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The Dispatch February 26, 2021

Priceless

Serving Greater Delmarva Since 1984

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Sunset Delight: Various shades of purple covered Ocean City during, before and after the sunset hour on Monday.

Photo by Chris Parypa

Ocean City To Weigh Drone Shows

Animal Control Changes Promised

Road Project Tops OC Capital Plan

See Page 4 • File Photo

See Page 6 • Submitted Photo

See Page 20 • File Photo by Chris Parypa


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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

SERVING DELMARVA FOR NEARLY 60 YEARS

February 26, 2021


February 26, 2021

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Special Events Plan Leads To Talk Of Possible Drone Shows

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BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Among the takeaways from Tuesday’s lengthy discussion about planned special events this summer was a possible shift in the strategy to embrace the town’s weekend destination market and the potential of adding elaborate drone shows to the lineup. Should Ocean City embrace its spontaneous weekend destination image or continue to go after the traditional week or two-week vacation market? Have the weekly fireworks shows become tired and stale and should the town go after bold new ideas for added-value special events such as the elaborate drone shows that have become the rage around the country?

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Those were just a couple of the major talking points during Tuesday’s marathon work session, which veered at times in more of a philosophical discussion than the nuts and bolts of TEAM Productions representative Bob Rothermel’s presentation of the planned value-added special events for this summer. The list of special events is largely contingent on where the state is by summer in terms of COVID restrictions such as crowd-gathering sizes, for example. “We tried to take into account the what-ifs and where we think we’ll be in terms of COVID restrictions,” said Rothermel. Rothermel and TEAM Productions each year produces a wide variety of special events from weekly fireworks shows up north at Sundaes in the Park and weekly beach fireworks in the down-

town area at the Boardwalk to concerts on the beach and other special events with a budget of around $300,000 from the town. The plan presented to the Mayor and Council included a budget increased to around $380,000 with significant new events added. The plan calls for kicking off Memorial Day weekend with the popular giant flag on the beach on both Friday of the holiday weekend and actual Memorial Day Monday. Included in the Memorial Day plan is a Beacon of Light display shining into the resort sky all weekend honoring the men and women who lost their lives in the service of their country. The Memorial Day plans also include honoring the many men and women on the front lines of the COVID pandemic over the last year. In early June, the special events plan

February 26, 2021

includes a series of kid-friendly drive-in movies at the Inlet lot along with a weekend-long drive-in concert series also at the Inlet lot. The plan presented on Tuesday also includes a series of socalled mini-concerts on the beach throughout the summer, a major ticketed concert at the Art-X event at Northside Park and another major ticketed concert at the beach at North Division Street in late August with an as-yet-unnamed national act. The planned special events culminate with the popular OCtoberfest events next fall. Throughout the summer, the plan calls for the weekly Sundaes in the Park fireworks at Northside Park and the weekly fireworks shows downtown at the Boardwalk on Thursday nights. At the tourism commission level earlier this month, it was decided the Boardwalk fireworks should go off at 9:30 p.m. and that remains the consensus. Last year, it was decided to move the Boardwalk fireworks to Thursday as a kick-off to jumpstart the weekend. Of course, the pandemic took hold and the benefits of moving the fireworks to Thursday was never realized. While all agreed the Sundaes in the Park fireworks should remain in place, the discussion on Tuesday gravitated to whether the Boardwalk fireworks were still relevant and should some new bold idea be embraced, such as the elaborate drone shows that are popping up around the country. Most agreed scheduling special events on Thursday was a good idea to jumpstart the weekend, but there was no consensus if fireworks should continue to be the catalyst for that jumpstart. Are Fireworks Still Relevant? The plan presented on Tuesday includes 12 weekly fireworks shows at Sundaes in the Park and nine weekly shows on Thursdays downtown that would be fewer than the traditional number but larger in scale and duration. However, Councilman John Gehrig questioned if the downtown fireworks were still relevant. “The weekly fireworks started because we were in the midst of a recession,” he said. “I think the fireworks are getting old and stale. Sundaes in the Park is an event that culminates with the fireworks. Thursdays on the beach just seems kind of random. They’re not related to any special event.” Gehrig was bullish on the upcoming summer season with COVID metrics declining and state restrictions easing little by little. “This is going to be a great season,” he said. “I’m not sure we need a lot of value-added free stuff. I would much rather be bold and do something different.” Special Events Director Frank Miller explained the Thursday downtown fireworks shows would be fewer, but larger and longer, and how they tie into other established special events downtown. “The concept for the Thursday fireSEE PAGE 24


February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 5


Worcester Officials Promise Tougher Animal Control Laws Page 6

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

February 26, 2021

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – Worcester County continues to work toward tightening its animal control laws as situations locally have raised concerns among citizens. As incidents in Pocomoke and Berlin have drawn criticism from those who believe the county’s animal control laws aren’t strong enough, Commissioner Josh Nordstrom says changes are being drafted. Various county departments are now working together to create more comprehensive animal control regulations. “I’m hoping we’ll get this brought to a satisfying conclusion for everyone,” Nordstrom said. Nordstrom first brought up the issue of strengthening the county’s animal control laws in January, citing specific concerns about a dog breeding operation in Pocomoke. In the weeks since, citizens in the north end of the county have brought attention to a situation in Berlin where a dog did not have adequate shelter. “Whatever we’re doing isn’t working,” Nordstrom said. “It’s sort of an institutional failure.” At his suggestion, the commissioners voted to direct staff to begin exploring adjustments to animal control regulations in January. The county’s department of development review and permitting is working with Worcester County Animal Con-

Dogs are pictured leashed at a Pocomoke property that sparked the attention of local representatives.

trol as well as the sheriff’s office and state’s attorney to draft more comprehensive guidelines for the commissioners to consider. “We’re looking at this from a lot of different angles,” Nordstrom said. He added that the process would take time, however. “We want to get it right the first time, not create extra loopholes,” he said. In a Facebook post last week, Sheriff Matt Crisafulli offered similar assurances that departments were working together

to find a solution. “Our goal is to work in conjunction with these valuable entities, to create a county ordinance to supplement the state law regarding the care of our precious animals,” a post on the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page read. “We feel that there is a necessity to strengthen the current language to allow for more autonomy with the care and custody of our animals.” Worcester County resident Heather Melson believes it’s past time local ani-

Submitted Photo

mal control ordinances be strengthened. In a video she shared on Facebook last week she highlighted the living conditions of a dog in the Berlin area tied out in an area surrounded by standing water with very little shelter. “It’s awful,” she said. “It’s awful that Worcester County can’t do better.” Nordstrom wants constituents to know changes are on the way. “Negligence and animal cruelty will not be tolerated in Worcester County,” he said.


OC Noise Survey Likely To Lead To Ordinance Changes

February 26, 2021

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – The results of last summer’s Boardwalk noise survey have resulted in Ocean City considering revisions to its existing ordinance. Last summer, the Mayor and Council contracted with consultant RK&K to conduct noise readings at different times and locations on the Boardwalk to determine if the town’s noise ordinance needs to be amended. On Tuesday, RK&K consultant Kevin Hughes presented the detailed findings from noise tests conducted last August and made recommendations on potentially changing the noise ordinance as it pertains to the Boardwalk. The testing was aimed at addressing the ongoing issue with some of the Boardwalk street performers. “The goal was to differentiate standard normal activities and establish a baseline,” said Hughes. “Those baseline conditions can then be compared to other activities such as performances, for example.” Hughes also said the testing was done to determine prolonged exposure to decibel levels above the baseline. “We also wanted to determine a reasonable duration for noise levels above the established baseline level,” he said. “We wouldn’t want to penalize someone for briefly going over the baseline. This is more to determine a prolonged duration over the established baseline.” The consultant performed the Boardwalk sound measurements over the course of two separate occasions in August on a Tuesday night and a Saturday night in order to differentiate between weeknight and weekend noise levels. The measurements were recorded at 11 different sites from the Inlet to 21st Street. The sites were chosen to represent a variety of noise environments along the Boardwalk, with some chosen to establish baseline conditions and others chosen to capture a wide variety of noises on the Boardwalk, from street performers to restaurant background music to the ambient sounds of people going about their business and enjoying the amenities. For the busier, more densely developed section south of 12th Street, the average baseline sound level was around 64 decibels. For the quieter section north of 12th Street, the average baseline sound level was nearly 59 decibels. The consultant recommended an allowable decibel level above the established baseline by 11 decibels. For the area south of 12th Street, the acceptable daytime noise level above baseline should be 75 decibels, according to the consultant. For the area north of 12th Street, the acceptable daytime noise level above baseline should be 70 decibels. The consultant recommended a duration of 10 seconds. In other words, the duration of 10 seconds should be the standard when determining if noise 11 decibels above the baseline should be enforced. For example, a short burst of sound such as a car horn or a car backfiring would not neces-

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sarily be enforced. In addition, the consultant recommended an acceptable distance from which to enforce an amended noise ordinance at 15 feet in order to differentiate between ambient sound and other noises on the Boardwalk. The current noise ordinance as it pertains to the Boardwalk is 30 feet, but that did not survive a judicial test in a civil suit filed by a group of street performers against the town’s busker ordinance a few years ago. Councilman Tony DeLuca sought to clarify the consultant’s recommendations in simplest terms. “So, you’re recommending our noise limit be 11 decibels over baseline?” he said. “What is it now? It also sounds like you’re recommending a distance of 15 feet after establishing an acceptable baseline.” Councilman Mark Paddack praised

the consultant’s detailed findings and recommendations, but drew from his police officer background to raise some questions. “Nowhere in this report is there anything from a law enforcement perspective,” he said. “Our officers are not all trained in the use of this technical equipment. Officers can make observations based on experience because there is a lot of ambient noise on the Boardwalk.” Attorney Maureen Howarth, who worked with the consultant on the study, said law enforcement was taken into consideration during the process. “The Ocean City Police Department was invited to participate in the project,” she said. “The one concern was what would be enforceable. They were comfortable with where we were with officer enforcement.” Howarth added, “The 30-foot rule

Page 7

wasn’t thrown out in the federal court case. It was determined it wasn’t allowable without an established baseline. That’s what this project did.” Hughes said the consultants were cognizant of the possibility of uniformed police officers on hand when the sound measurements were taken because the performers would simply adjust their levels when the consultants were around. “At first, we didn’t want police officers to accompany us for that very reason,” he said. “What we found is they didn’t change their noise levels even if the saw us with police officers.” After some discussion, the council unanimously approved a motion to direct legal counsel to draft a revised noise ordinance as it pertains to the Boardwalk and present it to the police commission for a recommendation before it comes before the full council.


Berlin Eyes Sunday Street Closures For Farmers Market

Page 8

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – Town officials are hoping to close a section of Main Street on Sundays this year to allow for an expansion of the Berlin Farmers Market. The Berlin Town Council voted unanimously Monday to ask the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) for permission to close a piece of Main Street on Sundays during the farmers market, which runs from May through September. “Straddling, in essence, a state highway — Main Street — with the farmers market on Pitts and Commerce, it presented some challenges when it came to pedestrians crossing the roadway,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said. “By implementing a possible closure of Main Street

State Highway Needs To Approve

in this area it would help heighten the sense of security for people that are going to cross from one spot to another in search of their goods at the farmers market.” Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director, recounted the success of the 2020 Berlin Farmers Market. “Last season, we were faced with unprecedented challenges because of the pandemic,” Wells said, adding that the market had nevertheless found success after expanding its footprint to allow for more physical distancing. “At a time when the local grocery stores were running out of food the community could

depend on the ability to purchase local food, baked items, seafood and more right here in town, outside where it was safe.” Wells said pedestrian traffic more than doubled and the town’s brick and mortar businesses also began to benefit from the market, as several merchants set up wares on the sidewalks in front of their shops. “In what was a very sad and lonely time for many of us, the Berlin community spirit here in Berlin was thriving on Sundays,” she said. Wells said that because there was so much foot traffic, this year staff recommended closing Main Street — from

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Broad Street to the parking lot next to World of Toys — during the market. “We’d like to create a community gathering setting by also having the 13 café tables and 26 chairs awarded to us through grant funding to be placed on the shoulders of North Main Street to allow for additional seating and physical distancing,” Wells said. Council members didn’t object to the proposed road closure but voiced a few related concerns. Councilman Jack Orris said he wanted to make sure residents were aware of the closures, particularly since many attended church services on Sunday mornings when the market was taking place. Tyndall suggested a quarterly notice regarding potential closures related to events could be included with utility bills. Councilman Dean Burrell asked if the Berlin Fire Company had been consulted regarding the proposed street closure. Staff said it had not. “I think the fire department has an abundance of knowledge related to possibly traffic flow, related to time it takes to get to an emergency situation, and time it would take to go around a street closure,” Burrell said. “I would just think it’d be in our best interest as a town, in building a relationship with our fire department, to include their knowledge on the base planning of these events.” Tyndall said the fire company would be contacted. Councilman Jay Knerr asked if the farmers market layout would be condensed if participation waned in the early fall. “If the restrictions are lifted we can compact the farmers market to a smaller footprint,” Wells agreed. The council voted unanimously to ask SHA for approval for a closure of Main Street during the farmers market. Tyndall said the closure would help the market as well as the shops downtown. “The congregation around the farmers market could help provide some secondary economic benefits to our stores,” he said. “It’s really a public safety concern along with some additional secondary economic benefits hopefully for our businesses.”

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February 26, 2021

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Page 9


Homeless Woman Burned In Fire Schools Inviting All Students Back

Page 10

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

WEST OCEAN CITY – The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated a fire at a temporary dwelling in West Ocean City last weekend that resulted in burn injuries for one individual. Around 9 a.m. last Saturday, the Ocean City Fire Department received a 911 call about a reported structure in the woods along Elm Street in West Ocean City. Officials arrived and found a small temporary dwelling on fire and one individual with burns. The fire was quickly extinguished and the victim, a 46-year-

old homeless woman, was transported to the hospital for treatment. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the victim had returned to her makeshift shelter on Elm Street and was filling her kerosene heater when the fire occurred. According to the Fire Marshal’s Office, she received burns to her feet and hands as she attempted to extinguish the fire. The victim’s identity and status have been made known as of midweek. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause of the fire was due to the use of gasoline in a portable kerosene heater.

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NEWARK – Worcester County public schools will welcome back students fulltime March 8. On Tuesday, Superintendent Lou Taylor released a message advising parents Worcester County Public Schools would move into Stage 4 of its Responsible Return plan March 8. Stage 4 returns all students to full-time in-person learning. “This is truly an exciting time as we move back to what we consider normal learning,” Taylor said Tuesday. “We all know that nothing takes the place of in person learning. That teacher student contact is something that is so vital in a child’s learning process.” After virtual learning in November and December when COVID-19 positivity rates were high, the school system brought a first wave of students back to schools in mid-January. On Feb. 8, the rest of the school system’s students began in-person learning on an A week, B week rotation. With Taylor’s latest announcement, all students who have opted to return to in-person learning will do so March 8. Taylor acknowledged that with the influx of students, physical distancing would not be possible on buses. He encouraged parents who were able to transport their own children to school. “The change that you will see will be

February 26, 2021

kids sitting with others not necessarily from the same household,” Taylor said. “I can assure you our bus drivers and transportation personnel will make sure those buses are clean, disinfected and all students and adults are still wearing masks.” Taylor also thanked Worcester County Public Schools staff for their ongoing efforts during the pandemic. “I want to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to our teachers,” he said. “They have worked extremely hard, harder than I’ve ever seen them work in all my years in education.” He pointed out they were still preparing multiple lessons for in-person and virtual students. “They do it with such grace and professionalism,” he said. He asked parents to do their part by ensuring students observed “the 4 W’s” by staying home when sick, washing their hands, wearing their masks and watching their distance whenever possible. “Together we are making a big difference getting our students in front of their teachers,” he said. According to Carrie N. Sterrs, coordinator of public relations and special programs for the school system, approximately 80% of the county’s 6,650 students are expected to be enrolled for inperson learning on March 8 with the remainder (approximately 1,330) opting to stay with virtual instruction.


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February 26, 2021

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – Officials expect 2021 to be a busy year for the local child advocacy center as kids begin to return to school. Representatives of Worcester County’s child advocacy center said despite a decline in referrals during the pandemic, they expect that number to jump back up now that kids are again being seen by teachers and medical providers on a regular basis. “We know there will be much trauma on the other side of this,” said Wendy Myers, executive director of the Cricket Center. “Kids are now returning to school, they’re seeing teachers, medical professionals again. They are mandated reporters. These people have not had contact with kids for many, many months now.” Myers highlighted the importance of the Cricket Center, the Lower Shore’s only accredited child advocacy center, in a presentation to the Worcester County Commissioners last week. Though the facility remained open every day of the pandemic, Myers said statistics indicated many cases of child abuse likely went unreported during 2020. On average, the Cricket Center receives 85 referrals per month. In 2020, the center received 883 referrals, or about 74 a month. “From this we know there were probably 11 Worcester County children every month of 2020 who were maltreated, trapped with their maltreater, and their abuse was not reported to us,” Myers said. “We know next year will be tough as we begin to recover. The first two months of ‘21 have certainly been very busy for us now that kids are returning to school.” The Cricket Center works with a variety of partners — Atlantic General Hospital, local law enforcement, trauma therapists, family advocates and prosecutors — to respond to situations of child abuse. “We don’t want them to be lifelong victims,” said Deb Travers, president of the Cricket Center’s board of directors. “We want them to go back into the community and thrive in their community, give back to their community.”

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While high profile cases make headlines, Myers said there were so many children whose stories weren’t heard. The center plays a vital role in helping local children who find themselves in abusive situations. Funding, however, is always a struggle for the nonprofit. Myers said that the center’s annual budget of about $300,000 was typically funded with $10,000 from Worcester County, $14,700 from the Town of Ocean City, $100,000 from fundraisers and the remainder from grants. “Something that differentiates us, we are not reimbursed by insurance companies,” Travers said. “All of our funding is grants and the generosity of the community.” Adding to the financial challenges of the Cricket Center is its need for a larger facility, as it has outgrown its space on the Atlantic General Hospital campus. “We’ve been very fortunate that a benefactor has stepped forward and donated an acre of land to us here in Snow Hill which is going to be much more conducive to serve the children in Pocomoke City,” Travers said, adding it would also put the center in close proximity to law enforcement partners in the county seat. While the need for a new building wasn’t the focus of the presentation, she wanted the commissioners to be aware the center was planning for its future. Commissioners thanked Myers and Travers for the information and praised the Cricket Center’s efforts in the community. “Although all nonprofits serve the county in some form or fashion, I kind of think it’s more the commissioners’ obligation to work with you all and help you in the future move forward,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said. Commissioner Chip Bertino agreed. “I think the county and the people of this county do owe you the benefit of the services you provide for the kids that don’t necessarily have a voice and you’re giving them one,” he said. Commissioner Diana Purnell thanked the Cricket Center staff for their commitment to kids. “This has been a horrendous year, especially for our kids, the smallest of survivors,” she said. “I appreciate what you’re doing.”

