The Publisher’s Thoughts

Ocean City’s plan to have an unofficial Bike Week event at the Inlet comes with some understandable concerns, but the Mayor and Council was wise to give it a shot this year.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">

Thanks largely to the closing of the Harley-Davidson store on Route 50, it’s no secret organized Delmarva Bike Week activities are migrating west and north away from Ocean City. Most of the featured activities for September’s event will be held at the Harley store in Seaford and at Winter Place Park off Route 50, and the concern seems to be that Ocean City will not get the business in hotel and condo bookings and bar and restaurant sales that it once did.

Subsequently, that’s the main reason for Ocean City agreeing to work with the West Virginia promoter on OC BikeFest. Sure, there are a number of logistical concerns to iron out, but it seems to me to be a decent idea to try out for one year and then review extensively before moving ahead in subsequent years.

Salisbury has the right idea when it comes to elected officials and health insurance. If you want it, you can enjoy the benefits of group coverage but you have to fund it yourself. That seems to me to be a wise course, given what the “new normal” has become in today’s economic world. Health insurance costs skyrocket every year. It’s never a matter of if premiums will spike, it’s a question of how much.

It’s worth noting Salisbury’s new policy is quite different than others in Worcester County. In Ocean City and county government, elected officials are essentially treated like employees and can receive government health coverage for the same percentage as full-time workers. Not all the officials take the insurance, but many do because it’s cheaper than what they can get on their own, particularly when they only have to shell out 10 percent of the cost, which is the case in Ocean City.

Ocean City’s Boardwalk poll continues to roll along. As of noon yesterday, almost 15,000 votes had been cast, and the all-board surface was leading the way with 47 percent of the vote, followed by the boards with stamped concrete lane at 37 percent.

What I have found interesting was where the people have been voting from. Kudos to the town for keeping track of this information.

Top 10 states voting have been Maryland, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia (I know, not a state), Virginia, Delaware, New York, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey and California.

The top 25 countries have been the U.S., Canada, Germany, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Belarus, Russia, Croatia and Turkey.

On another note, much has been said about the Facebook phenomenon, good, bad and indifferent, but a story about a local resident’s recent trip to New York City confirmed what is good about the social network.

An Ocean City local last week visited a friend in New York City and, among other things, attended a Prince concert. After the concert, the local resident, who took only her wallet to the concert, took a cab from the venue back to her friend’s apartment in Brooklyn. After a long night of celebrating in the Big Apple, and two cab rides later, she awoke the next day with only her wallet, but not her purse or her cell phone. Repeated calls to her cell phone went unanswered for much of the morning until it was answered by a cab driver, who said he had found it in his taxi and that he had been charging it until he could find out to whom it belonged. He made arrangements with the Ocean City local to return her phone when he started his shift later in the day.

Now ordinarily, that would have been a major victory considering there are tens of thousands of cabs in NYC and this driver took the time to charge her phone and make an attempt to locate her. However, what happened next only reinforced the good in people and helped, at least for one day, dismiss the reputation of New York and its cab drivers.

The local resident called the New York Taxi Commission to report the missing purse, and after a considerable run around and numerous recorded messages got to talk to a real person. The taxi commission representative did take down the information, but not before scolding the young woman for leaving her belongings in cabs all over Manhattan. The taxi commission representative also told the local woman to go on-line and fill out a missing property report and advised her to call the police department.

After several hours and no return calls, with hope of finding the purse, her camera, checkbook, car keys and other possessions starting to wane, she checked her email again to see if she heard anything back from the taxi commission. It was then she noticed an email saying “Jack Little has sent you a message on Facebook.” Not knowing a Jack Little, she opened the email anyway and found out Mr. Little was a NYC cabbie and found her purse in his taxi the night before. He was able to get her name from the checkbook and searched on Facebook until he found her.

Long story short, she called him and made arrangements for him to meet with her and return her purse. So, although it is often maligned, in this case Facebook had a very real practical application that led to a happy ending. And thanks Jack Little for your honesty and the confirmation there are some folks of high moral fiber out there.

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.