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Thursday, May 1, 2008 • St. Mary’s County, Maryland

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Times Established 2006 • Volume 3 • Issue 18

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Deputies From The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Participated In “Strike Force Sobriety Checkpoints” See Story pg. A-10

Man Not Guilty Of FirstDegree Assault On Deputies

Jury finds guilt of lesser charges stemming from police chase By Guy Leonard Staff Writer A jury took more than four hours deliberating the fate of Guy Vivian Butler last week after a two-day trial where the prosecution portrayed him as a man who led police on a dangerous high speed chase last year that culminated in him attempting to ram two deputies in a pursuing police cruiser. But the jury did not agree with Assistant State’s Attorney Robyn Riddle’s argument and instead found Butler guilty of

three lesser counts of second-degree assault on pursuing deputies as well as on charges of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and theft. Testimony from several St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s deputies and one state trooper recalled the high-speed chase that took place last Oct. 26, a day marked with heavy rain. Butler, 42, of Mechanicsville, was suspected of driving a stolen Ford Windstar van that day when then Detective Antonio Malaspina, a state trooper, spotted Butler at the Target departSee Not Guilty page A-

Homeowners Get A Helping Hand at 18th Annual Christmas In April Andrea Shiell Staff Writer

Raiders Rally For Victory

At a small house on Kennedy Court in Mechanicsville, Lisa Thomas stood in her back yard, surveying all the people on her property, some installing her new windows, others installing her new appliances, while still others installed new floors in her kitchen and bathrooms. Sonny Birch, founder of Birch Oil, was meanwhile cutting up pieces of a large tree with his chainsaw in her back yard. Her property was flooded with volunteers

We’ve all gotten our share of key hits.” – Senior Catcher Andrew Burgess

Bachmann Honored As County Employee Of The Year Lisa Bachmann, a fiscal specialist working in St. Mary’s County government was named the 2008 Distinguished Employee of the Year April 29 by the Board of County Commissioners. The honor is granted annually by consent of the 700 employees in county government. The other nominees for the award were Patricia Myers, manager of the Wicomico Golf Course, Janice Blackistone, a fiscal specialist in the Department of Land Use and Growth Management, Becky Trossbach a fiscal specialist in the county Finance Department and Cpl. Richard W. Russell, with the county Office of the Sheriff. Bachmann has worked in county government a little less than three years.

Leonardtown Election The Mayor and Council of Leonardtown would like to remind all Leonardtown residents to vote in the upcoming Town election. Anyone living in the corporate limits of Leonardtown that is already registered as a St. Mary’s County voter is eligible to vote in the election. You may verify your voting status by calling the Town Office at 301-475-9791. The Town election will be held at the Town Office on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 between 12:00 and 7:00 pm. Residents can cast their votes for the Mayor and two Council members for a term of four years. The Town Office is located at 41660 Courthouse Drive in the Proffitt Building. Voters will be directed to the first floor conference room.

See Christmas in April page A-

Photo by Andrea Shiell

Sonny Birch carves a fallen tree for a home owner during this year’s Christmas in April

Fate Of County Budget To Be Determined By Guy Leonard Staff Writer As the St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) work to finalize the fiscal 2009 budget, it is unclear if they will be able to provide tax relief for citizens or if the $327.5 million budget will

Three Men Take Pleas In Home Invasion Case By Guy Leonard Staff Writer

stay as it is. With revenues from the state likely to be stagnant or shrinking, said Commissioner Thomas A. Mattingly (D-Leonardtown), there will be little chance of cutting taxes.

Three men involved in a break-in of a resident’s home on Stephen Young Court in Leonardtown last year with the intent of robbing him have taken guilty pleas to the crime in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court. Nico Matthew Adams, 19, of La Plata; Garrett Michael Dyson, 21, of Port Tobacco and Antoine

See Budget page A-

See Invasion page A-

Inside Op.-Ed .......... Obituaries..... Community... Police ............ Classifieds..... Thursday Sunny 73°

Page A - 4 Page A - 9 Page B - 3 Page B - 5 Page B - 9 Friday Sunny 77°

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The County Times

Section A - 

Potomac River Association Looking For Volunteers By Guy Leonard Staff Writer

Thursday, May 1, 2008

not functioning properly and could be allowing large amounts of water to flow to the Chesapeake Bay without being treated for pollutants. Many of the facilities in the county are probably more than 20 years old, Klein said, which means they are probably not in compliance with the latest state requirements from 2000. “Maintenance is the Achilles heel of storm water management,” Klein said. “The best guess is that any facility 20 years old or older probably needs $20,000 to $50,000 of repairs.” Klein estimated that perhaps 95 percent of the storm water facilities would not conform to the latest standards. The citizen’s guide could be used as a basic tool for local communities to keep track of the facility’s health with a little ef-

fort and not a whole lot of technical skill. “What we’re asking people to do is pretty darn simple,” Klein said. Robert Elwood, one of the leaders of the Potomac River Association, said initial attempts at getting volunteers to come out and observe the storm water facilities have been slow, but the organization will continue to get the word out. He said PRA’s work is a cooperative effort with the county government and that the county values their volunteer efforts. “Anyone can be trained to do that,” Elwood said of the facilities monitoring. “Some of the types of failures are easy to recognize. “It appears [county government] doesn’t have the resources, so we’re trying to lend a helping hand.”

training volunteers. The packet was assembled by Community and Environmental Defense Services (CEDS); the same The Potomac River Association says Owings Mills-based environmental concounty government is trying to monitor sultant that published last year’s study. all the storm water management facilities Richard Klein, the CEDS director, in the county, (SWM) but it just does not said an estimated 21 percent of the counhave enough people to do the job. ty’s area is developed with a consequential So, the group has put together a pro- risk to the county’s waterways. gram that aims to train volunteers in local “It’s probable that about 21 percent of communities to check the facilities them- the county’s waterways are in moderate to selves and report malfunctioning ones or poor condition,” Klein said. those in need of repair to the county. Proper maintenance of storm water The Potomac River Association com- management facilities is not the only way missioned a study last year that argued to reduce pollutants that came after rains three out of four types of pollution control such as oil and chemicals from streets, measures used by the state and the county roadways, soil and other sediments, but it were not effective. is important. The study showed 75 percent of sites “It’s not a panacea,” Klein said. “But visited, which were projects built in the it can go a long way to reducing the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area, had storm impacts.” water management facilities that were not The storm water management facilities functioning properly. are designed to filter all manner of pollutThe volunteer program uses the work ants out that are harmful to the Chesapeake packet “A Citizens Guide to Preserving Bay and other major waterways. Increased Aquatic Assets by Maximizing Storm Wa- pollutants sully the water and riverbeds ter Management Benefits” as a basis for and degrade aquatic flora and fauna. Klein’s citizen’s guide MLS#: SM6730255 helps would-be volunteers identify and give a cursory assessment of the state of a particular storm water facility. Volunteers examining the state of the facilities can check for drainage of the site to ensure that it is clear a couple of days after rainfall. If the facility is not Photo by Guy Leonard Dogwood Circle clear and still retains water The Potomac River Association is looking for volunteers to help check the health of storm water management Mechanicsville, MD 20659 it is likely a sign that it is facilities like this one on Chancellors Run Road. The association is making available a citizens guide to help train

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Liquor Store Owner, Charities Sue To Turn Gaming Machines Back On By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Bob Sorrells, owner of Fred’s Liquors in Charlotte Hall, said back in March that he might consider a lawsuit if the electronic gaming machines operating in his store were shutdown in March by the state. He’s done just that, and with him several charities that were reaping profits from the proceeds of pull-tab dispensers have also joined in on the suit. The gaming devices, which resembled slot machines, came under close scrutiny by the Office of the Sheriff and the Maryland State Comptrollers Office in March when an opinion from the Attorney General’s Office declared the machines operating in about 30 establishments throughout St. Mary’s was likely illegal. Many of the pull-tab machines have been either shut

down or removed from those establishments. Sorrells has kept the machines in his establishment shut down, according to the lawsuit filed at St. Mary’s County Circuit Court April 24. The defendants named in the suit are the county government and the state of Maryland. He, along with the groups Alternatives for Families and Youth and Center for Children, Inc. in Charlotte Hall and La Plata respectively, want the machines turned back on until they are made illegal by law recently passed in the state legislature. That law requires the machines be made illegal as of July 1 of this year. Sorrells and the charities want to use what little time is left until then to make more money off the machines, the lawsuit states. “I know that it’s a short amount of time but anything

at all is worth something,” Sorrells said of the suit. “We figure we can get more money for the charities with the time we have left.” Sorrells said he would abide by whatever decision came down from the courts. “If they go, they go; if they stay that’s great,” Sorrells said. “If they say no I’ll gladly walk away. “I just want to put some closure to it.” Pull-tab dispensers began proliferating in the county around December when State’s Attorney Richard Fritz gave an opinion that because they did not operate on a random basis — there was a determined number of winners in each pull-tab machine — that they were not slot machines. The lawsuit filed by Sorrells and the non-profit charities represents the first time the St. Mary’s issue has been tried in court and not through attorney opinion.

