TALK CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER – Will Reschedule – Kent County Democrats Present Talk on the Midterm Election

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Due to snow and slippery road conditions, this presentation for Thursday, Nov. 15, has been canceled.  Look for rescheduled date and location soon.  Thursday, Nov 15.

The public is invited to an informative presentation of an analysis of the just-completed Midterm elections. Dr. Dan Nataf, Director of the Center for the Study of Local Issues in Annapolis, will offer detailed insights into the results of the 2018 election, looking in particular at MD’s First Congressional District, as well as statewide outcomes, and a look ahead to 2020. Join us at the Chester River Yacht and Country Club, 7738 Quaker Neck Rd., Chestertown, this Thursday, November 15. Doors open at 5:30 for a social time; food and beverages available for purchase. At 6:45 there will be a brief business meeting; the main program starts at 7:00 pm.

For more information about the club and this event, visit the DCKC website: dckcmd.com

Reminder — Bay Bridge Closed for Race Sunday Morning

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Readers who need to travel across the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday, Nov. 5, should be aware that the Bay Bridge will be closed from 7 to 9:30 a.m. for the annual Chesapeake Bay 10K race. Traffic may be affected for some time after the conclusion of the race.

Some 20,000 runners are expected to take part in the 6.2-mile race, part of which is run on the bridge itself. The race, officially dubbed the Across the Bay 10K, is an annual affair that includes a full weekend of events including a kids’ run and an after-race party for runners, friends, and families. The race benefits several local charities including Hasa and Operation Shooting Star.

Click here for full details on the race, related weekend events, and road closings.

Educational Forum on Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO)

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At the bill signing in 2018. That’s Jen Pauliukonis, President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, standing, 3rd from left. Seated at the table, center, is Maryland Governor Hogan. 

A new state law went into effect on the first of October that gives individuals and law enforcement the means to protect loved ones who are in crisis. Come learn how it works on Tuesday evening, October 30, at 7:00 pm at the Chestertown Universalist Church.

The Extreme Risk Protective Order is a tool that uses due process to remove guns from individuals in crisis, who are dangerous but may not meet the criteria for involuntary hospitalization.

Panelists:

  • Adrian Baker, Chestertown Police Chief
  • Cheryl Brooks, gun violence survivor and mental health nurse
  • Bryan DiGregory, Deputy State’s Attorney, Kent County
  • Yasmin Fletcher, attorney for Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
  • Shannon Frattoroli, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

The Marylanders to Prevent Gun violence (MPGV) Educational Fund works to inform the public about many aspects of gun violence prevention. This past legislative session, MPGV worked with other advocacy organizations and survivors of gun violence to pass the Extreme Risk Protective Order. As an advocate, MPGV works to ensure individuals are aware of the laws and policies available to them to help prevent gun violence.

According to the MPGV website, the Mission Statement is as follows:

“We’re working to reduce the number of senseless deaths that occur at the hands of guns through education and legislative advocacy. Our efforts are designed to challenge the culture of violence, influence public policy and encourage Marylanders to take action to make their state safer. Our primary focus is on the state of Maryland with an emphasis upon the shooting deaths and injuries that occur in urban Maryland. We are aware that the epidemic of gun violence extends beyond state lines and that many of the struggles Maryland faces is a direct result of neighboring states’ weak laws. We advocate on both the national and local levels for lifesaving gun violence prevention legislation, such as handgun purchaser licensing, to keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible and dangerous individuals. We also believe that legislation and education can save individuals at their most vulnerable times by preventing suicides.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2018, at 7 pm

Held at Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River

914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown

Sponsored by Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence (MPGV)

For additional information, contact:

Elizabeth Banach, 646-228-9053 liz@mdpgv.org

https://mdpgv.org

The Recap: The Final Bocce Report for the Season

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It was soon to be a dark and stormy night.

The fame of the town’s own bocce team had spread throughout the county – even the entire region. They were the defending champions of the spring bocce tournament and they were undefeated at 5 wins in this fall season. They were known for the volume of their brash play – we could hear them every week from the other side of the field, loud and clear. They loomed large, mostly because of the size of their team members.

We were an affable group, the Boccers, not known for our size or our volume, but mostly for our desire to not have to endure the tournament at the end of the season. At 5:30 Thursday we had a 3-2 record, tying for 6th place.

But that was about to change.

The Townies came out of the gate strong with 3 frames of 3 points each to our 1 point. They increased their lead to 14-4, putting them in reach of winning with one of their infamous 3 point frames. At this point their characteristic boasting, nay gloating, was in high gear. But wait, the Boccers would have none of it. With a remarkable series of 1 and 2 point frames we found ourselves on the high end of a 16-15 score – unbelievable!

It came down to one last frame – we would win with one point, they would win with two. We bested them by scoring two for a final reckoning of 18-15.

We had scored 14 points to their 1 point, shutting down these bumptious, overweening public servants once and for all. And the rain came at sundown.

