Voices From The Readers

Grateful For Support

Coastal Hospice & Palliative Care is grateful to all those who turned out for the 4th Annual Taste of Finer Things in Ocean City on April 4. The event sold out and we had a record turnout, which raised nearly $19,000 for the Coastal Hospice at the Ocean Residence Project. Many thanks to the “Real Housewives of Worcester County” volunteer committee: Stephanie Meehan, Pam Buckley, Karen Cramer, Cathy Donovan, Marcia Hirsch, Madalaine How, Marsha Howarth, Elaine Jacobs, Donna Leiner, Macky Stansell and Gayle Widdowson.

We also thank those businesses that provided such fabulous food and wine, starting with host restaurant, Harrison’s Harbor Watch. Other participating businesses include Adolfo’s, Atlantic Hotel, Bonfire, Crabs to Go, Embers, Hooked, Jules, Macky’s, OC Wasabi, the Palette, Seacrets, Sweet Disposition, Wockenfuss and Reliable Churchill.

We so appreciate all the time and effort that go into making this event the success that it is year after year. To all those who attended, we again thank you for supporting Coastal Hospice. We could not succeed in any of our endeavors without community support, and you rise to the occasion every time.

Alane K. Capen
(The writer is the president of Coastal Hospice & Palliative Care.)

Luncheon A Success

On March 5, the Worcester County Commissioners proclaimed March as Women’s History month to pay tribute to the millions of women who have taken action to help create a better world for the times in which they lived, as well as for future generations.

In accordance with the theme chosen by the National Women’s History Organization, every March the Friends of the Worcester County Commission for Women (FWCCW) and the Worcester County Commission for Women (WCCW) hold their major annual fund raising event, the Women’s History Luncheon, to benefit the McGuffey Bookworm Literacy Project, that provides a book bag and books to Worcester County elementary school’s student summer reading program. This year’s theme was Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The luncheon was held March 27 at the Clarion Hotel in Ocean City and recognized Brenda Dingwall as the Woman of the Year, Virginia Dale Ayers Swindler as the Woman in History and six young women as the Women of Tomorrow. To read more about each of these outstanding women, please visit our website: www.friendsofwccw.org. Additionally, we were honored to have Marlyn Barrett, the Coordinator of Instruction of STEM in Worcester County, as the keynote speaker.

I would like to publicly thank all the women who devoted their time, energy and donations that contributed to making this year’s Women’s History Luncheon a success and give a special thank you to both my luncheon Co-Chair, Olive Mawyer, and Diane McGraw, who is always there to ensure every detail is addressed. The FWCCW is an organization dedicated to helping the women of Worcester County through many different programs and invites you to become a member for an enriching experience; call 410-208-1272.

Cheryl Jacobs

(The writer is the Co-Chair and President of the Friends of the Worcester County Commission for Women.)

Common Core Plan
Should Be Concerning
I attended the Wicomico County PTA information meeting on Common Core on April 4.

If your readers are unfamiliar with "Common Core" then the media needs to ask itself "why"? How could such a radical change in our education system be adopted almost completely "under the radar" of the citizens and taxpayers of this nation? Was the media asleep at the switch?

 The general mood of the parents and concerned citizens in attendance (and there were not many considering the importance of this matter), was one of skepticism with a strong dose of resignation to a fait accompli.

The educators who presented the Common Core standards tried their best to put lipstick on this pig, but, in my opinion, raised more questions than they answered. Frankly, I have sympathy for them- it appears they don’t want this, they don’t like it, but they are stuck with it and are trying to make the best out of a bad situation. I have talked to teachers in Worcester County, also, who feel the same.

The state was forced by the federal Dept. of Education to adopt Common Core standards before they were even written. It is now the middle of April; the 2013-14 school year (when Common Core is required to be fully implemented) begins in less than six months and teachers haven’t seen most of the curriculum (or, in some subjects, any of the curriculum). And if the teachers haven’t seen it, neither have the parents.

Five states have refused to accept Common Core, and other states that are implementing it are having serious doubts about it.

Where is the money coming from to pay for this? Dr. Frederickson stated at the meeting that Wicomico County doesn’t currently have the funds, they don’t really know where the funds are coming from, but he’s sure they will get it. How? By magic?

The area of greatest concern to parents should be the assessment testing required by Common Core — not only will data be collected on educational performance, but also on attitudes, family history, family religious and political affiliations, extra-curricular activities, and on and on. Over 400 data elements will be collected on each student through the testing, which apparently will be administered twice a year. Why? And who will have access to this information? How secure will it be? Again, Dr. Frederickson stated he was sure it would be secure, but apparently he wasn’t aware that the Dept. of Education’s website was hacked just last week. So much for security.

I urge my fellow citizens to check out Common Core for yourselves — go online and view the many, many articles and videos on the subject, attend Board of Education and County Commission meetings, ask questions.

Carol Frazier
Ocean Pines

OC Is Inconsistent

It seems though the cast of characters changes with each election, the Ocean City Mayor and Council continue to embarrass themselves, and the Town, by enacting "noise ordinances", that for the most part are ineffective, idiotic and frequently unconstitutional.

This same body each year serves up gold platted invitations to cyclists, cruisers, air show promoters, etc. to come to town to fill rooms, bars, restaurants, etc. and add 24 hours of high decibels of "noise" to our happy environment. They don’t seem to see the contradiction in their own actions and thereby invite individuals and groups to take us to court over stupidity.

Oh well it keeps the city attorney busy, but wait, he is supposed to guide them in these matters in the first place.

Joseph V. Moran
Ocean City

Pedestrian Suggestions
(The following letter was sent to Ocean City Mayor and City Council members.)

An article on June 14, 2012 sounded a siren call for action — 260 people struck and seven died in the past seven years while crossing Coastal Highway in Ocean City. This carnage on Coastal Highway is unacceptable and more needs to be done than place the responsibility and onus on pedestrians to cross at marked crosswalks or remind them not to jaywalk. Another summer is about to begin and now is the time to do more to protect vacationers and pedestrians.

I have been coming to Ocean City since the ‘60’s, have been a property owner since the ‘90’s, and have seen many changes over this time — changes that give the appearance of favoring developers and merchants over the safety and concerns of vacationers. Changes have seen Coastal Highway grow into a crowded raceway for a car-friendly Ocean City hurrying consumers from one destination to another.

The question for Ocean City is whether it wants to continue as an automobile frenzied town, hurrying people up or down the streets to spend money, or try to find better balance and create a town that caters to people’s sense of safety and friendliness.  I think the town is now out of balance. Most of the unsafe practices I see in Ocean City occur on Coastal Highway – drivers speeding and driving recklessly, pedestrians crossing illegally, scooter riders helmetless, and the little scooter cars waiting for their accidents to happen. And, all the while unsuspecting visitors and vacationers play Russian roulette on a Coastal Highway they think is safe.

Here are a few suggestions I ask you to consider implementing immediately: (1) Reduce the speed on Coastal Highway to 30 mph or at least 35 mph. Ocean City is a town and not just a highway to hurry consumers on their way. Slow people down. Let this be a vacation town. (2) Post the speed limit next to the overhead lights so there is no question of how fast to drive. (3) Post speed cameras. This would get driver attention and make more money for the town to spend on people, parks, and recreation.

As an owner and vacationer with my children and grandchildren in Ocean City, I’m interested in what you will do about the speed limit on Coastal Highway. Please let me know what actions you are taking or plan on taking. Thank you for your concern and consideration of my recommendations.

John Hutchinson