Voices From The Readers
Confession Doesn't Tell Entire Story
Dea Parker was a longtime friend. She is now safe in the loving arms of her husband and away from Roberto Murillo, whose story has many holes.
Common sense will tell you no one needs to go to their bedroom for a pen. If she was going to pay, she would not have written the check at all and why go to the backdoor. She would not have told him to do so. He took a great person from us and now our tax money will pay for his food and shelter.
By the way, how long as Roberto Murillo been in the USA? Is he legal or illegal? What's his past record in Honduras?
We hear only what he is saying to cover himself from a brutal crime. Dea cannot speak for herself, but we know the truth in our hearts and the sleepless nights we endure of picturing her last moments here. She is at peace now and we will see that justice is served, for the truth will prevail.
Historic Home About To Be Razed
I wonder how many people are aware that the first house on Pitts St. in Berlin, next to the Burbage Funeral Home has gotten permission to be demolished. Mr. Burbage came before the Berlin Historic Commission to make this request and to explain the poor condition of the house and the huge expense it would be to try to save it. The commission congratulated Kirk on all the good things he has done and asked a few questions, but then gave the okay. Mrs. Mary Moore suggested that he document the house, but the commission did not make this a contingency.
I have some problems with this decision and the process. First, the required posted sign of the meeting was on the front property of the house, behind a high hedge and a narrow fence. The only reason I saw the sign is that I walk my dogs by there and it caught my eye. In order to read the sign, I had to climb stairs, open the gate and enter the property. If the purpose of the sign is to alert the public that there is an issue with this property to be discussed, the placement defeated the purpose. Besides me, there were only two individuals at the meeting and I informed one of them of the meeting and the other was a town councilperson.
This house has belonged to the Burbage family for generations. If it is in such poor condition that it needs to be demolished, why was it not cared for over the years? Mr. Burbage purchased property and demolished a house on Vine St. last year. That house too was in very poor condition, and the property is sitting there awaiting promised permeable pavers so it can be used as a parking area.
There are individuals who have restored local homes or buildings to their original form and I thank and congratulate them on their contribution to the future generations of Berlin.
I find it is a sad situation when a town that promotes itself as a historic destination lets buildings that represent the cultural and architectural history of the community be destroyed. One by one we are dismantling our own past.
Joni Mitchell's song lyrics come to mind and ring too true:
'Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.'
Thanks For Support
Four-year-old Talia Pleasant has been battling multiple childhood cancers for most of her young life. Despite the various treatments, her medical team informed her parents in early April that her options for treatment have been exhausted. She is expected to live two to three months.
Over the past week, hundreds of people in our community opened their hearts and made the final wish of a little girl come true. Talia and her family are in Disney World this week and it's because of your generosity.
On behalf of the Pleasant family, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
To share your thoughts with Talia and her family, please visit her website: www.caringbridge.org/md/taliapleasant
Laura Deeley Bren
Public Needs To Know About Budget
Public attendance at any and all budget hearings/meetings/work sessions is so critically important, especially for the purpose of verifying what's actually being considered, versus how it's presented. Public participation can be in the form of either verbal input during hearings or later in informal letters, phone calls or conversationally to elected officials.
All funding request increases are, indeed, worthwhile to (at least) most of us, and are usually even important and urgent. However, due to this extremely unpredictable global economy, probably all of them will need to be delayed for this year. If not, we will surely wind up over-extending our resources, thereby incurring even higher taxes in following years. The state and federal levels have recognized this, and we need to, also. Just as they are influenced by lobbyists, our elected county and municipal officials are also under enormous pressure from departments, agencies, organizations and even private entities. If these officials don't hear from the public, voters and taxpayers, how can they serve, represent, accommodate and respect us?
Unfortunately, the dates and times this year have been neither widely publicized nor easily accessible, as in years past, when civic groups were vocal. Televising of Ocean City's meetings is available, but more limited than last year. However, website footage of either theirs or the county's is entirely unavailable this year. It shouldn't be this way, but it is. This is all the more reason that public participation is so drastically important.
For anyone who has an opinion, concern or request and needs a voice, I cordially invite you to anonymously submit them to me for presentation to our elected officials. Whether I agree with you or not, I will be happy to forward them. I can be reached at either firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-723-4798.
Community Means A Lot To Locals
The magic of the spring season is so evident in Ocean City at this time of year. The ocean seems to sparkle reflecting those beautiful colors off the new buildings and those spruced up for the season. The efforts of many hands shows clearly. This is a town in readiness for a super 2008 summer season.
