Newsletters

Click here to download the June Newsletter which includes a reservation form for the July picnic.

Click here to download the MAY 2012 NEWSLETTER which includes a reservation form for the July picnic.

The  April newsletter is ready. To download the newsletter, click here: April 2012 Newsletter

Click here to download February newsletter

 DEMOCRATIC WONDERINGS

FEBRUARY 2012, VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2

MD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 1 CANDIDATES FORUM TO BE HELD MAR 6

The Worcester County Democrats (Democratic Central Committee of Worcester County, Democratic Women’s Club, Democratic Club of Worcester County and the Ocean City/Assateague Democratic Club) are sponsoring a Candidates Forum on March 6, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the large conference room of the Ocean Pines Library. The three Democratic  candidates (John LaFerla, Kim Letke, Wendy Rosen) running in the Democratic primary for the opportunity to challenge Andy Harris will be attending.  Check-in for attendees begins at 6:30.

The forum is planned for two hours.  Each candidate will be given five minutes for opening remarks.  The moderator will then present questions to the candidates provided by attendees.  Each candidate will be given two minutes to respond.  Attendees have an opportunity to submit questions in advance by mailing them to Worcester County Democrats, PO Box 34, Berlin, MD 21811 (you must include your name and address).  Attendees will be provided cards at the Forum to submit additional questions.  There will be no questions from the floor, only written questions. More details will be provided as they develop.

 EASTERN SHORE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUMMIT

The Democratic Central Committees of the Eastern Shore Counties and the Maryland Democratic Party are sponsoring a two-day summit on April 21-22, 2012, at the Milestone Conference Center, just north of Easton.   Major party officials, i.e. the Governor, both Senators, MD Delegates and Senators, etc. will be in attendance and many will be speakers.  The program includes a number of sessions on various roles for local Democrats in the upcoming 2012 and 2014 elections.  A registration fee of $100 provides breakfasts (continental) and lunches both days and a summit dinner where Governor O’Malley will speak.  OCADC is providing $50 financial assistance to help cover the registration fee to a limited number of OCADC members (on the membership rolls as of January 31, 2012).   It is also anticipated that there will be bus/van transportation offered at a modest rate.  Members interested in attending, or seeking additional information, should complete the form (to be posted soon on our home page) and mail it to OCADC.  More information will be coming soon and we will keep our members informed.

THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED AND WANT TO KNOW, OR NOT

  • Indian River Bridge – That gorgeous bridge spanning the Indian River inlet has been opened.
  • Liquor Gate – The liquor purchase debacle of the new Liquor Control Department of Worcester County has ended.  The liquor has been sent back to Alabama (O’ I went to Alabama with a load of liquor on my knee!)
  • Is North OC Seceding? – A conglomeration of business interests has organized themselves into a North Ocean City Business Alliance. The leader, Michael James, notes that the group has organized to ensure that the north end gets a fair shake of OC marketing and promotion dollars.
  • Competition from Wicomico – A recently released study on the future of the Wicomico County Youth & Civic Association listed a number of ways to improve the facility to compete, keep existing shows and attract new business.  Serving liquor was noted as a way to enlarge their business.  Hooray for the move by OC to build a fine arts center.
  • Hi Ho Silver! Ugh! – One may have to look out for more that broken glass, jellyfish,  jagged cans and other undesirable things on the beach if OC goes ahead with the idea to allow horses on the beach!  A proponent for such a move noted that horse manure was really only straw and unconsumed oats that would wash away with the tide.  The last time I looked at horse manure other things seemed to be the majority of the wastes.  Apparently horses are naturally given the ability to identify the high and low tide lines.  OC voters might want to have a chat with members of the council and the mayor about this.
  • Search for a School Superintendent – The Worcester County Board of Education (WCBE) is marching forward to find a replacement for Jon Andes, who is retiring effective June 30, 2012.  The WCBE contracted with the Maryland Association of Boards of Elections (MABE), a nonprofit education organization to manage the search process.  Details on the criteria for search and selection may be found on the WCBE website: www.worcesterk12.com.
  • Winterfest of Lights – Attendance at OC’s 19th annual Winterfest of Lights set a new record with 107,405 riding the tram at Northside Park.
  • Tea Party Does Not Understand – In a recent, very well written letter to the editor of the Daily Times, Allen Brodsky commented that tea party advocates and others need to understand essential government roles, to provide such resources as a healthy workforce, or a fair, safe playing field; as well as private-sector roles, to provide raw materials and other resources to support entrepreneurs and manufacturing.  He goes on to say, “It is not enough to say “less government.”  We need proper government.” (Editors Comment:  The TP people need to understand that the founding fathers envisioned a government just like what Allen outlined above.)
  • Gone with the Wind? – Opponents, misguided do-gooders, uneducated and uninformed environmentalists and the greedy power industry have essentially killed the chance for wind farms off of our shores.  The power industry does not want wind energy, solar energy, or any other energy source unless it is based on carbon based molecules.  It is just too easy to do what they are used to doing.  The policy makers in government have missed the boat too.  Worrying that alternate/renewable energy sources may cost more and always afraid to make the public pay for the real costs of our infrastructure, they have listened to the overly vocal minority and ignored the fact that a majority of Americans are willing to pay more for non-fossil fuel based energy.
  • Worry, Worry, Worry – The original plan for Social Security intended that in time the trust fund being built with worker/employer contributions (aka taxes) would reach a level that the earnings from that fund would pay the benefits.   Why was Congress after Congress allowed to steal Social Security’s real dollars and replace them with phoney IOUs?  Now the radical right wants to eliminate Social Security because it is too expensive.  We need to get our financial house in order and that means more cuts.  Our income tax system, in which a notable percent don’t pay their fair share, needs to be changed to eliminate unfair taxation of the middle class.  We are way too dependent on oil, yet we are not willing to bite the bullet on alternative and renewable energy opportunities.  Did the Obama administration miss the boat with the Keystone pipeline project?

THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE

Many environmentalists have argued against the Keystone Pipeline and applauded President Obama’s decision not to approve it.  The President’s disapproval was conditional and will be reviewed after environmental studies are complete.  This map shows the routes of the existing pipeline – the red line- and the proposed new pipeline- a red dash line.  There are a couple other existing pipelines shown.  There are hundreds of pipelines crisscrossing the U.S. and Canada; some are being modified to pump oil south rather than east and west.  In fact the blue pipeline in Montana along the Yellowstone River is the pipeline that was broken and spilled oil last July.  Now ExxonMobil, which owns the pipeline, says they are going to bury the pipeline deeper where it crosses the river so it won’t rupture again.  So why wasn’t it buried deeper in the first place?  Because companies like ExxonMobil and BP try to minimize first costs and gamble that nothing bad will happen.

Many non-environmentalists, farmers and others oppose the new pipeline –dotted line – because it goes right across the Midwest’s largest aquifer, which supplies drinking water for cities and irrigation for farmers.  Many of these people would like to see the pipeline built but not across the aquifer – the ole’ NIMBY syndrome.  Looking at the map any detour around the aquifer would raise the cost.  But that would also mean more jobs.

So why build the pipeline in the first place?  The U.S. needs oil and Canada is its biggest and closest supplier.  Closer means fewer national security issues.  Gulf Coast refineries need the crude.  Tar sands oil has a high environmental impact, but it will be extracted and if it does not come to the U.S. it will be shipped to China and India, via a pipeline to the port of Vancouver.  Does it make sense to ship Canadian oil to China and ship Saudi oil to the U.S.?  That is certainly no environmental “free lunch”.

What will be the real political decision?  Environmental studies won’t be needed if there is a Republican in the White House. They will build it, probably without regard to the environment.  If President Obama remains in the White House, it will probably be built, but on an alternate route which has the least environmental impact.  Similar to the Alaska Pipeline it should be built to high standards, which reduce the probability of spills.  Spills are not a common occurrence with pipelines.   Construction and operations should be supervised by regulatory officials with environmental and pipeline engineering expertise.   Given our history of sane regulations, skilled and smart regulators and money to adequately regulate, that probably won’t happen.

