Driver’s Actions Inexcusable
This letter is written to the woman who ran into my daughter while she was biking on 146th Street on Wednesday, July 15. I’m curious. Was your schedule so crucial that you couldn’t stop to assist my daughter as she lay in the street all by herself? Were you even aware of your surroundings or are you a distracted driver?
Fortunately, the Ocean City EMTs responded quickly to her pleas for help. Also the Ocean City Police came promptly and filed a report. My daughter, Sarah, was very lucky. She has a mild concussion and significant bruising, but nothing was broken.
Of course, the bicycle she received as a Christmas present is mangled and need of repair. Sarah doesn’t drive and relies on her bike as her mode of transportation.
So the female driver of a black Nissan Altima needs to “wake up,” before she does more serious injury to an innocent pedestrian or bicyclist. And by the way, she also should have the courage to wait at the scene of the accident instead to fleeing. It’s a basic decent courtesy.
West Ocean City
Name Change Needed
The professional football team of our nation’s capital has been using a clear racial slur as their nickname. The word “Redskin” is dishonorable and offensive to the Native American community. The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines the word as “Disparaging” toward Native Americans, and to “always avoid”. However the second most valuable NFL team (Estimated at $1.55 billion. Forbes) has been profiting off this racial slur. The NFL and owner Dan Snyder should do what’s right and change the name.
I’ve heard many debates on this issue, and the supporters of keeping the name have voiced that the word “Redskin” means strong, brave, and honorable. That couldn’t be further from the truth. For more than a century, this word has been only associated with racism. The first person to use the word as a racial slur in print is the author of, “The Wizard of Oz” L. Frank Baum. After the death of Chief Sitting Bull, he wrote a pair of editorials in his South Dakota newspaper advocating the extermination of all Native Americans. Shocking, I know. Is this what you want the football team of the capital to be named after?
As far as the nicknames that have been suggested they have all been ditching the Native American tradition. I’m not saying to change the logo or the jerseys. In my opinion, the Native American logo is noble and looks fitting for an NFL team, only the word is in question. Why can’t the team follow the lead of teams like the Chicago Blackhawks who are named after Chief Blackhawk, who was a prominent war leader in Illinois during the wars against the American military? The Florida State Seminoles chose the same tribute, being named after the indigenous tribe of Florida. That is what a tribute is supposed to be, not a racial slur.
You could go on all day with unrelated teams who some say that the word “Redskin” can relate to, which is just laughable. Just to name a few the Minnesota Vikings, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Atlanta Braves are all under scrutiny as soon as the topic of a name change for Washington is brought up. The bottom line is those are not racial slurs, “Redskins” certainly is. In the future I would like to see a name for the professional football team of Washington to be a real tribute. I would suggest the “Washington Americans”, much like the Montreal Canadians in the NHL. Keep the logo, colors, and feathers and the name be “Americans”, wouldn’t that be a real tribute, for the nation’s capital to refer to their team as the original Americans?
No Impact From Boycott
As an employee in Ocean City’s major industry, I would like to assure those reading this that DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s mandated boycott of all things Ocean City seems to have fallen on deaf ears back across the bridge. I have seen plenty of DC license plates driving up and down Coastal Highway, Baltimore Avenue and surrounding routes leading into and out of Ocean City.
As residents of the Capitol City rejected their mayor’s primary re-election hopes on April 1 of this year, so also have they ignored his petulant reaction to Congressman Andy Harris’ rebuke of DC’s marijuana decriminalization. The United States Congress holds federal oversight with regard to the District of Columbia, thereby possessing the right to question and to withhold funding if it so chooses, mayoral and council representation notwithstanding.
It amazes me that a “permanent resident” of Montgomery County, Steve Schwarz, who also owns property in this area, feels it his duty to castigate everyone with a public attachment here — from Congressman Harris, to you as editor of The Dispatch, to the way Ocean City is run, to its business owners, etc. I am a permanent resident of Ocean City who grew up in Montgomery County, lived there off and on as an adult, saw it decline as the place I wanted to remain and consider myself smart enough to have left it with no desire to return.
May I remind Steve Schwarz that he has Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and he’s nothing to brag about by any stretch of anyone’s imagination.
Cooking The Frogs
Comparing the Ocean City Mayor and Council’s governing to cooking frogs may seem odd, at first blush, but let’s take a closer look.
