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The Dispatch October 23, 2020


Serving Greater Delmarva Since 1984


Rough Sailing: A commercial fishing vessel is pictured navigating some choppy seas as it heads offshore Sunday.

Photo by Chris Parypa

County Approves Casino Overlay Zone

Resort Candidates Weigh In On Issues

Fireworks, Beach Maze, Parades In Resort

See Page 4 • File Photo

See Pages 8-9 • File Photo

See Page 30 • Photo by Chris Parypa

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch


October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

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County Paves Way For More Uses On Casino Property

October 23, 2020



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BERLIN – County officials approved the creation of an overlay zone to allow Ocean Downs Casino to expand despite objections from Ocean City’s mayor and representatives of the local hospitality industry. The Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday voted 5-2, with Commissioners Jim Bunting and Joe Mitrecic opposed, to approve a casino entertainment district for the A-2 zone. The change is meant to allow for an expansion of entertainment uses on the Ocean Downs Casino property. “I can’t vote for this and I think down the road we’re going to be very sorry we did it,” Mitrecic said. The concept of a casino overlay zone was introduced this summer. Connections of the casino said it would allow for an expansion of uses on the site to drive more people to the casino. Attorney Joe Moore, representing the casino, said that while a rezoning to commercial would allow dozens more uses on the site, the overlay zone allowed just 12. He added that any additions would be subject to a two-phase approval process. “I think it’s important for us all to realize today is only a text change,” said attorney Joe Moore, representing the casino. “It does not grant one of those approvals.” Moore said casino representatives had met with Ocean City hoteliers and were committed to adjusting the proposed bill so that any potential hotel would be limited to 150 rooms. “We do not want to get in anybody’s way,” Moore said. “We don’t want to compete with Ocean City. We don’t want to compete with anybody. We want to get folks to come to the casino so that we can increase our income. That translates directly to the increase in the taxes that we pay that go directly to Worcester County, Ocean Pines, Berlin and Ocean City. That’s all we want to do. We don’t want to take business from anybody.” When asked why a hotel was even being discussed when it wasn’t currently permitted, Moore said it was something the casino wanted to pursue in the future. “If the law changes in the state we would like to consider having a hotel there,” he said. Bobbi Sample, general manager of the casino, pointed out that the grants the local jurisdictions received from the casino revenues had helped repair roads, build a police station in Berlin and pay debt service on Worcester Technical High School. She added the casino proSEE PAGE 40

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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North OC Community Voices Traffic, Speed Concerns

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OCEAN CITY – Impassioned pleas for a traffic-calming device or stronger enforcement in a densely-populated north-end community did not fall on deaf ears this week as resort officials begin to explore solutions to the problem. During the public comment period of Monday’s Mayor and Council meeting, the first such meeting to be held in person at City Hall in months, several members of the Caine Woods community in north Ocean City came before the town’s elected officials seeking real solutions to an ongoing problem of reckless driving and speeding along some of the major thoroughfares. In particular, 142nd Street, and even 139th Street to some degree, have become a major access point to the resort from the rapidly growing Route 54 corridor. Many motorists, including commercial vehicles, utilize 142nd Street to get from Route 54 in Delaware to Coastal Highway. Many are cutting through otherwise quiet residential areas, creating an often-dangerous situation for the year-round residents in the area. Caine Woods Community Association President Brian Shane led off the discussion on Monday. “Our purpose here tonight is to talk about unsafe driving and speeding in

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

our neighborhoods,” he said. “A lot of our residents are here to speak about unsafe driving, speeding, commercial vehicle speeding and going through stop signs. It’s enough of a problem that we wanted to come out and address it to you in person.” Caine Woods resident Mary Taylor, who lives on 142nd Street, voiced real concern about the dangerous driving and the potential for a tragic accident. “We’re here to find a resolution to a problem in our neighborhood of Caine Woods, particularly 142nd Street,” she said. “The demographics of our street have changed. We have more full-time residents, families with children, more senior citizens. Our residents are concerned about their own personal safety and damage to their property.” Taylor urged the Mayor and Council to begin working on possible solutions. “We have avoided walking, or riding bikes or even driving on the street to avoid the dangerous situation,” she said. “We wonder who will be the first to lose a loved one, a friend or neighbor. One life saved will be worth all of our efforts.” Caine Woods resident John Moran agreed and said some mechanism for traffic calming could provide a solution. “What I’d like to have happen is to have a task force at least look into some reasonable traffic calming measures,”

he said. “The speeding has become extraordinary. I’m here tonight out of a great deal of frustration. It is the wild, wild west on 142nd Street.” Moran characterized the 142nd Street corridor as a highway off-ramp through a residential neighborhood. “One of the four entrances to Ocean City is the one I like to call the Route 54 access ramp, which is what 142nd Street has become,” he said. “We’re just east of that bend in the road and we’re afraid to pull out of our driveway. I would suggest two areas to look at and one is that bend in the roadway. I know the city has installed on a test basis rumble strips and they appear to work.” Caine Woods resident Rich Hansen said the problems in Caine Woods are not limited to the 142nd Street corridor. “The discussion about speed in those neighborhoods is not new,” he said. “It has come up before. Since you turned the stop signs around on Sinepuxent, that has become a major thoroughfare too. They’re all speeding through there and running the stop signs. I would hate to see someone killed, so something has to be done. Since I’ve lived there, I have witnessed six accidents on my corner alone, so it is real.” Mayor Rick Meehan said, ironically, he drove through the 142nd Street corridor just last week. “I was driving down 142nd Street last

October 23, 2020

Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. and I was wondering why there were two locations where there were Ocean City police cars parked in dark areas,” he said. “Now, I realize why. They were up there because of some of the concerns that have been expressed to the Ocean City Police Department with regards to traffic safety in Caine Woods. The good news is they are aware of the problem.” Meehan said City Engineer Terry McGean has worked with Shane and other concerned residents on a possible solution. “City Engineer Terry McGean has met with Brian and that’s a good first step,” he said. “That can be a conduit with the council and the city to work with the community to see what can be done.” Councilman Dennis Dare, a longtime Caine Woods resident, took it a step further and made a motion to have all involved town staff begin working on solutions immediately. The motion passed unanimously. “I’m pretty familiar with the area,” he said. “We’ve addressed it before, but obviously not adequately, perhaps. I would like to defer this to staff and have the city engineer, the police department and public works develop a recommendation in a timely manner. If there are some actions that can be taken, they should be done as soon as possible.”

Oktoberfest Packs Berlin, Causing Main Street Closure

October 23, 2020



BERLIN – A jam-packed Oktoberfest resulted in a big day of sales for Berlin’s downtown businesses. Hordes of people descended on Berlin last Saturday as the town hosted Oktoberfest, its first event since the arrival of the pandemic. Businesses, who were also participating in the town’s annual sidewalk sale, reported strong sales. “Several people said it was bigger than Black Friday,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s director of economic and community development. Though the town designed the event with food and drink spots spread out throughout town to encourage movement, crowding became an issue early on. As a result, police closed Main Street around noon. “Once the crowd got too big they just had to close the road,” Wells said. Wells said businesses did extremely well Saturday. She said Gilbert’s Provisions sold 120 bratwursts in an hour and a half and that by the end of the day Sisters Wine Bar was completely out of alcohol and all Baked Dessert Café had left was two slices of pie. Olga Kozhevnikova of World of Toys said she thought overall attendance at this year’s event was larger than it was in 2019. “We doubled our last year numbers,” she said. “It was such a nice weather day. People wanted to get out.” While merchants were pleased with the event, some residents expressed concern over the cars jammed onto side streets — past the elementary school on West Street and behind the former farm supply store on Harrison Avenue — as well as the number of attendees not wearing masks. Wells said she thought the majority of visitors were wearing masks but took them off when eating and drinking. She said that while crowding was an issue at first it was not once police closed the road. “Once we closed the road it spread out a whole lot,” she said. Mayor Zack Tyndall said he attended Oktoberfest early in the day and noticed the increasing crowds. He said he was pleased to hear shops were staying busy, particularly during the pandemic, but added that he’d like to have seen more people wearing face masks. As for the call to close the street, Tyndall said that was done with input from the police and Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood. “It was coming from all directions,” Tyndall said. “We all came to the consensus that the road needed to be closed.” Wells said that Maryland’s State Highway Administration had given the town approval to close the road months ago. Fleetwood said that because the town hadn’t really quantified Oktoberfest as an event, the street had

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 7

Businesses Report Strong Sales During Town’s ‘Scaled Down Event’

not been closed. He said that in hindsight the road should have been closed from the start as Oktoberfest had attracted far more people than expected. When asked whether the town was now reconsidering its plan not to close streets on Halloween, Fleetwood said the issue would be discussed with police. Wells believes that since so many activities have been canceled during the pandemic people were eager to at-

tend something. “People were so looking forward to doing something outside,” she said. “People just wanted to be out and about.” Wells pointed out that the town’s merchants would have held the sidewalk sale whether or not the town held Oktoberfest. “What we tried to do was coordinate a scaled down event so everyone would know what everyone was doing,” she

said. She added that while referred to as an “event,” Oktoberfest had really just been a promotion because there had been no activities or live music and people had been encouraged not to stand and gather but to walk through town. Tyndall said he and town staff would meet this week to go over Oktoberfest and discuss best practices for the town’s Nov. 27 “Ice Ice Berlin Art Sculpture Stroll.” “It (Oktoberfest) was more heavily attended than we anticipated,” he said. “I think we need to plan for that for the ice event.” He added that Berlin’s police officers deserved praise for their efforts in handling the unexpected influx of visitors Saturday.

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Ocean City Candidates Offer Pop-Up Rally Viewpoints

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OCEAN CITY – The six candidates for the four open City Council seats along with Mayor Rick Meehan, who is running unopposed, weighed in this week on last month’s pop-up rally. The Dispatch hosted on Tuesday a virtual town hall meeting (full video of the event can be viewed on the newspaper’s website) and posed questions to the candidates on a wide variety of issues, from the recent pop-up car rally event, the crime wave in June, expanding the police department, sports tourism and economic development and many more. The candidates also fielded questions submitted by the public. This year, four at-large City Council

seats are up for election on Nov. 3 and the field of six candidates includes incumbent Councilmen Tony DeLuca and John Gehrig along with newcomers Peter Buas, Nicholas Eastman, Daniel Hagan and Frank Knight. Incumbent council members Dennis Dare and Mary Knight opted to not seek re-election, guaranteeing at least two new faces will be added to the council next month. The following serves as a transcription of the conversation on the pop-up rally. The Dispatch: Ocean City was aggressive as ever this year with its stance on the pop-up car rally event in late September, seemingly trying to make coming to Ocean City as unpleasant as possible for those intent on wreaking havoc and breaking laws. New tactics were put

in place, including heightened towing, more arrests, sudden road closures and a zero-tolerance approach to reckless driving. Did it work? What more should Ocean City do? DeLuca: Four days in September. In June, I wrote an email to OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro and to legal to have it vetted. It was entitled ‘Alternate PopUp Plan.’ It included things like speed bumps, road closures, single lanes and things that we tried this year in certain areas. We had some success this year. I feel that on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, there was some success. Saturday was terrible. Next year, some of the solutions I want to test are some speed bumps on Coastal Highway at 33rd, 45th and 94th streets. SHA came to a meeting and told us that they would


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probably let us test a couple on Coastal Highway next year. Also, I’d like to see us test some single lanes, every three or four blocks along Coastal Highway. My Saturday night plan is this. I’d like to close Baltimore Avenue from 10th to 33rd Street with no traffic whatsoever. I think each hotel and condo on Baltimore Avenue should add a security person on their lot. We did that at 48th Street this year. We had full-time security working and we had no issues. I also think that all businesses and hotels should sign up for the TEAP program. I know that many of them on Baltimore Avenue didn’t sign up. It gives police the authority to enter private property. I think those are some things we need to test next year. Knight: From what I observed, law enforcement controlled the situation until Saturday night. Through well-managed policing, they brought the situation under control. Following social media, actually many members of the 80,000member group were posting because of these tow ordinances and the increased fines and fees, they weren’t coming back. Believe me, most of them are coming back. The police did their job, the prosecutors are going to do their job, but we must hold the judicial branch accountable. Too often in court, a substantial fine of $1,200 is reduced to $50 and just a slap on the wrist, so we have to hold the judges accountable to carry out what our police officers and the state’s attorney’s office have done. I’m looking forward to hearing recommendations from the motor vehicle task force and the legislation that Delegate Hartman and Senator Carozza plan on submitting in Annapolis this year to further diminish the impact of this unruly crowd on our town. Hagan: My stance on it was two different ways. There was a lot of crime and a lot of disruption. I also saw a lot of people getting pulled over for no reason. I also saw a couple of videos that were disturbing. You know, there are ways of handling people. As you know on a greater national scale, it only takes one incident and cities get looted and burned down. Ocean City cannot handle that. We have to have a plan. We know these kinds of crowds can come down here. We have to weed out the bad ones and keep the car enthusiasts here. I believe there were criminals and I believe laws were broken, but if a business or government cannot price gouge, then a local government cannot enforce $3,000 to $4,000 fines. I disagree with that. I think maybe utilizing community service, cleaning up the beach. Hey look, you caused this damage, you caused this trash, now you’re going to go pick it up. I believe in strict enforcement and I stand behind the police. They had a hard job and worked long hours, but I believe they need to be prepared to handle situations like this without doing it physically, which should be a last resort. It only takes one bad inciSEE PAGE 36

Mayor, Council Hopefuls Discuss Tourism Direction

October 23, 2020



OCEAN CITY – One of the topics discussed during this week’s forum with candidates for next month’s election was diversifying the town’s tourism base and hiring an economic development director. The Dispatch this week hosted a virtual town hall-style forum for the six candidates for four open City Council seats along with Mayor Rick Meehan, who is running unopposed. During the town hall forum, The Dispatch posed its own questions to the candidates on a wide variety of issues and asked some queries from citizens. Competing for the four at-large City Council seats in the Nov. 3 election are incumbent Councilmen Tony DeLuca and John Gehrig along with newcomers Peter Buas, Nicholas Eastman, Daniel Hagan and Frank Knight. The entirety of the two-hour-plus forum can be viewed on the newspaper’s website. Featured here is the conversation regarding the effort to rebrand Ocean City as a youth sports destination and the hiring of an economic development director to facilitate the effort. The candidates were asked whether they support the current direction. Buas: Obviously, we’re still waiting for a job description and contemplating a role, but I absolutely do support hiring an economic director. I do think economic

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director is a bit of a misnomer because really, and I know other candidates have harped on this at length in the past, we want a salesperson, someone that hits the trade shows and really goes out and sells Ocean City and brings in the type of customer we want. We’ve got a convention center event coordinator and a group and travel coordinator, but no one that really works on the ground, traveling to places to sell the amenities of the town. If we’re going to turn around these June issues, this sort of marketing salesperson is the right step. As far as economic development goes, in my mind those issues involve zoning, taxes and the like. We have the OCDC that works on that and the county has an economic development director that partners with the HMRA and the Chamber of Commerce so we could expand our relationships there. To be clear, I absolutely support hiring a new salesperson position, but that’s just a first step. Eventually, I would advocate for a second hire and consolidate the sales role, the tourism director role and the current communications role into a tourism department the second person would sort of head up. The idea with that is a person who would set goals for the department, set up a marketing plan and really bring it full circle. As far as sports tourism goes, I think it’s been identified as a growth area for the town and it absolutely fits the sort of clientele we’re looking for and the people

we want to bring here -- families with kids that are active and we’re already working on the infrastructure to sort of fill that active role. Ocean City already has sports facilities that are utilized and, sure, we’d like to get another one, but we can sell the ones we have. The types of people sports tourism brings in bring in money and they’re the kind of people we want to spend money in our hotels and in our restaurants. Meehan: You know, I can remember years ago when I served on a parks and recreation committee and introduced the idea of beach soccer to the council and they thought we were crazy. Well, if you look at it now and you look at how many people beach soccer brings to town, they have a tournament with 400 teams and when you put the multiplier in effect, you see how many people come through those time periods. Not only do they come during those time periods, they come back and many of them become new visitors to Ocean City, so it's progressive as well as something that solves an immediate problem. I had a conversation last year with the director of the Maryland Stadium Authority and what I told him at the time was I believe Ocean City should become the amateur sports capital of the state and I truly believe that with our opportunities for sporting events on the beach and the fields that we currently have and with what we’re hopefully going to have in the near future, along with the infrastructure

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we have with all of hotels, with all of the restaurants and with all of the amenities. When you look at where people travel, this is the place to come and it’s the place to come all year-round, so I really believe in tourism and sports tourism in particular. I do believe we need to hire an economic development director or a sales rep or however you want to call the position. We’ve been talking about it for a year. I asked that it be placed on the agenda so we can stop talking about and do it. Hopefully, we’re going to have that job description sooner rather than later. Knight: I firmly believe an economic development director is needed for this town and I have agreed with this for the last year or so since it has been brought up. You have to hire a salesperson and that person has to be out on the road selling Ocean City constantly. You have to give that person a goal and if they don’t meet that goal, you move on to the next person. An obvious part of this is sports tourism. They have to know the total product that they are selling and they’ve got to be able to compartmentalize each tournament, recognize the needs of each tournament accordingly and make the pitch. These guys are going to bring in events. They’ll bring in revenue, they’ll bring in tax dollars in room and food and we’ll pass this on to our taxpayers. As far as sports tourism goes, this is definitely part of this person’s job. We SEE PAGE 39

36% Of Worcester Students Back In School, More Next Week

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch



NEWARK – Worcester County’s public schools continue to gradually return students to classrooms. Worcester County Public Schools remains in Stage Two of its Responsible Return model as COVID-19 continues to be a concern. A third of the county’s public school students are back in their schools for in-person learning and more will return on Monday. “We’ve welcomed back 36% of the population,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

“We’re very pleased with the progress we’re making.” Though schools opened virtually Sept. 8, a first wave of students was brought back Sept. 28. Two weeks later, the school system brought back more students. Taylor thanked community members for adhering to the precautions and safety measures associated with stopping the spread of COVID-19 and said that continuing to do so would be critical as more kids returned to school buildings. “The protocols are why Worcester has been so successful in implementing Stage Two,” he said. “It truly takes all of



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us working together to ensure our schools don’t experience a backslide.” According to Carrie Sterrs, the school system’s coordinator of public relations and special programs, as schools bring back more students they will reach out individually to families. “Late last week, the school system authorized schools to invite the third wave of students back into our schools beginning on Monday, Oct. 26,” she said. “Those schools have been contacting families individually to invite their child back to school. As outlined in our model, we continue to respect families' wishes if they choose to keep their child(ren) engaged in distance learning.” The county remains in Stage Two of its Responsible Return model, meaning that health and safety conditions are evaluated on a biweekly basis. Sterrs stressed that parents with questions should contact their child’s school directly. “We want to make sure we can address any questions or concerns right at the source, so any inaccurate information or speculation isn't circulated and causing confusion,” she said. As Worcester continues to move forward with in-person learning, another school system on the shore has reversed course. After seeing an increase in its positivity rate, Dorchester County has closed its school buildings and returned to virtual learning. In a statement, Superintendent Dave Bromwell said the county’s positivity rate had increased expo-

nentially in recent days, prompting the decision. “Today alone our case rate was 30.9 giving Dorchester County a positivity rate of 6.1%,” he said. “This is up from 2.5% on October 10, 2020. These both meet the health and safety metrics that require a reassessment. Through the continued collaboration of the Dorchester County Health Department and DCPS, we both have agreed that in the interest of health and safety and out of an abundance of caution, to close our school buildings.” Earlier this month, Wicomico County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hanlin outlined return plans for the more than 15,000 students in the 25school jurisdiction as well as the 1,100plus educators. As of Oct. 9, 600 students – including English language learners and those in special education, career and technology education, secondary math tutoring and some Advanced Placement science labs – were back in school. This week pre-kindergarten students returned four days a week. Kindergarten students will get back in the classroom in a hybrid model next week. On Nov. 9, first and second grades will return in the same hybrid approach, following by third through fifth grades Nov. 30. After the winter break, the week of Jan. 4, middle school students in sixth through eighth grades will begin their hybrid schedule followed by high schoolers on Feb. 1.

