Holidays Bring Hope and Help to the New Year

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Rev. Jim Van de Wal of Chester Valley Ministers Association watches as a Salvation Army brass band plays in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church during the Community Sing-Along, Dec. 16.  –  Photo by Jane Jewell

The holidays–from Thanksgiving through New Year– bring joy, fun, parties, giving and getting, family reunions, lots of music — and help for the needy.

One such holiday tradition in Chestertown is the Feast of Love, held Christmas day at First United Methodist Church on High Street.  A full Christmas dinner, featuring turkey and a wealth of tasty side dishes and desserts, the Feast originated in 1984. Discontinued after about 10 years, it was revived in 2007 by then-pastor Rick Vance and has carried on ever since under the guidance of Yvonne Arrowood. Christmas music, including the singing of “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, is a part of the tradition. The meal is open to all, without reservations or payment — donations are accepted to help defray the costs, though many of the dishes are donated. Volunteers do the cooking, serving, and clean-up.

Volunteers on the serving line at the Feast of Love Christmas Dinner at First United Methodist Church on Dec. 25, 2018 – a twenty-plus year tradition.    –   Photo by Bill Arrowood.

Entertainment at the Feast of Love Christmas dinner.  (Sam Scalzo, center on alto sax with Yvonne Arrowood on his right)  –   Photo by Bill Arrowood.

This year’s feast drew a full house — around 200 attendees. They included college students, seniors, singles and family groups — in short, anyone who has no local family to join for the holiday meal, or who would like to spend part of the holiday with a larger “family.” It’s not unusual for families to bring out-of-town relatives to the feast.  The church also sponsors a free community dinner every Monday at 5:30 pm except holidays.

Stephanie King was the pianist for the Community Sing-A-Long. –  Photo by Jane Jewell

This was the second year that the Chester River Valley Ministers’ Association (CMVA) organized a community caroling event. The CVMA is a group of local ministers and lay people organized to support a variety of programs for the needy in Kent and Northern Queen Anne’s Counties. Last year well over 100 people came together in Fountain Park.  This year, on account of rainy weather, the event was moved indoors to First United Methodist Church.  But despite the drizzle, about 50 people came out to raise their voices in joy for the season.  Stephanie King accompanied on piano, and a brass quintet from the Salvation Army played several carols. In addition to the Christmas carols and songs, the program included three Hanukkah songs, led by Cantor Gary Schiff, and two texts for Kwanzaa read by Reverand Bobby Brown.

In addition to bringing people together to sing, the event also helped to raise money for the CVMA’s Good Neighbor Fund. The Good Neighbor Fund makes one-time grants to residents in need of emergency funding to cover an unexpected expense such as emergency housing, medical bills, utility bills, or working with landlords to avoid evictions. The fund is partially funded by a grant from United Way of Kent County.

Audience at the First United Methodist Church for the Community Sing-A-Long. –  Photo by Jane Jewell

Sponsors of the Community Sing-Along were the Chestertown Spy, the Peoples Bank, the Kent County Arts Council, Tidewater Trader, Kent County News, WCTR Radio, Kent Printing, the Town of Chestertown and JBK Hardware.

The Good Neighbor Fund is also a community partner of the Samaritan Group, which operates a winter homeless shelter, open January to March in three local churches. The shelter opened Jan. 2 at the Church of the Nazarene in Kingstown, with 15 beds available. It will move to First United Methodist Church at the beginning of February, and on to the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown for March. The shelter is open every day from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., at which time guests must vacate the shelter unless the weather makes that inadvisable. James Diggs, the pastor of the Nazarene Church, is the shelter coordinator.

Cantor Gary Schiff spoke about Hanukkah and sang several traditional songs. –  Photo by Jane Jewell

Shelter guests are referred by local churches, the Salvation Army, the Good Neighbor Fund, or the Kent County Department of Social Services, which screens all the guests. Guests must remain alcohol- and drug-free during their stay. Community volunteers remain at the shelter overnight to make sure everyone’s needs are met. They also prepare meals – a hot dinner, a breakfast, and a bag lunch – for guests. The Samaritan Group also tries to help guests who need to attend school or get to work while staying at the shelter. This year, the shelter has all new cots, mattresses, pillowcases and sheets, thanks to generous support from donors.  Donations are still needed to get through the winter season.

During the remainder of the year, the Samaritan Group finds accommodations in local motels for those in need of emergency shelter. For information on the shelter, or to volunteer or donate, call 443-480-3564 or email samaritangroupkent@gmail.com.  Checks may be sent to Samaritan Group or Good Neighbor fund care of Chester Valley Ministers ‘Assocaiton at PO Box 227, Chestertown, MD 21620.   More information and the volunteer form can be found at the Samaritan’s website.

Feast of Love Christmas dinner. at First United Methodist Church, Dec 25, 2018  –   Photo by Bill Arrowood.

 

Rev. Bobby Brown read the main tenets of Kwanzaa.

Salvation Army solo-ist, Jason Collier.  –  Photo by Jane Jewell

Sumner Hall: Last Two Weeks for Exhibit of Black Civil War Soldiers’ Portraits

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Portraits of 17 men from the 25th US Colored Troops – portraits with accompanying book by Shayne Davidson

Sumner Hall has had the privilege of hosting a special exhibition of portraits of Black Civil War soldiers.  The portraits, all by artist Shayne Davidson, show seventeen members of the 25th US Colored Troops.  Drawn from tiny “gem”  (locket-sized)  photographs, the portraits gleam with life and vitality–so life-like that you can easily imagine these soldiers stepping down out of their frames.

The pictures will be on display until at least the end of November.  That means there are just two more weekends that you can be sure of getting to see them.  Sumner Hall is open every Saturday from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.  You can also contact the museum to arrange a visit.  You can even take a chance of just dropping by.  If someone is there working on one of the many projects, they can often let visitors in for a little while. To arrange a guided tour, please contact Sumner Hall by phone at 443.282.0023 or by email at info@sumnerhall.org.  The museum is located at 206 S. Queen St. in Chestertown, MD.

Davidson is a professional artist, medical illustrator, and genealogist.  in 2012, she was shown a tiny album of Black soldiers from the Civil War.

The tiny originals were locket-sized, not even 2 inches tall.

