Homeless Problem Ruins OC Vacation
My wife and I just returned from a week in Ocean City. It was our first visit here and we had heard how wonderful the shore is at this time of year when the weather is pleasant and the crowds at a minimum. We did a great deal of planning and preparation for this trip.
Unfortunately, due to several repeated incidences on the Boardwalk, we are crossing Ocean City off of our list of future vacation destinations.
We love to walk and did so on the Boardwalk several times daily. Almost every time, we were bothered and verbally harassed by a contingent of panhandlers, who seem to have taken over the seating area across from the restrooms. After we had ignored their requests for attention and money, these miscreants yelled rude, profane comments at us. We reported this to an OCPD officer, who listened and was cooperative. He told us that there isn’t much they can do about this, as they are not visibly breaking the law.
One day I was in the restroom facility. It was raining and a few of these individuals were hanging out inside to keep dry. One was lying on the sink counter, preventing anyone from using it and the room was filled with cigarette smoke.
We noticed that people congregate, eat and relax in all the other Boardwalk seating areas except this one. It seems that this group has adopted this area, sleeping on the benches and being a general nuisance to Boardwalk patrons.
Aside from this problem, we simply loved Ocean City, but will be looking at other options for our annual fall trip.
This is an embarrassing situation that I hope will be seriously addressed by the town in order to create an enjoyable and hospitable atmosphere for all.
Mr. and Mrs Marshall Reynolds
Remove Wind Farm Distance Amendment
(The following was addressed as an open letter to U.S. Congressman Andy Harris.)
Congressman Harris, the recent flooding in Texas is the latest consequence of our over-consumption of fossil fuels. Climate scientists know from the laws of physics that warmer oceans cause tropical storms to carry more water. We can expect record-breaking floods to become the new normal if we don’t move rapidly from CO2-emitting fuels to green energy.
In light of this, I implore you to reverse your project-killing 24-mile requirement for our offshore wind farms. These wind turbines will reduce each Marylander’s CO2 footprint by two pounds a day. This may not seem like much, since we are trying to get from our current 100 pounds down to 20 pounds a day. But the sooner we begin to turn the ship the better, and these wind farms are ready to build now.
If we keep feeding ever more energy into storms by warming the oceans, in 100 years we may have no Ocean City to visit.
Independent Look At Russia Needed
I call on Representative Andy Harris, M.D. to support an independent commission on the Russian interference in our election. Democracy depends on free and fair elections where every eligible citizen can vote and be certain that their vote is counted.
In his role of defending our constitution, Congressman Harris must support HR 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would establish a “national commission on foreign influence in the 2016 election.”
This Commission would be bipartisan, independent, and able to investigate both criminal and non-criminal violations; would publish a report to the American people within 18 months; would have members that could not be fired; and would have staff and resources that could entirely focus on the commission’s work.
Already 200 members of the House of Representatives have signed the petition to move the bill to the floor for a vote. At least two other Republicans have already signed (Justin Amash of Michigan and Walter Jones of North Carolina). There are 218 signatures needed for further action. We ask Rep. Andy Harris to join his fellow republicans as defenders of the constitution and rise above party politics by signing the petition.
Community’s Generous Outpouring Appreciated
I want to thank the Ocean City community for the generous outpouring of love, given to the family and friends of Veronika Badurova. On Aug. 30, Veronika was riding her bike and was struck by a car, which ended up taking her life.
As the Pastor of Ocean City Baptist Church, we take great responsibility on ministering to the J-1 students who come to Ocean City every summer. We believe as we minister to these students we are helping local businesses run their business more effectively. We believe we help the city attract more visitors, as they are happier and more hospitable to summer visitors. But most importantly we believe that we are obeying the commands of Jesus to love our neighbor and to share the gospel with the world.
Every summer we pray for safety and that tragedy never comes to this city. But we also know that Jesus taught us that this world is not perfect and therefore trials and tragedy will come. During these tragedies, we strive to help those who are suffering.
On Thursday, Sept. 8 we hosted a dinner for many of the students affected by this tragedy. Several local restaurants including Mug and Mallet, Paul Revere’s Smorgasboard, The Alibi Room, Clucking Crab, Conner’s, Bull on the Beach and Pickles Pub donated a full meal to these students. Many of these students told me they had never experienced something so generous. They couldn’t believe that people cared as much as they did.
We also collected an offering to be used for Veronika’s family. We did this only to help the family with travel expenses. We soon found out that there was a need for extra income to be used for funeral arrangements. Many in the community reached out and gave. The Chamber of Commerce as well as the Harrison Group reached out and helped the family with lodging. Veronika’s employer, Premier Pools, helped with plane tickets and then many others gave. After counting what came in online and in Sunday’s offering, the community gave $5,344.
We will be sending this money to her family who has already gone home. In addition, the family asked us to thank the many who gave to help them during this difficult time. We also ask that you continue to pray for the many friends and family as they grieve.
Fest Support Appreciated
On behalf of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff, I would like to thank everyone who made the 39th Annual Bethany Beach Arts Festival a huge success. Many artists reported record day sales for the season as the crowds took advantage of the beautiful weather. Thank you to our many partners including Schell Brothers, the presenting sponsor, Bayside a Carl M. Freeman Companies Community, John Donato, who inspired artists of all ages with an interactive mural as the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) held the public vote for the finalists of the $1,000 Scholarship to a local junior or senior artist. Sponsored by Creative Concepts, the silent auction boasted over 90 pieces with all proceeds being split between the four local elementary school art programs.
The Arts Festival is a true testament of the famous quote “Many hands make light work.” First, the efforts of Dean Sissler and the Bethany Beach police department were much appreciated along with the efforts of Brett Warner, Sean Ely and the Public Works team. Lastly, words cannot do justice to how much the Chamber appreciates the work of the outstanding volunteers. From the 5:30 a.m. crew who marked the boardwalk and streets to the volunteers who made calls to the silent auction winners, your time and the feedback we received from your efforts are so meaningful to the staff.
Thank you Christine Bohner, Anita Broccolino, Eunice Carpitella, Ron Derr, Jim Doyle, Susie Foskey, Mary Germann, Georgette Greason, Regina Handy, Rebecca & James Hayman, Max Hutsell, Kami Kane, Ron Lewis, Jim Mace, Mike Mall, Kristie Maravalli, Kevin McCourt, Danny McKenzie, Jeanne Mueller, David Nilsson, Tom Perry, Steve Plotkin, Mary Smith, and Milt Warren. We are blessed to have such quality people who serve to promote community and commerce in the Quiet Resorts. Thank you for being part of our Chamber team!
(The writer is the executive director of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.)