A big slots rally is planned for the Boardwalk tomorrow morning. A press release from the Stop Slots Maryland organization reports the event is a rally for the anti-slots movement in Maryland and timely because it’s about a week before the legislature is expected to convene for a special session. According to the press release, the goal of the event is clear – “We hope to bring the faith-based community, business community, activists and families together to keep slots out of Maryland, especially the Eastern Shore. Please come show your support to preserve the beauty and family image of the Eastern Shore.” Busloads of protesters are expected from across the state. While the protest is taking place, Gov. Martin O’Malley, who wants slots in Maryland, will reportedly be in Ireland or possibly on his way back to the states. He is serving as a keynote speaker at an event sponsored by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, which is footing the bill for the governor to attend.
Since it’s now a certainty the Route 50 Bridge will be closed next year for about a month, it’s wise for local officials to lobby the State Highway Administration for a slight change in the project dates. Necessary to work on the span’s drawbridge, the proposed closure reported to Ocean City and county officials recently is Jan. 15-Feb. 19, meaning it would impact the popular Presidents Day weekend. Luck would have it that next year Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 falls on a Thursday rolling directly into a long three-day holiday weekend, which features the heavily attended Seaside Boat Show. Moving this project up in January could mean a huge difference for local businesses because Presidents Day weekend, especially when it’s coupled with Valentine’s, brings a much anticipated winter sales surge.
Some stories have happy endings, and this in all likelihood will not fit that bill, but what’s happening along the way sure is extraordinary.
Patricia Dietz is a 51-year-old Pocomoke resident. She is a single mom raising a 13-year-old daughter. That alone is not a unique story in today’s world, but the circumstances surrounding it surely breaks the mold. You see Dietz has been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, which has spread to her bones and organs, and has been told she will only be alive for two more months.
Her story made it through the community in recent months and quietly a group of citizens raised enough money to make the woman’s dream trip a reality. Early Tuesday morning, in the month called Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dietz as well as her daughter and sister were picked up in a donated limousine and transported in luxury to the airport for a 10-day trip to Las Vegas. They will be staying at the Imperial Palace with all accommodations paid in full by a conglomeration of local business owners and residents who wish to remain anonymous.
While in Vegas, which was picked because Dietz has an affinity for the weekly television shows “CSI” and “Vegas”, the three will spend a few days taking part in organized tours of the area and have dinner at Morton’s and Planet Hollywood, among other places.
Since hearing her bleak prognosis, Dietz has reportedly been struggling with how to break the news to her young daughter, and I was told this week she will explain to her teenager the entire situation while on this dream trip.
According to a source who did not want to be identified but is intimately familiar with the situation, half of the funds for this trip were raised in Ocean City and the other half from the county. This is one of those stories that’s all things inspirational as well as heartbreaking. A young life is about to be changed forever. However, the part worth a certain amount of focus here is the people who made this woman’s dream a reality want no individual recognition. That brings a certain amount of clarity to an otherwise distressing sequence of events for this family. It’s just further confirmation there are many people, my source referred to as “angels,” who have something special in their hearts.