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Mumford’s soft opening gets passing grade from ‘Clubs’

Posted On: 2/24/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 23, 2017) Reviews of the recent soft opening at Mumford’s Landing – formerly the yacht club – were mostly positive during an Ocean Pines Association Clubs Committee meeting last Thursday. The committee is the official advisory panel for the board of directors on matters at Mumford’s Landing, the country club and beach club. Many of the members attended the soft opening, Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, which was intended as a stress test for the newly hired staff, a reveal of new interior improvements and changes to the menu. Board of Directors Vice President Dave Stevens, the committee liaison, noted the renovations were done in house by existing staff, using items purchased at Home Goods in Salisbury. A professional decorator was apparently consulted, but did not ask for compensation. “Everybody pretty much agrees the decorations and the new format looks really nice,” committee member Gary Miller said. Reviews of the food were mixed, but also mos...
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GM Hill makes public budget pitch

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 23, 2017) A sparse crowd made for a – mostly – trouble-free budget presentation by Ocean Pines Association interim General Manager Brett Hill on Monday night. Hill presented his $13.5 million fiscal year 2018 budget to about a dozen homeowners in the Assateague Room of the community center. He first presented a draft of the budget during a board meeting on Jan. 20. The directors were involved in four additional board meetings in January and February, although no substantial changes have been made to the bottom line. The basic annual assessment remains unchanged from the previous year at $921, and the waterfront lot rate is also flat at $1,386. “We’ve managed to keep the reserve balance within 5 percent of the current fiscal year-end while undertaking several large projects for the community,” Hill said. That includes about $400,000 for renovations to the second floor of the country club, $300,000 for a reorientation of the administration bui...
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Stormwater work continues to close parts of Flower St.

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 23, 2017) An apparent equipment mix-up and a shortage of asphalt have further delayed stormwater improvements on Flower Street, and full or partial road closures will likely continue for another few weeks at least. During a Town Council meeting last Monday, Water Resources and Public Works Director Jane Kreiter said construction could wrap “hopefully [in] the next two weeks.” One of the issues was with installation of gabion baskets, which help control erosion. “It’s my understanding that the gabions arrived last week, but they’re the wrong ones,” Kreiter said. “We’re seeing what we can do.” Installation of the gabions started last Thursday. “We appreciate everyone’s patience. It’s been quite a project, to say the least,” Kreiter said. Town Administrator Laura Allen said installation of the gabions would continue through this week, but another issue — the lack of asphalt to repair the r...
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‘Shrove Tuesday’ pancake dinner at Snow Hill church

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

 (Feb. 23, 2017) Outside of the United States, in many of the former territories of Great Britain, Shrove Tuesday is often called “Pancake Tuesday” or “Pancake day,” while inside the U.S. it might be better known as “Fat Tuesday” or Mardi Gras. Shrove Tuesday, this year on Feb. 28, is the day before Ash Wednesday — the start of Lent for many Christian denominations. At the macro level, all of the assorted festivities have the same basic genesis — to clear out the cabinets, cupboards and pantries before the fasting season of Lent, marked by voluntary abstention and reflection, which ends on Easter. In some places, carnivals are held, while in Snow Hill at All Hallows Episcopal Church at the corner of Church and Market Streets, they have a pancake dinner between 4:30 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 each for adults and $4 for children aged 12 and under. Carryout is available, but eating in-house conveys all-you-can-eat pancakes and ap...
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Overpayment bill advances in Senate

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Feb. 23, 2017) The legislation to allow municipalities, like Snow Hill, that received an overpayment of local taxes to keep the misdirected funds advanced to third reading in the State Senate after it advanced out of committee, last week. The Budget and Taxation committee voted unanimously to give the legislation a favorable review, with amendments offered by the committee. The bill also picked up a sponsor, with Sen. Addie Eckardt (R-37), representing Wicomico, Talbot, Dorchester and Caroline counties, joining the effort. In the report, Eckardt and Sen. Nancy King (D-39) both offered amendments to the bill, and both were accepted. It is not made clear in the report which senator is responsible for either amendment, but the first was to include Eckardt as a sponsor to the legislation. The second amendment, along with a minor text change, includes a provision requiring the Comptroller return any payments made by any municipality towards the debt. Trish Goodsell, assistant to th...
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Pines VP says country club improvements progressing