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Official Resigns Amid ‘Unfortunate Situation For All Involved’

February 26, 2021

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

OCEAN PINES – The handling of a complaint against the Ocean Pines Association’s board president was called into question late last week following the resignation of a prominent department head. Last Tuesday, Director of Amenities and Operational Logistics Colby Phillips submitted her resignation, ending a nearly seven-year tenure with the Ocean Pines Association (OPA). The announcement came weeks after the association’s Board of Directors dismissed Phillips’ allegations that President Larry Perrone had violated Resolution B-08, which addresses director and officer ethics and misconduct. When reached for comment this week, Phillips said her departure was not a direct result of the board’s decision, but a multitude of factors. She declined to elaborate. “This was an unfortunate situation for all involved,” she said. “I am beyond grateful and humbled by the amount of community love and support I received. My hope from this is that people will get more involved in what is going on, as well as some deeper discussions from management on the handling of employee issues. I was fortunate that I was in a higher profile spot, in regards to the level of community support, but there are many faces who are not as known and need the same level of attention and care.” On Jan. 4, Phillips filed a complaint with the association’s human resources director against Perrone. In a virtual board meeting last Saturday, Jeremy Tucker, OPA’s corporate counsel, told community members her complaint was brought to General Manager John Viola, who handed the matter over to outside counsel, Michael Neary, for investigation. “During Mr. Neary’s initial interview with Ms. Phillips, she relayed to him that she wanted the complaint to be addressed as a B-08 complaint,” Tucker said. “The scope of Mr. Neary’s investigation then grew to address the B-08 issues.” Tucker told community members Phillips’ B-08 complaint was handled in a manner similar to the B-08 complaint Viola filed against Director Tom Janasek last November. After interviews with several individuals who had knowledge of the complaint, Neary relayed his findings to the board on Jan. 28. “The Board of Directors collected to discuss the B-08 complaint against Mr. Perrone in closed session as permitted by B-08 and the Maryland Homeowners Association Act. The closed session was held on January 29, 2021,” Tucker said. “Based on my observations, the rationale for going into closed session was not based on B-08’s designation of directors as employees. Instead the rationale for going into closed session was because the discussion would relate to an Ocean Pines paid employee. That was the same rationale followed when the Board of Directors went into closed session to discuss the B-08 complaint against Mr.

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Janasek.” Tucker noted that while Perrone was in attendance for the Jan. 29 closed meeting, Phillips was not invited to participate. “During the Jan. 29 closed meeting, after reviewing Ms. Phillips’ detailed written complaint and the information provided by Mr. Neary, the board determined that Mr. Perrone did not violate B-08 …,” he said. “Because the board found that Mr. Perrone did not violate B08, no additional action to address the complaint was needed.” The board’s decision on the complaint was first announced at an open board meeting on Feb. 4. Because no motion was made to remove Perrone from the board of directors, Tucker said no adversarial hearing was held on the complaint. “In summary, Ms. Phillips’ complaint against Mr. Perrone was taken very seri-

ously and consistent with Ocean Pines’ policies,” he said. “Although the outcome of the B-08 complaints against Mr. Janasek and Mr. Perrone differ, every effort was made to adhere to the same process in administering the two complaints.” Following Tucker’s statement, Perrone told community members the details of the investigation would remain confidential. Several community members, however, took the opportunity last week to share their displeasure with the board. Community member Jackie Kurtz read a letter signed by 104 Ocean Pines residents upset by the board’s treatment of Phillips. “The board should not be able to hold a closed-door meeting to decide the outcome of Perrone’s actions without Colby and her attorney present,” she said.

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“Colby should have been given an opportunity to speak before a board decision, as Perrone should be able to present his side but not vote on any decision. Even if Perrone’s actions were legal or did not violate the B-08, it was wrong on every level. It’s wrong that the majority of the board was willing to put up with his behavior without any kind of censure and apology to Colby.” During last Saturday’s board meeting, Janasek told community members the closed-meeting vote to dismiss the allegations against Perrone was not unanimous. He then called for the board to schedule a meeting to consider the removal of an officer. Director Doug Parks supported the request. “It would behoove us to remember who we represent,” Janasek said. “This is not a board of one or two, and that is SEE PAGE 14

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Ocean City Lions Club President Mike Hooper, center, presents a donation to the Worcester County Veterans Memorial Foundation (WCVMF), on behalf of the Wall that Heals exhibit. Also pictured are WCVMF members Tim McMullen, right, and Don McMullen. The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will be hosted by the Worcester County Veterans Memorial at Ocean Pines Foundation in April. The traveling exhibit bears the names of the 58,279 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. Submitted Photo

… Board Member Misconduct Alleged By Amenities Head

February 26, 2021

FROM PAGE 13 what it’s become.” Director Frank Daly pointed out the most recent B-08 complaint was the second complaint filed against a board member in recent months. He said he wanted the board to consider amending or repealing Resolution B-08. “By May 20, we either fix it or I make a motion to rescind it,” he said. “We’re not the Central Intelligence Agency, we’re not the National Security Agency. This cloak of secrecy that ties hands is extremely unfair, first to the community and second of all to the people involved … Like it or not, there are two sides to every story. And I don’t like a process that handcuffs one side.” Phillips declined to comment on the details of her B-08 complaint this week. Although she offered to stay in her management position through March 2, Phillips said Ocean Pines management decided to part ways on Feb. 18. “I was not surprised to hear that, and grateful they still paid me for the two weeks I offered to stay,” she said. Phillips, who began a full-time career with the OPA in April 2014, said she has found another job, which will be announced at a later date. “They will be sharing that release, but I will add I instantly fell in love with the culture they provide and the care I could feel they have for their team,” she said. OPA’s general manager issued a statement on Tuesday, saying, “This announcement is to inform you that Colby Phillips has resigned from her position as Director of Amenities and Operational Logistics, and her last day with Ocean Pines Association was Thursday, February 18, 2021. She will continue to teach the swim aerobics class until March 31, 2021. We are thankful for Colby’s contributions at Ocean Pines Association. Please join me in wishing her the very best in her life and career endeavors.” Moving forward, Phillips said on a post to supporters on her Facebook page she wishes nothing for the best for Ocean Pines and hopes change is included in its future. “… Thank you for your support, kind words and love. They have meant so much and I am truly humbled. I am not bitter about what happened and making the hard decision to resign …,” she wrote. “The focus now has to be on fixing the issues and the culture. I have been blessed to have met so many of you and am so glad I was able to help in many situations. I was kind of the ‘face’ of OP as many have stated but there are SO many employees who worked just as hard and care just as much and right now going forward need YOU to get involved in your community to help fix the deeper rooted problems and make sure the priorities this community needs first are indeed being focused on FIRST. Not even half of our residents vote for board members. This has to change. It makes a difference who YOU elect.”


February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Page 15


County Vote Allows Ocean Pines To Install Electronic Signs

Page 16

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

SNOW HILL – The Ocean Pines Association will be able to install electronic signs following approval of a text amendment by county officials. The Worcester County Commissioners last week approved a text amendment that will permit on-premises signs internal to an established residential community. The change means the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) will be able to replace its existing signs with up to eight electronic signs. “They will not be seen by individuals outside the community,” said Colette Horn, OPA vice president. “They’re for informational purposes for our residents.” The association has been working for some time on plans to upgrade its array of aging community signs. County staff met with the Ocean Pines Communications Advisory Committee and helped put together a text amendment that would allow for internal community signs. An amendment that would allow for up to six signs was approved by the Worcester County Planning Commission in December. On Tuesday, the amendment came before the commissioners for approval. Commissioner Chip Bertino, who represents Ocean Pines, was quick to point out that the community currently had

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

February 26, 2021

more than a dozen signs that had to be changed manually. “I know that a lot of times depending on what’s going on in the community or in an emergency situation the ability to have these signs changed remotely, electronically, would be a heck of a lot easier,” he said. Bertino asked if it would be possible to have the amendment allow up to eight internal signs.

Ed Tudor, the county’s director of development review and permitting, said he didn’t see a problem with that. “They’re all internal,” he said. “They’re not going to be seen by the general public outside of Ocean Pines. They were limited to things advertising their events and so forth, not commercial advertising.” Horn, the only participant during Tuesday’s public hearing, spoke up to

recommend the amendment. She stressed its positive impact on public safety. “The concept has been endorsed by Chief Ehrisman of our OPPD and Chief Grunewald of our fire department for the public safety advantage,” she said. The commissioners agreed to increase the permitted number of signs to eight and voted unanimously to approve the text amendment.

BY BETHANY HOOPER

Officials said the winter weather has made collecting blood even more difficult. The Blood Bank of Delmarva’s inventory of O-positive and B-positive red blood cells is especially low. “Winters are typically a difficult time of the year for blood collections, however this winter has been extraordinarily hard with the COVID-19 pandemic and the record snowfall keeping folks indoors,” said Andrea Cefarelli, senior executive director of donor recruitment and marketing. “Our community always comes together for each other and right now we need your help to replenish the blood supply.” The Blood Bank of Delmarva will be giving blood donors the chance to get free antibody testing at any of its fixed

donor centers and area mobile drives throughout the month of February, officials said. The organization is also taking extra precautions to help prevent person-toperson spread of COVID-19. People are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions will be available at delmarvablood.org. Donations are by appointment only and can be scheduled by calling 1-8888-BLOOD-8, or visiting the Blood Bank of Delmarva website. “Please make an appointment to donate – you could be saving a life,” Cefarelli said.

Regional Blood Bank Reports Severe Shortage

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – The Blood Bank of Delmarva is seeking the community’s support to replenish its blood supply. As a result of recent snow storms and freezing temperatures, the Blood Bank of Delmarva reports the region is experiencing a severe strain on the blood supply. Since March, the organization has suffered from a deficit in blood donations as nearly all high schools, colleges, offices and community groups have had to cancel their blood drives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, mobile blood drive donations are 43% of prepandemic levels.


OC Will Replace Center AV System

February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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OCEAN CITY – Resort officials last week approved a roughly $676,000 replacement of the audiovisual system in the older section of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. City Engineer Terry McGean on Feb. 16 told the Mayor and Council the audio and video systems in the older exhibit halls A and B were installed during a 1996 expansion and needed to be replaced at an estimated cost of around $676,000. The audiovisual systems in the newer sections expanded in 2014 were replaced at the time and the newest expansion nearing completion includes state-of-the-art audio and video systems. McGean explained the audiovisual systems in the older sections of the convention center were not compatible with the systems in the newer sections. For example, music or audio presentations from the Performing Arts Center or other conventions, shows and competitions cannot readily be piped throughout the facility. “Although the system served the building well, it has now become functionally obsolete and many of the system components have failed,” he said. “Over the past four years, the convention center has received an increasing amount of complaints regarding the quality of the system and its inability to interface with newer digital media.” McGean requested the $676,000 for the audiovisual system replacement be transferred from the Ocean City Capital Reserve Account, an account funded in partnership with the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA). Ocean City partners with the MSA on all things related to construction and expansion at the convention center and each party contributes $50,000 per year to the fund, which is used for maintenance and repair projects. When the latest expansion is completed, annual contributions to the fund from the town and the MSA will jump to $100,000. McGean said the capital reserve account currently has around $1.2 million in it. Although the planned audiovisual system replacement will take a big dent out of the fund, McGean said he was confident the fund would be restored before any other major repairs or replacements were needed. Incidentally, the cost of the audiovisual system in the expanded Hall C is nearly $728,000, but that is being paid through project funds. The council ultimately approved the fund transfer for the audiovisual system in the old section of the convention center. Councilman John Gehrig said the time had come. “It really is terrible in there,” he said. “It has to be done if want to continue doing business in there in the future.”

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Committee Weighs Resort Park Project Redesign Timelines

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

February 26, 2021

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

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OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Recreation and Parks Committee this month reviewed the ongoing plans for the renovation of the downtown park complex after getting feedback from the Mayor and Council last month. For much of the last year, the recreation and parks committee has been working with a consultant on a plan to renovate the vast two city-block recreation complex between 3rd and 4th Streets. The downtown park is bisected by St. Louis Avenue. The existing section to the east is already fairly developed with the Ocean Bowl skate park, basketball courts, a playground and other amenities. The section to the west is largely open space with longabandoned ballfields and a waterfront bulk-headed area popular for recreational fishing. The large swath of open space in the otherwise densely developed downtown area has been utilized for many purposes over the years, but it is showing its age in recent years and is generally unpleasing and unwelcoming aesthetically. To that end, the Recreation and Parks Department two years ago initiated a process to begin redeveloping the complex. Last month, the Mayor and Council reviewed the consultant’s conceptual plans for redeveloping the park complex, and while generally pleased with the design, the elected officials offered a few tweaks including moving the proposed location of the restrooms and keeping the basketball courts in their current location. One of the first major issues to resolve is the order in which each phase of the project is undertaken and accomplished. The entire project is expected to cost around $3 million and SEE NEXT PAGE


… Council Prioritizes Baltimore Avenue Work Over Park

February 26, 2021

would be done in phases as funding allows. There are considerable grants and other funding sources available, which could help offset the town’s expense and expedite some phases of the project. The proposed first phase would include much of the area to the west, while later phases would include the section to the east, including moving the basketball courts and expanding the skate park. The third and final phase would be the construction of the new restrooms, according to the plans presented. When the recreation and parks committee reviewed the project again last week, one of the issues they decided needed to be resolved is the order in which the various phases are undertaken. “We may have to pick the order of the projects,” said Councilman and committee chair John Gehrig. “Obviously, funding is going to dictate that. The playground needs to be done sooner rather than later and the basketball courts are crumbling.” Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito said she understood the challenges facing the funding of the overall project, but given her druthers, she would like to see the park renovation accomplished all at once. “I’d really like to see us bond the whole thing,” she said. “In a perfect world, we could do it all at once and we wouldn’t have to prioritize the various aspects of it.” The proposal for the east section includes a renovation and expansion of the skate park. The section is currently slated for phase two, but Petito said she would like to see that moved up. “We are offering the skate park as an amenity,” she said. “That’s why I advocated for doing that west area first. I can appreciate the need to consider the active parts of the skate park. We will be ready to move either way. We’ve promised an improved skate park for a long time.” Another issue to resolve is the proposed location of the restrooms for the recreation complex. The initial concept plan had the restrooms sited on the west portion of the park complex, but concerns were raised about that location blocking the pristine views of the bay and waterfront area. Petito said the consultant has since offered an alternative location for the restrooms away from the waterfront and closer to the center of the complex. “There’s a little rectangle added in the southeast corner for the restrooms,” she said. “It’s just one alternative. I like the location because it fits in there. We didn’t want a site that would interfere with the flow of the park.” One problem with the proposed location is the new restrooms would be situated close to the existing public restrooms at the skate park. However, the building at the skate park could

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come down eventually, creating a need for public restrooms closer to the center of the park. Councilman and committee member Mark Paddack said whatever location was chosen, there needed to be plenty of facilities. “I know the mayor brought up his opinion about the restrooms and Chicago Avenue,” he said. “We need plenty of bathrooms down there. That west block will be used by the White Marlin Open and other special events.” At Tuesday’s Mayor and Council work session, the capital improvement plan (CIP) was discussed again after the elected officials assigned rankings to the many projects on the list large and small. Two weeks ago, City Engineer Terry McGean presented the draft CIP and the Mayor and Council were

tasked with assigning their rankings to the many projects. The rankings were based on a scale of one to five and each of the elected officials’ rankings were then averaged to determine where a project landed on the CIP’s pecking order. The redevelopment of the downtown recreation complex received a composite score of 2.38, which landed the project on the “very important project” list. By comparison, six projects on the CIP received higher scores and landed on the “critical projects list” in the CIP. For example, redeveloping the Baltimore Avenue corridor, including undergrounding the utilities and widening the sidewalks, earned a perfect average score of 1.0 and tops the critical project list in the CIP. While there was little dis-

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cussion about the downtown recreation complex’s position on the list specifically among the elected officials, the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) weighed in on the importance of the project in the CIP. “OCDC funded the downtown recreation complex master plan study with the hope that this project would come to fruition in the near future,” the organization’s written comments read. “This public park at 3rd Street has the potential to serve a wide variety of age groups. Through the master plan process as well as discussion at the City Council level, a consensus seems to be forming to move this project forward. Ocean City residents and tourists are ready for these recreational improvements.”


OC Committed To Corridor Work

Page 20

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Baltimore Avenue near 2nd Street is pictured last summer. BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – The Mayor and Council rankings of projects large and small on the town’s draft capital improvement plan (CIP) revealed the elected officials are clearly divided on many, but the one they all agree is the most critical is the redevelopment of the Baltimore Avenue corridor. Two weeks ago, City Engineer Terry McGean presented the draft fiscal year 2022 CIP and Mayor and Council members were charged with assigning a ranking to the many projects on the list from street paving to canal dredging and from recreation projects to airport enhancements. The Mayor and Council were instructed to assign a value to each project on a scale of one to five, with a one being considered critical and a five representing a project to be pushed further in the future. McGean and his staff then compiled the elected officials’ rankings and found an average score that would prioritize the projects. The draft CIP was then prioritized based on the rankings with projects falling into categories such as critical, very important, important, less important and future consideration. On Tuesday, McGean brought back the amended CIP with the elected officials’ rankings for further discussion and eventually a move toward a final CIP in advance of the 2022 fiscal year budget deliberations. “This might be the most critical session in our CIP process,” he said. “The last time, you were directed to rank the projects on the list. That’s where we are today.” While the individual elected officials’ rankings of the projects were not included in the agenda packet, it was clear from the aggregate rankings there was a vast divide for some. “When we did this two years ago, there was pretty much a mutual consensus,” he said. “This time around it was significantly different. About 50% of the projects on the list had significant gaps in the rankings.” “This list was developed based on your rankings,” he said. “That doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. We

Photo by Chris Parypa

need to revisit some of these things. Some could be moved up and some could be moved down the list.” Another issue to resolve in the CIP is how best and when to fund the projects on the list, which is why they are prioritized. Some projects on the list will be pay-as-you-go and paid for through the general operations budget or fund balance. Other heftier projects will be included in the town’s next major bond sale, perhaps as soon as next fall. In either case, McGean said the town has the resources to fund the most valued projects on the list with creative financing in both categories. “Assuming $2.4 million will be coming out of fund balance at the end of this fiscal year, a lot of the projects are listed as pay-as-you-go coming out of the operating budgets,” he said. “We can do the critical and very important projects on the list and still stay ahead of fund balance levels.” One project that included a unanimous “critical” ranking from the Mayor and Council was the redevelopment of the Baltimore Avenue corridor from North Division to 15th streets. Other projects listed as critical on the list include street paving, the Boardwalk re-decking, canal dredging, storm drain cleaning and expanding the City Watch surveillance system. Projects on the “very important” list according to the rankings include the Chicago Avenue bulkhead, storm drain outfalls, a sports complex to tap into the youth sports market, a new elevator at fire department headquarters, the downtown recreation complex and a new gym floor at Northside Park. In recent years, a major renovation of the streetscape along the Baltimore Avenue corridor connecting the previously improved sections from the Inlet to N. Division Street and 15th to 33rd streets including undergrounding the utilities and widening the sidewalks, for example, has been on the town’s radar, but the issue is complicated. The state owns the actual roadway and the State Highway Administration (SHA) has been chomping at the bit to repave Baltimore Avenue and bring sidewalks into Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. SEE NEXT PAGE


… Baltimore Avenue Tops Resort Capital Project List

February 26, 2021

The major renovation of the corridor, marked by countless unsightly utility poles and overhead wires, has been a top priority for town officials, who asked SHA to put their repaving project on the backburner until a plan could be developed and way to pay for reconstruction was developed. McGean said on Tuesday the scope and price tag of the Baltimore Avenue project had been adjusted since the CIP was presented two weeks ago. “The Baltimore Avenue project has changed to include undergrounding utilities and the cost has been changed to $20 million,” he said. “That was voted as critical by everyone.” McGean said the project would need to be coordinated with SHA, and the utilities including Delmarva Power before a true estimate can be derived and the project can be put out to bid. “Baltimore Avenue will need a lot of design work,” he said. “There’s no way to go to the bond market with a good estimate without a lot of design work by all parties, so you see it has been moved to fiscal year 2024.” Public Works Director Hal Adkins said he had a conversation this week with SHA about Baltimore Avenue and there was good news and bad news. “Unfortunately, the Mayor and Council put it on hold for good reasons,” he said. “The federal funding for sidewalk projects has evaporated, but they are

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

ready to do Baltimore Avenue from the Inlet to Caroline Street. They will continue to wait on Baltimore Avenue to 15th Street.” Even with SHA’s willingness to delay the next session, Adkins said the time is now to begin preliminary design work. “This will be my fifth phase of the redevelopment of Baltimore Avenue since 1987,” he said. “My recommendation is if you’re serious about this project, we need to get moving on it now.” When asked if the town had dragged its feet too long on the Baltimore Avenue project, McGean said there is still time to go forward with the comprehensive project. “Baltimore Avenue will have to be repaved at some point soon, and when SHA repaves that section, they will have to make the sidewalks ADA-compliant at the same time,” he said. “We wouldn’t want to go behind them and rip out the pavement and the sidewalks, but I don’t think you’ve missed that window.” Councilman John Gehrig questioned if the inclusion of ongoing projects that are regularly funded during budget sessions merited their inclusion on the CIP. For example, street paving and canal dredging are regular fixtures in the annual fiscal year budget, yet they are listed as critical in the CIP rankings. “With street paving and canal dredging, that’s normal maintenance that’s in the budget every year,” he said. “I’m

not sure they belong in these rankings. They’re just things we need to do.” McGean and Budget Manager Jennie Knapp said projects like street paving and canal dredging are included in the budget process each year, but they needed to be included on the CIP to identify a funding source. There are state highway user grants and casino grants that help pay for street paving, for example, but a portion of it comes from the town budget, which is why is needs to be identified on the CIP. McGean said it has been the town’s policy to include those types of projects in the CIP. “That’s a policy decision for you all,” he said. “We do about $2 million per year in street paving and about $500,000 of that will come out of the general budget this year.” Knapp said by including projects such as street paving and canal dredging in the CIP, funding sources are identified to ensure the projects are paid for without potentially influencing the property tax rate. “Hal [Adkins] gets what he needs, and you get to maintain the constant yield tax rate,” she said. “We haven’t wanted to raise taxes, so we plan to fund these things in different ways.” There are certain projects in the CIP considered critical and some viewed as “nice to haves.” For example, replacing the roof at City Hall falls in the third tier of “important projects,” but Councilman

Page 21

Lloyd Martin said staff might be in better position to determine where certain projects fall on the lists. “We need to hear from staff about what they believe is truly critical and what we need to do,” he said. “If the roof is leaking and the doors are falling off their hinges, then the project becomes critical.” McGean said the consensus appeared to be the Mayor and Council would like to hear from the department heads and staff on their own feelings about the rankings before making any hard decisions. “From what I’m hearing, we’ll take your rankings and what we know at the staff level and recommend what is most critical and what is affordable,” he said. “This is just the plan. The hard decisions come during budget time and what to include. The other hard decisions are when you decide what to include in a bond sale.” After evaluations are made, McGean will return with a version of the CIP which reflects staff recommendations. McGean told the Mayor and Council that might provide some clarity for an elected body so divided in the rankings for many of the projects. “Each of you has a little different philosophy in terms of your rankings,” he said. “My advice would be don’t focus so much on how it can be paid for, but on what you think is most important.”


