The Banner’s Message Wall: Neighbors share support in difficult times

Submitted photo/Gillnet
Neighbors are posting notes on social media, sending flyers and emails, all trying to spread news of how they are dealing with the COVID-19 situation.

CAMBRIDGE — As the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to develop, local groups are reaching out to spread the word about changes to their events and schedules. It remains a good idea to check on the status of goods and services before leaving home.
The Banner compiled a list of announcements over the previous week, which follows:

DoCo Health Department
We are still seeing community spread transmission in Dorchester County. Over the past week [posted Sunday], we had 17 newly confirmed cases. Please remember the three Ws: wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance!
WHCP: Online school talk
The next Cambridge Community Conversation will take place today at 7 p.m., when Superintendent of Dorchester County Public Schools W. David Bromwell will speak about the emerging plans for the coming school year, and answer questions from the community.
Executive Director of New Beginnings Youth and Family Services Dr. Theresa Stafford will serve as moderator for the Q&A session. We will again be streaming on YouTube and Facebook where you can participate from your home on your computer, or mobile phone without any downloads or passwords.

Meals til Monday
For 15 weeks we packed and provided over 15,000 bags of food to children and their families here in Dorchester County. We want to thank everyone involved who worked so hard to provide food for our community; all our packers, those who handed out the bags, transported our bins and so many folks who we rely on such as our Maryland Food Bank Partners, DCPS, The Salvation Army, SYSCO, Bimbo Bakeries, Habitat Choptank, the YMCA, and other community partners who helped provide needed food.
Hungry kids are still hungry in the summertime and Meals til Monday will continue to pack and hand out bags. Here’s where you can go to get your Meals til Monday bags of food:
• St. Paul’s Church every Monday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Cambridge Commons Apartments rental office (for families who live in that community) Fridays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
• The YMCA: any day when the Y is open, just go in and ask!
• River Church, 415 Academy Ave., Fridays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Mandala Pies, 115 Old Ocean Gateway, Vienna, Thursdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
There will be more locations, including Hurlock and Choptank Elementary School, as they will also distribute school meals in July. We will update you on those additional locations.
If you or anyone you know needs immediate assistance with food please call us at 443-225-6789, or email leslie@midshoremealstilmonday.org
We’re here to help. Thank you, Dorchester County for your support and help to feed hungry children and their families.

American Legion Post 91
Comrades,
Due to the current status that we are in relating to the virus, changes have been put into effect. The Dorchester Post 91 2020-2021 election will be held on Aug. 25 at 6 p.m.. On this date, only the election information will be discussed.
Nominations for Post Officers will be taken on July 21 and Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. No nominations will be accepted after these dates.
There is a sign-up sheet, for those who are interested, on the bulletin board in the hallway leading to the restrooms. Elected officers will be: Commander, 1st Vice Commander, 2nd Vice Commander, Judge Advocate, Finance Officer, Historian, Sergeant-At-Arms, (4) Executive Committee at Large Members, and Chaplain.
I thank you for your attention and should you have any additional questions, please contact me directly.
— Sam Monaghan, Commander Post 91, 443-521-5843

Md. Department of Health
The Maryland Department of Health Thursday announced the launch of MD Mind Health, a new text-based mental health initiative to fight isolation and encourage mental wellness.
The new program was developed by the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) in partnership with 2-1-1 Maryland, the state’s crisis hotline, which saw a significant increase in volume in recent months, especially in text messages.
“Physical distancing has left many feeling more alone and isolated, and these feelings can fuel sadness, depression, cravings for substances and relapse, negative coping skills and other mental health problems,” said Dr. Aliya Jones, Deputy Secretary for BHA. “We must find healthy ways to respond. Even though we may not be seeing as much of each other, we don’t have to feel alone.”
Text 898-211 to sign up for MD Mind Health to receive encouragement, reminders and resources for staying connected. Messages include tips about self-compassion and self-care, concrete suggested actions, recommended podcasts and apps, inspirational quotes and information on how to find community resources and get help if needed.
Congratulations, Rev. Cephas
The 2020 Maryland Municipal League conference, which is usually held in Ocean City, was put into virtual reality this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Included into the video Closing Ceremony was the induction of elected officials into the MML HALL OF FAME. This honor is for those who have served their towns and cities for 20 years or more.
“Please join me in congratulating with a big round of applause, for our Councilman, and my friend, Rev. Charles Cephas, who has tirelessly worked for the past 20 years for the betterment of Hurlock,” a statement on the town’s social media account said. “And congratulations to our neighboring Mayor of Vienna Dr. Russell B. Brinsfield, for his 22 years of service to the Town of Vienna.”

