Early Voting Open through Thursday

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Candidates’ signs outside the Kent County Public Library, the polling place for early voting — Photo by Peter Heck

Do you plan to vote in this year’s primary elections? You can avoid lines and that last-minute rush to vote before the polls close by taking part in early voting at the Chestertown branch of the Kent County Public Library. Early voting is open through Thursday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polls are in the meeting room near the High Street entrance to the library; voters may enter from High Street or by the side entrance after regular library hours.

Voters can choose their party’s candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, U. S. Senate and House of Representatives, Maryland state Senate and House of Delegates, and a slate of local offices including County Commissioner and State’s Attorney. For the primary election, voters may only vote for candidates of the party they are registered in. Unaffiliated voters, often called “independent” voters, meaning those who have registered to vote but have chosen not to affiliate themselves as either Democrats or Republicans, cannot vote in the primary, whose purpose is to select party candidates. Other political parties, such as the Libertarian or Green parties, do not currently hold primaries.  These voters can vote in the general election on November 6.

What if you’re not registered to vote at all?  You can do that at early voting, too, and then cast your ballot the same day.  To register to vote, you will need to bring ID and proof of address. According to the Maryland Board of Elections, “To register and vote during early voting, go to an early voting center in the county where you live and bring a document that proves where you live. This document can be your MVA-issued license, ID card, or change of address card, or your paycheck, bank statement, utility bill, or other government document with your name and new address. You will be able to register to vote and vote.”  So your Maryland driver’s license should do it.

US citizens who are residents of Maryland can register to vote as early as age 16 though they must be 18 before they can vote in a general election.  However, seventeen-year-olds may vote in this June primary to help chose their party’s candidate as long as they will be 18 before November 6 and thus eligible to vote in the General Election.

The date for regular voting in the primary election is Tuesday, June 26, when polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You must be registered before June 26 in order to vote in the Primary Election on June 26. For a complete list of polling places and other information, see the Maryland Board of Elections website.

The general election takes place Nov. 6. The Chestertown Spy will bring you more election news and analysis throughout the election season.

Kent 4-H Clover Kids “Bite into Beef” June 16

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Want to visit a farm and get to pet baby beef calves? This is the session for you as we Bite into Beef for the next Kent 4-H Clover Kids program. This event will be on June 16th, 9:00 am to 11:00 am, at the Hill Haven Farm, Kennedyville.

Hill Haven family farm has a herd of beef cattle you can view and several beef calves that you visit and pet. We will learn how cattle are raised and how to take care of them, what they eat and the what adaptation makes them special (ruminents). We will also learn about large animal safety. We will of course eat some beef – beef jerky.

If this sounds like fun, sign up by Thursday June 14th. All youth ages 5-7 years are welcome with a parent or guardian. Program is limited to 15 youth.

Register by calling 410-778-1661. For more information contact Beth Hill at emshill@umd.edu.

Made possible through a Maryland 4-H Foundation Mini Grant.

2018 Upcoming Kent 4-H Clover Kids Programs

Fun at the Fair! July 19th, 10:30 am, Kent County Fair

Night at Ag Center, Aug. 24th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Kent Ag Center

All About Corn (Make Tortillas), Sept. 30th, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Farm

Pumpkins & Squash! Oct. 20th, 9:00 – 11:00 am

The University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

Flags for Rock Hall – Celebrating the “Pearl of the Chesapeake”

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Folks strolling down Rock Hall’s Main Street may find themselves humming “You’re A Grand Old Flag.” Rock Hall’s Sgt. Preston Ashley American Legion Post 228, the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company, and the Chestertown Rotary Club have partnered to install a display of 50 star spangled banners (representing each star on the U.S. flag) and one Maryland flag (to honor the Old Line State) in the Town’s field between Rock Hall Dental and Pearl on Main Restaurant to commemorate Flag Day and Independence Day.

Andy Meehan, President of the Rotary Club, said “The Chestertown Rotary Club is proud to join with American Legion Post 228 and the RHVFC in sponsoring this patriotic tribute to our nation and state. The field of flags gives folks an opportunity to reflect on what makes the USA, Maryland, Kent County, and Rock Hall so special.  I am thrilled that it will remain in place from Flag Day through Rock Hall’s iconic Fourth of July parade, which is one of my favorite events of the year.”

