Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

It’s official: Ocean City is cursed when it comes to the fireworks. Three years in a row, the Fourth has been a nightmare for resort officials as it was confirmed once again everything can be prepared for except the weather. In 2005, a mysterious haze lingered over the town and ruined the fireworks. The fireworks went off that Monday night but nobody could see them. In 2006, a thunderstorm postponed the fireworks and chased away most people looking to take in the fireworks. Last week, high winds kept the resort from launching the fireworks for the first time in years. The display went off one day later but the crowds were much thinner and a brief rainstorm forced the town to delay it once. The fireworks curse is alive and well, and it will be interesting to see what happens next year when the holiday falls on a Friday, courtesy of leap year.

The Maryland State Police recently conducted an alcohol purchasing operation, which features a cadet under the age 21 attempting to purchase alcohol over a three-day period. It was reported last week 27 establishments sold alcohol to the cadet. Of those violators, 12 did not even card the minor. It’s a good thing for the cops to keep local bars and restaurants on their toes and make sure minors are not being served in establishments. It’s one thing to send a minor into an establishment and order a drink or buy carryout beer, wine or liquor. The minor should not be served. It’s as simple as that. However, a recent operation reportedly taking place raises some questions. It seems a local law enforcement agency was doing something along these lines: sending a man of age to a bar in a busy establishment asking for multiple drinks for his friends who are not directly visible. The law says the bartender should card all in the party, but in busy establishments that can be a daunting task. What typically happens is the patron is asked to point out the people in the party. Some bartenders will say all the people need to show identification, but most will not because of the pace of the restaurant or bar. While it’s questionable whether the operation is entrapment, what’s not uncertain is it’s anti-hospitality. Of course, operators should not be serving minors, but to seemingly try and trick them with this type of operation muddies the water and impugns the relationship between liquor license holders and law enforcement. There’s no need to deceive in this manner.

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Ocean City got some more of that cherished free publicity stuff last Sunday in The Washington Post. In the “SundaySource” section, the weekly “RoadTrip” piece detailed the Boardwalk’s past and present. Places specifically spotlighted were the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, Harrison’s HarborWatch, Trimper’s Rides, Fisher’s Popcorn, Jolly Roger at the Pier, Dumser’s Dairyland, Ocean Gallery, Thrasher’s, Shenanigan’s, Kite Loft and Malibu’s Surf Shop.

A blog posted this week on our website by a Myrtle Beach, S.C. resident familiar with Ocean City raised some interesting points about the potential loss of Trimper’s Rides and the impact it could have on the downtown area and the boards. It seems Myrtle Beach lost its landmark amusement park “The Pavilion” last September. Despite public protests in the form of petitions and phone calls, the operation shut down and is planning to be scaled down in another location. “Just to give you some ‘foresight’ of what will be coming for you after they close, the streets in that area will be quiet, the surrounding businesses will suffer. There is no longer any reason to deal with the traffic to get down to that downtown area … much like OC will experience. … Be warned of this and good luck to you, OC.” This is certainly not a newsflash and people in high positions are aware of the ramifications of the amusement park’s closure. The question remains: can anything be done? 

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.