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. 




Jim Landskroener is the President of the Board of Directors of the historic Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown.  He has been a life long resident of the area and so he knows lots of good stories and facts concerning the many faces this venue has had over the past 6 or 7 decades.  Like all things which are succeeding in our current economic and social environment, there are both good and bad situations that crop up on a daily basis.  The calendar is full of events, the advertising budget is way too small, the conflicts of calendar dates with competing venues creates large concerns, the weather, the rentals, the facility infrastructure, and you can keep on going.  Needless to say, there are many details and complexities that make his job interesting and sometimes daunting.  The never ending quest for donations, support, grants, volunteers, creative ideas and talent all compete for space and time.  It must be a good balancing act and we got a fine understanding of how it has evolved and matured from the times of WWII to the present day.

Chestertown envisions itself more and more a destination for tourism and art oriented events.  The Garfield is a perfect fit for such a little city.  The growing Arts District fits well with performances and city wide events and coordination with an indoor venue such as The Garfield compliments these planned projects well.

What is still needed is getting the word out on scheduled shows and other events to the general public.  Yes, these dates are publicized and listed, but way too many folks who’d participate don’t find out as easily as they should.

Below link to the calendar of events: 








Photo courtesy of Steve Atkinson


Every county and state is trying hard to lure business enterprises into their regions.  It is way better to keep existing ones to remain by giving them the opportunity to thrive and expand right in the place they are already at home in.  Dixon Valve is a great example of a successful business that needs more room and a different footprint in Chestertown.  Bryan explained the outlines and hoped for future content of the new business park just being started on route 213,  New apartments, a huge new warehouse, a distribution center, and the new Dixon Valve Corporate headquarters will all be there initially.  The space and plans call for several more buildings occupied by other businesses which might bring another 300 jobs or more to our area.  Chesapeake College is going to offer a high tech training facility right in the new distribution center building so that our local workforce can handle the new jobs industry creates today.  It all sounded like a great opportunity that, luckily, we have not missed.

How does Dixon, KRM, Chestertown and/or Kent County attract more businesses to this new work center?  It is not an easy question to respond to, but Bryan Matthews seems like he can handle a good part of the work in this regard.  It will take lots of meetings, lots of presentations and hard work, but the commitment to make it happen seems serious and professional.  Compared to some enterprises, this is a breath of fresh air that we truly need here.  This is not a short term plan.  It will be five or even ten years in the making before it is relatively complete.  We take it as a good sign of confidence in the future as well as a promise to children and young families that thee is a future here and forward thinking business people are leading the way.

Kent CBG had a large crowd for this talk which highlighted the local interest and curiosity about the plans for the development.  People do care and given the chance, they turn out to get a better understanding.




Going Solar for all or some of our home electricity is not only an increasingly popular lifestyle being adopted today, but one that will become far stronger as we go along into the near future.  Using the MDSUN model of local citizens forming small groups to obtain installation discounts from well vetted contractors adds to the safety of making these somewhat complex deals into an easier to understand process for the general consumer.

There were many questions and the answers are not all simple ones to grasp.  By choosing to install solar panels on your roof or in your yard, you might be agreeing to a long term relationship with the installer and their sources.  You may need to be more aware than you think about current permits, maintenance down the road, and how an installation today might impact a sale of your home in years to come.  While there are things in all of this that become the responsibility of the individual buyer it does sound beneficial to work as a group to obtain the right installation price and to gain all the benefits of ownership once you are properly informed.  The least costly way to get into solar is the least financially beneficial, and of course, the costliest way into solar, reaps the most financial rewards.   In this regard, it is very similar to other major purchases, but one needs to understand the alternatives and the outcomes of their choices.

Corey did a great job explaining this and everyone in attendance came away with something of value that they can share with family and friends.

Below are some links supplied by Corey Ramsden which may prove of interest based on questions and conversations we had today:   
1. Joining the Chestertown solar co-op:
2. Community (shared) solar info:
3. Solar’s effect on cooling a roof:
4. Solar’s potential impact on property value:
5. Signing up for our newsletter:



Reasonable folks may do well to agree to mediation of many issues that might otherwise need to be adjudicated in a court.  An outcome in court has the potential to seem very arbitrary to one or to both parties, but a successful mediation may well prove reasonably satisfactory to the all participants.  Even better, the cost of mediation is mostly zero, but the less welcomed outcome in court or in binding arbitration may be higher than one would hope and often more than one can actually afford.

Mediators are volunteers who take hours of training in mediation techniques and combine them with life long experience gained in the real world.  The don’t suggest solutions or push their own opinions, but rather let parties with problems come to work these issues through in an unbiased environment where everyone hopefully can feel safe and secure.

Mediation is there to help those who need assistance in solving disputes without the cost of lawyers and courts.  If both sides of a problem will agree to discuss the issues, then possibly a solution will appear that everyone can live with.  Sometimes a settlement is a bit distasteful to everyone concerned, but when you live in close proximity to one another, it is best to live in peace and safety than to remain fearful or anxious about your situation.

Thank you Ron, for your participation and your good advice.



Both Bill Clark and Richard Budden gave a thorough talk and discussion on the many facets of Licensed Ham Radio operators in Kent County.  Few people really are aware of what a major role this kind of communication often plays in our community and the important back-up communications role it provides all the citizens in case of a disaster or emergency.

Thousands of dollars worth of equipment, hours and hours of training, dedication to the pursuit of not only a hobby, but a lifeline for all of us when a need arises.  That is the goal of local radio operators in our region who coordinate with emergency management agencies, fire, police, DNR, ambulances and rescue personnel.  When things go badly and the power goes down, these people are here for all of us and deserve our support.

It is good to understand and to know more about the role HAM radio operators serve in our daily lives, quietly, behind the scenes.

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