Lawsuit Comments Inaccurate
Jim Majernik’s take in last week’s issue, “Editorial Inappropriate,” on the frivolous lawsuit filed by the family of Ashley O’Connor is full of inconsistencies and incorrect information.
One glaring inaccuracy involves warnings about sleeping on the beach. Every entrance to the beach has signs clearly spelling out the prescribed town rules. They plainly state: “No SLEEPING on the beach between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am”. You can’t miss them, (that is, if you’re sober).
As for the liability of holes that people dig in the sand, it is literally impossible for any municipality to continually monitor every square inch of 10 miles of beach in order to protect those that are too inebriated or clueless to avoid them. A hole that size can be dug in minutes without digging equipment and everyone is aware of service vehicles, trash pickup, etc., that maintain the beaches overnight.
And yes, beach cleaning vehicles do have excellent lighting, but in this case, they needed sonar to have been able to detect and avoid the victim.
Apparently, O’Connor was so intoxicated, if she had walked in a different direction, we’d be reading about her getting killed on Coastal Highway (then who would her family sue?)
Majernik’s abysmal litany is a prime example of today’s blameless society and the shameful lawsuits that spawn from poor and dim-witted decisions that seem to be infiltrating our society today.
Monitoring Foods Critical
“Climate Change Threatens World Food Supply” was the lead story in yesterday’s leading newspapers. It was prompted by the release of a summary report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), staffed by more than 100 experts from 52 countries.
The report details how climate change is threatening our world’s food and water supplies — turning arable land to desert, degrading soil, and raising the frequency of devastating weather conditions. It concludes that avoiding wholesale starvation and mass migrations requires fundamental changes in current animal agriculture and land management practices, which account for 23 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
The conclusions of the IPCC report match closely those by Oxford University in 2017 and by Chatham House in 2015. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 19% of greenhouse gas emissions, 70% of freshwater use, and 38% of land use. All reports recommend a massive shift to plant-based eating.
In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits, and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources. Our next visit to the supermarket provides a superb starting point.
Remembering A Friend
(The following was submitted as a remembrance of John McBride, who passed away suddenly on Jan. 15.)
In the spring 2012, my family just bought a canal-front condo in Ocean City. Oh, what an exciting time. Why not add a new boat and get those memories started stat? So there’s the condo, there’s the new boat, and there’s my boater’s license in my pocket. The license is even newer than the boat. I just got it online. Needless to say the licensing process didn’t add a lot of confidence to this maiden voyage from a boat ramp in Fenwick Island to a canal somewhere near 94th Street. Everything I knew about boating at that point in my life came from the “Water Boats” ride at Trimper’s. Now, I was considered an expert on the “Water Boats” according to my grandmother, but that was about 40 years ago, and I may have gathered some rust since then. But fair seas and maybe some Irish luck led to a most pleasant trip on the Assawoman that day and my confidence soared.
Several minutes later after locating my canal via my iPhone, I met Mr. John McBride. I’d soon learn that he was my new neighbor. My newfound boating confidence would soon be crushed by this man. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Well, the scowl of John McBride that morning had far more than a thousand words, as I haphazardly hurtled this non-steerable albatross down that canal somewhere near 94th Street in Ocean City. I felt those fair seas a changing. I lost my balance at the swirl of what must have been a cataclysmic change in the norms of the North Atlantic Drift. I tried to assure myself that things could not be that bad, that my perception had been fouled by the scowl. But the scowl’s words kept coming. In the interest of time, I’ll summarize what John McBride’s scowl said to me that day.
First and foremost, because it was most important and the most exigent, his scowl told me that the well secured pontoon boat currently in the crosshairs of my wayward docking performance was none other than his beloved boat.
The scowl told me that I had no business attempting to do what I was attempting to do with nothing other than an Internet boating license. It informed me that actual hands-on boating experience would have been exponentially more helpful in the current scenario.
The scowl came with its own Curriculum Vitae too, you should know. A boating background worthy of expert status within any court of law, not unlike Marisa Tomei’s proven expertise in the independent rear suspension of a 1963 Pontiac Tempest with posi-traction.
Contrary to the judging scowl, John’s actions were not to stand-by and watch me fail, thankfully. Instead, he sprang into action. He physically assisted me with my first docking. And, thanks to him, my first docking was now a success. I state that with an appropriately highlighted asterisk. He then offered me a surprisingly non-judgmental piece of boating advice. Clearly a smart man, he kept the advice quite short and simple. I think he knew anything other than short and simple would have been a waist of his breath. And I think he knew such simple advice would accomplish two other things, as well. No. 1, it was enough to keep my wounded boating ego well enough to continue on and, number two, leave that ego bruised enough that he could still crush it with ease, should he find that necessary sometime in the future if he feels his boat is at risk.
But, alas, that first piece of advice turned into something more. John became my boating mentor. And, without that, my boating career would have surely failed back in 2012. Something else changed too, the scowl. The scowl, with all its words, turned into a smile with even more words. John had a whole face smile and when he shared it with you, you felt it sincerely. I take pride in receiving that smile on every trip to the beach since 2012.
Something steered my family to that specific condo back in 2012, shortly before I almost steered my big aluminum pontoon into John McBride’s boat. Since then, beautiful sunsets have been appreciated, laughs have flowed and wonderful memories have been cast. I suspect that these cherished moments would have come with any of the beach house choices. But fate put the Daly’s directly next to the McBride’s, the best neighbors any family could ask for in all of Ocean City. And this is the best gift any home could ever offer.
The way I feel about John McBride as a friend transcends the amount of time I spent with him. My time with him was real and it’s cherished. A piece of him will always be with me. I look forward to sharing it in the future with some lumbering fool blowing down the Bradley Road Canal. I’ll have a scowl to offer. I’ll have friendship to offer.