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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letters to the Editor

Unprofessional OPA
I am increasingly alarmed at the quality of governance and the tone of the debate in this community. Ocean Pines provides the complete package: a comfortable, safe living environment in a reasonable climate, with a wide variety of opportunities to indulge whatever passion moves you. Yet, each year at this time the local press is filled with criticisms of the board, the GM, the yacht club, the golf course, ad nauseam.
Many candidates for the BOD propose single plank platforms, e.g., fire the GM, close the various amenities, reduce the annual assessments. Such proposals reflect a lack of understanding of the complexities facing those who wish to govern us. We enjoy a government with the lowest cost in the area, yet annually if the administration proposes new spending increases, the response is loud and critical. Do not assume that I believe that a rubber stamp is the solution. Not at all, but the cacophony of voices raised in protest drown out any reasoned debate and has a depressing effect on civil discourse.
Of particular concern is the lack of qualified people who will seek election. The BOD needs people with legal, financial, operating and marketing backgrounds to help guide the administration. Advisory committees exist to provide some of this insight. Membership on these committees could serve as a stepping-stone to board membership, however too often the advice and counsel provided by these committees is not heeded, and thus too few members feel motivated to join the fray.
Reasonable, objective debate regarding amenity performance, planning for future needs and effectiveness of the management team would provide a welcome environment for voters to judge the qualifications of board candidates. Unfortunately, the atmosphere surrounding the election process, the behavior at board meetings and the acrimony evident in various press communications seem to prevent such an environment. I find these conditions unprofessional and unworthy of both you and us. Hopefully, future boards will devote some efforts to improving the situation.
Jim Beisler
Ocean Pines
‘Thank you’ note
The following local churches, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Solid Rock ministries, Buckingham Presbyterian, Sonrise and Stevenson United Methodist Church, have just finished hosting their summer vacation bible school titled "Cave Quest; following Jesus the light of the world."
There were over 80 students in attendance and we are very thankful for the local families that allowed their children to attend this great event.
Parents – you are doing great things when you allow your families to learn and experience the greatness of our heavenly father and his son, Jesus. You are to be highly commended for making a real difference in our community.
This is so important for our families. We all need to learn more of how we all can follow Jesus and show our love to others around us. We can all make a difference in our communities by caring for others around us.
We spent five evenings sharing time together learning how to show kindness and compassion for others. The message we learned was how much Jesus loves us and how Jesus gives us all hope, courage, direction and love.
One of the activities included the students watching and hearing about other young people who have made a difference in our world. This was so important – the students saw that no matter how small or young we may be, we are all able to make a difference by doing good things for others in our communities, schools and even other countries.
Our great sponsors that helped with this event were: ABC Printing; Apostle Construction; Adkins Company; Victorian Charm; Berlin American Legion Post #123 Ladies Auxiliary; Donald Carey Roofing; Maryland Coast Dispatch; Wiggles and Giggles Daycare; Ashton Welding; Coates, Coates, and Coates, PA; Williams, Moore, Shockley and Harrison.
Many thanks to these local businesses and please support these folks when you can.
Thanks to Berlin First Baptist for the awesome decorations. Thanks to all the volunteers who donated their time to help make this Berlin community event possible, you have all been a real blessing.
Blessings to all our local families and to all the students who attended vacation bible school. Please try to find a home church for your families to attend frequently.
In God’s love, from the Berlin Area Ecumenical Ministry team.
Kathy Davis
Stevenson United Methodist Church
Be mindful of history
There are several variations to the frequently quoted lines by Martin Niemoller, a Protestant pastor and social activist in Germany during the time of the Nazis. One version is as follows:  
“First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”
These lines were written at a time when Adolf Hitler was firing up the residents of Germany with a slogan similar to “Make Germany Great Again.” Sound familiar? When Donald Trump quotes Mussolini, revises a slogan from Hitler, threatens to deport 11 million Mexican immigrants, and ban the immigration of all Muslims, it’s time to speak up before it’s too late.  
I strongly feel that what this candidate would like to say is “Make America White Again,” but he knows he would lose lots of votes if he did. Let’s not forget that Hitler was trying to create an Aryan race and consequently caused the death of six million Jews in the Holocaust. Logistically, it is impossible to deport 11 million people. The details of identifying, transporting, and housing that many people are staggering. How would mistakes be avoided? How would paperwork be managed? How would distinctions be made between Mexicans and other immigrants from Central America? What about separation of children from their parents? Would they be held in internment facilities, as over 100,000 Japanese were during WWII? At least 62 percent of these individuals were United States citizens.
