Coastal Style Magazine en-US Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 THE FACE OF COMPASSIONATE URGENT CARE ACROSS THE SHORE Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Nick Brandi “So that others may live...” is the code Dr. Walt Gianelle lived by since his youth, when he was part of the pararescue team in the United States...]]> “So that others may live...” is the code Dr. Walt Gianelle lived by since his youth, when he was part of the pararescue team in the United States Air Force, putting his courage and commitment on the line during test flights of the space shuttle Columbia. Admirably, it’s the code he’s lived by ever since.

In 2005, Dr. Gianelle founded Your Doc’s In with that same singular mission in mind. No wonder it has emerged as the premier urgent-care facility on the Lower Eastern Shore, with a total of six offices, including West Ocean City, North Salisbury, South Salisbury, Cambridge, Pocomoke and Easton. Dr. Gianelle launched Your Doc’s In because his extensive experience in healthcare  made him acutely aware that there was a growing gap on the Eastern Shore that in the near future would be of vital importance to the welfare of the community. He realized the local population was growing and people were having increasing difficulty getting in to see their primary-care physicians for urgent but non-emergency treatment.

This, in turn, was driving people into the emergency rooms of local hospitals, which were not designed to handle high volumes patient traffic for non-emerging conditions. The elegant solution was to set up a strategic series of urgent-care centers staffed with talented, dedicated, well-trained providers that could respond quickly and efficiently to the unexpected illness and injury needs of a growing community while alleviating the increased demand that was being imposed on hospital ERs and primary-care physicians.

Dr. Gianelle’s vision was a success. A tremendous success. Not only does Your Doc’s In provide treatment and relief for 90,000 Eastern Shore residents every year, they have become an invaluable asset to not only primary-care providers but also local hospitals, including PRMC, which is now a healthcare partner with Your Doc’s In at their South Salisbury location.

Your Doc’s In is equipped and prepared to treat approximately 80 percent of what an ER can do, including colds and flu, sprains, fractures, chest and abdominal pains, respiratory issues, concussions, vomiting and nausea, infections, STDs, UTIs, burns, allergies, rashes, lacerations, cryotherapy and biopsies, as well as provide diagnostic imaging, EKGs and IV administration. In other words, if you can be driven to their clinic, they can treat you.

Your Doc’s In accepts all contemporary insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, and is standing by, to make you feel better, faster.

Dr. Walter D. Gianelle  

YOUR DOCS IN   |   877-222-4934   |

2425 N. Salisbury Blvd., Salisbury

1135 S. Salisbury Blvd., Salisbury

2385 Ocean Gateway, West Ocean City

Additional locations in Easton, Cambridge and Pocomoke 

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THE FACE OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE IN RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGES Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Brian Shane If it’s been awhile since you bought a house, know that the lending process has changed a lot since the housing crisis of a decade ago. Getting...]]> If it’s been awhile since you bought a house, know that the lending process has changed a lot since the housing crisis of a decade ago. Getting homebuyers up to speed with the new rules of lending is where Kari Story shines. As branch manager of First Home Mortgage in Ocean City, she and her team expertly walk clients through the lending process from start to finish.

First Home is a correspondent lender, working with multiple investors who give her access to different prices and interest rates.

“There’s so much anxiety in purchasing a home — and it can be good anxiety, like excitement — but it’s still a stressful thing,” Story said. “For me, what I see with a client is, if you set the expectations and let everybody know that this is the timeline, then they’re prepared.”

After graduating from Salisbury University with a mathematics and statistics degree in 2002, Story fell in love with the Shore and longed to be near the ocean. She soon decided to get a real estate license and work in Ocean City. It set the stage for a turning point in her career.

“I was sitting an open house one day,” Story recalled, “and had a guy come in who worked for a mortgage company. He said, ‘Wow, if you graduated with a math and statistics degree, you shouldn’t be selling property; you should be financing it.’ And I replied,
‘Well, give me a job!’ He quickly replied, ‘OK!’ And I’ve been doing it ever since.”

After a few years with National City Mortgage and Met Life, Story was recruited to open a new branch in Ocean City for First Home Mortgage. “I ended up falling in love with the company,” she said. “First Home is large enough to have the products, resources and tools I need but still small enough to feel like you’re family. Everybody says it when they come in here. We have a good mojo, a good vibe in here.”

Today, Story closes upwards of $60 million in loans annually. She is licensed in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida. Giving clients “five-star service” remains her top priority.

“Anybody who sets foot in this door can tell you that we treat people the way they would like to be treated,” she said. “We’ll do anything to make our customers’ lives easier.” 

Kari Story


443-614-6286  | 6200 Coastal Hwy., Suite 301, Ocean City

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THE FACES OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL NEW KITCHEN Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Brian Shane Bath Kitchen & Tile Center (BKT) is a third-generation family business focused on offering top-quality products and outstanding service for retail...]]> Bath Kitchen & Tile Center (BKT) is a third-generation family business focused on offering top-quality products and outstanding service for retail and commercial customers alike. No matter the size of the project or its budget, their staff personally connects with each and every customer and provides expert design and installation services to ensure the highest level of satisfaction.

The company has proudly served the Mid-Atlantic region since 1963. For customers, that means long-established relationships with vendors and a time-tested level of expertise and customer service under the direction of owner Bob Campbell. Bob’s son, Richard, is also part of the team, invigorating the business with youthful, energetic and innovative thinking.

Technology is superior here, too. Bath Kitchen & Tile Center’s installation and technical support teams combine talents to generate a true-to-life, 3D computer rendering of a customer’s new kitchen. This experience allows the homeowners to see exactly what their project will look like upon completion. It’s
one of the many outstanding benefits of working with Bath Kitchen & Tile Center.

Countertop fabrication is all done in-house, as well, which is unique for a bath-and-kitchen remodeler, Carter said. This saves customers from the headaches of having to outsource a crucial aspect of the project to another company.  

Inside their state-of-the-art showroom, customers are greeted by a wide variety products and designs for inspiration, from starter kitchens for first-time homeowners to high-end and specialty cabinetry for large-scale projects. A full selection of tile and countertop samples are on display, too, as well as an abundance of bathroom products. 

It’s all proof that their National Kitchen and Bath Association-certified team stays on the cutting edge of design, products and trends — and their customers couldn’t agree more.

“Thanks to you and your wonderful team for the beautiful work in creating our new kitchen. Your team performed as totally dedicated professionals,” Lorraine and Jim wrote after their kitchen was completed. “Rest assured that BKT will be called back to do our bathroom when we get ready. Thanks for taking great care of us and making our kitchen so perfect.”

Photographed at Lessard Builders’ Model in Showfield in Lewes.



302-684-5691 | 26836 Lewes Georgetown Hwy., Harbeson

Showrooms also in Wilmington, DE and Bel Air, MD

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THE FACES OF EXPERT ORIENTAL RUG CLEANING Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Brian Shane In 1983, David Brasure and his wife, Peggy, boldly opened their own carpet cleaning business in Selbyville. One day early into this endeavor, while...]]> In 1983, David Brasure and his wife, Peggy, boldly opened their own carpet cleaning business in Selbyville. One day early into this endeavor, while rolling up Oriental rugs in a customer’s home to steam clean the carpet underneath, David realized there wasn’t a local company caring for these fine, often expensive, keepsakes. Today, 35 years later, Brasure’s Carpet Care is a trusted, household name on the Eastern Shore and the only true, Oriental rug cleaning company in the region. 

Brasure’s Carpet Care headquarters is an impressive 9,000 sq. ft. facility that houses the latest in state-of-the-art cleaning technology. Specialized machines operated by Brasure’s trained-and-certified technicians carefully restore Oriental rugs through its own proprietary process. The rugs go through a series of dirt and dust removal processes, using vacuum, air and mechanical action. Next the rugs go to the wash floor and/or wash tub; there it is hand and/or mechanically washed on both sides. The rugs then travel through a rinsing/wringing machine, followed by a trip through the centrifuge that spins the excess water away. A temperature and humidity controlled dry room is the next phase of the process; there the rugs are hung and dried at a precise temperature, for 4-8 hours to remove the remaining moisture.

Rugs are then examined to determine if any touch-up cleaning is necessary. It’s important to also note that all fringe is cleaned by hand and every delicate rug is washed exclusively by hand. Brasure’s Carpet Care expertly cleans a variety of styles, including flat-weaves, hand-knotted silk rugs, Navajo rugs, tufted rugs and braided rugs — and each is cleaned differently. Customers are invited to tour Brasure’s facilities before their rug is cleaned, during which every step of the process will be explained thoroughly.

Brasure’s processes about 150 Oriental and area rugs each week in its rug plant, while servicing upwards of 100 homes and businesses for on-location carpet, upholstery and tile and grout cleaning using IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) technicians. The company even offers rug pick-up and delivery services, while cash and carry discounts are available.

Brasure’s Carpet Care is a thriving second-generation family business. David and Peggy fondly recall daughter Amber, 32, in a playpen when they were getting the business off the ground. Now, armed with a business degree, she, and brother Justin, 28, are proud to play major roles in the family business.


BRASURE’S CARPET CARE  |  302-436-5652

35131 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville

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THE FACE OF A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording Modern life is demanding, but reiki is a way to achieve lasting balance despite its fast pace, says Eddie McGlinchey, a Usui Reiki Master and owner of...]]> Modern life is demanding, but reiki is a way to achieve lasting balance despite its fast pace, says Eddie McGlinchey, a Usui Reiki Master and owner of Peace of Heaven Reiki in West Ocean City. 

“A lot of people come to me for deep healing of their soul. I try to get them to a place of inner peace,” said McGlinchey.

In 2009, McGlinchey experienced his own life-changing awakening during a reiki session. Since then, he’s dedicated his life to helping others achieve similar results. Whether the issue is anxiety, depression, insomnia or addiction — or if stress simply has left personal goals unmet — McGlinchey offers private and group sessions that promote relaxation and healing, both physically and emotionally. He also treats children with life issues ranging from bullying to autism and other special needs.

Using guided meditation and a natural gift for healing, McGlinchey helps clients understand problems that block growth and better health. An essential part of reiki is the awareness of the body’s chakras. When a chakra is blocked or closed, the body is out of balance and physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ailments can manifest. Everyone has a different experience during a reiki treatment, McGlinchey said.

“You can typically feel warm vibrations through your body,” he said. “It’s taking toxins off the chakras. You might feel yourself floating a bit. You might see a past life. I’m touching your soul. Everyone’s soul is different. Everyone has a different experience when they experience reiki.”

McGlinchey’s clients are effusive with praise as many testimonials on the Peace of Heaven Facebook page show. Lydia Pruitt, a restaurant manager who lives in Ocean City, said her very first session with McGlinchey changed her life. “I felt a natural high. I felt free,” said Pruitt, noting she had blockages in each of her body’s chakras. The feeling lasted, she added, and she’s able to use mindfulness techniques to manage anxiety and worry. “It’s definitely eye-opening — the first step in something other than medication,” said Pruitt. “You don’t have to be a reiki expert to gain something from it.”

Eddie takes deep pride in sharing the sacred gift of reiki with others and teaches reiki attunement classes at his studio.  

“The results last,” he said. “It’s life-changing healing. I’ve been extremely blessed to help so many people become who they really are.”

Eddie McGlinchey

PEACE OF HEAVEN REIKI  |  410-726-7468

12417 Ocean Gateway, Unit C28, Ocean City


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THE FACES OF A NEW REAL ESTATE EXPERIENCE Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording For Emma Payne, broker/owner of Delmarva Resorts Realty in Lewes, the real estate business is the industry she’s always known.    “Real estate...]]> For Emma Payne, broker/owner of Delmarva Resorts Realty in Lewes, the real estate business is the industry she’s always known. 


“Real estate is in my DNA,” said Emma, whose parents and grandfather were real estate agents in her hometown of Annapolis. “I grew up in a real estate company, and I know what it takes to be successful for clients. At Delmarva Resorts Realty, we enjoy our work while constantly growing and adapting to help our clients live a better life in a better home.”


Emma’s values are rooted in faith, family and her profession, and she says her dedication to all three aspects enhances who she is as a business owner. She knows the necessity of staying on the cutting edge for her clients, too. In 2017, she launched The Emma Payne Group, an eight-person team of buying agents and listing agents, increasing the company’s ability to move properties for sellers and to offer buyers the latest updates on available real estate by incorporating Google technology and social media exposure, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.


“It’s an intelligent way of matching new properties to our clients’ specific wants and needs,” Emma said. “We are a proactive brokerage taking real estate service to the next level, by using technology to our advantage, for their benefit.” 


Delmarva Resorts Realty also offers a real estate school for new or experienced agents and is a member of Business Networking International, which enriches relationships with local contractors along with making referrals. “We are constantly educating ourselves, our agents and staff. We participate in continuing-education classes, personal empowerment, lifestyle adaptation, health adjustments and community events through volunteer work,” said Emma.


It’s a way of conducting business that’s obviously working — Delmarva Resorts Realty was voted Best Real Estate Agent in Sussex County in 2016 and 2017 by the readers of Coastal Style

“Our passion is real estate,” said Emma. “The difference between the person who has a job, and a person who has a passion, shows. We are in the market every day, working to produce results for our clients’ by using the best tools, knowledge and networks, to get properties sold and help buyers find their perfect homes. We strive to be a person’s real estate agency for life.”