Page 22

Cops & Courts The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Numerous Charges For Unruly Suspect OCEAN CITY – A Berlin man was arrested on numerous charges last weekend after allegedly interfering with police officers attending to an injured woman on the sidewalk in downtown Ocean City. Around 12:20 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of Wicomico Street for a reported injured individual. The officer located a female that had fallen on the sidewalk and suffered a head injury, according to police reports. A large crowd had gathered in the area surrounding the OCPD officers providing first aid to the victim until the paramedics arrived. One individual, identified as Anthony Nocera, 21, of Berlin, allegedly interfered with the officers as they attempted to help the victim. Nocera allegedly told the officers he worked in an emergency room and that they did not know what they were doing, according to police reports. The officers reportedly told Nocera he needed to back away, but he allegedly began screaming expletives at them, according to police reports. One of the OCPD officers learned from the victim Nocera had been harassing her. The victim reportedly told police Nocera had been flirting with her all night and would not leave her alone.

According to police reports, Nocera continuously attempted to talk to the victim while she lied injured on the ground. Nocera was told numerous times to step back and stop interfering with the officers attending to the victim. Nocera continued to the point the officers had to stop tending to the injured victim and address his actions in front of the large crowd that had gathered. The officers reportedly told Nocera to stop screaming at them and ordered him to leave the area. Nocera was told if he did not leave, he would be placed under arrest. Finally, an officer approached Nocera, grabbed his arms and informed him he was under arrest. Nocera reportedly raised his arms as he attempted to get out of the officer’s restraint.

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Champagne, Tips Swiped From Convenience Store OCEAN CITY – A Camp Springs, Md., man was arrested on theft charges last week after allegedly swiping a bottle of cheap champagne and tips from a tip jar at a midtown convenience store. Around 4:40 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD)

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At one point, Nocera pushed the officer attempting to arrest him. When Nocera continued to resist, he was taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs, according to police reports. All in all, he was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order.

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February 26, 2021 officer was dispatched to a convenience and package goods store at 52nd Street for reported suspicious activity. Ocean City Communications reported a group of six males and females acting suspiciously on the property. Communications also advised the vehicle in which the group arrived at the store was parked at a gas pump with no license plates. According to police reports, the group had been going in and out of the store for about 40 minutes. The officer arrived and observed a vehicle matching the description at the gas pump. The officer met with store employees, one of whom reported she had called the police because of the group’s suspicious activity and the length of time they had been in the store. The employee said she believed the males and females in the group were working together to distract her and the other two employees. The employee said she had been working in the sub shop inside the store and had helped the group. Another employee told the officer one member of the group wearing a long trench coat has been hanging around a cooler that contained alcoholic beverages. She said when she looked at the man, others in the group told her “He’s not stealing,” and “You don’t need to watch him,” which she said she thought was unusual. The employee also said an unknown amount of cash was missing from the tip jar on the counter of the sub shop within the store. Other OCPD officers arrived to assist and saw the suspect vehicle with no tags turn the wrong way on Coastal Highway, according to police reports. The officer pulled over the vehicle and had the occupants get out, which they complied. The officers observed a champagne bottle under the front passenger seat with its contents leaking to the back-passenger seat floor. The initial officer, meanwhile, watched surveillance footage from inside the store during the timeframe in which the group was inside. The security footage revealed a suspect later identified as Khary Thomas, 23, of Camp Springs, Md., took a bottle of champagne from the cooler inside the store and concealed it either somewhere within his trench coat or in his pants. The officer noted the champagne bottle found in the vehicle matched the brand of the bottle taken from the store SEE NEXT PAGE


. . Cops & Courts

February 26, 2021

and that it was located in the area where Thomas was seated, according to police reports. Store surveillance footage also revealed Thomas taking an unknown amount of cash from the tip jar on the sub shop counter. The champagne was valued at around $18 and the amount taken from the tip jar was determined to be $10. Thomas was arrested and charged with three counts of theft under $100.

Wrong Way Driving Leads To Heroin Bust OCEAN CITY – A Delmar woman was arrested on heroin possession charges after twice being observed driving the wrong way on one-way streets in downtown Ocean City. Around 12:45 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area reportedly observed a vehicle turn east on 1st Street before heading northbound on Philadelphia Avenue. Both 1st Street and Philadelphia Avenue are one-way streets and the driver went the wrong way on each of them. The vehicle drove toward the officer’s vehicle before jerking into the southbound shoulder. The officer activated emergency lights, and the driver reportedly waved at the officer as she rode by. The driver, later identified as Cheyanne Flowers, 21, of Delmar, eventually stopped just after passing the OCPD officer,

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch according to police reports. As the officer turned around, Flowers reportedly got out of her vehicle and yelled something indiscernible to the officer. The officer told Flowers to get back in her vehicle, to which she complied. The officer approached Flowers, who was extremely talkative, saying things such as, “Thank you for stopping me, I was lost,” and “I am just trying to get to Wawa before I run out of gas,” according to police reports. The officer asked Flowers if she had consumed any alcohol in the past few hours, to which she replied she had not. When asked if she had consumed any substances in the past few hours, Flowers reportedly told the officer she had taken her prescribed dosage of Vicodin about six hours earlier. Flowers reportedly told the officer she had been prescribed Vicodin to ease the pain of her tonsillectomy procedure about a week earlier. The officer asked Flowers if she knew the time frame from which she was not supposed to drive after taking a powerful medication such as Vicodin, to which she reportedly replied she did not, but that she was “good to drive.” When the officer detected a faint odor of alcohol, Flowers submitted to a battery of field sobriety tests, which she did not complete to the officer’s satisfaction. A breath-alcohol test later revealed the content was well below the legal limit. While searching through Flowers’ wallet incident to the arrest, officers located a small, white paper bag containing suspected heroin. According to police reports, Flowers

told police a friend had given her the heroin earlier to help with her pain. While in the booking facility, a crying Flowers reportedly told officers “I’m an [expletive deleted] pothead.” She was charged with possession of heroin.

Stolen Vehicle Arrest OCEAN CITY – A New Jersey man was arrested on motor vehicle theft charges last weekend after Ocean City Police were able to connect him to a vehicle reported stolen in New Jersey. Around 6:25 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of 32nd Street for a reported stolen vehicle. Ocean City Communications provided a description of the vehicle and advised the officers it would likely be in the pos-

Page 23 session of Tyrone Chambers, 60, of Newark, N.J. Around 20 minutes later, the officers located the vehicle in a hotel parking lot at 32nd Street and confirmed with the Newark Police Department the vehicle had been reported stolen. The officers confirmed with hotel staff the driver of the stolen vehicle was registered to a room on the ninth floor. A short time later, the officers located Chambers approaching the vehicle and he was detained. Chambers agreed to speak with the officers and told police he was the owner of the vehicle and it was always in his possession. During a search incident to the arrest, the keys to the vehicle were located in Chambers’ jacket pocket. He was charged with motor vehicle theft.


… Officials Question If Downtown Fireworks Shows Effective

Page 24

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

FROM PAGE 4 works is fewer shows, but bigger and better shows,” he said. “They are connected to other events. The Thursday concerts on the beach end at 9:30 p.m. and the Sunset Park concerts on Thursdays end at 9 p.m., so people could make their way over for the fireworks.” Weekend Destination First? The discussion of fireworks came around to a larger debate about Ocean City’s brand and how it should best be marketed. It’s no secret Ocean City has become a short-stay destination, especially for visitors from the major metropolitan areas within a few hours-drive of the resort. In a large sense, the traditional Saturday-to-Saturday summer vacations have long since become a thing of the past for many who choose to come for shorter stays and more often throughout the season. Gehrig said Ocean City should really embrace the weekend-destination market. “I think we need to understand who we are and embrace it,” he said. “We’re a weekend destination. We’re a twoand-a-half-day destination within three hours’ drive for 50 million people. We need to figure out how to get to that third night. Summer weekends are what we do best, and we should own that.” Gehrig said the town should really go after the weekend market and it starts with Thursday. He just wasn’t sure if fireworks were enough of a draw to make

that happen. “Let’s brand the weekend and it starts on Thursday,” he said. “People can take a Friday off, or work remotely and get down here on a Thursday night. There are a lot of things that have come out of the last year and they’re going to stick around.” He pointed to the town’s proximity to major markets such as Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia as a reason to really go after the weekend destination market. “Our primary market is short stays,” he said. “That’s the blessing and curse of having a resort so close to millions of people. People watch the weather forecast and what’s going on and call their friends or family and say let’s head to the beach. That’s our brand. That’s our wheelhouse.” Mayor Rick Meehan said he supported the weekend destination approach, but cautioned against putting all of the town’s marketing eggs into one basket. He said the town should continue to reach out to destinations further than a short drive in an effort to continue to fill out midweek. “We expanded our advertising to Ohio and West Virginia and western Pennsylvania and it has worked,” he said. “You can tell by the license plates you see around town. Those are our longer-stay groups. I agree with some of what you’re saying, but let’s not aban-

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don that.” Councilman Frank Knight said he agreed the weekly fireworks shows downtown have become a little stale and asked for more discussions about adding the drone shows. “I do think we need something new,” he said. “That’s where maybe the drone shows come in.” Drones Or Fireworks Or Both? Elaborate shows featuring hundreds of drones in the sky synchronized to music are popping up all over the country and Rothermel has been exploring the possibility of bringing the new craze to Ocean City as part of the special events package, but they are not cheap. Throughout the discussion on Tuesday, Rothermel referenced a recent drone show in Milwaukee and many in council chambers, including the elected officials, quickly went to their cell phones to pull up the elaborate video of the Milwaukee show. Rothermel said if the town were to commit to a single drone show, the cost would be around $200,000. He said a high-quality show would need a minimum of 200 drones at a cost of around $500 each, for a total of $100,000, which along with start-up cost of around $100,000 would bring the total to $200,000 for a show with a quality and scale matching the much-ballyhooed drone show in Milwaukee, for example. However, Rothermel said with a twoyear commitment from the town, he could parlay that $200,000 investment into eight drone shows. He said he would be able to do that through a leaseto-own arrangement to acquire the drones, which could be re-programmed for different shows to correspond to different events. Rothermel also said the drone shows would not replace fireworks under his plan, but coordinate with them to enhance the entire experience. “Having them together makes a huge difference,” he said. “That’s your big bang. They have to come together.” Gehrig reiterated his position about the regular Thursday fireworks as opposed to going after something bold and unique like the drone shows. “If we’re going to go all in on something, let’s do something that’s going to

February 26, 2021

bring people to town,” he said. “Let’s not keep doing something that’s nice to have for the people who are already here.” Frank Miller said it was late in the game to make the leap to drone shows for this summer, but said it could be done if that was the Mayor and Council’s desire. “The question is do you want to add the drones,” he said. “The drones could come between the O.C. Dance Party on the beach and the fireworks on the beach on Thursdays. It can be done. It’s just a question of if you want to spend the money.” Knight said he supported at least exploring the possibility of adding drones. “I think the fireworks are a little tired,” he said. “I think the drone shows would be a great thing for Ocean City.” Councilman Mark Paddack could hardly contain his enthusiasm for drones after watching the Milwaukee show. “We do get some flak as councilmembers for some of these expenditures, but this could be totally worth it,” he said. “That drone show is amazing. It really is remarkable.” Paddack agreed with Gehrig’s assessment of Ocean City as a weekend destination and urged the promoter and staff to explore the possibility of adding drone shows. “We are a weekend destination,” he said. “We are a three-hour drive from 14 million people. Let’s have Frank Miller and Bob come back with a cost estimate. I’d like to see what it would cost because it’s absolutely amazing.” Council Secretary Tony DeLuca made a motion to have Rothermel and Frank Miller work on some estimates and bring back a couple of cost scenarios. “Let’s see some estimates from drones,” he said. “Maybe some things can be eliminated from this plan and maybe some things can be added. Let see some different scenarios.” Rothermel said he could go back and come up with some new estimates and plans for special events, but the clock was ticking with the calendar already set to flip to March. When asked what his drop-dead date was, Rothermel was SEE NEXT PAGE


… Council Seeks Cost Estimates To Hold Summer Drone Shows

February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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A still image is pictured of the Milwaukee holiday lights program featuring 200 drones last November. File Photo

candid in his assessment. “I was hoping that would be today, especially with the fireworks,” he said. “I have a pretty tight window to order them because they come from overseas and we all know how slow that can be right now. It’s a total package. If we’re going to talk drones, it’s going to be more money.” Frank Miller asked if the council could approve the $300,000 request from Rothermel on Tuesday and give him and staff leeway to come back with estimates on adding drone shows. Councilman Peter Buas cautioned against that approach. “My concern is we’re going to approve this today and then we’re going to see a proposal for another $100,000 in two weeks,” he said. “I’d like to see this go back to the tourism commission if there are going to be major changes.” However, it was determined there was no time to send major overhauls in the plan back to the tourism commission, which doesn’t meet again until next month, and then get back to the Mayor and Council and still meet Rothermel’s window for ordering fireworks and accommodating other major changes in the plan. The council ultimately voted 6-0 with Buas abstaining to approve DeLuca’s motion to have the producer and town staff work on different options including potentially drones. Drive-In Options Planned With the uncertainty of COVID restrictions still looming, the plan presented on Tuesday includes some early season wrinkles including family-friendly drivein movies at the Inlet lot on Monday’s in June. The plan also includes a weekend-long series of drive-in concerts at the Inlet lot in early June. The latter would include national recording artist Billy Springs bringing his unique drive-in road tour to Ocean City. Springs and his crew last year embarked on a drive-in concert tour that led to a Pied Piper-like following, according

to Rothermel. “These are ideas for June when we don’t know what the protocols will be,” he said. “The Billy Strings tour is a drivein event that draws people from all over. It’s a Grateful Dead kind of atmosphere. When I spoke to the producer and showed him the Inlet lot, he practically fell out of his chair.” Rothermel said having the drive-in concerts in June, followed by a series of free beach concerts throughout July could provide a springboard to the major concerts planned in the resort later in the summer. “With the mini-concerts in July, they could wean us back into the live music mindset,” he said. “We’re trying to get a major concert in August that draws 10,000 people. We’re trying to do the major concert on the beach at North Division Street. If we can’t get to that stage by then, we have a plan in place for pods for concert-goers. We’re still working on that.” If Ocean City decides to pursue the elaborate drone show over the ocean concept, it could come at the expense of other special events in the plan presented on Tuesday. Rothermel said he stood by the family-friendly drive-in movie concept in June. “It could provide a reason for people to come downtown,” he said. “They would be held on Monday around happy hour time, so people could come and enjoy the Boardwalk and stay for the movie, or they could come for the movie and stay after to enjoy all of the amenities.” Last year in the midst of COVID, the town hosted drive-in movies at the convention center parking lot. Meehan said he wasn’t sure if the concept would still be relative this summer. “The one thing I’m not sold on is the drive-in movies at the Inlet,” he said. “Last year, that was something unique and it was a great add-on. I’m not sure that’s the case this year.”

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Balloon Bill Breezes House, Lands In Senate Committee

Page 26

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – Legislation introduced in the General Assembly prohibiting the celebratory release of plastic and mylar balloons passed the full House last week and had its first hearing in a Senate committee on Wednesday. Delegate Wayne Hartman (R-38C) introduced House Bill 391 in the current General Assembly session, while Senator Mary Beth Carozza (R-38) introduced Senate Bill 716 on her side of the aisle. The sister legislation would prohibit an individual, association, partnership, corporation, non-profit organization or any other group from knowingly and intentionally releasing a balloon into the atmosphere. The intent of the legislation is to prohibit the intentional release of balloons at weddings, graduations and other ceremonies, which often end up in the ocean or other waterways can cause damage or even death to marine life. House Bill 391 was passed by the full House last week on third reading with a 94-34 vote and crossed over to the Senate. Senate Bill 716 had its first hearing in Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Carozza testified on behalf of her sister bill. “The purpose of Senate Bill 716 is to

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

educate individuals on the harmful effects that balloons have on our environment including killing wildlife, causing power outages and polluting our trees and waterways,” she said, adding that she participates in beach clean-ups in Ocean City. “I urge my colleagues and committee members to pass this common-sense and bipartisan legislation to protect our birds, sea life and, or course, our beloved Assateague ponies.” Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce President Kerrie Bunting, a long-time advocate for prohibiting the release of balloons who originally brought the issue to the attention of Carozza and Hartman, also testified on behalf of the Senate bill on Wednesday. “While our unique location in the state affords us the unfortunate opportunity to witness birds, fish, turtles, Assateague ponies and seals perish because they eat or become entangled in a balloon and its string, animals everywhere face this possibility,” she said. “Local farmers tell tales of their horses eating the balloon or getting spooked by one and harming themselves. This issue is not specific to aquatic environs. All animals are at risk and litter can happen anywhere.” Assateague Island Alliance (AIA) Board President Nancy Gaither submitted written testimony for Wednesday’s Senate committee hearing on the legis-

February 26, 2021

lation. “Horses have been seen to ingest anything offered to them as they are curious, which is beyond troubling,” she wrote. “The balloons wreak havoc with sea animals. Additionally, balloons that are released can be found in quantities on the beach and our supporters are known for collecting them to dispose of properly.” Mylar balloons released into the atmosphere can travel hundreds of miles and often land in the waterways, ocean and bays. Marine life often mistakes the balloons for food and the ribbons and strings and so forth can entangle sea life and animals on land. During Wednesday’s Senate committee hearing, Gaith-

er presented a recent picture of Assateague wild horse Alexandria’s Angel with a balloon in her mouth. Three years ago, a pair of local siblings created Blume’s Balloon Roundup during which fishermen and boaters were encouraged to collect discarded balloons when they came across them in the waterways. The local fishing and boating community embraced the concept and enthusiastically pulled balloons from the water. That effort resulted in over 2,800 balloons being pulled from the ocean and other local waterways. Similar legislation passed through its respective House and Senate committees last year but died when the session ended abruptly.