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Elected Officials Hear Concerns From Watermen October 23, 2020



Senator Mary Beth Carozza, Congressman Andy Harris and Delegate Wayne Hartman are pictured last week hearing concerns from area watermen. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – Elected officials assured commercial watermen they heard their concerns at a meeting last week. On Oct. 16, Congressman Andy Harris joined Sen. Mary Beth Carozza and Delegate Wayne Hartman to meet with commercial fishermen at the West Ocean City Commercial Harbor. Harris offered support as they pursue changes to ensure local watermen can continue to earn a living. “You just tell us when and to whom we have to make the case,” Harris said. Harris joined Carozza and Hartman at Sea Born Seafood last Friday to talk about issues facing local fishermen. Sonny Gwin, who operates the Skilligallee, stressed the importance of maintaining local boats’ ability to fish for black sea bass. “Black sea bass is the only fish we get we land 12 months out of the year,” he said, adding that it was the most dependable fishery. Watermen also asked Harris to work toward increasing limits on red crabs. While boats aren’t having any trouble bringing them in, they’re only allowed to bring in a small number. They sell those to customers at the docks but aren’t able to bring in enough to market beyond that. “We don’t have enough allocation to sell to restaurants,” said Sea Born’s Kerry Harrington. Hartman agreed that expanding that fishery could help local boats. “It sounds like an opportunity we could work on growing here,” he said. Gwin acknowledged selling seafood straight off the boat had helped fishermen during the pandemic but said he still wanted to see the commercial harbor remain viable on a larger scale. “It used to be a commercial harbor, now it seems like a takeaway harbor,” he said. Franky Pettolina of the Last Call said the charter boat industry also wanted to see the harbor remain commercial. “It’s a web and we’re all in it together,” Pettolina said. “I want to see it work for everyone.” Watermen at Friday’s meeting also reminded Harris that COVID-19 had impacted them as well and that they still needed relief. As a result, Harris this week applauded the news Maryland would offer aid to members of the commercial fishing industry struggling during the pandemic. Though the state was allocated $4 million in CARES funding for fisheries relief in May, the spending plan has only just been approved. “I have advocated for the creation and funding of this program in Congress, and my office has been in regular contact with NOAA to ensure that these funds were allocated and Maryland’s plan was approved as quickly as possible to provide the support so badly needed by the First District’s crucial seafood industry,” Harris said in a statement Tuesday.

OC Water Operation Use Extended

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch



OCEAN CITY – Resort officials this week approved a five-year extension for a north-end water taxi service. Two years ago, amid some opposition, the Mayor and Council approved a conditional use request allowing for a water taxi service based at a canal adjacent to the Food Lion shopping center near 118th Street. The council ultimately approved the conditional use request for the OC Bayhopper with several conditions attached including designated pick-up and drop-off times, sound amplification and others. The conditional use was approved for two years with the caveat OC Bayhopper representatives make a mid-summer and end of the year progress report. With the two-year conditional use set to expire, the planning commission earlier this month voted unanimously to send to the Mayor and Council a favorable recommendation for the requested five-year extension for the water taxi service at its current location with the same stipulations in place from the original approval. The council on Monday voted unanimously to approve the five-year extension. Councilman Tony DeLuca made the motion to approve the extension. “They’ve been a really great partner,”

he said. “We haven’t heard any complaints. They have really stepped up and now they’re working with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program on some initiatives.” During the planning commission’s public hearing on the requested extension in early March, Stephen Butz, one of the company’s owners and captains, said the five-year commitment represents an opportunity to grow the water taxi service. Butz envisioned the OC Bayhopper to become a mass transit system of sorts on the water. In order for that to happen, there will likely be some discussion between the company and town officials about gaining access to city-owned waterfront areas such as docks, piers and bulkheads, for example. For now, however, OC Bayhopper officials were only asking for the five-year conditional use extension. “We want to thank the Mayor and Council for giving us a chance,” he said. “We appreciate your faith in us. In order to build a water-based transportation system, we’re going to need a publicprivate partnership.” Mayor Rick Meehan said the town would be amenable to expanding the operation, pointing at the company’s track record thus far. “You’ve done everything you said you were going to do,” he said. “It’s been a great addition.”


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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

October 23, 2020

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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Worcester County Launches ‘Maryland’s Coast’ Brand

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch



Officials are pictured at Lighthouse Sound announcing the new marketing brand for Worcester County. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BISHOPVILLE – Worcester County launched its new place brand, Maryland’s Coast, at Lighthouse Sound on Wednesday. Elected officials joined county staff and industry partners to share the new brand, which highlights the county’s greatest asset, the ocean. “Our goal was to define a distinct brand to strengthen our county’s destination as a vibrant destination for families, vacationers, employers and entrepreneurs,” said Melanie Pursel, the county’s tourism director. Tom Perlozzo, the county’s director of recreation and parks, tourism and economic development, said the new brand was the culmination of a six-month process that engaged community leaders from throughout Worcester County. The

October 23, 2020

process included focus groups and interviews as well as an online survey. “Every place, whether large or small, is challenged to answer one simple question: Why choose here?” Perlozzo said. “Maryland’s Coast embraces Worcester’s most recognized and distinguishing physical characteristic – the Atlantic – the only place in the state where ocean meets the land.” Pursel said county staff had been busy inventorying Worcester County’s assets, developing an image library and building a tourism dashboard to highlight visitor data. Going forward, the Maryland’s Coast brand will be incorporated in a variety of marketing platforms, including websites, print advertising, vehicle logos and trade show displays. “There’s a lot involved,” Pursel said. Other speakers at Wednesday’s launch included Ivy Wells, Berlin’s economic and community development director, Fish in OC’s Scott Lenox, Worcester County Commissioner Diana Purnell and Kate Patton, executive director of Lower Shore Land Trust. Wells said it was important to promote the county’s small towns as well as Ocean City. “I think it’s really important for us to make sure that when people come to Worcester County we give them something to do that’s away from the beach,” Wells said. The county worked with Choptank Communications to develop the new brand.

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New Fenwick Hotel Granted Inside Alcohol License After 7-Hour Hearing

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October 23, 2020



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NOTICE OF ELECTION Town of Ocean City 2020 Municipal Election The Town of Ocean City is holding the Municipal Election in conjunction with the National Election. Registered Ocean City voters are able to vote in both elections at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Municipal Election will be held in Hall A; the National Election will be held in the upstairs Ballroom. The Mayor and City Council approved free bus service on Election Day. ADA service requests require a 24-hour advanced trip reservation. The building is handicap accessible. Shown is a sample ballot for the 2020 Ocean City Municipal Election which includes a mayoral candidate and six council candidates. This year, Municipal Election voters will fill in the oval to the left of the name(s) of their choice. Absentee ballot applications are available on oceancitymd.gov. A self-addressed, return envelope will be included for the ballot return or absentee ballots can be dropped in the white mailbox outside of City Hall specifically designated and marked for Municipal Election Absentee Ballots only.

FENWICK ISLAND – With approval to license the facility’s interior for alcohol sales and consumption, the connections of a new Fenwick Island hotel now await a state commissioner’s decision regarding a second-floor pool deck. In a seven-hour-long public hearing Tuesday, the Delaware Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner (OABCC), headed by Commissioner John Cordrey, granted Sands Fenwick, Inc. a license to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol inside the new Fenwick Shores hotel in Fenwick Island. However, a decision to license the hotel’s second-floor pool deck was deferred until the agency could further review evidence and testimony provided by more than 100 residents and property owners both for and against the application. “Clearly, I can in no way make a decision this evening based upon the information I have learned over the past seven hours, with the exception that there has been absolutely no evidence I find credible that indicates that the interior of the hotel should not be licensed,” Cordrey said this week. “Therefore, I am going to license the interior of the hotel and that will be done immediately.” In 2018, local developer Spiro Buas demolished the aging Sands Motel, which is located along Coastal Highway in Fenwick Island, and began building a new hotel in its place. Fenwick Shores – a 65-room boutique hotel developed under Hilton’s Tapestry Collection brand – opened to the public last week. In addition to its guest rooms, the hotel features a gym, event space and an outdoor pool, as well as food and beverage operations near the ground floor lobby and on the second-floor pool deck. “To be clear what we want here is a first-class operation, and there will be nothing less,” Buas said this week. To allow alcohol service for hotel guests, Buas applied with the OABCC for a hotel liquor license earlier this year. The application also seeks a patio per-


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mit and variance to permit live entertainment, external speakers, a paging system and a wet bar on the second-floor patio of his property. Since that time, however, several property owners have voiced their objections to the developer’s request. Attorney William Rhodunda, representing several property owners concerned about the pool bar with the potential for live or recorded music, argued this week the outdoor amenity would adversely impact neighboring property owners. “The issue here is the accessibility to this party area, and it appears there is open access to this area where you don’t have to go through the hotel lobby,” he said. “What our concern is here is that this is essentially a neighborhood bar.” Buas’ attorney, Tim Willard, disagreed. “Mr. Buas has testified this hotel is designed for guests, which doesn’t exclude guests that don’t have a room … ,” he said. “Mr. Rhodunda can speculate about it turning into a wild Dewey night club, but the physical layout doesn’t pan out to that.” Rhodunda noted his clients were not opposed to a liquor license for the firstfloor bar and restaurant, but were opposed to a license for the second-floor pool deck, as well as the associated music and paging system. James Street resident Jacque Napolitano, whose property sits directly behind the Fenwick Shores, said as much in her testimony this week. “I’m very concerned, she said. “It looms right above my home, particularly my bedroom. If they get this outdoor liquor license for the pool bar I could be kept up all night from the noise and music emanating from the upper level night club atmosphere … I’m concerned about its impacts on our neighborhood as well.” While he has requested the OABCC grant his application, Buas noted he had voluntarily placed a restriction on his license for outdoor live entertainment to alleviate some of the town’s concerns. “The mayor had some concern of live SEE NEXT PAGE


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New Library Branch Will Not Find Home On Donated Land

October 23, 2020



BERLIN – The Worcester County Library will not pursue plans for a new branch on a lot in downtown Pocomoke after learning the results of an environmental study. In a Worcester County Library Board of Trustees meeting this month, Director Jennifer Ranck announced the decision to forego the construction of a new Pocomoke branch on a downtown parcel offered by the City of Pocomoke. She said the decision stemmed from

… Pool Bar Decision Delayed For Now

entertainment in the outdoor area, so I offered this compromise …,” he said. “What I requested was that my liquor license be restricted so that any live entertainment outdoors would first need to go in front of the city council for their approval.” Resident Reid Tingle, who lives directly north of the hotel, said he had no objections to Buas’ application. “The road noise is incredible on this intersection,” he noted. “I don’t think you’ll hear anything, conversations or bar noise, because of the road.” The virtual public hearing, scheduled in response to written opposition from community members, lasted nearly seven hours and delved into issues such as management, occupancy, noise and public access to the hotel’s food and beverage areas. In his closing statement, Willard argued the property owners’ concerns regarding the outdoor pool bar were speculative. “A license is just that, an ability to operate,” he said. “But you, as the commissioner and the authority for liquor in the state, have the authority to take away that license if there are any problems. When you are anticipating how this is going to impact quality of life, I don’t think you have any evidence. All you have is speculation.” Rhodunda, however, argued the applicant had not provided proof that the liquor license was necessary to operate, nor did it provide a business plan that outlined hours of operation and crowd management. “The applicant has an obligation going forward to show good cause to need these things,” he said. “The applicant has completely failed to state good cause.” Cordrey told attendees he would consider the arguments both for and against the application before making his decision on the second-floor pool deck requests. “I will consider the various evidence, the testimony I have here as well as the various exhibits that were presented, and I will make a decision regarding the rest of the application at a point in the future,” he said.

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the results of a phase two environmental study. “We have done some phase two environmental testing of a site downtown …,” she said. “It was good to do that phase two testing because we got a report back in late August, had a meeting with department heads and decided not to pursue that location because of issues in that report.” In May, the Worcester County Commissioners approved plans for a combined library branch and senior center on the lot currently home to the Corner Sanctuary Pocomoke Community Garden. At that meeting, Ranck presented the commissioners with cost estimates for a renovation and addition at the existing library on Market Street, as well as for a new shared library and senior center at the donated property near the river. The construction of a combined facil-

ity – expected to cost $8.5 million – included 4,000 square feet for the senior center and 13,000 square feet for the library, while a renovation and addition of the current library branch included the replacement of all mechanical systems, as well as new meeting rooms and restrooms, for a total cost of $5.2 million. Citing the results of a phase one environmental report, some officials shared their hesitation in accepting a proposal for a combined facility on the donated property. According to the report, the site consists of eight parcels formerly home to a power generation company, a roller mill with petroleum storage tanks, car service garages, and a cleaning and dying operation. But after further discussion, the commissioners voted 4-3 to move forward with a scheme for the new building. As a result, the county also proceeded with

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a phase two environmental study of the site. Last week, Ranck said several underground storage tanks were located during the environmental testing. To that end, she said, the county would not pursue a new facility at the downtown property. However, Ranck noted the library was still eager to partner with the senior center on a new or renovated facility elsewhere. “We hope to include the senior center in either a new or revamped building project,” she said in a statement this week. “A combined facility makes a lot of sense in terms of the services and outreach we can provide to the community. There are a few other facilities like this in Maryland, Arbutus, Baltimore County and Leonardtown, St. Mary's County.”

Officials Discuss Bolstering Public Safety Aide Program

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OCEAN CITY – The debate over bolstering the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) continued this week with a discussion of expanding the public safety aide (PSA) program. Over the last few weeks, the Mayor and Council and the OCPD command staff have been discussing how best to grow the police department’s ranks. Chief Ross Buzzuro requested and gained approval for hiring 10 new fulltime police officers and the Mayor and Council have begun work session discussions on how best to fund the additions, which could come at a cost of around $1 million annually. The need for 10 new full-time officers, 15 actually when replacements for five officers lost to attrition are factored

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in, is based on a variety of factors including a steady increase in special events and the expansion of the offseason. However, the request is deeply rooted in the steady decline of the once-popular seasonal officer program. For decades, the OCPD has augmented it’s workforce with as many as 100 seasonal officers or more in some years. As recently as 2014, there were 646 applicants for the seasonal officer program, but that number declined to just 158 this year. Granted, recruiting efforts were curtailed by COVID-19 last spring and there are other fairly recent societal changes regarding law enforcement, but even in pre-COVID 2019, there were only 200 candidates for the seasonal officer program. Then there are the PSAs. The OCPD is essentially a three-tiered law enforcement agency, particularly during the sea-

son, with the full-time sworn officers at the top, the less-trained and less authorized seasonal officers in the middle and finally the PSAs. The PSAs are essentially foot soldiers on the Boardwalk and throughout the other densely-populated areas and serve as extra observers for the department. They provide a high degree of visibility and serve as ambassadors for the town and the OCPD, answering questions and directing visitors to services and other amenities. However, they are generally younger and have less training and experience than the seasonal officers. The PSAs do have the authority to issue municipal citations and they alert the full-time and seasonal officers when they observe illegal activity afoot. With the need for more full-time sworn officers and the decline of the seasonal

October 23, 2020

officer program, the discussion came around during Monday night’s meeting of possibly augmenting the workforce with even more PSAs. Buzzuro said the PSAs’ responsibilities have increased over the years, but they lack the training, experience and authority to do little more than assist the other officers. “A few years back we increased their capabilities,” he said. “They can issue citations. They are our extra eyes and ears out there and they are ambassadors. They can take action on the civil side, but they are just not able to do what a police officer can do.” There has been discussion about changing the PSA title to possibly make it more attractive to potential candidates looking at it as a stepping stone to a larger law enforcement career. “We’ve talked about changing their title, maybe to public safety officers,” said Councilman Dennis Dare. “They’re wearing uniforms, they are driving around in marked vehicles. I’d like to see them get more training. We need the numbers.” Councilman Tony DeLuca asked if raising the pay rate might also make it more attractive for potential PSAs. Currently, the starting pay rate is around $12 per hour, or roughly minimum wage. “Can we talk about a recommendation of their hourly rate?” he said. “They make less than Wal-Mart employees. If we want to attract them, we need to look at that.” In terms of increased training and potentially increased responsibility, Buzzuro said the department has a tight window to get the new PSAs out on the street. “We’re limited on training and the amount of time available,” he said. “Most are right out of high school or entering college and we don’t get them until they finish their academic responsibilities. This is nothing new. We’ve been doing this for years.” Buzzuro cautioned against pushing for more responsibility for the PSAs, pointing out a particularly violent stretch in June as an example of when the temporary assistants could find themselves over their heads. “When we look at the situations we had on the Boardwalk in June, the PSAs are not trained in self-defense to any degree,” he said. “They are not law enforcement officers. They are hired to give us a helping hand. They are in no way, shape or form police officers.” Nonetheless, DeLuca pointed out the invaluable service the PSAs provide including their high visibility and their ability to cite violations that often cause negative perceptions for the town. “It’s a really great program,” he said. “They write citations and they really set the tone on the little things.” Buzzuro said the department will make every effort to bolster the PSA program, but cautioned the same challenges associated with the seasonal officer program will likely be faced. “We will hire as many as we possibly can,” he said. “It just comes down to getting the candidates.”

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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Beach Bonfire Popularity Surging In Ocean City

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OCEAN CITY – Likely a by-product of restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the beach bonfire program soared this summer in Ocean City with a significant spike in permits. One of the takeaways from Tuesday’s budget update presentation was the growing success of the beach bonfire permit program. Naturally, with the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, many of the town’s revenue sources took a

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

hit, while others surprisingly thrived. One of the latter was the beach bonfire permit program. With many restaurants operating at limited capacity, movie theaters closed for much of the summer, other amusements were limited by an employee shortage and concerns abounded over a crowded Boardwalk, many visitors opted to enjoy the beach at night with family and friends around a bonfire. The numbers certainly bear that out. Budget Manager Jennie Knapp said the program came in $50,000 over bud-

October 23, 2020

get, which is significant considering the price tag for a permit. The beach bonfire permit program was one of the allstars under the heading of revenue that will exceed budget. Mayor Rick Meehan agreed. “The permit is $75, so that means there were an additional 660 bonfires,” he said. “That number is above what was budgeted, so I’m guessing we’re probably closer to 1,000 bonfires on the beach.” There were days in July when there were 50 individual permits issued for beach bonfires, sometimes two at the same street. There were 34 bonfire permits issued on a Saturday in mid-August, as another example. With the arrival of fall and cooler weather, the program still appears to be going strong. For example, there were 14 bonfire permits issued last Friday and another 26 last Saturday. Already, as of Thursday, there were 23 bonfire permits issued for this Saturday. “I think it’s great,” said Meehan. “I think in this year in particular, it was one of those things people did because of COVID. A family or a small group can enjoy themselves out on the beach in the fresh air.” Meehan said he would like a broader overview of the bonfire permit program. “I’d like to look at the permits and look

at the numbers,” he said. “You can get the permits online. It’s something that’s very easy to do.” Indeed, acquiring a beach bonfire permit is simple. A couple of years ago, the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office adopted an online platform to allow visitors and residents to apply for beach bonfire permits, streamlining the former in-person method. As a result, the number of beach bonfire permits has steadily risen since and really spiked this year. Under the old system, those seeking a permit would have to apply in person at the Fire Marshal’s office, which carefully reviewed the requested time, place and location. The fire marshal’s office applied strict rules, ensured the fees were paid and notified other town agencies that might be affected. The old system was often cumbersome, and permits were often applied for days and even weeks in advance. Under the online system, the same safeguards and oversight are in place, but those desiring to have a bonfire on the beach that same day, or even hours in advance, can gain the permits and get signed off for their events. There are strict rules for carefully putting out and covering beach bonfires and the Fire Marshal’s Office follows up on each one along with the town’s public works department.

