Bayside Gazette 10031 Old Ocean City Blvd.
Berlin, MD 21811
Phone: 410-641-0039
Fax: 410-641-0085

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Remembering ‘record hop’ days

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) For four decades, the name “Jocko” meant one thing in the greater Berlin area: it was time to dance. Born in 1933, Francis “Jocko” Graye grew up during segregation, in a time when the color of your skin dictated what schools, business and shops you could go into. Until the 1960s, even Ocean City was closed to many outside of three designated “colored excursion days” after the summer season. Within those segregated areas, however, music became a unifying force in the black community, and Graye knew he wanted to be a part of it. In 1955, he was discharged from the United States Army. He remembers buying a turntable and a small one-tube amplifier that fit in the trunk of his car. “I couldn’t learn how to play no instrument, but I always loved music. One thing I could do was play records,” he said. Two shops he was allowed into were Uncle Ned’s Bargain Fair in Berlin and Watson’s Smoke House in Salisbu...
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Motion to explore OP mgmt. options stirs debate, falls

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) OPA Director Tom Herrick’s motion last Thursday to explore alternative options to its current general manager system, including employing an outside firm to manage the association, generated more debate than it did support. Roughly half the directors saw the motion as a slight to current General Manager Bob Thompson, while the other board members claimed it was merely intended as a tool to gather information – a phrase that was used repeatedly. Thompson’s contract is up for review in April, and Herrick said the association needed to protect itself should he decided to seek employment elsewhere. According to Herrick, two years ago Thompson told him that “if two certain individuals were selected to the board, he would leave.” “That was alarming to me,” Herrick said. “It alarmed me enough to say, is our association prepared? “All I’m asking for is information at no cost to the association,” Herrick cont...
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Comprehensive Planning Committee tackles survey

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) Working on a long-term comprehensive plan for Ocean Pines continued this week, as the committee charged with creating the document met to go over a questionnaire that will be sent to all 8,452 homeowners in the community – and, potentially, some renters.   The hope is that the questionnaire will give the committee enough data to pass something substantial onto OPA leadership, and that the ensuing plan will help inform future projects well into the next decade. Heading up the questionnaire effort is Dr. Memo Diriker, from Salisbury University group BEACON, who largely led the discussion during a meeting at the administrative building on Monday. Diriker said the draft questions, presented during the session, were created using three sources: recommendations from the committee itself, focus groups and phone surveys conducted by Diriker, and “best practices of other similar projects” conducted throughout the country. The individual questions were...
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Latest draft of ‘17 Pines budget has $20 fee increase

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) Delayed a week by winter storms, OPA General Manager Bob Thompson’s town hall session on the proposed 2017 fiscal-year budget took place Saturday morning. Thompson started with an overview of the budget process, which began in September with the various department heads, and most recently involved several public meetings with the board of directors, including a session two days before the presentation. As it stands, the basic annual assessment in the draft is $941, $20 higher than the previous year. Thompson said the assessment was originally a $67 increase, and that the number could change again – up or down – before the board votes to finalize the budget on Feb. 25. Although Thompson said the mandatory minimum wage increase only had a small effect on the budget, the advent of the Affordable Care act did provide some challenges. Employees working more than 1,560 annual hours are required by law to have health care, and in Ocean Pines that meant r...
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First reading for investment guidelines OK’d

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) It wasn’t on the agenda, but Director Tom Terry did manage to introduce a first reading to change Ocean Pines’ investment policy during a public meeting on Jan. 28. The revision was developed by the association’s budget and finance committee, and the rules were suspended in order to allow Chairwoman Pat Supik to explain. She said Resolution F-01 dealt with both operating reserves and “reserve funds that are for future years.” Supik went on to say a revision introduced by the committee last year included only “minimal” changes to the guidelines, previously adopted in 2008. “It was some wording and nothing of any substance,” Supik said. “The committee this year reviewed again F-01 and felt the other resolution was not restrictive enough, not clear enough [and] did not define the investment of the funds in a sufficient manner to guide management and the board in the safety of the funds that are invested.”...
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Ocean Pines to host ‘Fantastic’ youth dances

