Disturbing Crime Report
Truilia.com is a (worldwide) website used for potential property buyers to search for homes. On this site, there is a small colored map used to identify crime in the area of the home you are looking at.
Along list of arrests and incidents is shown for a beautiful property listed on Edgewater Avenue in Ocean City. This report is for less than one month (and excludes July 4th weekend.) I have been searching properties up and down the coast for years and have never seen this much crime reported for a home location, especially one touted as a “family vacation” area. Wake up Ocean City. Would you want to live or visit an area with this much crime?
What’s reported in the papers is just the tip of the iceberg and I’m sure this letter won’t be printed since it brings to light the larger, broader picture of what residents and visitors of Ocean City live through season after season. If Ocean City continues to placate the bar owners as always and neglect the taxpaying residents and seasonal dwellers, it will get worse as the people who truly care about our town leave.
The following is an abridged version of the report:
On Aug. 1, there were two arrests of an unknown nature.
On July 31, there were 12 arrests for a variety of incidents including CDS: Possession not Marijuana, intoxicated endangerment, liquor law violation, disorderly conduct, drug violations and driver failure to enter lawful lane after left turn.
On July 30, there were 14 arrests with violations including public consumption, driving under the influence, bench warrant, CDS: Possession not Marijuana, simple assault and theft-shoplifting.
On July 29, there were 16 arrests for CDS: Possession not Marijuana, arrest warrant, intoxicated endangerment, disorderly conduct, public consumption, fraud, liquor law violation, simple assault, disorderly conduct and warrant.
OC Needs To Treat Lightly
During a past Ocean City Council meeting that discussed the lawsuit over the regulation of Boardwalk performers, Council member Mary Knight asked City Solicitor Guy Ayres a simple question. Why other cities with similar regulations were not in the same situation as Ocean City?
Ayres gave her a very succinct answer. Those cities were not being sued yet. At a recent Council meeting, Council member Wayne Hartman recommended that the City’s sleeping in cars municipal infraction be upgraded a criminal misdemeanor. Mayor Meehan agreed with Mr. Hartman’s sentiment.
The Council should move very carefully if it decides to criminalize sleeping in a car that is on public areas in Ocean City. The U.S. Department of Justice, in an Aug. 6, 2015, “Statement of Interest,” informed a Federal court in Idaho that a Boise law that prohibited sleeping in public places is unconstitutional unless the city provided alternative shelter where sleeping can take place.
The Department told the Federal court that sleeping is a life-sustaining activity and that no one can stay awake indefinitely. The Department also said that criminalizing sleeping in public places does not improve public safety outcomes. As a result, the Department told the Court that criminalizing sleeping in a public place without alternative shelter is a violation of the cruel and unusual provision of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
If the Council approved Council member Hartman’s recommendation to criminalize sleeping in a car, they could be once again subjected to a lawsuit in Federal court for violating a person’s constitutional rights. This time the U.S. Department of Justice may oppose the city’s efforts to criminalize sleeping in a car or for that matter sleeping on the beach.
Museum Thanks Supporters
On behalf of the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, I would like to sincerely thank the many volunteers and community organization who supported the sixth annual Children’s Day on the Bay held at Sunset Park on Aug. 7. Several volunteers traveled a long way just for the day in order to participate and we are very appreciative of their service.
The weather could not have been more beautiful and everyone who attended had a fantastic time. Educational programs were provided by the Delmarva Discovery Center, Ocean City Beach Patrol, Ocean City Mounted Police, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Coast Guard Station Ocean City.
The Ocean City Development Corporation sponsored the live band, Imagine, providing us with beautiful, entertaining music the entire day.
The Museum is open every day from now until the end of October and we have more exciting events coming! For more information please call us 410-289-4991 or visit our website www.ocmuseum.org.
Thanks again to all of the volunteers and participants. We could not do it without you.
(The writer is the executive director of the musem.)
Unnecessary Shark Fishing Ordinance
I cannot believe that City Council does not have more important things to do than respond to complaints by a few uninformed people and pass an emergency ordinance banning certain kinds of shark fishing from the surf. I know fishermen who do this kind of fishing and they are not harming the sharks. They use circle hooks which are designed to minimize harm to the fish. They are not causing any danger to swimmers.
The fishermen are using techniques to get the bait far out in the surf where these sharks naturally occur. They are not chumming or blood baiting but using a traditional bait and hook approach. The sharks suffer no more harm than any other fish which is caught on a hook.
The sharks are released and safely swim back to their natural place in the water. The fishing methods employed do not cause the sharks to stay in closer to shore. I have witnessed some of these complainers inappropriately harassing the fishermen. One cannot explain facts to these people since it is not possible to present logical, fact based arguments to the illogical, emotional arguments presented by these uninformed people. The bait and hooks are the same that are used by people fishing from boats.
This is another example of a government body overreacting to the voices of a micro-minority who are unencumbered by correct information. It is clear none of the council members have personally witnessed this type of fishing and passed another unnecessary law in reaction to complaints by a very miniscule minority who do not know what they are talking about.
Kudos To Lifeguard
I only met her once when her grandmother introduced her to me. I knew Kate was a lifeguard but I couldn’t believe this petite, little girl was capable of saving a full grown man from the ocean’s waves.
But that’s just what she did on a recent Wednesday. The rip current were treacherous and there were 90 rescues that day. Katie was busy doing her job. She swam out to help a man who was in trouble and brought him safety back to shore.
He thanked her and walked away. The man came back later, looked up at her and said, “Can you please come down from your stand so I can give you a big hug? You just saved my life.”
Kate just smiled at him all the while keeping her eyes on the water and the people on her beach.
Just another day in the life of an Ocean City lifeguard.
West Ocean City
T-Shirt Fuss Not Worth It
As the White Marlin Open Tournament ends in Ocean City, it leaves behind a fruitful endeavor for the fishermen, local businesses and marina community.
Positive stories about the success of the tournament, such as the 2015 winner Cheryl McLeskey and her generous charitable contributions to underprivileged children, endear the tournament to those outside the fishing realm
This year, however, the focus seems to have been on the “White Lives Matter” T-shirts that George Lamplugh produced with a portion of the proceeds promoting marlin conservation. For every shirt sold, $1 went to some undisclosed group. What makes these t-shirt particularly distasteful is the timing.
Black Lives Matter is a social justice movement which works to promote awareness of the current national climate as it relates to African Americans. According to the blacklivesmatter.com website, “Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life.”
There were also T-shirts that read “Blue Lives Matter,” a take-off on the crucial dialog about law enforcement officers and the recent police tragedies.
It demonstrates a lack of respect to buy and wear these questionable shirts. Lamplugh himself indicated that he used the charged phrasing to sell shirts. This controversy did not benefit our local community, its image and the work being done to affirm all people, including the disenfranchised. We can do better than this.