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Wicomico Reappoints Legal Counsel

October 23, 2020



SALISBURY – Wicomico’s legislative body agreed this week to rehire Paul Wilber to serve as county attorney, more than a year after his termination. On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to confirm Wilber’s appointment as county attorney and to engage the law firm of Webb, Cornbrooks, Wilber, Vorhis, Douse & Mathers, LLP to serve as the county’s department of law. This week’s vote – made with no discussion by members of the council – comes more than a year after the legislative body agreed to remove Wilber from the county attorney post. In May 2019, the council voted 6-1 with Councilman Bill McCain opposed to fire Wilber – who had served in the office of county attorney since 2015 – effective July 31. Those who voted to remove Wilber from office did not provide their reasoning for the termination at the time. Two weeks prior, however, Wilber issued a letter outlining disagreements regarding his role in representing the county. He wrote that certain members of the county council requested he resign, while County Executive Bob Culver – who passed away in July – requested that he remain. In the months that followed, Culver put the legal services out to bid, and three law firms – the Law Offices of Hearne & Bailey, P.A., Laws, Insley & Benson, P.A., and Webb, Cornbrooks, Wilber, Vorhis, Douse, Leslie & Mathers, LLP – submitted proposals. In an August 2019 meeting, Culver recommended the council rehire Wilber’s law firm, submitting Wilber’s name for confirmation. “Three bids were evaluated and Mr. Wilber’s firm was both the most qualified and lowest priced of the firms that bid,” Culver wrote in a letter to the council. “Given the results of the bidding and the overwhelming positive feedback from County Department Heads and personnel, I am submitting Paul Wilber to the Council for approval as County Attorney.” But after a lengthy discussion, the council voted 6-1 to reject Wilber’s appointment. “I was somewhat surprised to see the executive would turn in the name of a county attorney that we had just fired … ,” Councilman John Cannon said at the time. “To a certain degree it creates unnecessary delays. We all know this is of the utmost importance. This has to get done and come to some sort of resolution.” It should be noted that the county’s charter allows the county executive to appoint an acting attorney for 90 days without the approval of council. The next morning Culver announced Wilber would serve as the acting county attorney effective immediately. But since that 90-day period expired last November, Wilber has continued to serve as the county’s “de facto” attorney despite council’s requests that the executive select a new candidate. Without a

Marlene Ott

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

duly appointed county attorney, the council argued the county would be unable to conduct essential business transactions, such as issuing bonds, ratifying contracts and legal documents and accepting grants, among other things. “The Charter expressly states that the appointment may not exceed 90 calendar days except by Council approval,” Cannon wrote in a letter issued last November. “During that period Mr. Culver could have worked with the County Council to select another County Attorney or asked Council to extend the temporary appointment but did not do so. Instead, Mr. Culver has informed Council members that he intends to continue to use Mr. Wilber as the County Attorney.” After months of back-and-forth debate, Acting County Executive John Psota in September submitted Wilber’s name for appointment to the office of county attorney, according to the resolution approved on Tuesday. With no discussion, the council voted 7-0 to rehire Wilber and engage the services of his law firm. “Based upon the recommendation of the Acting County Executive, the Council believes that it is appropriate and in the best interest of the County to confirm the appointment of Mr. Wilber as the County Attorney,” the resolution reads, “and approve the engagement of the Firm to serve as the County’s Department of Law.”

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Couple Arrested For Hotel Fracas

OCEAN CITY – A Maryland couple was arrested on various charges last week after allegedly causing a scene at a midtown hotel. Around 11:50 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a hotel at 66th Street to assist hotel staff with an eviction. The responding officers met with the hotel manager, who reportedly told police she had walked past a room on the eighth floor and heard aggressive yelling and arguing. The officers made contact with the male occupant of the room, identified as Tavon Anderson, 29, of Hyattsville, Md., who told police he was staying in the room with his girlfriend, identified as Bridgette Bailey, 22, of Mount Ranier, Md. Anderson reportedly told police he and Bailey had been consuming large amounts of alcohol and began to aggressively argue. Anderson told police he began to pack his bags to leave the hotel. Bailey was interviewed and told police a similar version of the events leading up to their arrival. OCPD officers and the hotel manager advised Anderson not to leave the hotel because of his level of intoxication. The OCPD officers then left the room, but as they were heading to the elevators, the hotel manager ran toward them and advised Anderson and Bailey were arguing again. As the officers re-entered the room, they observed Anderson screaming at Bailey, who was allegedly cowering in the corner of the balcony. According to police reports, Bailey appeared to be scared and told the officers “I just want you to come in and make him go.” The hotel manager issued a trespass warning to Anderson, who ultimately refused to leave the property and was placed under arrest. While the officers were escorting Anderson to the elevators, Bailey approached them aggressively and demanded they release him. According to police reports, as the elevator doors were closing, Bailey forced them back open, pushed one OCPD officer to the side of the elevator and grabbed onto Anderson. At that point, Bailey was also arrested for second-degree assault on an officer and obstructing and hindering. When an officer attempted to handcuff her, she allegedly pulled her arms away in an attempt to avoid being taken into custody. Once Anderson and Bailey were escorted out of the hotel and onto the public sidewalk, they reportedly began arguing again, screaming profanities and attracting the attention of a crowd of people who had gathered at the scene. Bailey was charged with second-degree assault, obstructing and hindering, resist-

October 23, 2020

ing arrest and disturbing the peace. Anderson was also charged with seconddegree assault, trespassing, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace.

Drugs, Weapon Arrest OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man was arrested on drug and weapons charges last week after a routine traffic stop. Around 11:55 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area observed a vehicle traveling on Philadelphia Avenue with its rear tail lamps completely dark. The officer reportedly pulled alongside the vehicle and observed its headlights were on. The officer also observed the driver, identified as Alexander Fisher, 27, of Lititz, Pa., to be rigid and staring straight ahead. The officer slowed down to doublecheck if the vehicle’s tail lights were still not working and eventually pulled Fisher over. Fisher reportedly pulled into a downtown gas station and got out of the vehicle as if he was going to pump gas. The officer noted the open gas cap was on the driver’s side of the vehicle, while the gas pumps were on the passenger side. Fisher was ordered back into the vehicle and complied by providing his license and registration. While speaking with Fisher about the traffic violations, the officer observed a smoking device with marijuana residue in it in the driver’s door pocket. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, the officer located two Alprazolam pills in a plastic baggie, one white sheet of paper with black stripes wrapped in tin foil identified as LSD. When asked about the paper, Fisher reportedly told the officer it was just trash. Fisher later told the officer he uses the LSD for leg pain because he broke two femurs. During a search of Fisher’s person incident to his arrest on drug possession charges, the officer located a fixed-blade knife and additional charges were tacked on.

Guilty Verdicts In Handgun Case OCEAN CITY – A Bridgeville, Del., man, arrested last November after allegedly pulling a gun on his girlfriend during an argument in a vehicle with her young children inside, was found not guilty last week on the first-degree assault charge, but was found guilty on weapons charges. Around 9 p.m. last Nov. 22, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of a hotel at 66th Street for a reported woman attempting to walk across the street with her children, who were crying, accordSEE NEXT PAGE

... Cops & Courts

October 23, 2020

ing to police reports. OCPD officers met with the visibly upset female victim, who told police she had been in an argument with her boyfriend, later identified as Sawndale Auguste, now 26, of Bridgeville, while they were returning from a family outing for pizza along with her two children, ages four and eight. The victim reportedly told police the argument with Auguste turned physical when he grabbed her by the throat in a choke-hold while she was driving. When the vehicle came to a stop, the victim’s two children were able to get out and run away. The victim was able to eventually get out of the vehicle and run after her children. According to police reports, Auguste then slid over to the driver’s seat and attempted to drive away, but the victim stood in front of the vehicle because she did not want Auguste to drive because he had been drinking, according to police reports. A witness nearby later told police Auguste screamed “get the [expletive deleted] out of the way or I’ll run you over,” according to police reports. OCPD officers interviewed the eightyear-old child, who reportedly told police Auguste had put the victim in a headlock while she was driving. The young witness told police Auguste then grabbed a pistol and pointed it at the victim’s leg while threatening to kill her, according to police reports. The young witness told police he became scared when Au-

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch guste allegedly racked the slide on the handgun, which is when he and his sister ran away from the vehicle. When interviewed again, the victim reportedly told police Auguste had produced a silver and black handgun and racked the slide. After gaining a consent to search the victim’s vehicle, OCPD officers located a 9-millimeter handgun in the center console. A search of Auguste’s person revealed a 9mm caliber bullet in his pants pocket matching the type of ammunition found in the handgun. The pistol was loaded with four rounds in the chamber, according to police reports. Witnesses at the hotel corroborated the victim’s story about her children running from the vehicle and the victim standing in front of it to prevent Auguste from running away. Based on all of the evidence and the victim and witness testimony, Auguste was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, possession of a handgun in the commission of a felony, reckless endangerment and multiple other counts related to the stolen handgun. Last week, a Worcester County jury found Auguste guilty of possession of an illegal firearm and illegal possession of ammunition. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 30.

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Back on Aug. 28, 2019, an undercover OCPD officer made arrangements to purchase an ounce of marijuana from a suspected dealer, identified as Perrin McNeill, 37, of Ocean City. The officer contacted McNeill, who reportedly agreed to meet the officer in the parking lot of an uptown hotel at 3:30 p.m. McNeill arrived at the appointed time and made the transaction with the undercover officer, exchanging one ounce of marijuana for $280, according to police reports. On Sept. 12, the undercover OCPD officer again made arrangements to purchase one ounce of marijuana. This time, the appointed time and place for the transaction was a north-end movie theater parking lot. According to police reports, McNeill arrived in his white Jaguar and approached the officer in his ve-

hicle carrying a Crown Royal bag. McNeill produced an ounce of marijuana from a plastic baggie within the cloth bag and exchanged it for $280 in cash from the officer. McNeill was allowed to leave as the officer continued to build a case against him. A week later, the same OCPD officer observed McNeill operating his vehicle in the area of a pharmacy and convenience store near 120th Street and Coastal Highway. The officer requested uniformed officers to the area to take McNeill into custody. He was arrested and charged with multiple counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. Last week, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to six months.



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Snow Hill Property Rezoning Request Approved Judge Finds OP

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SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners this month agreed to rezone 55 acres off Nassawango Road in Snow Hill. The commissioners voted unanimously earlier in October to approve a request to reclassify 55 acres of RP (Resource Protection) property as A-1 agricultural. The change brings the zoning classification in line with the use of the property, which is currently farmland. Attorney Hugh Cropper told the commissioners his clients were asking to rezone the property because a mistake had been made in 2009 when the property had been labeled RP during the county’s comprehensive rezoning, as it had been designated agricultural prior

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

to that. He said the property had been farmed for generations. The Worcester County Planning Commission considered the request in July and gave it a favorable recommendation as long as the land along the river was left in the RP category. “We do agree the wetland portion should be excluded and should remain RP,” Cropper said. He added that the property he proposed rezoning was designated as agricultural in the county’s comprehensive plan. “The majority of the area is an agricultural field that’s been tilled for 100 years,” he said. Commissioner Josh Nordstrom said he wanted to be sure the change wouldn’t have a negative impact on the environment, as the land was currently lab-

eled resource protection. “I want to be real sure we’re not causing harm to the environment,” he said. Cropper said the wetlands along the river would remain protected but the upland 55 acres, which is primarily tilled land now, would be relabeled A-1. He said the RP zone was meant for wetlands, riparian corridors and the like, not tilled fields. Commissioner Ted Elder said officials should work with farmers, as the industry was already facing increased regulation. “I think we need to look out more for our farmers now,” he said. “It’s getting tougher and tougher all the time for them to make ends meet… We need to do what we can for them.” The commissioners voted 7-0 to approve the rezoning request.

Should Have Held Referendum In ‘19

October 23, 2020



OCEAN PINES – A Worcester County Circuit Court judge ruled the Ocean Pines Association should have held the referendum related to board spending proposed by a resident last year. Judge Beau Oglesby on Wednesday denied a motion to dismiss the case filed by Slobodan Trendic against the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) related to its failure to hold a referendum after he submitted a petition to do so last year. In addition, the judge granted Trendic’s request for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether OPA and its board acted improperly in rejecting the petition and essentially ordered the association to move forward with the referendum. “My client is very pleased with the ruling, which is certainly fully supported by the undisputed facts and the applicable law; and we hope the board will act in accordance with this ruling, not only in this case and as to Mr. Trendic’s referendum petition, but also as to future referendum petitions that should be advanced to a membership vote,” said Bruce Bright, Trendic’s attorney. “As reflected in this ruling by the court, the board members cannot act as they unilaterally wish on these matters; they must act in accordance with the OPA governing documents and their own resolutions.” Trendic filed a lawsuit against OPA last year after the association’s board rejected a petition he’d submitted regarding holding a referendum to lower the board’s spending limit. Though OPA’s legal counsel verified that the petition included 808 signatures — enough to trigger a referendum — counsel said the petition was worded incorrectly and was subsequently rejected. At that point Trendic took the issue to court. Oglesby on Wednesday ruled that the petition met OPA requirements and that OPA was required to put the question to referendum. “… this court finds that the Ocean Pines Association, Inc.’s Board of Directors acted improperly, incorrectly, and in contravention of its by-laws when it decided not to act upon plaintiff’s petition and refused to advance the referendum question for vote by Ocean Pines Association, Inc. members,” the judge’s order reads. The judge goes on to order that the OPA carry out its duties. The court did not make a decision on whether Trendic should be awarded his attorney fees and court costs. Larry Perrone, OPA president, said Thursday he had no comment on the ruling.

Man Arrested After High-Speed Chase

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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OCEAN CITY – A Georgia man is being held without bond this week in Worcester County after allegedly leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase last Friday. Around 10:20 p.m. last Friday, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Communications Center started receiving numerous calls from citizens regarding a reckless driver on Coastal Highway in the area of 33rd Street and again at 70th Street. Callers reported the silver pick-up truck with Georgia tags was traveling at a high rate of speed and had nearly caused two accidents, according to police reports. An OCPD officer observed the pickup truck, driven by Roger Forrest, 42, of Decatur, Ga., driving northbound on Coastal Highway in the area of 64th Street at an estimated 100 mph in a 40-mph zone. The officer activated his emergency lights and siren and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the truck failed to stop. The officer continued in pursuit to the area of 112th Street and observed Forrest allegedly swerving back and forth as he traveled through the Gold Coast Mall parking lot. It was later determined Forrest’s vehicle struck a parked and unattended vehicle in the parking lot before continuing back out onto Coastal Highway. The officer continued the pursuit as Forrest allegedly drove south on Coastal Highway at a high rate of speed, reaching 80 mph at 100th Street, for example. The pursuit continued westbound on Route 90 at speeds over 100 mph, according to police reports. Officers in pursuit observed Forrest cross the center double-yellow lines numerous times to pass other vehicles on the highway. The high-speed pursuit continued west on Route 90 and then onto northbound Route 113 into Delaware. After about 25 minutes of pursuing Forrest, the Delaware State Police were able to disable the vehicle and take Forrest into custody. When it was all said and done, Forrest led police from at least six different law enforcement agencies and two states on a reckless pursuit for 31 minutes and 43 miles. According to police reports, Forrest appeared intoxicated and was belligerent with officers. Forrest was arrested in Delaware where the pursuit ended and he was arraigned and released in Delaware the next day. Officers applied for and received a warrant for Forrest, charging him with 19 total counts for the portion of the chase that occurred in Ocean City. Officers went to the hotel at 112th Street where Forrest was staying on Sunday and arrested him. Witnesses came forward reporting Forrest hit a parked car in the parking lot during that aspect of the pursuit. Forrest was ordered to be held without bond.



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Blunt talk on Growth highlights planning comm. meeting

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch



BERLIN – Talk of government overreach and unnecessary law dominated a Berlin Planning Commission discussion of a new resilience element for the town’s comprehensive plan. The commission met last Wednesday to review a resilience element proposed as an addition to the town’s comprehensive plan. The majority of the commission expressed concern with the extensive document drafted by the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center. “If our local philosophy is we’re antiregulation and nonsensical stuff, and this is not a necessity, why go there?” commission member Pete Cosby said. “Why do we want to break ground in this zone of opening doors for more regulation?” The commission was tasked with reviewing an executive summary of the extensive resilience element. Though Cosby initially began proposing text changes, commission member Newt Chandler suggested scrapping the en-

tire resilience document. “It looks like more regulation, more taxation, upon the citizens of the town,” he said. “Things we can’t afford and don’t need.” Chris Denny, chair of the commission, agreed. “It’s duplication,” he said. “All kinds of stuff we’re doing anyway.” Cosby said that while thinking about resilience wasn’t a bad idea, he agreed that the document wasn’t needed because much of what was in the element was common sense. “I’d just as soon not have all these words everywhere and too much law,” said Cosby, an attorney. Planning Director Dave Engelhart said the element had been drafted by the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center with grant money the town had received. He discussed the concept of resilience. “It should be part of your thinking going forward to have money set aside in your budget to prepare…,” he said. “Resilience is adapting to whatever comes along.” Chandler said if the town spent its

money wisely it would have funds set aside for emergencies. “We don’t need a multi-page document to accomplish that,” he said. “Our city council should be doing that anyway.” Chandler said that if the resilience element was added to the comprehensive plan, it, like the rest of the plan, could be quoted by lawyers as documentation supporting certain projects in town. “They’ll be pointing to this,” he said. Commission member Matt Stoehr reminded his peers that while they were arguing over the executive summary, the entire resilience element was linked to it. Denny said the document was just too far reaching. He pointed out that it addressed things like increasing tree canopy. “Look at California,” he said. “It’s on fire because of their increased urban tree canopy and they’re bringing that crap here.” Commission member D.J. Lockwood said that while the entire element was too much, he supported the idea of some kind of resilience element. “Resilience is about protecting what













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you have,” he said. “Looking forward and trying to see what could possibly happen and being ready.” He added that something like exploring allowing golf carts could be a little thing the town could do. “You don’t have to make mandates you just make suggestions to save yourself,” he said. “We know the world’s changing. It’s small things to look out for yourself. That’s the resilience I see, not doing a bunch of crazy stuff.” Chandler agreed but said that the town was already doing just that. “We tackle those kinds of problems, as does the council,” he said. “We don’t need a multi-page document of people across the bridge telling us how to run our deal here.” Commission member Ron Cascio said the element was not a mandate and said he didn’t understand the fear the rest of the commission had of it. “If you put it in the comprehensive plan it means you agree to it,” Chandler interjected. “It also means you should follow it.” Cascio said the final decision on the resilience element was up to the town council. “They’re going to do what they want to do no matter what we say,” he said. Stoehr encouraged the public to review both the resilience element and the executive summary. “They need to understand if they’re getting this (the summary) they’re getting this (the entire plan),” he said. “That is to me the scary part of this whole process.” Engelhart acknowledged that the planning commission already reviewed much of what was in the resilience element, such as stormwater, density and trees, but added that the element was just a guidance document, not a mandate. “It’s aspirational,” he said. Chandler maintained that it was unnecessary. “If you give a government official a document that says you should spend money on this guess what, they’re going to spend money on it,” he said. “That’s just their nature. We don’t need any SEE NEXT PAGE

… Addition To Comprehensive Plan Questioned

October 23, 2020

more regulation, we don’t need any more taxes, we don’t need to be encumbered by things we shouldn’t have bought to start with. We’re out of money now. We don’t need people across the bridge telling us what we have to do.” Cosby, a lawyer, said he referenced comprehensive plans in his work all the time. He said while the plan was not law it was a persuasive directive that was useful when making a case for something. He said the town should set a precedent. “We don’t need more law we need more precise law stated more concisely,” he said. As the conversation turned to the town’s comprehensive plan as a whole, Cosby said he thought Berlin’s was a good one. Cascio said he thought the town needed to communicate with Worcester County to ensure agreement on growth areas. He added that he wanted to hear from the public as well. “Since we represent those people we should hear from them,” he said. Denny said the meeting was open and the public was not in attendance. He compared the situation to the multiple objections filed a couple weeks ago regarding the appointment of Austin Purnell to the commission. “I don’t want to hear how they don’t have access to the information,” he said. “They had plenty of information about Mr. Purnell down here.” Cascio said they likely didn’t realize it was time to come to the meeting to weigh in. “They can sit there and fire off snotty little things about him online all the time but they can’t bring their ass in here?” Denny said, adding that he’d been on the commission for 20 years. “The participation out here is pretty much nil.” Chandler, another longtime commission member, disagreed and said he was approached by people regarding planning commission matters. “Certainly when you walk around town and people know you’re on the planning commission they certainly voice their opinion,” he said. “I’m hearing a lot of people don’t want any more residential annexations, especially these high-density projects. They’re aware.” Going back to the comprehensive plan, commission members agreed that protecting the town’s quality of life was critical. they again stressed the importance of working with the county to come to an agreement on growth areas at the town’s borders. Cascio and Cosby also talked about the possibility of buying and transferring development rights to ensure green space. “We have to figure out what determines that quality of life and how do we protect it for ourselves and our children,” Cascio said. “Not the people who want to come here.”