Photo: Standing L-R: Beverly Birkmire (Rotary), John Murray (Rotary – Pres. Elect), Vernon Rodney (American Legion – Commander), Mark Joiner (Sons of the American Legion), Ronnie Fithian (Rock Hall Town Manager and Kent County Commissioner), Andrew Meehan (Rotary – President), Joel Colon (RHVFC), Ed Birkmire (Rotary), R.J. Dowling (RHVFC – President), Larry Crouch (American Legion), and Jennifer McCracklin (RHVFC). Seated L-R: Bjorn Birkmire (Rotary Recruit) and Adrian Colon (RHVFC Recruit). Not pictured: Jack Bigelow (RHVFC and American Legion) and Bob Tacher (Rotary – Taking Photo)

Vernon Rodney, Commander of Sgt. Preston Ashley American Legion Post 228, noted “This project is to honor our flag, which symbolizes liberty, justice, and the American way of life.  We are following the rules of flag etiquette, including illuminating them at night. We celebrate Flag Day on June 14 each year to commemorate its adoption on June 14, 1777 by the Continental Congress. The United States Army, in which many of Post 228’s members served, celebrates its birthday on the same day, which was founded on June 14, 1775 by the Continental Congress.”

R.J. Dowling, President of the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company, shared similar sentiments. “The Flags for Rock Hall display is great way to show love of country and will inspire our fellow citizens to consider how fortunate we are to live in the land of the free and home of the brave. The members of the RHVFC are proud to be part of this project and we look forward to passing by the field of flags during the July 4th parade as we celebrate our independence and freedoms.”

Messrs. Meehan, Rodney, and Dowling also expressed their appreciation to the Town of Rock Hall and Town Manager Ronnie Fithian for providing the field and electrical power to illuminate the flags at night.

Chesapeake Charities Promotes Charitable Giving with Endow Maryland Tax Credit

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Chesapeake Charities wants to get the word out about Endow Maryland, a Maryland state tax credit that encourages Maryland residents to give back to their local community in a meaningful and lasting way.  The Endow Maryland tax credit, which is designed to promote charitable giving in Maryland, for Maryland, applies only to gifts to permanent, endowed funds held at local community foundations such as Chesapeake Charities—gifts that will generate many times their initial value to benefit the community.Qualified donors could receive a 25 percent tax credit on their 2018 Maryland state tax return.

According to Linda Kohler, Chesapeake Charities Executive Director, “It’s a win-win for donors and the community. Contributions to the Community Endowment Fund at Chesapeake Charities will have a tremendous impact on the 85 funds under our umbrella and will leverage additional donations to the community.  Proceeds from the fund will be used to build the capacity of local nonprofit organizations and assist with grant research and grant writing – critical skills for every nonprofit.”

Endow Maryland offers a tax credit for gifts of at least $500 to permanent, endowed funds at qualified community foundations, resulting in $1 million in donations each year that directly impact local communities across the State.These credits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and are anticipated to be claimed quickly. To find out how to take advantage of the tax credit, please contact Chesapeake Charities, at info@ChesapeakeCharities.org or call 410.643.4020. For more information about the Endow Maryland tax credit, refer to the Comptroller of Maryland website, “Spotlight on Maryland Taxes.”

Located in Stevensville, Maryland, Chesapeake Charities is a community foundation that supports over 85 nonprofit funds that impact a range of charitable causes including animal welfare, arts, education, health and human services, and the environment. All funds have a common cause – a passion for making a difference in their communities. Chesapeake Charities serves organizations in eight counties: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot. They have invested more than $11 million in the Chesapeake Bay region since 2005, including $279,900 in scholarship awards to 254 local high school students, through nine scholarship programs.For more information, contact Chesapeake Charities at (410) 643-4020 or info@chesapeakecharities.org, or visit www.chesapeakecharities.org. Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

For more information, contact Chesapeake Charities at (410) 643-4020 or info@chesapeakecharities.org, or visit www.chesapeakecharities.org. Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

“In the Beginning . . .” Celebrates St. Paul’s 325th Anniversary

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It all began in New Yarmouth, now an all-but-forgotten town on Eastern Neck.   The St. Paul’s Parish, Kent, detective team has investigated its roots from the 1600s and, to celebrate its 325th Anniversary, invites the public to join in exploring the results.

