Open Letter to Governor Hogan: Chestertown Needs Special Rural Community Hospital Status

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Dear Governor Hogan,

The delivery of healthcare to all of the citizens of Maryland is a topic that is often in the news and is especially important here in Chestertown, on the beautiful Eastern Shore.

I served on the Board of the Chester River Hospital Center in 2008, when the Board voted to affiliate with the University of Maryland Medical Center. At that time, serious financial obstacles faced the hospital. UMMS made many promises such as maintaining the inpatient services already being delivered with quality at our facility. Also included in the promises were recruitment assistance to augment or replace physicians’ services as retirement occurred, expansion of specialty clinics for our considerable numbers of older citizens, and physical improvements to complement our already leading-edge technology( which included digital mammography, one of the first places on the Shore to offer it).

In short order, with the input of directors from Shore Regional Health, Chester River was taken out of the mix that would have assured success on all fronts. Centralized scheduling favored transport to Easton, as did print ads for services. Eventually we lost on-site management. Physician recruitment has been delayed to the point where it is a crisis. A once-vibrant community hospital is now a shell, and the community lives in fear of losing it altogether.

There is a solution, the result of the state-mandated study on rural healthcare delivery on the Eastern Shore. A stopgap measure keeps things status quo until 2022, but funding us as a Special Rural Community Hospital, as recommended in the Report of the Workgroup on Rural Health Delivery to the Maryland Health Care Commission, would mean that Chestertown, Kent County, and upper Queen Anne’s County would continue to have access to most hospital services at an existing facility.

This community would suffer greatly if all that was available was an Emergency Department. We have a 238 year old college, several large employers, a continuing care retirement community and of course, many citizens who need healthcare services. A lack of convenient public transportation makes it difficult to go to Easton for routine services, much less to visit loved ones who may need inpatient care. There is need for additional services at the Chestertown hospital to attract and keep young people here. It is most unfortunate that we have to ask young parents to drive to Easton, Annapolis or Wilmington for pediatric inpatient care.

When I voted to join UMMS, I did so in good faith. I was given to understand that our hospital would remain vital for many years to come. I am dismayed at what has happened. I sincerely hope you will do all you can to make sure University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at Chestertown is designated a Special Rural Community Hospital, and is funded as such, so it can continue to serve this special place I call home.

Karen P. O’Connor
MSHS, MT (ASCP) SBB

New Chesapeake Bay license Plate Revealed

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The Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) revealed the new design for Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay license plate during a special unveiling ceremony today. The newly redesigned plate features two prominent Chesapeake icons: the blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Sales of the Chesapeake Bay license plate support funding for K-12 outdoor education, environmental restoration projects, and community engagement in natural resources. The new plate will be available for purchase beginning Monday, October 29, 2018.

The unveiling of the new plate, frequently referred to as the Bay Plate or Chesapeake Bay Plate, is the culmination of an extensive process that engaged multiple Maryland-based artists and incorporated input from thousands of Marylanders who considered over 250 alternative designs. Ultimately, TM Designs, a Frederick-based design firm and member of the Maryland State Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, created a design that won the majority of survey respondents’ votes and resonated with Marylanders’ desire for a plate that evokes “Chesapeake Pride.”

“The Maryland Department of Transportation is proud to partner with the Chesapeake Bay Trust and support its efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay through the Bay Plate,” said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

The Bay Plate is a popular choice among Maryland drivers, with 7 percent of all vehicles displaying them and 12 percent of households across the state reporting that they have at least one set of Bay Plates in the family. Close to 338,000 Bay Plates are on the roads today.

“MDOT MVA is pleased to offer this new option to Maryland drivers,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, whose agency administers the Bay Plate program. “We look forward to providing premier customer service to all those interested in purchasing the new Bay Plate at one of our branches or through our convenient web services starting on Monday, October 29th.”

