Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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Two confident predictions were made in Ocean City this week regarding the outcome of the debate over merging the municipal election with the general vote.

Councilmen Brent Ashley and Doug Cymek, who may sit next to each other on the council dais but are miles apart typically on their political views, each looked into their crystal balls this week, predicting what would be end result next week of the ongoing dispute.

Once the citizens have a chance to speak on the issue during the Monday, July 2 meeting, Ashley was confident at least one of the four who voted to consolidate the elections last week will have a change of heart. Cyemk, on the other hand, was equally convinced last week’s 4-3 vote calling for a charter amendment to alter the city’s election procedures would repeat itself at next week’s meeting.

If Ashley is right, that means Cymek, Joe Hall, Mary Knight or Lloyd Martin would have to flip. I don’t see that happening. There’s no chance Cymek, Knight or Martin will change their minds. That leaves Joe Hall as the only possibility, which I would call remote. Ashley and Joe Hall are close friends and more often than not agree on city business issues. Therefore, Ashley could have some influence over him, but Joe Hall has been advocating for this change for years and long before Ashley joined the council in 2010.

I might be off here, but I do not think citizens are going to turn out in droves on Monday for this issue. It’s the week of the 4th of July and a hectic time for just about everyone, particularly for business people, and I do not see this being a matter that will result in a lot of public comments one way or the other. I am actually thinking a majority who do come out next week will be in favor of the change.

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Details about next month’s Dew Tour are starting to become more known, and it looks like attendees to this year’s event will have a difficult time comparing it to last year for two reasons. It looks like it’s going to be even better.

First, Alli Sports officials made a big announcement yesterday when they reported the entire event will be free on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be premium seating available at a fee, but the free part is big news. It’s unknown whether it’s a coincidence that this year’s event has unfolded this way in the same summer Ocean City is stressing its many free offerings. Regardless, it’s a good thing.

Additionally, there will be double the amount of events at this year’s Dew Tour stop and consequently double the number of athletes. From what I hear, the transformation of the beach for this year’s event will be even more dramatic than last year, as there will be several more pseudo buildings erected and a larger area of the beach used.

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In an opinion piece circulated widely this week, VA Maryland Health Care System Director Dennis H. Smith argued the 4th of July is the third most celebrated national holiday behind Christmas and Thanksgiving.

“Other than Thanksgiving and Christmas, 4th of July is perhaps the most celebrated national holiday. Families go on picnics, visit beaches and parks, and watch the fireworks. However, for many Veterans, Independence Day takes on a different meaning. To those who served in the armed forces, often fighting to preserve our freedom in far flung places, Independence Day represents the struggle, sacrifice and service of America’s brave men and women,” he wrote.

While Smith makes a great point about the veteran significance of the holiday, his piece made me wonder about the most celebrated national holidays in our country. It seems to me it’s Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Easter, Memorial Day and Labor Day, but obviously everyone would have different takes on this.

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