Your Say: Jan. 11-17. 2018

Not Quite 200 Years
       I regret having to inform Mr. Bill Mitchell, Master Watershed Steward of Chesapeake Bay and South River, that the silver maple Acer saccaharinum mentioned in Your Say of Jan. 4 had not been anchored for 200 years. 
Perhaps he based his calculation on counting growth rings on the cut surface of the stump.
      Silver maple is a fast-growing tree, often generating two or more flushes of growth per growing season. Every growth flush generates a growth ring. Therefore I estimate the tree to be between 50 and 75 years of age. That is generally the age at which silver maple begin to deteriorate.
       The wood of silver maple has short fibers and is very brittle. This makes the tree susceptible to damage by ice and strong winds. Another problem with silver maple is that the branches tend to have narrow crotches, which further weakens the tree’s ability to support large, lateral branches as it ages.
–Dr. Francis Gouin, The Bay Gardener
 
The Birds are Back
       With the extreme temperatures since the New Year, birds of all types have returned to my feeders. We sure did miss them, and they look great against the snow.
–Mike Stewart, Deale
 
Urge Teens to Register to Vote
       Only 30 percent of 18-year-olds in Calvert County are registered to vote. This is true, even though Marylanders can register to vote at age 16 when they take the driver’s license test. It’s so easy for teens to be registered, yet numbers are so low. 
      As a teen, I know we can do better. As President of the Calvert Association of Student Councils, I see this dismal figure as a call to action. 
      Over the summer, Margaret Dunkle of the Calvert County League of Women Voters presented these numbers to me. From there, I invited John Perryman, the League’s Voter Services Chair, to speak to the Calvert Association of Student Councils Executive Board, which consists of high school and middle school student leaders countywide, about the importance of registering to vote and then voting. 
     His speech was such a hit that I invited him to address our fall General Assembly. With more than 150 students in attendance, our student volunteers registered a dozen high school students (age 16 or older) to vote on the spot.      This has now sparked new voter registration efforts at both my school, Huntingtown High School, and Northern High School.
       Calvert Association of Student Councils alone cannot raise the number of teens registered to vote. So, I’m calling on my fellow Calvert County students to do three things. First, join your school’s Student Government Association to hold events to boost teen voter registration. Second, get registered to vote yourself as soon as you turn 16; it takes about 10 minutes at the Board of Elections in Prince Frederick. And, finally, inform yourself about the candidates and the issues so that you will be confident in your vote.
      With your help, we can raise the rate of teen voter registration from 30 percent to 100 percent.
–Ashley Anderson, Junior: 
Huntingtown High School, President, 
Calvert Association of Student Councils