According to Shayne’s artist’s statement, on Sumner Hall’s website, “after she examined the locket-sized photographs of these American heroes, she felt compelled to learn more about the individuals featured in the collection. Captain William A. Prickitt, the white commander of the 25th United States Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops, Company G, had noted the names of the men and Davidson used this information to study military and census records, birth, death and marriage licenses, as well as news articles to compose family trees. By the time she had immersed herself in their individual stories, she wanted to share them with others. In her words, it was a privilege to bring this exhibition to life and she hopes that “the Civil War Soldiers” Project conveys part of the story of a group of men who bravely participated in a pivotal event in our nation’s history.”

The Tin Type album held 18 photos of 17 men. It had been saved for over 150 by the Captain Prickett’s family.

The American Civil War was one of the first conflicts that was extensively photographed.  Yet among the thousands of photos of battles, soldiers, military scenes and equipment, there were very few photos of Black soldiers.  This photo album has turned out to be a veritable treasure-trove for Civil War historians.

Private James Tall – 1845-1932 (aged 87) from Tennessee

Private James Henry Hovington (1829-1907) from Kent County, Delaware

Captain Prickett and his wife. Prickett was the white officer in charge of the 25th Colored Troops, Co. G. During the Civil War, all the Colored Troops had white commanding officers though there were lower-rank black officers.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the  Seventeen Men of 25th United States Colored Troops while the exhibit is still here in Chestertown at Sumner Hall.  The original, two-inch high tin-type album with the photos has been donated to the Museum of African American History in Washington, DC.  But this is the only place that you can really see the men come alive in the color -pencil renditions by Shayne Davidson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kent County Election Results — Updated

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Bryan DiGregory, left, candidate for State’s Attorney, and William Short, right, candidate for Kent County Commissioner, holding their signs outside the Fire House in Chestertown on Election Day. DiGregory is assured of a win.  Short,  currently in 4th place, is waiting for the absentee ballot count, which could move him into a winning position. – Photo by Jane Jewell

With all 10 Kent County precincts reporting, here are the unofficial results for Kent County in the 2018 General Election. As of the close of polls Election Day, 8,307 of the county’s 13,119 registered voters had cast votes — an impressive 63.3% turnout. However, with almost 500 absentee ballot applications requested from the county for this election plus an unknown but smaller number of provisional ballots, several local races may not be decided until those votes are returned and counted later this month.

If the Election Day totals hold up, the Kent County Commissioners will be Bob Jacob, Tom Mason, and Ron Fithian. Fifthian would be the only incumbent re-elected. However, with a spread of 655 votes between current leader Jacob and sixth-place finisher Tom Timberman, the final order of the six candidates could change, with some of the first three winning slots changing hands. For example, Short, currently in 4th place, is waiting for the absentee ballot count, which might move him into a winning position. He would need to win at least 109 more votes than Fithian with the others holding steady.

The School Board will apparently see the return of Trish McGee and Wendy Costa along with newly elected Nivek Johnson. Again, absentee ballots could result in a different final tally — although current board President McGee, with a lead of more than 2,000 votes over second-place Costa, is clearly safe.  Incumbent Costa is 74 votes ahead of third-place Johnson while Johnson leads the only remaining candidate, Francois Sullivan, by 123 votes.  As the first three places win seats on the board, the final makeup of the board would only be changed if Sullivan garnered 124 more votes of the roughly 500 outstanding than Johnson, while Costa maintains a lead over Johnson.

Democrat and current Deputy State’s Attorney Bryan DiGregory holds a strong lead of 1,417 votes over former State’s Attorney Robert Strong, the Republican candidate.  With that lead, DiGregory is also assured of a win.

For Judge of the Orphans’ Courts which handles probated wills, the apparent winners are Amy L. Nickerson (Rep), Elroy G. Boyer, Jr. (Dem), and  Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll (Rep).  However, as only 244 votes separate the first place Nickerson from the fourth and last place candidate, the roughly 500-plus absentee and provisional ballots could not only change vote totals but also the list of winners.   There were four candidates in this race with three open slots.   Carroll, in third place, is ahead of  Allan Schauber (Dem) in fourth place by 126 votes.

Clerk Circuit Court Mark Mumford and Sheriff John Price ran unopposed and thus easily won re-election.  “Kristi” Osborn also ran unopposed and was elected as the Register of Wills. Harris Murphy, also unopposed, won election as the Judge of the Circuit Court.

In the state-wide races, Kent County voters followed the statewide trend in strongly supporting incumbent Governor Hogan over Democratic opponent Ben Jealous and voting to re-elect Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat, over Republican challenger Tony Campbell. Comptroller Peter Franchot and Attorney General Brian Frosh, both Democrats, also won reelection, with wide leads in the county as well as statewide.

Kent County bucked the wider trend regarding the First Congressional District, voting 4,389 to 3,676 so far for Democratic challenger Jesse Colvin over incumbent Republican Congressman Andrew Harris. District-wide, Harris is the projected winner with around 60% of the total vote district-wide.  Neighboring Talbot County also went for Colvin.

Signs near the Fire House in Chestertown with Dollar General in background. – Photo by Jane Jewell

In the District 36 Maryland General Assembly races, Republican Senator Steven Hershey and Republican Delegates Jay Jacobs, Jeff Ghrist, and Steve Arentz were re-elected with comfortable margins. The choices of  Kent County voters mirrored those of the other counties in the district.  Jacobs led the pack with a total of 5,646 votes from Kent County.  Arentz was second with 3,508 votes.  Third was Ghrist with 3,224.     District 36 is comprised of four counties – Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s–all on the Eastern Shore. 

Two amendments to the state Constitution, one to restrict the use of funds raised by commercial gambling to educational purposes and the second to allow voter registration on Election Day, were both approved.

In some cases, such as the County Commissioner races, Early Voting figures favored Democratic candidates, but Election Day brought out Republican voters in enough numbers to reverse the trend.  In the Kent County Commission case, Early Voting ended with all three Democrats in the lead for the three available seats. Incumbent William Pickrum (Dem) was in first place and Democratic candidate Thomas Timberman in second place.  Incumbent Ron Fithian (Dem) was third.  But Election Day dropped Pickrum and Timberman to fifth and sixth places.  Fithian stayed at third.  Republican Bob Jacob surged to first place with a total of Early and Election Day Voting of 3,766.  With 655 votes separating first and sixth place and only roughly 500 absentee and provisional ballots left to count, it is unlikely that Jacob will lose a seat.  But incumbent William Short (Rep,) who is in 4th place, needs to pick up 109 more absentee/provisional votes than Fifthian to reach third place and a seat on the Kent County Commission. However, beyond that any change in the top three spots is unlikely.  The results of the Early Voting versus Election Day totals were not known until the Election Day totals were released.

