Incidents Require Reporting
I am no longer a resident of Worcester County, but I have family and friends on the shore and I am alarmed to learn there is so many incidents, up to and including violence in public schools.
It appears the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Office of the State’s Attorney are concerned about lack of required reporting. The Board’s response is ridiculous. There’s much more than a communication problem.
I like the idea of a contract between an unruly student, parents, school officials, etc. because that would clarify the responsibilities of each and what the consequences would be, however that requires reporting events and evidently that has not been happening.
Pressure needs to be applied to demand change. The Teachers’ Union and the Board of Education have been totally unsuccessful in providing a “safe learning environment.” Students know, parents know and school staff know how bad it is.
I suggest a coordinated effort demanding accountability. On a given day or days, with notice to media, parents with their children (and all who are concerned) should be outside each school (or at the Board of Education) to protest and demand change.
Incidents of school violence and harassment must be reported and there must be consequences for infractions.
Who will take the lead? How much can be accomplished? I don’t know, but I think it will take public outrage to insure the safety of students and staff. After reading the Coast Dispatch article (Oct. 19 by Charlene Sharpe) it seems the board is more concerned about keeping this behind closed doors, than a solution.
I write to express my concerns regarding the ongoing discourse between the Worcester County Board of Education, State’s Attorney Kris Heiser, and Sheriff Matt Crisafulli, regarding school and student safety.
The Sheriff and State’s Attorney initially raised serious concerns about a “consistent lack of notification to law enforcement about criminal activity and delinquent acts” in our schools. However, in their response, the Board did not acknowledge the specific incidents raised by law enforcement concerning school safety. Instead, the Board emphasized a ‘breakdown in communication’ and ‘different philosophical approaches.’ They also said it is not a matter of “truth” vs. “fiction.” Yes, it is. Either the incidents in question occurred, or they didn’t. If they did, they were either reported or they weren’t.
The Sheriff and State’s Attorney are rightfully disappointed with the Board’s response, stating that it lacks specific corrective actions and does not address key questions about school safety protocols. Furthermore, the refusal of the Board to accept law enforcement’s offer of regular updates raises questions about their commitment to ensuring accurate information is available.
The most concerning aspect is the apparent denial by school officials that school safety issues exist, even in the face of “direct evidence and concrete examples.” This stance, which prioritizes the appearance of safety over actual safety, is deeply troubling. It is clearly understood by this writer that the Worcester County Board of Education and WCPS officials will not publicly state that schools are “not safe.” This is such a broad term and encompasses much more than a few incidents and schools cannot be easily labeled as “safe” or “not safe.” It’s just too complicated of an issue. However, the sheer lack of acknowledgement of the incidents identified by the Sheriff’s office is the most concerning issue here.
The repeated assertion that “schools are safe” by school officials, despite consistent discussions with law enforcement over the past four years, is cause for concern. The proposed “task force” may not be an effective solution if it comprises the same individuals who have been involved in these discussions.
The Board’s reluctance to acknowledge crimes being committed and not reported, possibly to maintain a positive image, is a significant problem. Their response offers no indication of whether the accusations were accurate or not, leaving the community in the dark.
Sheriff Crisafulli and State’s Attorney Heiser have shown their commitment to school safety and are actively exploring their options to address the current situation. They aim to bring transparency and accountability to school safety matters and assure the community that their efforts will continue until Worcester County achieves the highest standard of safety within our schools.
It is my hope that the Board will reconsider their position, collaborate closely with law enforcement, and prioritize the safety of our students over the appearance of safety. Our children deserve nothing less.
Public Meeting Disappoints
I was very disappointed in the BOEM public meeting concerning offshore wind farms held on Oct. 24 at Ocean City Elementary School. There were hundreds of citizens there — the vast, vast majority vehemently opposed to the offshore wind farms and who expected to be able to make public comments regarding their opposition. At least that is the impression the citizens had. But it was not to be. We were only allowed to talk to BOEM representatives and give our comments to a court reporter.
My comments concerned the horrible horseshoe crab stranding which occurred on Oct. 7 at the Delaware State Park beach near Bethany Beach, just west of where surveying for offshore wind is occurring. This was a very unusual event, according to those who study horseshoe crabs and work for their conservation, such as the group “Save the Horseshoe Crab”. Horseshoe crabs are essential in medical research and their blue blood may be one of the most valuable liquids on earth – currently valued at $15,000 per quart. It is used throughout the biomedical field to secure the safety of just about anything you can think of from vaccinations to surgery to cancer treatment research. If you have ever had a vaccine, chances are it was tested for safety using horseshoe crab blood. If you have ever had surgery, you should be very grateful for its use in detecting endotoxins, which can contaminate antibiotics and surgical equipment. One-third of the blood of the crabs is extracted and then they are returned to the ocean.
