Voices From The Readers

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They Are All Foreign Students

Editor:

I would like to thank Mr. Campagnoli for his letter concerning the rentals of students. I don’t care if it is a F-1, J-1, K-1 or whatever other visas the government gives out, if the kids are in school and come here to work but are not citizens of the United States, then I consider them foreign students.

If they are not allowed to work here because of their visa, I am wondering why they are being hired. That is not my job, my job is housing. By the way, the pictures shown in the article was an apartment rented by Russian kids. The letter mentioned was written by another separate group of Nepal kids. So needless to say, they were both destructive, no matter what kind of visa they had.

In addition, I would like to thank The Dispatch for printing Mr. Oshea’s editorial. Sometimes things need to be said and I appreciate that you were not afraid to print a subject that some people think does not exist.

Gina Mariani

Ocean City

Hard To Face Truth

Editor:

This is in response to a letter to the editor in The Dispatch by Jennifer Spivey Sept. 21. Obviously, Ms. Spivey has never been down to the southern end of the beach and Boardwalk during the weekends or she would have witnessed first hand what Mr. Oshea was saying.

Sometimes it is hard to face the truth, maybe you are one of the people that he was speaking of, in “close their eyes and it will go away”. The economy of Ocean City is based on tourism, renting hotel rooms, cleanliness and products sold are just a few things we need to have a successful season.

Also, I never heard mention of any ethnicity, so you subconsciously must have known of whom he refers to. His letter was harsh but sometimes you have to be that way in order to get you point across, to hard headed people with rose-tinted glasses on who refuse to accept what is happening.

By the way, I do live here six months out of the year.

Jim Barbitino

Ocean City

Thankful For Being To Shop Elsewhere

Editor:

I wouldn’t be surprised if you received several comments on your item in "Between the Lines" regarding the proposed tax increases last week. You stated that Gov. O’Malley is proposing a 1-percent increase in the sales tax, when in fact he is proposing a 1-cent increase, which amounts to approximately a 17-percent increase.

As for the governor’s proposed dollar increase on cigarettes, I say increase the sin tax to all the so-called sins and increase the liquor tax at the same percentage. Both are equally harmful not to just the user, but those around them.

All I can say is that I’m glad I live close to Delaware and Virginia, which is where I will be buying with no or reduced sales taxes. I’ve done the math and even with the high cost of gas, if my trips are well planned, I will still save money vs. buying in Maryland. I feel badly for the majority of the voters who elected Gov. O’Malley who don’t have this opportunity and the local businesses where I won’t be shopping.

Carol Murray

Ocean City

Editor’s Note:

A clarification is needed regarding the “Between the Lines” column last week. One of the controversial ways the governor plans to address the massive structural deficit and balance the budget is through increasing and broadening the sales tax. The current sales tax rate in Maryland is 5 percent (5 cents for every dollar). The governor wants to raise the sales tax rate to 6 percent (or 6 cents) to address the state’s deficit and expand its reach to areas previously untaxed, such as health clubs and property management. For instance, if the total due at a local convenience store is $9.21, the sales tax is 46 cents. Under the governor’s plan, the sales tax due on the same check would be 55 cents. We apologize for the confusion.

Editor.

Dog Park Charge Is Disappointing

Editor:

I am writing in response to the Sept. 14 article, "Dog Park Eyes October Opening".

I find it absolutely amazing and disappointing that the city intends to charge for access to the 94th Street Dog Park ($70/year for Residents & $140/year for Non-Residents). When will the City Council’s relentless appetite for dollars cease? Why is it that after seeing my taxes rise by about 250 percent over the past eight years that the council intends to insult dog owners with this fee? What ever happened to Ocean City wanting to be a "family town"?

My family and I have used the present "unofficial" dog park to walk my dog on a regular basis when our home is not rented out (by the way, how "unofficial" is it when there are pooper scoop bags and water bowls for our four-legged friends). I found it a nice location to allow my dog to roam (after all, they are not allowed on the beaches from May thru September), socialize with other dogs and to speak with other like-minded dog lovers.

Now in its insatiable appetite for cash, the council appears to be on the verge of approving these ridiculous fees. What gives? What’s next? A fee to access the playground for our children (yes, I have two also, but my dog is my third)? Why not? These playgrounds were built with tax dollars, not unlike the new "Official Dog Park". Why not a fee for those people who have set up house under the pier to cover the costs for excessive clean-up, etc.? My dog leaves less of a mess than what is regularly left there.

The sad part is that one of the nice perks of being a dog owner in Ocean City will likely be taken away for no reason (how many people do you really think will pay these fees?)

In closing, can I request that The Dispatch publish the home addresses for the Council Members who vote "yes" on this initiative? In search of a location to walk and relieve itself, my dog would love to visit them (on a lease and cleaned up afterwards of course. I would not want to break the law).

Again, I fear that our "family town" is once again positioning itself to become "a family town…. as long as you pay, and pay and pay".

Don Toenshoff, Jr.

Fairfax Station, Va.

