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Eastern Shore PFLAG chapter activities promote respect, support and advocacy!

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) are invited to participate in Eastern Shore PFLAG chapter activities. 

PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), a national organization, has a new chapter based in Chestertown.  This chapter is offering programs for residents from the mid and upper Eastern Shore of Maryland, from Easton through Cecil County.  Since the first public meeting in March of this year the group has had an information table on Saturday mornings at the Chestertown Farmer’s Market.

The next local meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 20 at 7 pm.  Walk in participants are welcome and confidentiality is automatically honored. This meeting will take place at 914 Gateway Drive in the Crestview subdivision of Chestertown at UUCR (Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River.) The effectiveness of PFLAG groups is enhanced when there is a large and varied membership base of allies, families and friends as well as LGBT members.  We want our group to grow so that we can become more active and welcoming to folks of all ages and stages.  There is much to be learned, shared and celebrated among a widely diverse membership without any need for labeling any one individual’s status or reasons for involvement.

Mid Shore Mediation Helps Manage Anger In Schools

Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is offering a new program that is helping youngsters deal with anger more appropriately. Working with Choptank Elementary School in Cambridge, the organization recently completed a four-week anger management class for students.

The class was conducted by Mediation Center Executive Director Peter Taillie and AmeriCorps member Kason Washington, who is serving with the Center as a Conflict Resolution Counselor. Five fourth-grade boys participated in the initial class.

Choptank Elementary School Assistant Principal Jon Harper described the students selected for the program as those “with a lot of potential for growth, but who were not quite reaching that potential.”

“There is so much going on in kids’ lives that sometimes they react without thinking,” explained Harper. “This class gave them tools they can use.”

With personal attention within the class, the students were able to discuss what situations made them angry and learn skills for handling anger in a positive way. Washington noted that the boys learned to walk away from confrontations when they got angry, and then come back and talk it out once they had a chance to stop and think. They discovered ways for defusing arguments before they escalate into fights.

“It worked,” said Washington. Using what he called “anger math,” each student gave himself a plus or minus each class according to whether he had been in a fight that week. By the third and fourth weeks, all the students were recording plus signs, meaning no fights.

2012 CreateAThon® applications now available for area nonprofit organizations

Local public relations agency donates more than $85,000 in marketing services

            Maryland nonprofits can begin applying for free marketing support through a national program available regionally through Purple Cat, a mid-shore public relations firm, and Octo Design Group, Philadelphia. The program is open to all 501(c) 3 non-profits from Baltimore through the mid-shore.

            Applications are available by contacting (410) 604-2319, create@purplecatpr.com or can be downloaded at www.purplecatpr.com. The deadline is July 20.

            Since the Maryland program began eight years ago, 27 Maryland non-profits and one New Orleans non-profit have been assisted with projects valued at $85,177.

            Last year Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers of Easton was awarded the Maryland CreateAThon® project, which was a board retreat session focusing on marketing and branding. In 2010 Evergreen Cove Holistic Learning Center of Easton was selected for the program and received a brand evaluation as its project.

Application process closes July 20

            “The CreateAThon® application process is much easier than most grant proposals,” says Carol D’Agostino, owner of Purple Cat. “There are some basic questions about the organization and its mission, and then the organization is asked to describe three wish projects. I encourage groups to look at their strategic plan and see where they have fallen short in the area of communications and marketing,” adds D’Agostino.

Mid Shore Mediation Expands Parenting Plan Capacity

Couples working through divorce with children involved increasingly are turning to a local organization to help resolve issues in a peaceful, non-confrontational manner. Mid Shore Community Mediation Center offers no-cost parenting plan mediation services to Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot County residents.

Since the organization was founded in 2005, it has expanded its range of mediations to include a wide variety of dispute resolution services. When it began offering parenting plan mediations, the need quickly became apparent for this alternative to more adversarial methods of resolving child-related issues in separations and divorce. In addition to parenting plan mediations, its Family Mediation Program includes assistance with other divorce conflicts, such as dispositions of marital property.

Sultana Projects Announces Guided Kayak Paddle Schedule for 2012

kayak paddle
 

Sultana Projects has announced its Public Paddle Schedule for 2012, featuring eight Saturday kayak paddles between May and October on the Sassafras, Chester, and Choptank rivers.  Led by Sultana Projects' veteran staff, each 2.5-hour paddle will focus on a particular inhabitant or feature of the river being paddled (see schedule below).

 

"We've timed many of these paddles to coincide with seasonal, natural events," said Sultana Projects' Director of Educational Programs and trip leader, John Mann. "We'll start this spring with a paddle through a Blue Heron rookery on the Sassafras River, followed by paddles to Bald Eagle and Osprey breeding areas.  In July we'll take an incredible trip to see acres of enormous American Lotus flowers in bloom, and in October we'll go to a small tributary off the Chester River renowned for its abundance of seasonal waterfowl."

 

Single-seat kayaks are provided so all participants need to bring is sunscreen, a bottle of water, and binoculars.  All trips take place on flat, protected water, so new and novice kayakers are welcome. Trips are limited to ten paddlers and advance reservations are required ($25 per person).   For reservations and additional information, please call the Sultana Projects office at 410-778-5954.

 

2012 Guided Kayak Paddle Schedule

 
Blue Heron Paddle 
Saturday, May 19 / 10:00am-12:30pm
Venture to the protected headwaters of the Sassafras River to see the busy nesting grounds of Blue Herons.

