Voices From The Readers
Mayor Promoting OC
I wanted to let you know that us New Yorkers have been seeing your Mayor Rick Meehan promoting tourism for Ocean City, Md. on our local WNBC TV station.
The commercial is great and funny in a dry sense of humor kind of way. Please let your readership know that the mayor is doing your community a great service with his tourism promotions. As a result of the commercial, a group of friends and my family have made reservations to spend a week in your community in August. Thanks for being a great place to vacation.
Gerry and Melissa Lennon
Hyde Park, N.Y.
Dog Park Shameful
A few days ago, my husband and I and our dog visited the Dog Park. We were very surprised and sad to see the conditions there. When we first visited when the park was newly opened, we understood it was a work in progress, so didn't expect much and appreciated the possibilities the park had. The park on our last visit was so unappealing that we decided not to bother returning there. (it appears that a portion of what was to be the park is fenced off, don't know what the future holds for that, but without that area the park has an odd, narrow shape.
The thing we were most upset about was the mosquitoes. Everyone understands they are a fact of life in our area. However, where dogs are concerned, they pose a serious health threat. They can cause a dog to be infected with heartworm. On the afternoon of our visit, the mosquitoes immediately swarmed all over our dog and us, making it impossible to utilize the park. Other people who were there cut their visits short also. I doubt that repellent would have been of much use.
I wonder why this location was considered a good choice for the park, with a known mosquito issue that apparently can't be resolved. I don't know what the answer is, but we'll be finding another way to exercise and socialize our dog.
Assateague Horse Proposal Should Be Revisited
A recent article in your paper outlined several NPS proposals for managing the island's horses. The National Park Service favors the proposal to remove almost one-fourth of the total population of horses on the island and the relocation of them to unnamed sanctuaries or private farms.
There is a better and more humane, less expensive, and less intrusive option to resolve the issue of reducing the number of horses. Through natural selection combined with an increased intensive contraception program, we can achieve the same goal with no loss of members of the herd, no need to locate sanctuaries or monitor removed horses, and no risk of injury to the horses.
The Assateague horses are a vital part of our history and heritage, and as Eastern Shore natives, residents, and visitors, it is our obligation to protect and preserve them for future generations. Please help keep these beautiful wild horses free on the island - a place they and their ancestors have called home for over three hundred years.
If you would like to show your support, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write Carl Zimmerman, 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, Md. 21811, and tell him you support the Intensive Contraception Alternative for managing the horses of Assateague and reject the NPS's proposal to physically remove horses as a means to reduce the size of the herd.
Campaign Out Of Touch
A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of waiting on a customer who had visited our store repeatedly over the past several years. As she purchased a small painting, she told me that it was her fourth purchase from us in as many years, and that she intended to make it five years in a row next year. But then she added: 'If gas prices go any higher, we won't be back next year.' That the smile had disappeared from her face suggested to me that she was indeed quite serious.
The timing of the comment was very interesting to me, as I had spent much of the day mulling over the content of a nearly full page ad taken by the Town of Ocean City that appeared in Monday's Baltimore Sun. Appearing as a faux public service message, the advertisement warns that a scientific journal has predicted that 'the ocean is evaporating' and will no longer exist in one billion years. A quotation from Mayor Rick Meehan appears as well, imploring people to book vacations to Ocean City now before the 'oceans disappear.' It also points out a number of activities that vacationers won't be able to participate in once the ocean disappears (or oceans, depending upon which part of the advertisement you're reading).
While the advertisement isn't exactly slap-your-knee funny, it is cute, and it's different. And it is great to finally see some advertising in Baltimore's largest newspaper. But the advertisement is completely out of touch with the issues that our potential visitors are facing. As consumers, people are retracting in the face of the blatant cost increases at the pump as well as the effects of increased energy costs that permeate the economy. As someone who runs a cash register on the Boardwalk, I have seen first-hand this year the mandate of the general public: people want value. They care less about 'more fun here' than they do affordable fun elsewhere. We need to listen to this message and adjust accordingly.
