Thoughts From The Publishers Desk

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The old Ocean Plaza Mall site’s future remains uncertain, as it has for the last five years or so, but at least one of its tenants, Susquehanna Bank, is making a move. The bank is relocating from its current site to the old fast-food restaurant on the highway near 94th Street in Ocean City. The plan is to demolish the existing building and construct a modern facility and improve the grounds to make it have some curb appeal. This is the best news to happen to this site in years. It’s actually the only news. There has not been much happening on this property. The last official word on the site was a plan to build numerous independent condominium buildings on the property and to mix in commercial components featuring the two main tenants, Superfresh and Rose’s. That plan has been dumped, of course, as a result of the disturbing real estate market swing, and I hear the latest plan being circulated includes a large-scale hotel project featuring commercial units on the ground-floor and a stand-alone shopping complex similar to what’s currently a success in West Ocean City. My sources say the anchor stores would be Superfresh and Rose’s, and there’s no indication on whether the other merchants sought to fill the vacancies would be national retail companies or set aside for local opportunities. All that being said, it does not appear any major work is eminent, as a project has yet to come before the Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission, and there’s no indication it will be anytime soon.

There’s no greater heartache in this world than when tragedy strikes the young. Such was the case when a 19-year-old was allegedly killed by a group of similar-aged men in the quiet Berlin neighborhood of Decatur Farms. The details only increase the pain for the families involved. The fact is the young are not supposed to die before the old, but it happens all too often. Its frequency may be high, but that does not make it any easier to swallow. The specifics are slowly starting to emerge, shedding light on what led to one man swinging a baseball bat at another man’s head and killing him. The reckless brutality is shocking. This is an ugly situation and my thoughts go out to all the families involved in this graduation night nightmare.

Delegate Jim Mathias delivered the keynote address at Worcester Preparatory School’s graduation a couple weeks ago. Mathias gave a memorable speech, praising the graduating class and wishing them luck in the future. Mathias’ emotion was evident as he spoke about this year’s graduates. It’s understandable because one of the students sitting on stage a few feet from him was his son, Trevor, who will be attending the University of Maryland in the fall.

As is customary for the resort’s top ranking official, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan took part in the local Ravens Roost parade last Saturday. Meehan, a diehard Cleveland Browns fan, made his way through the parade route perched on the back of a donated vehicle. What made it unusual was the fact he was sporting a purple Ravens jersey. It was interesting, and a little bit funny, to see Meehan participating in a parade devoted to the Browns’ AFC North rival and a franchise that was once based in Cleveland before the owner broke the city’s heart and moved it to Baltimore. Nonetheless, Meehan took a bite out of the proverbial bullet and took one for the team, even donning a Ravens jersey. For the record, it was Matt Stover’s No. 3 jersey, the only current Raven who also played as a Cleveland Brown.

It’s going to feel like summer this weekend, with daytime temperatures expected to soar near the 90-degre mark and the three H’s of summer – hazy, hot and humid – assured to dominate. Of course, summer has not even officially started, but you won’t know it by the air temperature on Saturday and Sunday. That’s good news for Ocean City as well as for the ocean temperature, which is still in the low- to mid-60s.

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