Voices From the Readers
Taxi Medallion Fallout
When a medallion system
was proposed to 'clean up' and regulate the taxi system in Ocean City I, being
a driver for four years, was happy. There were too many taxis, mostly driven by
unscrupulous characters, ripping people off left and right. The legislation was
intended to limit the number of taxis and to add new guidelines such as drug
screenings, which was a great idea. But what ended up happening has turned out
to be a nightmare for the drivers.
The town added even more
taxis. Ocean City has about 150 blocks. They made 175 medallions. That is
approximately 1.2 taxis per block. Then, the town had everyone pay $1,500 for
each medallion, increasing the price to $2,000 the day after they went on sale,
to fill a shortcoming in their mishandled budget. Now the police have obviously
been told to pick on us and write tickets for things like sitting in parking
lots, also padding their budget. I now feel like there is a bullseye on my
bumper 12 hours a day, every day I go to work. Maybe today I'll make some
money, maybe just go to jail or pay a ridiculous fine.
When you have 200 taxis
trying to scrape up money every couple of weeks to pay for these medallions in
May when unfortunately there isn't much business, everyone crowds into Seacrets
or Fager's Island, waiting hours and hours for those two or three fares they
might get coming out of the bar.
This irritates the
businesses, who enact new regulations of their own. The bouncers are extremely
rude and pick verbal fights with the drivers, threatening to ban them if they
defend themselves. One bouncer, after kicking a friend out of the parking lot for
pulling up to the front to pick up a fare, who called and explicitly asked for
him to pick them up, is quoted as saying 'that's right boy, get outta here
before I ban your @$$.'
The small rate hike,
kind of like the dollar gas surcharge given us two summers ago, does nothing to
help the driver who is still paying $50 or more a night in gasoline, because
all it does is eat into the tip (the companies still took half of that surcharge
even though it's the driver who pays for gas). Someone who gives you $20 on a
$15 ride is still going to give you $20 on a $17 ride. It seems like once again
Ocean City has put the needs of the few over the needs of the many.
In my opinion, it is
time for the people of not only this town, but of this country, to stop letting
the government put its needs over that of the people it is paid to represent.
Every day our rights are eroded and civil liberties decreased. Going to work
now feels like entering a war zone, with K-9 units patrolling the taxi lines,
and men with guns and bad attitudes ignorantly barking orders and impeding
traffic, while I try to feed my family.
Others In Mind
elected officials at City Hall need to accept the fact that there are other
businesses at the Inlet who are affected by the traffic patterns despite
Trimper's and Harbor Watch, namely the Oceanic Motel, Esposito Parking and
first morning of Springfest, when I arrived at 8 a.m. to open our parking lot,
I was met with a barricade of cones that prevented any potential customers from
patronizing our business. Not only were we completely blocked off but also a
huge sign hindered any car from entering the right lane unless it had a
Springfest permit or it was heading to Harbor Watch. Customers for our lot,
Adolfo's and the Oceanic need to use the right lane.
addition, it said that public parking was left lane only. Yes, there is public
parking but we also provide parking. The sign should include all Inlet
businesses. If it wasn't for the quick response by Chief DiPino and public
works, we would have taken a financial loss for the start of our season. There
was no way any car would have been able to access our lot.
family has been on the corner of South First and Baltimore Avenue for over 70
years. We are never taken into consideration when something like this occurs.
Many, many times, we've had to endure a variance of traffic patterns and have
usually suffered for it. We have always been in compliance with all city
regulations and work hard during the season as others do to promote Ocean City
as a family resort. To some perhaps, our business is considered a small one
however we do provide a necessary service for the town.
again, we want to thank Ocean City Police Department, public works and other
city employees for their prompt response.
Memorial Day just around the corner, I would like for our fellow Americans to
give recognition to our veterans both here and overseas.
poppies are made by our disabled veterans in hospital all over America. This is
very therapeutic physically and mentally and gives them a feeling of
self-worth. The poppies are not sold, but given in exchange for a donation.
public and our youth in particular must be kept fully aware of our armed forces
and the sacrifices they have made.
please wear a poppy to honor them. We need to keep our spirits right and keep
our country and our veterans in our prayers.
you all and God bless America.
Legion Post 123
Time To Be Educated
has got to be my favorite part of the election season - the beginning of the
political comedy letters from J.A. Hoage.
to his first of what I suspect will be many, he blames former Governor Ehrlich
for everything but the current oil leak in the Gulf.
truth is many will read these and others written by the political parties
serial writers and believe them without taking the time to actually research
the facts for themselves.
is so much written and said in commercials during campaigns that unless the
electorate take time to educate ourselves we can be truly mislead and make
not proposing people vote either way, I do know however that strictly voting
for party is not the answer, be you Democrat or Republican. That's the kind of
thing that has gotten us where we are today.
just hoping that we all will take the time to learn what both candidates stand
for and what their prior records truly reflect before election day.
then will we be able to cast intelligent, well-informed votes.
remember an educated voter is a much more effective voter.
For Help With
The Ocean City
Parrothead Club recently held a social where items were collected for our
dedicated military men and women serving overseas. The Harborside Bar &
Grill in West Ocean City graciously hosted our event. We wish to thank Chris
and his staff for all their assistance that evening. They certainly helped
us truly "Party with a Purpose".
Thank you to all who
so willingly donated hundreds of goods. With the unselfish help from Steve
Siltman, USMC, 1st State Detachment, Marine Corp League and Steve Hoffman,
US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Ocean City, MD, Flotilla 12-05, all items were picked
up on May 11 from my home. Marine Steve boxed everything up into 17 cases
stuffed to the hilt, loaded his truck, and delivered them to
Quantico on May 12, where they will be flown overseas. All donations are being
sent to our front line troops in Afghanistan.
to Bulldog and staff from the Rude Awakening Show at Irie Radio for all they
donated and did to aid in the success of this project. Additionally, thank you
to Claudia Nicholls, State Farm Agent, for the donation of over a case of fly
The generosity shown by
our members and general public was touching. Thank you all so very much.
May God bless all our military and the United States of America.
writer is a Board member of the club.)