Seahawks Clipped Late By Bennett

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team lost another tough one last week, falling to Bennett, 55-41, at Wicomico County Stadium on Friday to drop to 1-7 on the season.

The Seahawks went back and forth with the Clippers for over three quarters in a shootout that tied at 41-41 late in the game. Bennett pooled it out in the end on two great plays by Loma Thomas, one on either end of the field.

With 1:41 remaining in the game, Thomas punched it in from two yards out to put Bennett ahead, 48-41. On the Seahawks’ next possession, Thomas picked off a tip screen pass and returned it 22 yards for a clinching score and the Clippers held on to win 55-41.

The Seahawks have lost tight, low-scoring games and have also lost high-scoring shootouts. While they have been in nearly every game this season, they have only been able to put all elements of the game together on one occasion, a 31-26 win over North Caroline back on October 10.

Senior quarterback Justin Meekins continued to be a bright spot for the Seahawks in the loss to Bennett. Meekins ran for 96 yards and passed for 173 more. He threw three touchdown passes including two to R.J. Hayman and one to Dontae Baines.

Three Finalists Selected For Entrepreneur Award

SALISBURY — Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE) officials announced this week that three entrepreneurs have been selected as the finalists in MCE’s Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Award competition.

The three finalists include Jennifer Layton, of Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery and Lazy Day Farms; Kerry Palakanis, CEO of the Crisfield Clinic; and Michael W. Wilt, President of Warwick Fulfillment Solutions in Cambridge.

This is the third year of the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award and it is growing in popularity each year. The winner takes home a trophy and a cash prize and the honor of knowing all their hard work and efforts to make a successful business has been recognized.

“We had a terrific pool of great applicants this year to choose from,” said Joe Morse, CEO of MCE. “More than 25 names were submitted by their peers and all were worthy of this award. Narrowing the choices to three was not an easy task.”

Nominees for the award had to own a business in one of four Lower Shore counties in Maryland with 100 or less employees and be in business for at least two years.

Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery has been open to the public for the past four years. Under Layton’s careful watch, business has been steadily growing with almost 20 workers now on the payroll, including part-time and seasonal workers. The addition of a new sales person is already bearing fruit with wine now being sold in 10 percent of retail stores in Maryland.

Layton is a busy working mother who also plays an active role in giving back to her community. She has a dedicated team whose motto, “We work like crazy so our guests can be lazy,” goes right to the heart of her work ethic.

She serves as president of the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce and vice president of the Maryland Winery Association. She is also active in the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Farm Bureau and the Perdue School of Business at SU along with its Shore Hatchery Board.

Crisfield Clinic’s Kerry Palakanis is a nurse practitioner who decided the rural town of Crisfield was a critically underserved area when it came to health care options so she opened the Crisfield Clinic.

In her two short years in business, she has seen rapid growth in her business and has big plans to expand it in the next three to five years. She also initiated a tele-medicine operation and hopes to expand it to Smith Island and schools in Somerset County, setting the standard for school-based health care.

She has been involved in numerous health related causes including the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland, Eastern Shore District Manager Healthy Somerset, a member of the Somerset Early Learning Advisory Council, the Migrant Clinicians Network, and a clinical provider for Bienvenidos Delmarva.

The third finalist is Michael W. Wilt, President of Warwick Fulfillment Solutions in Hurlock. In his five years in business of fulfilling mail orders for various national corporations, he has hired 46 employees and hopes to expand that as his business stands ready to take advantage of larger cargo ships reaching East Coast ports in the next several years.

He credits the quality of the work force on the Eastern Shore for his success and his clients appreciate the quality of work his team provides. He says mutual trust and respect between employer and employee is key to achieving his goals.

In his spare time, he has been active in helping his community, serving as president of the board of For All Seasons, President of the Board of Directors for the Family Support Center and President and member of the Board of the Optimist Club.

Tickets are still available for the MCE Palmer Gillis Entrepreneur of the Year Award Banquet on Nov. 6 at Salisbury University. To buy tickets visit or call 410-546-1900.




Decatur Girls Advance With 3-0 Win

BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s girls’ varsity soccer team’s magical run continued this week with a 3-0 win over Northeast in the second round of the state 3A-South region tournament.

Last week, the Seahawks took the Bayside Conference championship with a dramatic 5-4 sudden death overtime win over Queen Anne’s, but had little time to celebrate. Decatur earned the top seed in the state 3A-South Section I tournament and a first round bye. Northeast was seeded fifth in the sectional and beat another Bayside team, Bennett (4) in penalty kicks last week to advance.

