Facts Being Twisted
On Monday, Sept. 26, there was a meeting of the Citizens For Ocean City.
At this meeting, the president of the City Council was challenged to define the new direction of the four on the council. Mr. Hall responded with a resounding, “money”.
He then described how he and Councilwoman Pillas had, despite fierce opposition from the administration, orchestrated the reduction in city costs.
Jim may believe this is true, but the facts contradict his allegation.
Dennis Dare, through endless meetings with his staff, found the methods to reduce the costs by restructuring the different departments, giving incentives to reduce payroll by retirements and reprioritizing projects.
Now Mr. Hall and Ms. Pillas may have voted to invoke these changes, but they were part of a seven-member vote and not the authors of the changes.
Mr. Hall has also not responded to the comments by Mayor Rick Meehan that the new direction also wanted to enact legislation that would have attacked the security of city workers by changing their benefits and retirement at a cost of an additional $1.5 million.
Perhaps Jim’s most honest comment was, “maybe it is time to retire”.
Back Of The Room Boys
I went to the meeting on Sept. 26 for the Citizens For Ocean City, which was formed after the removable of City Manager Dennis Dare.
Seating was provided for each member of the City Council. Two members of the council took their seats that were assigned to them, Mary Knight and Doug Cymek. Two other council members, Joe Hall and Jim Hall (which I will forever refer to as the back of the room boys) placed themselves just about as far back as they could go.
To me, that speaks volumes about them. If they truly believed in the decisions they made concerning Dennis Dare, they should have taken their seats with the other council members. Of course, when others don’t agree with you, it makes it a whole lot easier when the meeting is over to exit from the back.
Street Performer A Health Concern
While performance artists on the Boardwalk do highlight the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, the recent controversy involving a spray painter there is a bad example.
In the summertime, I often stay in Ocean City. My wife manages a business near where Mark Chase “performs” spray-painting signs for money. He is a public health hazard. He creates a paint-fume cloud that extends in a 30-foot perimeter around his work area. That work area is in a heavily traveled space beside Ocean City’s Boardwalk.
While Mr. Chase wears a respirator, the people who watch him paint, and pedestrians passing by, do not. I’ve seen mothers stricken as they enter this paint-fume cloud with infants in strollers. People with allergies or suffering from pulmonary disease are also distressed by these fumes. Where’s OSHA when you need them? Of course, if he were a proper business, he’d be cited immediately. Mr. Chase also blares mind-numbing techno music that thumps at high volume through nearby residences from dusk until midnight. But if you ask him to lower the volume, he’ll tell you it’s part of his "art."
Ocean City’s legal department needs to step up its game and protect both its citizens and visitors from this scofflaw. When public health is put at risk, using the First Amendment as a fig leaf to cover your crimes is artless.
Robert Harmony Carr
Home Tour A Sellout
The Art League of Ocean City’s Sand Castle Home Tour committee would like to thank the community for making the seventh annual tour a huge success. This event is a wonderful showcase for the Town of Ocean City, as well as a vital fundraiser for the arts.
The homeowners who opened their doors for the public to tour their homes deserve accolades for their commitment. They are the Nasteff, Malkin, Endre-Brown, Keen, Deluca, Cawford, Wakeman, Smith, Lanier and Bonner families.
Thank you to our honorary chairpeople Michelle and John Fager for a lovely cocktail party.
The beautiful flower arrangements were supplied by the Worcester County Garden Club, Bethany Florist, City Florist, Flowers by Alison, Kitty’s Flowers, Ocean City Florist, Ocean Greenery, Ocean Pines Flower Shop and the Ocean Pines Garden Club.
Each homeowner received a portrait of their home donated by local artists Dot Braun, Beth Collard, Ethnie Graziano, Lyn Burr, Stasia Heubeck, Fay Kempton, Rina Thaler and Jody Veader.
Restaurants who donated to our raffle were Sunset Grille, Liquid Assets, The Hobbit, Fager’s Island, The Shark, Crab Alley, The Angler, Hooper’s, DeNovo’s, Micky Fins, Macky’s, Captains Table, Mug & Mallet, Fresco’s, Galaxy 66, Bombora, Marina Deck in Ocean Pines, Lighthouse Sound, Harrison’s Harborwatch and Jules.
We are grateful to The Dispatch and Ocean City Today for their support and to Coastal Style Magazine and Metropolitan for running features of the homes. Our thanks also to the many sponsors and advertisers, particularly Atlantic General Hospital, for providing the booties, The Gateway Grand for providing the tour bags and Worcester County Tourism for making the tour books possible.
Thank you especially to the 200 volunteers who staffed the homes, and to the over 1,000 people who took the tour. The funds raised from the tour will go towards the programs and building fund of the new art community art center. We appreciate the efforts of so many people in making this event an exciting part of the Ocean City event calendar.
The Sand Castle Home Tour Committee
(The committee consists of Barbara Melone, Katy Durham, Rina Thaler, Betty Stork, Lyn Burr, Marcy Thiele, Kim Wagner, Jennifer Albright, Jacquie Warden, Jamie Albright, Rebecca Galyon, Marian Bickerstaff, Nancy Rider, Jody Veader, Margaret Spurlock, Dolores Pack, Lora Fritschle, Kim McCabe, Josie Kingsley and Linda Kessinger.)
Prevention Is Key
Editor: Does everyone in your home know what the smoke alarm sounds like? Did you remove the batteries when they started chirping instead of replacing them? If it did sound, would you know what to do?
The Ocean City Fire Department is teaming up with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Oct. 9-15, 2011, to let our community know: “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” As always, the focus of FPW is to prevent home fires. This year, the campaign is also urging people to protect their homes and families with planning and life-saving technology — like smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Unfortunately, many homes have smoke alarms that just don’t work. In fact, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. About one in five of smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.
Ocean City Fire Department is urging you to use this week to be sure that your smoke alarms are equipped to help protect your family from fire by putting the following tips into action:
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home (including the basement), outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom. Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms. Never remove or disable smoke alarms.
Interconnection of smoke alarms is highly recommended; when one smoke alarm sounds, they all do. (This is particularly important in larger or multi-story homes, where the sound from distant smoke alarms may be reduced to the point that it may not be loud enough to provide proper warning, especially for sleeping individuals.) A licensed electrician can install either hard-wired multiple-station alarms. Wireless alarms, which manufacturers have more recently begun producing, can be installed by the homeowner.
There are two types of smoke alarm technologies – ionization and photoelectric. An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires – like a pan fire or the smoke from cooking. A photoelectric alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires – like a cigarette, overheated wiring or something hot like a space heater. Install both types of alarms in your home or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms that take advantage of both technologies.
Test smoke alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
All smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and those that are hard-wired alarms, should be replaced when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
The Ocean City Fire Department is holding fun, family-oriented activities during Fire Prevention Week to support “It’s Fire Prevention Week at local schools and daycares.
For more information about Fire Prevention events, the Ocean City Fire Department can be reached at 410-289-4346. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and smoke alarms, visit www.oceancitymd.gov/fire_department
Ryan L. Whittington
(The writer is the public information officer for the Ocean City Fire Department)