GOP CONTROLLED BY TEA PARTY

It is evident from the last six months that the GOP is taking its directions from the tea party.  The teapot has replaced the elephant!! Tea party influence caused the brinkmanship over the deficit deal.  Why would any sane public figure elected to help lead our country believe that it would be a good idea for the U.S. to risk a default (Boehner); he should be tried for treason.  The magnitude of tea party control has not been fully understood by the voters.  The gaggle of sillies out there trying to be the R party presidential candidate should surely awaken the general American public to the serious impacts that a R (read tea party) controlled U.S. government will have on our country.  Rs should not be characterized as Wall-Street Republicans, Corporate Republicans, and Extremist Republicans, or in the pocket of millionaire and billionaire Republicans. They are Tea Party Republicans.  Source:  www.thirdway.org

LAND USE CHANGES IN WORCESTER COUNTY

There is always concern over growth and its impact on land use and the availability of land for homes, businesses, farms, open space, recreation, etc.   Worcester County over the past 30 years or so has seen dramatic land use demands not consistent with its historic economic base – agriculture.  The table below shows land use changes from 2002 to 2010.  The table illustrates the high growth (percentage) in residential use. But surprisingly commercial and industrial growth, percentage-wise, has outstripped residential growth.  Agricultural land use is almost stable.

Click here to download the table

Footnotes:

  1. Two new categories have been added to the 2010 Land Use/Land Cover layer update; very low density residential development (191,192) and transportation (80).
  2. Updates/modifications to the 2010 land use/land cover layers used the 2007 NAIP aerial imagery and parcel information from Maryland Property View 2008.
  3. The original 2002 data were mapped using geo-rectified LANDSAT satellite imagery and 2000 MD Property View. In 2010 two new land use categories were added, transportation and very low density residential making it necessary to modify the 2002 land use/land cover layer to incorporate these categories for comparative purposes. Additionally, better imagery and property data information were used to make further modifications. The enhanced 2002 dataset is available upon request.
  4. Very low density residential was not mapped in 1973, so there is no data associated with changes. Transportation was not mapped in 1973.
  5. As noted above, new land use categories were added in 2010 and associated adjustments were made to 2002 data. Similar adjustments were not made to 1973 data, making it impossible to know how much change from 1973 is due to new development since then, versus misclassified land uses at that time. For these reasons, we suggest reliance only on change statistics for the aggregate land use categories, Total Developed and Total Resource Lands.

Source:  Maryland Department of Planning

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GOVERNORS MCDONNELL AND O’MALLEY CALL ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SELECT VIRGINIA/MARYLAND REGION AS TEST RANGE FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley sent a joint letter the week of January 16 to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood asking him to select the Virginia/Maryland region as host of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test range called for in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act and FAA Reauthorization Bill. In the letter dated Jan. 19, the governors highlighted the region’s existing technical expertise in the defense industry, established UAS facilities and appropriate airspace for this type of testing and development.

Wallops Island is a perfect fit for such a program. Such a program could offer supportable family jobs and opportunities for the youth of Worcester County.  Such opportunities could lessen the brain drain that exists when our kids can’t find livable jobs in the county.

MAYONNAISE JAR & TWO BEERS.

  • When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 beers.
  • A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
  • When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
  • He then asked the students if the jar was full.
  • They agreed that it was.
  • The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
  • The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
  • He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
  • They agreed it was.
  • The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
  • Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
  • He asked once more if the jar was full..
  • The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’
  • The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
  • The students laughed..
  • ‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
  • The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
  • The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car..
  • The sand is everything else—the small stuff.’
  • ‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
  • The same goes for life.
  • If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
  • Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
  • Spend time with your children.
  • Spend time with your parents.
  • Visit with grandparents.
  • Take your spouse out to dinner..
  • Play another 18.
  • There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.
  • Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.
  • Set your priorities.
  • The rest is just sand.
  • One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
  • The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’
  • The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.

______________________________

“THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE” – BY SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN

As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.  In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell.  In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.

This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.  One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.  Mike came from a small town near Selma , Alabama .  He didn’t wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old.  At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School .  Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.  Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home.  In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.  Mike got himself a bamboo needle.  Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed it on the inside of his shirt.

Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike’s shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike’s shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.

That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours.  Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in.  We cleaned him up as well as we could.

The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.

As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could.  After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian.  He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag.  He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better.  He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world. You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.

