They said it in 2016

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As we look ahead to what 2017 will bring in Charles County, we re­flect back on what hap­pened here in 2016, re­flected in quotes and pic­tures cap­tured by our edi­to­rial staff dur­ing the year. This is the sec- ond of a two-part se­ries.

July

“I’m con­cerned we’re cre­at­ing a county of the haves and have-nots. I be­lieve there are some un­in­tended con­se­quences that are based on fi­nan­cial sta­tus and based on race.” — County Com­mis­sion- er Vice Pres­i­dent De­bra Davis talk­ing about how pro­posed hous­ing amend- ments and rec­om­menda- tions from the com­pre- hen­sive plan will af­fect the county.

“That is un­ac­cept­able. The vi­sion for this was not to spend $200,000 on ad­min­is­tra­tion out of $800,000 worth of grants. The idea that we need $100,000 for a CEO, I don’t even know where to start.” — County Com­mis­sioner Vice Pres­i­dent De­bra Davis talk­ing about the county re­mov­ing funds from its Char­i­ta­ble Trust fund for the Trust’s CEO.

“I do not be­lieve the county cares what the cit­i­zens of Bene­dict want. They’re go­ing through with this re­gard­less.”

— Bene­dict res­i­dent Bill Hen­der­son talk­ing about the county post­pon­ing a heavy haul through his neigh­bor­hood. He be­lieved even though it was post­poned, it would hap­pen any­way. It never did.

“It seems so­ci­ety has be­come ever more aware of the food we eat and how it af­fects our

well-be­ing.” — Seth Koons, mar­ket mas­ter of the La Plata farmer’s mar­ket, talk­ing about cit­i­zens be­ing more aware of their food and how it im­pacts their health.

“It draws traf­fic to the area. [Tran­sit ori­ented de­vel­op­ment] is sup­posed to help al­le­vi­ate traf­fic not draw traf­fic. It re­ally, to be hon­est, was just an em­bar­rass­ment.” — Jim Long of the Mat­ta­woman Wa­ter- shed So­ci­ety was in fa­vor of Chaney nix­ing its deal for Wal­dorf Sta­tion with the county be­cause of its eco foot­print in­trud­ing on the Mat­ta­woman.

“The fact that that is not go­ing for­ward is not nec­es­sar­ily cause for alarm and what the spe­cific im­pli­ca­tions are will be­come more cer­tain as time goes on.” — De­bra Jones of the Charles County eco­nomic de­vel- op­ment de­part­ment was not con­cerned by Chaney drop­ping out be­cause she be­lieved they could get some­thing just as big to re­place the com­pany.

“Last week, we made Korean bar­be­cue wings, and I’ve never made some­thing like that be­fore. All over these four weeks, I’ve learned how to make new things, I’ve learned how to use dif­fer­ent tools, and I’ve tried lots of new things that I don’t think I would have tried.” — Bradley Brown, 14, on the CCPS culi­nary sum­mer camp he took part in.

“I val­ued his opin­ion … He cared deeply about the In­de­pen­dent’s rep­u­ta­tion in the com­mu­nity, just as I did. We would have thought­ful dis­cus­sions about news cov­er­age, what the pa­per cov­ered and

why we cov­ered it.” — Former Mary­land In­de­pen- dent ed­i­tor An­gela Breck on the pass­ing of former cir­cu­la­tion di­rec­tor Rich- ard “Rick” Wohl­farth fol- low­ing a lengthy ill­ness.

“The manor house, which was where the Je­suits lived, served all of Charles County and for a while Prince Ge­orge’s, all the way down to Vir­ginia and up into Penn­syl­va­nia oc­ca­sion­ally, and op­er­ated from here.” — Rev­erend Thomas Clif- ford dis­cussing the im­pact of St. Ig­natius Church/St. Thomas Manor, the old­est con­tin­u­ously op­er­at­ing par­ish in the United States, on the his­tory and spread of Catholi­cism in Mary- land and through­out the re­gion.

“This is about cel­e­brat­ing in­clu­sion. Art is re­ally a qual­ity of life is­sue, and we have some won­der­ful, tal­ented, ded­i­cated

artists in the com­mu­nity.” — Emily Fer­ren, chair­woman of the Charles County Com­mis­sion on In­di­vidu- als with Dis­abil­i­ties, on the “Artists With­out Lim­its” ex­hibit, the first art ex­hibit in the county specif­i­cally show­cas­ing the work of in- di­vid­u­als with dis­abil­i­ties.

“This is not the end of the con­ver­sa­tion; this is just the be­gin­ning of the con­ver­sa­tion.” — Linda McLaugh­lin, pres­i­dent of the Ed­uca- tion As­so­ci­a­tion of Charles County, re­gard­ing a state com­mis­sion’s re­com- men­da­tions on re­duc­ing over-test­ing in Mary­land schools.

“The tex­ture and every­thing about it is so good cov­ered in choco­late. It’s a choco­late de­light. It’s way bet­ter than reg­u­lar Spam.” — CSM camp par­tic­i­pant Stephen Bard dis­cussing choco­late dipped Spam.

“Gran­daddy died about four years ago. He had about 180 acres, but the first 52 he bought with liquor money.” — Ryan Vier­heller talk­ing about his fam­ily’s boot­leg­ging his­tory that in­spired he and a friend to start BlueDyer Dis­till­ing Com- pany in Wal­dorf.

