Voices From The Readers

Tall Ship Appreciated
Kudos to the mayor of Ocean City, Ocean City Council and sponsor Bryan Lilley for pulling off an almost impossible feat of getting the Spanish El Galeon Andalucia to dock in Ocean City for almost two weeks.
My husband and I took the tour on Monday, Aug. 26. We have lived and worked here for almost 40 years and try to take advantage of what our town has to offer, free or not.
But, by far, this has to be one of the best “events” ever. The ship was lovely, the crew very courteous, informative and seemed glad to be in our town. Thank you for a job well done.
James and Ruan Harbour
Ocean City

Numbers Matter
One truism says that “politicians can count”, something the recent referendum issue brought to the attention of the current OC Council and Mayor.
As the Bible reminds us even the Good Lord had doubters like Thomas who had to have evidence; and the early American patriots were reminded to “wait until you see the whites of their eyes” before engaging the enemy. Well the numbers don’t lie and wonder of wonders several of the council members and even the mayor (who didn’t support the ordinance in the first place) reached the inevitable conclusion that the citizens did have a voice, used it convincingly and bowed to the will of the people and voted to rescind the paid parking ordinance.
The good Lord and some of his enthusiastic supporters won this round and are left to wonder what this group intends for the future. Hopefully they will not abuse the budget discussions in the future to enact far reaching legislation, without benefit of public hearings for citizen input, if they at least learn that from the experience we may count our blessings, as well as the signatures. Council members, please start acting like adults.
Joe Moran
Ocean City

Hospital’s Care Lauded
Recently I was on vacation in Ocean City and I became very ill very quickly. I am from the Philadelphia, Pa. area and I am used to having some of the finest healthcare in the world available to me. After going to the emergency room at the Atlantic General Hospital, I was admitted and stayed there for the next five days.
The first two days were the hardest for me because I was more sick than my husband or I knew. I was too sick to travel back home to see my own doctors and ended up with resident Dr. Sydney Barnes.
Dr. Barnes did quite an extensive array of testing to target exactly what he suspected was the cause of my sickness.
What impressed me about Dr. Barnes was that he didn’t do a million and one unnecessary tests. Dr. Barnes was methodical in his approach and helped me get well quickly. He told me exactly what to do and who to get in touch with when I got home to Pa.
I was very pleased with my experience at Atlantic General Hospital. I wanted to bring your attention to two night time personnel: my nurse Jennifer Atkins and her tech Nicole White. I have dealt with many different people in the medical industry for myself and my children and not everyone is pleasant or competent. These two women I believe saved my life. These two women are the reason I am here today writing this letter to you. I had an extremely high fever late at night due to an abdominal infection and these two gave me the very best of care. They deserve credit for being a stellar example of medical professionals.
I want everyone in Berlin to know what a gem they have with Atlantic General Hospital and the quality of these people that serve you.
I have had quite an extensive relationship with Children’s Hospital of Philadelpia, St. Christopher’s Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital all of which are rated as some of the finest medical facilities in the world and your Atlantic General Hospital stands with them in my opinion.
I just really wanted to let you know about my experience and to thank those who cared for me.
Sharon E. Maloy

