Crime Lab Thefts
Feb. 26, 2014
Yet another consequence of the failed "War on Drugs" is police corruption. (The Kingpins have purchased virtually the entire Mexican Government!) It seems pretty clear that officials have stolen drugs from the testing labs of the Medical Examiner's Office. While the current discussion focuses on whether and how pending drug cases should go forward, the attention should focus on the Delaware Crime Reduction and Rehabilitation Act, soon to be introduced in the Delaware Legislature, which will divert non violent drug users to treatment centers instead of prison! This bill will reduce recidivism and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
One defense lawyer, whose client plead guilty to a marijuana charge and could get sentenced to eight years, said it was "a fair resolution of the case". "Fair"? 8 years in prison? It is unjust, unwarranted, and unnecessary. Eight years in prison will cost Delaware taxpayers at least $280,000.00. The one year court ordered personalized treatment program will cost Delaware taxpayers approximately $9,000. Which makes sense?
Ken Abraham, former prosecutor, president of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE
Sussex County Board of Adjustments' Decisions Questioned
Feb. 12, 2014
If you haven't read the article, here's the link:
The newspaper quoted the BOA members as saying, "It comes down to the residents' ability to enjoy their property" and "they (AT&T) had not exhausted opportunities for other locations" and "In my opinion, it has substantially adversely affected the use of their property" and "the tower would substantially adversely affect neighboring properties."
As a resident, which attended the first original meeting on June 3, and all the others that followed, I am confused as to why that same logic and consideration did not take place by the BOA when the Allen Harim chicken slaughterhouse came before the BOA for the "Potentially Hazardous Use Permit," and then was granted on Sept. 23, 2013.
How is it when a chicken slaughterhouse is planned to be put in a residential community in Millsboro, which less than a mile down the road is an elementary school, and a little further is a middle school, that the BOA doesn't take the same position!! I am sure if the chicken slaughterhouse comes to fruition that it will affect the nearby resident's ability to enjoy their property, property value, and most importantly how it will affect the health and well being of the communities that SURROUND this proposed facility. In addition, I don't believe Allen Harim has exhausted opportunities for other locations? How is it that the BOA didn't treat the local Millsboro people like they did the people in Bethany Beach?
DISCRIMINATION AT ANY LEVEL IS UNACCEPTABLE.
Take Action Against Fish Kills
Jan. 11, 2014
With billions of fish being killed annually from intakes at power plants, why aren't more people demanding that their senators and representatives stand up to the big companies? NRG's Indian River Power Generation Plant is shutting down their units that don't have a closed loop. If they were to pipe treated wastewater from Millsboro, the closest town with a wastewater treatment plant, they could eliminate all fish kill.
Every power plant can accomplish the same environmentally friendly situation by creating closed loops and piping treated wastewater from a close town. Even nuclear plants can accomplish this by adding chillers and turbines in their loops.
Yes, the cost to these plants are huge; but the economic benefits that the commercial fisheries, the recreational fishing industry including the bait and tackle shops, the additional tourism traffic, and the savings that the towns would see from cheaper wastewater disposal should trump the big companies.
All citizens, not just environmental "nuts" need to demand these common sense changes now.
David O. Richards
Commentary on Gambling
Oct. 10, 2013
On gambling ?????????...
I was born and raised in St Mary's County, Md. For those who do not know about St Mary's Co., The Mother County of Md, The First Capitol.
Every bar, grocery, dime, drug, gas station, church basements, all the various drinking establishments, church basements had slots in them, the good ole one arm bandits. When people came to the county, that is where you would find them at the slots.
With the Patuxent Naval Air Station, all these people from all over USA got introduced to the slots.
My first job in 1960 was in the Ben Franklin Dime Store, and when there was a rainy day all of those stores were packed with all those people gambling. The sad part was a lot were spending the childrens lunch money.
My second job was at GAC FINANCE CO. and wow, I was introduced to all the gamblers in town. They were borrowing money to go gambling and not just for slots but for card games too. At that time I think the most they could get was 1500.00 and as soon as they paid it partially down, they were back in there to raise it up.
I guess I had a sheltered life till I went to work, I didn't know that people abuse these things like they did and are doing now. The slot machine was there and I just walked on by. My friends would come down for a visit and you could not get them away from the slots.
