Human Perspective On Route 113’s Division
Over the past seven decades, Route 113 has divided our town geographically. In 1952, a network of interstates was developed across the nation, often intersecting low-income neighborhoods and splitting communities apart.
Today, we find ourselves at a juncture where we can address the consequences of this geographical division. While one crosswalk was installed in response to tragic accidents, it is evident that the minimum effort has been made to rectify the situation. Fortunately, there is a grant opportunity on the horizon that offers a chance to make a significant difference. This grant would initially fund a comprehensive study aimed at reconnecting our divided town, followed by a construction grant to implement the study’s recommendations.
I am excited about this opportunity, but I urge us to approach it with a human-centered perspective, rather than merely constructing a pedestrian bridge.
In the spirit of offering solutions rather than just pointing out problems, I propose the following vision: Picture Route 113 adorned with sidewalks, towering trees, bike paths, and pedestrian crosswalks at every intersection that was taken away from the Town of Berlin in 1952. Envision safe pathways to and from the grocery store and Atlantic General Hospital. Imagine residents of Branch Street and Decatur Farms crossing well-designed, pedestrian-friendly crosswalks that prioritize their safety and convenience.
My daughters and I frequently witness individuals, including grandmothers and mothers with young children, walking along the shoulder of Route 113. This situation is not about exercise, but about basic mobility needs, and it pains us to see them navigating these conditions. I believe that all residents should have the opportunity to travel with dignity, using a network of walkable paths, sidewalks, and crosswalks that crisscross Berlin while being shaded by a canopy of trees, such as Sycamores. Creating a human-scale environment on Route 113 could also encourage motorists to slow down.
We owe it to our community to explore innovative solutions that prioritize the well-being of our residents. A solitary pedestrian bridge with a substantial price tag, serving only one intersection, would pale in comparison to the positive impact we can achieve by transforming Route 113 into a thoroughfare of dignity and inclusivity, benefiting a far greater number of individuals.
Unsung Heroes Recognized
It seems the Oceans Calling event was a nice success. Kudos to all the imaginators who saw and believed in the vision and made it happen.
We are always so grateful to our dedicated and protective OCPD police force and our OCFD firefighters, but I would like take an opportunity to shed some light on hundreds of other Ocean City employees who rarely are recognized for rising to any and all challenges, whether 24/7, any weather or how many family plans need to be cancelled.
Hal Adkins and his Public Works heroes: maintenance from rest rooms to trash collection, bus drivers/technicians, water/wastewater, construction and many, many more.
Quiet and unknown, many working while we are sleeping. We don’t see their work, they have done their work silently but we would definitely notice if they didn’t keep our city clean and safe.
Heroes all, congratulations.
More Interest Needed
I have been baffled for the last 2-½ years by the apparent acceptance by some Americans of the horrible things occurring here in America. I can only assume that approximately half the population is unaware of these matters, either from lack of curiosity or from watching media which deliberately refuses to report the truth. It’s a mystery.
In any event, I just want to make sure people have the opportunity to learn a few facts.
One of our major problems is the situation on our southern border. The DHS Secretary Mayorkas keeps saying the border is closed and President Biden keeps blaming the Republicans for the open border. So, which is it? All I know is that over 7 million people have flooded across the border in the last 2-½ years. Included in this number are people on the terrorist watch list, MS-13 gang members, human traffickers, unaccompanied minors and tons of fentanyl which is being marketed here in America and has killed over 75,000 Americans by drug overdose in the last year. Children are drowning trying to cross the Rio Grande. Women are being raped and trafficked by the cartels. We have recently discovered that there are active tuberculosis cases among the migrants, and we have no way of knowing whether any of the migrants are vaccinated against anything, including COVID. As a matter of fact, Biden, as one of the first actions of his presidency, signed an Executive Order ending the DNA testing of children at the border to make sure they are actually with their families, and not human traffickers.
The facilities are (and have been for over two years) overflowing, and can hold not one more person, so they are being let go and told to go wherever they want. The Biden administration is flying thousands of migrants all over the country to towns small and large, with no warning to the local governments. Governors Abbott and DeSantis are sending busloads of migrants (at their request) to New York and Chicago and San Francisco. The mayors of these big blue cities and governors of these blue states are crying that they can’t afford all these migrants and someone needs to do something. Well, you know, all these big blue cities are “sanctuary cities” — they’ve been patting themselves on the back for years for being so open and kind and generous.
Reality bites hard, doesn’t it? These cities are finally getting a taste of what small towns in Texas and New Mexico and Arizona and southern California have been suffering.
Eleven thousand illegal migrants have crossed our southern border in the last 24 hours (as I write this on September 25th). Over 2,000 per day are crossing into Eagle Pass, Texas, a town of about 28,000-30,000 (about the size of Salisbury). How is this town supposed to handle this?
So a couple of questions:
- How much money do you think this is costing American taxpayers, since we are supporting these people with housing, food, medical care, schools and on and on and on?
- How many fentanyl overdose deaths are acceptable? Is it acceptable that Mexican drug and human trafficking cartels have control of our border?
- If you are the leader of a country, and you are allowing this to happen, and lying about it, what does that say about you? And what do you think might be the motivation?
Serving Learning Praised
What is SLP? It’s Kiwanis International Service Leadership Program clubs for students throughout the world. Kiwanis exists in 86 nations. There are 8,386 adult clubs and 8,268 youth clubs.
Youth clubs start in elementary schools and progress through college and there is a club for young adults with disabilities called the Aktion Club. Kiwanis International (KI) has Kiwanis Clubs all over the world and these clubs can sponsor those SLP clubs. It happens that the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City, MD sponsors 5 clubs, namely, K-Kids in elementary schools Buckingham in Berlin and Showell in Berlin, (BIS) Berlin Intermediate School Builders Club, Stephen Decatur Middle School Builders Club and Stephen Decatur High School Key Club. At one time pre-COVID, there was also an Aktion Club in the Worcester County Developmental Center in Newark, but it’s currently on hold, possibly to re-activate. Colleges also have Circle K Clubs, but there are none locally.
At the regular weekly Wednesday meeting on Sept. 27, Candy Foreman, President–Elect and the advisor to the Showell Elementary K-Kids, did a presentation to bring members up to date on what SLP is and what the students are doing. SLP clubs teach students leadership, how to do service projects, and engagement.
All the clubs have faculty advisors and Kiwanis Club Liaisons to those clubs to assist in their meetings and projects. Buckingham has Kiwanis liaison Jackie Dubin, Showell has Kiwanis liaison Candy Foreman and faculty advisor Evy Collins, BIS Has Kiwanis liaison Sue Wineke and faculty advisor Jane Slotter, SDMS has Kiwanis liaison Sarah Walker and faculty advisors Mindy Oulette and Heather Hand and SDHS has Kiwanis liaison Lynne McAllorum and faculty advisors Wendy Saullo and Rebecca Kaichthaker. All these people are very dedicated to these extra-curricular clubs.
In line with SLP, it’s wonderful to remember and appreciate the service of suddenly deceased Kiwanis member and Past President Roy Foreman who was the Kiwanis liaison to the SDHS Key Club for over a decade. Candy Foreman decided to take his place as the President-Elect for 2024-2025. A family of dedicated service to children as both were teachers in Bowie, MD before moving to Ocean Pines and becoming dedicated Kiwanis members. Always focused on children, so a perfect fit for Kiwanis: “Serving the Children of the World”. See www.kiwanisofopoc.org and follow on Facebook to really understand what this local Kiwanis Club is and what it does.
David J. Landis, Sr.
(The writer is a member of the club’s public relations committee.)