“Some of these tips I told them to­day may not have been told to me when I was younger, but they are some of the things I had to en­counter in this busi­ness and I needed to know the proper way of han­dling it. Peo­ple give up too easy but you have to deal with re­jec­tion in this in­dus­try. This is a hus­tle and grind that you have to stay

at it in or­der to achieve your dreams and goals.” — Ac­tor Tray Chaney mo­ti­vat­ing as­pir­ing young ac­tors at Wal­dorf West li­brary.

“Lo­cal pro­mot­ers need to start pro­mot­ing real tal­ent and not just be­ing about the money. The tal­ented artists also need to link up and squeeze the wannabes off the scene, be­cause they are mak­ing us look bad wear­ing all this fake jew­elry, rap­ping about lies, and bring­ing down the value of what so many South­ern Mary­land artists have worked hard for.” — Rap­per Tito Starr from Charles County on the South­ern Mary­land hip hop scene still thriv­ing, de­spite set­backs.

“Ob­vi­ously, we don’t do it for the awards, but it is nice when the work is rec­og­nized … With the in­flux of heroin over­doses, stem­ming from the pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion prob­lem, it’s al­ways good to make a dent in that trade, es­pe­cially with all the young peo­ple dy­ing.” — Sgt. Harry Ivers, a long- time sher­iff’s of­fice de­tec- tive, who was hon­ored by the U.S. De­part­ment of Jus­tice for his in­ves­tiga­tive ef­forts that helped con­vict a pro­lific heroin dealer from Charles County and ex­pose the cor­rup­tion of a former de­tec­tive of the Metropoli­tan Po­lice De­part­ment.

“In South­ern Mary­land … peo­ple are very proud of their his­tory here. Whether it was the pos­i­tives or the neg­a­tives, peo­ple re­ally are in­ter­ested in his­tory and her­itage and want to make sure that the younger gen­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially, re­ally ap­pre­ci­ates the roots, the foun­da­tion of what the com­mu­nity has been built on.” — Char­lotte Weirich, a his­toric Port To­bacco tour guide and mem­ber of the So­ci­ety for the Restora­tion of Port To­bacco.

“Our free­dom, it was not free. It’s paid by those who gave all. I only gave some.

Some gave all.” — Re­tired U.S. Army Cpl. David Bix- ler, a sil­ver-star re­cip­i­ent who was cat­a­stroph­i­cally in­jured in a fire­fight as he saved a young Afghan sol- dier from ven­tur­ing into an un­cleared mine­field. Bix- ler said this about six years af­ter his in­jury, as a gi­ant Amer­i­can flag was pulled away and his new cus­tom-built “smart home” was un­veiled in Wal­dorf, a thank you from the Ste- phen Siller Tun­nel to Tow- ers Foun­da­tion.

“It wasn’t un­til later on she went to the bath­room and she started scream­ing. She didn’t even know when her wa­ter broke. It just came all the sud­den. She said she thought the baby was com­ing, and I looked down and saw some­thing com­ing out.” — Brenda An­der­son re­called the day she safely de­liv­ered her grand- daugh­ter in the bath­room of their Wal­dorf home thanks to the help­ful in- struc­tion from emer­gency dis­patcher Con­ner Her­lihy of La Plata.

“These are the peo­ple who best know the chal­lenges for Charles County, and there­fore, what op­por­tu­ni­ties there are to work to­gether. I’ve got a num­ber of ideas, but you re­ally got to sit down face-to-face and brain­storm about ways we can work to­gether.” — U.S. Sen­a­tor-elect Chris Van Hollen af­ter hav­ing lunch with county gov­ern­ment and busi­ness lead­ers.

Au­gust

“In or­der to bring light rail tran­sit to Charles County, we have to cre­ate a walk­a­ble com­mu­nity where peo­ple can live, work and play within walk­ing dis­tance of fu­ture tran­sit sta­tions.” — Light rail ad­vo­cate Gary Hodge ex- pressed his con­cern over the com­pre­hen­sive plan block­ing rail in­fras­truc­ture and tran­sit ori­ented de­vel- op­ment.

“Relationship build­ing is crit­i­cal for po­lice, pros­e­cu­tors, courts and the com­mu­nity

At­tor­n­ey­coming to­gether.”Tony — Conving-State’s ton im­por­tance(D) rec­og­nizin­gof com­mu­nity the polic­ingOut. on Na­tional Night

“The thing about the west­ern side of the county is that we feel prom­ises over the years have been made and prom­ise af­ter prom­ise has been bro­ken.” — Brian Klaas, a mem­ber of the Charles County Cham­ber of Com­merce board of di­rec­tors, ex­pressed his dis­ap­point- ment in the com­pre­hen- sive plan and the county.

“We were in­volved in the process. We were as pre­pared as any­one.” — Tay­lor Yewell, Wal­dorf Ur­ban Rede­velop- ment Cor­ri­dor man­ager, mak­ing it clear that the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment de­part­ment was in­volved in mak­ing the com­pre­hen- sive plan.

“Some­times all we see is walls and more walls in the hospi­tal. We all need our treat­ments, but it’s good to get out and get some fresh air be­yond that.” — Pamela Winn-Lovelace, a re­tired wounded vet­eran, talk­ing about the ben­e­fits of veter- an’s re­treats and pro­grams help­ing them as­sim­i­late to civil­ian life af­ter re­ha­bilita- tion.