Election Judge Allen Christy points the way to a voter. Election judge Jenny Lee on right. – Photo by Jane Jewell

Preliminary numbers are from the Maryland State Board of Elections as of 11 a,m. Wednesday.  This link leads to the official Maryland government site which will have the most up-to-date figures for all races in Kent County.  Those 11:00 am numbers for all offices are listed below at the end of the article.  These Wednesday morning totals are not expected to change until after Absentee ballots are counted.

Absentee ballots are counted in two rounds, the first on Thursday, Nov. 8 and the second on Friday, Nov. 16. Absentee ballots sent by mail must be postmarked by Nov 6 and must arrive at the Board of Elections by 10 a.m. Nov. 16 to be counted. Provisional ballots will be counted on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Then after the last count on Friday, Nov. 16, the final totals will be announced and the winners of each race will be officially certified and declared. For any office where the difference between any two candidates is significantly more than 500, it is very unlikely, if not impossible, that the outcome will change much from today’s Wed, Nov 7 totals. 

Past election history shows that the absentee and provisional ballots tend to follow the trends seen in the early and election day voting, generally favoring the same candidates.  Although totals for most candidates will obviously rise, the winners may not change.  Nonetheless, there can still be surprises in individual races.  And several of the Kent County candidates in both the Commissioner and Board of Education races are close enough that absentee ballots could make the difference. 

So it’s still a horse race!  The Spy will give updates as they come in with the first coming tomorrow, Thursday, when 248 of the of the already-received absentee ballots, will be examined and– if certified as valid by the Board of Canvassers–will be added to the current totals for each office. A total of 475 absentee ballots were applied for.  Of these 350 were returned by Election Day, Nov. 6. It should be pointed out that the total of returned and valid absentee/provisional ballots could turn out to be rather more or less than the estimated 500.  Not all of the outstanding 125 absentee ballots may be returned and the number of provisional ballots cast is still unknown and how many will be validated is also undetermined.  The provisionals include some people who requested absentee ballots then turned out to be able to make it to the polls on Election Day. All these variables will increase or decrease the total of outstanding ballots.  For the first canvass or count of absentee ballots on Nov. 8, the Board of Canvassers holds back enough of the received but unopened ballots so that the final result is not obvious until the remaining Absentee Ballots and the Provisional Ballots have a chance to come in and be certified and counted on Nov. 16.  This way everyone’s ballot is counted and no one’s vote is left out.

Stay tuned for more updates as they become publically available.

*****

Totals below are for the key contested races for Kent County offices.  Totals include Early Voting plus Election Day ballots but not the roughly 500-plus absentee plus provisional ballots.

Kent County Commissioners (Top three will be elected)

1st – 3,766 – Bob Jacob (Rep)

2nd – 3,632 – “Tom” Mason (Rep)

3rd – 3,571 – Ron Fithian (Dem)

4th – 3,463  – William Short (Rep)

5th – 3,358 – William Pickrum (Dem)

6th – 3,111 – Thomas F. Timberman (Dem)

*****

Board of Education (Non-partisan; top three will be elected.)

1st – 5,416 –  “Trish” McGee

2nd – 3,366 – Wendy Costa

3rd – 3,292 – Nivek M. Johnson

4th – 3,169 – Francoise Sullivan

*****

State’s Attorney (One will be elected.)

1st – 4,759 – Bryan DiGregory (Dem)

2nd – 3,288 – Robert H. Strong (Rep)

*****

Judge of Orphan’s Court (Top three will be elected)

1st – 4,189 Amy L. Nickerson (Rep)
2nd- 4,125 Elroy G. Boyer, Jr. (Dem)
3rd – 4,071 Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll (Rep)
4th – 3,945 Allan Schauber (Dem)

*****

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All tallies below are from the  State Board of Elections website.

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

County-Wide Races

Kent County Commissioner – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Bob Jacob
Republican 1,103 2,663 0 3,766 18.0%
“Tom” Mason
Republican 1,102 2,530 0 3,632 17.3%
William Short
Republican 1,149 2,314 0 3,463 16.5%
Ron Fithian
Democratic 1,434 2,137 0 3,571 17.1%
William Pickrum
Democratic 1,497 1,861 0 3,358 16.0%
Thomas F. Timberman
Democratic 1,473 1,638 0 3,111 14.9%
Other Write-Ins
11 27 0 38 0.2%

Board of Education – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Wendy Costa
1,313 2,053 0 3,366 22.0%
Nivek M. Johnson
1,271 2,021 0 3,292 21.5%
“Trish” McGee
1,997 3,419 0 5,416 35.3%
Francoise Sullivan
1,266 1,903 0 3,169 20.7%
Other Write-Ins
26 57 0 83 0.5%

State’s Attorney – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Robert H. Strong
Republican 879 2,409 0 3,288 40.8%
Bryan DiGregory
Democratic 2,036 2,723 0 4,759 59.1%
Other Write-Ins
2 9 0 11 0.1%

Judge of the Orphans’ Court – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll
Republican 1,316 2,755 0 4,071 24.9%
Amy L. Nickerson
Republican 1,307 2,882 0 4,189 25.6%
Elroy G. Boyer, Jr.
Democratic 1,765 2,360 0 4,125 25.2%
Allan Schauber
Democratic 1,679 2,266 0 3,945 24.1%
Other Write-Ins
10 27 0 37 0.2%

Judge of the Circuit Court – Judicial Circuit 2 – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Harris Murphy
2,250 4,105 0 6,355 99.3%
Other Write-Ins
12 32 0 44 0.7%

Judge, Court of Special Appeals At Large – Donald E. Beachley – Vote Yes or No For continuance in office

(10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Donald E. Beachley Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Yes 2,003 3,628 0 5,631 87.1%
No 286 545 0 831 12.9%

Matthew J. Fader – Vote Yes or No  For continuance in office – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Matthew J. Fader Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Yes 1,942 3,536 0 5,478 86.8%
No 295 541 0 836 13.2%

Clerk of the Circuit Court – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Mark L. Mumford
Democratic 2,604 4,474 0 7,078 99.1%
Other Write-Ins
21 44 0 65 0.9%

Register of Wills –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
“Kristi” Osborn
Democratic 2,413 4,114 0 6,527 99.3%
Other Write-Ins
15 32 0 47 0.7%