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

a Virginia couple visiting Ocean City went missing. A week later, Howard was the first to respond to a burglary at the former Hooter’s uptown in Ocean City and apprehended the two suspects, Benjamin and Erika Sifrit, as they were loading stolen merchandise into their vehicle. The investigation revealed the Sifrits had lured the two missing suspects to their north-end penthouse condo and murdered them in cold blood before dismembering their bodies and dumping them in a landfill. To this day, many believe if it weren’t for the fast action of Howard at the burglary scene, the Sifrits might have gotten away with double-homicide. Buzzuro said as much on Tuesday. “Freddie was often in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “Such as it was with the Sifrit case. Both were taken into custody by the gentleman to my right. He responded to a burglary case and took them into custody. That was the most heinous crime in Ocean City history.” Buzzuro said he could rest easy knowing Howard was out and about and on duty in his service to the town. “In so many things he has done along the way, he has been the epitome of professionalism,” he said. “Just knowing he was out there made my job easier.” Mayor Rick Meehan presented Howard with a key to the city and praised him for his service. “It’s always bittersweet when we lose a longtime employee and friend,” he said. “It’s difficult, but at the same time we wish you the best in the future. Thank you for everything you’ve done for this community. Time goes by and you forget some of those things.” For his part, Howard was humble in retirement. “It’s been an honor and a privilege,” he said. “I want to thank the chief and the command staff for their leadership. I also want to thank the Mayor and Council and the entire Ocean City community.”

Cop Known For Sifrits’ Arrest Retires MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – A longtime Ocean City police officer, who was instrumental in capturing the suspects in the most infamous case in resort history, was feted in retirement this week. Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Sergeant Freddie Howard retired this week after 21 years of full-time service to the department. Howard began his career in Ocean City as a seasonal officer in 1994 and was hired as a full-time police officer in 1999. Over the decades, Howard ascended to the rank of sergeant and was responsible for helping shepherd the department through a time of great growth. Howard was honored with a brief retirement ceremony at the start of Tuesday’s Mayor and Council work session. OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro praised Howard for his many accomplishments during his 21 years of full-time service to the Ocean City community. “He has done an outstanding job for this community,” he said. “He served most of his career in the field. It’s a long time to mitigate problems and make lives a little better for so many. It’s really incredible when you think of how many interactions he had with people in dire circumstances. He is a selfless person dedicated to his job.” During his career, Howard held several positions including patrol officer, K9 handler, domestic violence investigator and police officer recruiter. He earned several awards over the years for his exemplary service including the Excellent Police Performance Award, Meritorious Service Award, Worcester County Commissioners Award and Neighborhood Watch Police Officer of the Year. He was also nominated for Police Officer of the Year for four consecutive years. Despite his many accolades, Howard will likely be remembered by many for his role following on of the most horrific crimes in Ocean City history. Nearly 20 years ago on Memorial Day weekend,


Ocean Pines Budget Approved With $10 Assessment Jump

February 26, 2021

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

OCEAN PINES – Ocean Pines Association officials approved the annual budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 late last week. Last Saturday, the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Board of Directors voted 6-1, with Director Tom Janasek opposed, to approve the budget for fiscal year 2021-2022. The association’s spending plan includes an annual assessment of $996. While officials initially proposed a $35 increase in yearly dues, Board President Larry Perrone said changes in health insurance premiums and the removal of salaries and benefits associated with the amenities and operational logistics director position had lowered that increase

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to $10. “First off, with the departure of Colby Phillips, the salary and benefits were budgeted for next year,” he said. “Those costs have been removed from the budget, as well as a reduction in our premiums from our health care carrier that provides coverage for our employees.” When asked if the association would fill the vacancy created by Phillips’ resignation, Perrone said it was a decision for General Manager John Viola. “I know at this point he has spread some of the duties she had to other individuals,” Perrone said. “I think that’s where it’s going to be for the time being.” The fiscal year 2021-2022 budget includes total revenues of $15,956,299 and operating expenses of $13,024,180, according to Director Doug Parks, the association’s treasurer. Bulkhead and

Auto Zone Site Plan On 50 Approved

The approved site plan for the new Auto Zone on Route 50 is pictured. BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – The Berlin Planning Commission approved updated plans for an Auto Zone on Route 50. The commission on Wednesday voted 6-0 to approve plans for an Auto Zone near the intersection of Route 50 and Seahawk Road. The approval came after developers added architectural elements to the proposed store in response to concerns voiced by the commission earlier this month. “It looks great,” commission member Austin Purnell said. After reviewing plans for an Auto Zone proposed for the site of the former McDonald’s on Feb. 10, commission members asked developers to make a few improvements to the building and soften the design of the store. They held a special meeting this week to reconsider the plans once changes had been made. Applicant Kevin Murphy said he’d made a variety of adjustments based on previous comments. He added four faux windows to the building and created three different roof height variations. A decorative cornice was also added around the roof line. “By my account this is five to six archi-

File Photo

tectural variations to please the commission,” he said. Three trees have also been added to the front of the site. Planning Director Dave Engelhart said developers had begun improving the plan the day after the commission’s last meeting. “They jumped on that right away,” he said, adding that the trees wouldn’t impact stormwater or the view line on Route 50. Chris Denny, chair of the commission, said the area could be improved further once the old Harley Davidson property was redeveloped. Commission member Pete Cosby agreed. “The building at least has some interest now,” he said. “Given the commercial nature of this area … it’s about as good as we can do I guess.” When asked whether they wanted the building in Auto Zone’s traditional grey color scheme or in an earth tone color scheme, the commission agreed they wanted the latter. Denny said he appreciated the adjustments the company had made to the store. “It would’ve been nicer to see this the first time around,” he said. The commission voted 6-0 to approve the site plan.

drainage repairs for the coming year total $1,368,221, while capital expenditures total $1,047,970. “The budget has gone through a review by the GM and his team, by the budget and finance committee and by the board of directors,” he said. “The budget was posted on the OPA website for review by the membership. A public meeting was held on February 6 to present the budget to the membership and have an open discussion with the membership to address any questions or concerns.” Parks told community members last week the association anticipated an operating surplus for the current fiscal year. He said that money would be set aside in a retained earnings account. “Some people believe that since the surplus is there, it should be applied as a method in reducing the assessment. Unfortunately, the idea is it doesn’t really work that way …,” he said. “Retained earnings allows us the flexibility to address any issues that may be out of our control due to COVID restrictions continuing through the upcoming fiscal year.” Officials also applauded association staff for making last-minute changes that resulted in budget savings. “I think this budget has been put together in a very concise manner,” Director Frank Daly said. Janasek, however, said he could not vote to approve the budget. “Unfortunately, there’s been so many

Page 27

changes to this literally in the last 24 hours I haven’t really been able to review them all,” he said. “I looked through them, but I’m just not comfortable at this time voting to approve the budget.” In his comments to the board, Viola said the coming year’s budget would eliminate a roughly $1.6 million deficit, which would not need to be covered with assessments. “Over the last three years, our team, along with this board, inherited somewhere around $1.6 million of deficit,” he said. “With this budget … that deficit is going to be wiped out.” Perrone added that while salaries had increased for the coming year’s budget, it was a result of state-mandated minimum hourly wage increases. He also pointed out that money was being set aside in the association’s replacement reserve account for future capital projects. “The method to keep assessments low in the past has been to avoid putting money into our replacement reserves and, on top of that, not doing the appropriate maintenance on the buildings that we have …,” he said. “This idea that we should not be putting money away for the future is what got us into trouble in the past and I know this board and the prior board did not agree with that approach.” After further discussion, the board voted 6-1 to approve the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget.


Biking Strategic Plan Bidding Set For March

Page 28

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

OCEAN CITY – Delays in the bidding process will postpone the start date for developing the town’s bike strategic plan. In a meeting Feb. 17, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) President Paul Mauser told committee members the town’s search for a consultant to develop a bike strategic plan will be delayed, as the bidding process will not conclude until mid-March. “I have bid documents ready to roll, account numbers ready to roll, everything’s good to go,” he said. “I just haven’t sent it out to public bid yet.” In October, the town received $79,700 through the Maryland Department

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of Transportation’s (MDOT) Bikeways Program to hire a consultant for the development of a strategic plan that will be used to further Ocean City’s bicycle network. A few years ago, the town embarked on a multi-phased initiative to establish a continuous bike path from one end of Ocean City to another without using Coastal Highway. The strategic plan, officials say, will provide the town with designs and cost estimates for several proposed biking corridors throughout the resort. “As far as the strategic plan goes, that is oriented such that it has to be actionable,” Mauser said last month. “And it has to be evaluating and providing plans and cost estimates for corridors in town. It’s not for wayfinding and proj-

ects like that, it’s for practical development plans.” In January, MDOT Bikeways Program approved the town’s bidding documents, allowing Ocean City to proceed with issuing a request for proposals. Initially, the goal was to conclude the bidding process in mid-February and select the top consultant by March 1. However, Mauser told committee members this week the bidding process would now end in mid-March. “Our window is going to be more of a March 15, instead of a mid-February, timeframe …,” he said. “I’ve got it all teed up and ready to bid, I just haven’t sent it to our procurement department yet. It’s get down to the quick a little bit. I will commit to having that completed by the middle of next week.”

Assault Charges After Resort Hotel Incident

February 26, 2021

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

OCEAN CITY – An Elkton, Md., man was arrested on numerous charges, including first-degree assault, last weekend after allegedly assaulting his fiancé and scrapping with hotel security staffers during a domestic incident at a midtown hotel. Around 11 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a hotel at 45th Street for a reported domestic incident. Ocean City Communications advised there was a female crying on the ground and the suspect, later identified as Justin Hitchens, 25, of Elkton, Md., was trying to fight hotel security staffers. Upon arrival, officers met with the hotel manager, who reportedly advised Hitchens and the female victim had been arguing and became physical inside the hotel lobby bar. The manager reportedly told the officer she advised a security guard to follow the couple to their room on the second floor. Security staff followed the couple to their room and could hear Hitchens allegedly assaulting the female victim, according to police reports. One security guard entered the room and reportedly saw Hitchens standing over the victim while continuing to yell at her. When the security staffer attempted to separate Hitchens from the victim, Hitchens reportedly pushed him away. Two security guards attempted to subdue Hitchens, who reportedly began kicking them both. Hitchens then choked one of the security guards and struck him on the left side of his mouth, according to police reports. When another security guard attempted to detain Hitchens until police arrived, Hitchens struck him in the left jaw with a closed fist, according to police reports. OCPD officers arrived at the room on the second floor and observed Hitchens pinning one of the security guards against the wall while choking him. OCPD officers ordered Hitchens to stop choking the security guard. When they attempted to arrest Hitchens, the suspect reportedly flailed his arms and attempted to walk away, according to police reports. Hitchens reportedly kicked one of the officers while being placed in handcuffs. While Hitchens was being detained, he reportedly continued to yell profanities, causing other hotel guests to come out of their rooms to see what was going on, according to police reports. The female victim, who was Hitchens’ fiancé, had a contusion and laceration on her eye and a laceration on he right pointer finger. Hitchens was charged with one count of first-degree assault for choking one of the security guards, three counts of second-degree assault against the female victim and each of the security guards, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.


‘No Signs of Non-Natural Death’ For Stranded Whale

February 26, 2021

BY SHAWN J. SOPER

MANAGING EDITOR

ASSATEAGUE – One week after it was found deceased on Assateague Island, a 30-ton female humpback whale remained Thursday in roughly the same position in the surf line. Last Thursday evening, a female humpback whale stranded on the beach at Assateague for reasons unknown and perished. Throughout the week, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists conducted a necropsy and collected tissue samples in an effort to determine the whale’s cause of death. The female humpback was a wellknown visitor to the Gulf of Maine affectionately known as Pivot. Pivot was first identified by the Center for Coastal Studies in 2008. She was regularly sighted in the Gulf of Maine and was also known in the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog maintained by Allied Whale at the College of the Atlantic. As of Thursday, the deceased whale remained in the same position on the beach where it was discovered. Assateague Island National Seashore crews on Tuesday attempted to remove the whale from the beach to no avail. Per a statement from the Assateague Island National Seashore superintendent, removing the 30-ton humpback from the beach was fraught with challenges. “After several hours of work, we have been unable to move the whale,” the statement reads. “We estimate its weight at 30 tons and it proved beyond the capabilities of our equipment to move it out of the surf zone. We will continue to monitor the situation and may try again tomorrow if it moves to a more advantageous location.” Assateague Island National Seashore officials late Wednesday confirmed attempts by park staff with heavy equipment were unsuccessful on Tuesday and Pivot remained roughly in the same position in which she stranded. Marine biologists continued to conduct a necropsy and take tissue samples throughout the week and the results of that investigation do not suggest any man-made cause of the whale’s death such as a boat strike, for example. “Maryland DNR has taken tissue samples in an effort to determine the cause of death,” the statement reads. “There are no signs of a non-natural death. A rising tide made it unsafe to continue work this afternoon, and further sampling will take place at a later time if it is safe to do so.” On Thursday, the Maryland Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Team continued their work on Assateague. As of Thursday, staff continued to conduct a necropsy and collect tissue samples, but the cause of death had not been determined. The DNR continued to remind the public that under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, any taking or harassment of a stranded whale or other marine mammal is prohibited, even if the marine mammal is deceased. It’s not unusual for whales of all species and sizes to strand on area beaches

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

from time to time and there have been different methods used for removing them from the beach. Most recently, a juvenile sperm whale stranded on the beach at 112th Street and that marine mammal was ultimately buried in the sand at an undisclosed location. In 1922, a whale washed up on the beach near Caroline Street in Ocean City. It was towed out to sea by the U.S. Coast Guard, but it floated back to shore just north of the fishing pier. In perhaps not the best decision, the City Council ordered the whale carcass to be dynamited and several pieces landed on the pier building along with other hotels and shops in the area. Legend has it the smell of the rotten whale did not entirely disappear until the Great Fire of 1925 destroyed many of the buildings in and around the downtown area.

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The deceased whale is pictured last weekend on the northern end of Assateague Island. Photo by Campos Media


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Norman R. Connell OCEAN CITY – Lt. Col. Norman R. Connell ret. passed away peacefully in his sleep on Dec. 30, 2020 at the age of 92 at Catered Living in Ocean Pines. He had been a resident there for the past 11 years. He is preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor Connell of 58.5 years, who passed away on Oct. 8, 2007. Norman is survived by his two children, Linda NORMAN R. S. Greenfield Phd. of CONNELL Ardsley on Hudson, N.Y. and Jeffrey Connell of Ocean City; four granddaughters, Leah Edelboim and Paige Fowler of New York, Megan Connell of Baltimore and Erin Michael of Ocean City. Norman was one of five children. An older sister, Catherine Hutchinson of Odessa, Del., and a younger sister, Gertrude McCombs of Gainsville, Fla., also survive him. He was preceded in death by a brother, Bob Connell of Odessa, Del. and a sister, Carolyn Freidel of Smyrna, Del. Norman was born in Philadelphia on May 4, 1928. His mother and father, Pearl and Charles Connell, and family were residing in Philadelphia then relocated to Smyrna, Del. Norman’s father passed away when he was very young. At the age of 9, Norman’s mother Pearl enrolled him in Girard College in Philadelphia. Two requirements to get into Girard was to be born in Pennsylvania and not have a father. Norman attended and resided at Girard College until he graduated in 1945. After graduation, Norman took a job doing survey work with the State of Delaware Highway Department. Wanting more in his early life he joined the Army in 1946. After completing basic training, he attended Officer Candidate School. He graduated OCS at the age of 18 as one of the youngest to get his commission as an officer. Norman met his future wife Eleanor in Dover in 1949. In several short months they were engaged and married in May of that year. In 1950 Eleanor was eight months pregnant when Norman had gotten orders to go to Korea as the Korean War was starting. He did not return until 15 months later at which time he was able to see his daughter Linda, who was a little over a year old. Norman’s military career had given him an opportunity to take his family to most of his duty assignments. In the mid-1950’s, they moved to France then on to Germany where their son Jeffrey was born. For the next 24.5 years in the service, he and his family had lived as far north as Fort Richardson, Alaska to several duty stations back in the continental United States, as well as assignments in South East Asia such as Vietnam and the Philippines. While being stationed in various locations, Norman and the family got to visit other countries such as Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. While in the Philippines, their daughter Linda had graduated high school and flew back to the states to start college. One of the proudest moments in Norman’s military career was returning to the states to swear his daughter Linda

Obituaries

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

into the Army, as she was beginning her nursing career, eventually earning a Phd. in nursing and teaching in a career she loved. Norman retired a Lieutenant Colonel in February 1970 after 24.5 years in the service, moving the family 20 times in those years. Norman, Eleanor and son Jeffrey then moved to Ocean City, building a home in Captains Hill. Norman worked as the County Engineer for the Worcester County Sanitary Commission for the next 22 years. Norman and Eleanor were very active in the Atlantic United Methodist Church and held different positions in the church. He was a member of the Ocean City Lions Club, working his way up to club president in 1997-1998. Another area of great enjoyment Norman had was golf, he and Eleanor were part a Friday Evening Golf group. He also loved traveling with his wife. One of their prized trips was spending a month celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, traveling to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. In the summer, Norman could be found on the backside of Assateague Island in his pontoon boat clamming with friends or relatives. Norman loved to get all four of his granddaughters together and go out for breakfast or go to some of the local amusement parks and spend the day. Norman enjoyed talking about all his grandchildren and their exploits as they were growing up. If you wanted to see Norman smile, ask him about his grandchildren. Norman eventually retired from the Sanitary Commission after 22 years, although he did do occasional consulting work for various local engineering firms. Losing Eleanor in 2007 left a tremendous hole in Norman’s heart but he continued to thrive and in 2009 moved to Catered Living in Ocean Pines. He would refer to it as his little Hacienda in the woods. His son Jeff was able to see Norman on a regular basis. Norman enjoyed going to the indoor Ocean Pines pool to swim laps or go to the library to check out books or DVDs. Being an avid reader, Norman had a series of favorite authors. He also liked to use the gym at a local physical therapy establishment or just go outside with his walker to take a hike and enjoy the fresh air year-round. Family was always extremely important to Norman. During his final years, the love of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, brought Norman much joy and happiness. Anyone visiting Norman could easily see from the pictures displayed in his room of his family. Many of which were new photos of his great grandchildren, Miles, George, Daniel, Libby and Eleanor of New York and Lincoln and Sloane of Ocean City. Such a proud Dad, Pop Pop. A man of honor, “The Colonel”, a gentle, kind and humorous man that will be missed by all that were lucky enough to know him.

In his memory, donations can be made to Coastal Hospice, PO Box 1733, Salisbury, Md. 21802.

JoAnne Lee Waldhauser OCEAN CITY – JoAnne “Jo” Lee Waldhauser suddenly left her beach home in Ocean City to join Jesus in Heaven on Feb. 15, 2021. She was the beloved wife of Michael Waldhauser Sr. and loving mother of Michael Waldhauser Jr. and his wife Christina Waldhauser; adoring grandmother of Ashley Faith and Nathan Michael; vibrant sister of her twin Ginny Hunnings and her husband Tom Hunnings; and younger sister of Doris Griffin and her JOANNE LEE husband Frank Griffin. WALDHAUSER Jo’s energy, humor and kindness will be celebrated with loved ones in the months ahead. Arrangements will be shared at that point in time.

