Sumner Hall Open for Tea Party Festival


Sumner Hall  (G.A.R. Post #25) invites the public to participate in several  Chestertown Tea Party Festival Activities.

On Friday, May 26, Sumner Hall will be open from 4 to 9 p.m.  In addition to the

Marlon Saunders

exhibition  The Black Labor Experience in Kent County and Stories of Kent County African American Veterans of the Civil War, the video of Choppin’ at the Shop by Marlon Saunders & Friends will be shown at 5 and 7 p.m. 

Sumner Hall will also be open on Saturday, May 27 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.  The Marlon Saunders video will be shown at 10 a.m, 1 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m.

At noon on Monday, May 29 commemorative wreaths will be laid in Memorial Park to honor the service of fallen soldiers, following the Decoration Day tradition established by the members of the G.A. R. after the U.S. Civil War.

Sumner Hall is located at 206 S. Queen  St., Chestertown.


Soroptimists Host “Meet and Greet” June 2


“An organization of women at their best helping other women to be their best.”

The Soroptimist International of Kent & Queen Anne’s Counties is hosting a “Meet and Greet” on June 2, 2017, from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Chesapeake Bank & Trust, 245 High Street, Chestertown.

Please drop off your Redner’s Save-A-Tape receipts to help support our club’s projects to help women and girls.  For more information contact Connie at 410-708-5352.  Also, look at our Facebook page.

The Soroptimists International is a worldwide volunteer organization that focuses on improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.  According to the official website “Soroptimist means ‘best for women’ and that’s what we strive to be—an organization of women at their best helping other women to be their best. As a volunteer organization of business and professional women, we feel uniquely qualified to help women and girls live their dreams.  It’s true that both men and women live in poverty, face discrimination and must overcome obstacles. But throughout history—in every country in the world—women and girls face additional obstacles and discrimination solely because of their gender.”  The Soroptimists sponsor programs such as the “Live Your Dream” education and training awards for women. For more information, visit the official Soroptimist website.


Rock Hall Hosts 10th Annual “Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend”


The Greater Rock Hall Business Association and Town of Rock Hall


On the weekend of August 11-13, 2017, landlubbers and buccaneers, young and old, will once again set sail to Rock Hall, MD for the town’s TENTH “Best of the Bay” award winning, Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend!  The Greater Rock Hall Business Association’s Events Committee and the Town of Rock Hall will host this town-wide theme party–celebrating the pirate in all of us.

Come by land or come by sea to the Town of Rock Hall on the Isle of Delmarva located on the Upper Chesapeake Bay for a two and a half day town-wide theme party you will not forget! This is a wonderful opportunity to bring your boat – anchor out or raft up with your mates.  There is plenty of anchorage, dockage and raft-up space available – as well as plenty of parking for those arriving by land.  Rock Hall is less than a tank of gas from Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C and Northern Virginia.

This year we are celebrating 10 years and it promises to offer up even more mayhem and surprises!  Jump start the weekend with Music on Main Street, an evening Rum Tasting at the Inn at Osprey Point and Sea Shanty Sing – A- Long at Bay Wolf Restaurant.  Dine at one of the many award-winning restaurants, settle in and enjoy the night’s live entertainment offered at many of the town’s local watering holes, or just relax under the stars.  True to life re-enactors, The Skullduggery Crew and the Valhallas Pirates will take you into a world of wonder and fantasy fit for all ages!  Captain Black will return to entertain kids and wenches alike!

Take a stroll back into the authentic pirate encampment where you will find merchants and live entertainment fit for young and old.  On Saturday afternoon, visit Rock Hall Harbor for a magnificent view of the Chesapeake Bay and be sure to get your dinghy decorated for the Decorated Dinghy Flotilla and Pirate Dinghy Poker Run.  Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to the Best Dressed Dinghies and Most Marina Participation!  Enjoy some grub and live piratical music by The Brigands at Harbor Shack for the ever popular Cast Off Party.  The flotilla of tiny pirate ships will float around the harbor and embark to Rock Hall’s public beach for a Caribbean Beach Party at high noon featuring Island Vibes.  Graybeard’s trophy will be handed down to the Best Decorated Dinghy and cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.  Before the party begins, kids are encouraged to come and plunder the treasures of Graybeard on Rock Hall’s beach.  Costumes and pirate attire is strongly encouraged!

