Thoughts From the Publisher's Desk
The scene on the Boardwalk for the Ocean City Air Show was unlike anything I have seen in our town. Mayor Rick Meehan said this week it was the largest 'sustained' crowd he had ever seen on the Boardwalk. The view from atop the Harrison Group's Quality Inn on 17th Street and the Boardwalk said it all. It was an inspiring and patriotic sight to behold. There were people everywhere, and it was not pockets of folks here and there. Droves of people were everywhere on Saturday and Sunday. Boardwalk bars and restaurants were filled to capacity on both days. The beach was jammed. Hotel balconies and cottage porches were filled as well. Unfortunately, I was only able to make it to the event on Saturday and saw not one plane or other air participant due to the weather. However, I did observe an excitement I had never seen before on the Boardwalk. There has been a lot of discussion about whether the city should be in the special event business. In other words, whether public funds should be spent on privately sponsored events like the air show. My feeling is there can be no blanket policy one way or the other. City officials like to say they look at these decisions on a 'case-by-case basis.' Using that approach, the air show deserves the city's financial commitment. It's a draw. That much is certain, and that's what Ocean City and the business community needs, whether it's in a recession or boom times.
The consolidation of the county's Department of Planning and Permitting, Environmental Programs and Comprehensive Planning was expected to be discussed by the County Commissioners at Tuesday's meeting. The topic was a late scratch from the agenda, reportedly because Commission President Louise Gulyas was on vacation. It's not certain whether the discussion was going to be about how to organize the new department or to possibly discuss whether to even continue with the change in government structure. Either way, it seemed important enough to wait till the entire seven-member board was present. It's worth pointing out if the topic was broached this week and another vote was held there would have been a 3-3 deadlock, assuming all the parties voted as they did. None of the commissioners have intimated they have changed their minds with the exception of Gulyas, who was absent from the meeting. There's a lot to speculate about here. In the meantime, there's nothing to indicate the county is not moving forward with the planned merge of the three departments.
The peak of 'Senior Week' has essentially come and gone in Ocean City. Just like every June, there are lots of arrests made by the Ocean City Police Department. A look at the OCPD's arrest log from June 6-16 was no surprise. The youngsters kept the police busy as usual. During that seven-day period, about 284 arrests were made. Of that total, the age breakdown was as follows: 18-year-olds, 101; 19-year-olds, 63; 20-year-olds, 33; and 21-year-olds and above (all the way to 53 years old), 87.
Kameron Chandler may not be a name many local folks know off hand. However, the chances are most of you have donated something, directly or indirectly, to help him and his battle against leukemia. Kameron is the son of Rob Chandler, an affable local man who goes by DJ Wax. The younger Chandler's fight against leukemia was a long, brutal one, full of ups and downs. Regrettably, there seemed to be more bad days than good days. Among the brightest moments of late came when the community came together multiple times to raise thousands of dollars for his fight, to try and combat mounting health insurance bills and to fund necessary procedures. In the end, all the good will was not enough. As word spread about his passing on Wednesday morning, many expressions of symphony were sent to the Chandler family. I add my thoughts and best wishes. The only solace in this unthinkable and terribly unfair loss of a young teen life is that Kameron is now pain free and without worry. It's become cliché to say in a time of grieving that he is in a better place, but I think it's true.