Joanne Wise Williams OCEAN PINES – Joanne Wise Williams, age 84, of Ocean Pines, passed away on Feb. 15, 2021. Born in Forest Glen, Md., she was the daughter of the late Joel Wise and Anna Schauck Wise. She is survived by her husband of 59 years, David Williams; sons Thomas Williams (Paula) of Silver Spring and Joel Williams (Kim) of Columbia; daughters Megan Wallace (Michael) of Ocean Pines JOANNE WISE and Annamarie DeBonis WILLIAMS (Robert) of Highland; 10 beloved grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. Also surviving is a brother, Jarrett Wise (Loretta) of Silver Spring, and two sisters, Mary Wise (Joe Flynn) of Eagleville, Pa. and Anne Sumner (Bob) of Silver Spring, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, John Wise. Joanne was a graduate of the University of Maryland and then taught elementary school in Montgomery County. She also worked in administration, advertising design, and copy editing at Long & Foster, O’Conor, Piper & Flynn and the Ocean Pines Progress. Always caring, Joanne volunteered with many organizations, including adult literacy projects, Meals on Wheels, Taylor House Museum, and the Ocean Pines Library. She was a member of the Democratic Women’s Club, Ocean Pines Golf Club Nine-Hole Group, the Ocean Pines Players, and her cherished Spirituality Group. Her gentle and contented nature belied an adventurous spirit – she took up skiing while living in Bavaria, loved to travel, enjoyed biking, gardening, painting, and treasured time at the beach with her grandchildren. Joanne encouraged expressions of gratitude, especially during grace and

February 26, 2021 on holidays. One example, in her own words, written on a recent Thanksgiving, read, "I am thankful for all my wonderful family, my husband, my children, all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, my faith, my friends, my childhood, my adulthood, where I live now, coffee in the morning, my sunroom in the evening, my British (and Irish) shows on TV, and good movies to enjoy!" Joanne was an active member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church where she was a lector for many years. A mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 at 11 a.m. at St. John Neumann in Ocean Pines. Rev. Joseph MPR Cocucci will officiate. Given current capacity limits, please contact the family in advance. Facemasks and social distancing are required. Interment will be at a later date at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Maryland Public Television. Arrangements are in the care of the Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin. Letters of condolence may be sent to the family via www.burbage@burbagefuneralhome.com.

Eileen Frances Haffner BERLIN – Eileen Frances Haffner of South Point was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She left this world suddenly on Feb. 14, 2021 at age 73. Eileen was born in Olney, Md. and graduated from Lansdowne High School. Eileen moved to the Eastern Shore in the late 1980’s and was a retired business owner. Eileen loved spending time with her family, especially her grandson Logan Patrick, who was the “Apple of EILEEN her Eye,” and her furry FRANCES grandson Simon Leo, HAFFNER who loved to “have a smoke” with her sitting on the front porch. She enjoyed living on the water, Westie’s, The Rolling Stones, watching the Baltimore Ravens play, sunsets at Fager’s Island, traveling, the beach, laughing and cutting up with her brothers and sisters, and a good cup of coffee. Eileen was known for dressing to the nines, even at the beach and finding something good in every situation. Eileen was charismatic and her pleasant personality was contagious to everyone she met. Eileen was predeceased by her parents, Melvin Elick Bliffen and Mildred Irene Bliffen; her brother, Conrad “Joe” Bliffen; her sister, Janice Mae Bliffen; her Westies, “Rhett”, “Mickey” and “Sammie”; and her oldest and dearest friend, Alice LaDue. Eileen is survived by her dear friend of over 30 years, Michael Clark of South Point; daughter Frances I. Haffner and grandson Logan P. Haffner of Ocean View, Del.; brother Lee Bliffen and his wife Gail of Goose Creek, S.C,; brother James “Jim” Bliffen and companion Denise Markoff of Baltimore; sister and best friend Rose Feldaverd and husband Nick of Chandler, Ariz.; nieces Kathleen, Doreen, Kelly, Rebeka and Jessica; nephews Joe, Justin, Todd, Eric SEE NEXT PAGE


. . Obituaries

February 26, 2021

and Jason; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and extended family of both her parents. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Sussex Academy High School, 21150 Airport Road, Georgetown, Del. 19947, c/o Engineering and Physics Departments or Feather Our Nest Wish List, Berlin Animal Hospital, 10302 Old Ocean City Blvd., Berlin, Md. 21811 c/o Dr. Eric Palmer. Arrangements are in the care of Eastern Shore Cremation and Funeral Service, 504 Franklin Ave, Berlin, Md. 21811. To send condolences to the family, please visit www.easternshorecremation.com. BERLIN – Margaret Mary Harlin, a Bronx native and long-time Berlin resident, died Feb. 16, 2021. She was born March 12, 1937, the daughter of the late Luke and Catherine Hannon. She married the love of her life, James Paul Harlin, at St. Raymond’s Church in Bronx, N,Y, on June 18, 1955. Margaret was predeceased by Jim; her beloved sister, Theresa; MARGARET and her brothers, Martin, MARY HARLIN Luke and Kevin. Margaret is survived by her loving children, Margaret (Melissa Denault) Harlin, Mary Catherine (David) Cutilli, James Paul (Judy) Harlin, Anthony (Mary) Harlin; and grandchildren Mikayla Denault, James Harlin, Amanda Harlin, Luke Harlin, Samantha Harlin, Holly Harlin, Jessica (Josh) Harlin-Polca, Catherine (Shekar) Cutilli-Mannem, David (Katrina) Cutilli, Addison Cutilli (great granddaughter). She is also survived by sister Mary Ann Lyons, brother Anthony (Margaret) Hannon, Kenny Raleigh (brother-in-law) and Kenny Harlin (brother-in-law) and many nieces and nephews. She always valued and cherished her family. Her heart and door were always open to welcome and feed friends, new and old. Her life's work included raising her children, working at Chase, and participating in her family's parish. Margaret was known for her legendary lasagna and enjoyment of biweekly card games. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Katie Alexander (Home Instead), Lyndsey Hart (Amedisys) and the wonderful staff especially our dear Anna at Coastal Hospice for the expert, loving care of our sweet mom Margaret. Sending mom on her journey with a smile meant so much to our family. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later time. Donations can be made to Alzheimer’s/Dementia Research, 1850 York Rd. Suite D, Timonium, Md., or Coastal Hospice P.O. Box 1377, Salisbury, Md. 21804. Letters of condolence may be sent via: www.burbagefuneralhome.com. Peace and Love to all.

Margaret Mary Harlin

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch BERLIN – Wayne Charles Brandenburg, 73, of Berlin, passed away on Feb. 16, 2021.  Wayne was born on March 1, 1947, in Baltimore, to the late Delma and Robert Brandenburg. He was the sole proprietor of Ocean City TV, an electronics sales and repair store. Wayne was a member of the Ocean City Marlin WAYNE Club and he loved fish- CHARLES ing, working on the com- BRANDENBURG puter and was a gifted electronic technician. He could fix anything. Wayne is survived by his beloved children, Miranda Holt of Hampstead, Md., Kristin Hobbs of Felton, Del. and Bobby Hobbs of Berlin; his cherished grandchildren, Ashlyn, Declan, Cardyn and Layton; and his dear brothers, Jim and John Brandenburg. Wayne is also survived by many extended family and

Wayne Charles Brandenburg

friends. Memorial contributions in Wayne’s name may be made to the Ocean Pines Fire Company, 911 Ocean Parkway, Berlin, Md. 21811. To offer condolences to the Brandenburg family, please visit www.singletonfuneralhome.com.

BERLIN – Charles Edward Harris, age 86 died Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin. He was born in Baltimore to Erla Mae (Horning) and Samuel J. Hugh Harris. He was a retired Baltimore City police officer in the Northwest CHARLES EDWARD District and a Fraternal HARRIS Order of Police member. He enjoyed coin collecting, bird watching, baking, Dominoes and puzzles. He was considered a “Jack of all Trades.”

Charles Edward Harris

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He is survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Muriel (Matthias) Harris. He was predeceased in death by his sons, Mark E. Harris (Karen) and Wm. David Harris. He is also survived by his daughter, Lori Harter (Loren) of Dillon, S.C.; stepchildren Amy Morgan (Richard), predeceased by Donna Connolly (Michael), Jesse Morgan and Dorothy Reuben (David); a special niece Colleen Vanskiver (Albert); and 18 grandchildren including Michael A. DiDominicus (whom he helped raise); and 25 great-grandchildren. He was also predeceased by his siblings, Ethel Gary, Ruth Wright, Walter Harris, Warren Harris and Ernst Harris. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Donations may be made to the Berlin Fire Department, 214 North Main Street, Berlin, Md. 21811 in his memory. Letters of condolence may be sent via www.burbagefuneralhome.com. Arrangements in the care of Burbage Funeral Home in Berlin.


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Students

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

February 26, 2021

In The News

The Berlin Intermediate School Afterschool Academy Art Club completed a collaborative art piece. The piece is inspired by the artist Jim Dine and his abstract heart paintings for Valentine's Day and American Heart Month. Students pictured are Cooper Glover, Luke Riser, Nadia Menendez, Emory Jack, Lily Philavanh and Caitlyn Crockett. Submitted Photos

Two Worcester Preparatory School seniors, Daniel Chen, left, and Joseph Schwartz have been selected as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school seniors. They are two of the top students in the state of Maryland out of 4,500 candidates nationwide who were identified for their academic achievements and for having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or ACT. All selected candidates are invited to apply to the program by submitting essays, self-assessments, leadership and service activities, secondary school reports and transcripts to try and advance to become one of the 600 semifinalists. In April, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars will select up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars finalists from the semifinalists. Since 1964, more than 7,500 U.S. Presidential Scholars have been honored for their demonstrated scholarship, leadership, artistic excellence and selfless service to others. Schwartz of Salisbury is a “WPS lifer” who has attended Worcester Prep since pre-kindergarten. Also a resident of Salisbury, Chen enrolled at Worcester Prep in seventh grade.

Finalists In Young Authors Contest

The Worcester Preparatory School Alumni Association recently sponsored a 100-Day Breakfast celebration marking the senior class countdown to graduation. Due to restrictions on campus visits from speakers, alums sent in words of wisdom that were shared in the event program. Breakfast was generously sponsored by the WPS Alumni Association and Dunkin’ Donuts and each student was gifted a WPS acrylic tumbler. Above, from left, are WPS Development Coordinator Amy Tingle, Head of School Dr. John McDonald, SGA Vice President C.C. Lizas, SGA Secretary Sophia Ludt, SGA President Teague Quillin, SGA Treasurer Arusa Islam, SGA Liaison Hannah Perdue, Head of Upper School/Assistant Head of School Mike Grosso. Below Grosso is pictured with seniors Mason Brown and Brugh Moore.

SALISBURY – After receiving hundreds of submissions from talented writers, the Eastern Shore Literacy Association (ESLA) announced the finalists in the 2021 Young Authors’ Contest, including 17 students from six schools of Wicomico County Public Schools. Students in grades 1-12 submitted an original writing artifact that was judged using a blind scoring method to determine finalists. Finalists are individuals who have finished in the top three in their respective category – poetry or short story – and grade level. Students from Wicomico County Public Schools who are finalists are listed alphabetically by last name in each grade and category. The order shown below does not reflect the placement where student authors finished in the contest, and does not list winners from outside Wicomico County Public Schools. Placement awards will be announced later this week. Grade 3, Poetry: Samantha G. Martinenza, North Salisbury Elementary Grade 3, Short Story: Reese Br-

adford, Glen Avenue Elementary; Jeremy Quan, North Salisbury Elementary Grade 6, Short Story: Charlotte Malone, Salisbury Middle Grade 7, Poetry: Abigail Saulitis, Salisbury Middle Grade 7, Short Story: Abigail Saulitis, Salisbury Middle Grade 8, Poetry: Alana Duffy, Bennett Middle; Jessica Thomas, Bennett Middle Grade 8, Short Story: Carter Sollars, Bennett Middle Grade 10, Poetry: Emily Garlock, James M. Bennett High Grade 10, Short Story: Henna Parmar, James M. Bennett High; Merin Thomas, James M. Bennett High Grade 11, Poetry: Cristina Avanessian, James M. Bennett High; Maya Matava, James M. Bennett High Grade 11, Short Story: Shannon Cottingham, Mardela Middle and High; Rosy Gao, James M. Bennett High; Katie Mitchell, James M. Bennett High Grade 12, Poetry: Sophia Smith, James M. Bennett High


Berlin Businesses Eligible For $194K In Main Street Grants

February 26, 2021

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

million in awards for Main Street Maryland programs. Berlin’s Main Street program received $194,113 that will be used to provide grants to businesses within the district. Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director, thanked Hogan for the funding. “It’s been a long time coming,” she said. “The businesses and the Town of

Park Listening Session Planned

BERLIN – Businesses in Berlin’s downtown are now able to apply for financial support following an announcement from Governor Larry Hogan this week. On Tuesday, Hogan announced $7

BY CHARLENE SHARPE

STAFF WRITER

BERLIN – Citizens will have a chance to share their thoughts on the future of Heron Park with a public input session March 15. Town officials this week agreed to set a special public listening session for Monday, March 15 to give residents the chance to weigh in on the potential sale of portions of the park as well as ideas for its future. “I think that if the public has an opinion, if the public has a presentation, if the public has something they’d like for us to consider, I think it is incumbent upon us to provide them that public opportunity,” Councilman Dean Burrell said. Earlier this month, town officials began discussing the possibility of selling parcels 57, the portion of Heron Park occupied by the old production plant building, and portion 410, which is primarily open space but includes some town equipment storage. Mayor Zack Tyndall this week voiced plans to accept public input on the potential sale during the council’s March 22 meeting but councilmembers suggested otherwise. “I do not think it’s a good idea to have it on the 22nd, which is the same date as the public hearing on the tax rate,” Councilman Jack Orris said. Tyndall and councilmembers agreed to instead schedule a Zoom public listening session for March 15 at 6:30 p.m. Once Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols brought up the fact that at least

one group wanted to make a presentation regarding a proposal for the park, elected officials also agreed they wanted to hear anything the public wanted to offer regarding the property. “We’re about to make this important decision on whether to keep or sell one or two of those parcels and yet we have a group that wants to do a presentation for us, the decisionmakers, and the public, to show us ways or how we can generate revenue from those parcels,” Councilman Jay Knerr said. “I think it would be in our best interest to hear that presentation.” Burrell pointed out that the Heron Park Advisory Committee could have been helping with the process if it hadn’t been disbanded in January. “I’m sitting here wondering if we acted prematurely in disbanding that committee,” he said. “I have had emails and telephone calls from the public and while engaging in these conversations and replying to these emails it dawned on me that this was, should have been, one of the responsibilities of that committee we just disbanded.” Tyndall acknowledged that was a valid concern. Tyndall said those with detailed presentations regarding the park should submit those soon so they could be included in the March 15 meeting packet. Councilman Troy Purnell also encouraged those with in-depth proposals to reach out to councilmembers in advance. “That way we’re well educated before they show up and we have a chance to ask them questions,” he said.

Stevenson United Methodist Resuming In-Person Church Services Every Sunday At 9 a.m. – No Sunday School – Social Distancing & Masks Required

Stevenson United Methodist Church 123 North Main St., Berlin, Md. 410-641-1137 • www.stevensonchurch.org

– Service Will Be Livestreamed On Facebook

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Berlin are grateful.” In an announcement Tuesday, Hogan said all of the state’s designated Main Street communities had applied for and received funding. Through this relief, more than 5,000 businesses will be eligible for support. “Maryland communities would not be the same without our vibrant, historic Main Streets,” Hogan said. “We are proud to support local small businesses and help them recover from the economic toll brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Wells said that Main Street programs began working with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development on a funding proposal to present to the governor last fall. Wells talked to local merchants to see what sort of support they could use as the pandemic continued and submitted the town’s application back in November. “Each business has its own needs and I wanted a variety of things people could apply for,” she said. As a result, now that the town has the funding businesses within Berlin’s Main Street district can seek money for a variety of COVID-related expenses and also to redesign their shops to allow for more physical distancing. Wells said the grants, which will range from $2,500 to $10,000, can be used to pay rent or utility bills. They can also be used to purchase PPE or to help a mer-

chant improve the layout of their facility to allow for more physical distancing. Applications are due March 19. “It’s not first come first serve,” she said. “Each application will be reviewed by a panel which consists of Maryland Main Street folks and Town of Berlin staff.” The funding has to be spent by June, and if there is money remaining after Main Street businesses apply Wells said the town would offer grants to businesses outside its Main Street district. “If we have enough we’ll open it up,” she said. Other Lower Shore Main Street programs will also benefit from the state funding. The Ocean City Development Corporation received $138,652, Main Street Princess Anne Inc. received $140,316 and the City of Salisbury received $183,021. Sen. Mary Beth Carozza issued a statement in support of the awards following Hogan’s announcement. “This funding will go a long way in providing much-needed relief to our Main Streets as they navigate recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “I have been a strong supporter of Maryland’s Main Street program and had the opportunity to work with the leadership of the Lower Shore Main Streets and will continue to advance their priorities.”

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Wicomico County School Board Violated Open Meetings Act

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – The state’s Open Meetings Compliance Board found the Wicomico County Board of Education violated certain provisions of the Open Meetings Act relating to meeting minutes and closed sessions. The Wicomico County Board of Education this month acknowledged a Jan. 21 opinion issued by the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board (OMCB) regarding the school board’s compliance with the Open Meetings Act during closed sessions held on Sept. 8, Sept. 29, Oct. 13 and Nov. 10. “On Jan. 21, 2021, the Open Meeting Compliance Board, OMCB, issued an opinion regarding a complaint concerning the board’s compliance with the Open Meetings Act over the past several months,” said Gene Malone, board chair. “The OMCB found the board to be in compliance with the act in certain instances and not in compliance with the act in others.” In October, Parsonsburg resident Stacy Shockley filed a complaint with the OMCB alleging the school board violated

the Open Meetings Act over the course of several months when it went into closed sessions. “For several months, the Wicomico County Board of Education has been conducting their board meetings by immediately going into closed session for 90 minutes and then opening the meetings to the public for about 30 minutes,” the complaint reads. “The Board immediately votes on predetermined items, which the public has no idea or understanding as to what was discussed or what's being voted on. For this reason, the board agenda becomes meaningless while this practice is designed to keep the public in the dark for matters of public record.” Shockley also alleged the school board did not open its meeting on Sept. 29 before voting to go into closed session. “I can only speculate that they did this to avoid having to deal with concerned parents during this very difficult time,” the complaint reads. The eight-page opinion – which reviewed the school board’s meeting practices – states the school board adhered to the Open Meetings Act when it went

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into closed session on Sept. 8, Oct. 13 and Nov. 10. However, the OMCB determined the school board violated the act when it failed to meet disclosure obligations for those same meetings “When an open meeting is recessed for the public body to go into a closed session to perform an administrative function, §3-104 requires that it disclose in the minutes of its next meeting ‘a statement of the date, time, place, and persons present at the administrative function meeting,’ and ‘a phrase or sentence identifying the subject matter discussed at the administrative function meeting …,’” the opinion reads. “We find that the County Board violated the Act when it failed to comply fully with §3104’s disclosure obligations following its sessions closed to perform an administrative function on September 8, 2020, October 13, 2020, and November 10, 2020.” In its review of the Sept. 29 closed meeting, the OMCB opined the school board properly voted to go into closed session, but that conversations between Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin and board members strayed from the administrative function.

