Farmers Market Rules Come Before Council


Monika Phillips asks the Mayor and Council to reinstate her as a farmers market vendor.

Chestertown Farmers Market rules and procedures were the subject of discussion at the April 16 meeting of the Mayor and Council.

Monika Philips, who until recently sold dog food at the market, came before the council to appeal a decision by farmers market manager Owen McCoy that she was ineligible to sell at the market because her products were not locally produced. Farmers market rules require all products sold at the market to be produced in Kent or northern Queen Anne’s counties.

Phillips said she had been a vendor at the market for about three years until last September. She had added some dehydrated products to her line, including some from Deer Valley Danes, a Delaware-based company of which she is a product development and sales team member. McCoy saw that the products were packaged outside the state and ruled that she could not sell them.

Phillips said that despite the label on the products, she does produce them personally. “I love the farmers market. I think it’s a jewel, and I’d love to come back,” she said.

Councilwoman Linda Kuiper, whose ward includes the downtown area where the farmers market is held, said she had checked out Phillips’ display and saw that the Deer Valley products are prepackaged and that the label said they are made in Pennsylvania, not Kent or Queen Anne’s.

Phillips said she researches every farmers market she attends. She said she had never seen the contract for the Chestertown market, though she has asked to see it several times. She said she was willing to drop the out-of-area product and stop displaying the Deer Valley banner she had been showing. “There are no prepackaged products on my table,” she said. “I apologize for any infraction. You can check me out any time you want.”

Mayor Chris Cerino said the town had not made the process clear for vendors. “We need a link to the regulations and the contract,” he said. “It’s a little bit confusing.” He added that the mayor and council don’t vet the products sold at the market.

Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said McCoy was correct to refer Phillips to the council, which is the de facto appeals board for farmers market issues.

Cerino said it would be a good idea to formalize the process with some sort of written agreement the vendors could sign. He said if Phillips provided a list of the products she sells and certified that they are all locally produced, he’d be glad to let her return as a vendor.

Ingersoll said there was a draft contract, put together around 2010, which had never been officially adopted. He said the contract didn’t specify dog treats as a permitted product, but the market had evolved a good bit since the draft was compiled. “There are a lot of things we didn’t foresee,” including sales of beer and wine at the market.

Kuiper said she had the draft contract for the farmers market and another for the crafts market, which is actually in use.

Councilman David Foster said the council should commit to updating the draft. He made a motion that the council send Phillips back to McCoy with the recommendation that her re-entry into the market be approved, provided space is available, and that her products are all locally produced. The motion was unanimously approved.

Also at the meeting, Ingersoll gave an update on the reopening of the local movie theater, which is being financed with the help of a loan from the Kent County government. The town has agreed to repay the loan from proceeds of the entertainment tax, and the movie theater has agreed that its projection equipment will stand as security. Ingersoll said he had been at the theater and work to prepare it for a Memorial Day weekend opening is going forward.

The council approved an arrangement for a line of credit with Chesapeake Bank and Trust, to be applied when the town needs cash flow to meet short-term expenses. The money is to be repaid at 60 percent of the prime rate, and the line has a cap of $2.5 million — “I hope we never reach it,” Ingersoll said. Councilman Ellsworth Tolliver requested a change in the language of the resolution approving the agreement to clarify that the funds are available for any town project. The original draft restricted the use of the line to the marina upgrades.

Cerino announced that the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate have approved a $500,000 bond bill for the marina upgrades. He said the funds would primarily be used to complete the marina store and visitor center, but might also be applied to current work on the bulkheads. He said there might be one more round of fundraising to complete the project, but he expected the work to be substantially complete by the end of September.

Kuiper said people are asking local business owners about the availability of marina slips this summer. Cerino said that because of work on the piers, there will be no slips available until the work is complete. Ingersoll said short-term visitors could possibly use the kayak and canoe floating dock on the Cannon Street side of the marina, but he agreed that the status of the marina while work is going on needs to be announced more widely.

