Mixed Parade Reviews
I’m writing to express my gratitude and disappointment toward Ocean City. I hope you publish this as I do not think I am alone on this matter, especially seeing the faces of the parents and grandparents with whom we stood with during the now infamous St. Patrick’s Day parade.
First my gratitude, thanks for permitting and supporting such a grand St. Patrick’s Day parade. Although I am not Irish, my wife is and hence my children. We enjoy celebrating their heritage which St Patrick’s Day is the pinnacle of their "heritage" year. During the parade, I witnessed many police officers assisting folks across the streets and caring for the safety of all. The vehicles that were passing did so cautiously. It was great to see so many folks enjoying an afternoon together.
Second, I am sorry to feel compelled to express my disappointment for Ocean City for not having the fortitude to establish itself as a family friendly town. What do I mean?
Well, it was obvious that we brought the "bar scene" to the streets, and by the way, I’m not talking so much about the beer drinking as I am the lewd behavior and the two do not have to go together. However, I understand how one can inspire the other. So to frame what I am talking about is this, as I stand watching with three daughters, a son and wife I am seeing floats go by with all kinds of things going on. There goes a float with a female in a black shirt with Clovers attached, one over each breast, while the 20 somethings behind us start cat calling and scream a request to "show us your t….”
Here comes another float with an obviously mature man behaving in a not so mature manner. He’s dipping his hands in his beer cup and flicking beer on the youngsters who are sitting on the curb and slightly into the street. I couldn’t believe this guy wasn’t thinking about what he was doing.
As we continue to watch, necklaces are flying through the air, everyone is having a great time, music is playing and then I start to see the clovers on the necklaces … beer Logos. There are laws that govern the advertisement of alcohol and tobacco to minors. I do not know how they apply but I did not find it appropriate at all.
I suppose this will continue if we all stand by watching and no one stands up and says enough is enough.
Family Section Needed
I have been attending the St. Patrick’s Day in OC for four years and I have always enjoyed taking my children and enjoying the sights. This year, however, was not the case.
I don’t know if all of the elements came together and created "The Perfect Storm" for a record attendance, but it was truly a mob scene. Usually, we can get a seat on the curb and view the parade floats who generously toss out candy, beads, drink coolies and other items. This year I spent the entire time safe guarding my 7- and 4-year-old girls from the pushing and shoving which boxed us in like a cornered animal.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am certainly one for a good time in particular settings, but this year was out of control. If the town of Ocean City and parade organizers wish to continue a previously wonderful family experience, and I stress the word family, then either the route needs to be extended to accommodate the crowd or maybe a "family section" a few blocks long could be established for those of us getting a little older and do not wish to be a part of the spirited Irish mayhem.
Gillnet Ban Wrong Move
Regarding last week’s letter supporting a proposed gillnet ban, gillnets have been used since before the birth of Christ, whose disciples used them.
From Ocean City, fishermen use them primarily to harvest abundant spiny and smooth dogfish, rockfish and bunkers for bait. All of these species, except bunkers, are under strict quotas. Rockfish cannot be harvested outside of state waters.
These fisheries contribute millions of dollars to our economy, feed people who have no private access to seafood and do no harm to natural resources. A net ban would put thousands of people out of work, not only fishermen, but truck drivers, seafood dealers, marine mechanics, etc.
The ignorant media exaggerated the crime of illegal nets in the Chesapeake Bay. State regulations ban one method of gillnetting in the bay. Same nets, one uses anchors, one doesn’t. Sometimes one method catches better than the other. I have no idea why one method is banned.
Sport fishing groups have wanted all gillnets and trawlers banned from state waters for years. They believe sport fishermen would get the entire state rockfish quota for themselves and the rest of the public would have no wild-caught rockfish.
Some of these sport fishermen are well off and have no understanding of the effects of their proposed ban on working people. They claim they want to save the resource and that fish are being landed illegally. Dogfish and rockfish have been increasing in numbers for decades. Yet the commercial fishing for dogfish was stopped for years and the commercial quotas for rockfish have not been increased, while recreational catches have increased. Resources are healthy.
Considering the greater numbers of sport fishermen versus commercial fishermen, there is considerable illegal sport fishing. If you were going to ban something because some practitioners break the law, we wouldn’t have a Congress.
Beverly Rae Lynch
Serves Valuable Purpose
Imagine coming to America to live and work while knowing very little in the usage of the language, or how laws and regulations are made as well as the importance of certain events in its cultural history. Formidable roadblocks occur until one is able to fully exercise one’s skill in both written and spoken English. Fortunately, there is an affordable program that helps to ease those obstacles, which hinder individual advancements.
One such program, “English As A Second Language” (EASL), allows the participant to gain exposure to the spoken word as well as briefings in civics and American history. This knowledge will help to open doors of opportunity for a more fulfilling life. This course may also lead to naturalization as well as eventual admittance to higher educational institutions.
According to Mark Ferraro, director of Worcester County’s EASL Program in Snow Hill, this special platform has been offered to the local area residents for many years. Night classes for the beginner or advanced are offered at Stephen Decatur High School. Daytime courses are conducted, thanks to Pastor Alex Ayres, in the worship study hall of First Presbyterian Church on 13th Street and Philadelphia Avenue in Ocean City. Both locations are staffed by experienced and devoted teachers and tutors. Educators such as Barbara Beaubien, Dawn Hartley, Adriana Bonsteel, Erin Bonsteel, Angela Paris, Gloria Bizjak and Dominika Plesiak to name a few have helped numerous students through the years achieve passing scores in English comprehension and civics. Testing supervisor Chris Bonsteel evaluates exams and points out those who need further instruction and promotes those who reach a certain level of understanding.
My wife, Ekaterina Saduyan, who hails from Tashkent, Uzhekistan, recently passed her written and oral citizenship examinations in Baltimore. Pledging allegiance to the flag and swearing to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, she became a citizen in a civil ceremony. She owes her success to the wonderful teachers who helped her through the many levels of EASL. She continues to attend those classes.
C. Newton Weaver, Jr.