Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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It’s truly a miracle more people are not killed on Coastal Highway and other Ocean City roadways every year.

Around here, anytime an individual is fatally injured it’s a big deal. Even serious injuries are considered significant and make headlines and lead newscasts, but the reality is bad news could and probably should be much more frequent in the summer.

That’s a difficult topic to discuss and accept as truth, but if you don’t believe me, open your eyes and watch what happens on every block of Ocean City throughout every year. People just don’t think in most cases, and that’s largely why news of deaths and injuries stings so much here. They are almost always preventable.

That’s why I gave a motorist next to me last Friday on Coastal Highway a round of applause when he stuck his head out the window at a traffic light and yelled at a female Senior Week celebrant, outfitted in the smallest bikini available on the market.

Rather than doing what I thought he was going to do — scream something obscene about her figure — he said, “please use the crosswalk before you get hurt.”

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The current Ocean City Mayor and Council do not seem to agree on much these days, although there have been several unanimous votes of late, including this week’s internal approach to possible city bus security issues and last week’s 10-day business license suspension.
However, one thing all sides appear to agree on is how Mayor Rick Meehan handled the duties of acting city manager after Dennis Dare, a close friend of Meehan’s, was ousted last September. Under even the worst case scenario back then, nobody would have thought it would have been a nine-month stint for Meehan, who had to wear two big hats — one, as mayor as the town’s chief spokesman and tourism figurehead, and secondly, as city manager as the  chief executive officer and council liaison.

By all accounts, Meehan juggled the responsibilities better than anyone could have expected, and even Council President Jim Hall, who led the effort to oust Dare last fall, sang his praise this week.

“You did an outstanding job,” he said. “You stepped in when we really needed you and really never missed a beat as far as keeping the council informed and up to date as to what you were doing. I know you told me many times you couldn’t believe how many emails you got and much more there was to the job in filling those shoes. So hats off to you, you did a fantastic job and we all are very, very, proud of you.”

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Who knew Susan Sarandon was such a ping pong fanatic? A simple Internet search proves as much, as Sarandon has donated a lot of money to furthering the sport and expanding it to underprivileged areas.

Ocean City could be the site for the filming of the flick “Ping Pong Summer” this fall if all goes according to plan and a certain amount of funding comes forward. Sarandon has been tapped for a lead role.

The plot involves a New Jersey teen-ager who has a passion for table tennis and hip-hop music who vacations in Ocean City in the summer of 1985. Apparently at some point during that visit his life changed forever while in Ocean City, according to early reports on the script.

According to Screendaily.com, Sarandon, revealing her likely mentor role in the film, called the project, “The Karate Kid meets ping-pong.”

Of the movie, Director Michael Tully told Screendaily.com, “I first started writing Ping-Pong Summer in 1992, when I was still in high school. Back then, the script wasn’t much of a period piece at all. But now, 20 years later, it sure is. I look forward to combining three of my childhood loves — ping-pong, rap music, and summer vacations to Ocean City, Maryland — in order to deliver a sincere coming-of-age comedy that will appeal to a wide audience without losing any of its indie street cred.”

It’s interesting the movie is set in 1985, which coincidentally enough was when Violets Are Blue was filmed in Ocean City as well as when Hurricane Gloria wrecked the Boardwalk.

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