Dec. 9

Page 1

Nor thside Park Impact Evaluated See Page 13 • File
Second NYE Fireworks Show Added
Page 7 •
Photo by Chris Parypa
Count y Ends Spor ts Complex Process See Page 4 • File Photo
Greater Delmarva Since 1984 P r i c e l e s s De c e mb e r 9 , 2 0 2 2
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Holiday Spirit: The Berlin Christmas Parade, an annual tradition for thousands, took place last Thursday night in Berlin Pictured are two sights from the memorable evening See page 29 for more pictures Photos by Chris Parypa
Comcast Accord Approved After
Photo By Chris Parypa
Page 2 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch SERVING DELMARVA FOR 60 YEARS
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Officials Vote To End County’s Sports Complex Process

SNOW HILL – Worcester County officials voted Tuesday to cancel the contract to purchase land on Route 50 for a sports complex.

In the same meeting two new commissioners were sworn in and leadership of the board changed from Commissioner Joe Mitrecic to Commissioner Chip Bertino, the commissioners voted 4-2 to end the contract to purchase the Harrison property next to Stephen Decatur High School.

“The purpose of this motion is to cease all involvement Worcester County has in construction of a sports complex in Worcester County,” Commissioner Jim Bunting said. “It is not intended to hinder in any way an individual or entity in private-

ly owning and operating a sports complex in Worcester County and I look forward to them coming forward.”

After several years of talking about the potential for a sports complex in Worcester County, the commissioners voted 4-3 in April to move forward with plans to purchase 95 acres owned by the Harrison family next to Stephen Decatur High School. The three who voted against the purchase, Bunting, Bertino and Commissioner Ted Elder, have been vocal regarding their concerns about the proposed $7.1 million land purchase in the months since.

At the close of Tuesday’s meeting, and with two previous supporters of the sports complex — Bud Church and Josh Nordstrom — no longer on the board, Bunting made a motion to end the contract and cancel any related consulting contracts.

The motion also instructed staff to cease any studies or planning related to the project. Commissioner Caryn Abbott seconded the motion, but Mitrecic urged his peers to wait before making any decisions. He said the commissioners hadn’t even had a face-to-face meeting with the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) since it released its study on the sports complex last week. The study, which was paid for by the Town of Ocean City, indicated development of a complex would cost about $153 million but that there was potential for significant state funding. The study reviewed the costs and impacts of a sports complex consisting of eight to 10 tournament quality fields and a 125,000square foot indoor facility.

“Everybody up here has said over time they support a sports complex in Worcester County. They just don’t want the tax-

payers to pay for it,” Mitrecic said. “If the Stadium Authority is willing to pay 80% of the cost and there’s a private entity that wants to pay that other 20% and the county could reap the benefits of that, I don’t see why we wouldn’t at least listen to what they have to say.”

Mitrecic said the county’s next budget would be a difficult one to fund. He’s long advocated for a sports complex as a revenue generator.

“We have costs that are going through the roof with the education system,” he said. “We have costs that are going through the roof with our employees in the county to keep them here. We’ve lost how many employees? Over the last eight years that I’ve been here, the number is staggering. They’re leaving every day for private industry where they feel they can make more money.”

He stressed that the commissioners should speak to the MSA before making a decision on the land contract. He added that the county could have purchased the property any time during the last six months when a majority of the commissioners were supporters of a sports complex.

“I refused to bring it forward that way because I thought it was important we heard what the Stadium Authority had to say and we heard what they were interested in paying,” he said.

Elder said he had opposed buying the 95-acre parcel but felt that Mitrecic’s heart was in the right place. He said the MSA report stated that a complex would likely operate at a deficit.

“That’s the key word there,” he said.

Mitrecic said MSA’s opinion on the deficit was based on the county paying for a $70 million bond to develop the complex. He said that if a private entity got involved the county wouldn’t need that bond. Commissioner Diana Purnell said she agreed with Mitrecic.

“We need to let the Stadium Authority come in and say what they will or won’t do and make our decision then,” she said.

Commissioner Eric Fiori, who replaced a long-time sports complex supporter in Church, expressed concern about the project Tuesday as he did during his campaign.

“I’m an entrepreneur by trade. We cannot be entrepreneurs with county tax dollars. There’s a lot of speculation,” he said.

Fiori said the MSA report on the updated indoor arena and outdoor fields was not favorable in his opinion.

“What happens if this is a losing entity and we’re stuck with this particular property and the debt service and the maintenance that comes along with it?” he said. “The problems we are trying to solve we are going to make worse. At this point in time, I just don’t feel like it’s a great idea to dedicate a ton of funds in speculation that this is going to help.”

The commissioners voted 4-2, with Mitrecic and Purnell opposed and Elder abstaining, in favor of the motion to end the contract and cancel related studies and efforts.

Page 4 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
December 9, 2022 Page 5 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Page 6 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch American & Regional Dining With A Global Influence 60TH STREET IN THE BAY 410-524-5500
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OC Adds Uptown Fireworks Display

To New Year’s Eve Festivities

OCEAN CITY – There will be fireworks on New Year’s Eve uptown at Northside Park after all as resort officials this week approved a modified plan from a separate promoter to hold the show.

Last month, council approved a contract with Celebrations Fireworks to provide the popular pyrotechnic displays at Northside Park uptown on the Fourth of July and at the Inlet on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve for the next three years. Celebrations Fireworks was one of three bidders for the contract, but the only one who bid on all three years.

One company did submit a bid for three years, but only for the New Year’s Eve show only, while another company only bid for fiscal year 2023 and not the entire three years desired by the town. The budgeted amount for a single year was $108,000 for three displays in 2023. Celebrations Fireworks’ bid for the entire three years was $357,000, or $116,000 in the first two years and $125,000 in the third year.

However, one casualty of the new contract was a proposed fireworks show on New Year’s Eve at Northside Park to close Winterfest of Lights and the end of 2022. As a result, the only New Year’s Eve fireworks show planned for later this month was at the beach downtown near the Inlet with drive-in movies, a DJ and other events to draw people into the downtown area on the holiday.

Fireworks vendors have had some reservations about shooting the displays from the long pier at the west end of Northside Park for variety of reasons. Complicating the issue for Northside Park is the fact Winterfest of Lights would not be over until just before the proposed fireworks show, making the soccer field or other open areas unavailable. The sixinch shells used by the approved vendor would require a 600-foot radius, which would not be possible with Winterfest still winding down.

Losing the uptown New Year’s Eve show at Northside Park did not entirely sit well with some on the council when the three-year contract with Celebrations Fireworks was approved last month. During Monday’s meeting, a resident raised concern during the public comment period the north-end New Year’s Eve fireworks were not being held this because of budget concerns. She said many in the highly residential north-end communities had expressed the same concerns.

City Manager Terry McGean explained the uptown fireworks show was not cut due to budget concerns, but rather with logistic issues related to the ongoing Winterfest of Lights.

“This issue didn’t have anything to do with the budget,” he said. “The only vendor did not want to shoot from the pier. We could make that work at Northside Park for the Fourth of July because Win-

terfest of Lights wasn’t going on.”

However, a possible solution presented itself on Monday after the local resident voiced her concerns. While Celebrations will not produce a fireworks show at Northside Park on New Year’s Eve, local promoter Bob Rothermel and TEAM Productions, which produces the fireworks shows at Sundaes in the Park throughout the summer, has presented a plan to shoot from the pier at Northside Park and not cause any modifications to Winterfest, according to Mayor Rick Meehan.

“There wasn’t anyone who bid who would do the New Year’s Eve display uptown because they didn’t want to shoot from the pier,” he said. “However, we do have a promoter in town that does every Sunday in the summer for Sundaes in the Park, and he has assured us there is a way to do it from the pier. It is possible to do it.”

McGean explained the total estimate for producing a New Year’s Eve fireworks show later this month was an estimated $16,000 for the promoter, along with another $1,500 in costs associated with Winterfest of Lights. He said there was room in the budget to pull it off if that is what the elected officials desired.

“I think it’s something we can provide to the residents and visitors uptown,” he said. “It’s doable if the council has a will to do it. It would be something for the residents, something for the kids and the people uptown.”

Council Secretary Tony DeLuca made a motion to approve an expenditure up to $20,000 to provide a New Year’s Eve fireworks show at Northside Park. The plan is to keep Winterfest of Lights open until 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve as usual, and by shooting the modified fireworks show from the pier, no modifications would be required for Winterfest.

Councilman John Gehrig questioned if there was any conflict with approving a New Year’s Eve show uptown with the three-year contract approved with Celebrations last month.

“Will this impact the contract we already approved?” he said. “If we’re trying to build something downtown, are we carving up the market too much? I’m all for fireworks. I just don’t know if we’ll have enough people here to support two events.”

Meehan said the Northside Park fireworks on New Year’s Eve had a proven track record of drawing big crowds, not only at the park, but from decks, and back porches and hotel balconies all over the north end.

“Going back to 2017 and 2018 when we used to do this, we kept Winterfest open late for New Year’s Eve fireworks,” he said. “There were huge crowds. We had families out there waiting for the New Year’s Eve fireworks.”

Meanwhile, the downtown New Year’s Eve fireworks at the Inlet will include other amenities for residents and visitors

December 9, 2022 Page 7 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

OC Council Renews Comcast Franchise Agreement

the resolution to the public hearing phase, which was held on Monday.

OCEAN CITY – After holding Comcast’s feet to the fire somewhat over the grandfathering of certain discount programs, the Mayor and Council this week approved a renewed franchise agreement with the cable television provider.

Last month, the Mayor and Council approved a proposed resolution to renew a five-year franchise contract with Comcast after working through some salient points in the contract, which had expired in 2017. City Manager Terry McGean and legal staff have been working on a new agreement with Comcast in the years since. When the council approved the draft franchise agreement with Comcast last month, that moved

The proposed agreement presented on Monday represents the fruit of years of negotiations. Under the proposed agreement, the town would receive 5% of the gross revenues, or about $1.1 million annually for the life of the agreement.

The franchise agreement covers the provision of cable television service only. It is not an exclusive agreement as other providers can enter into a similar agreement with the town to offer cable television service. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has determined services such as Dish Network or DirecTV, for example, constitute effective competition.

As a sticking point in the negotiations, for years Comcast has expressed

a desire to eventually close its brickand-mortar store within town limits where customers can pick up and drop off equipment and other services, but the town had been adamant that the store should remain open for the convenience of its residents, non-residents and seasonal visitors.

In a compromise of sorts, Comcast agreed to keep the Ocean City store open year-round for the first four years of the new contract and go to an abbreviated schedule from April 1 to Sept. 30 in the fifth and final year of the agreement. During the session last month, the council pressed for an extended amount of time in the fifth year of the contract and Comcast Government Regulatory Affairs Director Chris Comer went out in the hallway to make calls to see if he could affect the change. He returned

with an agreement to move the store closing date in the fifth year to Oct. 31

There was some discussion about moving the start date up to March 15 in the fifth year. On Monday, Mayor Rick Meehan continued to press for keeping the store open year-round in the fifth year of the contract and beyond if necessary, citing his own visit to the Comcast store the very afternoon before the meeting.

“I was in there today and it was remarkable just how convenient it was,” he said. “It was just 20 minutes out of one day, but there were a lot of people streaming in and out. I have to compliment those providing the services. The point is, it was a Monday in December and there were a lot of people coming in and out. I think it’s a needed service.”

Comer said there is no long-term plan in place for closing the store entirely but rather just reducing the months of operation in the fifth year.

“We don’t have any intention of closing the store,” he said. “We appreciate people being able to come in and out of the building and we appreciate being able to provide the services.”

Another issue for discussion was the elimination of certain discounts for senior citizens and another connectivity affordability discount. The previous agreement offered a 10% senior discount to full-time residents over 62 for full standard service. However, that discount was eliminated in the contract as presented on Monday. It should be pointed

… Fireworks Planned At Northside Park


including drive-in movies in the lead up to the show along with a disc jockey to emcee the events. McGean said the plan was to provide events to draw visitors and residents to the downtown area early and keep them there for the fireworks show at midnight.

“The concern was just to have fireworks downtown at midnight on New Year’s Eve,” he said. “You’d have to have something else. That’s how they came up with the drive-in movies and the DJ at the Inlet.”

Meehan reiterated he believed adding the New Year’s Eve fireworks show at Northside Park was the right thing to do.

“I think Winterfest will be a winner,” he said. “It has been in the past. There are a lot of people that live south of 62nd Street that don’t go uptown. I think this will give them an alternative. I’m in favor of doing both shows. I think we can give it a try for this year, and I think we’ll be surprised.”

The council voted 6-0 with Councilman Peter Buas absent to approve the modified plan for fireworks uptown on New Year’s Eve with a cost not to exceed the estimated $17,500.

Page 8 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

out there were only 20 customers receiving the discount as of 2019. Councilman John Gehrig said the issue should be revisited before the new franchise agreement was inked.

“We knew this was going to come up,” he said. “It’s a connectivity affordability program. It seems like that might impact more people than the senior citizen discount. We’re certainly sensitive to that.”

Comer said Comcast has been moving away from the discounted programs in other areas and Ocean City was no different.

“It’s something we’re getting away from,” he said. “We don’t offer these discounts in Salisbury or Annapolis, and we don’t offer them in the Baltimore area.”

Meehan said it appears many customers weren’t aware of the different programs Comcast offered and suggested at least grandfathering in those who already received the discount under the previous agreement.

“I think it would be helpful if you could provide some information on what the program was,” he said. “At the very least, if we could grandfather in those, that would be a small step in the right direction. Look into it and what it could provide and what it would cost.”

Comer said he was not authorized to amend the contract to include the discounted programs available to some residents in the prior contract. The Mayor and Council advised Comer to go into a hallway and make the calls necessary for including the discount programs in the contract on the table on Monday.

With that said, Comer left the council chamber presumably to make the calls needed to gain approval for extending the discount programs, and the Mayor and Council moved on with the rest of the agenda. It was the second time in less than a month when Comer went out to the hallway to make calls about proposed changes in the contract. Last month, the Mayor and Council asked him to make calls to extend the season for the brick-and-mortar Comcast store in the optional fifth year of the contract.

With the rest of the agenda items dispensed with, Comer returned near the end of the meeting with some answers the Mayor and Council was hoping to hear.

“We’ve agreed to grandfather in anyone currently in the program,” he said. “We can do that for the life of the fiveyear contract. After five years, we can revisit that.”

Meehan said he was pleased with at least the grandfathering amendment to the contract as presented. City Solicitor Heather Stansbury explained some procedural issues for amending the resolution the council was expected to approve on Monday.

“We realize a minimum amount of people are eligible for the discount,” he said. “But it might be the people who need it the most.”

Council Secretary Tony DeLuca continued to press Comer on Comcast’s

drop of certain out-of-market stations on cable television such as WBAL and other stations in Baltimore from whence many of Ocean City’s year-round and seasonal residents come. He said he would not vote for the contract largely because of that issue.

DeLuca also pointed out the brickand-mortar store issue and the proposed closure of it by Oct. 31 in the fifth year of the contract. He pointed to Meehan’s positive experience on a Monday in December as reason for keeping the store open year-round even in the fifth year of the contract.

“Rick’s example won’t happen in year five,” he said. “If he tries to walk in there on December 5 in year five, he won’t have that same positive experience.”

Gehrig urged his colleague to approve the contract as amended with the grandfathering of the discount program and the extended months of operation for the store in the fifth year.

“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” he said. “Today, we asked for grandfathering, and he went out and made the call and came back in. He got it done and came back and we keep asking him for more. This is about customer service. This isn’t about WBAL.”

With that said, the council voted 5-1 with DeLuca opposed and Councilman Peter Buas absent to approve the amended contract with the grandfathering and the brick-and-mortar store extension in the fifth year.

December 9, 2022 Page 9 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
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SNOW HILL – Substantial federal grant funding is expected to help the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office prevent elder fraud.

The Worcester County Commissioners this week voted to approve a request from Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser to accept a grant that will allow her to hire several new employees to support efforts to stop elder fraud. The grant comes through a unique partnership with Salisbury University.

“It’s one of a kind in the country,” Heis

er said. “I’m glad to be able to ask you for this opportunity to remain committed to providing our county with additional services at no additional cost to the county taxpayers.”

Heiser approached the commissioners Tuesday seeking approval to become a subrecipient of a $1.1 million federal grant secured by Salisbury University. She said the funding would be provided to the county over two years to support the efforts of the Worcester County Vulnerable Adult Task Force.

“We created that task force in 2019, subsequently partnered with Salisbury University last year to focus intensive ef-

forts at addressing neglect and abuse including financial abuse and neglect and fraud effecting seniors here in Worcester County,” she said.

According to a memo she sent to the commissioners, the funding will allow her office to hire seven new employees and purchase a variety of equipment, including vehicles, computers and software.

Commissioner Ted Elder asked where Heiser would house all the new employees.

“Fortunately, the program that we have developed is more field oriented so the staff that would be hired as a part of this program would be located in the field, embedded at police departments, embedded at adult protective services and also with our detective unit throughout the county,” she said. “They wouldn’t be needing office space at my office.”

Commissioner Jim Bunting asked what Heiser intended to do with the employees in two years when the grant went away.

“We plan on re-requesting the funding after the two years,” Heiser said. “If the funding is not awarded, the positions would cease to exist. But we do get to keep the equipment that’s purchased with the grant funding and the vehicles, so those would be an added benefit to Worcester County.”

Bunting said he thought the request was one that should be addressed at budget time. Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said he didn’t disagree but didn’t feel the commissioners could wait until budget

time. He asked if the employees she was hiring would get health insurance and the other benefits typically provided to county employees. Heiser said they would be receiving benefits but that they’d be funded through the grant.

“We included the fringe benefits in the initial grant application because we were hopeful since it’s a federal grant we would be able to continue to reapply,” she said.

“The thought was to plan ahead so we could use the grant funding on a more permanent basis.”

Mitrecic made a motion to approve Heiser’s request but said he wanted it made clear that there would be no county funds paying for the positions in the future. Commissioner Chip Bertino said there had been quite a bit of expansion at the state’s attorney’s office during the past year. He asked if Heiser was going to be asking for more positions in the next budget cycle.

“At this point I don’t anticipate asking for additional positions,” she said.

Bertino said he’d like to know more about the program.

“I also think that this is something that, though it doesn’t seem to be costing the county money, should have been part of the budget process,” he said.

The commissioners voted 5-2, with Bertino and Bunting opposed, to accept the grant funding with the understanding that the county would not be funding the positions if grant funding was not available in the future.

Page 10 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Grant Will Allow State’s Attorney To Focus On Elder Fraud
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E-Bike Rental Ordinance Sent Back To Town Staff

OCEAN CITY – Yet another attempt to settle the controversial e-bike rental issue in the resort was sent back to the drawing board this week with a direction to staff to explore an alternative solution.

