Voices From the Readers

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Readers
Weigh In On Smoking Ban Talk

Editor:

I have been vacationing
in OC for at least 45 years. My husband and I own two oceanfront condos,
one we have had for twenty years. We have five children and two
grandkids. From my perch on the porch of our Belmont Towers condo, I people
watch and puff away on my cigarettes (something I can still legally do).

First off, 95 percent of
the people on the boardwalk are not concerned about their health, they are on
vacation. If you spent any time people watching, you would know what I
mean. This group is the heartbeat of Ocean City in the summer. This is not
your snooty nose California or Hamptons crowd. This is the average
hard working American crowd. They are here to have a good time and spend their
hard earned dollars. I don’t think they would appreciate it if Ocean City
starts telling them how to enjoy their vacation.

From my perch, I also
notice lots of trash. Mostly napkins and on closer inspection I see plastic
straws and spoons, etc. All of which seems to be swept up from time to time.
Yes there are cigarette butts but there is not one receptacle for them. If
Ocean City placed butt collectors next to trashcans, people would use
them. That seems to be an easier solution then having the butt police running
around making people’s lives miserable. Smoking on the beach is such a
non-issue. You would have to be sitting on top of someone to even notice. We
ask people to take their trash with them why not their cigarette butts also.
People will do it.

What bothers me most
about this is, where does it end? So you get rid of smoking and all the smokers
(because they will go someplace else) then what? Will the next nut have a
problem with the risque’ T-shirt sayings hanging on the storefronts? Let’s ban
them. How about get rid of all the toys that entice kids in front of
stores? Let’s ban them because of the "nag factor". Now we are down
to health, hmmm how about get all the fattening junk food off the Boardwalk.
Might as well get rid of the bars, too, drinking is bad for your health.

While you are at it, get
rid of the rides, they can be dangerous too. Alright, I will make an
exception for the carousel just please make sure there are seat belts. Or
better yet, lets just rip up the Boardwalk and put in a running track
and only have healthy food and juice bars available. Now, lets see if you can
fill all those condos and hotels in the summer.

Mr. mayor, you know what
makes this town tick. Spend your time keeping the drugs, gangs and thugs off
the boards and out of Ocean City. I would not worry about a couple of big
mouths over the grand scheme of things. You can have a public forum but will it
be the real American public that spends their dollars here every summer or just
a few whiny old people with an agenda. We are not talking about putting peoples
health in danger. We are not in an enclosed room.

If you really want
something to worry about, spend some time on the boards and
watch the drug deals. It happens quick but after awhile you can spot it. The
police are doing a fantastic job keeping everyone safe and I am not being
sarcastic here. I am really impressed and thankful for the coverage. They
are everywhere, on foot, horseback and bike. Keep up the good work.

I hope to continue the
Ocean City tradition, but not if there is a butt police. I will be out of here.

Donna Endzel

Ocean City/Newcomb, Md.

Editor:

Please
for all concerned ban smoking in Ocean City and boardwalks as they’ve done in
Bethany.
Eileen Cerniglia

Ocean
City

Editor:

I
am a year-round resident and a smoker. I’m concerned about the smoking ban
regarding the beach and Boardwalk.

I
understand that Ocean City is a "family resort". Am I to understand
that a person is not a member of a family if that person smokes? How does
the city plan to enforce a no smoking law? If there is no smoking on the
beach, is the city ready for loitering around the front of the dunes. Is the
city prepared to put ash cans at the entrance of the beach at each block? Is
the city ready for loitering around the entrances to the boardwalk? How about
along Baltimore Ave.? And the city is again going to put ash cans along the
boardwalk and Baltimore Ave.? I personally do not pick a spot on the beach that
are near families, so I can smoke. When I go to the boardwalk, I never smoke
while I walk in the crowd. I always choose a spot where I know I’m not
offending anyone.

Even
Disney World and other "family resorts" have designated smoking
areas. Someone needs to actually walk down the beach and Boardwalk and see how
much of this is a problem or if this is a cry from tourist. Smokers pay taxes,
too, to use the beach and other amenities that the city has to offer. Smokers
need to be educated about throwing away cigarette butts. Even as a smoker, I
don’t want to see cigarette butts on the ground. They are not biodegrable. The
paper and ash goes away, but the butt is here forever. And must respect those
around you. There should be no smoking in lines at the amusements or in food
and beverage lines.

And
remember our Ocean City family resort has a bar, nightclub, or liquor store the
length of the 10 miles of this resort. But no one complains about all the
drunken stupors that go on.
Charlene Karavaev

Ocean
City

Editor:

I
wholeheartedly agree that smoking should be banned on the beach. It is very
disheartening (as well as unhealthy) to set up all your beach equipment
(umbrellas, chairs, pack ‘n play for the baby, etc) only to have smokers come
and sit beside you. Cigar smoke is especially offensive. And all the cigarette
butts are ugly, unsanitary, and destructive to the environment.

Cindy
Wheeler

Ocean
City

Editor:

The
great smoking debate. I see a move is afoot to have a poll taken. In view of
the fact that 80% of the population are non smokers, I wonder how that will
turn out – duh.

I
know a lot of smokers and I would like to point out that most of them are not
slobs who throw their butts all over the place. The problem is that on the
Boardwalk there are hardly any receptacles to put them in. I carry a little
portable ashtray but not everyone has them. There are plenty of receptacles for
trash and yet I see trash all over the Boardwalk. Since most of the people are
non-smokers, could that be from some of them?

Its
interesting to me that very little criticism is given to the giant coal fired
power plants that spew out tons of SO2, which is one of the leading causes of
global warming. But why worry about that, the smokers are a much easier target.

I
see that Mr. Fox is considering a run for mayor. I do know that if you want to
run for office, the first thing to do is make your name well known. Very
interesting.

Thomas
Boenzli

Ocean
City

Editor:
Since when is minority status (only 17 percent of American adults are smokers)
an acceptable argument for suppression of rights in this country? I hope our
elected officials continue to adhere to our basic foundations.

Smoking
has already been banned in most or all indoor public places. It’s
incomprehensible to me that now the anti-smokers want to run them off of the
breezy, ventilated beach and Boardwalk. Most smokers I observe are extremely
courteous probably in part because they have been made to feel like lepers.
Yet, they are still subjected to sneers and obnoxious remarks and gestures from
the intolerant.

Ultimately,
the goal of the anti-smokers is to outlaw all smoking. Are they prepared to
make up the difference in tax revenue? The latest tax increase was $1 per pack.
Do the match — $1 minimum times 17 percent of the population per day. Why not
take some of this windfall tax and place butt receptacles next to every
trashcan? Will everyone use them? Not everyone uses the trashcans, but they
help.

If
second-hand smoke is such a major threat, why aren’t all of us baby boomers and
seniors dead? We grew up with it all around us. Now it’s only 17 percent and
it’s outside.

June
Scott

Ocean
City

 

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