  All weekend, the whole town will be in the pirate spirit as merchants, residents, re-enactors, musicians and other performers take you to the Golden Age of piracy on the high seas.  Main Street will be alive with music, mayhem, and plenty more surprises.  Be sure to enter the Costume Contests Saturday on Main Street as the royal red carpet is rolled out for young and old!!  Some of the pirate performers offering up music and mayhem this year include Bone and String, The Brigands, Pirates for Sail, Salty Dogs, Ships Company Chanteymen, Song Buccaneers, Spiced Punch, and the infamous Vallhallas Pirates. Artisans, crafters, pirate tale-tellers and more will invade the town.  There will be shopping and plenty of grub and grog for all!  Public parking and transportation will make getting around safe and worry free.

For ye old salts, The Grand Buccaneer’s Ball will take place at Waterman’s Crab House on Saturday night with live music, contests, prizes and excellent crabs and seafood.  Admission is free and pirate attire is requested for the evening.  Trophies will be awarded for the best-dressed king and queen at the ball.  Graybeard’s look-a- like will be chosen and his giant treasure chest full of surprises will be given away.  Earlier that evening, wine connoisseurs can enjoy a wine tasting at the Inn at Haven Harbour.

      The little scallywags will find much to do in the Kid’s Cove all weekend with entertainment, games, puppet shows, treasure hunts, a live pirate encampment, moon bounce, face-painting, tattoos and more!   The party doesn’t end on Saturday – be sure to stick around for more music and mayhem on Sunday, including, the Pirates 5K Run/Walk and Kiddie K!  This will be a chip timed event and trophies will be awarded in all categories.  Proceeds from the event will be given to Character Counts of Kent County.  The afternoon gets going with the annual Town-wide Treasure Hunt and more music, merchants and fun on Main Street and Kid’s Cove. The day culminates with the Kids and Pets Parade and Costume Contest on Main Street.  This is surely a weekend you won’t want to miss!

The Greater Rock Hall Business Association and Town of Rock Hall Present Rock Hall’s 10th PIRATES AND WENCHES FANTASY WEEKEND, August 11-13, 2017.  For more info, see Rock Hall town webpage and the official Rock Hall Pirate Page.

Democrats Honor Volunteer of the Year


Kent County Democrats, at their Kennedy/King dinner, May 2, heard statewide and local officials outline strategies to win over voters in upcoming elections. Comptroller Peter Franchot, Attorney General Brian Frosh, and Kathleen Matthews, interim chair of the Maryland Democratic Central Committee, and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenitz were among the speakers. Joining them were Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino and County Commission President William Pickrum.  Dr. Mel Rapelyea of Betterton acted as MC. The dinner was held at the Frank M. Jarman Post #36, American Legion, with food provided by Occasions Catering of Chestertown.

The highlight of the event for many attendees was the presentation of the first annual Martha A. Holland Award for Volunteer of the Year. Rapelyea characterized Holland, who died at the beginning of April, as “the wind beneath my political wings, but in a gentle way.” He described her as part of Kent County’s Democratic “think tank,” who recruited members to set up the Democratic booth at Chestertown market during warm months. Holland was also instrumental in getting the local party to set up an official headquarters, and she was a fertile creator of political buttons and signs, many with a sly sense of humor. Her smiling face appeared numerous times on a slide show of local Democratic activities projected behind the podium during the evening.

Kathleen Matthews presents the first Marth Holland Volunteer-of-the-Year award to Frances Miller. Mel Repelyea applauds.

Matthews presented the award, which went to Holland’s sister, Frances Miller of Chestertown. Matthews noted that Miller, who had been asked to nominate candidates for the award, named six people but did not include herself. She praised Miller’s energy and conviction, and mentioned some of her many efforts for the club, including organizing a bus to carry local Democrats to Washington for the Women’s March – and getting everyone safely home again.

Miller, clearly moved by the recognition, said, “All of you in the room are volunteers for the Democratic Party – I think you all deserve this award.” She received a standing ovation.

The theme of the evening was “From Grassroots to Victory: Inspiring and Supporting Future Candidates,” and most of the speakers addressed the theme in their remarks. Matthews said the state party was working to reconnect with Democrats in rural counties, many of whom she said voted for Republican candidates in the most recent elections. She encouraged attendees to adopt a “neighbor-to-neighbor” approach to spreading the word about how Democrats are the ones working to better their lives. She mentioned two attendees at the dinner: Brian Welter, who is planning a run for District 36 delegate, and Alison Galbraith, who has announced her candidacy for the congressional seat now held by Andy Harris.

