Letters To The Editor

Bay Fund Not Raided


Thanks to Maryland residents’ desire to protect our drinking water and waterways, demand is high across the state for money to upgrade septic systems through the Bay Restoration Fund. Together, we are keeping literally tons of pollution out of our waters and the Chesapeake Bay through this hugely successful program.

Through the Bay Restoration Fund, more than 2,600 septic systems have been installed or upgraded with nutrient-removal technology since 2007. That includes 124 septic system upgrades in Worcester County. More than $1.6 million has been allotted to the County through the Bay Restoration Fund.

In response to your article “Restoration Funding Drop Worries Official,” July 8, we would like to make it clear that the fund to upgrade septic systems and plant cover crops has not been raided for other purposes.

Through the Bay Restoration Fund, a $30 annual fee is collected from each home served by an onsite septic system. Those funds go to both upgrade septic systems and plant cover crops, both of which reduce nitrogen pollution. Excess nitrogen contributes to dead zones that are harmful to aquatic life.

Because Worcester County was an early leader in upgrading septic systems, the County received a large share of money early in the program. Demand has increased in other areas of the state since then, so the funding is now more widely distributed. Under the law, priority is given to upgrades to failing septic systems in the Critical Area, within 1,000 feet of tidal waters. Next in priority are failing septic systems outside the Critical Area, which present a public health risk.

Conventional septic systems dump nitrogen from our sewage into groundwater, which is the water supply for many of our citizens and the source of base flow to our rivers and Chesapeake Bay. It all adds up to one thing: to protect our drinking water and Chesapeake Bay we need to cut the nitrogen from our septic systems.

Robert M. Summers, Ph.D.

(The writer is the secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment.)

Living Life The Right Way


While attending the funeral service for Brice Phillips I was struck by the fact that how one lives one’s life inevitably, for good or for bad, has an impact on the lives of others we really do not know.

I moved to Ocean City at the age of 17 and had the pleasure of working at Phillips Crab House for several years. I met my business partner at Phillips. I met life-long friends at Phillips. My younger brother worked and met his wife at Phillips. Prior to opening retail stores, I sold my first T-shirts to co-workers at Phillips. I recall a brief conversation I had with Mr. and Mrs. Phillips regarding how I collected stamps and upon their return from a trip to Europe, Shirley handed me an envelope stuffed full of stamps they collected for me from the various countries they had visited. Kindness, thoughtfulness to a person really no more than an acquaintance.

The company Mr. and Mrs. Phillips have built along with their fine character and work ethic are, in part, one of the reasons I have stayed in Ocean City to make a life for me and my family. How we live our lives matters to more people than you will ever realize.

Mark A. Pugh
Ocean City

Hypocrisy At Play


You have to love our Ocean City elected officials. Last year, the Mayor and City Council decided to end recycling in town. By doing so, the city saved $1 million. I cannot help but remember what my 6-year-old grandson asked me, “Don’t they care about the environment?”

But to show you what a bunch of hypocrites our elected officials are, take a ride to Coastal Highway and 139th Street. There you will find a sign that says, "Keep the Free State Litter Free Try Recycling Call 1-800-I-Recycle”. Way to go mayor.

Jim Jarzynski
Dundalk/Ocean City

Change Needed

I’m sure everyone is aware of the problems in many European countries and the reasons behind most of the riots. Also, I’m sure many of you feel isolated from these problems. If you do, that would be a mistake. If you’re watching the news you know that most of our states are facing financial difficulties. The reasons for most of the problems are commitments made by the state governments that they are unable to fulfill.

Many in our society today work, or have worked, for unions such as: the teachers, public employees, private industry employees, the police and fireman in some cities. The contracts made with Union leaders through arbitration with politicians that accepted benefit packages with the understanding that the ability to pay would be based on collected taxes not on investment strategies were not well conceived. Now with the loss of tax revenues due to high unemployment and the increased required payments for retiring workers government in many states can’t meet these payments.

 So what will come from this inability to meet obligations? That brings me back to the first statement of this letter: the riots in Europe. Each of you individually will have to make a choice. Yes, you can riot demanding what you feel you deserve or you can except the fact that the promisees made were lies and walk away from your place of employment and start over. I know these are not easy choices but obviously you’re not going to sit by and do nothing when your income is affected. The choices, I think, are basically between good or evil. The evil being you decide to riot with the end result being the same as if you did nothing: a loss of income. The good choice, I believe, would be to accept the fact that you were lied too. Then, with your neighbor and fellow employees, stand together and get active by joining organizations, such as the AFP (Americans for Prosperity: 443-994-9395), that are trying to correct the misguided direction the government has been taking for over a hundred years. Anything would be better than being drawn into a situation that would lead to a riot.

Rioting won’t be the answer. It will only lead to a breakdown in our society. I don’t think any of you want to see that happen. Depending on how you choose, either accepting the fact that you can’t expect the benefits promised and finding a way to go on or rioting demanding that which can’t possibly be paid will lead to one of two results. One choice leads to chaos. The other leads to a society determined to make the necessary changes that will bring our nation together toward a unified peaceful solution. Let’s hope the majority make the right choice.

Paul St. Andre’
Ocean City

Thanks For Arts Support


On behalf of myself, President Margaret Spurlock and the entire Board of Directors of the Art League, I would like to thank everyone who came out to City Hall to support the Art League of Ocean City’s efforts to bring a new visual art center to the community.

This is a victory for our children, for our senior citizens and for everyone who lives, works and visits this area. The Art League is the only non-profit art organization in Ocean City and fills a void in this community. A proper building that can showcase the local talent, provide art instruction, and be a destination for the arts in Ocean City is long overdue. With the vote of support from the council (5-2 Pillas and Ashley opposed), we can offer even more programming to enhance the quality of life in this area.

Our gratitude to Mayor Rick Meehan for the vision to lead this town into the future. Thank you also to Leighton Moore and Michelle Fager for speaking up for the arts and to Jon Tremellen, Billy Carder, Todd Ferrante, Dr Berger, Alfred Harrison, Hal Glick, Cheryl Taustin, Jamie Albright and other business leaders who came, wrote letters and more importantly sponsor the Art League as corporate sponsors.

I would also like to commend Mark Paddock and the FOP for their support. We know they have had to make sacrifices, and this shows they are committed to the welfare of Ocean City.

Thank you also to the OCDC, Superintendent of Schools Jon Andes, Worcester County Tourism Director Lisa Challenger, Patti and Peck Miller, Mayor Gee Williams of Berlin, and Professor Memo Diriker of Salisbury University, and the Little Salisbury Association, for supporting the Art League’s efforts.

Thanks also to the many members of the Art League who packed the house and braved the summer traffic to come to City Hall. Their passion for the arts was evident, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the decision was read. Many of these people have worked for years to keep this organization going, and the 14,500 volunteer hours they put in this past year is evidence of that.

Finally, thank you to the taxpayers of Ocean City for realizing that while Ocean City is a resort, it is also a community and the arts can benefit everyone, whether or not you are an artist yourself. If you haven’t been to the Art League, we are located on 94th Street bayside, and are open Tuesday-Sunday year round. To find out more about what we offer visit our website www.artleagueofoceancity.org

Rina Thaler
Ocean City