The first part of the lawsuit filed for temporary and permanent injunctive relief, petitioning the court to have the machines turned back on immediately. That motion was denied by Circuit Court Judge Karen Abrams, according to court documents, but a hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for May 2. Some who leased space for the operation of the electronic gaming devices complained during the investigation that they were being unfairly targeted. They said that powerful forces in Annapolis, like Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach, wanted to sweep aside any competition for the possibility of statecontrolled slots to be decided by referendum in November. “It is kind of upsetting how this went down in Annapolis,” Sorrells said. “I’m so disillusioned right now… this has hurt me to the bone.”

New Construction And Transportation Training Program Gets Federal Funding Andrea Shiell Staff Writer On Monday, Representative Steny Hoyer presented the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) with $286,899 for its Partnership for the Advancement of

Construction and Transportation Training program. The program will provide courses and training to meet the growing demand in the construction and transportation industries in Southern Maryland. The funds were appropriated in the FY08

Omnibus Appropriations bill passed in December 2007. “It’s basically a boot-camp program that these funds will be used for,” explained Karen Smith Hupp, Community Relations Director for the College of Southern Maryland. She said that the new program would entail 10 weeks of intensive training for those seeking entry-level positions in either the construction or transportation industries. Other courses centering on those two disciplines tripled from 1999 to 2005, and the college is expecting over 4,000 students to be enrolled in similar career courses by the year 2015. This new flux of funding will be used to help jump-start the program and draw recent high school graduates and underemployed or unemployed workers into the field. “In Southern Maryland and in areas across the country, we are currently facing a severe shortage of skilled professionals in the building and transportation trades,” said Hoyer. “Through the specialized training offered through this program the College of Southern Maryland is uniquely poised to

respond to the specific workforce needs of our region and equip workers with the skills they need to excel to the top of their trade. “This is really designed for people with no experience,” said Hupp, adding that the program would provide alternative training for carpentry, HVAC and electrical work. It was designed specifically for students who would not otherwise be going to college, to train them for apprenticeships in the construction and transportation trades. “The need for trained professionals in the trades is reaching alarming levels that threaten the well-being of Southern Maryland,” said CSM President Brad Gottfried. “The funds secured by Congressman Hoyer will permit the College of Southern Maryland to jumpstart an innovative program that could be replicated across the country.” “It’s a way to meet an educational need quickly,” said Hupp, “and help people get into the workforce.” The new program is expected to start this fall.


The County Times

Thursday, May 1, 2008

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The County Times

Section A - 

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Editorial & Opinion Computer Services Tax Mishandled From Beginning To End Some state lawmakers are calling the recent action by the Maryland Legislature to repeal the state’s computer services tax a victory for Maryland business. Unfortunately these are the same lawmakers who passed this ill-advised tax increase just last fall. In an attempt to correct their own misguided public policy actions, they once again got it wrong. The expansion of the Maryland sales tax to include computer services was first enacted during the November 2007 Special Session. It was

added to the already historic tax increases in, literally, the dark of night in a Senate committee, with no discussion or input from the public. At the time, Republicans in the state legislature, who hold a small minority, lead by our own Delegate O’Donnell, argued on the floor of the House of Delegates how damaging this tax would be to the burgeoning tech industry in Maryland, and to the state’s economy. Republican’s offered as an alternative specific reductions in the rate of growth in spend-

ing to address the looming state deficit. The Republican effort failed and the legislature went on to pass the largest tax increase in Maryland history, which included the tech tax. After hearing from their constituents how damaging this tax would be on Maryland businesses and jobs, the legislators who passed this tax went back to Annapolis in January feeling pressure not only from Republican lawmakers to repeal this tax, but from the folks back home as well. Unfortunately, Governor O’Malley and the Democratic

At What Price Do We Turn a Blind Eye? Recently while employed as an automobile damage assessor for a local auto body repair shop, I encounter a number of employees smoking an illegal substance while on duty. Being a retired fire fighter with close ties to the law enforcement community, I was not about to turn a blind eye to such illegal activities; especially when it involves the proper and safe repair of those vehicles within my own community. One would think such illegal activities would be the grounds for the immediate termination, especially when this was not the only reported case concerning one of the individuals, or for that matter many of the other individuals employed there. Now here is the ironic part, instead of terminating the self acknowledged individuals, I received a lecture on how I was imposing my life style upon the employees, and how 80% of the population smokes marijuana. I am not without fault, but according to the latest statistics, out of a total United States

population of 304 million people, 30 million people smoke marijuana. That is totally unacceptable by my standards, but it only represents 9.86% of the population. Now herein lays the crown jewel the other 90.14% law abiding citizens would say, or just plainly stated the law: “Maryland Marijuana laws state an individual that is in the possession of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony…” With our countries waning economy, home foreclosures, and the financial collapse of many of our finest financial institutions, at what price do we turn a blind eye to the illegal activities we may encounter in our homes or workplace? The answer is simple, “There is no price!” Especially, if it involves the trust and safety our community has bestowed upon us.

Michael D. Ramos, Retired Fire Fighter Waldorf

can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and other emergency items for the whole family.  ·         Heeding Storm Warnings: Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.  A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area. When a tornado WARNING is issued, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area. If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety. ·         Preparing for High Winds: Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through. Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors. Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry. Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile. For more information on tornado preparedness, contact the Southern Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross at 888 276 2767, go online to www.redcross.org or call 1-800RED CROSS.     Mike Zabko CEO Southern Maryland Chapter American Red Cross

Tornado Season Dear Editor, Tornado season is here, and our community has the chance right now to take some simple steps that can save lives if we are threatened this year by a storm. The disaster relief workers at the Southern Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross work hard in this community every day to provide relief for those whose lives have been torn apart by disasters. However, in addition to helping after a disaster, the Red Cross mission calls for us to play an equally important role in preparing communities BEFORE disaster strikes so that families can learn ways to stay safe when facing the annual tornado season. We know that our region is at risk every year, so it is particularly vital that we work to keep our families safe by preparing for tornado season now. Taking a few moments to discuss some simple, common-sense preparedness steps with your family can save your life and the lives of the ones you love.  ·         Creating and practicing a Home Tornado Plan: Pick an uncluttered place where family members could seek shelter: a basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor.  ·         Assembling a Disaster Supplies Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, canned food and manual

Letters to the Editor If you wish to send a letter to the editor, please include your name, address and phone number for confirmation purposes. We will only publish your name and city of residence. We can withhold your name by request if circumstances merit it. We must receive all letters by Monday morning for publication in the next issue. Any letter received later than Monday will be held for the following issue.

The County Times

leadership choose once again to ignore the suggestions of the Republican’s who recommended repealing the tech tax and reduce state spending, therefore there would be no need to create another tax to replace the tech tax. Instead, the tech tax was repealed and replaced with yet another new tax, a new tax increase on the so-called “rich”. This increased income tax is likely to have an equally damaging effect on Maryland’s economy. Many of the individuals who qualify for this increased tax are actually

small businesses who file as Subchapter S corporations, thus once again, the new tax that will be damaging to Maryland’s small business. California passed a similar tax on so called rich people in that state several years ago. Since then, 5,000 of the state’s 25,000 highest income earners have left the state, causing California to have a $7 billion deficit, largely attributable to the new tax. Clearly, the decision of a few of these highest income earners to leave Maryland would have a huge impact on our State’s finances, which are already unstable. Once again the Maryland Legislature and Governor O’Malley got it wrong, Maryland doesn’t have a tax and revenue problem, Maryland has a spending problem.