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 29








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10th Annual Autumn Home Show, Halloween Activities Planned In Art & Craft Fair Kicks Off Friday Resort For Modified O.C.Toberfest

Page 30

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

OCEAN CITY – The 10th Annual Autumn Home & Condo Show and Art & Craft Fair returns this weekend to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center on 40th Street. Hours of operation for the events are Friday, Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Attendees to the show will be able to find everything you need for your home through interior and outdoor displays, showcasing of new products and ideas on remodeling, decorating, accessorizing and renovating. There will be plenty of professionals of all trades on hand, all putting their best-foot-forward for you, just ask for expert advice and their show

specials. Additional show highlights include artists and crafters from near and far; free drawings, door prizes, free parking and bargains galore. Reduced admission is $5 per person; ages 15 and under are free; and complimentary admission has been extended to those with valid identification for police, fire fighters, first responders and nurses. The event’s show floor plan has been approved by the Worcester County Health Department and will respect social distancing. Facial coverings will be required for all visitors and vendors. Temperature checks will be required for everyone entering building.

OCEAN CITY – The 9th Annual O.C.Toberfest will return this weekend with modifications to adhere to social distance requirements. To kick off the weekend, Friday night, Oct. 23, bring a blanket to the beach near North Division Street, and make sure to sit six feet away from the nearest blanket and watch the fireworks display beginning at 7 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2424, experience all the thrills of the giant Halloween Beach Maze. Children of all ages can enjoy a pleasant scream as they meander the sands of the giant, bigger and better than ever, beach maze. Wicked witches, pirates of the sand, scary scarecrows, ghouls in the graveyard, creepy clowns, zombies and more will add to the excitement. Please

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note masks will be required to walk through the maze and families will be allowed in one group at a time to ensure for a safe event for all. Another event that will take place as part of the O.C.Toberfest events will be the “Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade” Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. on the Boardwalk near North Division Street. Dress up your pets and parade the boards or sit back, relax and cheer for your favorite. Lots of prizes and surprises will be awarded. While the event is free to participate, donations of pet supplies and monetary donations will be collected for the Worcester Humane Society. They might even have a few furry friends with them that are up for adoption. Pre-registration is highly encouraged. To register complete the application online www.octoberfestmd.com and email to infoevent@specialeventpro.com. Please note facemasks for all human participants (and spectators) are required. After the pet parade, participants and spectators can sit back and watch the Drive in Disguise parade, which features cars decorated for Halloween parading down the Boardwalk. The parade leaves 27th Street at 3 p.m. and goes south towards the Inlet. The decorated cars will stop in the Inlet parking lot for trunk or treating. For more information on the Drive in Disguise Parade visit www.ococean.com. On Saturday evening enjoy a spooktacular drive-in movie, featuring Hocus Pocus in the Inlet Parking Lot. While the movie is free to watch please make sure to pay for parking. The fun continues with “The Great Pumpkin Race” on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. on the Boardwalk near North Division Street. Build your own pumpkin race car to bring and compete in this wacky and zany side-by-side downhill race. Plus, there will be lots of room to watch these exciting races. Prizes will be awarded in each division as well as for creativity. If you’re ready to start building your race car, see complete rules online. Masks will be required by all participants and spectators and pre-registration is highly encouraged. All O.C.Toberfest events are free thanks to the sponsorship by the Ocean City Mayor and City Council along with the Department of Tourism, Tourism Advisory Board and Hotel Motel Restaurant Association. To limit contact, pre-registration for the Pet Parade and Pumpkin Race is highly encouraged. Email completed applications to infoevent@specialeventpro.com. For more information visit octoberfestmd.com or call 410-798-6304.

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Page 31

Three Area Realtors Honored With Lifetime Achievement Awards

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BERLIN – The Coastal Association of REALTORS recognized three winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award this week. On Wednesday, the Coastal Association of REALTORS (CAR) recognized Joy Snyder, Marlene Ott and Paul Faulstich with a 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. Each year, CAR honors members through several awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to those members who have at least 25 years of experience, and it is based on association activity, civic activity, education, and business practices. “CAR is very proud of the diverse set of qualified members for this prestigious award,” said CAR Executive Vice President Page Browning. “Each of the three recipients served in different ways to form the association as it is today and they are all deserving of the award. We could not be more proud of them as professionals and as citizens of our community.” With more than 40 years in the real estate industry, Snyder, of Re/Max Advantage Realty in Ocean City, was recognized for her professionalism, dedication and ethics this week. “You serve as an example to all of us, and we cannot be more proud of you,” said Broker Owner Alexander Karavasilis. Snyder, who was presented with the award at the Re/Max office in Ocean City, said she was surprised by the reception. “It demonstrates dedication to the business,” she said. Snyder began her career in land development and construction before going into residential sales. She has served the Ocean City community for more than 30 years.

“I came to Ocean City and never left,” she said. “I am very proud of our very tight-knit real estate community. We look out for each other, help each other and we enforce ethics.” Snyder has contributed to CAR over the years by serving on committees and task forces and teaching contract classes. She holds multiple prestigious designations from the National Association of REALTORS and participates in various community organizations, including the American Heart Association, Evening with Nick, CASA and more. Ott of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty in Ocean Pines was also recognized on Wednesday. A REALTOR for more than 40 years, Ott holds Certified Residential Specialist and Graduate, REALTOR Institute designations and has served on CAR’s Workforce Housing and Nominating committees. She also founded the Women’s Council of REALTORS Delmarva Chapter. Ott, an active community member, has served in a leadership capacity for many organizations, including the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce, Worcester County Planning Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony. Faulstich, of Century 21 New Horizon, was this week’s third recipient of the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. A REALTOR member for more than 50 years, Faulstich was instrumental in creating the first online Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for CAR and served on several local, state and national committees. In addition to being named REALTOR of the Year in 1996 and serving as MLS chairman in 1980, he was a charter member and past director and president of the Ocean City Board of REALTORS before its merger with CAR. Faulstich also served as the president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS from 1996 to 1997.

October 23, 2020


The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Alvin Philip (Popeye) Wendling OCEAN CITY – Al Wendling AKA “Popeye” or “Pop” Wendling, age 84, left this world to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on Oct. 17, 2020 at Stansell House Coastal Hospice in Ocean Pines. He died of lung cancer related disease. He was born in East Baltimore on July 4, 1936 and was a true Yankee doodle dandy, the only son of the late Philip and Catherine (Freitag) Wendling, and grandson Peter and Susannah Wendling. He is survived by his devot- AL WENDLING ed and patient wife, Sally (Nagle) Wendling, whom he met in Ocean City when he was in college and she was a waitress. They raised their family in Landover Hills, Md. before moving to Ocean Pines. They recently celebrated 61 years of marriage in August. He leaves five sons and a daughter, Matthew (Brenda) of Edinburg, Va., Peter (Prayoon) of Berwyn Heights, Md., John (Lynne) of Ocean Pines, Chaz (Kelle) of Rockledge, Fla., Drew (girlfriend Patty) and Suzanne (David) Landacre of Camden, W.Va. He also he leaves five grandchildren, Coty-Sue (Joseph) Swiger, Josie-Lynn Landacre, Paige and Adam Wendling and Kylie Wendling. He was predeceased by his be-

loved grandson, Jacob (Jake) Landacre. He was a great-grand “pop” to Kolby, Kolton, and Korbin Swiger and Maddox Landacre. He also leaves numerous nieces and nephews to whom he was known affectionately as Uncle Al. He also will be missed by his pet cockatiel, Tanto and new mini-pug canine friend, Scout. He also left behind many friends -- Michelle, George, Tony, Lisa and Vincent to name a few. Alvin graduated from Baltimore Polytechnical Institute (BPI-1955) and the University of Maryland where he studied Industrial Arts Education (1960), and was pledged to the Sigma Chi fraternity. After graduating he worked in the fabricated steel industry all the while working for the A&P grocery stores as a produce manager and various independent grocery stores in Montgomery County. For a period of time he worked as a maintenance foreman and assistant verger at the Washington Cathedral where he became an Episcopalian. Popeye was truly an innovator of marketing the first “Temporary Tattoos” and joke novelties on the Boardwalk and in Downtown Ocean City. His shop re-

sembled a combination of psychedelic light show, rock concert, T-shirt and Halloween apparel and tattoo parlor of bygone days but with lots more fun novelty items for families with kids. Pop certainly was one of the Boardwalk’s greatest showmen for a generation of Ocean City visitors. Between 1985 and 2010 he could be observed strolling the Boardwalk as Popeye while promoting his temporary tattoos and Pops Joke shop on Somerset Avenue. They all now have become a part of the vanishing Ocean City history. A private memorial service will be

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Obituaries cost $50 to appear in The Dispatch and photos are no extra charge. Direct all inquiries to editor@mdcoastdispatch.com, fax to 410-641-0966 or mail to P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811.

Page 33 held Saturday, Oct. 24 at The Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin, Maryland at 1 p.m. Friends and relatives of the family are invited. Precautions will be exercised by wearing masks and cleaning hands. In lieu of flowers, donations in Al’s memory may be made to St. John Nuemann Scholarship Fund, 11242 Racetrack Rd., Berlin, Md. 21811, Stansell House Coastal Hospice, P.O. Box 1733 Salisbury, Md. 21804 or the Ocean City Senior Center Meals on Wheels program, WorCOA Administrative Offices 4767 Snow Hill Rd, Snow Hill, Md. 21863. Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral home in Berlin. Condolences may be shared with the family via www.burbagefuneralhome.com.



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Retiring Ocean City Lifesaving Museum Curator Celebrated

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Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan presented long-time Ocean City Lifesaving Station Museum Curator Sandy Hurley with a key to the city at this week’s council meeting. Photo courtesy of Diana Chavis

OCEAN CITY – An era ended this week with the retirement of Ocean City Lifesaving Station Museum curator Sandy Hurley, whose family has been at the helm of the iconic facility at the south end of the Boardwalk for over half a century. Hurley was feted with a special retirement ceremony by the Mayor and Council at City Hall on Monday, fortunately during one of the first in-person sessions in months. Hurley’s late fatherin-law George Hurley, a former Ocean City councilman and Worcester County Commissioner, was one of the founders of the museum in the 1970s when the old and dilapidated lifesaving station was moved from up the beach to its permanent home at the foot of the Boardwalk where it became the museum. Her mother-in-law Sue Hurley was the museum’s first curator and ran the prized facility from 1978 until 2010. Sandy Hurley first started working for the Town of Ocean City in 1981 as an executive secretary and became the curator of the Lifesaving Station Museum in 2010 upon the retirement of Sue Hurley. Therefore, a Hurley has been the curator of the museum since its inception, a span of 52 years. “It’s always difficult when we see employees and those we work with all

October 23, 2020

these years move on to other things,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. Meehan recalled meeting Sandy Hurley decades ago on the Boardwalk. “I met Sandy long before she worked for the Town of Ocean City,” he said. “I had a store in the George Washington Hotel on the Boardwalk and there was a young lady, I think she was about 12, working as a switchboard operator behind the desk.” The mayor pointed out the Hurley family’s history in Ocean City and praised Sandy for shepherding the museum all these years. “Her mother-in-law Sue Hurley was the first curator, and when Sue retired, Sandy took the job,” he said. “The museum has remained one of the focal points and really one of the treasures of the town of Ocean City under your leadership. You really have played an important role in Ocean City and you know the history because of your family’s history.” The Ocean City Lifesaving Station was built in 1891 and was used by the town’s “surf men” for decades as they responded to shipwrecks off the coast and saved many lives. The U.S. Coast Guard used the facility until 1964. In 1977, it was scheduled for demolition before a group of concerned citizens, including George Hurley, saved the building and moved it to its current location, where it became the museum.

Cricket Center Holds Virtual Benefit

October 23, 2020



BERLIN – A virtual fundraising event is expected to help a local advocacy center as it continues to offer support services to abused and neglected children in Worcester County. From Oct. 21 through Oct. 30, the Cricket Center – Worcester County’s only child advocacy center – will hold its “Hands Across Worcester” virtual fundraising event. Wendy Myers, the Cricket Center’s executive director, said all proceeds will benefit abused children in Worcester County. “We are the only child advocacy center in Worcester County, and every case of child abuse is processed through our facility,” she said. “Child advocacy centers are our best defense against child abuse.” In Maryland, every county is required to have a child advocacy center, which brings together a multidisciplinary team made up of law enforcement officers, child protective service personnel, prosecutors, lawyers, advocates, mental health therapists and medical personnel to collaborate on child abuse cases. In 2019, for example, 1,024 children – or roughly 14% of Worcester County children under the age of 18 – were referred to the Cricket Center for physical and sexual abuse and neglect. Throughout the year, the Cricket Center handled 167 physical abuse investigations, 93 sexual abuse investigations and 282 neglect investigations, and provided 832 hours of trauma therapy. But while these centers are mandated, Myers noted they are not funded by the state. To that end, the Cricket Center relies on competitive grants, county and municipal funding, and fundraisers to run its program. “It is a really unique situation where we have to do our jobs, and there is no funding for that,” she said. “So we really rely on the community.” Each year, the Cricket Center hosts four major fundraisers, all of which were canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the nonprofit is now faced with a $96,000 shortfall. “We have had a lot of expenses we hadn’t budgeted for,” Myers said. “We provided services every day throughout the pandemic.” Myers explained the nonprofit’s “Hands Across Worcester” virtual fundraising event will allow the center to continue assisting child abuse and neglect victims. She noted the Cricket Center is experiencing a significant increase in referrals as children go back to school and annual wellness visits. “Helping kids and families heal is an important part of the process,” she said. “The work we do is really important for the future of Worcester County.” “Hands Across Worcester” will take place Oct. 21 through Oct. 30. During that time, community members who provide a donation of $25 or more will be entered into a daily raffle for prizes, including a two-night stay at The Grand

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Hotel, four rounds of golf with cart at Lighthouse Sound, candy for a year at Wockenfuss Candies and $100 from Park Place Jewelers, to name a few. “Everyone who donates by 8 p.m. will be entered into that day’s drawing,” Myers said. “We have some great prize packages.” To kick off the virtual event, Myers and the center’s facility dog, Josiah, will join Full Circle Duo on Ocean 98.1 on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 8-10 a.m. to answer questions and discuss the critical need for children who are victims of child abuse in Worcester County. Patty Falck, chair of the Cricket Center Foundation, encouraged everyone to donate, no matter the amount. “When a child is abused they carry that burden for life,” she said. “But how they carry it, and hopefully work through it, is what the center does.” For more information, or to donate, visit www.thecricketcenter.com and click on the “Donate Now” button to find the nonprofit’s GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/help-the-cricket-center). Checks can also be mailed to the Cricket Center at P.O. Box 97, Berlin, Md. 21811. Myers said the Cricket Center has set a fundraising goal of $30,000, but noted a generous community member will provide a dollar-for-dollar match. “This will put us in a better position for next year,” she said.

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… Election Candidates Weigh In On Pop-Up Weekend

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FROM PAGE 8 dent and everything goes straight to hell. It’s a national thing. We need to focus on how to get better training for the officers and how we can protect them so at the end of the day, at the end of the evening, they can go home to their families because that’s what’s important – the community and them as well. Gehrig: First of all, all of our public safety did an unbelievable job. That’s obviously the police, but the firefighters and paramedics as well. It’s almost an unfair fight if you want to call it that, but they did an unbelievable job. The Mayor and Council, our state legislators worked hard on this throughout the year, going to the state to get the legislation passed. We had an impressive showing in Annapolis and it allowed us to get some stricter enforcement from the state. From where I was in a Senate committee, we got a real reaction from those people. They didn’t really understand what it was like and now they’re starting to get a taste of it in other areas of Maryland. We need to keep the pressure on the state. Hey, this is the reality. We had some impact with the things that came out of the motor vehicle task force and our police chief and the city council and the tow ordinance. We definitely landed some blows. We didn’t get knocked out

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this year, but we certainly didn’t win a fight or anything. We need to look at how we can help the hotels make money alternatively and constrict the inventory and make it harder and more expensive for the people who cause us pain. We have to make it harder for them to come here and we have to fill up the city with the customers that treat us with respect and don’t require our police officers to put on body armor and riot gear. Meehan: I think we did see some results of a lot of the hard work that has gone into the last three years. I formed the motor vehicle task force and we went to the state legislature to get legislation passed so that we could create a special event zone to increase fines and lower speed limits. It was done to address a number of things. It was done to address the Cruisin events that we had seen get a little bit out of hand, particularly in the spring two years ago. When we formed the task force, we had a lot of members and participants from the Cruisin event on it as well as the promoter and they worked with us. They went to Annapolis with us because they wanted to improve the events and with their collaboration with the Mayor and Council, those Cruisin events are really toned down. Our mantra in Ocean City is that we invite everybody to come here. All we

ask is that they obey our laws and be courteous to others. This wasn’t what we’ve been seeing from those who attended the pop-up event the last few years. I think the actions taken by the Ocean City Police Department this year really set the tone. The actions we took really deterred some of the problems on Coastal Highway. The problem then became the crowds, which is now something else we need to address. I think our police department and the allied agencies that worked with us did a terrific job. The goal is to discourage those who want to come here for all of the wrong reasons from coming. Remember, this event displaced Sunfest. We moved Sunfest that attracts 250,000 people, but the people who come for this pop-up rally still outnumber them, so we’re going to have to go a long way to bringing back Sunfest on this weekend and possibly adding some other events. It’s a challenge and it will remain a challenge. The administrators of the website for this event actually took down the site. They were disturbed with some of the activities that they saw. I’ve actually had some conversations with one in particular and hopefully one day they agree we have to move out the bad guys and hopefully we can one day work with them in the future, just like we did with the Cruisin events, but we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.

October 23, 2020

Eastman: I think what we saw over the pop-up rally weekend were some things that didn’t work. Personally, I don’t like the pop-up rally. I like cars, but I don’t like when people disrespect my town. That’s not something I want to see come here anymore. I have a few different ways that I think we can address this problem before it starts, one of which is the 80,000 people in the Facebook group. That’s something that needs to stop. We need to report them for cyberbullying and make sure people are not posting videos of themselves doing illegal acts without being punished. When people see crime online, they might not even know it’s possible to come here and do these things. They’re from Baltimore or Annapolis or other parts of the state, or even from Pennsylvania or Virginia and they’re coming here with bad intentions from the beginning. Another thing I would like to see for next year is, if we’re going to punish people, I think a much better punishment is community service. Anybody can pay the fine, but it takes a lot of work to pick up trash on the side of the road early in the morning. I just feel like if we do that, it’s going to discourage some people from coming next year. Buas: I live right down at 7th Street and Baltimore Avenue and it was chaos down there. With that being said, I have just a massive appreciation for the OCPD and all of the allied agencies. They endured so much restlessness. Those guys were verbally attacked and so many of their cars were damaged that weekend. It was a massive task to keep this town safe that weekend. More than that, I was equally impressed with public works. I walked out of my house on Monday morning and it was clean. It was incredible. They really got to work and got the job done. Did it work? Obviously, there is still a massive issue, but there are a couple of positives along the way. The police made over 250 arrests and towed 350 cars. They were out there using the tools from the reckless driving bill that really do what they could to get these guys off the street. There is still obviously a lot of work to be done. There will be work to do until a family can come down that weekend and feel safe and have a good time. Families still can’t do that on that weekend. What more can be done? One of the major issues I saw from my front porch downtown you would have traffic blocked from kids blocking the street and the police had trouble getting from one hot spot to another hot spot. That caused a lot of problems, especially when you’re trying to get police vehicles down from 30th Street to 6th Street. So, building off Tony’s idea, I agree we should shut down Baltimore Avenue, but I would extend that from North Division Street all the way to 33rd Street. I’d like to see Philadelphia Avenue turned into two-way traffic so the OCPD can get from point A to point B quickly. The other thing I would like to see, any ordinance violations that result in a fine, I want to see those collected.

