College Donates $10,000 to Chestertown Firefighters


Washington College has donated $10,000 the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company (CVFC) to underscore its appreciation for the fire company’s devotion to the safety and well-being of the college’s campus community and neighbors.

“As the president of Washington College, my first obligation is to the students, faculty, and staff here, and we are glad to have a reliable, committed, and well-equipped fire department as a neighbor,” President Kurt Landgraf told CVFC’s president, David Eason Sr. “We are grateful for the service that is rendered by the members of the fire company to Washington College and to the greater Chestertown community.”

Located only a few blocks from the Washington College campus, the CVFC is one of seven emergency organizations in Kent County. It can deploy three engines, one tower ladder, one heavy rescue, one tanker, one brush unit, one chief’s unit and a spill support trailer, according to the company’s website. The all-volunteer company responds to over 700 emergencies annually.

In recent years, the College has donated $2,000 a year to the fire department. Landgraf, who became Washington College’s president in July, says that in addition to this year’s monetary contribution, he will work closely with the town on more growth opportunities, as well as supporting a vibrant partnership with United Way to help all Kent County residents.



Library Book Sale This Weekend – Members’ Reception Thursday


Kent County Public Library front entrance – Chestertown Branch

Come join us for the annual Holiday Book Sale at the Chestertown branch of the Kent County Public Library on High Street!

  • Thursday, November 16, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Members’ Night
    Non-members may join the FOL at the door for only $10 per person / $20 per family. Light snacks and beverages will be served.
  • Friday, November 17, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 18, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 19, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – $5 Box Day!

On Sunday’s Box Day, you bring the box and fill it up for just $5 per box!  That way we don’t have to pack the books away. It’s win-win. The special books and items are half-price on Sunday.

Cash or check only. All proceeds benefit the Kent County Public Library by subsidizing the purchase of new items and supporting community outreach programs.

If you’d like more information about the sale, visit , e-mail or find us on Facebook!  If you’d like to volunteer or join our board, we’d love to hear from you.


Bipartisan Celebration of Service Members and Veterans


Democrats, Republicans and Independents gathered on First Friday at the Democratic Headquarters at 357 High Street in Chestertown to celebrate and honor military family and friends through the memorabilia that has been featured in the twin windows for several months.

Contributors of many of the articles and artifacts shared with others their family stories, the meaning of the memorabilia and how cherished and enriched life is in this country because of their sacrifices.

The windows feature pictures of the five young men from Kent County killed in Viet Nam, family pictures of men and women serving their country, uniforms of all the branches of service, ration coupons from the WWII home front, and books written about some of the local heroes.

The window displays will be in place through the Veteran’s Day weekend.  Please stop by and see if you can spot the Trench Art candle sticks made from artillery shells  (circa 1943) on loan from the George Kennedy family or the medic bag and beret from the Pinder family.   See the AAF (Army Air Forces) Cloth Chart of Japan and the South China Sea (C-52), the East China Sea on reverse (C-53). It is an acetate rayon typographical escape map, at first produced for pilots, for use by “War and Navy Department Agencies only”

This belonged to a WWII pilot from Baltimore.

Please take a quiet moment to read the telegram of regret for Lawrence Meeks, killed in France in WWII, and see his picture, Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

The windows are lighted at night, so those wishing to pay tribute may visit and photograph the windows at any time.

The Democratic Club of Kent County would like to thank all of those members, Kent County residents and the American Legion for their contributions and to those near and far who have given so much so we can enjoy the opportunity to find what we all share in common – peace.


Bring Your War Stories! WW II Story Collection at Library Nov 11


Students interview World War II veteran

Do you have photographs, letters, or memories from World War II you’d like to share? A team of Washington College students will be stationed at the Chestertown Branch of the Kent County Public Library on Saturday, November 11,

to scan your artifacts and collect your stories.

