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Thursday, July 17, 2008 • St. Mary’s County, Maryland

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Leonardtown Set to Become State Capital for a Day By Andrea Shiell and Guy Leonard Staff Writers This week Leonardtown will become the center of state government activity and attention after Gov. Martin O’Malley arrives to proclaim the town capital for a day

Carl Stone photo

I’ve been able to ride real good here the last three races.” – Motocross Lites Points Leader Ryan Villopoto

Natural Foods Market Reopens In Solomons

Friday saw the grand reopening of Woodburn’s in Solomons. Following the festive ribbon cutting that morning, shoppers were lined up down the street to come in and take advantage of the new gourmet market, which boasts an espresso bar, a large selection of gourmet wines and cheeses, and a host of other specialty food items including international and organic foods. “We had a line of people reaching out into the street,” said owner Tommy McKay.

County Employee Takes Her Singing Voice To The Ball Field, Theatre By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Most days of the week, Tina Fratantuono spends her time managing the budget and the expenses of the County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Leonardtown courthouse, but her talents go far beyond balancing the books. She sings, too. So well, in fact, that she is one of several people who were invited to sing The Star Spangled Banner at the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs home games. “Some of the girls [in the office] knew I sang and they said I should audition for the blue crabs,” Fratantuono told The County Times. Fratantuono’s April auditions netted her a chance to sing the national anthem back in June and again July 11. She remembers her first rendition of the anthem at Regency Stadium near Waldorf with fondness. The game was delayed for rain that day in June, she said, but once she took the field to sing a rainbow spread across the sky. “It was like no other day… it was a milestone in my career,” Fratantuono said. “It was a touching moment for me. “I love that [singing the national anthem] because I love my freedom. I have a lot of soldiers who are fighting to defend us.” Fratantuono’s vocal talents have taken her to plenty of other places where the singing of the national anthem is in demand as well. She’s sung the song for fire/EMS events and for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. She’s even sung for the Board of County Commissioners’ Flag Day ceremony. She became acquainted with her talents at a very young age. “I’ve been performing since I was 4 years old,” Fratantuono said, adding that she once won a singing competition called “The See Singer page A-

Brown Visits St. Mary’s College For Equal Opportunity Retreat Lt. Governor Anthony Brown made his way to St. Mary’s College of Maryland on July 9th to address a full crowd at the inaugural equal employment opportunity retreat for state professionals. He had an open discussion with the audience after which he toured the new “green” Goodpaster Hall, which received a silver rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, and St. John’s Archaeological Site, among others.

Inside Op.-Ed .......... Obituaries..... Community... Police ............ Classifieds..... Thursday Cloudy 84°

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Thursday. Reminiscent of former Gov. Ehrlich’s “Cabinet Days” wherein he and his staff traveled to municipalities to discuss local issues, O’Malley and all his cabinet level advisors will be there to strengthen ties with local government and citizens. Local leaders here say they welcome the chance to show the governor and the state department heads the progress they’ve See Capital For A Day page A-

Photo Courtesy of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

Tina Fratantuono, a fiscal specialist in the State’s Attorney’s Office, sings the Star Spangled Banner for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at Regency Stadium July 11.

Lexington Park Man Gets Nearly Eight Years For Narcotics Trafficking By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Wendell Ignatius Ford, 44, a reputed longtime narcotics trafficker who local and federal authorities say was a major player in a drug distribution network throughout the East Coast, will spend the next 97 months in federal prison for his crimes. Ford received his sentence July 12 from U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus, along with five years of supervised probation after his release. Ford, along with 13 other conspirators who have either pleaded guilty to drug charges or been sentenced to federal prison, was

part of a narcotics distribution network that operated mainly in St. Mary’s County from 1999 to 2006, according to information from the office of U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Reflection And Projection At Joint Meeting Andrea Shiell Staff Writer The Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Education held a joint meeting on Tuesday as part of their effort to review successes, failures, and future goals for the school system. Superintendent Michael Martirano outlined the system’s third straight year of gains on the Maryland State Assessments. “The MSA See Joint Meeting page A-

See Trafficking page A-

An Apology To Our Readers Suspect, 16-Years Old, Charged With Rape

The County Times wishes to apologize to our readers for the graphic and descriptive content contained in the story last week pertaining to the alleged rape by a 16 year old of a minor. While the content of the story was less graphic than the language contained in the police report, the editor and staff of the County Times believes it extended well beyond what was necessary to inform the public of this horrific charge. Additionally, we send our deepest apology and sympathy to the victim and victim’s family. The County Times assures our readers we will not use such graphic descriptions unnecessarily in future stories, while maintaining our commitment to providing our readers with the information pertaining to events in our community which they have a right to be informed of.

The County Times

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Deputies Charge Man With Rape, Assault By Guy Leonard Staff Writer A man suspected of being an illegal immigrant has been charged with seconddegree rape and second-degree assault in an alleged attack that occurred in the late night hours of July 12, sheriff’s deputies reported. Investigators with the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations allege that Alvaro Dominguez, 24, a Guatemalan national, raped a female victim after witnessing a gathering at the victim’s home in Lexington Park, which he reportedly tried to join. Detectives allege that Dominguez, who they said had no fixed address, entered into the victim’s bedroom as she lay sleeping and raped her there. The victim tried to fight off Dominguez’s alleged assault, charging papers filed in District Court by Detective Charles F. Earle state, and she called for help. Charging documents state that several witnesses saw the defendant flee the residence following the victim’s cries for help. Witnesses at the gathering chased Dominguez to a nearby residence when police arrived to make contact with the victim and continue their investigation, charging documents reveal. Police began a search of the residence and, according to charging documents, found Dominguez hiding under a bed in a back room of the house. Witnesses claimed that Dominguez was the man they saw fleeing the residence where the alleged assault took place, charging documents state. Detectives found scratch marks on the defendant’s chest and stomach areas after they arrested him and detained him at the Sheriff’s Office, court papers reveal. The scratches found on Dominguez seemed to match the description of defensive wounds the victim told police she had inflicted on her alleged attacker. Dominguez refused to cooperate with investigators, charging documents state. This is the second incident in recent weeks where a suspected illegal immigrant has been charged with a major crime. On June 28, Eddi G. Barrientos-Ibanez was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol after a vehicle crash on Route 235 and Bay Forest Road in Dameron.

