Voices From The Readers

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Go Forward With No Drawbridge

Editor:

Ocean City has complained for years about the Route 50 drawbridge. The City Council, in reversing themselves on the 45-foot high bridge, shows the short sightedness in their recent vote.

The traffic problems will not get better with either of the drawbridge designs they now favor. Any time you are dealing with mechanical equipment, there will be breakdowns and wear and tear on these moving parts. Thus a stoppage of traffic into and out of Ocean City. On top of that, more people come to Ocean City every year.

Additionally, with the slots coming to Ocean Downs, even more traffic. Traffic congestion will drive them away. Even today, during the summer season, I will not go to West Ocean City on the weekends because of the traffic. I realize that some people and businesses will be displaced, but they will be compensated by the state. We as community can move forward or we can try to remain a quaint small seashore town. However, we are way past a small seashore town and couldn’t go back if we wanted to. I say we go forward.

Rodney Johnson

Ocean City

Not Buying Recycling Talk

Editor:

It really is hard to decide where to begin when it comes to responding to the statements from the bunch of retailers, Realtors and restaurateurs representing the business interests of this town who call themselves the Mayor and Council when it comes to their statements about recycling and the environment.

The entire country is wrong: otherwise no one would be separating his or her trash. Dick Malone would be teaching environmental science at a major university rather than “educating us.” Margaret Pillas will be having cathartic revelations about every issue now that she understands it all. Rick Meehan and Dennis Dare need to make us understand this “science” of renewable energy they have embraced. What a stretch, they say that the environment is a top priority for them, but we all know it all comes down to how many crab cakes and condos they peddle each summer.

A couple weeks back, I wrote about Covanta and pointed to a number of transgressions it has been found guilty of. The only response I received was a verbal assurance from Dick Malone that he looked into them and in his opinion they were minor. On what he bases this opinion contradicting various state environmental agencies and OSHA is beyond me, and I guess I don’t feel sufficiently educated to buy into his vision.

The bottom line in Ocean City is the bottom line. The reason for our town’s existence is to provide vacations and relaxation in a clean seaside environment to a great number of people and to provide a wonderful home to several thousand of us. The way that we decide to reconcile these two elements is going to be critical in moving forward.

Just as there does not need to be a schism between town and gown in a college community, a resort community can have the best of both worlds. Thoughtful expenditures and taxation for the purpose of improving our summer and off season community life will go a long way in helping to determine which programs are a benefit to our goals and which are not.

The benefits, both moral and educational of separating trash for recycling, have been proven and embraced time and time again. I wonder how many “All-America Cities” currently are abandoning recycling and how many will not have a curbside recycling program in place in the future.

Robert Kimmel

Ocean City

Memories Of Ehrlich

Editor:

Bumbling Bob Ehrlich has baited his book with a promise to repeal the sixth cent of the sales tax. But he’s got a lot more in store for us if we bring him back as Maryland’s governor.

Are you a student or prospective student in a state college or the parent of one? The last time Bob was governor, he raised tuition 45 percent, that’s 11 percent in each of his four years. He also appointed to the University of Maryland Board of Regents a man who publicly promised to double tuition.

Are you a minority person? Bob ranted on the radio that “multi-culturalism is crap.”

A worker? Bob vetoed a minimum wage raise and a bill making Wal-Mart give health benefits.

An environmentalist? Bob tried to sell parkland to one developer and give another state money for sprawl next to a wildlife refuge. Sprawl runoff would have polluted the refuge.

How about brain and bay damage? Bob wouldn’t let Maryland join a suit to cut mercury emissions.

Civil liberties? Bob let DNR police and Assembly security men play Gestapo. DNR police seized people’s property without due process – without warrant, hearing or appeal.

Political scumbaggery? One of Bob’s No. 2 men – whom he named the “Prince of Darkness” – purged 284 state workers simply for being Democrats. Bob’s campaign chief in 2006 was the same slimeball who had smeared Max Cleland out of the U.S. Senate.

Pay an electric bill? Bob was totally in bed with BG&E. He deliberately weakened both himself as governor and the Public Service Commission in coping with this corporate monster. Bob doesn’t mind BG&E’s attempt to make middle class people poor and poor people destitute.

Bumbling Bob is better that we’ve forgotten all this, that all we care about is avoiding taxes. Is he right? Are we going to take his bait? A sixth cent suggests that we may not.

J.A. Hoage

Severna Park

Bus Drivers Deserve

Public’s Appreciation

Editor:

Articles often appear extolling the merits of Ocean City Beach Patrol folks, our Ocean City Police Department and the folks who run our city government, but I don’t remember reading about the workers who travel the “highway” every day driving the OC buses.

They are front-line “ambassadors”, greeting their passengers, many international, with warm smiles and hellos, showing great patience as passengers fumble with through their purse and pocket in search of their transfer or correct fare and being not only a tour guide aiding newcomers to find a certain business but also announcing to them the arrival at the correct bus stop.

If the bus is not crowded and it’s not too distracting to chat with our OC bus drivers, one discovers a diversity of origins and professional backgrounds. Where are you from? How is it you are driving a bus in OC? How come the summer traffic with bus-lane intruders does not rattle you?

Has The Dispatch ever written an article profiling the lives of these wonderful folks? Our OC bus drivers have some great stories and I can’t believe I’d be the only one interested in them. I hope to see one soon.

My driver’s license, credit cards and medical stuff cards are important to me, but my favorite card is my OC senior bus pass. This card makes me smile, reminding me of pleasant times on the OC buses with the wonderful drivers and interesting fellow passengers.

Betty Simon

Ellicott City

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