Important Election Dear Editor:   The residents of Leonardtown have an important election for Mayor on May 6th.  I believe the best candidate for Mayor is H. S. Lanny Lancaster.  Lanny has not only been my close personal friend for 30 years, but also has been a friend to many other residents of St. Mary’s Co. during his lifelong commitment to serving our community.  He has throughout his life worked to improve the lives of others, and now would like to serve the citizens of Leon. as Mayor. Lanny has demonstrated his leadership abilities in his many years of service to St. Mary’s Co.  He served 20 years on the Bd. of Directors of the Walden-Sierra Counseling Center, and 9 years on the Bd. of St. Mary’s Co. Assn. for Retarded Citizens.  For 10 years he has been the Executive Director of the Three Oaks Center, a non-profit housing services agency, and has been an advocate for our neediest citizens.  Lanny is very experienced and knowledgeable in the area of land use planning, having served for 5 years as Vice-Chair of the

County Planning Commission, and currently is Vice-Chair of the Town Bd. of Appeals.  As Mayor, Lanny will insure citizens will have input into the land use planning process, a process that is so crucial to the progress of our town.    Lanny will improve communication with both the residents and business people concerning Town issues.  He will help to institute programs to meet the needs of all citizens, both young and elderly. In any job that Lanny has tackled, he has demonstrated the utmost integrity, ability, and dedication to public service.  He will make efficient use of taxpayer dollars, and has pledged not to draw any salary as Mayor.  Lanny is a dedicated family man, and will work hard to serve all the families of Leon.  I would, therefore, strongly urge all residents of Leon. to vote for H. S. Lanny Lancaster as Mayor on May the 6th.     Very truly yours, John Weiner Lexington Park

Re-elect Mayor “Chip” Norris I am strongly supporting J. Harry Norris III re-election for mayor. I have been a resident of Leonardtown for over 35 years and during his terms as mayor have seen the fine progress the town has made. Therefore, I believe in the old adage, “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it” Under the leadership of “Chip” Norris, the town has more than prospered. I remember during hurricane Isabel how “Chip” worked ceaselessly to get the power turned on at the sewer pumping station at the bottom of Washington Street so that raw sewage would not spill into the bay. His hard work kept the courthouse here in the center of town when many pushed to build a newer one out at the governmental center. Who does not remember how sad the center green looked before The Mayor and his competent staff gave us the beautiful center green we now have. Or how about the decaying and dangerous Wharf area, the water entrance to Leonardtown.

I watched for many years as it went further into disuse. Now under his leadership we soon will dedicate a wondrous park worthy of our town. Another example is all the fun restaurants that have come into town and have attracted people to come here, not leave here. Those who think it all would have happened anyway must also believe in the “tooth fairy”. I have seen “Chip” Norris work through physical discomfort day after day for the bettering of Leonardtown. He is on top of the growth of housing projects and does not need “on the job” training to know what to do, J. Harry Norris III is a man of courage, character and integrity and I believe we are truly lucky to have his leadership. Come out on May 6, and vote for this man. Herbert Winnik Proud Resident of Leonardtown

Leonardtown Revitalization After reading your editorial & opinion from 4/24/08 I felt compelled to send the following comments. I have lived in St. Mary’s County my whole life and have watched many changes occur.  I watched as Leonardtown started it’s decline in the 80’s not realizing what was really happening.  Seeing the town circle and wharf area become run down was very sad.  You only had to drive through and look at what once was a beautiful old town to discover what was becoming old and neglected.  I want to say publicly “Thank You” to Chip Norris for all you have done.  Without your hard work and dedication I’m not sure what I am enjoying now with my family would be there.  We too have enjoyed the new businesses and walking through town. The festivals have been awesome.  My

children have many fond memories of Halloween and Santa that are part of festivals we have attended.  Although many things have changed and I am sure my opinion is not the same as everyone’s,  I think things could have been very different had Mr. Norris not been it’s mayor. He has done a great job and I’m sure has many more great things to offer.  I do not personally know him nor can I vote in the towns election (I do not live in the municipality) but would still like to extend my sincere thanks.  Your hard work and dedication is evident and I can only hope you have the opportunity to continue to serve a beautiful old town.     Jeanette Cameron Leonardtown

James Manning McKay - Publisher Tobie Pulliam - Office Manager............................tobiepulliam@countytimes.net Andrea Shiell - Government Correspondent......andreashiell@countytimes.net Chris Stevens - Sports Correspondent............... ........chrisstevens@countytimes.net

P.O. Box 250 • Hollywood, Maryland 20636

Guy Leonard - Community Correspondent................guyleonard@countytimes.net

News, advertising, circulation, classifieds: 301-373-4125

Kara Fernald - Advertising Rep...........................karafernald@countytimes.net


The County Times

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ramblings of a Country Girl

We’re Famous! Terri Bartz Bowles On a recent business trip, I pulled the airline magazine out of the seat pocket to peruse. Sometimes there are interesting articles, you just never know, so I always glance through. Well, was I surprised! You’ll never guess

what was in there – an article about the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival! The first three words of the article were ‘St. Mary’s County’ and as a co-worker happened to be sitting right behind me, I turned around and poked him and excitedly show him the article. He was as surprised as I was

– as were a couple of other folks on the same flight. It’s just pretty cool to open a magazine that covers the country and see little ol’ St. Mary’s County featured. The author is an oyster lover and attended the Oyster Festival last year. She wrote at length about the shucking competition and

Race To The Sky Emily Finch Contributing Writer On this day in 1931, the Empire State Building in New York City was officially dedicated as the tallest building in America.

Some Friendly Competition The idea for the Empire State Building is said to have been born of a competition between Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation and John Jakob Raskob of General Motors, to see who could erect the taller building. Chrysler had already begun work on the Chrysler Building in Manhattan. They finished the 1,047 foot, 77 story tall skyscraper May 27, 1930. Not to be outdone, Raskob assembled a group of well-known investors, including former New York Governor Alfred E. Smith, to choose the architecture firm. Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates was chosen to design the Art-Deco building, with Gregory Johnson as the main architect. The plans are said to have been based in large part on the look of a pencil, but were also builder-friendly. Excavation on the site began Jan. 22, 1930 and construction officially began on St. Patrick’s

Day that same year. The entire $40 million building went up in just over a year, under budget and well ahead of schedule. During certain periods of building, the frame grew an astonishing fourand-a-half stories per week. At the time of its completion, the Empire State Building, at 102 stories and 1,454 feet high to the top of the lightning rod, was the world’s tallest skyscraper, surpassing the already completed Chrysler Building.

Money During a Great Depression The Depression-era construction employed as many as 3,400 workers on any single day, most of whom received an excellent pay rate, especially given the economic conditions of the time. The new building instilled New York City with a deep sense of pride, desperately needed in the depths of the Great Depression, when many city residents were unemployed and prospects looked bleak. The grip of the Depression on New York’s economy was still evident a year later, however, when only 25 percent of the Empire State’s offices had been rented. In fact, in its first year of operation, the observation deck took in approximately 2 million dol-

Section A -  Bleah. I’ll tell you again, I just don’t like the little blobs. They don’t do a thing for me. Hey, that just leaves more for the rest of you to enjoy! The competition is not just about speed. The good oyster shucker possesses a combination of speed and skill that leaves an attractive oyster in the shell. Nicks, cuts or pieces of shell left behind all mean a deduction of points. The contestants serve their shucked oysters to the crowd once they’ve finished the competition, so the audience gets to enjoy the little beasts when it’s all over. How many audiences get fresh seafood just for watching a competition? The National Oyster Cook-off is also feature of the Oyster Festival and has been for 28 years. Besides the bounty of oysters to enjoy, there are all kinds of goodies to enjoy during the two-day festival from caramel apples to barbecue. The one huge mistake the author made in her article pertained to that most southern Maryland of items, stuffed ham. She was listing the various foods available and she wrote Maryland

the recipe contest. You know, some folks who live here don’t realize that our little old Oyster Festival, which is sponsored each year by the Lexington Park Rotary Club, is the home of the National Oyster Shucking Championship. National, people, as in the entire nation. The best shucker in America is chosen right here in Leonardtown every year. It’s the equivalent of picking the Americans who make the Olympic teams, thus representing the USA in world-wide competition. It is the absolute best of the absolute best. The champion then travels to Galway, Ireland to compete in the Guinness World Oyster Opening Championship. Oyster opening – wonder why they don’t call it shucking? The author did a good job of explaining oyster anatomy and shucking basics, as well as different styles of shucking and the tools used. She walked the reader through the warm-up and the competition and captured the spirit of it. She waxed poetic about oysters in general, you can tell she’s a real oyster lover.