Police say Ibanez was the driver of the vehicle in which two people were killed and two others injured. Police charging documents also state that sobriety tests revealed Ibanez had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood after the crash had occurred. While Ibanez had an Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant applied to him, Dominguez did not, according to Lt.

Alvaro Dominguez

Rick Burris commander of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations. “We believe he’s only been in the country for about three weeks,” Burris said, adding that it was now known if this was Dominguez’s first time in the country. Burris said that despite recent events illegal immigrants have not been a significant source of local crime. “We haven’t seen a rash of crimes by illegal aliens,” Burris said. “But it’s a concern because communication barriers are significant during the investigation.” If convicted, Dominguez could receive a 20-year prison sentence for the seconddegree rape charge against him. The second-degree assault charge also carries a possible 10-year period of incarceration if Dominguez is found guilty. Dominguez is currently incarcerated at the St. Mary’s County Adult Detention Center.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Local Crops Make Comeback After Last Year’s Devastating Drought By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Recent acreage reports to the local Farm Service Agency in Leonardtown show that farmers are having a much better growing season this year as opposed to last summer when severe drought destroyed many crops and forced the federal government to declare much of the state an agricultural disaster zone. The rains that have fallen on Southern Maryland in recent months have been enough not only to bring the region out of the drought but to allow a surge in crop growth and refill precious water resources like creeks and streams, according to the agency’s local director Amy Farrell. “Farmers are optimistic about this year’s crop,” Farrell told The County Times. “The ponds are finally full and the streams are back to where they should be. “That’s all good news.” The outlook for corn and soybeans looks promising so far this season, Farrell said, as do barley and wheat. Farmers are reporting as much as 75 to 80 bushels of yield per acre on average; some lo-

cations are yielding as much as 100 bushels an acre, she said. However, all the rains have presented their own problems. Some double crops, or crops planted twice on the same field in the same crop year, cannot be planted because there is too much water still there. Some corn in the southern portion of the county has been drowned as a result of the heavy rains, Farrell said. Though some small amount of the crop has been lost, the current situation represents a dramatic change from last year. Overall crop losses during last year’s drought at the same time were about 65 to 70 percent. Some smaller farming operations experienced a total loss of their crop. Some fields last year only produced about 20 to 30 bushels per acre of crops like corn and soybeans. St. Mary’s County crop damage was worse than the state’s overall average crop loss figures of between 30 to 60 percent. “It’s funny we couldn’t find a rain drop last year,” Farrell said. “It’s so much better to see green.”

Owners: Mulberry Fields Property Will Stay As It Is By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Bruce and Doug Jansson, the remaining owners of the Mulberry Fields property, about 500 acres of wooded rural land with shoreline on the Potomac River that had its origins as an 18th century plantation say that they will keep the property as it is after the recent death of their brother Erik Jansson who had lived there and cared for the property. Some in the community were concerned about the future of the property, worried that the nearly pristine forest, rural land and shoreline would be lost to possible development if sold off. Erik Jansson died suddenly June 27 at Mulberry Fields: as a well-known local activist and environmentalist, his death was widely mourned. The brothers said that they are still unsure how they will maintain the property as they live in California and Wisconsin respectively. Learning how Erik kept the property and what financial resources he left behind would take time, they said. “We’ve just come into town and are trying to learn how Mulberry Fields has worked so far,” said Bruce Jansson. “But we’re determined to keep the property in its current state.” The property is protected by a state historical easement “and it can never be developed” Doug Jansson told The County Times. The property has been in their family since about 1917, Bruce Jansson said, with it first being purchased by their great aunt Jesse Lennox Ray. Ray eventually sold the property to their parents, Holger and Mary Jansson in 1953. Both Holger and Mary Jansson had to deal with a business man who wanted to build a river front casino on the property. A court battle ensued over who were the

Trafficking Continued from page A- During that period, Ford, along with other local conspirators such as Kevin Darnell Dyson, 36, of St. Mary’s City and Corey Butler, 35, of Mechanicsville, brought powdered cocaine to St. Mary’s from various sources in Maryland and North Carolina where it was processed into crack cocaine. Ford, Dyson and others then distributed the cocaine to customers according to information from Rosenstein’s office. The conspirators also sold powdered cocaine as well, federal authorities stated. Lt. Daniel Alioto, commander of the Vice/Narcotics Unit of the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations said Ford’s sentencing rounded out the case of one of the largest local cocaine distribution networks in recent history. “They all had a huge role in distributing drugs to our county,” Alioto told The County Times. “But it had arms and tentacles that went to New Jersey and North Carolina.” Alioto said local investigators caught on to the drug distributing operation before there was a Bureau of Criminal Investigations and with federal resources brought in, the case became a coup for local detectives and federal law enforcement alike. “It was something [the investigation] that started right here in the sheriff’s office,” Alioto said. “This is a home grown investigation… that’s what makes it so satisfying. “We [local and federal law enforcement] really kicked them in the teeth on this one.” According to press releases regarding Ford’s plea agreement, Ford was convicted

rightful owners, Bruce Jansson said. “My parents had to take him to court to prove he didn’t buy it,” he said. “And they won, that shows my mother’s determination to preserve the property from such a horrible use.” The mansion on the property is also an architectural rarity in Maryland and the only one in St. Mary’s County. “It’s the only Georgian-style house in the county,” said Teresa Wilson, preservation planner for the county’s Department of Land Use and Growth Management. The mansion at Mulberry Fields is actually a scaled down version of the kind seen in Annapolis or in Virginia, Wilson said. The house is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and was added to the list in 1973. Any changes to the house, as well as a portion of the property, would have to first go through the state. “The Maryland Historical Trust has an easement on the property,” Wilson said. “It means that the trust has some oversight to the property. “They’d [the owners] have to get approval before any structural changes could be made to the house. It’s a perpetual easement and whoever purchases it would have to respect it.” The property is also home to a heron rookery, Wilson said, and along with all the forestation and open space makes it a valuable environmental resource. Other structures such as barns and residences also sit on the property, but despite their age, the brothers said, they don’t seem to present a problem. “Everything is in good shape, in excellent structural condition thanks to the efforts of our parents and Eric.” Bruce Jansson said. “The question now is how do we, from afar, do we do this.”

