West OC Harbor Dredging Underway

WEST OCEAN CITY — After months of planning and preparation, the long-awaited maintenance dredging project in the commercial harbor in West Ocean City got underway last week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is heading up the 90-day project to deepen and widen the federal navigation channel. The purpose of the underwater excavation project is to assure the continued navigability of the channel and commercial harbor by fishing vessels and other large craft dependent upon Maryland’s only direct access ocean port for their livelihood.

An estimated 23,500 cubic yards of material will be excavated to restore an area approximately 150 feet wide from the inlet channel to the commercial harbor, and 150 to 200 feet wide to the head of the harbor along with two turning basins to a depth of approximately 10 feet. The material dredged from the channel will be transported to Worcester County’s surface mine site on Langmaid Road in Newark to be used in future reclamation activities at the site.

The anticipated dredging hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the project to be closely monitored by the Army Corps site manager as well as county staff.

Hunting Reminders Issued

BERLIN — The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) this week is reminding hunters that state and federal regulations allow waterfowl hunting on agriculture fields only if they have been properly harvested or left in their natural state.

“This year’s tropical storms and hurricanes have resulted in some agricultural crops not being harvested,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV. “These fields cannot be hunted legally if the unharvested crops have been manipulated or mowed, knocked down, etc. The unharvested fields can only be hunted if the crops remain in their natural state, only affected by the weather. Manipulated, un-harvested fields must be disked or plowed under, so that the grain is not accessible to the waterfowl for a period of 10 days prior to hunting.” 

It is also unlawful to hunt waterfowl in areas where small grains have been top sown or broadcast on top of the soil, leaving the grain available to feeding birds. Before hunting can occur in these areas, all seeds must be germinated and growing, entirely covered by soil, or completely removed, at least 10 days prior to hunting. These situations are commonly referred to as waterfowl baiting. Baiting also includes distributing grain on the land or water to entice waterfowl into hunting situations.

It is not necessary for a hunter to know that an area is baited to be in violation of Maryland’s migratory bird baiting regulation, which is considered a strict liability offense. It is the hunter’s responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the hunting area is not or has not been baited.

Feldman Building Demo Ordered

SALISBURY- The city of Salisbury won a major victory in District Court recently when a judge found the owners of the Feldman Building not in compliance with a months-old demolition order.

On Nov. 7, District Court Judge Bruce Wade found the owners of the Feldman property in downtown Salisbury guilty of not complying with the city’s demolition order dated May 19, 2011. The judge ruled the property owner failed to comply and gave the property owner until March 2012 to abate the infraction, meaning the building will be coming down at last.

The city of Salisbury originally condemned the building back in October 2008. Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton, Jr. called the court victory a possible lynchpin to downtown revitalization.

“I want to make it clear that this administration has worked from every direction for the redevelopment or demolition of this property,” he said. “I believe this building or the property the building is located on is essential to kick-starting a revitalization downtown.”

Training Completed

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Health Department this week announced two of the agency’s managers have graduated as scholars from the 2011 Mid Atlantic Health Leadership Institute Program.

Worcester County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Andrea Mathias and Fiscal Supervisor Julia Parker joined 22 others in this year’s leadership program. Mathias and Parker gained advanced leadership training and skills in management and evaluation of public health systems. As part of the program, the two worked as part of a team on a project designed to use social media to enhance public health policies in the state.

MHLI is housed within the Office of Public Health Practice and Training of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. MHLI is a regional institute encompassing Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C. and several New Jersey counties. Enrollees include professionals from a broad array of fields and sectors.

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.