Cerino announced a vacancy on the Historic District Commission. He said the town has received one resume, but he asked others who might be interested in the position to submit resumes before the next council meeting, May 7.

The council approved permits for the Tea Party Festival parade Saturday, May 26 and the annual Memorial Day parade the following Monday. Kuiper announced that the Budweiser Clydesdales will be taking part in the Tea Party parade this year.



Kent County Nonprofit Roundtable & Leadership Circle


On Thursday, May 3, 2018, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation will sponsor a third educational and interactive Roundtable for nonprofit executive directors, staff and board members in Kent County.  The Roundtable will be followed by the popular Leadership Circle for executive level staff.  The sessions will be held in the conference room on the second floor of Chestertown’s Town Hall, 118 North Cross Street, Chestertown, MD.  Rob Levit, an award-winning nonprofit leader and Licensed Consultant from the Standards for Excellence® Institute, will return as the facilitator.  There is no charge to attend.  Space is limited and registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Register online at

SESSION #1: ROUNDTABLE, 8:45 AM – 11:45 AM

Enrollment in the Roundtable is limited to two (2) staff and two (2) board members per organization.  The following two (2) topics will be covered during the session.

1)  Strategy and Decision Making for Nonprofit Organizational Leaders. Learn how to effectively use strategy to make excellent real-time decisions to accomplish your organization’s goals and mission.  Participants will leave with refined tools for analyzing and making more effective operations, managerial and governance decisions.

2)  Improving Board and Staff Communications. Effective communication between the board and staff is essential for organizational success.  During this discussion-based segment, board members will have the opportunity to interact with their staff and with other board members, while learning to overcome communication hurdles.

SESSION #2: LEADERSHIP CIRCLE, 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM (Lunch is included.)

Enrollment in the Leadership Circle is limited to executive level staff (Executive Directors or the highest titled staff leader).  This session is not open to board members.  The purpose of Leadership Circle is to build trust, share common concerns and celebrate victories in a safe and confidential environment.  Building upon the well-attended February 2018 Leadership Circle, leaders will once again gather in a circle, discuss critical issues and offer supportive feedback in assisting each other in accomplishing individual and organizational needs and goals.

Legislature Passes Bill to Expand Post-Conviction Relief


Many bills remained in the balance as the minute hand ticked toward midnight on April 9, the last of Maryland’s 90-day legislative session.

Among them was legislation addressing the rights of criminals to petition for post-conviction relief — a process of challenging a conviction in court.

Until two years ago in Maryland, filing a petition for a writ of actual innocence or petitioning to test newly discovered DNA evidence were two ways a defendant could seek post-conviction relief — and potentially win their freedom.

Criminal defendants could have filed a petition for a writ of actual innocence if new evidence was uncovered that called into question that person’s conviction.

But in two Maryland Court of Appeals decisions — Yonga v. State (2015) and Jamison v. State (2016) — the court determined that individuals who accepted pleas were no longer eligible to petition for a writ of actual innocence or the testing of newly discovered DNA evidence.

More than 95 percent of defendants in criminal cases nationwide accept plea bargains, according to the Innocence Project, a legal group working to free innocent people who are incarcerated.

Proponents of Senate bill 423, sponsored by Sen. Bobby Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, argued — and opponents conceded — that innocent people sometimes plead guilty to crimes they do not commit.

“The bottom line is, if you’re innocent, you should not be in prison,” Zirkin told Capital News Service. “There are times when individuals plea to things that they may not have done because it’s the better idea in terms of … if you’re looking at a ton of time and there’s a plea for less.”

Baltimore resident Demetrius Smith, 34, served time in prison for a crime he did not commit.

In 2008, then 26-year-old Smith was charged with the murder of Robert Long in Baltimore.

A judge granted him bail despite the seriousness of the offense, “because he knew something wasn’t right,” Smith told lawmakers in February.

Smith — while out on bail — was charged in a different case for shooting his neighbor, who survived.

In 2010, a jury convicted Smith of murdering Long. He was sentenced to life in prison.

