Wicomico County State’s Attorney Davis Ruark was arrested for allegedly driving drunk last weekend in Ocean City. This is a big deal as it was when the Ocean City cop was busted after a Fraternal Order of Police holiday party last year. It all goes back to those who enforce the law should also have to abide by it. That’s not too much to ask. When they are caught afoul of the very laws they are elected or appointed to enforce, they should either lose their job or face harsh consequences. A state’s attorney charged with driving while intoxicated in a taxpayer-owned vehicle with a handgun deserves the attention it has received. That being said, Ruark has handled the awkward and embarrassing situation well. A press conference was held the day after the incident and he subsequently announced a temporary leave of absence from his duties. Ruark will get a simple slap on the wrist when he his day in court comes up, but the damage sustained to his reputation by this error in judgment is far worse than any criminal punishment he will receive for the offense.
More headaches are coming local motorists’ way next week when the Route 50 Bridge is narrowed from four lanes to two through May including the weekends. The milling and resurfacing work will take place through the middle part of May on the westbound lanes of the span. That means the Route 50 Bridge will look more like the Route 90 Bridge as far as traffic is concerned with the two lanes entering Ocean City being used for eastbound and westbound travel. Although this was planned long ago, the posting of detour and construction signs along Route 50 as far west as Berlin had to surprise many on Tuesday. This restriction will undoubtedly be aggravating for motorists who frequently use the bridge. If traffic is not flowing well, particularly on the weekends, motorists are urged once again to utilize Route 90. I personally would rather drive miles out of my way than sit in a backup for an extended period of time. It doesn’t feel like such a frustrating waste of time that way.
Sammy Wilkinson’s name is living on in a big way through the Game On! Youth Sports initiative, which is providing sporting goods to underprivileged children in countries around the world. Those of you who participated in some way in any of the annual Jam For Sam events at Seacrets or played in the corresponding golf tournaments should feel especially proud because your donations are making a difference. It’s remarkable to learn how many children in this world are now kicking around soccer balls, for instance, thanks to the work of this movement. It’s unusual for local nonprofit events to have such a far-reaching impact, but there’s no question the people who support the local Sammy events are making a difference in the world in a small way. Perhaps the best news of all is the people in these other countries are extremely thankful. At the announcement for the start of the Game On! Youth Sports campaign in India this month, approximately 20,000 children and officials were on hand. At that event, Sammy’s father, Bob, a member of the local band “Opposite Directions,” took the stage and played the Dylan classic, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.” What an experience that surely must have been.
In other news, I am interested to see what the public thinks about the future of the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company. At our website, www.mdcoastdispatch.com, we ask a poll question on the topic that has dominated the news in recent weeks. Log on and let us know what you think the volunteers should do. We will post the results in the coming weeks.
The conservative nature of the area seemed to ring true in our most recent poll. More than 450 votes were cast in response to this question: what U.S. President do you want to see elected? The results were John McCain, 40 percent; Barack Obama, 22 percent; Hillary Clinton, 21 percent; Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, 7 percent apiece; and John Edwards, 3 percent.