New Berlin Elected Officials Participate In Orientation

October 23, 2020



BERLIN – The town’s department heads shared their challenges and accomplishments with Berlin’s newly elected officials during an orientation this week. The director of each municipal department met with Mayor Zack Tyndall and Councilmembers Jay Knerr, Shaneka Nichols and Jack Orris — who were all elected this month — in an orientation session Wednesday. “This is a very informal session,” Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said. “It’s designed for everyone in this room to share about their department.” Department leaders each provided an overview as far as their duties and addressed what they considered highlights and challenges for the town. Several longtime employees, including Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen and Police Chief Arnold Downing, talked about how the town had changed over the decades. Bohlen addressed the array of information now available to everyone with the internet and encouraged officials to ask questions when they didn’t understand something. “Keep in mind that people don’t understand as new councilmembers you’re not magically granted knowledge the moment you are elected,” Bohlen said. “You have a lot to learn. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions.” Downing, who has worked in town 29 years and spent the last 18 as police chief, said that what had started as a small department had to grow when a hospital, schools and countless medical offices came to town. He said the primary issue his department faced was recruiting new officers, which is now a challenge nationwide. Downing said that he tried to be creative, offering flexible schedules and education opportunities, to attract new officers. “We have to sell ourselves, we have to sell the town,” he said. He added that the town still needed to do its best to offer competitive salaries to ensure officers weren’t gobbled up by larger departments. “A police department means nothing if you don’t have anybody in it,” he said. Downing also brought up the issue of capital spending, which has been curtailed in recent years. He said if vehicles and equipment weren’t replaced regularly they’d all need to be replaced at once which would be a big expense for the town. “We’re going to have to catch up,” he said. Like other department directors, Downing also encouraged frequent communication between elected officials and town staff. “If you have a question or concern I shouldn’t hear it from the dais,” he said. “I should hear it at three o’clock in the afternoon when it becomes an issue.” He said if officials approached him when they had a concern he could address it immediately or do any required

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research and get back to them. “If you go ahead and surprise me here (in council chambers) it’s not going to be good,” he said. “If you surprise anyone else here, it’s not going to be good. Because the answer’s not going to be something you want to hear…if it’s a true concern we wouldn’t wait two weeks to go ahead and address it.” Directors of the town’s electric utility and water resources departments encouraged officials to tour their facilities to grasp a better understanding of the town’s infrastructure. The town’s electric department, which has focused on lowering rates and increasing reliability, just added a new natural gas engine. The town’s water resources department operates the largest spray irrigation system in Maryland using treated effluent.

“It would be beneficial if you saw the town’s infrastructure and what we do on a day to day basis,” said Jamey Latchum, stormwater and wastewater superintendent. Ivy Wells, Berlin’s director of economic and community development, said that while she didn’t have anything tangible to show officials she helped find grants, keep commercial spaces occupied and promote Berlin as a destination. She said she’d also worked to grow the town’s social media and search engine presence. “I think social media became the new town square,” she said. Councilmembers thanked town staff for the insight. “I’m very excited for the new responsibility and opportunity as a newly elected councilmember,” Orris said. Knerr said he was inspired by the

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teamwork he saw among staff. “I look forward to working with you,” he said. Nichols said she was trying to take in as much as she could about the municipality so she’d be able to serve her constituents well. “Learning the town from the inside out is a great thing,” she said. Tyndall, who spent the last four years as a councilman, said he’d benefited from visiting the town’s facilities and echoed Latchum’s suggestion of tours. He also said that even though they each represented a district, the councilmembers should think more broadly. “Yes you run in a district, but once you’re elected you represent the whole town,” he said. “The decisions you make affect people that live in all the districts.”

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

October 23, 2020

… Candidates Talk Sports Tourism, New Director Position

October 23, 2020

FROM PAGE 9 could become the hub of a multitude of tournaments. I talked to a dad the other day and he told me his family spends 38 days a year on the road, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and going to tournaments. We need to be part of that market. When I say hub, remember we can make use of fields within 45 minutes of Ocean City. We’re not limited to just Northside Park. We have fields in Worcester County and Wicomico County. We have school fields, college fields, private fields and public fields. Remember, wherever these people play, Ocean City will be the hub for where they stay. We have the rooms, we have the restaurants and we have the beach. These other areas don’t have any of that, so aside from 50 or 60 rooms in Salisbury, we will be the epicenter of anything we do down here on the shore. Gehrig: Well, I’m happy to hear people on board. I think people are tired of hearing me talk about this. I’ve been on this for a long, long time. This really goes back 10 years or more when H2Oi was just annoying and they didn’t hate us and it didn’t require additional police officers. I thought sports tourism was a way to really go out and sell the fall and put the squeeze on the inventory. I believe in my heart we’re made for it. I think, respectfully to the mayor, it’s not about the amateur sports capital of Maryland. To me, it’s the amateur sports capital of the country, or even the world. We’re made for this and it’s made for us. It’s like everything we’ve done to this point has been made for this moment. It’s not really a new idea. It’s a $20 billion a year industry. We’re clearly late, and we’re just kind of on the fringes of it, so we don’t have to think big. We have to think gigantic. You know, people have speculated that our growth is capped by not having an airport. This is one travel market segment that does not fly or require airplanes. People load their families and throw their gear in the back of the SUV and they will drive 10, 12, 13 hours to go to these tournaments. We are in the middle of 60 million people within a four- or five-hour drive. We have a variety of accommodations and we have restaurants and attractions that were made for this. We are made for this. Promoters want to come here and we just need to be out in front of this. And it’s not just sports. It could be music, it could be technology, it could be e-sports. We should really just call it participation events. The trends are against us. Because of these tournaments, the traditional beach family vacations aren’t happening. We’re losing customers because we’re not in it. If we can turn that around and get tournaments here, then people will see how great Ocean City is and they’ll spend their family vacations here and start new traditions. We’re made for this, but we have to sell it. I wanted to hire a sales person two years ago, but the group decided to wait until the sports study was done. We didn’t need a sports study to hire a salesperson. We have enough to sell now. It’s ab-

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solutely the right call. It cures everything we’ve talked about today. It’s the cure, we just have to do it. DeLuca: I support this position. With my background, what this position would be called is the Ocean City Marketing VP. You know, if we combine two positions to one, if we combine the communications manager and the director of tourism, then this person does not add another body. I think this person leads all activities for us. I mean it really establishes our brand, develops our goals and goes after our tourism, of course sports. We need to add this position and we need to add it now. Everyone agrees with sports tourism. There’s nothing controversial about it. To me, it’s not really a vacation, it’s every weekend. Like everyone has said, we have the hotels, we have the restaurants. I don’t care where or how we develop this thing. There are a lot of ideas out there. I don’t care if it’s a complex near Route 50, or Route 90 or Route 113. I don’t care if we develop 94th Street into a complex and I don’t care if we improve Northside Park. I don’t care if we do things on the beach with beach soccer. We need to do it now. Eastman: I want new tourism in Ocean City and this is an idea I can get behind. This is something that can benefit everybody. Sports tourism is something that is going to bring families to Ocean City and it brings the type of atmosphere that we want. This is something we can

start immediately. One of the biggest events we have already is the cheerleaders and they just bring so much cheer to our town. Little league games, soccer games, softball games- they are all great. I know there’s been talk about building a complex, but this is something we can start now. I’d like to talk about building it and how we might fund that. When you look at the room occupancy tax, you can see there was a big difference between 2012 and 2019. We’re only talking about going from 2% to 5%, but it’s still a big increase. Advertising dollars could be spent elsewhere to bring in sports tourism and fund this position that I know we all want. Hagan: I support the decision. I think having a salesperson to bring people into town through sports is great. I’m a longtime 10-pin bowler and I’ve been doing it for 28 years. I was a youth travel bowler and we’d go to small towns like Cumberland and these tournaments would have like 150, 250 or 350 kids in them and it was a big thing. They would go on for three or four days. I think having things like that here is very important. I also believe if we’re going to hire someone for that position, they’re going to have to have a product to sell. We need to clean up our act and our character. This person has to go on national news, local news and convince the people we’re trying to bring here that their lives are not in danger. There was an of-

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ficer in New York City when the ball dropped and he said he never expected to see so many people when he joined the force in 1970 because of how New York was in the 1970s. It took many years and many different avenues to clean up New York and make it to what it was. We need to take what they did there and do it here. How do we convince people, the tourists, that our product is safe? We need to have a salesperson that can answer questions like this. They have to convince the promoters and sponsors, because if one incident happens when these sports tournaments, these families are in town, it’s going to leave Ocean City in a bad way. We have to make sure we hit this right. Families are number one, but their safety is always number one as well. We have to promote and we have to prove ourselves, and the only way we’re going to do that is by cleaning up what happened this year. It might take a couple of years, but I definitely support the idea of bringing this in. The first pitch has to be a home run, because if it’s not, it’s going to be a strike out. We all need to figure out how this can be a great thing for Ocean City. This salesperson needs to know what he or she is up against. I don’t think throwing taxes at it is a good idea. If we keep having new taxes or raising taxes, the families aren’t going to come here because it’s going to be too much.

… Commissioners Vote 5-2 To Approve Overlay Zone

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FROM PAGE 4 vided hundreds of year-round jobs. Sample stressed anything that would be built at the casino if the overlay zone was approved would still require county oversight. “This does not give us carte blanche to start building tomorrow,” she said. As far as traffic on Route 589, Sample said the casino would have a traffic study done for the entirety of Route 589. “It is in the casino’s best interest there not be traffic on Route 589,” she said, adding that casino customers wouldn’t want to deal with traffic. She acknowledged that the casino would like a hotel on the site but that it wouldn’t be targeting the vacationers who booked rooms in Ocean City. “What we would be targeting with a hotel on our property ... would be people who like to gamble and have the wallet share to be able to gamble…,” she said, adding that the casino knew who those people were because they used player’s cards at the casino. “We want to give them more reason to stay on our property for longer and more frequent trips.” The casino, which has contributed $29 million in grants to the community since it opened, currently sends about half its revenue to the state and local communities, according to Sample. “That becomes a partnership,” she said. “You depend on that money to take care of things in the county…We are in this together. As our business does better the area does better.” A property owner from across the street, however, said the casino was just trying to find a way around the state restriction that prohibited a hotel on the property. He added that the casino had objected last year when properties across from Ocean Downs had been rezoned commercial. He said now they were seeking the same thing, which would “decimate” the efforts of those who’d had their properties zoned commercial in the corridor last year. Susan Jones, representing the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, also voiced objections to the casino’s proposal. “For more than a decade we fought against the casinos for fear that that lim-

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ited disposable income would be steered away from the mom and pop people who have built our community and go directly to the large gaming corporations,” she said, adding that there were also concerns that a casino would dilute the labor force. “We are very happy that did not happen however we believe that didn’t happen because we collectively collaborated on the original legislation.” She said the lodging market in Ocean City was saturated — as 1,000 new hotel rooms had been added in the past few years — and that there needed to be more collaboration on the text amendment. “We feel the way it is currently written and proposed today is far too broad,” she said. Jones said the impact of the pandemic was still being felt in Ocean City. “COVID has really driven a lot of tourist businesses to the brink,” she said. “This is a really hard time. We just urge you to take a pause. This decision you make today is a forever decision.” Larry Perrone, president of the Ocean Pines Association, expressed support for the casino proposal. He said the community’s traffic concern had been addressed because the casino was willing to do a traffic study of all of Route 589, not just the section in front of the casino. He added that Ocean Pines used its annual grant from the casino to repair roads and could use more funding. “If the casino is able to bring people in, ultimately everyone gets a little bigger piece of the pie,” he said. Hale Harrison of the Harrison Group, which operates numerous hotels and restaurants in Ocean City, said his company was strongly opposed to the overlay zone. He said when the casino had been approved years ago a key aspect had been the prohibition on hotels there. He said that was the deal former casino owner Bill Rickman had made. “They should honor the deal,” he said. Rickman, however, spoke up in support of the casino proposal. He said he’d never wanted a hotel there but the current property owners should be able to

have one. He pointed out that commercial property all around the casino could be used for hotels. “Taking this ability away from Ocean Downs doesn’t stop hotels from being built in that area,” he said. “The reality of it is it’s a seasonal, seasonal business. Nobody’s going to do it. A small hotel is all they’ll ever be able to support.” He added that the casino was limited in the number of machines it could have. “You’re never going to have Atlantic City here,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about that. We can’t support it.” Rickman said the casino was not exploiting a loophole, as it had always been permitted to have a hotel if it was owned by a third party. “I stay involved to the extent that I want to see them treated fairly,” he said. “This is a partnership between the county, the municipalities, the state and the casino. You all get money from it. The important thing is to have responsible growth.” He added that he’d chosen to sell the property to the current owners for a reason. “I chose them because it was Churchill Downs and it was a legacy to me it would be racing and the casino,” he said. “It was a good way to leave it.” Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said he opposed the casino overlay zone and wanted the casino to abide by the original agreement that was made regarding no hotels. “Mr. Rickman said it’s about a partnership,” Meehan said. “Well the original partnership was there would not be the expansion of hotels and these other amenities on that property. That was very clear. Time has passed, maybe some have forgotten. I have not forgotten. I don’t think the Harrisons have forgotten or the Jenkins or some of those others that sat there for hours with me in Annapolis when these hearings were taking place.” Commissioner Chip Bertino, who made the motion to approve the casino overlay text amendment, said that Ocean Downs had been a good neighbor for the past 10 years and already dealt with an excessive tax of 46%. He said the casino’s owners should be

October 23, 2020

able to develop their property to ensure they have growth in the coming years. “I don’t believe government has the right to restrict businesses from doing business…,” he said. “What they’re trying to accomplish is going to benefit all of us if they can drive more people through the doors of that casino.” Commissioner Diana Purnell agreed and said that as a business person she’d resent investing millions and being a good neighbor only to be told she couldn’t do something. Commissioner Bud Church also spoke in support of the overlay zone and said the casino hadn’t negatively impacted the area. “The addition to the casino would be a win-win for Worcester County…,” he said. “Looking at the future, we’re going to need every dollar, every cent, we can get.” Mitrecic said the overlay zone went against everything Ocean City representatives fought for in Annapolis when the casino was approved. He questioned the usefulness of any associated Route 589 traffic study. “I’ve never seen one that didn’t say what the person who paid for the traffic study wanted to hear,” he said. He also cautioned that further development at the casino could lead to the elimination of the live harness racing that’s been held at the property for decades. “That was one of the selling points, that this would help the racing community,” Mitrecic said of the initial casino approval. “I’d imagine that in time if we can we’ll do away with live racing there completely.” Sample maintained that that was not the casino’s intention. Mitrecic also brought up the fact that a hotel could cost $15 million to build. “The amount of money they’d have to bring in the casino from these high rollers to support that is astronomical in order for them to comp the rooms like they want to,” he said. “It’s unfathomable.” The commissioners voted 5-2, with Mitrecic and Bunting opposed, to approve the text amendment to create a casino entertainment district.

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Program Would Detail Visitor Trends

September 23, 2020



OCEAN CITY – Resort tourism officials this week got a look at an innovative data collection platform geared toward tracking visitors to Ocean City, where they stay, how long they stay and what they do when they are in town. For years, Ocean City officials have tried to pin down a profile of their typical visitors and where they come from with varying degrees of success. From visitor surveys collected at the convention center or the Boardwalk information kiosk, for example, to zip codes provided by participating private sector lodging establishments, the town has a pretty good sense of its visitor market and directs advertising efforts in those identified areas. However, that information is often cumbersome, recorded on spread sheets and shared among the various tourism agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Hotel-MotelRestaurant Association (HMRA), for example, and ultimately with MGH, the town’s advertising and marketing agency. On Monday, the Tourism Commission reviewed a data collection platform aimed at providing a deeper dive into its visitor data. Presented by Entrada Insights, the platform collects visitor information by tracking cell phones. The data collected can show where a particular visitor came from, where he or she is staying, what they tend to do while they are here and how long they stay. It might sound a little Big Brother-ish, but the one-stop database could allow the town and its advertising agency to precisely pin down information on its visitors and aggressively market in areas from which its desired guests come from. “It brings all of the data together with a focus on tourism economy,” said Entrada Insights co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Jay Kinghorn. “It will help everyone row in the same direction because we’re in turbulent waters right now.” Kinghorn explained the system can track thousands of visitors and determine where they are coming from and their travel and spending habits. “The data is gathered from cell phones,” he said. “We can aggregate it down to the zip code level.” HMRA Executive Director Susan Jones asked if the platform can identify specific types of visitors to the resort area. “We always talk about the need to increase midweek travel patterns,” she said. “We need to look at the midweek visitors and where they are going and what they’re doing.” Kinghorn explained the Entrada data collection platform would provide that very type of information. “We can look at the nuances between visitors,” said Kinghorn. “It can differentiate between the week visitors, the weekend visitors, the overnighters and the day-trippers. It gives you a profile of your guests and where they tend to go.” Councilman and committee member

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John Gehrig said the information could be used to target marketing in areas from whence the most desirable visitor comes from. “It seems if we’re serious about addressing some of our problems, we have to get the best visitor we want,” he said. Kinghorn agreed, saying, “This can narrow the net you’re casting. It allows you to target the visitors you want and attract those who share the character of the town.” Conversely, the platform provides information that would allow the town’s marketing efforts to be directed away from potential problem areas. “You can look at a night in June on the Boardwalk from midnight to 3 a.m.,” said Kinghorn. “You can look at the zip codes and see where they came from. Then, if you choose not to, just don’t market in those areas if they don’t share the town’s values.”

Big Donation:

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The Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health received a $26,000 donation toward the purchase of a new ultrasound machine to replace the current 10-year-old one. The donation came from the Ocean City Knights of Columbus, Lady Knights Auxiliary, the Maryland State Council of the Knights and a match from the national Knights of Columbus-Supreme Council. Submitted Photo

Resort Scores $80K Bikeways Grant

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October 23, 2020



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OCEAN CITY – Nearly $80,000 in grant funding will allow the resort to develop a strategic plan for completing its continuous bike path. In a meeting of the Ocean City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee last week, President Paul Mauser announced the town had been awarded $79,700 through the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program. He said the grant funding will allow the town to hire a consultant for the development of a strategic plan that will be used to further its bicycle network. In recent years, the town embarked on a multi-phased initiative to install a continuous bike route from one end of Ocean City to the other without using Coastal Highway and other busy thoroughfares. And by and large, the resort has succeeded in using side streets, alleys, parking lots and more. Councilman Tony DeLuca, committee liaison, told members last week he expected the strategic plan to further the town’s effort in making Ocean City a more bikeable community. “We know there are possibilities, it’s just connecting the dots …,” he said. “My hope is that they come up with some great ideas for us to have an alternate route.” Mauser told the committee this week a strategic plan would provide preliminary designs and cost estimates for four or five proposed biking corridors in town. “There will be a lot of different options discussed,” he said. In 2018, the town sought $80,000 in Bikeways funding to hire a consultant that would develop a bike master plan for the town. That application, however, was denied because the request did not meet the criteria for eligible projects. Since then, Planning and Community Development Director Bill Neville has agreed to develop an abbreviated master plan in-house, an effort that is currently ongoing. But earlier this summer, the town applied to the MDOT Bikeways Program once more after

learning it would be eligible for funding to complete a strategic plan. “It’s different than a master plan in that a master plan is going to inventory every single street in town as a broad brushstroke, whereas a strategic plan is going to be much more actionable,” Mauser said in July. With the grant award of nearly $80,000, Mauser told the committee this week the town would now begin the process of developing a scope of work for the project, which would be publicly bid to engineering companies later this year. “We would probably be getting in proposals in January …,” he said. “We will evaluate them as a committee and hopefully sign a contract by February.” Through the Bikeways Program, MDOT offers grant assistance to jurisdictions and key agencies to improve safety, enhance multimodal connections and fill missing links in the state’s bicycle network. Since the program’s inception, every county in Maryland has received Bikeways awards, totaling $24 million for 160 projects, of which 114 projects have been completed. This year, the MDOT Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program has designated $3.78 million for 19 projects across Maryland. “Bicycle infrastructure is a key component of Maryland’s transportation system, and this grant program allows the state to support local partners and invest in safety and connectivity for Maryland’s multimodal transportation network,” said MDOT Secretary Greg Slater. “These projects will improve bike and pedestrian access to transit, employment centers, schools, shopping and other destinations, and support economic development and the quality of life in Maryland communities.” In 2016, Ocean City received more than $50,000 from the program to create a bike route along Sinepuxent Avenue, which runs from 146th Street to Montego Bay. And just last year, the town pursued roughly $60,000 in grant funding to construct a shared bike path in the residential community of Montego Bay, but that application was denied.

