Merit To Holding
Thank you to former police detective Stephen Rusiniak, who contributed a very well written piece in last week’s issue of The Dispatch concerning the use of profane language on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
I agree as well that it is very unfortunate to learn that neither Ocean City nor the State of Maryland have any laws on the books that prohibit the use of profane language. I am in support of the usage of signs that Council member Mary Knight worked hard on thus far for Ocean City and believe this is a good beginning to help control/combat the use of profane language on the Boardwalk.
As a 47-year-old male, it is interesting for sure to look back and recall the changes to our society. At the time that I was growing up, to freely use or profane language in public would have not been tolerated at all. Nowadays, one can hear profane language almost anywhere to the point where sentences are spoken rarely without a profane word.
At times when I hear excessive profanity in certain public places, at times I have politely turned to the “accused” individual and asked him/her to please watch their language as it would be appreciated. Fortunately I cannot recall a time in which anyone combated my request to cease their behavior. It is my personal opinion that much of the younger generation is using excessive profane language and is doing so with virtually no forethought as to the effects that is has on others.
Make no mistake, no one is perfect. I am guilty of slipping at times, however I believe that there is a difference between uttering one bad word and being aware of your surroundings, versus the incorporating of multiple cussing to the point where it becomes a normalcy of ones vocabulary with no regard for others who hear this in public.
Next Shelter Director?
I just read the story about the issues facing the Worcester County Humane Society, and the need to find a replacement for the former executive director.
In the piece was a quote by WCHS volunteer Sandi Smith, and it occurred to me that she is a natural for executive director. I have known Sandi for many years. She is well known and well respected in our community and has a good business sense, as evidenced in the article which stated that she is currently helping the shelter with grant writing and bookkeeping.
If she is interested, look no further. Sandi Smith as executive director of the WCHS can bring it back to the vibrant organization our community needs.
Citizens Need A Voice
Over the past 30 years or so, the business interests in our town have influenced, in large measure, our Mayor and Town Council. The citizens of this community have supported this situation by their votes and acquiescence to the directions of our elected town leaders, so we have no real complaint in this regard.
Now, however, it appears that the business interests have turned on their own and businesses in general have and continue to flock to West Ocean City and Delaware. Just look at the most recent restaurants, bars and other new business evident on the western aide of the bay and to the north in Fenwick Island. The current Mayor and Town Council seem determined to “keep the course”, in the face of these developments. Most recently the town’s Department of Tourism has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from interested vendors to develop a five-year strategic plan for Tourism. The RFP states that, “the project will encompass interviewing key Ocean City tourism stakeholders”, not defined or identified in the advertisement.
Based on previous similar actions, you can be assured that you as a citizen or resident of the town, will not be identified as a “stakeholder” in this exercise. Isn’t it time for the resident citizens at large to claim a seat or two at this table of “stakeholders”, as our tax dollars are used to carry out these city funded contracted activities? Elsewhere in the RFP, reference is made to the role of the, “Ocean City Tourism Commission consisting of the Mayor, three City Council members and other representatives from area trade associations.” Note, again, no reference to citizens of the town or necessarily even residents of the town.
Perhaps it is past time for the Mayor and Council to develop a strategic plan reflecting the overall interests of town citizens and residents, for its future. Mr. Mayor and members of the Town Council, we need to hear your thoughts and views on this matter, stated publicly, at your earliest convenience. Don’t wait until election time.
Scholarship Fair A Success
The Delmarva Education Foundation would like to thank the sponsors, donors and volunteers who made our third annual Scholarship Fair on Saturday, Jan. 11 an overwhelming success.
More than 500 students from nearly two dozen different high schools in 8 counties on the Delmarva Peninsula, along with current college students, military veterans, returning adults learners and vocational education students, attended the Scholarship Fair held at The Centre at Salisbury mall to find money to continue their education. Thirty scholarship sponsors, colleges and other organizations participated in the event to increase awareness of money they have available for students looking to further their education.
Thank you to Scholarship Fair sponsors The Bank of Delmarva, The Centre at Salisbury mall, and Wor-Wic Community College Bookstore; Scholarship Fair partners, Kids of Honor, Horizons at The Salisbury School, the Make it Matter Movement and College Goal Maryland; Scholarship Fair spokesman Alyx Chaivre; financial aid expert Amanda Brumfield from Wor-Wic Community College; Wicomico County high school counselors Tony Giddons and Kurt Thomas; and all of our dedicated and hard-working volunteers.