302-644-3687  |  1632 Savannah Road, Suite 2, Lewes



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MEET HOLLY SHIMIZU Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman Casual strolls through the streets of Downtown Lewes have been enjoyed for centuries. The town’s historical significance and timeless charm have...]]> Casual strolls through the streets of Downtown Lewes have been enjoyed for centuries. The town’s historical significance and timeless charm have made these walks a rite of passage for locals and visitors alike. From March through November in recent years, the sidewalks along Kings Highway and Madison Avenue are occasionally congested, however, thanks to the talents of residents Holly Shimizu and her husband, Osamu.  

Holly, a nationally recognized horticulturist and former executive director of the United States Botanic Garden, and Osamu, an award-winning garden designer, have created a world of wonder outside of their home, built in 1730, and passersby cannot help but stop and take note.  

“People are full of curiosity, and we share stories of our successes and failures,” Holly said. “It’s been such a fun process because people are so friendly.
It’s been great to have people stop and chat. We love that.”

Holly and Osamu were meticulous in their garden planning, tweaking the layout of a circa-1730 Massachusetts garden found in a book and obtaining permission from a formal commission for the project.

Today, their gardens are thriving with plants, flowers and herbs in four distinctly different sections, bursting with vibrant colors and bustling with pollenating activity from birds, butterflies and bees. Comprising nearly 10,000 sq. ft., the front is dedicated as a tea garden, in honor of Holly’s time living in London, where she gained a love and appreciation for its rich tradition. Here, she grows plants to make teas, including lemon balm, mints, lemon verbena and herbal varieties. 

Holly also created a fairy garden for neighborhood children to enjoy, a courtyard garden with a beautiful fountain and her interpretation of a dooryard garden, historically used for growing herbs for medicinal purposes and flavoring, which she uses personally.  

“During the growing season [March to November], I average about 15 to 20 hours per week in the gardens. It’s a lot of work for the most part,” Holly said, noting that the recent winter was fairly quiet.

Holly harvests additional fruits of her labor and teaches others how to make all-natural skin products, essential oils, fragrances and insect sprays from the extracts of plants.

Her other garden inspirations, which pay homage to the classic Southern gardens of Charleston, New Orleans and Savannah, can be found locally at Cape Henlopen State Park and the Adkins Arboretum. Cultivating her gardens in Lewes also provides Holly the opportunity to work with well-draining soils for the first time in her life. 

“Having lived various places throughout the world, I always found the soils to be heavy with clay, which always results in situations where plants suffered,” she said. “I had always dreamed of buying a home in Lewes, to work with this amazing soil, with sand where everything grows.”

For wannabe gardeners whose thumbs are lighter shades of green, Holly encourages them to dig right in.

“Try it! Plant away,” she said. “Plants die, so when they do, remember it’s okay. It happens to me, too. It’s no big deal. Move things around until you find the right place. It’s really fun if you’re relaxed about it. Don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy the journey and learn from it.”


Holly was host of “Victory Garden” on PBS for 10 years and a consultant to the White House Gardens and Camp David Plant Projects, with former First Lady Laura Bush.


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MEET ABBY MARSH Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman Abby Marsh has successfully prosecuted hundreds of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault cases during her career as a prosecutor. In her...]]> Abby Marsh has successfully prosecuted hundreds of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault cases during her career as a prosecutor. In her new role as executive director of the Life Crisis Center in Salisbury, she feels compelled do even more for local victims of these heinous crimes.

“As a prosecutor, I was committed to serving the community by making it a safer place,” Abby said. “My position at the Life Crisis Center allows me to take it a step further, by coming in at a grassroots level and empowering victims to become survivors, so that they no longer have to live in abusive situations. I firmly believe that by providing critical resources to victims, the need for law enforcement and/or court interaction is reduced.”  

The Life Crisis Center’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the community through crisis intervention and violence prevention. The licensed, professional staff uses a national best- practice treatment model to serve Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset Counties and advocate for and provide a wide range of services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Through prevention, intervention, therapy, legal services, advocacy and collaboration, LCC works to provide a safe place for healing. Some of the comprehensive support services offered include a shelter in its 19-bed safe home, intensive case management, supervised visitation, victim support, abuser groups and outreach.

Unfortunately, according to national statistics, the need for the Life Crisis Center is paramount. For example, did you know that one in four girls and one in four boys under the age of 18 are sexually assaulted? Or that nearly 70 percent of sex offenders have between one and nine victims? Were you aware that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States — more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined?

Abby said it’s vital to trust the word of a victim who shares any instance of abuse. 

“Sadly, child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault are far too prevalent in all communities,” Abby said. “We only hear of a limited number because these are the type of crimes that most frequently happen behind closed doors. There is more than one Larry Nasser or one Dr. Earl Bradley among us. False reports are extremely rare and generally cannot be sustained. If the first person told about the abuse believes the victim, then regardless of what happens next, that victim is set on the road to becoming a survivor.”

April is Child Abuse Awareness month, and the LCC’s Pinwheels campaign will host a series of events focused on breaking the silence that surrounds this epidemic, including the planting of a pinwheel garden at the Salisbury Moose Lodge (March 25) and the running of the Pinwheels 5K, in conjunction with the Salisbury Marathon on April 28. LCC will also host a marathon afterparty for kids. Proceeds from these events, and others during the month, will directly benefit local initiatives of the Life Crisis Center.

“Rarely a day goes by that I don’t hear the words, ‘I couldn’t have done this without the help of the Life Crisis Center,’”Abby said, “and that is more than satisfying—it makes it all worthwhile.”

Abby is a passionate fan of the University of Virginia Cavaliers’ basketball team and its head coach, Tony Bennett, whom she says looks exactly like her husband, Steve.

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MEET WILLIAM STRANG-MOYA AND KRISTIN HELF Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman How is it that a couple of college students created the first legitimate film festival in Ocean City in 2017? Simply put: William Strang-Moya and...]]> How is it that a couple of college students created the first legitimate film festival in Ocean City in 2017? Simply put: William Strang-Moya and Kristin Helf are wise souls well beyond their years, and their passion for the film industry, its genuine creativity and the beauty of the Eastern Shore made it all happen. That and a chance meeting with Art League of Ocean City Executive Director Rina Thaler.

William, a Berlin native, and Kristin, from Crofton, met while attending college at Towson University. They made a trip to Ocean City to help a college friend with the production of his thesis film. In need of a last-minute shooting location, a call to Thaler to inquire about the gallery as an option led to a discussion about hosting the film’s debut once it was finished. Thaler, in turn, tossed out the idea of expanding the experience into a festival. 

“We pretty much hit the ground running after that night, and six months later hosted our inaugural festival,” William said.

This year’s festival, presented by The Art League of Ocean City, runs March 9-11 and showcases 100 films from local, regional and international filmmakers (students to professionals) in a variety of genres. Feature-length films will be shown on each of the three festival days, while short films are most abundant on the schedule and cover a wide array of genres, including drama, documentary, experimental, comedy, youth and social commentary. “Not Short But Not Feature Length” selections, animation and music videos are also on the slate. All films will be shown at North Ocean City locations (Ocean City’s Center for the Arts, Fox Gold Coast Theater, The Princess Royale and the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau), to maximize convenience and the opportunity to take in as many entries as possible.

“We choose films that we believe are purposeful and personal to the filmmaker,” William said. “We often prioritize local films, but we ultimately seek films that we know will resonate with our audience. We proactively curate the stories that can’t be found in any ordinary movie theater.”

The weekend also includes a series of workshops for aspiring filmmakers on a variety of topics.

“This region is sort of a dead-end for the film industry,” William said. “I do not view the lack of opportunity on the Eastern Shore as a dead-end, rather
I view the Eastern Shore as a land to be cultivated. Our end-game is to create opportunities where there were none before.”

The 22-year-olds, who’ve graduated from Towson and gotten engaged, hope the festival and its backdrop serves as
an inspiration for others, allows film-makers to create invaluable networking connections and brings renewed awareness to Ocean City as a filming location. 

“More people should realize what a great location this is and that its beauty and uniqueness transfer to the camera,” Kristin said. “If the film festival helps someone realize that in some way, then I think we’ve achieved our goal.”

Tickets to this year’s Ocean City Film Festival, which range from $10 to $50, can be purchased at A complete schedule of viewing times and locations is available online, as well.

A filmmaker himself, William’s latest work is titled “The Sign,” a historical documentary about a Confederate marker in Salisbury, while Kristin is a professional writer.


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MEET MICHAEL JESSUP Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman Michael Jessup considers the five years he lived on the Eastern Shore to be among the very best of his life. From 1998 to 2003, the Towson native...]]> Michael Jessup considers the five years he lived on the Eastern Shore to be among the very best of his life. From 1998 to 2003, the Towson native worked as Salisbury University’s director of Annual Programs, and while doing so, lived in Ocean Pines and directed the Cadillac Invitational golf tournament, which benefited the National Kidney Foundation.  

Jessup, now the executive director of Susan G. Komen Maryland, returns to the resort April 14 for the organization’s popular Ocean City Race for the Cure. The 7th annual event is expected to welcome more than 1,400 participants and has been the largest charitable 5K at the beach since its inception in 2012. Through fundraising events like Race for the Cure, Komen Maryland has invested nearly $5 million into local programs that provide access to screening, treatment and support for those who have been impacted by breast cancer.

Data substantiates that Maryland’s Eastern Shore has steep inequities in breast cancer incidence and mortality rates, especially among minority populations. Four Eastern Shore counties (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester) have been identified as priority areas for Komen Maryland, based on income levels, mammography rates, breast cancer death rates and increases in late-stage diagnoses. 

According to its 2015 Community Profile, Komen Maryland found that in Dorchester County, among women age 40 and older, a 9.3 percent annual increase in late-stage diagnosis rates was reported.

Somerset County has the second-lowest median income, and 14.8 percent of its population lives in poverty, correlating to a high need for mammograms. In Wicomico County, among women age 40 and older, 10.3 percent never had a mammogram, the second-highest percentage in Maryland, and 14.6 percent reported it had been two or more years since they’d had one.

In Worcester County, among women age 40 and older, 20.8 percent reported it had been two or more years since they had a mammogram, the highest percentage in Maryland. It ranked fourth statewide for breast cancer death rates and has seen a 6.1 percent annual increase in late-stage diagnosis rates.

Komen Maryland has a long history of supporting breast health programs that serve Eastern Shore residents, and it currently provides funding to the Wicomico County Health Department, Maintaining Active Citizens (MAC) and Moveable Feast, among many others.

Race for the Cure is a 5K recreational run/walk. Registration starts at 7 a.m., while the Race Village opens at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins at 9 a.m. for both runners and walkers. The course travels up the Boardwalk to 18th Street, turns around and continues back to the Inlet. Afterward, other events will include a Survivor Parade and dance party.

“We can accomplish so much by raising funds on the Eastern Shore and investing in programs that serve local residents,” Jessup said. “Susan G. Komen’s mission is to find the cures for breast cancer, but it’s also about providing real-time help to women who are living with the disease.”

To register, donate, volunteer or for the 7th annual Ocean City Race for the Cure, visit

Michael is a excellent cook and talented grill master. While living in Ocean Pines, he prepared his famous smoked brisket for 12 friends. Michael smoked the massive 23-lb cut of beef for more than 19 hours!

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MEET SCOTT KAMMERER Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman CSM: You and your wife, Lisa, met in college and spent summers in-between semesters working in Rehoboth restaurants. What's one of your fondest...]]> CSM: You and your wife, Lisa, met in college and spent summers in-between semesters working in Rehoboth restaurants. What's one of your fondest memories from that time in your life with her?

SK: We worked at Dos Locos, me and Lisa and our two best friends from high school, the four of us together. It was our second summer here together, and we had so much fun. I just loved how busy it was, the action, the hard work and the fun of working in a restaurant on beautiful summer days.

With the birth of your first son, Griffin, in 1996, you concluded it was time to get sober. Twenty-two years later, what inspirations do you find in your sobriety?

I feel like I have a lot to offer Delaware and our company and that so many families rely on me for their future. That is inspiration enough.

You met your future business partner, mentor and best friend, Matt Haley, at an AA meeting. How have you grown as a businessman and as a person since his passing in 2014?

I think I was a good protégé. I learned as much as I could from Matt, from books on business and leadership, and from being in the restaurants every day. I was ready to become the leader of this company, but I just didn't know it. What I have gained in recent years in confidence in my abilities. 

What's the most important lesson from Matt that you keep with you everyday?

The philanthropic nature of Matt changed the direction of the company, and restaurants in Southern Delaware, in a lot of ways. I don't know if I or if people in the company would be so interested in philanthropy if it wasn't for him. I think we have done a great job in honoring his legacy, and it makes our lives richer. We stand on the shoulders of the people who have come before us. For the SoDel family, we are all buoyed by Matt; he lifts us up every day. 

What messages of hope can you share with young individuals in our community struggling with addictions today?

If you are clean and go to meetings and try to do the next right thing, your life will get better. That is a guarantee. 

You're a former high school All-American wrestler. What from your days on the mat carried over to your professional life?

Never back down. The thing I learned from wrestling is that it doesn't matter where you started. If you are strategic, out work everyone, have a plan and never give up, you will succeed. 

You've said one of your dream jobs is to coach a professional sports team. Which team would choose today?

I'd pick the Cleveland Browns because I really think I could help them. Together we could be relevant. Success is a formula, and you can apply it to many different industries. What works in restaurants could work in the NFL. 

