Thoughts From The Publishers Desk

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I did not believe it until it arrived. For months, talk of rebate checks from the federal government for Americans filing a 2007 tax return has ensued, but the cynic in me refused to believe the money would ever arrive. However, there was $1,200 deposited into my account two weeks ago. The fed views the rebates as a potential way to kick start a sagging economy with more consumer spending. It has been suggested by the fed that taxpayers use the funds to pay down credit card debt and other bills or use it to buy home appliances or other necessary things for your biggest investment. The options are endless. Some family in Pennsylvania may use the money to come to Ocean City. That would be great. It seems the only option the fed does not want is for you to save it. Therefore, my initial thought was to save or invest the $1,200. That way I would not be doing what the government wants and that makes me feel good. Instead, I did exactly what the government wanted and used the money on a home-improvement project. Whether it’s true or not, it does feel like bonus money and I took the bait.

Memorial Day weekend is here, albeit early or maybe it just feels that way. The holiday does not signify what it once did – the start of the summer season. That will not come for another couple weeks and an argument could be made the peak season does not begin these days until Fourth of July weekend. If you ignore the optimistic types and the pessimistic souls and think rationally about it, there’s little reason to think this summer season will be one to remember from a tourism standpoint. However, perhaps that’s a good way to approach this season. Modest expectations could lead to a mild surprise. The huge unknown for Ocean City this summer will be the weather. In any year, the weather makes or breaks many local businesses. That will be the case more so than ever this year.

I was in New York City recently and, of course, took the subway and the irony got me. For years, subway cars have served as a cheap source of transportation for millions of New Yorkers. Last Friday 44 retired subway cars were dunked offshore, creating an artificial fishing reef. The cars will serve as a feeding ground for fish and other habitat, extending their usefulness for eternity. Is there any better example of recycling? These cars that were so instrumental in getting so many folks from one point to another in the Big Apple will soon become a valuable resource for all types of aquatic habitat.

Neil Young is one of my favorite musicians of all time. As a result of his long and successful career, he has a lot of things named after him including a street in his hometown in Winnipeg, Canada. It seems a biologist at East Carolina University also has a fondness for the rock icon. Researcher Jason Bond has discovered a new species of spider and named it ‘Neil Young.’ That’s something the musician would love.

According to the Social Security Administration, the top baby names in 2007 were once again Emily and Jacob. It’s 12 years in a row for Emily and nine for Jacob. For girls, the top 10 in order after Emily were Isabella, Emma, Ava, Madison, Sophia, Olivia, Abigail, Hannah and Elizabeth. After Jacob, the top boys names were Michael, Ethan, Joshua, Daniel, Christopher, Anthony, William, Matthew and Andrew.

The fate of the penny is currently being debated, particularly with the high cost to produce it. The AP recently reported it takes 1.26 cents to fabricate a single penny, which is made of 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper. Consequently, the House of Representatives voted last week to replace the copper with steel, which lowers the price to make Abe Lincoln’s coin to .70 cents. The Senate has to approve the measure before it becomes reality.

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