Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Smokers Have Not Lost Any Rights


In response to the man who thinks he is being treated as a “second class citizen” since the new ban on smoking has come into place, you still have all the rights we (non-smokers)have.

You can enjoy the beach, inside the bars, the concerts. You are just being asked to refrain from smoking around those of us that don’t and to use the designated areas for it. We have a right to enjoy the beach without smelling your cigarettes. I like to smell the salt air instead of the toxins you chose to put into your body. Where is our right not to inhale your smoke?

All you wrote about was your right to do what you want to and it doesn’t seem that you feel we have a right to clean air. Maybe you don’t have children, so you don’t realize how important it is not to smoke around them. Maybe you don’t care about lung cancer, COPD, etc. But I do. I quit smoking years ago. Now I know how good clean air smells and I don’t want to smell your cigarettes. You do have a right to smoke in the smoking areas. Give us our right not to smoke because even though I’m not lighting up, your smoke goes into my lungs just as well. I was ignorant once too, puffing away without thinking about how bad it smelled to other people.

Once you quit (and I hope you do), you’ll see that the smell is almost intolerable. Give the non-smokers a break.

Nancy Lower

Ocean City

A Taking?


It is strange to see such disparate people such as Stewart Dobson and Mary Knight becoming bedpartners in an effort to restrict the property rights of their neighbors by not allowing summer rentals in certain neighborhoods in the R-1A zoned areas. The restriction would include at least Little Salisbury and Mallard Island.

I understand that they see renters in their neighborhood as an eyesore and maybe a threat to property values. The reality is quite the opposite. Stewart and Mary are symptom driven. They see a symptom and are led to believe that enforcing a coercive rule on everyone to restrict the right to rent; a property right will fix it. It won’t.

Mary and Stewart don’t ask the right question. Mr. Dobson states it is not much of a change, and Mrs. Knight that restricting renters will improve the neighborhood for families, make it a family neighborhood.

The restriction on an owners rights appeared to me to be a partial taking. In other words, should the council restrict properties in the R-1A zone, it likely is a taking, an eminent domain issue and a possible Fifth Amendment violation, requiring the city to pay all the property holders. None of the other property owners agreed to such a restriction when they purchased their property.

It must be realized that this restriction will not accomplish what Mrs. Knight and Mr. Dobson desire because the underlying cause of increased renters is not being addressed.

When income growth doesn’t equal or exceed the costs of living, owners are often forced to supplement the difference with renters. Maybe Mr. Dobson and Mrs. Knight would be best advised to put their efforts into lowering costs to live in Ocean City.

Niall Ferguson, the Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, in one of his books states that all of our system’s social justice is derived from Common Law dating back to the Magna Carta and can be summarized by three rules: “. . .do what you like as long as you do no harm;” “mind your own bloody business;” and “… an Englishman’s home is his castle.”

Ferguson feels that on these three rules our Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are based. All other rules he calls Civil Rules, which are made by well-meaning legislatures, and often tend to restrict, coerce, or negate basic freedoms and liberties to accomplish a narrow goal that is never obtained, because they fail to discover the cause of the problem from the onset.

It might be that as costs for living have increased in Ocean City, incomes are increasingly supplemented by renting. To stop or restrict this right will further reduce property values. If you remove this rental income, you will invite more property-value declines and more vacancies.

Maybe Mr. Recor, City Manager, a renter in Mallard Island, is the smartest of the lot. He will sit back, as Mr. Dobson and Mrs. Knight work hard to further reduce property values, and end up buying that $600,000 house, (which used to be $1,100,000), for merely $200,000 in just a few years.

It seems the Realtors have it right. They are in touch with declining property values every day and are beginning to understand that many of these types of problems are caused by direct costs through taxes or indirect costs through bone headed political actions, often enacted with good intentions. When special interests conspire against the general good, it is a taking, and the city should pay all the others for their loss, as per the Takings Clause to compensate for eminent domain.

Maybe Mr. Guy Ayres, City Solicitor, and the council are trying to break an Ocean City record. I understand the street performers are suing the city for money damages in federal court, This R1A conversion should it be passed might well be a second lawsuit in federal court and of course there is the petition, we have requested a hearing in federal court to.

If it is this council’s goal to have three cases simultaneously in federal court I would think they are well on the way and that would be an Ocean City record. This council in a short time is earning the reputation of being the worst in recent memory.

Tony Christ

Reflecting On 30 Years


Creative Day Spa first opened its doors in Ocean City in 1985. Phone booths were still popular, We Are the World was playing on the radio and kids were going wild for a new thing called Nintendo. Tourists on the beach were sipping (and revolting against) New Coke. On television we were watching Golden Girls, MacGyver and Moonlighting. Was it a lifetime ago or the blink of an eye? Some days it feels like it’s both.

In a recent staff meeting, I asked my coworkers, “What separates us from the rest? Why have we been successful for over 30 years while so many others have failed?”

They began to shout out answers:  we care about our guests and staff; we personalize our services for each guest; we take pride in the training of our staff and the quality of our work; and our guests know they can rely on us to be on time, to be prepared and to have a positive attitude.

Suddenly, it struck me: They really do “get it”. And I realized how blessed I am to be able to work each day with such caring and conscientious people. This brings me to the first item on my list of “Sandyisms,” the values and principles that have helped me to be successful and stay motivated. They’ve served me well, and I’d like to share them.

