Voices From The Readers
Open Space A Winner
I read with interest your recent article entitled 'Some wins, losses for local bills of significance.' In addition to the various bills you noted, this year's legislative session also featured efforts from both Governor Martin O'Malley and the members of the Maryland General Assembly which ensure that the state will continue to have funding to preserve open space and to develop park and recreation facilities during the coming fiscal year.
Even during these difficult economic times, the legislature felt strongly enough about our environment that it approved a total of roughly $60 million in funds to support the purchase of open space and the development of new parks. Of this total, just over $6 million will be available to local jurisdictions - like Worcester County - to support their own local park projects.
Since its inception in 1969, Maryland's Program Open Space has allowed our state to add nearly 350,000 acres of open space for parks and natural resource areas. It is important to point out that, of this total, more than 43,000 acres have been for local land preservation, including sites like the 5,000 acre Foster property purchased earlier this year in Worcester County.
Without Program Open Space, local governments would simply not be able to maximize the full potential for preserving our ever-diminishing open spaces, let alone being able to add new amenities to existing park facilities. Thanks to the progressive vision of our elected officials, we all have a 'greener' future ahead of us.
(The writer is the chairman of the Legislative Committee for the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association.)
Art League Thanks All
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the arts at Seacrets on April 22 for "Arts Night". This was a true celebration of art and community. This event would not be possible without the generosity of Seacrets owner Leighton Moore, who has been a huge supporter of the arts, and General Manager Ricco Rossi, who does an amazing job of arranging and organizing it all. He is always there with whatever is needed, and we appreciate his hard work and dedication.
Thanks also go to "Short & Sweet" (Bill Short amd Eileen Stamnas) who provided first class entertainment.
There were approximately 70 artists and artisans who participated in the event, and the diversity and creativity of their work was a true joy. We are happy to be able to provide them a venue to display their artwork.
Of course, as with any event, there are many people who help make it a success: the committee who put it all together, the many volunteers who came out to help set up, break down and work that night, the artists who donated paintings for the raffles, and the people who bought the artwork.The huge turnout is proof that this kind of event is wanted and needed in Ocean City.
(The writer is the president of the Art League of Ocean City.)
Remember The Animals
It hardly seems as tho another Earth Day and Arbor Day have come and gone. Yet, Every Day is with us, no matter what. With so many of us now mindful of the damage to our planet by ourselves, we understand the need for conservation and human awareness. But, in the process, our very animal kingdom needs an equal effort to keep it from vanishing from us all forever.
As Ocean City developed, the habitat for our remaining wildlife has simply "gone with the wind." Where are the trees and bushes and vegetation for them to even endure? Where do our foxes, raccoons, possums, rabbits, ferals, turtles, and even our birdlife go? Ever notice that since the "big" island at 65th Street was developed all wildlife has scattered to the four winds?
Survival is precarious. All that remains is the DNR forest between 94th and 99th streets bayside. And, of course, it is no longer uncommon for our wildlife to forage into our neighborhoods. Wonder why?
We are fortunate to have a City Council in Ocean City who supports an animal control unit with a humane point of view. So many others are satisfied with crematories. Who is not familiar with the deer who went for fine dining at DaVinci's on the Boards? Or the deer fished out of the bay or Inlet by the locals? Or the beached dolphins referred to marine groups for care? Or, the three kitties tossed out of a moving car on the Route 90 Bridge, one rescued and survived by our very own animal control? Or the foxes trapped to satisfy personal agendas?
We owe our animal control folks huge kudos for all they can do in this morass of human inconsequence to our wildlife. I doubt it will ever end.
And who can even forget the Worcester County Humane Society, Town Cats, Delmarva Cat Connection, Pet Life of Ocean City, who try so hard to swim against this tide of human indifference. Who struggle to house and feed abandoned
animals and strays, regardless of whether they have "papers" or not. And always undermanned and underfunded their task is anything but one of love and care for our animals. And who routinely operate their activities on a "widows mite," if that lucky. And the scores of others who feed the wildlife from their back yards, all unknown to us all.
As we are all aware that budget time is coming for our municipalities for 2010, it is my fervent hope that these animals not be abandoned by municipalities in any fashion whatsoever. Direct or indirect support needs to be retained. Private support in funds or time is also very, very critical. It is hard to feed and house and help these animals and wildlife with an empty larder or no-hands-on-deck.
Perhaps, Wordsworth had it right: "those little nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love." Or even better said by
Thoreau, "in wildness is the preseravation of the world." Let us hope we never abandon our responsibilities to our animal kingdom and learn to develop a tolerance for their very existence in the process.
There are local newspapers in the area that have earned my respect.
You see, I live in Ocean Pines and walk my neighborhood daily. I notice free newspapers piled on driveways of residences that are unsightly, often smashed down into the ground either in protest or simply because no one lives there. I want to commend Chip Bertino, publisher of the Courier, for initiating a system of home delivery effective soon that would only involve delivering to residences that request the Courier.
I also want to thank all those free newspapers and magazines in our community that only distribute to public places. You have respected residences of our local communities by not assuming that every household wants your publication. You have greatly added to our environment.
Berlin Award Night
Planned For May 28
The 44th Annual Berlin Award Night will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at the Berlin Lions Club. The evening will begin with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. We will conclude the evening with the announcement of the Berlin Citizen of the Year for 2008.
Our guest speaker will be Spicer Bell, President of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, which is the largest non-governmental source of support for nonprofit organizations in the Maryland lower shore counties of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester.
The cost for the evening will be $20 per person, cocktails and dinner included. We ask that you send a check with the names of those who will be attending to 101 Quillin Drive, Berlin, Md. 21811 or call 410-641-4322. We do not plan to issue tickets, but your name will be added to a guest list that will be checked at the door on the evening of the event.
Please help the Berlin Lions Club make this evening a success. We urge all civic-minded persons as well as the Berlin business community to attend and promote the Berlin Award Night among your friends and colleagues. We hope to see you there.
J. Russell Barrett Roxanne Williams
(The writers are the co-chairs of the Berlin Lions Club Berlin Award Nomination Committee.)