It’s going to take time to get used to June voting
Posted On: 7/3/14
So we think if anything, the June 24 scheduling of state primary elections is pretty much a work in progress. Moving it from September was intended to give the winners from each primary more time to campaign for the November general election. The earlier schedule was also meant to give Americans serving the country or living overseas more time to get absentee ballots filled out and sent home. Worcester County pretty much showed the same numbers as the state with 20 percent of its registered voters showing up at the polls. County Commissioner Bud Church told us that when he walked into Ocean City Elementary School to cast his ballot, he was the only voter in the room with a group of precinct workers waiting for voters. He told us that at one Snow Hill precinct only had15 voters showed up the entire day. Church felt the date change had everything to do with the lower turnout. Indeed, some 30 percent of the county’s voters turned out for the previous primary, which was held in S...» Click here for the full story.
Accolades for Yacht Club
Posted On: 5/29/14
Certainly there are hot-button issues motivating those who choose to join a crowded field competing for two Ocean Pines Board of Directors seats. Issues such as spending, the lighting of Ocean Parkway, OPA compensation packages, water backup after storms and certainly the future of its golf course are difficult issues that hopefully will be candidly addressed during the campaign leading up to a candidate forum on June 21 and then balloting beginning by mail on July 14 with all other ballots submitted by August 7. Results of the balloting will be revealed during the Ocean Pines annual meeting on August 9. With all of the recent criticisms that have been written ranging in what to do about the geese to the compensation of OP General Manager Bob Thompson to the very future of the golf course, we at least want to say “hold on for a second.” There are those who have had their issues with Ocean Pines Yacht Club, but over the Memorial Day holiday, the new facility opened, and f...» Click here for the full story.
Enjoy, but remember
Posted On: 5/22/14
We look to welcoming our seasonal visitors back to the Berlin, Ocean Pines, West Ocean City, Ocean City and the Worcester County region. While you were away, we celebrated, as Berlin became America’s “coolest small town.” But we also grieved as two brothers were struck along Rte. 113 in Berlin, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Since then, a citizens’ committee in Berlin has worked with the State Highway Administration to make that stretch of road safer for pedestrians. We also were saddened when a man set himself on fire and took the life of a beloved Ocean City pastor. This was a winter that we’ll long remember. We know that metro Baltimore and Washington, D.C. had its share of snow, but those harsh weather systems hardly spared us as well. The beaches were snowed over. We are glad to see you. There are new businesses such as restaurants and craft breweries around. The charm of Berlin has been enhanced. Ocean Pines is still growing as one...» Click here for the full story.
Impact of single branch
Posted On: 5/8/14
Sometimes, one of the most important issues concerning a community can come down to a single item. In this case, a tree. Berlin’s Town Council discussed one particular tree on private property and how it seems to be leaning further and closer to power lines. Berlin has apparently been in touch with the home owner, who it was reported at the meeting, isn’t interested in cutting limbs back. Without getting into names in this space, we really do wish that the homeowner reconsider. It is absolutely not the homeowner’s fault that the tree is growing in a direction deemed threatening. But the weather we’ve been experiencing the past couple of years can be called “dramatic.” It’s not just a case of having a thunderstorm. We seem to be getting more and more severe thunder storms. Remember in June, 2012, most of us had never heard the word “derecho” before. But watching the news coming from the Baltimore area, we learned quickly as tree...» Click here for the full story.
Cannery Village approval was correct decision
Posted On: 4/17/14
We think The Berlin Planning Commission’s approval of the 44-unit Cannery Village housing development to be a good decision. For those who don’t know, this project is different for Berlin. It’s a rental community where each unit will be made available for the tenant to purchase after 15 years of occupancy. Andrew Hanson, vice president of Osprey told a commission meeting that it would work to make each home distinctive and “to have their own unique character and personality.” Of course there were concerns among some audience members, perhaps the top being that the planned community of “affordable” housing would somehow turn into low-income Section 8 units. Then following the domino impact, people worried that affordable and/or low cost housing lowers the property values for those adjacent neighborhoods. Those assembled were assured that this wasn’t the intent behind Cannery Village. The purpose of this community is to give occupants a...» Click here for the full story.