Councilman Jay Hancock has stated publicly on more than one occasion that he believes that Ocean City needs to re-invent itself (i.e., the 'Ocean City product') to some extent. And he's absolutely correct. But Ocean City needs to take a long, hard look not only at what the product is comprised of, but more importantly, how the product is perceived. As a destination, we need to extol two essential qualities: proximity and value. In this economic environment, these are the virtues that are of paramount importance to our potential visitors. If Ocean City as an entity cannot alter public perception and cannot adapt during such a competitive and challenging time, the tangible returns of continued, expensive advertising campaigns will leave much to be desired.
Joseph L. Kroart III
(The writer is the vice president of Ocean Gallery Fine Art Centers, Inc.)
Grateful For Support
I would like to thank everyone who made the Scott Lockhart benefit a success. The night was amazing. It is a privilege and honor to be members of a community where we all care so much about each other.
First and foremost, I want to thank God for sparing my husband's life and for his promise of 100 percent restoration. It is my comfort in the storm.
I would like to acknowledge Christine Bassett, without whom the night would never have happened. Christine not only stayed at our house and took care of our children, dog, cat and three horses while Scott was in rehabilitation, she spearheaded the idea for the fundraiser and coordinated everything between all the parties involved. Christine's right hand woman was Megan Hilbert, another amazing member of this community and lifetime member of OC Baptist Church. Megan also went out of her way to make the night perfect. O.C. Baptist Church, in their own right, showed up in a huge way to support us that night and we are so grateful.
Travis and Jody, the owners of the Shark Restaurant, are perhaps the most generous, gracious people we know. They supplied the location, the food and drinks for the evening, as well as an astonishing donation for the silent auction. The food was outstanding, the restaurant was beautiful and the view was gorgeous. Travis and Jody, we can only hope that thank you is enough. Darin Engh, owner of Beach Music, and partners with Bob Wilkinson of the duo Opposite Directions organized the entertainment, which consisted of every local musician available that night. The music never stopped and every performance was top quality. Darin, Bob, Joe, Lauren, Jeff, Michelle, Lindy and Constantine, Neddie, Phil, Kevin, Marco, Tommy and Harry O, thank you for an unforgettable night.
We want to thank everyone who gave donations to the silent auction. Your generosity was above and beyond our expectations. Thank you South Moon Under, Assateague Island Oasis, Splash Mountain Jolly Roger, Trimpers, K-Coast, A Perfect Face, The Carousel, Bill-Jack Dog Food, Beach Music, Eastern Shore Karate Academy, Zoo Keeper Dave, The Children's Book Garden, Oasis Bar & Grill, Brianna Basset, Mac, Kendra and Jocelyn Palmer, Carol Vance and Everett and Shirley Greene.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been crucial in Scott's healing and recovery from a massive stroke. Our Pastor, Darrell Butts of New Beginning Covenant Ministries, barely left our side for the first three days and his wife Michelle took care of our children at a moments notice. I believe with all my heart Scott received a miracle as a result of my pastor's gift of healing. Thank you for your unrelenting prayer and support. We are blessed we know you.
Dr. Chris Rush of Healing Hands Chiropractic is without a doubt one of the most caring, loving supportive, generous people to ever bless this earth. Without Chris, I would have never been able to navigate my way through the initial days in the foreign land called 'The Hospital'. Chris we love and thank you.
Patti Walsh the most amazing, knowledgeable, motivated and motivating physical therapist available. Patty your loving support and undying sacrifice for us is a gift we can only hope to pay back one day. Paula Kristian has been an invaluable source of information on how to heal the body. You are an outstanding acupuncturist as well as incredibly knowledgeable Chinese medicinal practitioner. We thank you for all the effort. Nancy Taylor, we thank you for all your time and the loving, caring effort that you put into every session. The Feldenkrais Method you use to facilitate Scott's healing has been a wonderful and effective tool. Lastly I want to thank and acknowledge Mike Payne of Living Well Today. Your understanding of the human body and all its systems and how they work together are unsurpassed. You are an amazing resource for total health and healing. We are grateful beyond measure to be on the receiving end of your life's passion.
It may sound crazy to some but this life crisis has truly been a wonderful blessing. Like the old saying goes we have learned first hand who our friends are and they are too many to count. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank everyone who came out and/or gave to benefit us. We appreciate every prayer that went up on our behalf and in return, our prayer for you is God would cover you and protect you in these perilous times and that he would give back to you ten fold what you have given to us.
Scott, Mindy, Damian & Alora Lockhart