Further Turbine Investigation Urged
In reference to your “How We See It” article about the proposed turbines, I am glad to see that you are in favor of further investigation before proceeding.
You mention that it is an unknown as to how this will affect tourism, property owners, and prospective buyers. I can tell you that I am one who it is negatively affecting. My condo on 46th Street is up for sale, so we will see whether this project is going to influence buyers negatively or not. However, I recently purchased a home right over the Maryland line in Fenwick Island, and I certainly did not spend almost a million dollars to have a view of turbines spinning along the horizon.
Had I known this was a possibility, I definitely would have bought a home further north into Delaware. Like most people, it seems, I am in favor of the turbine project for environmental reasons, but it should be out of view from the beach. Aside from future economic concerns in relation to tourism, rental income, etc., no one seems concerned about human decency to current owners who bought their properties under the assumption that their view of the ocean was simply a view of the ocean.
That is, obviously, the focal point of coming to Ocean City or any other beach resort. An analogy would be if someone bought a beach front home, for the purpose of having a beach front home, and then was told, “Oh, sorry! We sold some beach land in front of yours and now you’re the second back from the beach!” That would be unacceptable and unethical. I wish people were concerned about, not just money, but human decency.
Berlin Thanked for Holiday Donations
I am writing to thank Berlin residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.
Because of the generosity of donors in Berlin and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.9 million shoebox gifts in 2019. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2019, the ministry is now sending 10,569,405 shoebox gifts to children worldwide.
Through shoeboxes, packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, Berlin volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.
It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Berlin are closed until November 2020, information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling 410-772-7360.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project, many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.
Closed Meetings Questioned
In Maryland, we have an Open Meetings Act which was adopted to provide that public business by local elected officials be conducted in the open and in public view.
While the law does provide for some exceptions, I believe the Mayor & City Council (M&CC) of the Town Ocean City have violated the law in the formulation and adoption of the recent Ordinance 2019-18, the “Pier Franchise” Agreement. Under the guise of going into closed sessions for contractual matters, the M&CC dismantled the previous Pier Franchise Ordinance 1978-33, approximately 10 years prior to its scheduled expiration.
Over a reported 18 months of negotiations, the M&CC rewrote the new ordinance, particularly the financial terms, all behind closed doors. The public was kept in the dark. The new ordinance emerged from behind closed doors on November 27, 2019, just five days before first reading on December 2, 2019, hardly enough time for public review and scrutiny.
While the Pier Franchise Agreement is similar to both a contract and a lease, it is in reality an ordinance. We have other franchise ordinances in town such as the beach equipment rental franchise, the beach photographer franchise and the vehicle vending franchise. Since 1990, there have been 41 amendments to those franchises adopted by ordinance. I have reviewed 16 of those amended ordinances that were adopted during my tenure as a city councilman.
During that time, none of the 16 amended ordinances were formulated or developed behind closed doors. All were done in public view. Vendors and bidders had the opportunity to comment on pending revisions and changes. Bid amounts were revealed publicly and not negotiated behind closed doors. Most important, the public was kept informed.
When the previous pier franchise ordinance was discussed in 1978, there are 24 pages of transcribed minutes that record the deliberations and actions of the then-M&CC prior to final adoption on April 17, 1978. Following the vote on second reading, the minutes reflect that there had been four months of negotiations, involving six public hearings at which the press was present. Again, none of the terms of the new pier franchise agreement were discussed in open session, prior to the first reading.
I have reviewed every single document pertaining to closed meetings reported by the M&CC from November 2017 to December 2019. They are available online on the town’s website. Over that time period, the M&CC never once reported any topics, actions taken or votes recorded regarding the dismantling or rewriting of the pier franchise ordinance following the closed session, as required by the Open Meetings Act. That is also a violation of the Act.
The new pier franchise ordinance should be repealed and renegotiated in public. The citizens, residents and taxpayers of Ocean City deserve it.
Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.
Climate Change Called in Question
I think the debate and rationale for or against off shore wind farms is not based in reality.
The argument against is largely based on how it will look from Ocean City. Do you really think a farm located 17 miles off shore is going to mar the coastline aesthetics, drop property values, and devastate the resort’s tourism industry? Given the curvature of the earth and the humidity, one would barely see these terribly expensive, inefficient monsters, if at all.