Berlin’s success cool for entire region
Posted On: 2/27/14
Written By: Phil Jacobs, Editor
So this is probably going to be the last week I’ll get to say the name “Cazenovia” as in the town finishing second behind Berlin in the Budget Travel Magazine coolest small town contest. Berlin and its Mayor Gee Williams wanted this win badly. Along with the County, the region and even Governor Martin O’Malley, it did an amazing job of spreading the word to vote. On a celebratory Monday at the Burley Oak Brewing Company in Berlin, midnight couldn’t come fast enough. That was the cutoff time for voting. When all was said and done, Berlin had garnered some 28 percent of 137,819 votes among 15 finalists. I have known Mayor Williams since 1974, that’s 40 years, when he was my editor at the Eastern Shore Times. On Monday, I saw him with a grateful heart and deep feeling of love for his community. He said that winning this contest was in some ways more difficult than the political races he’s been in, because it wasn’t just about himse...» Click here for the full story.
Your votes could help make Berlin ‘coolest’
Posted On: 2/13/14
When Berlin Mayor Gee Williams attended a recent Maryland Mayors Conference in Annapolis, one of the last comments of the meeting came from Governor Martin O’Malley wishing Williams and Berlin well in its effort to win America’s Coolest Small Town of 2014 contest. Budget Travel Magazine sponsors the contest. According to the mayor, he was getting positive comments from mayors from all over the state. “I’m extremely grateful for the support we’re getting from across the state,” he said. Williams said that people outside of Berlin are excited to help get the vote out. The voting comes to an end midnight February 25. Voters should go to www.coolberlin.org. Voters can cast a vote once each day. However, only one Internet Protocol or IP address can be used. So if you and your colleagues are voting from the same-networked work computers with the same IP address, only one vote is registered. If you vote from home, or have your friends and relatives vot...» Click here for the full story.
Assembly to consider quality county funding
Posted On: 1/30/14
County residents who love Worcester County’s environmental beauty such in its waterways, green spaces and parks, should be encouraged by state budget allocations coming out of the General Assembly. Worcester should receive over $300,000 from Program Open Space that will be used for land acquisition or infrastructure of existing local parks. Other expenditures include funding for Assateague State Park dune maintenance and shower building renovations. Pocomoke River State Park is also on the list to receive funds to renovate its Algonquin and Manokin Pavilions as well as for improvements to marina services. When this is combined with the $19.5 million for Worcester County’s 6,240 public school students, it makes for an impressive and of course helpful way to give this County its due. Sometimes state citizens and even their state representatives focus so much of the 90-day General Assembly session on issues having a greater impact on the densely populated Baltimore metro...» Click here for the full story.
Taking the ‘Happy’ out of New Year for 1.3 million
Posted On: 1/2/14
There are over 1.3 million Americans, including 23,000 Marylanders who will be missing the “Happy” and perhaps dreading the New Year. Congress is in recess, and it didn’t take any action in extending long term-unemployment benefits prior to its holiday break. Those benefits expired this past Saturday, Dec. 28., just three days after Christmas and less than five days before the new year. All reports say that a bill to extend this Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will be a top priority when Congress returns to session January 6. Our congressman Rep. Andy Harris is in opposition of the extension, saying it “would cost an additional $26 billion, something our nation just cannot afford.” Mr. Harris hasn’t looked at the numbers in his own district where unemployment rates reached nearly 10 percent in Worcester and Somerset Counties and nearly 8 percent in Wicomico County. This isn’t the time to be playing politics with peoples’ ...» Click here for the full story.
Best of times ahead
Posted On: 12/24/13
Aside from being one of the best writers in the history of the written word, Charles Dickens gave us such grand opening lines in his “Tale of Two Cities” that they have been employed in other writing to the point of ridiculousness. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …” Virtually every writer and critic on the planet knows it’s cliché to use these words, yet there they are time and again, and it’s because they are so easily applied to describe a period’s ups and downs, its successes and failures, as well as its good, its bad and its preposterous. Pick a year, any year, and we can find examples of all these things with virtually no effort. And that is why for the past 4,000 years or so, humanity has looked at the new year as a clean slate and another chance to get it right. Historians say the ancient Babylonians were the first to come up with an annual calen...» Click here for the full story.