Disappointed By City’s Decision On Events
I was very disappointed in the Ocean City council’s recent decisions regarding the Cruisin weekend. How soon we forget how things are for that weekend.
I invited the council to see the damage done to the entrance of our parking lot where cruiser trailers back in to turn around. Or check out the tire rubber marks on the street where the Jeff Gordon wannabees burned rubber last spring. Not to mention all the trash left behind.
I think the council’s recent actions are taken without thought or regard to those of us who make our main home in Ocean City all year-round. Those of us who spend money each weekend in the city all year round. Those of us who pay a lot of money in taxes all year-round. Those of us that have to put up with the deafening noise (is there or isn’t there a noise ordinance in the city?) and the obnoxious fumes of all the cruisers. Plus the lack of parking on city streets that week-end is ridiculous. The traffic situation is horrendous and sometimes virtually impossible for those who need to go to the stores, work, doctors, etc. as many people witnessed last spring. Do they even consider this?
So the solution now is to charge for trailer parking? That means things will remain the same except they will collect money from a few of the cruisers for trailer parking and charge the tax payers for signs that will be ignored.
When they first proposed sensible changes for cruiser weekend, I thought finally someone in local government is being pro-active. I guess I should have known how things really work. They had a chance to do the right thing, but caved to special money interests. I read where the proposed ordinances originated in Myrtle Beach where apparently they know how to do the right thing.
One last thing, do we really need two cruiser weekends a year and two biker weekends a year? I think the council needs to decide if Ocean City is going to be a true family resort destination or a place renowned for dangerous roadways, traffic jams, loud noises, obnoxious behavior, etc. because you can’t have it both ways.
Kudos For OC On Offshore Drilling Stance
Over the last few weeks, several municipalities along the East Coast passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling and seismic testing off the Atlantic Coast. They join over 80 municipalities from Florida to New Jersey who already passed resolutions stating their opposition to a federal proposal released in January that would allow exploration and leases for offshore oil and natural gas development in the Mid and South Atlantic. There is a noticeable geographic hole in the Mid-Atlantic region, when you look at the list of resolutions passed, but hopefully that will soon change.
The Town of Ocean City will be examining the potential local impacts of offshore fossil fuel development in an upcoming Mayor and City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 21. Put before the Town and City Council is a resolution opposing both offshore drilling and air-gun seismic surveys in the Atlantic. We applaud the town for being a leader in the Mid-Atlantic region by taking the initiative to carefully examine this issue and hope they will vote in favor of this resolution.
The simple truth is offshore drilling in the Atlantic will have very real consequences for our economy and culture here on Delmarva. Before drilling can take place, seismic testing using air-guns must occur to locate deposits of oil and gas miles below the sea floor. This process involves firing a blast equal to 250db underwater every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the mapping period which can often be several weeks. The intensity of the blast is several hundred times that of a 747 jet engine and can be heard across thousands of miles of ocean. Seismic testing in other parts of the world has led to mass strandings of marine mammals and devastated fisheries. Then there is the always looming threat of a spill. Even a small spill could prove catastrophic for a local economy. How many businesses and livelihoods would be impacted if Ocean City’s beaches were closed for even a short period of time during the crucial summer months? The threat of a spill isn’t hypothetical. In the 3 years following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, there were 11 spills of 50 barrels of oil or more, 347 fires or explosions, and 15 losses of well control. All of this occurred during a period of increased scrutiny over safety.
The Town of Ocean City deserves to be commended for taking action to protect its citizens, economy, and way of life. We hope other local municipalities will soon join Ocean City in examining the impacts of offshore drilling and taking a stance against this very dangerous federal proposal.
(The writer is the Outreach and Communications Coordinator with the Assateague Coastal Trust.)
Sea Level Rise Detailed In Study
On Friday, a new study (“Combustion of available fossil fuel resources sufficient to eliminate the Antarctic Ice Sheet”) laid out a horrifying picture of our future: 200 foot sea level rise and areas of the planet too hot for habitation. This study made it clear that we need to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Instead of following our relentless urge to drill and mine for more oil, gas and coal we must start to keep existing fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
Unfortunately, Congress doesn’t seem to have read this study. Last week a House Sub-Committee voted to lift the decades’ old ban on crude oil exports. Lifting the ban would result in more drilling (some say up to 3.3 million more barrels of crude oil per day); and subsequently more global warming pollution.
If we want a planet for future generations, here’s hoping our Maryland Sens. Mikulski and Cardin, heed this study and vote to keep the ban on crude oil exports.
(The writer represents the Environment Maryland organization.)
Egg Move A Positive
McDonald’s pledge last week to start using cage-free eggs is only a small step in preventing staggering suffering endured by millions of birds.
Hatcheries that annually supply 200 million female hens for U.S. egg production, including cage-free, also kill the same number of male chicks at birth by grinding them up alive in industrial macerators or suffocating them slowly in plastic garbage bags. The female laying hens endure a lifetime of misery, crammed with 5-6 others, in small wire-mesh cages that cut into their feet and tear out their feathers.
Eggs are common carriers of food-borne bacteria, including Salmonella, Campylobacter. Listeria, and Staphylococcus. USDA estimates that Salmonella alone accounts for 1.3 million U.S. illnesses and 500 deaths annually.
Eggs contain saturated fat and cholesterol, key factors in incidence of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. They are a common cause of allergies in children.
Waste from millions of egg-laying hens ends up in waterways, rendering vast areas unsuited for recreation or water supply.
The good news for compassionate, health-conscious, eco-friendly consumers is that our local supermarket offers a number of delicious egg substitutes and egg-free food products. Entering “egg-free” in a search engine returns tons of recipes.