_____________________________

CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

Jumping with both feet into social media, we now have a Facebook page.  Key Ocean City/ Assateague Democratic Club into the Facebook search bar and you’ll find us! Be sure to LIKE the page and share it with others. Click on “Everyone – Most Recent posts” to see up-to-date information. Suggestions and photos are welcome – email Judy Davis @ judymarieh55@gmail.com.

Click here to go to our Facebook page.

  • THINGS TO REMEMBER
  • SUMMIT – LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED (SEE FORM ON HOME PAGE)
  • FORUM – MARCH 6, 7 PM, OCEAN PINES LIBRARY LARGE MEETING ROOM
  • TENTH ANNUAL KENNEDY-KING DINNER, APRIL 14, ATLANTIC HOTEL
  • APRIL 18, OCADC MEETING 

_________________________________________________________________

January 2012 Newsletter Click to Download

OCEAN CITY/ASSATEAGUE DEMOCRATIC CLUB

NEWSLETTER – DEMOCRATIC WONDERINGS

JANUARY 2012 –VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1

Editor: Lanny Hickman

THE POWER OF THE USA LOBBYING SYSTEM

This year, 12,792 professionals lobbied for influence in our nation’s capital, according to First Street Research Group in an analysis that tracks lobbyists.   There are, by law, 435 voting members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators.

That computes to 24 lobbyists for every elected representative of the people.  The top 30 listed by First Street collected over $200 million this year. One wonders what the other 12,762 collect?

The top 30 lobbyists each average 50 clients who shell out an average of $144,737 each for lobbying services. Former members of Congress or ex-Hill staffers pull in the most money (Being an ex-member of Congress pays, and pays big): “The average amount received by ex-members of Congress per client topped $178,000 in 2011, while ex-staffers received $147,526, and professional lobbyists brought in $108, 076,” the analysis reveals. “Ex-members are selective about whom they represent, and their clients pay accordingly”.

”Uber-lobbyists include former Democratic Sen. Victor H. Fazio, now a senior adviser at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, proprietor of Breaux Lott Leadership Group, the report says. “Lott left the Senate in December 2007 and opened his lobbying firm a month later with a former like-minded colleague and fellow ‘First Street 30’ member – Louisiana Democrat John Breaux. It has become one of Capitol Hill’s powerhouse shops, pulling in nearly $8 million in just its first year.”

(Source: First Street)

See the First Street 30 report: http://firststreetresearch.cqpress.com/2011/12/13/first-street-30-revealed

THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER

Tell your r friends that the economy, while slowly, is improving.  The Federal Reserve in mid-December 2011 portrayed the U.S. economy as slightly healthier.  Hiring was picking up, and consumers were spending more.  The expected holiday spending spree may not have met the expectations of consumer based business.  But, it is rare that the for-profit sector of our economy is ever fully satisfied with how much we are spending.

2012 ELECTION

The 2012 election offers few Worcester County seats under consideration.  Rather, the major campaigns will be for the Presidency, filling (of Worcester County interests) the MD Congressional District 1 seat in the US House of Representatives, and the re-election of Senator Ben Cardin.

Seats Being Contested(1):

  • President of the United States – Barack Obama
  • United States Senator – Ben Cardin
  • U.S. House of Representatives – District 1
  • Judges of the Circuit Court
  • Judges of the Court of Special Appeals
  • Judges of the Couth of Appeals
  • County Commissioners (Only Cecil County)
  • Board of Education
  • Delegates to the Democratic Convention
  • Delegates to the Republican Convention

DID THE SUPREME COURT MAKE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE?(1) At the preparation of this newsletter most candidates had not filed. (2) Early voting in Worcester County will at held at the Gull Creek Senior Living Community, Berlin, MD.

The current Supreme Court, inhabited mostly by republican presidential appointees, reflects the true nature of the republican arch-conservative culture.  The Supreme Court not too long ago issued a decision that essentially turned the faucet full open for unbridled campaign spending by any corporation, country, or profit-making organization.  This has led to the growth of the Super PAC.  Super PACS, operating outside of the regulations of campaigning, and common decency, can do just anything they want.  Super PACS have helped wrought the disgusting display of negative, nasty, squalid, gross, obscene, indecent, unseemly, indecorous ads against the various r presidential wannabees in the Iowa silly caucus process.  But as a well-known comedian of yesteryears used to say, “You ain’t seen nuten yet!”  Yes, unfortunately the Iowa training course on ugly politics will be used beyond all level of decency to try to destroy President Obama during the presidential campaign.  I am sick of the Iowa silliness; I can’t believe that sane and decent Iowans really like what is going on; I wish it would not be the norm for the presidential campaign.  However, the rs and their “independent” Super PACS have shown that there is no decency in a republican plan dedicated to one thing only and that is to vote Presidential (a decent, intelligent and perceptive man) out of office.

