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Modest crowd, but rich information

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(April 21, 2016) While by no means filling up the room, the Ocean Pines residents who did attend a town hall meeting on April 14 departed with a wealth of knowledge regarding Worcester County government’s budgetary challenges for FY 2017. The modest crowd of less than two-dozen at the Ocean Pines library saw a detailed Power Point presentation from County Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins. The data driven slide show laid out hard numbers for property and income tax rates, general fund revenues and assessable tax base levels. “Our tax base has decreased by $5 billion yet the state asks for $761,000 more (in school funding),” he said. “Their answer is to raise property taxes and income taxes.” In FY 2009 Worcester County’s state-calculated assessable tax base was $20.2 billion, a figure that has dwindled to $15.2 billion for FY 2017.  Even that, however, is an improvement over the $14.9 million assessment for the two previous fiscal y...
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Hudson resigns from finance cmte.

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By: Greg Ellison, Staff Writer

(April 21, 2016) Ocean Pines volunteer Dennis Hudson understands the concept of a Pyrrhic victory, and knows to win the larger war you avoid becoming mired in personal battles. With an apparent impasse surmounted regarding inequitable county funding levels, Hudson opted to resign from the Ocean Pines Association Budget and Finance Committee. “Sometimes you just have to step to the side,” Hudson said. The move followed an April 8 meeting at the Ocean Pines Library that included County Commissioners Chip Bertino and Jim Bunting, OPA Finance Committee Chairwoman Pat Supik, OPA Vice President Cheryl Jacobs, OPA Treasurer Tom Terry and county Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins. This year Ocean Pines has requested approximately $1.84 million in grant funding from the county, which reflects about an 80 percent increase over last year’s allocation of more than $1.1 million. By comparison Berlin’s FY 17 budget request of $1.79 million reflects a two percen...
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Free educational seminars to be held in Ocean Pines

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By:

(April 21, 2016) The public is invited to attend one or more of the free informational seminars offered by the Ocean Pines Recreation and Parks Department in the month of April. All seminars will be held at the Ocean Pines Community Center, located at 235 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines. Before a crisis happens, learn how to express your healthcare wishes, on Thursday, April 21, from 10-11 a.m. A social worker from Coastal Hospice will discuss how to put an advance directive in place, and will assist participants with filling out the forms. Hileman Real Estate’s Terri Bradford and Bethany Drew will present “Staging Your Home for Sale … Get it Sold!” on Wednesday, April 27 from 3-5 p.m. They will discuss how to appeal to today’s homebuyer, and share tips for making a successful sale. State Farm Insurance agent Greg Reddell will discuss estate planning and long-term care at a seminar on Thursday, April 28, from 3:30-5 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. He will cover re...
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Pocomoke to host monthly 4th Friday art stroll this week

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By: Brian Gilliland, Associate Editor

(April 21, 2016) The upcoming 4th Friday Art Stroll in Pocomoke will serve as a backdrop to honor both the Pocomoke High School Basketball and Field Hockey teams for their state championship wins. “We want everyone to wear their Pocomoke Warriors gear or blue and gold to show support for our teams,” Pocomoke City Downtown Project Coordinator Karah Lacey said. “We’ll be honoring them at 5:30.” For the rest of the time between 5 and 8 p.m., the monthly art stroll will follow the same basic structure as it has for the past three years. Downtown shops will be open late, artists and vendors will be exhibiting their wares, and games, music and fun will fill the air. Along with free attendance to the event and the local museums, including the Delmarva Discovery Center, the Costen Museum and the Sturgis One Room Schoolhouse, the streets will be lined with paintings, photos, crafts, jewelry and sculpture — all available for purchase. “We’re o...
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Town of Berlin pens ‘love letter’ to three parks

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 21, 2016) Preeminent, perennial volunteer Mike Wiley was the first person to arrive in Stephen Decatur Park Saturday morning at about 8:15 a.m. He came, armed with work gloves and gardening tools, a clipboard, and a box of yellow rubber bracelets, which read, “I have Berlin pride.” Mayor Gee Williams arrived next, followed by dozens of volunteers eager to get to work on a temperate, sunny morning, during the town’s annual Berlin Clean-Up Day. By 8:30 a.m., parks commission member Patricia Dufendach had arrived as well, pulling a wagon full of utensils behind her. She would largely direct the traffic of workers in the park that day. “Today, the Berlin community came together to get rid of winter’s ills and bring spring along,” Dufendach said. “It was a lot of weeding. We’ve taken some time to put some gardens in, which, of course, takes weeding. And it was a lot of trimming, pulling out of noxious chickweed and dandelions.”...
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Annual Democrat dinner draws talk of party past, future