In honor of Veterans Day, these student researchers seek to chronicle local wartime involvement on both the home front and battlefront through the recollections of those who experienced it. Potential contributors might be World War II veterans and their families, or simply local residents who have memories from the time period. The event will take place in the Main Meeting Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During the Second World War, military personnel stationed across the country and overseas drew strength from letters exchanged with family and friends, serving as poignant reminders of home. American civilians had a substantial influence on the wartime effort by building new factories, rationing household supplies, and mobilizing donation drives. Yet, these important contributions remain lesser-known and celebrated in American history.

Since 2013, the StoryQuest Program has recorded over 200 oral histories with residents who experienced World War II locally or across the nation and abroad. Digital interviews and scans of wartime letters, photos, and other artifacts are permanently archived at Washington College, where they are accessible to the public.



Unitarian Universalists: “Trusting in Abundant Love”


Reverend Susan Carlson Browning, Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, in Chestertown

On Sunday, November 5, at 10 a.m., Reverend Sue Browning will give a sermon entitled “Trusting in Abundant Love” for the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Drive (Crestview), Chestertown. Our Universalist ancestors held that love was an unlimited resource and felt called to offer unconditional love. Rev. Gordon McKeenan describes, “Universalists believe that all of us are going to end up together in heaven, so we might as well learn how to get along with each other now.” At this service, Rev. Sue Browning will draw on this rich history as we consider modern day connections between the UU faith and social action.

Special music for the service will be performed by Pam and Bob Ortiz.

Childcare will be available during the service.

All are welcome to our service. For more information, visit our webpage.

Meet the Candidate Series: Ben Jealous – Nov. 4


Ben Jealous

The Kent Branch of the NAACP and the Democratic Club of Kent County are proud to announce an important event in the DCKC “Meet the Candidates” series.  Ben Jealous, former CEO of the national NAACP and candidate for Maryland Governor, will visit Kent County on Saturday, November 4.  Come join us for a Meet & Greet and an opportunity to hear from Mr. Jealous about his plans as Governor for the State of Maryland.  For more information on the candidate, go to the candidates website.

The event starts at 2 p.m. at the Kent County Community Center at 11041 Worton Rd. in Worton, MD.  Light refreshments will be served.

From Ben Jealous’s web site:

“Ben Jealous is a civil rights leader, community organizer, investor in startups for good, educator, former investigative journalist and a Rhodes Scholar who has spent his life bringing people together to get big things done.

Ben’s Maryland roots go back generations. His grandparents lived in Baltimore, where Ben’s grandfather worked on the B&O Canal and his grandmother at Planned Parenthood. Ben’s mother grew up in the McCulloh Homes public housing complex in West Baltimore and helped to integrate Western High School in 1954 as a member of the NAACP’s Youth and College Division. Ben’s father was one of a small number of white men jailed during the Congress of Racial Equality’s efforts to desegregate Baltimore’s downtown business district.

Ben Jealous

Ben grew up spending summers in West Baltimore and has lived in Maryland throughout his career as a civil rights leader and businessman.

Ben has extensive experience as a non-profit executive, serving as the past president of the Rosenberg Foundation, and the founding director of Amnesty International’s U.S. Domestic Human Rights Program.

At age 35, Ben was named the youngest ever President and CEO of the NAACP. Under Ben’s leadership, the NAACP underwent an unprecedented era of growth. …

In 2013, Ben was named Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun because of the role he played in leading the effort to abolish the death penalty, helping assure the effort to pass marriage equality was successful, chairing the effort to pass the DREAM Act, and expand voting rights.

Throughout his NAACP tenure, Ben worked with governors from California to Iowa, developing plans to help end mass incarceration and expand civil rights, and helped to pass numerous landmark pieces of legislation during President Obama’s first term in office.

As a community organizer Ben helped lead successful campaigns to abolish the death penalty for children, stop Mississippi’s governor from turning a public historically black university into a prison, and pass federal legislation against prison rape.

Ben JealousBen currently works as an investor for Kapor Capital, an investment firm that invests in companies working to create progressive social change. At Kapor, Ben manages the firm’s Baltimore office where he has invested in several Maryland companies working to make our state stronger.

Ben is a graduate of Columbia and Oxford University and comes from a long line of activists. He is also the proud father of two children who attend public schools.”


