Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – December 21, 2018

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – December 21, 2018

According to U.S. District Court Judge James Bredar’s ruling, Ocean City officials have a better read on public sensibilities around these parts about topless women than a professor from the University of Indiana.

“The court does not find Dr. Herbenick’s opinion persuasive. More important, it is not strictly relevant to the issue at hand. Instead of her testifying as to what Ocean City’s citizens’ public sensibilities are, she testified as to what she thought they should be,” the judge wrote in response to a request for a temporary injunction while the court considers the weighty matter of the city’s 2017 emergency ordinance banning females from going topless. “Plaintiffs did not muster any evidence to show that Ocean City’s citizens shared their view that women should be able to be bare-chested in public areas as men are.”

The whole concept of the temporary injunction is basically moot at this point, considering it’s 40 degrees outside as of this writing. Nonetheless, the ruling is pertinent and gives some insight as to how the court will view the overall challenge to the city’s ordinance that forbids women from going topless where men can.

I know the world has come a long way in terms of equal rights and gender issues, but I still believe the majority of Americans agree females should not be able to go topless in areas like the beach and Boardwalk simply because men can. I might be crazy and old fashioned, however.



It was an eventful week at Ocean City Elementary School in West Ocean City.

First, the school learned it had been named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School for the second time in the last 18 years. This is a significant achievement and a little different this time than in 2000. The process was previously application based and took in all aspects of the school. The state now bases the distinction solely on data performance. Although I think there’s a lot more to a school than test scores, and I beat that drum a lot, it’s a noteworthy accomplishment for the local elementary school, which is clearly one of the best in the state.

Secondly, the same day the school was marking the Blue Ribbon recognition, a fire broke out on the roof above the fourth grade pod area near the cafeteria. There were some immediate concerns heard about the delay in notifying parents in a timely fashion because WBOC and this newspaper reported the fire call within minutes and prior to parents hearing from the school system. In my personal case, within 15 minutes of fire companies being alerted of the fire, my son’s teacher gave her parents a heads up about it through a classroom app she uses to communicate easily with her students’ loved ones.

As a result of the fire, students were dismissed early on Wednesday. They were able to return the next day to continue holiday celebrations. With the fire, there was some damage to the school that limited classroom access, but the good news is nobody was injured, which is something that should never be taken for granted but especially this time of year when a different outcome would have been horrifying.



For something that seems so straightforward, there were still more questions than answers yesterday afternoon regarding a fatal single-vehicle accident on Monday near Ocean Pines that claimed the life of a 25-year-old man.

Shortly before noon on Monday, Maryland State Police troopers from the Berlin barrack were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash in the area of Route 589 near Beauchamp Road. A preliminary investigation conducted by the Maryland State Police Crash Team revealed a Ford F-150 pickup truck was driving north on Route 589 just south of Beauchamp Road when the driver lost control and struck the right shoulder curb.

The truck then drove back across the travel lanes on Route 589 and struck an island at Beauchamp Road before colliding with a traffic signal pole. The passenger in the pickup truck was partially ejected and suffered fatal injuries. The victim’s current address was not known and his nearest family lives out-of-state, so his name was still being withheld all week pending notification of kin, according to police reports.

Meanwhile, the driver of the truck was not injured in the collision. He has been identified thus far only as a 30-year-old Worcester County man. According to police reports, investigating troopers on the scene observed significant signs of impairment exhibited by the driver, who was taken into custody for further evaluation.

After consultation with the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office, the driver was released pending charges. The charges against the driver will be determined in coordination with the state’s attorney’s office after the results of DUI testing conducted on him are received, according to police reports. The investigation is ongoing.

Folks in the news business are skeptical by nature, and the handling of this accident and slow nature of the subsequent investigation is sparking all sorts of conspiracy theories. I hope the situation is as it has been reported by authorities. I hope it’s true the names have not been released because of the deceased’s next of kin not being reached, but I have to wonder at this point whether there’s more to the situation here.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.