Md. Department of Aging
Many seniors rely on family and friends to help with daily needs such as preparing meals, bathing, administering medications, help to get out of bed/chair, food delivery, and the list goes on. The Maryland Department of Aging has launched a program called Caregiver Services Corps to help those in need if their primary caregiver is sick or needs to quarantine due to COVID-19.
The program is in need of volunteers to go to the homes of seniors to provide these services. Please help us care for our older residents during this time of need and sign up to be a volunteer! If you, or someone you know, are in need of assistance, please call 2-1-1 to be connected to the Caregiver Services Corps.
Additional details can be found on our website aging.maryland.gov. Thank you for your support!

Virtual boater safety course
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is offering a three-day virtual Maryland DNR-approved boater safety course on July 27–29 from 1–4 p.m.
Led by CBMM’s Shipyard Manager and USCG licensed captain Christian Cabral, the boater’s safety course will be a live virtual offering, giving participants the opportunity to interact and engage with the course instructor and fellow participants.
Participants completing the course and passing the test will receive a Maryland Boating Safety Education Certificate, valid for life. The certificate is required for anyone born on or after July 1, 1972, who operates a numbered or documented vessel on Maryland waters. The course is also recommended for anyone looking to become a safer, more experienced boater or personal watercraft operator.
The cost is $25 per person, with space limited and registration required. A 20% discount (of $5) is available for CBMM members. Details and links for the online learning classroom will be sent to registrants in advance of the program.
CBMM members play a critical role in supporting CBMM’s rich legacy of educational programs, fascinating and ever-changing exhibitions, and maintenance of the largest collection of Chesapeake watercraft in the world, including access to exclusive discounts, perks, and programming. To learn more about becoming a CBMM member, visit cbmm.org/membership.
To register, go to cbmm.org/boatersafety. For information on Maryland DNR’s boating safety program, visit dnr.maryland.gov/boating.

Help for voters
The League of Women Voters of Maryland is springing into action, in response to the governor’s July 8 order to the State Board of Elections to carry out a traditional election process this November, while also mailing every active registered voter an absentee ballot request form. This decision runs contrary to the advice of local election officials who reported that many election judges have already declined to serve due to concerns about COVID-19.
Election officials also noted the additional administrative costs and potential delays caused by the processing of absentee ballot request forms, and recommended that ballots be mailed to voters to ensure a safer and more seamless process. This will unfortunately create challenges for voters and poll workers — chief among them the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at in-person polling places.
Regardless of our views about this policy choice, our highest priority now is to support voters with the information they need to successfully and safely obtain and cast their ballots.

Here is our 2020 Election Protection Plan:
• Voter Empowerment — As we have done for the past 100 years, we will continue to empower voters by providing them with unbiased nonpartisan candidate and ballot issue information via our trusted Voters’ Guides, Vote411.org, and candidate forums.
• Advocacy — LWVMD will continue to advocate for the safety of poll workers and voters in coordination with a broad coalition of voting rights groups – Everyone Votes Maryland.
• Accountability — We will continue to monitor and communicate with the State Board of Elections to ensure every voter’s needs are considered as this election plan progresses.
• Grassroots Coordination — 15 local LWVs throughout the state will continue to collaborate on the ground in their communities and provide critical election resources and information.
While we are ready to provide Marylanders with the tools they need to participate in our democracy in November, we remain concerned that this decision leaves us open to the possibility of another emergency shift in the election process should there be a second wave of widespread COVID-19 cases in Maryland in the fall.
State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen B. Salmon
At MSDE, we believe that learning is a lifelong process for all of us: our students, families, educators and administrators. Just as local systems are offering exciting summer curriculum opportunities, the MSDE Division of Curriculum, Instructional Improvement, and Professional Learning offers diverse professional learning opportunities for teachers every summer. One annual opportunity is the Regional Summer Workshop Series. Content offices curate workshops based on the needs identified by local school system leaders.
Due to COVID-19, the courses are being moved to a virtual format. Because of significant shifts in instructional methods and the impact of current events, the local school system content supervisors identified multiple areas of interest for summer professional learning including:
• Social-Emotional learning
• Equity and Social Justice
• Virtual Pedagogy
• Family and Community Engagement
• Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
Based on the feedback received from the local school systems, the division worked collaboratively to plan a virtual workshop series to cover these critical areas of focus.
One of the courses offered, Equity and Justice, is a primer workshop for educators looking to take ownership of key terminology to launch them into a deeper understanding of educational equity, bias, and inclusion. This course is being facilitated by MSDE’s Coordinator of Fine Arts Alysia Lee.
MSDE and Arts Education in Maryland Schools have partnered to fund the virtual workshop series using Title II, Part A funds, and funding from the Maryland State Arts Council.
The courses are free, and educators may sign up for them at: eventbrite.com/e/msde-2020-virtual-summer-workshops-registration.
Baywater Animal Rescue
Friends, we need some help building a new shelter gate. We don’t need anything fancy, just functional. These gates are being held up by prayers and zip ties and we could really use a new one.
Cost for a new, lightweight and efficient gate is $1,650. Please help if you are able to contribute or if you own a gate company and can donate, we would be so grateful.