For the last few months, the Mayor and Council have been wrestling with several issues related to the proliferation of electric bikes, or e-bikes. In 2020, the council narrowly passed an ordinance prohibiting all classes of e-bikes on the Boardwalk. When potential ADA issues arose, the Mayor and Council revisited the Boardwalk e-bike use and ultimately passed an ordinance allowing only the lowest-rated Class 1 e-bikes on the Boardwalk at times when regular bikes were allowed.

That ordinance opened a parallel issue about if and where e-bikes should be al-

lowed to be rented in other areas of town. One of the main concerns was if only Class 1 e-bikes were allowed on the Boardwalk, but the Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 ebikes could be rented throughout town, those higher-rated vehicles would ultimately find their way to the Boardwalk, contrary to the intent of the original ordinance.

That led to the crafting of another ordinance, which the Mayor and Council had before them on Monday for first reading. The ordinance as presented would allow for the rental, sales and repairs on all classes of e-bikes in town with the Boardwalk prohibition of riding the Class 2 and Class 3 e-bikes firmly in place. However, the debate continued this week, especially over the potential rental of the Class 3 e-bikes, which are pedal-assisted and can reach speeds of 28 mph or more.

It's important to note no business is

renting any e-bikes within town limits. The ordinance presented on Monday would allow some entity to apply for a business license to do so. Councilmember Carol Proctor said she was firmly against allowing any Class 3 e-bike rentals in the resort.

“I’m just trying to get my head around why we want the Class 3 e-bikes,” she said. “They can go 28 miles an hour. So, south of 9th Street, the speed limit in town is 30 miles per hour and less on some side streets. These can go 28 miles per hour. I just think it’s going to create challenges for our police department and it’s a safety issue for pedestrians. We don’t have bike lanes everywhere.”

Council Secretary Tony DeLuca said considering the rental of the Class 3 ebikes flew in the face of the recommendations from several key sources.

“The city manager is not recommend-

ing Class 3 rentals, nor is the police department, the police commission, the mayor and the bike and pedestrian advisory committee,” he said. “I think this doesn’t make any sense. I think there is a big difference between someone who owns a Class 3 and is familiar with it and someone who rents a Class 3.”

Councilman John Gehrig, as he has from the beginning, continued to assert the proposed Class 3 rental ban was a knee-jerk reaction.

“Why don’t we just ban everything that doesn’t require foot power, including renting mopeds, scooters and those little scoot coupes,” he said. “Suddenly, we hear e-bike rentals and we want to ban them. We haven’t had any issues. If we have issues, we’ll deal with them. Don’t we have concerns about these other vehicle rentals?”

Gehrig from the beginning has said it’s not the e-bikes themselves, but the behavior of those operating them that should be a concern. When the council banned all but Class 1 e-bikes on the Boardwalk earlier this fall, they included language in the ordinance about reckless behavior.

“People can be a jerk on a regular-pedaled bicycle,” he said. “There are repercussions for the bad behavior. We have all of these other vehicles out there. It’s not like were going to see a massive increase in the market for these vehicles.”

Mayor Rick Meehan suggested an alternative to simply creating a provision where a rental company could apply for a business license to rent e-bikes in town. Businesses that rent some of those other vehicles such as mopeds and scooters, for example, are approved as a conditional use by the town. A conditional use is just that, it comes with a series of conditions on where the vehicles can be ridden and how much instruction and training a renter has to complete before being turned out on the street.

“A moped rental is a conditional use … ,” he said. “Maybe, it can be a conditional use so someone just doesn’t hop on these and go.”

City Solicitor Heather Stansbury said the ordinance in front of the council for first reading on Monday did not consider e-bike rentals approved by conditional use only. She said it merely created an opportunity in the existing licensed occupations section in the code to acquire a business license to do it. Stansbury said making ebike rentals a conditional use would require going back to the drawing board on the issue yet again.

“This only allows the rentals of all ebikes,” she said. “Staff could come back with recommendations for a conditional use.”

Meehan said that might be a way to settle the e-bike rental issue once and for all.

“If it is by conditional use, they get some training and preparation before they go out on an eight-lane highway,” he said.

There was no vote taken on the ordinance as presented on Monday. Instead, the Mayor and Council directed Stansbury, McGean and staff to go back to the drawing board and explore the conditional use alternative and come back with recommendations.

Page 12 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Northside Park, Facilities Provide Major Value For OC

OCEAN CITY –While sports complex hopes in the north end of Worcester County had another setback this week, the decades-old Northside Park in Ocean City continues to provide a model of what could be on a larger scale.

The Worcester County Commissioners voted 4-2 to cancel the $7.1 million contract for a property purchase adjacent to Stephen Decatur High and Middle Schools for a vast proposed indoor and outdoor sports complex.

A revised Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) study commissioned by the Town of Ocean City released last week estimated the total cost of the indoor-outdoor sports complex at $153 million. The study anticipated the proposed facility hosting as many as 64 tournaments a year and generating as many as 100,000 new room nights in the resort and surrounding areas.

The release of the MSA study last week and the subsequent vote this week by the commissioners to cancel the contract for the purchase of the property was cause for a deeper dive into the history of Ocean City’s Northside Park, an idyllic gem along the bayside in the uptown are as that for decades has hosted a myriad of youth sports tournaments, both indoor and outdoor, sports leagues, summer camps and a wide variety of recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. In addition, Northside Park has become a cultural hub for the town over the years, hosting the popular Sundaes in the Park event, the ArtX event, concerts and other activities including, currently, Winterfest of Lights. The short answer is there is no quantifiable study on the direct and indirect economic impact Northside Park has on Ocean City and the surrounding area.

Business and Tourism Development Director Tom Perlozzo, who, as Recreation and Parks Director for the town dec ades ago, was instrumental in the steady evolution of Northside Park, said this week the original intent was to create open, green recreation areas for local residents and grew to become the hive of activity it is today with numerous tournaments, leagues, camps and other activities. Perlozzo said the town and its recreation and parks department does an excellent job of filling Northside Park and its amenities to capacity, but it is undersized to meet the growing demands of the growth in the youth sports marketing industry.

“I am not sure there is any such study on Northside Park, but the metrics of ben efits can be monetized within the town,” he said. “First and foremost, Northside Park is offered as a recreational amenity for residents first with some opportunities for tournament-type play and events. Unfortunately, the facility is too small and filled to capacity for use as intsended with a new sports complex.”

As large as Northside Park appears, it would be dwarfed by the proposed sports complex in the north end of the county.

For example, Northside Park is a 58-acre complex with three lighted softballbaseball fields, a lighted soccer field and a multi-purpose field. The original community center to the east includes a 14,200-square-foot gymnasium and the annexed gymnasium and multi-use area to the west includes 21,000 square feet.

By comparison, the proposed new sports complex in the county adjacent to the schools would rest on 95 acres with eight outdoor fields and a 125,000-square foor indoor facility. The acreage of the complex and the combined number of fields would be roughly double that of Northside Park, while the square footage of the proposed indoor facility would be roughly triple the size of the combined indoor facilities at Northside Park. Given its size limitations as an open, green area in a resort destination, Perlozzo said

Northside Park achieves its desired goals in terms of recreation opportunities along with economic impact.

“I believe that recreation as offered currently still provides the economic benefits in town as many events and programs indicate the same behaviors as travel teams, etc.” he said. “On any given date in the park, hundreds, if not thous ands, of residents participate and provide a steady flow in and out of the park, along with visiting any and all businesses during their trip to the park.”

Perlozzo said short of tapping into a future sports complex out in the county, the town is doing a good job of taking advantage of opportunities it has on the island. The success of Northside Park speaks for itself, and the town is in the process of redeveloping the downtown recreation complex including an expan-

sion of the skate park, for example. He said the town has also been exploring ways to tap into the growing pickleball phenomenon.

“I think pickleball alone will be a real eye-opener,” he said. “Youth sports such as soccer have a large contingency of residents, and those who are considered non-residents to keep costs affordable and the opportunity for field teams, etc. Sometimes, I think it’s been Ocean City’s best-kept secret for years, but the word is out, and the assets of Ocean City sell most opportunities, for example the beach, Boardwalk, hotels and restaurants. I was lucky enough to be part of the development of the park during my tenure as director and saw first-hand the maturity of things as they are.”

December 9, 2022 Page 13 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

… Ocean City Complex Undersized For Sports Tourism

Petito also said there was no formal study available on the direct and indirect economic impact of Northside Park, although there are some metrics available to suggest how many visitors, including participants, their families and spectators come to the various tournaments and ev ents. Petito said there has been some ef fort to conduct an in-house study, but the process has been challenging.

“I agree that would be a great project and is something we have talked about internally for the past couple of years,” she said. “Trying to tackle that project inhouse, however, has been a challenging prospect. We were going to try and begin with quantifying economic impact for the tournaments we hold at Northside Park, but the staff member tasked with that hasn’t been able to sink her teeth in-

to it based upon existing workload.”

Petito said while a larger sports complex continues to be explored off-island, a study of what Northside Park brings to the town and the area could be valuable tool. Naturally, because of the size and capacity differences with the proposed county complex, the comparisons would be somewhat apples and oranges, but there could be value in pinning down just what NSP means in terms of economic impact.

“Though there is no official study of the value of Northside Park at this time, I am excited, and have been, about the possibility of what such a report may show,” she said. “I do think it will take a very long time to do all of the research to collect accurate results, but once that is accomplished, it would be an extremely valuable tool.”

Former Councilman and long-time city manager and city engineer before that Dennis Dare this week recalled the nascent days of the NSP site before it became what it is today in the late 1980s.

“I was the city engineer at the time and then-City Manager Tony Barrett told me to go up to Northside Park and look around because we wanted to build an indoor basketball facility up there,” he said. “I turned down 125th Street and there wasn’t much there. The Montego Bay Shopping Center was there, but basically, it was just an abandoned construction site.”

Dare explained how a developer was in the process of developing the vast site when he ran afoul of state wetlands regulations. A lot of the bayside areas in Ocean City developed over the years were the result of in-filling wetlands and creat-

ing lands on which to build vast residential projects.

However, with an increased awareness of the importance of preserving wet lands and critical habitat at the time, state and federal agencies instituted stronger wetlands protection laws. The property on which Northside Park was ultimately developed was slated for development, but the expiration date for the existing regulations expired mid-project, according to Dare.

“The Army Corps of Engineers came down on them pretty hard at the time,” said Dare. “The city agreed to buy the land and restore the wetlands. That big lagoon and the canals throughout the ex isting park were restored wetlands. Before that, locals were using the area as a dump. There was broken concrete all over the place, stacks of old air conditioners and appliances. It really was kind of a wasteland before the city embarked on building a park there. All of that dumped concrete and that other debris was buried under what are now those lush, green sports fields.”

Dare said the design and construction phases of Northside Park were carried out over time before the facility came to be what it is today. He said the original vision was to provide green recreation ar eas for the town’s residents in an increas ingly urban and suburban area but has steadily grown to become a revenue gen erator through the many leagues, tourna ments, camps, youth programs and other events the site offers.

“We started on the design in those early years, then Tom Perlozzo came along as recreation and parks director and we did it a little bit at a time,” he said. “Barrett was fond of saying recreation is something we do for ourselves. The beaches, Boardwalk, all of these other things, we do for the visitors. This park is something we do for ourselves.”

Over the years, Northside Park has hosted youth sports tournaments, adult and outdoor tournaments, lacrosse tournaments, basketball, volleyball, softball and on and on. However, the size restraints of the swath of open space on the barrier island has essentially reached its capacity in terms of attracting tournaments the size of which are envisioned with the proposed sports complex in the north end of the county.

To be sure, the town in recent years has hosted sports tournaments, wrestling matches, volleyball and basketball tournaments and cheer and dance competitions at the expanded convention center, and there has been an increase in the number of sports tournaments and events on the wide beaches in the downtown area, which clearly put heads in beds and fill area restaurants and other businesses and amenities, but a new larger sports complex out in the county is likely needed to take the area’s youth sports marketing vision to a higher level.

“Northside has been a small sports complex, and we’re using the convention center more and more,” said Dare. “We’ve dabbled in sports tourism, but not to the degree we anticipated.”

Page 14 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
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County Commissioners Sworn In; New Officers Named

SNOW HILL – Two new faces are on the dais in Snow Hill now that the Worcester County Commissioners have been sworn in to four-year terms.

On Tuesday, newcomers Caryn Abbott and Eric Fiori joined Chip Bertino, Jim Bunting, Ted Elder, Diana Purnell and Joe Mitrecic as county commissioners.

“We have a lot of work in front of us,” Mitrecic said. “This next year is not going to be easy.”

The commissioners were sworn in at the start of Tuesday’s commissioners meeting. Each took the opportunity to offer comments in front of a crowd made up of their family members and county


Abbott, who defeated Josh Nordstrom in last month’s election, thanked supporters.

“I want to tell the voters, the people I spoke to, the 3,500 doors I knocked on, I will take with me everything you told me,” she said. “I have not forgotten those conversations. I’m here to serve you the people.”

Bertino thanked his family and expressed gratitude to the voters and their continued trust in him as he launched a third term in Snow Hill. Bunting, who has been serving since 2010, also thanked his family as well as citizens.

“I want to thank the voters in District 6 for having faith in me,” he said.

Elder, who won his reelection by just six votes, joked about his “landslide” victory.

“I’m looking forward to getting down and rolling my sleeves up and getting to work,” he said, adding that the county staff played a key role in ensuring government ran smoothly.

Purnell echoed much of what her peers said.

“I thank all the members of the community because you elected me to do a job – to serve the entire county, not just my district,” she said. “I’ve tried to diligently do that for the last eight years and I plan to still do it this time around as well.”

Fiori said this was his first experience as a politician and that he was humbled to have been given the chance to serve.

“I look really forward to making a difference here in the county,” he said. “That’s why I’m doing this.”

Mitrecic, who spent the last three years as president of the board, also thanked his supporters.

“I’ve been very fortunate to serve as president for the last three years, an honor I never took lightly. I treated everybody as fairly and equally as possible,” he said, adding that he hoped the next president would do the same.

The commissioners went on to vote 7-0 to have Bunting serve as vice president. They followed that up with a 6-1 vote, with Mitrecic opposed, to have Bertino serve as president. Bertino noted that the pandemic had made the last three years difficult, but that Mitrecic had provided strong leadership.

“We worked relentlessly to keep local businesses open in the face of often conflicting state and federal mandates,” he said. “Worcester County government remained open… This body, with just a couple exceptions, continued to conduct business in person as normally as possible. On top of these challenges, county government experienced a high level of transition in key management positions. It hasn’t been easy these past three years. Our county and this government were well served during this time by Commissioner Joe Mitrecic as president. Joe, thank you very much for your service.”

Page 16 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Worcester County Clerk of Court Susan Braniecki is pictured administering the oath of office to the new county commissioners this week. Submitted Photo

BERLIN – Cost savings will allow for a new public address system and security cameras at Stephen Decatur Middle School.

The Worcester County Commissioners this week voted unanimously to approve the purchase of a new public address (PA) system and security cameras for the middle school. The upgrades will be paid for with the balance remaining in the contingency account for the Stephen Decatur Middle School addition project.

“Following your approval and our execution of these two change orders we still anticipate having surplus funds when the project is completely done,” Superintendent Lou Taylor said.

In 2021, construction of a 25,000square-foot addition began at Stephen Decatur Middle School. The $11 million addition has been identified as a need by school system officials for years, as the middle school has nine portable classrooms and was crowded when it opened. Funding constraints limited the size of the structure built in 1997.

Taylor approached the commissioners this week seeking approval to upgrade the camera and PA systems at the school as construction of the addition nears completion.

“We have encountered minimal change orders on the Stephen Decatur Middle School project thus far,” Taylor said. “As you know we will be opening that over the Christmas break, resulting in a project contingency balance from which we can execute the two proposed change orders.”

He continued, “As you are aware the Stephen Decatur project is an addition construction project. There were no provisions for renovation of any of the existing building systems.”

Nevertheless, he said the PA system and the security cameras were approaching their end of life.

Taylor said it would be more cost effective to replace them now rather than wait for them to malfunction when costs were even higher.

It will cost $381,917 to replace the PA and clock system at the school while replacing the security system will cost an additional $161,691.72. The total for both projects is $543,608.72.

Taylor said that even with upgrading the systems, there should still be funding left in the project’s contingency account when the addition was complete. The new wing of the school is expected to open to students when they return from winter break.

“As always I want to thank and commend you for your continued support of our school system and our construction program,” Taylor said.

He also thanked Joe Price, the school system’s facilities planner, for keeping change orders to a minimum on recent construction projects.

December 9, 2022 Page 17 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
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December 9, 2022 Page 19 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Nonprofit Hires Skate Park Designer

BERLIN – A local nonprofit’s plans for a skate park in Berlin continue to move closer to reality.

We Heart Berlin, the nonprofit that’s been working to bring more recreational opportunities to town, signed a roughly $18,000 contract with a design company last week. The company will look at potential locations and meet with local residents to determine the best space and layout for a skate park in Berlin.

“They look at the whole gamut,” said Tony Weeg, founder of We Heart Berlin. Members of We Heart Berlin met this fall with representatives of two potential design companies, Pillar and Spohn Ranch.

While pleased with the attributes of both, Weeg said the nonprofit settled on Spohn Ranch.

"Both companies were fantastic, we simply liked the artistic nature of the design Spohn Ranch does," he said, adding that the company comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience. “They could take Decatur Park and weave a skate park in it and make it look beautiful.”

While he used Stephen Decatur Park as an example, Weeg said company staff would be visiting in January to look at four locations – Decatur Park, Henry Park, Heron Park and the Northern Wor

cester Athletic Complex.

“In this visit we're going to go around to the various sites and survey them,” Weeg said. “There are about 15 criteria they weigh each location against.”

They'll look at stormwater needs, neighborhood impact and potential size and design options for each location and recommend the best site to We Heart Berlin. Once a site is selected, Spohn Ranch representatives will collect input from local skateboarders and community members regarding the design of the park and the features it should include.

“That’s when we get to the nitty gritty of where we put various features,” Weeg said.

He’s hopeful that Spohn Ranch will have a couple potential designs for the town by spring. At that point, the next step would be construction.

“My vision is probably three phases, each at $250,000 to $300,000,” Weeg said. “I’m hoping we partner with local foundations to help us get a big part of the way through each.”

For more information on We Heart Berlin and its skate park fundraising efforts, visit its website,

Though We Heart Berlin organized the revitalization of the basketball courts at Henry Park last year and installed ping pong tables at Burbage Park this year, the nonprofit’s long-term goal has been and continues to be bringing a bike and skate park to Berlin.

WYFCS Scores $225K For New Hires

BERLIN – A $225,000 grant is expect ed to help Worcester Youth & Family Counseling improve access to behavior al health services.

