Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

All 170 feet and 500 tons of the tall ship El Galeon Andalucia will be back in Ocean City next week. Depending on weather and tides, the vessel will make its way through the Inlet on Wednesday, July 30 or Thursday, July 31 with plans to begin offering tours on Friday, Aug. 1.

This year the ship will be in Ocean City for the entire month of August and will surely surpass last year’s two-week visitor totals, particularly since it’s falling during the busy month of August.

It’s disappointing there will not be two tall ships this year as initially hoped, but mechanical issues have indefinitely docked the Nao Victoria, which is a replica of Magellan’s ship that circumnavigated the globe in the early-1500s. Nonetheless, this tall ship is a sight to behold, particularly as it enters Ocean City waters through the Inlet and then squeezes through the Route 50 bridge.

The potential redevelopment of Ocean City-owned property between 3rd and 4th streets from Philadelphia Avenue to the bay has long been a hope for town officials. Due to property acquisition issues, it’s been a remote one. However, with the city now officially taking over ownership of the property from the county, those aspirations could soon be a reality.

Previous plans to improve the property reached a stalemate because the city could not secure a long-term lease from the county. The project was a serious consideration back in 2008 and was even included in a bond issuance. Failed discussions with the county put the project on the backburner for about six years until this summer’s accord with the county.

With all the political stuff ironed out, it appears the project is back under consideration, although there has been no funding discussion of yet in the public’s eye. To date, the only talk has been about whether to incorporate some of the previous design concepts into the planned reconstruction of St. Louis Ave. The City Council decided this week to find the extra money to rework certain aspects of St. Louis Ave. to include the redevelopment project.

That decision appears to confirm the city is serious about redeveloping this open space sooner than later and to utilize at least a portion of the 2008 plan that was under consideration. That plan included a prominent entranceway at the westernmost portion of the space near the bay, reconfiguring the basketball courts, revamping the playing fields and renovating the skate park. Back in 2008, the cost was estimated to be $3.75 million. It’s expected this project will be reviewed extensively in the fall with project expenses expected to be revised as well.

The Berlin Little League organization has a lot to be proud of this summer. In fact, it seems like each summer the league has a tremendous amount to boast about. That’s because the organization has become a powerhouse on not only the local and state front, but throughout the mid-Atlantic.

This summer the Intermediate team (13- and 14-year-olds) is dominating opponents and will play Friday for the eastern regional tourney title. This team is comprised of a bulk of the players who last summer nearly made it to Little League’s biggest stage, the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Along with successful runs by other teams, the 9-10-year-old Berlin Little League All-Star team won the state title last weekend and will be representing Maryland in the regional tourney in Rhode Island next weekend.

Congratulations to all the players, coaches, volunteers, parents and league officials. It’s clearly a first-run organization and has been for some time, but it’s great to see all that effort and dedication turn into memorable success on the playing fields.