Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Clarifying Airport Issues


After reading last week’s “grab your seat belts”, I have finally decided to break my silence and respond to some of this nonsense regarding the Ocean City airport and its history. It seems to me that Mr. Moran and others have expressed opinions and offered insight into something they know nothing about and admittedly have never used.

Please indulge me as I state my qualifications to write on the subject. I was born and raised in Ocean City well over 50 years ago, my family having history going back to nearly the turn of the century. I personally began flying commercially out of the airport in the 1970s as a banner pilot. Doug Trimper and I flew the first Allegheny Commuter flight into OC in 1982 carrying the late great Mayor Harry Kelley. I went on to enjoy a 30-year airline career culminating as chief pilot of a major airline. I now continue to fly as a corporate pilot out of Ocean City.

The fate of the facility has been tossed around by the local, state and federal governments including other agencies for four decades. Monies have been allocated for improvements but indecision, public opinion, reallocations and changing administrations have stymied any progress. There is now a race to spend funding by a cutoff date that is going to result in the major runway being shortened rather that lengthened.  I find the statements amusing that the runway will only be a couple dozen feet shorter. I know two pilots that ran off the end of a runway. Both have told me “if we just had 30 more feet, the outcome could have been very different.” Is safety ever considered?

As far as environmental impact goes, I remember when the airport could not build a dock and repair their boat ramp due to the “wetlands.” There are not one but two housing developments on those “wetlands” right now, their residents paying a fair amount of taxes.

This airport has potential to bring in many revenues, although it will never be profitable. Mr. Moran and the people that haven’t used “that facility” need to be aware that the metropolitan airports they’ve enjoyed before moving to the beach, were not profitable either. The service costs beyond user fees on airline tickets are also carried by the taxpayers, many whom have never flown at all. The revenues, taxes and jobs residually provided are essential to the coffers of the areas involved.

In reality, the Ocean City Airport is boxed into a niche’ and its potential will be restricted forever by these decisions. The dollars that could be brought into the area are being tossed away by limiting the airport to its present runway lengths. The corporate aircraft restricted by the short runways and weight restrictions carry people that spend considerable amounts of money in Ocean City and not necessarily at the airport. The Town of Ocean City prospers from that, although it will not show in the airport revenues.

Captain Jack Jarvis

Selbyville, Del.

A Great Place To Live


On Feb. 25, my car was rear ended on Route 50 heading east in front of Royal Plus shops. The impact caused my car to spin around and face west.

I want to thank the unknown good Samaritans who came running when they heard and saw the accident – the very nice woman, who told me she had called 911, the man who arrived in an instance and stayed by my side talking to me and comforting me until the police and EMT men arrived. I did not get their names but I am thankful for their help.

I also want to thank paramedics David Williams and Rob Hall for their concern and gentleness in transporting me to PRMC. At the hospital, I want to give my thanks for the caring staff in ER, Daryl Holtoss, Pat Provence and the staff in the MRI and CAT units. Thank you also to the concerned people, whose names are unknown, who reached out to help and comfort me that day.

What a great town we live in. I feel very lucky.

Marcia Hirsch


Statistics Being Distorted


In answer to Ms. Heather Moore letter in The Dispatch dated March 12.

Because the Assateague Coastal Trust is suing Perdue Farms for “polluting the Chesapeake Bay” does not in any way prove that the accusation has merit. American law and the Constitution continue to assure us our day in court. We should allow Perdue Farms its day in court before deciding its innocence or guilt.

When I studied statistics in college, I learned very early that many of the figures being quoted are taken out of context to prove a point. The figures quoted by Ms. Moore are a bit out of line, especially when you extrapolate these to yearly ones.

However, that is only one point I would like to make, and it is the least important one. I feel that what is confusing to Ms. Moore is that life and its peculiarities are sometimes measured in terms of “cycles”. Anything taken as a single entity out of this cycle can be interpreted as “taken out of context” and can be used anyway you want to prove or disprove your point.

Let me explain. These confusing and exaggerated figures are described as “excrement”, simply put, waste. Excrement might be someone else’s fertilizer, as in manure, or renewable energy, as in chicken pellets for heating houses.

A stretch you might say, but none the less, true. Manure used by farmers all over the world for centuries is the stuff that vegetables and fruits are made of. I need say nothing more about renewable energy in the form of “pellets”.

These remarks are in keeping with what I called “life cycle”. Taking parts of this cycle and basing your premise on them is unfair, unwise and frankly opens up an opposite theory. Why not eat more meat (beef and chicken) and increase the output of “excrement” which would then allow more vegetable and fruit to be grown and consumed; and while we are at it, provide more “renewable energy” to cut back on our “carbon footprint”?

A question: if I (me) love vegetables and fruits, can I not love a good steak occasionally without the feeling of guilt?? It is not my intention to criticize Ms Moore’s letter or preferences; rather, I won’t criticize her for her vegan preferences and thus limiting these essential products, if she won’t criticize me for eating that occasional steak.

Frank Vetare


Health Care Reform Needed


I have listened with great interest to the debate about health care reform, both nationally and locally for two years. I can’t stand by and not at least tell my experiences under the current broken health care system. Health care reform has more issues we agree on than disagree yet they divide us with their lobbyists by making us think this is a Democrat vs. Republican issue instead of an American issue. I implore all of you stop thinking in this divided way. Here are my stories of why we must pass health care reform now.

It was a little more than two years ago that I lost my brother Ed to cancer. I know many continue to honor his memory by thinking of all the good times and that is great. I myself can’t help but think how much my brother suffered the last year and days of his life unnecessarily. I watched first hand, his suffering, agony, and frustration at the current system. I implore all of you to really consider health care reform before a family member or friend of yours suffers a similar fate and you too are haunted by the fact you couldn’t afford nor knew how to help them.