“We re­ally want to do more fam­ily-fo­cused ac­tiv­i­ties to keep the kids en­gaged and keep them from hav­ing so much free time. Get them out of the house, let them have fun play­ing.” — In­dian Head Town Coun­cil mem­ber Cur­tis Smith talk­ing about the purpose of In­dian Head’s first “Big Day of Play.” “I’m try­ing to pre­tend, for his sake, but I’m so not ready.” — Kasey Hin­ton dis­cussing her son en­ter­ing kinder- garten dur­ing a La Plata Li­brary event to ac­cus­tom new stu­dents to rid­ing a school bus.

“Jay­lah’s my lit­tle fighter. I want to scream, I want to cry, but I want to stay strong for her. We’re go­ing to fig­ure out a way to beat this.” — Tif­fany Red­mon, whose daugh­ter was di­ag­nosed with Supe- rior Messen­teric Artery Syn­drome, a con­di­tion that makes it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for her to eat solid food.

“This has been a long-term dream come true. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true for me. No mat­ter what peo­ple say about Charles County, good or bad, it is where I got my ed­u­ca­tion; every­thing that I’m able to do, I learned in this school sys­tem, in this com­mu­nity. So I feel that if I was to give back to any­one … why not to the area that helped make me who I am? Why not help make

it bet­ter?” — Jay Jor­dan, new teacher at Mat­ta­wom- an Mid­dle School and 2008 Henry Lackey High School grad­u­ate, dis­cuss- ing why he came back to teach in Charles County.

“I view ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing as an in­vest­ment. I know that com­mu­nity tax dol­lars are limited, and there are lots and lots of needs. But in my mind, any in­vest­ment into ed­u­ca­tion is an in­vest­ment in our fu­ture, and it will save us money in the long run if we are pro­duc­ing ed­u­cated cit­i­zens.” — CCPS Su­per­in­ten­dent Kim­berly Hill on the for­ma­tion of a new state com­mis­sion to reeval­u­ate ed­u­ca­tion fund- ing for­mu­las.

“These peo­ple have no in­sur­ance, no money. They’re a por­tion of Amer­ica that most peo­ple don’t see. These are some of the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in our so­ci­ety.” — Den­tist Garner Mor­gan, co-chair- man of South­ern Mary­land Mis­sions of Mercy, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides free den­tal care to the un- in­sured and un­der­in­sured.

“It’s a great way to get the com­mu­nity to­gether and work to­gether as a team. I al­ways tell peo­ple, if ev­ery­body sticks to­gether, crime can’t come in. If ev­ery­body’s look­ing out for each other, crime can’t come in, right?” — LeRon Swann

Sr., Ban­nis­ter neigh­bor­hood res­i­dent, de­scrib­ing Na­tional Night Out.

“We’ve been for­tu­nate to stay in the move­able wall busi­ness through this tran­si­tion of glass dom­i­nat­ing. Now we are the largest com­pany in North Amer­ica that does it, and we’re right here in Charles County.” — Bill Dot­son, pres­i­dent of Mod­ern Door & Equip­ment in White Plains.

“This was re­ally just a gen­uine fan gath­er­ing or­ga­nized by gen­uine fans of the show. The most spe­cial thing is com­ing to see peo­ple that are pas­sion­ate about the show and ac­tu­ally talk about the way it was made, the funny anec­dotes, and peo­ple want to know about Andy Whit­field [the ac­tor who orig­i­nally por­trayed the role of Spar­ta­cus but lost his bat­tle with can­cer in 2011].” — Ac­tor Manu Ben­nett (Crixus on the Starz show “Spar­ta­cus”) on Spar­taCon II at Wal­dorf sta­dium.

“PNC has to stay. A town with­out a bank is like a town with­out a church. Busi­nesses rely on [their] lo­cal banks. Busi­nesses won’t be in­ter­ested in com­ing to a town if there’s no lo­cal bank. Busi­nesses will not come if they have to travel 14 miles just to do de­posit drops. Soon, the en­tire west side of Charles County will have no banks.” — In­dian Head res­i­dent Randy Al­bright talk­ing about PNC bank clos­ing down its In­dian Head branch by the end of the year.

“When some­thing hap­pens in the com­mu­nity, I know I can call Sher­iff Berry, and we can talk.” — Jan­ice Wil­son, Charles County NAACP pres­i­dent, com­mends the sher­iff’s of­fice at a pub­lic hear­ing held by an as- sess­ment team from the Com­mis­sion on Ac­cred­ita- tion for Law En­force­ment Agen­cies.

“We un­der­stand that what’s hap­pen­ing na­tion­ally has caused a strain in re­gards to po­lice and com­mu­nity re­la­tions. Here in Charles County, we are very for­tu­nate to have a com­mu­nity that sup­ports its law en­force­ment, and not every com­mu­nity has that lux­ury. So, we’re thank­ful for that. That won­der­ful relationship that we have in Charles County, we’re just try­ing to pro­tect and pre­serve, and we’re just grate­ful for it.” — Sher­iff Troy Berry (D) af­ter the first an­nual “Blue Mass” con­cluded at Sa­cred Heart Church in La Plata.

“I’m not al­low­ing a 2–year– old to sleep on the street, not on my watch. Ev­ery­one has a time in their lives where it just doesn’t work out and need help, and it’s part of my job to help peo­ple out when I can. And plus, it’s just so re­ward­ing, to help peo­ple out like that. It re­ally is re­ward­ing.” — Pfc. John Camp­bell, a sher­iff’s of­fice deputy who, along with Officer Philip Thomp- son of the La Plata Town Po­lice, bought a ho­tel room for an un­shel­tered woman and her chil­dren on a rainy night in July.

