Deficit changes Hogan’s pitch
Posted On: 11/20/14
Written By: Bryan P. Sears, Daily Record Newswire
(Nov. 20, 2014) Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan said Monday that a larger-than-expected budget problem will likely affect how quickly he is able to keep a campaign promise to roll back taxes in Maryland. The comments are Hogan’s first in public since a joint legislative committee heard that Maryland faces nearly $900 million in combined budget deficits in the current budget and fiscal 2016 budget years. “We’re going to try and get spending under control and roll back taxes as quickly as we can but obviously it’s a factor,” Hogan said. “We’ve got to figure out how big a problem we have with this deficit and how we’re going to address it.” Erin Montgomery, a Hogan spokeswoman, said after the news conference that the governor-elect still planned on unspecified tax cuts in his first year in office. Hogan made his comments during a news conference to announce six new members of his transition team, some of whom will be charged...» Click here for the full story.
Temporary skateboard park makes more sense
Posted On: 11/13/14
Berlin officials are taking the reasonable approach in seeking an answer to the recent demands for some kind of skateboard facility by suggesting that a temporary facility would be easier and quicker to do as they consider the feasibility of something much greater. That would include looking at the vacant Tyson property, which might be transformed into a multi-purpose park, depending on how expensive such an undertaking would be. The property certainly needs to be something besides the empty giant that it is, but converting it to anything suitable for general public use, much less a specialized use, would be more than just a notion. That became evident this week when the Maryland Department of Environment declared that a more substantial cleanup of the site might be required if the property were to be used for other than industrial or commercial purposes. And the cost of that would be on top of whatever the sale price might be. In addition, given that skateboarding is not allowed ...» Click here for the full story.
Posted On: 10/30/14
Over the last several weeks, we have interviewed many of the candidates for local and state office and from those conversations, we have selected those who we think will best serve our communities and northern Worcester County. In the General Assembly contests, the critical factor is who will be in the best position to deliver what the resort area needs, when it needs it. Legislative District 38 State senator: Incumbent Democrat James Mathias. He has demonstrated his ability to work within the system to protect and provide for the needs of a district comprised of distinctly different constituencies: tourism, farming, commercial fishing and small business. Further, he lives in Ocean City and is therefore well aware of what it, Berlin and Ocean Pines both want and require. Delegate 38C: Republican Mary Beth Carozza. An Ocean City native, Carozza has expert knowledge of how governments work. She has worked at both the federal and state levels, from the Department of Defense to Annap...» Click here for the full story.
Picking an advocate by style and approach
Posted On: 10/9/14
Bertino or Wilson? That would be the question for voters from County Commissioner District 5 in Ocean Pines, as Chip Bertino on the Republican side of the ballot, faces Tom Wilson, who carries the Democratic banner, in the November election. The thing is, party affiliation means little in county elections, because, as the late House Speaker Tip O’Neil observed, all politics is local. The debate last Friday between the two in Ocean Pines made that apparent, as they focused on two strictly local issues: the narrow funnel that is Route 589 and the county’s economy. In a world where people are more concerned about “What are you going to do for me?” as opposed to what might be done for the good of everyone, the aforementioned are the logical choices of discussion, along with taxes and such, of course. Wilson argues that a more urgent and vociferous push for widening Route 589 should be on the county commissioners’ agenda and he is right. But Bertino is ju...» Click here for the full story.
Running Yacht Club as a business entity
Posted On: 10/2/14
The question of whether local organizations should somehow be obligated to book the Ocean Pines Yacht Club for its special events requires a stronger answer than that which was given by association officials this week. When residents and a board member noted last week that some organizations weren’t using the club, one interpretation of those observations might have been that these potential customers have some kind of duty to use the community-financed facility. They don’t. While it would be nice if every Ocean Pines-oriented entity rented space at the club for their large gatherings and thereby increased the return on the community’s investment, that’s just not how it works. In short, it would be like pushing all organizations and businesses to use taxpayer-funded properties for their gatherings and events at the expense of private operations that offer the same thing. As OPA General Manager Bob Thompson observed, the association is managing the club as ...» Click here for the full story.