The argument for these machines is based, once again, in the global warming hysteria, now known as “climate change” since the hacking of an email in East Anglia, U.K. from Nov. 17, 2009 where it was uncovered that the earth is not warming due to human activity. So now it is called “Climate Change,” a term I have always attributed to “seasons”. No one at that Saturday hearing denied the reality of climate change. As Joseph Goebbels knew that if you repeat a lie enough people will believe it.
We heard statements like, “we are facing a climate emergency” as stated by Nanci Wilkinson of the Maryland Climate Coalition; “A much greater threat then killing birds is climate change and the world’s bird species are threatened to go extinct at the current carbon emission rates” stated by David Curson of Audubon Maryland-DC. Steve Hershkowitz of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network said, “at current carbon emission rates there is a 93%, (not 95%) chance Ocean City will see flood tides of more than 5 feet between now and 2050. He also said “these wind turbines are our only hope of getting to 100% clean electricity, which is our only hope of curbing our greenhouse gas pollution enough to stop catastrophic flooding and the loss of this city”.
How do they know these predictions? Didn’t Al Gore and other environmental wacko extremists say NYC and Miami and much of the east coast would be underwater and the North Pole would be ice free by 2013? What happened? We are seven years behind schedule! Glacier National Park just took down their signs predicting that the glacier would be gone by 2020. Now we have super nut jobs like N.Y. Congress woman, AOC saying we have nine years to live if we don’t give up air travel etc. Another woman at the meeting cited “the fires in Australia and floods in Indonesia as evidence that time is of the essence for the resort island”. I don’t know what that means.
Delegate Lorig Charkoudian said “we are facing a climate crisis”. Delegate Carol Krimm said “we all agree we are in a climate crisis.” Someone else said: “the planet is warming at an alarming rate”. The United States is the cleanest country in the world per capita. Where are these activists when it comes to criticizing China and India? China is building coal plants all over the world and gets 70% of its electric energy from burning coal. The Chinese walk around with face masks because the air is toxic. The World Health Organization states that out of the 12 most polluted cities in the world, 11 are in India.
The liberal progressives are always wrong. Being sensationalists, they are always crying “wolf!” What happened to the scare of the 1960’s about world population as illustrated in the book “The Population Bomb” by Paul Ehrlich warning of mass starvation in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s? What about the global cooling scare of the ‘70’s that made cover story in Time magazine June 24, 1974?
We were all going to freeze. That same decade the liberal environmental wacko extremists said we are running out of petroleum. With our sophisticated drilling techniques, we are capable of mining at least 200 years-worth. Now, thanks to Trump, we are the world’s greatest producer and exporter of clean energy especially clean, clean natural gas through fracking. This is why you are saving so much money for gasoline today. How about the ozone hole scare of the ‘80’s where we were all going to get skin cancer? As soon as they outlawed the cheap and very efficient freon, you didn’t hear a peep out of them.
Now it costs so much to get air conditioning systems repaired. In the ‘90’s they started with the “global warming” farce that will flood NYC and all coastal towns, the North Pole and Glacier National Park would be ice free. They are always wrong. I have enjoyed recreating on six waterfront properties for 37 years here on the Delmarva. I have not seen a one-inch sea level rise. And now in 2020. we have the general, catchall scare, “climate change” which is termed a crisis. Every unpleasant but natural global occurrence that has been repeated for millions of years is blamed on “climate change.” Thus the “catchall” phrase. There have been five glacial periods on this planet in 800 million years with no humans. In the earth’s 4.5 billion years, we have gone from a boiling cauldron to a snow ball, again with no human activity and the earth recovered.
These many climate scientists rely on “models” which are many times, inaccurate by just providing short-term weather forecasts. How much more are they inaccurate giving long-term, decades-long forecasts as in the flooding predictions? Also, they always say scientist have a “consensus” on this warming belief. Scientists don’t operate through “consensus” but prove things. We do have a crisis and it is in the way some Americans “think” and they are allowed to vote.
Ocean City needs to install more solar panels and end this stupid, terribly expensive wind farm proposal. Electric generation plants need to switch to clean, plentiful, cheap natural gas also. Problem solved.
Dennis W Evans