The new design is the third design in the history of the Bay Plate, with the first introduced in 1990 and the second in 2004. All Maryland license plates are manufactured by Maryland Correctional Enterprises, a division of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Service

Rotary 2018 Soup and Sip Set for October 20

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Local food and wine connoisseurs will be descending upon The Kitchen at the Imperial on Saturday, October 20, for the Chestertown Rotary Club’s second annual Soup & Sip fundraiser. Proceeds will benefit the Kent County Public Schools’ 2019 Summer Technology Camps to enable more students to attend. From Noon to 3 p.m., this gastronomic soiree will feature crab soup entries from ten of Kent County’s finest restaurants; Barbara’s on the Bay, Blue Bird Tavern, Chester River Yacht & Country Club, Fish Whistle, Germaine’s, Luisa’s Cucina Italiana, Osprey Point Restaurant, Pearl on Main, The Kitchen at the Imperial, and Uncle Charlie’s Bistro will be competing for the bragging rights of serving Kent County’s Best Cream of Crab Soup (White) or Best Vegetable-based (Red) Crab Soup. Complementing the splendid selection of crustacean delights will be premiere wines for tasting or by the glass provided by the Eastern Shore’s three great wineries which comprise the Rivers to Canal Wine Corridor – Crow Vineyard and Winery, Broken Spoke Winery, and Chateau Bu-De Vineyard & Winery.

Chestertown Rotarian and retired restaurateur Harry Hanson, together with his wife Colleen, are again lending their life-long skills to make this year’s event another success. “It’s all about having great chefs and vintners who are dedicated to their crafts and to our community. We thank each of our restaurants and wineries for participating, with special thanks to Steve Quigg, owner of The Kitchen at the Imperial, for allowing us to use his Carriage House and Back Patio to hold the event,” said Hanson. Chestertown Rotarian Jamie Williams, Director of the Kent County Office of Economic Development, added “We are also grateful for our generous sponsors ensuring this fundraiser is economically successful for the students of Kent County, including Angelica Nurseries, Charles L. Lerner, Delmarva Power, Eastman Chemical Company, Kent County News, The Chestertown Spy, ThinkBig Networks, and WCTR – 106.9 FM.”

Chestertown Rotarian and WCTR radio personality Brian Moore remarked, “Last year’s Soup & Sip, which raised funds to support Rotary International’s End Polio Now Campaign, was resoundingly acclaimed by those who enjoyed the excellent food and wine selections. We have even more restaurants participating this year and a remarkable array of wines to choose from. We invite one and all to join us for the great food, drink, company, and ambiance of this special event.”

Jorge Zarif and crew Guilherme de Almeida Win Star Worlds 2018

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This morning when the 62 teams arrived at the Tred Avon Yacht Club with two races scheduled, the discard coming in play after Race 5, and a very windy forecast, anything was possible. Jorge Zarif and crew Guilherme de Almeida had a comfortable eight point lead over the second place team Paul Cayard (USA) and Arthur Lopes (BRA), and even more over the third place Class President Hubert Merkelbach and Markus Koy (GER). After a DNF in Race 5 for Cayard / Lopes, and a discarded DSQ for 2017 World Champions Eivind Melleby (NOR) and Joshua Revkin (USA) the window of opportunity opened back up for either of the three teams to take the Championship title at the start of a thrilling Race 6.

Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida fought a tough battle, always sailing within top 10 boats, losing some points in the second upwind beat, then regaining them in the last downwind to finish fourth behind race winner Tomas Hornos and Pedro Trouche, just meters before Melleby / Revkin, Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise in third. The Brazilians narrowly clinched the fourth spot from George Szabo (USA) and Roger Cheer (CAN) by half boat length.

Olympic Finn sailor Jorge Zarif at 26 years old is the youngest World Champion since 1981 when Alex Hagen (GER) won as a skipper at the same

“I feel really happy! The Star is such a traditional Class full of good people – said Jorge Zarif – and good sailors. It feels really good to have the opportunity to put my name on that trophy.”

