Wind Concessions Needed
Having owned a business in Ocean City for most of my life, I have trouble fathoming why the Mayor and City Council are against offshore wind.
The argument against seems to be that tourists will object to the view out to sea. The actual site is so far offshore that most likely they will be invisible or just a ghostly image.
My husband and I travel to western Maryland several times a year and we wait for the view of dozens of wind turbines on the mountains. It is a beautiful view, and a comforting one, knowing that the community has embraced the future of clean sustainable energy.
Instead of fighting this nonwinnable battle, the Mayor and Council should look to the benefits they can bargain for with the energy companies, grant providers, etc., but only if they embrace this technology. These are funds and resources we must have to fight the most important issue at hand in our town: the impacts of sea level rise.
I urge our local leaders to research the pros of wind energy and revisit this issue in a positive light. This technology is coming, like it or not. We need to be on the right side of this argument.
Open Dialogue Important
Discourse and diplomacy have a way of easing concerns, ensuring the flow of accurate information, and deriving benefits for all parties involved.
That’s why US Wind, the company building Maryland’s first offshore wind project, stepped up its efforts this year to engage partners in Ocean City and the surrounding region. I was hired earlier this month to hasten this principled approach by listening, learning, and by ensuring an open and fact-based dialogue between US Wind, the Ocean City Mayor and City Council, and others.
As we work to provide clean energy, good-paying jobs, and environmental benefits to Maryland, we’ll continue to redouble our efforts with local elected officials, the commercial and recreational fishing sectors, and residents through more frequent meetings, open channels of communication, and a genuine platform for open discussion.
While my tenure as the former executive director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program makes this effort an excellent fit for me, the moral obligation I have to the kids building sandcastles on my favorite beach is what drives me. Add to that my love of saltwater fishing and wildlife conservation, and my desire to see this project through, comes full circle.
I look forward to continuing this dialogue with some old friends and new ideas for the future of Ocean City.
(The writer is the Maryland Project Manager for US Wind/)
End The Political Theater
Like the choking cloud of pollen that descends upon Delmarva every otherwise-perfect May morning, a cloud of confusion has enveloped our Worcester County elected officials just as we enter our first new-normal busy season.
It seems that the Worcester County sheriff and several of his colleagues on the county commission wish to start a local fan club chapter for their most cherished among U.S. Constitutional amendments, the second. Now, I know we all have our personal favorites — am rather partial to the 19th, myself — but, according to the U.S. and Maryland Constitutions under which they serve, all amendments are created equal. These officials have sworn under oath to uphold both the aforementioned documents and the laws of the State of Maryland. All of them, without fear or favor.
The current kerfuffle is merely performative political theater, designed to rile up the already-agitated masses. It accomplishes nothing of substance locally, and sends disturbing mixed messages to the vast array of visitors who contribute to much of the county’s tax base. We trust that, in the interest of those they serve, our elected officials will set aside this drama and focus on keeping both ‘from here’s and ‘come here’s safe, sane and successful. After all, that’s why y’all were elected, remember?
Accuracy, Candor Needed
In regard to the media coverage of the June 2020 assaults on the Boardwalk in the vicinities of 15th Street and 11th Street, I think accuracy and candor are very important. We vacation regularly in those areas, and local residents conveyed to us that the assaults were interracial violence, with the victims having been randomly selected because they were conveniently available to the assailants.
If this information is indeed correct, then Ocean City’s media should have attempted to explore that aspect of the assaults. From the media coverage that I have examined, the assaults were presented merely as serious street crimes, despite the fact that they involved a large group of people beating and stabbing the victims until they were incapacitated or unconscious. I do not believe that if the roles of the victims and assailants were reversed — and it was a group of white thugs randomly attacking black pedestrians – that the assaults would have been portrayed as anything less than hate crimes, probably with resulting high volume coast-to-coast media coverage.
The media shapes the narratives to which the public is exposed. It should attempt to do so impartially and truthfully and thoroughly. Part of that responsibility should be a close examination for the motives behind any assault, however ugly and disturbing the resulting information may be.
Opposition Wrongly Directed
The Delmarva coast has significant potential to produce energy from wind. Local wind energy has the potential to reduce air pollutants from coal-fired and trash-incineration power plants while wind turbine foundations may serve as an artificial reef, increasing abundance and diversity of species through increased availability of shelter, habitat, and food.
