Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – July 14, 2017

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – July 14, 2017

The iconic and nostalgic Zipper ride at Trimper’s on the south end of the Boardwalk will not be going away any time soon, despite some social media reports from around the country and beyond that a leading manufacturer is no longer fabricating or producing replacement parts.

It was reported this week the Zipper was being retired from the famed Calgary Stampede rodeo and festival in Canada after 50 years because the manufacturer was no longer making the ride and parts were becoming increasingly difficult to come by.

Closer to home, the Zipper at Trimper’s on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, which has caused generations of thrill seekers to lose their French fries and cotton candy and has resulted in more than a few pockets full of change and other items to be deposited on the ground in the park, is still going full speed with no plans of stopping.

Brooks Trimper said this week the Zipper’s manufacturer, Chance Morgan, has been producing the ride for decades and has stopped regular production, but is still making them to order. Trimper said just last year the company designed new seats for the classic ride. As for the iconic Ocean City Zipper, Trimper said there should be no concern about it leaving the downtown summer landscape any time soon, despite what may be misleading online.

“Our Zipper gets a lot of love and care each winter, so I don’t think ours will be going anywhere for a while,” he said. “Just a few years ago, our 2004 Zipper went back to the factory for a refurb. Zippers will still be out there providing thrills.”

While conservative estimates for the offshore wind farm off Ocean City’s coast has it in operation no earlier than five years from now, it appears an effort off Virginia Beach expects to be running within four years. Therefore, there appears to be a race to be the mid-Atlantic’s first offshore wind farm underway.

According to a press release from the Business Network for Offshore Wind, Dominion Energy Virginia and DONG Energy of Denmark have inked a deal to build two, six-megawatt turbines approximately 27 miles off Virginia Beach. It’s the first phase of development on a 2,135-acre site leased by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.

Readers will recall the plan for Ocean City’s wind farm has some turbines between 12 and 19 miles from shore. However, no matter who is generating first, there is no question the Maryland wind farm would be much larger with 200-plus turbines — 187 from US Wind, Inc. and 15 from Deepwater Wind — and create far more renewable energy — approximately 900 megawatts.

The 10th anniversary season of The Freeman Stage at Bayside is not even half over yet, but it will be hard to top Tuesday night’s encore at the Blues Traveler show as far as the top memory of the concert season.

Opening for the band was Blind Wind, comprised of father-and-son duo Frankie and Cole Moran. Cole is a 14-year-old blind boy with local roots, and the band plays throughout the resort area. Early on in the evening, it was made clear there would be some sort of “crossover” between the two bands at some point and that happened for the encore when Cole was brought out to play next to Blues Traveler frontman John Popper, an accomplished harmonica player.

Watching the two perform next to each other on stage was an inspirational moment for all in attendance. Of course, as a parent to one, I admit to being a total sap when it comes to seeing special needs children overcome their disabilities and excel, but as I looked around the audience it was clear it touched many. Turn to the next page to see some photos capturing when Cole got to play with one of the most famous harmonica players of the day. Cole was also given a number of harmonicas from Popper at the end of the show.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.