“Dickens of a Christmas” Tour to Feature Historic Chestertown Homes


Holiday hosts will open wide the doors to seven festively decorated Victorian and historic homes during the Dickens of a Christmas house tour, 1-4 p,m, on Saturday, December 2. Decor includes Victorian-style wreaths custom crafted for each home by the Chestertown and All Seasons Garden Clubs. Music, refreshment and good cheer will be the order of the day. The event is sponsored by Main Street Chestertown, and proceeds will benefit the Kent County Community Food Pantry.

The walking tour includes houses on Washington Avenue, Mill Street, Cannon Street and High Street. Tour participants will be treated to live holiday music at several homes and can enjoy a savory bite and cup of punch at the tour’s hospitality house.

Making its house-tour debut, the lovingly restored circa 1886 Victorian home of Eileen and Frank Anaya retains many original features, including wood floors, banisters, and tile fireplaces. Period furnishings and prints bring to life the gracious atmosphere of times past in this former home of Ouija board purveyor Charles Kennard.

The elegant 1905 Victorian home of Shirley and Woodward Loller features a distinctive copper turret and cedar shingles. After purchasing the house in 1983, the Lollers completed a restoration that preserved original wood floors, varnished moldings, beaded trim, paneled doors and pine cabinetry.

Dickens himself would feel at home among the English antiques and furnishings of the meticulously restored JL Stam House. Marta and Michael Girone have preserved many original features of this grand 1850s Gothic Revival Victorian, including faux painted fireplaces, plastered ceilings, and faux wood graining.

Jeff Maguire’s home was built by the Wheatley family in the 1830s and expanded through the years to include a deck and gardens where tour participants can pause by a warm fire and admire the classic car in the driveway. A miniature train display under the Christmas tree will charm children of all ages.

The 1886 Queen Anne Revival style Nicholson House was moved in the 1990s from its former location on High Street. A grand staircase, pocket doors, and gracious dimensions distinguish this Victorian gem, now home to the vibrant young family of Brandywine, Neyah and Suzie Bea White.

Hopkins House was built in the late 1770s by Edward Hopkins, It features a three-bay facade laid in Flemish bond with an interior central stair hall and vertical feather-edge paneling. Owner Jon Wasserman recently completed a kitchen renovation, which will debut on the Dickens of a Christmas tour.

Midway on the tour route participants will be hosted by Marcia and Bob Yeager for refreshments and music at the Boyd House. Built in the Victorian Gothic Revival style between 1882 and 1888, the house retains many original interior finishes and restored paint colors on the essentially unchanged exterior.

Reservations are required for entry. For early bird savings at $20 a ticket, book online or mail a check (made payable to Main Street Chestertown) to 118 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620). Tickets will be priced at $30 the day of the event.  The event is organized by the nonprofit Main Street Chestertown, and proceeds will benefit the Kent County Food Pantry.

The house tour is part of a new three-day “Dickens of a Christmas” festival inspired by Charles Dickens’ beloved novella A Christmas Carol and sponsored by Main Street Chestertown. Set in Chestertown’s Historic District, the festival will celebrate the season with live music, carriage rides, Victorian food and drink, costumed characters, and more.  For more information go to the event website.

First Friday: Historical Society of Kent County Presents the “Old Chester River Bridge” 


Bayly Ellen Janson-La Palme shares her research on the history ice cream in Chestertown at a previous First Friday Lecture.

Join us at the Bordley History Center (301 High Street), on November 3rd at 4 pm, to hear Dr. Bayly Janson-La Palme speak about the history of the “Old Chester River Bridge.” The history of the bridge contains many “ups & downs” and perils along the way. A toll ferry connected Chestertown and what is today Kingstown beginning in 1800.  The crossing was slow — up to an hour — and sometimes dangerous. Work on replacing the ferry with a bridge across the Chester began in 1805; however, the bridge was not fully operational until 1821. To hear the whole story of our beautiful bridge and its predecessors stop in for our First Friday lecture (and enjoy some wine while you are here!)

