Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

On the last day of 2014, there’s no better time than to look ahead to what will make news in 2015. Here are some of my predictions as I look into my crystal ball.

Nothing will officially happen in regard to Berlin purchasing the Tyson property in 2015, as the initial time frame of six months to conduct feasibility and environmental studies takes much longer than initially expected

The Worcester County Commissioners will vote early in the year to allocate funds to buying equipment to record their meetings and post them on the county’s website.

Two tall ships will come to Ocean City in September.

The Dew Tour will not return to Ocean City in 2015.

The Worcester County Commissioners will vote to officially dissolve the Department of Liquor Control. During budget talks in the spring, the commissioners will agree the time has come come to get out of the liquor business, but inventory, rental space commitments and other particulars will result in the DLC getting one more year of funding with a plan in place to shutter the operation at the conclusion of the next fiscal year.

Legislation mandating all school systems start the school year after Labor Day will be introduced and narrowly approved by the Maryland General Assembly, despite lobbying opposition from school employee unions and school system superintendents.

Thankfully, there will be no talk of a sequel to “Ping Pong Summer” in Ocean City.

New Governor Larry Hogan will lead the charge for a major funding commitment to aid law enforcement and health officials with a focused approach to the growing heroin epidemic across the state.

The general public’s disgust over the new electronic ads on Boardwalk trams will lead the city to reconsider the revenue enhancement measure.

A new type of moonshine will rock the alcohol industry with its smooth taste and high content, resulting in legislators considering changes to existing laws.

Two new chain restaurants will open along Route 50 east of Herring Creek.

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver will continue to make political waves by proposing major budget cuts and government restructuring.

Worcester County Commissioner Joe Mitrecic’s request for Ocean City to answer its own 911 calls will be studied by the county and state once again, but no decision will come before the close of 2015.

The Ocean City Mayor and Council will leave the Boardwalk out of its new anti-smoking regulations. However, the council will ban lighting up on the beach outside of new designated stations set up every couple blocks.

Although rave reviews continue for the new performing arts center in Ocean City, 2015 will not see the facility land any major national names, but the year will end with several announcements of significant bookings for 2016.

The new public boat ramp in Ocean City near the Route 90 Bridge will not open in 2015. Due to permitting issues delaying construction, it will open prior to the summer of 2016.

Following other recent restructuring moves, a major re-organization of the Ocean City Police Department will take place, resulting in several retirements and reducing payroll significantly.

As a result of the damage from October’s rocket explosion, no major launches will take place from Wallops.

The self-proclaimed “Pole Doll” will return to Ocean City and continue her act on the Boardwalk.

Some improvements will be made to Coastal Highway’s median but most of the major construction will have to wait till 2016 due to government’s slow pace.

Excellent weather combined with the first-ever appearance of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels demonstration team will make the 2015 Air Show the best yet.

With Sunfest falling later in the calendar in 2015, the Ocean City area will have an automotive dominated month of October with the H20 event bringing the Jetta crowd to the beach the first weekend of the month followed by Cruisin, the hot rod and classics event, the following weekend.

Due to overwhelming success, our favorite local author, Bunk Mann, will authorize a second printing of his historical “Vanishing Ocean City” book to meet summer demand. The book was first distributed in the fall and missed the summer crowds.

Peppers Tavern on the Boardwalk will have one more summer in the basement of the Seascape Motel before it’s razed to become a Hyatt hotel. Before demolition, the Tavern management will allow customers to take whatever memorabilia they wish from the place.

The Berlin Lions Club will honor long-time Councilwoman Paula Lynch with its Citizen of the Year award.

Gasoline prices will stay below $3 all year.

Assateague Island will see a boom to its herd with three new foals born.

The Seattle Seahawks will repeat as Super Bowl champions, defeating the Patriots.