A year later, at the trial for his neighbor’s shooting, prosecutors offered Smith a plea bargain.

“My sister begged me to take the (plea) deal,” he said.

Smith accepted an Alford plea — an agreement in which the defendant maintains their innocence, but recognizes that the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict them.

“I had lost all faith that I would ever get justice in the courts the day I entered the Alford plea,” Smith told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

He was sentenced to 10 years of incarceration to run concurrently with the life sentence he was already serving for Long’s murder.

He maintained his innocence in both cases throughout.

Smith’s powerful testimony shook the committee.

However, Senate bill 423, which would extend post-conviction relief rights to individuals who accepted plea bargains, did not go unopposed.

Representatives from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office sought changes in the legislation; the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center and two state’s attorneys testified against the bill.

As originally drafted, opponents argued, the bill would open the floodgates for criminals to appeal their convictions, effectively disrupting the criminal justice system.

But, “a blanket dismissal of petitions for post-conviction (relief) undermines justice and is a threat to public safety,” Delegate Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery, wrote in support of the legislation.

Innocence Project testimony highlighted the public-safety aspect of the bill.

“For every innocent person who is wrongfully convicted, the person who committed the crime remains free,” Amshula Jayaram, an Innocence Project policy advocate, told lawmakers.

The actual person responsible for the crime was identified in 84 percent of the Innocence Project’s cases where an innocent person was wrongfully convicted, Jayaram added.

Opponents were not convinced. Those representing crime victims’ interests pointed to the additional pain that victims may experience if the case returned to court.

“(Crime victims) have an interest in avoiding unnecessary confrontations with those who perpetrated crimes against them and their loved ones,” Russell Butler, executive director of the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, submitted in written testimony. “Finality of convictions is a bedrock principle of the judicial system.”

Jayaram and Michele Nethercott, director of the University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic and one of Smith’s attorneys, argued that this bill would simply allow defendants to petition the court for their case to be retried.

A federal investigation in 2012 determined that Smith had not murdered Robert Long. Smith and his legal team were able to secure his freedom, and the murder conviction was eventually expunged from his record.

The conviction for shooting his neighbor, which was eventually vacated, remained on Smith’s criminal record for years.

And the two Maryland appeals court decisions meant that Smith’s Alford plea barred him from presenting new evidence — a witness was prepared to recant, Nethercott said — as part of a writ of actual innocence.

The wrongful convictions for years “stopped me from getting jobs, houses, a lot of stuff,” Smith said. “It’s just getting a little better now. Just now.”

With amendments, Senate bill 423 establishes that people who were convicted by way of guilty plea, Alford plea or a plea of nolo contendere — no contest — may petition for a writ of actual innocence and for the testing of newly discovered DNA evidence.

Under the bill, the court will grant a writ or the test by determining whether “a reasonable probability exists that the DNA testing has the scientific potential to produce exculpatory or mitigating evidence relevant to a claim of wrongful conviction or sentencing.”

The court may either “grant a new trial or vacate the conviction if the court determines that the DNA test results establish by clear and convincing evidence the petitioner’s innocence,” the bill says.

Zirkin negotiated with proponents and opponents to find compromising amendments.

One such amendment states that if the court orders a new trial, both the prosecution and defense can bring in any evidence in the possession of law enforcement at the time of the original trial, regardless of whether it was included in the statement of facts accompanying the original plea bargain.

Zirkin’s amended bill also contains a provision that allows either party to appeal the court’s post-conviction ruling. Under existing statute, the state has not been eligible to appeal the court’s decision.

The amended bill passed 134-1 in the House before returning to the Senate, where it came up about 20 minutes before Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, D-Prince George’s, Calvert and Charles, struck the gavel for the last time in 2018.

The Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill.

Smith told lawmakers he didn’t want “what happened to me to happen to the next young man that’s 19 or 20, that’s going to sit in jail for six or seven years for something that he didn’t do.”