of distributing five kilograms or more of cocaine as well as 50 or more grams of crack cocaine, but Alioto said the quantities might have been much greater. “His conviction is what it is,” Alioto said. “It validates what law enforcement has said about him for 10 years: he’s a drug dealer, he’s a huge player. “His prison sentence means that much less [drugs] is going to be on the street.” Dyson was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison back in May for his role in the trafficking conspiracy and federal authorities believed he was the leader of the local network. Law enforcement agents intercepted phone calls from Dyson in which he spelled out events of a shooting in which he took part when two people broke into his home. From the conversations, detectives were able to get a search warrant for Dyson’s residence that uncovered a .44 caliber revolver, 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition and cocaine residue. Another search at a home used by Dyson to process the crack cocaine resulted in several firearms and associated ammunition being found. Also sentenced in the conspiracy were Terry Barba, 36, of Newark, New Jersey to 20 years in federal prison, Edwin Elton Johnson, 33, of Lexington Park sentenced to 86 months, Butler who received an 84month prison term, and Terrance J. Brooks, 25, of Leonardtown who received 78 months in prison. Seven other conspirators from St. Mary’s and one from Calvert were also convicted and sentenced as part of the trafficking network in the past year.

The County Times

Thursday, July 17, 2008

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The County Times

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Editorial & Opinion Maybe The Extra-Long Wait Will Provide Fresh Focus On Thursday, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will make his first official visit to St. Mary’s County since becoming Governor nearly two years ago. With half of the Governor’s four-year term already behind him, there is a lot of catching up to do, more importantly, there is only a short period of time remaining to address the needs of our county. Southern Maryland has been largely off the Governor’s radar screen since taking office; hopefully this trip to St. Mary’s will pave the way for a more interactive relationship over the next two years. O’Malley has been conducting his state government road show for the past two years, with Salisbury, La Plata, and Bel Air all having been Capital for a day last year. Besides Leonardtown, this year’s list of road show stops includes Hagerstown, Chestertown, Pocomoke City, Port Towns in Prince Georges County, Cumberland, Gaithersburg,

and Ellicott City. Having ushered in the largest tax increase in the history of Maryland, with budget deficits still looming large in spite of huge tax increases due to lack of spending control, O’Malley’s primary reason for hauling hoards of state workers all around the state for these public relations events is to generate positive press for an unpopular Governor. He’s obviously hoping voters will remember the big Capital for a day event rather than how hard this Governor has been on your wallet. Still, it’s good the Governor is finally coming to St. Mary’s County, hopefully we will see a positive change in this administrations view of the needs of this growing and vibrant section of Maryland. At this stage in Maryland’s previous Governor’s term, Governor Ehrlich had visited St. Mary’s County on four separate occasions. It was no secret that Ehrlich considered Southern Maryland a vital economic and job

Your Help Is Needed

As family members and the founders of the Hunter Dean Scott Foundation, we invite Hunter Dean Scott, a sweet and precocious you to give whatever you can for this fam4-year-old boy who resides in Calvert County ily during their time of need. We have been with his parents Eric and Sandy Scott, was humbled by the selflessness and compassion recently diagnosed with brain cancer. He has that has been shown to our family members just undergone major brain surgery to remove already and continue to be inspired to fight for a massive tumor that was encasing his brain. this little boy. All donations can be made to the Hunter Hunter will now need to undergo chemotherDean Scott Foundation at the PNC Bank in apy over the next several months in order to Solomons, MD or mailed to P.O. Box 289, Solcompletely eradicate the cancer. omons, MD 20688. For tax deduction purposIt is times like these that we find ourselves es, EIN/TIN 26-2867635 has been set up for coming together as family members and as a community. Eric, Sandy, and Hunter not only this foundation. Additionally, individuals and need our prayers and emotional support to get businesses will be acknowledged via a “Thank them through this very difficult time, but they You” ad in the local newspapers. Again, we appreciate any support you can also need our financial support. Both Eric and give at this time. Sandy work full time jobs and one of them will have to be with Hunter throughout all of the medical treatments he will need in the coming Dawn & Bambi Barrett months, thus causing them to endure a major Lexington Park, Md financial hardship, not to mention the expensive medical deductibles that will have to be paid.

Obama, A True Christian I feel I must counter the false claims against our next President – Barack Obama. President Bush has claimed to be against abortion for 8 years now and the abortions are still going on at a very fast pace. Therefore such claims against Senator Obama are just political rhetoric without any substance. It is the U.S. Supreme Court that declared abortions as legal and as Constitutional and that is the law of the land regardless of who ever is President. Running for President does not mean running as some leader of religion like running for Pope- no Bush still now keeps claiming

to be some religious Christian because he is against abortions while at the same time he tortures prisoners, he lies about weapons of mass destruction, he puts the USA into unjust and ignorant wars, he spends our national debt to over nine (9) trillion dollars, and Bush demands the power to spy on Americans by snooping into our emails and our telephone calls, and John McCain promises to do ore of the same. By electing Barack Obama it will give us a true Christian as our President, and it will give us a real President that actually obeys the law of the land. James P. Cusick Sr. Lexington Park, Md

