Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – October 21, 2016

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – October 21, 2016

It’s become clear that school systems across Maryland are committed to being defiant about the governor’s mandate for a post-Labor Day school start date. It’s no secret superintendents don’t like the requirement and more and more seem unwilling to accept it.

The latest example comes from Wicomico County where two calendar options for the next school year have been presented — one with an Aug. 28 start (the Monday before Labor Day) and June 5 ending and the other starting Sept. 5 (the day after the holiday) and ending June 12.

In a press release announcing the draft calendars are available for review until Nov. 4, Wicomico County Public Schools wrote, “The post-Labor Day start order is likely to be a topic of discussion during the 2017 Maryland General Assembly session. Wicomico and other school systems and professional educational organizations believe strongly that school calendar decisions are best made at the local level with community input.”

That’s the same old argument that’s been playing out across the state since the governor’s announcement in August. Since all the school systems are repeating nearly identical rhetoric opposing the governor’s mandate, I will repeat what I have been saying for years. The Worcester County public school system confirms year in and year out that a post-Labor Day school start can work and that students and teachers can thrive under this calendar system.

As opposed to how Wicomico is handling its calendar draft process, Worcester County Public Schools is not even considering a pre-holiday start for the next school year and that’s how it should be.

A strange opinion request to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office was made this week by Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby.

“Chelsea Covington is a female living in a neighboring county who advocates for the ability of females to go topless in public. She has written to this Office as well as the Ocean City Police Department asking for our opinion on the legality of this behavior. Her argument is essentially: If men can go shirtless, Equal Protection requires that women be allowed to go topless too,” Oglesby wrote. “I have examined the Annotated Code of Maryland, Criminal Law Article, Section 11-107 Indecent Exposure, Section 10-201 Disturbing the public peace and disorderly conduct, the Commissioner’s charging language (and Notes) and relevant case law. I desire the guidance of your Office and therefore am formally requesting that you opine on the issue.”

This should be an interesting one to follow in the months ahead.

In other news, Jack Hubberman, co-founder of the former J/Rs, The Place For Ribs, passed away last Saturday. Hubberman was a well-known business owner in Ocean City for 40 years.

Hubberman retired and unretired several times, each time bringing back the tagline “Jack is Back” when he came back to run his restaurants in Ocean City from Florida or other locales. Over the years, this paper has written more than 25 stories on Hubberman’s restaurants, including the old Potato Shack.

I personally have only spoken to him a few times. The first couple times I met him I was a kid because the mid-town J/Rs was my stepfather’s (Dick Lohmeyer) favorite rib joint. One of the most recent conversations had with Hubberman was probably 15 years ago when his late wife had a significant vehicle accident. He didn’t have any issues with the article being in the paper, but said he had to call to find out why in the world we had to put her age in the paper. He questioned whether I understood women at all. I didn’t know how to answer that one.

Jack will be missed.