Voices From The Readers

No To Expansion

Editor:

Worcester Preparatory School Virtual Tour

The people of West Ocean City are opposed to and united against any form of airport expansion pertaining to longer runways and the re-alignment of Route 611. Our County Commissioners voted 6-1 against it. The Mayor of Ocean City and the powers to be serve the people and should do what the people desire, not what they or the special interests groups want.

Commissioner Louise Guylas says the expansion is needed for the area to grow. We don’t need the airport for growth. West Ocean City is growing and people are moving here because it is a desirable area to live in. If runways are expanded, larger jets and more airport traffic and noise will be the norm.

West Ocean City will go from a desirable area to live in, to an area no one will want to move into. West Ocean City and all the neighboring areas will see their property values decrease by $100,000 to $150,000 per home. To tell the homeowners that the expansion is a benefit to the area is a joke.

Jim McGinnis of Ocean City should be commended for his fine article in the July 6 newspaper against the airport expansion. We have some great minds in the Ocean City/West Ocean City area. County Commissioner Bud Church covered many concerns of the people at the Convention Center meeting on the airport expansion. Ninety-nine percent of the close to 200 people at the meeting were opposed to any expansion. To move eleven families that lived here all their life for the re-alignment of Route 611 is not justified, it is deplorable.

Dave Wilson, Kathy Phillips and Spencer Rowe are three people that know and truly understand the environment. They spoke on the impact that the expansion would have on our coastal bays, wetlands and forests. Yes, there are bald eagles living in the forest. Where would we relocate them? Residents of Worcester County cannot cut a tree down in their yard without prior approval, yet for the airport, they want to cut down forests, fill in acres of wetlands, destroy our coastal bays and our environment. Rules that apply to the public should also apply to our local and state regulatory governments.

Route 611 is also a hurricane evacuation route and gateway to Assateague Island, the gem of the East Coast and our asset living close to it. Make Assateague Island harder to get to and Ocean City and the surrounding areas could be losing more tourists and dollars.

Salisbury Airport is the economic airport and hub for Wicomico and Worcester counties. Do not duplicate tax dollars. Let the people of OCean City and West Ocean City live the quality of life we chose by moving here. No to airport expansion.

Stan Cygan

West Ocean City

Yes To Expansion

Editor:

Ocean City Municipal Airport is an extremely valuable and irreplaceable community asset. Everyone, without exception, within Worcester County should be thankful that such a well located and quality facility is available to provide many social services and economic benefits. A few examples include the following:

– Access to the National Airspace System: Local airports can be thought of as portals or gateways to the world as this slogan eloquently states, "A mile of road surface only takes you a mile but a mile of runway takes you anywhere in the world."

– A lifeline in times of an emergency: Keeping in mind that we live in a hurricane zone, during a disaster similar to that of Katrina and Rita, this airport could be used as a disaster relief staging area for both government and non-government organizations such as the National Guard , Red Cross, Angel Flight, and the Civil Air Patrol to name a few. General Aviation pilots, like those who utilize Ocean City Airport daily, flew thousands of relief missions from various states to aid New Orleans victims in Katrina’s aftermath.

– Tremendous business potential: This airport is ideally located in a premiere resort area and has the significant potential to generate a huge revenue stream by attracting corporate investors who could base their operations here. Business entrepreneurs no longer venture around in Greyhounds and limos. Modernization would provide for safer and more efficient utilization of both present and future aircraft (operations at or near gross weight allowing full compliment of passengers, baggage, and fuel.); Additionally, in the not too distant future, a host of faster, safer, quieter, and more efficient next generation aircraft which will be ideally suited for both profitable commuter airline service as well as private corporate enterprises will then have access to our airport.

– Emergency medical and law enforcement: Medevac airplanes and helicopters could be based here, especially during the vacation period each year when the population swells, to provide rapid response and timely aid during those most critical initial moments. The present and potential contributions for public safety and well being far exceed any possibly lost tax revenue. How many saved lives are needed to justify this? Is not just one sufficient?

– On-Demand Air Taxi Service: NASA’s SATS program which will soon revolutionize transportation by providing a safe and affordable transportation alternative and unlock thousands of destinations where no airline connections presently exist. Possibilities include integrated Internet scheduling and point-to-point services. The time is right for a successful carrier to discover Ocean City.

– General Aviation activities. The essence of flying and everything associated with this thrilling adventure including: flying just for fun or profit, demonstration and sight-seeing rides, flight training, aerobatics, sky diving, aerial photography, site entertainment (airshows, concerts), charity support, professional training for fire, law enforcement, medical, or rescue, and educational inspiration.

– Established infrastructure: Who knows what exciting innovation lying just over the horizon may cause the next great aviation revolution. An excellent analogy would be to the selling off of our railroad systems. The long term value was not obvious, so the visionless succeeded in eliminating the perfect infrastructure which could now have provided light-rail systems for the many congested areas throughout this nation.

