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.
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.