Now what they did do was pay for the schools buses back then. There were always good resturants from St Mary's Co to 301 that you could got to at any time and have a wonderful meal, how I miss them.
Then we got rid of them, and guess what they was no money to help the with school buses, and we had no county tax then and guess what, we got county tax then and boy do we have it unless you live in Worcester, Worcester is the lowest and Montgomery is the highest.
They wanted to bring gambling back and I said ok if you get rid of the county tax. HA HA HA HA!!!@!!
Now we have them back and they want to bring more, WHY, the older people are just like the mothers with kids in school spending the lunch money. They don't have it. I realize that they don't have any other entertainment, that they need to do this. Severa years ago, I went with some friends to Delaware and each of them had their little bag of coins and I tool a roll of quarters, one lady said to me that I didn't have to pull the handle just push the button. I told her I was born and raised with these things and I was taught to pull the handle. After I lost all my coins, I just started watching the people, one lady had 3 slots going, she came over from DC by bus, got there at 10:30 am and was going back by bus at about 10m.
I live on Rt 50 about a mile from Ocean Downs, I have not notice any traffic conditions because of the gambling casino there, but it is full. They is a place offered by the state of Md to help the gamblers. That is new to town. I have a tax office and I do a lot gamblers with their winnings and it is fun doing those and hope they have some withholding in them, the tax can be heavy.
And you know I have not been there. I would rather have a candy bar. I have too many hobbies to keep me occupied, and the gamblers need those too. We still have the county tax, and we have gambling back and the state still has no money.
We Americans have to learn not to abuse gambling, it is right there with drinking. AA OR GA
We have to learn how not the abuse starting with not expecting to be given everything, welfare, that program was started to help a person out until that person got a good job.
I have had a lot of taxpayers get mad with me because they were no longer getting that large refund because they had a good job and medical insurance, instead of the lower paying job. One person made 15,000 more which put them out of getting all that extra money that they were getting when they were on a low income. We give away too much money at tax season. And I say we because all that money is coming from us through our taxes. And on the governments behalf, they withhold those taxes from us to run our county on and you know how you feel when you get a large bill to be paid right now, Uncle Sam feels the same way.
Now what do we do about gambling, I don't know, can we get people to act like they have a brain, I sometimes see people that come across the Bay Bridge, where their mind says I am not going with this body, I am going My Way and That Body Can go Their Way and we will get back together after vacation.
Straighten up and fly right, people. We are an interesting bunch
Worcester County, Md.
Response to the Board of Adjustment in Georgetown concerning Allen Harim's Request for a "Potentially Hazardous Use Permit"
Sept. 30, 2013
Since we we were not allowed to respond to the Board of Adjustments answer in Georgetown, Delaware, on Monday, September 23rd, 2013, THIS IS OUR RESPONSE:
In the session of "KANGAROO COURT", which can be heard in the minutes @ http://www.georgetowndel.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=content.faq&faqTypeID=99
Their were no UNSIGNED letters of opposition, I know this for a fact, because we walked around "Door to Door". As for the ones that were not signed, that is because they had an option to send them electronically thru the internet, so therefore, they would not be signed! DUH!!! We paid for copies of EVERYTHING that was sent to the BOA, and went thru it ourselves, as well as the BOA. The letters were all signed. We turned in "211" signed letter's in opposition. Not to mention, the ones that were sent electronically!!!
How can the BOA come to an informed decision to allow this permit, when out of the ten submitting agencies, only four of the them replied back. In their reply, they commented on Vlasic/Pinnacle not Allen Harim because NO PLANS have ever been submitted. Their again, we know this for a fact because we have copies of ALL the submitting agencies letters. Why wasn't one sent to "The Depart of Health and Social Services? Our health is at risk because it is now considered a BROWNSFIELD. It is contaminated with carcinogens, HIGH VOC's, and CHROMIUM, which was found on-site in their wells and soil samples, which was provided by BP Environmental Inc. I might add, in their application for the Brownsfield, they lied on, because they have had numerous violations, and there again, I know this for a fact, because we have the papers to prove this.
Therefore, an assessment/or impact study should have been done before making a decision. There were hundreds of homes here way before Vlasic/Pinnacle was established in 1972. Since that time, their has been a 38% increase in new homes and communities bordering the property. You would think this would change the zoning from Heavy Industrial to Residential!!
