Voices From The Readers
Thank You To OC's Firefighters
When I see a fire engine with its lights flashing and sirens blaring responding to a call, I immediately say a little prayer for the safety of the crew on board, which is exactly what I did Sunday, March 30.
When I saw the smoke billowing into the sky as we crossed the Route 50 bridge, I said, 'Oh my God!' and when I saw the flames shooting out of the second story I thought thank goodness the firemen are here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to both the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company and the OC Career Fire EMS for their lightning quick response and dedication in fighting a potentially devastating fire this past Sunday on the Boardwalk.
With the assistance of numerous neighboring companies, including Berlin, Ocean Pines, Newark, Snow Hill, Pocomoke, Selbyville, Roxanna, Bethany, Georgetown, Salisbury (and I'm sure others I have forgotten), the fire was contained and an entire block of the Boardwalk was not lost.
It proves that in the heat of action all good men and women work together for the good of all.
Thank you so much for your combined efforts to contain and terminate what could very well have been a much more devastating fire. Due to your collective efforts, a huge area of the historic downtown Boardwalk area was saved.
Sheryl S. Mitrecic
Awareness Needed On Lethal Allergies
I am the mother of a child with a potentially lethal peanut/tree-nut allergy. She is 7 years old and has already had to be 'epi-penned' to counteract an accidental encounter with a tree nut. She was only 4 but she will never forget it.
My child is the one who can't eat 90 percent of her Halloween candy. Check the back of almost every chocolate candy manufactured in the United States: most contain the tree nut/peanut allergy.
My child is the one who can never eat the commercially prepared cupcakes and birthday cakes at birthday parties: they all contain the tree nut/peanut allergy.
My child is the one who couldn't eat the chocolate crown on her dessert when she had dinner with the princesses at Disney World. The chef could not guarantee the crown (purchased from a vendor) was not nut-free because it was not prepared in a 'nut-free' facility.
And yes, my child (or someone like her) could be responsible for you not being able to send food into your child's classroom to celebrate an event or a birthday.
But I've never seen her complain about this, or beg to 'eat it anyway', because she knows her life literally depends on being careful. We accept this as parents, and she is amazingly responsible.
My family and I frequent a local restaurant several times a month. The restaurant is close to our children's activities and has been of good quality. It would not be unusual for us to dine there two or three times a week. Restaurant kitchens can rarely, if ever, guarantee their kitchen is safe for cross contamination (are you really sure that pan was washed of all residue of tree-nuts?). In the past, ice cream was served for dessert, an ingredient list was handy, and my family could safely promise a treat at the end of a meal. When the restaurant discontinued ice cream, and began serving prepared desserts, they accommodated my daughter's (at our request) allergy concerns by letting us purchase a bowl of whipped cream with a cherry on top. I have requested this many times in both small restaurants and big chains: I have never been turned down.
Imagine my daughter's distress when requesting her 'dessert' that her 'request had been denied'. What? She's 7 years old. It was a $4 bowl of whipped cream. It was a safe place for my daughter to have dessert. Yep, she was pretty upset. When we called the owner later to let her know how unhappy we were with the service, she responded that her restaurant now prepared all desserts in-house (are you really sure that pan was washed of all residue of tree-nuts?), 'We could safely order off the menu.' And, I guess, our business, be darned.
We won't be back. Local restaurant owners, please, it's a carton of vanilla ice cream for the (one in five) nut allergy children. Or a bowl of whipped cream with a cherry.
Tax Credits Confirm Corporate Welfare
I read that the Md. General Assembly approved tax credits for Trimpers and Jolly Roger. These tax credits were supported by the business community and the local politicians.
Since, this new "corporate welfare" was supported by the business community, the tax reductions given to these two businesses' should be apportioned among only the business located in Ocean City in the form of added tax.
The residence taxpayer should not be saddled with this new welfare to the business community in Ocean City.
Bernard R. Jacobs
Business Deserves Praise For Fairness
How many times have we taken our cars to an auto repair shop and got that wretched feeling of helplessness and saying, "What is this going to cost and is it really necessary?".
Being 67, I have used quite a lot of auto repair places over the years and know how difficult it can be finding one you could be at ease with and trust.
Upon moving here to enjoy my retirement 10 years ago, I used auto repair establishments in the areas and was never really satisfied. When I told an acquaintance of mine of my dilemma, he told me of Muffler Masters in West Ocean City on Route 50. "I do not need a muffler," I said. His response was, "It was also called Mike's Shell, they do all kinds of repairs".
Well, after most of four years, I found what I was looking for and have been using Mike's Shell, exclusively, for six years. His staff of professionals are the most helpful of all mechanics I have ever had to do work on my vehicles and Donna at the front desk is the best in customer relations and has always made me feel at ease.
And no, I am not related, nor do I have any ulterior motive other than wanting others to know of Mike's Shell's professionalism, honesty and experience.
George M. Lenz
OC Department Heads Get Generous Salaries
It would be interesting to learn the rate of turnover in the upper levels of management in our Towns employees. I have noticed for years that the same old faces are seemingly always at the helm of our city government departments and divisions.
This is not necessarily a bad thing; there is a lot to be said for continuity of the work force and it may well be to the advantage of the town and its government in terms of retention of talent and smooth operations. It does, however, lead to the possibility of questions of complacency, familiarity and even contempt in the workforce, particularly when elected officials are in and out of office every two to four years.
I raise this matter in light of the salary figures cited in the media. The salaries of the senior staff members appear to be quite generous for the local labor market conditions and it is therefore not surprising to me that retention does not seem to be an issue with senior staff of the town.
Kudos To Firefighters
The direction of the fire fighting tactics by the fire chief last weekend had a lot to do with the prevention of the fire spreading to other buildings. The chief had three ladder truck buckets on the Boardwalk side and at least two ladder truck buckets on the west side and one "squirt" type bucket in front of the building.
These six pieces of equipment, pouring water on the building and adjoining buildings kept it under control. In addition, many lines were being held at ground level by the individual firefighters.
All of the firefighters deserve a big thank you and especially to the firefighters on the west side of the building, on the ground and in the air, who suffered through 2 1/2 hours of dense smoke billowing onto them. Congratulations on a job well done
Also thank you to WBOC-TV for its Boardwalk cam so we could watch the fire in "live - real time".
Jude T. Walsh
As chairperson of MDA's Shamrocks Against Dystrophy, I want to take a moment to thank businesses and patrons in the Berlin area for their generous participation in our 2008 campaign. I'm delighted to say that this year's fundraising efforts were a great success.
Those little green and gold Shamrocks mobiles sold by local businesses help support MDA's vital programs of research, health care services and public education right here in Berlin and across the country.
On behalf of all the individuals and families coping with muscle-wasting diseases, I send a big warm 'thank you' to Berlin residents - you've certainly put a smile in these Irish eyes.
Beverly Hills, Calif.
(The writer is a director in the national office of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.)