SoDel Concepts continues to redefine the restaurant scene in Coastal Delaware, most recently with the opening of Bluecoast Rehoboth. You’re known to be planner. What can we expect over the next five years? 

Yes, I have a five-year plan, and yes, we will continue to grow the company, but we are not ready to make any public announcements yet. I will say that we are bullish on the beach area, the state of Delaware and the surrounding areas. This will be our growth area and where we feel we can successfully execute on our mission of serving beautiful, simple food.

What do you envision for the evolution of the local industry as a whole over that same time period?

I feel that companies that put their employees first will thrive. Restaurants that are willing to innovate and reinvent themselves will be successful. 

Ten restaurants, a catering company, a restaurant management firm, countless civic endeavors, including SoDel Cares, and a film company. For most, that would be considered one hell of a successful career. At age 44, what motivates you to want to accomplish even more?

I am motivated by all of the people who work for SoDel Concepts. They work hard every day to make the company great, and I have a responsibility to them to build the best company I can to provide jobs for people in Delaware. My passion is to create opportunities for the people who work to make SoDel Concepts great every day. 

SoDel Cares was established in 2014 to continue the philanthropic mission of SoDel Concepts founder Matt Haley. To date, more than $250,000 in grants have been awarded and SoDel Concepts provides in-kind donations of up to $100,000 annually to the charity.

> 53be7d5520e3590ff3a53e7e5d7b2549 PEOPLE OF OUR COMMUNITY ]]>
BOUND FOR GREATNESS Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman It’s an exciting, and often uneasy, time in a high school senior’s life: waiting to learn if he or she has been accepted to the college or...]]> It’s an exciting, and often uneasy, time in a high school senior’s life: waiting to learn if he or she has been accepted to the college or university they’ve dreamed of attending. At The Salisbury School, its strategic approach to academics, development of life-foundation skills and calculated college-preparatory curriculum fully prepares students for the next level of higher learning and does so in an environment that continues to produce acceptance letters from a four-year institution for each and every graduating senior — year after year. 

At the Upper School level (Grades 9-12), students are challenged through a demanding and pioneering college preparatory experience that embraces their love of learning and successfully prepares its graduating seniors to continue their pursuit of academic knowledge and exploration at the finest colleges and universities throughout the country and beyond.  

“This is an environment that encourages students to take risks and to step outside their comfort zone, and because of that, our students leave equipped with the set of skills that are necessary and important beyond a mere college prep,” said Salisbury School Headmaster Ed Cowell. “We’re proud that we generate an experience for our Upper School students that prepares them in ways they wouldn’t get in other places.” 

The Salisbury School is a proud member of The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,800 schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,500 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.

The organization partnered with Gallup in 2017 to investigate how the collegiate experiences of NAIS graduates differ from those of graduates of other high schools. 

The analysis stated, among other conclusions, that NAIS graduates were more than three times more likely to attend elite private universities and top-ranked public universities, including Ivy League colleges, than graduates of other high schools. NAIS graduates also scored higher on the ACT and SAT, on average, and complete their degrees more quickly. 

NAIS graduates entering their first year of college were better positioned heading into their collegiate careers and more likely to seek critical undergraduate experiential-learning opportunities and extracurricular activities, such as student clubs, recreational sports and Greek life. 

The Salisbury School employs a comprehensive college preparation curriculum for each grade level of its Upper School, to completely prepare its students for college. The program is led by its director of College Placement, Gracie Ruark, a former admissions counselor at Salisbury University who brings a wealth of knowledge that directly benefits every student, beginning in 9th grade.

“I think what makes The Salisbury School unique is the one-on-one attention each student receives,” Ruark said. “Every student attends a 40-minute college-prep class once a week, starting in freshman year.” 

The freshman class, Ruark said, focuses on learning the skills that are necessary to be successful in the Upper School, such as organization, time management, study skills, etc. 

The sophomore class learns about health and wellness, which is important at this formative stage of their development as individuals. The junior class digs deeper into the college-search-and-application process, while the senior class puts everything into practice as they prepare their college applications.

The Salisbury School also takes tremendous pride in its rich history of familiar support and actively involves the parents of Upper School students in its college preparation process. 

“[For starters] I am able to explain to students and parents how each piece of the application is important in the review process [GPA, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, essays, etc.] and help them understand how to put together a well-rounded application,” Ruark said. “In the junior year, I meet with each student and their parents, to discuss the college-search process. We discuss their college preferences, PSAT results, grades and junior-year timeline. Then I make a preliminary college list for each student. 

“In the senior year, I work with each student to make sure that they have a solid list of schools to apply to,” Ruark continued. “Students must have a mixture of safety, match and dream schools, to ensure that admission is attained for the following year. I guide each student through the application process. I review their college essays, write letters of recommendation, send the appropriate paperwork to each college and help students complete their applications on time.”

“Gracie has been a tremendous asset to our students and parents and a wonderful ambassador for TSS with colleges and universities all across the country,” Cowell said. “For our families, she outlines what to expect during each Upper School grade level, so no parent is left to wonder what needs to happen next. She helps parents and students navigate the map to the college application-and-selection process. Beyond the incredible work she does here, she’s dramatically broadened the range of colleges and universities familiar with The Salisbury School that are sending representatives to meet and visit with them.” 

On April 12, approximately 20 or more colleges and universities will descend on the TSS campus for the school’s biannual College Fair, at which underclass students can meet with representatives, to discuss aspects of each school and have their questions answered. During the last week of school each year, students embark upon trips throughout the country, planned by the teachers, to experience the history, culture and universities of the region. It’s yet another unique example of student life at TSS.

“We also direct attention to intangible experiences that allow our students to be better prepared for life,” Cowell said. “How to conduct an adult conversation, how to engage people in conversations, how to navigate this complicated world. This is as much a focus with our students and their preparation for life as it is their preparation for college-level work.”

A recent enhancement to this philosophy is the Senior Capstone Project, which allows students an opportunity to demonstrate a synthesis of their academic experience at The Salisbury School through a rich and reflective research project. Consistent with the school’s philosophy of helping students be their best selves, the capstone topics are left to the students to choose, and many reflect a confluence of the students’ personal, academic and civic interests. Upon choosing a faculty oversight committee, students will work independently for 18 weeks, preparing a presentation that demonstrates their knowledge and results of their research. 

The culmination of the Capstone Project is its presentation element. This May, each student will deliver a 20-minute presentation to share their findings in an academic conference setting to their peers, the TSS community and parents.

Topics of research this year include an examination of stress headaches, a study into the differences between drug-offense laws in the United States and United Kingdom and its relation to the opioid epidemic in each country and the ethics of genetic modifications.

The TSS experience is a strategic formula that produces results as 100 percent of its students are accepted to four-year institutions. Its senior class has earned more than $1,000,000 in college scholarships each of the last three years.

The Class of 2018, one of the school’s largest ever, is expected to exceed the recent average of scholarship dollars, and its members have already been accepted to highly regarded universities, such as Vanderbilt, Bucknell and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, among others. These stories of success are realized at home, as well.

I am continually amazed at the maturity, confidence and character developed by Hannah and her classmates throughout their years at The Salisbury School,” said Ron Boltz, whose daughter, Hannah, will graduate this May, having already been accepted to three universities and who plans to study International Relations, International Law or International Business. “As a parent, you want an environment that fosters independence and critical-thinking abilities in your child. As we rapidly approach the time when she will be leaving for college, there is nothing better than knowing that she will be ready.”

“The ultimate focus at The Salisbury School is on how we finish the process and the investment that our parents are making in their sons’ and daughters’ educational experiences, by making sure that they’re getting into the schools of their choice,” Cowell said. “The difference is the breadth of experience that students tend to have, because they can experience so many different things. We feel strongly that this helps our students become deep, critical thinkers who utilize creativity. It doesn’t happen in the same way for every student. Each brings unique qualities to the table — and we embrace and cultivate those characteristics to not only succeed in the classroom, but in life.”



> dfbd5b5b4b5162ae4f232861103b75f3 EDUCATION ]]>
QUITE THE DISCOVERY! Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Brian Shane It’s just past 4 p.m. at the Delmarva Discovery Center, where river otters Mac and Tuck, inside their cozy stainless-steel kennel, leapfrog over...]]> It’s just past 4 p.m. at the Delmarva Discovery Center, where river otters Mac and Tuck, inside their cozy stainless-steel kennel, leapfrog over each other like circus acrobats. They’re pushing their snouts through the metal cage and wagging their tongues – they know it’s feeding time.

The otters came to the museum 18 months ago and have been a hit with visitors. People love to watch the pair swimming and diving in their 6,000-gallon aquarium. They appear identical, but staffers here know how to tell the them apart, in appearance and personality. Mac used to be shy, but now he’s as outgoing as Tuck, the alpha male.

“Mac is a smidge darker and a teeny bit bigger,” said volunteer otter-keeper Rachelle Daigneault, who serves the otters a fishy snack. “Mac has the nose that looks like the Capitol building. It’s got a big spire, and it’s wider at the base. Tuck has a little button nose, a little triangle.”

Feeding time is also teaching time. Using a wand with a small sphere on the end, volunteer otter-keepers point the ball-end of the wand at each otter’s snout. If the otter keeps their nose on the ball, they will be rewarded for that learned behavior with a delicious bite of fish. But more important, learning to respond to commands comes in handy when trainers need otters to stand ramrod straight or open their mouths for a veterinarian’s examination.

The Wally Gordon River Otter Exhibit may be the star of the show at the Delmarva Discovery Center, located in downtown Pocomoke City, but the 16,000 sq. ft. museum has so much more to offer to the public about Delmarva’s historical and cultural heritage.

“This is a place where people who’ve lived here all of their lives can come in and see themselves represented in the stories that are told here,” said Daigneault, who is also on the board of directors. “Carving, shipbuilding – everything came from the land and the water. It was all about sustainability, and it’s just so rich. This needs to be a destination for people when they come to the Shore.”

The museum, now in its ninth year, actually got started two decades ago, when a group of Lower Shore residents sought to launch a new tourism attraction in Pocomoke City. Founders decided on a learning center of some sort, set on the banks of the Pocomoke River. They picked a long-empty car dealership on Market Street to rehabilitate for the museum’s new home.

“It’s been a labor of love,” said Lisa Challenger, a founding museum board member and Worcester County’s tourism director. “It took a lot of vision and a lot of naysayers. We have gradually made the Discovery Center better and better. When people go there, they tell us that they never expected anything that nice. And that’s what we like to hear. We keep trying to move forward, making it more interactive.”

Interactivity and hands-on exhibits are the lifeblood of a good museum, said museum president Stacey Weisner.

“If it’s not hands-on and interactive, people lose interest quickly,” she said. “It has to be feasible for multigenerational visits. You can come as a senior citizen or as a 4-year-old and truly enjoy yourself.”

Indeed, you can touch, feel and smell exhibits from start to finish in the self-guided museum. Visitors can sit inside a replica Native American wigwam, crawl through a beaver lodge and pilot a life-sized 19th-century riverboat. Especially popular with kids is the touch tank – a kind of petting zoo for sea creatures – filled with live clams, horseshoe crabs and whelk.

Authenticity is of paramount importance, Weisner said, for their Native American displays, which include a dugout canoe made just for the museum over nine summers by real Pocomoke tribesman. “You can see how they burned it and dug it out with oyster shells. You can put your hand in, feel it, smell the charred wood,” she said.

Weisner came on board three years ago from a successful fundraising role at the Salisbury Zoo. Here in Pocomoke, she continues to demonstrate this skillset: The museum has raised more than $1 million from public donations and private gifts under her leadership.

One such gift will yield a brand-new exhibit as the museum will soon begin work on an extensive display about farming and agriculture on the Shore, thanks in part to a $75,000 donation from Perdue Farms. The museum is also the recipient of the 2017 Henson Award by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore as the area’s best nonprofit organization.

“We’re not afraid to say, ‘Is this a good idea?’” Weisner said of the center’s innovation. “We ask visitors all the time when they come in, ‘What did you like here? Is there something you would change, and if so, what would it be? What is the coolest place you’ve ever visited?’ Then we listen. We listen to the people.”



Open Monday-Saturday, 10-4, Sundays 12-4
Adults $10, students and seniors $8, youth and military $5
Free for kids 3 and under


> 024b47e4baea5c808be13f59567c8c49 OUTWARD BOUND ]]>
SET SAIL FOR GILLIGAN'S Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Bob Yesbek Longtime denizens of Lewes can remember when 134 Market Street was nothing more than a rickety landlocked boat. The only thing missing was Ginger,...]]> Longtime denizens of Lewes can remember when 134 Market Street was nothing more than a rickety landlocked boat. The only thing missing was Ginger, Thurston Howell III and a makeshift coconut radio. Makeshift notwithstanding, that didn’t stop current owners Cheryl and Garry Tilton from making the place a Lewes favorite. But the vagaries of boat cooking (and the equally makeshift chicken-coop dining room) finally caught up with them, and the plan was to close. But that was before several prominent Lewes locals came forward to help save this dockside emporium of amazing views and even more amazing crab cakes.

The new Gilligan’s Waterfront Restaurant shares the same address with the original, but that’s where the similarity ends. The outdoor deck is roomier, and that nasty tree that loved to drop stuff onto your food is gone. Dining is split into two sun-filled, high-ceilinged rooms on either side of the bar. In a clever design move, the indoor bar is now parallel with the deck bar, thus streamlining service and providing a canal view for patrons sitting inside.