Long live the Boccers

November 2018 Sky-Watch

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As we come off Daylight Savings Time on November 4th, sky-watchers can get an “earlier” start in seeing the night sky’s wonders, because sunsets then will be before, or just after, 5:00 pm. Two planets must be seen as dusk begins and fades, so sky-watchers need to be ready and also have a clear view to the southwest horizon. Jupiter at magnitude –1.7 is just 5 degrees above the horizon 30 minutes after sunset, and Mercury at magnitude –0.2 is 5 degrees to its left. Binoculars will help to see this planetary pair.

Jupiter will be in conjunction with the Sun (behind it from our vantage point) by November 26th, but it will be lost in evening twilight by the 10th. Mercury will pass between us and the Sun by November 20th and also be invisible to us for awhile. Both planets, when next seen, will be in our morning skies.

Wait a bit for the sky to darken more fully but still look southwest to find Saturn some 20 degrees above the horizon one hour after sunset. Thirty minutes later, when darkness deepens even more, the stars of Sagittarius will be in view; Saturn nestled among them. Be sure to scan the area with binoculars, not only for the ringed planet, but also for views of several bright star clusters and gorgeous gaseous nebulae (gas clouds)there. A telescope view of Saturn will reveal its wonderful rings and also pull in 4 or 5 of its brighter and biggest moons.

One zodiac constellation east (left) of Sagittarius, we find Capricornus, the odd Sea-Goat. We also find Mars here, the brightest object in the southern sky at magnitude –0.6. Mars will not set until around 1 am. Mars will be some 35 degrees above the southern horizon and will be visible as soon as twilight fades away. On the evening of November 15th, the First Quarter Moon will appear to pass just one degree below Mars. Mars is making rapid progress east through the zodiac so that by the end of the month is will have passed into Aquarius. This means it is going away from us and therefore telescope views, although still decent, are not as good as they were in late July. Indeed, its visible disk in a telescope is only a third as large as it was then. Mars’s magnitude will also drop
to –0.1 by months end.

Venus will re-appear to us in the eastern sky before sun-up. It rises a half hour before the Sun on November 1st, and three hours before our star by Thanksgiving. It also surges in brightness going from –4.2 in early November to –4.9 by the end of the month (this is nearly twice as bright)! Get up early on November 6th. Venus will be seen just 10 degrees to the right of a very slender crescent Moon.

The nice Leonid Meteor Shower will peak on November 17/18; meteors appearing to come from the zodiac constellation Leo the Lion. Leo will be well up (60 degrees) in the east, and best viewing time will be from 2:00 am to 5:00 am. The Leonid meteors are debris left behind by Comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle, which last passed through the inner solar system in 1998. We can expect to see some 20 meteors per hour this year.

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

 

Chestertown’s Larry Culp Becomes CEO of General Electric

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The Spy normally does not highlight corporate leader comings and goings, but it was hard not to mention that Larry Culp, one of Chestertown’s key players in the revitalization of its downtown as well as a graduate and recent chair of Washington College’s Board of Visitors and Governors, was appointed to lead General Electric yesterday.

For those interested, the Washington Post has provided some key information about this dramatic move by G.E. as the Fortune 500 company seeks to reinvent itself.

For more information please go here

Sultana Snapshots: SEF and Gunston School Kick Off Chesapeake Watershed Semester

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Over a three-day, two-night kayak overnight trip from September 4-6, Sultana Education Foundation’s staff naturalists helped kickoff the Gunston School’s new Chesapeake Watershed Semester program. Throughout the course of the fall, Chesapeake Watershed Semester (CWS) introduces high school students to the complex environmental, political and cultural landscape of the Chesapeake Bay watershed through classroom and field experiences.

Gunston’s Chesapeake Watershed Semester student Zach Goss examines a longnose gar while paddling with Sultana Education Foundation on the Nanticoke River.

13 students and three CWS staff joined Sultana Education Foundation paddling educators to start their semester by exploring three rivers on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland—the Nanticoke, the Pocomoke, and the Little Choptank. From the pristine swamplands of the Upper Nanticoke to the Pocomoke’s primordial stands of bald cypress, the students explored some of the diverse habitat contained in the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000 square mile watershed.

Chesapeake Watershed Semester students explored the bald cypress swamps of the Pocomoke River.

“We were honored to be asked by Gunston to lead the very first trip of their new, innovative program,” said Sultana Education Foundation Vice President Chris Cerino. “It was a great experience for everyone involved. In addition to seeing an amazing array of Chesapeake ecosystems, it was an important bonding activity for the students as they kicked off their semester.”

Sultana Education Foundation connects people to the Chesapeake Bay’s history, ecology, and culture, inspiring them to preserve and restore America’s largest estuary through land- and-water-based experiential education. To learn more about Sultana Education Foundation’s public or school programs, visit sultanaeducation.org.

Night Work on Chester River Bridge Sept. 23-27

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The Chester River Bridge on Route 213.

Bob Rager, District Community Liaison with the Maryland State Highway Administration, announced in email Thursday that overnight mechanical repairs/adjustments to the MD 213 bridge over Chester River in Chestertown will begin this Sunday, September 23.  Hours will be Sunday through Thursday night, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

This work follows the recent installation of new motors for the draw spans.  Occasional bridge openings lasting approximately 15 minutes each may be necessary during the overnight hours. Travelers who need to cross the bridge during those hours should allow for possible delays or plan alternate routes such as MD 290 through Crumpton.