Voices From The Readers

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Council Creates A Monopoly On Beach

Editor:

The Ocean City Council recently approved a request for the reassignment of the beach photo franchise that resulted in the number of beach photo operators being reduced from two to one.

As a result of this action, the council created a monopoly for one beach company. Monopoly is a market structure generally created by government action in which a single firm sells a product for which there are no competitors.

In voting to approve the creation of the monopoly, Councilman Jim Hall was quoted as saying “this is an easy one for me”. This comment shows that Hall has forgot the detrimental effects that result when one company has a monopoly. Elementary economics tells us that with a monopoly prices can go up, services can deteriorate and competition is eliminated. The detrimental effects of a monopoly given to it by the Ocean City Council.

Hall has been in office for over 20 years. It is clear to me that Hall has been in office too long. We need change in Ocean City to develop new solutions to Ocean City’s many problems. I can only hope that we have concerned citizens who are willing to run for Ocean City Council seats in the next election so that we can put Hall into retirement.

Dick Quinn

Ocean City

Election Reminder

Editor:

The Worcester County Republican Party would like to encourage all registered voters of either the Democratic or Republican Party to participate in the Primary Election that will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Only those registered as a member of one of the two principal parties are able to vote.

Young people who will be 18 years of age by the general election on Nov. 4 and registered to vote by Jan. 22 and are affiliated with one of the principal parties have the opportunity to vote for the first time next Tuesday. The Maryland Republican Party was proud to reinforce the importance of the youth vote by securing the reversal of a policy change by the Maryland State Board of Elections. This would have prevented 17-year-olds from voting in the primary election even if they would be 18 by the general election.

Participating in the democratic process is a privilege that is protected by our Constitution and is what makes our Country strong. Republican leaders in Worcester County agree that young voters should be encouraged to become involved, learn about the candidates and the issues, and exercise their right to vote for the first time.

Registered voters of either the Democratic or Republican Party should have received their sample ballot in the mail. If you have not and believe you should have, you may contact the Worcester County Board of Elections at 410-632-1320.

Hope to see you at the polls.

Marty Pusey

Snow Hill

(The writer is the chairperson of the Worcester County Republican Central Committee.)

Change In Policy Legislation Opposed

Editor:

(The following letter was addressed to Senator Nathaniel McFadden with a copy sent to this publication.)

Public education’s mission to deliver a thorough education to all children despite the challenges posed by biases towards ethnicity, gender, social class, original language, or other forms of diversity always has been of particular importance to the NAACP. In addition to a National Education Department, our organizational structure has a State Conference Educational Chair in each state, and an Education Chair in each county and city. For several years, Maryland was particularly blessed to have Ms. Natalie Woodson as our State Conference Education Chair until her recent passing. As President of the Worcester County Branch NAACP, I was blessed to have a close working partnership with this remarkable leader and respected professional.

Ms. Woodson continued to devote her last days to resolving the ironies currently plaguing public education: the failure of the institution African Americans have trusted so deeply to deliver results for their children; the fact that our ancestors acquired reading skills despite the most serious deprivations and brutal punishments, yet a multitude of excuses are offered today to explain why schools fail to teach literacy and math skills to their descendants. The NAACP is faced with an irony, too: how to advocate rigorous and immediate high quality education without simultaneously harming the immediate victims of its failure.

Ms. Woodson found an eager partner in helping to resolve these dilemmas in the Maryland State Department of Education. The Department’s and the State Superintendent’s openness to collaboration, counsel, and even to criticism has been unlike the position of some other states. In fact, Maryland was one of the first states to agree to cooperate fully with the NAACP’s education survey.

At Dr. Grasmick’s invitation, Ms. Woodson became an active member of the Achievement Initiative for Maryland Minority Students (AIMMS) Steering Committee, an advisory body to the State Superintendent on eliminating the achievement gaps between all students and high academic standards. Ms. Woodson annually compiled an NAACP report card based upon data from AIMMS and the Department. Her report card, reflecting the urgency we feel for rectifying the situation, had a shorter timeline and higher measures of progress than the national law, No Child Left Behind. Thus, the grades given school systems by her assessment of progress continuously goaded the MSDE to treat gradualism in improving underachievement as an odious necessity at best.

This kind of collaboration and sustained advocacy was possible only because a willing agency and an outstanding leader were open to working consistently with us and were somewhat insulated from the shifting priorities and personalities of the political arena. Through a strong policymaking Board, Maryland has been able to harness the frequently competing interest of key stakeholders in education and move resolutely towards high standards and high quality instruction for every student.

I, therefore, would be opposed to any proposed legislation to alter the current form of governance of education in Maryland to a more politically dependent one. Too often, what is best for children can become the lowest item on political agendas. This in not the case in Maryland, thanks to the leadership of a committed State Board and an outstanding State Superintendent.

Edward S. Lee

Snow Hill

(The writer is the president of NAACP Worcester County branch.)

Appreciation Expressed

Editor:

I would like to thank Mitch Scott for being such an upstanding person. In the last eight years that I have known you, you have always gone out of your way to be kind, decent and overwhelmingly helpful to me. I have never met a person who is so giving and caring as you are.