The bill awaits Gov. Larry Hogan consideration.

“The legislature passed a record number of bills this session,” Hogan spokeswoman Shareese Churchill wrote in an email to Capital News Service. “The legislature has 20 days to present passed legislation and the governor has 30 days from that point to make his decision.”

“The governor will closely review this legislation,” Churchill added.

Barring the Republican governor’s veto, the law’s success would be determined by how Maryland courts apply it.

“We’ll have to see how this plays out in the real world,” Nethercott said, “in terms of how it actually works out in the courts.”

By Alex Mann

Dem Jesse Colvin Outraises Harris in Contributions for Second Consecutive Quarter


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.”

Council Debates Surveillance Cameras


Chestertown councilmen Marty Stetson (L) and Ellsworth Tolliver listen to the monthly police report.

“How effective is the surveillance camera on Calvert Street?” Councilman Ellsworth Tolliver asked that question at the Chestertown Mayor and Council meeting Monday, during the monthly police department report. Tolliver is the council representative for the Third Ward, which includes the Calvert Street area, a predominantly black neighborhood.

Sgt. Steve Lozar, who delivered the report, said the camera has solved a lot of crimes, including narcotics enforcement. He said the cameras provide a lot of “behind-the-scenes” information to police.

“How often are they used?” Tolliver asked. He asked if indications of drug transactions are followed up by K-9 patrols with drug-sniffing dogs.

Lozar said the camera feed is available to every officer in a patrol car. It is also shared with the Kent County Narcotics Task Force, which includes members of the Sheriff’s department. “We’re all working together,” he said. The camera feed can also be accessed from an app on officers’ cell phones, he said. He offered to show it to council members if they are interested.

Councilman David Foster said that when he lived near the corner of Kent and High streets he requested a camera for his neighborhood and saw a significant decrease in criminal activity there. He said he requested the camera because he felt the area was dangerous for his daughter.

Lozar said that camera was removed several years ago.

Tolliver said, “I have to explain to people in the neighborhood why they’re the only neighborhood in town with a camera, under 24/7 surveillance. That, to me, is uncomfortable.” He said school-age children are “under suspicion the minute they go out the door.” He characterized the effect of the camera as a “stigma” on the neighborhood.

Sgt. Steve Lozar of the Chestertown police department delivers the monthly report on the department’s activities.

Councilman Marty Stetson, a former Chestertown police chief, asked “Who’s uncomfortable? They can put one on my front porch if they want.” He said children in the area are being protected by the presence of cameras.

Councilwoman Linda Kuiper said she learned a lot by riding with officers in a police car. She said it’s common for people to call in noise complaints to draw officers away from an area where something illegal is going on. Having the camera feed lets the officers see what’s really happening.

Mayor Chris Cerino said the Calvert Street camera was requested by residents of the neighborhood after a drive-by shooting. He said the neighbors also complained of litter, public drinking, and drug use.

Lozar said the request was fulfilled by moving the camera from High Street. He said a lot of residents of the neighborhood praise the camera.

Tolliver said singling out Calvert Street stigmatized the neighborhood. “It’s not the only problem area in town,” he said.

“There’s a lot going on up there right now,” Lozar said.

Cerino asked what other neighborhoods Lozar would put cameras in if funds were available. Lozar said the business area of High Street would be one spot.

Stetson said they would also be useful in the town’s shopping malls. Lozar said the owners of Kent Plaza have approached the police about putting a camera there.

Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said the mall owners can put up cameras on their property and give the town police access to the feed. He said the Calvert Street camera was funded by a state grant for “hot spots” of criminal activity. He added that if funds were available, he would like to see cameras in the town’s parks and along the rail trail and near the town street department yard.

Cerino asked what cameras cost — “about $2,000 mounted?”

Lozar said the infrastructure to support the cameras costs a lot more. However, he said, the current system could accommodate up to 180 cameras on a 24/7 basis. He said the surveillance camera technology is becoming the norm in police and security work, supplementing foot and vehicle patrol work, He extended an invitation for any council member who is interested to ride with a patrol officer to see what the police are doing on a regular basis.