This week, the Berlin-based nonprofit announced it was one of 19 organizations to be awarded grant funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to recruit and retain behavioral health providers. As the demand for mental health services grows, Executive Director Jennifer Leggour said funding will allow the agency to meet the needs of its clients.

“There are simply not enough providers in the area …,” she said. “This is a $225,000 grant over three years, and by the end of that three-year period we’re hoping to have 10 providers.”

Leggour said Worcester Youth & Family has seen its waitlist grow to record levels since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said grant funding will al low the agency to recruit providers from across the country, something the nonprofit has not been able to do until now. Funds will also be used to launch a ther apy intern program and take care of its employees.

“We will also have the ability to offer incentives to those who work here, including a wellness room, paid CEUs [con tinuing education units], and self-care planning,” she said. “With that, we hope to increase access to mental health care

in our community with providers who are healthy and well.”

The award, officials say, is part of a larger $7.9 million grant from CareFirst to improve behavioral health outcomes for youth across the region.

To identify needs and challenges impacting behavioral health in the region, CareFirst conducted interviews with community-based organizations, which informed its priority areas for funding. Spe cial considerations were also given to or ganizations serving Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), disconnected youth, persons experiencing homelessness, populations with limited English proficiency (LEP), structurally disinvested communities, justice-involved individ uals, LGBTQ populations, low-income communities, rural communities and more.

“CareFirst recognizes that behavioral health is an essential part of overall health, which includes a continuum of conditions ranging from severe mental health disorders to the emotional, psychological, and social factors that affect a person’s overall wellbeing,” said Dr. Destiny-Simone Ramjohn, vice president of community health and social impact for CareFirst. “We are proud to invest in 19 dynamic organizations who will minimize behavioral health disparities among young people and dramatically increase the number of trained health professionals that provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed be havioral health care.”

Page 20 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
December 9, 2022 Page 21 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
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Raffle Opens For ‘Name That Foal’ Fundraising Contest

ASSATEAGUE – A naming rights raffle for the last foal born into the herd of wild horses at Assateague opened late last week just in time for the holiday season.

Each year, the Assateague Island Alliance (AIA), the friends group of the Assateague Island National Seashore that advocates on behalf of the island’s most famed residents, hosts naming rights contests for the foals born into the herd on the Maryland side.

Often, the contests are held as auctions through e-Bay or other creative contests such as online raffles conducted through the organization’s website.

Such is the case for the latest foal naming contest, which opened last Friday.

It will be the AIA’s last foal-naming contest of the year. The foal is currently known only as N2BHS-AIOU, but the winning raffle ticket winner will have the opportunity to apply a lasting, creative name on one of the island’s newest arrivals. In the 1970s, the National Park Service began assigning alpha-numeric names to the wild horses on the island to better track their lineage and the areas they tend to frequent.

The new foal’s dam is N2BHS-AIO, or “Mieke’s Noe Iani,” and the probable sire is N9BFQ-GL, or “Mr. Frisky Hooves,” a chestnut stallion. The foal is with her birth band that tends to frequent the Oversand Vehicle Zone (OSV) between mile markers 22 and 26.

The contests achieve the parallel goals of assigning a familiar name to the horses by which supporters and advocates can identify them. The contests also help the AIA raise funds for its advocacy programs for the wild horses.

The naming raffle opened last Friday and will remain open until noon on Dec. 16. With each raffle ticket purchased, one physical ticket is printed and added into the raffle box. If one purchases five raffle tickets online, for example, five physical tickets will be printed and placed in the box. The tickets can be purchased on the AIA website under the “get some merch” tab.

Again, sometimes the AIA auctions foal-naming rights on e-Bay, but the raffle process has brought good results over the years.

For example, the last foal-naming raffled hosted by the AIA raised $3,350 for the organization’s advocacy programs.

All financial contributions support AIA’s mission to promote the awareness, education and protection of Assateague Island National Seashore’s wildlife including the famed horses along with the natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

Page 22 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
An online raffle contest will give community members a chance to name Assateague’s newest foal, chestnut filly, pictured above. Photo Courtesy of Lynn Fisher

Town Comp Plan Review Continues

FENWICK ISLAND – A review of the town’s progress highlighted a meeting this week on the development of the Fenwick Island comprehensive plan.

On Tuesday, University of Delaware consultants Jen Reitz and Sean O’Neill presented members of the Fenwick Island Comprehensive Planning Commission with an update on the town’s comprehensive planning process.

As officials work to update the planning document, Reitz said the University of Delaware will continue to assist the town.

“The scope that UD signed with the town is to act as advisors on this process …,” she explained. “Our role is really to provide data and research, but also provide mapping and demographics and make sure you are meeting the requirements of the state.”

Reitz told committee members this week she had reviewed the commission’s draft planning documents. She recommended, however, that the town simplify its proposed comprehensive plan.

“We think you are well exceeding any state requirements, and it’s ambitious in terms of the level of detail you are encompassing in your comprehensive plan …,” she said. “But this is a higher-level document.”

Consultants said mapping and data are expected to assist the town in developing its comprehensive plan and identifying priorities. O’Neill also presented Census data and occupancy rates that the commission could use.

“These are some of the things you might want to think about in terms of future policy …,” he said. “What you want to do with your growth and annexation is something else you need to think about.”

Commission Co-Chair Ann Riley questioned what the town could do to improve its comprehensive plan.

“From your experience, do you think we would be better served trying to look at the higher-level issues so we can better focus?” she asked. “Our outline is long and detailed.”

Reitz recommended the town’s comprehensive plan highlight three to five issues that officials want to see addressed.

“There’s definitely room to consolidate,” she replied.

Riley also noted that the town has prioritized the development of sidewalks. She questioned if it was something the commission should highlight in the comprehensive plan.

“We’ve been trying to get sidewalks in our town for 20 years,” she said.

Reitz said prioritizing sidewalks in the town’s comprehensive plan was beneficial, as the document is typically reviewed by state agencies. O’Neill noted that while the comprehensive plan is meant to be a broad look at the community’s goals, priorities should be detailed.

“The comprehensive plan is a place

where you can wave your hands and say, ‘this is what we want …,’” he said.

“It’s good to be specific in this instance.”

Commission members this week also reviewed drafts of comprehensive plan chapters and pitched ideas for a public survey. Reitz noted that while response rates were typically low, she encouraged the town to seek community input.

“Given the lack of response to them, I think it is still worth getting that input,” she said.

Following Tuesday’s presentation, the commission agreed to discuss growth and annexation with University of Delaware consultants in January. They also agreed to set a timeline for completing work on the comprehensive plan.

“It would be really helpful if we could work out a defined schedule as to how we move forward and deadlines for getting projects done,” O’Neill said. “We don’t want you being disappointed or upset at us for not meeting expectations because we didn’t lay them out further in advance.”

Tuesday’s meeting follows a monthslong process of updating the town’s comprehensive plan. While the town’s planning commission began a five-year review earlier this year, the town council ultimately agreed to conduct a complete rewrite and hire consultants to assist in those efforts.

December 9, 2022 Page 23 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
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OC’s Quarterly Audit Reviewed

OCEAN CITY – A review of the town’s internal auditor’s quarterly and annual reports revealed everything appears to be in order, but the work will continue.

Last year, the Mayor and Council at budget time agreed to create an internal auditor position to keep a close eye on the financial dealings of each town department on a rotating basis. During the Nov. 29 work session, Internal Auditor Karin Scott presented her findings for the third quarter of fiscal year 2022 along with a plan for a next round of internal audits for fiscal year 2023.

The town does contract with an outside auditor to complete an assessment of each department’s spending and revenue projections. The internal auditor position was created last year to provide an extra set of eyes and ears on a wide variety of financial issues, from departmental spending, invoices, procurement card, or P-card, expenditures by those employees that carry them, payroll and overtime, among others.

“Each quarter I will provide a report about what the internal audit is doing for you,” said Scott. “Annually, I do a report about where I’m going next with this so that you are aware of everything that is on my plate. Things can change. Just be aware there is a plan in place.”

Scott provided a report on which audits had been completed, which were in the process, and which were pending in the coming months. For example, she included an analysis of the town’s warehousing department.

“The warehouse audit has been completed,” she said. “We had a high turnover in that area, so they asked me to take a look at it. I looked to see of the warehouse was running efficiently, and if the inventory was properly stored and accounted for. It is properly safeguarded. They did a good job, but there are still some areas of improvement.”

Scott said included in her quarterly report was a review of the transportation department’s money-counting room to track cash and credit transactions for the municipal bus and the Boardwalk tram, for example.

“I did an audit of the transportation money room,” she said. “I needed to look at if they were running efficiently and that the money was being counted and recorded properly. There was some turnover there too, so I looked to see if the employees were trained properly.”

Scott also audited the town’s procurement cards, or P-cards. Certain town employees are issued P-cards for incidental needed purchases, gas or travel expenses, for example. Scott said during the audit period, there were 2,620 P-card transactions totaling over $900,000 from the 201 issued cards.

“Of all of those transactions, we only had to follow up on 44,” she said. “There were a few sales tax transactions or missing receipts. One employee used

the P-card instead of their personal card, which looked the same, but everything was paid back to the city and there were no significant problems.”

Scott said during the audit period she took a close look at the town’s payroll, particularly the amount of overtime each month. Naturally, the level of overtime increases during the peak summer months, and during special events, especially with public safety and public works.

“I looked at payroll to make sure things are being done properly and the town policies are being followed,” she said. “It shows where the spikes are, for example, if a special event comes in. It gives you an idea of what we’re spending money on in terms of payroll and overtime.”

Scott said she had to do three investigative audits during the audit period, each of which proved to be not anything nefarious.

“During the period, I had three investigative audits,” she said. “All were allegations of some type of fraud. Two were allegations of employee theft, but I didn’t find any evidence of employee theft, which is good news. There was another issue of conflict of interest, but that was resolved by the department in that case.”

Scott said she met with department heads to identify potential risk areas when the town’s external auditor came in, but didn’t identify any potential areas of risk. She also provided a laundry list of projects she hopes to accomplish in the next round, from an audit of the police department’s evidence area and armory and equipment to the recycling contract with Covanta, and from the convention center catering contract to the planning and zoning permitting process, among others.

Mayor Rick Meehan brought up the audit of the transportation department’s money counting room.

“You mentioned transportation and the money room,” he said. “Things have changed a little bit. We’re getting a much larger percentage of credit card transactions as opposed to cash payments.”

Meehan said the transportation department has been operating at a lower level since the pandemic, but was getting back to pre-COVID levels.

“The amount of cash has decreased because the transportation department has not operated at the same level in recent years,” he said. “Do we still need the same number of employees in that section? That’s something to take a look at when we discuss the budget.”

Councilman John Gehrig asked for a more detailed report on overtime for each department.

“For overtime, can we get a bar chart for each month?” he said. “Kind of like our utility bills show us a month-tomonth comparison. We’re making decisions based on overtime. I just want to see it on a regular basis, maybe by department. I’d just like to see a three-year comparison.”

Page 24 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

OCEAN CITY – With a changeover in the makeup of the Ocean City Council, Mayor Rick Meehan last week submitted a list of sub-committee and commission appointments that were ultimately approved.

Meehan and each of the Ocean City Council members serve on various committees and commissions where much of the nitty gritty of municipal government is debated. The sub-committees and commissions meet monthly in most cases to debate issues germane to them and often tweak policy and make recommendations before the larger issues are presented to the full Mayor and Council.

After November’s municipal election, there are now two new members on the city council. Longtime Councilman Lloyd Martin opted to not run again after serving for two decades, and incumbent Mark Paddack finished fourth among the four candidates seeking three open seats.

Council President Matt James was the top vote-getter, and newcomers Will Savage and Carol Proctor finished second and third respectively to earn seats at the dais. As a result, the various committee and commission appointments had to be reshuffled and Meehan made his recommendations last Tuesday. The council ultimately approved the mayor’s appointments with little or no debate.

On the police commission, Councilman Frank Knight will replace outgoing Martin as chair and will be joined on the appointed body by Meehan, James and Councilman Peter Buas. On the tourism commission, James will remain as chair, and will be joined by Meehan, Councilman John Gehrig and Savage, who will replace Council Secretary Tony DeLuca.

On the transportation committee, Meehan will remain as chair, and will be joined by Knight and DeLuca. Proctor will replace Paddack on the committee. For the recreation and parks committee, Gehrig will remain chair. Martin and Paddack will be replaced by Savage and Proctor.

On the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee, DeLuca will remain as the council’s liaison. However, on the Ocean City Coastal Resources Legislative Committee, or Green Team, Buas will replace DeLuca as chair. Meehan will remain the Mayor and Council’s liaison on the Tri-County Council. Knight will be council’s liaison on the noise board, replacing Paddack, and the alternate will be Savage.

Meehan, James and DeLuca will serve on the pension committee. Buas replaces Knight on the risk retention committee and Knight will be the alternate. Buas will replace DeLuca on the Maryland Coastal Bays Foundation Board of Directors, and Meehan and

DeLuca will serve on the Property Review and Enforcement Strategies for Safe Housing, or PRESS, Committee. Knight replaces Paddack on the beach mediation board, and Proctor will be the alternate.

In addition, the police commission will also include the city manager and the chief of police. The transportation committee, in addition to the council appointees, will also include the city manager and the Public Works department director. The recreation and parks committee, in addition to the council appointees, will also include the recreation and parks director and the deputy city manager.

The tourism commission has perhaps the largest membership and includes a vast cross-section of stakeholders. In addition to the council appointees, the commission will include the city manager, the tourism director, the convention center director, the special events director, the executive director of the Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, the director of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the Economic Development Committee, a representative from the Ocean City Development Corporation and the chairman of the state tourism commission, which will be a non-voting member.

December 9, 2022 Page 25 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Committee Appointments Adjusted
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FENWICK ISLAND – A lawsuit challenging Fenwick Island’s low-speed vehicle ban has been dismissed.

Last Wednesday, Fenwick Island property owner Kim Espinosa submitted a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal in her case against the Town of Fenwick Island. The action came roughly a week after a Delaware Court of Chancery vice chancellor overruled a recommended temporary restraining order against the town’s lowspeed vehicle ban.

“The town was very pleased with the Vice Chancellor’s definitive ruling establishing that the ordinance was not preempted by State law,” a statement from Mayor Natalie Magdeburger reads. “We are also grateful that Ms. Espinosa voluntarily dismissed her suit before the Town incurred additional expenses. Since we do not have sidewalks in our community, this ordinance will help keep Bunting Avenue a safer roadway for our pedestrians and bicyclists who use it as their unofficial Boardwalk.”

In March, the Fenwick Island Town Council voted to approve an ordinance

banning the operation of low-speed vehicles on town streets, with the exception of construction equipment, lawnmowers, emergency and town vehicles and assistive mobility devices. Town officials argued the vehicles posed safety risks, particularly along the heavily traveled Bunting Avenue.

“I would have a difficult time living with myself if I put more vehicles – albeit smaller ones, albeit electrical ones, albeit green ones – onto a roadway I know the people of Fenwick have basically declared to be their Boardwalk,” Magdeburger said at the time. “And I think it would be contradictory to our 2017 comprehensive plan.”

Several residents, however, have since voiced their objections to the low-speed vehicle ban, arguing they posed no safety issues. And in June, Espinosa filed suit against the town seeking injunctive and declaratory relief, arguing the ordinance had restricted her family from using their Moke low-speed, electric vehicle on town streets.

In a report issued in July, Delaware Court of Chancery Master Patricia Griffin issued a recommendation to grant Espinosa’s motion for a temporary restraining order and a motion to expedite. The

report argued the town’s ordinance conflicted with state law, which allows for the operation of low-speed vehicles throughout Delaware on streets with speed limits not exceeding 35 mph.

“This Court has remarked that ‘the deprivation of right—whether conferred by constitution or statute’ is sufficient to create actionable irreparable harm,” the report reads. “Because I conclude that the Ordinance colorably conflicts with the Statute, I conclude that there is some quantum of ongoing irreparable harm sufficient to support a temporary restraining order.”

Soon after that report was issued, however, the town filed a Notice of Exception to the master’s opinion, and the matter was reassigned to Vice Chancellor Morgan Zurn for consideration. In an order issued late last month, Zurn opined state law did not establish the right to operate low-speed vehicles but rather the regulations for operating low-speed vehicles.

“Where a state statute does not establish a right, and in the absence of intent to the contrary, the statute sets a regulatory floor and not a ceiling,” the order reads. “’In Delaware, the State and its political

subdivisions are permitted to enact similar provisions and regulations, so long as the two regulations do not conflict.’ Here, the Statute and the Ordinance do not conflict.”

The order continues, “It is not impossible to comply with both the Statute and the Ordinance. The Statute does not regulate the field of LSV operation on streets within incorporated cities and towns, other than to establish a necessary condition that any LSV operation ‘shall only be … on roads where the posted speed limit is not more than 35 miles per hour.’ The Town enacted the Ordinance to regulate an unregulated gap left by the Statute.”

Zurn ultimately opined Espinosa had no plausible legal claim to her motions.

“In the absence of a colorable claim of preemption, Espinosa has not carried her burden on the Motions,” the order reads. “Consequently, I need not address the elements of irreparable injury or the balance of the hardships. Espinosa’s Motions are Denied, and the Town’s Exceptions are Granted. This matter shall proceed before the Master in Chancery.”

Espinosa submitted a notice to dismiss the case a week later. She did not return requests for comment this week.

Page 26 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Fenwick Island Low-Speed Vehicle
Lawsuit Dismissed
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Doris and Joseph Aiello recently made a generous gift of $250,000 to the Atlantic General Hospital Foundation. Longtime residents of the Baltimore area, the couple has semi-retired and spends the majority of the year in Ocean City. The couple recognizes the important role the community hospital plays in supporting the health and wellbeing of the Eastern Shore community and visitors alike. The Aiellos’ donation will assist Atlantic General Hospital with its ongoing mission to provide accessible, high-quality care to every patient they serve.