  1. Be confident and courageous enough to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. They inspire you to reach further than you ever thought you could.
  2. Ambition is more important than talent. Someone who is self-motivated is eager to learn. Challenge the people who work with you. You’ll be surprised by the hidden talents they possess.
  3. Take the time to learn people’s names, whether it’s the barista in your local coffee shop or the CEO of your company. It takes practice, but it’s a no-cost investment.
  4. Express appreciation and compliment others. Take the time to ask about their lives and families. Be sincere — if you fake it, people will notice. As an added bonus, this makes you feel good too. As my mother always says, “it’s nice to be nice.” And it’s in my price range.
  5. Never underestimate the power of a relationship. It is human nature to want to help people whom you like and want to see them succeed. Kindness is easy and free and it is almost always repaid.
  6. Ask and you shall receive. The only way to truly get what you want in life is to know what you want and how to ask for it.
  7. “Do what you love and the money will follow” is a time-tested truism. Imagine a dog vigorously digging a hole. He is having such fun digging he does not notice the enormous pile he has accumulated.
  8. Maintain good credit. Pay all of your bills on time, borrow judiciously and save, save, save. When you prove to the bank you don’t need it, believe me, they will beg you to take it. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. You will likely find that you didn’t need it to begin with.
  9. Always be punctual. Lateness is arrogance. It says loud and clear, “my time is more valuable than yours.”
  10. Make a budget and stick to it. Know what’s coming in and exactly how much is going out and be sure the former is greater than the latter. It’s simple math really.
  11. Nothing beautiful is achieved through force. This is an expression we use in my favorite pastime, horseback riding. Don’t try to muscle your way, ask gently and you will get the desired result.
  12. Any problem that can be fixed with money is not a problem, it’s an expense. It’s not a terminal disease. Many people would love to trade problems with you, so bear that in mind when you feel like complaining.
  13. Always be honest. Dishonesty discounts all of your good qualities.
  14. Earn it! Trust, friendship, loyalty and anything that money can buy must be earned.
  15. Always smell good and smile.

It’s now 2015. Uptown Funk is playing on the radio and on iPods and tablets and cell phones. We’re watching Scandal and True Detective on television and iPads and tablets and cell phones. Tourists are once again sipping original Coke and kids are going wild for a thing called Nintendo. (Okay, maybe some things don’t change.)

Thirty years is actually quite a long time. Since Creative Day Spa opened for business, we’ve grown from a staff of just two to thirty. We’ve expanded from one location to two locations. The range of services we provide has quadrupled.

Thousands of guests have come through our doors, and many have been with us for the entire 30 years. They’ve become friends and family, and we’ve celebrated many happy occasions together: weddings, graduations, new babies, a new home, a new job. We’ve even shared a few tears along the way. Our guests have been incredibly generous to us, and for that we are grateful, not just to them, but to everyone in this unique town we call home. Thank you, Ocean City. And stay tuned for the next thirty years! Creativedayspa.com

Sandy Gillis & Spa Team

Ocean City

No Rights Violated


What is it with smokers who think that laws banning smoking is a “violation of their rights?” It’s the second-hand smoke, not your rights.

There are many individuals out there who cannot tolerate second hand smoke, cannot breathe, and let’s not forget the children with their developing lungs who are harmed by second hand smoke. There are certain parts of the country where individuals have the right to carry a gun. This does not give them the right to shoot and kill someone which is what smokers have the potential of doing every time they smoke around those who don’t.

A great deal of research and input was taken into consideration when the Ocean City Council established designated smoking areas on the beach as a test. If this does not work, the only other option will be to ban smoking completely from the beach and the Boardwalk.

It would also be very nice if newspapers used some common sense and did their research before publishing letters that are detrimental to public health.

David Murdock

Ocean City

Campaign Support


I am a huge supporter of the “Walk Smart Campaign” that Ocean City commenced a few years ago.  I am a year-round permanent resident and I am aware of and continue to see so many local businesses participate in the campaign by having the posters and or sticker type material available for patrons to view and or take with them so as to remind them to use the crosswalks.

It was nice to read about the State’s Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary teaming up with the Mayor and Police officials at the new Crosswalk at 101st Street at the Clarion Resort.  With the overflow lot across the street from the Clarion, it was most definitely needed for Ocean City.

There is no doubt that this campaign is working, just as Mayor Meehan stated.  I believe that in addition to the painted signs that were painted 2 years ago along a series of blocks, the stickers, and all of the rest of the good literature available for the public that make up this good campaign, Ocean City’s law enforcement can begin to enforce J-Walking laws by stopping those who are in violation.

While everyone certainly is wishful for continued success with this campaign and no injuries of fatalities come about, there still are many individuals who continue to cross without using the crosswalks.

Doug Antos

Ocean City

Where Are OP Priorities?


I recently read in The Dispatch about the conditions of the roadway bridges in Ocean Pines. Repairs have been needed since 2009.

Since 2009, Ocean Pines has built a new yacht club for $5 million and new greens for the golf course at a cost of almost $1 million. These amenities are used by less than 10 percent of Ocean Pines property owners.

The general manager is given an outrageous pay raise and a $12,000 bonus for amenities that lose money.

It’s time for new blood on the Ocean Pines Board of Directors. Maybe a new board can get Ocean Pines priorities straight.

I do believe everybody in Ocean Pines uses the bridges.

Mille Graves

Ocean Pines

Grateful For Service


Early in the morning of June 28, my husband experienced a medical emergency while we were in Ocean City. I’d like to publically thank the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Department for its immediate response and calm, efficient handling of the situation. I believe the responding crew came from the 15th Street station.

In almost 40 years of visiting Ocean City, I have never before had occasion to call 911. I cannot tell you how grateful I am and how impressed I was at the professionalism and knowledge I witnessed.

Residents and visitors alike are fortunate to have such a fine organization in their community.

Kateri Kashuba

Brookeville, Md.