In addition to the discussion of surveillance cameras, Lozar reported that the Elks Lodge has donated a drop box for disposal of unwanted or outdated prescription drugs at the town police station at 601 High St. The box is available 24/7, and is in addition to the box at the Sheriff’s office off Flatland Road. He said the box was available for all prescription drugs, as well as over the counter medications such as aspirin. However, he asked that no needles be left in the box.

Police Chief Adrian Baker, who normally delivers the report, was at a conference.

Other topics discussed at the meeting– including farmers’ market rules, a bond bill for marina work, and a line of credit for the town from Chesapeake bank– will be covered in a Spy report later this week.


No More Cash: Maryland Tolls Changing to Electronic Only


The Maryland Transportation Authority has started working to phase out all cash toll booths across the state within in the next 13 years.

Today, tolls are collected three ways: by cash, or electronically, by either an E-ZPass transponder or by video tolling — when the state uses a license-plate photo and mails drivers their bill.

Transportation officials say that the transition to all-electronic, high-speed toll collection will: save drivers time on their commute, save the state money, reduce accidents at toll plazas, and reduce CO2 emissions as less fuel is being burned, according to a national study by the University of Central Florida.

Drivers in Maryland could start seeing new plazas that only collect tolls electronically at highway speeds by the summer of 2019, said Kevin Reigrut, executive director of the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The transition will also mean that anyone driving on Maryland toll roads will soon need an E-ZPass to avoid paying higher fees, and 218 toll operator positions will be phased out across the state.

If you pay using video tolling, Reigrut said, you pay 1.5 times the base rate for that road — and if drivers don’t have an E-ZPass by the time Maryland’s electronic tolls are phased in, that’s the price they’d pay across the state.

This means that drivers from other states who use Maryland roads will be forced to pay more if they don’t have an E-ZPass by the time of the transition.

As part of the transition, which has been a strategic goal of the transportation authority since 2004, the state has eliminated the monthly fee and offered toll discounts to pass holders to prompt more Marylanders to buy an E-ZPass, Gov. Larry Hogan said at a Board of Public Works meeting Feb. 21.

Drivers who use E-ZPass save 25 percent at tolls on all but two roads across the state and 37.5 percent on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, compared to paying cash, said Reigrut.

The two exceptions are the Intercounty Connector and the I-95 Express Toll Lanes, which already reflect the cost savings, and already collect tolls electronically at highway speeds, via video tolling or E-ZPass.

The state has already seen the advantages of all-electronic tolling facilities at the Intercounty Connector — the second-most used toll facility and the quickest route for commuters who are traveling east-west across the state. This is because drivers can travel through tolls on this road at highway speeds.

The discount was funded by a $270 million toll relief incentive over 5 years by the Hogan administration in July 2015 — the first time tolls have been cut across the state in 50 years — according to a May 7, 2015, press release.

“There is no better time to be a Maryland E-Zpass customer than right now,” Reigrut told Capital News Service.

The budget is still under development for the entire All Electronic Toll project, Reigrut said, but the initial contracts were approved by Maryland’s Board of Public Works on Feb. 21.

The two, 13-year option contracts totaled more than $360 million — $89 million to Kapsch USA Inc. for tolling systems and services and $273 million to Transcore LP for customer service center services.

A toll increase isn’t likely when the all-electronic tolls are entirely phased in, Reigrut said.

In the long term, Reigrut said, there will be cost savings as a result of this project because there won’t be a need to pay for toll collector salaries and benefits, armored cars to transport money to secured rooms at the transportation building or for significant auditing functions relative to using cash.

The transition would phase out 218 toll collector positions over the 13-year contract, and the transportation authority is no longer hiring for the positions, Reigrut said. They will be using temporary employees to fill vacant positions to minimize the number of employees affected by the project.

As toll facilities are converted, collectors will be given the opportunity to serve at nearby toll plazas, and can apply for other jobs within the state, Reigrut said.