I enjoy this beautiful time of the year. I realized I have much to be thankful for this spring. I want to thank those that have made this possible for me to enjoy this time with my family. Thank you Mayor Rick Meehan and the City Council for providing the necessary training for our emergency services at the Ocean City Fire Department and the Ocean City Police Department. I would like to include Atlantic General Hospital, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, and Chesapeake Rehabilitation Hospital and their staffs.
People ask why Frank and I have lived part-time in Ocean City for the past 30-plus years. It's not only the wonderful memories that makes Ocean City so special to our family. We appreciate all those people that work to keep Ocean City such a caring and responsible community.
I appreciate the thoughtfulness and support Frank, Wendy and Wade received from the Town of Ocean City and their employees and staff, the many associations, civic groups, and the individuals that reside here full- and part-time that provided comfort to my family. Thank you. There is not another place like OC.
I'm doing fine and you'll see me trudging down the boards.
Two Cents On Slots
Appears the slots are still an issue. Just waiting for Nov. 2 when the voters will settle the issue. The letter that appeared in your April 18 issue by Comptroller Peter Franchot on the anti-slots issue sparked me to write.
I was an off- and on-again visitor to the slots casino in Harrington, Del. Not the only Marylander, as there were other Maryland autos in the parking lot and charter buses from Maryland and Virginia. So people do like the 'slots'. They will go where they are.
As for crime, read the newspapers and you see robberies not so much to get money for slots, but drugs. Take your convenience stores and see the lottery ticket machine or over the counter tickets. Put a 5-cent slot alongside and you at least get 20 chances to win where you only get one chance per dollar in the state lottery and it's 'legal.'
The social clubs that have sent revenue to the state coffers prove the 'slots' can produce. So if the people want to spend their money on slots let them. It's their money. They'll buy lotteries or pay high money for gasoline, and it doesn't seem like our public officials do much to lower the prices. I could go on, just wanted to get my two cents worth in.
Arthur E. Trabert
Demolished Building Full Of Memories
The voice mail message proclaimed loudly: 'We're in Ocean City on the corner of 13th Street and Baltimore Avenue and there's a 20-ton excavator sitting in your bedroom at the Broadripple. They're knocking it down, buddy.' I called back to verify. It was true. On a recent weekend in March in the name of progress and all things new, the old, three-story wooden building was demolished.
Built around 1896, this monstrous brown building, trimmed in white painted window frames and porch railings, survived the great hurricane of 1930 and many Nor'easters and was once a home retreat for orphans and later for Catholic Brothers. For the past 40 years, it served as summer housing for seasonal workers in this resort town.
And in the summer of 1970, it was our home. Home to eight of us crammed into two small, two-room apartments on the ground floor. Above us there were two floors of about 24 rooms and apartments mostly occupied by girls working at Phillips Crab House. To many, the old place was considered a dump. But to us, it was our gathering base, our sleeping and party headquarters, where we used two wine bottles to hold up the wooden window sash for fresh air.
Never had this town seen the likes of such a talented working group, holding skilled jobs as cooks, lifeguards, bed rental delivery guys and city highway workers.
It's hard to believe there was life before cell phones, laptop computers, and bottled water yet we survived that whole summer without air conditioning or a TV. At this time in our lives what we didn't have, we didn't need. You see, when the work was done, the most satisfying part of the day was soaking in the ocean when the beach was deserted of vacationers. After that, nightlife in Ocean City was all about the beer, the girls and the parties and there was no shortage of these.
Together we became financially responsible, loyal to our agreement to work for that legal tender and pay our season's rent by the 4th of July. We mastered all the tedious things in life like cooking, doing laundry and getting out of bed for work. We learned to compromise in our close quarters, sharing kitchen and bathroom duties. In this pre-pizza era, we absorbed protein from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tuna fish and potatoes •€¦ yes sir, potatoes-mashed, home-fried, boiled and french-fried.
That summer, we peddled many miles on bicycles in our bare feet, winding around the town's alleyways, driveways and parking lots. Bicycles, our main mode of transportation, were like our women: here today, gone tomorrow.
In his message, my buddy's voice sounded anxious, a little concerned that another piece of our past was disappearing before his very eyes. On a visit to Ocean City the following weekend, I had to see with my own.
At the corner of 13th Street and Baltimore Avenue, there's piles of huge wood beams neatly stacked and separated from the rubble that was once our home. At the beach in 1970, we got sand in our shoes. Some of us never got rid of it, buying properties in Ocean City, seemingly holding close to a different time at the beach when old places like the Broadripple were building memories of being on our own for the first time.
Joseph P. Laun Jr.