Last week’s Arts Night in Berlin confirmed there’s nothing like the arts to bring a diverse group of people together. All the merchants in town dressed up their shops beautifully and stayed open late to greet the crowds. The event seemed to be an overall success, even though the crowds were down compared to last year. Above all, it was interesting to see the wide variety of art on display in the stores and the various interpretations from attendees. One example we observed was in the Balcony Gallery of The Globe for the Humanity Unveiled II exhibition, which celebrated the human body. There was one noticeable piece of art, depicting the most private of female body parts, which caught the attention of all the attendees, no matter your age or art knowledge. The reactions were amazing. The only thing consistent about the observations was the inevitable double take it inspired as people strolled by. One person was even overheard saying to herself, “is that what I think it is?” Some were clearly offended. Some laughed. Some were awed at the skill of the artist, while some feigned a smile out of embarrassment. The responses the piece provoked ran the gamut, and it got me thinking: what else could an artist hope for out of a piece of work?
For what it’s worth, there’s one familiar topic missing from today’s paper. This week’s issue is the first in the last two months not to have at least one story on slots and breaks a three-week streak of front-page stories dealing with the subject. I think we all could use a little break.
Today is the official last day of the 2007 hurricane season, and it’s time to see if the predictions issued by the so-called experts were accurate. The answer is not so much, but the good news is this area escaped without any scares once again this year. From June 1-Nov. 30, there were 14 named storms, six of them hurricanes and two categorized as major. Back in the spring, with La Nina expected to create ideal storm-formation conditions, NOAA predicted there would be 13 to 17 named storms, seven to 10 hurricanes and three to five major storms. The government’s prediction was fairly accurate. The same cannot be said for Colorado State University researcher Dr. William Gray, who forecasted 17 named storms, including nine hurricanes, five of them major. Although the Colorado State team may have its tail between its legs today, it’s apparently wasting no time licking its wounds and is already looking ahead to 2008. A press release indicated this week the first seasonal forecast for the 2008 season will be issued on Dec. 7.
The latest poll on our website dealt with adult-oriented businesses in Ocean City and whether they should be allowed in the resort. With more than 250 people voting, the results were: 38 percent, no, it’s a family town; 28 percent, they have every right; 23 percent, yes, but with site restrictions (this is the course the town is charting); 8 percent, never be allowed anywhere; and 3 percent, does not matter at all.
It seems Ocean City is about to throw approximately $10,000 at an ongoing problem. In the big picture of government, that’s not a lot of money, but it’s an expenditure that’s unnecessary. At issue here is taxi enforcement, specifically creating stricter rules and beefing up Ocean City police’s ability to regulate the cabs on the streets. It’s no secret members of the local taxi industry do not always operate as they should and complaints have been reported often. However, a presentation was made at this week’s meeting that makes me scratch my head in search of logic. The idea is the money allocated for the additional enforcement of the taxis will be refunded back to the city through infractions. That’s all well and good, but I don’t understand why more money is needed to begin this supposed crack down. I thought it was taking place already. This request gives the impression without the increased funds the department will not be able to enforce the rules governing the taxi industry. That’s hard to believe.