Legislature Must Act On Arsenic Issue


(The following letter is in response to the April 29 article, “Local Jurisdictions Join $20M Suit Against Oil Companies.”)

While our County Commissioners are to be commended for their concern about the health and safety of its citizens related to MTBE pollution, neither the county or the State of Maryland are willing to be as aggressive in removing another carcinogen from our environment. For the second year in a row, the Maryland legislature failed to prohibit the addition of arsenic to poultry feed.

Added to feed, arsenic causes a pink “tint” in chicken meat and helps birds grow to market weight quickly. Excreted in chicken manure, Arsenic is accumulating at alarming rates in Maryland’s soil. The poultry industry accounts for more than a billion pounds of chicken manure waste per year, much of which is spread on agricultural fields as fertilizer. A study of hundreds of Maryland’s drinking wells by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found higher arsenic levels near fields that had been spread with poultry manure. These amounts were often in excess of federal health standards.

A two-year monitoring study by UMES, related to the transport of arsenic to ditches from areas where poultry manure is land applied, showed the transfer of arsenic to receiving waters could be “significant” and often greater than EPA allowances.

Perdue Farms, Inc. claims they no longer feed arsenic to their birds and yet still manage to get their birds to market fat and healthy. This begs the question: why must our drinking wells and waterways continue to be poisoned by this pollutant?

Kathy Phillips
(The writer is the Assateague Coastkeeper and executive director of the Assateague Coastal Trust.)

Wear Your Poppies


With Memorial Day just around the corner, I would like for our fellow Americans to give recognition to our veterans both here at home and overseas.

The poppies are made by our disabled veterans in the hospitals all over America. This is very therapeutic physically and mentally and gives them a feeling of self worth. The poppies are not sold, but given in exchange for a donation. The public and our youth in particular must be kept fully aware of our armed forces and the sacrifices they have made.

So please wear a poppy to honor them. We need to keep our spirit right and keep our country and our veterans in our prayers.

Thank you all and God Bless America.

American Legion Post #123

Grateful For Support


On behalf of Beth Israel Synagogue, we would like to thank all of the Delmarva community for supporting the Fashion for Passion Runway Show and luncheon fundraiser April 4th at the Clarion Hotel in Ocean City.

It truly was a remarkable day to have so many fabulous women of Delmarva attend this unique event. Our thank you’s have been said to all those involved, but most importantly we want to thank all of you, for coming.

Beth Israel is the oldest synagogue on the shore and it’s so important in these times, that women from all religions can come together and share a beautiful day.

Thank you ladies very much.

Jamie Albright, Laurie Schwalb and Dawn Gershenfeld

Thanks To Senator, Others

Months ago, I wrote a letter that said “why Jim Mathias” and now you’ll know why.

On behalf of all the nonprofit service clubs in Worcester County and all of the future recipients of our financial gifts, “I say thank you Senator Jim Mathias”. I said that he will fight for our organizations and the charitable needs of our communities and he did.

Four years ago, when Jim was elected as a Delegate to the Maryland House of Delegates, he introduced slot machines for non-profits for Worcester County – something that has been effect in all counties on the Eastern Shore since 1987, with the exception of Worcester County.

The bill got through the house the first year, the second year and third year, but without support from the Senate side of Worcester County the bills failed miserably.  

This year Senator Jim Mathias filed SB 249 as a cross bill in the Senate and our organizations testified before committees and after his continuous efforts and negotiating with his fellow Senators, that bill was passed and combined with HB 39 that was sponsored by our Delegates Norman Conway and Mike McDermott. Effective June 1, 2011, each qualified nonprofit service organization will be allowed five slot machines which 50% of the gross income will be given to qualified charitable organizations in our county.

There are organizations in Worcester County that have been willing to help others but now they will have the financial means to make our county a much better place to live for those that need help.

Thank you Senator Jim Mathias, Delegate Norman Conway and Delegate Mike McDermott for your efforts and concerns of Worcester County.

Jim Flaig
Ocean City

(The writer is the treasurer of Ocean City Elks Lodge 2645.)

Save The Slots Money

I know this might be a dumb question but who decides how each governmental entity "must" spend their share of slot money received? The "Legislative Authority", whoever they are, has determined approved allowable projects on which the money must be spent. None of which include putting it into a savings account for some future critical need. It figures, right, give a government official taxpayers money (because that’s what it really is) and they’ll find a way to spent it.

Now let’s look at the suggestions of some of our officials. Mr. Meehan, of course, wants to spend it on public safety. I guess he hasn’t read my last email or the city’s expense report for 2010. Let me remind you, Sir, that the largest expense for 2010 was public safety at approximately $34 million, of which almost 60% went to the police.

Now Mr. Jim Hall likes the looks of that money but doesn’t give us any indication on what he would like it to be spent on or what to do with it in general. As president of the council, you’ve got to do better than that to gain the approval of us taxpayers.

Congratulations to Mr. Lloyd Martin, who at least had a worthy suggestion on upgrading the city’ water, sewer and storm water pipes that are in need of repair.

I, of course, have my own suggestion which brings me back to my first comment: A savings account for some future critical need. Now, I know it may sound crazy and hard to grasp by government officials but you must realize we live in an area that has the potential for strong storms that could do significant damage to this city. Why not have a fund set up to cover this potential instead of having to go to the state or federal government for assistance if such an occurrence should happen?

It’s just a thought, people, but it seems like common sense to me. Of course, I’m just an "old man" so what do I know.

Paul St. Andre’
Ocean City