Health care reform is not about just the uninsured. My family premiums like most Americans have tripled in the last three years and everyday more of us can’t afford it. A report this week was released by a watchdog group that said it will increase by 50 percent in the next three years if the lobbyists and insurance companies keep winning and keep the status quo. My brother was a sweet nice person who spent most of his life working and helping others. He died screaming in agony with little or no dignity. He begged for meds and treatments he never received and was actually dumped from a local hospital twice and placed into an understaffed ill-equipped facility left to die. He deserved so much better.

In the last months of his life, he was sent to jail for failing to pay an anesthesiologist fee and hounded relentlessly by the doctors lawyer. I watched my brother in handcuffs wearing oxygen taken to jail. He was over $70,000 in debt begging for treatments, meds, dignity. He screamed in agony for the last actual days of his life and I am haunted by the sounds and pleas to this day.

My Canadian friends have told me they don’t understand those in America who keep fighting for this broken system. They say it is true they have to wait sometimes in line to see a doctor but when they leave the hospital they aren’t financially ruined and $70,000 dollars in debt.

This isn’t just about people without health care. My wife has a serious illness and has had to fight every step of the way to get the treatment her doctors wanted with insurance companies despite numerous doctors’ recommendations. Our premiums have tripled in the last three years and like many Americans I fear we won’t be able to afford health insurance for us and our children.

Then there is the argument that the government shouldn’t be involved in our health care system. My father is a vet and the Government Managed Health Care of the VA has saved his life twice and giving him a decent managed affordable care. I only wish my brother would have had access to this government ran system like the VA. All we are saying is give health care reform a chance because it is broke and about nothing but profit under the current system.

— Under the plan President Obama is working to get through Congress, insurers will no longer be allowed to punish patients who are already unfortunate enough to have a pre-existing condition. Roughly 30 million Americans will be able to afford health care and feel safe knowing they can’t be denied insurance or dropped from a plan simply for being sick.

— The president’s proposal increases insurance protections for consumers and small businesses, adds greater regulation, and explores possibilities for tort reform, a major goal to help reduce costs of health care by providers and Republicans.

— The people of America will not stand for these abuses any longer. We need a fair health insurance system — and we need it now.

— It’s time to give the American people an up or down vote on reform.

I employ all Americans to keep fighting for health care reform by pressuring Congress to pass it soon for all of us. It could be you or a loved one in my brother’s situation next. Contact your Congress person today by going to www.Congress.org or www.senate.org to find your representative. Call them and tell them to support the Obama health care reform act today.

Thanks for listening to a little brother rant and cry for the loss of his brother.

Bill Wheatley


No To Pilot Beach Program


(The following was addressed to the Ocean City Mayor and Council with a copy to this publication.)

The two of us here are relieved that council nixed the so-called "environmental friendly beaches." 

We serve as Dune Patrol members, and have served almost since our arrival here in 2000. Our areas to clean those important sand dunes have ranged from 140th to 146th streets. For the past four years or so (Gail Blazer, OC environmental engineer may have a better record than our memories), we took responsibility for the dunes from 144th to 146th streets, the proposed distance for the "environmental friendly beaches."

We’ve seen people toss their trash over the rope fences, throw trash farther into the dunes, etc., and if we say something, get a smart even a hostile answer from some folks. Some unpleasantly challenge us for being on the dunes and/or asking them to stay off them and/or not throw trash. (There are others who say thank you.)

We can’t believe that all people will lug their trash to access points. We’re not at the dunes everyday to witness events, but evidence proves that people toss trash into the dunes. (As you might expect, inhabitants of some of the condo units toss their cans and bottles, cigar/cigarette butts, and more from their balconies onto the west ends of the dunes.)

Dune patrols offer no enjoyment given the trash (the butts are the worst to pick up), lots of heat if there’s no breeze, flying insects clinging to our skins if the wind’s from the west, cockleburrs, animal skat, sharp edged grass that cuts the skin, etc.

The Surfriders do great work on the beaches. Yet we believe the environmental beach would not work up here, and thus help deteriorate OC’s so-important dunes.

Bob and Mary Ann LeMay

Ocean City

Celebrate Doctors Week


On Monday, March 29, and throughout the week, Atlantic General Hospital will celebrate Doctors’ Week.

Doctors’ Day is celebrated annually, but Atlantic General Hospital began a tradition several years ago of celebrating the entire week by providing something special each day to recognize the doctors. This annual event is met with much joy and excitement as the staff plans this week of celebration.

The medical staff office will personally recognize the physicians with a cruise ship themed event this year, serving Alaskan cuisine for breakfast and lunch in conference room #3 on Monday, March 29. Coffee will be provided in the physician’s lounge Tuesday through Thursday mornings. Because Friday, April 2 is Good Friday, the normally scheduled doctors’ hot breakfast will be available to them on the following Friday morning, April 9, in the physician’s lounge.

Lunch will be provided by various departments within the hospital Tuesday through Friday. A schedule of events is posted throughout the hospital and has been sent to each Medical Staff member.

We feel fortunate to have a highly skilled and talented medical staff here at Atlantic General Hospital, providing quality patient care close to home. Better living through care and medicine is what we all wish for. Atlantic General Hospital and the community owe a debt of gratitude to physicians for their compassion in administering the sick and alleviating human suffering.

Atlantic General Hospital would like to encourage members of the community to make an extra effort to show their appreciation to their personal physicians on Doctors’ Day.

AGH Medical Staff Services Team