Voices From The Readers

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Use Eminent Domain On Ocean City Eyesore

Editor:

I love Ocean City and would live nowhere else after moving our family here 10 years ago. Sadly, if there has been one constant for most of the time we have lived here full time that has not been pleasant, it has been the eyesore that is the 94th Street mall property.

This multi-block monstrosity between 94th and 99th streets has been empty for close to a decade and the two anchoring stores are for the most part underutilized nine months of each year. I hate to visualize what sort of condition the unoccupied interior is in and how much vermin has taken up residence. Additionally, although property taxes may be being collected on this dump, each year untold revenue is being lost for the lack of productive utilization of this space, not to mention many lost retail jobs.

A few years back, the Supreme Court determined that in certain instances, eminent domain could be exercised for private development of property should the outcome be of extreme economic benefit to the community. I believe that a discussion is long overdue as to whether the near deserted mall at 94th Street should be condemned and torn down for reasons of public aesthetics and safety or taken by eminent domain with fair compensation so as to be redeveloped into a better, revenue enhancing property.

Robert Kimmel

Ocean City

Lawmakers Delayed Too

Long On Offender Laws

Editor:

The tragic death of Sarah Haley Foxwell reveals the sad fact that within our society are criminals whose crimes are so cruel and evil that their offenses must only be met with mandatory minimum sentences. The man who abducted young Sarah is a repeat sex offender who freely walked out streets even though he was a convicted child sex offender in Maryland and also convicted and classified as high risk for sex offenses in Delaware.

After some unnecessary delay, in 2006 and 2007 steps were taken in Maryland to strengthen sentencing guidelines and reduce judicial discretion. However, there is still work to do. We need to deal with past convicts who are now free and also strengthen current laws for future sentences.

– For child sexual predators, there must be no good time credits, no parole and no early release. Mandatory 25 years must mean 25 years served. When an innocent life is taken, the death penalty must not be considered the first stage of a lengthy appeal process.

– Classification and communication between states must be precise and uniform. A high-risk predator in Delaware is high risk everywhere, and it needs to be known to the world.

– The Sex Offender Registry needs to be widely published, comprehensive and easily accessible in multiple formats for parents, guardians, teachers, etc. There must be no right to privacy for child sexual predators.

The delays in strengthening our laws in 2006 (Regular Session H.B. 1401) were unacceptable and were “politics as usual.” When it was more politically convenient, the new laws passed and then only because incumbent legislators could not stand the heat directed at them by irate constituents. Grandstanding for political points should not be tolerated this time.

Michael James

(The writer was a candidate for the House of Delegates in 2006 and plans to run for a General Assembly seat in 2010.)

Corruption Exposed

Editor:

Well, what do you folks think of the fact that the radicals who are running this country actually bought the votes of Democrat Senators and Congressman using your tax money.  It was no different than if you said to a State Trooper “how ‘bout you forget about giving me a speeding ticket and you can have this $50 bill”.  Yes, in the world outside of Washington D.C. it’s called a bribe.

And when a corrupt government tries to sell the American people a boondoggle that it doesn’t want by writing a health care bill behind closed doors and trying to rush it through before anyone has time to read it, it’s called a lie . . . just another lie in what has become a party – and an administration – of lies.

Even the local die hard partisan supporters of this administration, those folks who are writing letters to the editor trying to convince you that being a ward of the state is a good thing, have to resort to lies to defend their position, and their lies are usually coupled with incivility and the personal attack of those who they disagree with, including their latest target, the Worcester County chapter of the non-partisan political activist Americans for Prosperity (next meeting Thursday Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ocean Pines Community Center).

Sadly, I see it more increasingly in the letters to the editor section, as those whose allegiance to their political ideology is stronger than their allegiance to their community, resort to nastiness while they explain why your health care – - including medicare – - should be dismantled and/or taxed out of existence; they try to convince you that you won’t be paying a lot more money to get a lot less care, they try to convince you that it is a good thing that government will become the bureaucratic middle man between you and your doctor.

Those partisan letter writers remind me of the character in “Pinocchio” who talked the puppet-turned-boy into lying, drinking and smoking cigarettes by telling him “trust me I know what’s good for you.”

Maybe those partisan folks could use a conscience – where is Jiminy Crickett when we need him?

Janet Rohe

Ocean City

Change The Laws Now

Editor:

It was noted in the Washington Post on Sunday that Sarah Foxwell’s funeral on Saturday, Jan. 2 drew 1,600 mourners. Surely that outpouring had to be of some comfort to the Foxwell family. 

Now it’s incumbent upon all of Maryland’s elected officials to provide further comfort by not just reviewing the existing laws with regard to sex offenders, but to change those laws and make them tougher than they currently seem to be. 

I applaud Delegate Mathias for his quick response and effort to review and educate himself on how the law reads at this moment, but time spent comparing it to laws in other states is time wasted. 

Sarah Foxwell wasn’t abducted and murdered in New York or Kansas or California. Her life ended way too soon and too violently in Maryland.  It is my hope that residents in all 23 counties contact their elected representatives and call for stricter penalties, closer monitoring of these offenders and ensure that "slipping through the cracks" is eliminated.  It’s time for Maryland to protect its children’s civil rights and liberties and to take those rights and liberties away from anyone known to prey on our most defenseless citizens.

Gail Schuler

Ocean City

It’s Time To Unit

Editor:

I can’t convey strongly enough how privileged I feel to be in the company of adamant patriots when attending tea party rallies across the country. People like Robert Brenner, “the Colonel” whose letter was published in your paper last week. From the Battle of the Bulge to Korea, he’s defended our freedoms with his life. There’s something to be said for patriots like him, that have been through hell and back many times and survived. When our country called, he was there every time without reservation. He has offered to take a bullet for us many times over.

When our local group of Americans for Prosperity met in December, it was a lively and spirited discussion. Robert Brenner was there as always, dedicated to preserving our Liberty and Freedom. I’m honored to be in his company and accept his very gracious compliments on behalf of all of that were there. A room full of patriots, banded together to discuss the future of our state and country. In the last year, “We The People” have decided to take a very active role in local, state and national government. According to our country’s Constitution, we are the government and vote to elect people that will govern responsibly and in our best interests.

It’s obvious that the majority of elected officials in all strata of government have become self serving arrogant bureaucrats that only serve special interests and their personal agendas. We’re here to let them know, it’s time they packed their bags. Our trust in them has vanished, they make promises they never intend on keeping. They push legislation through against the will of the majority to further their agendas, we will no longer let that transpire.

As we move forward, this country will see that this tea party movement isn’t a passing fad. We are growing in numbers daily, we are in the tens of millions. Next week on Jan. 13, we’re paying a visit to the State Capitol. Call us the welcoming committee for our legislators when they begin their new session for 2010. Americans for Prosperity is not just a local band of disgruntled citizens. We are national, organized, strong and determined to make necessary changes in our leadership by educating and encouraging people to use their most powerful weapon. Their vote. We are one of many organizations across the country that have decided, enough is enough.

I among many have pledged our lives, our fortunes and sacred honor to protect and defend the US Constitution. We mean it with every fiber of our beings, there will be no getting tired. We will never stand down. No matter how much we’re ignored, we’ll be getting louder and stronger every day. There will come a time when all of us have to take a stand. I hope you’re with me and Robert Brenner and all the other folks that have already decided. Any other decision would be respectfully, a losing endeavor. We’re meeting again Jan. 28, 2010 in Ocean Pines, it will be another productive evening.

Tom Cook

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