Thoughts From the Publisher's Desk
Every summer a number of
surveys are released ranking vacation destinations. This season is no
different, as Priceline announced this week the result of its annual survey of
the 50 most popular places for the holiday weekend. Ocean City was ranked No.
41, which is not exactly something to openly tout but worthy of note
The top 10 featured some
perennial favorites including two sites in Chicago, two sites in Las Vegas, St.
Louis, Boston, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Washington, D.C. and Seattle. Other East
Coast resort destinations on the list were Atlantic City/Cape May, No. 14;
Myrtle Beach South, No. 19; and Virginia Beach, No. 20.
Passion is a wonderful
thing, and its fueling the debate and battle over the Liquor Control Board's
(LCB) future. Serious jabs are being exchanged and emotions are running high.
The LCB is saying, generally, the local liquor license holders are fudging the
facts to support their desire to end the monopoly, while the restaurants, bar
and store owners argue the LCB is lying to them and operating unethically. One
thing that was made absolutely clear this week was the LCB's future is a matter
for the General Assembly, not the voters of Worcester County.
In an interesting letter
dated June 12, 2008 from Tinna Marie D. Quiqley, a senior policy analyst with
the state, to Delegate Jim Mathias, it was said the manner in which liquor is
distributed through Worcester County can only be altered by the legislature.
Mathias asked, 'May the liquor dispensary system in Worcester County be
repealed by referendum without a change in statute?' The letter cited a
Montgomery County referendum that ended the jurisdiction's monopoly. However,
the referendum was appealed and the Court of Special Appeals found the voters
can't alter the system. The high court found that power only lies with the
In her response to
Mathias, she wrote, '•€¦ the court held that, •€˜•€¦ the voters of a county may not
confer upon themselves the right to do what the county government may not do.'
Therefore, the liquor dispensary system may not be repealed by referendum. The
liquor dispensary system may only be changed by an Act of the General
It's, of course,
interesting to note in 1998 a referendum effort failed as county residents
voted to save the dispensary. This week, the LCB said bring on the referendum
and let the voters decide. With this week's letter to Mathias, it's now known
that will not happen. It will take an act of the legislature to end its
A movie about the sport
of lacrosse will not be filmed in Maryland and that's a huge disappointment for
many. Producers have intimated they will more than likely pass on Maryland due
to a lack of response for state investments in the movie and are leaning toward
a Northeast site. This is a difficult decision to handle, considering lacrosse
is Maryland's official state sport.
'Crooked Arrows', the
movie title, 'is a present-day sports story in the spirit of Hoosiers and Remember the
Titans, where the heroes are a reservation high school lacrosse team of Native
Americans who find themselves competing in the elite New York Prep League,'
according to its website.
As one of his major
campaign promises, gubernatorial challenger Bob Ehrlich has pledged to restore
a stat tax credit to help with funding for movies. 'It is sad but significant
to find that Maryland couldn't even attract the production of a movie on a
sport whose deepest traditions are in our state,' Ehrlich said. 'With a modest investment in attractingproductions to Maryland, we could create hundreds of jobs for the craft and
trade employees •€¦ The failure of the O'Malley Administration to fund this tax
credit fits the pattern of their disinterest in job creation and encouragement
for small businesses.'
Fair is fair, as
O'Malley's camp released a statement, saying, 'Every job is important and [the
Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development] has been reviewing
productions on a project by project basis. We have $1 million in the fund now,
but if the right production came along, I think DBED would find a way to make