Keep Terrorism Out Of The US

to them if they believed there loss was in the interest of reducing the nation’s deficit. If Mr. I am writing this letter in response to the Cusick speaks for Senator Obama or his supletter written by James P. Cusick Sr. and print- porters, he just helped me make up my mind ed in your July 3rd edition. Like Mr. Cusick I who I’ll be voting for. Ignoring reality has never worked in the am not happy with our nations debt. I am also past and it won’t work now either. This libnot pleased with much of our foreign policy, idealism comes from La La Land. Eueral our immigration policy, or health care policies. rope tried this in the thirties and if it weren’t The list could go on and I am of the opinion that not just one person one political party, or one for the United States those of us who would administration can be blamed for the failure on have survived the ovens would be speaking so many fronts but rather many of all political German. I am not a warmonger and I hate to stripes share the blame and wholesale change hear about the sacrifices our military men and is needed in our government. However, Mr. women make for this country on our behalf but Cusick’s notion that American lives should be thank God they do. The fact is there are people in this world that want to kill Americans and put in jeopardy to save money is ludicrous. In this country money has always taken a are bent on doing just that. Peace on earth is a back seat to human life. We constantly hear wonderful dream but just wishing for it doesn’t we should give up our cash and avoid resist- make it happen. History speaks for itself and ing an armed robber, we spend millions on ob- those with their heads in the sand should keep scure diseases that affect only a small segment them there and take a beep breath! If this is Senator Obama’s foreign policy or of our populations, and we send billions abroad his option to reduce the national debt my decito aid grief stricken people around the world. in November will be easy. I personally sion It is the American way, so to suggest we put favor a voting option of, “none of the above ourselves at the mercy of terrorists in order to reduce the national debt is plain not American. – do it over”, but unfortunately that will not be Mr. Cusick seems to be willing to write off an option. I’ll have to settle for the next best some buildings or an American city or two to thing and passed on Mr. Cusick’s perspective it save a buck. I can only hope he and those who will not be Senator Obama. As long s there is think like him are the only ones home if they terrorism in the world I want to keep it outside get their wish and there is another terrorist at- of the United States and I am willing to pay for tack. I suspect they would view the national that, regardless of how much money it costs. debt differently from under the rubble. As an Sincerely, advocate for Senator Obama, Mr. Cusick conDavid A. Ryan firms some of the points made by the Obama Hollywood, Md detractors. Mr. Cusick should ask those who lost loved ones on 9/11, or in Oklahoma City, or on the USS Cole if it would be consoling

The County Times

growth engine for the State, and went to great lengths to provide an extraordinary level of support for projects in Southern Maryland. Ehrlich was very engaged with the local community during the BRAC process and during difficult state budget times was able to find funding for large infrastructure projects in Southern Maryland, including the Hughesville Bypass, and the purchase of the former Flat Tops Housing Community with 84 acres of high density housing slated for re-development, potentially posing an encroachment issue for our community during the BRAC process. Funding for roads, schools, land preservation, law enforcement and parks was extraordinary during the Ehrlich administration. Practically every major project going on today in St. Mary’s County began during the Ehrlich administration, including the expansion of Chancellors Run Road, the construction of the new Evergreen Elementary School, and even the planning for a second

span of the Thomas Johnson Bridge. We have yet to see anything from O’Malley’s administration that demonstrates anywhere near the commitment level of the prior administration. Maybe O’Malley’s visit to St. Mary’s will open his eyes to our county and the enormous opportunity we offer as one of the more dynamic work place environments in the State of Maryland. Just as important will be the entourage of Cabinet Secretaries that will come to our County. Ehrlich’s cabinet included two Secretaries from Southern Maryland; O’Malley’s cabinet has none. Hopefully this will be an opportunity for O’Malley to reevaluate that decision and soon appoint a cabinet secretary from Southern Maryland. We’ve been waiting patiently over the past two years; St. Mary’s County residents will be watching closely to see what the next two years brings.

Thank You

described your experience at the SoMD Blue Crabs game just perfect. I couldn’t agree more. Because of a good friend we have attended close to ten games already and each time has been a thrill. Great family entertainment is what’s done at every game and the staff there is the friendliest. Terri you are right people just have to go. It is a fun and great time. I wouldn’t mind getting a job there. Some of our local friends are working there now. What a beautiful stadium and fireworks. Great article Terri, Go Crabs! Thank you again “County Times”

Thank you, thank you, Mr. McKay and all of you good people and staff at The County Times for providing a local paper free of charge to our community. You guys are doing a great service and need to be commended for your efforts. It is hard to believe your paper is still free with rising cost in every facet of life, especially gasoline. Let the Enterprise or St. Mary’s Today try providing free issues for a while. Who am I kidding? So you guys are the best. Keep it coming. To the “Country Girl”, Terri Bratz Bowles, what a great article titled “Crab Ball”. You

Hoyer Is Part Of The Problem The people of the United States are faced with many great challenges, both foreign and domestic, and not the least of these is the United States Congress. The Congress has become so far removed from the mainstream, core beliefs of the American people that, if presented with the Ten Commandments, they would want to amend it. If presented with the Bill of Rights, they would not enact it! The situation has become such that no greater threat to American life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness exists than while the Congress is in session. What needs to be done is clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence, “… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…; it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” In his address to Congress, December 8, 1829, President Andrew Jackson wrote: “There are, perhaps, few men who can for any great length of time enjoy office and power without being more or less under the influence of feelings unfavorable to the faithful discharge of their public duties … they are apt to acquire a habit of looking with indifference upon the public interests and of tolerating conduct from which an unpracticed man would revolt. Office is considered as a species of property, and

Donnie “Noodle” Garner Hollywood, Md

government rather as a means of promoting individual interests than as an instrument created solely for the service of the people. Corruption in some and in others a perversion of correct feelings and principles divert government from its legitimate ends and make it an engine for the support of the few at the expense of the many.” A more accurate description of the Congress today could not be written. Every two years the American people have the opportunity to alter the Congress.  Now is the time to do so. The people of Maryland’s 5th Congressional District have an obligation to themselves and to the Nation to do their part to help restore government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We can send a message and a warning, which will echo throughout the halls of Congress, that we will no longer tolerate the continuation of politics as usual. We can do so by bringing to an end the tenure in office of Congressman Steny Hoyer, who long ago became a professional politician rather than a representative of the people. His removal from Congress will be to our benefit, not our detriment, because Hoyer is a part of the problem, not the solution to what is wrong in the United States Congress. Cynthia L. Jones Valley Lee, MD

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The County Times

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ramblings of a Country Girl

Fore! Terri Bartz Bowles Always looking for new ways to frustrate myself, I decided to give golf a try again. Actually, I decided that this was a good year to try out new things, revisit old ideas and just generally get out there and experience stuff. I had played “at” golf some years ago, (okay a lot of years ago) but never got serious about it. So I decided to actually give it a real try this time with lessons and every thing. I’ve only been doing it for a short time but I’ve learned a few things already. One nice thing about play-

ing golf is that it’s an opportunity to get outside and enjoy a sunny day, green grass, birds singing in the trees and groundhogs lumbering along. The pleasantness of nature takes a little edge off the frustration you feel when you hit it into the trees or brush or tall grass. You know how they have those gutter bumpers at the bowling alley for kids learning how to bowl? I need those along the edges of the fairways. There’s also water at the golf course; nice water hazards, maybe ponds or creeks depending on where you play. Pretty to look at but they’re just there to drink up

