Larry Samuels has spoken to Kent CBG numerous times.  This is the first time he really came prepared to tell us about himself and how he arrived at becoming a frequent substitute teacher both in Queen Anne and Kent.  He has a passion for the kids and cares about them.  He has great experience and is a sharing individual.  It sounded to us like he is just the right kind of person to mentor our children, especially the many here who need extra help, encouragement, stability and compassion often missing in their home environments.  Education is a major key to success in later life.  If you do not have the basics from home and school, you will be short handed in all that comes afterwards.  The basic education found in the lower school grades is essential to master, and after hearing Larry talk, we felt it even more surely than before.

Larry recounted several of his kid friendly and engaging stories.  We can see better why he takes the huge amount of time he spends with so many good volunteer efforts along with his very frequent teaching role.  Thank you Larry.  We need many more guys and gals with your spirit and energy all over the country and we are fortunate to have you here as an example.

 

 

WIlliamsJamie Williams came to visit Kent CBG on behalf of Scott Boone, County IT Director who was unable to attend today.  She came very well prepared not only to address the topics Scott would have covered, but with several other agendas of importance which she works on for the benefit of all Kent County citizens.  She finds lots of work to be done here, yet also finds lots of bright points and hope in getting Kent County developed in ways which would suit the citizenry.   It is a balancing act to maintain the basically agricultural historic nature of the county while understanding that the future of the county involves new businesses, new housing, renewal of schools, maintenance of the tax base, and attracting new residents, young and old alike.

Jamie went on to address several hot topics and we had a vibrant set of discussions.  Everyone came away with an increased awareness of what economic development means here and just how big a job Jamie has.  You could not ask for a more dedicated person to accept her role.  Some great initiatives are underway and there is no shortage of ideas that may become reality here.

 

mcLainWe gained a lot of insight  into the inspiration for this unusual sculptural installation that is now in search of additional funding.  It is a totally modern and visually appealing design that will not only fit well in the proposed location, but will be visible to people driving by, especially when it is lit in the evening.  With her family’s long history in Chestertown and with Washington College, this artful construct seems a perfect fit and properly honors the history of both her father, Dr. Joseph H. McClain and Dr. John A. Conkling, both of whom made great contributions to the science and safety of fireworks.

Ms. McLain has written and published a book “For the Love of Fireworks”.  All profits will directly fund this installation.  Contact Lynn McLain directly to purchase the book.  

In addition, for those who prefer to simply donate, send a check to:   Washington College, Office of Advancement, 300 Washington Ave.  Chestertown, MD 21620-1197.  You can take a full charitable deduction for such direct contributions.  Mark the memo on your check:  ATRIUM SCUPTURE PROJECT.

 

Mayor Cerino turned out a lively and good sized audience for his local address to our Kent CBG members.  With the limited financial resources, limited power beyond the town limits and keeping in mind that private enterprise needs to succeed in Chestertown, the Mayor has his hands both full and often tied at the same time.  It is good to hear about what is happening from the head of local town government, from someone deeply part of the non-profit scene and also as a private citizen..  Roll all that into one and you have Mayor Cerino.  You can just tell he is doing the job mostly because it is such a good fit for him and it is something he enjoys doing well.

We asked some tough questions about the Marina property, the Armory and Stepney Manor and other properties where development might someday occur.  While some options are not on the table, there may be wiggle room for something good to come out of these potential sites.  Where are we with the Fiber Optic Internet?  We plan to have the Kent County IT chief, Scott Boone in two seeks to tell us exactly what is going on.  The mayor thought there was some sort of slow down, but did not think it was a failed mission.  We’ll get something more definitive shortly for out participants.

Thanks Mr. Mayor.  We know you are having the big Down Rigging weekend beginning today, so we appreciate the time you spent with us.

 

2017-10-19 12.02.20(2)Each of the Candidates impressed us with their desire to help make Chestertown a great place to live and work.  While Elsworth Tolliver has no opposition in Ward 3, Owen Bailey and Bob Miller along with David Foster, who spoke last week, were asking for your vote in Ward 1.  All four of the Candidates had good ideas, all four come into the contest with quite diverse ideas of what is important to them, to the town and to their constituents.  All of them made good sense to listen to.  The dilemma for voters will be picking the right person to elect in Ward 1.  Ward 3 has a very good man ready to take up the reins of leadership and it seemed to us that any one of the three candidates had enough sense to do some good things in office, if elected.  Who will it be?  Stay tuned.  We will all find out in early November.

Remember, just a few votes make a big difference.  If you live in Ward 1, please make an effort to speak personally with candidates who ring your doorbell.  Ask your long time neighbors about those people who are running for office and see what they suggest and ask “why?”.  Be an informed voter and make a difference.

This meeting was an excellent opportunity to understand what is so good about Kent Community Breakfast Group.  The Candidates had time to speak and time to answer all sorts of questions without restraint.  While we did not solve the pressing issues of the day, we got to know all four of the Town Council Candidates far better than reading a sign on the side of the highway.

 

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David Foster was the first of the four candidates for Chestertown Council who will be addressing Kent CBG.  Three additional candidates intend to come on 10/19/2017 to tell us about their experiences ,backgrounds, and what they’d like to accomplish if and when they are elected to Town Council in November.

Mr. Foster has a wide range of global experience related to government and to the private sector when it comes to urban planning and related issues such as the environment.  Since he was the sole speaker able to schedule for  today’s CBG meeting, he had a large opportunity to take numerous questions related to the future of Chestertown and how he’d propose to insure a good long term plan and future for the town.  The essence of it, as I understood it, is to set realistic goals of things that are possible while seeking to make the outcomes palatable to long term residents and well as for those who would be newcomers.  Our local demographics show too few younger people and young families and a larger than beneficial number of older people.  To grow and prosper, we may need to consider how to increase younger folks to call this place their home.  Doing this is a big challenge.  Maybe some of our extraordinary local minds can accomplish what must be done to get jobs in Kent County, garner an educated population suited for these local jobs and to further develop our local the schools to also help fill the desired workforce. 

