The discussion and questions were long and lively.  The questions were wide ranging from leniency in sentencing, to opinions on the opioid crisis.  We asked each candidate why they were running, what their work and educational history was and what they hoped to achieve if they won the election.  We saw their enthusiasm, the learned about their much different experience set in their legal professions and what they hope to bring to the job.

You need to meet these individuals in person to understand them better.  Both are quite different, but both have the residents of Kent County in mind as primary motivation.  Either individual would be good in the job, but every voter has the right and duty to make an informed decision.  That’s why Kent CBG exists.  To help YOU to make those big decisions wisely.

We will host the winner of the primary and the incumbent after the Primary election.  Please plan to attend.

 

When Sam Shoge was finished speaking and responding to many thoughtful questions, he really opened up the thought process going on in the minds of many of those in attendance.  He sees the need to figure out how Kent County can quickly connect to the growth that is around us, such as in Middletown.  We don’t need to wait until there is a decision on a bridge only a few people want to have built to get the wheels in motion to have sufficient population growth and economic activity here to save our local county.  Saving the nature of our area without waiting for a bridge decision sounds like a very smart thing to consider.  

Shoge “painted a picture” with sound statistics showing we are not headed to a good place if we don’t look for positive changes.  Admittedly, one could paint a different picture with other sets of statistics, but the process was definitely thoughtful and thought provoking.  It opened up some eyes to what else might be good to try and that waiting is not the only option.  Sam would like to come back and speak specifically about the bridge at a later date, but the presentation appeared even-handed, open and heartfelt.  We have to appreciate his  obvious sincerity and his youthful enthusiasm.  He is a great example of what Kent County Public Schools can produce.  We need many more like him.  It would be a pleasure to have Shoge return with other programs.  We will look forward to it.

 

Jay gave us his take on the broad range of activity and bills which were worked on and then voted on in the most recent sessions in Annapolis.  It has been a big season with quite a large number of bills going to Governor Hogan for signature.  Jay recounted a special success he had with one bill which he managed to get past by knowing more than some of the other members.  Such knowledge is gained by experience, so when one blindly calls for short term limits on every participant in government, we might forget that experience can count in good ways sometimes, too.  The process of writing legislation and then getting it to a vote is a daunting and complex business.  It is learned over time by doing the work and allowing one’s peers to teach and mentor younger or newer legislators.  Those in attendance were surely impressed with the level of care and concern Jay Jacobs brings to his elected position for all the residents of the Counties he represents.

 

Hill

Our audience was truly impressed with the easy yet professional way Trey Hill told us how farming and science have evolved together to give us enough food while saving us more and more from pollution from less efficient farming practices.  You don’t just become a farmer these days.  It takes advanced education, world travel, networking, conferences, early morinng phone calls from market advisers and a dedicated team of employees to make it all happen.

The questions asked and answered ranged from technical, to political to international in scope.  Trey was well informed, ready and willing to share.  Everyone left feeling like they had really had a learning experience

 

 

keating 1David Keating, noted for teaching a WC-ALL course that new cars are “not your father’s Oldsmobile”, visited CBG to highlight what this is all about.  Following the guidelines in the owner’s manual is crucial to longevity of your car these days.  These manuals are long and difficult to decipher, but they hold the secrets to keeping your 4 wheel vehicle on the road and worry free.

David did a good job in keeping it real.  He didn’t try to sell us a major service, but encouraged the use of the schedule of maintenance provided by the factory as a key ingredient to happy car ownership.

THANK YOU David, for your generous participation with our group.

 

Img-1659From the moment Andy McCown began to tell us about the many aspects of the Outdoor School, our audience became impressed with the value this provides to our community and to the many students who get the opportunity to participate in one or more of the many programs offered there.  The study or nature, ecology, the systems of the Chesapeake Bay, conservation of natural resources and of nature, sailing, waterman skills, camping, historic boat preservation and the list goes on and on.

This school has been running for decades and you can just tell the demand for this sort of education and hand’s on experiences is growing beyond the level to provide it to everyone who could use a bit of it.  What a wonderful asset and great value to have available for anyone who gets to attend.

Here is a link for really finding out more:

http://www.ehos.org/

 

Judy Morgan was well prepared for the questions and gave a good presentation.  High speed fiber optic is going to become a standard and desired installation in all households in the coming years.  For some folks it is already a mandatory essential, but not yet for all of us.  Think Big is a business.  It needs a group of people in any one place to voice their desire for installation for Think Big to put up the cash needed to make installations.  Single users, those in remote locations and areas where there is little demand are not likely to get installations quickly, while those who live where a large cluster of demand is present will get fiber optic services far sooner.

