Voices From The Readers – October 27, 2017

Voices From The Readers – October 27, 2017

Standing ‘United’


On sports fields, team members, while paying respect to the flag, are simultaneously paying respect to their team mates and fans and making the statement that, despite differences, no one nor thing is going to divide their team. They stand “united.”

Everyone at the event respecting the flag and national anthem are standing “united” in, at the very least, being grateful for a time and place for such activities to take place with the freedoms granted the players for which team they play on and the freedom fans have in cheering for their team of choice.

We’ve gotten so caught up over “rights” over the years that, in a way, we’re getting what we’ve been asking for. After all, can you really blame a generation (or more) of people who have grown up being taught they have the right to do pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want? Instead of denying oneself the enjoyment of the games, energy should be put toward teaching people that acting offensively (albeit legally) in an inappropriate place for a message they are trying to send about their personal beliefs is not acceptable. At this time, I would welcome an apology from the kneeling players who can understand that they can express their political and personal preferences at other venues. For those players who remain unapologetic – well, I feel they are not really “united” with their teams and therefore should not be allowed to remain on them.

Sports have been the saving grace for many people, even since childhood — including my own daughter. So I want sports to continue to be supported, but what should not be tolerated are the activities like we have witnessed lately that cause discourse on the fields. In such a setting, certain standards need to be exercised and revered, without exception.

Maeke Ermarth

Ocean City


Gratitude Expressed


Coastal Hospice wishes to thank everyone who made this year’s Blues on the Bay a big success. More than 220 supporters attended the event on Sept. 27 at Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill and raised more than $33,000 for the capital campaign to build The Macky & Pam Stansell House at Coastal Hospice at the Ocean.

Blues on the Bay 2017 put us one step closer towards our goal of building a state-of-the-art hospice residence and community outreach center in Ocean Pines. This vital new facility will be home for terminally ill patients, as well as a base for palliative care, counseling, grief support and community wellness programs.

We would also like to express our gratitude to Macky and Pam Stansell who open the doors of their restaurant every year as hosts of this annual event. The Stansells continue to show their commitment to Coastal Hospice and the vision of the new hospice home, now named after them to honor their generosity.

Everyone at Coastal Hospice truly appreciates our community’s support.

Alane K. Capen


(The writer is the president of Coastal Hospice.)


Canopy Ban On Beach Makes Little Sense


This post is regarding the proposed ban of canopies on Bethany Beach. This is totally a solution looking for a problem.

Watching the last council workshop video on Oct 16 it looks to me that none of the council members really know what they want to do, why they want to do anything, or what problem is going to be solved and why they are wasting their time. It was two hours of watching people run around in a circle.

I think they should watch themselves. It was kind of embarrassing. I feel sorry for them.

It’s obvious to everybody I have spoken to on this issue that it’s a clear case of frustrated politicians trying to do anything to justify their existence. They figure because other area politicians are doing something in neighboring jurisdictions that they need to do something too.

Hey council, why don’t you buck the trend and leave the people alone? Show that you don’t want to be everybody’s grandmother by telling them what they can and can’t do when their on vacation.

I was glad to see that some of the council members realize that this will negatively affect businesses that serve the hundreds of large families that come to Bethany Beach for the simple fact that they can use canopies in a safe, polite and sensible manner.

You know the old saying, “don’t just stand there, do something.” Well, for local politicians, it should be, “don’t just do something, stand there.”

Here’s hoping common sense wins out.

Ron and Sharon Ruest

Selbyville, Del.


CAR Explains View On Short-Term Rentals


As has been reported this week by your paper, the Town of Ocean City has included a new zoning district – R-1A – in its draft Comprehensive Plan update to pave the way for a future with no short-term rentals in the R-1 district. The Coastal Association of REALTORS® would like to express to your readership the severity of this ban and how it may impact housing options when vacationing in Ocean City, as well as the overall economy on the Lower Eastern Shore and the right in this country to own and operate private property.

What’s on the table now would only impact the R-1 district, but who’s to say that Ocean City will not decide to eliminate short-term rentals from all of its residential districts, thus limiting housing options for vacationers, particularly those who like to vacation with a large family and might prefer to rent a house, rather than several hotel rooms or condominiums. R-1A sends a message to vacationers that while Ocean City wants their patronage, they may only stay in certain parts of the town, because full-time residents need to be protected from the tourism element. It’s not a very positive, welcoming message.

The Shore depends heavily on Ocean City to draw in visitors who spend their money at local businesses. Ocean City’s real estate industry is extremely important to the members of our association, as many people come here and decide to make substantial investments in a new primary residence, a second home, a retirement home, and/or a rental property. Last year, our members sold over $361.7 million in residential real estate in Ocean City. Obviously, people want to invest in Ocean City and that investment benefits many people, ranging from the REALTOR® to the home inspector to the restaurant owner to the boutique shop, and beyond. Limiting the usage of R-1 properties removes buyers from the pool of folks looking for investment opportunities in a resort town. We certainly want that resort town to be Ocean City, and not a resort in another state.

There are currently more than 150 rentals in Ocean City’s R-1 neighborhoods. These properties were purchased with the understanding that they could be operated as short-term rentals. Taking that ability away from the owners is pulling the rug out from under their investment, as well as a clear violation of their right to rent their private property. Approving this rental ban in Ocean City constructs the framework for government overregulation across the Shore and across the state. Other municipalities can reference this policy to implement restrictions in surrounding rental markets, i.e. student housing needs in Salisbury and Princess Anne. Rentals are an important housing option for students, transient residents, low to middle income residents, and more. We may be talking about vacation rentals today, but it’s a slippery slope that could end up impacting other types of rentals in the future.

We are asking the Town of Ocean City to remove R-1A from its Comprehensive Plan and continue to focus on education and enforcement, which has been working.  The article in your paper was very informative, but it did not reference a very significant decrease in noise complaints since 2014, which several Ocean City officials have attributed to improved conditions in residential neighborhoods. R-1A is not needed and is a disservice to your readers.

Don Bailey

(The writer is the president of the Coastal Association of REALTORS®.)


Hero Banners Praised


This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the military banner dedication ceremony for the Hometown Heroes and their families. I would like to commend Pat Riordan, the OC Elks Lodge #2645, the Ocean City Council and the many other sponsors for an awe inspiring program.

It was very emotional to witness the dedication and sacrifices of these veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and active duty. Their experiences reflected the pride they have for our country and remind us that it is our military that keeps us safe and provides us with the many freedoms we sometimes take for granted.

With all of the negative publicity Ocean City has received this summer, it is refreshing to know there are some truly positive events happening in our family oriented resort community.

Laura Comfort