Considering the narrow lanes on the Harry Kelley Memorial Bridge, also known as the Route 50 Bridge, it’s a wonder there have not been a rash of accidents or at least busted rearview mirrors. Although no serious accidents have been reported as a result of the construction, one incident reported in this week’s “Cops and Courts” section revealed the work is getting under some drivers’ skin more than others. It appears a 52-year-old woman became agitated over a near-collision as her vehicle and another merged into the single, eastbound lane on the bridge. According to police reports, an officer observed the woman approach the driver of the other car at the light at the foot of the bridge. In an apparent fit of road rage, she reportedly began screaming and kicking the vehicle’s door, all the while three young kids were in the backseat. She was eventually charged with disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property before vowing to discover where the motorist lived and threatening to kill her. For what it’s worth, the bridge project should be complete by May 11.
Disturbing as it is, five people have died tragically in the area in the first four months of the year. First, there were the four people who died on the same day last month in horrible pedestrian accidents, one on Coastal Highway in Ocean City and another on Route 13 in Pocomoke. Three weeks after those fatalities comes the brutal murder of a well-known local woman in her home in Mystic Harbour, a peaceful West Ocean City residential community. It’s interesting to point out this is the second murder to take place in this neighborhood in the last 15 months. Although it sounds strange to say, considering there have been two homicides in a short amount of time, this is an anomaly. I know that neighborhood well and it’s a safe place to call home. Residents in that community realize this. However, it’s understandable if even the most rational are little guarded these days in light of what’s transpired.
The risk was not worth the reward, Gov. Martin O’Malley essentially said recently when he announced public lands intended for conservation are not available for potential wind power generation sites. Although the situation raises some interesting water cooler conversation, the administration was right to leave land, owned by the people of Maryland set aside so as not to be developed, immune from any kind of manmade influences, even if its intentions are noble. Upon word the state wants no parts of any commercial wind generation project on its own protected land, critics say the alternative energy movement was dealt a major setback in western Maryland, a prime site for the electric-generating windmills common in other mountainous parts of the country. That’s being overly dramatic in my view. This announcement only deals with land held in fee-simple ownership by Maryland and managed by the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Most of the properties ruled out are heavily forested, raising the question of whether trees should be cut down to make way for the alternative energy producers. This would seem to us to be an example of offsetting a good, creating alternative energy through wind power, with a bad, destroying a precious resource. Maryland will one day have windmills generating some energy for its residents, but it should not come with an ironic twist to it.
Being inquisitive, some may say meddlesome, is part of being a newspaperman. That’s why I am intrigued by yard sales. I have neither bought anything at a yard sale nor ever held one, but I do always take a look at what’s up for grabs. There were yard sales in my neighborhood recently, and it was amazing to see what was available for the bargain hunters. Items included an automobile, couches, screen doors, tools, benches, lawnmowers and lots of clothes. Indeed, yard sales have gone upscale with the goods found at yard sales these days a lot nicer than they used to be. Perhaps that’s why one sign posted around town the other day invited folks to a yard sale where “free coffee” was being provided.