At right, from left, are Charlotte Cathell, chair of the Atlantic General Hospital Board of Trustees; Don Owrey, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital; Joseph and Doris Aiello; Steve Green, chair of the Atlantic General Hospital Foundation; Steven Tyson, donor relations officer for Atlantic General Hospital; Toni Keiser, vice president of public relations for Atlantic General Hospital; and Dean Lewis, secretary, Atlantic General Hospital Foundation. Submitted

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People in Society

by Charlene Sharpe

Featuring Those Helping Causes In The Resort Area

Page 28 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Sen. Mary Beth Carozza and Del. Wayne Hartman each had entries in the parade. Mayor Zack Tyndall, second from right, and Councilmen Jack Orris, Dean Burrell, Jay Knerr and Steve Green are pictured in front of the town’s “Eastern Shore Christmas” themed float. Jeff Smith and Deshon Purnell helped with Buckingham Elementary’s float. Councilmen Jay Knerr and Jack Orris are pictured at the parade. Rogan Blackford was on the Stevenson United Methodist Church float in Berlin’s Christmas Parade. Braylon and Tamara Mills were among the spectators at the Berlin Christmas Parade. Brooke Michalski and Charlotte Hulme were part of Showell Elementary School’s parade performance. Deputy Mark Shayne and Sheriff Matt Crisafulli were among the law enforcement officers who participated in the parade. Ava Sharpe and Kelsey Jensen awaited the start of the Berlin Christmas Parade. Town of Berlin staff Allison Early, Paul Miller and Ivy Wells lined the parade route coordinating entries.
December 9, 2022 Page 29 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Berlin Christmas Parade: Thousands attended last Thursday’s Berlin Christmas Parade. The winners and runners up by category were Band, Snow Hill High, below left, and Stephen Decatur High; JROTC, Snow Hill High and Pocomoke High; Commercial, Jolly Roger and Harrison Group; Police & Military, Boggs Disharoon American Legion Post 123 and Duncan Showell American Legion Post 231; Fire, Berlin Fire and Ocean City Volunteer Fire; Non-profit, Buckingham Presbyterian and Fathom Church; School, Showell Elementary and Ocean City Elementary; Performing, OC Stars, above right, and Seaside Dance Academy, below middle; and Vehicle Club, Ocean City Cruzers and East Coast Car & Truck. Photos by Chris Parypa

Hotel Donates To AGH

BERLIN – On Nov. 30, Lorrie Miller, general manager of the Dunes Manor Hotel, and David Del Russo, regional director of operations for OTO Development Group, donated the portraits of Milton and Thelma Conner to Atlantic General Hospital.

The couple played a large role in the Ocean City community for decades, and Thelma built and ran the iconic Dunes Manor Hotel.

Accompanying the portraits was a donation of $11,500 raised from equipment sales and matching gifts.

Thelma Conner moved to Ocean City in 1940 to work with her husband at his family’s Hastings Miramar Hotel. The couple eventually bought the Dunes Motel on 27th Street in the 60s, operating that property together until Milton passed away in 1979. Eight years later, Thelma fulfilled the couple’s dream and built the Dunes Manor Hotel, an 11-story, Victorianstyle hotel on 28th Street.

Conner was the first female president of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce in 1974 and was named the 1985 Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year. She also served as the president of the Hotel Motel Restaurant Association in 1985 and was named 1994 Maryland Independent Hotelier of the Year.

In the spring of 1990, the community campaign to build Atlantic General Hospital kicked off at the Dunes Manor Hotel, as Conner supported the idea of opening “a new chapter in healthcare.” Conner went on to be one of the first members of the Atlantic General Hospital Board of Directors.

The Dunes Manor Hotel is currently being renovated to bring a more modern and coastal feel to the property while also still maintaining some of the Victorian old-world charm and amenities that were so important to the Conners, such as the ornate lobby ceiling and the ocean-facing rocking chairs on the back veranda.

New Members

BERLIN – The Coastal Association of Realtors (Coastal) welcomed 26 new members during new member orientation last month.

New member orientation is a requirement for all members of Coastal. Attendees are introduced to services provided by the association. The class is held quarterly.

“We welcome these new members and

wish them the best of luck,” said Coastal Association of Realtors President Austin Whitehead. “There are exciting changes coming to both the market and the Eastern Shore and it is an exciting time to be joining our industry or moving to our area from another part of the country.”

New members include: Rob Fuller with ERA Martin; Frank Killan with Coldwell Banker; Angel Chaconas with Coldwell Banker; Alyssa Linton with Keller Williams; Eric Johnson with ERA Martin; Joe Lavin with Compass; Jennifer McCracken with Atlantic Shores Sotheby’s; Eric Husselbaugh with Iron Valley; Nosa Idemudia with Long and Foster; John Savage with Long and Foster; Charlie Elliott with Re/Max Advantage; Drew Robertson with SVN Miller; Morgan Guy with Keller Williams; Vicki Ewalt with ERA Martin; Antonia Gary with Keller Williams; Whitney Elliott with Coldwell Banker; Breezy Kammermeier with Coldwell Banker; Cindy Gubosh with Coldwell Banker; Heather Willey with ERA Martin; Kerry Cettei with Keller Williams; Mikeshia Wilson with Keller Williams; Meghan Fitzgerald Kenney with Worthington Realty; Dawn Peterson with Keller Williams; Monica Bookwalter with Keller Williams; Nanay Paul with Fathom Realty; and Sheila Outten with Keller Williams.

Broadband Grant

SALISBURY – Salisbury University’s Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) has dedicated its resources to expand broadband internet technology to underserved parts of the nation for over

a decade.

What started as a national initiative with federal funds in 2009 has now leveraged the opportunity to focus on services for Maryland.

Its reputation for mapping and research excellence has earned the cooperative a $2.44 million grant from the Office of Statewide Broadband. The yearlong project will include collecting, analyzing, and visualizing the broadband internet capacity across Maryland.

The ESRGC will develop of set of map and data products to support the Office of Statewide Broadband as it begins to invest in the expansion of both internet capability and capacity in every corner of the state.

“Our resources and services have continued to grow and improve since the initial project and to have the Office of Statewide Broadband recognize us again as an experienced and reliable partner in this work is a testament to the expertise and dedication of the ESRGC staff,” said Lauren McDermott, ESRGC practice manager.

ESRGC roles in the broadband mapping experience include working with providers from the previous projects and any new providers available, analysis of the provider data received and mapping the data, and condensing and presenting in a viewable and accessible format to help them make decisions. This project also provides the ESRGC the opportunity to partner with Maryland Broadband Cooperative and CTC Technologies.

The latest grant brings the task full cir-

cle for Mary Buffington, ESRGC project manager, who worked on the initial national broadband project in 2009.

“I think it’s an important next step in broadband access to have a plan that’s been developed by the state and regions,” she said. “This way, we don’t have to compare our compiled data to much bigger states to find something applicable for very different areas. We can assess the size and protocol that fits Maryland and have a voice in the data collection and processing.”

The previous broadband project was finalized in 2014. It included the collection of broadband availability data from more than 50 service providers and 13,500 community anchor institutions; the launch of an interactive website that allows consumers to learn about broadband availability and speed capabilities at their addresses; and thousands of wireless availability tests statewide, as well as the development of a Broadband Connectivity Ranking index to improve understanding among decision-makers.

“Now, more than ever, we have come to rely on broadband access for business, healthcare, and education,” said Buffington. “This grant and project will bring Maryland closer to having all of our communities served with available access for everyone.”

Business Welcomed

GEORGETOWN – On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony in celebration for CubeBeGone LLC, located at 26521 Lewes Georgetown Hwy.

CubeBeGone LLC is Delaware’s “Everything Fryer” company. They are the only locally owned and operated used cooking oil management company in Delaware. They are committed to shrinking the carbon footprint on the Delmarva peninsula one fryer at a time. CubeBeGone taps into Delaware’s vast restaurant market by collecting the used cooking oil produced by their fryers and giving it a second life through refineries that recycle it into renewable, biodegradable biodiesel fuel. They have over 50 years collective experience in the environmental field and plenty of local, satisfied customers. CubeBeGone clients rely on them to be the dependable, local option to take all the stress of oil disposal off their plates so they can do what they do best – serve up delicious food.

Page 30 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Pictured, from left, are Toni Keiser, Atlantic General Hospital vice president of public relations, Lorrie Miller, general manager of the Dunes Manor Hotel, David Del Russo, regional director of operations for OTO Development Group, Don Owrey, Atlantic General Hospital president & CEO, and Steven Tyson, Atlantic General Hospital Foundation donor relations officer. Submitted Photo

Improvement Work Continues At Assateague

BERLIN – The Old Ferry Landing construction project on Assateague Island National Seashore is complete and the recreation area is open.

This project raised the existing bulkhead approximately two feet and replaced deteriorating boardwalks at this popular crabbing spot and kayak launch. Work will continue throughout the winter to improve visitor amenities and signage, but no further closures are anticipated at this location.

The improved, raised bulkhead and new boardwalks will provide much needed resilience during storms and high tides that have damaged Old Ferry Landing over the years. Admittance fee dollars made these improvements possible.

This project was funded by park entrance and pass fees and is an example of your fee dollars at work. Eighty percent of all revenue from Assateague Island National Seashore entrance fees or the local sales of the various Federal Interagency Passes stays right here in the park to fund this type of visitor related project. The other 20% goes into a fund which can be used by parks with no entrance fee or very low fee revenues.

Examples of projects funded in the last year are the new boardwalk at the Maryland Visitor Center, renovation of well No.1 on the island, design of a new freshwater distribution system for the island, reconstruction of the state line fence, and replacement of the entrance sign at the visitor center. Major renovations to the Life of the Marsh and Life of the Forest Trails will continue over the winter with an anticipated completion date of March 2023.

December 9, 2022 Page 31 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
The new raised bulkhead and boardwalk at Old Ferry Landing are pictured. Submitted Photo


News In Photos

Page 32 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
At a recent meeting, Liz Scott of Town Cats was presented with a donation from the Ocean City Lioness Lions Club by President Bev Topfer. Town Cats is an organization that rescues homeless cats and gives them all necessary medical treatments such as spaying/neutering , shots, blood tests, deworming and flea treatments. The cats are then put up for adoption at PetSmart. On November 21, 2022, the General Levin Winder Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) presented a Distinguished Citizen Medal to Morris Semiatin at Gull Creek Senior Living Community in Berlin. Semiatin, who was nominated for his service during World War II, is pictured with Chapter Regent Talley Hann and James Adkins. The Kiwanis Club of Greater Ocean Pines-Ocean City was joined by members of the K-Kids, the Kiwanis student club at Showell Elementary School, to decorate trees in Ocean Pines. Bob Wolfing, president of the Kiwanis Club, is pictured with students decorating the trees. Submitted Photos Gordon Katz of the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum is pictured speaking recently to the members of the Worcester County Historical Society on the history of the Henry Hotel located in south Ocean City. The Republican Women of Worcester County (RWWC) held their November dinner meeting at Lighthouse Sound on November 17th. The guest speaker was Terris Todd of the Heritage Foundation. Pictured are Sandy Zitzer, RWWC president, Todd, and Liz Mumford, RWWC 1st vice president. The First State Detachment of the Marine Corps League celebrated the 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corps last month at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club. A highlight of the day was a $5,000 check presentation to Brian Morrison, founder of Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation. The funds were generated at the detachment’s ongoing Electric Bike Raffle and sponsorship dollars raised in Worcester County and Sussex County events and activities.
December 9, 2022 Page 33 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Page 34 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Chris Parypa’s Photo Of The Week: Each week staff photographer Chris Parypa is tasked with submitting a photo from his vast library to be featured in this space. Above, Jolly Roger Amusement Parks’ entry – winner of the commercial category – is pictured in the Berlin Christmas Parade. To purchase any of Parypa’s photos, click over to


ARIES (March 21 to April 19): Restless Rams and Ewes might want to let others finish a current project while they start something new. But if you do, you could risk losing out on a future opportunity.

TAURUS (April 20 to May 20): The Bovine's creative forces start revving up as you plan for the upcoming holidays. Some practical aspects also emerge, especially where money is involved.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): Moments of doubt disrupt your otherwise clear sense of purpose. Don't ignore them. They could be telling you not to rush into anything until you know more about it.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22): A planned trip might have to be delayed. Plan to use this new free time to update your skills and your resume so you'll be ready when a new job opportunity opens.

LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22): A flood of holiday party bids from business contacts allows you to mix work and pleasure. Your knowledge, plus your Leonine charm, wins you a new slew of admirers.

VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22): An unexpected act by a colleague complicates an agreement, causing delays in implementing it. Check out the motive for this move: It's not what you might suspect.

LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22): You

might want to cut ties with an ingrate who seems to have forgotten your past generosity. But there might be a reason for this behavior that you should be in the know about. Ask.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21): Be careful not to set things in stone. Much could happen over the next several days that will make you rethink some decisions, and maybe change them.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21): Your plans to help provide holiday cheer for the less fortunate inspire others to follow your generous example. Expect welcome news by week's end.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19): You're in your glory as you start planning for the holiday season ahead. But leave time to deal with a problem that needs a quick and fair resolution.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18): The upcoming holiday season provides a perfect setting for strengthening relationships with kin and others. A new contact has important information.

PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20): Instead of fretting over a cutting remark by a co-worker, chalk it up to an outburst of envy of your well-respected status among both your colleagues and superiors.

BORN THIS WEEK: You instinctively know when to be serious and when to be humorous -- attributes everyone finds endearing.

© 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.

December 9, 2022 Page 35 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
THE DISPATCH Crossword Puzzle
ANSWERS ON PAGE 54 9748 Stephen Decatur Hwy. #112 Ocean City, MD 21842 443-856-4676 Monday-Friday Call us for a free 30 minute phone consultation. Trust Planning To: • Protect Assets • Protect Children • Protect Privacy • Simplify, and • Avoid Probate TRUSTS

vanishing vanishing OCEAN CITY

Miniature golf became a popular form of entertainment in the 1920s and reached a peak of over 25,000 courses nationally in 1930. The first opened in Ocean City in the early 1930s just off the Boardwalk and many others have come and gone in the years since.

Everyone it seems had a favorite and among those that have vanished several stand out. One of the most popular was Old Pro’s Sports Course on the Pier (with Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts) while others bemoan the closing of Bamboo Golf on Third Street and Philadelphia Avenue with the pink elephant and white rabbit.

Some also recall the Gold Rush Territory on 125th Street with its western theme, while others miss Ice Land Golf on Somerset Street and Philadelphia Avenue featuring polar bears and an igloo (and built on the site of the old Ocean City Ice House). One of the more recent to depart was Lost Galaxy Golf on 34th Street where one-eyed aliens and flying saucers were part of the scenery.

Today numerous miniature golf courses (including six owned by Old Pro Golf alone) exist along Coastal Highway with dragons, pirate ships, wild animals and dinosaurs providing a background to one of Ocean City’s most popular forms of family entertainment.

To purchase one of Bunk Mann's books, click over to

Page 36 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Intensity of World Cup games Avoiding a ticket on Virginia’s Route 13 The movie, “Lifemark” Leaving work after a deadline is met Mariner’s Country Down All the current food options in Berlin Tuna nachos at Braddah Barney’s A winner in those “big claw” games Teens celebrating together Easy return policies Things I Like...
Photo courtesy Mike Beatty 1966

ENGINE MECHANIC: Small Engine mechanic, Year round, Competitive Wages. Call 443-754-1047.


The Curriculum Coordinator will be responsible for organizing, implementing, and supervising curricula and educational programs. The Curriculum Coordinator will examine the current course offerings and work closely with department chairs to ensure the Worcester Preparatory School is maintaining the highest quality curriculum in order to meet its college preparatory mission.

The applicant must have a master's degree or higher, preferably in administration, supervision, or curriculum and instruction. A minimum of 5 years teaching experience, ideally in an independent school, is required. Employee must be legally qualified to work in the United States. Employees must pass a background check.

Worcester Preparatory School is a Pre-K-12 independent school located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, just miles from the resort town of Ocean City. Founded in 1970, Worcester Prep has a proud history of providing a rigorous and high-quality college preparatory education to students from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

Email resume to:

Looking For Employees? Start Your Search in... The Dispatch HELP WANTED THE DISPATCH IS ONLINE WWW.MDCOASTDISPATCH.COM Currently Hiring Manpower For: Carpenter | Laborer | Painters Stucco & EIFS Mechanics Concrete Work o Experience preferred. o Tools, transportation & valid driver’s license are a plus. o Excellent pay and a competitive benefits package available. Please Apply Online: Or Contact Our Office at 410-352-9800 AUTOMOTIVE If you are looking for a change, NOW is the time! We are a large Automotive Service Center with several company owned parts stores, service centers and used car dealership. We have multiple locations in the Ocean City, MD, Bethany Beach, DE and Rehoboth Beach DE areas. We are accepting applications for experienced: Technicians Oil Lube / Tire Techs Parts Associates Great Pay scale & Advancement opportunities plus Benefits, Employee Discounts and Friends & Family Discounts! Call Matt 302-344-9846 INDIAN RIVER MARINA IS NOW HIRING! •NIGHTWATCH Apply Online at For additional information, please contact the Marina office at 302.227.3071 AA/EOE CARPENTERS & CARPENTERS HELPERS Must have Tools, Transportation, Drivers License Experience Preferred PATTERSON & SONS BUILDERS 410-641-9530 PRAY FOR UKRAINE RENTALS OPPORTUNITY WINTER RENTAL: 3BR/2BA. 117th St. $1350 per mo. + Utlil.’s (no pets,no smoking) Call 410202-2632. WINTER WEEKLY RENTALS Utilities Included CONTACT US AT 410-289-8581 YEAR ROUND ROOM FOR RENT Beautiful, remodeled home to share with water view in South Ocean Pines. Full house privileges. Only $600 mo + sec dep All utilites included! No smoking. No pets. Call John 443-880-2317 ROOMMATE FOR SALE Frost on the pumpkin, Catbird warns of more to come Sunset creeps away! ROOM(S)
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Follow The Dispatch On Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, And Get News Updates As They Happen! READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS? DINING ROOM SET FOR SALE Holiday Dinners Coming Soon! Beautiful solid wood dining set. Table seats 8-10 with two leaves. Lighted China Cabinet with glass shelving. (Chairs not incl’d.) Selling because moved & too big for dining area. Must see! $575. Berlin. 443-880-8885 $500 MONEY TO BE MADE! Partners wanted for New Amish Themed Bakery / Kitchen / Caterer / Eatery / Franchise or Food Production Facility near Ocean City Maryland Contact: 443-475-9183 December 9, 2022 Page 37 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch The Dispatch Classifieds $15/Week for Minimum of Five Lines • $2 Thereafter Per Line Display Classified Ads: $20/Week Per Column Inch (Contract Discounts Available) Deadline for Insertions, Cancellations & Payment is 3pm Tuesday Pre-Payment is Required. We Accept Visa & MasterCard CONTACT INFORMATION Phone: 410-641-4563 • Fax: 410-641-0966 Email: Mail: P.O. Box 467, Berlin MD 21811 As of March 2021 TAXI TAXI USTAMD has a new owner! We are hiring drivers for day and night shifts. Exciting fast paced great $$$ Please contact Dave 571-490-4774.
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Single Family Home, 94th St. area. Rent negotiable. Call/text for more info. 410-7265200.(Job inhibits phone calls, text if can’t reach by calls).