“It’s a wonderful experience to sail with Jorge – said crew Guilherme de Almeida – He is amazing. I started sailing with his father when I was 14. He took me to the club and he got me sailing Stars and now I am here winning with Jorge at the World Championship, which is a dream!”

Eivind Melleby and Joshua Revkin had a fantastic week that started with two wins in the first day, and they are among the best Star sailors of all time wining in 2017 in Denmark and as runner up this year.

“We wanted to defend the cup of course – said Eivind Melleby – so it is a bit disappointing that we finished in second. But we are pleased with the week because we had two 1st places and a 2nd and all top 10 finishes otherwise. So we are very happy with the results and the sailing. This was a very tough week to sail with light wind and then today with pressure that was up and down and very shifty.”

Paul Cayard sailed in his first Star World Championship 40 years ago as a crew in his hometown, San Francisco. He won the prestigious trophy back in 1988 in Buenos Aires, and since then he has engaged in many more adventures, winning some of the most epic challenges of our sport. Now he is back competing in the Star class with his Brazilian crew Arthur Lopes.

“We had great results and of course we hoped to win – said Paul Cayard, Vice President of the Star Class – But Arthur and I won a race and had a second, and 3rd is a great place overall. We are always excited to have the youth in the Class, Jorge is the son of a Star sailor and Josh [Revkin] and Arthur [Lopes] are both young. What we are most interested in is seeing the next generation coming along, so to see Jorge Zarif win the Star World Championship is fantastic. It says a lot for the Star Class.”

“This is my best result in the Star class and I am very happy – said Arthur ‘Tutu’ Lopes – It was great to sail with Paul, I learn a lot from him.”

The week has not been easy, with the weather being greatly affected by Hurricane Michael, but in the end we had an epic last day.

The highly anticipated final race day of the 2018 Star World Championship began early this morning in an effort to complete all scheduled races on time. The fleet embarked on the most challenging day of racing yet and battled 40 degree shifts, an 8-10 knot breeze that built to over 20 knots by the end of the day, and the heaviest current they have seen all week.

Race 5, originally scheduled to begin at 11:00 EDT (UTC -4), took over three hours to begin due to remnant unstable wind conditions. With a now 15-20+ knot north westerly breeze, a heavy ebb current on the course, and an aggressive fleet at the start, 9 teams were forced over the line early and earned a black flag penalty. Greek team Emilios Papathanasiou and Antonis Tsotras took a commanding lead early on but after two major right shifts and a hard fought effort downwind, Italians Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi worked their way into first place and won Race 5. After Race 5 was completed, all teams dropped the worst finishing place from their scoreline and for many of the regatta leaders that was their Race 5 finish. The leaderboard and the point spread between them had officially become unclear and the fleet began the 6th and final race in the 2018 Star World Championship blind.

With the great unknown scoreboard in mind, the top teams took a conservative approach to Race 6, started at 16:00 EDT (UTC -4), and kept to the center of the race course. Tomas Hornos and Pedro Trouche took an early lead on the first weather leg with reigning Star World Champions Eivind Melleby and Josh Revkin hot on their trail. Race 6 was the ultimate showdown between Hornos/Trouche, Melleby/Revkin, and Szabo/Cheer fighting every inch around the race course with Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida tailing behind them. Tomas Hornos and Pedro Trouche took the final race win of the 2018 Star World Championship in a photo finish with Norwegian team Eivind Melleby and Josh Revkin. Jorge Zarif and Guilherme de Almeida finish in 3rd, narrowly beating American’s George Szabo and Roger Cheer across the line, and solidifying their 2018 Star World Championship win.