How and why was St. Paul’s established?  Who were its founders?  What was a church service like in the late 1600s?  What we do know is that St. Paul’s Parish, Kent was one of the original 30 Anglican parishes established in 1692 in the Province of Maryland. The existing church, dating from 1713, is the oldest church building in continuous service in Maryland.

The “beginnings” are the focus of an introduction about the early parish history at 10:30 AM on Sunday, June 24, 2018, followed by “The Order of the Administration of the Lord’s Supper,” at 11:00 AM using the Book of Common Prayer from the time period.  The Rev. Frank St. Amour is conducting the service as a history lesson in itself.  There will be a modern-day picnic for all after the service.

The morning program complements St. Paul’s fifth Summer Solstice Celebration in the evening, which begins with a presentation in the Church at 7:00 of the historic background of St. Paul’s. Guidebooks will be available at the 1766 Vestry House where interpretive material related to St. Paul’s early history will be displayed. Visitors are invited to explore the churchyard, labyrinth and cemetery. This year, there is a particular emphasis on the first Vestry members (elected in 1692) and the Parish’s early leaders whose names resonate in the historic annals of Kent County.  Memorial stones of these determined pioneers and their descendants can be discovered on these grounds. Refreshments will be served on the lawn.

St. Paul’s is located at 7579 Sandy Bottom Rd., Chestertown MD 21620 at the intersection of Sandy Bottom Rd. and Ricaud’s Branch Rd..

For further information contact: office@stpaulkent.org, 410-778-1540.

Upper Eastern Shore Anglers June 19th Meeting

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The Upper Shore Eastern Anglers fishing club will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 19th , at 205 11 Washington SqChestertown, MD 21620-1041).  Meeting begins with dinner (optional) at 6:00 PM.

“Upper Eastern Shore Anglers is a diverse group of fishermen from Delaware and the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland.  We’ve been fishing together for over twenty years now.  Our goal is to share our love and knowledge of fishing with other fishermen.  We meet on the third Tuesday of each month to socialize, share a meal, plan events, listen to expert speakers, and swap fish stories. Members enjoy discounted charters, tournaments, and fishing trips, as well as annual fish fries and crab feasts.

“The public is welcome to attend.  For more information, check us out at https://tritoncollect.wixsite.com/uesa.

4-H Coming Events for June

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Volunteers needed in 4-H: Looking for volunteers as Kent County Fair 4-H Division chairpersons, judges and much more! Call the Extension Office if interested, 410-778-1661. The University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources programs are open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

June 2018
7 – 4-H Animal Science Workshop Series #2: New 4-H Family Fair Orientation, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Ext. Office, UME 4-H Online Volunteer Training, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Webinar. Must register in Kent Office 1 week prior
9 – Dr. Temple Grand in 4-H Program on Animal Behavior, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, Salisbury University Horse Judging & Hippology Contest
11 – MANDATORY Biosecurity and Quality Assurance Workshop for all Kent 4-H Animal Exhibitors, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Extension Office
15 – DEADLINE: KENT COUNTY FAIR ENTRY DEADLINE FOR ALL PRE-ENTERED EVENTS! Entries must be delivered to the Extension office by 4:30 pm or postmarked by Friday June 15th
16 – Kent 4-H Clover Kids: Bite Into Beef, 1:00 – 3:000 pm, Hill Farm Kennedyville. Learn about Beef cattle! Eastern Region Aerospace Qualifier Event
18 – MD 4-H Foundation Golf Tournament
20 – Ag Center Board Meeting, 7:00 pm Extension Office
21 – UME 4-H Volunteer Training, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, Extension Office *Note: This is a daytime training!
23 – 4-H Craft Day, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon, Kent Ag Center
24-29 – National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational, Grand Island NE. Best Wishes Matt Hofstetter & MD Shotgun team!
26 – 4-H Animal Science Wksp Series #3: Animal Project Records (What I need to know!) 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Ext. Office
27-29 – MD 4-H Issue Forum: Food Security, University of MD, College Park
29 – MD 4-H Day @ Orioles, Camden Yards. Reservation info coming soon.