OCADC MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS

OCADC membership renewals have been very encouraging and we thank you for not only renewing your membership for 2012, but also for the contributions to help fund our efforts in 2012.  If you have missed paying your dues during the hectic holiday season there is still plenty of time to do so.  If you have overlooked renewing your 2012 membership we are enclosing an invoice with your copy of the newsletter marked “SECOND NOTICE” and an envelope for you to use to mail your dues payment to the club.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE PLANNING FOR 2014 ELECTIONS

 The Democratic Central Committee of Worcester County (DCCWC) has recently completed and made available the “Candidate Development and Campaign Manual”.  This manual, especially designed for campaigning in Worcester County, has three major sections:  (1) Do You Really Want to Run for Office? (2) Designing a Successful Campaign Plan and Budget; and (3) Running a Winning Campaign.  While the 2012 election campaign is now upon us, it has limited offices to be contested.  On the other hand, the 2014 election will be heavily focused on Worcester County offices that will be contested – county commissioners, sheriff, clear of courts, register of wills, and state’s attorney.  2014 is nearly upon us, and individuals, both incumbents and challengers need to begin to make their plans.  This manual will help them do that.  The DCCWC, in planned partnership with the three Democratic Clubs in Worcester County, has plans to offer training courses based on the content of the manual.  If you are interested in getting more information about the manual, how to get one, etc.  There is a small form with this issue of Democratic Wonderings that you can mail in to get more information.

NEW CITY CLERK

The OC Council filled the vacant City Clerk position from within appointing Kelly Almond to fill the position vacated by the death of Kathy Mathias. She had served as assistant city clerk.  Good move on the part of the Council.

OCADC END OF YEAR FINANCIAL STATEMENT

OCADC began 2011 with a balance of $1.614.45.  Income in 2011 amounted to $2,671.00.  Expenses for the year 2011 amounted to $3,300.72.  Balance at the beginning of 2012 was $984.73.

SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM NORM AND JAN CONWAY

OCADC received a holiday greeting card from Norm and Jan Conway.  Can there ever be a better, more committed and more sincere person to represent the interests of the eastern shore? I think not.

TWO HAVE FILED TO CHALLENGE HARRIS

THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED AND WANTED TO KNOW, OR NOT