Cheryl’s kitchen is well known for unusual takes on otherwise standard items. On one of our visits last summer, the soup special was snapper turtle. You don’t hear that all the time! Though we had our minds set on other apps, reviews from a neighboring table were 100 percent positive, so we climbed out of our shell and tried it. It was sublime.

The current off-season menu sports similar offbeat dishes. Take the Korean Nachos, for example. Cheryl and kitchen boss Ryan Betts departed from the ordinary by adding house-made wontons and kimchee to this otherwise mundane dish. Add short rib, and it’s a winner. You can be sure that there will always be something on the menu that features Gilligan’s delicious fries. For the next few months it’s all about PEI Mussels sautéed in butter with chorizo, peas and a hint of wine. The frites are reminiscent of the crispy/crunchy potato sticks we used to get at the store — except these are impossibly fresh out of the fryer and crispier than ever. The sandwich menu pays homage to Delmarva with buttermilk fried chicken served with chili mayo. We ordered it all a few weeks ago, and though everyone expressed (faux) surprise at the apparent excess, the plates were immaculate when they were finally wrenched from our trembling hands.

No visit to Gilligan’s is complete without Cheryl’s crabcakes. Like any regional food, no two crab cakes are ever the same. I’ve seen them broiled, fried, baked in butter — you name it. The crab cake that has kept Gilligan’s in business over these many years is generous — about baseball-sized — with all-lump crabmeat. The outside coating is lightly seasoned with Old Bay, then sautéed to a delicate crunch.

Owner Cheryl is the sole creator of Gilligan’s desserts. Truth be told, her heart of hearts lies in the realm of sweets and pastries. That’s why it’s often a mystery among the guests — not to mention servers and staff — as to what Cheryl has whipped up for tonight. So the dessert menu is always a tableside narrative. On a recent visit, the server very strongly recommended the strawberry/rhubarb pie-cake. It’s a pie. No, it’s a cake. Gadzooks... it’s both! Desserts do not disappoint at Gilligan’s.

The obvious value-added at Gilligan’s Waterfront Restaurant is the outdoor dining area. Cradled in and among the buildings that comprise The Inn at Canal Square, it faces the dock on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. The outside bar is covered, so even if it rains, one can keep one’s seat while sittin’ on the dock of the ... uh, canal.

It’s no secret that the new building’s inside design was, shall we say, “acoustically active.” But Cheryl immediately addressed the noise issue by hiring a brilliant acoustics consultant to calm the errant sound waves. The new and quieter Gilligan’s is tucked down a little hill at the water’s edge. The off-season hours are lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday starting at 11. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Call for reservations at 302-644-7230.
See the menu at

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PRODIGY Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Nick Brandi He was a child prodigy. He made his public debut at age 8 and played with the New York Philharmonic at 16. In terms of musical training, he is a...]]> He was a child prodigy. He made his public debut at age 8 and played with the New York Philharmonic at 16. In terms of musical training, he is a direct descendant of none other than Ludwig van Beethoven. Legendary conductor Pierre Monteux called him “the pianistic find of the century,” and he is a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, along with the likes of Arthur Rubinstein, Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern and Yo-Yo Ma. Yet for his illustrious achievements and accolades, Leon Fleisher knows the bitter sting of defeat. In addition to two failed marriages, Fleisher confronted what to a lesser man would have spelled the end of his career and the negation of his legacy, when at age 36 he was struck with a neurological condition called focal dystonia, costing him the use of his right hand. But, despite it all, the intrepid maestro prevailed, first mastering a left-handed repertoire and ultimately returning to using both hands, following what was then considered experimental treatment with Botox injections that somewhat ameliorated his incurable condition.

Today, at age 90, Fleisher is still working ivory-covered miracles. On April 22, the Baltimore resident will perform as part of the season finale of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City. In recognition of this grand occasion, Coastal Style sat down with Fleisher, to talk about his life and career.


Coastal Style Magazine: Where were you born?

Leon Fleisher: San Francisco, California.

What about your parents?

My father was from Russia; my mother was from Poland.

Your father was a hatmaker?

Yes (laughs), like Anatole of Paris! (From the Secret Life of Walter Mitty.)

When did you begin studying piano?

At about 4 years old.

Were you petrified on the night you were scheduled to perform as a soloist at the New York Philharmonic?

Well, I’d say more excited than petrified. Remember, basically everything I had done to that point — my entire life, if you will — was leading to that. Also, I was very well prepared. I had played that same piece [Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor], with the same conductor [Pierre Monteux], the year before,
with the San Francisco Symphony.

Explain to me, please, how you are linked directly to Beethoven by way of training.

Sure. My teacher was named Artur Schnabel. Schnabel studied in Europe with someone named [Theodor] Leschetizky. Leschetizky himself studied with Carl Czerny. It was Czerny who was a student of one Ludwig van Beethoven. So, that’s the lineage that links me to Beethoven.

That’s amazing.

Well, thank you, but, to be honest, there is a weak link in that lineage.

How so?

My teacher’s teacher, Leschetizky, was a weak link because he didn’t perform very much, but he taught night and day. He was what we in the business refer to as a “teaching ho” — and he taught everybody, which diluted things a bit.


So, legend has it that in 1964, you contracted a condition called focal dystonia in your right hand. Is that accurate, and what is focal dystonia?

Yes, that is quite right. It’s a neurological movement disorder, like Parkinson’s. Focal dystonia attacks only one or two sets of muscles. It creates involuntary and uncontrollable contractions of just a muscle or small sets of muscles, attacking a part of the body that is in general use. Golfers often get this, in the form of yips; surgeons get it, too.


Do you think you contracted focal dystonia because of all those years of practice on the piano?

Well, you may wish to speak with neurologists or neuroscientists about that. But one theory I’ve heard is that sometimes, the brain is working too fast.
The messages it’s sending are so fast and cascading one upon another that the muscles get confused. It’s a field of ongoing investigation. But I’ll tell you this: There are many in the music industry who experience dystonia or have dystonic problems, and once word gets around the industry, they sometimes have a difficult time getting engaged or hired. And that can ruin their lives.


How bad did your particular case of dystonia get?

It affected the fourth and fifth fingers of my right hand. The flexors of that hand would curl my pinky and ring finger under and into my palm, and for me to get the extensor muscles to relax them and extend them outward required an enormous effort. It was gradual at first but
got progressively worse. After something like 10 months, my fingers would curl under, and there was just nothing
I could do about it.


Did you get depressed or have a blue period as a result of your condition?

(Laughing) Yes, a blue-with-purple-polka-dots period.  I had fallen into quite a funk, actually. I had arrived at the pinnacle of my profession — and wham! When the gods choose to hit you, they really know where to hit you.


I would imagine so.

I have a feeling you’re going somewhere with this, and I’m intrigued to know where (laughs).


(Laughing) That is quite perceptive of you. I’m curious to know if you, during this dark period of uncertainty, had adopted specific coping mechanisms to dull the pain, whether those were constructive, destructive or both.

My way of dealing with this situation at its worst was basically to grow a ponytail [laughs], and I got a Vespa, and I would tool around Baltimore with my ponytail and my Vespa. I also screwed up my first marriage; it didn’t help my second marriage either. But for people familiar with music, I am now on my own Eroica, my
third symphony, like Beethoven’s, and my wife, Katherine, and I will be celebrating our 36th anniversary soon. I was lucky to find her.


Is there a cure for focal dystonia?

Unfortunately, no. Not yet, anyway.


How did you treat your condition?

I had gotten into an experimental program at the NIH that was using Botox injections to treat conditions like mine. What they did is inject Botox into the contracted muscle, and it relaxes it for a time. And to that extent, it helped a little bit, but it was certainly not the answer to the condition.


How often did you get such injections?

Once every three or four months. Botox is heavy stuff. You have to be careful. Eventually, though, you wind up having no reaction at all to it. 


So, bottom line: Botox was never a cure and only helped to small extent, correct?

Absolutely correct.


How did you guarantee yourself a steady income during those years?

I’ve been affiliated for a long time, since 1959, with the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, which is the oldest one in the land. So what I did is teach more, increase the number of students I had and adopted a modified concert schedule, for which I developed a left-handed repertoire, as a kind of Ripley’s [Believe It or Not] curiosity. I had a five-fingered career going for quite a while, and that worked [laughs].


So how are you doing these days?

I can play with two hands again, but I am careful about how I approach it. When I playing a concert, often what I do is play the first half of the concert by myself, with two hands or left-handed. For the second half of the performance, I play with my wife, with four hands on one piano, with me using both hands. 


Are some pieces more difficult for you than others?

Yes. I can’t play everything. Running scales… Mozart, this kind of clarity of articulation, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven and such… these things are difficult.
Playing chordal things is much easier for me, like Brahms. Fortunately, at the tender age of 90, I’m seeing a Chinese therapist who practices acupuncture combined with a certain kind of message therapy, and he is actually helping change my condition. So, I’m starting to play a little bit more these days.


Which leads us to your upcoming performance with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony. What will you be performing that afternoon?

Yes, I’m really looking forward to that. You know, Maryland is my home state, and they have done such a wonderful job at the MSO, so I’m especially looking forward to this concert. On that day, I’ll be performing Egmont Overture, by Beethoven, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, and Symphony No. 4 by Gustav Mahler. There will also be a lecture approximately 45 minutes before the performance.

Thank you for your time today, Mr. Fleisher. May your upcoming concert in Ocean City be a resounding success.

Thank you very much. This was fun. I hope you and the rest of the Lower Eastern Shore turn out in force at the Powell Convention Center on [April] 22nd. It’s going to be a fun day, and at my age, I’ll take as many of those as I can get!


Editor's note: Visit for tickets to see Leon Fleisher perform April 22 during the MSO’s season finale at the Performing Arts Center at the Ocean City Convention Center.

> 84c435c57321741b2858c8797b497eae IN PROFILE ]]>
RAREFIED AIR Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman Chances are, you’ve seen his face, have heard his voice or know of his work. Maryland’s Tom Morris Jr. has been a staple on prime-time television...]]> Chances are, you’ve seen his face, have heard his voice or know of his work. Maryland’s Tom Morris Jr. has been a staple on prime-time television for 20 years and his role as a correspondent on the iconic show America’s Most Wanted not only propelled him to stardom, it resulted in the arrests of hundreds of criminals on the run from justice. Now, the Takoma Park resident is back in the spotlight as an analyst on A&E’s smash reality/documentary hit, Live PD — the No. 1 unscripted crime series on cable in 2017*.

“It’s a tremendous blessing,” Tom said during a recent visit to Ocean City. “I’m still in awe of it, really. I was working for the government as a declassification analyst eight months ago. I had kind of put TV in my rearview mirror. My attitude about it was if God wanted me to be on TV again, I would, and if he didn’t, I wouldn’t. I left it at that.”  

A call in late 2016 from Live PD executive producer and friend Kara Kurcz led to an audition in New York. Soon after, Tom was offered a contract and was back on the air as host Dan Abrams’ analyst on set. The show, which airs Friday and Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., follows six police departments across the country during their nightly patrols and broadcasts the events of select calls with the public live. The interactions span the spectrum of community policing in America today, from lighter, and sometimes comical, communications to officers’ nightly encounters with DWI subjects, substance abusers and mid-level crimes. Scenes also detail the incredibly dangerous elements of law enforcement, including felony warrant executions, high-speed pursuits and criminal apprehensions.

Currently in its second season,  Live PD will eclipse 100 shows in March and consistently leads all other shows in ratings during its time slot — topping two million total viewers on a weekly basis.**

“To put that in perspective, if you have a cable show with one million viewers, the executives and network heads start popping corks,” Tom said. “One million viewers on cable is a substantial audience. The next thing to consider is the demographic. If you’re getting a huge percentage of that 18-to-49 demographic, people are really happy. When you get to two million viewers with that demographic,*** now you’re heading into that rarefied air on cable with Pawn Stars and Duck Dynasty — the shows that have become cultural icons on cable. And Live PD has actually moved into that space and done so quickly. As we speak today, we’ve just finished 92 episodes in roughly 15 months.”

The show, which also regularly features Tulsa Police Department’s Sean “Sticks” Larkin, additionally includes “Wanted” and “Missing” segments in each episode — ideas advanced by Tom to show executives that have made genuine societal impacts.

“In 2017, we caught eight fugitives,” Tom said, “and we recovered our first missing child in December, as well.”  

Born and raised along the waters of the Tidewater region of Eastern Virginia, he once wrote a letter to J. Edgar Hoover expressing his interest in becoming an FBI agent. Hoover actually wrote back, telling Tom he needed a college degree before he could be considered for work at the Bureau. Tom would later major in mass communications and journalism at Norfolk State University, and after earning his degree, went straight to Washington, DC — not to join the Bureau but to obtain a job, any job, working for the media in the most politically influential town in the world.

He got his foot in the door as a courier for Independent Network News, running tapes from various locations around the Capitol back to its studios, and quickly rose the ranks to audio engineer, cameraman and field producer. Tom, however, yearned for a greater challenge and was hired as a contract employee for the U.S. State Department’s antiterrorism Embassy Task Group — becoming the first person without a military or law-enforcement background accepted into the unit. He was sent to Somalia to guard the U.S. Embassy as it was being built. He arrived in the Mogadishu, the capital city of the world’s second-poorest country, three weeks before a civil war erupted. He returned stateside after his assignment and continued working for the government, this time as an armed security specialist at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, before his broadcast career resumed.

During its 23 record-breaking seasons on FOX, Tom was on the case for the hit show America’s Most Wanted for 18 of them.

