The general public’s consternation is understandable over a wild horse having to be relocated from Assateague Island due to becoming, “increasingly aggressive towards park visitors and staff when pursuing human food or when park staff attempted to redirect him or his band away from crowded visitor use areas such as campgrounds and parking areas but it’s important to remember it’s not the first time it has happened. It’s a consequence of increased interactions between wild animals and the people,” according to a press release.
This is not the first time human interaction has led to a horse being displaced. Chip’s fate was the same as Fabio’s back in August of 2011. The reasons were similar. Chip will be heading to the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas, while Fabio, an 18-year-old stallion, went to the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center, also in Texas. Fabio was removed from his Assateague home after his bold attempts to steal food from visitor’s campsites, coolers and picnic baskets deemed him too dangerous to roam freely around the island’s densely populated areas. For Fabio, a harem stallion and alpha male in his herd, the lure of snacks fed to him by visitors over time caused him to boldly and aggressively saunter into camping and day-use areas seeking handouts. He had become a public safety concern, as was deemed the case with Chip.
These situations are difficult for the public to digest and trying for the park service. The only option is continuing to educate visitors about not feeding the horses and properly storing food for those on the beach and camping. It might take fining people caught violating the rules and spotlighting the action on social media. It would be a form of marketing through education and can be done while not publicly shaming the culprit. Implementing a punitive repercussion in a high-profile fashion might make a difference. In this case, it would not be about the dollar amount, more about the message.
Former Ocean Councilman Brent Ashley passed away this week. Ashley served on the council from 2010-2014. During his term, Ashley was among the four-person council majority who forced former City Manager Dennis Dare into retirement in 2012. While that was the big news of his term, Ashley, an ardent walker on the Boardwalk, actually made national headlines in 2011 when he aimed to make the resort the “first crack-free city” in Maryland. With his passing, it was interesting to revisit the conversations held at City Hall about a proposed saggy pants ordinance.
A conversation piece initiated by Ashley first in September 2011 led to an ordinance discussion in June 2013. The votes were not there for the council to draft a law on the matter. It never resurfaced after a discussion or two with the ALCU chirping in with a clear intention to challenge the ordinance if it was introduced. Nonetheless, Ashley’s comments at the time resonated with some folks who wanted to clean up the Boardwalk amid an image problem. He walked the boards every day for many years and grew tired of seeing the changes over time.
“This past Wednesday the City of Wildwood passed an ordinance establishing decency standards on the Boardwalk,” Ashley said back in 2013. “I have had many calls from the media, businesses and residents about this ordinance … and I would like to request that we have a discussion about this type of an ordinance at a work session to see what may or might not work for Ocean City along those same lines. To me this is about decency and respect on the Boardwalk. I don’t think small children should be exposed to people’s behinds … I was thinking we could make Ocean City basically the first crack free city in Maryland.”
It took a while but the mural for Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley is coming to the Bruder Hill building off Commerce Street. Public art is an important part of a municipality, but when it spotlights a significant historical perspective it’s special.
Though I didn’t have any serious objections to the mural being at William Street on the old Farlow Pharmacy building’s wall, this revised site in the end is probably best. Commerce Street now sees a significant amount of traffic from motorists seeking parking spots, Taylor Bank customers exiting the drive-thru and patrons visiting the popular farmers market. It will be a nice addition to Berlin for an individual who is far more significant from a historical perspective for our area than Stephen Decatur.
Gov. Larry Hogan used a speech this week at the Reagan Presidential Library to weigh in on extremism within his own Republican Party. Hogan sounded every bit like a 2024 presidential challenger. With his second term ending this fall, the timing is right for Hogan to seek the Republican nomination.
“A party that lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections, and that couldn’t even beat Joe Biden, is desperately in need of a course correction,” he said. “The truth is the last election was not rigged. It wasn’t stolen. We simply didn’t offer the majority of voters what they were looking for. … We won’t win back the White House by nominating Donald Trump or a cheap impersonation of him. The last four years were the worst four years for the GOP Party since the 1930s … We lost the White House, the Senate, the House. We lost governors’ seats, and state legislative bodies. Trump said we would be winning so much we’d would get tired of winning. Well, I’m tired of our party losing.”