Wednesday, February 27, 2013

David Durkee To Head County IT Dept.

County Executive Laura Neuman hired a NASA contractor and former colleague Tuesday to lead the county’s Department of Information Technology.
Richard Durkee of Davidsonville is replacing William Ryan, the fourth person to lose his job since Neuman was appointed county executive last week. Ryan worked for the county for 31 years.
In a statement, Neuman said Durkee will develop a plan to help the county use technology more efficiently.

“Data is the key to efficiency and measuring results,” Neuman said.

Durkee is a contractor providing information technology services and support to NASA headquarters. He served as chief operating officer of Matrics, a Howard County-based technology company, when Neuman was its CEO.

The company, once near bankruptcy, was sold for $230 million in 2004.
“Our goal is to modernize county government and do it in a fiscally responsible way,” Durkee said in a statement.

Durkee, 57, has a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University, Neuman’s alma mater. The appointment is effective Monday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

George Stokes, Sr., Passes Away

    George Elmer Stokes Sr., 78, a long-time resident of Eastport and previously of Davidsonville, died February 23 at his home, following a three year battle with cancer.
    He was born on January 23, 1935 in Annapolis to the late Sara Carita and John E. Stokes Jr.
    Elmer served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserves, advancing to the rank of SP4. He was the owner of J.E. Stokes and Sons, a painting and wallpapering company established in 1920. Elmer attended Chesapeake Christian Fellowship in Davidsonville. Elmer was a successful breeder, trainer and judge of brace field trial beagles, serving as chairman of the Southern Maryland Beagle Club, and president of Patapsco Ridge Beagle Club. He spent his spare time working at the club, or spending time with his family and beloved grandchildren.
    He was preceded in death by three sisters, Charlotte Sullivan, Mary Wilson and Carita Ann Stokes. Elmer is survived by his wife of 52 years, Donna L. Stokes; three sons, George E. (Kim) Stokes Jr. of Lothian, Donald E. (Tina) Stokes Sr. of Edgewater, and David E. (Amy) Stokes of Annapolis; daughter, Dora Carita Greenwell of Freeland; brother, Robert E. Stokes Sr. of Edgewater; four sisters, Thelma Thomas of Havre de Grace, Edith Roane of Annapolis, Frances Bailey of Arnold and Pat Dennison of Shippensburg, PA; 11 grandchildren, Richard Osterfeld III, Michael Greenwell Jr., Donald Stokes Jr., Amy Shortridge and Lisa, Katie, Sarah, Kasey, Emily, Allison and Julie Stokes; and one great-granddaughter, Amelia Osterfeld.
    Friends are invited to Elmer's Life Celebration from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, and from 10 a.m. until his funeral service begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 1, at Chesapeake Christian Fellowship, 377 West Central Ave., Davidsonville. Interment Mayo United Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hospice of the Chesapeake, 445 Defense Highway, Annapolis, MD 21401. An online guestbook is available at

Rizek Children Collect For Assault Center

On Jan. 27 of this year,   the three Rizek children — Lilian, 9, Meredith and James, both 7 — collected bears for the Prince George’s County Hospital Sexual Assault Center rather than receive presents for themselves at their shared birthday party celebration. The Davidsonville children collected 60 bears in total.
The Rizek children have dedicated their birthday to the hospital every other year beginning with Lilian’s first birthday in 2005. Over the years, the Rizek children have collected more than 210 bears for the center.
The bears are given to victims when they arrive at the center and help in their healing. Cheryl Banks, an Annapolis resident and community educator/volunteer coordinator for the center, attended the party. Banks shared that the hospital’s emergency room has been asking the center for bears to give to seriously injured children who come into the ER.
The birthday party and bear fundraiser was held at the Rizeks’ church, the United Church of Christ of Annapolis. The children were entertained with science experiments by Mad Science — and even made their own slippery slime!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pastrana 10th at Daytona

    Davidsonville resident Travis Pastrana finished 10th  our of 40 drivers at the Nationwide series NASCAR race at Daytona.  The accident marred race was won by Tony Stewart.  Full results can be seen at the below link:

Fairways of Faith Golf Tournament

 Davidsonville United Methodist Church will host the 17th annual Southern Maryland Fairways of Faith’’ golf tournament on April 29 at the Golf Club at South River. For information, visit or contact DUMC at (410) 798-5511.

Pastrana Starts #4 at Daytona

   Davidsonville resident Travis Pastrana will be starting in the #4 spot in the Nationwide Series race on Sat., Feb. 23.   The Daytona races are the first of the 2013 NASCAR season and the Nationwide 300 mile race will be broadcast on ESPN at 1:15 PM. 