Every Saturday night, millions of viewers watched to see who was wanted that week, and with their assistance, which fugitives were captured since its last episode. Tom began his AMW career as a segment producer before earning his opportunity on-air three years later — one that put him in front of the camera for the very first time in his life and an average of four million viewers. 

He traveled the world to profile stories of homicides, missing children and violent crimes — each time with the belief that with the help of the American public, his work would play a vital role in bringing a criminal to justice and a sense of peace to the family of the victim.

“My father was a minister, and he always said that our work at America’s Most Wanted was a ministry,” Tom said. “And it really was. We were helping people. I’m a fan of Edward R. Murrow, who demonstrated that you could use television to actually affect change. On America’s Most Wanted, I always felt like I was in a Murrow-esque role, to use the power of television and the power of our audience to make our society a safer place, one fugitive at a time.

“I can’t even tell you how hard it is to interview a 12-year-old girl who had just… just [becoming emotional] witnessed her mother’s and grandmother’s throats slit on Christmas Eve… and I am there three weeks later to interview this girl to try to catch her father, who did it,” Tom continued. “I had the ability to commiserate with them, cry with them, be genuine and sincere with them and to offer them the hope that putting their story on television would give them a chance at justice. And with the help of my colleagues in prime-time television and the public, we were able to do that a great number of times.”

Remarkably, 98 percent of the criminals profiled by Tom during his 18 years on America’s Most Wanted were captured. In all, 1,186 wanted individuals were apprehended during the 1,200 episodes of AMW, which aired on FOX and Lifetime for 25 seasons total. Even now, Tom can seemingly recall a case, its circumstances, the name of the victim and the detailsof the fugitive’s arrest from any point during the show’s history. 

In addition to his America’s Most Wanted duties, Tom has appeared on numerous shows, including CNN’s Showbiz Tonight, Nancy Grace, Fox & Friends and Entertainment Tonight, and he has contributed his opinions as a versatile host on XM Satellite Radio’s popular series, The Capital Hill Blues. He also holds the distinction of being the first journalist trained in practical advanced homicide investigation by renowned pathologist Dr. Henry Lee and NYPD homicide detective Vernon Geberth. 

Tom is a man of God and family. He’s a husband, father and grandfather whose multifaceted talents include being an accomplished musician, hip-hop DJ, columnist and award-winning poet. Tom’s also a workout warrior, avid sports fan and exceptionally cerebral in the details of world history, politics and current events. He’s also a great follow on Twitter and Instagram, as the members of Live PD nation will attest.

Tom has enjoyed the Eastern Shore for decades — first visiting Ocean City in 1984 and frequently spending time was his wife, Sandy, and children in Rehoboth with a family friend/owner of the popular restaurant Sir Guys.

“My wife and kids come to Ocean City every summer, too,” Tom said. “A lot of times, I’ll be working, and they’ll come down on a weekday in the spur of the moment. Ocean City has been a destination for our family for years. My ‘must-see’ is the ocean. My grandfather was a waterman, a crabber and deep-sea fisherman on commercial boats. So, I grew up going out on the water with him for oysters and crabs. I’ve always had this love for the water; it’s part of our family heritage. My grandfather also had a skipjack boat, so I will always feel connected to the bay and the ocean.”

*Among Adults 25-54 / **People 2+ Live +7 / ***Based on Live +7 across total viewers

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LEADING BY EXAMPLE Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jonathan Westman Standing before four hundred people who were in attendance to honor him, Reese Cropper III took a moment to reflect on the civic and philanthropic...]]> Standing before four hundred people who were in attendance to honor him, Reese Cropper III took a moment to reflect on the civic and philanthropic accomplishments that earned him the brightly shining and well-earned light that was upon him. As Cropper prepared to deliver his remarks, the 2017 recipient of the Hal Glick Distinguished Service Award scanned the ballroom at Ocean City’s Clarion Fontainebleau to see family, friends, colleagues, business leaders and elected officials — all proud to know him. Reese knew that such speeches are usually forgettable and rife with thanks for any person they had ever come in contact with. “Not tonight,” he vowed to himself. Nervous and a bit uneasy with all of the attention of the evening, Cropper took a deep breath and began a speech that would be far different, and shockingly more personal, than anyone expected.

Reese Cropper III is a local in the purest sense. Born to Reese F. Cropper Jr. and Margaret Young of Berlin in 1960, he grew up on Gum Point Road and Turville Creek, across from the Glen Riddle Farm, in an area that was perfect for bike rides and playing in the woods. He attended Buckingham Elementary School through the 4th grade and then entered the Worcester Country School (Worcester Preparatory School today), where future headmaster Barry Tull served as his homeroom teacher. After graduating from Worcester Prep in 1978, Reese enrolled at Lynchburg College, where his passion for community involvement was shaped.

Armed with a degree in business administration earned in 1982, Reese returned to the Shore. After obtaining his insurance and real estate licenses, Cropper went to work right away. In 1996 he founded Insurance Management Group. Today, IMG employs more than 20 people, has two office locations and supports clients throughout Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. Reese’s connection to the community and his generous philanthropic efforts are both notable and extensive, as he founded the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, donates a golf tournament each year to Diakonia (its top-grossing fundraiser), has volunteered his time to the March of Dimes and American Cancer Society, among many other charitable organizations, insurance organizations and government boards. Today, he serves on the Worcester Preparatory School Board of Trustees, Calvin B. Taylor Bank’s Board of Directors, Maryland’s Community Association Institute Legislative Committee, Diakonia’s Board of Directors, Peninsula Regional Hospital Foundation’s Board of Directors and the State of Maryland’s Licensing/Liquor Board.

He’s been presented Lynchburg College’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and for years he’s played Santa Claus on Christmas Eve for friends who have young children.   

Yet, for all of his many personal, professional and civic successes, Cropper has spent the better part of his adult life suffering from depression. At Lynchburg, after losing his first love, he was introduced to something else he hadn’t known existed: a side of his mind that was vastly dark and desolate, filled with torment, insecurities and emotional voids that date back to his childhood. It is a place of such demons and despair, the handsome young man with a seemingly limitless future nearly ended it all with a shotgun. What follows are excerpts from Cropper’s poignant and moving speech to the guests of the 2017 Hal Glick Distinguished Service Award ceremony.

“Since my college years, and perhaps as a child, I’ve tried to find out why I would swing in and out of terrible dark periods, when I really had no reason to be that way,” Reese said at the top of his speech. “The depressions I speak of are severe. I am not referring to a sad situation that causes sad feelings. I am talking about weeks of chronic illness when I did not want to move forward in life and couldn’t focus on anything.

“It was impossible to find a medical reason for my problems, and during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, depression was not a common illness, nor was it talked about. Depressed people were considered weak or thought of as having no drive and stamina. 

“After my college years, I was encouraged to seek psychological help. However, it was difficult for me to enter a counseling center because of the fear someone would see me and recognize me. Instead, I went to offices that were outside our area. I would sit in the lobby, waiting for the counselor, always hiding behind a magazine, held high and in front of my face. 

“Why can’t our society be proactive and realize people need help with mental illness? People who suffer on all levels need encouragement to get professional help and not to be degraded when they admit to their chronic depression, or worse, declare they want to end their life. The vortex of pain, anxiety and darkness that consumes a person to the point of suicide is painful and scary. I’m speaking of the dark hole where they end up, seeing no way out other than death. I know because I have been there. 

“The feeling of desperation, when you hold a shotgun to your head with a finger on a trigger, is worse than the feeling that death would provide as a more peaceful and better alternative. And when someone goes through this traumatic situation, and 911 is called, the despair and feelings get worse when the police officer promises to only transport you to the hospital but instead puts cuffs on you and loads you in his car. 

“Society does not accept mental illness the same as other illnesses. Instead, there are comments about the person being crazy or perhaps they are considered idiots for wanting to resort to such a dramatic end of their life. We need to stop these stigmas. When you look around this room, you would probably be shocked to realize how many people here have either suffered from depression or have lost a friend or loved one to suicide. I can tell you the person lost to suicide would never want you to blame yourself or think you could have prevented it. Their pain and darkness is so deep, it’s hard for healthy-minded people to understand.” 

Cropper, along with the Hal Glick Distinguished Service Award committee, raised an event record $130,000 in support of this year’s gala. The funds will be distributed to Temple Bat Yam, the Atlantic General Hospital Foundation and the following three charities selected by Reese for their depression counseling services and suicide prevention efforts:


Rebecca and Leighton Moore Childand Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit
Peninsula Regional Medical Center

In spring 2016, Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness Services joined the Peninsula Regional Medical Center Foundation to celebrate the opening of the new Rebecca and Leighton Moore Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit at PRMC. These specialists offer outpatient behavioral healthcare for children as young as 4 years old.

The highly skilled clinical team provides compassionate behavioral healthcare to help patients successfully manage their illness and maintain optimal activity at home or school. The Outpatient Wellness Clinic treats children with anxiety and stress; ADHD; bipolar disorder; conduct disorders; depression; grieving and loss; obsessive-compulsive disorder; personality disorders; post-traumatic stress disorder; and schizophrenia.

In addition to outpatient care for children and adolescents, PRMC offers adult inpatient and partial hospitalization services. 



Worcester Youth and Family
Counseling Services, Inc.

Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, Inc. (WYFCS) has been serving the Worcester County community through programs that include comprehensive counseling, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), family-connection services and youth activities since 1975. Located in Berlin, WYFCS is increasing awareness about mental health, advocating for abused and neglected children, providing community resources and education, which is truly making a difference in the lives of the people in the community.



The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness Prevention Program

In early 2009, the tragic death of Snow Hill’s Jesse Klump cast a pall over the entire community. The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program’s objective is to end the threat of suicide in Worcester County and beyond through a program of outreach and education.

In addition to several community organized events throughout the year, each month the program hosts a support group meeting for those who have lost loved ones to suicide and who are having difficulty coming to terms with their grief.


“I hope my candor with all of you tonight will make you more aware of people suffering from mental health issues. It’s literally all around us,” Cropper said, as his speech approached its conclusion. “It’s similar to when you buy a new car. You never realized before how many other people have the same color and model until you have one of your own. Well, maybe now you will begin to recognize how many other people need help dealing with chronic severe mental pain and the issues it causes.”


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ESSENTIAL DINING Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Bob Yesbek I love to give my readers, listeners and website visitors the lowdown on hidden culinary gems here at the beach. One of the best in the Rehoboth area...]]> I love to give my readers, listeners and website visitors the lowdown on hidden culinary gems here at the beach. One of the best in the Rehoboth area is the tucked-away Palate Bistro & Catering, hiding behind a brick façade in the commercial center adjacent to the Safeway on Coastal Highway. This intimate spot is a soothing respite from the endless hubbub going on just outside.

Owner-chefs Gary and Lorraine Papp were the opening toques at The Buttery in Lewes many years ago. They have integrated their Essential Chef catering service into this cafe/gourmet-to go-eatery, bringing with them a long list of references that include Delaware Governor John Carney, former Governor Jack Markel and Senator Tom Carper.

Before they moved to the beach in the early ’90s, Gary and Lorraine were the proud owners of the Wycombe Inn, a Victorian country inn just outside of New Hope, PA. They were expecting the arrival of their second child when they accepted the kitchen-boss positions at the soon-to-open Buttery in Lewes, originally located in the New Devon Inn (now the Hotel Rodney). After a short time, the owners worked hand-in-hand with the Papps to relocate The Buttery to a stately Lewes Victorian at Second and Savannah, where it remains — under new ownership — to this day.

Gary and Lorraine eventually created their own brand, The Essential Chef. “We wanted to share our knowledge and experience on three levels,” Gary says. “The first was education.” Gary taught culinary arts to disabled and alternative learning students for Now We’re Cooking, a vocational program operated in Georgetown by the First State Community Action Agency.

The second level is consulting. In 2008, Gary worked closely with Brick Hotel owners Ed and Lynn Lester to help open The Brick Restaurant and Tavern, assisting in the kitchen layout and design for the Georgetown landmark. Catering is the third element, and Gary and Lorraine are proud of the loyal catering clients who consistently rely on The Essential Chef. I’ll add phase four: Palate Café & Catering in the Shops at Seacoast on Coastal Highway in Rehoboth.

The artfully designed eatery showcases Gary and Lorraine’s exceptional talents with its copper-top bar, tapestried walls and extensive kitchen. Like their one-of-a-kind dishes, the menu steps out of the box with delicacies like spicy sesame watercress salad; a craft Caesar with kale and locatelli cheese; bourbon & brown sugar-braised beef brisket; coriander cumin eggplant and chickpea stew (a vegan favorite), and Gary’s famous lump crab and Vermont cheddar hot dish. Of course, the slightly less adventurous (and you know who you are!) can get the grass-fed all-beef burger, Lorraine’s known-the-world-over chicken salad with granny smiths, or a cast-iron ribeye with a coffee stout glaze. Without a doubt, desserts are Lorraine’s territory and they do not disappoint.

Like the majority of Cape Region eateries, Palate’s menu changes with the seasons. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday with happy hour half-price burgers from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the bar. Seating is limited, so make reservations and double-check their hours. (This is the beach, after all, so y’never know.)



Editor's note: Bob Yesbek, "The Rehoboth Foodie," writes about the latest news and reviews here on the Culinary Coast. Visit for the very latest Breaking Chews. And stay in the know with the Rehoboth In My Pocket travel app – everything you need to know about the Rehoboth-Dewey-Lewes resort area. Available at The App Store & Google Play.