lars, as much money as its owners made in rent that year. The lack of renters led New Yorkers to deride the building as the “Empty State Building”. The building would not become profitable until 1950. The famous 1951 sale of The Empire State Building to Roger L. Stevens and his business partners was brokered by the prominent upper Manhattan real estate firm Charles F. Noyes & Company for a record $51 million. At the time, that was the highest price ever paid for a single structure in real estate history

Tall Today The Empire State Building stood as the world’s tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower was completed in 1972. However, the World Trade Center became the second largest building in America in 1974 when Sears Tower was completed with 108 floors. Although the tallest in America, it is the fifth tallest in the world. That title goes to Taipei 101 Building in Taipei, China at 1,671

ham. What the heck is that? Anybody reading the article that’s familiar with St. Mary’s County would know immediately that she meant stuffed ham and just misunderstood something. But there are undoubtedly thousands of people wondering what Maryland ham is. They may Google it and they still won’t know unless they pursue it a little bit. I checked. I got a couple of hits on Maryland ham that referred to a specific type of curing. It did pop up Maryland Stuffed Ham so if the researcher sticks with it a little, they’ll be able to read about stuffed ham. But they still won’t know that stuffed ham is what the author really meant to say. We can only hope a few people will decide to visit the Oyster Festival after reading the article and see for themselves what the fuss is all about. Visit the Oyster Festival the third weekend in October and treat yourself to a slice of Americana. You can email the Country Girl at countrygirlramblings@gmail.com

for business on many floors the following Monday.

feet tall.

Deja Vu

Interesting Facts

At 9:40 a.m. July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., who was flying in a thick fog, accidentally crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building between the 79th and 80th floors, where the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council were located. One engine shot through the side opposite the impact and another plummeted down an elevator shaft. The fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. Fourteen people were killed in the incident. Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver survived a plunge of 75 stories inside an elevator, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall recorded. Despite the damage and loss of life, the building was open

The Empire State Building got its name from New York’s nickname. It has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

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The County Times

Section A - 

Thursday, May 1, 2008

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Continued from page A- ment store in California in the vehicle. Malaspina testified that he followed Butler in the stolen vehicle down Route 235 and then down onto Chancellor’s Run Road where deputies had set up a staging area to attempt to catch Butler. When Butler approached the deputies set up in front of Fox Chase Apartments, he attempted to flee. “The van simply accelerated and sped between two sheriff’s deputies,� Malaspina testified. The deputies and Malaspina gave chase and even reached speeds of 90 miles an hour on Indian Bridge Road, Malaspina testified. Butler drove in the opposite lane on the two-lane road, the state trooper testified, and ran oncoming vehicles off the road. By the time Butler had come out on St. Andrews Church Road other deputies joined in the chase and followed him down Route 235 once again, Malaspina testified, just as rush hour traffic was beginning to increase. “It never crossed your mind to call of the chase,� Butler’s attorney Sean Moran asked Malaspina from the witness stand. “I thought about it a couple of times,� Malaspina said, who added that he decided to keep up the pursuit. Deputies Jean Vesozzi and Anthony Whipkey, who eventually wound up on the left side of Butler’s van after he made a turn onto Great Mills Road, testified that Butler made a sharp left turn that caused them to collide and wreck both vehicles. This portion of the incident led to Butler being charged with two counts of first-degree assault on both deputies. Vesozzi, who was driving the police cruiser, testified that his partner Whipkey was able to see Butler during the chase and motioned for him to slowdown and pull over to end it.

Invasion Continued from page A-

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Marco Watson, 20 of La Plata plead guilt to various charges associated with the crime April 15. According to charging documents filed by St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations Detective Clayton Safford, residents of the Stephen Young Court home awoke to the sound of suspicious noises from outside the home in the early morning hours of Oct. 24. One resident, charging documents state, saw a Chrysler passenger vehicle parked outside and then saw three males run across the front lawn.

But Butler refused, Vesozzi said. “He was smoking a cigarette and shook his head ‘No’,â€? Vesozzi testified. “The [van] took a sharp left turn into our vehicle‌ I thought we were going to get run off the road.â€? Both cars eventually separated and Butler’s van spun out and struck a utility pole. Officers were able to extricate Butler from the vehicle; they testified that he continually resisted and kicked Malaspina in the chest during the struggle. Butler testified that he was merely trying to get away from the deputies because he was driving on a suspended license and was afraid he would return to prison if he were captured. Butler had six prior convictions for burglary and faces more charges of burglary after the outcome of his April 25 trial. Butler said he did not steal the van after burglarizing a Waldorf home, as he had been charged, but instead was given the keys to the van after a party the previous evening. Butler said he had been drinking the night of Oct. 25 at the party and stayed at the residence. He borrowed the van to go to the WaWa gas station on Route 235 to get cigarettes and food, he testified. Detective David Alexander, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations officer who interviewed Butler after his arrest testified that Butler admitted to stealing the van after burglarizing the Waldorf home, but Butler testified that the report “was a lie.â€? “I was driving on a suspended license and didn’t want to go to back to jail,â€? Butler testified. “They [Vesozzi and Whipkey] ended up hitting me to stop me. “I didn’t want to hurt anybody, I just wanted to get away.â€? Moran admitted that his client made many criminal mistakes that day, but argued his client did not mean to seriously injure anyone during the chase. “It’s not about fleeing and eluding or speeding or bad weather conditions,â€? Moran said. “It’s about whether Butler had the intent to kill or seriously injure the deputies.â€?

At about 2 a.m., a little more than an hour after the first disturbance, charging documents stated, Adams kicked in the front door of the residence and confronted the victim Michael Carter with a 12-gauge shotgun. But a struggle ensued and Carter was able to wrest the shotgun away from Adams, charging documents state. After losing the struggle, Adams, Dyson and Watson fled in the Chrysler-brand vehicle but were stopped by police units shortly thereafter. Police also found a .38 caliber revolver in the vehicle with the suspects, two of the suspects admitted the intent was to rob the residents that morning

and all three admitted they were at the Stephen Young Court address, charging documents stated. Adams, the defendant who made the unlawful entry, pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery, possession of a short barreled shotgun and possession of a regulated firearm while being under 21-years-old. Adams was not prosecuted on the most serious charge of first-degree assault. Dyson pleaded guilty to conspiracy of attempted armed robbery, court documents showed while Watson pleaded to conspiracy to rob. All three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced June 25.


The County Times

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Odd News The Republicans Are Revolting! A group of Bay Area College Republicans loudly took to the streets of San Jose to protest California lawmakers’ proposed tax on beer, which would add about $2 to the price of a six-pack. The law is being drafted as a way to help close the state’s current budget deficit. “This is a tax on poor students,” said Leigh Wolf, a 21 year-old student with the San Francisco State Republicans. About fifty students congregated outside the office of Assemblyman Jim Beall, some waving signs saying, “No taxation on intoxication!” The proposed tax on brewers would increase the tax per gallon by $2.88, translating to a 30 cent increase per can or bottle, and about $1.80 per six-pack. The tax is expected to generate a projected $2 billion a year to help defray the high costs of crime prevention, health services, and programs to treat addiction and alcoholism. The total economic cost of alcohol use by underage Americans equals almost $52 billion a year, including $29 billion in alcohol related crime, $19 billion in traffic crashes, and over $1.5 billion as a result of suicide attempts. But these students seem undeterred by the statistics, claiming that no studies are required to figure out that college students drink a lot of beer to relax, so the bill would disproportionately affect them. They organized their protest under a Facebook page they created – “BEER TAX REVOLT!! Fight for your right to party!”

