Voices From The Readers

Disturbed By Dancer


After two news cycles on WBOC and numerous calls to City Hall, questions still remain unanswered by the Town of Ocean City about the pole dancer on the Boardwalk.

Obviously, this was a planned event. Ms. Plymale left wearing a T-shirt proclaiming “Ocean City’s First Pole Dancer.” You don’t find a T-shirt like that randomly on the Boardwalk. She got the attention she was seeking. Who planned this? This wasn’t done on a whim. It took planning, and let’s face it, the person went to a strip club in D.C. where she works and either gave her the idea and/or paid her for it.

Why can’t Ocean City have laws against this as well as other forms of “arts” on the Boardwalk? Other towns don’t have this problem. Why do we? I’m tired of people saying “Well, this is Ocean City.” There are year-round residences here. How would the visitors like if we came to their town, and park on their lawns, throw-up in their gardens, relieved ourselves behind their houses? Grow up people. This is a town, not a free for all. Have some respect.

The City Solicitor, the City Council, you couldn’t find to ask for a comment. Mayor Rick Meehan gave a two-sentence statement, claiming the city’s hands are tied. This doesn’t rectify the problem. Isn’t being available part of your jobs? Usually you can’t view any social media without a City Council member posting anything from dog pictures to what they are doing. This past week not one council person was online. This is not an answer.

I think the Mayor, City Solicitor and Council need to have a town meeting with the residents of Ocean City and explain not only themselves, but the direction they are taking Ocean City. If the group wants to move toward an “anything goes atmosphere”, and the residents agree so be it. If the town residents want the town to go in a different direction, then throw them all out of office.

I know I am tired of Ocean City being the laughing stock of the state. The so-called “artists”, out of control people and strippers (yes, she is a stripper. She works in a D.C. strip club. I think we as a town have had enough. Remember Mayor and Council, you reap what you sow.

Laura Gulyas

Ocean City

Business Concerns


I’ve been working the Boardwalk for 13 years. Talking to tourists and locals alike, this has been a very poor summer as far as spending goes. Eighty percent (my estimate) of people walking the Boardwalk are not carrying bags, indicating a purchase at a local shop. I question them and their answer is all the same.

We spent so much on our room, condo etc. that we really can’t afford to spend like we did in the past. The hotels are happy because the numbers, not amount of people staying, but money coming in is up. Guess so when a room price has gone so high. The town will say everything is good. They get room tax revenue.

Ocean City is pricing itself out of the vacation destination market and can’t see it for the dollar signs in its eyes. You think hotels are building here because they think people will come. No they see what current hotels are charging and they want a slice of that pie.

Unless some type of correction takes place I believe a lot of businesses will be closing their doors.

Gary A. Michael

Ocean City

Help Appreciated


On behalf of the OC Life-Saving Station Museum, I would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped make the 4th Annual Children’s Day at the Bay a success on August 2014. Even with a severe weather threat, many of our volunteers came a great distance to participate.

A great time was had by all — children and parents.

We were proud to also include educational programs presented by the Delmarva Discovery Center, Ocean City Beach Patrol, Ocean City Mounted Police and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Don’t forget the Museum offers daily free programs, which take place every day at 10 a.m. in the summer. We look forward to planning other projects and events for our wonderful community to attend and enjoy. Visit our website at http://www.ocmuseum.org/ for more information.

Thank you one and all.

Diane Knuckles

Ocean City

Waves Have Changed


I have been a condo owner on 124th street, for the past 20 years, and have come to Ocean City since the 1950’s. I read Staff Writer Joanne Shriner’s article in the Aug. 8 issue and take exception with City Engineer Tery McGean’s comments. The surf in Ocean City has always been a major factor in the resort’s popularity.

We have not had a sand bar for at least 10 years and now the waves pound directly onto the beach. The beach replenishment, combined with the lack of a sandbar, creates a large ledge and quick drop off when entering the water.

There seems to be a large increase in the number of serious injuries, especially neck injuries. It’s time for Ocean City leaders to take more positive action to protect the family friendly image of Ocean City.