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Annual SHEro Award Recipients Will Be Honored Virtually

October 23, 2020

OCEAN CITY – The Art League of Ocean City announced this week the recipients of the 2020 SHEro Awards, honoring Delmarva women who have shown courage in facing adversity and turned that around into something positive. The Art League will present the awards virtually on Facebook Live on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., and the public is welcome to join in. This is the third year for the SHEro Awards. The SHEro Awards are part of the October-long all-women art exhibition entitled “VISION” at the Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street. Curated by Deborah Rolig and Diane Gray of Berlin, the exhibition seeks to empower women through art, emphasizing women overcoming adversity. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibit benefits Women Supporting Women. “The SHEro Award winners are filled with courage and tenacity,” Rolig said. “The kind of women who have overcome a major challenge in their lives — be it health, family, job, or something similar — yet have dug-in to thrive and persevere. These are the women we honor as SHEros.” Marian Bickerstaff of Ocean Pines was nominated by Gail Philippi. She is manager of Sarah’s Pantry at the Community Church of Ocean Pines and past president of the Art League’s board of directors. Bickerstaff coordinates the collection of large amounts of food to

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Six Recipients Show ‘Courage, Tenacity’

distribute to families in need and kept the supply going throughout the pandemic. She is also an officer of the P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization, and past president of the Ocean Pines Garden Club. Debbi Dean-Colley of Berlin was nominated by Angela Manos. She is a single mother of two who spreads love and positivity through little acts of kindness, donating her art, her time, a meal, or some other necessity. Seeing art as a vehicle for healing, she has developed healing arts programs focusing on giving back to the community. Ilyana Kadushin of Salisbury was nominated by Mary Ellen Clark. She is

an art educator and singer whose mission in life is to motivate others to build confidence and self-awareness. She created a non-profit organization called "Stories Love Music" that offers free workshops for local caregivers who work with seniors with dementia. Jean “Bean” Keagle of Ocean City, was nominated by her mother-in-law, Claire Jefferson. Keagle is a nurse at Atlantic General Hospital and an avid advocate for women with breast cancer, a disease she herself battled. She devotes her time to serving others through charitable events and is known for her annual cookie baking events, an expression of thanks to loved ones and

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the community. Nicole Morris of Berlin was nominated by her colleague, Matthew Morris, Chief Nursing Officer at Atlantic General Hospital. She is the hospital’s Infection Prevention and Employee Health Manager. She faced the challenges of COVID-19 head on and has been the mastermind of new ideas and processes, which will undoubtedly become best practices. Kim Royster of Millville was nominated by Pamela Switzer. Royster is a personal trainer and certified life/wellness coach. A devoted wife, mother and professional woman, she has overcome the loss of a child, business and home, but has not let adversity keep her down. Her passion is fitness and helping her clients be the best they can be, connecting their soul, heart, and mind so they can make their goals a reality.

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October 23, 2020

News In Photos

Ray Hoy, left, president of Wor-Wic Community College, receives a $1,000 check from Freddy Mitchell, chairman of the scholarship committee of the Rotary Club of Salisbury. The Rotary Club provides scholarship funds to Wor-Wic each year for a student from Wicomico County who exemplifies the principles of the organization. Submitted Photos

Major John J. Andrews (U.S. Army, Ret.), a member of Ocean City American Legion Post 166, celebrated his 101st birthday while residing at the Berlin Nursing Home on Sept. 16. The post had hoped to celebrate with him in person but the covid pandemic restrictions prevented any gathering. Not to be outdone, the post arranged with staff at the facility to celebrate with Andrews outdoors on Oct. 13 at the nursing home. Andrews is the oldest member of the post. Andrews joined the US Army in 1938, served during World War II in North Africa, France and Germany. He retired in 1961 with 23 years of service.

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Worcester County Public Schools Superintendent Lou Taylor accepted a check for $25,000 from Bill Hickey, president of the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club. The money is for a professional development room at the Worcester County Board of Education. This room will be named after the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club.


ANDREW QUEEN General Manager

Ocean City Lions Club donated $1,000 to the Town of Ocean City Recreation and Parks for use in supporting its programs. Pictured, from left, are OC Lions 2nd VP Bill Christmas, President Mike Hooper, 1st VP Scott Stark and Ocean City Recreation Manager Travis Davey.

Ocean City American Legion Post 166 came away from the recently held Department of Maryland State convention with four awards for excellence in its programs for posts in Maryland with 751 to 1,000 members. Pictured, from left, are Post 166 officers Robert Smith, 2nd Vice Commander; Scott LaCoss, Service Officer; W.L. (Sarge) Garlitz, Past Post Commander; Tom Wengert, Post Commander; and Tom DeVaux, Adjutant.

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The Rotary Club of Salisbury recently constructed and donated two accessible pavilions to the Wicomico County Department of Recreation and Tourism’s Little league Challenger Division Project 7 ½, an adaptive baseball program for kids 4-18 years old with physical or intellectual disabilities. The rotarians are pictured in front of their work.

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Forever In Memory Of Our Founder, Dick Lohmeyer (May 25, 1927-May 5, 2005) The Dispatch, Serving Greater Ocean City Since 1984, Is Published By Maryland Coast Dispatch Inc. Weekly On Friday Mornings MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811 PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 10012 Old Ocean City Blvd. Berlin, Md. 21811 PHONE: 410-641-4561 FAX: 410-641-0966 WEBSITES: www.mdcoastdispatch.com www.facebook.com/thedispatchoc J. STEVEN GREEN Publisher/Editor editor@mdcoastdispatch.com

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The Maryland Coast Dispatch (USPS #015125) is an official and legal newspaper for Worcester County. Periodical postage paid at Berlin, Maryland, and additional mailing offices. The Maryland Coast Dispatch, 10012 Old Ocean City Blvd., Berlin, Md. 21811, is published weekly on Friday mornings, 52 weeks a year. Subscription rates are $75 per year, $55 for six months. POSTMASTER: Please send change of address to Maryland Coast Dispatch, P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Maryland 21811. Maryland Coast Dispatch offices are located at Route 346 and Graham Avenue, Berlin, Maryland.

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October 23, 2020

County’s Decision On Casino Property Significant HOW WE SEE IT

The Worcester County Commissioners made a major decision this week in approving a text amendment creating a casino entertainment district. It will be a vote leading to the transformation of the Ocean Downs Casino property on Route 589. It will also be a vote referred to often in the future when attorneys bring similar overlay requests for other properties in the north end of the county. Though the casino owners will still have some hoops to jump through at the state level, it’s clear this week’s 5-2 vote at the county level will allow them to proceed with developing the property further. A 100-plus room hotel is a given on the site and other amenities to attract visitors are expected as well. The casino’s representatives said all the right things this week. They want to keep live horse racing no matter how

the property is developed. There is no intention to take room nights away from Ocean City hoteliers. There is no goal to compete and take tourists out of Ocean City. They simply want to increase their income by bringing more gamblers to the casino. The casino will fund a traffic study for all of Route 589 once a development plan is decided upon. These words are fine and well. It’s what they should say and was expected. The casino is also rightly amped to point to the positive economic impact it has on the county. It’s a major employer, offering close to 300 reliable yearround jobs, and is expected to provide annual impact grants of between $3 million and $5 million to the county including separate payments to Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Berlin. In fact, fiscal year 2020’s grant came to $3.4 million, down 23.6% from the previous year’s

$4.4 million because of the pandemic. These figures are important to the governments who benefit from them, but they do little to minimize the potential impacts private businesses will face if room nights and amusement park trips are lost in the resort. We worry the summation by Commission President Joe Mitrecic may be correct. Mitrecic, who opposed the decision, said, “I think down the road we’re going to be very sorry we did it.” We hope he’s wrong. It will be years before we know if it was a mistake because it will take time for the property to be developed. A key part in evaluating this decision over the long term will be whether the county fields similar requests in the future from property owners looking to maximize their land values without needing a rezoning. The precedent is now set.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Wind Farm Explained Editor: After observing Energy Awareness Month this October, I want to thank the many Lower Shore residents who have asked me questions this year about Ørsted’s Skipjack Wind Farm. I’d like to answer a few of those questions here, especially those focused on the local economy and environment. I have often been asked whether offshore wind can coexist with tourism. The answer is yes. The University of Delaware recently released a study showing that 90% of local beachgoers say wind turbines 20 miles offshore would not detract from their beach experience. Ten percent said turbines would improve their experience. Additionally, a University of Rhode Island study found tourism thrived after our Block Island Wind Farm went into operation near Block Island, Rhode Island in 2017. Clean energy opponents falsely claim that an N.C. State study shows projects like Skipjack could harm coastal tourism. In reality, the study found that for projects further than 8 miles offshore – i.e. projects like Skipjack - “the visual impacts diminish substantially for many survey respondents and it is unlikely the turbines would negatively impact coastal vacation property markets.” Another question I often hear is whether the Skipjack Wind Farm will really benefit the Lower Shore. It has big economic and clean energy benefits. Ørsted is committed to investing $200 million and creating 1,400 jobs in Maryland and on the Shore. We will open a facility in the Ocean City region to operate and maintain Skipjack’s wind turbines, creating good local jobs. Salisbury-based ARCON has already

created the Mid-Atlantic’s first offshore wind jobs training center focused on training welding and fabrication workers. We held the Skipjack Wind Farm’s first supplier day earlier this year for local businesses to learn how to compete for offshore wind business. As COVID19 restrictions ease, we will hold more in-person events for businesses and residents. Ørsted believes firmly in limiting potential impacts that developing wind farms may have on nature. It’s one reason Corporate Knights named Ørsted the world’s most sustainable company this year. By developing Skipjack nearly 20 miles offshore, we reduce proximity to navigating birds. We deploy observers and underwater hydrophones to monitor for marine mammals, follow agency guidance and pause construction if animals are nearby. Horseshoe crabs will be protected by avoiding nearshore construction during spawning season. Skipjack will undergo a federal review led by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, with input from U.S. Fish & Wildlife and other agencies. We only secure permits to build Skipjack after questions about radar, public health and wildlife are satisfied. Learn more at boem.gov. With just 12 turbines, the Skipjack Wind Farm will generate enough renewable energy to power 35,000 homes in the Delmarva region. Our region has a chance to play a significant role in building a new American industry that will create jobs, provide new opportunities for local businesses, and help to fight the effects of climate change. We are now, as we have always been, committed to working with local residents to realize this project and its benefits for the Lower Shore.

We welcome constructive feedback from Lower Shore residents and look forward to being a good neighbor. Learn more about the Skipjack Wind Farm at skipjackwindfarm.com or contact me at skipjack@orsted.com. Brady Walker (The writer is Mid-Atlantic Market Manager at Ørsted, developer of the Skipjack Wind Farm.)

Time For Change Part II Editor: This is the second of a three-part opinion piece, the intent of which is to share information and my opinion on what would be best for the Town of Ocean City over the next decade and to discuss financial caution during an uncertain pandemic. One significant change is getting the city out of the business of advertising for the hotels. Judging by the crowd that came this summer I think it’s fair to say advertising is not bringing families and children which was its intent. The coming election promises to be the most exciting election in over a decade. Let’s take a look at the three young musketeers vying to represent us and that offer Ocean City generational change. I am in the midst of vetting three new young council aspirants Nick Eastman (25) the youngest, Peter Buas (29) and Daniel Hagen (34). I have completely vetted Danial Hagen, who has convinced me he is a young Vince Gisriel and I support him completely. He is a future dissenting voice. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of 7-0 votes by the council members. Dan has no money and takes care of his handicapped wife and two-year-old son. Wanting to even the playing field I paid for his signs. He has also met with Vince Gisriel on a SEE NEXT PAGE

October 23, 2020


number of occasions. I have also partially vetted Peter Buas, a lawyer, whose father like Matt James has significant assets in town as well as hotels. The true sleeper of the group might be the youngest 25-yearold Nick Eastman, fresh from a criminology degree from West Virginia University. In any case all three would be the clear way to bring change. All three of these council candidates are running on a transparency platform. Frank Knight, member Mary Knight’s husband, has been at every meeting that I have been at for over 10 years and has been complicit with every decision of mismanagement the mayor, council and his wife have made. Frank is not an agent of change, he is merely a shill for the mayor and his wife. If Frank wants to call me this week and convince me otherwise, he has my number. It would be a mistake to put him on the council. Voting for Frank would solidify the mayor’s control and extend the mismanagement of the town for four more years. The last 20 years of mismanagement has turned Ocean City south of 32nd Street into an Economic Opportunity Zone. Another 10 years of mismanagement risks the same fate for north Ocean City. We don’t want that. Getting rid of city sponsored advertising and lowering the room tax will lower the price of hotel room rates and be the first important step to getting the families and kids back. Ironically getting families back is what the advertising has claimed to do but failed at for two decades. I have listed five ideas below. Should we embark on this change we should stop all additional borrowing by the city until the council gets a handle on its waste and mismanagement. I notice the reserve is up to $23 million. Getting the city out of the advertising business would give the hotels approximately $5 million in reduced room tax plus an additional $60,000 on $100,000,000 of appraised hotel value from the property tax reduction, allowing the hotels to lower rates and incidentally do their own advertising. The town would be out of the business of advertising for the hotels. Something the town has not done a good job of anyway. Examples of possible savings for the town below to cover the approximate $1.5 million shortfall from implementing the above plan are: 1. Stop event sponsorship except Springfest, the Air Show and Sunfest saving over $1 million in police overtime, stop funding tourism advisory board and Rothermel’s $300,000 a year for fireworks and events. 2. Adjusting the out of season bus routes (Jennie Knapp and Tony Christ 2016) savings of $900,000-$1.4M annually. Wasteful to run hourly buses in winter with approval of MTA. Tired of seeing empty buses.

Between The Lines

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3. Still paying for West Ocean City EMT’s (Jennie Knapp and Tony Christ 2016) annual savings of $800,000$1.2M. 4. From January to March require an unpaid mentoring program by police for four weeks for local high school males with absentee fathers saving over $1 million in winter pay. 5. Start to rationalize the golf course, airport, OCDC, the convention center all of which are negative annual outflows for the city. The reduction in property tax would give second homeowners and residents some relief and invite higher property values inviting higher future property values and bring more tax at the lower rate. In this Saturday’s WSJ, Williams and Trabert have a fascinating article titled “The Alternate to a Bailout for Fiscally Mismanaged States.” The first thing that struck me was the states that spend $5,000 or more per resident charge the highest taxes and are the most in debt, California, New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Maryland to name a few. While states that spend and tax the least are not in financial difficulty and have no need for a federal bailout. Florida, Texas and New Hampshire spend $2,327, $2,585 and $2,773 per citizen. Williams and Trabert make the points that “if Andrew Como in New York spent like Florida he would save $56.7 billion a year and he could stop threatening to cut services unless he gets $60 billion of Federal funding ... If Gov. Jay Pritzker trimmed his spending to match Texas, he would save his taxpayers $22.3 billion for Illinois tax payers and if Gavin Newsome in California matched New Hampshire per person spending he would save $64.6 billion a year for California Taxpayers.” For example, “Kansas spent $33 million on advertising, $44 million on cell phones and $23 million on dues and subscriptions and $419 million on other dues and fees.” Should we be responsible for these states exorbitant spending? Maybe a lesson for Ocean City. The political class’s past 20 years of mismanagement in Ocean City became profoundly apparent when in December 2018 everything property south of 32nd Street was placed in an Economic Opportunity Zone, like downtown Baltimore for example. If we continue under the entrenched current mismanagement, which wrongly focuses on making us a year-round city, then I believe within another 10 years or so north Ocean City will be declared an Economic Opportunity Zone too. Next week in the final op-ed of Time for Change we will discuss the two incumbents running for reelection, Deluca and Gehrig as well as giving updates on the three musketeers. Tony Christ Falls Church, Va. Ocean City

TO OUR READERS: The Dispatch welcomes any and all letters from our readers. All letters are encouraged typed, but not required, and we reserve the right to edit each letter for clarity, accuracy and brevity. Letters should include writer’s name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. If we are unable to reach the writer, we will have to withhold the letter. Due to space restraints, letters under 500 words in length will be given top priority. Letters can be mailed to The Dispatch, P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811, emailed to editor@mdcoastdispatch.com or faxed to 410-641-0966.

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By Publisher/Editor Steve Green

My kids are each in the classroom every day – one in private school and the other in public school. I consider them lucky because in-school instruction is far better than virtual no matter how skilled and magnificent the teachers. However, they are in school with the inherent understanding there is a risk associated with it. Most parents understand this and that’s why a majority favor their kids being in school. In Worcester County, another wave of students will return to school next week, increasing further the current 36% of the student body enrolled for in-person instruction. Each school within the county will be bringing back different volumes of kids based on their ability to social distance in the classroom. The county’s second phase of reopening calls for bringing additional children back in two-week increments so long as certain standards are met. The concept being to continue to cautiously move forward rather than backwards. Regressing would appear to be exactly what has happened in Dorchester County where the public school system has returned to the first phase of its reopening plan – virtual only. The county’s positivity rate of 6.1% has more than doubled in two weeks. The county had previously been operating under a hybrid system with groups of students rotating between in-person and at-home learning. A majority of the student body was still working from home before this week’s announcement with only pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, sixth graders and ninth graders rotating through a hybrid system of in-person and distance learning throughout the week. It’s a disappointing turn of events for that school system as well as the families, and it’s unclear if positive cases inside the school helped lead to the decision. It appears to be more of a community-wide situation than a school-based outbreak. When a confirmed spike occurs, temporary restrictions for the community are needed. As far as schools go, however, it should not be a shock when positive COVID cases are reported in our schools. It’s inevitable, but it’s the safety protocols in place – namely facial coverings, social distancing, parental discretion to monitor their kids’ symptoms and sanitation measures – that should allow these school systems to remain open under most circumstances. There may be intermittent closures to regroup and clean and even quarantine certain classes and grades in some cases, but our school leaders must continue to press forward with the health department’s assistance to stay open armed with the knowledge the best place for the students is inside school buildings. The biggest challenge is how to offer the greatest number of students the opportunities for in-person instruction while following the recommendations for best practices, namely social distancing on buses and inside the classrooms. It’s a daunting task, one many school systems will never be able to overcome under the current six-foot restrictions. Wicomico County falls under this category with its 25 schools and 15,000-plus students. It’s why Wicomico’s best-case scenario at this time calls for a hybrid system for all grades by Feb. 1. Hybrid means something different for each school system, but for Wicomico it means two days a week of in-person instruction followed by three days of online learning. Worcester County has not gone into that much detail with its re-opening phases for its 6,600-plus students and its 14 schools, but it could look similar based on social distancing requirements as well as the challenges of transporting the students on buses. These are incredibly complicated challenges, but the efforts are all worthwhile so long as they are geared toward bringing back as many kids as safely possible. This week’s forum for Ocean City candidates served as a confirmation to me there is one seat up for grabs on Nov. 3. Long-time Mayor Rick Meehan and incumbent Councilmen Tony DeLuca and John Gehrig acquitted themselves exceptionally well during the forum as expected. As incumbents, they possess a strong familiarity with the issues and their knowledge was more than evident. Local attorney Peter Buas also did well and will bring a fresh perspective to the council. Recent history proves Ocean City voters like new faces, as first-time candidates Matt James and Gehrig carried the ticket in their first runs on the council in 2014 and 2016 (James repeated the feat in 2018). I predict Buas will do equally well this time around. With DeLuca, Gehrig and Buas likely to gain seats, the final spot on the council will likely go to either Frank Knight, husband of current Councilmember Mary Knight, or Nico Eastman. Voters will have to decide if they want a significant change for that last seat (represented by Eastman) or more of the same views (represented by Knight). Whatever direction voters go in less than two weeks we encourage them to fill out their entire ballot, casting four votes for all the open council seats. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan looked like a fool writing in a dead person for president. It shows a lack of mettle on his part. Hogan voted for his deceased father four years ago and Ronald Reagan this year in an absentee ballot. Hogan told The Washington Post, “I know it’s simply symbolic. It’s not going to change the outcome in my state. But I thought it was important to just cast a vote that showed the kind of person I’d like to see in office.” It’s a ridiculous waste of a vote in an election.