Joint Meeting Continued from page A- trend date from 2005-2008 validates our instructional approach,” he said, crediting school system initiatives for this year’s numbers. “We are above state standards in all areas,” he said, adding that the most significant gains could be seen at the middle school level. Scores for mathematics showed a 12.4 percent increase in proficiency in advanced mathematics for students in seventh grade, and a 14.1 percent increase for students in eighth grade. Reading scores rose by 9.1 percent for seventh grade students, and 4.2 percent for eighth grade students. Martirano noted that this is the first year that such a large percentage of students had tested proficient at advanced levels for mathematics and English, and he expects that the Maryland State Department of Education’s yearly progress report will reflect significant gains. On a more solemn note, Martirano raised the issue of the county’s graduation rate, noting that data from 2003-2005 reflected a lack of successful interventions. “Our students are graduating, but some of them aren’t graduating on time,” said Martirano, adding that of the

your golf balls. Rather cruel, I think. And sand, there’s sand at the golf course. You don’t have to go to the beach to get in the sand, trust me, you can just go to the golf course. They won’t let you bring your bucket and shovel, though. I’ve learned that coordination is important. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not very graceful and that means I’m not the most coordinated girl you ever met. Just because I’m looking at the ball and I’m aiming for the ball does not mean I’m going to hit the ball. I’m going to try a new tactic this week, though. I’m going to picture the face of

ing. “It’s bricks and mortar,” said Martirano after the meeting. “We’re still in the process of planning…but Fairlead Academy and Tech Connect will be our first steps.” County Commissioners and Board of Education also discussed Martirano’s new Young Driver Safety Initiative, which would place restrictions on parking permits to students who engage in risky driving behavior and require all applying for permits to view a video on appropriate driving behaviors. “It’s not a right, it’s not an entitlement,” said Martirano of the permits, adding that the official kick-off for the initiative will be on July 29. Officials also reviewed the new volunteer screening procedures for St. Mary’s County Public Schools, which will now require background checks for both employees and volunteers. County Commissioners weighed in on the pressing issue of rising energy costs and how they would affect the school system and the county government. “Energy costs are getting to be another major budget driver,” said County Administrator John Savich. “We’re looking at what we might do to at least whittle away those costs.” All seemed resolute as they echoed the importance of energy conservation, even with the smallest changes like turning off lights or shut-

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someone who is “on my list” on the ball and see if that little incentive of ‘whacking them’ helps me. Discipline is also important. You have to think about every shot every time you swing the club. There’s a lot to think about for a newcomer like me and my head is so full of what to do and how to do it that I invariably miss something. But it’s a personal challenge to try and do it right the next time. That’s another thing about golf, you’re challenging yourself and you have nobody to blame but yourself when you mess up. You feel great when you make a good shot. But don’t get carried away because the next thing you know, your ball is in a tree somewhere and it probably took some effort to screw up enough to get it there. Golfing is good exercise. Some people who have never played think it’s not hard and/ or doesn’t take much effort. I beg to differ. Banging that little ball down the fairway does take effort. You use your whole body playing golf, it might not be aerobic, but it is a workout. I am tired and

hungry when I get done and don’t know which I want to do first, take a nap or eat something. It’s a workout even if you use a cart and yes, I use a cart. Geez, it take me long enough with the cart, if I was walking it would take all day. Since I’m not always hitting it straight (okay, I almost never hit it straight), I’m getting plenty of exercise going from one side of the fairway to the other. I look like a sailboat, tacking down the course from side to side, chasing my ball instead of chasing the wind. And girls, don’t forget that there is fashion involved in golf. At the minimum, you’re going to need a pair of shoes and some sort of hat. I bought a visor and that may not have been my best choice. I have short hair so it pushes my hair up and I look like I have a cone head. But I paid good money for it, so I’m wearing it. There are lots of cute little golf outfits out there. I’ve resisted so far, just getting a pair of appropriate shorts and one of those shirts that wicks away perspiration and keeps you cool. They really work, by the way.

But every time I watch any of the LPGA players in their cute little skirts, you know I want one. Hey, if you can’t play good, you can still look good! The golf equipment and clothing manufacturers go too far with the pink stuff for women golfers, though. Just because you’re a girl doesn’t mean you want everything pink. Pink on the clubs and bags, pink balls, pink clothes; pink, pink, pink. Bleah! In the spirit of experiencing new things, I discovered a new drink that I like. I’ve been drinking the same mixed drink forever. But recently, I read an article in the paper about a classic cocktail that some of you will recognize – a Manhattan. I tried it and I really like it. So now I have a new cocktail with which to mollify myself after a horrible round of my new frustration – golf. You can email the Country Girl at

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The Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Education held their third joint meeting to discuss initiatives for the upcoming school year on Tuesday.

86.7 percent who are graduating, close to 58 percent are not graduating within four years. Martirano attributed this trouble to the lack of effective early retention, saying that the prevailing philosophy that no student should be held back while in middle school has had a detrimental effect on overall graduation rates in the county, where recent statistics show that one in five high school freshman are having to repeat their ninth grade year or go to summer school before progressing to their sophomore year. Martirano said that new initiatives like the Fairlead Academy in Lexington Park and the Tech Connect program for at-risk students should serve as the first steps to a more effective interventions for high school students who might otherwise be at risk for dropping out or falling behind. Citing his experience visiting Minnie Howard School in Alexandria, Virginia, which is an academy for ninth graders, Martirano said that the enormous pressures placed on students in ninth grade as they are forced to adapt to social and academic pressures in high school might warrant the adoption of such an annex for St. Mary’s. “I’m a true advocate of that kind of approach,” he said, adding that a ninth grade annex would also help with overcrowd-

ting down facilities during the holidays. County Commissioner Larry Jarboe suggested the possibility of using woodchips for heating purposes. “There’s tons of woodchips on the market…we need to look at the successes in other areas and take advantage of that,” he said. All seemed to blend appropriately with Jarboe’s recent Alternative Energy Conference, wherein he and others showcased environmentally friendly energy sources for the public. Both the Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners have agreed to form a work group within the next month to address strategies for energy conservation. Chief Financial Officer Elaine Krmaer presented a brief outlook of the school system’s budget based on projected tax revenues for the next three fiscal years. “This is not a prediction,” said Savich of the budget, “it just gives us a way to start thinking about this…so we don’t end up building a budget in the dark.” The meeting ended on positive note, as members of both boards folded their chairs and headed out into the hot afternoon sun. All seemed to echo the sentiments of Board of Education Vice-Chair Cathy Allen, who had said, “the more we communicate, the more smoothly both of our organizations run.”