The Culture Of Crime
In a strongly worded Opinion piece in this paper a few weeks ago, Steve Green, to his credit, broke open a public discussion of recent increased crime in Ocean City. This was followed by a barrage of letters and articles citing the decline of Ocean City and demanding that the mayor and police chief act to fix it.
I believe crime is the symptom, not the cause, of the problem. If we want to fix the problem of crime, we must first identify what contributes to or causes local crime, then work to eliminate the cause(s) of crime. What is the cause of the increased crime in the town of Ocean City? Could it be that our local culture has declined? While thinking about this one Saturday night in early August, I drove around Ocean City around midnight. I drove by the underage club where partially clad 15-year-old girls tell their mothers and fathers, “It’s for kids; they don’t allow alcohol.” I saw male predators of all hues in their 20s, 30s, and 40s trying to ply their young targets with cannabis being smoked in public, to draw them in with the allure of drugs. Next, I drove by 18th Street where young adults in their 20s and 30s were staggering around outside an establishment from apparent overconsumption of alcohol. There were also separate shooting and stabbing incidents within a block of there.
I then drove up to 49th Street, turned into the establishment’s parking lot, and drove to the entrance. I saw an attractive woman standing on the left side of the road looking confused, as if she didn’t know the cab stand were on the other side of the road. I passed her to turn my car around to leave, and noticed she had water running down her leg. She was urinating.
The next morning at about 7:30 a.m., I went into a convenience to get two morning papers on my way to exercising, which is often my habit. That time, one fellow, a working man, scratched out a lottery ticket he had just written. Disgusted, he threw it on the floor, already littered with tickets, and promptly left. I often see what appears to be people taking dear money, milk money for their families, and putting it in Lotto tickets. I have a friend who owns a couple of hotels who told me that, since the casino opened, his maids have been coming up and saying, “Mister, can I get an advance?” Things have also recently gone missing from rooms.
On July 8 of this year, I was in court awaiting the resolution of a matter I initiated. About 12 cases were heard before mine. Eight were felonies, including theft of a police car, narcotics, assault at knife point. All 12 cases involved alcohol. I was amazed as Judge Fletcher, at least six times, issued a sentence of two years reduced to 60 days probation. No one suffered any consequence.
In the town of Ocean City, our younger population often works in the service industry and invariably that involves alcohol. I have seen countless young adults come to town starry eyed, and in a few years turn into alcoholic barmaids and bartenders, only to shorten their lives and appear in the obituary columns in their 40s or 50s.
Crime in Ocean City is embedded in the culture of alcohol and alcoholism, which is out of control and permeates every aspect, moral, ethical, and legal, of our culture. Mayor Meehan, who imbibes with regularity, is merely a reflection of the culture around him: the culture of crime. Unless we become convicted to change our culture, we can only expect crime to worsen in the future.
The Mayor and Council apparently while surfing the web, found a lewd video on YouTube showing a woman performing sex acts with men inside a Boardwalk tavern. When the Mayor and Council found out, they moved with a seldom seen alacrity to get You-Tube to erase the video. Hiding what happened does not change the culture. It only obscures one event. I only wish the Mayor and Council would move with the same eagerness and energy in attacking alcoholism and the cultural decay it has wrought on our small seaside town.
Exhorting the mayor or police chief to arrest the symptom may make us feel better but maybe the real question should be asked to ourselves. Do we want the culture of alcoholism and decay? If so, Rick Meehan is the perfect mayor for he merely reflects what the Town of Ocean City has become, what its people want. If not, if we earnestly want to change the culture, well then we have our work cut out for us. First we must acknowledge the problem. Only then can we begin the hard work to change.
Is it any wonder that our amusement parks for children are practically empty? Yes, it is true that our prices have made us uncompetitive with the Outer Banks for many families with kids, even though we may be closer in distance, but just ask any priest or rabbi or minister on the sand bar: What is the greatest enabler or contributor to our moral and ethical decline, to our cultural decay, to our crime? They will tell you without hesitation: alcohol.
Tony Christ
Ocean City

Thanks For Support
On behalf of The Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum I would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to all of the wonderful people and organizations that made our Free Summer Programs possible. With their help, we were able to provide free educational “classes” every day of the week for eight weeks this July and August and reached over 1,500 people.
George Hurley shared his knowledge of Ocean City history during the O.C.B.C. “Ocean City Before Condominiums” program, and Bob Stevens promoted the Museum and his passion for the U.S. Life-Saving Service while hosting “Storm Warriors”. Don Schaefer, Joe Britvch and Don Logan of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary schooled visitors on the art of knot tying and members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol advised participant on the latest techniques of beach safety. New to our lineup this year was “Diary of a Reptile” which was hosted by interns from the Delmarva Discovery Center in Pocomoke City.
The Ocean City Museum Society is very grateful to all of our volunteers and supporters who allow us to continue our mission to inspire and support life-long interest in Ocean City History and the U.S. Life-Saving Service.
Thank you one and all.
Sandra D. Hurley
Ocean City
(The writer is the curator of the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum.)