Lady Gators U12 Team Beats Sharks

    The 12-and-under Davidsonville Lady Gators defeated the Howard County Sharks, 21-18, in basketball.
    The Gators were was led by Molly Folks with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Also scoring for DAA were Olivia Piccirilli with four points, followed by Rachel Seddon with three points and Mo Skinner with two points and eight rebounds. Also playing well for the Lady Gators were Fabiana Bonanni, Haley Urgo and Kaycee Workmann.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Davidsonville Green Expo on March 16

Saturday, March 16, 2013, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Ruritan Community Center, 3358 Davidsonville Road, Davidsonville

DACA Green Expo
For more info about this event, or info about their poster contest,  or to download the flier for the event,  go to:

16 People Wish to Complete Leopold's Term

'Sixteen people have applied to serve out the remainder of former county executive John R. Leopold’s term:
  • Tom Angelis of Davidsonville -- Former county director of recreation and parks who has run twice for county executive.
  • Phil Bissett of Mayo -- Former state delegate who ran for county executive in 2002.
  • David Cordle of Annapolis -- Special investigator for State’s Attorney’s office who served on the Annapolis City Council and ran for mayor.
  • Ingrid Dean of Severna Park -- A member of the Anne Arundel Young Republicans who is active in the Americans for Prosperty county chapter.
  • Kendel Ehrlich of Annapolis -- Wife of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and a former public defender.
  • Ron Elfenbein of Annapolis -- An emergency room doctor who ran for both House of Delegates and the state Senate in District 30.
  • John Gary of Millersville -- County executive from 1994 to 1998.
  • John Hammond of Annapolis -- The acting county executive previously served as chief administrative officer.
  • Rick Hoover of Glen Burnie -- An unemployed minister who ran for Congress three times.
  • Patrick Jameson of Riva -- A former state trooper who ran for county sheriff in 2010.
  • Curtis Kingsland of Odenton -- A retired Air Force reservist who works at Fort George G. Meade.
  • Laura Neuman -- Howard County director of economic development.
  • Millard T. Snowden Sr. of Glen Burnie.
  • James Wilhelm of Annapolis -- A Naval Academy instructor who ran for Congress in the 3rd District.
  • Derick Young -- A former candidate for both County Council and state delegate in District 32.
  • Del. Steve Schuh of Gibson Island -- The two-term Republican is the only elected official seeking the job.

Davidsonville Home Sales

Recent home sales in Davidsonville include:
3455 Blandford Way, 4 brm colonial for  $822,500
633 Central Ave. 4 brm colonial for  $640,800

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pastrana To Race at Daytona

Davidsonville resident Travis Pastrana will make his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Pastrana, who grew up in Annapolis, will drive the No. 60 Ford Mustang under the banner of Roush Fenway Racing with NASCAR veteran Chad Norris as crew chief.
Pastrana is no stranger to Daytona as his first professional victory came in the AMA Supercross Series at the fabled track. He also participated in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona, finishing 25th.
“The NASCAR Nationwide Series is the most competitive series I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of. This year, I’m going in with open expectations. My goals this season are to do the best I can every race and to learn every race,” Pastrana said. “I feel like I’m good enough to race with these guys. Winning is a lot more fun than losing and we’ve got to figure out a way to get there.”
Pastrana said he didn’t realize how physically demanding NASCAR racing can be and said he’s lost 20 pounds in the last two months. “This is the most action for the longest duration I’ve ever experienced,” he said.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

South River Girls Having Great BB Season

    The South River girls basketball team is having a successful season with 19 wins and 3 losses to this point.  In the 16 in-county games the Lady Seahawks have played this season, they are undefeated and only have one more game to go.  That game against Arundel will take place on Wednesday on the Arundel home court in Gambrills.
    The number two seeded Lady Seahawks got a bye for the first round of the 4A East regional and play the winner of the Broadneck vs. Meade game in the second round on the South River court, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
    The #1 seed, North Point High, won’t have an opportunity to meet South River unless both teams make it though to the regional final.  Arundel (#3) could meet South River in the third round of post-season play.
    The complete bracket for 4A girls basketball can be seen at:

    The South River boys team is seeded #8.  The 4A boys bracket is at:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Recent Davidsonville Home Sales

The following Davidsonville homes have recently been sold:
1015 Wayson Way, $650,000, Rancher
1070 Red Maple Court, $630,000, Colonial
2889 Spring Lakes Drive, $440,000, Rancher
3500 Castle Way, $761,948, Colonial

Elizabeth Weaver Makes Dean's List

Elizabeth Weaver of Davidsonville was named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at the University of New Hampshire:

Spay Spa & Neuter Nook Grand Opening

Dr. Sue McDonough, who volunteers at the Spay Spa and Neuter Nook, and Jack Bertinatti present Bob Rude with Jack’s donation of the money he received for his recent birthday at the grand opening on Sunday.

