Voices From The Readers
Ocean City Police Need Tasers
Mr. Ayres response to my letter recommending the use of Taser Electronic Control Devices is technically correct, but he gives only the part of the story which supports his position. Yes, there are currently pending 30-plus claims against Taser International, but there have been over 70 claims settled in Taser's favor. And yes, as Mr. Ayres stated, a California jury recently awarded a judgment of $6.2 million to the family of a man who died after being repeatedly 'tasered' by police. However, my research indicates that the rest of the story is: Taser International was found only 15 percent responsible for the man's death. The rest of the responsibility was judged to be the man's own actions in ingesting a toxic dose of methamphetamine.
This is the first case where Taser has been found even partially responsible for a death, and it is quite possible it will be overturned on appeal once the scientific evidence is reviewed
The man was simultaneously shocked by three Taser ECD's over 25 times, and in spite of this the police were exonerated of any wrongdoing.
This was, after all, in California, land of the fruits and nuts, and perhaps the world's greatest concentration of irresponsible trial lawyers.
More importantly, the number of lawsuits filed against Taser has nothing whatsoever to do with the safety of the device. Some members of Mr. Ayres' esteemed profession will file a lawsuit regardless of its merits in hopes that the defendant will agree to a monetary settlement rather than incur the costs of litigation. Trial lawyers also know that even if they cannot negotiate a settlement, there is a good chance that they can sway a jury in their favor through emotional appeals, regardless of the facts or scientific evidence. I won't take space here to defend this opinion, but if you doubt it, just read a little about the silicon breast implant lawsuits of the 1990's.
The fact is that all of the scientific studies conducted to date support the safety of Taser ECD's. To the best of my knowledge, it has never been proven scientifically that a shock from a Taser can even disrupt the normal heart rhythm, let alone cause the death of an individual. And plain common sense dictates that a Taser, no matter what its risk, is much safer that a gun.
Mr. Ayres assertion that, 'police officers cannot be adequately trained to know when to cease the use of the Taser on a combative subject' makes no sense to me. Why not? Is the city employing learning disabled police officers? If they can be trained as to when it is appropriate to use deadly force or when to stop hitting someone with a baton, then I would think it would not be too difficult to teach them when to stop using a Taser.
In the interest of full disclosure, I do own shares of Taser International stock. I began buying it several years ago because I believe they have an innovative, life saving product that police have long needed to protect themselves and the public. I hope to make a profit on the stock some day as the true value of their product becomes better understood, and as the trial lawyers realize the futility of their efforts in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence regarding the safety of Taser ECD's.
Mr. Ayres is obviously an articulate and learned individual. I am sure that he comprehends subtle nuances of the law and City Council reasoning that I cannot begin to appreciate. I tend to see things more simply, and I know that if I ever go berserk and threaten someone, I sincerely hope that a police officer uses a Taser rather than a Glock or a Smith & Wesson to subdue me.
Get Police Involved If Observe Vandals
To the citizens and welcomed guests of Ocean City I wish to express my frustration with the resurgence of the nocturnal jackass. Each year I'm excited about summer arriving, business gets going and the fishing is at its top. Then the first busy weekend I'm reminded that with the arrival of visitor's a few pesky and destructive nocturnal jackass's come across the bridge. They spread out across our town after business ends and most civilized humans are sleeping. Maybe fueled by substances legal and illegal they reek havoc on our town. It's just awful to wake up and find that you have been visited by one of this nocturnal jackass's. Trash in your yard, empty beer cans their favorite drink. Also they love to write graffiti, uproot flowers and plants, break lights and other outdoor furniture and just doing about anything else negative their small pea brains can think of.
Like any other pest we must not ignore them or they will multiply.
The Mayor and City Council on behalf of the citizens of Ocean City have invested in a top-notch pest control unit by employing a great police force. Please do not hesitate to call about one of these pests. Our officers don't want them here as much as you. The police can't be everywhere at once. So they need your eyes and you to call them if and when you observe one of these nocturnal jackasses's. Please don't not try to approach one of these pests yourself, they can be dangerous when interrupted doing one of there negative activities best to allow a professional pest control personal handle these pests.
To share with you my last experience with a nocturnal jackass was on Aug. 20. I did not see him or her. Yes there are males and females so they can have little nocturnal jackasses. I arrived at work only to discover some nocturnal jackass decided to show off its strength and pull out three sapling cherry trees I planted this spring in front of the restaurant. Leaving them lying on the sidewalk. I can only imagine how proud this pest must have been. Those trees were at least one inch around, surly a great feat only becoming of an Alfa nocturnal jackass in his small pea brain.