Decatur hosted Northeast on Tuesday and pulled out a 3-0 win to advance to the sectional despite a tight, well-played game. The first half ended in a scoreless tie despite both teams having great opportunities. In the second half, the Seahawks finally broke through on a goal by Jillian Petito with just over 24 minutes remaining. Petito scored four of her team’s five goals in the Bayside title game last week.

Decatur added a second goal by Payton VanKirk on a nice corner kick by Lexi McDonough with just over five minutes left in the game to make it 2-0. McDonough added a third and final goal with just about three minutes remaining to secure the 3-0 win. With the win, the Seahawks advanced to the sectional final against Northern, which beat Huntingtown in its opening round game.

NARFE Chapter 2274 Holds October Meeting

Community B

NARFE Chapter 2274 had as its October meeting guest speaker Sara Weissmann, NARFE Headquarters Legislative Grassroots Program. Weissmann gave an interesting talk about legislative changes already made that will affect government workers plus insights into changes in the government after the November elections and how it may affect NARFE.
Pictured, from left, are NARFE Maryland Federation President Dan McGrath, Weissmann, Programs Chairperson Anna Foultz, and Chapter 2274 President Arlene Page.

Mallards Fall In Conference Championship

BERLIN- An otherwise successful 2014 campaign for the Worcester Prep boys’ varsity soccer team ended with a 3-1 loss to Salisbury Christian in the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship game last Friday.

The Mallards went 9-5-1 on the season and at one point reeled off five straight victories. Last Thursday, Worcester beat Holly Grove, 5-0, in the ESIAC semifinals in a game moved back a day because of inclement weather. The win propelled the Mallards into the ESIAC championship game against Salisbury Christian the next day on Friday, but the Mallards fell, 3-1, to close out the season.

Adventures Of Fatherhood

new fatherhood headshot

Ever since I brought down the storage bin with skeletons from the attic, there has been a lot of spooking going on.

Basically, something that started a couple weeks ago has continued through this week and it’s been fun for all of us.

Halloween is serious business in Berlin and particularly on my street. In advance of the big day, we (and by that I mean Pam) have been busy preparing. I don’t do much but I do bring down the decorations from the attic, including storage bins full of life-sized skeletons, bloodied body parts, costumes and other decorations.

Carson seems to really get a kick out of the Halloween gear, so prior to bedtime over the weekend I put a bloodied leg in between his mattress and box spring. It looked like there was a body in between with a bloodied stump hanging out of the bed. Carson was indeed spooked, but he loved it and laughed hard about it after getting over the brief scare and confirming we all had our appendages.

Beckett got into the act the other night by putting the foot under the covers on my side of the bed. I unsuspectingly came across later when I was turning in (and might have screamed a little). The next morning his first question was, “Did I get you?” When I said yes indeed, he made it clear there would be more spooking in the days to come and immediately went to plotting.

Before leaving for school and work with the boys, I left the bloodied leg behind where I knew Pam would see it. These sorts of things have been continuing all week.

One night Carson even obsessed on bringing a full skeleton into his bed with him. He tucked in under the covers and even gave him the better of the two pillows in the bed. When I gave Carson a kiss and hug goodnight, he insisted I give one to the boney one next to him, who at some point became adorned with a shirt and shorts along the way. When I asked how he became clothed, Carson signed that his skeleton friend was cold.

After a few days, it appeared Beckett was started to get a little rattled because the next thing we knew he was asking for company on routine restroom stops because worried what was lurking nearby.

That’s when we realized okay maybe things were getting a little out of control. That was until I checked in on Carson before bed on another night and found him snuggling with spare skeleton parts under the covers. I still have no idea how he got those in his bed.

When he woke up the next morning, he came down the steps dragging the parts behind him. He suddenly realized he left a skeleton head behind so he raced upstairs and they all then had breakfast together.

As the week went on, the thrill of it all seemed to wear off, at least for Beckett, who by Wednesday was not falling for tricks anymore. He was prepared for the random scary things under his covers, the body parts hidden in his clothes and other not so obvious spook attempts.

For instance, when I quietly slid what I thought was a scary looking skeleton hand through his door, while he and Pam read at bedtime, to turn out the light on them, Beckett said, “let it go Daddy, let it go.”

Something tells me that’s not the last time his parents will hear this expression.


Both boys are now sporting glasses.

Pam and I often joke about our kids and how expensive they are to maintain. I imagine all parents have similar talks at times in affectionate and funny ways.

For instance, Beckett expressed an interest in playing lacrosse when he was 5 years old. Lacrosse is an expensive sport and requires several pieces of equipment as well as a stick. About $200 later, he was ready for his first practice. About 15 minutes in, he was shedding his equipment and complaining about the gloves being too big and the helmet too hot. We suffered through that season but have not played since. Out of curiosity, I had him try on his equipment the other day. Of course, none of it fits well any longer, but the good news is the stick is still like new.