2018 Star World Championship top 10

1 – Jorge Zarif – Guilherme de Almeida BRA
2 – Eivind Melleby NOR – Joshua Revkin USA
3 – Paul Cayard USA – Arthur Lopes BRA
4 – Diego Negri – Sergio Lambertenghi ITA
5 – George Szabo USA – Roger Cheer CAN
6 – Jørgen Schönerr – Jan Eli Gravad DEN
7 – Tomas Horno – Pedro Trouche USA
8 – Hubert Merkelbach – Markus Koy GER
9 – Eric Doyle – Payson Infelise USA
10 – Peter Vessela – Phil Trinter USA

 

Suicidal Behavior In Children And Adolescents: Focus on Awareness and Prevention by Dr. Laurence Pezor

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As we complete a week dedicated to the awareness of suicide, it is important to review this manifestation of mental illness and what the community and we, family, friends and mental health professionals, can do to address this crisis.

Statistically, it is staggering that suicide is the 3rd Leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year-olds and the 6th leading cause of death in 5 to 14 year-olds according to data from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP, Facts for Families, 2013). Center for Disease Control data from 2005 indicated that among 15 – 24 year-olds, suicide accounts for 12.9% of all deaths annually.

This is particularly a concern for high school students who, in a study by Eaton et al in 2006, indicated at 16.9% of all high school students seriously considered suicide in the previous twelve months before the study. Additionally, there are significant cultural differences. The same study documented that Hispanic female high school students reported a higher percentage of suicide attempts than their non-Hispanic peers.

These statistics, however overwhelming, are only overshadowed by the unrelenting pain suicide inflicts on surviving family and friends. Some professionals contend that suicide cannot be prevented but mitigated by focusing on providing alternative choices to desperate situations. That providing those in emotional distress with more appropriate choices to manage their feelings and instead of self harm, utilize different coping skills when overwhelmed.

To that end, open discussion about suicidal behavior and feelings as well as providing alternatives to self harm, are the goal of therapy and community support.
Providing tools to children and their families including crisis lines, access to mental health services and other professional support is key.

Recognition of potential risk factors that indicate emotional distress and could lead to suicidal thoughts or behavior is everyone’s responsibility.
Potential risk factors, described by AACAP (2004), include:

Prior suicide attempts
Substance Abuse
Change in sleeping/eating habits
Withdrawal from family and friends
Unusual neglect of personal appearance
Violent, rebellious behavior
Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
More severe psychiatric symptoms (psychosis)
Complain of feeling “bad” or “rotten” inside
Put his or her “affairs in order”
Verbalize suicidal thoughts or feelings

Underlying mental illness, lack of family and social support as well as limited coping skills also play a pivotal role in suicidal behavior.

How can we, as family, friends and community, help?
Some basic interventions include:
Take threats seriously; notify police or mental health professionals
Be suspicious when there are serious psychiatric symptoms or substance abuse issues
Keep lines of communication open
Seek professional support

Eastern Shore Psychological Services (ESPS) has therapists in all the Talbot County schools working hand in hand with the school guidance counselors ready to help.
ESPS offers mental health, substance abuse and wellness services for all ages. For those seeking mental health services, ESPS offers “same day access” appointments Monday – Thursday at 8 AM at their office at 29520 Canvasback Drive.  For more information, please contact the Clinic at 410-822-5007.

Laurence Pezor, MD is the Chief Medical Officer at Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with Eastern Shore Psychological Services.

 

Letter to the Editor: Bogus Healthcare Award For Andy Harris Deceives Senior Citizens

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A recent flyer in the U.S. Mail, produced by a direct mail political lobbyist, awarded Andy Harris a phony award for the 2018 CHAMPION OF HEALTH CARE INNOVATION AWARD. What is deceiving is that this award was a “rinky-dink” fictitious award, and was given by the American Life Sciences Innovation Council, a thinly veiled front organization for the same direct mail political lobbyist who produced the award, Public Access Company. Both these organizations share the same CEO and the same address in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The American Life Science Innovation Council’s tax returns show all their income comes from “Contributions” and all their expenses (90% of the Contributions) are payments to related “Lobbyists”.

