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Since your weekly writer, Dave Atlas, was out of town this past Thursday, another member of our Kent CBG Steering Committee kindly wrote this short description of our March 7th meeting.

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Susan Eddy and Muriel Cole led a discussion about public policies on aging which they call ‘a scandal’.  Using various statistics, they compared the budgets for senior services of several Eastern Shore counties with Kent being in last place.  They showed inventory of senior housing in Kent is way below the need.  Their slide presentation was informative and eye opening and they encouraged everyone to become more involved in advocating for our senior population.–

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Our speakers also provided a write up of what they discussed with our overflow crowd of participants.  It follows below:

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PUBLIC POLICIES ON AGING- A SCANDAL

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By Muriel Cole and Susan Eddy

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On Feb. 8, Muriel Cole and Susan Eddy, both advocates for seniors and Chestertown residents, gave a talk that highlighted many weaknesses in U.S., State, and local policies for those in our senior years. A number of statistics were given that reveal the inequities in resources assigned and attention given, especially to the elderly. Older people are more vulnerable and face more challenges, yet the issues are not prominent in the minds of most people. In Kent County there are 1900 public school students and over 5000 people over 65. Senior services are poorly funded. A number of attendees pointed to inadequate long-term care and a general lack of awareness. Cole called this situation, in Martin Luther King’s words, “the appalling silence of good people.”

 

 

Ron Abler had a truly uncommon and unusual wartime experience during his time in Vietnam.  He flew helicopter rescue missions from ships based in the Gulf of Tonkin into Vietnamese waters and land territory.  The goal was mostly to bring back downed pilots before the enemy could find them.  Once in a while there were other rescues of Vietnamese nationals, too.  The miracle of the Miracle Squadron was that while many helicopters and airplanes were lost in combat, not one downed crew member or pilot that was signaling for pick-up during Abler’s time in the war zone was lost.  In total, nearly 1500 rescues were made without loss of life during these nearly impossible and dangerous rescues.

 

All we heard about Vietnam on the news during those days was about the protests at home and death in a distant land.  Ron Abler had the privilege and experience of truly helping to save lives.  He never saw the enemy during his time there. Ron’s war experience was uplifting, memorable and life changing in many good ways.  War is not a good or perfect thing, but Abler’s experience is a part of the story about the Vietnam war that very few people have heard about.  We were deeply impressed to say the least.  THANKS RON for sharing your story with us.

 

Tourism brings not only lots of people to spend their money in Kent County, but it also is one of the engines that brings us new, long term residents.  People see a lifestyle they really like, fall in love with the area and decide to live here permanently.  The diverse efforts made to attract visitors and to explain the many things which they can do and visit while they are here resides with the two people staffing our office of tourism.  No big bureaucracy, just two people working along with business and event partners producing several publications, schedules, calendars, advertising and promotions.  Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all now play an active part as well as traditional brochures and print ads.  It is a big effort, but the statistics show it really pays off very well.

 

Check out this link.  Make it a “Favorite” so you can easily find it again.  When you have visitors, look it up and see what’s taking place, where to go, and what you might do.  https://www.kentcounty.com/visitors

 

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Jamie Williams has been in this position now for over a year and tells us every day she learns more and more about the rules, regulations and tactics of the players.  She also has gained a way better handle on the sources and extent of funds, tax credits, incentives and grants which are available some of which rarely are even applied for.  There is slow and optimistic progress in getting businesses to locate here or to remain and expand here.  This is good news because it appears it is being done right and fairly.  While no one says they want unrestricted growth, few would promote zero growth.  Keeping control and finding compatible ways to increase the possibilities of employment and development are constantly being looked for.

Jamie brought us a long list of things that have been attended to in the past year.  It was organized and shows real promise.  We understand there is a list of 25 properties Washington College has the intention of selling.  She said she’d send it to me and we will post it on our site just in case you might like to know the situation.

 

Wow!  What a large basket of services is offered for senior citizens.  All one needs to do is to become informed and make choices from a long list of provided services from more than 17 available agencies.  There are many opportunities for services and lots of volunteer positions to fill, if you are able and so inclined.  We discussed the problems with reliance on private transportation being endemic to rural communities like Kent County.  While we didn’t come up with solutions, the problem is becoming more recognized and focused.  Maybe we will eventually have a fleet of autonomous vehicles to pick up and deliver people who no longer can drive…  We don’t know what the near future will bring, but the needs of citizens are being kept on the radar by caring people.

 

If you need services or wish to become involved call 410-778-6000 or see www.uppershoreaging.org

 

Trey Hill of Harborview Farm. 12-20-2018

On December 20, 2018, in Uncategorized, by David Atlas

We asked Trey to address several topics.  He mentioned them all and spoke about all of them in a way that was professional and diplomatic.  What a refreshing way to get honest information.  Everyone in the audience now has a far better understanding of Trey’s 100% no-till method of farming.  We now know why he does it and how it works.  The science of farming is amazing and deep.  Thankfully we have professional farmers such as Trey Hill who are constantly mastering the changes and regulations.  We covered the effects of trade tariffs, carbon neutral policies, GMO’s, organic farming alternatives, blockchain sourcing, satellite linking of farming fields, reduction of pesticide and weed killer use, and a few more.  We are lucky to have such a well rounded professional in our midst who is willing to share, listen, learn and teach.  

 

 

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The last time we hosted Scott Budden was in 2015.  He was then working on a long list of permits in order to start his dream of culturing oysters in the Chester River.  Since then he has progressed into the early stages of what looks like a successful commercial venture.  He has the knowledge and the desire combined with a strong work ethic.  To grow oysters takes not only a lot of knowledge, but the work attitude of traditional watermen combined with modern outlooks on making tradition and non-tradition work together.

Here is a link which gives more of the story and contact information.  http://orchardpointoysters.com

 

Theresa Simmons is rather new at her job with The Resorts, but she brings years of experience at many levels of nursing and administration of care to her new role in Chestertown.  She made a presentation that truly stimulated a beneficial give and take with our audience.  You could tell how important the topic of long term care and rehabilitative care was to those who attended this morning.  We had questions, comments and recounting of experiences which were all beneficial.  Theresa did a good job interacting with us and gave us straight answers which put many of us at ease with her approach.

While the mystery of end of life issues are all around us, those in long term care facility management deal with the reality day in and day out.  It was good information to get from someone with vast experience who was willing to respond without a sales agenda.

 

Judges and attorneys get to see and hear many deeply interesting tales during their careers.  Over time, the best ones stand out as ones which not only are entertaining, but have potential to also be highly educational.  They are somewhat the equivalent of Aesop’s Tales.  A good story with an outcome that can be instructive.  We learned about Guidelines, Regulations and Laws.  How they differ and also how they work in unison with one another.  The stories of those plaintiffs who were too greedy to accept fair judgments, and the stories of juries who did great jobs as well as those which came up with nearly incredible awards.  That’s our system and in the overall, that’s our justice.  Imperfect, but free.  Better than many or most systems, but not above legitimate criticism from time to time.  It does make for great questions and even better discussions.  You missed a truly involving and good session if you were not there.

 

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We need to be vigilant and vocal in order to make our case to the powers on the far side of the Bay.  It is a money thing.  We need to make the case that citizens on this side of the Bay are entitled to reasonable levels of care and the ongoing services of doctors to see patients without long trips and weeks of waiting.  It is going to take action in the House of Delegates and State Senate to make our situation turn out well.  We will need the Governor’s support, too.  Please take every opportunity you get to support keeping the hospital a working environment in Chestertown.

 
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