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The County Times

Section A - 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. – Lt. Col. Paul M. Riegert Assumed Command On The H46 Program Office Naval Air Systems Command Press Release

As the H-46 Program Manager, he will lead a team of approximately 150 acquisition professionals and is charged with the life cycle management authority for a fleet of 198 helicopters. The aircraft are heavily deployed in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and are primarily used in the assault support mission for the Marine Corps. Lt. Col. Riegert will manage the numerous H-46 upgrade programs underway that provide increased survivability, safety, reliability, and a range of other capabilities.   In 2005, Riegert reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-8, Warfighting Analysis Division, serving as an analyst and Operational Availability Study Lead, responsible to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman for analyzing the ability of the programmed Joint Force structure to support the National Military Strategy.    Additionally, Riegert was tasked to conduct similar strategic analysis for the National Counterterrorism Center, National Security Council and the United States Agency for International Development. During this tour, Riegert was assigned the 8059 MOS and selected for command of the H-46 Program Office (PMA226).     In 2004, Riegert reported to Newport, R.I. for both the College of Naval Command and Staff and the Naval Operational Planners Course. In Newport, he earned a Master of Arts in National Security Studies and designation as an Operational Planner.     In 2002, he reported for duty with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (HMM-265) where he served as S-1 Officer, Director of

Safety and Standardization, Executive Officer and as a Detachment Officer-in-Charge. During this tour, he deployed with the “Dragons” from Okinawa to the Republics of Korea and the Philippines in support of Marine Aircraft Group-36 and then embarked for two cycles in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), participating in exercises Foal Eagle, Balikatan, Cobra Gold and providing Presidential support in Bali and humanitarian assistance in East Timor.    In 2001, Riegert returned to Okinawa for duty with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, serving in the G-3 as Assistant Plans Officer and, later, Plans Officer. He also served as the MAG-36 Current Operations Officer for Exercise Balikatan ‘02 and as a 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Senior Watch Officer for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and exercise Millennium Edge.     In 1998, he published his Master’s thesis and transferred to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. for duty at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). While at NAVAIR, Riegert served in the Aircrew Systems Program Office (PMA202). As an Integrated Product Team leader, his duties involved research and development of helmet mounted displays, tracker systems and Net Centric Warfare applications as well as the procurement of AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles. Departing NAVAIR, he was assigned the 8058 MOS, Level III certification in Program Management and career field designation as an Acquisition Professional.    

After completing initial CH-46E pilot training in 1993, Riegert received orders to HMM262 in Okinawa, Japan. While with the “Flying Tigers”, he deployed throughout the Western Pacific in support of the 31st MEU (SOC) for four consecutive cycles. While at HMM-262, he served as Ground Safety Officer, Airframes Officer, Quality Assurance Officer and Squadron Administrative Officer.    After completing The Basic School (TBS), he transferred to the Marine Attack Squadron 214 (VMA-214) the “Black Sheep,” where he served as the squadron Embark Officer.     In 1990, he transferred to Pensacola, Fla. for flight training, and received his wings in 1992. He then transferred to Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 301 (HMT-301) at Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, Calif. where he served in the Operations Department as Flight Schedules Officer. Lt. Col. Riegert was born at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and is a 1989 graduate of the United States “Lt. Col. Paul M. Riegert, Program Manager, H-46 Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Program Office (PMA226).” Science degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, he received his commission and served In 1996, he was selected for the Special for six months as a Navy football coach until Education Program and transferred to the Na- reporting to The Basic School (TBS).     val Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, Lt. Col. Riegert resides in Cape Carteret, Calif. As an acquisition student at NPS, Riegert N.C. with his bride of 18 years, Aimee, and received a Master of Science in Management, their children Emma, Paul, Abby and Bobby. Acquisition Career Field (ACF) level III train- His personal awards include the Defense Meriing in Program Management, Logistics Engi- torious Service Medal, three Navy and Marine neering, and Test and Evaluation and ACF level Corps Commendation Medals and various serII training in Systems Engineering and Produc- vice medals. tion/Quality Management.    

The Helicopter Egress System For Passengers Team Has Won The NAVAIR National Commander’s Award For Achievement In Quality Of Service.    Naval Air Systems Command Press Release “The HESP team in PMA202 has demonstrated how NAVAIR can deliver a superior product, ahead of time and below cost, with proven capability that will directly help our Marines return home safely,” said Vice Adm. D. J. Venlet, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command.     “This is another example of the great work Aircrew Systems does to support the fleet,” said Martin Ahmad, Aircrew Systems Program Manager (PMA202). “The entire HESP team worked countless hours on a program that’s designed to save the lives of our Marines. The Aircrew Systems team has won the Commander’s Award three years in a row and I could not be prouder of everyone on the team.”     “The dedication and subject matter expertise of the engineers, logisticians and contract-

ing personnel made this a great project for the entire team,” said Tara Capecci, Integrated Program Team Lead for Life Support Equipment (PMA202). “Our acquisition strategy was successful and we are proud to get this system out to the fleet.”    The Helicopter Egress System consists of a floatation device, a self-contained breathing device, a mobile refill station, tools, support equipment and training units. The HESP team completed the contract selection and award six months ahead of schedule, met or exceeded the majority of contract requirements and still saved the Marine Corps more than $8 million. Furthermore, improvements in reliability and sustainment over legacy systems are projected to save an additional $1.8 million and save more than 30,000 man hours per year.    

“Marines wearing the Helicopter Egress System for Passengers in an H-46 Sea Knight helicopter.”