“We want to em­power chil­dren and make them feel that you can do any­thing you want as long as you put your mind to it and be­lieve in your­self. Our mantra is, ‘Lim­its will not de­fine me, my will de­fines my lim­its.’” — “Mighty Mike” Sim­mel, who founded the “Bounce Out the Stigma” youth bas­ket­ball camp in 2005 de­signed to help build con­fi­dence in chil- dren with de­vel­op­men­tal chal­lenges while en­ter­tain- ing crowds pro­fes­sion­ally with daz­zling ball-han­dling as a Har­lem Wizard.

“Any­one would have loved to have Jamel as a son, but he was mine. He is def­i­nitely missed, and I still miss him with all my heart.” — Mary Tins­ley, mother of Jamel Clagett, a fallen sher­iff’s of­fice deputy re­mem­bered for his many con­spic­u­ous acts of kind­ness. Clagett was killed in a car ac­ci­dent in De­cem­ber 2014. “You don’t re­ally think about how dan­ger­ous it is, un­til like now, when you’re sit­ting there watch­ing it. I didn’t know how big the flames were. I re­mem­ber run­ning up there and there was stuff ex­plod­ing on the car, but it didn’t mat­ter. We just gotta get them out.” — Sher­iff’s of­fice deputy Justin Bot­torf re­calls the night where he, along with other deputies and first re­spond- ers, helped res­cue five peo­ple from a car en­gulfed in flames.

Septem­ber

“It’s a great way to help pro­mote the growth of oys­ters, and I re­ally do like oys­ters, not only as lit­tle pets, but as din­ner.” — Cobb Is­land res­i­dent Ge­or­gia Stevens who takes part in a pro­gram to re­store oys­ter pop­u­la­tions by “fos­ter­ing” baby oys- ters in cages hung from her pier.

“In a big class, there are a lot of peo­ple cre­at­ing dis­trac­tions and keep­ing the teacher from teach­ing. With this, I can move through the units pretty quickly, at my own pace.” — An­gelina Lehmann, stu- dent in the county’s pi­lot Vir­tual Academy, which al- lows stu­dents to com­plete course­work on­line at their own pace.

“There aren’t a lot of dif­fer­ent op­tions, hon­estly, be­cause you only have so many days to work with.” — Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent Amy Hol- lstein on pro­posed revi- sions to the school cal­en­dar, fol­low­ing Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der man­dat­ing school be­gin af­ter La­bor Day and end by June 15.

“If you tell some­one you’re de­pressed, or you have anx­i­ety, or you take med­i­ca­tion for men­tal health, there’s still such a neg­a­tive stigma that comes with that, and we want to break that.” — Christina Kelly, or­ga­nizer of the first BadenStrong Out of Dark­ness sui­cide pre­ven- tion walk, on the stigma at­tached to men­tal health is­sues. “For be­hav­ior con­trol, I am

al­lowed to spank.” — Joyce Ede­len, por­tray­ing an early 20th cen­tury one­room school­house teacher dur­ing a school sys­tem pre­sen­ta­tion on changes to ed­u­ca­tion in Charles Coun- ty over the past 100 years.

“It’s the 21st cen­tury, it’s the way chil­dren use tech­nol­ogy to learn, and it gives the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate syn­ergy in the class­room through self-di­rected in­de­pen­dence while play­ing ed­u­ca­tional games.” — C. Paul Barn­hart Prin- cipal Ben Kohlhorst on his school par­tic­i­pat­ing in a pro­gram to pro­vide 350 iPads to pre-kinder­garten stu­dents.

“With our fo­cus on STEM … we’re ne­glect­ing the other, very im­por­tant side of chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion, which is to al­low them to feel con­fi­dent, to al­low them to ex­press who they truly are, to al­low them to de­velop the soft skills that will put them ahead, no mat­ter what field, whether an en­gi­neer or an artist.” — La Plata’s Ge­or­gia Bon­ney of Ms Ge­or­gia’s Cre­ative Arts Academy talk­ing about the need for art ed­u­ca­tion.

“She’s a tough gal... It’s pretty cool hav­ing my mother live this long, and the joke is that she’s prob­a­bly go­ing to out­live us all.” — John Wes­ley Gard­ner, 80, son of 104 year old New­burg

res­i­dent, Eleanore Ann Gard­ner.

“The teens are left out of the dis­cus­sion all the time. When we talk about po­lice bru­tal­ity in Amer­ica, the peo­ple who are talk­ing most of the time are adults — and no one is con­sid­er­ing what young peo­ple might be feel­ing or think­ing about an is­sue that is af­fect­ing them far greater than it is af­fect­ing ev­ery­one else in the coun­try.” — Ja­son Reynolds, au­thor of All Amer­i­can Boys, dis­cussing po­lice bru­tal­ity with stu­dents.

“The first thing she said was, ‘I think my mom’s hav­ing a stroke.’ Next we have to go through our pro­to­col and I re­al­ized this girl was sharper than any other adult that I’ve talked to. She re­ported ex­actly what was hap­pen­ing with her

mom.” — Ron­ald Lu­cas, Charles County EMS dis­patcher, on a young Wal­dorf res­i­dent hon­ored for sav­ing mom’s life with one phone call.

