Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Poor Judgment


I was really disappointed that you took the ad from the Humane Society regarding the Ocean City Shark Tournament.

If you were a responsible newspaper editor/publisher, you would have turned down that full-page ad due largely to the fact that it included almost no facts and mostly exaggerated lies.

The ad talks about tournaments being just for the money. I guess the money for a full-page color ad was too good to turn down. Next time, don’t turn you back on your community for the money.

Kerry Muse

Edgewater, Md.

Painted Stands Idea Deserves Attention


A recent article in Steve Green’s “Between The Lines” column in The Dispatch pertained to the multi-colored lifeguard stands that you and your wife had noticed on the beaches in Sarasota, Fla.

As a grandparent to young children, I immediately realized how such a simple idea was a great solution for the families who visit Ocean City. Any family that has lost a child on a beach knows the sick feeling that is experienced.

Perhaps I missed the town’s recognition of your inference but I did not miss the public outcry for such a cost-effective idea. The politicians should take heed and read your paper occasionally.

Stephen S. Barnaba

Ocean City

Appalled By Actions


I recently witnessed an action by the Ocean City Police Department that as a citizen, and retired Montgomery County police officer, appalled me by its lack of professionalism and common humanity.

On Tuesday, June 10, at approximately 4:20 p.m., I was standing in front of the police station when I observed a young man who had just been released from custody wearing nothing more than a hospital surgical gown, the type of gown that only offers privacy if properly tied in the rear. This young man nervously embarrassed walked down the sidewalk into a summer-populated Ocean City. I don’t know any of the facts of this man’s arrest, only that he was released wearing a hospital gown.

It doesn’t matter what he was arrested for, the fact that he was released into the city wearing a hospital gown speaks volumes to a lack of professionalism and decency.

Certainly the Ocean City Police Department could have given the young man his clothes back or if that was not possible made some other reasonable accommodation for him to be clothed when released. Even if the man demanded to be released in the hospital gown, no one would fault the police from requiring him to be clothed when released.

This may sound like a minor incident but it demonstrates a lack of sensitivity and professionalism in the police department. Hopefully, this incident is the result of one uniformed and insensitive individual and reflective of the department as a whole.

Joseph C. Ambrose

Ocean View, Del.

OC As ‘Cents-Able’


Affordability is what will sell Ocean City. "Free gas", gas rebates etc. now being offered in different ways by different businesses in Ocean City shows some businesses are really trying. These efforts need to be coordinated more for better public relations impact. This message is strong and really gets people’s attention." The “half tank away" idea is old but still works but we need more.

An affordability image is what will bring people to Ocean City, also with the idea to forget all the economic "crap" in the newspapers, Ocean City is "affordable and fun" and is needed more now than ever as an affordable escape where you can jump into the ocean. The beach, ocean and boardwalk are all free.

“An Ocean City, Md. vacation makes ‘Cents’” "Ocean City, Md. is "Cents-Able" People need to know this.

There are lots of hotels and motels with rooms $100 a night and under. The "all-you-can-eat" Smorgasbord is just $10.99 at the Boardwalk and 2nd Street. With Wal-Mart and Food Lion coming into ocean city to load up from, families can exist on the same costs they would have at home. Plus, they are saving on high air conditioning costs they would spend if they were at home.

We need this image to get out now. There’s just a short window of opportunity before July 4th. People are making up their minds in the next few weeks. Their mind image of Ocean City this summer will be the determining factor in them coming or not coming and right now that is in limbo until we hit them with the right message.

Once they are here, they will spend more. P.T. Barnum once said "the biggest job is getting them into the tent, the rest is easy." Once we get them to Ocean City, the rest is easy. There are plenty of fun things and they will spend more, once they are here.

Joe KroArt

Ocean City

(The writer is the president of the Ocean Gallery Fine Art Centers Inc.)

OC Not Exercising Financial Restraint


We are non-resident owners of property in Ocean City, Md. for the past 14 years. We have found that our taxes have been going up endlessly. I believe that Margaret Pillas is the only one on City Council or in the mayor’s office that has an idea of what financial restraint and responsibility to the people’s means.

The city has been spending out of control for the past several years. The building boom for the past five or six years in the city has received thousands of dollars in increased revenue as well as properties recently being reassessed, which increased our property taxes. Our unit’s assessed value increased considerably and was assessed higher than the other units, which had more square footage. Do not forget about the increase in our water bills, the more properties, the more the water bills. The more the income is received by the city, the more the governing body thinks it needs to spend without any thought of the future. We can no longer pay $250,000 to wash cars. We can no longer have employees routinely take city vehicles home and expect taxpayers to pay the freight or just hand out pay raises above the cost of living rate. City residents cannot afford to pay for large advertisement budgets to bring folks into our city.