Judge of the Orphans’ Court – Vote for up to 3 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Elizabeth “Betty” Carroll
Republican 1,316 2,755 0 4,071 24.9%
Amy L. Nickerson
Republican 1,307 2,882 0 4,189 25.6%
Elroy G. Boyer, Jr.
Democratic 1,765 2,360 0 4,125 25.2%
Allan Schauber
Democratic 1,679 2,266 0 3,945 24.1%
Other Write-Ins
10 27 0 37 0.2%

Sheriff –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
John F. Price
Republican 2,056 3,978 0 6,034 97.3%
Other Write-Ins
47 123 0 170 2.7%

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

District-Wide Races

[District 36 is comprised of 4 Counties, all on the Eastern Shore – Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties]

State Senator –  District 36 – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Stephen S. Hershey, Jr.
Republican 1,345 3,178 0 4,523 56.7%
Heather Lynette Sinclair
Democratic 1,561 1,887 0 3,448 43.2%
Other Write-Ins
3 4 0 7 0.1%

 

Maryland House of Delegates – District 36 – Vote for up to 3 – No more than 1 per county – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Steven James Arentz (Queen Anne’s County)
Republican 1,021 2,487 0 3,508 17.6%
Jeff Ghrist (Caroline County)
Republican 947 2,277 0 3,224 16.2%
Jay A. Jacobs (Kent County)
Republican 1,818 3,828 0 5,646 28.4%
Keirien Taylor (Caroline County)
Democratic 1,100 1,195 0 2,295 11.5%
Michael Ian Welker (Cecil County)
Democratic 1,097 1,230 0 2,327 11.7%
Crystal Woodward (Queen Anne’s County)
Democratic 1,327 1,559 0 2,886 14.5%
Other Write-Ins
1 3 0 4 0.0%

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

First Maryland  District for the US Congress

Representative in US Congress –  District 1 – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Andy Harris
Republican 1,003 2,673 0 3,676 44.9%
Jesse Colvin
Democratic 1,945 2,444 0 4,389 53.6%
Jenica Martin
Libertarian 24 91 0 115 1.4%
Other Write-Ins
0 4 0 4 0.0%

Official Kent County Vote Totals as of Wed., Nov, 7

State-Wide Races

Governor / Lt. Governor – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Larry Hogan and Boyd K. Rutherford
Republican 1,998 4,066 0 6,064 73.8%
Ben Jealous and Susan Turnbull
Democratic 941 1,118 0 2,059 25.0%
Shawn Quinn and Christina Smith
Libertarian 12 28 0 40 0.5%
Ian Schlakman and Annie Chambers
Green 21 34 0 55 0.7%
Other Write-Ins
0 2 0 2 0.0%

 

Comptroller – Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Anjali Reed Phukan
Republican 636 1,798 0 2,434 30.5%
Peter Franchot
Democratic 2,264 3,268 0 5,532 69.4%
Other Write-Ins
0 4 0 4 0.1%

 

Attorney General –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Craig Wolf
Republican 1,082 2,806 0 3,888 48.7%
Brian E. Frosh
Democratic 1,824 2,276 0 4,100 51.3%
Other Write-Ins
0 2 0 2 0.0%

 

U.S. Senator –  Vote for 1 – (10 of 10 election day precincts reported)

Name Party Early Voting Election Day Absentee / Provisional Total Percentage
Tony Campbell
Republican 903 2,429 0 3,332 41.1%
Ben Cardin
Democratic 1,885 2,413 0 4,298 53.1%
Arvin Vohra
Libertarian 20 59 0 79 1.0%
Neal Simon
Unaffiliated 138 250 0 388 4.8%
Lih Young (Write In)
Democratic NR NR NR 0 0%
Michael B. Puskar (Write In)
Unaffiliated NR NR NR 0 0%
Edward Shlikas (Write In)
Unaffiliated NR NR NR 0 0%
Other Write-Ins
0 3 0 3 0.0%

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Early Voting Underway; Runs Through Thursday, Nov. 1

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A forest of signs at the entrance to the parking lot outside the Kent County Library in Chestertown – site for Early Voting – Photo by Peter Heck

Early voting opened in Maryland on Thursday, Oct. 25.  Right from the first hour, polling booths across Maryland had long lines and high turnouts.  State officials reported that 170,00 Marylanders voted in the first two days, Thursday and Friday, Oct 25 & 26. This was more than double for the first day of early voting in fall 2014, the last mid-term election.

On hand to keep everything running smoothly – (L-R) Director of Elections Cheemoandia Blake, Elections Board Vice President, Lisa Thompson, County Tech Tameka Johnson – Photo by Jane Jewell

Thursday, Nov 1, is the last day for registering and voting.  You can register and vote right at the same time.  Remember that 18-year-olds may also register and vote for their first national and state elections.  17-year-olds who will turn 18 before Nov 6, may also register and vote during the early voting period. On election day, Tuesday, Nov 1, only those voters who are already registered may vote.

In Kent County, a steady stream of voters showed up at the Kent County Library’s Chestertown branch, the only early voting site in the county.

At some points, lines of voters stretched from the door of the library’s meeting room to the middle of the library’s main room, almost to the circulation desk. According to Cheemoandia Blake, the county’s director of elections, 216 voters had cast ballots as of 1:20 on Thursday – one of them a provisional ballot.  Voting went smoothly with the line moving quickly.

Of these 216 voters in the first three hours of the first day of early voting, about 52 percent were registered Democrats, about 35 percent Republicans and 11 percent unaffiliated. Two voters cast provisional ballots. Two voters—both unaffiliated — also took advantage of the opportunity to register to vote during early voting. Officials said they expected more people to register and vote during the remainder of the early voting period.

Waiting to vote! (Among others are Sam Scalzo, Sydney , Susan Percival, Bron Percival, Mabel Mumford, and Court Clerk incumbent and candidate Mark Mumford on right in hat.) – Photo by Jane Jewell

The library will be open for early voting every day through Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., including Saturday and Sunday. Blake said Sunday is traditionally the quietest day during early voting. Last election in 2016, only 9 votes were cast in the county on Sunday.  This year, over 200 people voted on Sunday.  By 5:00 pm Monday, Oct. 29, approximately 14% of all the registered voters in Kent County, that’s 1,796 people, had cast their votes.

