Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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Eight months after the horrific accident on Coastal Highway, the Baby Ava case came to a quiet close on Wednesday when the man responsible accepted fault, plead guilty and immediately went to jail.

As is the case with many court cases of this magnitude, the judge ordered a pre-sentence investigation that will hopefully result in Andre Kaczynski going away for at least 10 years if not more. As far as the legal avenues were concerned, Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby did what needed to be done. There was no plea deal and no bargaining with this disturbed individual who was so high on PCP that he does not even recall driving 100 mph through Ocean City and running directly into the vehicle Ava and her mother were in. He plead guilty and that was that, and the hope here is he will get the maximum sentence allowable under the law.

This week’s end to the court case will hopefully allow the family to continue the emotional healing process and for Ava to keep on her long road to recovery. While the family and the thousands of Ava supporters are surely pleased with the outcome and the likelihood Kaczynski will be serving many years in prison, the only true justice will be for this little girl to overcome her many health and development obstacles and to return to the normal life of a toddler.

That’s the kind of justice we should all hope and pray occurs over time. That will allow true healing from this devastating situation.

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It’s been a long road for the proposed Caroline Street Comfort Station and Performing Arts Stage, but with this week’s design approval and funding allocated work should begin this fall and will coincide with the second phase of the Boardwalk reconstruction.

At least three different designs were submitted over the last year or so to the Ocean City Mayor and Council before everyone was satisfied with the look. Check it out on page 15A. The finished product seems like a good fit for Ocean City, but I particularly like the multi-use aspect of it.

It’s quite a novel idea to feature a permanent performance stage, a need for the area, on a structure housing restrooms, and I think it’s going to be a nice addition to the Boardwalk.

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While I enjoyed the competition aspects as well, another highlight of last year’s Dew Tour for me was observing how the construction crews transformed an empty expanse of sand into an extreme sports village.

It appears this year’s plans will be much more grandiose than last year with many more structures for the athletes to compete in, a new high-tech camera that will follow the athletes throughout the quasi village and a highly anticipated jumbo screen that allows those who can’t get any of the free or premium seats to watch all the action unfold.

Construction efforts reportedly begin on Monday. If you didn’t get a chance to observe these folks at work last year, it’s worth a look. They work expeditiously and throughout the day and night to get the job done. By Aug. 16, the beach will be unrecognizable to all of us.

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I learned something new last week when it was reported the Ocean City Police Department conducts routine patrols of the beach at night. I wrongly figured police were more reactive than proactive when it came to the beach. I assumed officers responded to a situation when called, rather than patrolling as learned this week.

The situation that brought this to my attention occurred two Fridays ago when police officers patrolling the beach on an ATV learned about a woman all out of sorts. One thing led to another and the troubled lady entered the water and refused to come out. Fearing for her safety, as she was out nearly over her head, the officer shed his gear and brought her to shore, despite her best efforts to return to the water and reluctance to basically adhere to anything the police had to say.

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