Third Insertion




Notice is given that the REGISTER OF WILLS of CHESTER COUNTY, PA, appointed JOANNA M. PIETRAFITTA, 15245 TANGLEWOOD DRIVE, WEST CHESTER, PA 19380, as the EXECUTRIX of the Estate of HENRY MICHAEL VASIL, who died on SEPTEMBER 02, 2022, domiciled in PENNSYLVANIA, USA. The Maryland resident agent for service of process is RAYMOND D. COATES, JR, whose address is 6200 COASTAL HIGHWAY, SUITE 300, OCEAN CITY, MD 21842. 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 otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published no- tice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred un- less the creditor presents the claims 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 NOVEMBER 18, 2022

ROOM 102 - COURT HOUSE ONE W. MARKET STREET SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 3x 11-25, 12-02, 12-09

Third Insertion




To all persons interested in the estate of JEFFERSON DAVIS TRADER JR Estate No. 19379 Notice is given that KIRK G. SIMPKINS whose address is P O BOX 550, PRINCESS ANNE, MD 21853 was on SEPTEMBER 08, 2022 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of JEFFERSON DAVIS TRADER, JR., who died on SEPTEMBER 3, 2022, 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 MARCH, 2023.

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; 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

NOVEMBER 25, 2022


Personal Representative

True Test Copy

TERRI WESTCOTT, Register of Wills for Worcester County

ONE W MARKET STREET ROOM 102 COURT HOUSE SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 3x 11-25, 12-02, 12-09

Third Insertion




To all persons interested in the estate of MICHAEL ANDREW BULKLEY, Estate No. 19469 Notice is given that MARY ELIZABETH HUNTER, 2806 GULL WAY, UNIT A, OCEAN CITY, MD 21842, was on NOVEMBER 21, 2022, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of MICHAEL ANDREW BULKLEY, who died on NOVEMBER 2, 2022, 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 21st day of MAY, 2023.

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: Six 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 pre-

sented 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 NOVEMBER 25, 2022


Personal Representative True Test Copy

TERRI WESTCOTT, Register of Wills for Worcester County

ONE W MARKET STREET ROOM 102 COURT HOUSE SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 3x 11-25, 12-02, 12-09

Third Insertion



Phone: 410-641-4563 • Fax: 410-641-0966 Email: Mail: P.O. Box 467, Berlin MD 21811

(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 NOVEMBER 25, 2022

LOVIE BALLARD Personal Representative True Test Copy

TERRI WESTCOTT, Register of Wills for Worcester County

ONE W MARKET STREET ROOM 102 COURT HOUSE SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 3x 11-25, 12-02, 12-09

fore the 14th day of MAY, 2023.

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; 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 NOVEMBER 25, 2022




To all persons interested in the estate of MILDRED P BRYANT Estate No. 19435 Notice is given that LOVIE BALLARD whose address is 817 SECOND STREET POCOMOKE CITY, MD 21851 was on NOVEMBER 02, 2022 appointed Personal Representative of the estate of MILDRED P BRYANT who died on SEPTEMBER 15, 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 2nd day of MAY, 2023.

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; or




NO. 19394

To all persons interested in the estate of BONNIE LEE SCHNEPF. Estate No. 19394 Notice is given that CARROLE ANN WELSH, whose address is 5290 LAKEVIEW ROAD, CHINCOTEAGUE, VA, 23336 and RONALD H WITTE, whose address is 22484 LAKESHORE DRIVE, GEORGETOWN, DE 19947, were on NOVEMBER 14, 2022, appointed Personal Representatives of the estate of BONNIE LEE SCHNEPF, who died on AUGUST 23, 2022, 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 be-

TERRI WESTCOTT, Register of Wills for Worcester County ONE W MARKET STREET ROOM 102 COURT HOUSE SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 3x 11-25, 12-02, 12-09




JOANNA PIETRAFITTA Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTOCTT Register of Wills for Worcester County CARROLE ANN WELSH RONALD H WITTE, Personal Representative True Test Copy
Page 38 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
LEGAL RATES Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. The deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966. CONTACT
Legal Notices
Third Insertion Second Insertion

ORDERED, by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland this 29TH day of NOVEMBER, 2022, that the foreclosure sale of the properties mentioned in these proceedings,made and reported by Ayrika Fletcher, Trustee, be RATIFIED AND CONFIRMED, unless cause to the contrary thereof be shown on or before the 2ND day of JANUARY, 2023 provided a copy of this Order be inserted in some daily newspaper printed in Worcester County, Maryland once in each of three successive weeks, before the 26th day of DECEMBER, 2022.

The Report of Sale filed in the above case states the amount of the sales to be as indicated below for the referenced time-share interval:






By virtue of the Statements of Lien recorded among the Land Records of Worcester County, Maryland and pursuant to the Order of the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland (Case No. C-23-CV-22-000254) the undersigned Trustee will offer for sale at public auction at the Princess Royale Resort & Condominium, located at 9100 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842, the following described property located in the Town of Ocean City, in the Tenth Election District of Worcester County, Maryland, on

DECEMBER 28, 2022, AT 11:30 A.M.


Each time interval being one week per year of the corresponding unit, each unit being part of the Princess Royale Resort & Condominium, including an undivided interest in the common elements thereof, as established pursuant to a Condominium Declaration and By-Laws recorded among the Land Records of Worcester County, Maryland, and subsequent Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions as to each condominium unit, and recorded among the aforesaid Land Records.

essence. The property will be sold subject to all restrictions, liens, covenants and encumbrances of record. In the event that the Purchaser fails to go to settlement as required, the property shall be resold at Purchaser’s risk and expense. The Maintenance Fee, which includes taxes, water, sanitary charges and all other municipal, county and State charges to which the property may be subject to, will be adjusted at date of sale. Should a secured party be unable to convey the property, Purchaser’s sole remedy shall be a refund of money paid. Cost of all documentary stamps, transfer taxes and documentation preparation and title fees and insurance shall be borne by the Purchaser.

The improvements are being sold in an “AS IS” condition, without warranties, express or implied. Risk of loss passes at date of sale. For further information, please contact the Trustee.

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication DECEMBER 09, 2022 3x 12-09, 12-16, 12-23

jection 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 1ST day of JUNE, 2023.

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; 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.

NOVEMBER 30, 2022, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of SHIRLEY BOWDLE TRUITT who died on OCTOBER 13, 2022, 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 30TH day of MAY, 2023.


ESTATE NO. 12938

To all persons interested in the estate of CARRIE ETTA BRATTEN, AKA: CARRIE ETTA MASON, Estate No. 12938. Notice is given that BARRY L. MASON, 91 FLETCHER AVENUE, MT. VERNON, NY 10552, was on DECEMBER 06, 2022, appointed personal representative(s) of the small estate of CARRIE ETTA BRATTEN, who died on SEPTEMBER 23, 2006 with a will.

Name of Newspaper:

Maryland Coast Dispatch

Date of Publication

DECEMBER 02, 2022



Clerk of the Circuit Court Worcester County, MD 3x 12-02, 12-09, 12-16

The property will be sold in an “as is” condition and subject to conditions, restrictions and agreements of record affecting the same, if any, and with no warranties or guarantees. A secured party may bid and shall be excused from deposit requirements. The Trustee reserves the right to reject any and all bids.




ESTATE NO. 19478


3509 COASTAL HIGHWAY OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 (410) 289-3553

TERMS OF SALE: Payment by cash, certified check or cashier’s check equal to the amount of the purchase price shall be paid at the time and place of sale. Final settlement shall be within 10 days after final ratification of sale by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland, unless said period is extended by the Trustee, for good cause shown, time being of the

To all persons interested in the estate of GEORGE E. HOLLENDERSKY. Estate No. 19478 Notice is given that BETH ANN MOUNT, 322 BARBARA COURT, SAYLORSBURG, PA, 18353 and JAMES RUFFIN, 2906 WEST FARVIEW STREET, ALLENTOWN, PA 18103, were on DECEMBER 01, 2022, appointed Personal Representatives of the estate of GEORGE E. HOLLENDERSKY, who died on OCTOBER 30, 2022, 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 ob-


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: Six 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.

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 shall file their objections with the Register of Wills within 30 days after the date of publication of this Notice.

All persons having an objec- tion to the probate of the will shall file their objections with the Register of Wills within six months after the date of publication of this Notice.

All persons having claims against the decedent must serve their claims on the undersigned personal representative or file them 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; or (2) Thirty days 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 claims will be barred unless the creditor presents the claim within thirty days from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. Any claim not served or filed within that time, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter.

To all persons interested in the estate of SHIRLEY BOWDLE TRUITT,Estate No.19468. Notice is given that JENNIE T. KNAPP, 25 MORNING MIST DRIVE, BERLIN, MD 21811, was on

December 9, 2022 Page 39 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication DECEMBER 09, 2022 BETH ANN MOUNT JAMES RUFFIN Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT, Register of Wills for Worcester County ONE W MARKET STREET ROOM 102 COURT HOUSE SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 3x 12-09, 12-16, 12-23 RAYMOND D. COATES, JR., ESQ.
Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication DECEMBER 09, 2022 JENNIE T. KNAPP Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT, Register of Wills for Worcester County ONE W MARKET STREET ROOM 102 COURT HOUSE SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 3x 12-09, 12-16, 12-23 B. RANDALL COATES, ESQ. COATES, COATES & COATES 204 WEST GREEN ST., PO BOX 293 SNOW HILL, MD 21863 SMALL ESTATE NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT
Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication DECEMBER 09, 2022
L. MASON Personal Representative True Test Copy
ONE W. MARKET STREET SNOW HILL, MD 21863-1074 1x 12-09 First Insertion First Insertion First Insertion CONDOMINIUM UNIT 203 205 306 401 403 506 506 506 210 211 307 308 308 309 310 407 409 410 TIME INTERVAL 34 19 1 19 23 43 45 47 42 19 9 35 38 51 39 11 51 27 PRICE $4,600. $1,100 $50. $2,000. $4,500. $100. $100. $100. $100. $100. $50. $3,000. $50. $50. $50. $50. $50. $6,000. PURCHASER Lori Keyton PP BC PP PP PP PP PP BC BC BC DBC BC BC BC BC BC DBC First Insertion The Dispatch Legal Notices LEGAL RATES Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. The deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966. CONTACT INFORMATION Phone: 410-641-4563 • Fax: 410-641-0966 Email: Mail: P.O. Box 467, Berlin MD 21811
TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County ROOM 102 COURT HOUSE

Hit-and Run Spree

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man was arrested last weekend for fleeing the scene after striking a vehicle with a family in it, then running over a median and a town-owned Christmas tree and finally striking three vehicles in a parking lot.

Around 6:40 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the north end responded to the area of a restaurant at 129th Street for a reported hit-and-run collision. Ocean City Communications advised the suspect, later identified as John Childs, 65, of Ocean City, was running north on foot, according to police reports.

OCPD officers located Childs in the area of 131st Street. He was being pursued by another male who was reportedly yelling, “He fled the scene,” and “This guy right here,” while pointing at Childs. Police interviewed Childs, who was breathing heavily, according to police reports. When asked why he was out of breath, Childs reportedly told officers it was because he was being chased by the other man.

Childs was asked what vehicle he had been driving and he reportedly told police he had not been driving at all. When asked if he had hit another vehicle, Childs advised he did not. When asked if he had any alcoholic beverages, Childs first told police he had none, but later changed his story and told officers he “maybe had one or two drinks,” according to police reports. Childs reportedly exhibited signs of intoxication.

Childs advised again he had not been driving and that he didn’t even own a car. He reportedly told police he did not know why the other man was chasing him or even where he began chasing him.


Other witnesses came forth who advised they had seen Childs as the driver of a 1997 Chevrolet truck that hit the victim’s vehicle while going north on Coastal Highway in the area of 94th Street before continuing north and fleeing the scene, according to police reports.

Witnesses reportedly told officers they observed Childs’ truck crash into the median on Coastal Highway at 129th Street. The witnesses reported Childs drove over the median, striking a Christmas tree, and then proceeded to flee from the second crash by going north in the southbound lanes of the highway.

Witnesses reported Childs then drove into the parking lot at the Montego Bay Shopping Center where he crashed into three parked cars before his truck came to rest. Childs then got out of the vehicle and fled north on foot, which is when OCPD officers made their first contact with him, according to police reports. OCPD officers conducted a battery of field sobriety tests which Childs did not complete to their satisfaction, and he was placed under arrest.

A background check revealed Childs’ driver’s license was currently suspended. It also revealed he had been arrested three prior times for driving under the influence and three other times for driving on a suspended license. He also has a pending DUI case in Worcester County.

All in all, Childs allegedly hit a vehicle with a family in it and fled the scene, then struck the median and a city-owned Christmas tree before fleeing a second time. Fi-

nally, he allegedly struck three parked cars in a parking lot and fled the scene yet a third time.

Gun Replica Found

OCEAN CITY – A Salisbury man was arrested last week after allegedly being found with a gun replica in his vehicle following a routine traffic stop in the resort.

Around 10:25 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 32nd Street conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. The officer made contact with the driver and lone occupant of the vehicle as Antonio Blackwell, 30, of Salisbury. The officer also detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle’s passenger compartment, according to police reports.

While gathering Blackwell’s documents, the initial officer observed he was concealing something in the glove compartment. An assisting officer standing on the other side of the vehicle reported observing a handgun concealed in the vehicle, according to police reports.

Blackwell was told to exit the vehicle and complied. During a search, OCPD officers located a semiautomatic .177 caliber air soft pistol. The pistol replicated the design, weight and components of a real semiautomatic pistol, according to police reports. On the front seat, OCPD officers also reportedly observed a small glass jar containing less than 10 grams of marijuana.

A background check revealed Blackwell’s driver’s license had been suspended in September. He was in possession of a learner’s permit, but was driving without the required supervision. He was placed under arrest and was charged with possession of a replica handgun and various traffic offenses.

Vehicle Break-In Suspect Charged

OCEAN CITY – A Delaware man has been charged with a series of vehicle break-ins in Ocean City in July after resort detectives were able to collaborate with detectives in Rehoboth Beach on locating the suspect.

On July 18, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) detective initiated an investigation into a rash of thefts from vehicles in the parking garage at the Gateway Grand at 48th Street days earlier on July 14. The detective was able to obtain video surveillance from one of the victimized vehicle’s security system, according to police reports.

The footage reportedly showed three male suspects walking through the garage in between vehicles. The footage showed one of the suspects checking the door handles of vehicles with a towel between his hands presumably to avoid leaving fingerprints, according to police reports.

The OCPD detective met with two victims, whose vehicles had been entered and whose property had been stolen. The victims told the officer their vehicles had been left open and there was no sign of forced entry, but personal items had been stolen including a purse and some vape


Page 40 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

pods, according to police reports. The witnesses acknowledged a few days had passed before the alleged crimes were reported, and that they had left their vehicles unlocked, according to police reports.

OCPD officers posted still photos of the suspects seeking the public help in identifying them. In September, the OCPD detective was contacted by a detective with the Rehoboth Beach Police Department, who advised he was investigating an assault case. The Rehoboth detective advised he was attempting to identify the suspect from a press release in a local news source.

The Rehoboth detective advised he had received an anonymous tip identifying the suspect in his assault investigation as Damien Bozman, 20, of Seaford, Del. The anonymous tipster not only provided accurate information about the suspect in the Rehoboth assault investigation, but also stated Bozman and a juvenile were also the suspects in the Gateway Grand vehicle break-ins in Ocean City back in July, according to police reports.

The OCPD detective was able to compare his still photos from the Ocean City incident to photos of the suspects involved in the Rehoboth Beach incident and identify Bozman and the juvenile, who were being held in Delaware.

On Nov. 29, Bozman consented to an extradition order to Worcester County to face charges related to the vehicle breakins in Ocean City in July. He has been charged with numerous counts of rogue and vagabond, conspiracy to commit

rogue and vagabond and theft. This week he was released on a $5,000 bond.

Warrant Stop Leads To Arrest

OCEAN CITY – A local man was arrested last week after he was found in possession of spring-assisted knife during a typical warrant stop.

Around 3:30 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the uptown area observed a vehicle driven by a suspect with an active warrant in Worcester County known as Nicholas Ellis, 33, of Ocean City, in the area of 112th Street. OCPD officers initiated a traffic stop and requested Ellis to step out of the vehicle, according to police reports.

Other OCPD officers arrived to assist the initial officer. When officers attempted to detain Ellis, he tensed up and pulled his arm away, but he was ultimately detained in handcuffs. Because of officers’ prior knowledge of the suspects and his history of carrying weapons, Ellis was frisked by OCPD officers.

During a search, officers located a spring-assisted knife on his person, according to police reports. The knife was identified by OCPD officers as a martial arts weapon under the town’s code and Ellis was arrested on the outstanding warrant and for possession of a spring-assisted knife.

Clawing Assault Arrest

OCEAN CITY – A Quantico, Md. woman was arrested for second-degree assault last weekend after allegedly clawing at her boyfriend with long fingernails during a domestic dispute at a midtown


Around 1 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel at 45th Street for a reported domestic incident. OCPD officers learned from hotel security the disturbance was coming from a room on the fourth floor, according to police reports.

OCPD officers responded to the fourth floor and heard a female later identified as Hannah Adkins, 24, of Quantico, Md., screaming loudly from inside, according to police reports. OCPD officers knocked on the door after a few moments and were greeted by a male victim, who stepped out of the room and consented for officers to enter the room, according to police reports.

Officers entered an observed Adkins sitting in a chair, visibly upset and crying according to police reports. Adkins report-

edly told police she had been arguing with the male victim and shoved him at one point. Adkins said she likely injured the victim because of her long fingernails. Adkins said the victim had shoved her back, but she was not injured.

Adkins then elaborated and told officers she grabbed the victim near his neck with her fingernails. She reportedly denied choking him, but rather she had just grabbed him in that area by chance. OCPD officers interviewed the victim and observed he had scratch marks on the right side of his face, his upper chest, stomach and neck.

The scratch marks were bright red and appeared to be fresh, according to police reports. The victim informed officers that Adkins had been clawing at him. Based on the evidence, Adkins was arrested and charged with domestic assault.

