Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

It’s been a while since we looked inside numbers making news lately. Here’s a few that caught my attention:

— Zero: Number of snow photos in the paper this week. Considering this winter’s wrath, a light overnight dusting doesn’t deserve any coverage.

— 25,000: Thousands of dollars being offered as a reward for information on the disappearance of Greg Forte, who was last seen at a Fenwick Island party earlier this month. Anyone with information is urged to call Delaware authorities.

— 20: Number of luxury units in the Bahia Vista condominium development being auctioned off on Saturday, either in Ocean City or Annapolis. The local auction, featuring 11 units, will be held at the Grand Hotel and conducted by Marshall Auctions, while nine units will be auctioned by the Max Spann company at the Loews Hotel in Annapolis.

— Four: The hours notice Ocean City taxicab drivers will have if they are randomly selected to take a drug test. Those who test positive or refuse to take the test will lose their right to drive a cab in town. One cab driver I recently spoke with confirmed there will be job openings soon as a result of this new policy.

— 13: The number of 40-foot buses Ocean City is seeking in its 2011 Annual Transportation Grant. Each bus is estimated to cost $420,000 and was called an imperative need by the city due to the aging fleet.

— 300: Seats in the restaurant planned for the old BJ’s South property at 1st Street and the bay. It’s to be called De Lazy Lizard and will feature both indoor and outdoor seating, with boat docks, water views, and a 1,680-square-foot outside tiki bar.

— 34: Years that City Clerk Carol Jacobs has worked for the Town of Ocean City. She plans to take advantage of an early retirement incentive plan and leave the job this year. She has been the clerk for 23 of those years.

— 27: Years that Assistant to the City Manager Kathy Mathias has worked for the city. She has been fittingly named as Jacobs’ replacement.

— Zero: Ocean City Council members who voted against allowing bike hours to be extended throughout the summer seven days a week last week.

— 10: Days Worcester County schools have been closed during this school year.

— 25: Percentage that minority students in the county increased their reading proficiency scores by on the Maryland School Assessment since 2004.

Here’s some numbers of note from the Ocean City Police Department’s 2009 Year-End Report:

— 2: Approximate millions of dollars the department reports in overall savings when comparing the actual budget vs. the adopted budget.

— 46: Percentage increase in the police department’s spending from fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2009, from $13,194,279 to $19,306,872.

— 10: Percentage decrease in serious crime in 2009 compared to 2008, representing the largest single-year decrease in recent history.

— 1,387: Total offenses considered by the FBI to be serious crime – criminal homicide (0), forcible rape (2), robbery (23), aggravated assault (61), breaking/entering (216), larceny/theft (1,057) and motor vehicle theft (14). The 2009 figures were far lower than any previous year included in the report.

— 23: Percentage of all serious crime offenses in the month of June.

— 11,858: Calls for service to the department in July, the most active month in this category on the calendar.

— 1,972: Calls for service in February, the lowest.

— 14,124: Number of traffic stops, ranking as the top service call.

— 3,356: Number of 911 hang-ups.

— 18: Percentage decrease in arrests from 2004 to 2009, from 4,362 to 3,571.

— 24: Officers assaulted in June, representing 38 percent of all such offenses.

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.