Thoughts From The Publisher's Desk
While numbers can be manipulated to make just about any kind of point, it's also true they can tell an interesting story. Here's some numbers of note that I came across over the last week:
-- 3: Inches of snow that fell at my office in Berlin. My scientific way of coming to this number was to take a ruler, stick it in the ground and take the average of five readings in different spots.
-- 79: Snow photos either submitted by local residents or by our staff this week.
-- 8: Snow photos actually published in this week's issue.
-- Two: Days off local school students had off this week due to the snow and ice.
-- 45: Properties reportedly that would be seized by the state through eminent domain if the preferred alternative for a new Route 50 Bridge moves forward.
-- 25: Ocean City residents who would reportedly be displaced by this bridge alternative.
-- 400: Millions of dollars it would reportedly take to build this 45-foot elevated span.
-- 10.4: Millions of dollars the 20,000-square-foot expansion of the Roland E. Powell Convention is estimated to cost.
-- 5.7: Millions of dollars Ocean City is responsible for with the project.
-- 776: Votes Berlin has received in the Budget Travel poll of America's Coolest Small Towns. The town is currently 12th out of 22. Owego, N.Y. stands in first place with 8,418 votes followed by Rockland, Maine, 8,026; Grinnell Iowa, 4,712; Huntingdon, Pa., 3,803; and Onancock, Va., 2,761.
-- 25,000: Approximate amount of money Ocean City is estimated to save by eliminating the holiday lights at the Inlet.
-- 5,000: Dollars Ocean City says it will save by not decorating the lampposts on Baltimore Avenue with Christmas wreaths in November and December.
-- 34,000: Revenue in dollars Ocean City reportedly generated from Winterfest of Lights at Northside Park and the Inlet.
-- 3,833: Dollars reported left in a drop box at the Inlet during the town's Winterfest campaign. For those who don't know, the Inlet light display is free and mainly set up as a drive-through. On premise is a drop box for donations and this figure represents what good Samaritans left behind. It's unknown whether the city will ever bring this free display back or whether a private enterprise would be interested in picking up the costs of the setup and paying for the power used.
-- 90,000: Keeper flounder caught in Maryland last year, according to the federal Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey.
-- 61,000: The target total for keeper flounder last year for Maryland.
-- 34: Percentage of Worcester County students living in households at or below poverty level. The state average is 31 percent.
-- 22: Balance in cents of an ATM receipt I found on the floor of a bank atrium.
-- 6,550: Slot machines proposed so far to come to Maryland. Of course, 15,000 were authorized by state voters in last year's referendum.
-- One: Number of times Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan has used his veto power after doing just that this week with the wind turbine law.
-- 34: Worcester County's recycling rate percentage.
-- 16: Worcester County's recycling rate percentage when subtracting chicken manure from the equation. This is the more realistic number to show how poorly the county is doing at recycling every day materials like paper, plastic, aluminum and glass.
-- 20: Percentage of Americans who smoke as of 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).
-- 42: Percentage of Americans who smoke as of 1965, CDCP says.
-- 9.5: The decline in mail volume in billions the United States Postal Service recorded in 2008 compared to 2007. Consequently, the cost of a first-class stamp is going up again in May.
-- 45: The value of the contract in millions of dollars Manny Ramirez signed over two years. Ridiculous.