Furthermore, the fact Beckett’s adult teeth seem to be coming in perpendicular to each other has only confirmed what I have assumed. They will both need expensive orthodontic work at some point. In addition, the fact Carson now needs glasses only underscores our little running joke.

Beckett, 6, has been a spectacles wearer for about two years now and we are on our third pair of glasses, while Carson, who turns 5 next week, just started wearing glasses Tuesday.

While Beckett wears his at all times, Carson is to wear his only for near activities. Consequently, the constant taking on and off meanings further investment will eventually be required as damage is a certainty.

That concern was underscored the first evening he got his new glasses. On the way back from Salisbury, I was looking at him in the rear view mirror watch a video, wondering if it was helping. He was continuously taking them on and off.

All of a sudden, I realized he did not have them. When I asked him where they were, he pointed to the back of my truck where all the beach equipment is. That’s right, he tossed them.

I was seeing red dollar bills at that point.


Voices From The Readers


‘Deep Decline’ Questioned


Thank you to all of the candidates who have chosen to run for City Council in Ocean City including both incumbent members as well as some new personalities that much of the community has recently come to know.

Most recently I appreciated last week’s publication of your paper where an expanded question/answer session was published for the several new candidates who are in the run and provides an excellent tool for us Ocean City voters to cast our ballots for those who we feel might best represent our town.

Earlier this month, it was decided upon from our elected officials that prospective candidate Philip Ufholz had been disqualified from running for council as a result of failing to prove grounded residence in Ocean City. Subsequently after reading about the meeting which led to the decision to disqualify Mr. Ufholz, I received some education regarding Proof of Residency.

My purpose for writing in was not to cast judgment on Mr. Ufholz personally nor to reflect my personal opinion on the outcome of his candidacy determined eligibility. What does concern me is why Mr. Ufholz feels as though, “The current crowd in charge of our beloved city is going to lead it into deep decline.” That quote was published at the end of Mr. Ufholz’s thoughts and opinion as to what ultimately led to his being disqualified from running from the Ocean City Council.

Respectfully, I can understand how this is very difficult for Mr. Ufholz. He obviously does not agree with the council’s decision to disqualify him from running. To suggest that the current membership of council will lead us into “deep decline”, as you refer to, I do not believe will happen. What I do believe is that all incumbent members, whether re- elected or not, as well as any running candidates who may be elected to council with this upcoming election, will all do their best to serve Ocean City the very best that they can.

Doug Antos

Ocean City


Date Announced


This is to inform everyone that this year’s Ocean City Prayer Breakfast is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 12. Please mark this date on your calendars, additional information will be coming in a few weeks.

Bruce Spangler



Unacceptable Behavior


During a meeting this month, Tony Christ’s behavior towards the Mayor, Council President and the rest of the new majority was unacceptable. He has constantly harassed and been disrespectful to them for years. I believe all the anger he directs at them has to do with envy and jealousy. They are highly regarded by the citizens of Ocean City. This is evident by their landslide victory in the last election. The mayor received a staggering 2,238 votes to his opponent’s dismal 629 votes. Council member Dennis Dare received 1,952 votes, the largest number of votes ever recorded in Ocean City for a Council seat. Council member Mary Knight captured 1,853 votes. Joe Mitrecic took 1,778 votes and Doug Cymek received 1,680 votes. Their two primary opponents, Jim and Joe Hall, were far behind, Jim Hall only grabbed 929 votes while Joe Hall was far behind coming in seventh place with only 809 votes. Council members Dare, Knight and Mitrecic won more votes than both Jim and Joe Hall combined. Councilman Cymek was only 55 votes shy of beating the Halls’ combined votes.

Tony Christ cannot even get 55 people to attend his OC Taxpayers for Social Justice meeting. It is my understanding that only 25 people showed up at his last meeting and within an hour only eight people were left. Compare this pitiful showing to Joe Groves’ Citizens For Ocean City rallies that would easily attract 350 people at any meeting.

Mayor Meehan and this new majority are electable, credible, popular and relevant, four things Tony Christ will never be.

It is Tony’s inability to replicate that kind of political success that is the source of his rage. I want to emphasize that Tony’s primary purpose when he speaks before the council is not fiscal responsibility as he claims, but to discredit the mayor and new majority. Not to worry, because Tony Christ is losing on all fronts. His message that no one knows what they are doing except him and Council member Pillas is not well received by the citizens. All of his smears, false and slanderous statements, phony charts and statistics have gained no traction in the community.