Raley(D-Great Mills), “That enables our staff to have a one-on-one with their cabinet secretaries…sometimes we have difficulties getting through.” “The biggest thing is that O’Malley’s going to see Continued from page A- the Pax River,” said County Commissioner President made in Leonardtown but also to cover critical issues Francis “Jack” Russell, who has said that a relationship with state cabinet members has been somewhat and get noticed. lacking in this administration. “If you’ve got the “I’m glad the governor’s taking the time to come to St. Mary’s,” said County Commissioner Daniel ear of those in the system, then things get done,” he added. “The town’s objective is to show the governor what their [state] programs have done for Leonardtown,” said Mayor J. Harry “Chip” Norris. “We’ve gotten quite a bit of support from them for all those years.” Norris said that in the two prior administrations, as well as in O’Malley’s, the town has tried to follow growth guidelines mandated by the state, while at the same time using state resources, along with county funds, to make improvements to the town. Norris said he also Please call Larry at wanted to show O’Malley the town wharf improvements recently completed --- or --and the business interests that have sprung up in and around the town square, particularly from 43902 Commerce Ave the road improvements on Pay We Hollywood, Maryland Route 245 nearer to the courthouse. “That program has

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spurred private development [such as Corbel’s Restaurant],” Norris said. On the wharf project, Norris said: “We want to point out future possibilities for expansion and improvement” especially by providing access from Macintosh Run and Breton Bay to the waterfront. Traffic on Route 5 is one of the biggest issues Norris said he hoped to talk to cabinet officials about in transportation. Traffic studies show that traffic congestion is becoming one of the most pressing safety problems for the town. Other elected officials echoed this sentiment and extended it to the whole of the county, saying that work on the Thomas Johnson Bridge from Solomons to Route 235 was a pressing concern. “Our biggest issue is transportation,” said Del. John Bohanan,(DDist. 29B) who placed that and issues related to higher education at the top of his list of subjects he wanted to see addressed during O’Malley’s visit. Del. Anthony O’Donnell(R-Dist.29C) said he would like to see more immediate improvements to the Thomas Johnson Bridge and its related roadways, stating that larger plans for the area have been drawn up with very little attention being paid to short-term fixes. “I’ve seen no action on any of those things,” he said, adding that intermediate improvements “could be done quickly and at a low cost.” O’Donnell said that he hoped that the visit by O’Malley would bolster connections between state government and Southern Maryland, particularly since there were no leaders from the region in cabinet posts. “It’s great to have an event like this, but the government doesn’t have a high ranking official from Southern Maryland in this cabinet,” O’Donnell said, adding that in the last administration, there were two. “That’s indicative of that kind of lack of attention for Southern Maryland,” O’Donnell said. “My hope would be that this wouldn’t be a one-day event for the region…it’s great to bring the capital to Southern Maryland for a day, but why not being Southern Maryland to the capital?”

The County Times

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Section A - 

Obituaries Christopher Allen Dale, 25

was the celebrant. Interment followed in Charles Memorial Gardens, Leonardtown. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Agnes Cecelia Evans, 94

Christopher Allen Dale, 25, of Hollywood died July 6 in his residence. Born Nov. 3, 1982 in Patuxent River, Md., he was the son of Donald Dale and Cynthia A. (Rand) Dale of Lexington Park. Christopher graduated from Great Mills High School in 2000. In addition to his parents, Christopher is survived by his wife, Karen Lynn (Bartlett) Dale, children, Alec Bryce Dale, Warren Taylor Dale, and Destiney Skye Dale all of Hollywood, brother, Ryan Dale of Lexington Park and sister, Laura Pasik of Lexington Park, grandmother, Carmen Dale of Lexington Park, grandfather, Donald Dale and step-grandmother Lynn Dale of Valley Lee. Family received friends for Christopher’s Life Celebration Thursday, July 10 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. A funeral service was held Friday, July 11 at 10 a.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Bruce Wietzke of Shepherd of the Bay Church

Agnes Cecelia Evans, 94, of St. George Island died July 12 in her daughter’s home in St. Mary’s City. Born April 7, 1914 in St. George Island, she was the daughter of the late Martin Russell and Elsie (Thompson) Russell. Agnes was one of six children and a lifelong resident of St. George Island, receiving her education in a one-room schoolhouse on the Island. Never venturing far from home, she married Robert “Bugs” Evans of Callaway and together they raised a family of 10 children while establishing a thriving seafood restaurant business. Using their own home cooked meals that sustained their large family, they would eventually build an international reputation of superb seafood dinning know

as Evans Seafood. She is survived by her seven sons: Ronald Evans of Piney Point, Dennis Evans of St. George Island, Gerald Evans of Clyde, N.C., Michael Evans of St. George Island, Charles Evans of Leonardtown, Joseph Evans of Hollywood, and Tony Evans of Mechanicsville; three daughters: Frances Sola of Sarasota, Fla., Victoria Siegel of St. Mary’s City, and Anita Evans of Piney Point. She is also survived by 27 grandchildren, 25 greatgrandchildren and one great great-grandchild. Family received friends Tuesday, July 15 from 9 – 10 a.m. in St. George’s Catholic Church, Valley Lee. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 15 in St. George’s Catholic Church with Rev. Jack Kennealy officiating. Interment followed in St. Francis Xavier Mission Parish Cemetery, St. George Island. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Second District Volunteer Fire & Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1, Valley Lee, MD 20692 or Hospice of St. Mary’s P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650 Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Patricia Lee Robertson, 63 Patricia Lee Robertson, 63, of Lexington Park died July 8 in her residence. Born Dec. 5, 1944 in Leonardtown she was the daughter of the late William Christopher Robertson and Lillian Ann (Bean) Robertson.

Patricia was a lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County and attended Great Mills High School. She was previously employed by Hill’s Dry Cleaners, Lexington Park, the Highs Store, Great Mills, and Black Hawk Security. She is survived by her daughter Stephanie Ann Robertson Davis of Lexington Park, her sister Betty Ann Knight and her husband Tony Knight of Lexington Park, nieces, Kathy Taylor, Linda Lepper, and Joan Bean, nephew, Ricky Bean, grand-nieces, Kayla Ann Taylor and Lydia Lepper, and grand-nephew, Richard Lepper. In addition to her parents, Patricia was preceded in death by her sisters Joyce (Teany) Bean and Katherine (Kitty) Sattler. Family received friends Friday, July 11 from 5 – 8 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown with prayers recited at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 12 in Holy Face Catholic Church, Great Mills, with Rev. Scott Woods officiating. Interment followed in Holy Face Catholic Church Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Ricky Bean, Tommy Uncle, Brian Uncle, David Uncle, Duncan Lepper, and Richard Lepper. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Bobby Joy and Eddie Keenan. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Patricia Ann Unkle, 70 Patricia Ann Unkle, 70, of Piney Point died July 9 in her residence.

