Voices From The Readers – July 20, 2018

Voices From The Readers – July 20, 2018

OCBP Saved My Life


On the 4th of July, the Ocean City Beach Patrol saved my life. A simple sentence that cannot clearly express the skill, dedication, training and personal focus of the staff who did it, and based on that experience, to the 200-plus others who make up an amazing contingent of people employed in Ocean City, Md. I had the chance to thank them in person, and can only say that the array of strong, healthy, attuned, dedicated men and women who sat in front of me was awe-inspiring.

The background: I went to the beach early in the morning on July 4 to grab a spot with a few umbrellas and chairs. On the way back to cross the dune at 128th Street, I started a conversation about beach setup with a stranger. Soon thereafter I dropped to the sand. My heart. Two members of the OC Beach Patrol by the absolutely luckiest circumstance were driving right there on an equipped dune buggy when I went down and the stranger called for help. They weren’t even on duty yet at 915 a.m. CPR from the OCBP and the AED on their buggy brought back my heartbeat after some effort just as OC EMTs arrived. I am told that my heart jumped into a rhythm that was almost normal and I could communicate as they drove me over the dune to the ambulance.

But I was done for if all this amazingly timely miraculous serendipitous God- driven stuff hadn’t happened exactly when and how it did. I can only say the lifeguards are fit, because my chest from their CPR is sore but well worth it.

I was taken — conscious — by a highly-capable EMT staff from 130th Street station to the heart center at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md. and had a defibrillator placed in my chest on Friday. I returned back in OC on July 7, in reasonably fine condition, ready and able to start vacation as planned — almost.

Thanks to God and to OC for having dune buggies, AEDs on each, and a skilled OCBP and EMT staff. I’ll remember when next I pay my tax bill what I got in return — my life saved.

Larry Buhl

Ocean City


No Place For National Politics In Tourism


I live in Berlin, but I have spent much more time in Ocean City this summer than I usually do, driving my kids to work, walking the boardwalk, sitting on the beach and eating in several local restaurants.

This year I have noticed the amazing diversity of people and families choosing to spend their vacation, and money in Ocean City. I am grateful for these tourists because my own livelihood is dependent on the tax dollars their spending generates. Not only my job, but my own children’s education as well as the wonderful quality of life we enjoy here in Worcester County, are all dependent on a variety of people feeling welcome here. We want and need them to return year after year to spend their vacation in Ocean City.

With that in mind, I feel it is important to remind the local businesses that are choosing to fly a Trump flag from their place of business, or from boats docked at their marinas, that not all Americans voted for him. In fact, most Americans did not vote for him, nor do they agree with the policies he is enacting in our country. I think it is best leave national politics out of our local economy.

Melissa Reid



Time For OC To Support Offshore Wind


The new 2018 vacation season has shifted public focus to our favorite Atlantic coastal resort. However, a continuing puzzle to many lower Eastern Shore residents, as well as weekend and seasonal visitors, is the inexplicable refusal of Ocean City’s Mayor Meehan and Town Council to support clean-energy offshore wind turbines.

Neither of the stated reasons for this recalcitrance – that tiny white specks on the horizon 14 or 19.5 miles offshore may diminish future tourism, and presence of turbines could impair fishing – holds up in the light of day. Just consider: The Maryland Public Service Commission approved two applications for offshore wind (Deepwater Wind LLC and U. S. Wind) after several years of study and expert testimony. At a public hearing in Berlin, attended by nearly 100 members of the public, only three spoke in opposition.

Polling conducted by OpinionWorks in January 2018 shows 72% support in Worcester County building wind turbines off the coast.

The PSC ruling conditioned operating permits on the two developers creating at least 4,977 jobs.

Governor Hogan has declared Maryland “open for business.” Local Chambers of Commerce agree and are attempting to persuade Ocean City town fathers to come to their senses.  The Salisbury Chamber declared that “offshore wind is incredibly positive for Maryland.”