December 9, 2022 Page 41 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
... COPS & COURTS OPEN THURS - FRI 2 PM • SAT & SUN 11 AM 28TH STREET • 410-289-2828 • DRYDOCKOC.COM Open Thursday Thru Sunday 11am • Monday 2pm 28th Street • 410-289-BUXY • • • 410-289-2828 Customer Appreciation Christmas Party Happy Hour Specials All Day Long Teenage Rust & The Rustettes 6-9pm Bring Canned Goods or Donation at the Door For Diakonia Santa Paws Will Be Visiting! Great Drink Specials & DJ’s Steelers vs Ravens Gates Open 11am Get Here Early For A Good Seat 9 11 10 Welcome AND South Harbor Rd • West End, Ocean City • 410-213-1846 Waterfront WiFi • HOME OF THE ORIGINAL FRESH -SQUEEZED “ORANGE CRUSH” HAPPY HOUR Monday-Friday 3-6 p.m. $3.50 Domestic Drafts & Rail Drinks $5.50 Glasses Of Wine $7 Original Orange Crush $9.99 Jerk Chicken $11.99 Wings $9.99 1/2-Lb. Steamed Shrimp $11.99 Steamed Mussels $21.99 2 Dozen Steamed Clams (Mussel Style Add $2) FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS During NFL Games Only Open Fri. & Sat. 11am-11pm (Kitchen Closed 9 pm) • Sun.-Weds. 11am-9pm (Kitchen Closed 8 pm) • Thurs. 11am-10pm (Kitchen Closes 9 pm) SPECIALS FRIDAY: ALL DAY: Oyster Frenzy SUNDAY: ALL DAY: 30% Off All Entrees MONDAY: Italian Night: 3 P.M. 3-Course Meal $23.99 TUESDAY: Date Night: 3 P.M. Buy 1 Entree & Appetizer Get 2nd Entree 50% Off WEDNESDAY: ALL DAY: Fiesta $3 Off Margaritas, 1/2 Off Tacos, Quesadillas & More THURSDAY: 3 P.M.: $23.99 AYCE Ribs & Steamed Shrimp Specials are not to be combined with any other offer, discount or coupon. Some restrictions apply. No substitutions, dine in only. Excludes holidays & holiday weekends. SUNDAY: Opposite Directions 1 pm SATURDAY: Grasping At Straws • 1 pm DJ Bigler • 6 pm FRIDAY: DJ Billy T 3 pm THURSDAY: DJ Billy T 3 pm ENTERTAINMENT

Page 42

You’ll Find L ots Of Holi day Decorations And Gif t-Gi ving Ide as In Our Local Antique And Country Craft Stores

Who’s Where When



28th St. & Coastal Hwy. Friday, Dec. 9: Teenage Rust & The Fabulous Rustettes Saturday, Dec. 10: DJ


410-289-3100 28th St. Plaza On Coastal Hwy. Saturday, Dec. 10: First Class

Visit Us For An Incredible Selection Of Estate Jewelry In Gold, Platinum And Sterling Silver 2

Dec. Best Beats On The Beach BEATS BY WAX Pickles Pub: Cork Bar: Saturday, Dec. 10 Tuesdays & Thursdays 3 2

Visit Our 1950s Retro Texaco Station! Holiday Shoppers! FREE Gift Wrap with ALL Purchases. 105 Market Street • Historic Downtown Pocomoke City, MD 410-957-4653 Open Wednesday - Saturday 10-6 Monday & Tuesday by Appointment Only

Mon day Satur day 1 0:3 0 a m 5 p m 11 731 S om erset Ave nue Princ ess Anne, MD 2185 3 410 651 22 38

CORK BAR Saturday, Dec. 10: DJ Wax


37314 Lighthouse Rd., Rte. 54 Selbyville, DE Friday, Dec. 9: Cal Toner Wednesday, Dec. 14: Blind Wind

CRAWL STREET TAVERN 443-373-2756 Wicomico St., Downtown O.C. Friday, Dec. 9: Dust N Bones Saturday, Dec. 10: Risky Business, DJ Willdabeast

FAGER’S ISLAND 410-524-5500 60th St. In The Bay Friday, Dec. 9: DJ RobCee, DJ Greg Saturday, Dec. 10: DJ Groove, Groovalicious Monday, Dec. 12: Bryan Clark

DJ DJ TUFF Seacrets: Friday & Saturday, Dec. 9 & 10 DJ BIGLER Harborside: Saturday, Dec. 10

BLIND 3 Find Us On Facebook “Somerset Choice Station”

Island: 4

BRYAN CLARK 4 1 1 OPEN YEAR-ROUND SATURDAY& SUNDAY Park & Flea Downtown Salisbury, Md. On Busy Rte. 13 Between Rte. 50 And Main St. Antiques, Collectibles, Yard Sale, Plants And Produce Buy, Sell, Trade SUNDAY ALL SPACES ONLY $5 NO RESERVATIONS-COME EARLY 410-603-3930

December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
ROBCEE Fager’s Island: Friday,
Monday, Dec. 12 DJ BILLY T Harborside: Thursdays & Fridays BEATS BY DEOGEE Pickles Pub: Fridays, Sundays, & Wednesdays
GREENE TURTLE WEST 410-213-1500 Rt. 611, West O.C. Saturday, Dec. 10: Rogue Citizens WIND Crabcake Factory Bayside: Wednesday, Dec. 14


Where When



South Harbor Rd., West O.C.

Fridays: DJ Billy T Saturday, Dec. 10: Grasping At Straws, DJ Bigler Sunday, Dec. 11: Opposite Directions Thursdays: DJ Billy T



12849 Ocean Gateway, Rte. 50, West OC

Friday, Dec. 9: Karaoke w/Kennedy Wednesdays: Trivia w/ Kennedy



8th St. & Philadelphia Ave. Fridays: Beats By Deogee Saturday, Dec. 10: The Bills Sundays: Beats By Deogee Mondays: Karaoke with Wood Tuesdays: Beats By Wax Wednesdays: Beats By Deogee Thursdays: Beats By Wax



49th St. & Coastal Hwy. Friday, Dec. 9: DJ Tuff, Late Last Night Duo, The Way Outs Saturday, Dec. 10: DJ Tuff, DJ Davie, Full Circle, Cherry Crush Band Thursday, Dec. 15: Full Circle Duo, DJ Connair

December 9, 2022 Page 43 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
RISKY BUSINESS Crawl St. Tavern: Saturday, Dec. 10
THE BILLS Pickles Pub: Saturday, Dec. 10 GROOVALICIOUS Fager’s Island: Saturday, Dec. 10 FIRST CLASS Coins Pub: Saturday, Dec. 10
ROGUE CITIZENS Greene Turtle West: Saturday, Dec. 10
GRASPING AT STRAWS Harborside: Saturday, Dec. 10
JPARIS Purple Moose Saloon: Saturday, Dec. 10

SPORTS In The News

Worcester Girls Split First Two Of Season

BERLIN – Worcester Prep’s girls’ varsity basketball team split a pair of games last week to open the 20222023 season.

The Mallards opened the season with a 49-30 loss to Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference (ESIAC) rival Salisbury School at home last Wednesday. Worcester was outscored in each quarter and also managed just single-digit point totals in each quarter of the game. Emily Southard and Anisha Batra each scored seven points to

lead Worcester, while Sydney Mize scored five and Caitlyn Hoen pitched in four.

Against Indian River on the road last Friday, the Worcester girls rebounded with a narrow 27-26 win over the Indians. Worcester led 158 at the half, but Indian River kept it close the rest of the way. Indian River outscored the Mallards, 11-6, in the fourth, but Worcester’s early lead help up for the one-point 27-26 win. Hoen led Worcester with 10 points and a remarkable 22 rebounds. Anne Carter scored six points, while Ava Wilsey and Batra added four each.

Entire Seahawks Squad Named “Tough Team Of Year”

BERLIN – In somewhat of a departure from the annual Hammond Family “Tough Guy of the Week” awards, this year’s finale went to the “Tough Team of the Year” for the Seahawks’ remarkable run through the state 2A playoffs. The Seahawks won two home games against C. Milton Wright and North Caroline to open the state playoffs, then went across the bridge to upset Potomac, 36-7, to reach the state Final Four. The amazing run

ended with a tight, last-second loss to Milford Mill in the state semifinals, but the loss did little to tarnish a remarkable season for the Seahawks. There were plenty of individual accolades to go around for Decatur, but the Seahawks continued to win, and ultimately fell just short, as a team as it should be. For two decades, the “Tough Guy of the Week” has been featured on the sports pages of The Dispatch, a tradition that will continue, but this year, for the first time ever, the entire squad is featured as the “Tough Team of the Year.”

Seahawks Start New Era With Easy Win

BERLIN – Stephen Decatur’s varsity wrestling team cruised past Wicomico, 78-6, on Monday for the program’s first official win under new head coach Josh August.

August has taken over the reins for the highly successful Seahawk wrestling program after long-time Coach Todd Martinek retired at the end of last year after a remarkable run at Decatur. The Seahawks did not miss a beat and picked up right where they left off with a convincing 78-6 win over Wicomico at home on Monday.

The Seahawks lost a few seniors from last year’s state championship team, but with a solid nucleus of returning wrestlers and plenty of young faces in the lineup, it appears the program will continue its recent run of major success under the watchful eye of August.

On Monday, Decatur’s Juan Hinojosa

won by forfeit at 106 and Elijah Collick beat Aaron Leggett at 113.

Liam Hughes beat Deion Finney at 120, Aaron August beat Davidson Fortunel at 126, and Reid Caimi beat Skyler Parsons at 132. Decatur’s Logan Intrieri beat LeKwon McBride at 138 and Z.J. Lyons won by forfeit at 145 and Amarian Manuel won by forfeit at 152.

Evan Haworth beat Brock Lawson at 160, Gavin Solito prevailed over Caleb Robinson at 170, and Parker Intrieri won by forfeit at 182. Kole Kohut beat Thomas Jones at 195 and Nate McDaniel beat Chris Wells at 220. The lone loss for Decatur in the 78-6 win came at 285 where Jabez Baptiste beat Decatur’s Garrett Maloney.

This week, the Seahawks face a dual meet with Colonel Richardson and Easton, followed by another dual meet with Kent County and Cambridge-South Dorchester next week. Both dual meets are on the road.

Mallards Drop First Two Of Basketball Season

BERLIN – Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity basketball team dropped its first two games, falling to Salisbury School and Indian River in the first two games of the new season.

The Mallards fell in their Eastern ShoreIndependent Athletic Conference (ESIAC) opener against Salisbury School, 62-43, last Wednesday. Worcester led 15-10 after one quarter and 26-19 at the half. Salisbury School outscored Worcester, 16-12, during the third quarter but the Mallards still led heading into the fourth. However, in the decisive fourth quarter, the Dragons outscored the Mallards, 24-8, to pull away for the 62-43


Against Indian River on the road last Friday in a non-conference game, a different pattern played out for the Mallards in a 64-47 loss. Worcester fell behind, 21-6, after one quarter and trailed 39-21 at the half. Worcester did outscore Indian River, 15-8, in the third quarter, but the damage had been done and the Indians cruised to the 64-47 win down the stretch.

Jack Gardner led Worcester with 15 points, while Michael DePalma added 10. Griffin Jones scored seven and Ashton Browne added six. Worcester made eight threepointers during the contest, including two each from DePalma, Jones and Browne.

Page 44 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Tough Guy Of The Week: In somewhat of a break from tradition, the final Hammond Family “Tough Guy of the Week” award went to the entire Seahawk team for their remarkable run in the state playoffs. Decatur advanced to the state’s Final Four and got contribution for up and down the roster on both sides of the ball during the run. Submitted Photo Defending state champion Stephen Decatur’s varsity wrestling team opened its season on Monday with a convincing 78-6 win over Wicomico. Above, the team prepares for its opening match at center mat. Photo by Bayside Sports-Vince Risser

SNOW HILL – Officials fined an Ocean City restaurant $12,000 for letting patrons take alcohol off the premises.

The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) fined Jonah and the Whale, the restaurant attached to the Flagship Oceanfront Hotel, $12,000 for serving alcohol in fountain drink cups that some patrons carried onto the Boardwalk. Chris Ruppert, the license holder, said the practice had started during the pandemic and he’d made a mistake in allowing it to occur this summer.

“In hindsight it was a horrible decision to make,” he said.

According to the BLC’s report of the investigation, on three occasions during the summer police identified multiple people taking alcohol off Jonah and the Whale’s licensed premises, which includes the Riptide Pool Bar. During Wednesday’s liquor board hearing, Joe Moore, Ruppert’s attorney, said he and his client didn’t contest the contents of the report.

“We are here totally for mitigation,” he said.

Moore said Ruppert has had the liquor license at Jonah and the Whale since 2008 and that the violations that occurred this summer related to the Riptide Pool Bar, which fronts the Boardwalk. Ruppert told the board that during the pandemic, when there were provisions for carryout drinks, his staff had started using Pepsi fountain drink cups to serve alcohol. Though those provisions weren’t in place this past summer, Ruppert said he’d allowed staff to continue the practice for patrons at the pool because the cups were larger than those traditionally used, and patrons wouldn’t have to stand in line for a drink so frequently.

“We’re a very busy bar,” he said.

Looking back, Ruppert said serving alcohol in the Pepsi cups eliminated staff’s ability to know whether patrons were leaving the premises with alcoholic drinks.

“They were being allowed to walk off

because of the nature of the containers the drinks were in,” Moore said.

Ruppert acknowledged the practice erased one of the controls that was meant to ensure patrons didn’t walk off with drinks from the bar.

“I did not think that through at all,” he said.

At some point during the summer, Ruppert said he was chatting with his deck monitor, the individual tasked with ensuring patrons didn’t leave the premises with alcoholic drinks, and he was advised that hardly any patrons ever tried to leave the area with their drinks from the bar. It was at that point Ruppert realized there might be an issue with using the soda cups and stopped the practice.

“It just didn’t feel right,” he said. “I got a bad feeling. I told my bartenders no more Pepsi cups.”

Moore pointed out that occurred long before Ruppert was even advised of his hearing with the BLC and the fact that police had documented violations. He added that the business had been subject to eight compliance checks by local police in years past and had not sold to a minor on any of those occa-


“He’s been here since 2008 without a violation,” Moore said. “He stopped the practice before he was caught, for lack of a better word.”

Moore said he’d contacted Ruppert’s landlord and had been advised that a suspension or revocation of the Jonah and the Whale liquor license would be considered a violation of the terms of the lease.

“If Mr. Ruppert, who’s been there since 2008, is suspended, he risks losing his lease,” Moore said.

As a result, he said his client was hoping for a substantial fine rather than a suspension or revocation.

“We understand the seriousness of this,” Moore said.

At the BLC’s request, several Ocean City Police Department officers stepped up to describe how they’d seen patrons leaving the premises with alcoholic drinks. One officer said she’d even gone to the bar to buy a drink and had been asked by the bartender if she wanted it “for here or to go.” She noted that she’d been wearing pants and tennis shoes and so didn’t look like an obvious pool bar customer.

“It sounds like it’s been going on quite a long time,” BLC member Charles Nichols said.

Bartender Derek Endlich said the practice had started during COVID and had simply continued. He said lines were lengthy at the pool bar and staff wanted to help customers avoid having to wait too long.

“We were doing it as a favor to hotel guests and pool customers,” Endlich said.

William Esham, chair of the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners, asked Ruppert if there was ever a time the deck monitor had provided patrons leaving the property with Pepsi cups to pour their drinks into.

Esham reminded Ruppert he was under oath.

“As far as I know he did not do that,” Ruppert said.

Moore said there was no indication that was going on.

Nichols made a motion to fine Jonah and the Whale $4,000 for each of the three violations. The $12,000 total fine must be paid by Dec. 12.

“If it’s not paid, your license will be suspended,” he said.

December 9, 2022 Page 45 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Board Issues $12K Fine Over Carryout Drinks
WHOLE HOUSE ELECTRICAL ASSESSMENT & SAFETY INSPECTION A $249 VALUE FOR ONLY $99 Call 410-641-1434 Worcester County Lic. #M917 • Maryland Lic. # 3506 • Check the electrical service panel and wiring • Tighten screws and lugs on circuit breakers to ensure proper functioning • Apply Noalox on branch circuits’ aluminum wires • Check all outlets with tester for loose connections, open grounds, neutral wires, proper polarity • Test/inspect GFCI outlets and breakers • Check for double tapped breakers to eliminate overloading a circuit breaker • Survey for proper surge protection • Check smoke detectors and make recommendations for compliance with local electrical codes

Every Monday: TOPS Meeting

5-6:30 p.m. Atlantic General Hospital, Berlin. Take Off Pounds Sensibly is a support group promoting weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Call Rose 443-880-8444.

Every Monday: Acapella Chorus

All ladies who love to sing are invited to the Delmarva Woman’s Acapella Chorus, Ocean Pines Community Center, 239 Ocean Parkway, 6-8 p.m. Contact Mary 410-629-9383 or Carol 302-242-7062.

Every Monday: Bridge Games

Are you interested in joining others for a game of Bridge at the Ocean City 50+ Senior Center? If so, please call or text Tish at 410-804-3971.

Every Tuesday: TOPS Meeting

Take Off Pounds Sensibly is a weekly support and education group promoting weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Meetings are held at the Worcester County Berlin Health Department at 9730 Healthway Drive, Berlin from 3:30-4:30 p.m. every Tuesday. 410289-4725.

Every Tuesday: Dancing

The Delmarva Hand Dance Club holds dancing at the Selbyville Elks Lodge 2173 from 5:30-9 p.m.

Every Tuesday: Beach Cleanup

Beach Heroes, a volunteer Ocean City group, holds cleanups 9-10 a.m. yearround. Trash bags, grippers and gloves provided. Check the Facebook page "Beach Heroes-OC" for weekly meeting locations. All are welcome.

Every Wednesday: Bingo Elks Lodge 2645, corner of Sinepuxent Avenue and 138th Street in Ocean City. Has bingo all year. Doors open 4:30 p.m. with first game sharply at 6:30 p.m. Kitchen open for light fare. 410-250-2645.

Every Thursday: Beach Singles

Join the club, 55 plus, at Harpoon Hanna’s in Fenwick Island, 4-6 p.m. 302436-9577 or

Every Friday: Bingo Knights of Columbus hosts with doors open at 5 p.m. and bingo beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. Held at the Columbus Hall at 9901 Coastal Highway, behind St. Luke's Church. Play every game for just $24. Light refreshments available. Call 410-524-7994 with any questions. rain or shine.

Dec. 9-Dec.

31: Winterfest of Lights

The 2022 Winterfest of Lights will be an expanded walking tour that takes you through thousands of sparkling holiday lights and many animated light displays located along a paved path in Northside Park. Sip hot chocolate, take a photo with Santa, visit our gift shop and enjoy the array of holiday exhibits –including many surprises. Come see the 50-foot Christmas tree put on a show for you and soak up all of the holiday spirit at Winterfest of Lights.

Dec. 9: BFC Carryout Dinner

Things To Do

Berlin Fire Company will do the cooking for you Friday night with a pork chop carryout dinner from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Two pork chops, mashed potatoes, lima beans, corn and roll for $15.


10: Santa’s Open Event

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore will be holding its 30th Annual Santa’s Open Charity Event at the Ocean Pines Golf Club. Each holiday season the Eastern Shore comes together to support children facing adversity by golfing in this tournament and bringing an unwrapped gift for a child between the ages of 6-17. Volunteers and attendees will enjoy a round of golf, golfer gift, refreshments, food, silent auction, raffle prizes, and prizes for the top performers. The Hole-in-One contest will be sponsored by Pohanka. BBBSES still has sponsorship and team spots open. Visit


10: Christmas Cookie Walk

8-2 p.m. Bethany United Methodist Church, 8648 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, will offer homemade fancy holiday cookies, $8 per pound. Candy, $10 per pound. Make your own selections. 410-641-2186.