Do we trust the agencies to ensure our safety? HECK NO, we trusted them in the former Vlasic/Pinnacle Plant and look where that got us, A BROWNDSFIELD!
Thank You for Your Support
Sept. 10, 2013
The Ocean Pines--Ocean City Kiwanis Club is fast approaching the end of the program year. As a service organization of our community, Kiwanis strives to make a difference in that community. The new year for Kiwanis begins Oct. 1, 2013 through Sept. 30, 2014. Again this last year, 2012- 2013, the club has contributed significantly to "Serving the Children of our Community." Beginning with the $1,200 Priority One contribution to Worcester Gold's Baby Pantry and ending with the $13,500 in scholarships to Stephen Decatur high school seniors heading off to college, the Club has served our children well.
Support for the schools and the Kiwanis Youth Service clubs within the schools amounted to $6,850. Additionally, the club contributed another $3,300 to community based youth programs, i.e. CASA, Cedar Chapel School, Ocean Pines camp, Ocean City summer camp, the Cub Scouts, OP Children's Theater, and the McGuffey Reading Program. Perhaps more important that money, the club donated hundreds of volunteer hours to school art fairs, science fairs, It's Academic, direct assistance to our sponsored school Kiwanis youth service clubs and our sponsored Cub Scouts.
The Kiwanis Club has also played a supporting role in the community, contributing $2,900 to Community Support organizations: the OPVFD, the OPA Concerts in the Park, Worcester County Interfaith Caregivers, Diakonia, Worcester Gold Holiday Families, Coastal Hospice, and the Appalachian Service Project; plus hundreds of volunteer hours towards Nursing Home bingo, dolls for patients, the Blood Drives, the senior chores program, our house number signs that assist our first responders on emergency calls day and night.
So, how does all this get done? Through members' volunteer hours and hard work on all of the fund raisers. All of this is paid for by the members' work on pancake breakfasts, hot dog sales, German/Italian dinners, Boardwalk raffles, annual Duck Race, the Fruit Sales, and the weekly donations from our members to Priority One. Of course, it's not all hard work; there is the satisfaction of working together to get these results.
So here comes 2013-2014. The Kiwanis Club is committed to doing this again. But in addition to Kiwanis members, we need friends and neighbors to support, participate and/or join the Kiwanis team and help the club continue these services for the 2013-2014 program year.
Again, we thank our community for its continued support.
Barbara Peletier, president of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines - Ocean City
End Capital Punishment in Del.
March 21, 2013
A Delaware Senate Committee has approved legislation to end capital punishment in our state (Wilmington News Journal, 3/21/13 p. B1). That's one small step for the Delaware Legislature, one giant leap for justice. Pass this legislation!
Ken Abraham, Dover, Del.
Deputy Attorney General, 1974-1979
Thanks for Supporting QRCF Hair of the Dog
Jan. 9, 2013
I would like to send an enthusiastic and heartfelt letter of thanks from the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation for the tremendous community support of the Hair of the Dog race!
Early on New Year's day morning, more than 650 athletes and plus hundreds of spectators, party-goers and volunteers gathered on the Bethany Beach boardwalk for the 2nd Annual Hair of the Dog race. The 5k/10k run and walk is one of our fundraising events which help us to continue awarding scholarships to local students and grants to local organizations in our efforts to enhance the community for residents and visitors alike.
I am delighted to report that thousands of dollars were raised for the people and programs the QRCF supports. Start to finish, the Hair of the Dog was a great time for a great cause.
We received amazing support from the Town of Bethany Beach, you and our sponsors: 3rd Wave Brewing Company, Bethany Beach Books, Boyden Design, Coastal Point, Delaware Wave, DiFebo's, Giant Food, Harris Teeter, Just Hooked, Law Offices of Scott & Shuman, P.A., Leslie Kopp, Loftus Wealth Strategies, Mango's, Ocean View Vet, Rehoboth Beach Sports, Sedona, State Farm – Denise Beam, Tidewater Physical Therapy, Tidepool Toys and Games, Transformative Dynamics, and Yuppy Puppy. We also received tremendous support from local and visiting athletes, spectators, and volunteers. A true community-building event happened and we kicked off the 2013 with gusto.