The transportation authority’s approach to the project is to address one to two facilities at a time, starting with toll plazas that have the highest number of people who already use E-ZPass.

The first two areas that will be prioritized are the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge in Cecil County — where 93 percent of those who cross use E-ZPass — and the Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge on I-695 in Baltimore County — where 78.5 percent of those who cross use E-ZPass, according to Reigrut.

There will “never” be an issue where lanes will be closed during the all-electronic transition, and any work that requires traffic changes will occur in off-peak hours, said Reigrut.

The all-electronic toll conversion at the Key bridge will not be completed by the start of the I-895 project, and therefore won’t offer traffic relief at the onset.

I-895 has two safe, but “structurally deficient” bridges, according to Reigrut, that need to be rebuilt. The first stage of the project included reconfiguring the lanes leading up the bridges and began in March.

The second phase of the project will begin around Thanksgiving of 2018 and will direct north- and southbound traffic across one of the bridges, knocking down and rebuilding the other, and then channeling the two-way traffic across the new bridge while the second is completed, according to a Dec. 21, 2017, press release by the transportation authority.

The entire I-895 project is scheduled to be completed by 2021.

In anticipation of the I-895 project, the transportation department announced a $49.4 million project in March 2017 to reconfigure 4 miles of I-95 roadway, north of the Fort McHenry Tunnel, by the summer of 2018, according to a March 31, 2017, press release by Maryland’s Department of Transportation.

According to Reigrut, facilities undergoing change will start with the installation and coverage of signs to signal the cashless transition.

Then, at existing toll plazas, booths will be converted for non-cash operations to encourage drivers to keep moving without stopping, and overhead tolling equipment will be built and activated.

Finally, the old equipment will be turned off and the booths themselves will be gutted, one to two booths at a time, and the roadways will be reconfigured.

For example, 10 toll lanes that merge to two lanes on a bridge will see new speed limit signs, new road striping, and construction to narrow the road to a consistent two-lane approach to the bridge.

Though drivers can start to see non-cash toll at some plazas within the next year, the Customer Service Center system cannot transition into the new system until all the toll lanes across the state have been transitioned, according to state documents.

Customers will start seeing these changes two years into the project start, Reigrut said.

Customer service improvements will include a mobile app for payments, notifications and account management, a Web chat service, a modernized website and a content management system, according to state documents.

Customers will also have the ability to transfer video tolls to a prepaid account and receive faster notification. A “robust” system will also be implemented for toll users who have credit issues or have missed paying their mailed video toll charge, Reigrut told Capital News Service.

Today, E-ZPass has slightly more than 1 million customers in the state, which has a population of about 6 million people. In 2017, 78 percent of toll transactions — including out-of-state drivers — were recorded using EZ-Pass, Reigrut said.

The transportation authority expects to engage in nine to 12 months of “aggressive public outreach” to notify Maryland drivers of facilities they will be converting, said Reigrut. This outreach would include attending city council meetings in person, posting information online, direct marketing and paying for radio and billboard advertisements.

John Townsend, AAA’s public affairs manager in the District, said he worries about the people who don’t have E-ZPass and agrees that there needs to be an aggressive marketing campaign to create awareness for the transition.

Out-of-state drivers, who are not from E-ZPass states, often use the Bay Bridge; and the Baltimore tunnels will be most vulnerable to this change, because outreach is only happening in-state, Townsend said.

When Virginia began converting Route 66 inside of the Capital Beltway to electronic lanes, the Virginia Department of Transportation engaged in marketing and also increased the number of vendors selling E-ZPass transponders, said Townsend.

In Maryland, the transportation department is using a similar strategy — selling E-ZPasses at the cash toll booths, in some supermarkets, and on their website when drivers register their vehicle.

“You’d have to work hard not to get this information,” Reigrut said.

Today, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia use E-ZPass.