Spellin Skilz Opchinal As a rule, bad spelling has always been the first thing to land any resume or cover letter in the trash, but one company claims that bad spelling may actually be an asset for applicants looking for a job screening goofy pet pictures for “I CAN HAS CHEEZEBURGER?” a premier site for so-called Lolcat pictures. Ben Huh, founder of Seattle-based Pet Holdings Inc. said that he has already received hundreds of applications since the job was posted on Monday with the headline “Kittehs Want Moar

pools.

Workerhumans.” When asked about misspelled captions and cover letters, Huh said “We won’t knock you out for spelling…the traditional resume screening methods don’t apply here.”

“Woman” Delivers Surprise Package A man in Illovo, Johannesburg, South Africa, picked up a prostitute and took her to a hotel. The man grabbed her when she refused to strip. “Let’s just say that when he touched her he realized he wasn’t touching a woman,” said police Inspector Moses Maphakela. The man realized that the prostitute was stronger than him, so he paid 300 Rand (about $51) and told the prostitute to get out. The police got involved when the man realized his cell phone was missing and reported the theft. The hooker simultaneously filed an assault complaint while the man was at the station. Their charges canceled each other out, according to the prosecutor, who dropped both charges. The police inspector was impressed by the transvestite. Maphakela said the prostitute was wearing a very skimpy skirt, and he “wore so much make-up, there was no way you could tell it was a man,” though her former customers may argue that would depend on how tight the skirt was.

Praying For Cheap Gas? Rocky Twyman, a choir director from Washington, D.C. has launched a new “pray-in” campaign at gas stations charging more than $4 a gallon around the San Francisco Bay area, where pumps seem to be charging the most. Twyman works as a community organizer and a public relations consultant, and has run campaigns in the past to nominate Oprah Winfrey for the Nobel Peace Prize and to encourage African Americans to donate bone marrow. In his latest campaign, which he hopes will reduce gas prices, he is also saying that those praying for cheaper fuel should also walk more and use car

Man Sues For Starving in Jail Broderick Lloyd Laswell seems to have hit the dieting jackpot, losing 105 pounds since September 2007. But nevertheless, he has done so from Benton County Jail in Bentonville, Ark., and he is far from happy. He has filed a federal suit against the county for putting him on what he calls a starvation diet. According to the suit, Laswell weighed 413 pounds when he was jailed in September after allegedly beating and stabbing a man to death, then setting his house on fire. He attributes his weight loss to none other than the jail’s skimpy 3,000 calorie a day provisions, which he complains are not ample enough to keep him satisfied. “About an hour after each meal my stomach starts to hurt and growl. I feel hungry again,” wrote Laswell in his complaint, also pointing out that he does not exercise, so there is no other reason for his weight loss. “The only reason we lost weight in here is because we are literally being starved to death,” he wrote. Laswell’s suit was filed without a lawyer in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville, and it demands not only that more food be provided (even though a typical western diet is considered more than ample if it provides 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day), but also that the jail serve hot food, which it has not provided in years.

Maryland Government In Action According to a March Baltimore Sun investigative report, nearly $1.8 million in damages has been paid out by the state of Maryland since 2003 to “drug dealers, violent offenders and other criminals” who, though violent criminals themselves, were injured by violent crime. In one example, burial expenses were awarded for a carjacker, a victim of an inter-gang killing, and a sex offender who was beaten to death in prison. Maryland courts have ruled that if the applicant was not engaged in a crime at the time they were hurt, maimed, or killed, then they must be considered for an award.

Section A - 

California Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Offenses By Guy Leonard Staff Writer A man who was charged with sexually abusing two teenage girls last year pleaded guilty in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court April 18 to two counts of third-degree sex offense. Jose Vazquez, 35, of California was scheduled to go to trial this week but instead took a plea to the lesser charges against him. Prosecutors did not pursue two charges of child sexual abuse, neither did they prosecute on a charge of a continuing course of conduct of sexual abuse. Vazquez was sentenced to a total of 18 months of incarceration for the two counts of third-degree sex offenses. Vazquez originally received two fiveyear sentences for each crime pleaded to, but both were suspended down to 18 months of incarceration and were to run concurrently, according to on-line circuit court documents. Vazquez was also sentenced to five years of probation after completing his jail time. According to charging documents filed by Det. Charles F. Earle of the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations back in October two female victims who had close contact with Vazquez came forward and reported the sex offenses to police. With one 14-year-old

girl, charging documents stated, Vazquez reached under her shirt to fondle her breast and under her skirt to fondle her vagina at least twice between May and August of 2006. Charging documents went on to state that Vazquez repeated the same kind of sex offense on the second 14-year-old victim between the same time period as the first victim. But charging documents state that Vazquez committed that act approximately five to six time during those months. Vazquez also attempted to kiss the second victim on the mouth, charging documents stated, and on three separate occasions he entered the bathroom where the second victim was taking a shower and snapped naked photos of her using his cellular phone. Vazquez also ordered the two victims not to report the incidents to his wife, who also had close contact with the two victims. The victims, charging documents stated, were afraid of Vazquez and wanted to have no contact with him. When questioned by detectives Vazquez admitted to the sexual offenses, charging documents stated, and gave a recorded confession.

Special Olympics Brings Together Athletes In Spirit of Competition Andrea Shiell Staff Writer Tiffany Lettau ran her fingers over her gold medal, smiling shyly as her escort, Sue Batterson, talked about her fear of heights. “She doesn’t

day. Event Director Mary Lou Bucci floated from site to site on the other side of the track at Leonardtown High School, surveying the runners taking off, the Band Boosters selling hot dogs, and the many parents and athletes who came up to

Athletes line up for a race at this year’s Special Olympics Spring Games.

pate. “A lot of it is social, especially for the adults. This is so they have somewhere to go, some kind of exercise, some kind of interaction.” As for who could participate, Bucci explained that the rules for admission

June 8th at Towson University. This year’s statewide summer games are expected to draw close to 1,200 athletes, 400 coaches, and 2,000 volunteers. “We have the third or fourth largest delegation that does to

and their medals!” said Gibson as one of her clients, Gloria Armstrong, sat down next to her to show her the bronze medal she’d won for running. Direct care staffer Kathy Pfeiffer reflected on the impor-

Photo by Andrea Shiell

Daniel Carter and Patrick Boyle show off their medals.

like heights,” said Batterson. “So she would not get on the podium.” Tiffany admitted that she liked running the best, though the medal she won had been for shot-put. She would also be participating in a jump later that day. “I think it’s wonderful,” said Batterson. “This is my first time volunteering and it’s just great to see the community coming together.” On the other side of the tracks, Clarence Yeager, who graduated from Leonardtown High School in 2004, stopped every few feet to smile and shake hands with girls as he proudly donned his silver medal for the long jump, and his ribbons for running and throwing. “My mom’s going to be proud of me,” he said, smiling. “And I’m a ladies man, too!” This year’s Spring Special Olympics saw a great turnout, according to many of the volunteers there that

her to say hello. From 10 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, 237 athletes competed for their medals, each participating in three events, one run or walk, one throw, and one jump. “It’s really less time than we would like to run it,” said Bucci, explaining that the school’s transportation system would need to maintain that schedule. This was the 38th year for the St. Mary’s County Special Olympics, and there was a fair amount of excitement in the air, which shifted from hot to cold with the waxing and waning sunlight. Bucci explained that though some of the athletes had been practicing for several weeks, all who were competing on Tuesday had trained since March 29th, being placed during practices in their respective “heats,” or groups designated by age and ability. She said there was no age limit on competition, but athletes had to be at least six years old to partici-

tance of the games, saying “we make them superstars, and they ARE superstars…they’re competing in this world, and in so many ways, they’re a lot stronger than we are.”

were flexible. “Anyone in the school system in an IEP can compete,” she said, adding that the games were open to all students diagnosed with physical or learning disabilities, from mild to severe, but all must have a physical exam to verify their disability. Though the Spring games draw a fair amount of attention, Bucci explained that her job involved a year-round organization of many different sports for physically or mentally disabled children and adults, all of which were involved in the Special Olympics program. “Most people don’t realize we actually run 14 sports yearround,” she said. “We have kayaking and sailing in May, then cycling in mid-July, then golf, and then bowling and soccer.” Bucci also mentioned swimming events held in May that would determine placement for athletes for some of the summer games, which would be held from June 6th to

