Voices From The Readers

Smart Meter Concerns


Delmarva Power has recently mailed a letter informing property owners that the utility company plans to replace traditional electric meters with Smart Meters throughout their service area. However, in that recent letter, Delmarva Power failed to inform customers that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an Order that allows customers to Opt-Out of the installation of the Smart Meter, at least on an interim basis. I feel this is a disservice to the customers of Delmarva Power, and I have written to the PSC to express that concern.

The PSC issued an Order in May of 2012, followed by a supplemental Order in January of 2013, allowing for the interim Opt-Out. The PSC apparently wants additional information regarding Permanent Opt-Out and its associated costs to customers. They also want information on Radio Frequency ( RF)-free meters and near RF-free meters, as well as installing Smart Meters away from housing structures, such as in rear yards, and all associated costs.

There are a number of serious concerns that have been raised by opponents to the installation of Smart Meters. They include widespread wireless radiation being emitted throughout neighborhoods and communities; potential adverse effects on over three dozen identified medical conditions and issues; interference with pacemakers, defibrillators and baby monitors; privacy concerns; environmental concerns; fire hazard concerns relating to untested and non-certified equipment; and inaccuracies in billing, and other billing issues.

I encourage all citizens to become informed about Smart Meters and to get involved in writing to our legislators, particularly in Annapolis. If our elected officials won’t stop the proliferation of Smart Meters, then ask them to at least pass law(s) that allow for Permanent Opt-Out, at no cost to customers.

Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.

Ocean City

Hiding Behind First

Amendment In OC


It’s disheartening to learn that neither Ocean City, nor apparently the state of Maryland, has a law on the books prohibiting the use of profane language. I find equally disheartening that the broad-stroke interpretations of the First Amendment may very well be the reason.

As a former police detective whose primary residence is in New Jersey, I’m well aware that a law does exist in our criminal code prohibiting offensive language, specifically, 2C:33-2 (Disorderly Conduct) which reads, “A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he…if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.”

“Public,” by statue, refers to locations including any place where the public or a substantial group has access such as schools, places of business or amusement or any neighborhood.

This law, whose punishment is perhaps little more than the legal equivalent of “spitting on the sidewalk,” is nevertheless, enforceable. Is it routinely enforced — probably not, but can it be — absolutely. And does it pass the scrutiny of First Amendment broad-stroke interpretations — it does. It has.

My family and I have long enjoyed the family-friendly, family-oriented environment found in Ocean City — something that sadly seems to be on the decline in parts of our home state. I sincerely hope that folks like Councilman Doug Cymek and his fellow representatives do not simply hide behind any broad-stroke interpretations of the First Amendment if and when the problems of profanity within the town escalate.

Ocean City is just too good of a place to allow that to happen.

Stephen Rusiniak

Wayne, N.J.

West Ocean City