Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

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Former Ocean City Councilman Vince Gisriel has been quietly working the streets of Ocean City gathering signatures to place the recent paid parking additions throughout town on a ballot before voters. Gisriel is a master at petition drives and my guess is he and others will be successful in reaching the minimum threshold to merit a referendum, whether this fall or during next year’s scheduled election.

The usually mild-mannered Gisriel expressed himself clearly this week that his involvement in the petition drive is not any way to be misconstrued as supporting the Ocean City Taxpayers for Social Justice group. Gisriel was particularly annoyed by organizer Tony Christ’s ad this week that misrepresented his involvement entirely. Gisriel said this week’s ad, which was included on an email Christ sent out prior to it being published, specifically is not true as far as he is concerned.

“The advertisement, if printed as presented to me, indicates that I will discuss, ‘A recall petition to force all recent council members elected for four-year terms to run for re-election a year from November or if allowable to undergo a recall vote sooner.’ Let me be perfectly clear.  I am not a presenter or panelist at any Town Hall Meeting scheduled by OC Taxpayers For Social Justice.  I have never agreed to participate in such a panel. In fact, when I was recently asked to participate in such a panel as late as the day before the ad surfaced, I specifically declined the invitation,” Gisriel wrote in an email to me. “At that time, and on at least one other occasion I specifically requested that my name be excluded from any advertisement by OC Taxpayers For Social Justice.”

In the ad, the group alleges Gisriel will be discussing his plans for a recall petition. Gisriel said that’s not true in the least bit.

“While I believe recall provisions have merit in Town and County Charters, as well as in State Constitutions, I have never advocated forcing ‘…all recent council members elected for four-year terms to run for re-election a year from November or if allowable to undergo a recall vote sooner.’ While I believe recall of elected officials has merit, I feel the issue needs ample public dialogue, discussion and voter input before any such language should be adopted by legislative action or voter initiative,” Gisriel wrote.

While Gisriel said he applauds Christ’s passion, he said the two are not on the same page on many issues and pointed out that Christ called him a “coward” recently for not wanting to attend the group’s meetings and not wanting to be included in the advertisements the group has purchased.

It was startling to read what was omitted from the Travel section of The Baltimore Sun on Sunday. Drew Haugh touched on it in his letter this week.

In the story “12 For The Road. Got an itch to escape? Here are a dozen great summer getaways,” it was surprising not to see Ocean City mentioned at all as well as Assateague Island. It was equally shocking to see who was included.

Here’s a listing of the 12 chosen locations: Under Coastal Escapes were Cape May, N.J., The Delaware shore and Virginia Beach, Va. Under Urban Exploration were Pittsburgh and Brooklyn, N.Y. Under Nature Retreats were Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Shenandoah National Park, Deep Creek Lake and Poconos. Under Worth The Trek were Boston, Outer Banks, N.C. and Charleston, S.C.

Last Friday’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge accident involving a motorist plunging 40 feet to the water below had a pleasant ending. The victim was amazingly able to swim from her submerged vehicle to a jetty where she was later rescued.

This story likely hit home for the thousands of drivers who cross the span each weekend on their way to and from the resort, and for the countless local residents who cross it often to points on the western shore, but one account of the accident from a foreign media source certainly painted a unique picture of the span.

A UK Daily Mail article describes the Bay Bridge with a somewhat amusing depiction of the bridge that makes it sound like a roller coaster ride.

“Many aspects of the bridge cause anxiety in drivers, from the first dogleg curve to the steep incline over the first suspension span,” the article reads. “The bridge then drops and propels motorists downhill over the second span. Drivers then have to maneuver through a claustrophobic cantilever that feels like a tunnel. And that’s just on a nice day. Add bad weather, which their frequently is, and you’ll understand why Travel and Leisure rated it the ninth scariest bridge in the world.”

Over the last week or so, the food junkie in me has been following an online poll conducted by USA Today of “Best Iconic American Foods”. I had been noticing Phillips Foods had been leading an online campaign to get the blue crab to the top of the list. Unfortunately, the effort fell just short as the blue crab came in second place behind the green chile sauce of Albuquerque. Here’s the top 10 after the top two finishers: fried cheese curds of Wisconsin; pulled pork, Memphis; cheese steak, Philadelphia; shrimp and grits, Charleston, S.C.; Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago; pork tenderloin sandwich, Indianapolis; boiled crawfish, New Orleans; and Key Lime Pie, Key West.

One comment on “Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

  1. Twelve for the Road: Could this have anything to do with the interviews Councilmember Brent Ashley gave to the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, Howard Stern, and WBAL TV. I think he is the number two reason, after the weather, for the decrease in tourism so far this summer. Despite his negativity OC is only down 3%, much less than the Jersey Shore and Virginia Beach. Keep up your self promotion Brent, and I’m sure you will keep more business out of our town.

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