Andy Harris on the Eastern Shore June 1 to Talk Vet Issues

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On June 1, Congressman Andy Harris will host a roundtable discussion with local veterans at American Legion Post 18. Congressman Harris and the veterans in attendance will discuss several issues American veterans are currently facing, and the proposed solutions under consideration in Congress. After this event, Congressman Harris will meet with local farmers at MidAtlantic Farm Credit to discuss this year’s farm bill, crop insurance, and other agricultural issues.

The Congressman will conclude the day by attending the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in Easton, where he will read the names of America’s fallen heroes and participate in the ceremonial wreath laying. Media is welcome to attend all of these events.

June 1, 2018

Veterans Roundtable
3:00 – 3:45 PM
Jeff Davis American Legion Post 18
2619 Centreville Road, Centreville MD 21617

Farm Credit Bureau Roundtable
4:15 – 5:00 PM
MidAtlantic Farm Credit
379 Deep Shore Road, Denton MD 21629

Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall Opening Ceremony
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Easton VFW Post 5118
355 Glebe Road, Easton, MD 21601

Washington College Hosts Special Olympics Bocce Tournament Tuesday; Volunteer Opportunity

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Chestertown’s status as a bocce town is about to take another step forward. This coming Tuesday, May 22, approximately 300 student-athletes and 40 coaches are scheduled to compete in the 2018 State Outdoor Bocce Tournament, a Special Olympics event to be held at Washington College. 

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competitions –just like the Olympics.  Participation is open to anyone eight years of age or older with intellectual disabilities.  

And helping to set up and run the tournament will be local volunteers – possibly including you!

Locally, there will be teams coming from Kent County High School, Queen Anne’s High School, and Kent Island High School.  They will be competing with teams from all over Maryland including teams from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.  The opening ceremony is at 10:30 Tuesday morning and the games commence at 11:15-am, ending about 3:30 pm.  An award ceremony will follow.

Jack Brosius, a resident of Chester Harbor and a long-time Special Olympics coach, said that this was an especially good opportunity for anyone who would be interested in learning how to set up a truly portable Bocce court.  It can be done in jig time with just a little training and enough hands.  Of course, everyone –volunteer or not– is welcome to come watch the games and cheer for Maryland’s Special Olympians. You do not need to have experience in the sport to volunteer. 

Washington College president Kurt Landgraf, a strong supporter of Special Olympics, will be a speaker at the opening ceremonies. The Maryland state Special Olympics office is coordinating the event.

Jeff Abel, the volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics MD, issued a call for volunteers to help set up and run the tournament. He noted that so far “Numbers look pretty good, but we could always use some additional hands if they are available.” Help is needed  on Monday, May 21 (set up) and Tuesday, May 22 (event day).  All volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and lunch– this is in addition to that good feeling of knowing you’ve helped a worthy cause plus the fun of watching these wonderful athletes compete.  

Set up will run from roughly11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. The main job is getting the bocce courts down, which goes pretty quickly with enough hands, Abel said.

Anyone interested can contact volunteers@somd.org, or call/text 410-206-0453. Online registration is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018OBocceVols.”

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. —Volunteer Registration

9 – 10 a.m. Schools Arrive
10:30 
a.m —Opening Ceremony
11:15 a.m. – Competition Begins; Lunch is available
p.m*. – Award Ceremonies
p.m.* – Departure

* – tentative time; awards based on win/loss record

The event will be held at Roy Kirby Jr. Stadium at Washington College. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to Wednesday, May 23.

The mission of Special Olympics is “to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.” Through the use of sports, the organization is working to create “a world where opportunity is not limited by disability.

Special Olympics Maryland offers many other great events throughout the year where people can volunteer or just come out to watch!

I’m a Believer by Nancy Mugele

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The cast of Kent School’s production of “Shrek Jr.”

I always write a draft of my column on the weekend before it runs. I call it my “writing weekend” so Jim knows that means I get up early and sit on the porch with my laptop and coffee. It also means that I don’t talk to him for a long while as he drinks his morning tea. For some reason he never complains about the not-talking part, but that is another story!

My writing weekend is finally the perfect temperature to enjoy long periods of time spent on the porch. I am also savoring the non-writing weekend porching. As all of us in schools can attest – May is just as busy as September. So many joyful culminating trips, events, and showcases. All wonderful, but sometimes leaving us breathless.

With all due respect to the incredible cast and crew of Sweeney Todd at the Garfield, the musical I most enjoyed last weekend was Kent School’s 8th Grade production of Shrek, Jr. Directed by our talented teacher Jim Landskroener, with musical direction by Kate Bennett and art direction by Pat Parkhurst, the Class of 2018 surprised all of us with their passion for the stage. The show was hilarious, tender, sweet and hopeful as an ogre and a princess with a secret were prodded by a donkey to share true love’s kiss. Bravo to the cast and crew of Shrek, Jr. I loved every moment!

