Voices From The Readers
Community Board Should Make Cuts
I applaud one of the Montego Bay board members for his recent letter to the editor regarding cutting salaries, expenses and also COLA for the town of Ocean City.
I believe he should have gone a step further and made the same plea to the officers and board members in Montego Bay. As the old saying goes, 'Charity begins at home' and it couldn't be more true in this failing economy. Many people in this community are feeling the pinch and are being forced to rethink their budgets. It appears, though, the people running our community haven't heard any of this. Our dues go up and your salaries go up also.
I have lived in many communities and not one of them has had members collecting salaries for what should be volunteering to serve the community where you live and certainly not the salaries the officers in Montego Bay have voted in for themselves. At the very least, those salaries should be cut in half. When will Jim Walker and the rest of the officers volunteer to lower their pay? This is where the residents of Montego Bay should definitely have a vote, and it should be the majority of the residents voting who get heard. The residents that take the time to vote, get counted. So many of them have no idea what kind of money goes out in salaries to Jim Walker on down. When you ask Ocean City to cut back on salaries, expenses and COLA, it would seem only fair for Montego Bay to do the same.
I also suggest that the comparison to living in Montego Bay and condo living stop - there really is no comparison.
Montego Bay has an office for the convenience of the residents. Any problems or complaints should be called into the office during office hours unless there is an emergency (you may have to remind people what constitutes an emergency).
Dennis and Nancy Julian
State's First Citizens Deserve Recognition
I would like to write about two bills before our state legislature. They are Senate Bill 575 and its companion bill, House Bill 691. These two bills would add an amendment to the current state recognition bill for Maryland's indigenous Native American communities. Some of you reading this letter might be shocked to learn there are still indigenous Native American communities in Maryland. There are at least eight communities known to myself. The amendment to the existing bill would make it easier for them to get state recognition and make it more in line with federal recognition laws.
State recognition for the indigenous native people of our state isn't about casinos or gambling issues. It is about finally recognizing the first people of our state and their contributions to the cultural fabric of this great state. In over 200 years and more, they have endured being put on reservations, while tribes sold into slavery, whole villages wiped out by disease, ridiculous laws that only applied to them, racial injustice, prejudice and a state totally unaware of their existence. In many schools in Maryland, their history is not taught at all or taught from books with wrong information. The first reservations were not in the west but in Maryland on both sides of the bay. It is time for the ignorance to stop. Every state around Maryland acknowledges its indigenous people. What is Maryland's problem?
State recognition would help these communities in so many ways. One important issue is repatriation of the remains of indigenous native people. These remains are held by the state and can only be released to state recognized groups. This bill was made by the state legislature and passed with the full knowledge that at the time; there was and are no state recognized groups in Maryland. It would also shock most of the readers to know that the majority of these native remains are those of native children whose parents have long since been gone to their final rest. While their remains lay in boxes on some shelf.
State recognition has many aspects. The most important one is that it is long overdue for the indigenous Native American population of this state. Please support Senate Bill 575 and its companion bill, House Bill 691. It is time the state of Maryland finally recognized its first citizens for their rich culture, unique heritage and endurance in the face of extreme adversity.
Competition For Cable Service Is Necessary
Various concerns have been raised about the Ocean City Council's reaction to the recent Comcast cable television price increase. I believe that a number of comments made by council members need clarification to make sure all Ocean City residents have a more thorough understand of the issues.
First, the council president is in error when he states that Comcast does not have a monopoly. Comcast does have a monopoly. A monopoly is defined as when one company, in this case, Comcast, dominates the market for a particular good or service.
Second, the current council members are correct in that they cannot order Comcast to lower the rates. However, the reason the council cannot take action to lower Comcast billings is because the council at the time Comcast's contract was approved, and its legal advisor, failed to include a provision in the Comcast contract that would give the current council authority to approve or disapprove any cable billing increases.
Third, the council needs to be proactive. Just sitting back and waiting for another cable company to come to the council and express an interest in providing cable service to Ocean City residents is not acceptable. The council should issue a routine solicitation to cable companies requesting that the companies submit proposals for entering the Ocean City market. If the council takes this proactive action, it will clearly demonstrate it is willing to obtain the benefits of cable television competition for Ocean City residents.
Joseph H. Potter
Obama Comment Offensive
I am writing in response to President Obama's unfortunate reference to Special Needs Bowling.
My son is a Special Olympian Bowler and we do not appreciate Mr. Obama's unkind comparison. As for those who will defend or take Mr. Obama to task for this, let me make clear that this is neither a Democratic or Republican, conservative or liberal issue we're dealing with here.
It's about the pain it causes the families of those with special needs when people make insensitive remarks at their expense - just like the pain that blacks feel when bigots use the "N" word. But that's right, I forgot, somehow in the year 2009 it's still okay for people to make unkind remarks at the expense of those who can't defend themselves.
This ought to be treated like a "Macaca Moment", but again, it won't damage the president much because he made the joke at the expense of those who can't defend themselves. Shame on you, Mr. President, looks like you're not as sensitive about these type of issues as you like to present yourself to the world to be.
Ware Neck, Va.
Local Volunteer Group
On behalf of all of the volunteers at PetLife of Ocean City I would like to thank all of the participants of CARRE 2009 (the Conference for Animal Rights and Rescuers) that took place March 7. A small group of dedicated individuals attended this year's conference and a number of topics were discussed. Among those topics were the need for more spay-neuter clinics, more community involvement in stray animal issues, fundraising and the increased involvement of our city and county governments in raising public awareness to stray and abandoned animal issues.
A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for March 28 at 9 a.m. to take place at the Holy Savior Church in Ocean City. As before, we invite anyone who has an interest or a desire to help to please come and join us for our discussions. We welcome enthusiasm and energy.
I would like to give special praise to Father John Klevence of the Holy Savior Catholic Church for allowing us to use his facility for our meetings. The site is very well suited to a large meeting and I think he put in a good word for us on the weather. Despite the snow and other weirdness on Sunday and Monday by the time Saturday's meeting time rolled around the sky was blue and beautiful with barely a trace of the snow to be found.
I would also like to thank Delegate Jim Mathias for allowing us to tap into his vast wealth of meeting procedures and protocol which helped to guide our group and to lay the groundwork for a successful follow-up gathering. Jim's presence was greatly appreciated.
One final item: Kitten season is upon us and most of the rescue groups in our area have their hands full. If you can donate time or pet products, wish to foster or make a financial contribution to any of these fine organizations your gift will be a huge help. And, please, always remember to spay or neuter your pet. You can save many lives with this one small act of kindness.
(The writer is the co-founder of PetLife of Ocean City.)