Shore Justice System
I want to thank the Coast Dispatch for doing an outstanding job of keeping me updated on the happenings at the beach. As a subscriber, I receive the latest issue in the mail each Monday and I enjoy reading about what has been taking place at my home away from home. The service the Coast Dispatch provides is essential and I would encourage all property owners to subscribe your paper.
Among the sections I find to be of greatest interest is the “Cops and Courts”. I am always amazed at some of the stupid shenanigans that some foolish people take part in when visiting Ocean City. I have always found that people somehow take a leave of their senses when visiting the beach. While many of the submissions under “Cops and Courts” are of a serious nature, there always seems to be a few that I find quite humorous. However, there seems to be a reoccurring theme under the “Cops and Courts” that really concerns me.
I simply do not understand the justice system on the Shore. It can only be described as dysfunctional. All too often, I read about criminals committing acts of violence and/or destruction and once caught they receive a mere slap on the wrist. This was clearly evident in this weeks’ issue. “Serial Peeper Convicted” and “Suspended Sentences For Boardwalk Assaulters” were two items included. A deeply troubled individual who spends his time peeping into peoples’ homes and attempted to escape from the police on his bicycle was sentenced to a year in jail but all of the time was suspended. In the Boardwalk Assaulters case, multiple folks who can only be described as thugs committed robbery and assault at 1:45 a.m. on July 31 of last year. Although they all pleaded guilty, they received sentences that ranged from 60 days to six months in jail, but again, all of the time was suspended.
It makes no sense to me how people who take part in such heinous acts can receive such a slap on the wrist. To me, it is an invitation to criminals everywhere to come visit Ocean City to do your crimes, because in the unlikely event that you do get caught, you won’t have to worry about suffering any real consequences anyway.
Even adding to the irony is the recent meetings of business and law enforcement folks who were discussing the ways to make the Boardwalk safer. With ideas ranging from new and costly uniforms for police to raised platforms for them to better monitor crowds, to me it all seems for naught. After all, what would be the purpose of expending these resources if the criminals who commit assault and robbery, get caught and never spend time in a jail cell?
M. Scott Chismar
Lake View, N.Y. and Ocean City
Bill Needs Attention
A bill making its way through the Maryland State Senate will have a dramatic impact on the environment and way of life of those living in Ocean City. SB 309 by Senator Klausmeier is a bill that intends to raise money for the state by imposing regulations and taxes and scooter and moped owners. While scooters have become popular in Ocean City due to high gas prices, lack of parking, and concern for our environment, this law would effectively stop most people from buying or riding scooters.
All legislation is intended to be a response to the needs of citizens, but this bill is a response to the state’s need for more money. According to the bill, it intends to gain “potentially significant” revenues from collection of fees, excise taxes, insurance taxes, and penalties. The state is failing to consider the significant drop in sales tax on scooter sales or operations costs at the MVA. They never mention the severe effect on the environment when thousands of scooter riders will use their cars on a daily basis instead. The bill also states that there will be “potentially significant” savings to the Department of Health by reducing injuries from scooter accidents, yet scooter accidents are rare compared to automobile casualties. The bill states that the impact on small business will be “potentially minimal”, but that is surely not the case for Ocean City. When scooters must be tagged and registered, owners will be forced to take up parking spots normally taken by cars. The truth is that if they must fight for parking and wear helmets, scooter riders will just drive their cars, clogging and polluting our roads.
If this bill passes, the state will not stop here. The next source of revenue will be registration and taxing of your bicycle or surfboard. At the last reading, there were 32 senators in favor and 13 opposed. We need 45 to oppose it. Please email or call your state senators soon (http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/05sen/html/sene.html) because the impact on your freedom and way of life is “potentially significant”.
Defending Tea Party
I was disturbed by Mr. Vanderwerff’s decision to attack FOX News and the Tea Party rather than comment on the purpose of my original letter which pertained to big government. He chose to pass judgment on those that listen to Fox News as “brainwashed, poorly educated, war mongers and callous in regard to the poor. He insinuates that the Tea Party was founded and funded by the Koch brothers. He uses as a basis for his augment falsehoods and distortions fabricated by the main stream (government & special interest) controlled media. And to authenticate his statement he quotes a passage from the Bible.
Let me set the record straight for Mr. Vanderwerff we in the Tea Party are independent groups locally organized and funded by members contributions. We are a diverse group of concerned citizens made up of people from all age groups, party affiliation, religious and racial backgrounds that have come together because of a common believe that there is corruption in our government that needs to be addressed and corrected. We all believe that our government is too big, taxes are too high and we have to get back to our Constitutional Republic form of government if we are to solve our nation’s problems.
As for taxing the rich, I’ve heard it said that if you took all the money the rich have and gave it to the government it would fund the government expense for approximately six months. That doesn’t sound like a solution to me. It may make some people feel good “sticking it to the rich” but it won’t solve the problem and all it does is cause more division within our society.
If we are to solve the problem, we must look at the core reason for the problem and start to make the necessary changes to correct the situation. We believe that government spending is the problem. We reached this situation because we the people trusted elected official to be responsible in their service as our representatives. They’ve spent our money recklessly without regard or attentiveness to how it was used. They’ve allowed programs to continue that have proven to be failures and destructive. They’ve taken for themselves money that should have been set aside and not touched for the benefit of the senior population and used it for their own salary and future benefit package. They’ve allowed our money to be used to fund benefit packages for public unions agreeing to unsustainable benefits in arbitration without our consent. The Presidents, past and present, have used Executive Orders as a means of implementing their personal ideas rather than allowing the Congress to decide on their concepts.
It’s easy to stand on the sidelines passing judgment and making accusations about people you don’t know and then claim our country is already a Plutocracy and apparently accept this analogy. Well sir! I’m not willing to accept your concept and neither are the people all over this country who give up their personal time to stand to be counted as concerned citizens. You weren’t with us on Sept. 12, 2009 when over two million concerned citizens representing 48 of the 50 states stood in front of the Capital to voice our discontent. Neither were you there on Aug. 28, 2010 when over 500,000 citizens gathered at the Lincoln Memorial trying to Restore Honor to our nation. These are events you probably didn’t even know were happening because you were listening to the wrong media.
Well, Sir, I would like to extend to you today an invitation to come sit in on one our meetings to meet the people and just listen or if you wish voice your opinion. Call the Ocean Pines Community Center to find out when our next meeting is and please come.
Paul St. Andre’