We know what we want but not how to pay for it
Posted On: 9/25/14
Two things were apparent at the candidates forum in Ocean Pines last week: one, just about everyone has something to say and, two, what they are saying is that we all know what we want, but what we don’t know is how to pay for it. Virtually anyone who has driven on Route 589 would agree that the traffic congestion on those two lanes has reached the level of intolerable and is galloping toward flat-out unsafe. Still, it’s a matter of money, or the lack of it, that prevents anything from happening, just as financial issues are standing in the way of a new elementary school at Showell and are hampering county efforts to boost the economy. The fact is that state government is not just taking every penny it can get, it’s keeping it rather than returning some of that revenue from whence it came, which in Worcester County’s case, is a fair amount. While it’s too simplistic to say the expense of state government and its programs has soaked up all its revenues,...» Click here for the full story.
Good decision to update Berlin area utility poles
Posted On: 9/11/14
Besides the constant chill of last winter, snow on the ground and doing everything possible to stay warm, many remember how Delmarva Power employees were out there every day after well into the dark of night replacing Ocean City’s wooden utility poles with new, galvanized steel replacements along Coastal Highway. The 90-foot-poles can withstand winds up to 120 m.ph., according to Delmarva power. So Berlin and West Ocean City, this winter is your turn. The utility company will be replacing all of its 65 wooden poles between the Worcester Substation on Old Ocean City Boulevard and Route 50 and the West Ocean City substation on Golf Course Road with the 80-90-foot poles. While we drive by many times the workers installing and then wiring the poles, we should all be prepared for one small block of inconvenience. That could be on December 9 when Delmarva Power will need to shut down power for a four to six-hour window of interruption. We can also expect that he power shutdown will ...» Click here for the full story.
Clearing out summer’s notebooks
Posted On: 9/4/14
Written By: Phil Jacobs, Editor
So before I toss my summer notes away, I guess I want to revisit two particular stories that were among my favorites. One happened on the first day of summer, Memorial Day. It involved the dedication of a Huey Helicopter over at the Ocean City Airport. As a military history buff, I was emotionally tied to the Huey presentation. The Huey was known as a versatile vehicle, carrying men, equipment into danger and then going in to take them out. That it was Memorial Day, made the afternoon even more meaningful. There, Sharyn O’Hare, co-founder of the Worcester County Veterans Memorial at Ocean Pines spoke in memorable words about the UH-1 Huey Helicopter. She explained how the helicopter would fly into the most dangerous of battle zones to both extract the wounded and carry them to safety or to drop reinforcements and equipment in places never friendly to aircraft. She added that the sound of the Huey was the “soundtrack of the war.” Of the 7,000 Hueys brought to the...» Click here for the full story.
Letters to the Editor
Posted On: 9/4/14
Waiting for answers about condition of health site Editor, I have been curious (and concerned) about the condition of the MD Health Connection Web site, as well as the status of enrollments. Research on my part has unearthed the disturbing information that, as of May 31, 2014, only 72,000 persons have enrolled in qualified health plans through the exchange, while over 300,000 have enrolled in Medicaid. Try as I might, I cannot find any information on now many of the 72,000 qualified health plans are subsidized by the taxpayers of Maryland, or how many of these were replacements for policies that were canceled due to the Obamacare requirements. A couple of weeks ago, I contacted Sen. Jim Mathias for this information. I reasoned that, since he voted for the 2011 legislation that created the exchange, and co-sponsored the 2014 bill that required Maryland taxpayers to cover the medical bills of those whose existing health plans were canceled and who were unable to obtain replacement...» Click here for the full story.
Filling Lynch’s shoes will be difficult for Council
Posted On: 8/28/14
Berlin Town Council member Paula Lynch announced earlier this month that she would not seek re-election after 26 years of service. In this week’s Bayside Gazette edition, staff writer Josh Davis interviewed several of her Town Council colleagues. The consensus was that she will be missed with even comment that the membership does not want to see her leave. Troy Purnell (District 1) said it best, “I didn’t want to see her leave. She’s a very good, stable bellwether to keep the town on a nice, steady track. She’s done a great job over the years and I hate to see her stop.” Dean Burrell (District 4) called Ms. Lynch a “treasure,” But he also said the words that have become so part of her demeanor on the council, “honorable.” Her presence on the panel represents clarity, order, integrity and accountability. When Lynch speaks, the Mayor and Council pay close attention to every word. She doesn’t waste her words. Each one s...» Click here for the full story.