Voices From The Readers

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Shame On Senate For Letting Bill Die

Editor:

Many members of the local service clubs worked long and hard for the inclusion of Worcester County in the state law that has allowed five slot machines in the service clubs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This law has been in effect for the past 21 years and has functioned without any kind of incident since it’s inception. In 2006, the 49 clubs on the shore gave over 50 percent of the income (which is the minimum by law) to their local communities the sum of $3.6 million dollars.

Delegates Norman Conway and Jim Mathias introduced HB1008 to include the Worcester County service clubs into the existing law. The Mayor and City Council of Ocean City voted in favor of this bill with a 6-1 vote (Nancy Howard objecting). The Worcester County Commissioners voted 7-0 to endorse this bill. A House Ways and Means Committee had a hearing in Annapolis on March 19. Delegate Mathias testified, members of The Ocean City Elks and American Legion testified, Virgil Shockley, president of the Worcester County Commissioners testified and Delegate Conway left a meeting he was chairing to appear and testify. All testified in favor of the passage of the bill.

The bill got held up in the committee but finally got to the House floor and was passed by the House 130-4 and then it moved to the Senate floor. The bill failed on the last day of the session and our Senator Lowell Stoltzfus stated in the newspapers that it failed because Senate President Mike Miller was upset with Delegate Mathias. During all of that time, there was numerous emails, faxes, telephone calls to the Worcester County delegation. Not once did Senator Stoltzfus nor a member of his staff have the common courtesy to reply to any of the correspondence. Senator Stoltzfus did not introduce a cross bill in the Senate, nor did he testify on the Senate floor in favor of the bill. Had he done so, the bill would have been passed.

Delegates Mathias and Conway and their staff worked long and hard for the passage of this bill. Not once did they have the support of Senator Stoltzfus and then he had the audacity to quote in the newspapers that the bill failed because Mike Miller was upset with Jim Mathias.

Shame on you Senator Lowell Stoltzfus. This bill failed on account of your non-effort. Now the charitable needs of our communities are doing without because of you.

Thank you very much Jim and Norman, for your outstanding effort. May God Bless you both.

Jim Flaig

Ocean City

(The writer is the treasurer of Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645,)

Thanks For Honesty

Editor:

In my recent visit to Ocean City for the cheerleaders competition, I ate at Nick’s House of Ribs (food was excellent). When I got home to Pennsylvania three days later, there was a message on my phone telling me they had found my checkbook. I did not know that I had lost it. I just want to thank them and the person who found it for being so honest. There are some good and honest people out there. Thanks to all.

Betty Rowe

Greencastle, Pa.

Editor:

As Co-chairs of this year’s spring fundraiser kickoff for the Walk to DeFeet ALS, we would like to thank all those who came out to support the cause on Saturday April 12. By all accounts, attendees had a great time and in the process raised nearly $10,000 to fight ALS. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is an incurable and fatal disease.

Thank you Kirk Burbage, owner of Merry Sherwood Plantation, who once again donated the use of this historic mansion for the fundraiser.

Thanks should also go to the hundreds of businesses and private individuals, too numerous to mention here, who donated items and services for the auction, as well as Delegate James Mathias who served as our guest auctioneer. Without their help, we couldn’t have had such a successful event.

Additional thanks go to our volunteers Anita McLaughlin, Andy and Kelly McLaughlin, Fred Heinlin, Sid Warner, Theresa LaViola and Audrey Pasquale. Thank you so much for all of your hard work.

Most importantly we want to recognize Nancy Sterling, who though bravely battling ALS graced us with her extraordinary presence at the event. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.

We are so proud of the members of this community who are helping in the fight against this deadly disease. Thank you all so much. And please remember to support this year’s Walk to Defeat ALS on Oct. 4 in Ocean Pines.

Anita and Joel Todd

Berlin

Social Security Woes Not About ‘Going Broke’

Editor:

It’s getting to be like Groundhog Day. Each year, the annual "Trustees’ Report" gives us a bleak forecast for Social Security. The problem that will affect young adults actually has nothing to do with the program "going broke". Trust Fund balances are merely the indicators of the real problem of birth rates. Two "models" will demonstrate this.

The first model contains familiar facts with an unexpected significance. When women have a life-time average of two children, each subsequent generation is the same size. For Social Security purposes, a "population replacement" birth rate means one retired generation with two working generations, and that’s an impractical tax base of only two workers for each "beneficiary".

Contrary to common belief, an individual’s benefits are not based on the taxes paid on that person’s "covered" (F.I.C.A.) earnings. But, the individual’s generation, as a group, is represented by the second model. A generation retires and receives a monthly benefit of 40 percent of its "real" (inflation adjusted) covered earnings. The benefits continue for 20 years as an average for the generation. The costs of benefits are paid by simultaneous 20 percent taxes on the covered earnings of two younger generations, each of which retires after working for 40 years. In the long-run, a "pay-as-you-go" program with a population replacement birth rate necessarily balances "income and outgo", and that means a generation’s benefits, as a group, are merely an inflation-adjusted refund of taxes (Elpram’s Axiom).

The effects of these models will not be obvious to the public until around 2040, and that means wasted years for young adults who don’t start preparing today.

Jack Hartman

Ocean City

Volunteers Valued

Editor:

I received a copy of your April 4 issue from a friend. The coverage of the Boardwalk fire on March 30 was great. Such a tragedy, yet it showed the cooperation of how surrounding volunteer fire companies and their volunteer firemen can come across by helping one another.

Now can Ocean City recognize how important volunteer firemen are. Their equipment, the firemen, the response.

Stop this bickering and let them go as is. The volunteering, the fundraising for equipment, uniforms, fire trucks and so forth. The volunteers have done a good job over the years so let them continue as is. The compliments and the praise that people presented was well deserved.

Arthur “Otts” Trabert

Salisbury

Comptroller Seeks Anti-Slots Support

Editor:

(The following letter was addressed to Marylanders.)

Earlier today, I was proud to join with a bipartisan coalition of community activists, faith leaders, business people and labor union members to help launch Marylanders United to Stop Slots: www.marylandersunited.com, a grassroots effort to stop the national gambling industry from amending our constitution and flooding our state with slot machines.

Slot machine gambling will not fix our economic problems in Maryland, they will only add to them. Slots destroy families through addiction, bankruptcies and crime, and leave governments scrambling to cover their enormous social costs by any means necessary. They drive small businesses out of existence and leave Main Streets boarded-up shells of what they once were.

Working families in Maryland are already feeling anxious about their personal finances, concerned about making their next mortgage payment, or losing their home altogether. And now, they’re faced with yet another tax hike, a regressive levy known as slot machine gambling.

Maryland we can do better, and I need your help. Please join our campaign by visiting: www.marylandersunited.com.

This campaign is about the future direction of our great state. It is about whether we will go down the slippery slope of more gambling or whether we will grow our economy by investing in life and health sciences, information and bio-technology.

This campaign is about ordinary Marylanders doing extraordinary things…embracing change and rejecting the status quo, which for far too long has held us back and offered up false choices about our future.

I have always valued your support, and hope that I can count on you to help again by joining Marylanders United to Stop Slots by visiting www.marylandersunited.com.

Together, we can make a difference.

Peter Franchot

Annapolis

(The writer is the State Comptroller.)

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