Response To Berlin Letter
If being a 12th generation Berlin resident makes me a good old boy, I am guilty of the label and proud of it as well.
As far as my son’s appointment to the planning commission, I have never discussed his appointment with any council member nor the mayor to this date. Austin saw John Barrett resign from the commission and contacted the mayor asking to fill the vacant seat almost four months ago, and from what I have learned since was the only one to follow through with a letter to the mayor and make calls to all council members asking for their support. Any other story is a lie.
The cheerleaders for the Heron Park land deal were the council members and the mayor with support from residents focused on keeping the property in the control of the town erasing the possibilities of another industrial use or worse for that site.
Yes, the library was held up since the blueprints submitted for construction did not match what was shown to the residents of Brittany Lane at the time the Library Board was seeking planning commission approval. The fence shown on earlier renderings shared with the public had been deleted. I am certain no one wants a commercial use parking lot aiming their headlights into their backyards and bedrooms either. Bait and switch since the Library Board President and Berlin Planning Commission member does not “like” fences. Higher ups felt the same and the neighbors got their deserved privacy.
Gee Williams has done some wonderful things for Berlin and should be thanked by all residents and visitors for making Berlin the best place on earth to live and work.
(The writer is a Berlin councilman representing District 1.)
New Thinking Needed
Not much to add after absorbing reactions to the annual H2Oi fiasco in the form of social media, letters to the editor, neighborhood chat, etc. Clearly, OC government is not getting it done, while the OCPD and recent allied forces are faced with a monumental task and doing an incredible, heroic job.
Sadly, not close to enough.
Reality check: They’ll be back next year. Along with the criminal element that invaded in June. Both mobs with snowballing purpose and numbers.
OC is earning a bad reputation, and the worst dregs of this area have declared it Ground Zero. Way too many good folks declaring they’ll never vacation here in “East Coast Baltimore” again, and a growing number of property owners eyeballing a move to Bethany.
We’re quickly becoming a dubious and effective tourism campaign for every other mid-Atlantic coastal resort.
It’s beyond time for traditional solutions. Not ideas to implement when they arrive; strategies that will deter them from coming here.
Curfew/National Guard: Why not? Everyone here is held hostage during this chaos anyway, so why not clear the streets and Boardwalk at dusk on the Fridays and Saturdays that we have advance intelligence on? Locals & non-resident property owners get a pass by carrying proof of residence/ownership. Guarantee it’s a “one and done” solution.
One outside the box idea is to finally address a major contribution to the reckless predictable weekends we’ve had to endure recently: “visitors” sleeping overnight in their cars. So far OC has made no effort to address the vast numbers of lowlifes that simply show up here with no advance planning other than criminal activity.
Fact: a large percentage of the troublemakers we’ve had to endure lately don’t stay in even the most inexpensive hotels here. They seek out quiet bayside areas, Mallard Island, etc., and roll out their sleeping bags until lunchtime, when the “fun” continues. That’s where the fast food refuse, diaper bags, vomit, etc. originates, for those who have been complaining about that. I’ll leave their restroom search options up to your imagination.
This problem has amplified all season in recent years, but is especially commonplace in June and “pop-up” weekends.
For anyone in doubt, I suggest you read Drew Haugh’s Sept. 4 letter to the editor in The Dispatch, detailing the human feces, syringes, used condoms, and a host of other atrocities he encounters upon setting up his beach stands every morning. Depressingly awakening.
Here’s where we locals can get involved. We have organized dunes, litter patrols, etc. Why not organize clandestine groups of us early risers that know our neighborhoods, which vehicles belong and which ones need to be investigated? Sleeping in vehicles overnight is prohibited and any law enforcement officer will confirm that the subsequent obligatory search will very likely produce a drug and/or weapons violation.
It’s not too late. The problems are clearly identified and predictable.
Time to think outside the box.
Head Start Critical For Many Families
As Early Head Start and Head Start director for SHORE UP! Inc., I am elated to recognize Head Start’s 55th anniversary of assisting more than 37 million low-income children across the US, and SHORE UP!’s 55 years of offering a multitude of services to children and their families who need assistance.
Since 1965, nationally, the Head Start program has acted as a lifeline for low-income families, providing the resources essential for bridging the gap in school readiness, as well as emotional, social, health, nutritional, educational and psychological needs. Even during times of crisis, Head Start has never faltered, continuing to provide services to families. For those reasons, the Office of Head Start and the National Head Start Association has established a legacy across the US, and for over five decades, Head Start and Early Head Start programs in the seven counties SHORE UP! serves continues to build upon that legacy.
Parents now have an opportunity to get their children involved in the agency’s programs and take advantage of a tradition that has set the foundation for several head start alum who have become teachers, lawyers, doctors and a myriad of other professionals. How?
SHORE UP! begins by examining the entire family’s current needs, administering programs which help individuals to support their children’s early education, provide the best parental guidance to their children as possible, and to gain economic security. The organization also partners with families to find effective methods in dealing with challenges, like single parenting, illiteracy, homelessness, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, health and nutrition, domestic violence, budget, finances, energy assistance, housing counseling and more. Pregnant women are also provided the necessary resources for healthy prenatal outcomes through the Early Head Start program.
SHORE UP! implements a Whole Family approach, assisting the entire family in combatting intergenerational poverty, moving towards achieving self-sufficiency. This Whole Family approach has three priorities: families achieving self-sufficiency through education and work, building family wealth through financial literacy, and supporting children’s success through early learning.
This early learning begins in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs where children are prepared for success too. Toddlers ages zero to three receive social, emotional and cognitive development by attending the Early Head Start program. Children ages three to five are prepared for successful public school readiness, while staff work to meet their nutritional and developmental needs.
In fiscal year 2019, SHORE UP! served 761 children and their families enrolled in Head Start, along with 172 pupils and their families in the Early Head Start program. Included within our overall enrollment are disabled children, along with homeless children and more.
With Head Start, participants receive a comprehensive approach to achieve improvement with overall school readiness in preparation for the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. After all, according to the National Head Start Association, “Head Start is the national commitment to give every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, an opportunity to succeed in school and in life.”
Please join me in celebrating the accomplishments of Head Start for over half a century, and enroll in SHORE UP!’s Head Start programs today to take full advantage of what we can do to drastically improve your family’s life. At SHORE UP!, we aid families in obtaining the opportunity to work, the opportunity to receive an education, and the opportunity to live a decent and dignified life.
For more information and to apply for SHORE UP!’s free Early Head Start and Head Start programs, visit www.shoreup.org, or call 410-749-1142 ext. 341.
Corey J. Bowen
(The writer is the director of Early Head Start and Head Start.)