Fiddlers Event Was Great In Some Ways

Editor:

The 2007 Berlin Fiddlers Convention was fantastic. The only thing marring the event (except for a few showers on Saturday) were the number of people who wanted to talk rather than listen. As an example, on Friday night there was a group of at least five people (sometimes more) who stood on the sidewalk and talked and laughed continually for two hours. They projected their voices over top of the music so their companions could hear them.

Despite the many people sitting in the chairs listening to the music who turned around and stared at them, they continued their loud conversation. They just didn’t get it. One lady had her back to the stage the entire time. They, of course, were not the only offenders. Between the people on the sidewalk in front of the stores and the people in front of the Atlantic Hotel partying, many loud conversations were drowning out the music.

One notable exception was on Sunday when the Gold sisters sang acappella. The crowd was so silent you could hear a pin drop. It was a goose bump moment. Bravo to the singers and bravo to the crowd. Please come to these events and enjoy the music and talent of the performers. But if you must catch up with your friends and neighbors, please move to one of the many side streets available and let the rest of us enjoy the music.

JoAnn Crockett

Berlin

Art League Thanks House Tour Supporters

Editor:

The Art League of Ocean City’s Sand Castle Home Tour Committee would like to thank the many people who helped make this year’s tour a huge success. The tour was attended by 1,100 people, and the money raised will go toward helping to build a much needed larger art center for Ocean City.

Hundreds of people have come together to help the Art League in its quest for a larger home. While the money raised will not pay for an entire new art center, it shows there is a desire to bring more art and culture to our town and how much we can accomplish as a community.

We are particularly grateful to the 10 homeowners: The Tennant, Rosado, Brous, Phillips, Boone, Tremellen, (Leighton) Moore, Mitchell, Windrow, and (John & Kim) Moore families, who opened their doors to the community; without them this event would not be possible. We thank our honorary Chairperson Shirley Phillips for her gracious support of the Art League.

Thanks to the local media for helping us spread the word with a special nod to the Maryland Coast Dispatch and Ocean City Today for sponsoring the tour.

To Eunice Sorin for her generous donation of the tour tote bags. To the florists who donated beautiful displays: Blossoms, Ocean Greenery, Ocean City Florist, Flowers by Alison, Phil Cropper of Creative Concepts, Raimondi’s, Kitty’s Flowers, City Florists, Beyond Flowers and the Worcester County Garden Club.

The artists who painted portraits of the homes: Jody Veader, Stasia Heubeck, Paige Ruby, Isobel Troutman, Rina Thaler, Jeri Lipov, Betsy Hall Harrison, Jeanne Danek, Eneken Frischkorn, and Anne Rinck. The artists who donated artwork to the raffle: Peg Warfield, Diane Laukenmann, Barbara Kirshner, Berit Brewington, and Myrna McGrath. To Copy Central for donating the signage and printing the tour book. St. Paul’s by the Sea Church for presenting a lovely luncheon. The many businesses and individuals who sponsored the tour, and the over 300 volunteers who staffed the houses.

Plans have already begun for the 2008 tour and we are looking forward to seeing you all there.

The Sand Castle Home Tour Committee

(Committee members include Rina Thaler, Barbara Melone, Katy Durham, Nancy Howard, Betty Stork, Lois Hamaty, Deanne Michnick, Jennifer Albright, Diane Heron, Lyn Burr, Jacquie Warden and Jody Veader.)

Thanks For Making Retirement Special

Editor:

I want to thank everyone for the phone calls, letters, gifts, articles in the papers and visitors on the event of my recent retirement.

The past 41 years have been the greatest time of my life, serving four years in the United States Marine Corps, nine years with the Ocean City Police Dept. and just completing 28 years with the Worcester County Sheriffs Office.

On Aug. 25, the Worcester County Office Retirement Committee held a dinner and program for me and my family at the Pocomoke Elks Lodge. The planning and the time that they put into this event, to make it a special night for me will never be forgotten.

The delicious food and outstanding service was provided by Tony Trader’s Chicken of Pocomoke. The cake which was made by Tracy Dods was decorated with the flags of the USA, Worcester County and the Marine Corps along with Worcester County Sheriffs Badge on the top. It was truly beautiful.

More than 300 friends and relatives were in attendance, along with special award presenters, to many to name individually. Master of ceremonies Sheriff Charles T. Martin was outstanding. The Pocomoke High School Marine Corps ROTC performed the Posting of Colors and served as escorts under the direction of Sergeant Major Ron Trostle.

I really appreciate the many awards I received as well as the letters of acknowledgment from the federal, state, county and town governments. Special thanks to Master Gunnery Sergeant Mark Miller from the United States Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. who presented me with a letter and photo from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway. Also thank you to Dan Rooney owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, for the letter and photo of the Championship Steelers.

Many wonderful people have been involved in my career and played an important role in my future and my life, each of them are very special. I want them to know how much I appreciate them and what they have done for me. I just wish I could name them all but there are too many.

To the men and women that carry the badge, I ask that you strive for the very best of yourselves and to be good role models for our young people. Be dedicated, respectful, honest and most of all be safe. DFC Brian Heller, I will never forget you, “The Gentle Giant”.

To the employees of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, thank you for your devotion to duty and the citizens of Worcester County may God bless all of you.

Reggie T. Mason

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