Voices From The Readers

Thanks To Our Partners


Host Our Coast, a tourism initiative featuring an online contest and the use of social media to highlight local travel, was honored with two awards at the 29th Annual Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit.

Host Our Coast was the only tourism initiative in Maryland to win an award from both Maryland Tourism and the Maryland Tourism Council.

Governor Martin O’Malley presented the Host Our Coast partnership with the “Visit Maryland Award,” one of only seven Maryland Tourism Awards distributed, and the only award presented to an Eastern Shore venture. The Maryland Tourism Council presented the “Impact Award” for leading a new initiative with a major impact on travel.

Host Our Coast was a low-cost collaborative marketing effort between Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences (DLITE), Worcester County Tourism, University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Rural Development Center, Southern Delaware Tourism, the Town of Berlin, OceanCity.com, the Makai Condominiums, and Full City Media.

Paul Cox and Melanie McLean, the Host Our Coast contest winners, were introduced in June. Thousands of us enjoyed their summer adventures through blog entries and posts to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter. Paul and Mel helped many of us appreciate our amazing local wildlife, beaches, waterways, towns, museums, country roads, produce, crab cakes, and Delmarva hospitality.

As Director of DLITE, I wish to thank the partner organizations for their support of this award-winning program, and thank all of those who followed Paul and Mel’s summer travels. We look forward to launching Host Our Coast II in February 2010. Check out www.hostourcoast.com for more.

Jim Rapp


(The writer is the director of Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences.)

Proper Recycling Urged


The general categories for recycling at Worcester County drop-off areas, such as the one located at Wal-Mart on Route 50 are  glass, cans (aluminum), paper, plastic and cardboard.

What are people thinking when they misuse recycling areas? Items “other” than those within the marked categories are often left. Such items I have seen are old tires, toys, electronics, appliances, furniture, yard and wood debris, general residential trash and much more.

Recycling is a responsibility, right and privilege. Recycling areas are not a “dump” or landfill. People can pay for residential trash pick-up weekly or monthly. Also, people can pay a $50 fee annually per registered vehicle with Worcester County that will “permit” them to take “other” non-appropriate items to the county transfer stations landfills. The audacity of some inconsiderate people that continue to abuse recycling areas is sad. Please properly recycle appropriate categorized items only. “Go Green”. Let’s all try to get recycling right.

Thomas Turk

West Ocean City

Residents Thankful

For Good Samaritans


I want to recognize two young men who make me realize that good guys are still out there.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, I was driving home in “Nor-Ida.” As I approached home, I realized that my street was flooded. I decided to turn around and take another way home, when I turned into a ditch. Instead of turning around, the whole right side of my van was now in a ditch. Not good. It began to take on water and the tide was rising.

A nice guy, Drew Melson, stopped to ask if I was okay. I said, “no.” He immediately pulled over and rescued me. He carried me out of my van and into his car (along with my two fire cadet girls who came to rescue mom) and carried us into safety. What a kind act to anyone – he could have easily driven by as so many others did.

My daughter called her friend who promptly arrived to help. Do not let anyone tell you today that some kids are not raised correctly. Marilyn and Michael James and John and Kathleen Lewis have done just that. Matt James and John Lewis Jr. were right there. Both young men had a heart for my situation and did not even think about the rising water and how their boots were filled or how little space they had to fit their faces into the rising water under my car. They were on their hands and knees (booths being filled) and faces under my van, racing against time to wrap their rope around my axel to pull me out. And that they did. They were successful – my van was pulled out and we were all saturated to the bone.

I was so overwhelmed with this act of kindness and privileged to be a part of it. Matt and John, these things come back to you, the Bible says they come back tenfold. I am grateful for both of you. Thank you so much, you are truly gems among stones.

Shellie Gronsbell

West Ocean City

A Warranted Peace Prize


All the kickbutters are apoplectic with rage that Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Reasonable people can only laugh at them and ignore cynical journalists who won’t “give peace a chance.” Get with it, guys: Last Nov. 4, most Americans voted peace in and Bush out.

Of course, the Nobel Committee was political. Imagine it not trying to clothe with the prize’s prestige a peace-friendly most powerful man in the world as he goes out into the world to reduce nuclear weapons, stop global warming, lessen tensions with Muslim states and do all this by negotiation/cooperation rather than by unilateral force – the Bush way.

As Obama noted, the prize “has not just been used to honor specific achievement, but also to give momentum to causes.” The committee chair said Obama “is giving the world hope for a better future.” A future, let’s hope, with fewer wars – costly, futile and stupid wars.

No doubt to kickbutters’ surprise, more Nobel Peace Prize winners have come from America than from any other country – 19. That’s one-fifth of all the winners. Here’s half of that one-fifth:

— 1906: Teddy Roosevelt, for negotiating peace in the Russian-Japanese War of 1904-05.

— 1919: Woodrow Wilson, for settling World War I and promoting the League of Nations.

— 1950: Ralph Bunche, for mediating between Arabs and Jews in Palestine.

— 1953: George Marshall, for America’s helping Europe recover from World War II, the Marshall Plan.

— 1962: Linus Pauling, for efforts to ban nuclear weapons and testing.

— 1964: Martin Luther King, Jr., for leading a non-violent struggle for racial equality.

— 1970: Norman Borlaug, for breeding high-yield grains to help developing countries.

— 1973: Henry Kissinger, for negotiating a cease fire in Vietnam.

— 1997: Jody Williams, for her work to ban land mines.

— 2007: Al Gore, for alerting the world to the dangers of climate change.

A noble company Obama’s joining, isn’t it? And this time, the kickbutt parents are not going to keep teachers from talking about it in school. It’s too big a piece of our history.

And too big a piece of our future. It isn’t the peace people who are naïve. It’s the kickbutters. How do you expect cooperation from the world after saying its opinion doesn’t matter – as Bush did? Remember, all the Chinese have to do is to stop buying our bonds.

James A. Hoage

Severna Park

GOP Bill Is Way To Go


I don’t understand how a complete government overhaul of our health care system described in Pelosi’s 2,000-page bill (that few people have read) will not increase the national debt. I would like someone tell me that when and if they cut five billion dollars out of Medicare, how is that not going to increase health care costs?

We absolutely need health care reform, but not one that tears apart our entire health care system. Please let’s try and get real bipartisan support in a health bill that will still protect the people who do have health care as well as provide for the people who do not.

Republicans introduced a bill which includes solutions to:

Guarantee that all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions, have access to the care they need at affordable prices by creating Universal Access Programs that expand and reform high-risk pools and reinsurance programs.

Empower small business to pool together and offer health care at lower prices, just as corporations and labor unions do.

Reward innovation by providing incentive payments to states that reduce premiums and the number of uninsured.

Help end costly junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order, not because they think it’s good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

These are just a few highlights of the bill. To learn more about the Republican plan and read the bill, visit healthcare.gop.gov.

Jerry and Sandy Fennell

Ocean Pines