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.
Gratitude to Berlin officers who pulled two from blaze
Posted On: 8/14/14
Town Council meetings can be an interesting place spanning the more mundane to sometimes-heated arguments to presentations to retiring civil workers. It’s not often that a Town Council meeting turns into recognition of true heroes. But that’s what happened at Monday’s Berlin Town Council meeting. There, Berlin Police officers Spo. Edward Carmean and Spo. Merle Bragg were recognized by the town but also by the two people whose lives they saved during an April 17 house fire. Tocarra Derrickson, 31, and her 6-year-old daughter Mia McKenzie are alive today because of the actions of these two officers. Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing made the presentation. “This is one of those proud occasions when a chief of police gets to stand before a community to state the good deeds and works of their officers,” said Downing. “We all can use the word ‘hero’ in loose terms and loose ways, but today I can go ahead and say the Berlin Police Departm...» Click here for the full story.
Home maintenance a virtue
Posted On: 8/7/14
The Ocean Pines board of directors was absolutely correct to authorize attorney Joe Moore to continue action against owners whose properties have simply not been maintained for years. There are nine such properties. One has a box trailer sitting on it. Its owner already has an injunction calling for the owner to remove the box. Yet the box remains. Four other properties need maintenance that General Manager Bob Thompson ordered done by OPA staffers. The property owners would appropriately be billed for the time and work done by the OPA staff members. One of the properties reportedly has junk in the yard that needs to be cleaned up. “I’m pretty sure you could walk away with the house and nobody would be mad,” said Director Marty Clarke. “It’s been vacant for three years.” Still another home has junk vehicles parked in the driveway that have been there for untold years. And as attorney Moore said when asked to define junk, “You know it when ...» Click here for the full story.
All Stars make us proud
Posted On: 7/31/14
Last winter, we celebrated the accomplishments of becoming America’s “coolest small town.” This summer, it looks like Berlin has among the hottest two Little League baseball teams anywhere. At this writing, the Berlin Intermediate All Stars, who had defeated Commack, N.Y. last Friday, were now know as team “East,” in the Little Baseball World Series. Coach Cameron McDonough said of his team “they were just ready to seize that moment.” Regardless of how far the squad goes from here on out, we are proud that they have an opportunity to represent Berlin in front of the entire Little League world. “The 13-year-old team that Cameron coaches is not a real egotistical group,” said Eric Snelsire, coach of Berlin’s 9-10 state champion all-star team, which is preparing for its Aug. 2 regional tournament. “They’re real humble and they’re such a good group of players that they just handle themselves real well. That...» Click here for the full story.
Reason, dialogue over polarization is what’s needed in Ocean Pines
Posted On: 7/24/14
This year’s election in Ocean Pines has brought out more candidates than in recent years, which is a good thing. Over the past 10 years the community has become ever more diverse, and having a wider array of candidates typically allows for a broader spectrum of viewpoints and ideas more representative of the community. However, this election has brought a sense of polarization and focus on personalities rather than bringing the broad base representation that one would hope. Candidates are lining up either in support of the current general manager or looking to do battle in hopes of pushing him out, with both sides seeking board majority. The ballots have already been mailed to property owners and are due back by August 7. Results will be announced at the annual property owners meeting on August 9. Ocean Pines has endured more over the years by ever-changing board direction and personal agendas than by either strong-willed or lackluster general managers. ...» Click here for the full story.
Yes, it’s summer, a time to rebuild a great school
Posted On: 7/17/14
So, we’re well into summer, and perhaps our children would tell us it’s way too early to have any thoughts about school. Yet there are some positive vibes that came out of a recent tour of the Snow Hill High School renovation and addition construction site. The building is in its first phase of construction covering areas that will turn into the cafeteria, gym and auditorium. It’s important to remember that during the next two years of construction, Snow Hill High School will double in size to 121,000 square feet. This will eliminate the need for portable classrooms. Once the construction is completed, the school will educate its students in state-of-the-art classrooms, computer labs, science wing and other amenities including a brand new athletic complex. And what is equally exciting is the school’s new geothermal heating and cooling system. This system is expected to bring the 50-year-high school’s infrastructure well into the 21st century. Yes, we ...» Click here for the full story.
Never doubt power of one’s election day vote
Posted On: 7/10/14
So you think your vote doesn’t count? You wonder what difference does it make if you do or don’t show up at the polls? Well think again, and know that it makes a huge difference. Ted Elder won the District 4 GOP County Commissioner’s seat through a never-done before tie-breaker by the Worcester County Republican Central Committee. He won the nomination over Kathyrn Danko-Lord. But not after the two candidates ended up with the same number of votes tallying 214 votes apiece. The Central Committee said it sought advice from the State GOP who validated that “this has never happened before, there’s no precedent, there are no rules how to handle it.” They pretty much heard the same thing from the State Board of Elections. So, the committee had to come up with a way to break this tie. The idea of a sealed, secret ballot with the envelopes opened and votes tallied by the two candidates themselves was a very good solution, fair to both candidates. And...» Click here for the full story.
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.