Letters to the Editor, Oct. 14, 2020

The Dorchester Banner welcomes readers’ views on topics of public interest.

Dorchester Square development
The following letter, dated Sept. 29 from Fairchild Properties, LLC President Charlie Fairchild to Cambridge Planning & Zoning Division Manager Pat Escher, shares details of a proposed development at Dorchester Square, including construction of a Tractor Supplies store.

Ms. Escher,
Dorchester Marketplace. LLC is pleased to submit Phase 2 of Dorchester Marketplace, located in Dorchester Square, Cambridge. We are pursuing preliminary approval of our overall Site Plan for Phase 2, which consists of two proposed pad sites, as well as the renovation of the remaining portion of the existing “Metro” building.
The architecture proposed for the Advance Auto Parts is the prototype architecture. Dorchester Marketplace plans to review and update the facade as necessary to align with the standard of architecture along Route 50 within the City of Cambridge.
As part of Phase 2, the architectural review of the remainder of the Metro Building will be submitted at a later date for review and approval.
Phase 3 of the project will consist of the architectural review and design of Building 3. The previous Phasing Plan submitted in Phase I has been amended. This was to account for the proposed tenant’s expedited delivery due to their desired opening schedule.
The newly proposed micro bioretention areas and landscaping islands will improve the impervious conditions which currently exist on Lot 3A. Dorchester Marketplace requests the Planning Commission acknowledge and review the development as a whole to include Lots 3A, 3AA. and 3AAA. Lot 3AAA is currently a Forestation Area and Stormwater Retention Pond, which captures and services the runoff throughout Dorchester Square.
This is significant greenspace, which Dorchester Marketplace owns and maintains per the Reciprocal Easement Agreements on the development.

The proposed landscaping throughout the site will consist of the same plant species as that of Cambridge Marketplace. On the submittal set, the Planning Commission will find Landscaping Areas along Route 50 and the redeveloped areas.
A complete landscaping plan is still in development, and will be provided to the Planning Commission as soon as possible, prior to Oct. 6 meeting date. Dorchester Marketplace also acknowledges that Lot Lines will need to be adjusted to account for the 8-foot setback for the Advance Auto. and the Lot Line running through proposed Building 3. A Re-subdivision Plat is currently being prepared and will be submitted to the city prior to the Final Site Plan review.
We sincerely appreciate all of the time and effort the Planning Commission undertakes in its review of Dorchester Marketplace. We look forward to improving this existing development into a project that we can all be proud of.
Charlie Fairchild
Alexandria, Va.

ESNC reclaims narrative
Message received from a visitor to the City of Cambridge Oct. 6 through our website:
“Pine street Walking Tour brochure. We stopped at the Cambridge Community Garden behind Waugh Chapel. It was lovely. On our way up Pine Street, a white woman in a car pulled over to our side of the road to warn us that this was not a safe neighborhood. I showed her the brochure and stated that we were doing a walking tour. She went on to say that there were riots in the 60s and that the next street over Pine street was safer. Sorry for the disjointed messages. This is intended to thank you and point out what you likely already know, that we have a lot of work to do to address racism. Be well.”

My response to our visitor:
“Thank you so very much for taking the time to take our Pine Street Tour. It means the world to us. We hope it was informative and provided you with an in-depth look into our rich African American culture and history.
“I also wanted to thank you for being so honest and transparent about your experience with one of our locals. While it’s unfortunate, it’s the reality we live in and why we do the work that we do.
“We will continue to reclaim the narrative of our past and focus on things that unite our community. Below are digital links to take our tour on the go and share.

“It includes a link to a virtual audio tour and one to a podcast with interviews of locals who lived here in Cambridge during the time of civil unrest. If you ever visit again, please let us know. We’d love to give you a personal tour. All the best”
To the lady who feels it’s her responsibility to spread hate and fear: You will not win. There was more to the message, but I thought I’d end it there. Stop it!
Dion Banks
Eastern Shore
Network for Change

Thanks from Meals til Monday
To the people of Dorchester County,
Now that we are more than a month into the 2020-2021 school year, we at Meals til Monday would like to thank everyone for your constant support and assistance in making sure that all Dorchester County school children have food to eat over the weekends.
Meals til Monday volunteers have been working tirelessly to pack and distribute our bags of food. When schools closed last March, our production vastly increased to nearly three times what we had done the year before.
In the six-month period from March through August 2019, Meals til Monday distributed 36,937 pounds of food purchased from the Maryland Food Bank, Eastern Shore. This year, in that same time-span, during the COVID 19 pandemic, the total amount of food purchased and distributed was 93,440 pounds.
This does not include additional food we were able to purchase from Simmons’ Center Market. The Travers family worked so generously with us to obtain food, which was so difficult to come by.
So many other people helped: The Cambridge Rotary, the YMCA, IRONMAN, families who donated fresh produce and boxes of macaroni and cheese. Everyone pitched in to feed hungry children and their families here in Dorchester County.
Words are not enough to express the gratitude for this outpouring of generosity. Meals til Monday is an all-volunteer non-profit organization. We always say, “No one gets paid, but everyone gets fed.” Thanks to all of you, we can keep that promise.
Thank you.
Leslie Bishop, Director
MidShore Meals til Monday