Offshore Wind Power
Has Immense Benefits
Having grown up in Rockville, Md., I have many fond memories of family vacations to Ocean City. Riding the waves with my grandfather, playing arcade games on the Boardwalk with cousins, and watching the planes go by with their various advertisements. Now as an adult, I enjoy visiting this quintessential American beach town with friends and family, strolling along the shore, and taking in the great nightlife. I’m also proud to vacation in a town that was named a “Beach Buddy” by the National Resources Defense Council for its outstanding water quality. It is great that Ocean City is an environmental leader and even more impressive that the city can continue to lead with an exciting energy development: offshore wind power.
Today, Ocean City has the unique opportunity to lead our nation in its transition from fossil fuels to energy independence and clean-renewable energy. Just up the shore at Rehoboth Beach, they’ve already approved their first offshore wind park that is now only awaiting federal approval. A 2009 Monmouth University poll of Worcester County residents showed 70 percent in favor of offshore windmills. A number of Ocean City business and organization leaders have come out in support as well. The popularity of offshore wind power is understandable as it can lock in stable energy prices as the fuel (wind) is free, provide a reliable-local electric source for coastal communities, create a lot of local jobs, and potentially provide a third of our region’s electric needs.
As a beach lover, I’m also inspired by the fact that offshore wind power will help reduce the global warming pollution that threatens our coasts. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ocean City is particularly at risk to global warming due to sea level rise and the erosion of our shore. A 2008 study for the Maryland Commission on Climate Change predicted that Maryland beach tourism is likely to suffer if greenhouse gas pollution goes unchecked as the cost of protecting beaches from increased erosion could dramatically increase the cost of vacationing and living in Ocean City. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that our planet has just experienced the warmest decade, the warmest 12 months, the warmest six months and the warmest April, May and June on record. Whether it’s the need for energy independence or the need to stop air pollution, there is no doubt that we must transition now to clean, emission-free energy like offshore wind.
When the first windmills are built off of Ocean City, I will be excited to take a tour boat out to see them up close. Perhaps I’ll do some fishing as the turbine foundations are ideal for the development of artificial reefs which attract marine life. By reducing carbon pollution, the windmills will also reduce the problem of ocean acidification, which threatens marine ecosystems. A wind park currently proposed will be 12 miles out from the shore. While I personally feel the windmills appear majestic, they’ll barely be visible from the shore at this distance.
Offshore wind power offers immense benefits for Ocean City, for Maryland, and for the world. Ocean City has the ability to lead and to directly benefit from this great local power source. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network will be co-hosting a town hall meeting on Thursday, Sept. 23 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s By-The-Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City. Please come by to learn more about offshore wind power, have your voice heard on the matter, and find out how you can help realize offshore wind power for Ocean City.
(The writer is the Maryland Campaign Director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.)
On Slipping Slope
I have been a smoker for many years now and have watched a relentless assault against my smoking habit. I am aware that smoking is probably not the best thing for me to do, but I truly do enjoy it. I have modified my behavior to try and be respectful of those that do not smoke. I don’t even smoke in my own home as I don’t want others to be uncomfortable there.
But now, the discussion going on about outdoor smoking in Ocean City demands my thoughts. First, smoking is legal. If it is so harmful, make it illegal. Second, there is absolutely no credible evidence that second hand smoke from outdoor smoking is harmful to another person.
Most importantly is the assault by government on our personal behavior. Wake up people. Smoking now but how about obesity next. The number one health care issue and cost in this country is obesity. How about we ban the selling of things like ice cream, pizza, and greasy French fries to anyone that is above their average weight for their size. Or better yet, if we are serious about obesity, we ban all Ocean City shops from selling fatty foods.
Then take it to the next level. How about we ban dangerous behavior like surfing or boogie boarding? Jet skies, cars, bikes, and scooters should also be considered for restrictions.
I hope all can see that it is a slippery slope to start regulating behavior based on someone’s desire to control all things harmful to us.
Stop the effort to ban smoking or anything else. Less government and more freedom for us all.
