Support Smoking Moves
This letter is in response to the letter in the June 5 issue of The Dispatch stating that the Ocean City smoking ban is unfair.
Before we get into philosophies and legislation, the scientific facts are that smoking is the leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. Second-hand smoke is a known carcinogen causing lung cancer in non-smokers. These are scientific facts and not subject to opinion or debate.
The letter writer states that he feels a smoking ban is unfair, when in fact Ocean City is much more lenient than most all other municipalities with smoking bans in public places. I suggest the letter writer look at the Delaware beach communities that have much more stringent rules in place.
Claiming that ocean breezes disseminate any smoke that might be inhaled by others is just not correct. Cigarette and cigar smoke does not instantaneously disperse, and therefore others in the path of this smoke have no choice but to breathe in this polluted air. Why do most smokers like this letter writer not take the rights of the non-smokers into consideration when discussing this issue? I find it’s usually a non-caring attitude towards both people and the environment versus careful consideration of both.
Another note to mention is the direct health care costs attributed to all the health issues directly associated with smoking. Tobacco-related health care costs between 2000 and 2012 exceed $130 billion, not to mention lost productivity due to this habit. Maybe reducing smoking will reduce this cost and put those dollars towards other illnesses and research.
Since the indoor smoking ban was implemented a number of years ago, my family and friends have patronized many Ocean City business that prior we would not have, including Whiskers Pub, BJ’s on the Water and Macky’s Bar and Grill. We will continue to spend our dollars at Ocean City business versus going the short drive to Delaware.
In conclusion, I am fully supportive of Ocean City’s Mayor and City Council in implementing this smoking ban. If you want to smoke, go somewhere where non-smokers will not be impacted. There is no unfairness associated with a smoking ban. It is purely legislation that protects those that do not want to breathe in cigarette and cigar smoke. I suggest everyone checkout the American Cancer Society’s website for more information on the harmful effects of cigarette and cigar smoking.
Council Wrong To Challenge Own Citizens
I would like to thank all the petitioners for trusting our small group to collect the signatures of Ocean City voters so their voices can be heard. Had we not done the petition, we believe a majority of the council would have raised Ocean City taxes more than they did two weeks ago.
We would like to apologize to the many voters who may have wanted to review the petition but never had the opportunity. We had a manpower problem. There were only four of us soliciting, average age 71. Nonetheless, eight out of 10 voters we contacted supported the Petition. That is strong voter input.
You voters signed the petition to have a public vote to reduce property taxes. This is awfully brave in an environment where local government is hostile to your wishes. The council could vote on lowering taxes in five minutes if they wanted to. They don’t, so you the people did.
I would specifically like to thank the Election Board for verifying the count of valid signatures at over 1,475, confirming what our committee knew. We were required to get 1,228 signatures.
In closing, I imagine shortly you will hear from the city’s lawyer that the petition is illegal. This would mean that you don’t have a right to petition to lower your tax. The Town of Ocean City is in a truly perverse position: the council must sue its own voters to prevent the people from voting to lower their taxes. We have been told to expect a lengthy court battle. In utter disregard of your wishes, your council will spend your money to destroy your lawful petition. At that stage, the battle will become not who will vote for the tax cut, or who will oppose it, but whether or not you have a right to petition your tax grievance.
We believe no law can trump your right to petition your grievances. We will do our best to defend your right against your council’s legal challenge to stop the petition. Stay brave, stay firm and God willing we will prevail. Thank you.
U.S. Constitution, 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the right of the people… to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Commitment, compassion and caring. They feel your pain. They hold your hand. They care and take care of you. “They” could certainly be a parent, loved one or friend. But “They” could also be your nurse.
During National Nurses Week (May 6-12), Peninsula Home Care conducted an internal contest to recognize one nurse from each branch (Salisbury, Ocean Pines and Seaford) for their dedication to the job, their patients and the company. After nominations for “Outstanding Nurse of the Year” were made, team leaders reviewed the nominations to pick the winners.
This process gave me an opportunity to reflect on the amazing group of nurses we have working for Peninsula Home Care. Day in and day out, our nurses provide the highest quality of care by putting their patients first. Their level of commitment exceeds all expectations. They may make a home visit to help treat a wound but the care doesn’t stop there. Maybe they put the caregiver in touch with resources for finding affordable medication or provide educational information on dealing with stress. Some even go above and beyond to shovel a patient’s walkway so they can make it safely from their front door to a car for a follow up doctor’s appointment. When they see a need, they address it.
Our nurses are welcome into the homes of so many in our community with open arms and huge hugs. They are treated like part of the family. Peninsula Home Care nurses will hold on to a patient as he or she takes their first steps after a hip replacement or knee surgery, just as a mother would hold the fingers of a child as they attempt their first steps. But they will also help that same patient get to a point where they can let go and rediscover the freedom and independence they cherish so much.
(The writer is the branch director of Peninsula Home Care.)
Petition Opposition Merits Accountability
In an outstanding display of courage, a large group of local residents expressed in writing, their concern with the tax situation in Ocean City.
While predictable, the City Council will meet with the Council Attorney in private session to consider their next move in response to the citizens’ petition. The Mayor and Council would be wise to fully consider their options in this matter for it may well determine residents’ views as to the future of our town. These officials must be prepared to provide the voters their personal rationale for their position in this matter.
The Mayor and Council campaigned publicly for their respective positions. They owe it to the voters to publicly account for their actions.
Recently my husband and I visited Ocean City, Md., where we had met many years ago.
We decided to dine at our favorite seafood restaurant. Chatting with our friendly waitress, we mentioned that we had met in Ocean City some 62 years ago and that we were celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary. She was duly impressed and served us a delicious feast.
After the meal, my husband requested the check. Our waitress replied “No need, sir, the couple sitting next to you has paid the bill.” “What?,” my husband said, “the bill was over $80.”
We both then turned to look at the table and there were two empty chairs. We had noticed the attractive couple, but had no conversation with them, not even eye contact.
My husband jumped from his chair and ran through the restaurant to find the couple and thank them — to no avail – -they were gone. They had paid with cash so there was no way to identify them.
I must admit I stayed there and cried. With all of the cruelty, hatred, and mean-spiritedness in this country and the world, to experience such a kind gesture, given anonymously, was incredible. So much evil and suddenly there is good.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, please know that two ancients thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Readers, do you believe in Angels?
Jane Logan Kearney
New Hope, Pa.
Complaints Off Base
I’m a senior citizen and I just can’t believe or understand the complaining about Cruisin weekend. I’m sure the complaints are by old fuddyduds who have nothing else to do. It’s a weekend.
I reside right on Coastal Highway. Ask the Ocean City business owners if they are glad to be able to make a bank deposit. All off season they are still paying their bills with little, if any, income.
I was a teacher. In a class of 30, there was always a student who caused problems. So with a group of thousands the odds are against no problems occurring. Troublemakers and rule breakers are everywhere. That’s why the jails are overcrowded. In addition, the budget cutback prohibited the hiring of the police force we need during the season.
Business owners pay taxes on their “profits” after all their expenses. So the more they make the more they pay. Would you rather pay more as a resident?
You’re complaining about car noises. There are people in this world dealing with bombings. Think about it. Your selfishness is disgusting.
If you are so upset by the noise, go visit a children’s hospital or a veterans hospital or an old age home. Support the zoo, visit Assateague, go to the curb and see what innovations car lovers have done. You may see a version of your first car or go to Bethany (it’s a ghost town). They have dog events to attract visitors.
I feel wholeheartedly that our city administrators are doing an excellent job of helping a tourist town offset our taxes. Many, many people of all ages would say if you are lucky enough to live in Ocean City, Md. you are lucky enough.