These “made up” political awards only serve to confuse and misinform senior citizens in the 1st District and harm the integrity of the hard earned valid industry awards that are given for true advancements and innovations in Maryland’s healthcare industry. Harris’ Washington DC office was contacted and they thanked me, acknowledging the award but did nothing to distance themselves from the award. When personally questioned about the award, Harris responded that he was aware of the award but had no further knowledge as to who sent or funded the mailers. I would like to call on all politicians, if they fund these types of misleading awards or if they are aware of their supporters or PACS funding these bogus awards, they should put a stop to them and stop misleading our seniors in the 1st District.

We deserve sound, valid information so that we can vote responsibly when we go to the ballot box in November. We deserve political representation that encourage and supports activities that will earn coveted industry awards for true innovation that will help all citizens in the 1st District of Maryland. We deserve not to be misled. I encourage you to vote for Jesse Colvin, www.jessecolvin.com , who will bring accountable, healthcare leadership to the 1st District of Maryland.

Christopher A. Koch

Facade Improvements Pay Off in Downtown

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The Main Street Chestertown facade improvement program issued its first reimbursement checks to two grantees. At 314 Park Row, the new offices of TL Rentals and Taylor Loughry Construction and home to the Blackbird Boutique, Bobby Loughry and Justin Taylor received a check for $10,800 from Main Street president Paul Heckles and program manager Kay MacIntosh. A few blocks away, another check was issued to Joe and Marianne Hickman of 238 Cannon LLC, owners of the Cross Street Realtors building. They were reimbursed for new awnings. The facade program pays 60 percent of the costs of a pre-approved facade improvements for commercial properties in the Historic District.

To apply visit mainstreetchestertown.org or call 410-778-2991.

Field Report: C’town Ambassadors Toast Wil Haygood’s “Tigerland” Kick-off in Columbus by Jeff Weber

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CTown folks-M.jpg> = L-R: Linda Reed, Airlee Johnson, Kathleen Weber, Patricia Pfeiffer, Lizzie Martin, Jeff Weber, Tom Martin, Vic Pfeiffer, Patrick Nugent, and Kathryn Boge