Frank Bossle

Ocean City

Trademark Violations?


As I recall, T-shirt shops are visited on a fairly regular basis during the summer by USPTO, checking for trademark/copyright infringements.

If memory serves correctly, the fines were fairly substantial. Wouldn’t people dressing as popular characters, most assuredly trade-marked, be liable for the same violations?

These characters are protected by law and if any of them are breaking the law they should be fined and or arrested, etc. Am thinking it’s worth a look.

Mel McSweeney

Ocean City

Bus Driver Thanked

A special thank you to the bus driver, Mr. Mancino, Ocean City Dept. of Transportation for finding my son’s wallet on the bus last week, and returning it to him, without the contents being disturbed.

My 17-year-old son and his two friends had just arrived from New Jersey for a three-day break from their jobs and other commitments back home. What could have turned into a disaster due to the loss of his driver’s license, identification and spending money resulted in the showing of a good Samaritan and many lessons learned to three 17-year-old boys. The most important being, how much kindness and honesty means in today’s world.

These three boys will never forget Mr. Mancino’s kindness and their trip to Ocean City. I have been vacationing in Ocean City for over 40 years and the place is still as special as it was then.

Lynn Smith

Edison, N.J.

Hire From Within


The position of Planning Director for Ocean City has recently opened up. If we want, this could be the most important position we have, and we have the perfect person to fill it, a man who has been with the City for decades.

I have known Blaine Smith and his wife casually since the 70s. Over the last four years, we became reacquainted as I embarked on a number of construction projects necessitating many encounters with building, zoning, and fire staffers, among others. I will readily admit that all did not go smoothly with the regulators.

However, in Blaine, Ocean City has a real underutilized asset. Although there probably would be many applicants if we advertised the job, Blaine, with his credentials and knowledge of Ocean City, is peerless, even among current employees. Block-for-block, he can recite the structures, buildings, and businesses of almost every inch of Ocean City.

So what would this look like if we were to give Blaine $10,000 more, put him in complete charge, and allow him to promote his assistant without hiring someone new? Blaine loves Ocean City. I think he would accept the job. The town would be ahead about $100,000 a year in salary and benefits. Given the recent 5% real inflation-adjusted decline in June’s hotel-room tax, we could use the money.

It would be a mistake to give the position to Blaine, then take away his oversight of other divisions by reassigning them to David Recor. Recor is already overwhelmed and unable to do much more than generate reams of pages of copious plans. Recor is not accessible now; imagine how separated he would be from the public with this huge additional responsibility. He would be making myopic decisions without the benefit or direct information of owners and businesses.

Blaine is hands-on and one of the few employees I know that enjoys the respect of staff, builders and owners. This is a win and a no-brainer. Let’s see if we can get it right. Real simple: Promote R. Blaine Smith to Planning Director and give him oversight of all building divisions.

Tony Christ

Ocean City

Express Concerns

To Elected Officials


Recently the City Council discussed a problem it has discovered — skateboards.

This threat to our calm and quiet resort community has seemingly given rise to the possible need for additional controls and constraints that the council may wish to impose to safeguard the peace and sanity of our community.

In the meantime, as we move to the fall season, the scheduled Bike Week and Cruisin week plans are proceeding apace. Recent discussions by the city, event sponsors, and the city police department concluded that we have a serious problem with these events but the problems are not with the sponsors, the city or the police, but with those who invade the town coincidently and occupy private property and the city streets. Apparently efforts by the city to act in the interests of local residents and visitors alike have met resistance from our “partners” in the local business community who seemingly don’t wish to risk alienating their customers to ensure order and safety on our streets, as suggested by the Chief of Police.

I’m not making this up, read recent local papers that make this clear and the response of our “partners”. So prepare for the semi-annual invasion(s) by the exhaust free, unregistered participants and others who just enjoy speeding (racing) on Coastal Highway, the side streets in the north end of town which turn in to parking lots for trailers and such, and wherever else suits their fancy.