“This is not what the county wanted to see. This is not what we need in the area. It is un­nec­es­sary. Why are they push­ing to get this done so quickly? It takes more than a cou­ple of weeks to fix the is­sues that they have. It takes time.” — Linda Red­ding, a Nan­je­moy res­i­dent, was staunch in her re­jec­tion of Washington’s Dis­cov­ery, de­spite the prop­erty’s ap­proval by the plan­ning com­mis­sion.

“We think it’s go­ing to be a year long process. There are a lot of changes and each one of those goes through the pub­lic process. We want to make sure we get it right.” — County Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son said the com­mis­sion­ers will take time get­ting the com­pre­hen­sive plan’s rec­om­men­da­tions into law, but it will be done right.

“Not long af­ter the at­tack I was with a friend and we were walk­ing on Capi­tol Hill. And the num­ber of law en­force­ment peo­ple out with dogs, with ri­fles, was re­ally very strik­ing to me. I hadn’t seen that in Washington in a long, long time. It just brought it closer to home with the threat we were liv­ing un­der at the time.” — County Com­mis­sioner Pres­i­dent Peter Mur­phy (D) re­flect­ing on the im­pact of 9/11 on the coun­try.

“My kids had so many questions. And they were questions that I had. And I didn’t have any an­swers.” — County Com­mis­sioner Vice Pres­i­dent De­bra Davis (D) re­flect­ing on 9/11 and how she could not ex­plain what hap­pened to her chil­dren.

“They say they’ve got a 911 mes­sage sys­tem and the com­pany will clear it up as soon as pos­si­ble, but that’s not very comforting if your house is on fire.” — Gail Fisher, a La Plata res­i­dent, said af­ter Lock­wood Bros. Inc sched­uled a heavy haul in her area at the La Plata Fair­grounds.

“Al­though it may be too late for my grand­son, there are other peo­ple in this state that need help. There are other chil­dren who are dy­ing with men­tal ill­nesses and par­ents with men­tal ill­nesses.” — Von­tasha Simms, the grand­mother of Ji’Aire Lee, ad­vo­cat­ing for a bill protecting par­ents with men­tal ill­nesses.

“Shocked is not the word; I was just dev­as­tated when I

saw that.” — Former Sher- iff Fred Davis re­calls the mo­ment when he first learned of the Sept. 11 at- tacks.

“The motto of this pro­gram is, ‘Share our vi­sion, be our voice,’ and I think that is a great sum­ma­tion of what we’re try­ing to do here. This is a great way to com­mu­ni­cate with the pub­lic as a whole to ensure an over­all un­der­stand­ing of the trans­parency that we strive for here, and to make sure the cit­i­zens have an op­por­tu­nity to kind of walk in our shoes for a lit­tle bit.” — Lt. Ja­son Stod­dard on the goal of the sher­iff’s of­fice first Cit­i­zen’s Po­lice Academy class.

“If I could start all over, I’d prob­a­bly want to be a de­tec­tive.” — Jaipal Chin­naraj of Wal­dorf, a former marine naval ar­chi­tect, who said he ap­plied for the sher­iff’s of­fice in­au­gu­ral Cit­i­zen’s Po­lice Academy pro­gram out of his own per­sonal in- ter­est and as a rep­re­senta- tive of his neigh­bor­hood’s cit­i­zens on pa­trol or­ga­niza- tion.

Oc­to­ber

“It’s a scary thing get­ting a body part re­placed. But your qual­ity of life goes up.” — La Plata’s Karen Navarro on get­ting her right an­kle re- placed and get­ting back on her feet.

“Every month has been our big­gest month, pretty much for 10 years now.” — So­larCity’s Ryan Sil­ver­nale, re­gional op­er­a­tions man­ager for the Wal­dorf of­fice, talk­ing about growth in home so­lar power in­stal­la­tions.

“You can­not ac­com­plish some­thing if you never try. I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to never give up on your dreams, and it’s never to late to have a new dream.” — Heather Ju­lian, Life­long Learn­ing Cen­ter grad­u­ate.

“In min­utes1920, the stated Board thereof Ed­u­ca­tion were 104 now teach­er­shave 2,079in the teach­ers.” county; we— School­bara Palko board speak­ing mem­ber at Bar- the con­clu­sion100th an­niver­saryof the cel­e­bra- board’s tions.

“When you help lead peo­ple to be mean to some­one, they’ll fol­low you — but if you help peo­ple to be kind to some­one, they’ll prob­a­bly fol­low you, too. It’s all about how you choose to lead, and other peo­ple will fol­low.” — Former Wal­dorf res­i­dent Doug Reavis, co-founder of “Silent Strong,” an on­line group pro­mot­ing kind- ness, speak­ing to stu­dents at Matthew Hen­son Mid- dle School dur­ing “Unity Week.”

“This pro­gram ac­com­mo­dates ev­ery­one, it’s re­ally amaz­ing, and I am 110 per­cent sat­is­fied with my de­ci­sion. I was born and raised and taught in Charles County schools, and now I get to teach in Charles County schools.” — Raven Smoot, Henry E. Lackey High School alumna, now en­rolled in the “2+2” teach- ing pro­gram al­low­ing her to take Tow­son Univer­sity classes on the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land cam- pus.

“And clowns are now, in many ways, in fear them­selves. They don’t know what might hap­pen to them. You know, clowns are for one purpose: to gen­er­ate fun and joy.” — Teresa Gret­ton, “Blondi the Clown,” dis­cussing “creepy clown” hys­te­ria.

