Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – November 4, 2022

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – November 4, 2022

Stephen Decatur High School will host a playoff football game Friday evening. I attended last year’s playoff game and it was an exciting and electric atmosphere with the stands full of parents and students. I observed a few poor decisions by students, but nothing out of line and unexpected. It was a safe and fun environment overall.

Ahead of Friday night’s game between the Seahawks and C. Milton Wright, Stephen Decatur Middle School, and presumably other schools, sent out a text reminder to students and parents about unchaperoned minors in attendance. It read, “Students planning to attend SDHS football game this Friday. Everyone needs to behave appropriately while having a good time and staying safe. If your child is planning to attend, you must attend with them! That means that they may NOT be dropped off. You may not go into the stadium and then leave without your child. Also, one parent cannot be responsible for children other than their own. Please help us by complying with these guidelines to help keep our students safe.”

Some read this stern message as a direct reaction to the Laurel-Seaford football game being closed to the public due to safety concerns stemming from “credible intelligence from law enforcement.” In that case, only parents and/or guardians of the Laurel players listed with the respective schools can attend. In addition, only Seaford’s football players and coaching staff would be permitted to attend. There does not appear to be any direct connection with this week’s message in Worcester County. The county’s message was seemingly trying to cut down on the number of minors in attendance without any adult supervision as a result of concerns in the past.

It’s been more than three months since Maryland’s primary election, but the consequences of the Republican Party’s support for Dan Cox as the gubernatorial choice in the primary will not be truly felt until next week. Because of his extremist positions, Cox is going to get smashed by Democratic nominee Wes Moore. It’s going to be ugly. Moore will be predicted the winner within an hour of polls closing. This is more about Cox’s shortcomings than Moore’s prowess.

The only way former Republican Governors Bob Ehrlich and Larry Hogan were able to get elected in Maryland, a strongly Democratic state, was through moderate views and appealing to Democrats. Cox seems to be as defiant as political idol, Trump, taking the opposite approach and alienating anyone with realistic views about the pandemic and the 2020 election. Hogan referred to Cox recently as a “QAnon whack job.” I predict Cox will receive less than 30% of the vote in next week’s election.

Unfortunately, Cox seems unwilling to waver from his extremist positions. A mailer I got this week from Cox read, “Maryland is our home. We must keep it free. On day one of my administration as your next Governor, I will end the vaccine and health mandates and restore freedom by restoring the Constitution’s protections to all the people of Maryland.  And our Five-Point Contract for Maryland will be just the beginning of a new birth of prosperity for our Free State.”

On the official ballot before statewide voters next week will be Question 4, which will ask citizens, “do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023 in the State of Maryland?”

Polling has shown over the last several months a majority of Marylanders will vote for the constitutional amendment. A poll conducted last week of 1,000 voters by The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore found 63% of likely voters surveyed statewide agreed with legalizing the drug, 25% opposed it and 12% undecided. The survey consisted of 562 registered Democrats, 247 Republicans and 180 unaffiliated voters. In the poll, it was interesting to note 54% of the Republican voters said they would vote for legalization. It shows how progressive most people have become about recreational pot use.

Maryland, and many states really, have been trending toward legalizing marijuana possession, but the question is how it will be regulated and how easy will it be to purchase. The legislature’s take was all these details would be worked through if Marylanders pass the referendum. There are many states Maryland could look to when crafting the regulations. If the ballot question passes, it will be legal to possess 1.5 ounces of cannabis for those 21 years and older. Marylanders would also be able to grow their own weed at home.

What a special treat it is to live in a town like Berlin where Halloween pride and spirit runs deep year after year. The amount of time, effort and resources allocated by dozens of homeowners was tremendous to see. This remains serious business for many residents. Some property owners go all out, decorating themselves as well as their homes for the occasion. All the tremendous efforts combine to create a memorable evening for the kids, young and old alike. One year I look forward to being able to walk around town myself and take in the sights and sounds. In the meantime, it’s fun to host (and spook) about 1,000 people each year to our annual Halloween creation.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.