When the cast followed their curtain calls with the song “I’m a Believer,” I couldn’t help but smile and think what a fabulous coincidence it was. After all, my word this academic year at Kent School is BELIEVE. In the Dreamworks movie Shrek, Smash Mouth performed the song and introduced it to a whole new generation. The original song, however, was composed by Neil Diamond and recorded by The Monkees in 1966 with lead vocals by Micky Dolenz. Does anyone else remember The Monkees, a TV show that Dolenz described as “about an imaginary band that wanted to be the Beatles yet was never successful.” Ironically, the actors/musicians became one of the most successful bands of the 1960s, although the TV show only aired for two years. I admit I was a fan. But, I digress…

Kent School’s Class of 2018 continued their immersion in theatre arts this week when they traveled to the Garfield for a very special presentation yesterday. After reading The Diary of Anne Frank, and visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC on Monday, they enjoyed a live production of The Story of Anne Frank by the Bright Star Touring Theatre sponsored by The Garfield Center for the Arts Educational Outreach. The play was especially moving to our students. We are so fortunate in Chestertown to have the gift of the Garfield – a true local treasure, led by Kent School alumna and current parent Tess Hogans. If you have never been – go!

As a young girl, I loved reading Anne Frank’s courageous and poignant account of living in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. Anne wanted to be a writer and a journalist when she grew up. Sadly, what she did not realize as an adult due to her death in a concentration camp, she actually had accomplished in her childhood. The world is so fortunate to know her story. I am very partial to quotes by Anne Frank (and Helen Keller) and often use them in my writing at school. This year, a few times, I have thought about these impactful words from Anne’s diary, “In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart.” I agree with this sentiment whole-heart-edly, and, of course, the quote contains my word for this academic year.

What shall I pick for next year’s word? I have started a very short list, but am happy to entertain suggestions.

 Nancy Mugele is the Head of School at Kent School in Chestertown and a member of the Board of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s.

Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s to hold Brunch & Auction on May 20

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Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s—a summer academic and cultural enrichment program for students with limited economic means—will hold a Brunch Munch & Be Giving Event this Sunday, May 20th from 11am to 1pm at The Bank, 211 High Street in Chestertown. Proceeds from the brunch and silent auction will support Horizons’ critical summer program for bright children with limited economic means. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased by contacting PaigeBEvans@hotmail.com.

“Our Brunch Munch & Be Giving event, which features food from Magnolia Catering, live music, and a silent auction, will help us to raise awareness and donations, so we can expand the number of at-risk children we serve,” explains Horizons Executive Director, Bob Parks. “Over the summer, children with limited economic means tread water at best or even fall behind. They suffer an achievement gap that’s hard to recover from. The Horizons summer program changes this downward trajectory, and ultimately changes lives.”

To learn more about Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s, please visit our website at: www.horizonskentqueenannes.org. For tickets to this Sunday’s Brunch Munch & Be Giving event, please email PaigeBEvans@hotmail.com.

Environmental Concern Holds 18th Annual Spring Native Plant Sale

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More and more homeowners are planting rain gardens, butterfly gardens and stormwater management gardens. Home gardeners are reaping the benefits by reconnecting with nature and bringing the practice of planting native into their own backyards.

The 18th Annual Spring Plant Sale at Environmental Concern’s Campus in St. Michaels is the perfect place to get inspired, and to pick up native plants grown in EC’s nursery. This year’s sale takes place on Mother’s Day weekend, Friday, May 11th and Saturday, May 12th   from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Garden lovers will find new species, and the popular favorites that have made this event an annual tradition for Eastern Shore gardeners for nearly 2 decades. Growing more than 100 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants for over 46 years, Environmental Concern hosts one of the largest native plant sales on the Eastern Shore.

In addition to the plant sale, EC will host workshops that will inspire and educate customers. “Milkweeds for Monarchs” will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. each day. Participants will learn about the Monarch butterfly, and the dependence of the Monarch caterpillars on native milkweed for survival. Recommendations for plant selection and habitat creation techniques will encourage even first time gardeners to dig in, and get wet and muddy – and don’t forget to shop for the perfect Mother’s day plant. Our experts will be on hand to help you with your plant selection.

There will be a large selection of flowering herbaceous perennials and hardy shrubs. Highlights include colorful red columbines (Aquilegia canadensis) with red and yellow showy, drooping, bell-like flowers, and the Joe pye weed (Eupatorium dubium) which is very attractive to beneficial pollinators. Additional offerings include the Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius), Blue flag iris (Iris versicolor), and the Northern sea oat (Chasmanthium latifolium), known for its interesting flat foliage and unique seed heads.

Visit Environmental Concern’s Nursery in historic St. Michaels at 201 Boundary Lane. Watch for signs along St. Michaels Road. For more information, call 410-745-9620.

Environmental Concern is a 501(c)3 public not-for-profit organization. All proceeds from the plant sale will help fund EC’s mission to improve water quality and enhance native habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

In the Cool, Open Air by Nancy Mugele

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I am officially announcing that Spring has finally graced us with her presence – evidenced by my evenings spent on the porch this past week and the fact that I have dined outside for the first time since last Fall. It feels wonderful.