Ten Chestertown residents are still basking in the warmth of celebration and pride from their recent three day trip to Columbus Ohio, where they participated in the national book roll-out of ‘Tigerland’, authored by former Washington College 2017-2018 Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, Wil Haygood.
With open arms, Columbus, Ohio, welcomed back its native son, Haygood, and provided the host location for the introduction of his new book, ‘Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing’. The book, released September 19, 2018, is set in Columbus’ then segregated East High School, which Haygood attended, and presents the remarkable accomplishments of the school’s all black basketball and baseball teams, both of which won State Championships during the 1968-1969 academic year.
Larry James, a prominent Columbus attorney, and to whom one of Haygood’s earlier works is dedicated (‘Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America’) sponsored a reception in Haygood’s honor the first night. Among the speakers were the past and current Mayors of Columbus, Ohio State University’s Athletic Director, and Chestertown’s own, Patrick Nugent, Deputy Director of Washington College’s Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. All the accolades coming Haygood’s way that night, were quickly deflected by him, and refocused on the former East High School players, coaches and even the Assistant Principal at the time, many of whom were present.
Patrick Nugent, spoke of Haygood’s time at Washington College, and the lasting impact he had on the College, its students and the Town of Chestertown. In preparing his remarks, Nugent had asked the students of Haygood’s Washington College non-fiction course, ‘Personal Memoir’, to share their thoughts and memories, and was able to recreate the heartfelt appreciation voiced by those students.
Columbus’ Lincoln Theatre was the focal point for the book’s National Launch on September 19th: interesting to note that Wil Haygood’s is the first name engraved in the Theatre’s ‘Walk of Fame’ monument. To an audience in excess of 300, several notable persons, including; the current Mayor of Columbus, Andrew Ginther, the President of Ohio State University, Michael Drake, and Judge Algenon Marbley, U.S.,District Court, Southern District of Ohio, spoke to Haygood’s achievements and recreation of the Tigerland story. The President of Miami University (Ohio), Gregory Crawford, shared a brief film of Haygood’s talk to the Class of 2022, for which Haygood received Miami University’s President’s Medal. Haygood, a Miami University 1976 alum, is currently their Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film.
While in residency last year at Washington College, Haygood was able to complete most of the ‘Tigerland’ book. Equally important, are the many friendships he created here in Chestertown. As Wil noted to one, he was greatly appreciative of the warmth and interest shown by the Chestertown community during his stay. Indeed, it was the extent of those personal connections formed in Chestertown that resulted in ten residents traveling to Columbus.
As an already accomplished author, prior to ‘Tigerland’, Haygood authored seven non-fiction books, among them ‘The Butler: A Witness to History’ (2013), which lead to the movie by the same name. This new book, ‘Tigerland’, recalls the compelling history of extraordinarily difficult times, yet provides a ‘feel good’ sports story (think of the films ‘Hoosiers’ or ‘Rudy’). Equally important is the story’s setting; the racially charged social climate of the late 60’s in America’s heartland and Columbus’ East High School. Haygood recreates the life-stories of the period’s characters, all worthy, he says, of earning covers on ‘Wheaties’ boxes’. His hope is that ‘Tigerland’ will bring ‘literary justice’ to them all.
Wil Haygood has started his tour to promote the book, and in familiar Haygood style, he’ll place all the emphasis on the players, coaches and other persons from the book’s 1968-1969 time frame. All who know Wil, know how genuine and sincere he is, and how he puts life and soul into recreating the sto ries and characters of his books, yet leaving plenty of room for contemporary friendships. For our part, the ten of us certainly felt proud to be a small part of the Columbus, Ohio events, and look forward to ‘the Tigerland Express’ visiting Chestertown later this year.
Wil Haygood is currently scheduled to speak at Washington College’s Hynson Lounge on November 15, 2018 at 5:30 PM. Also, next year, on March 21, 2019, Haygood is scheduled to speak at Kent County High School, which has adopted ‘Tigerland’ in the system’s ‘One School/One Book’ program. The program provides students, grade 8-12, with a copy of the book, and instructors with teaching opportunities, prior to attending Haygood’s talk.
Jeff Weber is the current treasurer of Main Street Chestertown and also serves on the boards of the Garfield Center and the National Music Festival. He is a periodic contributor to the Chestertown Spy.  

Letter to the Editor: Are You Registered to Vote?

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Are you registered to vote?  If you are not registered, there is still time to do so before the mid-term elections on November 6. The deadline to register in Maryland is 9 p.m., Tuesday, October 16th.

How do you register to vote?  

You can register until 9 p.m. October 16th either online at

www.elections.state.md.us  or in person at your Board of Elections office. The Kent County Board of Elections is located at 135 Dixon Drive in Chestertown.  In Queen Anne’s County, the Board of elections is at 110 Vincit Street in Centreville. You can also request a voter registration application by calling (410) 778-0038 in Kent County or (410)758-0832 in Queen Anne’s County.  

However, if you are not registered by Oct. 16, you may also register in person at the polls during Maryland’s Early Voting period, Thursday, October 25 through Thursday November 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Contact your local Board of Elections (410-778-0038 for Kent Board of Elections; 410-758-0832 for Queen Anne’s) to inquire about what paperwork you must bring in order to register.

Who is eligible to vote?  In Maryland, any Maryland resident who is an American citizen age 16 or older may register to vote.  To vote on November 6, you must be at least 18 years old on Election Day. People with disabilities can ask a family member or friend to assist them with the registration process. People who have been convicted of a felony but who have completed serving their prison sentences are eligible to vote, but they will need to re-register.

Have you moved recently? If so, you’ll need to update your address with the Board of Elections. You can do this using the same process you’d use to register to vote (see: How do you register to vote?)

When is Election Day? Election day is Tuesday November 6, 7 a.m. through 8 p.m.  

