Between The Lines


A lot of practical concerns remain at this early stage, but it’s exciting to think of the concept of a wind farm off Ocean City.

Sure, there are naysayers who worry over the visual blight 200 wind turbines may cause on the horizon, but that’s short sighted. At this early point in the process, the long-term benefit potential for substantial alternative energy resources should far outweigh that type of shallow concerns. There were many interesting points raised at last week’s public meeting, but one I thought regarding economic development deserves another look

In election years, economic development and the need to create jobs and keep young people in the area are often discussed. Many candidates say we need to diversify the local economy to provide employment for people outside the traditional fields of tourism, agriculture, government, law enforcement and health. They are valid points, but most officials have no idea how to spur economic development. They just realize it’s needed. Again, it’s preliminary, but this wind farm proposal provides some optimism on the subject. Consider what NRG Bluewater Wind’s Dave Blazer estimated would be needed for the massive offshore project as far as employment.

“It will take 500 people to build the offshore wind park,” Blazer said. “It’s about a $1.6 billion investment. After it is built, there will be 60-80 and maybe even 100 maintenance jobs for the lifetime of the contract. The construction jobs will be two to three years. There could be 1,000-6,000 jobs created from indirect economic development and job creation.”

Boardwalk displays and signage have always been a concern in Ocean City, and the answer may lie in hiring a person to monitor the situation on a full-time basis The fact remains violators take advantage of the situation.

Last Friday afternoon, I counted three sandwich-style signs on the Boardwalk on street ends advertising businesses off the boards. That’s not right and a clear violation of Boardwalk sign laws. The problem is there are adequate laws on the books to address these concerns but there’s no enforcement. While I’m being a little cranky, another problem I found was the music emanating from the retail stores. Clearly, the music was a violation of the town’s noise code, but nothing was being done about it.

What may be happening, and it seems like the Boardwalk Development Association realizes this, is merchants understand there will be no enforcement after 5 p.m. because city employees are gone for the day. Clearly, some are taking advantage. The problems seem to be properly identified. It’s the answers that have proven difficult to come by.

The room and food tax revenue figures for August were encouraging for Ocean City, as room tax spiked 5 percent from last August and food tax climbed 9 percent. Year to date, room tax is up 6 percent through August.

Some Local Events Deserve Another Look

Editor: The politicians and newspaper editors of Ocean City seem determined to destroy Ocean City as a family-friendly resort. It has been noted recently that the bikers have driven out the middle-class families who in past times came to the beach in September. We avoid coming to our condominium many weekends because of this encouragement of hordes of males in … Continue reading

Handling Ongoing Controversy Delicately

The County Commissioners raised some eyebrows last week with the way they handled the presentation by the Liquor Control Board for Worcester County. Although it’s known there was some sort of “play nice” request by county leadership, the commissioners in general let LCB officials off easy with little questioning. While the LCB has been able in part to explain why … Continue reading

County Grand Jury Indicts Son In First-Degree Murder Of Mom

SNOW HILL – A Worcester County grand jury this week formally indicted on a first-degree murder charge a Pennsylvania man charged in early September with repeatedly running over his elderly mother on a rural road north of Berlin. Steven Frederick Molin, 58, of Darby, Pa., was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the death of his mother, Emily Belle … Continue reading

State�s Attorney Rematch Heats Up

BERLIN – Three local fraternal law enforcement organizations have announced their support for the challenger in this year’s rematch for the top prosecutor job in Worcester, touching off a war of words this week between the candidates. Last Sunday, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 50 (Worcester) announced it will be officially backing State’s Attorney challenger Beau Oglesby, a Republican … Continue reading

LCB Says Director Was Not Terminated

Bryan Russo Special to the Dispatch OCEAN CITY — Although rumors have been swirling about the Worcester County Liquor Control Board (LCB) for months, the one that made its way through Ocean City yesterday has board members calling “foul.” Early Thursday morning, word started to spread throughout the region that LCB Executive Director Brian Sturgeon had been fired by the … Continue reading

Circuit Court Judge Candidate Field Narrowed To Four

BERLIN – The field of nominees for the recently vacated Worcester County Circuit Court judgeship was narrowed to four this week and includes a handful of familiar names in the local legal system. After reviewing applications and conducting extensive interviews, the Maryland Judicial Nominating Committee on Tuesday forwarded a list of four names to Governor Martin O’Malley, who will ultimately … Continue reading

Boardwalk Guidelines Tweaked

OCEAN CITY – The City Council approved on Tuesday amendments to existing display and signage ordinance on the Boardwalk. At this week’s Mayor and City Council work session, approval to extend review of display and signage for the entire Boardwalk, as well as, amend the existing ordinance on regulations for display and signage by merchants was requested by the Boardwalk … Continue reading