Readers Viewpoints

Insightful Interview

On Health Care


Kudos to Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital, for his honest and informative responses regarding health care reform in last week’s issue of The Dispatch.

Albeit a different avenue, I too have been in the healthcare industry for over 35 years and have seen first-hand the inadequacies. No, all is not perfect with the changes coming our way, and the true advantages remain to be seen, but it is a start.

In addition, the new education bill coincides, as this too could allow more young people to enter the medical field and thereby address the shortage of physicians.

Thanks again to Mr. Franklin, and to Staff Writer Bryan Russo for his insightful questions.

Sylvia Y. Lawrence

Selbyville, Del.

Airport Debate Continues


Since Mr. Joseph V. Moran’s letter of was the straw that broke the camels’ back provoking my response, I’ll go on record to say he is absolutely correct and I have seen the error of my ways. The Ocean City airport will never be profitable. The Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional airport is not profitable either so perhaps on future trips he wouldn’t mind driving to the BWI airport which is just 123 miles west of Ocean City and not profitable. Is there a theme here?

As Mr. Moran said himself, thank God we have the Eagles Landing golf course to pick up the financial slack. Of course if my memory serves me again, that property was acquired for the expansion of the airport. The past Ocean City Mayor and City Council chose to use that property and funds to build the golf course and eventually the City and its tax payers had to repay those funds because they were not used appropriately. During that time, the golf course was not profitable and may not be now. Perhaps we should have expanded the airport as proposed and funded, allowing the larger corporate and private aircraft to use the facilities and maybe even have a decent scheduled air service provider, all the while making it safer for the current users. The golfers wouldn’t mind driving to Salisbury because as Mr. Moran states, “it is less than 25 miles to the west.” 

The point is that these types of corporations and private owners have many choices as to where they fly and spend. Why would groups fly to Salisbury in a corporate jet to be bused 25 miles to a corporate outing, for instance at the profitable Eagles Landing golf course, when they have so many other choices? The Town of Ocean City spends considerable amounts of tax dollars advertising and competing for these types of events, along with Myrtle Beach and the likes. It is the convenience of having that airport that draws those big buck events and spenders, which of course add to the tax base and eventually reduces tax increases.

Just because people migrate to Ocean City and pay some taxes, or they’ve owned properties in town for decades like me and my family, paying considerable amounts of taxes, none of us own this town. What your tax dollar buys you is a vote, and I suggest you spend it wisely.

You may find yourself caught in a quagmire over something you are passionate about (such as this issue for me) and have people make inputs having no base knowledge on the topic or how you arrived at this point. It’s like sitting mid court watching a tennis match, just more back and forth.

I’d like to invite all of you and especially Mr. Moran, to the 50th birthday of the airport on May 8. Come see for yourselves the Ocean City Airport and enjoy its hospitality and don’t forget the Air Show this summer.

Capt. Jack Jarvis

Supporters Recognized


The Society of Women Leaders, representing the Lower Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross, would like to recognize the wonderful people of our service area for the many generous things they do to support the humanitarian efforts of our organization.

Recently an event was held at Galaxy 66 in Ocean City to auction doll silhouettes created by local artists. Our hosts, Roger and Tammy Cebula, provided their lovely restaurant, an hors d’oeuvres buffet and gracious staff to make the evening very special. Stoli sponsored a special beverage, Fire and Ice, and many of the talented artists were in attendance.

Generous members of the community bid on the art treasures in a silent auction format with all proceeds benefiting the Red Cross. These contributions have been added to the proceeds from the luncheon and fashion show held in February at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center.

At this time of desperate need in our community, our country, and our world, you have once again stepped forward and supported the cause. The kindness of the people of the lower shore is boundless; our words of gratitude pale in comparison.

The Society of Women Leaders Lower Shore

First-Ever Event

Helped Great Cause


As both a committee member and attendee of the recent fundraiser for Coastal Hospice by the Ocean, “a taste of finer things”, held at The Embers Restaurant, I cannot begin to express what an enjoyable event it truly was. I believe others in attendance shared the same experience. It was a wonderful evening for a wonderful cause.

I have known for years that the people of our area are a most giving and compassionate group of individuals. When a need arises, the call is answered. The Embers Restaurant, with the direction of Cole Taustin, could not have provided more. They were top notch all the way.

The restaurants, Liquid Assets; Drummer’s Café at the Atlantic Hotel; Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill; 32 Palm at the Hilton Suites; Fresco’s; Mancini’s’, along with Candy Kitchen Shoppes and Sweet Disposition, each presenting outstanding dishes prepared by such talented chefs, created an evening unmatched in “good taste”.

The wines, generously presented by Country Vintner, were exceptional and paired perfectly with the food offerings.

The business owners and merchants who donated to the Silent Auction and raffle were most generous. To all those involved in helping to make this, a first-time event, such a success, please know your willingness to help in this effort is truly appreciated.

Many of us have come to respect the mission of Coastal Hospice. I have been involved since first taking the hospice training course offered in 1986-1987 when my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. What I learned in that course has served me well over the years as a caregiver dealing with deaths in my family.

Each year the need for hospice and palliative care has increased in this area. Coastal Hospice now has an opportunity to go forward with plans for a residential hospice facility in Worcester County. The first steps have been taken by opening an outreach center, Coastal Hospice at the Ocean, located on Route 589 in Berlin.

As we all know, the journey to seeing this goal realized is many faceted. The purchase of land, the design and construction of the facility, and all the amenities to create a welcoming and comfortable place takes time and money.  With the acceptance of “a taste of finer things” as a signature fundraiser, we hope that dream will soon be realized.

Karen A. Cramer


Grateful For First-Class Care


On March 20, I became acutely ill. My wife called 911.

The OC EMTs arrived promptly and transported me to the Atlantic General Hospital dealing professionally with the extremely challenging conditions that my condition presented.

Dr. Durkin and staff were waiting for my arrival and immediately went into action. Dr. Durkin’s decisive diagnosis of profound septic shock and the excellent follow-up actions of the staff saved my life.

I spent three days in ICU and two days in the Critical Care unit. The doctors, nurses, respiratory specialists and techs that provided my care were first-class and caring. I will be forever grateful. Thank you.

Donald Courtney

Ocean City