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“The County Board’s response asserts that, during the closed session, Dr. Hanlin provided information about the possible resumption of in-person education and sports competitions and the various considerations she and her staff were weighing regarding the timing of these things,” the opinion reads. “The response also asserts that Dr. Hanlin is generally responsible for the administration of school activities and programming. The sealed minutes of the September 29, 2020, closed meeting generally support the County Board’s response. However, the minutes also suggest that Dr. Hanlin sought the County Board’s approval on certain matters. It thus appears that the closed discussion strayed from the application of ‘set standards to a set of facts.’” The OMCB noted that while the superintendent’s Return to School Action Plan was presented at the following open session on Oct. 13, the public was entitled to witness the deliberation process. The OMCB added the school board also violated the Open Meetings Act when it did not disclose the subject of its Sept. 29 meeting prior to convening a closed session. ROOFING

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Business And Real Estate News

February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Bank Promotion SALISBURY – John W. Breda, President and CEO of The Bank of Delmarva, recently announced Staci Niblett has been promoted to senior vice president. During her 25-plus year career with the bank, Niblett has served many roles including marketing director. In her newly expanded role, she will oversee the marketing department as well as continue to develop and grow the bank’s electronSTACI NIBLETT ic banking products and services. She is a member of the bank’s Management and Regulatory Compliance Committees. In addition, she works closely with management on holding company related projects. In 2019, Niblett received her certification in electronic banking and is a graduate of the American Bankers School of Marketing. She is currently participating as a mentor in Leadership Delmarva, an internal leadership program which provides opportunities to learn more about the banking industry and challenges participants to grow both personally and professionally. She lives in Salisbury with her husband, Shane.

Health has announced the promotion of long-time employee Lisa Noland to the position of director of housing. In her new role, Noland is responsible for the programs and staff at each of Hudson’s off-campus housing facilities throughout Maryland and Delaware. “Lisa has been with us for a number of years and has proven how invaluable she is to our team,” said Leslie Brown, CEO of Hudson Behavioral Health. “Our housing facilities in Delaware have run smoothly under Lisa’s manage- LISA NOLAND ment and we are very pleased that she is now in charge of our full scope of housing on the Eastern Shore.” Noland joined Hudson in 2015 as a peer support and case manager. During this time, she provided peer support and case management services and worked with community partners to create a con-

Health Individual Promoted SALISBURY – Hudson Behavioral HOME IMPROVEMENT

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Page 35

tinuum of care. In 2019 she was elevated to a new role -- program director of Delaware housing. Noland oversaw the numerous recovery houses in Delaware and sought opportunities for expansion. Noland received her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Wilmington University and is currently working to complete a master’s program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC).

Production Facility Now Open DOVER, Del. – Grotto Pizza announced its new, full-scale production facility in Dover, Del. is now open and operational. The building is a centralized location for dough production, dry storage and food distribution. This marks a significant step forward for Grotto Pizza as the facil-

HERE’S MY CARD

ity will bolster its abilities to produce in excess of two million pounds of dough for all 23 Grotto Pizza stores located throughout Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The 9,800-square-foot, state-of-theart production facility is home to approximately 20 employees. The opening of the Dover facility allows Grotto Pizza to consolidate all dough production operations to a single site in the center of the state. “We’re excited about the efficient hub-and-spoke capabilities at our new production facility and feel it’s the next logical step in our expansion efforts throughout Delaware and beyond,” said Grotto Pizza Vice President Jeff Gosnear. “Dover is the ideal ‘hub’ due to its centralized location in the Mid-Atlantic region - permitting us to better serve our existing stores while concurrently opening up the door for new stores in the region.” “Our journey originated from humble beginnings in 1960 in a pizza kitchen on Rehoboth Ave., to now operating 23 locations in three states with over 1,800 employees during peak season,” said Dominick Pulieri, founder of Grotto Pizza. “The new production facility in Dover allows us to broaden the Grotto Pizza footprint in the area while strengthening our SEE PAGE 36 MVA LICENSED

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Page 36

FROM PAGE 35 ability to create high-quality, consistent dough for our legendary pizza.”

New Salisbury Location SALISBURY – TidalHealth Gastroenterology has a new location at the Woodbrooke Medical Park in Salisbury on Riverside Drive. The new building was designed specifically for the needs of patients and staff. Located off Route 50, it is a comfortable and accessible location for care. In addition to the Gastroenterology practice, the Woodbrooke Medical Park now includes TidalHealth Primary Care, TidalHealth Family Lab, TidalHealth Neurology and TidalHealth Neurosurgery. Other offices specializing in gastroenterology are located at TidalHealth Nanticoke and the TidalHealth Ocean Pines campus.

New Restaurant Deal SALISBURY – Tonney Insley and Brent Miller with SVN|Miller Commercial Real Estate settled another deal that will bring a new restaurant to the Salisbury area. The future site of Ripieno’s Ristorante Italiano will be 2325 N. Salisbury Blvd. This land, which used to be the site of a commercial office and a single-family residence, will transform to become an upscale Italian restaurant called Ripieno’s Ristorante Italiano. The restaurant is expected to have both indoor and outdoor seating including a deck on the north side overlooking Leonard’s Pond. Look for the start of construction by the spring/summer and a grand opening sometime in the fall.

Bank Creates Scholarships:

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

February 26, 2021

The Bank of Ocean City recently made a $100,000 pledge in order to provide $20,000 each year for the next five years for Stephen Decatur High School students who enroll in approved dual enrollment courses at WorWic Community College. “It is important for local businesses to invest in the next generation of Worcester County’s workforce,” said Reid Tingle, president and CEO of the Bank of Ocean City. “We believe that education is one of the greatest investments a community can make. By investing in our young people, we’re making an investment in our future.” Stephen Decatur High School students who are at least 16 years old and starting their junior or senior year in the fall can take advantage of dual enrollment courses at the college. The scholarship funds, which can be used for tuition and fees, will be awarded based on financial need and scholastic achievement. Anyone interested should see their high school guidance counselor or contact Richard C. Webster, Wor-Wic’s director of early college initiatives, at rwebster@worwic.edu or 410-334-2896. Above, Reid Tingle, right, president and CEO of the Bank of Ocean City, presents a check to Dr. Ray Hoy, president of Wor-Wic Community College, for scholarships for dual enrollment students from Stephen Decatur High School.

Submitted Photo

This deal marks the final transaction for Insley as part of this development that has included Aldi Grocery Store and Panera Bread. The Ripieno’s will be an excellent addition to this overall development and will add sophistication for the restaurant options on the North Side of Salisbury, according to Insley. “Amid a very unusual year and business/real estate climate locally and regionally, this type of deal shows that there remains a strong interest in Salisbury. I look forward to Ripieno’s and having a locally owned and operated place to get great food,” said Insley.

Excellence Celebrated SALISBURY – TidalHealth Peninsula

Regional in Salisbury, TidalHealth Nanticoke in Seaford, Del. and TidalHealth McCready Pavilion in Crisfield have all been named Screening Centers of Excellence by the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer for its ongoing commitment to responsible lung cancer screening. Low-dose CT screening for lung cancer carried out safely, efficiently and equitably can save tens of thousands of lives a year by finding lung cancer early when it is most treatable and even curable. "We are proud and honored to be working with TidalHealth as a GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer Screening Center of Excellence. Their commitment to practice responsible lung cancer screening

will lead to advancements in research and many lives saved. They are an example to follow," said GO2 Foundation President and CEO Laurie Fenton Ambrose. Designated Screening Centers of Excellence are committed to provide clear information on who is a candidate for lung cancer screening based on current evidence and to comply with comprehensive standards reflecting best practices developed by professional bodies such as the American College of Radiology, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program. Through established guidelines for controlling screening quality, radiation dose and diagnostic procedures within an experienced, multi-disciplinary clinical setting, Screening Centers of Excellence are ensuring that lung cancer screening's life-saving benefit transforms lung cancer care in their local community. "TidalHealth is dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality care. Low-dose CT screening has shown to be the only proven method to detect lung cancer at an early and treatable stage. We are thrilled to be part of this elite group, setting an example for responsible screening practices across the country," said TidalHealth Senior Director of Cancer Services Brandi Carr.

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Gas • Ice Cigarettes 410-641-2366 • Main St. & Old O.C. Blvd., Berlin, Md.


The Dispatch Classifieds

February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

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

Deadline For Insertions, Cancellations And Payment Is 3 p.m. Tuesday. Pre-Payment Is Required. We Accept Visa & MasterCard.

HELP WANTED LANDSCAPE WORKERS NEEDED: Must have valid DL. Reliable transportation to work. Call 410-641-2177. The Moore Companies, Berlin, MD. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– SMALL ENGINE MECHANIC: Needed for local landscape company in the Bishopville-Berlin area. FT/PT. The Moore Companies. 410-641-2177. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– CLEANERS: For condo rentals. Good pay. Spring, Summer, and Fall. Some experience required. Call 443-953-0544. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Now Hiring •ALL KITCHEN POSITIONS

Apply in Person IN THE OF FENWICK

SOUTHSIDE GRILL WOC: Hiring Line Cooks, Kitchen Help, Dishwashers. YR, FT or PT. Ambitious, willing to work individuals only. Pay neg. based on performance. 9923 Stephen Decatur Hwy. 410-2131572. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– PARAMOUNT CONSTRUCTION SERVICES: Seeking experienced professionals to join our organization in Ocean City, MD. Applicants should have several years of experience with knowledge of kitchen and bathroom remodeling for residential homes and condominiums. Paramount is currently looking for Project Managers, cabinet installers, tile setters, painters/drywall, electricians, and plumbers. Please call 443-6647689 or send resume to ocjobs@paramountserv.com ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– ADMINISTRATIVE ASST: For busy Landscape Contractors office in Berlin. This is a multi-tasking position for detail oriented individual including customer scheduling & routing crews. Strong computer skills and have a pleasant personality. Call The Moore Companies, 410-641-2177. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

CARPENTERS & CARPENTERS HELPERS

Must have: Tools, Transportation, Driver’s License

Exp. Required! PATTERSON & SONS BUILDERS

Call 410-641-9530

Hiring For The Summer Season! May 1 - Sept 30 Weekday and Weekend Hours Available. Start At $15/Hour. Must Have Reliable Transportation. (We Reimburse .40/mile)

End Of Season Bonus! Text or Call 443-640-7983

HIRING AT BOTH LOCATIONS ALL POSITIONS INCLUDING MANAGEMENT Apply In Person South Location 31st St. Coastal Hwy. 410-289-2581

PART-TIME SCHOOL CUSTODIAN

Worcester Preparatory School, a coeducational college preparatory day school serving over 400 students in grades PK-12, is currently seeking a PT custodian to clean school buildings daily from 3:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. CJIS Background Screening required. EOE

Contact: Heather Parsons 410-641-3575 or hparsons@worcesterprep.org

POSEIDON PLUMBING & HOME SERVICES NOW HIRING PLUMBERS. We offer paid training, vacation, and personal days, as well as a quality benefits package including health, dental, vision, and life insurance. Wage is BOE from $12-$30/hour. Based in the Berlin/OC area. What we require: -Min. 4 Years Experience -Valid Drivers License -Reliable Form of Contact -Background Check -Ability to Pass a Drug Test -Positive Attitude & Willingness to Learn If you feel that you can fill one of these positions, please call us to set up an interview. We can be reach at 410-251-1096.

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

Year Round Positions ~ROOM ATTENDANT ~LAUNDRY ~LOBBY ATTENDANT ~OVERNIGHT CLEANER ~HOUSEKEEPING SUPERVISOR ~FRONT DESK AGENT ~NIGHT AUDIT ~RESERVATIONS Seasonal Positions ~SERVER ~BARTENDER ~HOSTESS/HOST ~BUSSER ~FOOD RUNNERS ~POOL ATTENDANT ~WAREHOUSE CLERK ~GRILL COOKS ~BEACH STAND ~SECURITY EXCELLENT BENEFITS!

NOW HIRING - YEAR ROUND EXPERIENCED BARTENDER Call 410-726-7061 for Interview

FAX RESUME & SALARY REQ. to: 410-723-9109 Online at www.clarionoc.com APPLY IN PERSON Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. CLARION RESORT FONTAINEBLEAU HOTEL 10100 COASTAL HWY. OCEAN CITY, MD. 21842 EOE M/F/D/V

Page 37

PUT YOUR LOGO IN COLOR FOR JUST $10

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

I NDI A N RI VER MA R INA NOW HI R ING SUMMER POS I TIONS!

•FUEL DOCK ATTENDANT •DOCK HANDS •RAMP ATTENDANTS

Apply Online at delawarestatejobs.com For additional information, please contact the Marina office at 302.227.3071 AA/EOE

FULL-TIME PERSONAL BANKER Farmers Bank of Willards has a full-time Personal Banker position available at our West Ocean City location. Looking for professional and motivated individuals with extraordinary customer service skills. Cash handling experience & excellent computer skills a must. Please send resume to 12641 Ocean Gateway, OC, MD 21842 or email: jennie.rice@fbwbank.com Application cut off is 03-08-2021 “Equal Employment Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer”

I NDI A N R I V ER MA R I NA I S NO W HI R I NG! •MAINTENANCE •NIGHT WATCH 3PM-11PM SHIFT

•GENERAL CLERICAL

Apply Online at delawarestatejobs.com For additional information, please contact the Marina office at 302.227.3071 AA/EOE


The Dispatch

Classifieds

Page 38

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

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Currently hiring manpower for

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

PART-TIME FRONTLINE ASSOCIATE

Come Join Our Winning Team!

Farmers Bank of Willards has a Part-Time Frontline Associate position available at the Talbot Branch, Ocean City location. Looking for professional and motivated individuals with extraordinary customer service skills. Cash handling experience & excellent computer skills a must. Please send resume to 12641 Ocean Gateway, OC, MD 21842 or email: jennie.rice@fbwbank.com Application cut off is 03-08-2021

We are looking for experienced personnel with customer service skills. Must be flexible with hours. If unable to attend the Job Fair, email resume to jobs@carouselhotel.com or stop by and complete an application at the Front Desk. We require satisfactory pre-employment drug testing and background check. All health guidelines will be strictly followed to include face masks, social distancing, and sanitizing.

Carousel Resort Hotel & Condominiums 11700 Coastal Highway Ocean City, MD 21842 EOE

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

Sunset Island, Ocean City, MD Accepting Resumes for a

Clubhouse Facility Manager

Full-Time Seasonal Position Personnel Management experience is required. The job would require management of a seasonal staff of 15 people, and oversight of contractors and scheduling. Weekends and Holidays are mandatory. Excellent people skills a must! Salary based on experience. Fax Resume to 410-520-0398 or Email: linda.horensavitz@ casinc.biz

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

Attention Independent Cleaning Contractors in the Ocean City area. Coldwell Banker Vacations is looking for experienced, energetic individuals to deliver Truly Remarkable Service by providing quality cleaning services in a limited time window for the 2021 season. Weekend hours, license, insurance, references and a great work ethic required. Smartphone for Cleaning Portal Access.

Contact Kay, Jen or Sue at 410.723.8507 or email cclean@cbvacations.com

“Equal Employment Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer”

The Carousel Group will be holding an onsite Job Fair Wednesday, March 3rd from 11am to 5pm for the following positions:

Overnight Front Desk Front Desk Recreation Attendant Housekeeping Supervisors Room Attendant Houseperson Laundry Maintenance Restaurant Supervisor Hostess/Cashier Barista Restaurant Server Line Cook Kitchen Utility

February 26, 2021

NOW HIRING AWESOME PEOPLE

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Come by and join our 2021 family!

54th ST OCMD 410-723-5565

Behind Chauncey’s Surf Shop

RENTALS

SERVICES

WINTER RENTAL: 122nd St., ocean side, 1BR, 1BA condo. Clean, Cozy, Furnished. Non smoking. $700/mo + elec. & sec. dep. Water incl. 443-373-5638. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– YEAR ROUND: 70th St., OC, MD. Avail. in April. Y/R 2nd flr, unfurnished apt., 1 block from ocean. 2BR/1BA, W/D. $1800/mo + util. + 1 mon. sec. dep. req’d. Application and background check performed. Call Denice 443-497-0140. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Ceja’s Landscaping & More!

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

Burgundy Inn 1210 Philadelphia Ave.

Upcoming Yard Sale? The Dispatch is the best way to get the word out! Print & Online 410-289-8581

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COMMERCIAL

UPSCALE MIDTOWN OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT: 2,130 sq.ft. No CAM fees. 443-880-2225. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– FOR LEASE: Retail Banking Center with drive thru. Contact Brian Gamm. 443-880-2225. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––– WEST O.C. OFFICE/RETAIL SPACES AVAILABLE: 1 OfficeRetail and 1 Warehouses. Plenty of Parking. 443-497-4200. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––

BOATS PONTOON BOAT WANTED: 27’ Tri-Hull with Trailer. Ocean Pines or surrounding areas. 410-8323824 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––


The Dispatch

Legal Notices

February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

LEGAL RATES

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

THIRD INSERTION HASSANI, FOCAS & FIFER, P.A. ERIC T. FIFER ESQ. 22 WEST PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, SUITE 606 TOWSON, MD 21204 NOTICE TO CREDITORS OF APPOINTMENT OF FOREIGN PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE ESTATE NO. 18599 Notice is given that the REGISTER OF WILLS AND ORPHANS’ COURT of YORK COUNTY, PA, appointed DELOYCE V. BARNHART, 2019 ROSEWOOD LANE, YORK, PA 17403 as the EXECUTOR of the Estate of JACOB A. BARNHART, who died on SEPTEMBER 7, 2020, domiciled in MARYLAND, USA. The Maryland resident agent for service of process is ERIC T. FIFER, whose address is 22 WEST PENNSYLVANIA AVE STE 606, TOWSON, MD 21204. At the time of death, the decedent owned real or leasehold property in the following MARYLAND counties: WORCESTER. All persons having claims against the decedent must file their claims with the Register of Wills for Worcester County with a copy to the foreign personal representative on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the foreign personal representative mails or delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claim within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. Claims filed after that date or after a date extended by law will be barred. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 12, 2021 DELOYCE V. BARNHART Foreign Personal Representative True Test Copy

TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 02-12, 02-19, 02-26

THIRD INSERTION

MARIANNA BATIE ESQ LAW OFFICE OF MARIANNA BATIE 9748 STEPHEN DECATUR HIGHWAY, SUITE 112 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18601 To all persons interested in the estate of MARGARET WOOLLEN REHKEMPER, ESTATE NO. 18601. Notice is given that MARGARET WOOLLEN RUSH, 4 OXMORE FLINT ROAD SW APT. B1, DECATUR, AL 35603 was on, FEBRUARY 08, 2021, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of MARGARET WOOLLEN REHKEMPER, who died on JANUARY 25, 2021, 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 AUGUST, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the

mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 12, 2021 MARGARET WOOLLEN RUSH Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 02-12, 02-19, 02-26

THIRD INSERTION

THOMAS P. DOWNS ESQ. THE DOWNS LAW FIRM, P.C. 322 MAIN STREET, SUITE 102 LAUREL, MD 20707 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18602 To all persons interested in the estate of JOAN M. WILSON, ESTATE NO. 18602. Notice is given that DIANA RUTH WHELAN, 7619 SUNFLOWER DRIVE, MARGATE, FL 33063 was on, FEBRUARY 08, 2021, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of JOAN M. WILSON, who died on DECEMBER 09, 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 8th day of AUGUST, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date

of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 12, 2021 DIANA RUTH WHELAN Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 02-12, 02-19, 02-26

SECOND INSERTION

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18604 To all persons interested in the estate of A. LEONARD LENTOWSKI AKA ALBIN LEONARD LENTOWSKI, ESTATE NO. 18604. Notice is given that DIANE MURPHY, 1319 CHEROKEE LANE, BEL AIR, MD 21015 was on, FEBRUARY 09, 2021, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of A. LEONARD LENTOWSKI, who died on JANUARY 08, 2021, 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 9th day of AUGUST, 2021. Any person having a claim

Page 39 against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 19, 2021 DIANE MURPHY Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 02-19, 02-26, 03-05

SECOND INSERTION

LESLIE LOBOS, TRUSTEE PINES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR WORCESTER COUNTY, MD C-23-CV-20-000292 VILLAS OF OCEAN PINES BORDERLINKS TIMESHARE OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 Plaintiff vs. DANNY WAYNE MEANS, et al. Defendants NOTICE ORDERED, by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland this 9th day of February, 2021, that the foreclosure sale of the properties mentioned in these proceeedings, made and reported by Leslie Lobos, Trustee, be RATIFIED AND CONFIRMED, unless cause to the contrary thereof be shown on or before the 15th day of March, 2021, 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