Dec. 10: Monthly Meeting

The Ocean Pines Anglers Club will meet 9:30 a.m. in the Ocean Pines Library. The speaker will be U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master/Captain Mark Sampson, a fishing guide for 20 IGFA world records, the founder of the Ocean City Shark Tournament and a leader in shark research, tagging and data collection. Members are asked to bring a food item or donation for Diakonia homeless shelter. All welcome.

Dec. 10: Ocean City Comic Con

From 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Ocean City's pop culture extravaganza features an exciting selection of guests and events sure to be a big hit with attendees. Special guests from the worlds of comics, TV, and more will be on hand. Guests will be available to meet attendees and sign au tographs. Along with meeting guests, attendees will have access to anime screenings throughout the day, informative and entertaining panels, video game tournaments, a costume contest with pri zes, and over 300 booths full of geeky goods and independent content creators. Admission is $12, kids 9 years and younger free with paying adult. Tickets at the door, $1 off if in Costume, $1 off with a non-perishable food item for Diakonia.

Dec. 11: Sunday Side Orders Sales

Calvary United Methodist Church, 8607 Ironshire Station Road, Berlin, will offer from 12:30 p.m. until. The 12ounce containers will be offered for $5; 16-ounce containers for $8. Sides include potato salad, mac n cheese, macaroni salad, string beans, greens, etc. Dessert table, rolls, corn bread and cold drinks for sale.

Dec. 11: Church Feast

St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church on Third Street in Ocean City will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 10 a.m. A special bilingual service will begin with the congregation processing around the church building following a statue of the Virgin Mary, while carrying symbolic red roses and singing. After the service, there will be a celebration in the church hall complete with Jarocho Dancers, doing traditional folk dances and Mexican and Salvadoran food that is traditional for the occasion.

Dec. 14: Dinner Theater Trip

The Ocean City 50+ Senior Center plans a trip to see "It's A Wonderful Life" at Toby's Dinner Theater. 410-289-0824.

Dec. 15: NAACP Zoom

From 6-7:30 p.m., join the Worcester County NAACP as it shares memories of Worcester County African American history. Stories about Henry’s Hotel, 310 S. Baltimore Ave Ocean City, are also being sought. All memories appreciated. See Worcester County NAA CP Facebook page for more information.

Dec. 16: Christmas Concert

The Arlene Reichert Memorial Concert Series presents Annual Christmas Concert and Carol Sing-Along at 6:30 p.m. at Stevenson United Methodist Church featuring SUMC Director of Music/Organist Ty Thompson, SUMC Handbell Choir, SUMC Praise Band and singing duo Selah Wilson and Amanda Jones. Free admission. An offering will be taken for HALO (Hope and Life Outreach).

Dec. 16: Harry Potter Event

The Pocomoke Library is hosting "A Hogwart's Holiday" for wizards, witches, and Muggles alike from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Join for Harry Potter themed games and crafts and immerse yourself in the magic of the holiday season. Families are welcome to attend this free event and costumes are encouraged. Please register at under “Events.” For more information, contact

the Pocomoke Branch at 410-9570878 or visit us at 301 Market Street, Pocomoke, Md. 21851.

Dec. 22: Support Group

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers Support Group meets from 3-4 p.m. at the Ocean Pines Library. Monthly meetings are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month.

Dec. 24: NOEL Dinner

The N.O.E.L. (Nothing Other than Eating and Loving) Community is excited to be able to provide food for locals for Christmas again this year on Christmas Eve between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon. Hot breakfast food will be provided along with some sweet treats and some festive Christmas music. N.O.E.L. volunteers will distribute bags of non-perishable foods filled with some traditional food items to prepare at home. These bags will be distributed at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church on 3rd Street. In addition to Christmas outreach, N.O.E.L. supports many local social service programs and food pantries throughout the year. If you would like to make a donation to the N.O.E.L. Community, please send donations to The N.O.E.L. Community c/o St. Paul's by the Sea at 302 N. Baltimore Avenue, Ocean City, Md. 21842.

Dec. 24: Candlelight Service

The Board of Directors invites the community to join for An 18th Century Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at Historic St. Martin's Church, 11413 Old Worcester Highway, Showell, at 3 p.m. with guest officiant The Rev. Carl Mosley, from St. Paul’s Berlin Parish. Complimentary parking.

Dec. 24: Musical Presentations

Christmas Eve services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will feature a musical presentation at 6:30 p.m. followed by a service at 7 p.m.

Dec. 30: Mayor’s New Year Event

Live music at 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Performing Arts Center, featuring the Greatest Piano Men celebrating the songs of Beethoven, Billy Joel, Elton John, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and more. Tickets at

Dec. 31: OC Fireworks

Bundle up and enjoy New Year’s Eve fireworks on the beach at N. Division Street.

Dec. 31: NYE Ball Drop In Berlin

5 p.m.-midnight. Laser light shows 5:15 p.m. and 11 p.m. Kids ball drop at 6 p.m. Live music, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dance party, 10 p.m.-midnight. Ball drop midnight.

Jan. 11: AARP Meeting


To Do activities are printed free of charge. To ensure that an event is listed in a timely manner, please submit information as early as possible, since all items will be listed in advance as space permits. Be sure to include the date, name of event, time, location, address and a contact number. Email to; fax to 410-641-0966; or mail to The Dispatch, P.O. Box 467, Berlin, Md. 21811.

Ocean City AARP Chapter 1917 will meet at 10 a.m. in the Ocean City Senior Center located on 41st Street and Coastal Highway. Please arrive early at 9:30 for a social half-hour and refreshments. Guest speaker will discuss diabetes. New members are welcome.

Page 46 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Resort Committee Eyes ‘Walk Smart’ Campaign Funding

OCEAN CITY – Efforts to revive a Walk Smart pedestrian safety campaign highlighted discussions at a resort committee meeting this week.

On Wednesday, members of the Ocean City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee met with Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) representative Christa Vinci to discuss plans for reviving a Walk Smart pedestrian safety campaign ahead of the summer season.

Council Secretary Tony DeLuca, committee liaison, said town officials were seeking grant funds to promote safe walking, biking and driving in Ocean City.

“We’re trying to resurrect it, piece by piece,” he said.

In 2013, following a rash of fatal pedestrian collisions, MDOT SHA, the Town of Ocean City and other local agencies launched an aggressive Walk Smart campaign aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian-involved incidents.

Using Cheswick the Crab as the campaign’s official mascot, messaging was plastered on signs, buses, drink coasters, hotel room placards and more, urging visitors to follow the rules of the road.

In recent years, however, the campaign has stalled. DeLuca told committee members this week he was hoping to revive the program.

“I want grant money for Walk Smart,” he said. “I want these signs in your face by spring.”

In an update this week, Vinci told committee members that MDOT SHA had lost its safety campaign funding during the pandemic.

She noted, however, that the town could seek funding through the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO).

“What the Maryland Highway Safety Office does do is administer grant-funded programs that address priority areas such as impaired driving prevention, distracted driving prevention, speeding, aggressive driving prevention, occupant protection, and safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, young and older drivers,” she explained. “Sometimes when you get in with the right person, at the right time, at the right place, you get just what you are looking for.”

Vinci noted, for example, that a MHSO grant for $39,000 was recently awarded to the Ocean City Police Department.

When asked if that funding was still available, Lt. Allen Hawk, committee member, said it had already been allocated.

“The monetary figure that was given to us was for enforcement action,” he explained.

Vinci told committee members the town could seek additional funding to revive the Walk Smart program. City Engineer Paul Mauser, however, argued that MDOT SHA should be running the campaign.

“SHA originally headed up the whole pedestrian, Walk Smart campaign because it was a Coastal Highway prob-

lem,” he said. “Deaths are occurring on Coastal Highway, a state right-of-way. What we were looking for was for State Highway to run this program.”

DeLuca, however, acknowledged that MDOT SHA would not provide the town with funding to conduct a Walk Smart campaign.

To that end, he proposed the town seek grant funds to relaunch the campaign itself.

“What can we do? What grant money can we get?” he said. “We want to do inyour-face kind of things.”

In 2022, the police department has reported 13 bicycle collisions, 24 pedestrian collisions and two pedestrian fatalities. Law enforcement officials told committee members this week that most pedestrian collisions did not result in serious injury.

“All things considered, with the population that came into town this summer, I

think we did very well with just having 24 collisions,” Hawk said. “Historically, we have averaged 24 a year since 2015.”

DeLuca, however, said several serious pedestrian incidents along Coastal Highway over the last two years highlighted the need for a Walk Smart campaign.

“Last year, there were three or four that were just awful …,” he recalled. “I said let’s do something about it.”

DeLuca told committee members he was hoping to see Walk Smart messaging on the town’s municipal bus fleet, on airplane banners and on a Route 50 billboard.

“Those three things I just gave you are really not that much money,” he said.

Vinci said that while MHSO has grant funding opportunities, the agency had received no inquiries from Ocean City about a Walk Smart campaign. She en-

couraged officials to apply for an upcoming grant.

“Ocean City has not asked MHSO for a dime,” she said.

Hawk told committee members this week the town could work with other agencies to seek grant funding and relaunch the Walk Smart program.

“I think it would behoove everybody to get the Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, the tourism board, Worcester County and Ocean City, plus the health department, all on board somehow to form a combined front …,” he said. “It might be helpful to have an inquiry meeting to get all organizations on the same page.”

DeLuca added that he would also reach out to Wayne Pryor, the town’s grants coordinator.

“I’ll talk to Wayne, see how much money we need and get these projects done,” he said.

December 9, 2022 Page 47 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Outgoing Planning Commissioner Saluted For 24-Year Stint

OCEAN CITY – Long-time resident, business owner and Planning Commission member Lauren Taylor was feted this week by her colleagues and the mayor for her 24 years of service.

Taylor has served on the planning commission for nearly a quarter of a century, helping ushering Ocean City through two decades-plus of significant growth and change while keeping a watchful eye on the resort’s traditional look and feel and the quality of life for residents.

Taylor’s 24 years of service on the planning commission is trumped only by Planning Commission Chair Pam Buckley, who has sat at the dais in the council chambers with her for decades. Planning commissioners have come and gone over the years, but Buckley and Taylor, along with other current members Palmer Gillis and Joel Brous, for example, have been constants.

Before the commission delved into the handful of rather innocuous site plan approval requests on Tuesday’s agenda, Buckley said she wanted to take a few minutes to recognize her long-time colleague.

“First, we’re going to be honoring one of our very loyal and very good members of this commission for 24 years, Lauren Taylor,” she said.

Planning Commissioner Palmer Gillis said he also appreciated Taylor’s service

and the knowledge he has gleaned from her during his long service on the commission.

“I appreciate the knowledge I have obtained from you while working on the planning commission,” he said. “Whether you were sitting in the audience on a few occasions or sitting on this side of the table, it’s been a pleasure. I’m pretty sure we didn’t agree on some things. At least there was a lot of respect from this side going that way. I’m not going to attest if it came back the other way.”

Buckley said Taylor brought a unique perspective to the planning commission and praised her colleague for bringing her extensive knowledge of the history of the resort to the table.

“There have been many, many times over the years when you’ve stepped up and taken the lead up here,” she said. “It’s been a pleasure for all of us who sit up here and worked with you. I wish you all the best because you have given a lot over the years, not just on this commission, but on the many committees and boards and other organizations, and, of course, your philanthropy.”

Mayor Rick Meehan was also on hand on Tuesday and presented a key to the city to Taylor. Over the course of 24 years on the commission, Taylor and her fellow board members have reviewed countless site plans, development projects, proposed code changes and other tasks, often long into the night on occasion.

“Lauren, on behalf of the Mayor and Council, I’d like to thank you for 24 years of service to the town of Ocean City,” he said. “When you look back at 24 years on the planning commission, it’s not all just site plans and things like that. It’s comprehensive plans, it’s taking a look at the entire city and mapping out the future. That’s a Herculean task and it’s something you’ve done so well for 24 years.”

Meehan also praised Taylor for her service on numerous other boards and commissions and her vast contributions to the town in so many other ways.

“You brought a lot of history to the board too, and what you know about Ocean City and your family being here for so many years,” he said. “It’s important that we continue to move forward, but it’s also important to look back and see where we were. That’s very important, but sometimes that gets lost and you really helped bring that perspective to this commission.”

For her part, Taylor also said having grown up in Ocean City and her family’s history, she brought a unique perspective to the commission.

“It’s been a pleasure and an honor to serve the citizens of Ocean City,” she said. “My family has been here since 1882 and I have saltwater in my veins. It’s been a pleasure to help develop his city in a responsible way that benefits the citizens and contributes to the quality of life.”

Page 48 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
At this week’s planning commission meeting, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan presented key to the city to outgoing member Lauren Taylor. Photo by JR Harmon

Group Files Petition On 10-Knot Rule

OCEAN CITY – While a long-term decision on a proposed rule change to reduce offshore speed limits for recreational and commercial vessels to further protect endangered North Atlantic right whales hangs in the balance, a national environmental advocacy group this week filed an emergency rulemaking petition urging the federal government to institute the change immediately.

In an effort to save endangered North Atlantic right whales, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed a 10knot speed restriction for recreational and commercial vessels 35 feet in length or greater, down from the current 65 feet. The proposed rule change would expand the go-slow zones to include virtually the entire East Coast out to a 90-mile radius and extend the zone restrictions as long as seven months out of the year.

NOAA’s public comment period on the proposed rule change expired last month and no final order has yet been handed down. However, the national environmental advocacy group Oceana this week filed an emergency rulemaking petition seeking an immediate implementation of the proposed 10-knot rule.

Oceana filed the emergency petition this week because no final rule change has yet been established and the North Atlantic right whale calving season as begun up and down the east coast. Oceana’s petition was sent to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Assistant Administrator Janet Coit demanding immediate action on the proposed 10-knot rule change.

“We are sounding the alarm for our government to step in and establish immediate protections for North Atlantic right whales during the calving season,” said Oceana Campaign Director Gib Brogan. “As the nation’s stewards of our oceans, it is Secretary Raimondo’s responsibility to take action to protect these critically endangered whales. These whales are faced with a number of life-threatening perils along their journey. Boat collisions and entanglement in fishing gear remain the top two causes of death for the species. While broader and permanent safeguards are desperately needed, the government must take immediate action now to protect these mothers and their newlyborn calves today.”

The emergency petition filed by Oceana calls for the federal government to bypass the rule-change process and take immediate action to implement the 10-knot rule up and down the East Coast, including off the coast of Ocean City. It’s important to note the proposed 10-knot rule change, if implemented by NOAA, would be in effect off the mid-Atlantic coast until May 31.

“Every North Atlantic right whale birth offers a chance for recovery of this critically endangered species,” Brogan said. “With birth rates low and continued deaths from human causes, the window for being able to turn the tide for these whales is frighteningly narrow. Our government has the necessary tools to give them a fighting chance for survival and it should implement them immediately.”

While no one is arguing with attempts to save the critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, the proposed rule change could severely damage the local fishing industry. While the proposed rule change would only be in effect from Nov. to May 31, which is just on the shoulders of the recreational fishing season locally, the 10-knot rule could be applied at any time by NOAA if a right whale is spotted in the fishing grounds off the coast.

The local fishing community, along with fishing advocacy groups up and down the East Coast, from the beginning have railed against the proposed 10-knot rule change. While all agree protecting the endangered species is important, there is limited data suggesting vessel strikes are contributing to mortality rates.

According to NOAA, the latest estimate puts the entire North American right whale population at around 350, including fewer than 100 breeding females. The right whales migrate up and down the East Coast and in and out of the fishing grounds and shipping lanes at different times during the year to their known calving grounds in more shallow and warmer climates.

However, fishing advocates have said the data doesn’t suggest vessel strikes are the primary cause of the whale’s mortality rates. For example, according NOAA’s own data, there have only been 12 lethal right whale vessel strikes since 2008, five of which have come from vessels under 35 feet. From NOAA’s own data, the chance of a vessel striking a right whale, considering the sheer volume of boat traffic in the prescribed zones for the rule change, is about one in a million.

Locally, virtually all of the fishing grounds frequented by recreational and commercial fishermen would fall under the 10-knot rule. Operating a vessel at a maximum of 10 knots would add several hours to a typical charter or private fishing trip, trips that already often take much of the day.

Charters that target billfish, tuna and mahi, for example, often travel nearly 100 miles to reach the canyons offshore and leave well before sunrise and return in the evening. It’s often a three-hour-plus ride to reach the offshore canyons without any 10-knot maximum speed in place. To put it in perspective, one knot is equal to around 1.15 miles per hour. So, 10 knots would be a little over 11 miles per hour.

December 9, 2022 Page 49 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch


Lawrence William Gisriel

SELBYVILLE – Lawrence William Gisriel, age 75, of Selbyville, Del., died Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, at home. He was born in Baltimore and was the son of William Gisriel and the late Audrey (Redifer) Gisriel.

He had worked for Bethlehem Steel in Sparrows Point, Md. for 33 years.

Ray Tyndall 0331 Machine Gunner, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment 1968-1972.

Allen and Carol left Berlin and moved to Cody, Wyoming in 2008 to be involved in the lives of their daughters and grandchildren. Allen found great satisfaction in his plant operations position at Cody Regional Health Hospital in Cody. He loved time with family, panning for gold, fishing, hunting, and picking a direction to drive for the day to explore the beauty of God’s country.

Kathleen Hardester

WEST OCEAN CITY – Kathleen Hardester, 65, passed away at her home in West Ocean City on Nov. 30, 2022.

He is survived by his father, William Gisriel of New Port Richey, Fla.; his wife, Cherlyn M. Gisriel of Selbyville; a daughter, Nancy McHugh (Fred) of Catonsville, Md.; a son, Ken Gisriel (Anne-Marie) of Columbia, Md.; a brother, Michael A. (Mickey) Gisriel (Dolores) of Florisant, Colo.; three grandsons, Kyle Gisriel, Justin Gisriel and Cameron McHugh; and many nieces and nephews.

Services will be held at a later date.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Worcester County Humane Society, P.O. Box 48, Berlin, MD 21811 or to Roxana Vol. Fire Co. Ladies Auxiliary, 35943 Zion Church Road, Frankford, DE 19945.

Condolences may be sent by visiting

Allen Ray Tyndall

BERLIN – Allen Ray Tyndall (age 72) died peacefully surrounded by family on November 25, 2022, in Salisbury, Maryland.