We spoke about the Marina.  It has possibilities, but we need to watch the expenses and keep our eye on the target of making it pay its own way at some point.  For now, the marina has been saved, but where do we go from here?  We will need smart folks leading the way to make sure the right moves are made to keep it safe and to make it viable for the right kinds of development.

We spoke about the necessity of the local hospital.  It is a hot topic and highly important to the viability of the town and the county.  We need leaders who understand both the politics of this issue as well as the economics of it. 

We await the other candidates and their opinions, too.

 

 

Judge Nunn divides his time on the bench between his primary location in Kent County and districts all over the state who have more work than their local district court judge can handle.  So he sees a wide variety of issues and people from not just this little county, but from the perspective of his diverse travels throughout the state.  He told us how glad he is at the end of a long day on the Western side of the Bay to find himself back in the relative peacefulness of the Eastern Shore.  While we might think things are not perfect here, he understands much more than many folks how far worse things can be elsewhere.

The Judge discussed the hope of saving substantial State funds by shortening some sentences in various ways that the State Legislature has enacted into law.  Whether we will see financial benefits is unclear.  What else remains unclear is if shorter sentences will have any effect, positive or negative on the lives of the general population.  He made no predictions, but it seems truly naïve to think that liberalizing release from jail and granting many more days off sentences for good behavior, was going to make much improvement for law abiding people.  We will have to wait and see how it goes as no one can truly predict what difference it may make.

We listened to some great first hand information on the drug epidemic, treatment options, incarceration decisions and everyday problems faced by a judge in his work.  We touched on the problem of people with criminal records getting employment even when the offense was very old or relatively minor.  Being a judge is a challenging  job yet one that offers a true opportunity to make a positive difference for some of the folks brought before the court.  Not everyone can be rescued. Some people have proven they won’t accept help, but some will benefit from customized judicial assistance.  This is where the courts and good judges can and do make a difference for all of us.  If you didn’t attend, you really missed a great and informative opportunity.

 

Don Hooker discovered the Massey Air Museum after his retirement from the aviation industry.  He knows all the facts about the Museum and the Massey Aerodrome.  The stories, the acquisitions, the restorations, the various public activities and events, and the educational gatherings.  While Massey Museum has a membership in the 500 range, only a handful of members actively support the everyday of the year, except Christmas, hours of the Museum.  This takes both dedication and a high level of interest.  You could tell Don Hooker has both of these attributes.

When I consider the my own early days of air travel beginning in the early 1950’s, flying often with my parents on DC-3’s and later in larger prop, turboprop and then early commercial jet aircraft, I recall the relative formality and a certain elegance that has been lost to taking air travel for granted and the necessary evils brought to us by terrorism and the TSA system.  There was a time where air travel was a class act and had some elements of adventure and fun. 

If you want to have a good time, go to one of the many events hosted at the Aerodrome and the Museum.  You’ll be happy with the enthusiasm and the things of interest to young and old.

 

Isabel Hardesty, The Chester Riverkeeper 9-21-2017

On September 21, 2017, in Uncategorized, by David Atlas

Hardesty

The Chester River Association and it’s mission was presented in a complete and very professional way by the Riverkeeper.  It is good to see so many local folks becoming involved in the health and long term cleanliness of our river water systems in the region. The best thing we found out was the degree of scientific accountability and cost effectiveness control that is being used within the CRA.  Those projects which are effective, both environmentally and financially are given preference over high cost, low return projects which is what characterizes what the public most fears about government regulatory agencies when they meddle in local affairs.  The CRA seems to “get it” and that is a great thing. 

One of our frequent participants and steering committee members, also a past Riverkeeper, David Foster, mentioned how well this organization has done in attracting participants and members from all levels and interests in our society.  The farmer can work with the scientist and those in finance or in business.  The waterman can work with boaters and environmentalists.  All for the greater good.  What this promotes is an understanding that when the cause is right, people from the left, the right and in between can find common ground to improve the total picture.  This may be rare today, but it can and does work, as this organization proves.

The payoff for reducing pollution, nutrients, and sediment in the waterways will slowly show over time.  It didn’t happen all at once and it will not go away overnight.  It is a work that will take years to accomplish and will always be ongoing to maintain good and acceptable levels of these problem issues.  We need watchdogs and trained scientists to make sure we leave a good legacy for those who are not yet born.  CRA is doing their part in this big picture.

 

Dr. Halin gave us a history of the property and told us of the significance of this geographic location 8 miles below Rock Hall which is in the flight path of many important bird species as they migrate annually.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service controls this Federally owned property and the Friends support it with volunteer staffing on the many trails, in the lovely visitor center with books, souvenirs, events and personal interaction with visitors from all over the world, and in highly important fundraising for maintenance that the Federal budget and management seem to be increasingly forgetful about.  These little and large preserves of nature under the control of US Fish & Wildlife and the National Park system depend on funding to keep them open and available for public uses.  We should not be forcing volunteers to pay for the upkeep, but being good Friends, they do what needs to be done and make the best of it.  We are all most fortunate to have such good volunteers and people of a generous nature among us.

You can support the Friends of Eastern Neck with your own contribution of annual dues beginning at a $25 contribution level. 

You may, of course, pay more and the money will not be wasted.  There is much that can be done since Federal funding has been decreasing over the past several years.  Any contribution would be welcomed. 

Please make checks payable to Friends of Eastern Neck, Inc. and send to PO Box 450, Rock Hall, MD 21661

 
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