The local Business Network for Offshore Wind has called Ocean City’s policy “stubborn” and “misguided” and reaffirms that the offshore turbines will “create thousands of new jobs and attract hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in Maryland’s economy.”

Regarding the alleged impact on coastal fisheries Dr. Bradley Stevens, professor of marine science at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, found that “the hard structures that form the bases for the turbines will be ideal locations for coral, mussels and other sea life to grow, which will attract and support large numbers of black bass … the most valuable living resources off Maryland’s coast.” He calls this a “win-win situation for both man and fish.”

These conclusions are no mere speculation. At the first American offshore wind project off Rhode Island (a project of Deepwater Wind, one of the two entrepreneurs with leases near Ocean City), the tourist council reports that tourism there increased significantly after that wind farm began operation. Also, sport fishermen are flocking to the area, and regard each turbine location a prime fishing spot. Finally, a company known as Fish World Charters has created an entirely new line of business — wind farm tours by boat for curious tourists.

This loss both of jobs and of clean energy — that is, long-term economic and environmental impact – will not be made up if this opportunity is lost. Perhaps our OC leaders might visit Europe where they will find wind farms far closer to shore, powering entire, cleaner cities, and growing, not harming, tourism and fisheries.

Mike Pretl

Mardela Springs


Wall A Waste Of Money


I would like to take exception to the “Illegals Must Go Home” letter that appeared in your June 29 edition.

The building of a southern border wall along the border with Mexico would be one of the biggest construction mistakes since the plans to build the Tower of Babel. Indeed, there are some portions of the border where a wall or reinforced fence may be appropriate. However, a huge portion of the border with Mexico is the Rio Grande river with private land ownership going up to the river. The construction of a wall would deny Texas ranchers access to water. Further, since you cannot build the wall in the river where the actual border is, the wall would have to be constructed on private U.S. property which the government takes from the ranchers along the border. Aside from the legal issues involved with such an effort, the construction of the wall would basically give Mexico total water rights to the Rio Grande River. I would think by now that Trump supporters would realize that this was nothing but a campaign gimmick – “Build the Wall and Mexico will pay for it.”

The money that would be wasted on building a wall could be put to far better use developing a system that prevents individuals who are not citizens or who do not have a green card or other valid work permit from getting a job. Too many individuals and companies take advantage of illegal workers by offering low wages with no social security or other expenses they would have with legal workers. Shut down these illegal job sources and you very quickly eliminate the magnet that draws many people here. Instead of trying to locate and deport undocumented workers, make it clear that any company or individual who employs an illegal worker will be hit with such fines and other penalties that they will quickly be out of business.

Jim Thomas

Silver Spring


Crazy Pills At Work?


In reading the letter last week from a D. Elliot of Berlin, I am reminded of a line in a Will Farrell movie when he was running around screaming “Is everyone here taking crazy pills?”

I concur with the writer that for the council to even consider for a moment that we might need to change patriotic music during fireworks because it might offend some young people and keep them from coming to OC is beyond crazy. Our patriotism is not limited by this or any generation. It is a constant and must be passed on to those coming behind us. And these young people are likely not those of us paying taxes in Ocean City and living and supporting the community. And are they the same young people we read about every week in the police reports with their fights, their drugs, their martial arts weapons and guns? Is that who we want coming back here?

And as for the spray paint, pass the crazy pills to those who argue that the spray magically disappears. Spray paint is CO2 propelled flecks of paint, it is a solid material carried by aerosols and these particulates are so small they by-pass the lungs and can enter directly into the blood stream.

Where exactly do those who argue this is not a problem think these go? Is there some invisible angel flying around with a net or a vacuum cleaner taking them out of the air? The fact is they travel great distances and eventually land on something — a park bench, a human lung or wildlife. They don’t evaporate, and they don’t just disappear.

These are classified by EPA as secondary organic aerosols and anyone who argues this is not a health hazard is woefully uninformed.

There should be no spray painting on the Boardwalk or for that matter anywhere other than a controlled environment. Council members should go stand downwind of one of these “artists” if you believe that it is a non-issue.

Doug Durante

Ocean City