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POWER IN NUMBERS Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording A great many things in life are difficult. Certainly one of them is earning the trust of an unusually tight-knit community with the precious assets...]]> A great many things in life are difficult. Certainly one of them is earning the trust of an unusually tight-knit community with the precious assets they’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Now, try doing that at the same high level for 40 years, and you’ve got the Eastern Shore’s most recognized Certified Public Accounting and business-advisory firm, PKS & Company, P.A.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, partner John M. Stern, CPA/PFS, says the secret of the firm’s success lies in not just what it knows, but who it knows — or, rather, who it hires.

“It is our spirited staff with a passion for helping people, coupled with excellent training and quality clients is the foundation for our success” says John M. Stern, CPA/PFS.

Once, accountants were thought of as “bean counters.” But today the business of accounting is much more. PKS takes a different angle, with an ever-evolving approach to managing clients’ accounting and financial-planning needs.

“We are proactive advisors and business partners, versus historians,” said Daniel M. O’Connell, CPA/PFS, CVA. “We become part of our client’s team of advisors. They turn to us regularly to solve everyday problems. We’re in constant communication with our clients, not just in contact with them once a year.”

It is this approach to client service that’s been integral to PKS for decades. PKS focuses its ability to personally address the needs of clients, some of whom have been part of PKS’ clientele from the firm’s inception.

“We are in the people business,” said Stern. “We work as a team. We don’t work as individuals within the firm. The clients have access to everybody in our firm, not just one person.”

PKS is structured strategically to remain small enough to offer prompt, individualized service, yet large enough to provide an inclusive, sophisticated array of services to its clients. Many PKS associates have degrees and certifications beyond the typical accounting degree.

The company’s range of expertise extends to many industries and entities that are central to the Delmarva economy, including healthcare, hospitality, government, agribusiness, condominiums and HOAs, construction, business consulting, food service and restaurants, nonprofit organizations and others. 

To maximize opportunities for clients, PKS is a member of Allinial Global, an association of accounting and consulting firms, the members of which reinforce


PKS began in 1978 as James Pigg & Company Certified Public Accountants from the home of Jim Pigg, CPA. As the city grew, so did the firm. By 1991, the firm had 38 employees and had won the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year award.

“The Firm started with a couple of key people, and although those individuals have left, we are continuously bringing up the next generation,” said Stern.

“Here, it’s a small family that’s been growing for 40 years. We have a low turnover in personnel. There are a lot of relationships that have existed for many years, and we have clients who have been with us for generations.”

A family-friendly atmosphere and flexibility within the company has long been a hallmark of PKS. “The people, the variety of the work we do, the flexibility, the fun,” said Jean Webster, CPA, CPP, when asked why she enjoys working at the firm.

“I love the culture of PKS,” said Kevin Dorman, CPA. “We have a close group, which allows us to collaborate and grow.”

“We work with our employees to support the family,” Stern said. “We have been very progressive in understanding the link between high-performing employees and their ability to support and interact with their families.”

“The firm developed a flexible and reduced-hour work schedule that enabled me to spend time with my children, attend their many events over the years and continue my professional growth,” said Susan P. Keen, CPA. 

“PKS is definitely a family,” added Ashley M. Stern, CPA, MBA, CGFM, daughter of John Stern. “I may have a father who works here, but it also feels as each coworker and client is an extension of my own family. I look out for them like I would a brother or a sister, and my clients and coworkers do the same for me.”

In turn, PKS not only encourages their employees to support the community by donating time and services to diverse civic organization and charities, but provides the flexibility and financial support to do so.



Noting a need among its clients for sound financial-planning advice, PKS established PKS Investment Advisors LLC in 1999. It’s a core belief at PKS that the coordination between financial plans and tax plans benefits clients with a service unique to financial planning. As a registered investment advisory firm, PKS adheres to a strict fiduciary standard and provides advice with the client’s best interests in mind. The firm is legally bound to act in its clients’ best interest and has done so since its inception.

Planning is provided for clients at all stages of life. Some are busy professionals seeking strategies to grow and accumulate wealth. Others are close to retirement and need a plan to transition from accumulating to withdrawing from their assets. Still others are already in retirement and concerned about outliving their money.

“Having a diverse team of accounting professionals available to answer questions relevant to creating and monitoring a client’s financial plan is invaluable,” said Timothy A. Gonzales, CFP®, AAMS®. In my opinion, there is no better client experience than having one’s financial planner and accountant working as a team.”


While celebrating its 40th anniversary and having grown into the most diverse firm of its kind in the area, PKS remains focused on growth and building the Firm of the Future. 

“We want to make sure PKS is here to support the next generation of business owners on Delmarva” said O’Connell. “We do this by offering forward-thinking advisory services to our clients, investing in the latest technologies and providing our staff with professional development that well exceeds the industry norm.”

The heart of the firm really lies in its local roots, its employees and its philosophy of “accounting is a lifetime of learning.” All professional staff are encouraged to set aside time for self-improvement and pursue additional degrees and certifications. Many are certified in fraud examination, business valuation, retirement plan administration, government financial management and personal financial planning — and others have gone on to obtain post-secondary degrees.

“PKS helped me pass the CPA exam by paying for my study materials and providing the time and flexibility I needed to focus,” said Adrienne Tyler, a first year accountant with the firm.  “The support and encouragement I received from my colleagues and the partners makes PKS
a really positive environment.” 

“We’ve assembled the best talent and recognize how fortunate we are to have access to a quality institution like Salisbury University that produces well-educated accounting and finance graduates. More than half of our professional staff are graduates of Salisbury University and three-quarters have local roots,” added Stern.

PKS’ commitment to its team and clients is strengthened by the tools and resources the firm provides. Significant investments in technology improve efficiency, provide the ability to collaborate in an instant, allows staff to work flexible schedules and maintain a good work-life balance.

“Whether I’ve left the office early to coach my son’s soccer team or I am working remotely, I’m able to access anything I need to provide my clients with timely support and the service they expect,” says Andrew M. Haynie, CPA, CFE.

“Our continuous investment in technology, training and most importantly, our people, has proven to be the formula for our success,” says O’Connell. “This investment will be the driving force of our continued success as we look ahead to our 50th anniversary.” 


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MAJOR CHAMPION Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording Even for non-golfers, the scene at Baywood Greens is opulent and captivating — stunning green fairways, remarkable water views, exquisite...]]> Even for non-golfers, the scene at Baywood Greens is opulent and captivating — stunning green fairways, remarkable water views, exquisite landscaping. 

But it’s more than just a pretty view for those golfers who want a challenge or for those who want a sophisticated but simple dining experience. Baywood Greens’ reputation for charming elegance has reached far beyond Sussex County.

“It’s become a destination,” said Robert Tunnell III, the principal of Tunnell Companies, whose father, Robert Tunnell Jr., opened Baywood Greens in 1998.

In fact, Golf Digest named the Baywood Greens golf course the “Top 5 places to golf in Delaware” in 2017, and has consistently named the course among its top-50 golf courses in the U.S.

Still, there’s more. Baywood Greens is the region’s wedding destination, named in Brides magazine, as well as Southern Living, as a 2017 top East Coast venue for brides and grooms. 

And the food — none other than SoDel Concepts is the driving force behind the culinary offerings at the Baywood Greens clubhouse, special events and golf-course dining. 

All told, there are few destinations in the Mid-Atlantic quite like it. Located in Long Neck, near historic Millsboro, Baywood Greens also boasts a location near the beach and the shopping opportunities of Rehoboth.

“It’s a good place to get away and have a wonderful time,” said Tony Hollerback, PGA, head golf professional at Baywood Greens.


Golfing has evolved over the years, according to Tony, and it’s obvious that Baywood Greens has grown with it. 

“The golf industry has changed,” said Tony. “It’s now more an experience. Along with the challenge of the course, what we’re known for is the landscaping. It’s a different look. It’s a lot more landscaped than most golf courses.”

In fact, Tony’s task — along with the golf staff of 20 — is to ensure the players’ experience is pleasant. Technology, including golf carts equipped with GPS capability, enables staffers to track golfers and offer help or advice if needed.

The course offers 18 holes, including the Woodside Course and the Waterside Course. A third course, the Dune Course, is currently under construction. Golf is integral to the community at Baywood Greens, and players can drive everywhere in their carts, including to the clubhouse and other facilities.

Baywood Greens also offers tailored golf packages, which include a stay at one of the facility’s brand-new “golf home vacation rentals,” where players can relax in luxury between rounds of golf. The homes are only a short golf-cart ride from The Clubhouse at Baywood, the driving range and the Baywood Pro Shop.

There are also regular golf leagues and frequent tournaments. It’s a course with challenge and exceptional charm, said Tony, but it also has the feeling of community among the players, many of whom are frequent guests, full-time or part-time residents he knows well.

“I know a lot of them,” said Tony, calling out to several by name on a drive around the course. “There are a lot of nice people. They’re just so happy to be here.”



At Baywood Greens, the small-town lifestyle of yesteryear is melded with every modern convenience. All of the homes have front porches, many of them wrap-around style, some even on a second story. The lots are smaller and close to the street, and there are large areas of open space. All of it encourages a sense of belonging, Robert said.

“I think that’s one of the draws,” he added. “You do get a sense of community. There’s a lot of socialization.”

Residents organize many of their own community events, plus Baywood Greens and SoDel Concepts hold everything from a Fourth of July cookout to “Movie on the Green” events, with big-screen movie showings on the lawn.

Residents, along with the general public, can dine at The Clubhouse at Baywood, with its spacious lobby and sprawling veranda spectacularly decorated according to the season. There, they can enjoy coastal cuisine created by a highly trained chef who serves it with a simple elegance. 

Open for lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Sundays, the restaurant is surrounded by stunning views of the golf course. The seasonal displays of flowers and lush greenery are so meticulously maintained, even garden clubs come to tour the grounds. It’s all part of the
SoDel Concepts family of restaurants, which owns nine other coastal restaurants in Delaware.

“It’s been a great venture for us, as well,” said Danielle Pannarello, director of operations for SoDel Concepts. “Our chef really is spectacular.”

Indeed, lunchtime guests pour into The Clubhouse at Baywood, even on a weekday. Not only do Baywood Greens residents and the general public dine here, the venue frequently hosts corporate retreats, bridal showers, celebrations of life, reunions and wine parties. Additionally, in 2017, about three-dozen weddings were held at the resort, where the ballroom can accommodate 250 guests.



In all, Baywood Greens is known as an event and vacation treasure in Sussex County, one the fastest-growing areas in Delaware and wildly popular with residents of urban areas of Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, among others. With taxes very low compared with neighboring states, many urbanites have purchased second homes and retirement homes here. 

Baywood keeps several vacation homes for anyone considering purchasing a home there, making it easy to sample the laid-back but luxurious and rewarding life at a major resort golf community near the beach.

“You see it with the residents; everyone is happy being here,” Robert said.

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PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Nick Brandi In 2016, Beebe Healthcare celebrated a proud century of providing dedicated, top-flight healthcare to residents of southeastern Sussex County. For the...]]> In 2016, Beebe Healthcare celebrated a proud century of providing dedicated, top-flight healthcare to residents of southeastern Sussex County. For the dawn of its second century, however, the institution will not rest on its copious laurels. Instead, Beebe announced plans for the biggest augmentation of operations and services in its history — a proposed $180 million expansion designed to address what will be the future healthcare needs of the region.

In the next five years, the U.S. population is projected to increase 3.8 percent, while the population of Sussex County over the same period is projected to increase almost twice that, to 7.4 percent. Southeastern Sussex County specifically is expected to increase even more, to 9.2 percent five years from now. Those sobering statistics translate to some significant healthcare demands in the region’s future, with oncology needs expected to rise almost 32 percent by 2022, and need for surgical services swelling by almost 63 percent as of 2024. Emergency Department admissions are expected to increase, too, though not to the same degree as either surgical or oncological services.

In response, Beebe Healthcare has devised a sweeping three-pronged proposed strategy to expand its services and operations, with the addition of approximately 270 new medical professionals covering three locations in Sussex County. What follows is a breakdown of the coming enhancements of healthcare in the region that Beebe serves.

I. Savannah Road Campus, Lewes
Situated on the grounds of the health system’s flagship location, at the corner of Savannah Road and 4th Street, this $80 million component will offer a 100,000 sq. ft., four-story facility that will provide 30 private beds on a discrete medical/surgical floor for complex medical and surgical inpatients, with another floor dedicated to an enhanced women’s health center. Two floors will be shelled for future growth or program opportunities. The Lewes campus will remain the home of Beebe’s cardiovascular care, creating a Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence. The new Savannah Road patient wing and pavilion is being made possible in part due to a $10 million donation — one of the largest in the state’s history — from the Rollins family through its Ma-Ran Foundation. The new building, which will be named the Margaret H. Rollins Pavilion, is the latest in a 30-year history of philanthropy to Beebe Healthcare by the Rollins family.

II. Rehoboth Beach Campus
In Rehoboth, Beebe will create a $62 million, 71,000 sq. ft., three-story facility devoted to short-stay surgical procedures, such as Orthopaedic, General and Urologic surgery. The hospital will also be home to The Minimally Invasive Surgical Center of Excellence that will be equipped to handle minimally invasive procedures urologic, orthopaedic, spinal surgery, general surgery and gynecologic procedures. The facility will include a da Vinci surgical robot. The top floor will provide 30 beds devoted to short-stay inpatient surgical procedures (likely three days or less), while the second floor will offer perioperative care, with five operating rooms and between 16 and 20 pre- and post-anesthesia bays. Support services such as food, pharmacy and imaging will be found on the ground floor.

