Voices From the Readers

Voices From the Readers

Boardwalk Smoking

Ban A Logical Start


While reading The
Dispatch this past week, the picture on page 40A with the cigarette butts stuck
in the boards within our Boardwalk really caught my eye. Additionally, after
reading the letters from other residents concerning the issue of Ocean
City banning smoking on the Boardwalk or on our beaches, I have to concur
that I am in favor of an additional ban on smoking and I feel it should
begin with the Boardwalk.

I think its only fair
that I explain myself. I moved to Ocean City from out of state six years ago.
When I moved to Ocean City, I was almost a two-pack-a-day smoker and had been
for over 20 years at the time. I have since quit smoking and did so prior to
the state law ban a few years ago. Up until I stopped, I used to think
absolutely nothing of tossing a cigarette butt out the car window or just
flicking a butt off a balcony into the street.

Since I’ve quit smoking,
I have teamed up and with a few of my neighbors. We are out every single
morning with a broom and dustpan on our street within the city and we sweep up
all debris and garbage particles that are laying about or get blown in from the
elements. As the vivid environmentalist that I’ve become, I can tell you
without a doubt that 90% of what we sweep up are cigarette butts
from smokers who toss their cigarette butts to the ground. These
smokers obviously are in the mindframe that I was in just a mere few years ago.

Since I happen to like a
clean and tidy street, I continue to choose to volunteer my services and clean
my street because I like it that way. I believe that a good place to continue
the no smoking practice could be the Boardwalk. The vacationers love our
beaches, the restaurants, the bars, and the businesses. Everyone knows by now
that smokers must go outside to smoke. I would hope that businesses don’t
suffer if a smoking ban on the Boardwalk were to be implemented. People will
adapt accordingly just as they did when the state law came into affect a few
years ago banning smoking in indoor public places.

Although I’d love to see
the ban extended further, ie beaches and streets, but feel that its probably
best that Ocean City take this in baby steps.

Doug Antos

Ocean City

Costs Way Too High


It was with interest
that I read in last week’s issue of The Dispatch about the lady who was
"gouged" by the local restaurant. I see I am not the only one seeing
the ever-increasing problem with an Ocean City vacation.

I myself have seen how
things have gotten out of hand. My family of four went to a northside movie –
$114 (tickets in, two combos and two pretzels). The large hotel downtown that
on July 4th was charging $100 to park in their lot for the day. The famous
stand that hotdogs were $2.20 three years ago and are now $3 (about a 30% increase),
not to mention the tablespoon of chili on the hotdog that brings the price to

Don’t get me wrong,
these people have a right to charge what they want and there is always supply
and demand, but what about morals. Do these people sleep well at night knowing
they have taken advantage of their customers? It has gotten out of hand and
Ocean City needs to readjust or it will be losing business.

Oh, but then everyone
will just raise their prices to make up for the lost tourists. Kind of like the
backwards Ocean Pines golf and swim programs where they raise prices, lose
members and raise prices again to make up revenue for lost members, only to
lose more members because they raised prices.

Your paper says that
figures show a strong summer with good numbers being reported for the most
part. Of course, the numbers are good, the prices are astronomical. What about
the candy stores, bars, rides and T-shirt shops? Are they all reporting a
strong summer? You should check into that because I don’t think so from what I
see. Ocean City is no longer family friendly but money hungry.
John G. Michael

Ocean City

Local Handicap

Access Too Limited


Last week while
vacationing in Ocean City, we found the handicap accessibility very difficult
in Ocean City. Beach access was limited to 120th Street and
somewhere in the 70’s.

To make matters worse,
there was one handicapped parking space and one wheel chair at both locations.
Both of which were in use. I was desperate to get my mother to the beach while
she is still with us. Unfortunately, my leaving her on the beach without care
was not an option to “find another space”. Nor was the option to return the car
to the condo walk several blocks and return to her care. My admission was that
I did park illegally but with the handicap sign visibly noticeable hoping that
I would be given leniency. I fully intend to pay the ticket; however, at this
point my calls to the police station have gone unanswered.

While visiting a
restaurant in Delaware, they offered no handicap parking. All in all, the
accessibility is appalling in OC.