Early Voting A Waste
Definition: Early voting: Another way to waste taxpayer money.
According to different early reports, the number of people taking advantage of early voting in Worcester County never exceeded 1,000.
At a cost of over $250,000, this means that each voter casting their vote cost taxpayers over $250. This figure is ridiculous, especially considering that absentee ballots have been made easier to file.
If voter turnout is higher during this election cycle, there will be those who will say that early voting was a success. The truth is that because of economic conditions, voter turnout is likely to be higher anyway. Actually voter turnout is apt to be higher because of government wasting taxpayer monies such as this program does.
It’s time for change.
A Wonderful Experience
When visiting a family resort, parents and grandparents, are always looking for “kid friendly” activities.
On Saturday, Sept. 4, I took my grandson and granddaughter flounder fishing on the Pony Island Express in downtown OC. While Captain Alan was your typical talkative fisherman, I must give a public thank you to First Mate Matt. He made the trip so fun and informative for the kids. As always, he baited all the hooks and took off all of the fish we caught. But he made the outing a true learning experience. Whatever he did, he explained his actions to the kids and all of their questions were answered completely. He never rushed when he was dealing with the kids, or the grownups, too, for that matter and encouraged the kids to touch and hold the fish and crabs we caught.
So again I say “thank you First Mate Matt” of the Pony Island Express. This past visit will not be our last.
I had the pleasure of living in Worcester County this summer. However, while here I was recuperating from knee surgery performed at a hospital in New York City. Therefore, I spent my summer undergoing physical therapy. As someone who has spent 20 years attending physical therapy on and off again for miscellaneous injuries, I felt that I would be able to select a good match for my needs. Well, did I find a perfect fit, Atlantic Physical Therapy of Pines Plaza in Berlin offered me unsurpassed treatment. My therapists, Charles Curran and Heather Little, as well as all of the staff, were dedicated, kind and knowledgeable professionals. The quality of my care, the cleanliness of the facility, and the efficient manner in which I was treated by the upbeat staff made my healing virtually pain-free. As a seasoned PT recipient I must say the individualized treatment that was offered to me here on the eastern shore at Atlantic Physical Therapy was tops.
To all of the staff of Atlantic Physical Therapy, please accept my heartfelt thank you. Your constant encouragement and support was (and is) greatly appreciated.
Rose Marie Hannon
I would just like to express our sincere thanks to the Coastal Hospice organization.
My mother-in-law has been in Ocean City at her summer home since April 1, 2010. This was made possible by the efforts and care of Coastal Hospice. She lives independently and was able to maintain that independence here only because of their efforts. I live close by but I am not able to be there 24/7. Their love, care and attention to all her needs made this summer possible for her.
We never felt as if any question or request was too small or too much trouble for them. Everyone we had contact with from Apple Drugs to the nurses, social workers and aides do their jobs with respect and true concern for the patient. We are so fortunate to feel like our whole family is included and a member of the Coastal Hospice family.
She has returned to her home in Baltimore but enjoyed each and every minute of this wonderful summer in her favorite place thanks to all these wonderful, kind people.
Picnic A Success
The Ocean City AARP Chapter 1917 recently held its annual picnic at Northside Park in Ocean City. Once again, it was a huge success.
As president of the Chapter, I would like to commend Dubby Eby for her usual outstanding job as chair of the event. There is no one more thorough in her duties than Dubby. Jimmy’s Grill provided a delicious, ample luncheon buffet and DJ Rupe entertained us with terrific music.
Our chapter holds eight monthly meetings at Northside Park in addition to the annual picnic. It’s a pleasure to work with such a competent staff. Of course, the Park is exceptional. The citizens of and visitors to Ocean City are lucky to have such a facility available to them.
There are two individuals I must single out for recognition – Mike Redner and Bob Snyder do a superior job of accommodating our needs. No detail is left to chance; their response to each request is always courteous. We look forward to working with them this year.
(The writer is the president of AARP Chapter 1917.)