8th day of March, 2021. 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 intervals: Timeshare

Price

Wk 44, #Ay25 Wk 45, #Ay25 Wk 47, #Ay25 Wk 50, #Ay25 Wk 52, #Ay25 Wk 18, #Bb28 Wk 36, #Bb28 Wk 47, #Bb28 Wk 14, #Bc29 Wk 46, #Bc29 Wk 50, #Bc29 Wk 05, #Bf32 Wk 20, #Bf32 Wk 03, #Bg33 Wk 49, #Bg33 Wk 50, #Bg33 Wk 07, #Bh34

$50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $1000.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $1000.00 $50.00 $50.00 $1000.00 $50.00

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 19, 2021 TRUE TEST COPY SUSAN R. BRANIECKI Clerk of the Circuit Court Worcester County, MD 3x, 02-19, 02-26, 03-05

SECOND INSERTION

LESLIE LOBOS, TRUSTEE PINES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR WORCESTER COUNTY, MD C-23-CV-20-000296 VILLAS OF OCEAN PINES BORDERLINKS TIMESHARE OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 Plaintiff vs. LARRY ALLIO, et al. Defendants NOTICE ORDERED, by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland this 9th day of February, 2021, that the foreclosure sale of the properties mentioned in these proceeedings, made and reported by Leslie Lobos, Trustee, be RATIFIED AND CONFIRMED, unless cause to the contrary thereof be shown on or before the 15th day of March, 2021, 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 8th day of March, 2021. 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 intervals: Timeshare

Price

Wk 38, #Bh34

$1000.00

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch


The Dispatch

Page 40

Legal Notices

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

Date of Publication FEBRUARY 19, 2021 TRUE TEST COPY SUSAN R. BRANIECKI Clerk of the Circuit Court Worcester County, MD 3x, 02-19, 02-26, 03-05

SECOND INSERTION LESLIE LOBOS, ESQ. IN-HOUSE COUNSEL PINES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR WORCESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND CASE NO. C-23-CV-21-000012 VILLAS OF OCEAN PINES BORDERLINKS TIMESHARE OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 Plaintiff v. DOROTHY MATCHETT, ET AL. Defendants TRUSTEE’S SALE OF TIME SHARE INTERVALS IN THE VILLAS OF OCEAN PINES, BORDERLINKS CONDOMINIUM, OCEAN PINES, MD By virtue of a certain Claim 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-21-000012, the undersigned Trustee, will offer for sale at public auction at the entrance of the Villas of Ocean Pines, located at, 438 Ocean Parkway, Ocean Pines, Maryland, the following described property located in Ocean Pines, Worcester County, Maryland, on Monday, March 08, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., the following timeshare intervals: Condomimium Unit Ag7 Am13 Am13 Bb28 Bb28

Time Interval 18 14 49 9 43

Each time interval being one week per year in the corresponding unit, each unit being part of the Villas of Ocean Pines, including an

undivided interest in the common elements thereof, as established pursuant to a Declaration of Condominium and Timeshare 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. 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 and guarantees. A secured party may bid and shall be excused from deposit requirements. The Trustee reserves the right to withdraw any interval from the sale and/or to reject any and all bids. Terms of Sale: A deposit in the full amount of the sales price per time interval will be required at the time of sale, such deposit to be in cash or check. Cost of all documentary stamps, transfer taxes, 2021 maintenance fees and all other settlement costs shall be borne by the purchaser. The date of settlement shall be within fifteen (15) days after final ratification by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland, time being of the essence; otherwise the deposit will be forfeited and the property will be resold at the risk and expense of the defaulting purchaser, or in any manner designated by the Trustee; or, without forfeiting deposit, the Seller may exercise any of its legal or equitable rights against the defaulting purchaser. For more information, call: Leslie Lobos, Esq., Trustee, at 240-449-8862. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 19, 2021 3x, 02-19, 02-26, 03-05

SECOND INSERTION

LESLIE LOBOS, TRUSTEE PINES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR WORCESTER COUNTY, MD C-23-CV-20-000297 VILLAS OF OCEAN PINES BORDERLINKS

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch TIMESHARE OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 Plaintiff vs. JOHN C DREXEL, et al. Defendants NOTICE ORDERED, by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland this 9th day of February, 2021, that the foreclosure sale of the properties mentioned in these proceeedings, made and reported by Leslie Lobos, Trustee, be RATIFIED AND CONFIRMED, unless cause to the contrary thereof be shown on or before the 15th day of March, 2021, 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 8th day of March, 2021. 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 intervals: Timeshare

Price

Wk 17, #Bx50 Wk 36, #Bx50

$50.00 Not Offered For Sale $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 Not Offered For Sale Not Offered For Sale Not Offered For Sale Not Offered For Sale Not Offered For Sale

Wk 43, #Bx50 Wk 46, #Bx50 Wk 47, #Bx50 Wk 52, #Bx50 Wk 02, #By51 Wk 15, #By51 Wk 43, #By51 Wk 44, #By51 Wk 52, #By51

Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 19, 2021 TRUE TEST COPY SUSAN R. BRANIECKI Clerk of the Circuit Court Worcester County, MD 3x, 02-19, 02-26, 03-05

SECOND INSERTION

LESLIE LOBOS, TRUSTEE PINES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR WORCESTER COUNTY, MD C-23-CV-20-000271 BORDERLINKS I TIME INTERVAL ASSOCIATION, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 Plaintiff

et al. Defendants NOTICE ORDERED, by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland this 11th day of February, 2021, that the foreclosure sale of the properties mentioned in these proceeedings, made and reported by Leslie Lobos, Trustee, be RATIFIED AND CONFIRMED, unless cause to the contrary thereof be shown on or before the 15th day of March, 2021, 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 8th day of March, 2021. 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 intervals: Timeshare Price Wk 20, #Bi35 Wk 40, #Bi35 Wk 05, #Bj36 Wk 08, #Bj36 Wk 10, #Bj36 Wk 14, #Bj36 Wk 19, #Bj36

$1000.00 $1000.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 $50.00 Not Offered For Sale Wk 18, #Bk37 $50.00 Wk 47, #Bk37 $50.00 Wk 48, #Bk37 $50.00 Wk 04, #B041 $50.00 Wk 14, #B041 $50.00 Wk 40, #B041 $1000.00 Wk 41, #B041 $1000.00 Wk 44, #B041 $50.00 Wk 01, #Bz52 $50.00 Wk 02, #Bz52 $50.00 Wk 11, #Cb54 $50.00 Wk 11, #Cb54 Not Offered For Sale Wk 11, #Cb54 $50.00 Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 19, 2021 TRUE TEST COPY SUSAN R. BRANIECKI Clerk of the Circuit Court Worcester County, MD 3x, 02-19, 02-26, 03-05

SECOND INSERTION LESLIE LOBOS, ESQ. IN-HOUSE COUNSEL PINES PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR WORCESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND CASE NO. C-23-CV-21-000016 VILLAS OF OCEAN PINES BORDERLINKS TIMESHARE OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 11029 CATHELL ROAD BERLIN, MD 21811 Plaintiff v.

vs.

DEBORAH ERTAFA, ET AL. Defendants

SHARON PRETTYMAN,

TRUSTEE’S SALE

February 26, 2021 OF TIME SHARE INTERVALS IN THE VILLAS OF OCEAN PINES, BORDERLINKS CONDOMINIUM, OCEAN PINES, MD By virtue of a certain Claim 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-21-000016, the undersigned Trustee, will offer for sale at public auction at the entrance of the Villas of Ocean Pines, located at, 438 Ocean Parkway, Ocean Pines, Maryland, the following described property located in Ocean Pines, Worcester County, Maryland, on Monday, March 08, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., the following timeshare intervals: Condomimium Unit Am13 Bf32 Bg33 Bg33 An14 An14 Br44

Time Interval 19 45 5 7 8 44 7

Each time interval being one week per year in the corresponding unit, each unit being part of the Villas of Ocean Pines, including an undivided interest in the common elements thereof, as established pursuant to a Declaration of Condominium and Timeshare 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. 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 and guarantees. A secured party may bid and shall be excused from deposit requirements. The Trustee reserves the right to withdraw any interval from the sale and/or to reject any and all bids. Terms of Sale: A deposit in the full amount of the sales price per time interval will be required at the time of sale, such deposit to be in cash or check. Cost of all documentary stamps, transfer taxes, 2021 maintenance fees and all other settlement costs shall be borne by the purchaser. The date of settlement shall be within fifteen (15) days after final ratification by the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland, time being of the essence; otherwise the deposit will be forfeited and the property will be resold at the risk and expense of the defaulting purchaser, or in any manner designated by the Trustee; or, without forfeiting deposit, the Seller may exercise any of its legal or equitable rights against

the defaulting purchaser. For more information, call: Leslie Lobos, Esq., Trustee, at 240-449-8862. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 19, 2021 3x, 02-19, 02-26, 03-05

THIRD INSERTION

MICHAEL B MATHERS ESQ WEBB, CORNBROOKS, WILBER, VORHIS, DOUSE & MATHERS, LLP PO BOX 910 115 BROAD STREET SALISBURY, MD 21803-0910 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18529 To all persons interested in the estate of LOUIS P. NACKE, ESTATE NO. 18529. Notice is given that DALE ALAN NACKE, 4866 HAPPY HOLLOW ROAD, ATLANTA, GA 30360 was on, DECEMBER 16, 2020, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of LOUIS P. NACKE, who died on OCTOBER 25, 2001, 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 16TH day of JUNE, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates: (1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 26, 2021


The Dispatch

February 26, 2021

LEGAL RATES

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

Legal Notices

Legal advertising rate is $7 per column inch. Deadline for all legal advertising is Tuesday at noon. For more information, call 410-641-4563 or fax 410-641-0966. DALE ALAN NACKE Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 1x, 02-26

FIRST INSERTION

SMALL ESTATE NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18607 To all persons interested in the estate of BARRY L. HARBOLD. Notice is given that BONNIE L. HARBOLD, 13351 PEACHTREE ROAD, OCEAN CITY, MD 21842, was on FEBRUARY 16, 2021, appointed Personal Representative of the SMALL ESTATE of BARRY L. HARBOLD, who died on JANUARY 19, 2021 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 shall file their objections with the Register of Wills within 30 days after the date of publication of this Notice. All persons having any objection 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, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine 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 credi-

tor 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. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 26, 2021 BONNIE L. HARBOLD Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 1x, 02-26

FIRST INSERTION

JAMES A. LIST, ESQ. THE LAW OFFICES OF JAMES A. LIST 5700 COASTAL HIGHWAY, SUITE 100 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18610 To all persons interested in the estate of JEANNE I. DONOVAN, ESTATE NO. 18610. Notice is given that LESLIE E. DONOVAN, 2403 NORMANDY SQUARE PLACE #E, SILVER SPRING, MD 20906 was on, FEBRUARY 18, 2021, appointed Personal Representative of the estate of JEANNE I. DONOVAN, who died on JANUARY 16, 2021, 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 18th day of AUGUST, 2021. Any person having a claim against the decedent must present the claim to the undersigned personal representative or file it with the Register of Wills with a copy to the undersigned on or before the earlier of the following dates:

(1) Six months from the date of the decedent's death, except if the decedent died before October 1, 1992, nine months from the date of the decedent's death; or (2) Two months after the personal representative mails or otherwise delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claims within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. A claim not presented or filed on or before that date, or any extension provided by law, is unenforceable thereafter. Claim forms may be obtained from the Register of Wills. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 26, 2021 LESLIE E. DONOVAN Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 02-26, 03-05, 03-12

FIRST INSERTION

LAW OFFICE OF MARIANNA BATIE MARIANNA BATIE ESQ 9748 STEPHEN DECATUR HIGHWAY, SUITE 112 OCEAN CITY, MD 21842 NOTICE TO CREDITORS OF APPOINTMENT OF FOREIGN PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE ESTATE NO. 18611 Notice is given that the ORPHANS’ COURT of LANCASTER COUNTY, PA, appointed DEBORAH A. MILES, 1405 PENNSCOTT DRIVE, LANDISVILLE, PA 17538 as the EXCUTRIX of the Estate of ROBERT LEE SMITH, who died on OCTOBER 27, 2020, domiciled in PENNSYLVANIA, USA. The Maryland resident agent for service of process is MARIANNA BATIE ESQ, whose address is 9748 STEPHEN DECATUR HWY. STE 112, 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 delivers to the creditor a copy of this published notice or other written notice, notifying the creditor that the claim will be barred unless the creditor presents the claim within two months from the mailing or other delivery of the notice. Claims filed after that date or after a date extended by law will be barred. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 26, 2021 DEBORAH A. MILES Foreign Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 3x, 02-26, 03-05, 03-12

Page 41

FIRST INSERTION

dersigned 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:

SMALL ESTATE NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT NOTICE TO CREDITORS NOTICE TO UNKNOWN HEIRS ESTATE NO. 18614 To all persons interested in the estate of CHARLES BRYANT CODY SR. Notice is given that MAUREEN R CODY, 104 N WASHINGTON STREET, SNOW HILL, MD 21863, was on FEBRUARY 19, 2021, appointed Personal Representative of the SMALL ESTATE of CHARLES BRYANT CODY SR, who died on FEBRUARY 13, 2021 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 shall file their objections with the Register of Wills within 30 days after the date of publication of this Notice. All persons having any objection 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 un-

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(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) 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. Name of Newspaper: Maryland Coast Dispatch Date of Publication FEBRUARY 26, 2021 MAUREEN R CODY Personal Representative True Test Copy TERRI WESTCOTT Register of Wills for Worcester County Room 102 - Court House One W. Market Street Snow Hill, MD 21863-1074 1x, 02-26 The Dispatch Is On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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Four New Independent Films Added To Festival Shorebirds Hosting

Page 42

OCEAN CITY – Four new independent films that made their premieres at prestigious international film festivals have been added to the line-up of the 5th Annual Ocean City Film Festival, streaming March 4-11, at OCMDFilmFestival.com. These films have not yet been released to streaming services, and viewing during the Ocean City Film Festival will be exclusive. “Because these movies are in between the festivals where they premiered and received rave reviews and the streaming services picking them up, we’ve had the opportunity to score exclusive viewing rights to these four fantastic films, all award winners at films festivals,” said B.L. Strang-Moya, Film Festival director. “Even with us obtaining these rights, only a limited number of people will be lucky enough to watch them during our festival. So if one of these films interests you, don’t wait too long to get your

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

pass.” “Banksy Most Wanted,” an 82-minute French film that premiered at the Alantida Spain Film Festival in 2020, follows the curious story of the graffiti street artist turned unidentified art world celeb. Behind Banksy’s name hides a multitude of stories, artworks, stunts, political statements, and identities, leading to one of the art world's biggest unanswered questions: Who is Banksy? “Through the Night,” a 75-minute American film that debuted at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, explores the personal cost of the modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center. “Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time,” a 95-minute Hungarian film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2020, tells the story of Márta, a 40-year-old neurosurgeon who

leaves her American career and returns to Budapest to start a new life with the man she loves. But the man claims they have never met before. “Jumbo,” a 93-minute French film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, is the story of a shy young woman fascinated with carousels who works in an amusement park while still living at home with her mother. Jeanne meets Jumbo, the park's new flagship attraction. Viewer discretion is advised for all films. Films are unrated. Jumbo contains sexual content and nudity and is recommended for ages 16-plus. These films will stream as part of the Ocean City Film Festival, March 4-11. Festival passes are on sale now at OCMDFilmFestival.com or by calling 410524-9433. Passes start at $10 per feature film or film block. Multi-film packages are also available.

60 Games At Home

February 26, 2021

BY BETHANY HOOPER

STAFF WRITER

SALISBURY – The Delmarva Shorebirds will kick off its 2021 season in May as the member of a new league. Last Thursday, the Delmarva Shorebirds announced its schedule for the 2021 season. The team will return for 60 home games at the Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, starting with opening night on Tuesday, May 4. Recently, the Shorebirds accepted an invitation from the Baltimore Orioles to remain their Low-A affiliate, according to a news release. Formerly a member of the South Atlantic League, the Shorebirds will now play in the newly constructed Low-A East League, consisting of twelve teams evenly divided into three divisions with seven teams serving as first-time opponents with no previous head-to-head meetings with the Shorebirds. Joining the Shorebirds in the North Division are the Fredericksburg Nationals (Washington Nationals), Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians) and Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) who all previously played in the Advanced-A Carolina League. “We have enjoyed a terrific partnership with the Orioles for the past 25 years and we are excited to continue to help develop the O’s stars of tomorrow on their journey to Camden Yards,” Shorebirds General Manager Chris Bitters said. “Every year, the Orioles provide firstclass talent on and off the field and we look forward to continuing to create fun, affordable, family entertainment, while helping grow our Delmarva community.” Last year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball (MLB) informed Minor League Baseball (MiLB) it would not be providing its affiliated teams with players for the 2020 season. As a result, the playing season for MiLB teams – including the Delmarva Shorebirds – was shelved. In preparation for its 2021 season, officials said investments in new protective measures have been made at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium to ensure the safety of fans, staff and players. “While we currently are still under a limited capacity in adherence with state health guidelines, we are committed to implementing all our new protective measures immediately to ensure we are prepared to keep fans safe right now and as our capacity grows,” Bitters said. “Our community and fan base has always been a top priority and we are looking forward to welcoming fans back for Shorebirds baseball in 2021.” The Shorebirds will continue to monitor and adhere to all regulations while keeping fans updated with the latest information as soon as it becomes available, according to the news release. In the coming weeks, the Shorebirds will be reaching out through separate communication to all partners, season ticket holders, groups, silver sluggers, individual ticket holders, staff, and fans regarding next steps.