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The Adventures Of Fatherhood By STEVE GREEN

t’s interesting to me how I feel about celebrities weighing in on politics compared to how compelled I am hearing them talk about their families. Though I have no tolerance for celebrities waxing passionately about Biden vs. Trump, I do find their takes on parenting and the challenges that come with it interesting. I can’t explain it, but I think it has to do with revealing their human side rather than a preaching style. A couple individuals I admire for their parenting passion are featured in this week’s column. •Hugh Jackman, parent to two kids adopted at birth (like Pam and I): “From the moment we started the adoption process, all the anxiety went away. I don’t think of them as adopted ― they’re our children. Deb and I are believers in ... I suppose you could call it destiny. We feel things happened the way they are meant to. Obviously, biologically wasn’t the way we were meant to have children. Now, as we go through life together, sure there are challenges, but everyone’s in the right place with the right people. It sounds airyfairy, but it’s something we feel very deeply ... A while back, there was a lot of shame attached to it and parents wouldn’t tell their kids they were adopted. What’s great is that the focus is now shifting to the care of the child. We were very fortunate and open ― I can’t go into details because of the privacy of the birth parents, but I can tell you it was amicable. Adoption is a wonderful thing to do. “In the first month, everyone is going to tell you it’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened and a lot of the time you will think that. But, I promise you, there are going to be some mornings when you haven’t slept, and your child has thrown up on you seven times, and you’re not going to be thinking that this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you. Just know that it’s OK

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to feel that way. Just make sure you’ve someone you can ring up and bitch to. Also, once you take the kid out for a drive to put him to sleep, that is your life for the next 18 months. Don’t do it. And I know you’re going to do it and you’re going to go, damnit, Hugh Jackman told me not to do it. But, you’re going to make mistakes, and it’s all going to be great. “[Fatherhood is] unbelievable, tiring, magical ... the most challenging role I’ve ever had. ... Look, kids have a way of pushing your buttons more than anyone else. If there’s stuff in your life you haven’t worked through ― as a parent, you’re going to have to work through it. “I believe in letting kids be kids for as long as possible. I do constantly talk to them about giving everything their best and doing the thing you love, because I have managed to find my way into a job that doesn’t feel like a job, and if my kids can be lucky enough to do that, then that is the goal, I think. That is the Holy Grail. So just follow their passions and then work hard at it. Because even the thing you love to do is going to be a pain at some point. “When your focus innately, deeply, one hundred percent becomes these kids in your life and their well being, it just seems to put everything into perspective. Being a father has taught me so much.” •Matthew McConaughy, father of three: “It was about having to say ‘yes sir’ to my father and his friends and having to shake their hand and look them in the eye, the one consistent thing in my 6, 7, 8-year-old mind, in my young, young mind was I knew it was about respect for elders, but one common denominator in my mind was, ‘oh it’s because they’re fathers,” he said. “And that excited me. It wrote itself in my lineage of going, ‘Oh that’s when you made it. Oh, that’s when you become a man. Oh, that’s when you’re successful.’ It

was ahead of any dreams of a career or a vocation or fame or wealth. It was being a father since I was 8 years old was the paramount. Of, if you can do that well, then you’ve really pulled something off. Then you’ve really succeeded in life. As I’ve later come to learn, as I got older, making a baby with momma doesn’t, mean, ‘okay I did it. Now I’m a father.’ There is fatherhood. Now comes the verb part, now comes the hard part for the next, whatever, 18 or so years, as long as your child’s in your house. There’s where the fun work is. I can’t think of anything more important. Being a father, it’s also – and being a mother – it’s how we become immortal. Almost literally immortal. We’ll move on and if we’re fortunate enough to have our kids outlive us and then they have kids that outlive them and so on and so on and so on. That’s immortality.” In some ways, this column has become therapeutic for me. It began 12 years ago as a reporting of the antics of my newborn child, Beckett, and continued through the birth of our second son, Carson, and then the wild toddler years. With the kids now 12 and 10 years old, the content appears to be changing. Only you, the reader, knows if it’s better or worse. Maybe it’s neither. I do know it’s different for sure. These words from these actors comes at a time of great professional struggle for me as a result of the pandemic’s great economic impact. Their words serve as reminder to focus on what’s important and the matters within my control. My mantra for everything else is take it day to day, pivot as needed, never give up and keep fighting. Working to impose these beliefs on my kids brings me peace. (The writer is the publisher and editor of The Dispatch. He and his wife, Pamela, are proud parents of two boys. This weekly column examines their transition into parenthood and all that goes along with it. E-mail any thoughts to editor@mdcoastdispatch.com.)

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October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 49

In The News

Gabriel Dawkins, a third grade student in Monica Piern's class at Ocean City Elementary School, put a smile on his teacher’s face with his super positive attitude for last week's digital i-Ready testing from home.

Worcester Preparatory School (WPS) added a new personal finance course to the Middle School curriculum this year. Thanks to Landmark Insurance & Financial Group’s generous donation of the Dave Ramsey “Foundations in Personal Finance” industry-leading financial curriculum, students are learning basic banking and life skills needed to thrive in today’s economy. The class is taught by WPS Director of Human Resources Heather Parsons, who has a BS in Organizational Management, a minor in HR, a MBA, SHRM-CP and PHR certifications, combined with more than 20 years of experience in human resources and banking. Parsons is pictured with seventh grader Sydney Todorov. Submitted Photos Jay Konyar, Melany Guerrero, and Jaelyn Hudson, fifth grade students at Berlin Intermediate School, work asynchronously on analyzing characters from their class novel, while teacher Emily Rowan works with a student over Zoom as Vice Principal Jennifer Garton observes.

During Ashley Miller's reading class at Berlin Intermediate, students were analyzing characters from the novel, Bud Not Buddy. However, to add a little fun, Mrs. Miller was acting as one of the characters to better help the students with their analysis. Students Lillian Connor, Cooper Glover, Gabriel Rodrigues and Matthew Paredes Novoa are pictured taking in the lesson, as Kassie Blakelock adds supporting information. Students in Amy Burbage's second grade class at Ocean City Elementary enjoyed doing their 100 Book reading outside on Wednesday afternoon. Pictured are Katie Holloway, below, and Logan Waters.

The Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club recently funded the purchase and installation of a playground canopy for Buckingham Elementary School. Pictured with kindergartners are Deshon Purnell, left, assistant principal of BES, and Roger Pacella, publicity chairman of the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club.

Page 50

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BERLIN – Raymond M. Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Calvin B. Taylor Bank, has announced Doreen Angelo has joined the bank as assistant vice president, branch manager/relationship officer at the Ocean View, Del. branch. In addition to branch management and oversight, Angelo will be responsible for business development and client relationship management in the Delaware shore market. Angelo comes to Taylor Bank with eight years of banking experience, specializing in branch operations, leadership, and customer relationship management, most recently having served as branch manager at PNC Bank in BethDOREEN any Beach, Del. ANGELA “We are delighted that Doreen has joined our team of outstanding banking professionals. She is wellknown in the Delaware market as an experienced banker, and we look forward to the contributions that her skills and market presence will provide to our business operations, our customers, and our stockholders”, said Thompson.

Ocean Pines Golf Changes BERLIN – Ocean Pines this week announced the promotion of Justin Hartshorne to golf superintendent, and the hiring of Kurt Joseph as assistant golf superintendent. Hartshorne graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in turf grass science. His Maryland certifications include a pesticide applica- JUSTIN tor’s license and a fertilizer HARTSapplicator’s license, and he HORNE recently completed Links “level two” irrigation software training. "I've also been doing golf maintenance for 18 years now, so I have a lot of experience there as well," he said. Hartshorne and his wife moved to the area about four years ago, and he initially worked at the Cripple Creek Golf

October 23, 2020

and Country Club in Dagsboro, Del. Last September, he was hired as the assistant superintendent at the Ocean Pines Golf Club. As the new superintendent, Hartshorne will help oversee the entire golf operation. His duties include managing the staff and budget, supervising chemical and fertilizer applications, and maintaining the irrigation system. "All of that is part of the day-to-day of working on the agronomic aspect of maintaining the golf course," he said. Hartshorne said the Ocean Pines course is particularly challenging, because of its geographic location. "Being in a transition zone, the weather certainly creates some issues,” he said. “And almost the entire course is treelined, which is definitely challenging when you have those shade and air-movement issues. It certainly keeps us busy." Joseph is originally from Wheeling, W. Va. He began working at Oglebay Resort Golf in Wheeling in 2003 and later moved locally, to work at the Lighthouse Sound golf course in Ocean City. He previously worked at the Ocean Pines Golf Club, but had to leave KURT 18 months ago to help with JOSEPH family issues back home. Just a week ago, he moved back to the area and rejoined the team in Ocean Pines. Joseph said the assistant superintendent's job is to "basically put out all kinds of fires." "I'm Justin's eyes when he can't be somewhere," he said. "Everything that he does, I try to make it easier for him. … It's a very challenging course, because there's a fine line of watering here, compared to other courses. And then you've got the breeze off the ocean. … I think Justin and I are going to work really well together and get the course back where it needs to be.”

Practice Adds Partner SALISBURY – Peninsula Orthopaedic Associates (POA) has announced Dr. Patrick “Andy” Holt as the newest partner of the practice. Holt is the tenth active Partner of POA and joins Drs. Brandon, Petrera, Greco, Trauger, Kang, Scopp, Huber, Adrignolo and McGovern. Holt joined POA in September 2018. Prior to join- DR. PATRICK HOLT ing POA, Holt completed his fellowship in hand and microvascular surgery at Duke University as well as his orthopaedic residency at the University of Utah. He also completed a PhD degree at the same time he attended Medical School at the University of Louisville. “It is with humility and gratitude that I join the Partners at POA,” Holt said. “It has been a tremendous two years and I am looking forward with enthusiasm to many years ahead providing orthopaedic care for patients on the Eastern Shore."

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

October 23, 2020

with Scott Lenox

Above, $7,470 and first place honors in the Inaugural Bishop Broadbill Bash went to the team of Peixe Espada for this 390-pound swordfish. Opposite page, top row from left, Andrew Zetzer had a nice day in the back bay when he caught his personal best red and black drum; this healthy fluke came over the rail of the Morning Star with Captain Monty Hawkins at the wheel.; and the crew of the Fish On with Captain Andrew Dotterweich tied for second place in the Bishop Broadbill Bash Tournament and won over $27,000 in prize money. Opposite page, middle row, Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides Charters displays a nice “slot” rockfish caught in the Inlet; Captain DJ Churchill of the Fish Bound shows a beauty of a flounder caught on a recent trip; and Tom caught his limit of nice flounder on the Angler. Opposite page, bottom row, top tuna honors and a check for $5,000 from Atlantic Tackle was won by the Reel Allure for its 116.5-pound bigeye, and Scott Lenox and Big Bird Cropper caught bluefish, a keeper rockfish and a tautog at the Route 50 Bridge. Submitted Photos

We’ve reached the time of year where we dial back the column just a bit as less anglers are fishing and not as much to report. Don’t get me wrong there is great fishing in Ocean City pretty much year-round, but the further we get away from summer the more Mother Nature has to say about us going. This past week there were more nonfishable days then there were fishable, and some of the “fishable” days were pretty darn rough. I was able to get out with the Fish On for some swordfishing action last week and though we did box a 160pounder, it was challenging to say the

least. Speaking of swordfish, the Inaugural Bishop Broadbill Bash Tournament was held this past weekend and it was a great success. Fifteen boats competed for $85,000 in prize money and there was some good fishing with some really nice swordfish weighed. There was a tie for second place with two 358 pounders caught by Kilo Charlie and Fish On and first place was a big 390-pound sword caught on the appropriately named Peixe Espada (translated sword fish), but the big winner was the AGH cancer center, which will be receiving an awesome donation. ThSEE NEXT PAGE

October 23, 2020

... Fish In OC

ank you to all teams who participated and all of the sponsors who donated to help Rena Bishop and all those being treated at AGH. The oceangoing bottom fishing fleet

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

hasn’t been able to get on the ocean as much recently and that’s a reel bummer because fishing is excellent. Anglers fishing over ocean structure have been catching sea bass, flounder, triggerfish, bluefish and even a few ribbonfish. The Angler, Morning Star, Judith M and Ocean Princess will all run for at least another month and sea bass fishing should be terrific until the season

closes on Dec. 31. If you’re looking to put some tasty fillets in the freezer you should get on board. Back bay flounder fishing is ok right now, but the water has been dirty and that’s not good for flounder fishing. Thankfully there has been some good fishing for rockfish, bluefish, tautog and red and black drum. The north and south jetties on the Inlet and the Route 50

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Bridge have been productive spots for all these fish and when the water cleans up we’ll be able to add flounder back to the list for a few more weeks. Until next week, tight lines. (The writer is the owner of Fish in OC and host of Ocean City’s fishing television show Hooked on OC. He has worked in the fishing industry and been fishing the waters in and around Ocean City for over 25 years.)

Worcester Libraries Mulling Limited Reopening To Patrons

Page 54

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch



BERLIN – As the library works through the phases of its reopening plan, officials this week discussed when and how its branches would reopen to the public in a limited capacity. On Oct. 13, Library Director Jennifer Ranck presented the Worcester County Library Board of Trustees with an update on virtual programs, digital usage and services currently offered at each of the five branches. In May, library officials began outlining plans for reopening the library branches as statewide recovery phases are introduced.

Since that time, the library has introduced a Library To-Go program – a contactless pickup service for books and materials – as well as “library by appointment” services. As the name suggests, this phase allows the public to make appointments for computer use – in 45-minute sessions – copier access and library card registration. Ranck, however, did note that the library continues to field questions from the public about reopening. “Everything is going well,” she said. “I am very happy with where we are, but we still have people that want to come back in and we want them to come in, too.” While the most recent phase of the li-

October 23, 2020

brary’s reopening plan allows patrons some access to library services, Ranck said they cannot browse book collections or use meeting rooms, which are currently being used to quarantine returned materials. “We were one of the earlier counties in Maryland to have patrons come back into buildings, and one of earliest to offer book curbside service, but some of our patrons are missing walking the shelves …,” she said. “We are struggling with this and getting multiple calls a day.” While she said she was pleased with the library’s current operations, Ranck questioned when and how the branches would eventually reopen at a limited capacity.

“We’re not really sure what the benchmark should be for when we move to that next phase,” she said. Ranck said the library continues to monitor COVID-19 positivity rates in Worcester County and discuss the logistics of reopening the stacks to library patrons. “There are a lot of questions we are struggling with still,” she said. Ranck also noted some branch managers were hesitant to reopen. “We have three branches ready to give it a go and two that want to hold off a little bit,” she said. Ranck told board members she would continue to meet with branch managers and explore the possibility of reopening to limited patrons.


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Berlin To Begin Providing Historic District Insights

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch



BERLIN – A new practice at town hall will help ensure that homeowners are aware if their properties are within the town’s historic district. Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood shared plans this month for a system tied to utility billing to make sure new property owners were informed if their homes were within the town’s historic district. “I think it’s a terrific idea,” said Carol Rose, chair of the town’s historic district commission. In the last few years, commission

members have realized that some who have purchased homes in Berlin’s historic district weren’t aware of the district and its requirements. Commission member Mary Moore has advocated multiple times for something to be done, as she believes that homebuyers need to be aware so they’re not surprised when they find out changes to their home need commission approval. Though the commission talked about a text amendment related to the issue in August, Fleetwood said he’d come up with a simpler proposal. He said the town’s customer service staff could be provided with a map of the historic district. When new homeowners call to es-


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tablish a utility account, staff will check to see if the property is in the historic district. If it is, the homeowner will be given a copy of the historic district code and asked to sign a form acknowledging their home is in the district. “It’s simple,” Fleetwood said. “I think this catches the overwhelming majority.” Rose said that while there were just a few times in recent years when buyers hadn’t realized the exterior work on their properties was subject to historic commission approval, this would ensure that future new property owners were informed. “It’s important if someone buys a home in the district they’re aware,” she


said, adding that while realtors usually informed buyers there were occasions when it was overlooked. She added that commission members were always willing to work with homeowners and provide insight. “For me it’s exciting to talk with people buying a beautiful old home and bringing it back,” Rose said. She said the town’s historic architecture was what continued to draw people to Berlin. “So many people that come to eat and shop come because they’ve heard about how beautiful and historic our downtown is,” she said. “I just want to preserve that.”

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Jackie Sarbu, Owner • 410.422.4826



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Let’s scheduLe your FaLL projects now! Ken waLsh – 410-641-3762 est. 1977 • MhIc 8465 www.WalshHomeImprovementInc.com

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WASTE & SEPTIC SERVICE SEPTIC PUMP OUTS AS LOW AS $225 Septic Installation, Service & Pumping Hydro Jetting | Drain Fields & Pump Stations Porta Potty Rentals | Roll-Off Dumpsters | Grease Traps


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Page 56

Who’s Where When BUXY’S SALTY DOG DRY DOCK 28 410-289-0973 28th St. & Coastal Hwy. Friday, Oct. 23: TBA

Best Beats On The Beach The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

October 23, 2020

CLARION HOTEL 410-524-3535 • 10100 Coastal Hwy. Ocean Club: Friday & Saturday, Oct. 23 & 24: On The Edge & DJ Dusty, 7 p.m. CORK BAR & GRILL Wicomico St. & Boardwalk 410-289-6921 Saturday, Oct. 24: Lennon LaRicci & The Leftovers CRAWL STREET TAVERN 19 Wicomico St. off the Boardwalk 443-373-2756 Friday, Oct. 23: Dust N Bones, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24: Three On The Tree, 9 p.m. Sundays: DJ Wax, 10 p.m. Tuesdays: DJ RobCee, 10 p.m.

ON THE EDGE Clarion/Ocean Club: Friday & Saturday, Oct. 23 & 24

THREE ON THE TREE Crawl St. Tavern: Saturday, Oct. 24

FULL CIRCLE DUO Seacrets: Thursday, Oct. 29

LENNON LA RICCI & THE LEFTOVERS Cork Bar: Saturday, Oct. 24

DUST N BONES Crawl St. Tavern: Friday, Oct. 23

LAUREN GLICK DUO Downy Oshun: Friday, Oct. 23

DOWNY OSHUN 120th St. Bayside 410-670-8025 Friday, Oct. 23: Lauren Glick Duo Saturday, Oct. 24: TBA Thursdays: Otto Grundman & Friends, 6 p.m. FAGER’S ISLAND 410-524-5500 60th St. & The Bay Friday, Oct. 23: DJ RobCee Saturday, Oct. 24: TBA PICKLES PUB 410-289-4891 8th St. & Philadelphia Ave. Friday, Oct. 23: Rogue Citizens Saturday, Oct. 24: Andrew Robear Sundays & Wednesdays: Beats By Skyler Mondays: Karaoke with Wood Tuesdays & Thursdays: Beats By Wax SEACRETS 410-524-4900 49th St. & Coastal Hwy. Friday, Oct. 23: Cherry Crush Duo, 4 p.m., Benderz Duo, 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24: High Five Swan Dive Duo, 4 p.m., Late Last Night Duo, 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29: Full Circle Duo, 4 p.m.

LATE LAST NIGHT DUO Seacrets: Saturday, Oct. 24

DJ ROBCEE Fager’s Island: Friday, Oct. 23 Crawl St. Tavern: Tuesdays

BEATS BY WAX Pickles Pub: Tuesdays & Thursdays Crawl St. Tavern: Sundays

DJ DUSTY Clarion Ocean Club: Friday & Saturday, Oct. 23 & 24

ANDREW ROBEAR Pickles Pub: Saturday, Oct. 24

OTTO GRUNDMAN Downy Oshun: Thursdays

DJ RUT Purple Moose: Friday & Saturday, Oct. 23 & 24

The Dispatch Classifieds

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

$15/Week For Minimum Of Five Lines • $2 Thereafter Per Line Display Classified Ads: $20/Week Per Column Inch (Contract Discounts Available)

HELP WANTED Ride the B in OC!