I would like to extend special thanks to Hair of the Dog chairs Eunice Carpitella, Faith Denault, Jackie Inman, and Michael Loftus, and committee members Ann Kangas, Marian Parrott, and Karen Taylor, and Race Director Rick Hundley. They contributed hundreds of hours organizing what all will agree was a successful and lucrative event.
At the after-race party at Mango's as a special feature, we presented CHEER's Meals on Wheels program with a $25,000 contribution, the largest single gift in our all-volunteer organization's 11 year history. In all, we have awarded nearly $500,000 to date, and anticipate giving more soon.
In fact, there is another opportunity to support the QRCF's programs at BunnyPalooza! on March 30, 2013, the next run/walk in our series. More information can be found at www.Bunnypaloozarun.com. Thanks again to all for the past and future support.
K. William Scott, Esq., President
Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation
Thanks from the Noel Community
Dec. 30, 2012
The Noel Community extends a thank you to places of worship, individuals, businesses, and civic groups for the overwhelming support for our 15th Annual Christmas Dinner. We are especially grateful to Father David Dingwall and St. Paul's by-the Sea for hosting the dinner; to Father Carl Mosley for his spiritual leadership; to the many businesses and civic groups for supplying food, making generous monetary donations, and sponsoring toy, toiletry, and food drives; to the local media for publicizing our event; to all the individuals and churches for donating toys, food, desserts, toiletries and monetary gifts; and to everyone for volunteering their time.
The Noel Community served over 1,400 free meals on Christmas, including carry-outs and deliveries to individuals who otherwise would be lonely or hungry. We provided toys, toiletries, hats, and clothing. We prepared hot meals for police officers, fire personnel, and other public servants working on Christmas day. The Noel Community appreciates the generous support from Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Berlin, Bishopville, Selbyville, Fenwick, and surrounding neighborhoods allowing us to make the Christmas celebration special for many in our community.
Noel Community will continue to expand our outreach serving free breakfast and carryout lunch at a local food pantry with the leftover supplies and funds. Your generosity allowed the Noel Community volunteers to prepare breakfast and/or lunch every Saturday and thirteen additional weekdays providing over 7,000 meals/sandwiches in 2012. These lunches are needed and appreciated by those we serve. Thanks to your support, we are able to assist individuals and families in meaningful ways.
The Noel Committee
Why All the Stress Over the Mayan Calendar?
Dec. 17, 2012
We all like to feel secure. We don't like when things seem out of our control. All of this began when we were a child. We like our "Teddy Bears" or "Security Blankets." They helped us relax and deal with any stressful situations. But, hey now we are adult and we would all look a little silly holding onto our bear. So anytime things are out of our control we stress out. Certainly the predictions being proclaim are a result of the Mayan Calendar are "out of our control." This is the reason we are stressing. But do we really need to stress? Will all our stressing out change anything? No, in fact Jesus tell us in Luke 12:25-26 "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 8:7-8 asks a similar question, "Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death." (NIV)
So how can we deal with the anxiousness we are feeling? Teddy bear and security blankets, even in adult forms, will not bring us peace. Find peace in God who created everything. Jesus comforts us with this word from Mark 13:32: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels (or Mayan's) but only the Father. Since we cannot change any of these things, find peace in Him.
Pastor Ray Bertolet
Camden Bible Fellowship Church
201 E. Camden Wyoming Ave.
Camden, DE 19934
Removing the 'Box'
Dec. 12, 2012
Mayor Baker and City Council have moved the City of Wilmington into the realm of common sense and out of the mire of vengeful trepidation, by removing the requirement to disclose one's criminal background. Common sense because reasonable estimates are that one in four employable adults is a convicted felon, and common sense because many former criminals are among the most motivated to be dedicated, productive employees, to turn their lives around. Of course, there must be reasonable exceptions, but once a prisoner has served his time, he/she has "paid their dues". Inasmuch as DOC and the Department of Labor offer meager assistance (at best) to prisoners seeking work upon reentry, the prisoner is largely on his/her own. Many realize that irrational fears and often unjustified concerns immediately eliminate them from consideration as soon as a prospective employer sees that initial inquiry about criminal background.
With more private sector employers and government entities following this lead, Delaware could make a real dent in recidivism, reduce costs in policing, courts, Attorney General and Public Defender's offices, DOC, and the agencies providing food stamps and financial aid to unemployed former prisoners. For many former prisoners, the prospect of a legitimate, respectable, dependable JOB is preferable to the all too available alternative criminal means to make money.
