On our website, from Tuesday-Thursday, the most popular story was, “Jordan, Catch 23 Boat Booked For White Marlin Open.” More than 50,000 people viewed the article. It says a lot about the quiet nature of this news week actually, but the potential for NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan to be a participant in this year’s White Marlin Open clearly got a lot of attention.
While it’s unknown whether Jordan himself will be participating in the tournament, his boat has been confirmed as registered for the White Marlin Open. What’s also known is Jordan is an avid fisherman and participated in Jimmy Johnson’s Quest for the Ring tournament in south Florida in March.
In that tournament, the Catch 23 boat, a brand new 80-foot Viking build, was team number 23 (in this year’s White Marlin Open it’s entry number 123 incidentally). The Catch 23 team will surely be hoping for better results though in Ocean City, as the seven-member crew recorded one catch – a sailfish – in that tourney.
Word the Chesapeake Bay Bridge will undergo a massive deck rehabilitation project immediately after Labor Day is a big deal for this area.
According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, beginning after Labor Day and continuing through Sept. 30, the right lane on the westbound span will be closed continuously during the week from 9 a.m. on Monday to 6 a.m. on Friday, reopening for the weekend. The right lane of the westbound span will be closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from Oct. 1 through April 16, 2020 except during Thanksgiving holiday weekend. From April 16 through May 20 of next year, the right lane on the westbound span will be closed from 9 a.m. on Monday through 6 a.m. on Friday. The entire project will then be suspended and the westbound span will be completely open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
It’s clear the state is doing its best with building concessions into the project, like leaving the weekends open during the busiest spring and fall months and ceasing all work during the traditional summer months. Nonetheless, this project is going to make the commute back from the beach a nightmare. It’s also going to impact motorists on their way to the beach because eastbound traffic will no longer be diverted to the westbound span during heavy volume periods.
It was interesting the same week the project was announced there was a vow from Gov. Larry Hogan to further reduce tolls in Maryland, including at the Bay Bridge. Four years ago, Hogan rolled back the toll from $6 to $4 for cash customers and to $2.50 for E-ZPass users. This month’s announcement contained no details about how much further tolls would be reduced and where, but my suspicions are the Bay Bridge will be in the fold to some degree.
The obituary for one of Ocean City’s original “steel magnolias” was received too late to be included in this week’s edition. The term steel magnolia applies to women who demonstrate the expected feminine side but also tremendous fortitude and business acumen. In Ocean City, the term has been historically used to describe the ladies who ran tourism-based businesses while their husbands either fought for our country, fished for a living or worked in other service industries.
As a message from the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association reported, Kathleen Valcourt Harman was, “an original steel magnolia who helped pioneer hospitality” in the Ocean City area.
Since it was received too late to publish in our obituary section this week, I wanted to share Harman’s funeral service will be held on Monday, July 29 at 11 a.m. at Holy Savior with visitation from 10-11 a.m. Additionally, here’s an excerpt about her life. Harman and her family now own Bahia Marina and Fish Tales, among other ventures.
“Born in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts in 1927, Kathleen lived her life to the fullest embracing opportunities to share her opinions, spunkiness and humor until the very end,” the obituary read. “Shortly after World War II, Kathleen married Bill Harman whose family built the first area motel, the Alamo. It was here that Kathleen fell in love again, this time with lodging industry. While her husband worked as a plumbing contractor, Kathleen operated the Miami Court while raising her sons. In 1958, the Harman’s bought a half-block on 23rd Street and the ocean and built the Ocean Mecca Motel. Eager to foster tourism, Kathleen frequently gathered other business owners to discuss issues and advocate for their rights and in 1960 they formed the Ocean City Hotel-Motel Restaurant Association (OCHMRA).”