It is time to use constraint and stay within the city’s income. The residents and business owners are not an endless bottomless pit. We have reached our bottom. Where are families with normal income or senior citizens with limited income getting additional funds to cover these costs? Even the rich are looking elsewhere!

Both local and county officials should take a good look around Ocean City and see the exodus. How many homes are in foreclosure, how many are up for sale, how much new construction is just sitting unsold and how many Ocean City residents are moving to communities in Delaware?

We would like to see non-residents be able to vote on local issues like the owners of other resort properties are able to do and therefore perhaps government would be more responsible.

It is becoming increasingly clear that our days are numbered in this city.

Robert and Lois Platt


Thanks To All


On behalf of Stephen Decatur High School and the 2008 After Prom Committee, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to the parent and faculty volunteers who made the 2008 After Prom an enormous success with over 580 young adults in attendance.

Through generous gifts and donations from the following businesses, we were able to persuade a record number of students to stay for late night prize raffles, keeping them out of harms way throughout Prom night. Thanks for helping to keep our kids entertained, well fed and safe: A Perfect Face Day Spa, ABBA Bail Bonds, Action Water Sports, AGH, AGH Junior Auxiliary, Atlantic Health & Fitness, Atlantic Physical Therapy, Atlantic, Smith Cropper & Deeley, Ayers, Jenkins, Gordy & Almand, A Bagel And, Bank of Ocean City, Barrett of Berlin, Buckingham Deacons, Buzz & Rita Taylor, Candy Kitchen, Carousel Hotel, Carrabas, Castle in the Sand Hotel, Chelsea West & Friends, Cindy Miller & Paula Myers, Claudia Nicholls & Diane Justis-State Farm, Coates, Coates & Coates, PA, Coca-Cola, Conner’s Beach Café, Crabs to Go, Cynthia Dorcak, DeNovo’s, Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream, Domino’s Pizza, Dough Roller 41st, Dr. James & Marie Kramer, Dr. Lawrence Michnick & Family, Dr. Tom & Judy Lubeski, Dr. unks, Dumser’s Dairyland 49th St., Eming’s BBQ, Fager’s Island, First Presbyterian Church of Ocean City, Flowers by Alison, Fowler Insurance, Inc., Fresco’s, Friendship United Methodist Church, Gina Donoway, Hanes & Ott Family Dentistry, Hansen Plumbing, Inc., Harrison Apartments, Hunan Restaurant, Jackie Ball, K-Coast Surf Shop, Larry & Martha Redding, Layton’s Dip N Donuts, Linda Oliver, Lioness Club of Berlin, Liz Sebastian, Lou Taylor, Mark Fritschle-Remax, Mary Hedlesky & Beth Riley-JAG, Mary Nelson, MDP Plumbing, Inc., Mike & Denise Kelleher, Minit Market, Mione’s, Mrs. Susan Sturgis, Nancy Britt, Nanette Pavier, OC Golf Club-Buddy Sass, Ocean City/Berlin OptiMs, Ocean City Chiropractic Center, Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645, Ocean City Knights of Columbus #9053, Ocean City Lioness Club, Ocean City Police Dept., Ocean City Worship Center, Ocean City/Berlin Optimists, Old Pro Golf, Park Place Hotel, Parties Your Way, Pat Delawder & SDHS Boosters, Phillips Crab House, Pine Shore Golf, Piney Island Builders, Ponzetti’s Pizza, Professional Mortgage Services, Richard L. Ropp-State Farm, Rita’s Desserts, Rob & Ruby Dillon, Sandy Phillips-Landmarks, Seacrets, Seaside Driving Academy, Showell Elementary School-Robin Wolinski, St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Starbucks, SubMarina, Susan & James Glenn, Sysco, T&G Builders, Taylor Bank-Debbie West, Terri Bell, The Beach Club Golf Links, The Bonfire, The Coffee Beanery, The Nottingham Family, The Treasure Chest, Tony’s Pizza, Town of Ocean City, Trimper’s Rides, Waterman’s Seafood, Worcester County Board of Ed., Worcester County Commissioners, Worcester County Drug & Alcohol, Worcester County Retired Teachers Association.

Patti Miller

Alison Sappington

(The writers are the 2008 SDHS After Prom Committee Co-Chairs.)

Support Applauded


Recently a fund-raiser for the Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting Special Olympics was held at the Greene Turtle North in Ocean City and raised $10,000.