Alison Galbraith, Democratic candidate for Maryland congressional district 1.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenitz

MD Attorney General Brian Frosh

The other speakers, including Frosh, Franchot, Cerino, Pickrum and Kamenitz, also hammered on the need for Maryland Democrats to strengthen their appeal to voters in rural counties such as Kent. Franchot said the party needs to field credible local candidates with strong roots in their communities, and not to hold local candidates to a litmus test on national issues. He stressed the need for elected officials to “show up” and learn what issues their constituents are concerned with, and to take responsibility for doing the job they were elected to do.

Frosh summarized some of the work his office has done to fight scammers and corrupt business practices, including “sham” charities and predatory lenders. Like all the speakers, he expressed anger and dismay at the record to date of the Trump administration and the congressional Republicans.

William Pickrum, Kent County commissioner

Chris Cerino, Mayor of Chestertown

For more information, see the website of the Democratic Club of Kent County, MD  The Democratic Club of Kent County meets most months in Chestertown, on the third Thursday of the month.  Locations vary; please check the website calendar for details.  Doors open at 5:30 pm for social time, drinks, and a meal; business meeting at 6:45, speaker/program at 7:00 pm, ending around 8:00 pm.  Iced tea and diet soda provided free — all are welcome!  Visit the club on Facebook. 

Historical Society Presents Lecture on “Women and Work on the Eastern Shore and Beyond”


The Historical Society of Kent County is proud to present the third installment of it’s

“Labor Lecture Series”

Featuring Dr. Kara French

“Women and Work on the Eastern Shore and Beyond”

Please join us on May 5th at 4 pm for the latest installment of our labor lecture series. Featuring the collections of Salisbury University’s Edward H. Nabb Center for Delmarva History and Culture, this talk will explore how women have worked from colonial times to the present. We will not only discuss the types of work women have performed, but also the barriers women as workers have had to overcome. Special attention will be paid to the work Eastern Shore women performed during World War II.

4:00 pm Friday, May 5, 2017 Admission is free.

Historical Society of Kent County, Boardley Building, 301 High Street, Chestertown, MD  410.778.3499

The 32nd Annual Bay to Bay Ride


The Chestertown Lion’s Club is sponsoring a bicycling challenge “Bay to Bay Ride” on Sunday, June 25, 2017. Registration 6:30-9:00, Start 7:00-9:00 a.m. (special tandem start 8:00 a.m.) 50, 86, or 104 miles flat, also a 27 mile loop ride to Historic Chestertown.

$25 until May 24, 2017
$30 from May 25 to June 24, 2017
$40 on day of ride

Helmet required, audio headsets prohibited. Includes: map, marked routes, gift (first 450 riders), Sag, 6 food stops, swimming in the Chesapeake Bay at the end of the ride. Proceed benefit Lions Club Leader Dog Program for the Blind. All blind riders may ride free.

Go to for registration form and up to date ride information. Register on-line at

Chestertown Lions Charities, Inc. is a non-profit tax-exempt public charity as provided for in 501(C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Maryland Releases Total Roadway Deaths for 2016


Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn today joined top law enforcement officials and traffic-safety advocates to issue a call-to-action to eliminate highway fatalities in Maryland.  Preliminary data collected by MDOT indicates that in 2016, 523 people died in traffic crashes on the state’s roads, up from the 521 who died in 2015.  Across the nation, preliminary numbers from the National Safety Council show roadway fatalities rose by more than six percent last year to more than 40,000 total.

“Every life lost is an avoidable tragedy,” said Transportation Secretary Rahn. “We are counting on you to take responsibility for your life and the life of everyone in your car.  Don’t start the car until everyone buckles up. Your life depends on it.”

Over the last two years, from 2014 to 2016, people drove two billion more miles on Maryland roads due to low gas prices and other economic factors.  Maryland continues to work hard to make our highways safer by strengthening and enforcing traffic laws, funding roadway improvements, and educating Marylanders about the role they play in highway safety.

Today’s announcement is part of a statewide effort to highlight the ongoing implementation of Maryland’s five-year Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), which brings together federal, state, and local partners and stakeholders to reduce roadway fatalities by 50 percent in the next two decades.

