Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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The beauty of Cruisin’ weekend is you know they will come. It’s one of the town’s only special events that can be a success in spite of the weather. It goes without saying the annual event is much more enjoyable for all involved if the weather cooperates, but the four-day affair goes on despite what Mother Nature has in store and area hotels and motels and restaurants and bars typically report a good business weekend nonetheless. It’s no secret some businesses prefer Cruisin’ weekend over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which is extremely weather dependent and has diminished over the last decade in importance due to most schools still being in session. The big winners over this weekend are typically the moderate-priced hotels and, of course, the convenience stores and filling stations. Businesses offering gasoline as well as convenience store items, such as the Wine Rack stores in West Ocean City and mid-town, typically report outstanding sales. It’s not difficult to imagine why.

The equivalent of approximately 11 square miles of submerged aquatic vegetation, or sea grasses, has been lost in the coastal bays watershed between 2004 and 2006. That amounts to a 38-percent decline. This is a big deal for the watershed’s bays. Of the little bays that make up the watershed, only Isle of Wight recorded an increase, from 126 acres to 145. It was bad news for the rest of the bays with Assawoman Bay seeing a 12-percent decrease from 228 acres to 199; Sinepuxent losing 10 percent, from 802 acres to 721; and Chincoteague Bay, 5,732 to 3,204 acres, a 44-percent decline. The numbers are courtesy of an aerial study conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences. In a commentary, Maryland Coastal Bays Program Public Outreach Coordinator Dave Wilson wrote, “Without a reduction in the nutrient and sediment flow to the bays, the declines will continue. … The loss of what amounts to almost 11 square miles of bay grasses is devastating. The time to act is now.”

It’s been a while since I have covered the sports beat, but last Friday I was able to get out and report on a couple games. The seasons for the Worcester Prep boys and girls lacrosse teams ended on high notes last week as they both won their respective conference championship games. The boys had no trouble defending their crown, while the girls’ team won an overtime thriller to gain its title. The atmosphere on the fields was what high school sports are all about. On this day it was in Berlin at Worcester Prep. On any other day, it could be Decatur’s fields across town or any other high school across America. The games are always compelling, but it’s what goes on along the sidelines that’s most riveting. Clearly, it’s harder to coach most sports than it is to play, and high school coaches epitomize this because most wear their heart on their sleeves. The same can certain be said for the parents, who are mostly supportive but occasionally get so wrapped up in the games they say things they more than likely wish they had not later. All in all, it’s great fun, especially if you are into one of the country great pastimes – people watching.

Three recent polls at mdcoastdispatch.com have had interesting results.

– Respondents were asked to complete this sentence: “Trimper’s Rides announcement it will scale back its amusement park …” The results were will hurt Ocean City forever, 67 percent; is an unfortunate sign of the times, 20 percent; is no big deal, 8 percent; will pave the way for slots, 3 percent; and means some great condos will be built, 2 percent.

– “What OC special event is most appealing?” Top vote-getters were White Marlin Open, 30 percent; Cruisin’, 25 percent; Sunfest, 24 percent; Springfest, 13 percent; and Winterfest, 9 percent.

– “What do you most enjoy about spring?” Answers were being able to go outside, 53 percent; restaurants and bars openings, 14 percent; flowers blooming, 13 percent; electric bills not in the triple digits, 9 percent; and that winter is right around the corner, 4 percent.

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