  • Payroll Tax Cut – At the writing of this newsletter the payroll tax cut was extended to the end of February.  Because of the payroll tax cut, Social Security benefits paid out in 2011 will exceed payroll tax collections by $115 billion.
  • The Price of Power – If Delmarva Power is your supplier of kilowatt hours, you might see a 5.6 percent increase in your residential power bill.  If you use 1,000 kilowatt hours in a month expect a $7.29 increase.  This increase comes in the face of a major increase in the cost of electricity over the past 4 years.  Even if you do not use Delmarva Power as your kilowatt provider, but they sell power to your provider, an increase might occur to you because of increased costs to your provider.
  • OC Air Show – OC got good news recently with that  the US Air Force Thunderbirds  will appear in the June 9-10, 2012  Air Show and the US Navy Blue Angels will headline the 2013 show.
  • US 113 News – Many of us travel south on US 113 and note that the newest part of the dualization is now open for business; one wonders when the rest will be dualized.  The County Commissioners have made a request to the State Highway Commission to again consider the intersection of 113 and State Highway 12 for a possible redesign or perhaps a traffic stop light.  The intersection has been a bone of contention between Worcester County and the State for some time due to continued accidents.
  • DEW Tour – Get out your coolers for chilling Mountain Dew.  OC announced that the return of the DEW Tour is under strong consideration.  The Town is now planning on blocking out a date(s) in 2013 for the return of the tour.
  • Security on the OC Boardwalk – The Ocean City Council is considering suggestions to improve Boardwalk safety, such as surveillance cameras and making police presence more visible.  Suggestions included spots every three blocks where officers would be present, more plain clothes officers strolling along the Boardwalk and the installation of surveillance.  More information on the problem of security and means to improve security will probably be considered in January.
  • County Commissioners Travel – Five, count them five, county commissioners will attend the annual winter conference of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) being held January 4-6 at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MD.  The county chief administrative officer and county attorney will also attend.  With the continued drop of income which has forced the cutting of programs, deferred salary increases, furloughs and other cost cutting measures one wonders how the county can afford to spend money on sending at least seven people to a conference.
  • A Pig by Any Other Name is Still a Pig – Following the most expensive reality show, aka, The Iowa Caucus, in the history of the world, Newt Gingrich has discovered that his attempt to paint himself as a patriot, a successful public servant and the best man to lead America was, at the writing of this newsletter, a dismal failure.  Old dogs don’t learn new tricks.  Crooks will always be crooks.  Snakes lose their skin, but they are still snakes.  Newt will always be Newt – against women, against the middle class, against safety nets for Americans, and always for himself.
  • Bourbon Street on the Eastern Shore – People that attended the second annual New Year’s Even Ball Drop in Berlin were allowed to drink while walking along some streets.  The Berlin Town Council granted an exception to an ordinance to allow people to drink alcoholic beverages on public property if it is done as part of a special event, in a designated area, and during a specific time frame.  A really good idea, but it may be tough to enforce and kept within the bounds of civility.  We will look for an after action report for the February issue of Democratic Wonderings.
  • OC-Owned Property Sales – Did you know that the Town of Ocean City has use  a website to  sell OC-Owned surplus property by auction.  How About That!!  Using www.govdeals.com, Ocean City since March of 2011, has sold $398,000 of surplus property such as dump trucks and other vehicles.  Berlin has also used GovDeal.com to sell $13,647 of surplus property.  The auction is strictly for government agencies.  GovDeals.com collects a percentage of the final sales price.  If the selling agency collects their own money GovDeals.com charges a 7.5% commission fee. Proposed by Hal Adkins, OC Public Works Director, selling through GovDeals.com is a demonstration of how effective Ocean City can be in governance.
  • Got Gas? – The deal to bring natural gas into service in Worcester County has been delayed by the permitting process.  Allegedly, natural gas will sell for less than the outrageous rates charged for propane pipeline delivered gas.  Chesapeake Utilities expects to be in Berlin by spring.  The pipeline’s route into Worcester County would be parallel to Route 113 and moving to Route 575 and then along Friendship Road to the vicinity of Route 50.
  • More Paid Parking in OC – To help pay for the annual street improvement program in OC, increased and expanded paid parking around town is under consideration.  Needed dollars for the street improvement program is somewhere in the three to four million dollar per year range.
  • Absentee Voting Ballots for OC Elections – Trying to find ways to simplify the absentee ballot process, new Town Clerk Kelly Allmond has discovered a Maryland State policy of no excuse absentee balloting procedures.  In many jurisdictions the absentee ballot can be used only in emergency circumstances; such is the case in Ocean City.  The “no excuse policy” means that voters don’t have to provide an excuse to gain an absentee ballot.  If our republic is founded on the principle of the people, by vote,  who governs then every effort should be made to make it easy for people to vote.  Early voting, absentee ballots, whatever, OC should move to establish the “no excuse” absentee ballot as part of the effort to increase the number of Ocean City citizens who vote.  I would be in favor of a voting kiosk in the outlet mall in west OC.

———————————————————————————————-

SURVEY

WHICH R CANDIDATE WOULD YOUR LIKE TO SEE RUN AGAINST PERSIDENT OBAMA”

Bachmann ____Gingrich____ Paul ____ Perry ____ Romney ____ Santorum ____

Mark your first (1), second (2) and third choices (3) and mail to:

DCOCA, PO Box 3196, Ocean City, MD 21843

SEND ME INFORMATION ABOUT THE CANDIDATE DEVELOPMENT AND CAMPAIGN MANUAL.

Mail Information to: ____________________________________________________________

Address:       _____________________________________________________________

Send to OCADC, PO Box 3196, Ocean City

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