Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – June 28, 2019

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – June 28, 2019

It was a crazy scene over Ocean City Wednesday afternoon. While it’s not the first time it’s happened, it was still a sight to behold for many as two helicopters on different ends of town responded to incidents needing air transport requests almost simultaneously.

Although most details were not known yesterday, two traumatic injury incidents occurred minutes apart, each requiring medevac flyouts.

Around 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Ocean City emergency services responded to a reported motor vehicle collision on southbound Coastal Highway near 123rd Street. The investigation revealed a vehicle had collided with a moped. The operator of the moped was transported via Maryland State Police helicopter Trooper 4 to Shock Trauma in Baltimore from Northside Park with serious injuries.

About 20 minutes later, Ocean City emergency services responded to another serious incident with traumatic injuries at the opposite end of town. In that incident, an unidentified female fell at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not attraction on the Boardwalk and suffered traumatic injuries. The female victim was air-lifted to Shock Trauma from the Ocean City Coast Guard Station nearby on the bayside.

Within a span of about 20 minutes on Wednesday, two medevac air-lifts at opposite ends of the town were going on almost simultaneously.

The MSP Trooper 4 helicopter is the primary responder for incidents in the resort area and handled the vehicle-moped collision flyout uptown. A second helicopter was requested from Delaware emergency services to handle the downtown incident involving the fall, but was not available. As a result, MSP Trooper 6 out of Easton was requested to handle the downtown medevac airlift from the Coast Guard Station.



Unless the Berlin Council blocks the change, which is highly unexpected, it appears Berlin Falls Park will soon be known as Berlin Heron Park.

For two months, the Berlin Falls Advisory Committee offered an online community survey to gather input on renaming the park. When the survey closed, there were 102 people who took part. The committee suggested eight options, and the results were “I prefer a different name,” 60%; Heron Park, 19%; Falls Park, 9%; Pride Park, Adventure Park and Boulevard Park, 3% each; Legacy Park, 2%; and Nature Preserve, 0%.

As is usually the case, there was humor involved with those who checked they preferred a different park. There were eight votes for James Tingle People’s Park (named after a retired mailman). Others included For Sale, 12 votes; Higher Taxes for a property we can’t afford park, three; Burley/Burleigh Park, three; and Berlin Nature Park, Berlin Ponds, Blue Heron Park, Burley Nature Park and The Grove, two each.



Jellyfish Festival co-organizer Brad Hoffman estimated approximately 5,000 to 6,000 people on average came each day to the beach event in its first. With some aspects being free and concerts at night requiring a paid ticket, it was likely tough to quantify an accurate estimate as far as attendance.

I checked the festival out Friday afternoon when many of the finishing touches were still being put on the grounds. Attendance was clearly light but that’s to be expected. There were points Saturday when the event seemed well attended, especially during the Styx concert at night. The crowds on Sunday were decent and much better than Friday, according to Hoffman.

What’s impossible to quantify is how much of an impact the Firefly Festival in Dover had on attendance. Looking ahead, I hope it’s possible these events will not take place on the same weekends. For this year’s event, Jellyfish Festival announced its event date months before Firefly. It was unfortunate timing for the local event because many area residents, especially young people, spent the weekend in Dover last weekend, and it’s a logical assumption to believe regional residents who attended Firefly would have considered coming to Ocean City for the live music and sports festival. Let’s hope next year they don’t conflict. That’s, of course, assuming Ocean City is willing to continue its $260,000-plus funding sponsorship. That, too, would seem to be a logical assumption at this point. The event should be able to grow and work out the first-year kinks, as Hoffman acknowledged this week. He said his goal with the event was to offer something families could attend as well as “economic development and filling a hole that existed in June.”

“[The weather] couldn’t have been any better. I think mother nature definitely smiled down on us. … Perception is a lot for an event like this,” Hoffman said. “The perception I gathered was that it was a great event, it brought people in that spent money and it was family oriented. … We have to now get analytical and see what did go well and what didn’t and tweak things from there. But I say 90% of it went really well.”

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.