By Katherine Brzozowski

Community Foundation Hosts Workshop


On April 6, Mid-Shore Community Foundation hosted 130 executive directors and board members from the five-county area at Chesapeake College for a CEO/Board workshop.  The workshop was led by Chuck V. Loring of Ft. Lauderdale and Indianapolis-based Loring, Sternberg & Associates, which provides fundraising and governance consulting services to nonprofits. Mr. Loring is also a Senior Governance Consultant for BoardSource.

Mr. Loring was invited back after receiving rave reviews at a similar event hosted by MSCF last September.  “Part of our mission is to provide education opportunities for the non-profit organizations in the community,” said Robbin Hill, MSCF Chief Program Officer. “A workshop of this type is cost prohibitive for many individual organizations and we are happy to be able to make it available to them.  We offer a variety of programs but what we kept hearing at the end of the September workshop was, please bring him back!”

The first part of the program focused on governance issues such as building an effective board, legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the board, common pitfalls that impact board effectiveness and trends impacting the non-profit sector.  The second half of the program focused on current trends in philanthropic fundraising, the importance of donor cultivation and stewardship, how board members can be great fundraisers without asking for money, and why legacy giving is the future of philanthropy.

Once again, Mr. Loring received rave reviews.  “This was a unique opportunity for directors and board members to evaluate their board against the standards considered best practices for nonprofit boards,” said Moorhead Vermilye, President of the Board of CASA of the Mid-Shore.

Mid-Shore Community Foundation offers at least two training opportunities for nonprofits each year.  The next program will be in the Fall.

Kart Hosts 2nd Annual Golf Tournament


The Kent Association of Riding Therapy (KART) is hosting its 2nd Annual KART KLASSIC Golf Tournament at Back Creek Golf Club in Middletown, DE on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 1 PM.

The event is one of their major fundraisers to support their program which provides horseback riding therapy to children and adults with special needs, including some wheel chair bound riders from Camp Fairlee, an Easter Seals camp servicing Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Riding therapy benefits can be seen as the riders have increased self-esteem, self-confidence, coordination, balance, focus, and physical improvements.

Funds raised by the KART KLASSIC will be used to purchase necessary adaptive equipment, including safety certified helmets for the riders.  Last year the funds were used toward the investment in a mechanical lift used to help wheelchair bound riders mount their horses.

The first tournament attracted over 65 players and KART hopes to significantly grow that number this year.  Back Creek Golf Club was voted as Delaware’s Today Magazine’s Best Public Golf Course in 2017, First State Favorites 2017, and the Best Restaurant in Middletown 2017.  It’s an opportunity to golf at an award winning venue while supporting KART.

To register or become a sponsor, visit KART’s website at or contact Theresa Snyder at 410-870-5596 or

KART is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and United Way Agency.

League of Women Voters to Host Lecture on April 25


The League of Women Voters of Kent County will host a lecture by David Shreve, Ph.D., during their 42nd Annual Meeting on April 25th.  Shreve’s talk “Insights on the New Tax Law (How it will work for you?)” will begin at 12:45 at Emmanuel Church Parish Hall 101 Cross St., Chestertown and is open to the public. David Shreve has served as an economic policy consultant and professor of economic history at the University of Virginia, where he held a joint appointment at the Miller Center of Public Affairs and the Department of History. He also served as a consultant to the Center for Survey Research at UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. A specialist in national, state, and local economic policy and 20th century U.S. political history, Dr. Shreve has also served as a budget analyst for the Louisiana legislature. He is the author of many publications on economic history, economic theory, and tax policy, including the forthcoming books, American Promise: Lyndon Johnson and the Keynesian Revolution, and An Idealized State Tax Structure: Modeling for Equity, Adequacy, and Wide-Spread Prosperity. Dr. Shreve is currently the Executive Director of Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, a non-profit dedicated to providing outdoor sports and recreational opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The public is invited to attend the luncheon preceding the lecture, starting at noon, for a cost of $30 per person. To make a reservation or for more information call 410-810-1883. Reservations for the lunch must be made no later than Tuesday, April 17.