Impressed By Shelter
I didn’t want to go. It won’t be THAT bad, I’ve been through other hurricanes, it happens to others but it won’t happen to me.
But then, at 11:45 a.m., Ocean City police officers were knocking at our door asking when we were evacuating (my husband wasn’t going and needed to give his next of kin information). So I drove to the hurricane shelter at Stephen Decatur High School and was met by two tables of smiling staff members from the Department of Social Services, very helpful and nothing was too much trouble, getting me set up in my new ‘neighborhood’.
Walking down the hallway, Deputy Tull and Deputy Simpson from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office gave even more credibility and a sense of safety to the shelter. I was there for 48 hours and at all times, day/night/overnight these two agencies were always awake, accommodating and friendly.
Staff members of Decatur High School were on hand, when their peers got the days off, custodians Otis, William and others, Miss Anna & her kitchen staff served us three healthy meals a day. I was very happy to see Decatur has embraced serving all healthy meals to students (and shelter-ites) without desserts, no sugar, salt substitute, water and zero-calorie orange soda machines only.
At least two members of staff were in the gym, where we slept on cots, 24 hours a day, which also gave a sense of safety and security.
Unlikely shelterites bonded, new friendships were formed in this melting pot of northern Worcester residents who would have never met if Sandy hadn’t brought us together.
As Ocean City re-opened, downtown flooding prevented me from making the last block to my home, so Mayor Rick Meehan allowed me to park in his parking space at City Hall and the Ocean City Police Department drove me that last block and they called my husband John every day to make sure he was fine.
What a wonderful community. If it ever happens that you need to evacuate for your safety, I highly recommend this experience.
I would like to congratulate all participating agencies for the professionals who gave their time, energy and can-do attitude, when they needed to leave the comfort of their families and homes.
Has OC Considered
A Bay Sea Wall?
Through the exceptional planning and preparation of the town, Ocean City survived another significant storm.
As you reported in The Dispatch "The dunes did their job by saving oceanfront properties." Unfortunately during the past two storms, the bayside properties suffered flooding as the bay overflowed. There has been much talk in recent years about a bayside boardwalk. I was wondering if a bayside boardwalk, with a seawall similar to the Boardwalk’s could offer protection as well as an exciting tourism opportunity.
The City Council frequently asks bayside developers about a boardwalk during the approval process, but developers accurately respond that a boardwalk for one property wouldn’t make much sense. Perhaps an effort led by the city to improve bayside flooding protection across multiple bayside blocks could make a bayside boardwalk/seawall a reality.
For No Power Outages
As an Ocean City condominium owner for 40 years and a resident for the last 18, I would like to commend Delmarva Power for keeping us in service during "Sandy", not losing a single minute of communication.
I’m our association secretary and I was able to keep our 56 owners advised throughout, together with photos of the damage as it developed. Thank goodness it was minimal to our property and the city in general. It could have been so much worse. Also many, many thanks to the Department of Public Works. A couple of days after the event, our city didn’t even look like a storm came through. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone. You’ve all done an outstanding job and it’s very much appreciated, certainly by this homeowner.
Hospice Mission Restated
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care has provided on the lower shore for more than 30 years.
One of the most important messages to help people understand is that hospice care helps patients and families focus on living. The hospice team provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family.
Hospice care is provided in the home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and long term care centers. Hospice care is available to people of all ages, with any illness. Hospice professionals and trained volunteers will ask you what’s important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes a priority.
It is the mission of Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care to provide comfort, dignity and respect to all those coping with a serious or life-limiting illness. If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice and palliative care is right now.
(The writer is the president of Coastal Hospice & Palliative Care.)
Public Works Celebrated
As I write this note, Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, the Department of Public Works is in the final days of returning Ocean City to a level of normalcy as it pertains to cleanliness, and the local election is upon us.
I clearly realize the focus of this week’s paper will be the election results, but I feel the need to pause and provide a few wrap up comments on behalf of the recent storm event.
First, I would like to thank those in the community who reached out to the staff of the Public Works Department with their thoughtfulness and generosity when they went out of their way to walk the Boardwalk and beach to provide food to the equipment operators. You will remain nameless in this letter but you are not nameless in our memories. Your actions will not be forgotten.
Second, I would like to thank the property owners who diligently and swiftly took time to follow our instructions to place storm related debris curbside in neat piles for a most efficient collection process. That effort has seen great success in the last few days.
Third, thank you to the contractors, whom I consider personal friends, who found it within their means to respond to our calls for help. The immediacy of you response reinforces my belief that life is all about relationships. You all proved that to be true once again.
And last, but far from the least, thank you to my staff, every last one of you. You have all gone out of your way to restore Ocean City to the beautiful clean place I personally call home in record time. I have always felt that "Failure To Succeed" is not an option. Once again you’ve proven that statement true.
Hal O. Adkins
(The writer is the town’s public works director.)
Two weeks ago, I realized I would be out of town on election day so I would not be here to vote.
With early voting being the new state law, I felt that would be okay I would just vote early and wouldn’t have to worry about it. So on Saturday, Oct 27 we went out to Berlin and stood in line for 1 hour and 45 minutes to vote. When we got into the polling place, I was told that while I could vote in the national election the town of Ocean City was not participating in the early voting for the local election and that I would need to go outside and fill out the form requesting an absentee ballot. Hey no problem the gentleman with the request forms informed me that the ballots would be sent out on Monday, Oct 29 and I would have it in plenty of time. Great.
On Friday, Nov. 2, I called the city clerk’s office asking about the ballot that had not been received. They stated that the ballots had been mailed on Monday and that I should be getting the ballot that day or Saturday. The ballot finally came on Monday, Nov. 5.
The interesting thing was that on the ballot it stated the ballot had to be mailed by Oct. 30 or dropped off by Nov. 5, which meant that even then it was useless.
The question is how many people did not get to vote because they didn’t receive their ballots timely and why didn’t Ocean City participate in the early voting process??
This is the first election primary or general, federal, state or local that I have not voted in since I turned 21 and I am very disappointed.