2018-19 Operating Budget approved

At our May meeting the budget was presented by the Board of Directors and approved by the Membership.

2017 Actuals, 2018 Estimated and 2019 Proposed Budget

                                                                2017                   2018                Proposed

                                                                Actual             Estimated        2019 Budget

Member                                                  7,635                 8,400                 8,400

Ads                                                         2,160                   2,800                 3,200

Vignettes                                                1,030                   1,000                    500

Interest                                                        34                        40                      40

Tax refund                                                 411                                                    -

Skip's Memorabilia                                    197                      260

Picnic Donations                                                                 207                     -

Donations                                                    45                        20                    100



Total Income                                        11,512                12,727                 12,240



Monitor                                                  (8,932)                (9,800)                (9,500)

Vignettes                                                                              -                               0

PO Fees                                                     (86)                     (90)                      (90) Concerts                                                   (250)                   (250)                    (250) Insurance                                              (1,090)                (1,200)                (1,250) Donations                                                   (75)                   (159)                    (150) Administration & Fees                              (702)                   (750)                    (750) Website                                                    (192)                   (192)                    (200) GAN                                                           (50)                                                  (50) Taxes                                                         -                           -




Total Expenses                                        (11,377)             (12,441)              (12,240) Net Gain (Loss)                                               135                      286                       -


Suboxone Clinic Remains Open

Suboxone Treatment Permitted In Linthicum

By Kevin Plessner

LSIA first learned about the existence of Phaeton Health Group, LLC on October 9, 2017. A concerned Linthicum resident reported to LSIA that a business was advertising opioid treatment and “has been opened for about 4-6 months in Linthicum.” It quickly became apparent to LSIA that Phaeton Health Group either planned to or had already been prescribing and/or administering suboxone (an alternative to Methadone) at a location across from the Stavlas Shopping Center. Once the basic facts of this report were substantiated, LSIA immediately contacted our local elected representatives and County zoning enforcement to report the suspected illegal activity. Anne Arundel County zoning enforcement indicated that it was not aware of the clinic until LSIA reported it.

LSIA held its monthly meeting in the Lindale Middle School auditorium just two days later. During this meeting, Councilman Smith reported that he had co-sponsored Bill No. 14-15 in the County Council in 2015 that prohibits "state licensed medical clinics" within 1,000 feet of schools or dwellings. This bill was ultimately passed into law and prohibits a state licensed medical clinic from Phaeton Health’s location.[1] Phaeton Health Group is directly adjacent to residences, the light rail and, of course, Linthicum Elementary School.

County Executive Schuh was also in attendance at the LSIA meeting on October 11.  He shared Councilman Smith’s view that Phaeton Health was “in an inappropriate location,” should not be close to homes or schools and that the law is clearly against the clinic getting a permit so it will need to find a new location. He went on to explain that his office believes that the clinic opened without the knowledge of the County, and without a permit. Furthermore, he explained, the clinic does not have County authorization to operate. County Executive Schuh concluded that Phaeton Heath did not receive the required permits and was not conforming to the law described above. We were advised that the County would send an injunction to the business to stop operating and that it would not be able to remain in its current location. 

Further investigation by LSIA revealed that the first website that Google displays using the search term “Phaeton Health” is suboxone-directory.com/suboxone/phaeton-health-group/, which reports that “Phaeton Health Group is an addiction medicine practice in Linthicum Heights, Maryland that offers Outpatient Buprenorphine Treatment (Suboxone).” This information is still being reported on this website as of the date of submission of this article for publication. Phaeton Health Group’s own website also states, as of the time submitting this article for publication, that “Our physicians are suboxone waivered”. See http://www.phaetonhealthgroup.com/other.html

LSIA also discovered that in October 2017 Phaeton Health Group had distributed flyers to the other tenants of the building at 518 Camp Meade Rd which advertise opioid and suboxone treatment. An eye witness substantiated that the flyers came from representatives of Phaeton Health Group, so the ads cannot be denied by Phaeton Health Group. The flyers advertised only opioid treatment and no other services. The flyer begins with “Phaeton Health Group…Addiction to Opioids?” The flyer then goes on to explain that

The Phaeton Health Group is a Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) Clinic that is now open in Linthicum Heights MD that is designed to help individuals discontinue the use of opioids, and other narcotic prescription pain killers, with the assistance of the medication Suboxone, Subutex as well as referrals to certified rehab therapists.”[2] 

Numerous attempts to reach Phaeton Health Group to ask questions and gain their perspective about their business (including phone calls, website inquiries and site visits) have all gone unanswered.

An investigation was undertaken by Anne Arundel County zoning enforcement and Anne Arundel County Police to gather all evidence of Phaeton Health Group’s potential illegal activities. The County zoning enforcement office first sent Phaeton Health Group a notice of non-compliance, stating that the business is less than 1,000 feet from a school, less than 1,000 feet from residences and there is not a “no loitering” sign as required in the code. The County gave Phaeton Health until November 1 to come within compliance.