When I owned my businesses, despite my partner's objection, I hired a man on probation; he became one of our very best employees. He blossomed, just as many other would if more employers followed the lead of the City of Wilmington.
A Big Thanks to Firefighters
April 13, 2012
On Saturday, April 7, 2012, Hartly Feed and Hardware suffered a devastating fire at 3 a.m. in the morning, and expresses their deepest gratitude for the six fire companies (Hartly, Marydel, Smyrna, Clayton, Cheswold, and Sudlersville and the companies that backed up the six companies that were at the scene) that responded. These firemen and women risked life and limb in an effort to prevent this landmark business from burning to the ground. And as quickly as they came, they returned home to their families and everyone was safe. As dawn was breaking, 15 firemen showed up at the front door to assist Dave Brown Jr., and his father Dave Brown Sr., in securing the building.
Dave Brown Jr. has asked me to inform you that despite the fire, the store is operating out of a building provided by Sam Shahan, owner of Top City, and as always, we are there to serve our communities. The phone is working, and our Facebook page is up and running.
Del. Senate Candidate Looks Forward to Campaign
March 13, 2012
I am so thrilled by the outpouring of support from my friends and neighbors since I filed my paperwork to run for the State Senate last week. Your enthusiasm and encouragement, as well as your generous contributions, have shown me that you believe in our campaign for the 6th District.
Since I announced my candidacy, I have met with more than one hundred community leaders over coffee, in meet and greets, and one-on-one who represent the diversity of our district. You listened to my ideas and have shared your insights, and supported my vision for the 6th District. I feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful and creative people who are willing who have shared their ideas with me, and continue to show their support in so many ways. I promise that you as residents and business owners of the Community, you will continue to be the focus of my campaign.
However, I have so many more people to meet to discuss my strategy to bring long term sustainable jobs, community minded transportation services, and a plan to preserve the quality of life that we have come to know, while ensuring we are prepared for future growth. These are the issues that our campaign is about.
In the coming weeks I'll start hitting the streets and listening to what you have to say about the future of our District and explain my vision. And I know I can't do it alone. I need your input and contributions just as much as I need your votes this fall. By putting our heads together, we can build a foundation that will go beyond this election.
Your enthusiasm and drive are contagious, and, working together, we will make our voices heard on November 6th. I am committed to winning this race and working hard to represent the people of the 6th District. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
I am deeply grateful to be your candidate for the State Senate.
Candidate for the Delaware State Senate
Help Save Campus Community High School
Nov. 22, 2011
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, the Campus Community High School staff was informed of its Board's intent to close the 9-12 high school program on June 8, 2012, based on the Board's Finance Committee recommendation.
After several rounds of public support and negotiations between its members, the Board decided to extend its final voting deadline to December 21st, to give vested families and community members the chance to raise the $650,000 needed to ensure the remaining students could transition the high school program to a close by 2015.
CCHS students, staff, families, and supporters have formed the 650 Club to organize fundraising efforts required to meet the challenge. Please help us extend the club's efforts and desire to mobilize any citizens willing to lend a hand to the cause: SAVE CCHS!
Fundraising meetings are held Tuesdays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays at 7 p.m. at CCHS. Concerned citizens can also email email@example.com.
O.C. Convention Center Addition Needed
Oct. 28, 2011
On the evening of Monday, November 7th, the Ocean City Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing on Phase II, the Multi-Use Auditorium/Performing Arts addition to the Ocean City Convention Center. The general public is invited to attend an informative "Tour" of the proposed Convention Center auditorium renovation at 4 p.m. on the same day, Monday, Nov. 7th.
We believe that most of our elected officials support this final Phase II addition. The impact study, which the council ordered, supports the sustainability, the benefits and need for such a venue. The study showed that a multi-purpose auditorium with proper seating, lighting and acoustics would not only expand convention opportunities and efficiency, it would also begin to attract residents and the regional population to the Convention Center for entertainment, performances and community productions.
The Phase II renovation has received overwhelming support from the business community because business owners know that individuals who attend functions at the Convention Center tend to eat, sleep, "discover" and return to Ocean City in the future.