Mid-Shore Pro Bono Launches THE COLLABORATIVE LAW - REDUCED FEE PILOT PROJECT

Collaborative Practice is a successful mechanism for dispute resolution, particularly in the area of family law. As with other traditional methods, clients of modest means may be unable to afford the Collaborative Practice model.

To address this issue, Mid-Shore Pro Bono has obtained funding from the Administrative Office of the Courts to pilot this project. Using a panel of local volunteer attorneys who have been trained in the Collaborative Practice and have agreed to represent clients on a pro bono or reduced fee basis, Mid-Shore Pro Bono hopes to use this funding to expand its legal services in the area of Family Law.

Overview of Collaborative Process:

Collaborative Practice stresses cooperation over combativeness, and engages parties outside of the courtroom to come to mutual and respectful agreement. Hundreds of family law attorneys in Maryland are trained in Collaborative Practice, and those numbers are rapidly growing.

Collaborative Practice is an alternative legal process focused on minimizing conflicts that is gaining in popularity across the region. Like mediation, Collaborative Practice is an interest-based negotiation. However, in Collaborative Practice, the parties and both attorneys agree in writing to work together to find mutually agreeable resolutions and stay out of court.

In this Pilot Project, each party will have its own collaborative-trained lawyer as well as the option of calling on other specialists – such as a mental health counselor, a neutral financial advisor or a child specialist – to provide additional support. The Collaborative Process focuses on helping the divorcing couple and their family move forward with their lives less painfully and more productively.

Local author Diane Marquette has announced the publication of her fifth novel by Cambridge Books/Write Words, Inc.

Diane Marquette’s Latest Book Now Available

Describing her latest book, Marquette says, “Good Fridays is the story of Emily Carmichael, who kept diaries for seven decades about growing up in Baltimore, her career, two marriages, the infant daughter she gave up for adoption, and her retirement to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Now those diaries are about to reveal the secret that will change the relationship between a mother and daughter traveling from Denver to Baltimore for Emily’s funeral. Spanning fifteen hundred miles, three generations, and one life-changing secret, Good Fridays is the story of how one person’s decision affects the lives of so many.”

On her Good Fridays blog, http://goodfridaysbaltimorenovel.blogspot.com, Marquette discusses how she got the idea for the book, how the characters were developed and why she chose the diary format to tell the story of the three women who lived in Baltimore and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Good Fridays is receiving favorable reviews and positive comments from fans of Marquette’s previous books. Anne Stinson, book reviewer for the Tidewater Times, said Good Fridays is “paced to keep the reader totally engaged,” while Kelley Rouse, former news anchor for WBOC-TV, called the book “a thoroughly good read.” Carol Rizzoli, author of The House at Royal Oak said Good Fridays is “so well written and compelling…it will certainly draw readers in, as it did me.”

Shore Health - March 2012 Classes, Events and Health Screenings

Screenings

Blood Pressure Screenings

Every Monday through Wednesday, except holidays, 9am to noon, Diagnostic and Imaging Center, 10 Martin Court, Easton. FREE.

Every Tuesday and Friday, 11am to 1pm, Dorchester General Hospital, main lobby, 300 Byrn Street, Cambridge. FREE.

Breast Cancer Screenings

Shore Regional Breast Center, Memorial Hospital, 219 S. Washington Street, Easton. Open to uninsured or underinsured women, ages 20-39 and over 64 who meet income guidelines, and Medicare patients of any age. Call 410-820-9400.

 

Support Groups         

Cancer Support Groups  

Day and evening meetings for patients and family members, Shore Regional Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenue, Easton. Call 410-546-1200.

Pilot Mediation Program Addresses School Attendance Concerns

Mid Shore Community Mediation Center is partnering with Dorchester County Public Schools to improve student attendance rates through mediation strategies. A new pilot program is in place at Mace’s Lane Middle School, with later expansion planned to two of the county’s elementary schools.

The new attendance mediation program is based on one in Baltimore conducted by the Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland School of Law (C-DRUM). Working in conjunction with C-DRUM, along with training support from Community Mediation Maryland, Mid Shore Mediation is adapting the program to the community mediation model. Dorchester County is the first of three counties in the state where the new attendance mediation is being implemented.

Jennifer Williams, Mid Shore Mediation’s Special Programs Coordinator, is working with Mace’s Lane Middle School Principal James VanSciver and his staff to implement the new program. Williams calls attendance problems the “canary in the coal mine,” signaling that something may be occurring at home to interfere with the child getting to school every day.

Easton Native Brings Home Fight For Consumer Protection At Mid-Shore Pro Bono

Easton native Antonia Cuffee has joined Mid-Shore Pro Bono to help area residents facing debt and foreclosure crises. A six-month University of Maryland School of Law J.D. Fellowship is sponsoring her work with the local agency. Mid-Shore Pro Bono provides civil legal assistance to low-income individuals in Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties.

Having graduated from the university last May, this new attorney already brings welcome consumer protection experience to the organization, according to Executive Director Sandy Brown. A member of the school’s Public Interest Law Project, Cuffee also has worked with Civil Justice on Maryland’s Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project, and with Baltimore’s Community Law Center and St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.

Cuffee says that she is happy to be helping the low-income residents of her home town and the Mid Shore on debt and foreclosure issues that until recently have been addressed by few area resources. Her work will be part of an added focus for Mid-Shore Pro Bono. In conjunction with the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, the agency has been participating in the Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project since 2009. Mid-Shore Pro Bono now will be partnering again with the Resource Center in its Consumer Protection Project, encouraging more local lawyers to receive the free training available to those willing to volunteer in defending individuals in debt-buyer cases.

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