On November 29, 2017, during a meeting that Councilman Smith held at Lindale Middle School, Councilman Smith reported that County Inspections and Permits has put the clinic into surveillance. Surveillance has shown that the clinic has been closed during the day. There was a report that someone went there in the evening and there have been reports that four or five people have gone to the suboxone clinic after hours. Furthermore, Councilman Smith reported that the investigation will be wrapped up shortly and that outpatient medical clinics are not permitted in this location.

The County conducted site inspections and interviews, including at least one interview with “one of the doctors who owns the clinic.” The doctor denied running a “state licensed medical clinic” as is prohibited by the County code. Phaeton Health was instructed to provide proof that they are not a state licensed medical clinic. Phaeton Health ultimately continued to deny that it is providing opioid treatment in violation of the law. Instead, Phaeton Health now purports that it is merely a consulting business, notwithstanding all of the written evidence and statement from at least one witness with personal knowledge to the contrary.

The Anne Arundel County Office of Planning & Zoning submitted the results of its investigation to the County Office of Law in November, 2017. LSIA received notification in February from the Office of Planning and Zoning that the Office of Law does not believe that there is any evidence that Phaeton Health Group is operating as a suboxone clinic. It’s impossible to determine why the Office of Law came to this conclusion since the County Executive’s office has declined to provide any further explanation, as discussed in more detail below. At this time (February), the County advised LSIA that it needed more time to investigate the Phaeton Health Group.

On March 23, 2017, LSIA received a message from County Executive Schuh’s office reporting that not only will the Office of Law not bring suit against Phaeton Health Group, but that “[t]he Office of Zoning Enforcement based on their investigation and Police monitoring issued Phaeton Health a Certificate of Use as an ‘office for Occupational Medicine Consulting’. This authorizes only that use and does not permit them to operate a state licensed medical clinic or a suboxone clinic.”

LSIA requested that County Executive Schuh’s office answer some questions regarding the decision to issue Phaeton Health Group a permit instead of enforcing what others believe to be the law. LSIA was referred to the Public Information Officer to answer questions. The Public Information Officer asked LSIA to submit the questions in writing. Ultimately, after several weeks of following up, Executive Schuh’s Constituent Officer finally declined to answer any questions about why the County Code was not enforced, what the Office of Law’s reasoning was, whether Executive Schuh is supportive of this decision, whether the investigation continues and a number of other questions that we raised relating to Phaeton Health Group.

Councilman Smith continues to be opposed to this type of business in this location. He explains that he “sent them a detailed case of why I believe they were violating Bill 14-15, Zoning - State - Licensed Medical Clinics.  We passed this bill in 2015 to affect entities such as this. The Office of Law, however, does not directly work for the County Council.  The do provide opinions on issues we are concerned about. I still believe Phaeton Health Group is violating the spirit of bill 14-15 and would be willing to have this matter deferred to the judicial process.” In describing further efforts to have the clinic move to another location, he explained that he “…also communicated with the Health Department to find a way to cite or close this establishment. I was, and am still, willing to force this business to court…”

I am an attorney who is has been licensed to practice law for ten years. In my reading of the County Code, it is difficult to imagine how Phaeton Health Group would not be regulated by this law, given the broad scope of the prohibition. However, the County Office of Law has determined that it “do[es] not feel that there is enough evidence to proceed with a civil suit at this time.” Since the executive branch of government has declined to provide LSIA with any explanation of how this law does not apply to Phaeton Health Group, we are left only with what we were able to uncover – that Phaeton Health Group was advertising opioid treatment across the street from our elementary school and homes, and that the County provided the business with a permit. It is worth noting that I also sent a Public Information Act (“PIA”) request for pertinent documents related to the Office of Planning and Zoning’s investigation but did not receive the documents in time to review prior to submission of this article for publication. I will update this article when the County Executive’s offices provide me with the information that I am requesting.

LSIA plans to continue to push this issue until there is an acceptable resolution. Since the County has refused to act by bringing an appropriate law suit against Phaeton Health Group, we will need to be the eyes and ears for our community. Citizens are able to file reports of zoning violations with the Office of Planning and Zoning. If you oppose the Phaeton Health Group’s location and believe that the Office of Law should enforce the County Code or at least let us know what is going on, let our elected representatives know about it. The Office of Law is under the purview County Executive so his office would be a good place to start. The County Attorney, who heads the Office of Law, is appointed by the County Executive himself.  If the County allows this type of business to continue to operate in our neighborhood, this could set a terrible precedent.