Federal funding for a proposed modernization plan which will improve both airport functionality and safety is certainly a blessing and is greatly appreciated by the entire aviation community and many local residents. However, lack of good communication and a failure to properly disseminate the facts in a timely manner has resulted in increasingly aggressive opposition and unwarranted criticism throughout Worcester County. A good barometer of the prevailing hostility and prejudice against Ocean City Airport in general is the media’s negative editorials and slanted reporting, the commissioners’ opposition, and the public’s ambivalent attitude. Every resident within a 20-mile radius of Ocean City Airport should demand to know the "real facts" before blindly accepting and believing the superficial and pretentious claims from parties with hidden agendas.

Take the time to educate yourself on this important issue. The growing misconception that this community jewel is unnecessary and that its location be exploited (developed) to produce larger revenue streams is rapidly increasing. Failure to modernize would severely limit both its usefulness and potential and hasten its demise. Ultimately, the loss of Ocean City Airport will affect not just the General Aviation Community but the public as well, perhaps even more. Once this airport is gone, it can not be replaced. That would be everyone’s loss.

James Dori

Ocean Pines

Tax Bill Shock

Editor

I was somewhat shocked when I received the tax bills from Worchester County and the Town of Ocean City. It seems that the county tax has jumped from $1,600 to $2,500 and the town tax from $900 to $1,300 in the span of three years (2005-2007). This is the same period that there was a tremendous influx of new building projects all over Ocean City. Sunset Beach is a prime example. Taxes should never have gone up that much. With all the influx of new tax money going into the county and town, why the drastic change in taxes? Where is the money going and why do the elected officials seem hell bent on spending taxpayer money? A $1,300 increase in taxes in three years is obscene especially when there was and still is construction project after construction project being completed and new ones starting.

However, not being a resident, even though I am a property owner in the town, I realize that this concern or question will fall on deaf ears, because in reality, I as a taxpayer have no say at all in how the elected officials vote.

David Ridgway

West Chester, Pa.

Support While Grieving

Editor:

My story might not seem important to everyone, but it’s important to me. My identical twin sister passed away March 5 of this year. We were born in 1959 and lived in and loved Ocean City all our lives. Our father was born here on the Riddle Farm and our mom in Berlin. I have an older sister, too.

The reason I am writing you is I need my story to go out so other twins don’t suffer without knowing there is a support group called The Twinless Twins (www.twinlesstwins.org or 888-205-8962). I found this group on the computer by typing in how to cope without my twin and thankfully I found them. There have been a couple of other twins in my situation that never heard of them.

My twin sister’s name was Lisa Brophy, who was married to Steve Brophy. We were the DeFressine twins. I really want and need this story out there for Lisa, myself and other twinless twins. If I only help one more twin get connected with this group, I would be so happy through all my pain.

Linda Hazzard

Ocean City

Tax Decrease Is Due

Editor:

When I first came to Maryland in 1977, the state’s budget was $14 billion. Just over four million people lived here. After 30 years with about the same number of people, the budget has more than doubled. To 29 billion plus, why?

The subject of the Trimper family and taxes is at the core of the situation. This article does not hold the Trimper’s in any kind of disregard, as a matter of fact they and their amusements have helped make Ocean City what it has been over the years.

Yet the state’s insatiable growth has placed a tax burden on every one of us. The same number of people, however, a doubling of our tax burden. This also causes an increase of business costs. Hence, an increase in the cost of everything we buy or haven’t you noticed?

It is not only the Trimper’s who are suffering, we all are. The Trimper’s are asking for tax relief. Yet, if they are entitled to a decrease in their taxes, so is every other business and person in Maryland.

Because they are prominent, they are receiving support from every official in the area. The adage applies. The wheel that does the squeaking gets the grease.

We should all be squeaking. A decrease in taxes is due to all of us. Call it what you will, but when we allow the government, “to take care of us,” we suffer because more government is costly, our taxes increase. The rallying cry should not be Save Trimpers, Save Ocean City, it should be Save Us.

If we don’t act to reduce federal, state and local government, we’ll pay whether we like it or not. I don’t like it, do you?

Jim McGinniss

Ocean City

Worthwhile Program

Editor:

If you or any of your readers missed "Bill Moyers’ Journal" on PBS TV on July 13, it would be well worth your while to visit www.pbs.org and watch it now.

Moyers interviewed Bruce Fein, a conservative Republican expert on Constitutional law and the author of one of the articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton, and John Nichols, an editor of The Nation magazine, both of whom make a compelling case that the current United States Congress has a duty to initiate immediate hearings to bring articles of impeachment against both George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Joseph Ellis

Ocean City