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 21, 2016) Top local Democrats outlined their platform for the 2016 election during the 2016 Kennedy-King dinner in Berlin Saturday. The event, held at the Atlantic Hotel on Main Street, raised money for the Democratic Central Committee of Worcester County, and including speeches by Berlin Mayor Gee Williams, Sen. Jim Mathias, and former Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton. Ireton, who is running for U.S. House District 1 in the state – a seat currently held by Republican Andy Harris – emceed the evening’s festivities, which included a presentation by the Snow Hill Honor Guard, and a keynote address from Fred Mason, the president of the Maryland and D.C. chapter of the AFL-CIO. “Worcester County needs you to be fired up,” Ireton told the crowd, largely made up of Democratic Party donors. “Our schools need you to be fired up. A woman’s right to choose needs you to be fired up. People who believe that the minimum wage should be the living wage ...
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Cleanup at Berlin Falls park to focus on site namesake

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By: Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(April 21, 2016) Not just the recipient of the new flowerbeds installed Saturday during Berlin Clean-Up Day, Berlin Falls is also getting plenty of other attention from town staff. Town Administrator Laura Allen said Berlin submitted an application to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to change the site, a former Tyson’s Chicken plant, from an industrial to a recreational classification. “MDE came out in March, and they made some recommendations for us to make some modifications to the application and resubmit it, which we did,” Allen said. “They don’t expect it to be a problem, and they’re very open to working with us.” Allen said MDE has reviewed the two phases of the environmental study conducted by the town, and asked for more testing of the lagoon areas. “We did some additional testing, and [MDE] has come out and made some suggestions about changes we can make on the site before we make it available to the publi...
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Spring indoor/outdoor flea market

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By:

(April 21, 2016) Treasure seekers are encouraged to hunt for bargains at Ocean Pines’ semi-annual Indoor/Outdoor Flea Market on Saturday, April 23 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Ocean Pines Community Center. Gently used clothing, children’s items, household items, collectibles and more will be for sale. Flea market vendor spaces are still available.  An indoor space is $15 for Ocean Pines residents and $20 for non-residents and includes an 8-foot table and a chair.   Outdoor spaces, which will be located in the parking lot in front of the Ocean Pines administration building, are $10 for all vendors. Outdoor vendors will need to provide their own tables and chairs. Admission is free and open to the public. Free parking is also available at the community center, located at 235 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines. Shoppers may also stop by the Ocean Pines Farmers Market for fresh produce, baked goods, meats and gourmet pantry and artisan-crafted items.  The market is ...
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MSO season finale takes trip through Romantic Legends

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By:

(April 21, 2016) Celebrate the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra’s Season Finale, “Romantic Legends,” on Sunday, May 1, at the Community Church at Ocean Pines, located at Route 589 and Racetrack Road at 3 p.m.   Concert tickets cost $38 per person. The program will feature violinist Arnaud Sussmann, performing “Violin Concerto in D Minor, Opus 47.” Jean Sibelius wrote the selection, in 1904-1905. It is symphonic in scope, with the solo violin and all sections of the orchestra being equal voices.   Additional orchestral works will include the symphonic poem “In the Steppes of Central Asia,” composed in 1880 by Alexander Borodin, and “Symphony No. 5 in D Major/D Minor, Opus 107,” known as the “Reformation,” composed by Felix Mendelssohn in 1830. An end-of-season gala will follow the concert at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club, located at 1 Mumford Landing, in Ocean Pines. This fundraiser for the MSO includes a plate...
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Berlin Ambassador Program seeking summer volunteers

Posted On: 4/21/16
Written By:

(April 21, 2016) America’s Coolest Small Town is looking for volunteers to help with Berlin’s Ambassador Program.   The program received the 2015 Governor’s Award for volunteerism.   “Berlin Ambassadors are a friendly face on Main Street that help our visitors with any questions they might have, hand out town information, and guide our guests towards shops, restaurants or attractions they are looking for,” Sharon Timmons, administrative assistant for the economic and community development department, said. Ambassadors are needed during the town’s peak business hours, Memorial Day through Sept. 23, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 1-3 p.m. Volunteer ambassadors will be representing Berlin and helping guests discover the variety of ways to spend time during their visit, and to learn about the town’s many exciting events throughout the year.   Volunteer ambassadors receive an official Berlin Ambassador shirt,...
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