The history of the USA with Turkey has been relatively a short one compared to the history of the Turks and the Ottoman Empire.  We are deeply involved with Turkey, but we are not the ones in charge of what has been taking place in the past 15 years there.  The Turks under Erdogan have a long term, standing grudge with the Kurds.  The US has ties to the Kurds and Erdogan wants them dead or gone.  Meanwhile Turkey has fallen under the spell of Putin and Russia but still retains NATO Membership.  This is not an easy or pleasant situation in an area of the world where we have made many mis-steps in the recent past and still don’t begin to truly understand what we should do now or in the coming future.

What happens to millions of refugees in Turkey?  If we treat Erdogan roughly, he will release them into Europe.  If the US and EU cater to his whims what will be the eventual outcome?  We are all in a tight spot there and it does not appear that we are well positioned to tell anyone what to do.  This is new ground for the USA and the issues are numerous and complex.

Tom gave us an overview, but it would take weeks to really have a complete picture of the issues and the politics.  Americans see things as problems to be fixed while Turks have a far longer view back to ancient history and into the future long after the individuals in charge now have left the world of the living.  Our lack of common threads makes dealing with this reality a large challenge.  Being more aware of these realities may can help us be as patient as we need to be.  I may well be that considerable time must be allowed for the region to re-center itself and it may be in a way that just does not make us in the USA  or EU feel like winners or of any grand importance.  During our session we did not decide if this is right or wrong, but only looked for a reality check.  It was an excellent 90 minutes of education. 

 

Jacobs5-18-17Jay spent and hour and a half telling us all about what took place in Annapolis in the past session of the House of Delegates.  These delegates are busy people and while we may be confused and overwhelmed by what we hear, these Members have intimate knowledge of the workings of State government.  Having an opportunity to closely listen and ask questions in our CBG atmosphere of inquiry is unusual in our age of media making the news.

From Hunting days and hours regulations, to crabbing times for watermen, to the potential for a new Northern bay bridge at Tolchester or elsewhere, to new 1% Milk offerings at school meals to replace skim milk, the Kent CBG group heard lots of the little details that make a session in Annapolis come alive and take on a human perspective.  Members agree that this is one of those opportunities to learn and stay informed.

Thanks Jay, we all enjoyed your sharing with us and for the services you provide to all the citizens of your very large District.

 

What is “normal”?  How do we treat those who have mental issues or substance issues which mark them in some way as outside what others conceive as “normal”?  How do we express these differences without hurting feelings?  How do we help without stigmatizing?  How do friends and family best cope with someone who has a mental problem? 

The Kent & Queen Anne’s group is running and by following well tested protocols there will be an organized and regular effort to support those  who have mental issues as well as those who are their closest friends, associates and caregivers.  Such assistance often is tough and delicate at the same time, so having a network of allies is a good thing to put some reliance on.  Those who need help can get non-judgmental assistance from this group.

 

 

 

Myra ButlerMyra informed us of the many areas of responsibility her department has in Kent County,  She is highly pleased with the level of support the County Commissioners have given her department in order to keep its many excellent programs funded and available to all residents at affordable prices.  There are numerous parks, beaches, pools, playing fields and party venues which Parks and Recreations maintain and supervise.  In addition, there is the major element at the High School in Worton with gym equipment, meeting rooms, event rooms and a huge swimming pool which are able to be used by everyone and are being well maintained.

Our County is providing close to 85% of the funds needed to make all of these facilities available at affordable rates.  The fees which are collected seemed very reasonable to those of us at Kent CBG.  It shows the willingness of our local government to support a great program which imparts many benefits to both children and adults.  Surrounding counties don’t support equal facilities with as much enthusiasm, so we are in a good spot and very fortunate.

 

 
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