What you do for the community is overwhelming and unmatched. You have helped so many people who at the time could not help themselves and I am sure they think of you often. Everyone should take a page from your book and look around to see what they can do for others in our community.

I especially want to thank you for watching over me and my friends at my bachelorette party in December. You truly went out of your way to be sure we all got home safely and I can’t thank you enough for your help. The wonderful thing about you is that you would have done the same thing for anyone else, even if you had never met them before.

I truly hope you know that you are appreciated and thought highly of by so very many people. My best wishes to you and may it all come full circle back to you.

Michele Burke

Here’s To Helping Pets

Editor:

It hardly seems as though 20 years have passed since so many animal carers have tended stray cats, possums, raccoons, foxes, small birdlife, and even a trio of vultures right here in Ocean City. Pretty much behind Ocean Plaza Mall, on both Town and DNR land. But, alas, all things end, and we all know that.

Many locals, and visitors, will remember the animal feeding area at the end of 99th Street and the Bay. As well as all the kitties and cats dropped off by so many undeclared owners. At one time, in the mid-80s, there were at least 25 stray cats, who were attended to and spayed or neutered, all pro bono and with town help. And released back into the forested area at the end of 99th St. on the bay and close-by wetlands. We even had shelters built for them long, long ago and some still remain. Fallen trees in storms past now inhibit movement by us humans in these areas. At the present time we have but one gray adult male cat remaining and are taking measures to find him a home. His mate died only recently.

One cannot thank enough all those who came by with all kinds of animal food and assistance over so many years. Some names are even forgotten. Perhaps they had in their very souls the love of animals that Thoreau had. To them all, the long, and the short, and the tall, those of us who remain thank them wholeheartedly. And the litters of kittens often dropped off surreptitiously under the dumpster have found homes with caring OC residents.

But, alas, all ends. On or about May 1, our activity at the sanctuary will end. The last two animal carers wanted to be sure all the folks in Ocean City were so advised. Like all moves of this type, it is done with sadness, yet reality. And who can ever forget the endless service of our very own Nancy Donaldson, who was always there no matter what. We do thank so many others who did their very, very best to help our ferals and will animals over the past two decades.

Ray Sawyer

Ocean City

Grateful For Help

Editor:

As the Caring for America Chair for the Republican Women of Worcester County (RWWC), I would like to thank the community for its support of our “Valentines for Veterans Program”.

For the eighth year, RWWC has not only been able to ship valentines to veterans at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home and Perry Point VA Medical Center but also to the Baltimore Extended Care Center (BRAC), and the Baltimore VA Medical Center.

Again, we thank Linda Dearing for paying for the shipping and the staff at Copy Center (Ocean Pines) for packing and shipping. Thanks goes to Marlene Ott and Re/Max for making their office a convenient drop off location.

Of course, the children are the stars with their wonderful homemade valentines and we appreciate the teachers and club leaders who encouraged their efforts so that they may understand how important our veterans are to this country.

The list of contributors includes the Worcester public and private schools, Little Lambs Day Care, Wicomico Day School, Girl Scout Troop #395, Worcester Developmental Center, RWWC members, and very caring citizens.

Over 1,100 valentines were collected along with numerous kiddy/youth type. We thank everyone who made a donation and, hopefully, it will bring a smile to a much deserving veteran.

Lou Etta McClaflin

Berlin

Cookie Campaign Begins

Editor:

For nearly 100 years, Girl Scout Cookies have been a hallmark of American life, bringing joy to cookie lovers across the nation, and funding for countless Girl Scouting programs and service projects. Millions enjoy Girl Scout cookies every year with their families and friends.

Unfortunately, tens of thousands of soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan are not home to enjoy this Girl Scout pastime with their loved ones. Therefore, the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council have pledged to bring the cookies to them, through Operation Taste of Home. But to do that, the Girl Scouts need your help!

Operation Taste of Home is an opportunity for Americans to make a positive difference in their communities and abroad by donating boxes of Girl Scout cookies to soldiers overseas. Since 2003, Operation Taste of Home has provided over 130,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies to Armed Forces through the USO at Dover Air Force Base.

Girl Scouts to continue their support of the U.S. Armed Forces, we need your help! Please consider making a monetary contribution to Operation Taste of Home. Girl Scouts will use your organization’s generous donation to purchase cookies for our brave men and women in uniform. Please call 1-800-YUM-YUM2 to make a contribution today, or mail your contribution by Feb. 29 to Girl Scouts, 911 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury, Md. 21804. Please make checks payable to CBGSC.

You can also show your support by placing the provided poster on your organization’s community bulletin board or front window to help raise awareness of Operation Taste of Home.

Cookies can be purchased for $3.50 per box and designated as an Armed Forces donation. This contribution is tax deductible. The USO will deliver the cookies directly to service men and women overseas. Donations benefit local Girl Scouts as well, by helping fund troop/group activities, programs and service projects that help girls build courage, confidence and character.

With your help, the Girl Scouts can make a difference and bring our soldiers a Taste of Home.

Thank you for your generosity.

Michelle Passwaters

(The writer is the director of Product Sales for the Girls Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council.)

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