With passions running high, it is important to take a broader and more balanced approach to this form of clean energy. The transition off fossil fuels is urgent as sea level rise, driven by climate change, is already being felt by the resort on its beleaguered bayside flank. Having risen nearly a foot through the 20th century in coastal Maryland, sea level is projected to rise 2.5-to-4 additional feet by the end of the century due to increasing ocean temperatures. Our actions now can mitigate the severity of that rise.
With rising ocean temperatures we’re already seeing the economic impacts of fisheries moving north to cooler waters, and the migrations of some whale species are changing as they try to follow food sources which are moving as ocean temperatures rise.
The National Audubon Society’s report “Survival by Degrees” finds that two-thirds of America’s birds are threatened with extinction from climate change. Research shows that most coastal birds use waters closer to shore than 17 miles for foraging and migrating. There will be some bird impacts from offshore turbines at this distance but we must face the fact that a rapidly warming climate is a far greater threat to birds and to people.
Our coastal communities are facing higher flood and homeowner insurance rates as waterfront and low-lying properties are hit by stronger coastal storms and heavier rain events.
For Ocean City to continue its battle against the inevitable construction of wind farms off our coast is time, effort and taxpayer money wrongly directed. We invite input from anyone concerning this project, we are all in this together.
Assateague Coastal Trust spent the COVID summer of 2020 working with an energy consultant from the University of Delaware to hold ‘information exchange’ Zoom meetings with various stakeholder groups in the area about offshore wind. We listened to concerns about the environment, energy transmission, property values, and sunrise views. We then researched the scientific data available to address these concerns. This has been compiled in a FAQ document on our website and we hope to soon bring these online ‘information exchange’ meetings as a community wide outreach effort to demystify offshore wind and provide science based facts, not lobbyist propaganda, to the public.
We encourage the Town of Ocean City to move forward to a future of clean energy production, healthy communities and a strong economy.
(The writer is the treasurer of Assateague Coastal Trust.)
Sheriff’s Position Supported
I had no intention of writing a letter to the editor until I read a shortsighted letter in the May 14 edition. A woman was lambasting Worcester County Sheriff Matthew Crisafulli for making Worcester County a “sanctuary county.” She defined this by stating “a sanctuary for gun control.” She stated that the sheriff by doing this would be breaking Maryland law. It is obvious that she doesn’t understand how this is not remotely true.
The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, article 6 clause 2, states that any federal treaties, laws, or decisions made by the federal government, and in accordance with the Constitution, will override any conflicting laws or decisions made by states. If the good sheriff was ordered by Governor Hogan to outlaw all guns in the state or break and enter homes and confiscate them, our sheriff and all sheriffs, have the Constitutional right to refuse such an order. The oath of office that Sheriff Crisafulli took does not obligate him to enforce laws emanating from Annapolis that are not well anchored in the United States Constitution. Our founders knew how important it was to have an armed citizenry so they enacted the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. Not so they can hunt, collect or protect themselves from bodily harm but to protect themselves from a runaway government bent on taking away all human rights. They experienced this in England.
We don’t really need more gun laws at all. We have laws that negate the necessity of any gun laws. They are overarching and all inclusive. The first of these is that it is unlawful to murder. The second is that it is unlawful to shoot another person unless you felt your life was in danger. There, that says it all!!
Consider the emotional stupidity of the people that actually “think” that gun laws will prevent crime. They are shallow thinkers. Do they actually believe a gun law will prevent a deranged person who is bent on killing, for example, many school children because the gun he is using is banned having more than 10 rounds, looks military and that he is about to commit this atrocity in a “gun free zone”? He is an outlaw first because he wants to murder.
“Outlaw guns then only outlaws will have them” is another undeniable truth. One of the most dangerous places you can be is in a “gun free zone.” No good people in these zones can shoot back helping to reduce the carnage. Why? It is because they obey the law, it is a gun free zone. Consider getting this made into a tattoo or bumper sticker: “A good man with a gun always stops a bad man with a gun.” Many gun crimes that the Democrats always politicize, could have been averted or lessened by good trained law abiding people with a gun. How secure would anyone be with a good person shooting back at a nut trying to kill as many as possible??
I want to thank Sheriff Crisafulli for his position on preventing an over reaching government from taking away our basic rights that our founders knew and appreciated so well. Pro-gun control people ignore history, in that every oppressive government always first sought to take away the people’s ability to protect themselves. And now they want to defund the police. Go figure.
Dennis W Evans