Voices From The Readers – July 3, 2020

Voices From The Readers – July 3, 2020

Efforts To Avoid 2nd Shutdown Important


To all of you in Ocean City regardless of your position, owner, renter, worker, political, business owner, etc., I ask that we all take a step back and determine just how successful this attempt at a chance to get back to normal is going to be. Needless to say, there are two extremely different views on the subject of the Coronavirus — 1. the CDC has gone overboard in its analysis of the severity of COVID-19 or 2. pay attention to what the CDC is telling you, it is in everyone’s best interest. There are also two different attitudes. Number one being “I don’t care if I get it” and number two, “I need to take precautions not only to keep from getting it, but to keep from spreading it.”

Let’s address only the first view. If you are correct and this is a bunch of hype, then the only major issue for you is the inconvenience. However, if you are incorrect, where do we stand as a community, especially if you fall in to the number one attitude? Where am I going with this? Recently while shopping in two different stores, I found the guidelines for entering and/or shopping ignored. In the first incident, while standing in line at a mall to enter the store, a gentleman and his wife came in, without masks, and stood less than three feet behind me. In the second incident, I went into a grocery store and within the first four aisles, there were four people without masks.

As we all understand it, when shopping in a store, masks must be worn. As to social distancing, the floors are marked with six-foot intervals. It’s a no-brainer. Was it my responsibility to tell all of those people to put on masks or in the first incident. tell the two people to social distance? I don’t think so. “No Mask … No enter.”

And, social distancing must be respected and followed. It is the responsibility of the establishment to see to it the rules are not ignored. For the record, in both situations, the age bracket of the people fell into the 30’s and 40’s.

To the business owners, Mayor and City Council, if you think the first three months of the shutdown was hard on Ocean City, wait till it happens again. Ocean City will not recover. I don’t profess to have all the answers, but perhaps those establishments who don’t enforce the rules should be fined. The reality of it is we cannot be worried about losing a customer or about hurting someone’s feelings. If everyone is enforcing the rules, it will be well understood how the game is played. Establishing rules and guidelines for those attending bars fall into an entirely different category and I am very well aware of the complexity.

My husband and I have owned a condo in Ocean City for the past 14 years. When we were asked to please not come to Ocean City during the lockdown, if it was not our primary residence, we honored the request. For the good of all America, we need to open up, but open up with precaution and guidelines, not with arrogance and ignorance.

Robin Engstenberg

Camden Wyoming, Del.


No To Budget Cuts


Dear Comptroller Franchot and Treasurer Kopp, the following organizations and elected officials are contacting you today over Gov. Hogan’s proposed budget that would be devastating to our state and municipal employees, especially here on the Eastern Shore. We are well aware of the damage COVID-19 has caused to our state’s economy and budget. However, the only way we are going to defeat the COVID-19 impact is to fund our frontline workers, who are critical to our recovery.

As someone who has expressed support for the Eastern Shore and our economy, we are appealing to you to vote no on budget cuts, for the following reasons.

  1. Other less damaging alternative cuts can be made.
  2. Cutting State employee incomes during an economic recession/depression will take more money out of our local economies. This is crucial money that needs to be pumped back into the local economy, to keep our businesses afloat and our residents from falling further into economic chaos. We know, from the actions of the Federal Reserve, that now is the

time to keep money flowing into our economy, not reducing it.

  1. Cutting funds for our front-line workers during a pandemic is like not paying your water bill when your house is on fire. These are the workers who have been making sacrifices to keep everything running during this crisis. How can the governor even contemplate cutting their benefits and pay? That doesn’t say “Thank you” – it is a slap in the face.
  2. Your “no” vote will force a real discussion to take place about budget, and people, priorities, and how we can better serve all Maryland citizens.
  3. Your “no” vote will give us crucial time, in order to foster conversation with elected leaders and residents around Maryland, to gain insight on what the real effects of these cuts will be. It is clear that anytime quick decisions are made, without the opportunity to obtain feedback from all stakeholders, there is the likelihood of some groups to be hurt. In this case, those groups are primarily the ones who were committed to their jobs and communities during this crisis.
  4. Your “no” vote will show the residents of Maryland that you support the idea that our state government exists for the benefit of all of us, not just the powerful and wealthy.
  5. Your “no” vote will show you can see through Gov. Hogan’s supposed crisis, and that Maryland needs to make decisions based on facts and realities, not manufactured assumptions.

Based on these seven points, we urge you to vote “no” against this attack on our workers and communities. You can stop this until a real conversation can occur. We, and so many others around the state, are counting on you!

Jared Schablein

(The writer is the chair of Lower Shore Progressive Caucus. The letter was also signed by Michelle Gregory, Salisbury Councilperson; Bob Muehlenkamp, president, Our Revolution Maryland; David LeGrande, Our Revolution-Howard County; Cecilia Plante, president, Maryland Legislative Coalition; Kitty Maynard, Head Administrator, Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible; Chris Izzo, Our Revolution Western Maryland; Jacob Kravetz and Sheila Ruth, Our Revolution Baltimore; Chrissy Holt and Clayton Northcraft, AACO; Ron Pagano, Endeavor Disabled Advocacy; Suchitra Balachandran, Our Revolution Prince George’s; Susan Buyer and Toby Perkins, co-coordinators Indivisible Worcester; and Larry Stafford, executive director, Progressive Maryland.)


NAACP Address Concerns


As President of the Worcester County Branch of the NAACP, I have been contacted by many community members (both black and white) asking what is the NAACP doing about the “racial flyers” that some Worcester residents found in their driveways.
What We Know: Several residents in Ocean Pines, Berlin, West Ocean City and Stockton reported finding racist flyers from the Ku Klux Klan on their driveways last week. The Ocean Pines police investigated the incident. When a reporter called the North Carolina number, listed on the flyer, the phone was answered by a voicemail message from the Loyal White Knights (of the KKK).
What We Have Done: I have contacted the Ocean Pines Police, the Worcester County Sheriff and the Worcester County State’s Attorney. All have expressed their concern for this incident. Police Chief David Massey, of Ocean Pines PD has been quoted as saying, “The only crime is littering.” So, without a way to prove who littered our county with this hate, there is no legal action that can be taken.
Thoughts: I have spent a great deal of time considering what should be done as a response to these flyers. Sometimes behaviors must be dealt with directly. Other times the ignorance speaks for itself and the less attention given the better. We do not know who distributed these flyers. If we did, they could be charged. The content is offensive and has no place in our society. Many believe that these flyers were brought into Worcester County and not distributed by individuals from our county. I pray that is the case! I believe that the vast majority of the residents of Worcester find this propaganda offensive. Ironically, the flyers were weighted down by cat litter, a product designed to absorb waste products. Cat litter was used to distribute a flyer that belongs nowhere but in the trash. Trash is offensive when it is anywhere, but in the trash can. Let’s remove these racists thoughts from our county and the world. Together let’s place them permanently where they belong, in the trash.

The racist flyer invites others to “join our struggle.” Ironically, I continue saying the same thing to all residents of Worcester County. Join with the NAACP to make it clear that racism has no place in Worcester County (nor our nation or world). For information about joining the Worcester County Branch of the NAACP you can contact me at ivos4@aol.com.

Ivory P. Smith Sr.