Tony’s inability to generate any success in the public arena does not excuse his disgraceful behavior in this chamber. He has been accusatory and insulting to the mayor, the city manager and most of the council. He has been warned by the police about his conduct in the council chamber on a number of occasions. He has been ejected from the council chamber for cursing at the mayor. If Tony Christ cannot control his misguided anger in this chamber, then more serious considerations should be taken to keep him inline. It is necessary to have a thick skin for anyone who wants to enter public service. However, the mayor and members of the council do not deserve to be treated in such a disrespectful way. His conduct should not be allowed to continue.

Greg DeMarco

Ocean City


Council Erred In

Removing Candidate


Being a non-resident property owner in Ocean City, I would not ordinarily be inclined to comment on local politics. However, the circumstances surrounding the Ocean City Council’s decision to disqualify Philip Ufholz’s candidacy for a seat on the Council is something that requires a closer look. Others have commented on the ethics of having council members who are seeking office being in the position of voting to disqualify competing candidates so I will limit my comments to the merits of the council majority vote to disqualify Mr. Ufholz.
Several arguments were advanced to prove or disprove Mr. Ufholz’s Ocean City residency. According to the articles that have been written, Mr. Ufholz offered his senior bus pass, his driver’s license showing an Ocean City address, his voter registration records showing that he voted in Ocean City during the past three elections, a copy of his State of Maryland Tax returns showing Ocean City residency, and a letter from his neighbor asserting he was a permanent resident. The chief arguments against Mr. Ufholz advanced by attorney Jay Phillips who represents a Group called “Citizens For Ocean City” was that Mr. Ufholz’s property tax records do not show his Ocean City property as his primary residence and that utility bills are mailed to Bethesda rather than his Ocean City address.
I strongly feel that we should question the motives of groups desiring to disqualify candidates just as we should challenge groups desiring to prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote.

However, for the moment, I want to focus on the council majority that voted 5-2 to disqualify Mr. Ufholz.  The property tax record used against Mr. Ufholz was his failure to file for a Homestead Credit by claiming his Ocean City property as his primary residence.  While it is a violation of law to claim Ocean City residency for property tax purposes when you live elsewhere, there is no requirement to file for the exemption when you become a resident. Frankly, there would have been no reason for Mr. Ufholz to file. From the time that he became a resident through the current assessment cycle, property assessments and resulting taxes have been on the decline.  The Homestead exemption shelters residents from property tax increases but is useless if the taxes do not increase as was the case during this period. And the argument regarding where his bills are mailed is equally ridiculous. I have many items mailed to my P.O. Box rather than my residence, but certainly have not established residence at the Post Office.
The single piece of evidence presented which was largely overlooked by both sides in this debate was Mr. Ufholz’s voting record. Approximately 10 years ago, a group of non-resident property owners was formed in an interest to address the strangle hold Ocean City and Worcester County has on non-resident property owners — the ability to increase our property taxes without limit while sheltering Ocean City voters via the lowest Homestead exemption in the state. The group’s reading of the voting laws in Maryland was that if a Maryland resident owned property in Ocean City as well as another area of the state, that person could elect to register to vote in either Ocean City or the other area, but not in both areas. Several Marylanders who were non-resident property owners cancelled their voting status back home and registered to vote for the upcoming Ocean City election. Fearing that the non-resident vote would adversely affect their upcoming candidacy, the Mayor and Council sought and obtained a ruling from the Maryland Attorney General that it would be unlawful for someone to register and vote in Ocean City if Ocean City was not their primary residence.
Mr. Ufholz presented evidence that he had voted in Ocean City during the past three elections. Based on the legal opinion the Mayor, Council, and their attorney sought several years ago, Mr. Ufholz broke the law in voting in those three elections if he was not a resident of Ocean City. Yet the council majority chose to ignore the very legal opinion it desperately sought years ago and based its decision on a couple of meaningless allegations. Why?

Jim Thomas

Ocean City


Response To Story

On OC Homeless


Poor Ms. Groves, sitting in her warm, lush, privileged Penthouse at the Belmont Towers upset about the homeless men and women on the Boardwalk. Oh, wait, she doesn’t want a solution to their problem. Ms. Groves doesn’t want to help them rather she wants someone to “get rid of them.”

What would Jesus say? Get rid of them like they were cockroaches or lice. I think Jesus would want the citizens of Ocean City to find a way to help these poor unfortunate souls. They are after all, human beings with feelings and needs like hunger and housing.

When I did my research, I discovered that there was only one place that housed the homeless. That place was Diakonia but they are full and there is a waiting list. Various churches provide lunches but there is no lodging for the homeless. I think we need to form a committee and come up with some solution other than “to get rid of them.”

We who are more fortunate should have a moral conscience to help those less fortunate. If I were Ms. Groves, I would be embarrassed by my comments on this matter. By the way, I live one block from Belmont Towers.

Priscilla P. Zytkowicz

Ocean City