I would like to thank Steve Pappas for hosting and Eileen Abeel for her support in making this project a success. A very special thank you goes to Mitch Scott from Scott Broadcasting for his backing, generosity and participation. We also had numerous sponsors who supported our efforts. Without their generous donations the event would not have been a success. I would like to thank the following sponsors:

Greene Turtle,          Waterman’s, Great Scott Broadcasting, Visions Day Spa, Galaxy 66/Lovin’ Life Limos, LTD, Brass Balls, Jolly Roger, Sign Craft, Seacrets Bar & Grill, Hooters, FOP Lodge #10, Carrabbas, Lighthouse Sound, News Center 120th Street, Rum Pointe, Wal-Mart, River Run, Francis Scott Key Hotel, Eagles Landing, Stowaway Grand Hotel, Embers Restaurant & Island Golf, Anthony’s Beer & Wine, Ruth’s Chris, Lombardi’s, Fager’s Island, Salty Dog, BJ’s on the Water, Tequila Mockingbird, Outback Steak House, Harborside, Bonfire Restaurant, Carousel Hotel, Liquid Assets, Crab Alley, Paddock, Dolle’s Candy, Fisher’s Popcorn, Cork Bar, World Gym, Bearded Clam and Shenanigan’s.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank the committee, OCPD Corporal Dennis Eade, Sidney Findley and Officer Andy Yeager for their efforts along with all the men and women of the Ocean City Police Department whose assistance, dedication and caring made this event possible.

Rich Currence

Ocean City

(The writer is a lieutenant with the Ocean City Police Department.)

Non-Residents Should Get Over It Or Move


From time to time you provide an audience for non-resident property owners to vent their frustration over having to pay property tax on their Ocean City property computed from a higher rate base than those of us who are residents of the city. The most recent letter was from a Doug Ridgway of West Chester, Pa. From time to time, Jim Thomas from Montgomery County, Md. writes to complain as well. In Mr. Thomas’s case, I believe from a previous read, he owns not one but several properties here. I will take it upon myself to assume that those properties are investments yielding income thus helping to pay those taxes he incurs.

May I remind Mr. Ridgway and Thomas that owning property anywhere other than one’s home territory is not a right, it is a privilege! Privilege is not afforded to everyone; in fact, it is not afforded to most. With regard to non-voting status both of these gentlemen have pointed out in their rhetorical "gripe sessions", none of us vote in any jurisdiction other than the one we permanently reside and are registered in. Please, get over it and move here if it bothers you that much.

Gail Schuler

Ocean City

Handling Of Recent Accident Upsetting


On Nov. 11, 2007, my daughter of 17 years of age was involved in an accident with a vehicle that was registered in my name. The accident happened here in Snow Hill at the corner of West Federal and Ross streets. My daughter was traveling on West Federal Street and the other car was on Ross Street, which has a stop sign. The vehicle on Ross Street broadsided my daughter’s vehicle, spinning her around to a three o’clock position. Both vehicles were totaled.

Ofc. J. Shupp of the Snow Hill Police Department was the investigating officer on the scene and off-duty Lieutenant Hilliard was assisting. I received the information of the other driver and her insurance company. I asked the officer if the other driver would be getting a ticket, he informed me she would be ticketed. Both vehicles were towed from the accident scene by my company Family Service Center.

The next morning I called the other person’s insurance company, only to find out she did not have insurance since August of 2006. I immediately informed Ofc. Shupp about the uninsured motorist and that my daughter was going to the hospital to have her back and neck checked out. Two weeks after the accident, I asked Ofc. Shupp was the driver of the other car going to be issued a ticket. He told me that he had to check with his lieutenant. Three weeks after the accident, I asked Chief Daughtery of the Snow Hill Police Department when a ticket was going to be issued. He told me he would check with his lieutenant and get back with me. On Jan. 2, I contacted the State’s Attorney’s Office for help in this matter. That evening the driver was issued a citation for failure to maintain required security for vehicle during registration period, a $280 fine, no points and no must appear in court.

Did I also mention that the driver of the other car was written a warning for failure to yield right of way? After all the dust settled, an accident that was not my daughter’s fault wound up costing me $1,500 out of my pocket. Whatever happened to the police protecting the innocent? A big thanks a lot for nothing to the police that were involved in this matter. Is this sending a message that in Snow Hill it’s cheaper just to pay a ticket than pay insurance?

Mark A. Nixon

Snow Hill

More Sewage Spills


(The following letter was addressed to Salisbury’s mayor.)

At what point will you get involved to stop these sewage spills? You are the captain of the ship named Salisbury and you have done a miserable job of holding people accountable for their careless actions. Someone should be fired –today. Maybe you.

I am sending your story to 60 Minutes and hope they do a story on how lousy a job you have done on controlling these spills that are killing our river. My next contact is Maryland Dept. of the Environment to insist on heavy fines for your city. Your legacy of the worst mayor in the nation is certainly well deserved.

Capt. Bruce Wootten