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.
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.