Best Beats

February 26, 2021

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

on the beach

KINGS RANSOM Crawl Street Tavern: Saturday, Feb. 27

BINGO W/BLAKE HALEY Greene Turtle West: Tuesdays

FULL CIRCLE DUO Crabcake Factory Bayside: Wednesday, March 3

OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS Seacrets: Thursday, March 4

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

RAY WROTEN Crawl St. Tavern: Sunday, Feb. 28

BEATS BY STYLER Pickles Pub: Sunday, Wednesday & Friday

JOSH PRYOR Pickles Pub: Saturday, Feb. 27

Page 43


The Dispatch

Page 44

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

NEWS DEPARTMENT SHAWN J. SOPER Managing Editor ssoper@mdcoastdispatch.com CHARLENE SHARPE Staff Writer/Copy Editor csharpe@mdcoastdispatch.com BETHANY HOOPER Staff Writer bhooper@mdcoastdispatch.com CHRIS PARYPA Photographer

SALES DEPARTMENT TERRI FRENCH Account Executive Entertainment Editor terri@mdcoastdispatch.com JEANETTE DESKIEWICZ Account Executive jeanette@mdcoastdispatch.com

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BUSINESS OFFICE Bookkeeper/Classifieds Manager classifieds@mdcoastdispatch.com

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

Testing Mandate Confirms Out Of Touch Claims The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

February 26, 2021

HOW WE SEE IT

Among the many things confirmed over the last year has been education decisions are complicated because there are multiple layers to weigh in nearly all judgments. However, in nearly all cases, keeping convoluted matters as simple as possible should be the guiding force. An example would be there is no debate in-school instruction is superior to virtual or hybrid models. Therefore, all efforts, such as has been the case in Worcester County, should be clear toward returning as many kids to school as possible while allowing those who do not feel safe to continue schooling from home. It was announced this week Worcester County will welcome back all students who desire inschool instruction March 8. This is a positive for students, parents and educators. This week’s decision, however, by the Maryland State Department of Education and supported by the federal

education officials, including the Biden administration, calls for standardized testing to take place this spring. The subjects of reading and math (but not science and social studies) will be tested in grades 3-8 and high school this spring. This means test prep will have to begin almost immediately if it has not already. The argument is kids must be scaled to determine exactly how far behind they are compared to previous groups of kids their age. The results are inevitable. The test results will be down significantly. It’s just a question of how bad. Cynical minds would suggest federal and state education officials want the test scores to show low achievement so major gains are realized in future normal years. It’s the wrong approach no matter. We would prefer the testing be skipped this spring as it was last year when practical issues – namely reliable internet access for all – made admin-

istering them impossible in a virtual environment. The problem, and it’s a fundamental flaw for public education, is test results are typically tied to funding and teacher evaluations in many cases. As The Baltimore Sun in an editorial this week, “There is no reason to put teachers and students through the unnecessary stress and trauma. We need to let everyone get back to the basics and transitioning to in-school learning through establishing connections and meaningful social interaction. It will be years before we know the toll months of isolation and learning through a screen has had on our students. The fears of long-range consequences are real while short-term issues with mental health are obvious already. We hope this decision on standardized testing is reconsidered because it confirms state and federal leaders are out of touch with the realities inside schools across the state and country.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Keep Family Fun Image Editor: My family are property owners and operate a family pizza restaurant on the Boardwalk. We rely on the public bathrooms to stay open and not to close while the families are still on the Boardwalk late into the evening. The town advertises the Boardwalk as a destination for family friendly fun. Closing the bathrooms at 9 p.m. does not live up to the expectations that we advertise to the public. Accommodating the tourist with public facilities enhances our town’s reputation. Please keep the Boardwalk public bathrooms open for the tourist at least or later than midnight. Lisa Russo Ocean City

Remember Safety In Planning Editor: This week, the Ocean City Council came out with a Capital Improvement Plan consisting of extremely important things that cannot be overlooked. This plan consists of maintaining our Boardwalk, seawalls and dredging canals to ensure they don't fall into disrepair. After all, this is what draws people to town. But there is one key aspect missing from this Capital Improvement Plan. In light of the events of last June, I believe it is equally important to be making sure Ocean City is a safe place for families in the summer. We need to support our police by setting up more cameras off Boardwalk facing side streets as well as around town and expand community action with city watch gr-

oups. The bathrooms also need to stay open later to deter unwanted behavior elsewhere. More seasonal police are also needed to walk the Boardwalk. Last summer, Ocean City was featured on Fox News and other cable networks for this exact issue. Just as we want people to see a well-maintained Boardwalk, we want people to see a safe boardwalk. Both factors contribute to families deciding whether to come or not. Ocean City is a town for families and one or two events like this ruin that image that Ocean City is a family town. Nicholas Eastman Ocean City

Considerations For Berlin Editor: My husband, our children and I moved to Berlin from Ocean City in 1981. I had a business in Berlin on Main Street in late 80’s to early 90’s. I have lived in the town limits since 1981. My husband and I renovated the old house and barn we purchased in 1981 and eventually sold that (2015). We then built the home we live in now. At the last Mayor and Council meeting, the possibility of selling parcels of Heron Park was discussed. Public comments on the sale were requested. This is my response to that request. I am opposed to selling parcel 410. When Heron Park was purchased it was touted as being a generational project that would be good for the people of the town. We were also told that the planning committee was working on a “green buffer” around the town. I am hopeful that this is still the intent of the current mayor, council and planning

commission. In 1990 there were approximately 2,600 people living in town. In 2010 population was 4,500. Not sure where we are today but as you can see the population doubled in the time shown. I’m sure it’s risen since then. As the town grows, green space in the town limits is going to become more and more scarce, and precious. When considering the future of the Heron Park property, I think we should ask ourselves, “What is good for the people living in town?” People are already using the Heron Park space to play, sled, walk dogs, bike, bird and walk. The COVID 19 pandemic has put a microscope on the necessity for outdoor public spaces. Think of Central Park and the foresight shown when that was built. I believe the best use of this specific portion of land (parcel 410) for the residents of the Town of Berlin would be to save this area to be used as a park, town storage and extra parking area. We should leave our options open, because once it’s sold, we no longer have any options, it is gone forever. The back end of parcel 57 that is green could also be added as well as part of the road on parcel 57. Town storage: The pole barns that are currently being used by the town on parcel 410 would be very costly to build in another space. Why not leave them there? It seems to work well for the town employees. To recreate these storage spaces for municipal equipment would be very expensive. To create an industrial use site, concrete pad and SEE NEXT PAGE


February 26, 2021

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR buildings would be very costly. One contractor we asked estimated for those size buildings, the cost for only pad and building could well exceed $300,000. That estimate is not considering driving access to the buildings, or the cost of the new property. Town Park: The Mayor and Council, Berlin Police Department and residents have all expressed interest in constructing a skate park. The northwest corner of parcel 410 would work well because it is far from homes and businesses. A skatepark, horseshoes, ping pong, frisbee golf could all fit on this block of land. These activities could even attract tournaments and additional tourists to Berlin. However, these types of recreational activities create noise and people congregate. Many people don’t want these types of facilities built near their homes. All residents living near any open space being considered for a recreational build or activity of any kind, should be allowed to offer their thoughts and concerns. Just because there is an open park space doesn’t mean it needs to be filled. The skate park issue has come up again and again for the past 40 years. We always have to consider those who are really not into skating and/or want to keep the area around their houses private, quiet and peaceful. After all, that’s why many people moved here. Parking: This area would make parking available for events. We could possibly add shuttle services for events. Options: Can we revisit the YMCA feasibility study that was tabled a few years back? Can we do research on saving green spaces and money available for that? What do others think as far as how this area could be used for town festivals etc.? What have other concerned citizens come up with regarding green space ideas and this parcel that could benefit us all; not just for a fleeting moment but for years to come? There is a lot of building going on or in the pipeline around the town already and more will come as farms are sold. Why not keep this green space while we can? We are paying for it as the taxpayers, and we should have some say in what is done with this land. There is much written on the topic, and a lot of research that shows the value of green space in towns and municipalities. Having green space available is known to boost home prices. Smart planning will only help the value of our homes. We should have a plan for smart planned growth, not just jump because an offer was made. Berlin is a special place because of its charm and rural nature. I understand why people want to move here. What will our legacy as decision makers be? Did we overbuild and contribute to sprawl or did we have the foresight to preserve precious and valuable open green spaces? Don’t kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Don’t damage the town so that it is unrecognizable and looks more like every other overbuilt area.

Between The Lines

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

What legacy do we want to leave? That we built and built, sacrificing our green spaces for the endless impulse to develop, and build housing units into every available crook and crevice of available land? Or that we planned a great community, that has rich, connected, beautiful green spaces for leisure and recreation. Pam Hay Berlin

Response To Letter Editor: In response to last week’s letter, Scott Chismar I’m sure you can find my phone number. Let’s have a chat. You keep talking stuff about me without knowing me. Let’s be fair and have a conversation like gentleman. Scott, I am no push over, neither will I bow down and keep my mouth shut. Might I offer a suggestion? If you have a problem with someone you do not know, make sure you have the guts to battle to the end. I have no respect for bullies or games. At least my intentions for this Town of Ocean City are genuine. Not for gains for my family or Rolodex. Scott, you and the City Council seem to play this I’m better than anyone persona. But I see through it. Scott, I’m assuming because my family does not own property in this town or I’m not an attorney I am below what some of the town expects. But believe it or not smart guy since you know everything, I know some very intelligent and very smart members of the community all tired of the same Ferris wheel of political figures in this town. They want something different. You think you know everything, but you do not. Also, I might add some members of the community also see through the “my family has deep roots glasshouse BS too.” So before you wanna act like the king’s messenger, make sure you have the messages right. By the way Scott, 23% of voters turned out. If you cannot figure that equation, it means 77% percent did not vote. Which means I did not do my job as a candidate. Which I take full responsibility for. Another thing Scott, at least if I become a city council member or mayor I will have the respect for other families and community members. Unlike the stuck up rich kid. I would have respect for Buas, but this I’m better then you attitude is why I have no respect for him. Our first meeting he had this you’re beneath me attitude towards me. Unfortunately, it’s a deep-rooted trait in Ocean City. If you got a problem with me, as I told other city council members you can try to intimidate me all you want. I’m not scared of any of you. If my family is brought into this again. Respect has very little meaning at that point. As I said before let’s have a civil conversation. I mean since you are a big and bad guy in the newspaper. I’m willing to do this like gentleman or if not I can treat you like a Rockefeller. I look forward to speaking with you. D.T. Hagan Ocean City

Page 45

By Publisher/Editor Steve Green

All indications are some foreign student workers will be back in the region this summer after President Biden issued a proclamation Thursday allowing efforts like the Summer Work Travel Program to begin processing applications again. The program was suspended last year by former President Trump under Proclamation 10014, which suspended entry of immigrants for purposes of working as a result of the coronavirus. In his proclamation, Biden wrote the proclamation, “harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here. It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world. And it harms individuals who were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise received, immigrant visas through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery. Proclamation 10014 has prevented these individuals from entering the United States, resulting, in some cases, in the delay and possible forfeiture of their opportunity to receive Fiscal Year 2020 diversity visas and to realize their dreams in the United States.” This was an expected move after the administration change, but many hoped it would occur a month ago as soon as Biden was sworn in. There are a couple uncertainties now of local significance. The first involves whether the volume of applicants from foreign workers will take place immediately or if it’s too late in the year for the State Department to process the applications in a timely fashion for the season. Secondly, working on the premise the practical issues will be overcome, there is concern about local housing and if seasonal rentals will be available once these applications are processed. Many property owners put in year-round rentals last year when they realized there would be no influx of seasonal rental needs, and many I spoke with this week said they were not going to break the leases without confidence the seasonal workers would be here. There will be much to come on this matter in the weeks ahead, but this should be good news for local businesses who struggled with labor last year. Discussions on short-term rental regulations will soon ramp up in Ocean Pines and Berlin. Prior to the pandemic, the concept in Berlin was to keep the short weekend rentals to certain residential zones while preserving the neighborhoods. Though there appeared to be a few options on the table at the time including an ordinance, the intent last winter was to allow short-term rentals in homeowners’ primary residences to prevent out-of-town property owners from renting properties. Back in early March 2020, then-Mayor Gee Williams said, “At the end of the day it’s not a resort. I don’t think we want to do anything to change the character or nature of our town.” Some members of the Berlin Council, like Councilman Troy Purnell and current Mayor Zack Tyndall, were against the owner-occupied requirement. The local Coastal Association of Realtors also opposed it. The pandemic took place and the concept was never revisited. The discussion will turn to the new mayor and council in April. In Ocean Pines, the dialogue is further along and been studied by a committee for months. More than 180 short-term rental properties were identified by the work group, according to OPA Director Frank Daly who is leading the evaluation. "Although the vast majority of these properties cause no problems whatsoever, a small number have caused extreme problems to the neighboring homes that have resulted in repeated complaints of excessive noise, unsightly trash, lewd behavior, parking issues and generally disturbing the peace of the neighborhood," he said. The guidelines will continue to get legal and committee review before being presented to the OPA Board next month. When asked directly whether he would allow increased restaurant and retail store capacity soon, Governor Larry Hogan was noncommittal this week at a press conference. It would stand to reason operators should expect at least what they could do last summer – 75% inside occupancy. With vaccinations taking place and metrics favorable, it would seem some increased capacity will be authorized this spring. On Tuesday, Hogan said Maryland is not yet at the point where the 50% capacity restriction will be lifted. “That’s certainly something we’re going to take a close look at,” he said. “We have 100% of our businesses open right now, but we still have some capacity restrictions.” Hogan said other public health directives, including the mask requirement in public places, would remain in place for the foreseeable future until COVID variants are identified and the majority of the state’s population is vaccinated. “I don’t see us lifting any masking orders any time soon because we’re worried about the variants out there,” he said. “As I started this discussion today, our metrics could not be going any better. We’re down to October levels. We got past the holiday surge and this has been consistent now for as many as six to eight weeks. Everything is going down, which is great, and we want to keep it going that way … What we don’t want is for everybody to get complacent. We have these crazy variants out there. There’s kindling out there still. There are embers and we don’t want it to flame back up again.”


Page 46

Puzzle Answers

PUZZLE ON PAGE 47

St. Paul’s

Episcopal Church 3 Church Street Berlin MD 410~641~4066

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The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

The Adventures Of Fatherhood By STEVE GREEN

ess is more. It’s something we always told our son Beckett, a talkative, live wire type, when he was in day care and elementary school. He was routinely in hot water for behavior related to talking too much about unrelated topics to the matter at hand as well as interrupting naptime at day care or the class at school. When he had something to say, he had no filter and had to get it out. It was a major effort to get his impulsivity under control. Nowadays, at the tween age of 12 years old, he’s different. While he can certainly get on some fast-talking rants, especially when he’s making excuses as to why he forgot to do his homework, he’s typically more reserved now. He’s clearly maturing. It’s quite an adjustment for us. It seems we went from one extreme to the other. I preferred the talkative days because at least what was on his mind was known. I was thinking about this dichotomy during some idle time last weekend as I sat in a movie theater parking lot at 9 p.m. waiting for my son to come out with friends. Since I knew it would just be us on the ride home from north Ocean City, I put together a playlist of about six of his favorite songs for the way home. There would be no peppering him with questions about the movie or what kind of junk he bought to eat and drink during it. I made sure he had a good time, but in short order he buried his head in his phone. I have come to learn it’s best not to ask too many questions. I want to show interest, but he’s not one to rehash everything immediately and maybe not at all in some instances. Pam and I are rolling with it while trying to maintain the proper level of engagement. The fact is he has reached the age he prefers his friends over family. He finds us to be intrusive and overbearing at times, while we think we are just being his parents

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and taking an active interest in his life. We are maintaining some thick skin during this journey and embracing the good. One such time would be last weekend on the way home from the movies. I could tell immediately he was not in the sharing mood, so I pumped up the music before we even left the parking lot. About the second song I realized he was enjoying the music. We sang together while he played on his phone. At one point I muted a song to tell him to look out the window at the moon. He did reluctantly, but I read his body language – just let the music play man. I did just that, and we sang together as we did on drives to and from karate classes when he was 7. As we pulled into the house, we even sat in the vehicle and finished listening to a song – “Circles” by Post Malone (beats Laurie Berkner’s “We Are The Dinosaurs” in my opinion). I enjoyed the extra few minutes because I knew we would be going our separate ways as soon as we walked into the house. It appears we have reached a stage in our relationship that I recall a friend mentioning once with his son. He drove his son to school in Berlin each morning from Rehoboth Beach. I remarked it was probably a good time to catch up on everything. He said, “well more often he doesn’t say a word to or from.” The silence seemed implausible to me at that time with my son in elementary school and quite loquacious at the time. It’s true the father-son relationship and mother-son dynamics are changing tremendously of late. We must relish the positive moments while realizing he’s changing before our eyes. Long gone are the days of blindside hugs, giggles at bath time and run-on sentences about his day that make you wonder when breathing is occurring. It’s fine, but it’s tough. I don’t necessarily wish it was like when he was 5 years old. There were significant challenges then. The

obstacles are just different now. There were times when he frustrated us, especially when the teacher called to tell us he flushed a pair of underwear down a toilet at school. There were many questions for him, including whose underwear it was anyway (he didn’t know for what it’s worth). Similar feelings of angst arise these days. The emotions associated are more complicated, however. The questions without answers remain but they are more confusing at times and always on a deeper level. When it comes to emotions and feelings, the talks get heavy. He despises deep and complicated conversations. He avoids them at all costs now. He wants to keep everything light. As his parents, we want him to stay a kid a bit longer. We don’t want him to deal with the drama and complications associated with young friendships and social interactions. We have been dealing with a lot of these difficult issues lately. In the grand scheme of things, the good news is all is well with our 12-yearold. What we are going through is normal. He gets As and Bs at a challenging school. He is a well-rounded kid who enjoys all the things he should, but abhors homework taking him away from skateboarding and playing sports with friends. We worry, but stay engaged. It’s parenting right now. As we weave through this journey, we will celebrate the great moments. For me, a 20-minute drive from a movie theater listening to him sing songs I would never be enjoying otherwise is worthy of remembering. After all, I have found when I reflect on previous parenting experiences the psyche has a way of toning down the negatives and building up the positives. I am thankful for that. (The writer is the publisher and editor of The Dispatch. He and his wife, Pamela, are proud parents of two boys. This weekly column examines their transition into parenthood and all that goes along with it. E-mail any thoughts to editor@mdcoastdispatch.com.)

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February 26, 2021

Horoscopes

ARIES (March 21 to April 19): Whatever decisions you're faced with this week, rely on your strong Aries instincts, and base them on your honest feelings, not necessarily on what others might expect you to do. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20): Your sensitive Taurean spirit is pained by what you feel is an unwarranted attack by a miffed colleague. But your sensible self should see it as proof that you must be doing something right. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20): More fine-tuning might be in order before you can be absolutely certain that you're on the right track. Someone close to you might offer to help. The weekend favors family get-togethers. CANCER (June 21 to July 22): The week continues to be a balancing act 'twixt dreaming and doing. But by week's end, you should have a much better idea of what you actually plan to do and how you plan to do it. LEO (July 23 to Aug. 22): Changing your plans can be risky, but it can also be a necessary move. Recheck your facts before you act. Tense encounters should ease by midweek, and all should be well by the weekend. VIRGO (Aug. 23 to Sept. 22): You might still be trying to adjust to recent changes. But things should improve considerably as you get to see some positive results. An uneasy personal matter calls for more patience. LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22): Congratulations. Your good intentions are fi-

OCEAN CITY vanishing

The Dispatch/Maryland Coast Dispatch

nally recognized, and long-overdue appreciation should follow. Keep working toward improvements wherever you think they're necessary. SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21): Try to look at your options without prejudging any of them. Learn the facts, and then make your assessments. Spend the weekend enjoying films, plays and musical events. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21): Someone might want to take advantage of the Sagittarian's sense of fair play. But before you ride off to right what you've been told is a wrong, be sure of your facts. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 19): You might be surprised to learn that not everyone agrees with your ideas. But this can prove to be a good thing. Go over them and see where improvements can be made. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18): After taking advice on a number of matters in recent months, expect to be called on to return the gesture. And, by the way, you might be surprised at who makes the request. PISCES (Feb. 19 to March 20): Reassure everyone concerned that a change of mind isn't necessarily a change of heart. You might still want to pursue a specific goal, but feel a need to change the way you'll get there. BORN THIS WEEK: You are able to make room in your heart for others, and that makes you a very special person in their lives. © 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

Things I Like ...

Page 47

WITH BUNK MANN

Ocean City was once a highly segregated town with unwritten “Jim Crow” laws in effect into the late 1960s. Blacks (known as Negroes or colored in that era) were not welcome as guests in the white-only hotels and restaurants or on the beach or Boardwalk. A unique event developed in the years prior to WWI was known as “Colored Excursion Day”. Designed by local merchants to sell food and souvenirs that would otherwise spoil or be stored for the winter, time was set aside after Labor Day for Blacks to visit the resort and enjoy the food, games, and sights of the Boardwalk. Special excursion trains would bring them, dressed in their Sunday best, to Ocean City from throughout the Delmarva Peninsula. Following the demise of the railroad the tradition continued by car and bus into the early 1950s. Today people of all races, religions, and color are welcome in the hotels and restaurants and on the beach and Boardwalk of Ocean City. To purchase one of Bunk Mann's books, click over to www.vanishingoc.com. Photo by A. Aubrey Bodine

The Dispatch Crossword Puzzle

By Steve Green

The movie, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” When my son says something about his school day

Will Ferrell on ‘Saturday Night Live”

Learning the features of a new phone Days I see the sunrise and sunset Stiff animal abuse punishments

A zero balance credit card statement Smell of fresh paint in a house

Helping someone pull off a prank Brick oven pizza

The first shower after a hair cut ANSWERS ON PAGE 46


Page 48

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February 26, 2021

Profile for mdcoastdispatch

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