“Every time I come back to South­ern Mary­land, I recharge my bat­tery. There are big-time wrestling fans here in this area. The MCW staff is so cool. They brought me on the show, they even brought me here early so that I can visit my fam­ily and I get my blue crab fix while I’m here.” — WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall talk­ing about St. Mar y’s County.

“It was an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Mis­takes are made and we learn from those mis­takes, but Nathan is the real deal be­cause there is no way that I could be able to stand up to do what he does across the coun­try. He ab­so­lutely as­ton­ished me and ev­ery­one else by how he held his com­po­sure through­out the train­ing. The very end of the sce­nario the day his wife was kid­napped, in­for­ma­tion was not passed on and the kid­nap­per could have been ap­pre­hended and she still would have been alive to­day.” — Chris Thomp­son, emer­gency ser­vices as­sis­tant chief, on Nathan Lee of the Denise Am­ber Lee Foun­da­tion lead­ing 911 train­ing in the county.

“It’s a work­ing doc­u­ment. This is new for ev­ery­one, so I think this will be a con­tin­u­ous process for ev­ery­one. We might not get it right the first time, but we can con­tinue to work on it.” — Plan­ning com­mis­sion Chair­man Gil­bert “Buddy” Bowl­ing ad­vo­cat­ing that the plan­ning com­mis­sion’s new rules be an­nu­ally re­viewed to pre­vent any com- mu­ni­ca­tion is­sues.

“We weren’t just go­ing to use the word trans­parency. We wanted to set pol­icy to make sure that gov­ern­ment was more in­clu­sive to the ev­ery­day

per­son.” — County Com- mis­sioner Amanda Ste­wart (D) talk­ing about the coun- ty’s trans­par­ent val­ues that she op­er­ates un­der.

“It’s not like there are 50 peo­ple lin­ing up to pee in the church. But the priest wanted that.” — Mark Tarl­ton, a mem­ber of St. Joseph’s Church in Pom­fret, wanted to keep the orig­i­nal look of the church de­spite up­dates be­ing needed for new bath- rooms.

“If they can pro­vide a de­vel­op­ment in Charles County like they have done else­where, this will be a win­ner for our res­i­dents.” — Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D) talk­ing about Green­berg Gib­bons’ ac­qui­si­tion of the Wal­dorf Sta­tion prop­erty.

“How does any­one know what to ask if they can’t hear the pub­lic’s in­ter­ests?” — Board of ap­peals com­mis­sioner Lynn Green asked this ques­tion in ref­er­ence to the plan­ning com­mis­sion’s de­nial of pub­lic tes­ti­mony on Guil­ford de­vel­op­ment.

“So that’s what it’s for; it’s re­ally just to help the ones who want to be helped. We want it for ev­ery­body, but as long as we can help a cou­ple, it’s worth it.” — Cpl. Chris Clem­mons, re-en­try co­or­di­na­tor of the de­ten­tion cen­ter, on the ben­e­fits of the fa­cil­ity’s fourth an­nual re-en­try fair for in­mates.

“That’s what makes this job well worth it: to be able to save some­one’s life.” — Kenny Miller, a De­part­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices para­medic, af­ter he and other first re­spon­ders were hon­ored by the county com­mis­sion­ers for re­sus- ci­tat­ing a man they found in full car­diac ar­rest in his Wal­dorf home in Fe­bru­ary. The pa­tient later made a full re­cov­ery.

“As the mon­archs are mi­grat­ing through the area to­ward Mex­ico, they often stay along the land­mass and the wa­ter­ways, and they would come across from St. Mary’s and land here in Cobb Is­land, nec­tar, and then even­tu­ally move on. Some of them are spend­ing the nights here.” — Con­ser­va­tion­ist Mike Cal­la­han on the mi­gra­tion pat­tern of the at-risk Monarch but­ter- fly dur­ing the fifth an­nual “Monarch Ma­nia” event in Cobb Is­land.

“I just don’t think peo­ple re­al­ize that it’s not a gag, it’s a fed­eral of­fense … Whether you sup­port Hil­lary or Trump, Kathy or Van Hollen, this is Amer­ica. You re­spect peo­ple’s signs.” — Bill Doct­son, chair­man of the county Repub­li­can cen­tral com­mit­tee, on the van­dal­ism of many Donald Trump cam­paign signs through­out the county.

Novem­ber

“There’s too much di­vi­sion in every­thing. These things ef­fect ev­ery­one.” — Bill Dot­son, chair­man of the Charles County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, talk­ing about the up­com­ing elec­tion. “Any day could have been the last day.” — Norm Saun­ders, a Viet­nam vet­eran, on his duty as a point man in the Viet­nam War in­fantry. “You can feel the change com­ing.” — Plan­ning com­mis­sioner An­gela Sher­ard said in ref­er­ence to her be­ing the first black woman ap­pointed as chair­woman of the Charles County Plan- ning Com­mis­sion. “Whoa, I can’t be­lieve this. We’re go­ing to win it.” — Bill Dot­son, chair­man of the Charles County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, when he re­al­ized Donald Trump was go­ing to be the Pres- ident Elect of the United States.

“They al­ways said he had no ground game. They said he had no shot at win­ning. She was the bet­ter can­di­date. But here we are. Look around. We’re his ground game. All the peo­ple that came here tonight. All the cam­paign­ers. His sup­port­ers. We’re his heart.” — Jerry Feith, a Trump sup­porter, declar- ing Trump’s vic­tory a testa- ment to his sup­port around the countr y.

