Cultural Revolution

Rae Yang, author of the 1997 memoir "Spider Eaters," will discuss China's Cultural Revolution during a talk at 8 p.m. today in Cole Cinema in the Campus Center at St. Mary's College of Maryland. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Yang will focus on the Cultural Revolution through her experiences as a young adult during that tumultuous time. Born in Beijing in 1950 to Chinese diplomats, she spent her early years in Switzerland but volunteered to join the Red Guard when she was 15. She became a farmer at 17 and later worked in a factory before pursuing graduate studies in the United States.

Her memoir uses her personal stories to explore the complexity of the era. Yang is a professor of East Asian studies at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

Thanksgiving Donations

The Salvation Army's Charles County Service Unit needs nonperishable food and monetary donations for its annual Thanksgiving basket distribution.

Donations can be left at the office in the Children's Aid Society building at 3000 Huntington Cir. in Waldorf. For more information, call 301-638-9532.

Streams Contaminated

A recent advisory from the Charles County Health Department, warning people to avoid contact with streams in a 15-square-mile area between White Plains and La Plata, remains in effect, officials said this week.

County Health Officer Chinnadurai Devadason said the results of water testing indicate that contamination is still present from elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria, which may cause illness.

The area runs west from Routes 6 and 301 in La Plata to Hoghole Run, north to Route 227 in Pomfret, east to Routes 227 and 301 at Willetts Crossing, then south to Route 6. Water sampling points were in Hoghole Run, Port Tobacco Creek, Jennie Run, Wills Branch and feeder streams in these areas.

Water quality testing will continue until the contamination has dissipated.

Hospice President Chosen

Dixie Poe has been named the new president and chief executive of Hospice of Charles County.

In a statement announcing her hiring, she said her goals include improving the group's outreach efforts while maintaining medical, emotional and spiritual care for hospice patients and their families.

Poe received her bachelor's degree in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia and two master's degrees, from the University of Maryland in health care administration and from Bowie State University as a family nurse practitioner.

Calendar Events Sought

Items for the Charles County Office of Tourism's 2006 calendar of events must be submitted by Nov. 4.

All local organizations and groups are encouraged to send in their events. Forms are available at the tourism office in the County Government Building in La Plata. They also can be obtained by calling 301-645-0558 or by visiting and clicking on "News Releases"; click on the release and then on "Link" at the bottom of the page.

This year, the tourism office distributed more than 25,000 printed copies of its 2005 calendar in response to requests. An electronic version of the calendar is posted on the tourism Web site at

Completed forms should be sent to: 2006 Calendar of Events, Charles County Office of Tourism, PO Box 2150, La Plata, Md. 20646. St. Nicholas Names Pastor

The Rev. Gregory H. Gaertner was recently named the new pastor at St. Nicholas Lutheran Church in Huntingtown.

Gaertner is a graduate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America seminary in Gettysburg, Pa. He succeeds the Rev. Randall W. Casto.

St. Nicholas, chartered in 1992, also announced that construction will begin during the next several months on a 10,500-square-foot, two-story ministry wing.