“About 91 percent of drivers and passengers wear their seat belts on our roads,” said MDOT Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative Christine Nizer. “However, if we were able to obtain 100 percent seatbelt usage, 60 people killed in fatal crashes in 2016 would be alive and be with their families today.”

The SHSP addresses some of the most serious roadway safety concerns, including: preventing impaired, distracted, and aggressive driving; increasing seatbelt use; and improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists. The summit highlighted solutions to building a traffic-safety culture in Maryland.

The Hogan Administration has made reducing impaired driving a priority.  On May 19, 2016, Governor Larry Hogan signed Noah’s Law,which took effect October 1.  Noah’s Law mandates the use of an ignition interlock for those convicted of drunk driving and significantly increases administrative driver’s license suspension periods.  An ignition interlock is a device that prevents a vehicle from starting when it detects a certain level of alcohol on the driver’s breath and requires the driver to retest at random points while they are driving.

MDOT and its partners reminded drivers to “make a plan” before any trip:

Have a safe and sober ride. Use a designated driver, call a cab or ride share, or use public transportation.
Park the phone before you drive. Distractions lead to more than 28,000 injuries per year in Maryland.
Always buckle up! It’s the single most important way to save your life in a crash.
ADAPT your driving behavior. Leave a little early. You won’t feel the need to speed or drive aggressively.
Look twice for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, especially when changing lanes or approaching an intersection.
Use crosswalks and bike lanes. Be visible on the road. Wear bright clothing, and cross where drivers expect to see you.
Move over when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.

“Our motorists need to do the simple things like buckling up, always driving sober, and never driving distracted,” stated MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones. “When that doesn’t happen, officers are writing tickets or worse, responding to a deadly crash. Our traffic laws are in place to save lives.”

Learn more about the MDOT Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at, on Facebook at @towardzerodeathsmd, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland, and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.  For the latest MDOT News, follow us on twitter @MDOTNews and #MDOTNews.

Author of the Immortals’ Story to Speak at Historical Society’s Meeting


The Historical Society of Kent County is collaborating with Maryland chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) to gather information about the Maryland 400. These Marylanders, “gentlemen of honour, family and fortune” who became known as “The Immortals,” are credited with protecting the Continental Army in a battle that could have ended the American Revolution almost at its start.

That battle was fought in August, 1776, when the British attacked the patriot army that had been holding Brooklyn Heights. With fierce and repeated bayonet charges, the Maryland regiment prevented the British from crossing the East River into lower Manhattan and enabled the Continental Army to retreat and survive. The Battle of Brooklyn felled 256 of the Maryland 400, but its leaders regrouped and, along with battalions from Delaware and fresh recruits from Maryland, went on to fight in most of the key battles of the Revolutionary War. These included Trenton, Stony Point, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse and Yorktown.

The Historical Society and SAR are seeking anyone who has relatives who served in, or fought alongside, the Maryland 400. The organizations want to gather both family stories and artifacts, such as letters and objects, related to that Maryland regiment and those battles.

On April 27, the bestselling military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell will speak to the Annual Meeting dinner of the Historical Society about the Maryland 400. Mr. O’Donnell’s 2016 book, Washington’s Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution, was recently named one of the 100 Best American Revolution Books of All Timeby the Journal of the American Revolution.

Mr. O’Donnell will be joined by Major General James A. Adkins (ret.), Eastern Shore native and Washington College graduate, who in 2015 completed his 40-year U.S. Army career serving as Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard. General Adkins will discuss the Sons of the American Revolution effort, which he is leading, to reclaim and do justice to the memory of the Immortals.

Anyone who has information about the Maryland 400 or is interested in attending the Society’s Annual Meeting dinner may call or email the Society president, Stephen Frohock at the Society, 410-778-3499, or

Pam Ortiz to Speak at The League of Women Voters Annual Meeting


The League of Women Voters of Kent County will hold its annual meeting at Emmanuel Church Parish Hall at 101 Cross Street Chestertown on April 27, 2017.  Luncheon will be served at 11:30 followed by a presentation by Pam Ortiz entitled “Access to Justice in a Digital Democracy” at 12:30.  The League will hold its annual business meeting following the presentation.  The public is invited to attend the presentation.  For reservations call 410-810-1883.