Voices From The Readers

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It’s Pure Extortion

Editor:

Current cab owners have built the taxi business into a successful industry. We put into this industry our blood, sweat and tears. We have put many long hours and have attended many meetings improving the system. We have done such a fine job and cleaned up the system and have made such great strides that the taxi industry has become a very successful commodity that it is now being extorted legally by the Ocean City Mayor and city Council.

Us current owners, and every other business owner, resident and visitor, deserve better that this from our elected officials.

Ever seen the movie Roadhouse? That is being done to us.

The mafia did it to thousands of people and the government put a stop to it.

Now under the term franchise, the government of Ocean City is doing it legally to the cab owners.

Extortion, as defined by Webster’s is a gross overcharge.

One thousand plus percent, with less than 60 days notice, is a gross overcharge.

Which industry is next?

Christy Freeman

Ocean City

Medallions A Money Grab

Editor:

The Ocean City Council should be ashamed. In typical government fashion, in search of more of our money, they have zeroed in on the cab companies.

Medallions? Such a fancy word. Why not just call it another fee or tax or license? That’s what it is. Licenses are already issued and paid for; controlling their number would serve the same purpose as issuing medallions.

These companies are struggling to provide a service to Ocean City. They fight weather, traffic, unruly customers and their own competition. The council should be making it easier for these guys to work and to support their families.

To make thing worse, the council will “allow” the companies to charge higher rates to their customers. This is not helpful, it is outrageous.

Medallions, my left foot, this is just a money grab, plain and simple.

Debbi Elliott

Berlin

Microbrewery Support

Editor:

The possibility of a microbrewery coming to Berlin is exciting and would only compliment the town’s current businesses.

I only hope that the town council and the planning and zoning commission does not put this "possible catch" through the ringer as they did to Bill Herbst’s attempt with a LaHacienda.

Robin Yates
Ocean City

Appalled By Lawmaker

Editor:

The Feb. 4 Maryland General Assembly Hearings conducted by the Ways & Means Committee was an incredible performance of utter rudeness and arrogance. Although not surprised, at least 20 of us, both unacquainted rookie- and veteran-attendees, were unanimously dumbfounded by it. Needless to say, Chairwoman Sheila Hixson’s leadership was embarrassingly lacking.

We went to listen, learn and/or testify on HB92 (Job Creation and Tax Credit Bill), and HB204 (Property Tax Assessment & Appeals Task Force). The only ones apparently worthy of any respect were the "professionals", i.e. paid lobbyists and government staffers. Otherwise, during citizenry testimonies, many elected officials were either: inattentive, interrogating, condescending, mentally and physically wandering, snickering, ridiculing, and even noticeably and publicly preoccupied with Twitter (see proof from Montgomery County’s Delegate Bill Frick on www.americansforprosperity.com) and other laptop activities. Their message seemed to be “hurry up and shut up.”

The arrogance we witnessed in Annapolis is exactly why millions of citizens nationwide have had enough of the politicians in their local communities, state capitols, and Washington. Nov. 2, 2010 and recent elections will be the euphoric culmination of our campaigning and voting these jokers out of office. Until then, any amount of help to end this citizen mockery will be a tremendous contribution in helping to take our country back.

Maureen Harper

Cambridge

Kudos To Berlin

Editor:

The citizens of Berlin have suffered in the past with power outages, with a flawed electric situation, in all kinds of weather, but having solved the electric problem had no power outages during the blizzard of 2010.

It also did a great job in keeping the streets cleared. We live on a dead-end street that was plowed on a timely basis during each of the successive snowstorms. Kudos to the town and the tireless efforts of its maintenance staff to keep our town operating under the most of severe weather conditions.

Ned McIntosh

Berlin

Recognizing Heroes

Editor:

Once again, Maryland’s hospitals and caregivers have led the way … to shelter, to safety, to confidence that care will be there when people need it. That, of course, is the "norm" every day, 24 hours a day. But the recent historic and abnormally dangerous weather conditions made it evident to all that the real norm for hospitals is their special, caring people and their willingness to literally brave the storm to take care of their neighbors regardless of the risk.

At a time when the true meaning of the word "hero" has been diluted by being applied to everyone from sports stars to movie stars, let’s remember the real definition: "One that shows great courage."

That defines the doctors, nurses, technicians and so many others who sacrificed sleep, time at home and, in many cases risked their lives, to take care of patients. It defines the volunteers, like drivers of four-wheel-drive vehicles and snowplows, who risked their safety to get patients, nurses, doctors and other caregivers to their local hospitals and ensure that there was access when they got there. And it defines the hospital leaders who spent countless hours helping to make it all happen.

To all of Maryland’s health care heroes: We salute you and we are proud to represent you.

Carmela Coyle 

Gene M. Ransom III                  

Ed Suddath

(Coyle is president and CEO of Maryland Hospital Association; Ransom is chief executive officer of MedChi; and Suddath is the executive director of the Maryladn Nurses Association.)

Glove Drive A Success

Editor:

The Noel Community thanks everyone that donated gloves, hats, and socks during our eighth annual gLOVEs drive over the Valentine Day season.

Local food pantries, lower income day care facilities, and social service groups have already distributed the items collected. Together, we were able to warm the hearts and hands of our friends in need. We are especially grateful to St. Andrew’s and St. John Neumann’s Catholic churches and to the Worcester County Libraries in Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Berlin for hosting the collections. We appreciate everyone’s generosity again this year.

The Noel Community

Berlin

Officials Sipping Kool-Aid

Editor:

In Rep. Frank Kratovil’s recent press release, he boasts that he has introduced the “Earmark Performance and Accountability Act,” a bill requiring independent audits for earmark projects. Fat chance that Congress’ fairydust will bring that to the House floor for a vote.

A more appropriate title would be “Congress’ Underperforming Unaccountable and Arrogance Act.” It doesn’t take an audit to reveal Washington’s appetite for spending with a $14.5 trillion deficit and counting. Need we remind taxpayers that Kratovil requested $36 million in pork earmarks in the end-of-year spending bill. He talks out of both sides of his mouth and must think the people of the First District just fell off the turnip truck.

In case Kratovil has been locked behind one of the closed-door secret meetings, he may be unaware that taxpayers have sent a clear message to the pickpocket politicians of Washington via New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts: stop the spending, keep your hands off of our healthcare, and deport the illegal immigrants.

A suggestion for Kratovil. Focus on jobs, tax cuts for businesses and working Americans, and eliminating socialist programs that make people dependent upon the government. If he is serious about reforming pork earmarks, why hasn’t he introduced a bill to remove Speaker Pelosi’s “Pork’em Plane” and her multimillion dollar trips to San Francisco each week, funded by taxpayers? Mr. Kratovil, along with Baltimore City’s Babs Mikulski and their fellow porkers of Congress, should stop drinking the Progressive Kool-Aid and start working on something needed in November, their job resumes.

Bob Harper

Berlin

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