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 23, 2017) The Ocean Pines Association Country Club currently “looks like a big, fat mess,” according to Board Vice President Dave Stevens, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. Stevens gave an update on improvements at the club during a meeting last Thursday. The board green lit more than $800,000 in spending, spread out over two years, to extensively renovate the first and second floors and replace the HVAC systems and roof of the building. “We’re doing some really heavy-duty renovations,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great.”   The first floor improvements include expanding the Tern Grill restaurant and kitchen and upgrading the bathrooms. To free up space, the footprint of one of the locker rooms will be reduced. “[It’s] coming along nicely,” Stevens said, adding the new floor plan would provide more open space and have a longer bar area. “The thing that we’re giving up, in terms...
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Atlantic General must find different venues for funding

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(Feb. 23, 2017) While a bold, statewide strategy in Annapolis adopted by the Maryland Hospital Association could have paid off big for Atlantic General Hospital’s new cancer center, the local hospital ended up with about half of the requested $1.3 million and a plan to make up for the shortfall. According to Michael Franklin, chief executive officer, AGH submitted its funding proposal through the regular funding process, which usually ends up with a share of about $5 million in total each year. During the past few years, Franklin said, participating hospitals have ended up not using all the available funding. This led to a more ambitious request, as member hospitals’ needs grew, to nearly $9 million this year, he said. “If it were successful it would have resulted in $1.3 million for AGH, but it resulted in a little better than half,” Franklin said. During a press conference in Salisbury two weeks ago, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a commitment from his off...
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Equal protection claim against town still locked in talks

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Feb. 23, 2017) The deadline to settle an alleged equal protection claim against the Town of Berlin was Jan. 15. Then, it was Jan. 31. Last week, Luke Rommel, a Salisbury attorney representing Ronshell Shockley, said there was no longer a set deadline and that talks with the town were continuing. “The Town of Berlin made a new settlement offer; we are not quite there yet but still hopeful the matter can be resolved. We have agreed to hold off with the lawsuit as long as the sides are moving closer together,” Rommel said. “My usual approach is to set a deadline and stick to it, but in this instance a few things came up behind the scenes which led to relaxing the deadline,” he continued. “At this time, our plan is to consider the Town of Berlin’s best offer; if we cannot accept it we will file suit immediately thereafter. As of now, settlement discussions have been slow but relatively productive.” Shockley contends she was forced to leave ...
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Continuing march momentum

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Kara Hallisey, Staff Writer

(Feb. 23, 2017) More than 50 women – and a few men – met at the Daily Brew Coffee House in Snow Hill on Feb. 11 to continue the energy generated during the women’s marches last month. “For us, it was a great turnout with it only being planned a week before,” organizer Christina Seelaus Hulslander said. “We had no idea how many would come. It was remarkable and wonderful.” The gathering was the first official meeting of a new group calling itself the Eastern Shore Community Action Network. “[We are] reaching out to others who are motivated and ready to improve our local situations and try not to buy into the notion of ‘the other,’” Hulslander said. “We are all human beings.” Attendees spoke about what motivated them to attend. Frustration and feeling overwhelmed emerged as consistent themes. “Everyone kept repeating they were happy to find solidarity and not be alone in their feelings,” Hulsl...
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Former school thrives now as heritage center

Posted On: 2/23/17
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(Feb. 23, 2017) Born and raised during the era of racial segregation, Berlin resident Barbara Purnell continues to work for a unified society. Purnell, 74, attended the African-American-only two-room Germantown School on Trappe Road in Berlin, which was shuttered in 1953, and more recently has helped preserve and transform the symbol of racial intolerance into a historical monument to further community inclusiveness. “I experienced an all-black school,” she said. “We didn’t know any difference, that was what we were used to.” Beginning in 1962, the building was repurposed as a county highway garage facility until Joseph Purnell spearheaded an effort in 2001 to reclaim the historic site. “He got a group of people together and he says, ‘How come we can’t try to get that school back in the community and do something with it?’” she said. “We jumped on the bandwagon.” For over a decade, Purnell has served as presi...
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