Mailer Crosses Line
The Maryland Republican Party recently disseminated a mailer accusing our State Senator Jim Mathias of supporting legislation that encouraged the use of opiates and other dangerous drugs.
As is the case with most negative political advertising, this allegation is false and grossly misleading. Like many politicians, Senator Mathias’ opponent in the upcoming election, claimed that she had no involvement in the action of the Republican Party, while failing to disavow the post card’s false allegations and essentially repeating them in response to questions by the media.
As we are all aware, there is an opioid epidemic in the State of Maryland and on the lower Eastern Shore. Last year 2,500 of our fellow citizens in this state died from the misuse of these and related drugs. This problem has destroyed families and led to an increase of crime. It is not an issue that can simply be ignored.
A bill was introduced in the last session of the state legislature to provide a safe, sterile environment for the use of drugs which users had already obtained and educate them about programs that could help them with their addiction. It is a program that has showed some success in other states in avoiding the tragic consequences of drug use. Recognizing the importance of the issue, Senator Mathias initially agreed to co-sponsor the legislation, but upon further scrutiny decided that he could not support it as proposed. These are the facts.
Throughout his career as a public servant serving the citizens of the Eastern Shore, Senator Mathias has demonstrated time and again his dedication to his constituents and their problems. His willingness to consider legislation to address a problem that his threatening the lives and safety of those he represents should be applauded not condemned.
In the last election, Norm Conway, a valued and dedicated member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing the Eastern Shore fell victim to false and salacious advertising paid for by the Republican State Party and outside political action committees. We cannot allow this to happen again.
Limits Needed On Assault Weapons
Supporters have come to the defense of the NRA organization and continue that loyal support, even in the wake of continued mass shootings. Their logic is that it is not the NRA that pulls the trigger. That the NRA is a gun safety organization. Of course, the NRA did not pull the trigger. The NRA of the past supported gun control even to the extent of co-authoring gun restrictions, including tommy guns of the time. That view point and defense of the NRA is nostalgic, sweet and loving but it is not the NRA of today. Bullies that contribute to suicides are found guilty. The modern NRA of today is equally guilty in mass shootings. They in fact oppose and bully, no matter how small initiative’s may be, each and every idea that is even mentioned towards sane gun legislation. They attack and attack again and incite the proliferation of gun sales. More guns more opportunity for shootings. They are relentless in their pursuit of squelching discussion of any gun legislation. This is not the NRA of the past. Quit defending what the NRA used to be.
We do support the right to bear arms. Most of our friends are avid hunters and sportsman. We fully support the right for personal protection. Those opinions, however, are not an all-inclusive. Our opinion was and remains that the NRA of today is part of the problem and not part of the solution. Just recently, on the 30-day anniversary of the Valentine’s Day slaughter of Parkland High students, the NRA tweets a message, “I’ll control my own guns, thank you” with a picture of the assault weapon used in the slaughter. You be the judge. The NRA stating that the media “loves these mass shootings.” Really? As soon as the Florida Republican majority state legislature agreed to raise the purchase age from 18 to 21, the NRA sues the State of Florida. Is the NRA that desperate to sell one more gun to a mass murdering 19 year old again? On Fox News (yes I do watch it) a commentator suggested that instead of gun safety students should be taught to “counterattack” a shooter. Commentator Rick Santorum suggested that students learn CPR to help the victims of mass slaughter. Harden schools, do you know how much schools cost already? Arm teachers? How is a cop going to determine the good guys and the bad guys in the 10 seconds arriving on the scene with everyone shooting and armed? Again, on Fox, Laura Ingram bullying the Parkland students with nasty, hateful remarks. These mass slaughter attacks, unless you have not heard, occur in churches, concerts, places of work, night clubs, movie theaters, outdoor concerts and homes. Even President Trump, after he timidly hinted at some weak form of gun safety, cowardly backed down after the NRA met with him and I guess, “told him” and he then did a compete about face.
This is a challenge, an invitation if you will, to engage in change that supports both the NRA and the individual rights of those who wish to have weapons with those who want a gun free society. As a tax-exempt organization, the NRA is supposed to promote social welfare for the common good, not the exclusive good. It should lose its tax-exempt status unless it does otherwise. The NRA is a marketer of guns, not a promoter of the common good. Who are they kidding? How far do you want to stretch and distort the second amendment? Defend yourself against the government? In case you have not noticed, the government can out shoot you. Their weapons are bigger. As a fellow American citizen, we have the biggest weapon in the world, your vote. As with the first amendment there are limits, but, and as a person who respects the 2nd amendment, we feel, like the majority of people, including actual NRA members, that there is no need to own assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and quite frankly, they should not be allowed. We need assault weapons limits, reinstated as they were, before they expire. Is there any room for discussion or compromise or is the NRA’s way or the highway?
Banning assault weapons will not singularly solve the mass slaughters, murders and gun accidents that our country is experiencing. It will take background checks, waiting periods and a ban on assault weapons and much more. The Republican Party who are in control of this government along with Donald Trump stand idly by as more opportunity for killings and profits from the sale of weapons designed to kill humans continues and they get their “A” rating and donations from the NRA. We are not fans of Trump, but on this issue, he, and he alone, can address and solve this problem.
