Voices From The Readers – December 9, 2016

Voices From The Readers – December 9, 2016

Column In Poor Taste
I am not a resident of Berlin. However I have many friends who reside there. I found the tone of Editor Steve Green’s Between The Lines column on Dec. 2 regarding the naming of Berlin Falls Park in very poor taste.
Mr. Green wrote, “I had to laugh when I saw this grassroots effort launched on Facebook last week. I laughed even harder when I noticed a hardcopy petition being circulated around town businesses.” What would possess you to make a statement? Consider, if someone had said, “Steven Green as editor of The Dispatch? That’s the silliest idea I’ve ever heard.”
No idea is without merit sir. Someone genuinely thought it would be appropriate to honor Mr. Tingle’s years of service to the community. All you did is delegitimize your paper’s relevance in the community by publishing such a mean opinion and make yourself look small.

Martin McDonnell

Commentary Off Base
While you are entitled to your opinion and your editorial, you embarrass yourself by “laughing” at the sincere attempt made by a well-respected member of our community to honor another well respected man.
You may not agree but should not be laughing or making a point, in print, that you were brought to laughter. You have done your newspaper and our community a disservice and lost the respect of many.

Robert Tilton

Sheriff Mason Thanked
I would like to thank Sheriff Reggie Mason for what he has done for the county and Ocean City. He has brought many years of experience and practical common sense to protecting the people of Worcester County.
I especially want to commend him for his diligence during the holiday season and the added protection he has afforded the citizens at the mall area and other high traffic areas, which some County Commissioners didn’t seem to recognize. I also hope the people of Ocean City realize his dedication to the town and trust his expertise unlike some politicians in OC. I truly hope the good folks of Worcester County encourage Sheriff Mason to seek one more term before he retires as our community will be a better place and the experience he has in law enforcement and budgeting his department is going to be hard to replace.
Regardless I want to thank Sheriff Mason for a stellar career and all the best.

James Farlow
West Ocean City

Designation Worthwhile
(The following letter was sent to Ocean City Mayor Council as well as several senators and delegates.)
As a citizen of Maryland and seasonal resident of Ocean City, I am addressing this letter to you to state my unequivocal support for the National Aquarium’s proposition to designate the Baltimore Canyon as a National Marine Sanctuary. I also wish to strongly challenge the notion that Sanctuary designation is a threat to recreational and competitive sportfishing. In fact, the opposite is true; it has the potential to be a boon for the industry.
The National Marine Sanctuaries Program (NMSP) was founded largely in response to the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill off of California. The program is intended to protect special and vulnerable marine ecosystems from transformative industrial practices such as oil drilling, mineral extraction and dumping. Recreational (and even many forms of commercial) fishing are allowed and even encouraged within today’s Sanctuary system.
I invite you to look very closely at the case of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. When first raised, the proposal to create a sanctuary in the Florida Keys received fiery opposition from the local fishing community, including death threats made to Billy Causey, the man who negotiated the designation and would go on to become Superintendent of the Sanctuary for many years.

Today, the Florida Keys Sanctuary has enjoyed great successes, remains a world-class fishing destination, is vigorously defended by the fishing community that thrive off its unpolluted waters and pristine vistas (a rarity in the oil rich Gulf region), and Billy Causey has become a beloved icon of both the fishing and marine conservation communities.

The interest in establishing Baltimore Canyon as a sanctuary stems from its unique and biologically important deep-water coral communities.

These bottom habitats are already protected from destructive bottom fishing practices (like trawls and dredges) through a fishing community-led Deep Sea Corals Amendment to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP).

Thus the purpose of Sanctuary designation is not to limit fishing, but rather to further protect these deep sea corals – and their associated recreational fisheries – from future industrial impacts such as oil development, cable and pipelines, and mineral extraction.

As a lifelong member of the Ocean City community, I know that the types of industrial activities listed above are the very same that local residents, tourists and the town itself wish to keep at bay.

Inviting a Sanctuary Designation will not only protect coastal tourism and the big-prize competitive sportfishing industry, it may have the additional impact of luring new forms of offshore tourism, research and education investment to the region.

While I understand the concern that has been raised by the local fishing community towards a process that is relatively unknown in this region, I feel that this concern is misguided and counter-productive to the aims and best interest of that community as well as to Maryland at large.

Please, as your constituent, I ask you to support the designation and do everything in your power to help facilitate it.

Arlo Hemphill
Frederick and Ocean City
(The writer is the communications manager for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean.)

What’s Brian’s Rule?
Twelve years ago on Dec. 15, we lost our only son Brian to a heroin addiction. He was 22 years old. Recently my wife and I decided to go public for one reason. To fight this horrific epidemic, that even under Ho-gan’s reign has grown 21 percent in 2014 and 25 percent in 2015. Pres-ently heroin and Phentynol are killing 3.6 people in Maryland every day. That is more than 25 a week. If this was a shooting war, it would be in the front page of the papers every day.
On Monday Dec. 4, we enlisted and received the Mayor and Council’s support. We hope all of you who have supported our petition Ocean City Taxpayers for Social Justice (“OC-TSJ”) will come and support this effort.
We have produced music, Brian’s Christmas Songbook, and invited political speakers, EMTs and former addicts to speak.
We invite you all to attend an open workshop at Fager’s on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 4-8 p.m. All food and drink will be a la carte and John is putting prime rib on 50-percent discount.
We want you to join us and unite as a community including the Mayor and Council and our state senator to support Brian’s Rule and I will distribute Brian’s Rule for your approval.
If you agree as a community, we will take Brian’s Rule through the Maryland Legislature and change the law to empower moms and dads through a community of adults to know what their dependent children are doing early on to intervene before they find out when they overdose, are locked up or are full blown heroin addicts.
Thank you, please attend, all OCTSJ people, and others, no charge at Fager’s on Dec. 11, 4-8 p.m. to directly support changing Maryland law.

Tony Christ

Parade Support Recognized
The Town of Berlin and Berlin Main Street wishes to thank the following businesses for their donations toward the 46th Annual Berlin Christmas Parade. Many thanks and wishing you a Happy Holiday season.
Pitt Stop Beer and Wine LLC, Day’s Aluminum, Worcester Preparatory School, Dr. Gerald Ott, Healing Hands, Diversified Maintenance, Custom Mechanical, Bundles of Joy University, Bleached Butterfly, Francis Scott Key Family Resort, Purnell Inc., Taylor Bank, Esham Family Partnership, Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center, Una Bella Salute, Carey Insurance and Financial Services, Doodle Design, The Adkins Company, Hunan Chinese Restaurant, Berlin Shoe Box, Burbage Funeral Home, Atlantic Orthopedics, Bunting Realty, Worcester County Developmental Center, Evergreen Lodge #153, Gary’s Shore Service, Berlin Optical, Stevenson United Methodist Church, World of Toys, First Shore Federal, Poole Contracting & Consulting, Action Island and State Farm Insurance

Sharon Timmons