If the promoters, police, our “partners”, and our council can’t face up to the issues, it must be our fault (residents and visitors).Where do we turn now? I have often heard council members state that they have not heard from residents regarding issues under consideration by the council, therefore they sense no interest or concern on the part of the community. Please consider calling or writing council members on matters you feel strongly about, they deserve to hear your views as they consider taking action while conducting the town’s business.

Joe Moran

Ocean City

Club Plans For New Year


The Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City is about to start a new program year on Oct. 1, 2014 and it should be a good one. The club has a strong new officers team with Carolyn Dryzga as President, Mike Morton as President-Elect and Mark Joseph as Vice President. They, with the help of the membership and the community, will build on a very successful 2013-2014 program year. 

The membership can be proud of the contribution that the club made to our community this current year. This club does “Serve the Children”. Starting with our $1,200 contribution to the Worcester Gold Infants Pantry, the club supports local children through high school. The school-based clubs supported are K-Kids at Buckingham Elementary, Builders Club at both Berlin Intermediate and Stephen Decatur Middle School, and Key Clubs at Stephen Decatur High School and Salisbury School, which provides children an opportunity to learn both leadership skills and the needed to help others. The club also makes a contribution to those schools, including Showell Elementary and Ocean City Elementary, which do not presently have clubs, yet. In addition to money, Kiwanis Club members help with their Art Fairs, Science Fairs, and “It’s Academic” programs as judges. 

Outside school, the club provides funding for many childrens’ programs: Cub Scouts, OP Childrens Theater, McGuffy Readers Program, Cedar Chapel School, CASA, OP Recreation and Parks Summer Camp, Therapeutic Riding School, and Sisters with a Goal. The Kiwanis Club support, both financial and mentoring, to the Beach Bots Robotics team, provided a new opportunity for the club this current year. Overall, the cub will contribute $11,250 toward childrens activities during the current program year. Then we help them go on to college. This year 2013-2014, the Club has awarded 15 college scholarships amounting to $15,500.00 to deserving graduating senior students.

But wait, the local Kiwanis Club goes beyond children. Support is provided for many other community activies. The club contributes $2700.00 and many volunteer hours in support for OPA summer concerts, OPA Fire Department, Worcester County Interfaith Caregivers, Diakonia, Worcester Gold Christmas, Appalachian Service Project, Companion Dolls and Bingo for the Nursing Home and Meals On Wheels Treats. The club funds all of this by volunteer hours and hard work on its fund raising events. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but the club grosses over $22,000 in sales and contributions with the continued support of our wonderfully receptive community.

Membership in the local club is open to all over 21 years of age, both male and female. For more information about the local Kiwanis Club, see their website www.kiwanisofopoc.com or follow them on Facebook at Kiwanis Club of Ocean Pines/Ocean City. It may be of interest and informative.

D.J. Landis, Sr.,

Ocean Pines

Plein Air Event

A Success In OC


The non-profit mission of the Art League of Ocean City is to promote the visual arts in the Ocean City area through exhibits, education, scholarships, programs and community art events. This past week, from Thursday thru Sunday’s “Artists Paint O.C. – A Plein Air Event”, was an incredibly successful community art event, and a wonderful example of what people working together can accomplish.

It’s success was due to the contributions made by all those who participated We thank our sponsors Macky’s, The Elks Lodge #2645, The American Legion, The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and Worcester County Tourism, without whose support this event would never have taken place. We thank the 50 artists who traveled from five states and D.C. to create the beautiful paintings that the people in Ocean City were able to watch being created and which we were able to show and sell at our home, The Ocean City Center of the Arts.

We thank the media for providing us the access to the community through your wonderful coverage of the event. We thank everyone who attended our events, enjoyed the exposure to new and beautiful things and who supported the visual arts by buying the paintings. We thank each and every volunteer who gave of their time and energies to make our dreams become reality. And we thank the Mayor and City Council of Ocean City, for working with the Art League to create the wonderful Center which we call home.

It has been that partnership between city, sponsors, the press and our patrons which has proven so successful in allowing us to bring wonderful events like this past week’s to the citizens and visitors of Ocean City.

Emily Schwab

Ocean City