We should be influencing our friends and neighbors to sign up with Think Big so that the momentum of demand grows in Kent County.  We all stand to benefit from this increased connectivity.  Likely, we can’t imagine what it will do for us right now.  Those of us who dream about the rapid changes which will happen in the near future likely can only envision a tiny part of what the fast Internet will allow us to do.  Let’s keep up the pressure to make these changes as widespread as we can.  I envision this sort of growth will be beneficial to the rural nature of Kent County.

 

Dr. Wayne Benjamin speaks about HOMEPORTS

On March 8, 2018, in Uncategorized, by David Atlas

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For many of our aging population there is a desire to age at home.  Many don’t have much alternative financially and still others truly choose to go it alone in spite of many possible benefits of more community based retirement housing.  We tend to want to be free until the very end of our lives, but many folks simply live well beyond their ability to care decently for themselves. They make bad errors, they become ill, they get injured and have no one to assist them, etc. The list of aging problems is long and well understood by all of us.

Homeports is here to assist us many services offered by volunteers and by vetted professionals.  The reasonable annual cost of $350 is mostly affordable and several memberships are awarded annually for full or partial discounts based on need and income.  Even if you don’t yet need any Homeport service, you can contribute the $350 membership and take it off as a charitable deduction.  That would be an excellent first step and be very welcomed.  You can volunteer to drive or assist someone even if you are not a member.  You can help someone who will appreciate your assistance.  That’s a big reward all by itself.

Thank you Dr. Benjamin for the time you spent with us to explain Homeports and for the time you spend yourself in volunteering to serve in those who need you as members of Homeports.

 

 

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Janet Christensen-Lewis and Elizabeth Watson were outstanding speakers who have the interests of all the citizens of Kent County in mind.  They are professional, compassionate and experienced.  I don’t think we hit on any part of this topic that they were not well versed in.  Someday, there may be an additional bridge across the Bay, but with good preparation and strong citizen cooperation, this bridge has a good chance of being built further South where some counties have voiced a desire for the kind of economic development it will undoubtedly bring.  If you want urbanization and loss of the rural lifestyle, highways as busy as the Western Shore and all the services those require, then a bridge fits your style.  If you love it here because you were simply born here, or if you chose this place above all others because you like it as it is, then NO BRIDGE in Kent County may be a theme you better get used to hearing and working with.  Change will come, but slow change and smart change can be handled.  This is not an issue where you ought to make up your mind until you understand the consequences.

Kent CBG hosted this large gathering of concerned citizens in a peaceful and thoughtful discussion of where we stand in the planning stages of where and when a new bridge might be built from the Western Shore to the Eastern Shore.  It might be right on top of Kent County, but may be built much further South or possibly, not built at all.  It is too soon to say, but it is definitely the right time to become engaged and informed.  There is room for discussion and room for varied opinions.  One must say that change is pretty much inevitable, but with diligent and smart efforts, the changes that come to Kent County will have desirable effects and not bad outcomes.

We can have growth of opportunities for working people while keeping the rural and peaceful nature of the area preserved.  Such preservation may impact some folks in a way that is not as beneficial as possible, so we need to listen and do the right things to mitigate such negative effects.  Many folks emigrate here for the rural character of the region and not for the rapid growth nearby Delaware provides.  Those people may reap benefits from the status quo and not from major growth.  We seek decisions made in the reasonable, middle ground.  We don’t want to destroy our small paradise for the sake of mass congestion by cars travelling to Atlantic Ocean resorts.  We don’t want to destroy good and smart growth of jobs and affordable housing for those still in the workforce that such a bridge might help with speedier commuting to work and for many other reasons that were mentioned at the meeting.

 

 

millerIt is a big topic about big money and about huge regulations and rule making.  No CPA or Tax Attorney will be put out of business by the IRS due to lack of consumer need for their services.  We absolutely have a behemoth government and a large IRS busy making rules and regulations which can’t possibly be fully understood.  Bob spoke about how experts don’t memorize new rules, but must constantly look them up since they are bound to change.  We see the future of the current not solving any debt problem we have in the USA.  Taxing less is not going to cure our shortfall.  Spending less may not be an option that anyone wants to know about.  What’s left?  Printing money and inflation. 

What can you do about it?  We didn’t dare open that one up.  The choices look unappetizing, at best.  Hold onto your hat and put on your seat belt.  It may be a bumpy ride in the future.

 
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