As of the end of September 2018, there were a little over 13,000 registered voters in Kent County.  Of these, just over  6,000 are Democrats and about 4, 800 are Republicans.  In addition, a little over 2,000 Kent Countians registered as Unaffiliated.  About 200 others are registered as Green Party, Libertarians, or Other.  The exact totals are in the chart below.  These numbers do not include those registered during October and Early Voting days.

Voters are asked to give their name, address and the month and day of their birthday to poll workers who then check registration and hand out the ballots. – Photo by Jane Jewell

Several candidates for office were seen among those voting – including Delegate Jay Jacobs, Commissioner Billy Short, and Clerk of the Court Mark Mumford. Jacobs said he had been tracking other counties in the 36th District, which he represents in the General Assembly, and that voting was heavy in all of them. He said he had observed a lot of enthusiasm among voters while campaigning.

The ballot this year is a long one, filling both sides of the sheet. Offices being contested are Governor of Maryland, state Senator, and Delegates to the General Assembly, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and county offices including county commissioner, State’s Attorney, Sheriff, Clerk of the Court, and members of the Board of Education. There are also two constitutional amendments on the ballot, one requiring funds raised by gambling to be used solely for education and the other allowing new voters to register on Election Day. Marylanders can now register and vote during the Early Voting period but can’t register on Election Day itself.

Jay Jacobs, candidate and current incumbent for District 36 of the Maryland General Assembly, and his wife Dawn Jacobs hold up the League of Women Voters Guide – Photo by Jane Jewell

Individual paper ballot voting booths. – Photo by Peter Heck

Maryland has both electronic voting and paper ballots – voters’ choice. For early voting, there are seven paper ballot booths plus one electronic voting booth.

The paper ballots are fed into an optical scanner which digitally records the votes on a computer.  Sometimes the scanner can’t read a ballot and the ballot is rejected.  One of the poll workers told us that this had happened two times Thursday morning and it happened again while we were there.  An election judge checks to see what caused the problem.  The problem is usually easily spotted and corrected.  The “box”–it’s actually an “oval”–is generally not correctly or completely filled in. If necessary, the voter completes and scans another ballot.  Rejected ballots are securely set aside as the number of ballots received by the polling booth must match the number of ballots cast plus the number of unused ballots.

Elections Chief Judge Larry Wilson – Photo by Jane Jewell

An important tip to avoid having the scanner reject your ballot is to completely darken the oblong shape next to the candidate’s name.  But do not go over the line and mark the space outside the magic oval!  Poll workers said that the scanner also tends to reject ballots where the voter has put a check or an X in the oval instead of filling it in.  This scanner system works much the same as many of the standard school tests where you also need to carefully completely fill in the space.  Yes, we have to color carefully on our ballots. What we learned in kindergarten is still relevant.

After scanning,  the paper ballot goes into a secured box with all the other original paper ballots to serve as a check and a paper audit trail.

Bob Ingersoll has voted! He’s smiling because he filled in the “ovals” correctly and the scanner has accepted his ballot.

Sample ballots are available at the library, along with a League of Women Voters’ guide to candidates.

  Kent County Voter Statistics – from Maryland State Board of Elections Website  Page with Registrations by County as of Sept is here.

  •     13,139 Registered Voters as of Sept 30, 2018
    •     6,009 Democrats
    •     4,802 Republicans
    •     2,094 Unaffiliated (often referred to as “Independent”)
    •     30 Green Party
    •     80 Libertarian Party
    •     102 Other

This article will be updated with more Early Voting information as available.

See you at the polls!

Broadway Comes to Chestertown’s Music in the Park

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Cast of Tred Avon Players’ “Little Shop of Horrors”. They will be singing in Saturday’s Music in the Park concert.  Top Row: Ricky Vitanovec, Rachel Elaina, Beth Anne Langrell, Erinne Lewis, Bill Gross, Mike Sousa, Shelby Swann – Middle Row: Ed Langrell  – Bottom Row: Kathy Jones, Sarah Anthony, Matthew Keeler

The Tred Avon Players will present an evening of music from Broadway musicals at Chestertown’s next Music in the Park concert. Directed by Marcia Gilliam, this talented group of local singers and actors will bring the magic of Broadway to Fountain Park’s stage this coming Saturday, July 21.  The music will begin at 7:00 pm and last approximately 90 minutes. Bring something to sit on as only limited seating is available. Admission is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature songs from famous composers such as Irving Berlin, George M. Cohen, Cole Porter, and Stephen Sondheim.  There will also be more tunes from more modern day composers such as Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Stephen Schwartz (Godspell), and Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 ).  The song list includes “Skid Row” from Little Shop of Horrors, “Seasons of Love” from Rent, “All That Jazz” from Chicago, “Another Op’ning,  Another Show” from Kiss Me, Kate,  “Together” from Gypsy. And more songs from Spamalot, Phantom of the Opera, A Little Night Music, Godspell, Wind in the Willows, George M!, and Damn Yankees.

There will be solos, duets, and trios along with full ensemble numbers. Some to sing along with. Some to make you smile, some to make you sigh, and some surprises! If you’ve enjoyed the classic Broadway musicals as performed at the Church Hill Theatre or in Oxford by the Tred Avon Players, then don’t miss this chance to walk down Broadway again!

Accompanying the singers will be noted pianist Ellen Grunden. Chorus members include Marcia Gilliam,   Bethany Piccone, Shelby Swann, Beth Anne Langrell,  Ed Langrell,  Rachel Elaina, Erinne Lewis,  Bill Gross,  Ricky Vitanovec,  Matthew Keeler, Sarah Anthony,  Kathy Jones,  Leigh Marquess, and Galen Marquess.

In case of rain, a concert may be rescheduled or a rain location may be sent to the email list and posted on a sign on the stage in the park on the day of the concert. These free programs are sponsored by the Town of Chestertown with support from The Kent County Arts Council & Community Contributors. To help make these programs possible, please send donations payable to the Town of Chestertown to Music in the Park, Chestertown Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620.

Kent County 4-H: Come to the Fair! July 19-21

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The greased pig contest is always one of the most popular activities at the Kent County Fair. Well, maybe not for the pig!

Come to the Fair! See the animals, the antique tractor pull, the greased pig! Starting on Thursday, July 19, the annual Kent County Fair will open its gates for three days of exhibits, demonstrations, rides, contests, good food, music, and more.   The fairgrounds will be open to the public each day, Thursday through Saturday, at 9:00 am, with exhibits and activities until the official closing at 11:00 pm.