KENT COUNTY 4-H CLUB MEETING DATES

Bits and Bridles Horse Club – Meets 1st Monday business meeting: Feb., Apr., June, Aug., Oct., Dec. Activity on all other months 6:00pm, Kennedyville United Methodist Church.
Kent 4-H Triple Shots Shooting SportsShotgun – Meets 2nd Sunday, Noon, Kent County Gun Club, 4th Sunday, Noon, Sudlersville Skeet Club, Archery, 1st and 3rd Sundays, 2pm, Cypress Creek Archery, Millington, Summer: Kent Ag Center, Rifle, 2nd and 4th Sundays, 2-4pm, Kent Ag Center Rifle Range, Tolchester. Business meeting held the 1st Wednesday of every month, 6:30pm, Kent Co. Public Works Complex
Junior Dairy Associates – Meets 3rd Friday monthly, 7pm, Kennedyville United Methodist Church
Kent Clover Calf – Meets 2nd Wednesday, 7pm, Kennedyville United Methodist Church
Kent Fuzzy Tails & Shiny Scales – 4th Monday monthly, 6:30pm, Greenscapes Land Care, Kennedyville
Kent Puppy Pals 4-H Dog Club – Practice 3rd and 4th Wednesdays, 6:30pm, winter: Radcliffe Creek School, summer: Running W Kennels, Worton. Monthly business meeting, 2nd Tuesday, Running W Kennels, 6:30pm

The University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources programs are open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Receives Accreditations and Funding

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To further their efforts to provide legal services to low-income members of the Eastern Shore community, Mid-Shore Pro Bono is pleased to announce that it has recently been authorized by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide legal services through its Recognition and Accreditation Program. This rigorous program requires significant training and once accredited, legal services organizations, like Mid-Shore Pro Bono, may handle more complex cases that involve federal government agencies. Both Mid-Shore Pro-Bono and their Vulnerable Populations Assistance Project Director, Ivette Salarich, JD, received accreditation from the DOJ.

“The accreditation from the Department of Justice is a huge step forward for our Vulnerable Populations Assistance Project,” said Sandy Brown, Executive Director. “We are now able to provide an even higher quality of legal services to members of our community who often fall victim to fraudulent scams preying on their low-income status, language barriers and unfamiliarity with the civil justice system.”

Members of Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s Vulnerable Populations Assistance Project: Ivette Salarich, VPAP Project Manager, Arlene Lee, Esq. volunteer attorney and Clarice Gardner, Washington College Summer Intern.

To further the efforts of the VPAP, Mid-Shore Pro Bono recently received grants from the Maryland Bar Foundation and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation. These funds will be used to support the VPAP’s work with immigrants living and working on the Eastern Shore, many of whom have fled natural disasters and political unrest to reunite their families and start a new life as American citizens.

“There is an enormous need to address the inequality of access to adequate legal assistance and representation on the Eastern Shore,” said Brown. “The poverty level on the Shore ranges from 8-18% depending on location, but our work reaches and affects everyone in our community regardless of socioeconomic status. By connecting low income residents with legal services and community resources we are able to keep families together, working, in their homes and financially stable.”

About Mid-Shore Pro Bono
Mid-Shore Pro Bono connects low-income individuals and families who need civil legal services with volunteer attorneys and community resources. The organization serves citizens of the Eastern Shore. For more information or to make a donation, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit www.midshoreprobono.org.

UU Church – Benjamin Van Dyne on “What We Do Together” on May 27

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On Sunday, May 27 at 10 a.m., Benjamin Van Dyne will give a sermon entitled “What We Do Together” to the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Dr.,Chestertown.

Benjamin, a recent graduate of Union Theological Seminary, explains: “Religious liberals prize individual self-determination, and often tell their own story as Us in terms of moving toward freedom and away from constraints. But what is the price of our freedom to choose?”

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

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