Delaware Learning Institute of Cosmetology in Dagsboro, Delaware is looking for COSMETOLOGY INSTRUCTORS!

Instructors play a key role in the success of our company. They educate and guide students, ensuring a complete understanding of curriculum and protocols mandated by our institute, state, and/ or federal policies. We are currently seeking a full time Delaware Licensed Cosmetology/Nail Instructor with the availability to work Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. There are a few times throughout the year when you may need to attend activities outside these days and times, however you are always compensated for your time. Delaware Learning Institute of Cosmetology offers competitive benefits like optional health care plans, dental,and paid time off. Please send a resume and cover letter with your salary requirements to jcook@delawarecosmetology.com Applicants will not be considered unless you submit both resume and cover letter. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!



Year Round position supervising Fuel Dock Staff. Responsible for inventory of resale items, fuel inventory and other duties assigned.



Apply Online at Delaware Job Link https://delawarestatejobs.com AA/EOE

Work With the Best Ocean City has to Offer ... We Invite You to be a Part of our Family!



CONTACT INFORMATION Phone: 410-641-4563 • Fax: 410-641-0966 Email: classifieds@mdcoastdispatch.com Mail: P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811

Deadline For Insertions, Cancellations And Payment Is 3 p.m. Tuesday. Pre-Payment Is Required. We Accept Visa & MasterCard. CONSTRUCTION WORKERS NEEDED: Laborers & Skilled Persons. On job training. Starting wage $16.00/hour. Call 302-4367533 for information. ___________________________ DEEP CLEANER NEEDED: For winter cleaning. Good pay. Parttime to full-time hours with opportunity to work year round employment. Call 410-250-2262. ___________________________

Page 57

AUTOMOTIVE - GREAT OPPORTUNITIES! Large automotive center with auto parts / marine stores, service centers and used car dealership, is now hiring for: -TECHNICIANS - SERVICE & PARTS ADVISORS - MARYLAND STATE INSPECTOR We offer GREAT PAY & Benefits!

Call 302-344-9846

Currently hiring manpower for

•STUCCO & EIFS MECHANICS •CARPENTERS •CONCRETE BLOCK •COATINGS SPECIALISTS •FLAT CONCRETE •CONCRETE REPAIRS •PT WELDER •COMMERCIAL CAULKING •WINDOW & DOOR INSTALLERS •WAREHOUSE HELP (DRIVER’S LICENSE REQ’D) Experience Preferred. Tools, transportation & a valid driver’s license are a plus. Competitive benefit package available. Please apply in person at 11935 Hammer Rd, Bishopville, MD, or apply online: http://allstatesconst.com/delmarva-renovations-careers

FULL-TIME PERSONAL BANKER Farmers Bank of Willards has a Full-Time Personal Banker position available at the North Ocean City location. Looking for professional and motivated individuals with extraordinary customer service skills. Cash handling experience & excellent computer skills a must. Please email your resume to kelly.drexel@fbwbank.com or call Kelly Drexel at 410-250-1512 Application cut off is 11-2-2020 “Equal Employment Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer”



COASTAL SOCIAL SOLUTIONS: Seeking the donation of used TRUMP flags. Don't burn them, turn them into tents for thousands left homeless by TRUMP’S handling of the PANDEMIC. Please call 1-800-555-HELP. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– COASTAL SEPTIC SERVICES: Looking to buy used MAGA hats. Don’t throw them in the Trash... Sell them for Cash! Must be previously worn so they’re familiar with the material that the honey dipper net will be handling. For more information call 1-866-555-5555. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

YARD SALE: Sat. 10/24 7am-2pm Clothing, furn., housewares, gifts, antique books and much more! 12924 Center Drive, Ocean City. –––––––––––––––––––––––––— YARD SALE: Sat. 10/24, 7am 1pm. New household items, farm and beach decor, antiques, furniture, wicker, art pieces, antique lamps, plus many other items. 10016 Carey Road, Berlin. –––––––––––––––––––––––––— THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT WEEKEND: 10340 Sussex Road, West OC. 8am til ? Each Day. Holiday Decor, Furniture, Jewelry, Something for Everyone! –––––––––––––––––––––––––—

FOR SALE PMI RENTALS After 35 Years, We are Going to Retire! We have all of our inventory up for sale. For information call 410-250-1251, email pmirentals@msn.com, or view items on our website pmirentals.com Thank You Baehm & Family

COMMERCIAL WEST O.C. OFFICE/RETAIL SPACES AVAILABLE: 1 OfficeRetail and 1 Warehouses. Plenty of Parking. 443-497-4200. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– UPSCALE MIDTOWN OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT: 2,130 sq.ft. No CAM fees. 443-880-2225. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––


Local News Articles Delivered Daily To Your Inbox WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING …

“I really enjoy getting the Daily Buzz articles. “Thank you so much for keeping us aware for those of us not in Ocean City.” They are informative, helpful and well-written. This was a great idea. Thank you.” “I love getting The Dispatch by email daily (or “Love the Daily Buzz” just a little taste of it!). Thank you!” “I very much enjoy the daily news updates.” “I love your emails. ... Keep them coming!

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WINTER RENTAL: Condos 52nd & 127th, OC. 1BR, 1BA. Great locations, Nice. Starts Oct. 1st. $250 per week. Sec. Deposit reqd. Cable & WiFi incl. 267-254-0111. —––––––––––––––––––––––––– ROOM FOR RENT: Shared apt. with young lady. Central air. Located behind Layton’s on 16th St. Female pref. $375/month, year round. Call Tony 202-641-6166. —–––––––––––––––––––––––––

WEEKLY RENTALS Poolfront Room $215. Efficiency Room $245. 2 BR Apartment $350. 3 BR Suite $400.

Burgundy Inn 1210 Philadelphia Ave.


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The Dispatch

Page 58

Legal Notices

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch


Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. Deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information, call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966.

SECOND INSERTION NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18448 To all persons interested in the estate of JOHN H. SCHLEICHER, AKA: JOHN HENRY SCHLEICHER, SR. ESTATE NO. 18448. Notice is given that DOLORES DIANE TAYLOR, 8215 BOX DRIVE, ORCHARD BEACH, MD 21226, was on, OCTOBER O2, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of JOHN H. SCHLEICHER, who died on AUGUST 16, 2020, with a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 2ND day of APRIL, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills.

True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 10-16, 10-23, 10-30


NOTICE TO CREDITORS OF APPOINTMENT OF FOREIGN PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE ESTATE NO. 18451 Notice is given that the CIRCUIT COURT of PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA, appointed MICHAEL GERARD GATTI, 1420 N. ST., NW #903, WASHINGTON D.C. 20005, as the EXECUTOR of the Estate of MICHAEL ANGELO GATTI, who died on JULY 02, 2020, domiciled in VIRGINIA, USA. The Maryland resident agent for service of process is VALERIE A. CARY, whose address is 7407 QUIXOTE COURT BOWIE, MD 20720. At the time of death, the decedent owned real or leasehold property in the following MARYLAND counties: WORCESTER. All persons having claims against the decedent must file their claims with the Register of Wills for WORCESTER COUNTY with a copy to the foreign personal representative on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the foreign personal representative mails or delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claim within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. Claims filed after that date or after a date extended by law will be barred. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 16, 2020

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 16, 2020

MICHAEL GERARD GATTI Personal Representative

DOLORES DIANE TAYLOR Personal Representative


Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x 10-16, 10-23, 10-30


C. BRIAN CARLIN, ESQ. OPPENHEIMER, FLEISCHER & QUIGGLE, P.C. 4419 EAST WEST HIGHWAY BETHESDA, MD 20814 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18455 To all persons interested in the estate of FRANK WILLIAM CULLER, ESTATE NO. 18455. Notice is given that LAURA GENE COMFORT, 6 VILLAGE WAY, BERLIN, MD 21811 and CLAIRE ELLEN MACK, 9869 WILDERNESS LANE, NORTH LAUREL, MD 20723, were on, OCTOBER 08, 2020, appointed Personal Representatives of the estate of FRANK WILLIAM CULLER, who died on AUGUST 22, 2020, with a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 8TH day of APRIL, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of

the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 16, 2020 LAURA GENE COMFORT Personal Representative CLAIRE ELLEN MACK Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 10-16, 10-23, 10-30


MICHAEL B MATHERS ESQ. WEBB, CORNBROOKS, WILBER, VORHIS, DOUSE & MATHERS, LLP PO BOX 910 115 BROAD STREET SALISBURY, MD 21803-0910 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18444 To all persons interested in the estate of KATHLEEN PATRICIA CHANEY, ESTATE NO. 18444. Notice is given that LAURA LEE MILLER, 2003 WEST MARKET STREET, YORK, PA 17404 was on, OCTOBER 19, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of KATHLEEN PATRICIA CHANEY, who died on JULY 29, 2020, without a will. Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 19TH day of APRIL, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the

October 23, 2020 Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates:

Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 2x 10-23, 10-30

(1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or


(2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills.

To all persons interested in the estate of CATHERINE FRANCES HAROLD, ESTATE NO. 18467. Notice is given that SUSAN HAROLD MATIS, 500 BUCKINGHAM DRIVE, STEVENSVILLE, MD 21666 was on, OCTOBER 15, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of CATHERINE FRANCES HAROLD, who died on SEPTEMBER 18, 2020, with a will.

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 23, 2020 LAURA LEE MILLER Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 10-23, 10-30, 11-6


BEFORE THE REGISTER OF WILLS FOR WORCESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND IN THE ESTATE OF WILLIAM HOWARD FORMWALT ESTATE NO. 18459 NOTICE OF JUDICIAL PROBATE To all persons interested in the above estate: You are hereby notified that a petition has been filed by JOHN WILLIAM FORMWALT, 153 NAUTICAL LANE, OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND, for judicial probate of the will dated SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 and for the appointment of a personal representative. A hearing will be held at ONE W MARKET STREET, COURT ROOM 4, COURT HOUSE, SNOW HILL, MD 21863 on NOVEMBER 17, 2020 AT 10:00AM. This hearing may be transferred or postponed to a subsequent time. Further information may be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 23, 2020 TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street


Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney. All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 15TH day of APRIL, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 23, 2020 SUSAN HAROLD MATIS Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 10-23, 10-30, 11-6



The Dispatch

Legal Notices

October 23, 2020

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch


Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. Deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information, call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966. 26 S. MAIN STREET BEL AIR, MD 21014 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18469



Do You Know 15,000 People Read The Dispatch’s Daily Buzz Every Week? Sign Up At www.mdcoastdispatch.com And Get Local News Each Day.

To all persons interested in the estate of BARBARA LEE CONAWAY, ESTATE NO. 18469. Notice is given that JACQUES R. CONAWAY, 9858 SHORE BREAK LANE APT. 302, BERLIN, MD 21811 was on, OCTOBER 15, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of BARBARA LEE CONAWAY, who died on SEPTEMBER 7, 2020, with a will.

Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 10-23, 10-30, 11-6

Further information can be obtained by reviewing the estate file in the office of the Register of Wills or by contacting the personal representative or the attorney.

All persons having any objection to the appointment (or to the probate of the decedent’s will) shall file their objections with the Register of Wills on or before the 16TH day of APRIL, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates:

(1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or

(2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 23, 2020 JACQUES R. CONAWAY Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT


VA 22315, as the PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE of the Estate of EMILY SELENA VAUGHAN, who died on AUGUST 27, 2019, domiciled in VIRGINIA, USA. The Maryland resident agent for service of process is RAYMOND D. COATES, JR., whose address is 6200 COASTAL HIGHWAY, OCEAN CITY, MD 21842. At the time of death, the

Page 59 decedent owned real or leasehold property in the following MARYLAND counties: WORCESTER.

ing or other delivery of the notice. Claims filed after that date or after a date extended by law will be barred.

All persons having claims against the decedent must file their claims with the Register of Wills for Worcester County with a copy to the foreign personal representative on or before the earlier of the following dates:

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication OCTOBER 23, 2020

(1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the foreign personal representative mails or delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claim within two months from the mail-

BERNETTA ANN VAUGHAN Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTOCTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 10-23, 10-30, 11-6

The Dispatch Is On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Get Daily News Updates As They Happen

Contingency Account To Fund Project Shortfall

Page 60



SALISBURY – County officials this week agreed to fund a $255,000 overage for the rehabilitation of the Morris Mill Dam, which was completed earlier this summer. On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to amend its fiscal years 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and appropriate $255,435 from contingency to fund a project overage for the rehabilitation of the Morris Mill Dam. “It came from what basically plagued the whole project, poor soils in the dam itself,” Public Works Deputy Director Mark Whitelock told council members earlier this month. “Even after a redesign, we found more problems after the

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

fact.” The dam, originally constructed in 1946 and later updated in the 1960s, is classified as a high hazard dam based on the downstream damage – including loss of life, property damage and highway flooding – that would result if the dam were to fail. When work on the dam began in September 2018, it was initially scheduled to be completed in a year. However, water found seeping through the dam shortly after construction began required crews to halt work and redesign the project. As a result of the project’s redesign, and delays in the construction schedule, construction on the Morris Mill Dam was completed earlier this summer, months behind schedule and millions of dollars more than what was originally projected,

officials noted. “I attended one of the first meetings in Fruitland …,” Councilman John Cannon said earlier this month. “This project was probably $1.5 million, maybe. And it’s increased by millions now.” Officials also noted the complaints they received from nearby residents. From the project’s start in 2018 until June of this year, traffic from a portion of South Division Street had to be rerouted. Whitelock told county officials he expected the $255,435 overage to be the last bill for the Morris Mill Dam project. And with no public comments at a hearing this week, the council voted 7-0 to amend the CIP and fund the overage from the county’s contingency account, which will have a little over $1 million remaining for the rest of the fiscal year.

Wicomico Boat Ramp Will Honor Late Executive

October 23, 2020



SALISBURY – County leaders voted unanimously this week to dedicate a future boat ramp at the new Pirate’s Wharf Park in honor of the late County Executive Bob Culver. On what would have been his 68th birthday, the Wicomico County Council Tuesday passed a resolution dedicating a proposed boat ramp at Pirate’s Wharf Park to commemorate Culver, who died on July 26 after a brief battle with liver cancer. Earlier this month, at the recommendation of Councilman Bill McCain, council members held a work session with Wicomico County Recreation, Parks and Tourism Director Steve Miller to discuss the naming of a boat ramp at Pirate’s Wharf Park. “I want to thank Mr. McCain for the idea,” Council President Larry Dodd said at the time. “I think it’s a great idea and great to honor the county executive.” In the resolution this week, county leaders recognized Culver for his efforts to redevelop the county-owned site. In 2018, Culver announced Wicomico had secured an $820,000 grant from the National Parks Service through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to create a public park at Pirate’s Wharf, roughly 340 acres of undeveloped, countyowned property along the Wicomico River. And with the help of matching grants and a financial commitment from the Wicomico County Council, the county was able to leverage the federal funding to generate $1.8 million for the first phase of the project. The future Pirate’s Wharf Park will include a trail system and gathering spaces, as well as a public boat ramp that will provide access to the water, according to master plan developed by Davis, Bowen & Friedel last year. In the first phase of the park’s development, for example, the master plan proposed a 1,500-square-foot pavilion, playground, fishing pier, observation deck, trail system, and a boat ramp and soft launch area. As part of the resolution, the county will install a permanent plaque, which will be mounted on the boat ramp in Culver’s honor. The project to develop Pirate’s Wharf is currently in the design phase, Miller told council members earlier this month. Construction on the boat ramp, however, could be completed as early as next summer, following the permitting and bidding process. “We’ll be bidding out certain parts this winter and this spring,” he said. “I think the boat ramp will be toward the later part of that because of permitting, so we are probably looking at the earliest next summer.”

Page 61

At the Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market is Shore Woodcraft’s Kevin Dzimiera, and his proud mama, Judy, with his handcrafted bowls and cutting boards.

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch


By Jeanette Deskiewicz


Friends of the Ocean Pines Library, Mary Gernhardt, Cindy Roman, and Eileen Leonhart sold books at the Saturday Morning Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market.

In Society

October 23, 2020

The Christmas Home Place Décor was sold by Linda Jones, Marilyn James, and Debbie Collins at this year’s Atlantic United Methodist Church Christmas Mart.

New to the neighborhood is The Buzz Meadery with Megan Hines, Brett Hines and Shaun Surber sampling their products at Berlin’s Oktoberfest.

No cash was needed to buy all the fun stuff at the Atlantic United Methodist Church Christmas Mart once Bill Wimperis and Susan Lauer got the charge card stations online.

During Berlin’s Oktoberfest, Swamp Man Barry Neeb helped out his son Swamp Boy Garrett Neeb promote his line of lip balms, salves and hydrosols made right here in Berlin.

Bringing information to the Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market about their suicide awareness and prevention program were Stacey Norton and Donna Gleckler of Jesse’s Paddle.

The bakery delights are always a hit at the Atlantic United Methodist Church Christmas Mart with Pat Harman and Jacki Beth Sterling ringing up the goods.

The Atlantic United Methodist Church Annual Christmas Mart moved outdoors this year and had Teresa and Jerry Simpson helping out at the jewelry store.

Siblings Morgan and Riley Schoch continued their Annual Children’s Book Giveaway during Berlin’s Oktoberfest with close to 3000 books given to date.

Page 62


ARIES (March 21 to April 19): You might be growing impatient with a situation that seems to resist efforts to resolve it. But staying with it raises the odds that you'll find a way to a successful resolution. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20): Travel and kinship are strong in the Bovine's aspect this week. This would be a good time to combine the two and take a trip to see family members for a pre-holiday get-together. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): A colleague could make a request you're not comfortable with. If so, say so. Better to disappoint someone by sticking with your principles than disappoint yourself if you don't. CANCER (June 21 to July 22): The Moon Child's ability to adapt to life's ebbs and flows helps you deal with the changes that you might confront at work or at home, or both. Things settle down by the week's end. LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22): It's a good week for Leos and Leonas to get some long-outstanding business matters resolved. Then go ahead and plan a funfilled family getaway weekend with the mate and the cubs. VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22): A possible workplace change seems promising. If you decide to look into it, try not to form an opinion on just a small part of the picture: Wait for the full image to develop. LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22): A newcomer helps keep things moving. There

OCEAN CITY vanishing

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

might be some bumpy moments along the way, but at least you're heading in the right direction. You win praise for your choices. SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21): You could be pleasantly surprised by how a decision about one thing opens up an unexpected new option. Also, assistance on a project could come from a surprising source. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21): With more information to work with, you might now be able to start the process that could lead to a major change. Reserve the weekend for family and friends. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19): This could be a good time to begin gathering information that will help you turn that long-held idea into something substantive. A personal matter might need extra attention. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18): That new challenge might carry some surprises. But you should be able to handle them using what you already know. That new supporter should be there to lend assistance. PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20): Someone might be trying to disguise his or her true motives. But the perceptive and perspicacious Pisces should have little or no problem finding the truth in all that foggy rhetoric. BORN THIS WEEK: You can always rely on your people skills to help you find solutions to problems others often give up on. © 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.

Things I Like ...

October 23, 2020


The Monticello Hotel was located on the southeast corner of 3rd Street and Baltimore Avenue. It drew much of its clientele from visitors arriving by bus at the Trailways Station a block away. The Dinner Bell Restaurant occupied the ground floor of the fourstory frame building and was one of Ocean City’s most popular restaurants in the 1940s and 1950s. It served homestyle food at affordable prices and was open to the public in an era when most meals were taken at one’s hotel or boarding house. The Monticello was torn down following the 1999 season and replaced by the Hotel Monte Carlo. To purchase one of Bunk Mann's books, click Photo courtesy of David Dypsky over to www.vanishingoc.com.

The Dispatch Crossword Puzzle

By Steve Green

Reaching the bottom of a pile of bills A beautiful lawn

When technology works as it should Saving my crab claws till the end Seedless watermelon

A sunny morning after a stormy night Big oak tree leaves

Sleeping through the night

Smell of a baby after a bath

Monday morning highlights Looking forward to bonfires with friends again


October 23, 2020

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October 23, 2020

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