Anne Arundel County Executive

Steven R. Schuh Arundel Center

44 Calvert Street

Annapolis, MD 21404-1831

email: sschuh@aacounty.org

County Council (District 1)

Councilman Peter Smith

44 Calvert Street, 1st Floor

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

email: peter.smith@aacounty.org


[1] Bill No. 14-15 (now codified in Anne Arundel County Code 18-1-101(123) and 18-10-149) provides, in pertinent part, that

State-licensed medical clinic means an outpatient medical clinic licensed by the state of Maryland as a detoxification facility or a substance abuse treatment program under Title 8, Subtitle 4 of the Health General Article including programs exempt from licensing requirements under section 8-403(C)(1) of the Health General Article of the state code….A state-licensed medical clinic shall comply with all of the following requirements:

(1)     The facility may not be located within 1000 feet of a dwelling or school… [emphasis added]

Title 8, Subtitle 4 of the Health General  Article provides that, inter alia, “[t]he administration shall…[p]romote , develop, establish,  conduct, certify, and monitor programs for the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation related to the misuse of alcohol and drugs…” (MD Health-Gen Code §8-401 (2015)) [emphasis added].

[2] The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is an agency within The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), defines “Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) [as] the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose.” https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment


Where do they go?

By Derick Dallas

       A lot of people think when they see an American Robin that this is one of the first signs of springs coming. This is incorrect. Most Robins winter in Texas and Florida. Although some Robins will stick around. It seems like the cutoff point is 36 degrees or lack of food. Fruit is the robin's winter main food source. If there is plentiful fruit in an area they will stay around.  As the ground thaws in the spring, they switch to earthworms and insects. While the robins may arrive when temperatures reach 37+ degrees, this is because their food becomes available not because the robins themselves need warm temperatures.

      For those of us that do feed our feathered friends a common sight in winter is the Northern Cardinal. Nothing like looking in your back yard with a fresh covering of snow and seeing all the red bodies perched in the trees. Cardinals do not migrate. They also eat mainly seeds and fruit, supplementing these with insects when feeding their fledglings. Cardinals are also opportunists and will frequent areas that provide a steady source of food i.e. bird feeders.

      An elusive visitor can be the Rose Breasted Grosbeak. Spotting one is a joy to see. Their stark colorings of red, black, and white makes for a beautiful distinctive sight. If you are lucky enough to see this fella (the male is the pretty one) it is usually as he is passing through. They winter in Northern and South-Central America, migrate through the Mid-Atlantic states, and breed in the Northern states up into Canada.

     Those of you that have hummingbird feeders will spy the common Ruby-throated Hummingbird. These hyperactive wonders migrate to Central America as far south as Panama in the early fall, crossing 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico without stopping! Most articles will advise you to bring in your feeders for them in early October. This is to prevent them from lingering due to an abundance of nectar. This can cause them to start their migration late and get caught in an early winter storm.

     Our own Baltimore Oriole arrives in the Mid-Atlantic area right around opening day. Go figure! April to late May, flocks arrive in eastern and central North America to breed from Louisiana through central Canada. They start to leave as early as July for wintering grounds in Florida, the Caribbean, Central America, and the northern South America. Orioles eat insects, fruit, and nectar. Their diet varies by season: in summer, while breeding and feeding their young, much of the diet consists of insects, which have proteins needed for growth. In spring and fall, nectar and ripe fruits give them the sugary foods that are readily converted into fat, which supplies energy for migration.

    At night birds sleep perched high in trees, typically close to the trunk of the tree. They may find a cavity or niche to roost in. The trunk holds heat from the daytime to provide better shelter, and the birds will be alerted to any vibrations or noises predators make if they climb the tree looking for prey.

     During storms we seek shelter inside. Many birds will seek shelter on the lee sides of trees or deep inside thick hedges. This can protect them from wind speeds if the birds stay put. These areas also can help keep birds dry, even in a driving rainstorm. Still sometimes birds will be caught by surprise in a quickly moving storm. They can be found roosting under decks, atop window sills under a roof overhang, and even behind an exit sign on the interstate and beltway.

SCMAGLEV Bill Hearings

Two bills pertaining to MAGLEV have been scheduled for a hearing before the Environment and Transportation Committee in the House of Delegates.


The hearings are both scheduled for Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 1 p.m. in the afternoon.   More information can be found at these links:


HB637   http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=hb0637&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2018RS

This bill requires counties to hold a public hearing if transferring an asset for use in a high speed transportation system as well as public notification by the transportation entity to all homeowners and businesses within 500 feet of the transferred asset. 




HB638   http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=hb0637&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2018RS

This bill requires municipal agreements if counties choose to sell assets to high-speed transportation systems if such assets fall within municipal lines.  


Every Committee Chair sets individual guidelines for that Committee.   Guidelines on written and oral testimony  before the Environment and Transportation Committee can be found at this link:http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/pubs-current/current-env-faqs.pdf


If interested attached is a scan of today’s handout from  MDOT at the briefing before the Environment and Transportation Committee.


As always, please feel free to email me if you have questions at Geraldine.Valentino@house.state.md.us or call 301-858-3101.