Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Ocean City was in some pretty exclusive company on Tuesday morning on “The Today Show.” In a feature about Boardwalks and the Fourth of July, Ocean City got some great exposure alongside Atlantic City, N.J., Coney Island, N.Y. and Santa Cruz, Calif. The segment titled “Today’s Travel” spotlighted the four best Boardwalks to spend the Fourth of July weekend. In the four-minute piece, the reporter said Ocean City was one of her favorite places because it’s family friendly and businesses like Trimper’s, Dolle’s and Thrasher’s have been operating for decades. This is the kind of national exposure Ocean City lives for and the best part may not be so obvious – it was free. Some more exposure is reportedly coming up this month, according to Ocean City Public Relations Director Donna Abbott. The resort will reportedly be featured in Sunday’s edition of The Washington Post. In the weekly travel feature “Road Trips,” the reporter will spotlight “12 cool things to do on the Boardwalk.” Additionally, on the morning of July 25, CN-8 Your Morning program, which reaches nine million viewers along the coast, will air live from Seacrets on 49th Street.

Pardon the pun, but a resident’s recent request for a crackdown on dogs in Berlin has created quite a stink. A concerned citizen recently came before the Mayor and Council asking officials to take action because Berlin is becoming “a dog kennel.” He cited one instance when a dog on West Street bit the friend of a family member. The same dog is known to have been involved in other incidents, police confirmed. The resident has been praised by some for his comments, but criticized by most. I understand both sides. The fact the town is dog friendly is one of the charms of Berlin. On Washington Street where I live, there are at least 10 dogs, two of which are my Labrador retrievers. While I typically do not give my dogs the freedom to run loose through the neighborhood, others let their dogs come and go and have done so for years. I have no problem with that. Having lived in Ocean City the last 10 years, I think that’s a unique aspect of Berlin and even look past the dog excrement commonly found in my yard and flowerbeds. However, Cosby is right when he says something has to be done about a dog that has routinely bitten people. That can’t be happening and the dog’s owner should be fined and forced to keep his dog on his property. The question is: does Berlin need a town-wide leash law? For most of the dogs in Berlin, the answer is no. However, the town seems poised to pass an ordinance requiring dogs off the owner’s property to be leashed. If the council passes the leash law, Berlin police need to use discretion. In Ocean City, most cops and animal control officers will give a warning before a ticket. Simply writing a ticket to every person whose dog is wandering off a property or barking too loud and often for one’s taste is unnecessary and perhaps most importantly contrary to what Berlin is about. This is a slippery one here and it will be up to the police to make sure the attempts to address the town’s perceived “dog kennel” issue are not taken too far.

I personally walked around the downtown flea market in Ocean City a couple weeks ago. Attendance was poor on this Saturday morning, but it’s been reported there are certain times when foot traffic is heavy. It’s been more than a month since the flea market opened and no complaints have surfaced about the vendors selling wares similar to those of nearby merchants. That was a concern when the market first opened, and oddly enough the Mayor and Council heard some complaints about the same thing happening along Somerset Street where carts are currently operating. The city will review that concept after the summer to determine whether the carts will return next year. It will be interesting to learn then if the problem is the carts themselves or rogue operators. 

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.