Voices From The Readers

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Proper Balance Needed

For Street Performers

Editor:
An email written by me was inadvertently published in your paper last week about the problem of Boardwalk performers.

I wish to clarify the personal comments of that letter publicly. The First Amendment makes for messy public interaction. It is intended as a protection of the rights of the many from the power of the few. I support the right of any person to express themselves or to seek to earn a livelihood if they are working independently and acting in good faith, respectful of the environment in which they work.

I oppose a business operating a clandestine Boardwalk stand, contributing excessive noise or air pollution, or performers who don’t respect the history, spirit or visitors in Ocean City. But as I said, the First Amendment is messy, and it’s intended to be messy.

Finding a proper balance of entertainment and enterprise on the boardwalk is messy. It’s up to us as citizens to engage respectfully in shaping a fair and just collective worldview.
Rob Carr

Ocean City

 

Support For Smoking

Ban On Boardwalk

Editor:

I support the banning of smoking on the Boardwalk entirely and allowing for designated/restricted areas on the beach that allow smoking.

After reading some of the viewpoints expressed by City Council members, I agree that an altogether ban on the boardwalk is necessary. Thank you to Council members Ashley, Pillas and Knight and Mayor Meehan.

I favor restricting smoking on the beach and not necessarily a total ban.  I realize that implementing something like this involves a great deal of thought and planning from the committee that has been formed and assigned this job.

Understandably, this is an in-depth item for sure. No doubt that there will be those who support whatever is decided, as well as those who do not support future decisions on this topic.  What I believe is that our city officials are doing their very best to try and do what is best for Ocean City.
Doug Antos

Ocean City

 

Common Core Concerns

Editor:

I’ve been hearing a lot about the new school curriculum called Common Core and the newer course program APUSH. Being an “old man in my 70′s” I haven’t been too concerned about the issue until I started to think about my grandchild and my possible future grandchildren, that I won’t be around to watch grow old, as to the effect it might have on their education.

What I found out, so far, is that the standards for Common Core were developed by three private organizations in Washington DC: The National Governors Association, the Council for Chief State School Officers and The Progressive Education Company called Achieve Inc.

All three organizations were privately funded by the Gates Foundation and none of these groups are accountable to parents, teachers, students or taxpayers. Also, there is no official information about who selected the individuals to write the Common Core standards but the official known architect was David Coleman. None of the writers of the standards for math and English Language Arts ever taught math, English or reading at the K-12 levels. Interestingly, also, none of the Standard Development work groups never included any members who were high school English and Mathematics teachers, English professors, scientist, engineers, parents, state legislators, early childhood educators, and any state or local school board members.

This information alone causes one to question “How such a program could possibly benefit our children without including the input from some of these specialized people?” Yet, I now know, 48 State Boards of Education adopted the unproven, untested standards sight unseen based on the US Department of Education promise of federal funds and relief from federal No Child Left Behind restrictions. 

With Mr. Coleman’s success with implementation of Common Core, he has now turned his attention to a new program called APUSH (Advanced Placement [AP] US History) exams.

Who is this Mr. Coleman and why should he have such control of our educational system? To begin with he and a Mr. Jason Zimba are the head of Student Achievement Partners, an organization that has played a leading role in implementation of Common Core standards. Prior to this partnership both men were co-founders of the Grow Network, now owned by McGraw Hill company. Grow Network began as a pilot program in New York in 2000 and less than a year later the Chicago Public Education Fund negotiated a contract with the Network for the Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago Public Education Fund was created in 1998 by the Chicago Ammenberg Challenge (CAC) whose board chairman was Barack Obama and the co-chairman was Bill Ayers. Although the CAC closed shop in 2001 its work continues through the Theodore Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools, a movement that indoctrinates students with a Marxist-Communist political, moral and social ideology.

Understanding the purpose of this coalition, I have to ask another question: Do teachers want to tie themselves to such a concept? Teachers hold in their hands the responsibility to teach and form young minds. Are you going to follow the coalition’s concept or will you base your teaching efforts on our Constitution? I can’t answer that question only you can based on your core beliefs. I can only hope that you’ll make the proper decision.

Paul St. Andre

Ocean City

 

Health Exchange Questions

Editor:

I have been curious (and concerned) about the condition of the MD Health Connection website, as well as the status of enrollments.

Research on my part has unearthed the disturbing information that, as of May 31, 2014, only 72,000 persons have enrolled in qualified health plans through the exchange, while over 300,000 have enrolled in Medicaid. Try as I might, I cannot find any information on now many of the 72,000 qualified health plans are subsidized by the taxpayers of Maryland, or how many of these were replacements for policies that were canceled due to the Obamacare requirements.

A couple of weeks ago, I contacted Senator Jim Mathias for this information. I reasoned that, since he voted for the 2011 legislation that created the exchange, and co-sponsored the 2014 bill that required Maryland taxpayers to cover the medical bills of those whose existing health plans were canceled and who were unable to obtain replacement coverage on the botched exchange, he should certainly know this information or be able to find out fairly quickly.

I think it is very important for Marylander taxpayers to know the following:

Exactly how much money have the original exchange and the replacement exchange cost us, including state employees’ salaries and benefits?

How many of those enrolled in private plans through the exchange are “new insureds”?

How many of those enrolled in private plans through the exchange are subsidized by the taxpayers?

I’m still waiting on Sen. Matthias’ response.

Carol Frazier

Ocean Pines

 

Misinformation Used

Over Seismic Testing

Editor-

Another week and yet another Bureau of Energy Management misstatement, disguised as facts. The generalities and conclusions that BOEM Chief William Brown extraneously stretches, is not applicable science, and has been contradicted by many academic peer-reviewed science journals and repeated oversight by governmental committees such as the Marine Mammal Commission.

First, the monetary impacts of seismic testing on tourism, the local Delmarva economy, and fisheries are unknown. Why even risk the economic health of the coastal communities? Over two hundred elected officials from Delaware to Florida have asked President Obama to cease advancement with this project, expressing similar concerns.

Secondly, to numerically place a decibel factor to a seismic air gun. A jet engine taking off is 150 decibels. An air gun for seismic testing is listed at up to 250 impulsive decibels. The scale for measuring decibels is logarithmic so each single increment is ten times louder. So the big math number is really ten to the hundredth power. Add the variables in a marine environment’s conductivity; water density, salinity, temperature and surface ducts created by these last two factors. Surface ducts re-conduct sound, as does the refraction of the ocean substrata, and the unintended horizontal projection of the seismic guns.

Seismic gun arrays are monitored by microphones to record these various densities, yet all this refraction beginning at 250 decibels, is terminally confusing and powerful to marine life. And furthermore, propagated by a liquid medium that is seven times as dense as air. In short, fisheries, marine mammals and sea turtles are subjected to an auditory pulse, on a cataclysmic scale. Hearing loss, disruption of normal feeding, communication within species and evasive behaviors to this negative and lethal stimulus, is well-documented with geophysical, seismic surveys around the world.

Would any of us be willing to subject ourselves to such a decibel blast? Where is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the project’s design which would scientifically measure the impacts and harm across the entire spectrum of ocean health? The legal liability of BOEM, should require such metrics, with punitive damages and penalties for violations of Marine Mammal Protection, and Endangered Species Acts.

 

Why should BOEM’s planned anthro-industrailization projects, essentially lack the Federal regulatory responsibility of “due diligence on any proposal that could impact marine life.” No governmental agency should claim the right to dismantle the last vestiges of an ocean ecosystem. In addition to marine debris, toxic pollution, habitat loss and shipping noise, we make the list longer each day with our future mismanagement of our coastal environment, with project scenarios such as seismic testing.

Has human need and greed superseded our role as sentient beings on this planet? What exactly are we doing and how can we continue to be so myopic?

Gregg Rosner

Fenwick Island

 

WOC Sidewalk Concerns

Editor:

We need sidewalks throughout West Ocean City. Now that school is back in session, I was reminded of the desperate need for sidewalks in West Ocean City.

Just this morning I was driving down Center Drive, taking my two daughters to Ocean City Elementary School (OCES). I had to stop my vehicle in order to avoid a collision with a grandmother carrying a toddler and walking with a young school age child to the school. She was not walking in the grass shoulder due to the fact that the grass was extremely long and wet, therefore she was walking in the road. Meanwhile since it was school drop-off time, the traffic was heavy.

So, I stopped in the middle of the road and offered her and the two children a ride to the school. She explained to me that she was babysitting her grandchildren that live in Oyster Harbor and was told to walk the oldest to OCES. She was out of breath from carrying the toddler and the school age girl looked frightened and upset from the whole experience. The grandmother thanked me greatly as I dropped her and my own two children off in the drop-off lane at school. I am just glad that I was able to help her in a scary situation.

We need sidewalks throughout West Ocean City. Not only on Center Drive but also Golf Course Road and Keyser Point Road. I live on Center Drive and frequently have to stop my vehicle in order not to get into an accident from oncoming traffic so that I do not hit a pedestrian or bicyclist. I would love to be able to take my three daughters and puppy for a walk in my WOC community but fear the traffic.

Also, there was a Worcester County Sheriff parked in The Cove this morning. Thank you for monitoring our area and please report to the necessary parties that we do indeed need sidewalks.

Angela Short

West Ocean City

 

History Changing?

Editor:

According to newly redesigned Advanced Placement U.S. History Curriculum being implemented in Worcester County Schools and around America this fall anti-American history will be taught in classrooms nationwide.

● The Founding Fathers have been edited out.

● America’s rich past effectively erased.

● And your child’s education has taken another sharp turn to the left.

It’s nothing less than leftist indoctrination brought to you by some of the same people that brought you

Common Core.

Here is a sampling of what our nation’s brightest high school students can expect to be taught in AP history class this year:

● Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.

● A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.

● Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes and a biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history.

This is happening now. Unless you speak out, revisionist history will be the new history for your children and grandchildren. Contact your elected school board members and school superintendent to express your concerns about this assault on our country’s heritage.

Fran Gebhart

Berlin

 

 

 

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

The fact Ocean City is moving toward implementing official smoking restrictions is not a major surprise, but the discussion and subsequent vote was a bit perplexing. The council’s decision in a 4-3 vote to move ahead officially with creating designated smoking areas along the Boardwalk and beach should not be confused with an outright ban. Smoking will still be allowed … Continue reading

Voices From The Readers

Weighing In On Street Performers Editor: In the coming fight about the street performer topic, we will first need to define our terms about “performers”. In an effort to make this easier, I’ve broken folks into 2 basic categories: Boardwalk acts are either Performance Driven or Product Driven. Performance Driven acts are the musicians, various characters in costume, acrobats, magicians, … Continue reading

A New Law That Alienates Not The Answer

Rather than craft a strict ordinance that will infuriate thousands, hurt the real estate market tremendously and probably be impractical to enforce, Ocean City simply needs to determine how best to raise awareness of current laws on rental properties and craft an official policy on how to ensure there is a consistent procedure to document violations. At its most fundamental, … Continue reading

Voices From The Readers

Disturbed By Dancer Editor: After two news cycles on WBOC and numerous calls to City Hall, questions still remain unanswered by the Town of Ocean City about the pole dancer on the Boardwalk. Obviously, this was a planned event. Ms. Plymale left wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “Ocean City’s First Pole Dancer.” You don’t find a T-shirt like that randomly on … Continue reading