The scene under the Wicomico Street Pier in Ocean City has not changed much this summer. During the off-season, with an eye on public safety and health, the town decided to build a dune under the western end of the pier, to dedicate an area for vehicle passage and to place additional trashcans around it. After taking a look at the situation last weekend, it’s easy to see all that was done. The new dune looks like it’s been there for years, there’s a clear path for vehicles to pass through and numerous trash cans have been added to cut down on debris left behind. However, it’s still the same scene underneath the pier. The city’s intention was never to keep the Hispanic community from setting up shop under the pier with hammocks, coolers and playpens. Some officials even said they have no problem at all with it. That’s a good thing because nothing has changed on that front. It’s a sensitive issue for many, but I think it’s an eyesore even if nothing can be done about it.
Despite all the attention its cancellation got last week, people will still head to the OC Fly-In event at the Ocean City Municipal Airport in October for a couple reasons. One, it’s impossible to get the word out to everyone about it, and, secondly, some media outlets are still spreading the word that it’s taking place. I pick up all the free “rags” each week and I noticed at least three publications promoting the annual aviation event over the weekend. To be fair, the event was cancelled well after the glossy tourist publications went to press, leaving them in the awkward position of publicizing an event that will not happen. In addition, it seems falling into that category is also the town’s newsletter, which was years ago an embarrassment but is now an informative publication. On page seven, there’s an article headlined “Fly In To Ocean City’s Airport.” It seems this falls into the big “oops” category.
For some time, the white marlin fountain located at the park as you enter Ocean City off Route 50 has been dry. I asked Ocean City Development Corporation Executive Director Glenn Irwin why that was so this week. Irwin said last he heard a pump had malfunctioned inside the fountain and that a replacement had not arrived in Ocean City yet. Some had been privately wondering whether the city had conservation on its mind or was simply trying to avoid the inevitable summer prank of detergent being placed in the fountain, leading to bubbles engulfing the marlin. It appears neither was the case.
The results of some interesting studies were released this week. Here’s a look at a few of note:
– The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 77.9 years, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. That puts our country 41st on the world’s list. Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees in Europe, has the longest live expectancy at 83.5 years. The lowest belongs to Swaziland in Africa at 34.1 years.
– Maryland ranked 26th in a ranking of the most obese states by the Trust for America’s Health. Roughly one out of four people (24.4 percent) in the state are obese, according to the study. Mississippi leads the way at 30.6 percent, while Colorado is the slimmest at 17.6 percent. I always wonder with these studies what obese means. This study uses a Body Mass Index, a calculation based on weight and height ratios. For instance, on the male side, if you are 5 feet, 9 inches tall, the national average for men according to the National Center for Health, and weigh over 203 pounds, you are considered obese by this study. For females, if you are the national average of 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weigh anything over 175 pounds, the study finds you to be obese.
– A U.S. Census Bureau report found Maryland to be the richest state in the union based on median household income. According to the report, Maryland’s median household income was $65,144. For the record, Worcester’s was reported to be $27,586.