Almost everyone has heard the expression “If you don’t learn from history, you are bound to repeat it.” Donald Trump doesn’t read and doesn’t know or choose to remember history. Is this how Americans want billions of their tax dollars spent? Who would be next? Muslims? Blacks? Asians? People from the Middle East? What will you do when they come for you?  
Within two weeks of deporting the Mexican immigrants, one shouldn’t count on any fresh produce in the local grocery store. The cantaloupes would be rotting in the field. In the same amount of time meat products —chicken, beef, and pork — would disappear from supermarkets too.  
Only a skeleton crew would be available to gut chickens and slaughter animals. People who are unemployed are not going to step up to do gross jobs like that. Landscaping crews can’t even find enough local people to do their kind of work; where would the slaughterhouse workers come from?  
Another scheme of Trump’s is to build a huge wall between the United States and Mexico. In an interview by Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan with two former Mexican presidents, Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon, in the Washington Post dated Feb. 26, 2016, Fox and Calderon make it clear that their country has no intention of paying for a wall built by Donald Trump.  
Consider the immense cost of such a venture and the diplomatic repercussions. Is that really how we want our tax dollars to be spent, when there are many more constructive uses for it? If you’ve ever been to Big Bend in Texas, common sense would dictate the impossibility of a wall in that location. The same article states that, “the balance of trade between the U.S. and Mexico would also be interrupted by such a decision. The two nations do $1.4 billion a day in bilateral trade. Twenty-six states have Mexico as their primary trading partner. Millions of jobs in the U.S. depend directly on trade with Mexico.”  
This action has the potential to cause another serious recession. Arturo Sakukhan, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States from 2007-2013, also stated, “If the United States slaps tariffs on Mexico, then Mexico will slap tariffs on the United States.”  
Robert Frost said in one of his poems “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall … Before I built a wall, I’d ask what I was walling in and what I was walling out, And to whom I would give offense.” We only have two geographical neighboring countries — Canada and Mexico. Do we really want to sever ties with one of them? Think of the consequences.  
Political campaigns such as that of Donald Trump play on all of the insecurities, fears, and vulnerabilities of people who demand simple answers to complex issues. In regimes, there is usually a “strong man” who rallies the crowds into a frenzy. This is how fascism would come to America, in gradual concessions to a power-hungry ruler who makes false promises and instills fear and hatred. Be careful what you wish for.  
This next election will decide what kind of country we want to be. Vote not to lose our democracy to a contradictory, vindictive, loose cannon and demagogue who does not consider the consequences of his comments or actions. Do not give Donald Trump an audience or your support! Speak out against his dangerous schemes.
Jean Fry
Ocean Pines

New leadership needed
I have lived in Ocean Pines for 22 years. In 1994, the association fee was around $400 a year. Roads were paved, not patched.
Some of the things that concern me in Ocean Pines are:
-A referendum to build a community center on Route 589 at a proposed cost of $3.9 million. The then-board voted to make and install “Yes” signs [promoting the referendum] all over Ocean Pines at a cost of $25,000, with a 7-0 vote. The board knew the real cost [of the community center] would be over $5 million.
That was why [when] it passed on the first referendum, a judge determined that a new referendum was needed due to the misleading cost in the first referendum, [and] that referendum lost by over 1000 votes. A new community center was eventually built at White Horse Park for a lot less than $3.9 million.
-Ram-rodding of the cover on the sports core pool at a cost just less than referendum threshold at that time of $1 million. The diving board was also not re-installed due to the insurance being too expensive. The admission was also lower for children from 5-9, and aquatics made a profit every year before the cover was installed.
-A secret meeting and bid to purchase the now-defunct golf course on Beauchamp Road. Again, the bid was just below the requirement for a referendum.
-A secret meeting a 2014 elected director wanted to have with two newly elected directors in 2015 without a full board present. The 2015 directors declined. I think there should not be any secret meetings. Closed meetings, yes – they are needed to discuss things like personnel, etc. No secret meetings. It is deceitful and not trustworthy.
-The 2014 board that voted to give the general manager a $35,000 a year raise and a $12,000 bonus for amenities that lost money and a general manager [that] has, what I call, negative thinking.
I am not against the amenities in Ocean Pines – I am against them losing money every year.
I hope the three elected-directors in 2016 work for the property owners, not the general manager.
Mike Graves
Ocean Pines