Photo by Andrea Shiell

the summer games, which is really good for a small county,” said Bucci. Of the hundreds of volunteers there that day, some were parents, students, or siblings. One jovial group from the Center for Life Enrichment perched themselves at a picnic table to reflect on the day’s events. Carrie Gibson, a driver for the center, and her colleague, George Morgan, smiled as she described the clients’ excitement about the games. “All of the clients really enjoy this,” she said, explaining that of the 246 clients she and the other drivers brought to and from jobs, appointments, and athletic events such as this one, the majority regularly participated in Special Olympics events. “We’re fortunate to have the support of the community, the volunteers, and the by Andrea Shiell businesses…you can see the Allen Hill huddles next to his escort before the shot-putPhoto competition. appreciation in their smiles,


The County Times

Section A - 

things. Meanwhile, Executive Director Mary Anne Chasen juggled work at the warehouse on the county fairgrounds while answering numerous calls from different houses. She routed plumbers and electricians and equipment from venders to different work sites across the county, all while trying to sit for a moment and talk about this year’s Christmas in April event. “It’s a very hectic day,” she laughed. In the distance, volunteers were setting up Christmas trees decorated with bows and lights on the fairgrounds stage. Christmas in April actually had its beginnings in Texas, but Chasen said that Maryland has one of the third largest programs in the county, which saw its 18th year of operations this past weekend. “When you think about it, the way people used to help each other, they would start early in the morning and finish at the end of the day,” she said, likening the project to something similar to a traditional Amish barn-raising. Still, Chasen said that some of the houses on this year’s list had had crews working on them for weeks. House #5, for example, was in its eighth week of repairs, having had its floors replaced from extensive termite damage. “Every house is different,” Chasen said, explaining that houses were chosen based on the extent of their problems, as well as the income of the families applying. “We wish we could pick every single home for every single

Christmas in April Continued from page A- from across the county and from Century 21. Thomas looked emotional as she saw all the people who had come to complete renovations on her home, all at no charge. The divorced mother of three lives at that house with two of her children, and if not for the crews on her property that day, she might have faced serious safety issues with her home, where she had lived for the last 20 years. “I’m trying not to cry,” she exclaimed, grinning wide as she fanned herself. “Words can’t explain

it. I’m very grateful.” Lisa was not the only person in St. Mary’s County to get a helping hand with her home on Saturday. Over 1,500 volunteers came together to repair a total of 23 homes, which got all manner of renovations and updates in what has become the ultimate yearly celebration of neighborly goodwill, Christmas In April. Down the street, on Holt Road, Representative Steny Hoyer made an appearance at the home of Georgiana and John Gray, who were getting a new roof, among other

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family that applies,” she said, explaining that the criteria for selection had to be rather strict in order for money to stretch far enough. To qualify for home repairs and renovations courtesy of Christmas in April, homeowners must be low-income. The majority earn between $12,000 and $18,000 per year. Chasen explained that the board established houses needing new roofs as first priorities, with wheelchair ramps coming in a close second. Projects ranged this year from eight-week behemoths involving roofing, flooring, heat pumps, and plumping, to lighter projects involving wheelchair ramps or landscaping. Some homes needed help with safety issues, such as the handrails that were installed for 85 year-old Charlotte Edwards on Wilson Road in Mechanicsville, while others needed CO monitors, deadbolts, or new windows. 12 homes received new roofs this year, while six homes received new entranceways, and many others got fresh coats of paint and new doors or sheetrock. Chasen explained that their most expensive home repair project was a home on Hicks Drive in Leonardtown. “When you pull up you wonder why we chose it because it looks so nice,” she said, “but it’s a shell of a home inside.” On Saturday, crews from Hayden Electric completed a full electrical system overhaul on the home while HVAC specialists installed a new heat pump, and crews replaced all the flooring and windows. “They’re doing so much with that house they can’t even begin to list everything,” said Chasen, who had just gotten off the phone with one of her volunteers about the heat pump. All of this work, of course, comes at a price. Chasen noted that none of it would be possible without donations and earnings from the group’s many fundraisers, some of which are headed by volunteer groups, including religious organizations or com-

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 munity groups like the Rotary Club or the Optimist Club. Every year, one of the biggest fundraisers is the Southern Maryland Farm Life Festival, which is sponsored by CMI General Contractors Inc. owner John Parlett, Jr. “It all adds up,” said Chasen. “We say there’s 1,500 people volunteering, but really we have so many more who do fundraisers for us too.” Some volunteers skipped what could have easily been a day in bed relaxing to pitch in for the effort. At Lisa Thomas’s house, “Crocket” Pulliam worked with his brothers “Puggie” and “Dragon” to install windows, even though he had recently gotten out of the hospital. Bob Houstin, who had recently had his fourth hip replacement surgery, manned the warehouse from his wheelchair with his wife, Virginia. “I still come over and do what I can,” he said. At the picnic held

that evening at the fairgrounds, volunteers came together to sip beer and eat dinner while listening to music and reflecting on the day’s work. Some had projects they would need to complete later, like James Morgan, who will be going back next Saturday to finish the siding and replace the gutters at the home he worked at that day. Others talked more about how great it had been to give back. “I love it!” said Pat Russel, who had spent his day doing siding and painting, in addition to a complete yard cleanup. “Because you see someone who needs help, and you come out and there’s a big smile on their face.” Russel’s colleague Charlie Roach stood next to him sipping a beer and grinning as though he was the one who had gotten his own house repaired. “You’re paying it forward,” he said, proudly.

Photo by Andrea Shiell

Senator Roy Dyson and volunteer Robert Harold Younger kick back after work at the Christmas in April event.

He said it is unlikely that the county will choose to reinstitute the constant yield tax rate, which ensured that while property assessments would go up, the rate would be reduced by a corresponding amount to ensure residents would not have to pay more in property taxes. Residents in certain parts of the county will also have to pay a higher rate on the fire and rescue tax if the budget is passed unchanged to help pay for operations at local emergency response companies. In the late 1990’s, Mattingly said, this practice helped the county fall into financially tough times for lack of revenue collection. “If it were anything at all [tax relief] It would be minimal I think,” Mattingly told The County Times. “You’ve got to be looking beyond this year’s budget and into funding future budgets.” The BOCC will hold a series of work sessions on the budget starting May 5 before adopting the final budget in June. Commissioner Daniel H. Raley (D-Great Mills) held out hopes that the commissioners would be able to find some room for tax relief in the budget as well as for cutting some expenditures, though he would not give specific examples. Raley said he hoped to pare down the proposed debt of $35 million the county planned to borrow from the bond market in the near future for the construction of capital projects. He said he was wary of saddling the county with too much debt, especially in tough economic times. Raley said the commissioners could choose to use money from the county’s fund balance of about $13 million to help pay for facilities construction. “Is the budget a done deal?” Raley said “No… I still believe there’s a significant amount of work to do.” Commissioner Lawrence D. Jarboe (R-Golden Beach), the only commissioner to vote against taking the budget to the public hearing process, said the county’s budget was more representative of local government expanding than of tightening its belt. Jarboe pointed to the recent approval of the Office of Human Services, which he voted against, that would bring services like the Local Management Board and the Mental Health Authority under one organization. “It’s a good example of bureaucracy expanding itself,” Jarboe said. “County government needs to downsize from the top down not the bottom up.” Jarboe said that despite the board of Commissioners’ willingness to deny various departments extra employees to provide services, they were not willing to cut directors positions by consolidating departments. Jarboe argued that consolidating the Department of Emergency Management under the Office of the Sheriff and the Department of Economic and Community Development with the Department of Land Use and Growth Management the county could cut some high level positions and still provide necessary services. “But I don’t see the majority of the board going in that direction,” Jarboe said, who also decried the increase in taxes with little chance of relief for citizens. “The reality is we have higher taxes,” Jarboe said. “Anyone who has property has seen at least a five-percent or beyond increase in what they’re paying. “Along with the oil companies, the [county] government will get more money out of the people this time,” Jarboe added.


