Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

It’s a long way off, but October is looking more and more like automotive month in Ocean City.

Word is the H20i International event, which calls itself “the ‘laid back’ 2 day watercooled VW Audi event,” will be held this year the first weekend in October. Staff Writer Joanne Shriner spent some time this week chasing this rumor down. The end result being nothing is official yet.

That according to event organizer Jay Shoup as well as Mitch Parker, owner of Fort Whaley campground, which hosts the two-day event at its site on Route 50. Both reported this week the paperwork has not been signed and neither wanted to comment until that was inked.

The event was last year called negative and disappointing by Ocean City officials after several high-profile disturbances from attendees who reportedly did not attend the actual event out at the campground in Whaleyville. At one point, these vehicles overtook the convention center parking lot and overwhelmed police to the point the lot had to be closed down the rest of the weekend. It was a rambunctious weekend to say the least, featuring many disrespectful individuals intent on being combative with police.

The event has typically been held the last weekend in September, but the feeling among Ocean City officials was it needed to be moved on the 2015 calendar because it would conflict with Sunfest, which this year falls on the last weekend in September. The town’s general opinion seems to be the two events and their attendees would not mix well together. That much is obvious, but moving it back will have it fall on the same weekend as the Wine On The Beach festival at the Inlet.

If this turns out to be true, and I believe it will become official eventually, the first weekend of October will feature the H2Oi event followed by Cruisin’ and then the Corvettes on Oct. 16-17. In recent years, June was the biggest special event month in Ocean City. However, with the Dew Tour’s departure, October, featuring Halloween events and the breast cancer run, among other events, could now be considered the top event month in some ways.

In all actuality, the H2Oi and Crusin’ events have evolved into week-long special events, despite the actual organized events not taking place until the weekend in H2Oi’s case and Thursday-Sunday for Cruisin’. It will be interesting to see if there is some overlap between the event attendees. For that reason, I have been envisioning images of an Audi with rear cambr and a Chevy with custom exhaust squaring off at stoplights on Coastal Highway. Here’s to hoping that’s not a negative thing.

There was nothing shocking necessarily about Gov. Larry Hogan’s first “State of the State Address.” After all, it was named “A New Direction for Maryland.”

“We have a lot to do, to get Maryland back on track and working again. The challenges we face are great. High taxes, over-regulation, and an anti-business attitude are clearly the cause of our economic problems. Our economy is floundering, and too many Marylanders have been struggling, just to get by. Forty consecutive tax hikes have taken an additional $10 billion out of the pockets of struggling Maryland families and small businesses. We’ve lost more than 8,000 businesses, and Maryland’s unemployment nearly doubled,” Hogan said. “… And, while most states around the country have turned the corner – sadly, Maryland continues to languish behind. The federal government ranked our state’s economy 49th out of 50 states. That is simply unacceptable.”

With Democrats in the room getting red faced at this point, Hogan then discussed how he hopes to affect his changes.

“The debates that take place in this chamber in the weeks ahead cannot ignore the certainty of our current fiscal situation. We will make every effort to be fair, judicious and thoughtful, and my administration will work hard to preserve jobs and to fund priorities. Budget choices are never easy, and you may have different ideas and solutions. And we look forward to hearing them, and to working together with you to find common ground,” Hogan said. “As long as those solutions don’t include increasing taxes, spending more than we take in, or going further into debt. And remember, every penny that is added to one program, must be taken from another. Failing to spend the taxpayer’s money in a responsible way could eventually jeopardize our ability to adequately fund education, transportation, environmental programs, and provide support to the vulnerable and those most in need. We simply cannot let that happen.”

Hogan then proceeded to lay out his agenda, all of which will most likely require significant bi-partisan work to get passed. That’s something the last Republican governor, Bob Ehrlich, was unable to master. Friction and disdain among him and Democratic leaders resulted in little of note getting accomplished. Hogan understands this well as he was in Ehrlich’s cabinet. The first legislative session should provide some insight, but word is the campaign rhetoric cited during his speech Wednesday ruffled some feathers and the facial expressions of House Speaker Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller confirmed as much.