As an active citizen of Ocean City, my promise to you is that I will call police anytime I observe one of these pests. I call on you to do the same. We cannot allow a few nocturnal jackasses's to destroy our hard work and investments. Also we must clean up quickly behind these pests for if you leave the evidence that one of these pests were active in your area more will likely come and copy the previous pests unruly work.
Thank you for allowing me to vent publicly.
Joseph Hall II
(The writer is the owner of Hall's Restaurant.)
My husband and I, along with our 8-year-old niece, returned last evening from our vacation in Ocean City. You may have seen us as we strolled your beaches, dined in your fine restaurants and shopped in your quaint stores. My niece is a bright, energetic, loving, and smart little girl, who just happens to have cerebral palsy. She wears braces to help her walk, but we let her go without them a few times, due to the heat and her desire to feel the sand between her toes. Her gait is unsteady and she struggles to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted. She attends therapy several times a week and works out at a grueling pace just to take a few steps.
Please do not think that because she wears braces, she does not see the children who point and stare at her, or the ones who actually follow us around stores to do so (sad but true), or the rude parents who also stare and make no effort to inform their kids that their behavior is inappropriate. I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but it happened day after day, from Ocean City to Bethany Beach.
Instead of doing nothing, maybe you could tell your child to say hello to the little girl. They'd find out that she is a lot of fun to talk to and is a really cool kid. It boggles my mind to think that we as a nation try to give the impression that we are an "inclusive society" and that every person is worthy of respect and opportunity, after what we've witnessed (for the second year in a row, no less). Apparently, these children have not been taught to treat others as they would like to be treated.
We would, however, like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people who work at Fenwick Island State Park, especially the lifeguards. Chris, Tommy, and Ryan, to name a few, could not have been nicer. They offered us assistance and went out of their way to make our niece comfortable and happy. They are truly compassionate and fine young men. It is because of people like them that we will return to Fenwick Island State Park.
So next year, we will pack our car and travel to your city so that our niece may experience the joys of vacationing at the beach, and say a prayer that when she looks up at us with questioning eyes, it will be to ask if she can play with her "new friend", rather than, "why are they staring at me?"
North Versailles, Pa.
Thanks For Service
(The following letter was addressed to the Ocean City Mayor and Council, City Manager Dennis Dare, Public Works Director Hal Adkins and Public Works Superintendent Bruce Gibbs. A copy was forward to our office for publication.)
The Ocean City Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has a vested interest in the beach. Along with thousands of others each year, we use it for our enjoyment. We play on it, walk on it, lay on it during the day. We stroll casually, sometimes romantically on it, during the event. Whether we are local or tourists or day users from the surrounding areas, the beach is and always will be the focus of this town.
Sometimes we forget those persons directly responsible for our beach's condition. We take it for granted that come 8 in the morning it will be there in its usual pristine condition. We forget there are unsung persons working out there all night so we can appreciate the truly, most inspiring view we have come to love in the morning.
It is with great gratitude that we, the Ocean City Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, acknowledge the men and women through their diligence, caring and work ethic for their contribution in keeping our beach in such a state. We wish to thank the supervisors, crew leaders and especially those persons who drag the beach, those persons who empty the trash cans and those persons who ride the beach picking up debris left by everyone else. Those of you that clean the beach should be commended for a job well done.
Your spirit will always be appreciated by us and should be appreciated by those persons who use this treasure. Again thank you for all you do.
Terry L. Steimer
(Dawson is the chairman of the local Surfrider chapter, while Steimer is the chair of the chapter's 'Please Leave Only Your Footprints' campaign.)
Seeking Lost Bird
Unbeknown to me, my cockatiel bird got out of her cage Saturday morning, Aug. 9. When I opened the front door, she flew away in the area of 40th Street oceanblock.
I am a cancer patient who has been taking treatments for the past six months, with more to come. My little bird friend has helped me cope with the side effects of the cancer treatments.
I named her Widgie. She talks and calls herself 'little Widgie'. She is very friendly and can whistle tunes. Whenever I let her out of the cage, she flies to me and nuzzles her head in the palm of my hand and goes to sleep as I pet her head.
She is gray and white with an orange circle on each side of her face. If anyone has found her, please call 845-806-6417. A reward is being offered.