Born in Chicoteague, Va., to Thomas S. Tyndall Jr. & Margaret E. Tyndall Lauer, Allen grew up in Berlin. He is survived by two daughters, Amy I. Tyndall, and Allison Rae Tyndall-Kemppainen; four adored grandchildren, Kelly I. Eckert (15), Emily A. Eckert (14), Oliver D. Kemppainen (8) and Emilia R. Kemppainen (6); and four siblings, Gloria J. Watts, Barbara A. Oltman (John), Thomas S. Tyndall III (Claire), and Richard Tyndall (Evelyne).

Allen was preceded in death by his parents, sister Toni T. Pajak in 2019, and wife Carol L. Tyndall who passed away on Oct. 15, 2022.

Immediately after graduating Stephen Decatur High School in 1968, Allen joined the United States Marine Corps and was awarded two Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam. Allen

Allen made many friends and purposefully decided every morning to make today “a good day”. He intentionally beautified the space around him wherever he was. He loved telling jokes, telling stories, and wearing his cowboy hat.

A beautiful celebration of life was held for both Allen & Carol on Tuesday Nov. 29, 2022, at Burbage Funeral Home in

Born on July 31, 1957, she married the late Michael Hardester Sr on November 1, 1975. She is survived by her mother, Barbara Gerard; her children Shannon and Michael Jr. and his wife Michelle; her grandchildren Justin and Joseph; her brother Robert and his wife Susan; and countless other friends and family. If you knew her, you know she lived life to the fullest. No funeral arrangements at this time. A celebration of life will be announced in the coming weeks.

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

dreamfest planned For mlk Weekend

OCEAN CITY – The Town of Ocean City will present the first-ever Dreamfest on Martin Luther King Weekend on Jan. 13-15, 2023.

The three-day music event will be held at the Ocean City Performing Arts Center, taking guests through the decades of the '50s, '60s and '70s with musical acts The B.B. King Experience featuring Claudette King, Thomas McClary's the Commodores, and The Spinners.

"We want to celebrate Rhythm and Blues while also honoring the civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr., along with the history this holiday weekend represents," said Tom Perlozzo, Director of Tourism and Business Development. "Dreamfest will deliver the soulful sounds and rhythm of the voices of the past while also celebrating the dream of the late, great Dr. King."

Friday, Jan. 13 will kick off the weekend with The B.B. King Experience featuring Claudette King. The

daughter of a blues legend will take you back to the '50s while bringing her enthusiasm inspired by her father. Then, Saturday will surely get you grooving with the R&B funk of Thomas McClary's The Commodores. As an original member of The Commodores, McClary has been known to push the boundaries of genre and provide a live performance that is unparalleled with anything else today.

Last but not least, Dreamfest will conclude on Sunday, Jan. 15, with The Spinners. Henry Farmbrough will lead his original Philadelphia group into classics such as "Could it Be I'm Falling in Love" and "Working My Way Back to You." Decades later, this multi-Grammy Winning soul group will have you singing and dancing all night long.

Tickets for Dreamfest can be purchased at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center or by visiting

Page 50 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
LAWRENCE ALLEN R. TYNDALL Berlin followed by a graveside service at Evergreen Cemetery in Berlin.
8th street & philadelphia ave. 410-289-4891 • open year-round every day 8th st. liquors open every day Santacon Kick-Off Party Friday, Dec. 9: 7 p.m. Beats By Deogee $5 Orange Crushes Saturday, 9:30 p.m.: The Bills MONDAY: ALL DAY/NIGHT Happy Hour Wings (Some Flavors Not Available) TUESDAY: ALL DAY/NIGHT $2 Beef, Pork Or Chicken Tacos $3 Tecate WEDNESDAY: ALL DAY/NIGHT 1/2-Price-1/2-Pound Hand-Pattied Burgers (Some Burgers Do Not Apply) (Food Specials With Purchase Of BeverageSome Restrictions Apply) WE HAVE THE NFL SUNDAY TICKET Happy Hour During All NFL Games 34 TVs & Big Screen In Surround Sound (Monday & Thursday Nights IncludedSpecials During NFL Games Only) Sunday 9:30pm Beats By Deogee Late Night Happy Hour Drinks Monday 9:30pm Karaoke w/ Wood $2 Natty Lights $3 Grenades 10pm Tuesday 9:30pm Beats By Wax $4 Seltzers $4 Deep Eddy Shots 10pm Wednesday Weekly Select Craft Beer 6pm Beats By Deogee 9:30pm Thursday 9:30pm Beats By Wax $2.50 Domestics $3 Grenades $4 White Tea Shots 10pm HAPPINESS HAPPY HOUR MONDAY-FRIDAY 3-6PM
December 9, 2022 Page 51 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch The Landings at Bayside Townhomes West Ocean City, MD Scan the QR code to join the VIP list and get this exclusive pricing before we open to the public next month! The lowest priced new townhomes with an included 2-car garage, minutes from OCMD. Amenities include kayak launch, crabbing pier, and more. VIP Pricing Now Starting from $399,990

Letters To The Editor

Berlin Christmas Parade Donors, Volunteers Thanked


On behalf of the Town of Berlin, we would like to thank our sponsors who gave generously to support the 51st Annual Berlin Christmas Parade this year. Their generosity has enabled us to continue this important tradition enjoyed by the entire community. We could not have this parade without their support.

Our sponsors this year were Taylor Bank, Hunan Chinese Restaurant, Bradley Atlantic Insurance Management, Bank of Ocean City, Poole Contracting and Consulting, Gold Crafts, Harrington Graphics, Delaware Backhoe Service, Esham Family Properties, Berlin Oral Surgery, Carey Insurance Group, Action Island, DePalma Dental, T&G Builders, World of Toys, The Dispatch, Henry Fine Arts, The Dusty Lamb and Uncle Willie’s Berlin Food Mart.

Thank you to our amazing volunteers who stood out in the cold for hours donating your time so our community could celebrate all the magic and wonder that is the Berlin Christmas Parade. This parade doesn’t happen without the support of Town of Berlin staff, police and a variety of outside agencies who continually offer us unyielding support. Thank you.

Shameful Actions By County


While visiting Ocean City for Thanksgiving, an article about needed homeless shelters for the winter here in Worcester County prompted me to write this letter to the editor in thinking about the meaning of Thanksgiving Day, Giving Tuesday and the holiday season as a whole.

Worcester County is moving ahead with citations to residents of White Horse Park (WHP) for living full-time in what they are saying is a seasonally restricted community. For over 40 years, these restrictions were not enforced by the county nor the WHP Board of Directors (BOD). One person initiated this debacle by banging on Commissioner Jim Bunting's door in 2016. The board received a letter in 2017, nothing was said to the residents of WHP as they had turned a blind eye to it also. Then, in June 2018, Jim Bunting visited a WHP BOD meeting and vowed to enforce these antiquated regulations. A fouryear fight ensued, with a grassroots effort within the community reaching out to a local attorney to help. Meetings occurred with the Worcester County Planning Commission and in one such meeting, a board of directors member from Worcester County's Assateague Point with the same exact regulations was asked, "do you have full-timers liv-

ing at Assateague Point?" His answer was "Yes, they send a letter each year." But the regulations are not enforced by a BOD or Worcester County.

According to the regs, homeowners can only visit their property 60 days aggregate from Oct. 1 to March 31. These people pay full taxes, own the property lots and have been issued permits to build permanent foundation homes in WHP and Assateague Point. You can go on VRBO or Airbnb right now and reserve a rental for four to six months in the winter at Assateague Point. Why is White Horse Park being issued citations which can amount to $1,000 a day for noncompliance when Assateague Point is not? Well, according to Jennifer Keener, director, Worcester Development, Review and Permitting, because WHP entered a settlement agreement. They had no choice. But now the Board of Directors at WHP is submitting a monthly security gate count to the county. This is the only way the county would know who is there and who isn't. Last time I looked this was a free country. They pay their taxes, keep their homes up, and just try to live their lives. My mother is a 100% disabled person; she is facing a fourth back surgery at Johns Hopkins in 2023. She's put three offers on three homes, but none were accepted in a housing market that has skyrocketed in home sale prices and interest rates. She is in chronic pain, her pain management doctor has documented her chronic pain and mobility issues and it's all gone to the county. Yet the WHP BOD will send her name along with a few others to the county if she's there after Dec. 1 to be fined $1,000 a day. Is this what this country is coming to? Disaster, loss of home and homelessness for elderly, disabled folks? Merry Christmas.

A Third World Resort?


What’s the point of having a council if you have committees? I mean come on. So far? The council and mayor are as useless as the current administration. So far? The council and mayor are holding the potential of Ocean City back with chains and a choke collar. Ocean City is becoming a third world resort because of the political climate of certain corrupt politicians of Worcester County. Nothing has changed in the resort. Besides higher taxes, more useless policies and criminals beating up locals. You’re paying more taxes and getting beat up for it.

The city council and the mayor have a better chance knocking over a mouse then actually improving 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 or faxed to 410-641-0966.

Page 52 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

The Dispatch

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






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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 $260 per year.

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.

How We See It

County Ends Sports Complex For Now

It only took a matter of hours for the new slate of Worcester County Commissioners to effectively squash a sports complex. Once the election came and went, it was clear the sports complex, as proposed, would be abandoned, but it was mildly surprising it happened at the group’s first meeting.

Calling it “premature,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic asked his colleagues to at least allow the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) to present its study update and funding proposal before shutting down the process. Mitrecic said it would have been a reasonable course in this case to listen to the state before voting to end it altogether, but the commissioners now in power sent a clear message Tuesday. The commissioners for ending the sports complex process largely oppose the effort because it involves public funding.

We believe the only way a sports complex will ever be built in Worcester County is with some sort of public-private partnership, which will likely require some government funding and/or financing. This set of commissioners is opposed to any county fiscal involvement.

While we are not opposed to public funds being used in the name of economic development, our biggest problem with the most recent sports complex effort was two-fold – the site and the process.

The problematic location next to the high school is just too much to overlook. Officials could not have selected a worse site in our opinion because of all the unknowns. The Town of Berlin, which will be impacted the most by the project, was never approached because county officials said all along there was nothing to discuss yet.

The lack of a process along the way and the absence of a private operator identified to manage it also hurt the effort. Reports of the MSA funding 80% with the Town of Ocean City and a private property potentially picking up the rest of the development costs only surfaced this week. These sorts of funding discussions should have been held and made public already.

A sports complex will never happen here without some sort of county government involvement. For instance, DE Turf is owned and operated by the Kent County Regional Sports Complex Corporation, a non-profit governed by a volunteer board. The county leases the 84 acres of land for $1 a year for 60 years with the main motivation behind the deal being economic development. This sweetheart deal and some public service provided to the grounds is largely the extent of the county’s involvement but the nature of the bargain makes it a partner in the complex.

This current group of commissioners would oppose any public funds or involvement like the DE Turf deal being spent on this effort. This discussion is over, for at least the next four years.

Between The Lines

In the coming months the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will be getting a lot of attention. Last year the Maryland General Assembly passed this sweeping legislation outlining where public education must go over the next decade. The intentions of the legislation seem sound on the surface, but it comes with tremendous pressure on local school systems that will need to find the dollars to meet the education reform’s suggestions.

In Worcester County, which annually gets among the lowest share of state funding, there are major budget concerns involving this legislation. While the changes come with alterations to the per pupil funding formulas across the state, it’s feared the adaptations outlined could actually hurt Worcester because of its relatively low enrollment compared to other jurisdictions and perceived wealth based on long inadequate evaluations.

There are five general focus areas outlined in the legislation – early childhood education expansion, increasing teacher salaries, a renewed emphasis on college and career readiness by the end of students’ 10th grade year, expanded resources and services to the most vulnerable students and the creation of an oversight board to monitor the legislation’s implementation. The Blueprint for Maryland is one of these state mandates that will place a tremendous burden on local school systems. It’s expected to come with a state funding bump but Worcester County expects the mandate to largely unfunded by the state.

A key component of the package involves teacher salaries. By 2027-28, the minimum salaries for all teachers must be $60,000. In Worcester County, starting teacher salaries depend on education. But, according to the negotiated agreement with the Worcester County Teachers Association for the current fiscal year, first-year teachers graduating from college with a standard Bachelor’s Degree start at $47,795. According to the salary scale, which ranges from step one to step 16 and provisional non-degree to doctorate degree individuals, teacher pay fluctuates greatly, as expected, based on level of education and years of service. Included in the negotiated agreement is a statement the Board of Education is committed to increasing teacher salaries and “the focus will include increased lifetime earnings for all teachers.” The accord refers to “a multi-year effort to fully implement a mutually agreed upon solution.”

The commitment appears to be there on the local front, but the Blueprint from the state sets an ambitious timeline. Using the current first-year teacher salaries figures and the stated goal of $60,000 for first-year teachers within five years, the county will need to increase starting teacher pay by 25% to meet the mandate. This is great for young teachers, but the worry now is at what cost this will come for the taxpayers. This will be an ongoing story in the months to come.

On New Year’s Eve, there will now be fireworks in downtown and uptown Ocean City due to a decision this week by the Mayor and Council. The council voted to spend about $17,000 to return fireworks to Northside Park to ring in the new year and celebrate the official end to Winterfest of Lights.

This seems like a good move for Ocean City as the north-end New Year’s fireworks show was popular for numerous years. It will be interesting to compare the crowd sizes at the two displays. The weather will surely play a factor but seems to me the Northside Park crowd could be far bigger than the downtown beach because Winterfest will be open late and there are more year-round residents in the north end.

Special events provide easy opportunities to truly reflect and marvel over Berlin’s ongoing renaissance. During the Ice Ice Berlin event on Friday, Nov. 25 and the annual Christmas Parade on Thursday, Dec. 1, town streets, restaurants and stores were packed with thousands of people. Numbers like 10,000 people have been estimated as attending each event. Having been on a parade float last Thursday, I think that’s an accurate number of guests and doesn’t even account for the participants from local schools who were in the parade and those inside establishments.

Though the events were huge draws, Berlin is even a hot small town on regular workdays like Thursday. During a quick run to the bank yesterday, there was nary a parking spot to find anywhere. The secret is certainly out about Berlin, and regional and national media appear to be noticing. Berlin and Ocean City were among eight Maryland sites featured on the Travel Awaits website this week. Last month, another website – – featured Berlin with photos and a writeup.

The website read, “Christmas towns aren’t just for Hallmark movies. The following Christmas town in Maryland is full of charm, from its horse-drawn carriage rides to its festive events. This little town is known for its close-knit atmosphere, making for a welcoming community full of friendly folks. Feeling holly jolly? Then head to the Town of Berlin, Maryland for some holiday cheer. This town in Maryland's eastern region is full of charm, with lovely local shops, restaurants, and a welcoming atmosphere. During the holiday season, Berlin transforms into an even more enchanting area with festive decor, including a downtown Christmas tree; the yearly Christmas tree lighting is always a festive time, with holiday-themed ice sculptures; you also won't want to miss out on the horse-drawn carriage rides, which are a unique way to explore the downtown area; even the Berlin Welcome Center gets in on the action ... and inside, you can drop-off letters for Santa. If you happen to visit Berlin after Christmas, stick around for New Year's Eve. There are two ball drops, one earlier for the kids, and another one later at midnight. How special!”

December 9, 2022 Page 53 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Puzzle Answers

Monday was a doozie, reminding me Autism can be sad, frustrating and emotional.

The day started fine for Carson, our 12-year-old special needs son with a complicated diagnosis that most simplistically can be referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The term spectrum is perfect because the severity of the disabilities spans a wide range, and each day can look different.

My goal each morning is to get Carson to school in a good mental and emotional space. Everything is geared toward him in the morning. I focus on what I can control. Getting him to school in a good place is critical to me. On Monday, I screwed up. I couldn’t find his glasses when it was time to leave for school. We left home without them to keep on time. Pam texted from work where they were, and I should have turned around to come home. Carson insisted he was fine without them. Once we got to the school door, he changed his mind. Back home we went for the glasses. All was fine and he didn’t seem bothered by being a few minutes later, but I had messed up his routine. He did not have a good day and I take some responsibility for it.

As far as school goes these days, there are days when everything goes well. We celebrate those days. We like hearing from his education team he was at peace all day, worked hard and was engaged.

Most commonly, there are days summed up best as mixed. There are a few instances of minor unfortunateness mixed in with largely expected behaviors. While not celebrated, these days are perfectly acceptable, and we praise Carson’s ability to get back on track after poor judgments.

At least a few times a month, there are bad days at school. These are tough for everyone involved, including teachers, classmates, Carson and his par-

ents. When I see a certain phone number or two pop up on my screen, I cringe because it’s going to involve information that’s tough to hear. We need to know about the update, and we appreciate our good-hearted and well-intentioned team at school, but I would be lying if I embraced the ringing phone because I know it’s bad news. Monday was one of those bad days that leaves Pam and I at a loss for words.

I like to keep things simple in life, but Carson’s life is complicated. We wish we could just love away all his disabilities or at least always keep him calm and happy. I don’t pray for a cure to fix him. I pray for our strength and patience to help guide Carson in a productive direction. I pray for Carson to have a flexible brain and understand the gravity of his actions. I abhor the disability and admit to carrying resentment for it. I love the kid and wish that was enough to right everything in his world. It’s just not enough. It’s a tough reality to accept.

While doing some online research about Autism, puberty, medicine, teen behaviors and the like, I like to think a higher order – not an online metric -worked to bring peace. A webpage from surfaced containing “20 Quotes About Autism That We Love.” It contained some profound statements that I needed to hear on an emotionally exhausting day. Here are a few to share.

“Patience. Patience. Patience. Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. It may be true that I’m not good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on other people? Also true that I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan. But with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh.” –

“Don’t think that there’s a different, better child ‘hiding’ behind the autism. This is your child. Love the child in front of you. Encourage his strengths, celebrate his quirks, and improve his weaknesses, the way you would with any child.” – Claire Scovell LaZebnik

“Cherish the children marching to the beat of their own music. They play the most beautiful heart songs.” – Fiona Goldsworthy

“Autistic people are individuals. We are not all math geniuses, we don’t all like trains. I am hopeless with technology and much prefer painting. There is no ‘typical Autistic.’ But I think we probably all like being respected and validated.” – Jeanette Purkis

“Presume intelligence with all children with autism. Presume all of them are hearing you.” – Lori Shayew

“Children with autism are very observant so they will notice everything, including your attitude toward them.” –Trevor Pacelli

“When a family focuses on ability instead of disability, all things are possible . . . Love and acceptance is key. We need to interact with those with autism by taking an interest in their interests.” – Amanda Rae Ross

“Empowering your young person is the key to giving them the skills they need to live an independent life. If you do things for them that they could learn or even do for themselves by themselves, then you are DISEMPOWERING your young person.” – Tom Iland

“There’s a saying within the Autism community: if you’ve met one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism … Within this condition, beneath this label, the variety of personality, of humor, of behavior, is infinite.”

(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

Page 54 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Ellen Notbohm
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December 9, 2022 Page 55 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch
Page 56 December 9, 2022 The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch