Subtropical Storm Andrea startled most folks this week when it formed off the coast of Georgia. The named storm started swirling more than a month before the start of the official hurricane season, which starts June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. Meteorologists said it’s not uncommon for serious storms to form this early in the year, despite being outside the season. Some experts said this week the hurricane season was created as a guide to let people know when serious storms will most likely form and is not meant to give the indication they will not occur at other times. Readers may remember the first named storm last year was Tropical Storm Alberto, which originated on June 11 in the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall along the west coast of Florida. It crossed Florida and gained strength after entering the Atlantic before remnants influenced conditions in Ocean City a week later. After Andrea, this year’s Atlantic storm names include Barry, Chantal, Dean, Erin, Felix (a storm by that name impacted Ocean City some years ago, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Noel, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya and Van.
News that Trimper’s Rides could be closed and sold in the near future is bad for tourism and comes at a less than ideal time. In my opinion, this kind of news coverage in metropolitan areas is worse than the random serious crime here or there that draws attention to the resort. This is about sentimentality and changing the make up of the town forever. Fair or not, local officials are the subjects of most of the criticism in letters to the editor and on this paper’s website blogs and forums. That’s why the good news resort tourism officials announced this week comes at a good time. In an AAA/CAA Club Auto Travel Survey, Ocean City moved up to No. 7 on a list of the top destinations traveled to by automobile. Ocean City had been ranked No. 10 for the last three years. The complete top 10 Member Auto Travel Destinations were Orlando, Fla., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Niagra Falls, N.Y., Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Nev., Williamsburg, Va., Ocean City, Gatlinburg, Tenn., Anaheim, Calif. and Grand Canyon. This certainly is not huge news by any means, but we did notice one Baltimore television station aired a report along these lines: One week after Ocean City learned it may not have its famous Trimper amusement park any longer, the town learned it’s moving up the list of top drive-to destinations.
Although there were a substantial number of delays, including on Wednesday and Thursday when heavy fog impacted driving conditions, public schools were not closed at all this entire year for weather. Therefore, the last day of school for students will be Tuesday, June 12, three days earlier than expected. Officials in Newark annually build three days into the school calendar for inclement weather closures. Past history has shown that’s about average for how many days weather closes school. Since there were no snow closures this year, three days have been subtracted from the calendar, meaning June 12 will be a half-day for all students.
In other news, it’s always a pleasure to see the big guys make silly mistakes as well. In Saturday’s Washington Post, there was one of those errors in the print edition that keep newspaper editors up at night. In the Sports section, a preview of the big Kentucky Derby race at Churchill Downs was featured. It detailed all the odds and each horse’s racing record and recent successes. All was well and good except it came under the sub-title of “Hore Racing.” It’s hanging on a wall in our office as a reminder what can happen with a slip of the finger. Of course, I realize “hore” is not a word, but it certainly seems a lot like another word with an unflattering connotation.