and the greater community.

For more information about RiverArts and the Clay Studio, visit www.chestertownriverarts.org call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

The Clay Studio is located at 204 High Street, Chestertown.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD 21620 – (in the breezeway). Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 4 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM

Senior Nation: Why Chestertown with Bill and Beth Mohan

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If there is just one question that the Chestertown Spy never stops asking in almost every profile we’ve done over the last eight years, it is, “How did you get here?” While some of our interviewees have the simple response that they were born here, for the vast majority it is an endlessly different tale of circumstances and fate.

But it is hard to think of a more intentional decision than when it comes to selecting Chestertown as a retirement community. For these decisions are not made because of career advancement, or the need for higher education, but for the pure pleasure of wanting to live here.

So there should be no surprise that the Spy focused on the motives of Bill and Beth Mohan, who recently gave up almost four decades living in Bethesda to establish residence at Heron Point. And like so many, there is always a backstory that we felt our readers would enjoy.

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

United Way Celebrates Volunteers at Heron Point

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Bottom row L-R: Bonnie Keating, David Keating, Bobbie Chase, Nancy Montague, Betsy McCown, Jennifer Kafka Smith, Judy Kneller, John Leek, Charlotte Hawes, Ginny Barker Second Row L-R: Jane Jewell, Charlotte Potts, Denise Tontarski, Meredith Rellick Third Row: Ed Silver (UWKC Board), Jennifer Tosten, Tamara Kim, Ken Young Top Row: Lee Irish, Chuck Shorley, Ralph Dowling, Andy Andrews, and Comm. Bill Short

April 6, 2017 was the Annual Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Breakfast of the United Way of Kent County held at Heron Point in Chestertown. A delicious buffet breakfast was served in Heron Point’s newly refurbished dining facility with nearly ninety people in attendance. As attendees enjoyed their coffee, a short business meeting was held before Volunteers of United Way Member Agencies from all over Kent County were honored.

President Carol Droge welcomed guests, and spoke about successes of United Way in the past year. She mentioned the update of the areas of impact: Education, Health, and Financial Stability. Ms. Droge stated that this year’s campaign, United Way of Kent’s 60th, was at 83% of its goal of $210,000. She mentioned the upcoming Guest Chef Fundraiser Dinner to be held at the Lemon Leaf Café on April 11.

Treasurer Alison Libshitz introduced the first Annual Report of United Way of Kent County. Everyone present received a copy.

Bottom Row L-R: Chip Williams (VP), Patti Dowling, Mary Fisher, Lauren Gibson Second Row: Beth Everett (ED), Alison Libshitz (T), Carol Droge Third Row: Barbara Foster, Glenn Wilson (P), Katie Warrington Top Row: Bill MacIntosh, Bob Greenwald Missing: Sarah Feyerherm, Marilyn Parks (S), Ed Silver

Directors and Officers were elected. For the coming year, officers will be: Glenn Wilson, President; Chip Williams, Vice President; Marilyn Parks, Secretary, and Alison Libshitz, Treasurer. Directors elected for a three year term are Patti Dowling, Carol Droge, Mary Fisher, Lauren Gibson, Bill MacIntosh, and Ed Silver.

The Business Partner of the year, The Peoples Bank, was introduced and presented with a plaque noting their service to the community in the past year. Mr. Ralph Dowling, President and CEO, accepted the plaque and said that community service is an important function of a community bank like Peoples Bank.

Next, volunteers from 24 Kent County Member Agencies were introduced and given a stadium blanket with the United Way 60th Anniversary logo on it and a certificate from Governor Larry Hogan thanking them for their service.

Volunteers recognized were: American Red Cross, Lisa Sewell; Big Brothers Big Sisters, Nancy Gray; Boy Scouts, Ken Young; Camp Fairlee/Easterseals, Bill Short; Character Counts, Rebecca Pitre; Community Food Pantry, Judy Kneller; Community Mediation Upper Shore, Andy Andrews; Echo Hill Outdoor School, Sally Harding; For All Seasons, Ginny Barker; Fiddlesticks! Youth Orchestra, Jane Jewell; Girl Scouts, Tamara Kim; Good Neighbor Fund, Bobbie Chase; Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s, Jennifer Tosten; Kent Association of Riding Therapy, Kirsten Forney; Kent County Community Assistance Fund, Charlotte Potts; Kent County Medical Adult Day Care Foundation, Pets on Wheels; Kent Forward, Gina Jachimowicz; Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence, Meredith Rellick; Playmakers Camp at the Garfield Center, Jennifer Kafka Smith; Rebuilding Together, John Leek; Rock hall Yacht Club Sailing School Scholarship Program, Denise Tontarski; St. Martin’s Ministries, Charlotte Hawes; Samaritan Group, Inc., Bonnie and David Keating; and United Needs and Abilities, Chuck Shorley.

Townsend Memorial Medical Clinic did not name a Volunteer this year.

Incoming President Glenn Wilson congratulated all the honorees. He spoke about the goals of United Way for the coming year, chiefly, to do a comprehensive Community Needs Assessment for Kent County. Mr. Wilson also recognized Josh Petersen, President and CEO of 211 Maryland, Inc. and noted United Way’s intention to work with 211 to expand Member Agencies’ availability to the community. He recognized outgoing President Droge’s contributions to United Way and Kent County and presented her with a Distinguished Service Award.

For more information about United Way of Kent County, its mission, and volunteering opportunities, call 410-778-3195 or email unitedwaykc@verizon.net.