Voices From The Readers – August 31, 2018

Voices From The Readers – August 31, 2018

Hypocritical Argument


In a letter to the editor in the Aug. 24 issue, “Hypocritical Views In OC,” “progressive” Jared Schablein goes way out on a limb in his attempt to defend wind farms.

He does so by comparing them to banner airplanes and boat advertising. I’m wondering if he knows the meanings of the following two words:

Fleeting: Passing or fading quickly, lasting for a very short time, brief and short-lived.

Permanent: Lasting or intended to last indefinitely, irreversible.

Aerial advertising has been around for nearly 80 years. It has become part of the charm of seaside towns everywhere (see the cover of The Beach Boys “Endless Summer” album). I’ve never heard any complaints about the banners and if there were, there would be debate and subsequent discussion to prohibit them.

I’m a local, and actually enjoy the banners and knowing what’s going in OC, Happy Hour, early bird specials, etc. I hired a banner plane to propose to my wife.

Also, these advertising “eye sores” are visible only for a few hours daily and roughly one fourth of the year. Wind farms would be noticeable 24/7/365 (revisit definitions of fleeting and permanent).

Also, don’t forget that wind farms really are not economically viable, require the use of fossil-fueled vehicles for repair and maintenance, and are notorious for explosions and other accidents.

They have proven dangerous for wild birds and also major implications for the fishing industry. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Coast Guard have also voiced concerns.

Schablein accuses Mayor Meehan and OC Town Council of “having hypocritical and weak arguments coming from officials fighting against the best interests of the region.” His frantic efforts to defend wind farms are beyond weak and hypocritical.

Phillip Guggenheim

Ocean City

Sickened Over OC Marinas’ Trump Flags


It is sad and sickening to see the politicization of the Ocean City marinas, and maybe soon the sky, with the proliferation of Trump Flags.

America, with all of its faults was and is already great. We understand free speech and fully support the individual owners’ right to display their support for Trump on their expensive yachts. However, we are not quite sure that it is serving the intent that they may be thinking. As individuals who are not Trump fans, the display of flags is as uncomfortable, disgusting and revolting as a confederate flag is to others (not us). To visit the beautiful marinas and restaurants that surround these rich guys (and women) yachts, it is difficult to digest our food. Speaking to others, many feel the same way. In our life time, we have never seen such a display of nationalistic support for such a self-serving, corrupt, divisive, bully like Trump. This is concerning to us and many.

When Ben Carson was running against Trump he regularly recited three words — empathy, humility and optimism.

Empathy. The Trump tactics on immigration has made many who come to this country uncomfortable, sickened and fearful. In fact, many do not want to even visit our great country. Talk to them. The legal, seasonal workers that provide the drive and make the businesses work in Ocean City physically surround and view the Trump flags with question, fear and anxiety. Not conducive for a positive work force. It is their families and co-workers and the hatred from Trump policies that make America, viewed by many in the world, live in fear and disrespect America, the “Ugly American” if you will. The flags create a hostile, divisive atmosphere. Ask the business owners who will answer honestly. Most all Ocean City businesses have suffered from a worsened shortage of employees who work in our town since Trump. Restrictions, lowered immigration caps and other hate filled policies have severely reduced the areas labor pool. Remember, college students leave in mid-August. The foreign workers stay through the extended shoulder seasons that Ocean City is trying to encourage. To many Ocean City workers, foreign and domestic, this is an “in your face” slap as they have to bear this view. Hopefully, they will not spit in your food. These foreign workers pay taxes, leave, and do not take from the system, a poster child of a successful, program. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Humility. As the mostly one percenters who own these expensive yachts vigorously display their support for Trump it is very understandable. They just received the largest tax cut in recent times with the most divisive Congressional vote. If you remember, the 1986 tax reform legislation was passed by almost a unanimous Senate. This rich persons tax cut was passed only by Republican Party lines and is the contributor to trillion dollar Federal deficits for the foreseeable future. Is this supposed to illustrate fiscal conservativism, a Republican hallmark? With over 100 consecutive months of statistical economic recovery, Economics 101, you don’t stimulate an economy in an already rising economy. Duh. Do we really want our kids and grandkids to be paying for our tax cut, which they will be doing? Do we want China, who is our largest debt holder, to reap more interest income? Income inequality is at the highest level ever. The fat cats on Wall Street, who Trump campaigned to “go after” have had their worth doubled and tripled in Trumps very short term. Trickledown economics, we think not. Did Warren Buffet need or ask for an over $100 million tax cut? We think not.