III. Millville Campus, Route 17
South Coastal residents will see development of a Beebe Health Campus on Route 17 near Millville by the Sea that will include an all-new freestanding Emergency Department capable of receiving 10,000–12,000 visits a year. Estimated at $33 million, the 22,000 sq. ft., year-round facility will offer 22 exam bays to start and boast a helipad and an on-site ambulance. The campus will also house a second site of Beebe’s lauded Tunnell Cancer Center that will include infusion therapy and radiation oncology, as well as outreach and support services. The development of these two services will augment the full diagnostic imaging, physical-rehabilitation services, laboratory and walk-in care currently offered in Millville on Route 26.

“Beebe remains committed to expanding with the community and to meeting the healthcare needs of the people who live in and visit the area,” said Jeffrey Fried, FACHE, president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “This plan is an innovative response to the expectations of healthcare customers for excellent service provided in convenient locations and to the insurance companies’ requirements that we be as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

“At the end of the day,” Fried continued, “the excellence of service and care at Beebe Healthcare has always come down to something greater than bricks and mortar. The true greatness of Beebe is its people, our most important asset. Our staff have always served the community with such faithful dedication, so it’s our ultimate to make that ongoing mission even easier, so that these amazing people can keep doing this incredible work.”


> e2d8faae3f18167c89a797eefe918b30 MIND, BODY, SOUL ]]>
THINGS ARE HEATING UP Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:00:00 -0500 Jennifer Cording There is no better business advertisement than an existing customer referring a neighbor. That’s exactly what happened after Steve Bunoski of South...]]> There is no better business advertisement than an existing customer referring a neighbor. That’s exactly what happened after Steve Bunoski of South Bethany Beach, Delaware, and Millersville, Maryland, hired Green Street Solar to install solar panel systems on each of his two homes.

“Literally, our next-door neighbor did it [afterward],” said Bunoski, noting several reasons he decided to “go solar.” “It’s the whole package. You feel good about the environment. It’s a win-win situation. You eventually end up making money on the deal.”

He likes the idea of “greener energy,” but saving money was his primary goal, Bunoski said. Similarly, most customers hire Green Street Solar for the significant financial savings, said Derek Dykes, operations manager of the company based in Selbyville since 2008.

“During the day, when sun is shining, your electric meter can actually spin backwards,” Dykes said. “From the time it’s installed you start saving money.”

The federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit, which remains in effect until 2019. Dykes said some people aren’t aware this particular tax credit is still available to buyers. In Delaware customers could be eligible to receive a Green Energy Fund Rebate up to $3,000. Businesses can apply for accelerated bonus tax depreciation on the system. In Maryland, homeowners could be eligible to receive a $1,000 grant from the state toward the cost of the Green Street Solar system. Businesses can receive grants up to $50,000 and apply accelerated bonus depreciation. Certain Maryland counties have a property tax credit up to $5,000.

“It’s important to look at solar as an investment,” said Dykes. “The solar system should last 25-30 years or even longer. Currently, the typical return on investment in Delaware is around seven years, so years seven through 30 is just money in your pocket.”

A solar system from Green Street Solar is designed to be aesthetically unobtrusive. The panels are installed on the roof of a home, business or even an outbuilding — or a ground-mounted system array is attached to poles that are cemented into the ground, explained Dykes. Green Street Solar has in-house electricians and never utilizes subcontractors.

Bunoski said he and his wife researched several companies and attended trade shows before finalizing their decision to hire Green Street Solar, where the Bunoskis found “well-educated people who know what they’re doing,” he said. Their work ethic impressed him, as well. The installation on the South Bethany house was done during the summer heat.

“It was one of those days where it was 100 degrees,” Bunoski recalled. “I turned to the guys, and I said, ‘Look, I’ll hose down the roof for you.’” The Green Street Solar installers, however, turned down the generous offer, stating that they did not want to chance compromising the flashing seals they were about to install on its surface and expressed their appreciation to the client.

“That told me something about the company. They were going to do it the right way, no matter what,” Bunoski said. “It’s just the right thing to do and Green Street Solar was the right company to deal with.”

> 0b42370b1d087593b00571321cb2eaa2 RIGHT AT HOME ]]>
WHEN CAMBRIDGE BURNED Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Brian Shane VICKY JACKSON WAS SITTING AT HOME on that steaming-hot July 24 night in 1967. Her father, Fred, had been active in the civil-rights movement, but on...]]> VICKY JACKSON WAS SITTING AT HOME on that steaming-hot July 24 night in 1967. Her father, Fred, had been active in the civil-rights movement, but on that night, he was home with family. She heard there was going to be a rally on Pine Street, and a leading voice in the movement, H. Rap Brown, was coming to town to talk to some of the young people. But her father explicitly told her and her sister: “Stay in the house.”

Something woke her in the middle of the night. It was the sound of gunshots, just three blocks from their house. Looking out from her second-floor window, she was astonished to see flames dancing over the rooftops. 

“I remember thinking,” she said, “Oh my God, Pine Street’s on fire. All I could see was the red flames. I remember being afraid because I knew my father was out there somewhere, trying to extinguish the flames!”

When the sun rose the next day, she saw Pine Street, the heart of the city’s vibrant and historic black community, in ashes and the people around her in tears. 

“I felt like crying myself, because I didn’t understand why we would do that — we, meaning the black community — would burn down parts of Pine Street. I knew what was happening, but I didn’t know the significance,” she said.

Victoria L. Jackson-Stanley made headlines in 2008 when she first took office, not only as Cambridge’s first African-American mayor, but as the first female mayor in her hometown’s history, as well. Now in her third term, she still thinks often of the events that shook Cambridge to its core 50 years ago.

Looking back on that night, Jackson-Stanley says the fires, and what led to them, were based on simmering racial tension from a black community sick and tired of the status quo. Because they were so frustrated, she says, they took matters into their own hands. 

That seminal event in Cambridge history is being reexamined now, five decades later. Local activists Dion Banks and Kisha Petticolas founded the Eastern Shore Network for Change and launched a four-day event in July to commemorate the civil-rights movement in Cambridge, “Reflections on Pine.”

They seek, among other things, to create a comfortable conversation in and around their hometown about a point on the timeline that, for many people, had simply been ignored. The two realized that much of Cambridge’s racial strife was a stagnant wound that had never properly healed. This recognition led to their first collaboration in 2012, a community conversation called “45 Years After the Fire.”

With 150 people in attendance, “We realized that voices kind of raised up as the conversation got going,” Banks said. “People got emotional. People were crying. Kisha and I had to regroup, because we were in total shock. We decided to let the emotions ebb and flow, because they were real, and the people were in a safe place.”


IT WAS THEN that Banks and Petticolas decided to plan for the 50th anniversary. The goal was not only to commemorate what happened a half-century earlier but to get everyone involved today. It was not to be a black event or a white event, but instead an event for the entire community to learn, listen, heal and talk. 

“Reflections on Pine” began on Thursday night, with an opening reception at Chesapeake College that unveiled the ESNC’s pictorial exhibit. From there it was on to the Hyatt Chesapeake, where local civil-rights activist Gloria Richardson Dandridge spoke. Friday included a lecture at the library with Peter Levy and David “Nicky” Henry, followed by a mural unveiling near the entrance to town, highlighting the African-Americans of Dorchester County, then dinner back at the Hyatt. Saturday saw a public conversation on race moderated by Pulitzer Prize winner E.R. Shipp, followed on Sunday by a unity walk and church service at Bethel A.M.E. on Pine Street, which had been home to the Cambridge movement of the 1960s.

Continuously active since 1847, Bethel A.M.E. possesses some of the oldest stained-glass pieces in the state of Maryland, as well as one of the only fully functioning pipe organs in America. They’re now working on securing grant monies for church restoration, because, as Petticolas said, “We need this to remain the heart of the movement. To put it in context: Before we were free, we were functioning in this very spot.

“The ‘Reflections on Pine’ weekend was a commemoration of events, not all of them good, but it was about celebrating the people who had the courage to push forward,” Petticolas added. “We are picking up the mantle and pushing forward, standing on their shoulders.”


DURING THE TIME OF AMERICAN SLAVERY in the early 1800s, black people in Cambridge formed a community off High Street. From that point, on into the 20th century, the black community grew and strengthened. Pine Street even had the only African-American library in the state of Maryland.

But Cambridge was a town segregated by geography. The white community had their lives and businesses on Race Street, while the black community had theirs on Pine Street, which emerged as the heart of the African-American community. There were dozens of small businesses in the neighborhood. They called it Black Wall Street and Little New York. It was prominently featured in the Green Book, a travel guide for African-Americans in the 1950s and ’60s that reported which hotels and restaurants would be safe and welcoming.

The district — stretching along Pine Street, from Muir Street to Cedar Street — included nearly 40 businesses and could rival prominent black neighborhoods like Harlem or U Street in Washington. The Phillips Packing Co. was one of the largest processing plants in the nation, employing 10,000 people in Cambridge. During wartime, the company won contracts to supply canned goods to the military, and for that reason the plant was running shifts around the clock.

In the 1930s, the community was paid more than $1 million in wages, and Cambridge attracted some of the greatest names in music to the clubs on Pine Street, including Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway and James Brown. But that all changed when the packing companies lost their wartime contracts, and the employers left Cambridge, in the 1950s. Unemployment averaged 30 percent for whites, but soared past 70 percent for blacks.

“When the contracts go, your jobs go,” Banks said. “They started closing places and laying off people. There became this movement, locally, to protect white jobs versus black jobs.”

As the racial strife intensified, the National Guard was called to Cambridge during 1963-’64, one of the longest stretches of military occupation of any American city in the history of the civil-rights movement.

‘There was a war taking place in Cambridge,” said Peter Levy, author of Civil War on Race Street, during remarks at “Reflections on Pine.” “The Guard was brought in and maintained, essentially, for a year to prevent endless violence. The most amazing thing about Cambridge is that more people weren’t killed. It’s remarkable, on both sides.”

Cambridge in the 1960s became home to one of the most vibrant civil-rights movements anywhere in the U.S. But the town never achieved the same notoriety as other flashpoints of the movement. That’s because what was happening in Cambridge didn’t fit with the national narrative of a struggle for public accommodations like lunch counters and public buses. On the contrary, the Cambridge movement was focused on education and employment. When the national narrative turned to public accommodations, Cambridge’s story got subsumed by that.

“Cambridge needs to see itself as a place that belongs on the modern Freedom Trail,” Levy said. “I think in some ways, Cambridge needs to be put back on that map if we’re to understand what took place in the 1960s,” he said.

Cambridge did come to national attention after the events of July 24, 1967, however, when H. Rap Brown -— chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and an active Black Panther invited to speak by Gloria Richardson — delivered a powerful address while standing atop a parked car.

“Black power — that’s the way to say it. Don’t be scared of these honkies around here. Say black power,” Brown told his audience, according to a transcript from the Maryland State Archives. “You've got to be proud of being black. You can’t run around here, calling yourself ‘colored,’ calling yourself Negroes. That’s a word the honkies gave you. You’re black, brother, and be proud of it. It’s beautiful thing to be black.

“And now, we look at what the man does to black people. A 10-year-old boy in Newark is dead. A 19-year-old boy shot 39 times, four times in the head. It don’t take but one bullet to kill you. So they’re really trying to tell you something else. How much they hate you. How much they hate black folks.

“You just been running around here, letting them do everything they want. I mean, don’t be trying to love that honkey to death. Shoot him to death, brother, ’cause that's what he’s out to do to you. Like I said in the beginning, if this town don’t come ’round, this town should be burned down. It should be burned down, brother.”


THE FIRE STARTED THAT NIGHT behind Pine Street Elementary School, which had been built in 1918 as a school for black first–through–seventh graders in the neighborhood. Today, the Cambridge Empowerment Center sits on the site; only a tall concrete-block wall remains of what used to be the school.

As the fire spread across Pine Street, it engulfed other homes and businesses. The block was soon an inferno. Yet, Cambridge Police Chief Brice Kinnamon stood back and kept the fire company from moving onto the scene to do their job, according to Levy.

Several residents, including a black city commissioner, begged Kinnamon to intervene.

“No,” came his reply. “We’re gonna let it burn.”

Eventually, the fire company did break through to begin putting out the blaze, Levy said, but it was too far out of control.

“It burned the heart of this community,” Petticolas said, standing on Pine Street, at the site of the old schoolhouse. “It wiped it out. Where the African-American community had been very progressive, this took things to a whole different place. It looked like somebody dropped a bomb.”

Pine Street today is a shadow of its former self. Of all the black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs on Pine Street, only the Elks Lodge — a pillar of the neighborhood — and Zion Church were able to rebuild. The neighborhood has since slipped into an economic depression. The cause of the fire, wiping out two city blocks, was never officially determined.

The economic and cultural impacts of that one night proved instant and lasting, said Jackson-Stanley and Banks, and Pine Street has been unable to rebound in the 50 years since.  

“That dollar does not circulate on Pine Street anymore, not the way it used to,” Banks continued. “We don’t have the cultural experience, the sense of community. We have people who remember and talk about the heyday; we have books about it. But to experience Pine Street the way my mother and her friends used to, that’s gone.”

