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The fence. Ahem. THE fence. If there’s one thing most of us can agree on, it’s that our new Coastal Highway median fence is ... let me put it this way: it’s probably like meeting someone from a dating website — (he or she) looked so much better in the photos.

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printed 05/04/2018 The effort to establish a hospital in Worcester County in the late 1980s was what might be called a jaw-clenching, teeth-grinding business. And that's putting it mildly. Despite an abundance of enthusiasm by a relatively small group of people, gaining approval for and then constructing a hospital from scratch turned out to be far more difficult than anyone had imagined. The 25 years that have ...

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printed 04/27/2018 Let's be clear: it's not Jay Shoup's fault, nor is it the fault of his event, H2O International. The blame goes to the vehicular insanity that took place outside the tight circle of the water-cooled German car roundup, and that alone is responsible for the declarations of joy that followed this week's announcement of H2Oi's relocation to Atlantic City this year. H2Oi is not responsible for ...

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(April 20, 2018) In their interminable financial dispute with Worcester County government, Ocean City officials continue to overlook one factor that's critical to beach tourism's well-being — the county is Ocean City's gatekeeper. The county, not Ocean City or the State Highway Administration, determines the ease of access to the resort via relatively undeveloped Route 50. The county government has been protecting...

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printed 04/13/2018 Ocean City government's obsession with obtaining a tax differential from the county has begun to manifest itself in unbecoming ways, especially as it attempts to portray itself as a victim of a freeloading county. Such representations play only to a small audience, given the resort's overwhelming financial success. In addition, it is based on the false premise that reducing property taxes ...

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printed 04/06/18 Regardless of what anyone thinks of Maryland's Board of Public Works, the funniest thing to come out of the General Assembly this year is the Democratic argument that stripping the board of its power to award school construction money will remove politics from the process. As Larry the Cable Guy would say, “I don't care who you are, that's funny, right there.” While it is true that the three-membe...

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printed 03/30/2018 Whatever horsepower Ocean City had to employ in its fight to push proposed wind farms farther out to sea was severely reduced last week when Congress passed the new spending bill. Excluded from it during negotiations between leaders of the two parties was a rider offered by Rep. Andy Harris (R-1) that would have eliminated funding for required wind farm site inspections if the farms were less ...

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printed 03/23/2018 Like many other programs, institutions and freedoms that have been restricted in recent years, the J1 Visa program, on which Ocean City-area employers depend to fill their summer worker needs, is in trouble because of the extreme viewpoints of a few. Unscrupulous operators elsewhere in the country and overseas apparently have taken advantage of unsuspecting youth in foreign countries to boost ...

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printed 03/16/2018 When Rep. Andy Harris (R-1) has his Town Hall session tonight (Friday) at Stephen Decatur Middle School, it's difficult to imagine that immigration policies — with the exception of the J1 visa program — will be foremost on the minds of those attending. Although immigration is listed in his meeting announcement as one of the topics to be discussed, and while residents undoubtedly have strong ...

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printed 03/09/2018 US Wind project development director Paul Rich misread the audience in his most recent comments about the resort's effort to push the field of power-generating turbines farther out to sea. At a local forum convened last week to question the local government's stance, comments from Rich suggested that if oceanic wind farms aren't permitted, something much worse could happen. He said if US Wind ...

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printed 03/02/2018 As blame is directed at law enforcement agencies, school systems and social services departments for failing to prevent mass shootings, a film from years ago illustrates how preposterous (and politically convenient) this increasing criticism is. The plot of the 2002 science fiction feature “Minority Report” concerned a police department “pre-crime” unit that used the predictions of psychics ...

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printed 02/23/2018 Having already agreed to provide $300,000 to pay for a study of the shoaling in the Ocean City Inlet, the Worcester County Commissioners this week were surprised, understandably, to learn that's just half the funding that will be needed from local sources. Now, they're looking for help in the most obvious of places — Ocean City. Despite the occasional suggestion that the inlet's navigability ...

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printed 02/16/2018 Short-term rentals versus single-family residential neighborhoods and mobile home districts is not a property rights issue. It is a money issue, and the sooner that is acknowledged, the more quickly this uncomfortable dispute can be resolved. Were this not the case, this debate would be about the desirability of land use regulation overall, its clashes with individual freedoms, and whether ...

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printed 02/09/2018 Wind power is good; conventional power is bad. Such is the thinking that fuels what little debate there is over the prospect of two massive wind farms off the coast of Ocean City. It's an emotional topic, given the American public's overwhelming bipartisan support of increased wind farm development — 83 percent in 2016, according to Pew Research Center. Further, this support does not hinge on ...