The County Times

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Section A - 

Obituaries Natalie Grissom Fay, 42 Natalie Grissom Fay, 42, of Hollywood died April 21 in St. Mary’s Hospital, Leonardtown. Born June 11, 1965 in Petersburg, Va., she was the daughter of Edward Scott Grissom and Nan Lucy Grissom of Courtland, Va. Mrs. Fay was a homemaker. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her husband Joseph P. Fay, two sons, Joseph Edward Fay and Nathan Lee Fay all of Hollywood and a sister Annette G. Stephenson of Courtland, Va. A Funeral Service was conducted Friday, April 25 at 2 p.m. in the Wright Funeral Home in Franklin, Va. Interment followed in Riverside Cemetery, Courtland, Va. Local arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A. in Leonardtown.

L.C. Fox, 78 L.C. Fox, 78, of Great Mills died April 26 in his residence. Bor n March 6, 1930 in Oklahoma City, Okla. he was the son of the late Lester and Violet Dewdrop Weiland Fox. He is survived by his loving wife Barbara Fox and his children: John M. Fox of Raleigh, N.C., Robert W. Fox of Wake Forest, N.C., James A. Fox in the Foreign Service, Allan Fox of Cleveland, Ohio, David L. Fox of St. Mary’s County, and Cynthia Lawin of Montana, as well as eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister Dorothy Fox. As a youth he graduated from high school and attended Navy Technical Schools and Civil Service Schools. L.C. served in the U.S. Navy from 1948 to 1968 and fought in the Korean War. After retiring from the Navy in 1968, he was employed as a logistics manager in the Civil Service for the U.S. Government, retiring in 1997. He was transferred from Florida to St. Mary’s County by the U.S. Navy in 1966. He was a wonderful husband and father and honorably supported the Navy for 53 years. The family received friends Tuesday, April 29 from 10 – 11 a.m. in the MattingleyGardiner Funeral Home where a funeral service was held at 11 a.m. with Pastor Steve Kooy officiating. Interment will take place Thursday, June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. Contributions may be made to Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Richard Knight Gardiner, 51 Richard Knight Gardiner, 51, of Leonardtown died Saturday, April 19 in his residence. Born in Leonardtown, Jan. 28, 1957, he was the son of the late William Greenwell Gardiner and Suzanne Knight Gardiner. Richard graduated from Ryken High School in 1975, and attended Towson State College. Richard is survived by his sister, Mary C. Gardiner of Annapolis, and his brother, William G. Gardiner, Jr. of Leonardtown. Family and friends attended Richard’s Life Celebration at the Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD, Saturday, April 26 from 10 – 11 a.m. with prayers offered at 11 a.m. Interment followed in St. Aloysius Catholic Cemetery, Leonardtown. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.

Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Hilda Marie Wathen Merritts, 87 Hilda Marie Wathen Merritts, 87, of Leonardtown died April 27 in St. Mary’s Nu rsing Center, Leonardtown. Born April 23, 1921 in Leonardtown, she was the daughter of the late Parran Wathen and Estelle (Essie) Payne Wathen of Compton. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy and attended St. Mary’s Seminary in St. Mary’s City. Until her mid thirties, she lived in Compton. During that time she was the owner of one of the first children’s clothing stores in Leonardtown and Lexington Park. She was also a writer for the Enterprise. She enjoyed her sailboat, playing bridge, and her blue Chevy convertible. After her marriage, she left the area and spent several years in Newfoundland with her family. Eventually, she settled in Temple Hills, Md. from 1961 until 1999. Having always loved antiques, she operated Hilda’s Antiques Store in Northern Virginia for many years. She was very honored when named the fund raising chairman of Southern Maryland for the National Symphony. In 1998 she returned to St. Mary’s County to reside at Cedar Lane Apartments for the Elderly. She was a very social person and enjoyed the atmosphere of friendship at Cedar Lane and catching up with her friends in the area from her youth. She has resided at St. Mary’s Nursing Center since 2000. Hilda is survived by her son, Michael Merritts of Temple Hills, daughter Elizabeth Marvin and her husband Patrick of Lacombe, La., grandchildren Lisa Berkman and Nicholas Berkman of Lacombe, La., great granddaughter Ashtyn Berkman, brother Francis “T-Mar” Wathen of Compton, sister in law, Jeanne Wathen, and step sister Rosemary Abell, nieces Beverly Guy and Andrea Buckingham, and nephew Pete Wathen. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers James Randolph “Spriggy” Wathen, Thomas A. Wathen, J. Franklin Wathen, and McGuire Wathen. Family received friends Wednesday, April 30 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown. Prayers were recited at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, May 1 at 11 a.m. in St. Francis Xavier Church, Compton. Reverend John Mattingly will be the celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Joseph C. Guy, Pete Wathen, Bill Hicks, Nick Buckingham, Bill Gardiner and Patrick Marvin. Contributions may be made to the Friends of Cedar Lane, 22680 Cedar Lane Court, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Josephine “Jo” Mary Morse, 89 J o sephine “Jo” Mary Morse, 89, of Leonardtow n, and formerly of Manchester, Conn. died April 25 in St. Mary’s Nursing Center. Born Dec. 11, 1918 in Manchester, Conn she was the daughter of the late Mary and John Odermann. She was the loving wife of the late Robert B. Morse, Sr., whom she married Aug.

17, 1945 in St. James Church, Manchester, Conn. and who preceded her in death April 15, 1989. She is survived by her daughter Patricia Carney and her husband Daniel of Leonardtown and her son Robert B. Morse of Manchester, Conn. as well as four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and her sister Gertrude Morse of Weber, Mass. She was preceded in death by her siblings Albert Odermann, Estelle Perry and Marie Carr. She attended high school in Manchester, Conn., graduating in 1936. Josephine was employed as an aircraft technician for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft for 20 years, retiring in 1977. She loved gardening, cooking and traveling. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday, April 30 at 10 a.m. in St. Bridgett Catholic Church, Manchester, Conn. Interment followed in East Thompson Cemetery, Conn. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

John Moses Owens, 74 John Moses Owens,74, of Lexington Park died April 26 in his residence. Born Dec. 15, 1933 in Morganza he was the son of the late Elbert John Owens and Mary Agnes (Morgan) Owens. John spent several years employed by St. Mary’s Disposal. John is survived by his loving wife, Gay Elizabeth Owens, whom he married Jan. 23, 1965 in La Plata. He is also survived by his beloved children, John Thomas Owens, Sr. and his wife Katrina of Lexington Park, Timothy Michael Owens of California, Judy Lynn Lynch and her husband Greg of Hagerstown, and James Joseph Owens of Hagerstown, eight grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and brothers, Albert Russell and Joe Owens. He was preceded in death by siblings, Douglas Owens and Florence Rebecca Morgan. Family will receive friends Friday, May 2 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown. A funeral service will be conducted May 3 at 11 a.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Brian Shepard will officiate. Interment will follow in Charles Memorial Gardens, Leonardtown. Serving as pallbearers will be John Thomas Owens, Sr., John Thomas Owens, Jr., Timothy Michael Owens, Greg Lynch, James Joseph Owens, and Keith Michael Owens. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Helen Marie Paradis, 85 Helen Marie Paradis, 85, of St. Mary’s City died April 22 in Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC. Helen was born Dec. 16, 1922 in Evans, Ore., and was the fourth daughter of the family. She attended school in Wallowa, Ore., and Eastern Oregon College of Education in LaGrande, Ore. An avid aviation enthusiast, she started flying at 16 from a local cow pasture. She worked at a newspaper and the First National Bank of Portland before joining the Navy Dec. 24, 1942. She attended boot camp in the first class at Hunter College, New York City. Following duty stations were NATTC, Memphis, and Whiting Field and Mainside at Pensacola. She married John Paradis