Admission is $2.00 per person which covers all exhibits and shows, except midway rides.  The midway opens at 5:00 pm on Thursday, 4:00 pm on Friday, and noon on Saturday.

There is plenty of parking – no extra charge – on the grounds.  Note that the first day of the Kent County Fair, Thursday, is officially Senior Citizen Day with free admission for all those over 60.  A bargain!

The fairgrounds are located near Tolchester at 21349 Tolchester Beach Road. This is the 35th year at the Kent Agriculture Center, formerly a US army base that housed Nike missiles.  You can still see the old missile sites off to the side of the main fairgrounds. New this year is a shuttle service to and from the Tolchester Marina provided by the Rock Hall Tram. Directions to and a complete schedule for the Kent County Fair are at the end of this article.

The fair is one of the main summer attractions for local families—and an event that hundreds of young 4-H’ers and their leaders have been working toward all year.  They have been working and learning in their club meetings, raising rabbits, pigs, cows and other livestock, growing vegetables, creating arts and crafts, and generally gaining the skills they will need as adult members of the community.  Many of those who win ribbons in their various categories at the county level will proceed to the Maryland State Fair to take part in 4-H competitions at the state level.

Thursday highlights include the Dog Show starting at noon in the show ring.  The competition will include demonstrations of Fitting & Showing as well as Rally & Obedience.  There are both Open and 4-H divisions.

4-H clubs work with a wide variety of domestic animals and livestock. Here a young 4-H’er from the Puppy Pals club proudly shows his trained dog.

There is Senior Bingo from 10:30 am until noon on Thursday.  The Dairy Goat Show begins at 1:00 pm.

The official Fair Opening Ceremonies will take place at 6:00 pm Thursday, followed by the culmination of the Dog Show from 6:30-8:30 with Agility & Obstacle Courses.  Then the Pretty Animal contest starts at 7:30 pm with entertainment at 8:00 pm by a hypnotist.  We have been assured that the judges of the Pretty Animal Contest will not be influenced by the hypnotist!  Or you can get your face painted by Wendy Woo Woo anytime between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.  Wendy will also be painting faces on Friday from 5-8 pm and again on Sat from 5-7 pm.

On Friday, the Livestock Show for Beef, Sheep & Swine opens at 10:30 am.  The 4-H Fashion Interviews begin at 4:30 with the official Fashion Revue at 6 pm. The Show & Shine Pick-up Truck Show starts at 5 pm with awards presented at 6:30.  Other highlights on Friday include the greased pig contest at 7:00 pm followed immediately by the ever-popular pie-eating contest. At 5:00 pm you can try your hand at the Hay Bale toss. And if you don’t succeed at first, you can try tossing hay bales again at 5 on Saturday!

If you get your face painted–or even if you don’t–you might want to stop by and get your portrait done by the resident Caricature Artist–Friday only–6-8 pm.

On Saturday, the spotlight shifts to horses and dairy cattle.  The 4-H Horse Show starts bright and early at 9:00 am, both English and Western.  Then the Dairy Cattle Show begins at 10:00 am.  The Open Horse Show–again English and Western–begins at noon.

Saturday features not one but two tractor pull contests!  The Antique Tractor Pull is at 10:00 am while the Pedal Power Tractor Pull will begin at 12:30 pm.  In between the two tractor pulls, you might want to check out the horses and riders at the Jousting Tournament presented at 11 am by the Eastern Shore Jousting Association.  Later, at 4:00 pm Saturday is the Youth Turkey Calling Contest.  The Livestock and Cake Auctions begins at 7:30 on Saturday night. All proceeds go to benefit local 4H clubs.

The food is always great at the Kent County Fair.  Food is available all day with a different special dinner menu each day.  Thursday is a crab cake platter served from 5:30-7:30 pm.  On Friday and Saturday dinner runs from 5:00-7:00 pm.  Friday’s entree is pork barbecue and on Saturday it’s chicken barbecue.

While you’re there, be sure to look for Kent County native Josh Miller’s chainsaw sculpture demonstrations ongoing throughout Thursday evening and again from noon til closing on Saturday and Sunday. Miller graduated from Kent County High School in 1999 and is currently living in Felton DE.  See the Spy article on Josh Miller and a gallery of his fabulous “chainsaw art” here.

Kent County native Josh Miller carving a bear at a “chainsaw art” demonstration 

DIRECTIONS —

The fairgrounds are located at 21349 Tolchester Beach Road in the former US Army base.  Directions from Chestertown.  Take Route 20 heading toward Rock Hall, turn right onto Route 21 (note of Kent Ag Center sign), keep left of the fork in the road, then continue approximately 3 miles to Fair Grounds on left. There is plenty of parking on the fairgrounds. 

New this year is shuttle service provided to and from the Tolchester Marina provided by the Rock Hall Tram.

COMPLETE SCHEDULE IS BELOW MAP

Map of Kent County Fair exhibits and events

KENT COUNTY FAIR 2018 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

For more info see the Kent County website.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18:
2:30 – 5:00 p.m. – Enter Indoor Exhibits: 4-H & Open Divisions. None accepted after 5:00 pm;

6:00 p.m.   – Judging
2:30 – 9:00 p.m. – 4-H Animal Exhibits Entered

THURSDAY, JULY 19: $2.00 Admission per person

SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY (60 years and over) Seniors exempt from admission.

6:00 a.m. – Grounds Open for Animals and Outdoor Exhibit Set-up
6:30 – 8:30 a.m. – 4-H Animal Exhibits Entered
8:30 a.m. – Open Rabbits and Cavies on grounds
9:00 a.m. – Fair Officially Opens: All Commercial, Outdoor Exhibits & 4-H Animals In Place
9:00 a.m. – Rabbit & Cavy Show
10:00 a.m. – Poultry Show (All open Poultry on Grounds by 9:30 a.m.)
10:30 a.m. – Senior Bingo, until 12:00 noon
11:00 a.m. – Open Small Pets Show; on Grounds by 10:30 a.m.
11:00 – 12:00 p.m. – Open Dog Show Registration
12:00 p.m. – Dog Show-Open & 4-H: Fitting & Showing, Rally & Obedience, Show Ring
12:30 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Weigh-In, at scales
1:00 p.m. – Dairy Goat Show (All Open Dairy Goats on Grounds by 12:00 noon)
2:00 p.m. – 4-H Tractor Drive
4:30 p.m. – 4-H Ambassador Interviews, Picnic Area
5:00 p.m. – until – Midway Open: M & M Amusements
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Special Dinner Menu
6:00 p.m. – Fair Opening Ceremonies
– 4-H Ambassador Contest-Fish Bowl Questions
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Face Painting: Wendy Woo Woo
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Dog Show, Horse Ring (Agility & Obstacle Course)
7:30 p.m. – 4-H Pretty Animal Contest, following Ambassador
8:00 p.m. – Hypnotist
11:00 p.m. – FAIRGROUNDS CLOSED TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS

FRIDAY, JULY 20: $2.00 Admission per person

8:00 a.m. – Open Show Livestock on Grounds
10:30 a.m. – Livestock Show: Beef, Sheep & Swine
4:00 p.m. – until – Midway Open – M & M Amusements
4:30 p.m. – Fashion Revue Interviews
5:00 p.m. – Hay Bale Toss (youth & adults) * Also same time Saturday!
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. – Show & Shine Pick-up Truck Show. Awards presented 6:30 pm
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Pork Barbecue Dinner
5:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Face Painting: Wendy Woo Woo
5:00 p.m.– until – Exotic Animal Exhibit: Workhorse Farm Rescue & Exotics
6:00 p.m. – 4-H Fashion Revue
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Caricature Artist
7:00 p.m. – Greased Pig Contest
7:45 p.m. – Pie Eating Contest
11:00 p.m. – FAIRGROUNDS CLOSED TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS

SATURDAY, JULY 21: $2 Admission per person

8:00 a.m. – All Open Class Dairy Animals & Milk Cows On Grounds
9:00 a.m. – Horse Show: 4-H (English and Western Divisions)
10:00 a.m. – Dairy Cattle Show
10:00 a.m. – Antique Tractor Pull, registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m. – Jousting Tournament- Eastern Shore Jousting Association

12:00 p.m. – Corn Hole Tournament
12:00 p.m. – Horse Show: Open (English & Western Divisions)
12:00 p.m. – until – Midway Open – M & M Amusements

12:00 p.m. – 6 p. m.- Tennis Ball Archery activity- open to the public
12:30 p.m. – Pedal Power Tractor Pull

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.- Live Archery Demonstration
4:00 p.m. – Youth Turkey Calling Contest
5:00 p.m. – Hay Bale Toss (youth & adults)
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Face Painting: Wendy Woo Woo
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Chicken Barbecue Dinner
7:30 p.m. – 4-H Livestock Auction
4-H Cake Auction (immediately following livestock auction)
11:00 p.m. – FAIRGROUNDS CLOSED TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS

SUNDAY, JULY 22: 4-H AND EXHIBITORS ONLY, FAIR NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC

6:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon – Ag Center Fair Grounds Clean-up
6:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – All 4-H, Open and Commercial Animal & Indoor Exhibits Released
10:30 a.m. – 4-H Tug-a-War: Final 4-H Green & White Challenge Event
11:00 a.m. – 4-H Awards Program – All 4-H’ers must be present
1:00 p.m. – Fair is not responsible for exhibits & items left after this time

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“Annapolis Bluegrass” Kicks Off Music in the Park Summer Concert Series

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The Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition in 2017 Photo: Mike Hartnett (fiddle), Larry Conner (guitar), Roger Green (mandolin), Terry Wittenberg (banjo), Jim Duvall (bass)

Bring your dancing shoes for this Saturday’s Music in the Park concert featuring the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition.  The music starts at 7 p.m. in Chestertown’s Fountain Park and continues until about 8:30 p.m. One of the area’s most popular groups, Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition, combines instrumental virtuosity with close harmonies in a mixture of bluegrass standards, originals by band members and a few “out-of-genre” tunes adapted for the bluegrass style. The band will concentrate on bluegrass standards for its Chestertown set, as well as a selection of originals by band members.  Come join the fun!

The band leader and founder is Roger Green, who plays guitar and mandolin, and sings both lead and harmony vocals. He also writes most of the bands original material.   Larry Conner plays guitar and also sings lead and harmony vocals.  On banjo and vocals is Terry Wittenberg. Rounding out the group are Mike Hartnett on fiddle and Jim Duvall on bass fiddle.

For more information on the band and to hear some of their music, visit the Annapolis Bluegrass website at www.annapolisbluegrass.com

Music in the Park performances begin at 7 p.m. in Fountain Park and run until about 8:30. Annapolis Bluegrass is always one of the best-attended performances of the series and a limited number of seats are available. Audience members are advised to bring folding chairs or blankets.

In the event of rain, the concert will be rescheduled if possible.

These free programs are sponsored by the Town of Chestertown with support from The Kent County Arts Council & Community Contributors. To help make these programs possible, please send donations payable to the Town of Chestertown and designated for “Music in the Park,” to 118 N. Cross Street, Chestertown, MD 21620.

The Chestertown Music in the Park schedule is below followed by the schedule for the three Thursday evening Riverfront concerts sponsored by Washington College.

Chestertown’s Music in the Park:

Saturday, June 23 – Annapolis Bluegrass

Saturday, July 7 – Chesapeake Brass Band – marches, popular and patriotic songs

Saturday, July 21 – Music from Broadway  –  songs from various musicals, movies, and similar popular songs

Saturday, Aug – 4 – Swing City – big swing band era songs – 1930s-40s style

Saturday, Aug 18 – Legacy Day soul band – Soulfied Village – block party 6-10 pm  DJ + Live Music all evening – crafts, exhibits, food, beverages, dancing in the streets

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You also won’t want to miss the Thursday Evening Washington College Riverfront Concerts

Washington College sponsors a series of three Thursday evening concerts during the weeks when there is not a Music in the Park concert.  Theses concerts start earlier – 6:30 pm and go for about 90 minutes.

The three Washington College Riverfront Concerts are:

Thursday, June 28            Sombarkin (gospel/spirituals/acapella vocal trio)

Thursday, July 12              Ultrafaux, Gypsy Jazz on July 12th with special guest mandolinist Danny Knicely.

Thursday, July 26              High & Wides CD Release Celebration (Americana//bluegrass)

The Washington College Riverfront Concert Series takes place on the Custom House Lawn on the riverfront at the end of High Street. Concerts begin at 6:30 pm. Rain dates move to the Wilmer Park Pavilion. All concerts are free and open to the public.  Bring blankets or chairs or just sit on the grass.