The mission of the Delmarva Education Foundation is to improve college access for residents of the Delmarva Peninsula.
Rota L. Knott
(The writer is the executive director of the Delmarva Education Foundation.)
Winter Gear Needed
The Noel Community continues its outreach program during the cold winter months. We are in need of gloves, hats, socks, and blankets. This Valentine’s Day, open your heart and share the gift of warmth during our 12th annual gLOVEs drive.
Please consider dropping off a donation of a new pair of gloves, hats, socks, or blankets at the Ocean Pines Library on Cathell Road between Feb. 3 and Feb. 14. The Noel Community also will accept donations at all Masses over the weekend of February 15th at Holy Savior Catholic Church (17th Street, Ocean City) and St. Luke Catholic Church (100th Street, Ocean City).
The Noel Community will distribute your donations to several local food pantries, low income day care facilities, and other groups that provide social services to those in need.
From your heart to theirs.
The Noel Community
Common Core Dangers
Politics sure does make strange bedfellows. I believe any policy that is opposed by both the New York State Teachers Union and the TEA Party (not necessarily for the same reasons) needs to be looked at very carefully.
Of course, I am referring to the Common Core State Standards. And, of course education is not supposed to be political. (Ahem.)
Just about everything you have been told about Common Core by the federal, state and local education establishment is, at best, incorrect, and, at worst, downright false. Starting with the way the standards were developed (and the real motivation of those behind it), parents and teachers have been misled, and those who question the standards and the implementation, the effect on our children and grandchildren, the harm that is being and will be done to the teaching profession and the enormous budget busting costs, are basically being told to sit down and shut up – we know better than you. Teachers who are opposed to, and frankly frightened by, Common Core fear to speak out.
It is also ironic that the Douglas County, Colo., Board of Education has passed a resolution opposing the Common Core national standards due to the quality of the standards and on principle. Ironic because our own Worcester County Superintendent of Education hails from Colorado.
It is not my purpose here to reiterate all of the dangers and problems with Common Core. There have been many letters to the editor about this subject, and there are many news articles in national papers and online (most recently “The Coming Common Core Meltdown” Jan 23, Washington Post). There are numerous websites devoted to the dangers of Common Core. Inquiring minds who want to know can read all about it.
Del. Michael Smigiel has introduced legislation in the House of Delegates to repeal Common Core. The hearing on this bill is scheduled for February 5th. Parents, grandparents and educators who believe they know better than unelected bureaucrats what is best for their children and students should contact their legislators and encourage them to vote to repeal the funding for this mess.
Hearing Needs Attendance
(The following letter was sent to members of the Worcester County Board of Education.)
Who among you is planning to attend the Maryland Legislature hearing on repealing Common Core in the MD school system? I am sure you are aware it is being held next Wednesday, February 5, in Annapolis.
Your thoroughly cohesive body has rejected all our local efforts to educate you and the department you supposedly oversee on the dangers of relinquishing your responsibilities to the federal government. I am sure you cannot wait to extol the rigor of Common Core by joining your fellow proponents in Annapolis to prove (to those of us neanderthals who have objected to this one-size-fits-all system of indoctrination, data collection and ever increasing expense) how you stakeholders know better.
Let’s carpool. Your gas and mileage expenses would probably be paid for by the taxpayers and we did pay for that.
Caine Key Association
Needs Positive Action
(The following letter was addressed to neighborhood and Caine Keys 11 Civic Association members.)
I wish to apologize for and inform you of a perplexing situation. The Association has drifted into nothing. No meetings, dues collected, newsletters, picnic or required audits and tax forms done. The state has officially forfeited our charter and it will have to be reinstated.
I have been contacted by members asking if they might have erred in paying dues as they must have missed the newsletter and annual picnic. Many attempts have been made by e-mail, phone, letter and contacting local City Council members as well as tax officials to make the situation an important issue.
Most recently firemen were called to a local home that suffered massive water damage from frozen pipes. Residents used to have the neighborhood watch services and updated emergency numbers available to police and fire men. The necessary emergency phone information, provided by a neighbor was six years old and might not have been useable.
Family illness and the loss of loved ones is tragic. However, this does not keep people from jobs or running for office. If a volunteer job is too taxing, then someone else should be allowed to do it.
It appears that the Ocean City political culture expects City Council members to have served as a civic association leader. This may not insure responsible leadership training.
Neighbors and members, let’s have a meeting, elect capable officers and start some positive action. Your property and attention is important.