Oct. 5, 1946, after discharge from the Navy with 43 months service and many flight hours in Navy and civilian aircraft. They lived in Norfolk, Va., Atlantic City, N.J. and moved to St Mary’s County in April 1948. Helen was a member of the Grey Ladies at Patuxent River for years and of St. Mary’s County Garden Club 40 plus years. She was a founding member of the St. Ignatius Society and spent several years on the church renovation, especially on the paintings of the Stations of the Cross and the large painting behind the altar. She was an avid sailor beginning while stationed in Pensacola, Fla. and continuing while crewing with her husband for some 50 years. They sailed extensively in the Chesapeake Bay plus many cruises to New England and back. In 1980, they sailed to Glacier Bay Alaska and back to San Francisco, Calif. with friends Barbara and “Tuck” Tucker for a great three and a half month cruise. Helen taught youth sailing and water safety to some 20 youngsters at St. Mary’s River Yacht Club at St. Mary’s City during the 1950’s and 1960’s. She served many years as Race Committee Chairman and Vice Commodore of the yacht club. Helen taught sailing at St. Mary’s College from 19671972, in recognition of which a room in the new college sailing center will be named in her honor. In 1982 she purchased Breton House Gift Shop with Carol Neidhold and Joan Sullivan, which they ran for some six years. She enjoyed a full, busy and interesting life and will be missed by many. Helen is survived by her husband, John Paradis, and her three sons, John Paradis of Norfolk, Va., Peter and his wife Debra of San Jose, Calif., and Richard Paradis of St. Mary’s City, grandson, Carter Paradis of Spotsylvania, Va., nephew Stephen Martin and his wife Carol and three grown children of Baker City, Ore., brother-inlaw William Paradis of Lyme, Conn., niece Lea Ann Paradis and husband Jim Venditto and daughter Taryn of North Stonington, Conn., nephew William Paradis, Jr. of Philadelphia, Penn., niece Dawn Peret and children Samuel, Michael and Grant of Mount Vernon, N.H., niece Kim Blanchard and husband Allan and children Kelly and Travis of North Tinsbury, Conn., nephew Allan Paradis and wife Caryn and daughter Vivian of Deep River, Conn., nephew Kristian Paradis of Philadelphia, Pa., and many other friends. The family will receive friends Thursday, May 1 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel, Leonardtown. Prayers will be recited at 7 p.m. A memorial mass will be held Friday, May 2 at 10 a.m. in St. Cecilia’s Church, St. Mary’s City. Interment will follow in Trinity Church Cemetery. Contributions may be made to SMAWL (St. Mary’s County Animal Welfare League), P.O. Box 1232, Leonardtown, MD 20650 or the St. Mary’s College Sailing Center, c/o St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 18952 E. Fisher Road, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Edsel Bruce Potter, 83 E d sel Bruce Potter, 83, of California died April 22 in Calvert Memorial Hospital, Prince Frederick, Md. Born Aug. 18, 1924 in Dahlgren, Va., he was the son of the late Vennie Marcelus Potter and Carrie Belle Pounds Potter. He treasured his family

and friends. He enjoyed his life as a Civil Servant working aboard the Patuxent River Naval Air Station for 42 years. His passion was to hunt and fish whenever possible. Hunting was his life and he always aimed for excellence at his sport. He also had a passion for carving and painting wooden duck decoys. He was also a lifelong member of NARFE, Chapter 969 of St. Mary’s County and a member of Ducks Unlimited. Mr. Potter was a life long member of the Mattapany Rod & Gun Club. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Angeline Potter, his children Yvonne Moss of Marco Island, Fla., Gary Potter of St. George Island, his sisters, Jean Whittemore of Herndon, Va., JoAnn Schlusemeyer of Vienna, Va. and Elvy Hovarter of Ashland, Wis. He was the father-in-law of Brian Moss and Denise Hanson-Potter and the grandfather of Jason Todd Wright of Washington, D.C. and Benjamin Edsel Potter of St. George Island. Mr. Potter was preceded in death by a grandson, Brian David Wright. The family received friends Monday, April 28 from 10 – 11 a.m. at the Lexington Park Baptist Church in Lexington Park. A Funeral Service was conducted at 11 a.m. with the Reverend Mark Garrett officiating. Interment followed in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Cemetery in Lexington Park. Serving as pallbearers were his grandsons, Jason Wright and Benjamin Potter and his dear friends, Bernie Goldsborough, Orem Hammett, Ken Zaverl and Kevin Booth Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A. in Leonardtown.

Lucille V. Righter, 87 L u cille V. Righter, 87, of Hollywood died April 24 in Civista Medical Center. Born June 20, 1920 in Washington, D.C., she was the daughter of the late Edward L. and Lucy V. Creamer Clementson. She was the loving wife of the late Paul M. Righter, whom she married Oct. 3, 1942 in Washington, D.C. She is survived by her children, Patricia A. Richards of Cheltenham, Md., James M. Righter of Tucson, Ariz. and Gwendolyn L. Ploud of Wakefield, N.H. as well as her brother Lewis Clementson of Hillcrest Heights, Md., eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sister Hilda O’Neil. The family will receive friends Friday, May 2 from 10 – 11 a.m. in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, Leonardtown, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. with Fr. Eamon Dignan officiating. Interment will follow in the Washington National Cemetery, Suitland, Md. at 1:15 p.m. Pallbearers will be David Hall, Zachary Mobley, Randolph Richards, Benjamin Hall, Brandon Mobley and Stacey Hall-Richards. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.

Dorothy Lynn White, 60 Dorothy Lynn White, 60, of Mechanicsville died April 22 in her residence. Born April 24, 1947 in Paw Paw, W.V., she was the daughter of the late Paul Jonas Whitacre and Marie Snider Whitacre. Dorothy is survived by her husband, Ralph (Ed) White, children, William Wockenfuss of Mechanicsville, Edward White of Leonardtown, and Cassandra Gardner of Leonar-

dtown, siblings, Mary Martin of Pennington Gap, Va., Bobby Whitacre of Ontario, Calif. and Pauline Scaggs of Las Vegas, Nevada. A Memorial Service was held Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel, Leonardtown. Pastor Michael Barberl officiated. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

William Darian White, Infant William Darian White, Infant, of Mechanicsville died April 21 in St. Mary’s Hospital, Leonardtown. William is survived by his parents, Priscilla L. Dyson of Mechanicsville and Darian M. White of Lexington Park, brother, Darian M. White, II, and sister Diamond Y. White both of Lexington Park, grandparents, William and Pauline Holt of Mechanicsville and Joan Courtney of Oakville. Funeral services were private. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Mary “Ruth” Woodburn, 87 Mary “Ruth” Wo o d burn, 87, of Callaway died April 24 in her residence. Born Dec. 21, 1920 in Pearson, Md. she was the daughter of the late George Leonard and Rose Etta Dement Stone. She was the loving wife of the late Kenneth Aloysius Woodburn, whom she married March 24, 1940 in St. Regis Rectory, Holy Face Church and who preceded her in death Feb. 6, 2002. She is survived by her daughters Brenda Nash and Rose Marie Bean, both of Callaway; six grandchildren, Robert Bean and his wife Susan of Callaway, Susan Bean Hall of Lexington Park, Deborah Bean of Great Mills, Harry Nash and his wife Gail of Leonardtown, Michael Nash and Mona of Callaway and Bill Nash and his wife Kathy of Lexington Park as well as eight great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother Earl Benedict Stone in 1986. A lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County, Mary Ruth graduated from Great Mills High School “Class of 1939” She was a lifetime member of the Catholic Daughters of America and was a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. Her number one occupation was as a homemaker, but she also worked at The Hub Department Store, Style Center & Deitz Shoes as a clerk from 1968-1983. The family received friends Sunday, April 27 from 2 – 5 p.m. in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, Leonardtown, where prayers were said at 3 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, April 28 at 10 a.m. in Holy Face Catholic Church, Great Mills, with Fr. Joseph Sileo officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery. Pallbearers were Robert Bean, Harry Nash, Michael Nash, Bill Nash, Robert Bean Jr. and Kenny Nash. Contributions may be made to Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650 and/or Second District Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1, Valley Lee, MD 20692. Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A.


The County Times

Section A - 10

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Check Point On Saturday April 26, 2008 between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office participated in “Strike Force Sobriety Checkpoints” along with the Calvert County and Charles County sheriff’s offices. The St. Mary’s County sobriety checkpoint was conducted on MD Route 4 at North Patuxent Beach Road in California More than 700 vehicles passed through the checkpoint with three be-

ing pulled over for further roadside sobriety testing. William Thomas Franklin, 27, of Lexington Park was arrested by Cpl. Mark Clark and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The drivers of the other two vehicles were given roadside sobriety tests and determined to be with in the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle.

Mayor Norris Has Been Dedicated To Providing Public Access To Leonardtown Waterfront

Photo Provided by Lt. Edward Willenborg of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff ’s Office

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s deputies operate a sobriety checkpoint April 26 on Route 4 and North Patuxent Beach Road.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008 • St. Mary’s County