Humility is a wonderful quality, so to all of the yachts displaying Trump flags, it is because you hit the lottery by being an American, your wealth has nothing to do with Trump. To the people who are not the one percenters, it is yet a further bitter display of the rich getting richer and the poor and average folks treading water or getting poorer. Yes, they may have received $10 more in their paycheck from the tax cut, but let’s see how they react when the price of consumer goods go up and absorb that “windfall.” You know that $15 MAGA hat will go up to $20. Thank you trade wars and Trump misguided tariffs and rhetoric.

We are optimistic that our great country will survive this fad of nationalism and divisiveness. The display of Trump flags, yes, is freedom of speech and we respect that. Our freedom of choice is to try to put ourselves out of view of this while we try to enjoy a meal, which means to stay away or avoid these marinas and their great restaurants and facilities. Many feel the same. Consider displaying an American flag. After all, it is this country that put you in that position to afford to be in these beautiful facilities and the luxury that you have owning such a possession, not Trump. God bless America. Civility and “be best.”

Palmer and Sandy Gillis

Ocean City


Route 611 Speeds Deserve Close Look


The posted speed limit on Maryland Route 611 needs to be reconsidered by those parties responsible for designating speed limits, and those responsible for enforcing it.

If this is the first time the speed limit issue and overall dangerous nature of Route 611 has been formally brought to the public’s attention, I consider this letter a justice to everyone that has and will use this gateway into our community’s National Seashore.

Currently, the posted speed limit on 611 is 50 mph. This is the legal speed limit that begins at right around the turn off onto Sinepuxent Road, where it continues past Castaways Campground, Frontier Town, the intersection of Assateague Road, Assateague Surf Shop and South Point, before finally dropping to 40 mph only a few hundred yards west of the bridge onto Assateague Island.

Today, 50 mph seems to be the normal “pace” as people work their way over the Route 50 Bridge and into Ocean City (the posted speed limit over that bridge is 35 mph). I think we can all agree that the majority of drivers habitually drive, at a minimum, 5 mph over a posted speed limit. Based on my daily comings and goings from Assateague, I can tell you that the average speed of vehicles on 611 is closer to 60 mph, on a mellow day. Add into the equation the number of RV’s, campers and beach visitors attempting to make a left turn across opposing traffic into Castaways or Frontier Town, and add in the increasingly busy 611/Assateague Road intersection, plus the traffic pulling into and out of the surf shop adjacent to the intersection, you begin to see the situation that prompted my writing this letter.

Have you ever merged left onto 611 from Assategue Road in the afternoon during the middle of the summer? Though I speak for myself, I believe I speak for most: it isn’t easy. It is dangerous. I witness several times a week some way too close calls.

I would like the speed limit dropped along that section of Route 611 that is currently 50 mph. I suggest 40 mph all the way through, but even a 5 mph decrease in speed would alleviate, to some extent, the number of “close calls” that occur on that road every day.

I’m simply writing this in hopes that it will serve as a kind of forward momentum to making 611 safer. As 611 makes its twists toward Assateague, the quaintness of the drive adds to the beauty of the area behind Sinepuxent Bay and the experience of those travelling near and far to get to our National Seashore. The “pace” of the island’s visitors and residents should be representative.

At this point, it’s probably not necessary to discuss how speed limit changes to Route 611 would benefit bicyclists, so I’ll end with a tip of the hat to all of those that use 611. Please slow down.

William Ryan Weiland

West Ocean City


Officials Should Turn Concerns To Water Pollution


I read with interest about the debate concerning wind turbines off the coast of Ocean City. As a boater and fisher who goes out the 17 miles to the Great Eastern Reef, I can confidently assert that the high-rise buildings on shore are no longer visible at 14 miles out, even on an extraordinarily clear days.

Most days, Ocean City is no longer visible by 10 miles out, therefore, wind turbines built 17 miles out would have very little impact on the view from the beach. Perhaps the people who complain about their possible effect should go out 15 miles and see for themselves.

Of greater concern to our elected officials should be the very real possibility of water pollution from the proposed CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feed Operation) at the head of the St. Martin’s River. Run-off from that could very well trigger a red tide, or algae bloom. Anybody concerned with the quality of the waters around Ocean City needs to read up on the disaster unfolding in Florida because of agricultural run-off from sugar cane plantations in central Florida affecting both the east and west coasts of that state. Tourism has been heavily impacted as people stay away from the beaches covered in dead marine life, which is tainting the water and the air.

The MDE has not made a ruling as yet, but citizens need to continue to keep this subject alive.

Gloria Insley