When can I vote?  In Maryland, you can vote on election day or you can vote during early voting from October 25 until November 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily – see “Where do I vote” for locations.

Where do I vote?

You can find out where your polling place is on line at www.elections.state.md.us.  The Board of Elections will mail all registered voters a sample ballot that includes information on polling places.

Locations for Early Voting are the Chestertown Public Library, 408 High St., Chestertown, for Kent County, and at two locations in Queen Anne’s County, Queen Anne’s County: Queen Anne’s Office Building, Conference Room, 110 Vincit Street, Centreville, or at Kent Island Library, 200 Library Circle, Stevensville.

If you prefer, you may file an absentee ballot that you can get either on line or through the Board of Elections.  (You don’t have to specify a reason for voting absentee.) To submit an absentee ballot, you must either hand deliver it to the Board of Elections or mail it to that office. It must be returned to the Board of Elections by hand delivery by 8 p.m. on November 6.  If you mail in your absentee ballot, your ballot must be postmarked by November 6 and received by the Board of Elections by 10 a.m. on November 16th.

Why should you vote?  Your Vote is Your Voice.  On November 6, Maryland voters will choose their governor and other state officials, their U.S. Senator, their representative to the U.S. House of Representatives and their delegates and senator to serve in the Maryland General Assembly. Voters will also choose district judges, as well as county commissioners, school board members, state’s attorneys, sheriffs, and other local officials.  Elected representatives make important decisions about health care, schools, job opportunities, transportation, legal issues, business and farming concerns, the Chesapeake Bay, and many other issues that affect you and your family. To make sure your voice is heard, you can help elect people who will best represent your own opinions.

Does your one vote really matter?  Yes it does.  In a recent election in Virginia, the vote was tied, and the person chosen was elected using a coin flip.  No one wants to leave his/her representation to chance.

How can you get information about the candidates?  The League of Women sponsors candidate forums where voters can meet the candidates and ask them questions about their views.  

U.S. House of Representatives, District 1 – October 21, 2018, 2:00pm – 3:30pm – Talbot County Free Library, 100 W. Dover St., Easton

Kent County State’s Attorney – October 15, 2018 7:00pm – 8:30pm at Kent County Public Library, 408 High Street, Chestertown

Kent County Commission (followed by meet/greet for District Judge, Orphans Court Judges, Sheriff, Clerk of Court and Register of Wills candidates) – October 18, 2018 7:00pm to 8:30pm at Chestertown Fire House, 211 Maple Ave., Chestertown

Kent County School Board – October 22, 2018 7:00pm – 8:30pm at Kent County Public Library, 408 High Street, Chestertown

Queen Anne’s County Commissioners – October 15, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm at Planning & Zoning Rm., County Office Bldg., 110 Vincit St., Centreville

You will receive mailings from candidates and see their ads on television.  Candidates also have web and Facebook pages you can consult.

You will also find election information on an online Voters’ Guide produced by the League of Women Voters.  Go to www.VOTE411.org. Candidates for every office in every county in Maryland were asked to respond to questions relating to the duties of the office they are seeking and to list their websites and social media pages. More than 1,500 candidates responded to the League’s questions.  After reaching the Webpage you can enter your address and get a complete list of the candidates who will appear on your ballot, their biographical and contact information, along with their responses to League Questions.

A couple of weeks before the election, the League of Women Voters produces a printed Voters’ Guide that provides the same information as on VOTE411.org. This guide will be printed in the Star Democrat and other Queen Anne’s County publications, but not in the Kent County News. However, in Kent County copies of the League Voters’ Guide will be available at the public libraries, as well as distributed at the Farmers Market in Chestertown on Saturday, October 27 and Saturday, November 3.

Remember: Your Vote is Your Voice. Voting is your chance to tell decision makers what you think. Speak up and be heard. Your vote matters!

 

Kitty Maynard
Chestertown
Director, Your vote, your voice!