Voices From The Readers

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OCPD Saga Continues                 

Editor:

And the saga of Ocean City Police Department continues … yet another court case resulting from the actions of Chief DiPino.

I commend you for reporting on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs. Mayor and City Council of Ocean City case, which was a front page article in last week’s paper, however, I feel the citizens and taxpayers of the community yet again were slighted and not completely informed as they are entitled.

The suit was resolved and the decree states, “The Commission and defendant desire to resolve this action without the time and expense of continued litigation…” which sounds appealing and appeasing, however, no consideration or mention of the time and monies spent up to the actual entry of the decree was reported.

I have heard the Town of Ocean City’s expenses incurred relating to this case alone have been in the neighborhood of $400,000, and that doesn’t include expenses relating to the actions mandated within the decree. I am certain the citizens and taxpayers would be alarmed to know their tax money is wasted in such a frivolous manner, and they deserve not only to be informed, but to have a government accountable for managing their funds.

Your article was a good start but needs to be continued, for the sake of your readers and the community. Thanking you for your time and attention to this matter.

Kathy S. Kelchner

Bishopville

County Is Failing Local Black Students

Editor:

More than 30 percent of black students will not graduate from high school next year. The “NAACP Worcester County 2007 School Report Card”, issued last month, reveals that over 30 percent of the African-American students, currently in the 11th grade, are not slated to graduate next year because of their failure to score satisfactory grades on their High School Assessment (HSA) tests. The County Commissioners have failed to fund proven programs recommended by: professional education research and experts, the superintendent of schools, the Board of Education and the NAACP to help these students.

The Board of Education again this year has requested, in its FY 08/09 operating budget to the County Commissioners, funding for ombudsman positions for Snow Hill and Berlin schools. Also the board, again, has asked for $21,000 to fund the Big Brother-Big Sister mentoring program. In addition, the board seeks funding for State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Grasmick’s, unfunded mandate for the Bridges to Excellence Program for students that need support with the HSA test to obtain their high school diploma. Beginning in 2009, all public school students must successfully pass the HSA test. in order to graduate.

The County Commissioners hold the key to the success of our black children and other under-achieving students. In a recent e-mail to the NAACP, Commissioner Virgil Shockley stated that there is a “…limited amount of money for this year’s coming budget” and that “…leaves little room for anything new.”

The NAACP replied and put the following questions to the commissioners: In this current state of emergency, we raise the following questions that pertain to taxpayer dollars. Are not our black children, and other under achieving children, in the Worcester County School System worthy of the “limited amount of money” that is available? Is there a higher priority? If there is only a “…little room for anything new”, shouldn’t the primary concern for you and the commissioners be to support our children in graduating? What other considerations are there, on the table, which could possibly, take precedence over proven demonstration projects to ensure that our black students graduate?

Many parents and clergy have told us that they were unaware of the crises and have asked, “what can they do”? The commissioners will meet on May 21 and 22 to begin striking a budget, making their final decisions as to what does or does not get funded in this years FY 08/09 budget. You can contact your commissioner and let him/her know that you want them to fund the line item stated above. You can contact your Commissioner by calling 410-633-1194 or contact your local school and speak with the principal.

Edward S. Lee

Snow Hill

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

Support Appreciated

Editor:

 I am writing on behalf of the members of the Appalachia Service Project Youth Mission Team at Community Church. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Carrabba’s Italian Grill, to area businesses, and to the community for their support of our recent fundraising dinner.

Everyone was extremely generous toward this project and helped us raise funds for our trip to Kentucky in June. Seventeen youth and 21 adults will be traveling to Magoffin County, Ky. to spend a week repairing and rebuilding homes in that area of Appalachia. Our goal is to make homes warmer, drier, and safer and to be representatives of God’s love to that part of our country.

Thank you to everyone who helped us with a successful fundraising activity.

Louise Lassiter

Berlin

(The writer is a member of the Appalachia Service Project Youth Mission Team.)

Festival A Success

Editor:

The Downtown Association of Ocean City was proud to present the 4th Annual White Marlin Festival and Crab Soup Cook-Off. This event, sponsored in part by Phillips Restaurants and Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill, was held Saturday, May 10 on Somerset Plaza in downtown Ocean City.

The winners of the 2008 Cream of Crab Soup Cook-off were: first place, Eagle’s Landing; second place, Marlin Moon Grill; and third place, Marina Deck O.C.

Winners of the 2008 Maryland Crab Cook-off were: first place, Crab N Cruz of Ocean Pines; second place, Hall’s Family Restaurant; and third place, The Vineyard in the Pines.

Prizes were awarded consisting of engraved plaques from Salisbury Pewter. Congratulations to all the winners.

We are most appreciative of all the chefs who turned out with their special crab soups. They were Crab N Cruz, Connor’s Beach Cafe, Hall’s Family Restaurant, Marina Deck O.C., Marlin Moon Grille, Phillips Crab House, The Vineyard, Eagle’s LAnding, Windows on the Bay and Blue Ox. Thank you and we hope to see you next year.

The success of this event was due to many business and individuals who have supported the Downtown Association in the past and continue to do so. Glenn Irwin of the Ocean City Development Corporation, the Purnell Family of the Atlantic Hotel, Ed Potetz and Mandy Miller of the Worcester County Health Dept., Benet McCormick of Harley Davidson and her staff, Stan Kolb of Atlantis Gallery and the Somerset Merchants Association. Thanks to all the members of the Downtown Association who worked so hard to make this successful.

Thank you to Mike Brady who provided the music and our clown and face painter Tiffany Lowry and Danelle Amos. The children loved you.

Last we would like to thank the Mayor and City Council of the town as well as Bruce Gibbs and his department who worked with us to make Somerset Plaza a special place to hold our event. We hope to see you next year.

Tom Allen

Ocean City

(The writer is the president of the Downtown Association.)

A Marketing Message

Editor:

The best news this summer is Ocean City is very affordable. Ocean City is a fabulous vacation destination, but “affordability” is the mind image that will make Ocean City attractive to families this summer.

The $10.99 all-you-can-eat Paul Revere Smorgasbord on Boardwalk and 2nd Street is a real bargain. That’s really cheap. How about the big list of motels and hotels with $100 and under room rates?

A trip to Ocean City, in fact, several trips are well within the budget of many families. There is a big Wal-Mart on Route 50 coming into Ocean City where families can stock up for cheap. The beach and ocean are spacious, beautiful and free to enjoy. Jumping in the ocean, well, that’s what Ocean City, Md. is all about.

Yes, the big message is Ocean City, Md. is very affordable. Add to this idea that you can get free gas now at some motels and hotels (one gallon of free gas for each night’s stay. That means for five nights’ stay, about $20 credit towards free gas. That gives most families the equivalent of free travel cost to Ocean City.

The point is, let’s get this information out because when people come to town they will tend to spend more because they are here. They may be attracted to a list of the hotels and motels offering $100 or less a night rooms or they might decide for a higher rate somewhere else; the idea is to get them here. P.T. Barnum once said “the biggest job is getting them into the tent, the rest is easy”. Our biggest job is getting them to Ocean City, when they are here everything is here for them to enjoy.

There is a great beach, sunshine and all the free fun things that make Ocean City, ”Ocean City” and all of this is very affordable and it’s a great, fun place for everyone to be.

Forget all the economic “crap” in the newspapers. Ocean City is still the same down to earth, “family town” where everyone can have a great time. It’s time to come and enjoy Ocean City, the feel good place.

Joe Kroart

Ocean City

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