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printed 07/07/2018 The continuing battle between the Ocean City and Worcester County governments over the resort's demand for a property tax differential might be a monumental thing to them, but it doesn't involve life-altering circumstances for the average homeowner or small business in either jurisdiction. The results might be irritating to mainland property owners and only mildly gratifying for the average ...

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printed 01/26/2018 Ocean City Today and Bayside Gazette ended the practice of posting police beat items on their web pages last week, after recognizing that, unlike print articles, online information can live forever, even when it is incomplete and unfair. This decision was prompted by an increasing number of requests from people who wanted their names removed from the online reports for three obviously valid ...

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printed 01/19/2018 Forces are quickly aligning in Maryland to build large industrial power generation projects within eyesight of the coast of Ocean City. Much of the conversation over the location and size of these projects has happened without Ocean City's direct participation. However, this pending decision weighs heavily on me as a fifth generation Eastern Shoreman. It will permanently change what we see, ...

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printed 01/12/2018 Ocean City's tourism industry, the nucleus of the resort's existence, is facing two critical situations that are the product of federal and state political stupidity. At the federal level, a five-year plan for offshore oil and gas exploration has been ordered, while in Maryland governmental affairs, members of the General Assembly are about to vote on whether to override Gov. Larry Hogan's ...

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printed 01/05/2018 Jeez, if only Maryland's Democratic Party leaders could catch Gov. Larry Hogan and President Trump sharing a cot at Camp David. Otherwise, they'll have to keep scrounging for something that sticks to him and in the minds of the electorate as he begins his re-election year with a public approval rating that's still among the highest ever for any end-of-term governor in this state. Obviously, ...

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printed 12/15/2017 Thanks, Sen. Madaleno, for coming down last week all the way from manicured Montgomery County, where a clothesline is the fashion section in Nordstrom's as opposed to a rural backyard fixture, to explain how to get those dumb chicken farmers to wise up. It was a bold move to assert to whoever was listening that these big factory chicken farms produce airborne particulate matter that should be ...

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printed 12/08/2017 The article last week on how the congressional tax reform effort could affect the real estate market was unclear, in that the story's structure left open the possibility that someone might misconstrue Coastal Association of Realtors President Joel Maher's comment to mean the mortgage interest deduction is going away. It isn't, but it will be capped in both the tax reform packages passed by ...

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printed 12/01/2017 Oh, for the days of the old-fashioned parking meter, when all anyone had to do get a spot on the street was plunk in coins and walk away. Not today, however, when meter manufacturers and their government customers have become so enamored of multipurpose meters stuffed with technological gizmos that soon the time will come when you'll pay for your space and get a readout on your body mass ...

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printed 11/24/2017 Bobby Baker and Ocean City — The one-time king of the smooth operators in the U.S. Senate and a small resort town on the Maryland coast. What does Baker, congressional bag man and wheeler-dealer who died at 89 years of age on Nov. 12 in St. Augustine, Florida, have to do with Ocean City? The Carousel Hotel. The former top staffer for the Senate's Democratic majority and fixer for Lyndon ...

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printed 11/17/2017 If it seems that a real solution to the shoaling problem in Ocean City Inlet remains far over the horizon, that feeling can be substantiated by looking south. Specifically, that would be south to Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and about an hour-and-a-half down the road at Hatteras Inlet. Oregon Inlet, which was created by a hurricane in 1846, has experienced even more ...

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printed 11/10/2017 When Ocean City Police Commission members said they went behind closed doors to discuss restricting vehicle events because it was a public safety issue, they weren't kidding. It's not as if anyone could say in an open Tourism Commission meeting, “Here's the plan: We're going to call in the troops and declare martial law.” It's bad enough, as Councilman John Gehrig observed, that the commission...

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printed 11/03/2017 Well, we're waiting. We're waiting to see what Delegate Mary Beth Carozza (R-38C) will say on Sunday, Nov. 19 at Ocean City Elementary School, where she is expected to announce her plans for the 2018 election. Will the popular, seen-everywhere Republican challenge the popular, seen-everywhere Democratic State Sen. Jim Mathias in the 38th Legislative District? And if she does, what would that ...

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printed 10/27/2017 No matter who or how many people read this opinion, a big percentage of them are likely to believe government should have the right to prohibit its publication if it sees fit to do so. This is according to a number of recent surveys conducted to determine how much the public knows about the First Amendment (not much, as it turns out) and whether the freedoms it guarantees are contrary to the ...

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printed 10/20/2017 The central question pending in local government, as it considers the possibility of excluding short-term rentals in some single-family housing districts, is whether Ocean City needs traditional neighborhoods anymore. The absence of facts and the abundance of opinion employed in this discussion obscure this essential issue, as local Realtors advocate allowing the incorporation of weekly ...