“These peo­ple, they were an­gry. And this is what you get when you make the Amer­i­can peo­ple an­gry. They turn against you. These peo­ple are hurt­ing.” — Bill Dot­son, chair­man of the Charles County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said about Hil­lary Clin­ton’s cam­paign.

“You never get over it, you just learn to live with it. It be­comes your new nor­mal.” — Wanda Gryszkiewicz, co-or­ga­nizer of the first Baden “Out of Dark­ness” Sui­cide Aware­ness Walk, dis­cussing her son Mitchell’s sui­cide on In­ter­na­tional Sur­vivors of Sui­cide Loss Day.

“It helps ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity who needs help, and also, it’s the way God would want us to work, as our school teaches us to do, and we need to show our love and com­pas­sion to ev­ery­one just as Je­sus did.” — Ajay Hill, eighth grader at St. Mary’s School, dis­cussing the school’s an­nual food drive held in con­junc­tion with T.C. Martin Ele­men­tary.

“There are places in this play where you could re­ally see your­self act­ing out, but you don’t and that’s the magic of it. It’s al­most like go­ing to the zoo, you’re go­ing to be watch­ing us act like an­i­mals.” — Heather Wether­ald, who played Vic­to­ria in the Port To­bacco Play­ers’ pro­duc­tion of “God of Car­nage.”

“Peo­ple want change. I’ve heard ‘drain the swamp’ from peo­ple. They want to drain the swamp and get rid of the ca-

reer politi­cians. We’ve got to get new peo­ple in there.” — Bill dot­son, chair­man of the Charles County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, speak- ing Elec­tion Day morn­ing.

“The re­search is pretty clear that the longer stu­dents have that lapse, the more dif­fi­cult it is to re­coup. We have a lot of Ti­tle I stu­dents who re­ally need to be in school for a lot of rea­sons and mak­ing that a longer va­ca­tion be­comes a hard­ship, not only for the ed­u­ca­tion of our stu­dents, but our fam­i­lies.” — CCPS Deputy Su­per­in­ten­dent Amy Holl­stein speak­ing about Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion man­dat­ing school be­gin af­ter La­bor Day and end by June 15.

“Even though I’m only 9 years old and I have nine years be­fore I can re­ally vote, I still think that my voice should be heard, and I feel that even though lit­tle kids still have a long way to go, they can get prac­tice in learn­ing how

to vote.” — Fourth grader Makala Dames af­ter vot­ing in Eva Turner Ele­men­tary School’s mock elec­tions.

“Both my daugh­ters love Ellen. She al­ways brings tal­ented kids on the show.” — Tan­isha Hurd, mother of Lyric Hurd, aka “Lyric the Diva,” and Melody Hurd, on the video of them­selves do­ing the TZ An­them Challenge and the op­por­tu­nity to ap­pear on The Ellen Show to per­form the dance.

“We have a lot of fa­cil­i­ties here that the Navy ex­pects us to main­tain. We have ca­pa­bil­i­ties here that don’t get used all the time, but are very crit­i­cal for the Navy to keep. And it’s not cheap. For us to con­tinue to pay for that we need to have a large enough work­force and large enough rev­enue to pay for util­ity sup­port and up­keep. That’s re­ally the driver of why we feel like we need to get 400 stronger in 10 years.” — Michael T. Adams, busi­ness di­rec­tor of NSWC IHEODTD, dis­cussing the base’s strate­gic plan

“When the end came, and I got the let­ter, the first thing I wanted to do is give her a hug. She’s so lovely. She is cute and she is al­ways happy. She’s still a lit­tle weak now, but you can see the way she smiles that every­thing comes out.” — Dr. Ade­teju Ogun­rinde, owner of Chil­dren’s Health­care Cen­ter in Wal­dorf, who threw a party to cel­e­brate af­ter her pa­tient, 5-year-old Joelle Jones, fin­ished her last round of chemo­ther­apy.

“It’s al­ways been in my heart, be­ing former law en­force­ment for 29 years, and with what’s go­ing on in the coun­try, I just felt that we just needed to have some­thing to make sure that peo­ple un­der­stand law en­force­ment, what they re­ally do on a daily ba­sis, what they have to con­tend with, so we can bridge that— Rev.gap to Ge­orge­build more Hackey trust.” Jr., a former Mont­gomery County po­lice officer, at a com­mu­nity fo­rum event with the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and par­ish- ion­ers at Metropoli­tan Unit- ed Methodist Church in In­dian Head.

“We had a gold stan­dard as­sess­ment which we passed again with fly­ing col­ors, and we had a very good fi­nal re­port from our as­ses­sors.” — Danny John­son, deputy di­rec­tor of plan­ning and ac­cred­ita- tion for the Charles Coun- ty Sher­iff’s Of­fice, on the agency re­ceiv­ing its fourth ac­cred­i­ta­tion by CALEA, or the Com­mis­sion on Ac­cred­i­ta­tion for Law En- force­ment Agen­cies.

“These funds al­low us not to have to fig­ure out how ser­vices get paid when a vic­tim or sur­vivor calls, or charge our clients who have al­ready been vic­tim­ized in so many ways.” — Catherine Mey­ers, ex- ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Cen­ter for Chil­dren, af­ter Gov. Lar- ry Ho­gan an­nounced that the agency would re­ceive $176,365 of fed­eral fund­ing over two years through the Vic­tims of Crime Act, the largest grant it has re- ceived.