Given these facts, and the fact that the crab is already on the “endangered species list”, the stranding is very disturbing. The pictures of hundreds if not thousands of dead horseshoe crabs are horrifying.
Is it just a coincidence that this stranding after only five days of surveying of the ocean floor for high voltage offshore wind export cable positioning? The surveying by US Wind and Orsted is being done right in the 1,500 square mile Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary. By the way, I just recently found out that this sanctuary is the largest horseshoe crab breeding habitat on Earth.
This is only one of the problems that can, most likely, be laid at the feet of the OSW industry and those supporting it with our tax dollars. There is also the increased deaths of whales and dolphins where OSW activity is occurring, and the sudden scarcity of certain beloved seafood items. Additionally, we have been repeatedly misled about the size, number and location of the turbines, which is continuously changing without requiring additional approvals or environmental impact assessments. The maps that BOEM had available at the meeting showed the turbines will be 8.7 miles off the coast of Ocean City. Weren’t we originally assured they would be about 17 miles off the coast?
Isn’t it time to tell our Federal and State agencies that we need a complete moratorium on Offshore Wind exploration and development until all of this can be figured out?
BOEM Ballot Harvesting
I participated in the four-hour BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) virtual public meeting Monday evening and it was obvious to me that BOEM engaged in a style of “ballot harvesting” of its pro-wind supporters. For every 10 pro-wind comments, we had two anti-wind comments. I am convinced BOEM planned it this way for its online format by urging their uninformed “voters” to speak. They are using fear to silence us into submission. It’s their plan.
Most of the opinionated pro-wind comments came from outside of Worcester County. They included:
“Hooray, the turbines are no longer on land and moved to sea where they will be barely visible”.
“We will save money going clean”. (It is costlier.)
“This will create jobs and marine life will not be drastically harmed”. (Divers and welders are temporary jobs and as we know, marine life is already being impacted in a highly negative manner.)
“We have storm water pollution, dirty air; Earth shows love and we must take care of her”.
“Our sea levels are rising and we need clean energy to combat. People don’t want them because they’re ugly”.
“My 4 kids know climate change is serious and are scared where our Earth is headed. We do not have time to wait. My Green Team at church wants to protect our Earth and planet”.
“Urgent. Our planet is going underwater. 3% is gone. Birds will not fly into the turbine blades, they know to fly above or below the turbines. Window strikes are the #1 cause of bird deaths”.
“This is Putin’s fault. Once we get foreign intervention out of the way, we can control our own”. (Who wants to tell him that Orsted is a Danish foreign energy company and U.S. Wind is Italian?)
And my personal favorite:
“My nasal allergies need clean energy. Turbines are cleaner”.
The anti-wind comments included:
“This is the largest wind farm ever erected. They will hurt our small businesses in economy and tourism”.
“Plans keep changing. Megawatts changed. 55% of Ocean City renters won’t return when these turbines are built unless a $1000 decrease in weekly rental is offered. Too much negative impact on OC. The researched data is in front of our face”.
“White Marlin Open will end as the number of entrants cannot amass in the ocean simultaneously and adjacent to the 114 turbines”.
“Bait and switch. We started at 24 turbines each 200 feet tall, is now 114 turbines 950 feet tall buried 100 feet below ocean floor. Each 1 mile apart”.
“A mandated speed of 10 knots at a designated parameter will be instituted. A commercial boat with 4 engines wanting to get 15 miles out to sea will take 1 ½ hours to reach its destination”. This will destroy the commercial fishing industry.
“A 146% increase in whale deaths has been seen since Dec. 2022. Immediate necropsies have shown the inner ears have been damaged, most likely due to the debilitating Havana Syndrome where sonar weapons were used to disorient our diplomats abroad. Harbor porpoises and beaked whales have recently died, most likely due to disorientation causing decompression sickness and death”.
“Before his death in 2004, the Father of CO2, Gilbert Plass notes planting more trees is the remedy, not erecting turbines. Cutting CO2 in half will change the surface temperature to falling 3.8 degrees Celsius. Are we playing God here?”
A Cape May, N.J. economist testified that regulating CO2 is an environmental wrecking ball costing each taxpayer $6,000 over 10 years.
Plass: Energy must deliver the biggest environmental benefit at the lowest possible cost.
The anti-wind speakers had statistics, facts and data. The pro-wind speakers had feelings, wishes and dreams.
This project is expensive, not cost effective, environmentally damaging and regulated by Danish foreign energy.
And last night BOEM ballot harvested.