Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

The Caroline Street Comfort Station and Stage has been a nightmare project, and City Engineer Terry McGean has been understandably putting lipstick on the proverbial pig for some time. There’s nothing wrong with that because nobody expects him to be blunt with the media about how horrible this process has been and particularly how disappointed the city has to be in the construction work at the site.
This has been the project from hell on all fronts, and it started before the former facility was even demolished with several stabs at its architectural design. The finished product is significantly different than what was initially proposed. Major revisions had to be made by the project designer to the restroom portion of the job as well as the roof and performing stage layout. That’s all well and good, and the Mayor and Council at the time certainly was right to get the design it wanted rather than settling.
In his comments this week, McGean showed for the first time his frustration publicly with the process. In his career with the city, he can never recall having to consider whether to request a contractor’s bond company come in to finish the job.
“It is a shame it had to get to this point,” McGean said. “Calling in the bond company is a last resort. Usually once that happens it is difficult for a contractor to get bonded again, which makes it difficult for them to work on any sort of large project. Hopefully, they have gotten the message. I am certainly seeing more progress in this past week then I have seen in the last two months.”
Whatever the case, this is a project that needs to get done so all parties involved can move on and put this saga behind them for good.

Some things simply do not need to be complicated, and it was nice to see the Ocean City Mayor and Council not overthink the proposed ordinance change that would prohibit passengers from riding in the bed of a pickup.
There have not been any major accidents that I can remember involving this in Ocean City, but it’s only a matter of time. The city is right to move forward with this change and it’s refreshing the council is unanimous in its support.

There’s no question the OC Air Show was lacking something last year. It’s always exciting to see planes of all shapes and sizes doing acrobatic maneuvers over the beach and ocean city, but the event needs a military jet team to be special and memorable. If you agree with that, then the two next years are looking quite solid.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be back once again for the 2014 Air Show edition. Although the Thunderbirds have been here before, the team brings with it a certain high-profile swagger that was missing last year.
Though 2014’s event is looking solid, particularly with the Thunderbirds at the top of the bill, it’s the 2015 show that will be most exciting with the first-ever appearance of the Navy’s Blue Angels. The “blues” have never participated in the OC Air Show and that’s going to be a special sight to behold, so long as the government does not foil those plans.

I write about this just every year but the town’s Wintefest of Lights event continues to be the biggest success story of all the town-sponsored special events.
This attraction is an instant memory maker and a must-do on most local families’ lists of traditions. It’s a special display of lights and it’s impressive to all no matter the age.
At my son’s kindergarten class’s presentation on family Christmas traditions this week, more than half of the 20-plus students expressed in one fashion or another how visiting Winterfest each year was a highlight of the holiday season for them.
It’s not just the impact on locals, though, as it also attracts regional residents who might otherwise not visit Ocean City this time of year. It’s also an attraction to check out each year when second-home owners come down to check on their properties.
Indeed, it’s a wonderful event and the town’s parks employees responsible for maintaining and erecting the display each year deserve a round of applause once again.