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.

 

2017-10-12 07.33.35

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

 

The Kent Learning Center, 9-7-2017

On September 7, 2017, in Uncategorized, by David Atlas

9-7Mary Etta Reedy and Phil Cicconi gave us the scoop on how great it is to volunteer as a tutor to the kids in our Rock Hall elementary school.  They made the new style of doing arithmetic sound like the old way we learned it was faster, but not as educational as the new way young people do their math assignments. 

The positive impact that individual, one on one, instruction has with students who know they need some help with their work must be a somewhat amazing and enlightening experience for the volunteers.  The students are also telling their tutors how much better they are doing with the school work.  So, the way the Learning Center is helping is working for the betterment of students.  That all sounds pretty good to us.

If you have time to volunteer, Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, in the later afternoon, please get in touch.  You can even learn how to do the newer math yourself.

 

 

 

20170831 CBG Richard LaMotte -0581                                                                                                    Photo courtesy of Steve Atkinson

Richard LaMotte told the story of his three generation family business which for a large part of it’s operation has been successfully located in Chestertown.  This firm supplies water testing equipment all over the world and who would guess it is located right off Route 213.  If you didn’t know, you would never suspect it.  Richard brought one of the original water test kits Admiral Byrd took on his Polar expedition and also one of the newest state of the art water testing digital devices they manufacture right across the highway from the Holiday Inn Express.

LaMotte has work for people who can count, or assemble, so long as they have a good record of showing up and being able to pass a drug test.  It seems crazy, but these issues pose a large problem nationally, as well as locally for potential employers.  If you know a good person, please help LaMotte fill up the office with helpful people who want a good job.

The LaMotte case proves that this county can do a good job hosting a successful business and having good jobs for reliable people.  What makes it so difficult for others may be the permitting roadblocks we often hear about, but once a business is here, it apparently can survive and thrive.

We all appreciated the enthusiasm shown by Mr. LaMotte for our early riser audience.  THANK YOU, Richard.

 

20170824 CBG Chester River Wellness Alliance -0548

Chestertown could become a destination for people seeking alternative medicine and wellness therapies.  The concept of these various providers, who already find Chestertown and Kent County a welcoming place for their alternative medical approaches, is seeking to unify this diverse group into a cooperating membership in a single non-profit organization.  With the opening up of what medicine and healing is to a wider range of therapies than just Western standard medicine over the past several decades there are lost of independent, but often struggling practitioners who might benefit from a stronger and unified voice in their communities, as well as hosting a centrally located facility for providing treatments to their many potential patients.

The relatively small needs of finance required to get this process into full gear appear rather nominal compared to the costs of doing many other things medically.  Citizens of the region and practitioners of all sorts should view this organization and its goals in a very positive light and be encouraged to participate.  The concept is a big idea, way larger than just a local organization.  It could be the essence of a multi-state or even national association of alternative practitioners.  That’s the kind of thinking which may one day help to bring needed focus on the community allowing it to be a good spot to live, bring up families, to work in, or to retire to.

Supporting this effort seems a worthy cause.  Here’s a link to where you might give them your help: http://www.chesterriverwellnessalliance.org/

 

Mike O’Connor of Conchobar Consulting 8-17-2017

On August 17, 2017, in Uncategorized, by David Atlas

Mike gave us a short story on the three “R’s” of market a small business in today’s modern environment.  He didn’t get away from us until he had responded to our many questions.  It took plenty of his time and quite a bit of information was exchanged in a lively atmosphere where it seemed everyone was learning about how marketing has evolved.

Younger people want to engage, to learn, and to interact with information in a far more immediate way than the older members of society have become accustomed to.  It is a product of the easy transparency and exchange of every detail of living and information.  What seems like shockingly fast and overly familiar information constitutes the newest forms of advertising and presence for people who offer services or items for sale.  Even for most of us who will never advertise with Facebook or Twitter, we should have the essential knowledge of why these methods of marketing have become so important and popular.

If you don’t make an effort to keep up with the current and the tides, you will be swept away by the rate of rapid change all around us.  CBG is helping many of us keep up with some of this flow and it feels good to make the effort. 

 

 

 
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