Residents and businesses are leaving town for lower taxed areas such as West Ocean City. As the tax base in Ocean City shrinks, the tax burden on every remaining individual grows. It’s worse than that. How are the Mayor and Council cooking the frogs? Why is cooking the frogs destructive? Are the residents and businesses the frogs? First this is how you cook a frog. Since it will simply jump out if you throw it in a pot of boiling water, you put the frog in a pot of lukewarm water, then slowly turn up the temperature. The frog won’t notice and will swim around until he eventually dies.
Similarly. if the Mayor and Council keep adding expenses, coercive ordinances and regulations eventually the costs to live and do business will be higher than the incomes, eventually the city declines in a sea of debt, hence cooking the frogs.
Let’s look at the handiwork of the Mayor and Council and keep the frogs in mind: Has the Mayor and Council helped residents and businesses, made no difference or hurt our local economy? They have been busy beavers, passing 38 Ordinances and 18 Resolutions since they were elected. The Mayor and ‘five’ Council members (Mitrecic, Knight, Cymek, Dare and Martin) have voted as a block and are solely responsible for the passage of all the 22 Ordinances [“Ord.”] cited herein that I personally witnessed:
1. 12-31 [increased parking fees]; 2/ 12-32 [increased fines for noise subjectively determined]; 3. 13-3 [amended 2013 budget adding about <$1.5M> of expenses]; 4. 13-8 [added very high defined benefits for police — huge liability dropped by the federal government in 1984]; 5. 13-10 [Added unpopular paid parking meters]; 6. 13-11 [1,647 signatures opposed parking; Council repealed Ord. 13-10, but Mayor had improperly bought the parking meters thirty days before the vote occurred]; 7. 13-12 [amended 2013 budget again, spending additional <$1.4M>]; 8. 13-13 [borrowed $12.7M on property owners’ credit and food tax]; 9. 14-1 [borrowed $4.5M, retired some 2004 bonds]; 10. 14-4 [returned part of pump-station property City paid for to favored Caine Woods residents for free]; 11. 14-5 [amended 2014 budget adding <$7,833,868> of spending; over $2.1M came from reserve]; 12. 14-6 [passed sanctions and penalties locally for tax non-compliance]; 13. 14-7 [restricted water leisure activities that had been available]; 14. 14-8 [traded larger property to OCDC for smaller property, saying it doesn’t matter]; 15. 14-10 [borrowed $600K to buy properties of lower value]; 16. 14-11 [parking meters on the two city lots put back in spite of 1,647 signatures opposing them]; 17. 14-12 [Mr. Recor presented his 2015 budget, including all pay raises, group of ‘five’ adopted it without objection]; 18. 14-14 [passed, for the first time ever, fines on anyone who didn’t carry full ID, even if in a swim suit]; 19. 14-15 [outlawed, for the first time ever, pocket knives, with springs]; 20. 14-17 [restricted the people who can work on sewers]; 21. 14-18 [restricted wind energy systems on private property]; 22. 14-19 [authorized purchase of boat ramp land by eminent domain, contested]; and bonus, 23. On July 15, the mayor and his five minions passed a contested three-year extension to the MGH advertising contract, a $16 million liability for Ocean City, without even one competitive bid. During the 11 years MGH has held the position, visitors have declined about 25% according to the city’s annual visitor counts. During this period, the cost of MGH born advertising has tripled.
Even though demoflush counts have declined 5% in June, 5% through the Fourth of July weekend, on top of 5% last year. Yet without merit the group of five is awarding this huge liability of $16M that Ocean City cannot afford.
This mayor and his ‘five’ lapdogs on the council have added parking fees, added selective parking meters, again, spent over-budget three times, borrowed over <$17M>, a lien on our homes and businesses, gave out destructive defined benefit retirements and raised bus fares on the poor by 33%,-all in twenty months. The Mayor and Council are ‘cooking the frogs’: the residents and businesses. ‘Ribbit’ ‘Ribbit’. . .” Maybe we, the frogs, need to speak-up! Let’s send the local politicians a strong message before we are boiled, please.
As a taxpayer, I am very concerned. These actions over the past 20 months take money and power away from the people, reinforcing a pattern of coercive transfers, over five years. Slowly turning the economic temperature up and, like the frogs, we are unaware that we are cooking. It is imprudent to continue adding expenses on residents and businesses in this weak economy in order to pay bloated wages, excessive advertising contracts, wasteful capital projects, abusive retirement benefits and excessive administration costs of coercive, destructive ordinances, while ignoring needed infrastructure repairs. The government should not only stop doing it, but must reverse their recent inappropriate actions to prevent ‘cooking the frogs’.