De­cem­ber

“Peo­ple say gov­ern­ment moves slowly, and we’re kind of like prov­ing that.” — County Com­mis­sioner Amanda Ste­wart (D) on West­ern Park­way de­lays. The de­vel- op­ment has been pushed back to be com­pleted in 2019 with other de­lays pos- sible.

“Again, very Euro­pean.” — County Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D) talk­ing about the sug­ges­tion of round­abouts and po­ten­tial “smart” traf­fic lights on Bill- in­gs­ley Road.

“I wish you had shared it with me, at least given me the re­spect as the chair to know what was com­ing. Just be­cause you have a prob­lem with me, we have to get by that so we can do what is best for our cit­i­zens.” — County com­mis­sioner Vice Pres­i­dent De­bra Davis (D) said to com­mis­sion­ers’ Pres­i­dent Peter Mur­phy (D) when he brought up the dis­cus­sion of re­duc­ing fund­ing to the Tri-County Coun­cil.

“We got some­what shafted on our high­way projects that we were sup­posed to get. The light rail stud­ies ... that won’t be com­plete un­til 2023. The over­passes have been pushed out to 2019. We can’t wait. We’re one of the fastest grow­ing ar­eas in the state.” — Sen. Thomas “Mac” Mid­dle­ton (D-Charles) in ref­er­ence to Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s de­lay on South­ern Mary­land tranpsor­ta­tion projects. Both the light rail and road im­prove­ments for the U.S.301 cor­ri­dor have been de­layed. “He just won’t work with us.” Sen. Thomas “Mac” Mid­dle­ton (D-Charles) said about Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R) and his un­will­ing­ness to com­pro­mise with the South­ern Mary­land Del­e­ga­tion.

“His mom and my mom were next door neigh­bors. We grew up to­gether — and we’re still to­gether.” — Greg Pick­eral of G&D Floors speak­ing of his friend and busi­ness partner, De­wayne Robin­son, both of whom grew up in Wal­dorf.

“This is the first year, we joked, that we had done Marvel [Comics], Star Trek and Star Wars — it was the year of weird wed­dings.” — Michelle Koos of Michelle’s Cakes in In­dian Head talk­ing about the elab­o­rate art cakes she made over the last year. “I am speech­less at the kind­ness that dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions

have al­ways em­braced us with, but typ­i­cally in a nor­mal year, we get 30 gifts, so for us to get 200 gifts, I don’t even know how to thank the part­ners and speak to the kind­ness that I’ve found here in Charles County.” — Charles County Judy Cen- ter in­struc­tional spe­cial­ist Margo Alam speak­ing of the “Christ­mas An­gels” com­mu­nity drive to pro­vide gifts for Judy Cen­ter fam­i­lies in need.

“It lets kids know that po­lice of­fi­cers aren’t just here to take peo­ple to jail. We’re here to care about them, we’re here to help them, and it’s just a lit­tle some­thing we can do to help make their hol­i­day a lit­tle bet­ter. The kids re­ally en­joy it, but the of­fi­cers en­joy it just as much. We have of­fi­cers who have done it every year since we started.” — PFC Colby Shaw, Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, dis­cussing the an­nual “Shop with a Cop” event.

“We are a com­mu­nity res­tau­rant and we like to give back to the com­mu­nity and help in any other way we can help. Times are dif­fi­cult all over and we al­ways try to build relationships in our com­mu­nity. We don’t look at it from a ben­e­fi­cial stand­point. We just look at it as four or five peo­ple can a have a meal the next day in­stead of us throw­ing it out. It’s some­thing pos­i­tive.” — Al Wyn­ter, as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager of Carrabba’s in Wal­dorf, on a food left­overs pro­gram with churches.

“It’s very up­lift­ing for me to go and salute the small busi­nesses be­cause it’s very hard to be as suc­cess­ful as they are. I ap­plaud ev­ery­body in the Charles County re­gion and tell them to come to La Plata and visit the stores I vis­ited, and all the other stores. Great prod­ucts, great ser­vice and it re­ally helps the econ­omy be­cause the money stays in Mary­land and it’s used to em­ploy our friends and neigh­bors.” — Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot (D) dur­ing a tour of busi­nesses in La Plata pro­mot­ing shop­ping lo­cal.

“This soup kitchen re­ally wants to serve the peo­ple who are hurt­ing and need a free, hot meal. The beauty of it is that peo­ple bring their kids. They come, they serve, they’re sweet and when you start teach­ing kids at an early age to be givers, you can’t beat that.” — In­dian Head res­i­dent Ver­non Smith on a lo­cal soup kitchen serv­ing food with la­dles of love.

“We’re ob­vi­ously grat­i­fied that the jury saw the ev­i­dence for what it was, and they came back with what we think is the just ver­dict … the fact that she was crim­i­nally responsible, that she did know what she was do­ing.” — State’s At­tor­ney An­thony Cov­ing­ton (D) af­ter Caro­line Con­way was found guilty and crim­i­nally responsible for mur­der af­ter a two week trial.

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDREW RICHARD­SON

Maj. Chris Becker with Sky­lah Brown, 4, as they cel­e­brate Na­tional Night Out at the Sh­effield neigh­bor­hood.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Berry Ele­men­tary School first grader Addison Robin­son talks with her mother Katrina just be­fore the start of the first day of school Mon­day morn­ing.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL SYKES II

Bill Dot­son, cen­ter, and Charles County Repub­li­cans look on in ex­cite­ment as a news net­work de­clares Donald Trump the win­ner of Florida.

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