Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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There were a lot of emotions expressed from many of the attendees at Carolyn Cordial’s memorial service on the beach on Wednesday, and one feeling shared by many was that there was a bit of divine intervention at play during the casual ceremony.

When the memorial service started on Wednesday, it was gloomy and cloudy. As the service progressed, the sun came out and blanketed the beach with warmth. It’s hard not to think more was at play here, as the Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services’ (WYFCS) logo is a sun and staff apparel features a big sun. In fact, the sun plays a large part in a lot of the organization’s activities and promotion.

In a statement released last weekend, the WYFCS wrote, “Our Sun shines less bright today … She dedicated her life to making a positive difference in our community; counseling youth and families, mentoring young adults, and advocating for the less fortunate especially abused and neglected children. Carolyn will forever be the Sunshine on our Shoulders as we continue her legacy of kindness, compassion, and love to those in need …”

Additionally, while the entire service and speakers touched on Cordial’s love of the water and its significance in her life, a unique scene played out in the ocean, which served as a touching backdrop for the memorial service speakers. Among the notable scenes was the timely passing of a pair of dolphin swimming during the service and shorebirds diving in and out of the ocean looking for lunch.

All of this could have been a coincidence, of course, but I prefer to think there was more at play here and that it was something special befitting of Carolyn.

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The extent of Ocean City’s concern over the rising special event requests it’s receiving was on full display recently when the Mayor and Council encouraged an open swim event to reconsider the July date it sought.

There is no question a key part of Ocean City’s business success is special events, particularly held outside of the prime tourism season that act as economic generators. The Seaside Boat Show in February, St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March and the Cruisin car shows in May and October are just a few examples. However, in recent years, the special event demands have crept into the busy summer season, including the upcoming packed slate of events planned for June, including the Dew Tour.

Seemingly acknowledging the stress the special events put on city services, the council suggested last month the organizers of the proposed ocean swim event on July 20 explore the early fall as an alternative. That request, however, ran contrary to the Ocean City Beach Patrol’s recommendation that the July date is better than the fall request because staffing is at full strength.

At last week’s Recreation and Parks Committee meeting, OCBP Lieutentant Ward Kovacs reaffirmed Captain Butch Arbin’s previous stance and assured the city the lifeguards could handle the event and the swimmers expected for it. Therefore, the committee is returning a favorable report to the Mayor and Council, which is expected to approve the July 20 date. That was a nice resolution to the situation because Ocean City would have rightfully been criticized for playing favorites with the events. If the Dew Tour can come in late July last year and in late June this year, the city should be able to accommodate a small-scale swim event.

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The main conclusion from the new union contracts between Ocean City and the firefighter/paramedics and the police is the annual salary increases union members will receive. It’s assumed the rest of the city staff will also be receiving wage increases as well. That would only be fair.

In this case, it’s right for the city to unfreeze salaries and give employees the raises they have gone without for years. For what it’s worth, Worcester County, Wicomico County and Berlin have each planned raises in their budgets because they know the time has come.

In Ocean City’s case, it’s been four years since salaries were adjusted, and even the most ardent critics of city spending would have to admit that’s too long to go without a wage adjustment.

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Congratulations to the Worcester County Commissioners for halting their planned opposition to a local small business’s desire to upgrade its beer and wine license to include liquor. It was the right decision.

The Green Room went before the Board of License Commissioners yesterday and was swiftly granted approval to expand its business to include liquor sales. The Green Room is currently a beer and wine operation, but the relocation of the county’s Department of Liquor Control store to a “flagship” site on Route 50 left owners Dave and Sara Hambury seeking liquor to sustain and, hopefully, grow sales. The county had planned up until Tuesday to oppose the request because it was concerned the increased competition would adversely affect its sales.  Officials pulled back that opposition after public outcry, presumably.

We hear more liquor license requests will be filed for the West Ocean City area in the near future, but don’t expect to see one coming from the Berlin area anytime soon. The plan is for the Berlin DLC store to close in July, leading many to speculate which current beer and wine stores will be trying to add liquor on their premises. Apparently, it will take an act of the legislature before that can happen, as current law prevents a private store from getting a liquor permit in the Berlin area.

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