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By:

(Feb. 4, 2016) The Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department is inviting area children to dance, listen to music and hang out with their friends during two “Fantastic Friday” youth dances scheduled this winter. The first dance, which is for third and fourth graders only, will be he held on Friday, Feb. 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Ocean Pines Community Center, located at 235 Ocean Parkway. A second dance, for fifth and six graders, will be held on Friday, March 11, also from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the community center. The event will be chaperoned by the Recreation and Parks Department and snacks will be provided. The cost is $8 for Ocean Pines residents and $9 for nonresidents.  Registration is not required. Parents are requested to arrive and pick up their children inside the community center by 8:15 p.m. For more information, contact the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department at 410-641-7052.   Information regarding additional recreational programs, incl...
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OPA Briefs

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors discussed the following items during a public meeting in the community center on Jan. 28. Happy birthday Board President Pat Renaud recognized Star Charities founder Anna Foultz, who celebrated her 90th birthday last month. During his opening remarks, Renaud also cautioned the directors that Robert’s Rules of Order would continue to be observed during meetings. “We are still in the realm of civility,” he said. “We will be nice to one another, we will not call each other names [and] we will not interrupt while one board member is speaking.” GM report General Manager Bob Thompson provided an update on three capital projects, including drainage on St. Martin’s Lane, improvements to the Manklin Meadows racquet sports complex, and repairs to two community bridges. Thompson said he had discussions with the county about potential issues with utility lines, which the county said they wou...
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According to DMA study, OP reserves largely inadequate

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) The Ocean Pines Association has less than 25 percent of the reserve funds it should in order to maintain all of its current facilities. That’s according to Virginia-based firm Design Management Associates Inc., which last week delivered a first draft of a study of Ocean Pines’ replacement reserves. The study was given to the board of directors during a public meeting on the following day, and General Manager Bob Thompson asked for comments. A public meeting dedicated specifically to the study was hinted at. This week, the Gazette obtained a copy of the study, which was produced using standards created by the Community Associations Institute. The document reveals that “site visits” were conducted by reserve specialist Douglas L. Greene, as well as analysts Jude Steele and Chris Cornelison, in September and October of last year. The association also provided “various design and construction” drawings, and Greene apparently did mos...
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Enter raffle to win tickets to annual oyster roast in SH

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Staff Writer

(Feb. 4, 2016) Tickets for the sixth annual Snow Hill Oyster Roast sold out more than a month ago. Those interested in attending the Feb. 28 event, however, can still enter a raffle to win tickets. Snow Hill Chamber of Commerce Vice President Lee Chisholm has helped organize the event each year. According to Chisholm, the roast was not an immediate hit in the town. “It’s something that had to grow into itself, and we’ve made small adjustments through the years,” he said. “Year one was, I would say, our test run. I’m surprised people actually came back. It was a rough event.” Chisholm said long lines and inaccessible food made the roast frustrating for some during its inaugural year. Today, rather than try and cram several hundred people into the old firehouse, where the roast debuted, the event stretches between several locations. “We decided that, really this is to showcase the restaurants. Let’s just have the restaurants se...
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Public invited to share memories of Assateague Is.

Posted On: 2/4/16
Written By:

(Feb. 4, 2016) In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, Assateague Island is celebrating “A Century of Memories.” Assateague has long been a part of people’s lives, from basic survival and livelihoods to communities and recreational enjoyment. The public is invited to share memories on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at the Assateague Island National Seashore Environmental Education Center (the old visitor center) in Berlin. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors may have an Assateague scrap book, old Ocean Beach or Atlantic Estates documents, pictures of the U.S. Life-Saving Stations, newspaper clippings, old family photographs or even home movies that were taken on the island. Park staff will accept the donation of materials to include in its archives or make a copy of it and return the originals. Organizers will be prepared to collect oral history interviews, so come and recollect stories about the island before it was designated a national sea...
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