Wine Event Appreciation
2021 Wine on the Beach is a wrap. Despite all the challenges presented by weather and virus, we are proud it was a success — thanks to the Town of Ocean City, our volunteers and our vendors.
The challenges were many, as COVID took a toll on several of our long-time participants. Hurricane Larry sent us a tide that left our stage mired in a lagoon. With the help of Ocean City staff, we were able to secure and activate another stage, although many of our guests still enjoyed picnicking on partially submerged tables. Literally, Wine on the Beach.
Saturday saw the water recede and more space created to enjoy the entertainment, food and wine. As always, Bird Dog and the Road Kings led the merriment on stage.
We greatly appreciate the Town of Ocean City for giving us more space for distancing, picnic tables and benches enjoyed by our guests and logistic assistance. Despite the many obstacles, our return was a success and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
(The writer is the festival director.)
Seeking Fair Commentary
The purpose of this letter is to address recent developments in the Richard D. Farr, et al. vs Ocean Pines Association, Inc., et al. case.
The case was originally filed by Mr. Farr, on his own behalf and on behalf of a “class” of plaintiffs, specifically, Ocean Pines voters who cast votes for Mr. Farr before the purported disqualification decision. The Maryland Rules allow for a case to be filed in that fashion (on behalf of a class of un-named plaintiffs) when there are many individuals who have been harmed in the same way, certain other conditions are met, and the Court approves such an approach. In this case, by way of a recently filed amended complaint, we eliminated the “class action” aspect of the case and, instead, added certain specifically named voters as Co-Plaintiffs in the case.
These voters all voted for Mr. Farr before his candidacy was disqualified (in closed session of the Board) and the Board decided (in closed session) to proceed with the election and counting of all votes except those cast for Mr. Farr. The effect of that (closed session) decision by the Board, in my view, partly disenfranchised those voters who had already submitted a vote for Mr. Farr. This is the reason why the individually named Co-Plaintiffs have joined the case – they are conscientious Ocean Pines citizens who, out of civic concern, do not want to be disenfranchised by closed-door decision-making at the end of an election.
Mr. Farr’s Co-Plaintiffs are not seeking money in this case and they are not a source for payment of my firm’s fees (which are being paid by Mr. Farr and, to some degree, voluntary donors to a fund for such fees). They see the Board’s actions as wrong, as Mr. Farr does, and they wish to correct those (alleged) wrongs. It is their right to take an active position in this regard, just as it the right of any other OPA member to support the Board’s side of this case.
Unfortunately, on certain “blogs” and perhaps elsewhere in the public domain (for example, the blog known as “Ocean Pines Forum”), there has been what in my opinion is incorrect and irresponsible commentary about the adding of the Co-Plaintiffs to the case, which either criticizes them or baits/invites criticism and judgment of them. The Co-Plaintiffs seek nothing in this matter other than vindication of their right to cast two votes in the election and have both of those votes counted; they also support Mr. Farr’s position vis-à-vis his eligibility to run.
My sincere hope is that none of the Co-Plaintiffs will be criticized, castigated, singled out, unfairly judged, or impugned for taking an active stance in what is an important matter of public interest in Ocean Pines; and that commentary in the public domain – about them and toward them – will be fair, reasonable, accurate, and responsible.
Bruce F. Bright
(The writer is Farr’s attorney.)
Mask Mandate Supported
We applaud the decision of the State Board, which was supported today by a legislative committee, to issue an emergency regulation requiring universal masking in all schools because it will help protect the health of our school communities and help us as educators to keep school buildings open and learning ongoing. This is the type of clear guidance, communication, and support that is essential to ensure that students, families, and educators feel safe and supported during these challenging times.
Data from other states without universal masking policies tell an alarming tale of increased infections and hospitalizations among students, including those too young to receive a vaccine. We want to avoid these negative outcomes for our children and families here in Maryland. Masking, along with regular testing, adequate ventilation, increased vaccination, and other health and safety measures, gives us the best possible chance to protect the health and safety of our students, educators, and school communities.
(The writer is the president of the Maryland State Education Association, a 76,000-member affiliate of the National Education Association and the largest professional employee association in Maryland.)
Council Sacrificing Paddack
In response to the Mark Paddack comment, it’s amazing how fast the City Council and mayor sacrificed one of their own.
Automatically the supposed victim blasts it on social media to gain attention and to do what everyone does and uses it as racist statement.
What if he was hacked? His life is now in jeopardy because someone took it to social media and made sure the attention was on the comment. Instead of addressing like a gentleman and confronting the issue privately, they blast on Facebook because nobody wants to handle any situation by themselves.
If the city does not replace him, we all know the end result. If he does not resign, the city will get the fire of dragons upon it. I said this last year, one bad incident will happen, and the city get hit. It did. Now this be broadcasted like it did. Instead of handling it like a gentleman should have? Now the Town of Ocean City gets a racist mark on it again. Mark’s life is now ruined, and his life is in jeopardy. And Mr. Bobby knew what he was doing by sharing the comment.
I hate when people use a race as an excuse because the trending thing to do is put a racist tattoo on everyone. I hate racism with a passion, but I hate reverse racism too even more. No matter what the results are, fire, brimstone and ash are the next step.
It’s sad how quickly the City Council and mayor shunned the police officers with the first incident and now Paddack.
It’s a sad time for Ocean City, such a council that they willing to sacrifice one of their own to save themselves from being labeled traitors.