Al fresco dining is something I truly love. Jim is not a fan (something about pollen) so it makes for some very interesting negotiations with dinner plates in hand. I think it may be growing on him a bit since we now have a screened-in porch, but that is another story. The phrase al fresco is Italian meaning “in the cool air,” although it is not used to describe eating outdoors in Italy. Al fresco dining is, of course, popular here in the summer and I have greatly enjoyed it at the Fish Whistle the past two summers that I have lived in Chestertown. The auto industry also uses the phrase “al fresco motoring” to describe driving a convertible with the top down, but I like to think I am driving al fresco when I have my sunroof open and one hand up catching the wind.

Being outside in the springtime, in the cool air, breathes life into each of us as we emerge from the long, cold winter. Last weekend’s Paint the Town en plein air painting festival really warmed my heart. I loved seeing artists throughout the town, and even on the Kent School campus, as they painted our beautiful Chestertown. According to artistsnetwork.com: Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities, coupled with the creation of transportable paint tubes and the box easel—the precursor to the plein air easels of today—allowed artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for “in the open air.”  Merci Claude Monet!

At one time in its hundred-plus-year history, Roland Park Country School (my previous school) left the four walls of the classroom behind and became an Open Air school. Open Air schools were built on the concept that fresh air, good ventilation and exposure to the outside contributed to improved health (Wikipedia). The concept originated in Germany and these schools were designed with movable walls to the outside to prevent tuberculosis before World War II. The concept is a good one in my opinion. One particularly cold day this past winter, when there were numerous absences due to flu at Kent School, I asked all employees to throw open the doors and windows to get some fresh air inside. At a minimum, it made everyone – faculty and students alike – laugh at me, smile, and breathe deeply. Cool, crisp air is definitely restorative.

I am a writer who loves to write outside in the early morning. I wrote this column at dawn on my porch, al fresco and en plein air in my open air “schoolroom.” The slight chill and the breeze inspire me and the call of my ospreys motivates me to keep at it. (The coffee also helps the creative process along!) I think Chestertown needs a Write On The River weekend where authors and poets can take their journals outdoors all over town.

Thinking ahead to the weekend, it is definitely time to clean my grill. I have missed cooking and eating outside. A quick trip to Kingstown Farm, Home & Garden for a wire brush and propane after school is in order today.

Enjoy the cool, open air.

 Nancy Mugele is the Head of School at Kent School in Chestertown and a member of the Board of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s.

Letter to the Editor: Crying Wolf

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Identifying with the aggressor is a psychological process. It describes a person who adopts the perspective or the behavior patterns of someone who has been significantly abusing them in one way or another. It’s how captives often begin behaving like their captors.

Those who heard or read Michelle Wolf’s comments at the recent White House Correspondents Dinner may have reacted as I did. Except for one insightful comment, Wolf’s roast had none of the subtlety and ironic touches of the skilled satirist or the witty comedian. It was the blind rage of a liberal hack, and as a liberal, I found it offensive.

I see in her performance a clear diagnostic indicator of what ails America today. In the Guardian, recently, this headline appeared.

“At the White House correspondents dinner, the buzz was reduced to snore, until Michelle Wolf showed up.” In short, we’re asleep but wake up for the salacious stuff.

Today’s national discourse has been so conditioned as to be aroused only by outrageous behavior, salacious accusations, crude commentary and character assassination. Policy issues have grown boring. Trump once dismissed his National Policy Advisor as “boring.” Was his job to entertain? And as we remain titillated and enthralled by burlesque theatrics, the pockets of America’s national policies get systematically picked

Wolf made this sobering statement to the correspondents. I think she was right.

“You guys are obsessed with Trump . . . you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love

him . . . what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you . . .  sell all your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off him.”

The media, regularly abused by its aggressor has now identified with him.

George Merrill
St. Michaels

 

Election 2018: Former NATO Commander Endorses Colvin

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Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Democratic presidential candidate General Wesley Clark has endorsed Jesse Colvin for Congress on Thursday.

In an op-ed published by The Baltimore Sun, Clark explains why he believes veterans like Jesse are running for Congress all across the country and why he thinks they are likely to win in November.

“Former Army Ranger Jesse Colvin, who is running to represent Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, is perhaps a perfect embodiment of the unique qualities of leadership veterans possess and of the trajectory that has led them to where they are today,” Clark writes.

The piece goes on to highlight the similarities between Jesse and former marine and recently elected Pennsylvania Congressman Conor Lamb.

“Like Mr. Lamb, Mr. Colvin is running in a rural district that President Donald Trump won handily, one that until recently was considered “out of reach” for Democrats. And like Mr. Lamb, Mr. Colvin is running on a platform focused on uniting people behind practical solutions to local problems. He is running with the integrity and sense of duty that so many in Congress lack.”

 

Unitarians Host “Multi-Sensory” Service April 29

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On Sunday, April 29 at 10 a.m., Ms. Leika Lewis- Cornwall will give a sermon entitled “Sign Your Work” for the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Dr., Chestertown. Drawn from the children’s book The Dot, this multisensory service explores the ways we make our mark on the world, and the joy of embracing both “enough” and “too much.”

Religious Exploration for youngsters and childcare for infants and toddlers will be available during the service.

All are welcome — call 410-778-3440 for more information.