For more information, visit the Historical Society of Kent County’s website or call 410-778-3499

The current Chester River Bridge at Chestertown on Rt 213. Note the small guard house where the bridgekeeper used to raise the draw bridge.  It is not the first bridge across the Chester at this location.


Challenges remain for Musk’s hyperloop in Maryland


Elon Musk’s East Coast “hyperloop” project still faces technological and regulatory hurdles as Gov. Larry Hogan announced Maryland’s support for construction of the project last week.

Maryland may have jumped the gun a bit, as a day after the announcement Thursday, Musk tweeted a clarification: “Not ready to do a proper announcement yet, but maybe in a month or so. Maryland has been awesome to work with and just wanted to say thanks.”

This deal, though full of ambition from Hogan and Musk, billionaire inventor, entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX and Tesla Inc., thus far is lacking specifics.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said last week The Boring Co. will start with two 35-mile tubes between Baltimore and Washington. Even if this proposal comes to fruition, the company will have 10.3 miles approved, and approximately 215 miles of approval left to complete Musk’s vision of an underground New York City-Philadelphia-Baltimore-D.C. hyperloop.

In Maryland, Musk will still have to gain approval to tunnel more than twice the amount of miles under the remainder of Route 295 — the Baltimore-Washington Parkway — which is owned by the federal government.

“Approval needed from: Federal DOT; 6 states; 17 counties; numerous cities; hundreds of elected officials. Definitely happening rapidly,” tweeted Yonah Freemark, a transportation expert and doctoral student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, expressing skepticism at Musk’s proposal earlier this year.

Musk’s “hyperloop” idea was first released in a joint Tesla and SpaceX Hyperloop Alpha white paper in August 2013, detailing a reduced-pressure tube system capable of propelling small pods of people at an average speed of 600 mph and a top speed of 760 mph using vacuum pumps and “air bearings” to overcome air resistance.

Touted as an open-source project, Musk has taken a backseat approach to the development of the concept, instead encouraging other companies to take the proposal and make it a commercial reality, with SpaceX building a test track in California and hosting a competition for students and engineers to develop prototype sleds.

Two companies are the most active in making the hyperloop a reality: Virgin Hyperloop One, backed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group Ltd., and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a crowdsourced company.

This brings us to the question: Who will be building the hyperloop itself?

In the governor’s announcement, the state has given Musk’s The Boring Co. — initially formed to provide a cheaper solution to digging tunnels in an attempt to allay the businessman’s frustration with Los Angeles traffic — permission to dig under the Maryland-owned, 10.3 mile-long section of Maryland Route 295, but has not specified which technology is proposed to be built under the roadway.

Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies’ proposed concepts are vastly different from each other, with Hyperloop One using Musk’s originally proposed “air skis” and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies using a passive magnetic levitation, or maglev, technology.

However, both companies’ specifications depart from Musk’s original white paper, looking more like high-speed, underground rail and less like a 760 mph above-ground bobsled from the future.

Namely, the originally proposed hyperloop’s top speed of 760 mph and average speed of 600 mph may be more of a pipe dream. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has not produced a working proof-of-concept, while Hyperloop One’s recent proof-of-concept topped out at 192 mph.

In a July Tweet, Musk proposed an East Coast hyperloop resulting in a 29-minute, New York City-to-D.C. commute, as compared to the current five-hour drive or three-hour train ride.

Additionally, it is still not clear what environmental review will be needed for the conditional utility permit the Maryland Department of Transportation has given The Boring Co., and how Musk will plan to gain permission to dig under the remaining two-thirds of Maryland Route 295, currently owned by the National Park Service.

Ultimately, the roadway’s future could include construction of additional toll lanes above Route 295, and tunneling a hyperloop beneath it.

According to Hogan’s September announcement of a $9 billion plan to widen Maryland’s highways, he has already started the process of acquiring Maryland Route 295 from the U.S. Department of the Interior. But the federal agency was non-committal: “No decisions related to issues involving the Baltimore-Washington Parkway were made during that meeting,” according to a brief statement.

By CJ Mitchell
Capital News Service