Born Oct. 30, 1937 in Leonardtown to the late Joseph B. Goddard, and her surviving mother Ruby M. (Thompson) Goddard of Piney Point. Patricia was a switchboard operator for 32 years with both the Harry Lundeberg Seamanship School and Stewart Petroleum. She was an avid gardener; loved tennis, biking and boating, but most of all she loved spending time with her family and friends. She is survived by the father of their four children, James E. Unkle of Piney Point; her children Kim R. Unkle of St. George Island, Terry J. Mewhinney of Chester, N.Y., Robin F. White of Los Alamitos, Calif., Donna L. O’Connor, of Valley Lee, and her dear friend and companion Donald G. Acres. She is also survived by five brothers and sisters; Tom Goddard of Piney Point, Francis Goddard of Piney Point, Ruby Lee Fisher of Andersonville, Tenn., Bonnie Davis of Piney Point, and Jackie Layton of Spring, Texas; nine grandchildren and one great great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her sister Mary Jean Robrecht. Family received friends

Saturday, July 12 from 9 – 10 a.m. at the St. George’s Episcopal Church in Valley Lee. A Funeral Service was celebrated Saturday, July 12 at 10 a.m. in St. George’s Episcopal Church with Rev. Greg Syler officiating. Interment followed in St. George’s Episcopal Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Wayne Goddard, Daniel Unkle, Danny O’Connor, Jeffery Davis, Tim Mewhinney, and Ray Gaskill. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Second District Volunteer Fire & Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 1, Valley Lee, MD 20692 or St. George’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 30 Valley Lee, MD 20692 Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

Myrtle Mae Wilson, 99 Myrtle Mae Wilson, 99, of Ellicott City, Md., formerly of Holly Hill, Fla., died July 14, in Ellicott City. Born Aug. 23, 1908 in Hanover, Penn., she was the daughter of the late Harry Dresher and Margaret (Boyd) Dresher. Myrtle is survived by her children, Audrey Albaugh of Port Orange, Fla. and Guy M. Wilson, Jr. of Lexington Park. For arrangements call the Brinsfield Funeral Home at (301) 475-5588. Condolences to the family may be made at www. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown.

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The County Times

Section A - 

Singer Continued from page A- Bong Show” during a national telethon when she was just 14-years-old. She went on to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City on Broadway for a year “right out of high school.” Coming from Glen Burnie, at the age of just 18, Fratantuono said it was a little daunting to be thrust into the big city. After studying there for a year, she returned to Maryland at the age of 19 and began work as a singing telegram messenger in Baltimore. It was a great job, she said. Her first marriage to a military man took her to Panama where she sang locally in quartets at fairs. She now lives in Lusby and sings in the Olivet United Methodist Church choir; she also takes on singing and acting roles for the local Newtown Players based in Lexington Park. She’s performed in renditions of such musicals as Stephen Sondheim’s Side By Side. “I’d classify her as [like] a professional singer,”

said Lisa Gregory, board member of The Newtown Players. “And she’s done a heck of a lot of charity work. “Her resume is huge.” Gregory first met Fratantuono when she was 18 and they went to the state choir championships. Fratantuono was good enough to go to Europe to compete in the international trials, Gregory said of her long-time friend. They lost contact with each other but got back in touch several years ago, then Fratantuono was brought into the local theater, Gregory said, where she shines. “When you’re dealing with community theater, sometimes people don’t take their roles seriously or they don’t show up or if they’re sick they don’t tell anyone ahead of time,” Gregory said, “Not Tina, she’s extremely professional. “It’s a joy working with her.” Sometimes the family commitments of raising three children mean Fratantuono can’t always perform like she’d like to, she said, but performing in one way or another will always be a part of her. “I go in and out of the spotlight,” she told The County Times. “But I love it, I live for it.”

“How to Survive Your Freshman Year” by Hundreds of

Thursday, July 17, 2008

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Fratantuono works on her financial duties at the State’s Attorney’s Office in the Circuit Court in Leonardtown.

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choose a roomie you already know. And for heaven’s sakes, get out of the For thirteen years, you’ve worked dorm often! On that note, beware. Freshman and waited for this time to come. year means going a little wild, but not You’ve endured lectures and practoo wild. Party, but remember that tices, written hundreds of essays, and you’re there to go to class and get a passed thousands of papers forward. You’ve slept through more classes degree. Set aside time to study, don’t than you’d ever admit to your parents. push yourself into any relationship, You’ve gotten energized by teachers and make friends with your R.A. and the professors. Have fun but be reyou’ll never forget. Now you’re ready for the next sponsible. Freshman year is the time step: college. You leave soon and to learn more about you, but do it while you’re excited, you’re also safely. And the biggest thing to rememscared to your bones. Will you like your roommate? ber: college is not high school. For parents and students alike How will you find your classes? Will the pressure to party ramp up a dozen – particularly if this is the first child off to a higher education – going off notches? to college can be emotional and difTake a deep breath and go find ficult. For students, “How to Survive “How to Survive Your Freshman Your Freshman Year” may be a lifeYear” by Hundreds of Heads, LLC. saver. For parents, it’s a relief to have This book is going to make the next reminders reiterated in print. 10 months the best ever. Written by hundreds of past Right about now, you’re throwing this things in a box, and getting ready to freshmen and upperclassmen, rd move into your dorm or off-campus book (updated in a 3 edition) is filled with words from the trenches. housing. Or at least you’re thinking about Although there’s plenty of conflicting advice (Take a computer, don’t it. take a computer. Stay in a dorm, get The first thing to remember is not to over-pack, particularly if you’re go- an apartment.), it’s going to give the ing to be living in a teensy room. Take Class of 2012 a few things to ponder your favorite blanket and pillow, your and some direction in this time of music, a really good alarm clock and thinking amok. Keep in mind that this book is for be judicious in what else you pack. If college freshman only and positively you can, talk with your roommate so not for someone entering 9th grade you don’t bring duplicates. And about that near-stranger in high school. Whether your newlyyou’ll be living with: there’s lots of minted college freshman will attend advice on roommates in this book. a private school, HBCU, tech school First, and maybe the most important, or state university, grab this book. For is to ask for a transfer if you absolute- them, “How to Survive Your Freshly can’t stand one another. Learn to be man Year” jumps to the head of the flexible and accommodating. Don’t class.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008 • St. Mary’s County  

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