Do you really need that donation from the NRA? The perception is that the NRA owns the Republican Party. Perception is reality. The time for thoughts and prayers and delaying action because “it’s too soon after a shooting” is over. Make meaningful change, now Mr. Trump and Representative Harris. Are you really that afraid of the NRA? I think so.
Sandy and Palmer Gillis
Cleanup Support Appreciated
Thank you for your help in publicizing the 3rd Annual Earth Day Cleanup in the Town of Fenwick Island. On April 21st, 50 community members gathered in our Town Hall to enjoy delicious breakfast refreshments donated by McCabe’s Gourmet Market and to peruse environmental displays provided by the Center for Inland Bays (CIB) and the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, Inc. (MERR), the Town of Fenwick Island, KCI Technologies and the University of Delaware.
Every participant received an “I Got Trash(ed) in Fenwick” tote bag and a packet of flower seeds. Teams of volunteers picked up litter and trash from every street in Fenwick Island from the Maryland-Delaware line to Lewes Street.
Several local businesses made the event even more exciting by donating door prizes. Special thanks are due to Atlantic Shoals Surf Shop, Dirty Harry’s Restaurant, Fenwick Surf Shop, Fin Alley Restaurant, FINS (Fenwick Island Nautical Sportswear), Holly’s Treasure Chest, Jimmy’s Kitchen, Just Hooked, Karimali for Hair, KCI Technologies, Inc., Mancini’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant, McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Ocean Side Pizzeria, Pottery Place, Sea Shell City, Seaside Country Store, Southern Exposure, Surf’s Edge, The Flying Fish Café and Sushi Bar and Warren’s Station for their generous donations.
We appreciate everyone’s support in working to keep Fenwick Island the cleanest town on the Delaware Shore.
Fenwick Island Environmental Committee
Do You Know About Apraxia?
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a speech disorder that seriously interferes with a child’s ability to develop clear speech. CAS makes it difficult or impossible for an affected child to plan the movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, etc. that are needed for speech. Children with CAS generally have a good understanding of language — they know what they want to say — but have difficulty learning or carrying out the complex movements that underlie speech. Apraxia is one of the most severe of childhood speech and communication disorders.
May 2018 is Apraxia Awareness Month. I want to bring awareness to our community about this speech problem in children because it is still little known, very misunderstood, and has a huge impact on kids and families. Speech and communication are critical skills for young children to develop. We need to find ways of supporting children with apraxia and their families because speech therapy, the only proven treatment for apraxia, is quite costly and will extend over many years for these children. These children must work and struggle so very hard just to learn a skill — speaking — that comes effortlessly to other children.
Our son is 8 years old and has severe Apraxia of speech. He is nonverbal, although working very hard with many wonderful people to eventually be able to express himself verbally. We are fortunate to live in a community where differences are accepted. And for that, I thank this community, but want to share information so everyone can understand Apraxia.
Learn more about apraxia a www.apraxia-kids.org. Please help us raise awareness for these amazing children.
OC’s Shepherd’s Crook Looking For New Home
In every community there are people who need just a bit of help to make ends meet. For over 20 years the Shepherd’s Crook Food Pantry has been a pivotal resource for people in this situation.
Founded in 1999 by Ken MacMullin of St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City, the Shepherd’s Crook began its life as an informal pantry. People would stop by the rectory to receive some groceries. In 2012, Ken handed over the leadership to another member of St. Paul’s, Bruce Young. By this time, the Shepherd’s Crook had grown into a more organized feeding ministry operated out of the church rectory.
In 2013, a fire occurred at the Shepherd’s Crook. Despite this tragedy, the congregation immediately affirmed that the Shepherd’s Crook would continue. Because of their support, the ministry operated out of several temporary locations until finding a home in a leased property at 205 South Baltimore Avenue.
After the fire, eight other Ocean City churches became involved through sending donations and volunteers. This enabled the pantry to expand its hours of operation. In 2017, the Shepherds Crook served over 13,000 meals. Those served included Ocean City’s chronically homeless population, including several veterans, which is a small number of people. The larger groups were the working poor who struggled to make ends meet and retirees, for whom Social Security didn’t go far enough. It was also a resource for the summer student workers who staff Ocean City’s hotels and restaurants. For all served, the Shepherd’s Crook was and is a God-send.
It is important to note the Shepherd’s Crook is unique in Ocean City as a feeding ministry. There are many religious institutions that offer cooked meals every day of the week. The Shepherd’s Crook is instead a food pantry, or a free grocery store. In this way, it more directly serves the working poor, retirees, and our summer student workers.
The Shepherd’s Crook lease on Baltimore Avenue ends on April 30 and as of May 1 it needs a new home. St. Paul’s is working on finding another location, preferably downtown. We believe the Ocean City community needs a resource so vital to the lives of many. If you would like to partner with the churches to ensure this ministry continues or would like more information, please contact me at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea office 410-289-3453.
Rev. Matthew Justin D’Amario