Upon my return to York,
Pa., I am finding that several people have experienced the same problem. It is
clear that businesses or City Hall really do not wish to entertain the
handicap. I am saddened by this lack of accommodation and lack of concern. To
that end, I realize that my voice will go unheard and that City Hall will put
my $30 to the good. I hope that they can buy an additional handicapped sign and
some blue paint for the 120th Street location with that money.

Kelly L. Morrison

York, Pa.

Timing Questionable


Does the timing of the
administrative suspension of Michael McDermott as a deputy seem a little
suspect to anyone else?

The charge of improper
storage of a service weapon in September 2009, which results in a suspension in
the summer of 2010, seems to have been made in an effort to affect the coming
election. Could someone be attempting to derail McDermott’s campaign to get
elected as delegate to the state legislature? According to reports in the
media, a service weapon can be secured in a deputy’s home or locked in a
vehicle’s truck. Is leaving it in a locked office not similar? If the violation
was of such a serious nature that it required the removal of McDermott’s police
powers, why was he allowed to continue his police work as usual for almost 10
months after the infraction?

Sheriff Martin should
have settled this issue last year when it occurred. Is the fact that Sheriff
Martin belongs to the opposition party playing any role in this story?

This situation needs to
be addressed and resolved as soon as possible. If wrongdoing has occurred,
there should be a public disclosure of the charges and circumstances.
Otherwise, a disservice to our elective process will be perpetrated.

Jean Crocker

Ocean Pines

An Open Community Letter


In 1978 when we decided
to relocate to the Eastern Shore from Baltimore we could never have envisioned
the idyllic and insulated life ahead of us. The past 32 years have been the
best of our lives because of the kindness and generous spirit of neighbors and
friends in Berlin, Ocean City and Salisbury. As we are now retiring and moving
to our home in Ft. Myers, Fla., we would like to thank so many who have been so
special in our lives there.

When we first moved into
our little house on West Street and proceeded to drive our pick-up into the
spring mud then had to be pulled free with our neighbor Josh’s tractor, folks
there just knew we were from the city. But they never held it against us. We
soon learned to appreciate the smell of manure each spring, the raised finger
hello as we drove through town, chicken and dumplings and the freedom to leave
our doors unlocked. We never took for granted the Utopia into which we dropped.
We thank all of our neighbors and friends in Berlin for every kind word and
helping hand through the years. Mary and Josh, Wally, Cam, Todd, Rick, Laurie
and Darren and so many others who made life in Berlin serenely beautiful,
untroubled and happy.

Through the support of
friends at the Bank of Ocean City, Taylor Bank, Harrison Group and Bergey &
Co., our Ocean City restaurant business grew and flourished. There were thick
and thin years and we could not have weathered the thin ones without being
“shored” up these business colleagues who grew to become friends. Thank you
Wayne, Harry, Denise, Lorie, Jay, John and we could never forget Art Davis and
Jim Bergey. And to the good folks at Elliott’s who never failed to come through
for us in a pinch. Such bonds could not have formed in the city of our birth.

Our children (first,
Lance and now, Kelle) ran the fields and courts of Berlin and Ocean City
learning, competing and forming lifetime friendships. They gained expert
instruction from the many individuals who volunteered their time to work with
them in recreational and scholastic venues. We want to thank their many
coaches, refs, teachers and announcers who made those years memorable for our
sons, as well as for us. And a very heartfelt thank you to our son Lance’s,
teammates, coaches and school staff that fateful spring of 1997 for their
caring support and love. Without the strong arms and kindness of so many in our
community, we could never have survived so black a time. We never ran an errand
in town without running into someone who said “Hello, Lance’s mom!” or “I knew
your son. I still think of him.” And, of course, we now have a Berlin son
through love, Myro. We will sorely miss that bond with all of you when we are
far from the town we’ve loved.

To the Wicomico County
school system for hiring a very experienced teacher at the age of 55, I will be
ever grateful. With that one act, we were able to regain some hope for a

brighter future as it allowed us to bring another child to love into our family.

Worcester Prep has been
a very rewarding experience for Ken. A warm thank you to the students and
parents for their kindness and support.

We are thankful to have
been a part of such a wonderful community for so long a time. We know that it
has been unique; that we will not likely ever again enjoy the easy rapport and
caring support we have experienced there on the Eastern Shore. Our hearts will
always call it “home” and the friends and colleagues we have known will always
be “family”. Until we meet again.

Ken and Janice Grau

Ft. Myers, Fla.