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National Music Festival: One Week Left!

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Richard Rosenberg, NMF Artistic Director, conducts a concert during the 2017 National Music Festival.     Photo by Philip Rosenberg.

The National Music Festival, now in its seventh year in Chestertown, is one of the best classical music experiences around. And it’s a bargain! NMF concerts tickets run $10 to $20. You would pay $50, $100, or more for the equivalent quality in D.C., Philadelphia or New York. And some are even free! Most of the rehearsals are free and open to the public. They are very informal. You can come in at any point during the scheduled rehearsal time. Stay for fifteen minutes just to get the flavor or spend an hour and hear professional musicians hone their craft.

Monday, June 11, features The NewBassoon Institute. You can catch the small break-out rehearsals in any of three locations from 3:00-5:00 pm–at Tom Martin’s Bookplate or Chestertown Town Hall, both on Cross Street or at the River Club above the Evergrain Bread Company at the corner of High and Queen (entrance on Queen Street).  Then the three groups will come together for a full rehearsal with all musicians at the Sultana Education on Cross Street from 5:30-6:30. The concert itself starts at 7:30 at the Sultana. All the bassoon rehearsals and the concert are free and open to the public.

Check the open rehearsal schedule online here or the concert schedule here.

The National Music Festival will be Chestertown at various locations through Saturday, June 16, culminating with an all Tchaikovsky concert Saturday evening at 7:30 pm with the  Festival Symphony Orchestra at the  Chestertown Baptist Church.  Tickets are $20.  Richard Rosenberg will conduct.  Also featured will be cello soloist Gwen Krosnick and guest conductor Robert Stiles.

The Fiddlesticks ensemble with local children who took violin lessons provided free-of-charge by the National Music Festival staff during the school year got a chance to show their new skills during the opening concert of the festival held at the First United Methodist Church.      Photo by Philip Rosenberg.

Musicians rehearse for the first concert of the 2018 National Music Festival in Chestertown.     Photo by Philip Rosenberg.

 

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A Festive First Friday in Chestertown!

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Walnut and Wool owner Samantha Arrow cuts the ribbon for her new boutique inside She-She- on High. The store features furniture and clothing.   Photo by Peter Heck

Summer is here!  We know that the summer solstice on June 20 marking the day with the most hours of sunlight is the official beginning of summer, but Friday, June 1, was a perfect summer day.  Hot but not too hot.  Sunny but with just enough cloud cover to provide some shade.  It was a great evening for Chestertown’s first First Friday of the summer!

Twigs and Teacups on Cross St.       Photo by Jane Jewell

And there were lots of reasons to make this a special first Friday.  There were three ribbon-cuttings for new businesses in downtown Chestertown – The Listening Room on Cannon St., the Blackbird Boutique at the corner of Spring and Park Row across from the park, and Walnut & Wool in the back of She-She on High St.  A fourth business, Elbe Body with licensed massage therapist Linda Moyer, was celebrating it’s new location at 300 Cross St. inside the old train station, the previous location of The Tidewater Trader.

Author Gail Priest signs copies of her books at Twigs and Teacups
Photo by Jane Jewell

The RiverArts June exhibit opened to the public with a reception and an opportunity to vote for your favorite work.  The exhibit will remain through June. There is a wide variety of styles and subjects including paintings, pottery, and sculpture.  There are several lovely designs in fabric.  Especially interesting is a free-standing multi-piece sculpture in mixed media –mostly wood– titled Rite of Spring by Ron Akins. With its exquisite details of pixies and woodland creatures, it looks as if it came straight from a garden in fairyland.

Detail from “Rite of Spring” mixed media sculpture by Ron Akins at RiverArts   Photo by Jane Jewell

“Garden Paths” by Barbara Vann      Photo by Peter Heck

“Kooky Quartet” by Ken Sadler      Photo by Peter Heck

“My Turn to Reflect” 3-d sculpture by Larry Fransen of Annapolis winner of People’s Choice award      Photo by Peter Heck

The Listening Room on Cannon St. Town Councilman David Foster, Main Street President Paul Heckles, owner Michael Hoatson, Town Councilwoman Linda Kuiper. Photo by Peter Heck

Blackbird Boutique ribbon cutting- owners & sisters Lauryl Clark (red shirt) & Jordan Clark (with scissors) Photo by Peter Heck

The Dover English Country Dancers performed in Fountain Park as part of Washington College’s Alumni Weekend.  If you looked closely, you might recognize local Chestertownians Karen Smith and Steve Mumford in their colonial garb.

Dover English Country Dancers – Karen Smith of Kingstown front right in blue and white. Photo by Peter Heck

Old Kent Quilters’ Guild displays their wares. Win a quilt – Raffle ticket only $1 Photo by Peter Heck

Enjoying a cool drink in the early summer evening outside the Hotel Imperial   Photo by Jane Jewell

The D.A.R., Daughters of the American Revolution, had a table outside the Historical Society. Photo by Peter Heck

Mariam Satchell of Purple Lilly Studio displays her custom-made soaps and lotions.   Photo by Jane Jewell

Chris Jones, Bill Drasga, Frank Gerber, outside “Music Life” Photo by Peter Heck

All in the Family! States’ Attorney candidate Bryan DiGregory’s family was all decked out in matching t-Shirts supporting their candidate! (L-R)daughter Kate DiGregory, In-Laws and grandparents Judy and Rob McSparran, daughter Molly DiGregory.    Photo by Jane Jewell

Kent County Councilman William Pickrum, Vita Pickrum, Deputy States’ Attorney for Kent County and candidate for States’ Attorney candidate Bryan DiGregory.    Photo by Jane Jewell

Soroptimists Connie Jones, Louise Skinner, Connie Morris outside Gabirel’s Photo by Peter Heck

Eleanor Houghton, age 9 in 3rd grade in Centreville, wears a flag in her hair as she picks out her favorite art at Carla Massoni’s Art Gallery Photo by Jane Jewell

Virginia Kerr tastes an organic, biodynamic wine at Chestertown Natural Foods. Photo by Jane Jewell

S.O.S (Save Our Schools) volunteers Jodi Borst and Beth Proffitt.     Photo by Jane Jewell

Do You Wanna Dance?
DJ Tim Sullivan (on left) plays only original vinyl 45s from 1954-’63.  Auctioneer & musician Bill Blake on right.       Photo by Peter Heck

 

 

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