Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

tdbetween14

It’s been less than two months now since shooting wrapped up on the Ocean City-based movie “Ping Pong Summer,” but details are now starting to surface on when we can actually expect to see the movie.

According to an article on Reel-Scout.com, production could be wrapped by spring and the movie may be released as soon as next summer if all goes as planned. Much of the release schedule will depend on the timing of the various independent film festivals held around the country. Producers said during early Ocean City visits that the film would be first released at a film festival with the hope a major movie company would purchase it and then handle its distribution.

The article also discusses all the filming locations in Ocean City, including the beach and Boardwalk as well as Trimper’s Rides, Paul Revere Smorgasboard, Anthony’s Deli, Phillips Seafood, King’s Arms Motel, Old Pro Golf, the Greene Turtle and Hooper’s Crabhouse.

My favorite quote in the Reel-Scout article is from Susan Sarandon, who commented about her role in the movie. Of the flick, she called it a “sweet, generous story” and “kind of The Karate Kid with ping-pong and I’m Mr. Miyagi.”

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I like watching so-called political allies at odds, and that’s what’s happening regarding the federal aid situation for disaster areas in Maryland. This week Democratic legislators broke out the quasi-poison pen to alert President Obama, a liberal, too, about “the dire situation” in Maryland after FEMA denied the state’s application seeking individual assistance.

“We are very concerned about the impact that a lack of federal relief is having on our communities and believe that the supplemental information that you have received demonstrates the real need of the residents in these areas,” read the letter, which was signed by all the top Democratic legislators, including Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulksi. “This storm had a tremendous impact on our state over a month ago. Sandy brought not only severe flooding and strong winds to the Eastern Shore, but also blizzard conditions to mountainous Western Maryland. A total of 340 homes statewide sustained major damage and 13 were completely destroyed. As we have mentioned previously, some of these counties have the highest rates of poverty in our state, namely Somerset County. There, in the most affected locality of Crisfield, nearly one in every three resident’s lives below the federal poverty line.

Hopefully, the letter will mean something coming from ranking Democrats. Surely, if it was signed by all Republicans, it would have never made it to the president’s desk.

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I like that Berlin could be soon hosting a wind turbine on municipal land.

DDU Magnetics founder Doug Richards made a pitch to install a 50-kilowatt machine, which would turn wind into usable energy, near the town’s substation on Schoolfield Street in the near future. The request was generally met warmly Monday by the Mayor and Council, but with reservations about the impact on surrounding residential areas. Those are reasonable concerns, which Richards seem to address satisfactorily. For instance, the sound the turbine would create was discussed, and Richards assured the council it would be “absolutely minimal”. Another concern expressed was how the visual of an 85-foot structure would be perceived by nearby residents.

While the concerns expressed are understandable, I do hope Berlin’s government doesn’t get in the way of progress, as three council members did this week with what should have been an innocuous request for The Globe to offer an outside bar on New Year’s Eve. I have chimed in on that topic already and I still believe the council made the wrong decision and is harming the New Year’s Eve event and disrupting the positive movement of the town’s private sector and specifically the popular special events borne out of this excitement.

Regarding the wind turbine, all legitimate concerns need to be weighed against the financial benefits of this project. The town will basically be spending about $4,000 on the infrastructure while Richards and his team would fund the $125,000 cost of the turbine. The energy savings the town and its citizens will realize down the line are considerable and well documented elsewhere. This is an excellent opportunity for Berlin, assuming town leaders do not let a few anonymous concerns over unknowns and perceptions railroad it. That was exactly what happened with The Globe’s situation.

It will be interesting to see if the town council makes the same mistake here.

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In other news, at the risk of getting all sappy, I must say visiting the Winterfest of Lights every year is such a delight. This year was no exception, as the light display was once again wonderful to take in.

Last Sunday we headed to Northside Park and arrived about 30 minutes earlier than it was to open at 5:30 p.m. Since there was already one train full in line, the employees decided to open up the event 20 minutes earlier to accommodate those of us standing in line, many of whom with young kids who have no concept of patience.

Thanks to the OC Recreation and Parks Department and all those who were working that night for making an exception and opening up a little bit earlier than they were supposed to. It was much appreciated by those of us waiting in line. It made great sense to us and it didn’t go unnoticed.