The Spay Spa and Neuter Nook, a low-cost spay-neuter clinic created by the Rude Ranch Animal Rescue in Davidsonville, has been operating for several months while the staff honed their procedures, making sure they were operating at peak efficiency to offer the best care possible for spaying and neutering companion animals and working toward their goal — the day when there is no need to euthanize pets because of overpopulation.
On Sunday, they celebrated their grand opening in conjunction with National Spay/Neuter Month at 1251 West Central Ave. in Davidsonville. The turnout was gratifyingly large and included many of the loyal volunteers and supporters who have helped Rude Ranch over the years.
For more info,  go to the following article:

Nicholas Moran To Marry

William and Michele Hart of Northampton, PA, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Colleen Hart, to Nicholas Moran, son of Martin and Barbara Moran of Davidsonville, MD.
Ms. Hart is a graduate of Villanova University, and currently attends the University of North Carolina School of Law. Mr. Moran, also a graduate of Villanova University, is a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, and is currently attending Flight School in Texas.
The couple will be married in May of 2014, in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Steuart Pittman--Champion of Environment

Steuart L. Pittman, a champion of land preservation and the environment, a former assistant secretary of defense and patriarch of a family that has been at Davidsonville’s Dodon Farm for nine generations, died Sunday. He was 93.
The family said he died while going to Sunday dinner at his son’s house on the farm.  See separate article on this web page for his obituary.
In addition to a successful international law practice and public service career, Pittman was involved in causes including farm and forestland preservation and environmental concerns, particularly the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.
Mr. Pittman was a WWII veteran and served in many positions after the war.

For much more information about Mr. Pittman's life,  go to the following article about him.

Steuart Pittman Passes Away

Steuart L. Pittman, the chief of President John F. Kennedy's civil defense program who marshaled a national effort at the height of the Cold War to organize the massive — and now largely forgotten — system of nuclear fallout shelters across the country, died Feb. 10 at his farm in Davidsonville, Md. He was 93.

He had a stroke, said his daughter Romey Pittman.

Mr. Pittman spent nearly his entire career as a lawyer with the Washington firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge. A veteran of government commissions, he rose to national attention in 1961 when Kennedy named him assistant secretary of defense in charge of civil defense.

Civil defense essentially encompassed all nonmilitary measures to protect the nation in the event of disaster. It had long been regarded, at best, as second fiddle to the military.

Mr. Pittman became the first official to operate the program from the Defense Department after Kennedy moved it from a smaller office in the White House.

Shortly before Mr. Pittman took office, a Cold War showdown in Berlin intensified, and the Soviets began to erect the wall that would divide the city for decades. In response, Congress approved more than $200 million in supplementary civil defense funds. Most of the money was intended for the survey of nuclear shelter space in factories, offices, churches and other locations across the United States, ordered by Kennedy.

At the peak of U.S. preparedness, Mr. Pittman said, national and local governments were ready to offer shelter to two-thirds of the U.S. population in case of nuclear attack. Shelters were marked with what became iconic yellow-and-black signs.

Pittman found that public interest in civil defense in general and the shelter program in particular came and went with emergencies such as the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

The program had begun to attract criticism from members of Congress and local government officials who argued that the shelter system was too expensive, that it gave a false sense of security and that it perhaps fueled an immoral "every man for himself" approach to emergency preparedness.

Mr. Pittman countered that the stakes of nuclear war were "too high to ignore any practical measures" that could save lives. He added that the country could not afford a defeatist attitude.

"If it is appropriate to use moral epithets, such as cowardly and selfish," he told a congressional committee in 1963, "I personally believe they are more aptly applied to those who loudly proclaim their willingness to lie down and die while our country is under attack."

Upon Pittman's return to private practice the next year, The Washington Post editorial board wrote that he "oversaw the transformation of civil defense from something of a political toy to a self-respecting part of the defense establishment" and that he "approached with reason a subject too often cluttered with emotion."

Steuart Lansing Pittman was born June 6, 1919, in Albany, N.Y., and raised in New York City. His father, a chemical engineer, came from an old Maryland family.

After graduating from Yale University in 1941, the younger Pittman worked in Asia for a subsidiary of Pan American World Airways that delivered supplies to the Flying Tigers, the U.S. volunteers fighting alongside the Chinese against Japan.