At the time, authorities said they kept their firefighters off Pine Street because they feared for their safety. One civil-rights icon has another theory. Now 95 years old, Gloria Richardson, who led the Cambridge movement in the early ’60s, explained that in 1967, the black community in Cambridge had been boycotting white businesses. One tactic included asking young kids to loiter in front of certain storefronts on Race Street. If shoppers from the black community saw those kids, it was a signal not to patronize that shop. She added that Pine Street businessmen went so far as to hire buses and pay for the gasoline and drivers to shuttle members of the black community out of Cambridge, to go shopping instead in Salisbury and Easton.

“I think they let that place burn down,” Richardson said, “because they realized the black businessmen in Cambridge were also supporting the boycott. They were glad to see the stores and restaurants and motels the black people had built up be burned down.”

A Cambridge native, Richardson had a no-nonsense, militant style that clashed with others in the movement, such as John Lewis, who favored nonviolence. Her moment in the spotlight came in 1963, when rioting rocked Cambridge following a march by African-Americans in protest of the sentencing of two young demonstrators.

Counter-demonstrations by white protestors followed. Governor Millard Tawes ultimately ordered the National Guard into Cambridge to maintain law and order. He also implemented a curfew, which quelled the demonstrations. But the unrest would continue, and as a result, the guardsmen were deployed in Cambridge for 18 months.


THE WHITE HOUSE GOT INVOLVED, and Gloria Richardson was Cambridge’s liaison to Washington. She worked hand in hand with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and, after many hours of negotiations, the Treaty of Cambridge emerged. It called for desegregation of public accommodations and public schools, the formation of a biracial committee and the creation of a federally sponsored housing project.

And the guardsmen left.

The treaty itself “was absolutely iconic and amazing,” Banks said. “This woman was like a five-star general in the way she thinks, the way she talks. She was clear on her demands, and she let them know, if you shoot, we’re shooting back. She didn’t mobilize a bunch of supporters. She mobilized an army.”

“Reflections on Pine” had invited Richardson back to Cambridge, for what was supposed to be an intimate conversation looking back on 1967. Offering 120 tickets initially, it sold out instantly. They bumped it to 200, then 250. Every ticket sold out.

“When she walked in,” Petticolas said, “she put her hand over her face. She was shocked and overwhelmed that so many people from Cambridge wanted to hear her talk.”

Sparking that conversation about 1967, and doing it in such a big way, had made the people of Cambridge feel it’s okay to talk about the events of Pine Street and to cross whatever invisible line was there, Petticolas said. She said before now, people didn’t want to talk about it because it conjured difficult emotions.

“We’re almost to the point where we’ve caught our breath, and we’re working on what happens next,” she said. “There’s this momentum that we need, to come together and do things. It feels like we’ve created a momentum with “Reflections on Pine” that has become contagious.

“There’s still plenty of work to do,” she added. “I’m not saying everything is as it should be, but we’ve come a long way, and there is a definite sense of pride in that.”

Things are now changing for Cambridge. It’s starting to see reinvestment, like a facelift to a derelict shopping center along Route 50. 

“When you’re the through-road to the beach, and you get a Chick-Fil-A in your town, and a Starbucks, people are going to stop and say: ‘What else is here?’ Cambridge is going to be the place to come. Things are going to change, and it’s going to be amazing for Cambridge,” Petticolas said.

In the months to come, the Eastern Shore Network for Change plans to coalesce around issues such as housing, education and prisoner reentry. They’re also planning an “illumination project,” a year-long conversation on race.

Meanwhile, Petticolas and Banks are planning a bold new chapter in the form of a museum on Pine Street that would be dedicated to the movement, among other related community activities.

“We’re using this building to train the next generation of entrepreneurs who will start businesses on Pine Street,” Petticolas said. “This nonprofit is the beginning. It’s primarily a museum, with tentacles that reach out: We see a learning center, dream lab and incubator space here one day.”

Inside the facility, Banks and Petticolas also are planning for classroom space, rental space for events, a sound-and-video studio for multimedia production, and office space for the Eastern Shore Network for Change. It doesn’t have an official name yet, but for now they’re calling it “Reflections on Pine, Phase II.” By using the space as an incubator, they can create more anchors on Pine Street, so the community can start generating more revenue. That should lead to more investments in business, property and eventually tourism and the arts.

“There are plenty of people in this community looking for an opportunity and have no idea where to start,” she said. “We have the know-how, means and capital to start that kind of rebuilding. We’re going to move forward and step out of this, into something great.”

> ef80ab7164d1139aa9316423c8f8488c HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ]]>
THE FAMILY BUSINESS Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Nick Brandi If you hear the name McCarthy on the Lower Eastern Shore, chances are you immediately think of McCarthy & Son Contracting, the local building...]]> If you hear the name McCarthy on the Lower Eastern Shore, chances are you immediately think of McCarthy & Son Contracting, the local building company that has been a Best of the Eastern Shore winner each year of the competition’s five-year history — a distinction that only a handful of entities can claim. But while the company’s founder, Kevin McCarthy, has worked tirelessly to establish his namesake company’s exemplary reputation for excellence and customer satisfaction, scratching the surface of his family reveals that its members have each followed in the footsteps its patriarch. In fact, every member of this dynamic, entrepreneurial family is hard at work, making their own indelible mark on the community. It is not only a story of success on multiple levels but one of loyalty and mutual support that leaves each feeling there isn’t a whole lot they can’t accomplish.

Kevin gained his industry-leading expertise literally from the ground up — doing masonry work at age 14. Following an extensive and arduous apprenticeship, he was ready to hang his own shingle in 1980, when McCarthy & Son Contracting was born. He turned to homebuilding in the late 1980s and really hit his stride, rapidly rising to the top of his field. With skills and reputation well in hand, he relocated to the Eastern Shore in 2002 with his wife, Mia, and young family. As the clan set down roots, Kevin expanded McCarthy & Son Contracting to include home improvement, from complete-gut renos on multimillion dollar homes to upgrading a single bathroom or adding a porch, patio or pavilion. Always the master mason, Kevin still does more than his share of fireplace, firepits and custom hardscaping work for grateful clients across the Eastern Shore. Just as impressive, nearly 100 percent of Kevin’s workforce are full-time, year-round employees, with an average tenure of 15 years, many longer.

“I think part of being a responsible business owner not only involves service to the community but also a commitment to establishing and maintaining a workforce that can feed their families and build futures as a result of the collaborative work you all do together, Kevin said. “That’s how you build communities that stick together and prevail through every kind of situation and challenge.”

This philosophy — along with talent and lots of hard work — has helped Kevin and McCarthy & Son Contracting adapt to and succeed in every economic climate. Along the way, he learned that he possessed an innate talent for design, such that these days a large part of his new business is as a design consultant, which has saved his many clients countless thousands in extra fees. “I find I really enjoy the creative side of the business,” Kevin said. “It’s not new to me anymore, but it feels new with each new job I get.”

Mia McCarthy, meanwhile, was raised in Howard County, “across,” as she whimsically put it, “the other side of the railroad tracks” from where Kevin was raised. She had met Kevin in 1987, and they were married two years later. A natural union, Mia was as naturally predisposed to entrepreneurship as her new husband was, so it came as no surprise when she launched Simply the Best maid service out of Ellicott City. As with Kevin’s sole proprietorship, Mia’s business thrived, winding up with more than 300 clients and 15 employees. She earned her real estate license in 2004, two years after relocating to the Shore, and in 2011 joined what is considered by many locals to be the premier residential real estate company in Worcester County, The Mark Fritschle Group, Condominium Realty, LTD. Since then, Mia’s career has thrived, along with that of her employer — which was not only named Best Real Estate Company in Worcester by Eastern Shore voters but also saw more than twice the sales volume in 2016 of the No. 2 office of its kind. When asked why she’s done so well in real estate sales, Mia looks to her background as the owner-operator of a small business. “I think I’ve done well in real estate because running a business had taught me how to solve problems and overcome obstacles,” Mia said. “I’ve applied that to my real estate career, such that I’m now known to be a problem solver, which is a quality both sellers and buyers appreciate.”

They say that often, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and this would certainly seem to apply to Kevin and Mia’s daughter Kelsey. The 26-year-old Stephen Decatur and Wor-Wic graduate (with a business-management degree) was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug back when she was 15, as the sole proprietor of her own — what else? — cleaning service (just like her mom), which, say Mia and Kevin laughingly, they don’t like to broadcast too loudly because they’re not entirely sure it was legal at the time. What the proud parents do tout, and rightly so, is that while other adolescents her age were spending summers reveling in the sun of their world-famous beach community, Kelsey was sweating indoors, often by herself, earning money and building a career. In fact, young Kelsey worked every summer until she was 20 and went on to earn her real estate sales license.

Sure, Kelsey’s career path in the early days tracked her mother’s, but Kelsey also has her dad’s creativity, which was crystal clear once Kelsey picked up a camera, back in freshman year of high school. A love affair with the shutter immediately ensued, and today, Kelsey is the owner of McCarthy Imagerie, a photography company that specializes in everything from engagements, weddings and family portraits to real-estate, product and editorial photography.

Wife and mother of three, Mia and Kevin’s daughter Jamie Walsh, 34, is just as dynamic as her sister. Like Kelsey, Mia trained Jamie to be independent and self-sufficient from early on, resulting in Walsh All-Clean, which Jamie launched in 2011. Despite having her own family of four to look after, the perpetually upbeat Jamie manages Walsh All-Clean so efficiently, there is a new-client waiting list for her company’s services that spans both Worcester and Wicomico Counties. Life is good these days for Jamie and her husband, Chris, who runs his family’s second-generation company, Walsh Home Improvement, which handles all aspects of home improvement, from A to Z.

Though all seven of Kevin and Mia’s beloved grandsons display the classic McCarthy precociousness, so far it is 11-year-old Gunner who has stepped forward as the third generation of McCarthy entrepreneur. He has already taken an active interest in his granddad’s contracting business and is learning the trade on-site, hands-on, with Kevin as his mentor. 

You, too, can get in on the McCarthy family vibe. Each summer, Kevin and Mia retreat to the compact mobility of their RV and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) their beautiful 3,100 sq. ft. home in Berlin’s coveted South Point to vacationers throughout peak season. Built by Kevin himself, the 5-BR, 3.5-bath masterpiece on two levels sleeps 14 and sits on a half-acre plot just 1.5 miles from Assateague. Contact Mia at 443-497-0182 or email her at for more information.

> 5e584ec51714cf8f7494b87e35dddb4a RIGHT AT HOME ]]>
PRIVATE PARADISE Fri, 01 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Jonathan Westman Wes Novelli is constantly challenging himself creatively. The owner of Hardscapes, Inc. never rests until a project is completed to the ultimate...]]> Wes Novelli is constantly challenging himself creatively. The owner of Hardscapes, Inc. never rests until a project is completed to the ultimate satisfaction of the homeowners — and his own incredibly high standards. His passion for evolving his craft through his innovative designs and use of modern materials and state-of-the-art technologies have earned Hardscapes, Inc. Best Hardscaping Company in Worcester County honors in Coastal Style Magazine for three consecutive years.

It’s not surprising, then, that a recent West Ocean City project included a custom combination of fire and water features with designated seating all-in-one — something Novelli had never attempted before. 

“The ‘Wow factor’ is different for the customer than it is for me,” said Novelli, whose business operates in the counties of Worcester, Wicomico and Sussex. “It’s important to me to incorporate elements, like this propane firepit-waterfall-ottoman combo, for example, that impresses the homeowners and their guests, but also pushes the levels of our originality and creativity as a company.”

Homeowners Mike and Jennifer Ciorrocco chose Wes to transform their backyard, based upon his excellent reputation with friends and colleagues who hired him previously. Their decision was reinforced after seeing examples of his work in person and on social media. 

“Our primary goal was to create an outdoor space that was functional for both children and adults,” Jennifer said, “in an area we could use to entertain, but also for relaxing evenings at home. We had confidence in Wes from the start.”

Novelli and his team completely renovated the space, which offered challenges due to its overall footprint and the property’s proximity to the protected wetland areas, into a beautiful backyard oasis with visual and functional features in every direction. Wes’ custom creation tops the list. 

Strategically positioned at one end of the design, the propane firepit frames the new concrete swimming pool perfectly and provides Mike and Jennifer the ideal place to unwind on a cool evening, a gathering area while entertaining and a S’mores zone for their children, Nicholas and Sophia. The waterfall adds complementary aesthetic value, too. The mechanics of the design were a bit tricky, Wes noted, but came seamlessly together during construction.

Novelli maximized every foot of available space to allow the Ciorroccos ample entertaining space, whether by the pool or in a recessed nook that’s now decorated with cozy furniture and outfitted with a large-screen TV.

The use of smart-technology LED lighting allows the backyard to change personalities after the sun sets and is completely controlled by Mike and Jennifer’s cell phones via WiFi.

Wes complemented the network of reliable and professional contractors who worked together with Hardscapes, Inc. to finish the project in just six short weeks, including Trond’s Pool Care, Salisbury Brick, Ruppert Fence, Carpentry by Masix, Inc., Pemberton Appliance and Electronic Interiors.

“We couldn't be any happier with the outcome of our outdoor living space,” said Mike, who’s well-known for his work as the Mid-Atlantic Division Manager Universal Mortgage & Finance, Inc. “Wes listened to our suggestions and created a vision that exceeded our expectations.” 



> 523bd8e1c37cd4b255c16cf28865d487 RIGHT AT HOME ]]>