The Governor and the Maryland Stadium Authority support the renovation as well. In fact they are so confident that the renovation will have a positive impact on Ocean City and Maryland's economy that they will fund 25% of construction costs and will continue covering 50% of the operating costs of the entire facility.
A combination of these dedicated State funds and the existing .5% food & beverage tax (a tax which can only be used for the Convention Center), fully funds this project, with no new tax burden on Ocean City residents!
We hope that for all of these reasons; for the good of the Ocean City community, its businesses, its economy and its future, our elected council will unanimously approve Phase II of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center renovation on November 7th. We encourage all Arts supporters, residents and business owners to attend the Nov. 7th Ocean City Council Public Hearing to show your support.
Co-Chair, Ocean City Cultural Arts Advisory Board
Recycling Helps Protect the Environment
Sept. 14, 2011
The state has recently encouraged people to recycle by making sure every household has a recycling bin. I think Delaware should make it a mandatory law to recycle, because then it would enforce the subject. It doesn't just help the earth look better, but it also prevents things like global warming, deforestation, acid rains and the endangerment of species. Did you know that every ton of paper saves about 17 trees?
Recycling is not just throwing the bottle in the recycling bin; it is a process that has to be followed through with. The first step is for the items to be collected through many methods whether it is curbside, collection bins, money back centers. The second is that the recycled item be sent out to be processed. Here the items are cleaned and broken down into raw materials that can be used to make other things. The third step is for the items to be purchases. Until the items are purchased the process is not complete.
Recycling saves wildlife. What many people don't know is that by just not recycling one item you can kill animals. Plastic bags are the number one killer of marine wildlife, because the bags sit on top of the water. The animals then mistake the bags as food and eat them then choke and suffer. Also the piece of plastic that holds a six-pack of soda together is a big threat. As it sits on top of the water the animals swim through the hole and get stuck around their necks, which then suffocates them. Even a simple balloon. When you it into the air, fowl can mistake it as food and choke.
Recycling also helps us preserve and save natural resources. If we do not help save these resources now there will not be a healthy eco system. One natural resource that we take advantage of is water. We waste so much water by leaving faucets on and un drank water instead of putting it back in the fridge we dump it down the drain. Trees are a big wasted natural resource to. As we cut down forest and don't recycle we have to cut down more trees to make paper and things. Without trees carbon dioxide cannot be changed to oxygen. You like breathing don't you? Why wouldn't you recycle your paper?
So now I've given you a few reasons to recycle. Why wouldn't you recycle? You can prevent all these things just by throwing a plastic bottle in the recycles. We should recycle so we can start saving this earth before it becomes completely destroyed.
Recycling Should be Mandatory in Delaware
Sept. 14, 2011
Recycling should be mandatory in the state of Delaware. We will lower our carbon emissions and have less waste everywhere we look. Recycling will help in the long run, even if that means 10 minutes or 10 years from now. Recycling could possibly save the world from becoming a big disaster.
One main reason recycling should be a mandatory law is because it will make the air healthier and safe. Lowering emissions will reduce the pollutants in the air. To make healthier air to breathe, we could each build a tree in our community and around the schools that children go to.
By reducing carbon emissions in the air it prevents the ozone layer from decreasing more than what it has over the years. Have healthier air will possibly save lives of those who have asthma or other breathing problems. If we don't lower emissions we will in the near future.
Being Shot No Laughing Matter
Aug. 22, 2011
My name is Adolph Piccioni. Friday morning at around 9:30 somebody shot me with a pellet gun, BB gun or a rubber bullet. The pain was terrible. When I went inside to look I had a welt bigger than my right nipple. My neighbors told me to call 911 which I did around 9:50 a.m. They had the state police call me back. This call from the state police was a joke. The officer said "Someone hid in the bushes and shot you." I said I didnt see anyone. He asked if this was a joke and should he send a fleet of ambulances and a full tactical SWAT team. I was not only in pain but I was insulted. What if it would have hit me in the eye? What if it had hit my wife? What if it hit a kid? He did not even ask where it happened and did not send a car to check. I can't believe I was made fun of by the Maryland State Police. 911 has to have a record of my call. I'm sure the officer probably deleted his call, but what if this is just the beginning? What if people start getting shot around this neighborhood. You think they would do their duty and at least check it out. All the neighbors are upset over this. But they (police) get their benefits and pension. That seems to be all they care about.