Pittman joined the Marine Corps after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and served alongside Chinese guerrillas. He received the Silver Star for his actions while commanding a Chinese junk in the East China Sea that came under enemy fire shortly after the Japanese surrender in 1945. The commander of the enemy junk - ultimately defeated - apparently did not know, or could not bring himself to believe, that the war was over.

Pittman received a law degree from Yale in 1948 and worked in Washington as a government lawyer assigned to the Marshall Plan for postwar economic recovery in Europe. In 1954, he helped found Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw & Pittman). His specialties included aviation law and international investment finance and trade.

Pittman retired about 25 years ago, but he maintained an office at the law firm until his death. He resided on Dodon Farm, a 550-acre tract in Davidsonville founded by his family six generations earlier, and presided over the property for decades.

His first marriage, to the former Antoinette Pinchot, ended in divorce. She later was married to and divorced from Benjamin C. Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Post.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Barbara White Pittman of Dodon Farm and Washington; four children from his first marriage, Andrew Pittman of Bethesda, Md., Nancy Pittman Pinchot of New Haven, Conn., Rosamond Pittman Casey of Charlottesville, Va., and Tamara Pittman of New York City; three children from his second marriage, Patricia Pittman, Steuart Pittman Jr. and Romey Pittman, all of Dodon Farm; and 15 grandchildren.

In interviews decades after his public service, Pittman admitted to a certain degree of "anger" at the widespread apathy to civil defense. Terrorism, and the threat of dirty bombs, renewed his concerns.

Of the Cold War shelters, he once told The Post: "It seems like it was a terrible waste to have built this thing up and then let it go when we didn't know what the future held."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tom Angelis To Run For County Executive

    With the forced departure of John Leopold as County Executive, only one person has applied thus far to replace Leopold though other potential candidates are weighing their options.
    Tom Angelis of Davidsonville, a former candidate for county executive and the county Recreation and Parks Department director in 1997 and 1998, said he filed shortly before offices closed Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Davidsonville Dog in Westminster Show

According to CBS Baltimore,  Blanket Rocketship, a Bernese Mountain dog owned by  David and Elicia Brand-Leudemann from Davidsonville, competed  in the 2013 Wesminster Dog Show on Monday and Tuesday in the working dog group.  He is shown above with the ribbon that he won.

Photos of Blanket Rocketship can be seen on the following Facebook page:

Donald Rea Passes Away

    Donald Aloysius Rea "Don", 84, a 50-year resident of Davidsonville, died peacefully February 8.
    Born September 20, 1928 in Richmond Virginia, Don was the son of the late John Wentworth Rea and the late Margaret Rea. He studied at both the University of Richmond and Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA., graduating from the latter.
    He married Mary Louise Baroni on Nov. 3, 1951. Don was the regional manager for Byrd Press for many years and later opened his own consulting business.
    He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Louise Rea and two brothers, James Rea and John Rea. Don is survived by five children, Antonia Rea, Christina Felton, Francesca Douglas, John Rea and Donald Rea; two brothers, Frederick Rea and Leonard Rea; and eight grandchildren. Emily; Veronica, Sydnie, Ian, Miller, Isabeau, Annaliese and Emmerson.
    Funeral services were held Tuesday, February 12 at Holy Family Church in Davidsonville. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Don's memory to the Alzeimer's Foundation of America (

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Farm Pond to be Transformed

    For now, it’s just an old farm pond. But in a matter of weeks, the pond at the Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary will be transformed.
    The pond will be smaller and will flow into a series of wetlands that cascade downhill into a pipe that empties into Beards Creek across the road. Atlantic white cedar trees, winterberry bushes and bog plants will sprout in and around the wetlands.  The water flowing out of the wetlands should have much less bacteria, nutrients and sediment that foul the creek, if all goes well.
    The wildlife sanctuary and the South River Federation came together after both discovered issues related to the property.  The back section of the sanctuary’s property has high-voltage electric lines running through where BGE cut down trees, to the sanctuary’s dismay. The loss of trees has meant that when it rains, sediment is washed into the pond and the creek.  Stormwater comes all the way from across from Riva Road, which is to the west, behind the power lines.
    Meanwhile, the South River Federation’s volunteers have regularly found high counts of pollutants — especially harmful bacteria — at a monitoring station just downstream of the sanctuary.
    A watershed assessment — basically a review of potential pollution sources on the land all around the river — indicated the wildlife sanctuary’s pond was an area that could be improved, said Erik Michelsen, executive director of the federation.
    For a much more complete description of this project,  go to:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Elizabeth Crowe on Dean's List

    Elizabeth Crowe of Davidsonville was named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Wake Forest University: