Buyboats to Rally in Chestertown


A fleet of 14 Buyboats, the fabled wooden big rigs of Chesapeake commerce for nearly a century, will call at the port of Chestertown the weekend of July 27. Privately, it is reunion weekend for the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association, but the public is invited to events both Saturday and Sunday.

Depending on the captains’ schedules, the group plans to assemble downriver from town mid- to late afternoon Friday, July 26, and then parade along the waterfront and around the harbor before docking at the town marina.

The boats will be open for public tours Saturday 10-4 and again Sunday 11-3. Saturday at 6 p.m., the fleet hosts music at the foot of High Street, featurning Betty and The Bullet. The fleet departs Monday morning to continue a cruise to ports of call up and down the Bay.

During the tours, members of the public are encouraged to chat with the captains about the history of these unique craft, each offering a rich slice of Chesapeake history and lore.
Among the notable vessels are the OLD POINT and the F.D. CROCKET, the only remaining Buyboats built of logs, like the famed racing canoes. Those visiting Chestertown range in size from the NELLIE CROCKETT at 67 feet to the diminutive 37-foot EMMETT H.

From the early 1900s through the 1980s, Buyboats – at one time numbering in the thousands — covered the Bay, mostly buying, shipping and selling oysters from tongers to shucking houses. Off season, they carried lumber from sawmills, tomatoes to packing plants, pigs to Smithfield, and watermelons from as far as Elizabeth City, where the sweetest varieties were grown, to Baltimore.

As highways, bridges and faster trucks took away their freighting duties, the boats turned to crab and oyster dredging. A number of these vessels were active into the 1990s. Today, only about 30 survive.

The mission of the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association is to bring an understanding of these historic vessels to ports where they were once numerous but often now forgotten. Visiting the communities where generations of watermen once plied the tributaries of the Chesapeake, the owners, at their own expense, open the boats to visitors so that future generations can celebrate their long heritage and continued existence.

“Lights for Liberty” Vigil in Chestertown Friday


There will be a nationwide “Lights for Liberty” vigil Friday evening, July 12, protesting the U.S. concentration camps for migrant children. As part of the nationwide vigil, a Chestertown event is planned for 9 p.m. in Memorial Park, at the corner of Cross and High Streets. Please plan to arrive before 9 and bring a candle.

According to the Daily Kos website, as of Thursday Lights for Liberty has 544 events scheduled in all 50 states, with main events in El Paso, Texas, and Homestead Florida, both sites of migrant camps, and in San Diego, Cal. near the border crossing at Tijuana, Mexico, as well as New York City and Washington DC. There are also international events scheduled in Mexico, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other countries.

The local vigil is sponsored by Soul Force Politics, which describes itself as “a social justice movement that envisions how our world would be different if politics were rooted in radical love.” Previously known as MizMaryand, Soul Force Politics is a non-profit educational organization created by former gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur and “dedicated to the cultivation, empowerment, and alignment of inner wisdom and external engagement as a catalyst for individual and community transformation.”

For more information, see the Soul Force Politics website.  

Photo of the Day: A Rainbow Over the Chester River


Photo by Joanne Tobriner



Here are some nearby locations for fireworks and other 4th of July fun.

Unfortunately, Chestertown will not have a fireworks display this year, due to budgetary restrictions. (Ignore the Google listing that claims otherwise!)

But where can you go?  We found a few places nearby.  The best is probably tonight, Wed. July 3, in Rock Hall but there are also firework displays on Thursday the 4th in Annapolis over the harbor and in Delaware in Smyrna and Middletown.

On July 4 itself, Rock Hall is pretty much humming all day with a 5-mile race starting at 8:00 am, followed by a parade from 10:00 – 11:30 am, and music, street vendors, etc. Then if you haven’t had your fill yet, you can head to Annapolis, Middletown, or Smyrna for more fireworks starting at dusk.

There are several other official Independence Day celebrations with fireworks displays within reasonable driving distance, including North East on Wed., July 3. If you’d prefer to do something on Friday, head out to Chesapeake City for a Friday, 5-10 pm celebration with music and fireworks. ($10 admission; live music). Or on Saturday, you could head a little south and east to St. Michael’s for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s big event on July 6 ($10 admission; live big band music). For details on these and others around Maryland, visit the Maryland Office of Tourism website.

Fireworks on Wednesday, July 3

Rock Hall over the harbor starting about 9 pm.  The Rock Hall display is usually the biggest and best in the area with a fabulous finale and great music during the entire display.;

North East, MD – $10 admission fee includes live music.  Can be seen in the area without tickets to the music.

Fireworks on Thursday, July 4

Smyrna, DE – Fireworks at dusk at Municipal Park in Smyrna, Delaware;

Middletown, DE – Fireworks over Silver Lake Park at dusk.

Annapolis  – Fireworks start at 9:15 pm over Annapolis Harbor in Annapolis;

Fireworks on Friday, July 5

Chesapeake City –  Fireworks  Independence Celebration & Fireworks July 5 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Pell Gardens, Bohemia Ave, Chesapeake City, MD  An evening of food, music, and fireworks. Festivities begin at 5 pm in the Pell Gardens ($10 admission; live music) with food and music. Fireworks Display – starts around 9 pm. Best Viewing is anywhere along the canal on either the north or south sides of town where the rockets will once again show their red glare over the C&D Canal. There will be food vendors and pushcarts plus light sticks for sale.

Fireworks on Saturday, July 6 

S. Michael’s  – Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum July 6, 7-10 pm ($10 admission, $6 members; live big band music).  Get tickets online.

Non-Fireworks Events on July 4

Rock Hall – Thurs, July 4th 7am-9: 30 am – Before the Parade Breakfast at Rock Hall American Legion, 21423 Sharp St., Rock Hall; $9/adult, $4/ages 4-8, ages 3 & under free; Call 410-639-7081

Rock Hall – Thurs, July 4th 8 am – Flat Five Race at Municipal Bldg., 5585 Main St., Rock Hall; 5-mile loop through Rock Hall; Must pre-register; $15/per person; For more info or to register call 410-490-6951;

Rock Hall – Thurs, July 4th 10am-11: 30 am – 4th of July Parade on Main St., Rock Hall; Parade lineup begins at 9 am at Rock Hall Lagoon; Floats, bands, marchers & more; More events follow the parade at the Civic Center on Main St. including opening ceremonies, dedication ceremony, country music concert, talent show & much more; Call 410-639-7719;

Rock Hall – 11am-until … – Pit Beef & Turkey Sandwiches at the Civic Center in Rock Hall; $8/ea.; Proceeds benefits Sons of American Legion; Call 410-639-7081 for more info.


Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over


MDOT MVA, State Troopers and Local Law Enforcement Officers Warn Motorists of Impaired Driving Risk During Fourth of July Weekend

JESSUP, MD (July 2, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and law enforcement officials are touting the success of the elite State Police Impaired DRiving Effort – or SPIDRE – team, and are urging motorists to plan for a safe and sober ride during the Fourth of July weekend or risk the consequences of being caught in SPIDRE’s web.

“It’s unacceptable that impaired driving crashes account for one-third of Maryland roadway fatalities each year,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “In order to arrive safely at your destination, buckle up and drive sober. If you are drinking, make a plan for a safe ride home.”

Between 2014 and 2018, 731 people died and nearly 11,000 were injured in drug and/or alcohol-involved crashes in Maryland. Administrator Nizer joined state and local officials today at the Maryland State Police (MSP) barrack in Howard County to discuss reducing fatalities and Fourth of July weekend safety.

“One of the highest priorities for Maryland State Police is to ensure the safety of all those traveling on Maryland roads and highways,” said Maj. Roland Butler, assistant chief of the MSP Field Operations Bureau. “The injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of someone’s poor decision to get behind the wheel while impaired are preventable, which is why we continue to stress the importance of sober driving.”

Formed in 2013, SPIDRE is a specially trained team of seven troopers who work in targeted areas where impaired driving is a leading cause of death and injury. Since its inception SPIDRE has been responsible for more than 3,000 arrests for suspected driving under the influence. Team members train other state police troopers and local law enforcement officers, and partner with local police departments and agencies to reduce alcohol related crashes throughout Maryland. MSP and MDOT provide funding for this effort.

“We’re proud to partner with the SPIDRE team to make our roads safer,” said Baltimore County Police Department Lt. Steve Scherba, who attended Tuesday’s event. “If you drive under the influence, you will be caught.”

Besides the risk of causing injury or death, driving under the influence or while intoxicated may result in an arrest, jail time, extensive legal costs and fines. Under the 2016 implementation of Noah’s Law, drivers convicted of DUI are also required to participate in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program.

Consequences for first-time and repeat DUI/DWI offenders will increase on October 1, 2019, including:

  • an increase in maximum sentencing for third-time offenders from three to five years, and from three to 10 years for fourth-time offenders;
  • an additional penalty of up to 10 years in prison for a DUI/DWI offender with a prior conviction who causes death or life-threatening injury while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs;
  • an increase in jail time from three to five years for anyone convicted of vehicular homicide while impaired by drugs, and from five to 10 years if the offender has a prior DUI/DWI; and
  • doubling the penalty for first-time and subsequent offenders if they transport a minor while impaired.

As drivers take to the road during the Independence Day holiday, MDOT MVA reminds drivers to be patient, leave extra time and avoid aggressive driving as heavy traffic volume is anticipated. To plan ahead, visit for traffic information or connect to 511 from a hands-free mobile device.

The state is working to reduce crashes due to impaired driving and other causes through its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, and its success is due to the involvement of the law enforcement community. Learn more about the MDOT Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at, on Facebook at @towardzerodeathsmd, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland, and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.

Contact: Kellie Boulware, MDOT MVA, 410-762-5188

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Attorney Receives 2019 Service Award


Pictured: Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals Mary Ellen Barbera, Andrea Ross, Esq, and Sharon Goldsmith of the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center.

(Easton, MD) Andrea Ross, Esq., a volunteer attorney with Mid-Shore Pro Bono, received a 2019 Maryland Pro Bono Service award earlier this month at the annual Maryland State Bar Association meeting in Ocean City, Md.

Ross was presented with the 2019 Lee A. Caplan Award in recognition for her dedication and commitment to ensuring equal access to civil legal services through her work with Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s Economic Stability Project. Since relocating to the Eastern Shore in 2013 after practicing bankruptcy law in New York City, Ross has volunteered at monthly Debtor Assistance Clinics where low-income clients receive free half-hour bankruptcy consultations with a licensed attorney.

A resident of Kent County, Ross recognized the need to expand these services beyond Talbot County and was instrumental in creating a second location for Debtor Assistance Clinics in Chestertown. During her six years as a volunteer attorney, Ross has provided 433 hours of pro bono time to 535 clients.

“While only on the Eastern Shore for a short time, Andrea recognized the unique challenges low-income clients face in a rural community. The Eastern Shore’s large land area can be a barrier to a client getting to the legal services they need. Many lack transportation and most cannot afford to take off from work for the time required to travel to a clinic or meet with an attorney,” said Sandy Brown, Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive Director. “In addition to providing our clients with compassionate and top-notch representation, Andrea has also been a partner and advocate in our efforts to bring civil legal services to all corners of the Eastern Shore.”

For Immediate Release
Contact: Megan Miller

By the Byways – Chesapeake City by Spy Agent 7


The federally chartered Chesapeake Country Byway begins at its furthermost northerly point in Chesapeake City. A recent journey north from Talbot County took just over an hour to cover the 62 miles.

Most know that Chesapeake City sits on both sides of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal connected by a rather spectacular bridge.

But, how many know that this 14-mile canal to our north is the third busiest canal in the world.  The canal has a rich history beginning in the 17th century when early settlers sought a way to reduce water travel between Philadelphia and Baltimore by some 300 miles. Construction was completed in 1829 thanks to the hard work of some 2,600 laborers who built the structure which is 450 feet wide and 35 feet deep.

Today, all types of watercraft move back and forth between the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.

Of course, people visit Chesapeake City using all types of watercraft and vehicles!

No matter how one arrives, the area pulses with adventure. Sailing vessels and motor vessels packed the marina as summer was beginning. A group of sailors enjoyed coffee and conversation. No doubt, some were beginning their adventure and some were returning. Whether from Florida or a nearby marina, boaters were enjoying their preparations and the fellowship with other boating enthusiasts.

The area is filled with small inns, shops and restaurants. There were many people strolling the streets on the overcast day. So, even without a boat, just checking in for a weekend would provide a delightful chance to take in the history and the adventure of Chesapeake City and then travel south along the Scenic Byway. This guide can help with your own walking tour.




“The Longest Day” — A Poem for the Summer Solstice by Ed Minch



Farm field at sunrise  –  Photo by Federico Respini, Courtesy of Unsplash

The Longest Day

It snuck up on me again
timidly allowing tomorrow to be shorter
slipping slowly at first then faster
til dark overtakes light
then comes to a halt letting light start to catch up
and as it stretches into next year
it sneaks up on me again

Ed Minch, Chestertown, 2019

The Spy Near Death Experiences Dialogue: Roland Comtois


Given the popularity of the Spy’s recent interview with David LaMotte and his observations and interest in near-death experiences last month, we have been eager to continue on an ongoing dialogue with others who have personally experienced this phenonium or have helped with individuals understanding their own NDE.

So when we heard the Roland Comtois, the acclaimed spiritual medium and grief specialist was returning to the Eastern Shore this weekend for several programs related to EDE and his spiritual work in connecting those experiencing profound grief with departed loved ones, we were successful in asking him to stop by the new Spy Studio on Goldsborough Street in Easton to discuss his own experience.

In our conversation, Roland shares with us his own NDE and how this experience shaped his perceptions of life, love, and his mission of healing and comforting his patients.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. Roland will be presenting a program on June 21– Channeling Event: The St. Michaels Inn, St. Michaels, MD 7 PM to 9 PM and on June 22nd – “Through the Door’ and Channeling Event: Avalon/Stoltz Listening Room, “Through the Door” the story of Roland’s near-death experience and then the second part is channeling of messages. 8 PM to 10 PM. Tickets can be purchased through for the St. Michaels event and the other events in the area or for the Easton event.

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