Voices From The Readers – August 27, 2021

Voices From The Readers – August 27, 2021

Sports Complex Concerns

Editor:

What is puzzling to me is why are a majority of the Worcester County Commissioners pursuing the construction of an outdoor sports field complex? Also, why is it that only a few local elected officials have been involved in the discussions?

A final report was issued in August of 2017, entitled “Economic Analysis for a Proposed New Outdoor Sports Field Complex in Worcester County, Maryland.” That report raised certain concerns about the feasibility of such a project.

First off, a memo, dated Aug. 30, 2017, by the then Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for the County, that accompanied the Economic Analysis being presented to the County Commissioners stated, in part:

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“Since their August 1st meeting, staff has reviewed the economic analysis and determined that while the report provides good baseline data, we believe that the projected economic impact is overly optimistic.”

The 2017 study reflected that some promoters or producers involved in putting on sports tournaments indicated concerns about the potential of oversaturation of these facilities in the region. I personally attended two little league baseball tournaments this past spring. One was held at the Henry Parker complex in Salisbury, and the other was at the sports facility east of Georgetown, Del. In both cases, it appeared that only half of the fields were being used.

The study also indicated that there were potential plans for additional fields to be privately built in Worcester and Wicomico counties. It also mentioned the sports complex in Frederica, Del.

The 2017 study further indicated that even in a stabilized year of operation which could take three to five years, a government operated facility would require a 25% annual operating subsidy. This is over and above the cost of land acquisition and construction costs. The report further recommended an unspecified annual payment into a reserve fund to protect the county’s investment for future capital repairs or improvements.

The study also suggested that such a complex would create between 360 to 440 new jobs in the county. That appears to be overly optimistic, as well.

In short, the County Commissioners decided not to pursue a sports complex in 2017. That was a wise decision then, but why are they pursuing it now?

Thank goodness, we have two County Commissioners who are taking a much more cautious approach to a Sports Complex. Both Commissioner Chip Bertino and Commissioner Jim Bunting have stated that they do not want taxpayer money being spent on such a facility. Both gentlemen have expressed a concern about how the whole concept is being handled.

I encourage all Worcester County residents to reach out to your respective commissioner to express any concern that you may have about the sports complex and how it is being handled.

Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.

Ocean City

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Credit Due For OC Rescue

Editor:

I would like to commend the Ocean City Beach Patrol and a citizen surfer for a rescue that I witnessed on Saturday morning, Aug. 21 around 19th street at approximately 9:45 a.m.

Shortly before the lifeguards came on, I was standing on the beach with my daughter when I noticed a man on a boogie board that was quickly being pulled out in a rip. The waves were absolutely huge that morning, and this man went from being safe to in danger literally in 30 seconds.

Thankfully the OCBP were already on the beach getting ready for their morning shift. The guard that was posted at 18th Street took one second to assess the situation, dropped his kit and took off. He and the 19th Street guard began the long swim out to help the victim.  Thankfully, there was a surfer nearby. He paddled out and over to the man and calmed him down, and stayed near him till the guards arrived. For the record, he had a white board with a black stripe down the middle.

Had that surfer not been there and the guards not been on the beach early for their shift, the outcome could have been far different. The OCBP guards at 18th and 19th streets and that young surfer all need to be praised for their quick and fearless action that morning. They absolutely saved a life.

Andrew Matson

Ocean City

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Narrow Focus For Churches

Editor:

During this ongoing epidemic the churches are performing somewhere between unevenly and quite badly.

Some of the earliest and worst spreader events were at regular or annual-type meetings held almost to spite authorities.

Then, when stricter policies were enacted, churches cried First Amendment foul and even sued to be relieved of the large gathering guidelines they were subject to.

This is a strange record for a western religious tradition linked heavily to high achievement in medicine, underscored by the personal public health leadership of figures like Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.

Churches today refuse to let go of theology even for a minute in order to survey what they might learn from history, law, health science.

In the very old days, before the teachings of the great prophets dried up like dew on a blade of grass, religion made an effort to encompass and explain everything: nature, nurture and nations.

But gradually, as the world just got too complicated, the churches narrowed their purview down to a few things whose reality can be known (like love and kindness), and others whose reality is less obvious (like the efficacy of sacraments, the substance of miracles, and the society of the afterlife).

How is it, then, that we will ever banish ignorance and violence, given that the state lacks ethics, and the church lacks science?

Kimball Shinkoskey