Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – March 1, 2019

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – March 1, 2019

The Town of Ocean City and the company behind the Woodward Wrecktangle formalized an exciting agreement this week. The company will pay the town $25,000 to lease property for the first year with potential future options included in the agreement.

From April to October, a ninja-style obstacle course will be set up in the rarely used baseball field on 3rd Street adjacent to the skate park. The course features side steps, cargo net, spinning platters, hanging rings, a wall climb, punching bags balance beam, swiss doors, lily pads, a zipline and a quarter pipe. The rectangular course will be open to children and adults. It looks like a blast.

Although there are other Woodward Wrecktangle locations, the Ocean City one will be the first truly on the East Coast with the closest being in central Pennsylvania in Woodward and other sites in Copper Mountain, Colo., Mexico, Killington, Vt., Snowbird, Utah and California.

There are still some questions, namely the cost, for the consumers surrounding this deal, but they will be answered over time. It’s an exciting project and something Ocean City visitors and locals seem pumped about, according to online buzz. Many people want to know how much it will cost per person and how it will be administered, either by time or attempts, but the city has no control over that. The admittance fee will be set up by the provider on what it thinks the market will bear as well as private evaluation of its own $25,000 investment just for the land to do business as well as other other expenses.

I’m hopeful it’s a welcomed attraction in Ocean City because it has a lot of potential and fits into the wholesome family fun the resort obviously wants to promote. Plus, it gives the town something to say when officials are asked in the late spring, “what’s new in Ocean City this summer?”

Gun control legislation is always frowned upon on the shore, but House Bill 786 has been especially infuriating for many around these parts including elected law enforcement professionals.

The proposed bill, which had a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Monday, would essentially create a new license for shotguns and hunting rifles. Without a license, which would surely come with a fee, residents could not buy or possess these guns. The bill also requires background checks when a private sale of a long gun takes place.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis testified against the bill on Monday and spoke candidly to a group in an overflow room about his intentions if it’s passed. He said he will instruct his staff to ignore this law if it’s approved. He gained national headlines for his outspoken opposition to the proposed legislation.

“We are going to let them know we are sick and tired of being penalized for Baltimore City’s inability to control crime,” Lewis said. “We’ve got your back and my closing argument will be if these bills pass, we will not comply.”

On Thursday, Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli posted on his department’s Facebook page his agreement with Lewis on this matter.

“I am a firm believer in the second amendment and the right of legally armed Americans to protect themselves, their family and their property. … The Second Amendment is most certainly a part of the Constitution of the United States which I took a solemn oath to uphold and defend. As Sheriff, I will not infringe on any inalienable rights provided to the people or allow other entities to infringe upon those rights,” he said. “As the newly elected Sheriff my efforts are focused on protecting and serving the citizens of Worcester County at this time. I support and am grateful for the voices of Sheriff Mike Lewis and all of our Maryland Sheriff’s in Annapolis, and if ever called upon by them I would gladly stand by their side.”

One of the more important chores for the Ocean City Mayor and Council is making tough decisions on a myriad of projects large and small in the five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), but it was learned this week some of the town’s elected officials chose not to partake in the process.

Months ago, the elected officials were tasked with assigning a priority number to the large list of projects included in the proposed CIP from street paving to canal dredging to replacing fire stations and improving the streetscape along Baltimore Avenue, for example. The first step in the CIP process is identifying which projects should be prioritized, and perhaps most importantly, how best to pay for them.

The town’s eight elected officials were asked to assign a number from one to five to each of the many projects in the CIP indicating their preference for the projects in the priority pecking order. This week, the draft CIP was presented, and it was learned six of the town’s eight elected officials had completed the survey. Later in the presentation, Councilman Tony DeLuca essentially called out two of his unnamed colleagues for not completing the all-important task. It’s not publicly known who did not participate.

“Maybe need to ask the two elected that have apparent apathy to revisit this because it might change the process,” said DeLuca, who was clearly annoyed. “We have eight elected officials and six of us have filled this out.”

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.