Thank Our Veterans for Their Service
June 30, 2011
Once again, we celebrate July 4th as the anniversary of the day 235 years ago that we declared independence, founding a nation based on the beliefs that all people are created equal and that prizes liberty and justice.
This July 4th finds us with service men and women fighting for those same ideals. They will be celebrating this anniversary of American Independence in other countries, carrying with them the creed that all men and women are created equal and endowed with the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Recently, President Obama announced a drawback of our troops in Afghanistan. Some of those troops will continue with their military careers, while others will transition to civilian life as Veterans.
I urge Marylanders to be proactive in welcoming home our newly-returned veterans and to participate in helping them to transition and readjust to civilian life. Many veterans do not even realize they've been injured until after they have been home for awhile and discover a host of health issues that went unnoticed or were ignored during their service. Readjusting to civilian life also brings its own set of challenges. Clinicians at the VA Maryland Health Care System are trained to recognize the health issues caused by environmental exposures and service-related situations that can affect these returning Veterans.
More than 14,000 newly-returned veterans are currently enrolled in the VA Maryland Health Care System. The surge that was deployed earlier this year is expected to return, adding to these numbers. I encourage you to remind a returning combat Veteran that they are eligible for cost-free medical care from the VA for conditions related to their service for five years after the date of their discharge. Throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System, we are dedicated to ensuring that all returning veterans receive the highest quality of care in a timely manner. If you know a returning veteran, please urge them to enroll for VA health care by calling 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7259.
It's often difficult for veterans with emotional or behavioral problems to seek the help they need and deserve because they often feel ashamed and view their suffering as a form of weakness. The best way to thank a veteran for his or her service is by assuring them that any health issue can be treated effectively and that enrolling for VA health care benefits may be the best gift they can give their families.
As we sit in our backyards watching fireflies rise and fireworks explode this Independence Day, remember that freedom is not free. Thank our veterans and their families for their sacrifice and service, fly Old Glory, and think about calling your nearest VA Medical Center to visit or volunteer.
Dennis H. Smith, Director, VA Maryland Health Care System
Proud to Call Ocean City Home
June 22, 2011
This weekend my husband and I hosted a reunion in Ocean City with 65+ members of my family. Every family member was from out of town and most had never been to our town before.
I just want to say that someone from each family commented on what a beautiful, clean and exciting resort we live in and how amazing it is to find a town that offers something for everyone! Every family mentioned that they would like to consider either eventually moving here or going in on a family condo here (frankly, I'm not sure how I feel about having that much family here-lol). Anyway, my point is that once again, it is clear why my husband & I are so proud to call Ocean City our home. Ocean City truly is a fabulous place to live.
While busy with my family reunion preparations, I've been very anxious but too busy to comment on the recent gas promotion that was being considered for Ocean City.
Although the council's final decision is a relief to me (as a taxpayer), I would still like to share my thoughts.
I would like to thank Doug Cymek, Jim Hall, Mary Knight and Lloyd Martin for having enough courage and conviction to reverse earlier council support for the tank of gas promotion. When my husband & I owned local restaurants & retail stores, we firmly believed that our advertising should always accentuate the positive and never use a negative product to promote our business.
Spending $100,000 on a message which is a constant reminder of high gas prices and the cost of everything in a soft economy seemed so unnecessary when we have an endless list of FREE and positive attributes to bring people to our town (which are all obviously working).
I say stay the course! Let our Tourism Council, Special Event Planners and OC's marketing firm keep doing what they do very well already. They know the importance of projecting a positive message. We need to let them do their job promoting the free movies on the beach, free events like the Air Show and Arts Alive, the Disney promotion, the Dew Tour---it's all fabulous and it's all working.
I respect the difficult job our city council members have, but ever since the Rodney the Lifeguard debate (which has proven to be a highly successful campaign for OC), I've wished that our council would do a little less micro managing and let the professional marketing firm, our Chamber and our tourism board continue the fine job they're doing without so much council interference. This would give our council members more time to concentrate on other city affairs.
Again, to Doug Cymek for his common sense approach and to our other council members for following his lead, THANK YOU FOR NOT WASTING $100,000 of your tax payers money! And keep accentuating the positive! (And did I mention that half of my visiting relatives, who want to move here now, live in Va. Beach?)
Ocean City, Md.