Voices From The Readers
Massive Tax Increases Likely After Election
I spent all day in Annapolis on March 3 with Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots group consisting of level headed, informed people from all walks of life. We were there to express our concerns about Senate Bill 141, which involves Governor O'Malley's budget and the out of control spending that it entails.
Maryland faces an $8.4 billion structural deficit and this bill proposes that $1 billion be taken from funds such as the Transportation Trust Fund.What the governor is doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul and spending money that doesn't exist.
Unfortunately we were made to sit and listen to testimonies from the governor's allies, special interest groups, lobbyists, etc. all afternoon.
It was quite obvious that those in charge of the hearings view opposite points of view unfavorably and were hoping that we would get tired of waiting and decide to leave. This did not happen thanks to our tenacity and help from Senator Lowell Stoltzfus, who spoke on our behalf, thus allowing us to voice our objections to the bill.
In November, it's imperative to vote out of office those responsible for Maryland's fiscal mismanagement and put into office those who know how to balance a budget and not spend what we don't have. If this doesn't happen, I fear that there will be massive tax increases after the election.
I urge everyone to wake up and pay attention to what those in power are doing to bankrupt our state.Ann Lutz
More Money For Airport
Grab your seat belts boys and girls, here we go again. The Ocean City Mayor and Council is ready to spend a whole lot of "other money", and a few thousand of "our" money to renovate the 'Ocean City International Airport' and 'Stormdoor Company' facility in nearby West Ocean City.
The council got the word repeatedly over the past 10 years that the town and West Ocean City residents, Worcester County Commissioners and the Army Corps of Engineers did not support further modifications to the facility. Some folks never say, "die".
You have to hand it to Hal Adkins and the mayor, they never give up, if "other" money is available, even if it does cost a lot of "our" money as well. Adkins even informs us the "other" money (federal) isn't really ours since we don't fly enough. Local Ocean City tax dollars of $200,000 to 300,000. will be required to match the federal funds.
Lets think; how much did we raise parking fees, take cops take-home cars away, propose raising Winterfest fees, issue taxi medallions, raise boardwalk tram fees, etc. because we don't have enough money? When was the last time you or any member of your family flew in or out of OC Airport? I've been an Ocean City visitor or resident for over 50 years and I have never met anyone who used that facility. Keep that in mind as you pay your OC tax bill each fall. If its such an important facility, why haven' t we contracted it out to some private firm to operate at a profit.
Luncheon Success Due To Many
At this time of incredible need in the community and the world for the services of the Red Cross, the Society of Women Leaders of the Lower Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross called on friends in the community for support. Fashion Emergency, a luncheon and fashion show event, brought together hundreds of women in the community for an afternoon of networking and awareness, emphasizing the strength and commitment of businesses and individuals to help and support one another.
We applaud our Major Sponsors, Stoli, DBC Data Base Connections, Inc., Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Comcast Spotlight and Kent Fisher Furs; our partners, the Art League of Ocean City, Maggie Magazine, Shorewoman Magazine and United Way; our vendors, Parties Your Way, Beads of Life, Be Mom Couture, CAbi Designs, Saltwater Style and Wockenfuss; the many talented local artists; our beautiful models from the community; our fantastic committee, Kate Carey, Paula Jacobs, Alyson Kendall, Stephanie Meehan, Mary Mitchell, Carol Stange and Judy Tremellen; and all of our donors.
You were there, willing to contribute your talent and resources to a very worthy cause. We speak on behalf of the many people who will benefit from your generosity as we offer a sincere thank you.
Please view our message and the Fashion Emergency Photo Gallery and join our cause at www.redcrossgoespink.com. Click Save the Date to view an invitation to the March Red Cross benefit at the Galaxy 66 Bar & Grille on March 12 at 5:30 p.m., Auction of the Dolls. For further information call 443-880-7795.
Stephanie DeRito, Madalaine How, Patti Miller, Alison Sappington, Cynthia Walston and Sheila Zimmer
(The writers are the founders of the Society of Women Leaders Lower Shore.)
Blame Md. Officials
For Gang Outbreak
Lawmakers in Annapolis are scrambling to pass a series of bills attempting to stem the growing tide of gang violence across Maryland.
This mad dash for legislation to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to identify, arrest and prosecute Hispanic MS-13 and other gang members begs the question, where have our elected officials been on this issue?
Gang-related violence and rape, drug dealing, prostitution, and crime are no strangers to the law-abiding citizens of Maryland. Seemingly new to the issue however are the political leaders and law enforcement authorities in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. No surprise
that these two jurisdictions are also the playground for the majority of illegal alien Hispanic and other gang problems. Unfortunately for surrounding Maryland counties, the gang members do not respect countylines.
Montgomery County Executive Leggett and PG County Executive Jack Johnson have taken a remarkably dishonest approach to public safety, relying on illegal alien support groups like CASA de Maryland to dictate the terms for handling and arresting illegal alien gang members. CASA has even lobbied Annapolis against legislation implementing the screening of all foreign nationals in our jails for fear of possible 'Hispanic discrimination'.
Jurisdictions in Virginia, with lower rates of gang violence and fewer CASA like groups, have instead successfully partnered with federal immigration and law enforcement authorities. As with economic development and lower taxes, its time for Maryland to learn from our Virginia neighbors.Brad Botwin
Health Care Top Notch
During my recent health care crisis, Our Heavenly Father placed me in the hands of Dr. Zorn of Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin. She quickly realized what the problem was and Dr. Zarif performed the necessary surgery aided by the excellent surgical and anesthesia team. The nurses, technicians and staff of Atlantic General Hospital ministered to my body with care and expertise. Chaplains Penny Morrow and Dick Bunting ministered to my spirit with love and prayer.
Please allow me to publicly thank all involved in my healing, including James W. Almand, Esquire, who spearheaded the group who actually brought this hospital to reality. We are truly blessed to have these exceptional people and this wonderful resource in our community. May God bless you all.
Gwen L. Cordner
Board Member Will Be Missed
The members of the Ocean City Noise Control Board would like to extent our sincere condolence to the family of Will May on his recent passing.
Will served with distinction for many years on the noise board and was our former chairman. Will always took great pride in how the noise board policies sought to improve the quality of life for both the residents and visitors to our community.
Will always treated those who came before the noise board with respect, dignity and most of all patience. Lessons we should all live by. Those of us who knew Will and served with him will be forever better for it.
(The writer is the chairman of the Ocean City Noise Control Board.)
Helps Clean Up World
Now that the Assateague Coastal Trust is suing Perdue Farms for polluting the Chesapeake Bay, many people are more mindful of the environmental damage caused by chicken production. While the meat industry should be held accountable for mucking up our rivers, we must all share in the responsibility for cleaning up our planet. Everyone can help do this simply by eating more vegetarian foods.
Animals raised for food produce approximately 130 times as much excrement as the entire U.S. population•€'87,000 pounds per second. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, factory farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined. Chicken, hog, and cattle excrement has polluted at least 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states.
If this wasn't bad enough, the meat industry also contributes to climate change, deforestation, and other serious environmental problems. For more information and a free vegetarian starter kit, see www.GoVeg.com.
(The writer is a research specialist for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.)