County Overreacting
As a regular follower of this paper, I was dismayed this week to read the “stinky property” article concerning Mr. Mariner.
It is my belief that when a dispute may arise between rural neighbors, Worcester County officials should act as mediators to reach an amicable solution that suits both parties. 
As the article indicated, protocols were followed that included a representative from the Maryland Department of the Environment evaluating the property in question, ultimately finding Mr. Mariner not to be in violation of any state laws. I question why it seems that Worcester County officials appear to be taking an accusatory position against Mr. Mariner?
I believe that storing the wood in organized piles is far less detrimental to human health than having it burned in a creosote treatment plant, which would have released far more toxins into the environment. 
I would encourage Worcester County officials, specifically Mr. Tudor, to adopt a more balanced view of the situation. They should strive for mediation instead of creating an amendment that would allow them to circumvent the current law and target Mr. Mariner.
Don Ratigan

Hospice Care Month
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to reach out to our community to raise awareness about the compassionate care that Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care has provided on the lower shore for more than 30 years.
Few people understand that hospice care helps patients and families focus on living. The hospice team provides expert medical care to keep patients comfortable and able to enjoy time with loved ones. The hospice team answers questions, offers advice on what to expect, and helps families with the duties of being a caregiver. The team also provides emotional and spiritual support for the entire family. Hospice professionals and trained volunteers will ask you what’s important and listen to what you say. They make your wishes the priority.
Hospice care is provided in the home, nursing home, assisted living facility or long-term care centers – wherever the patient is most comfortable. Hospice care is available to people of all ages, with any illness, regardless of their ability to pay. In fact, in our last fiscal year Coastal Hospice spent an unprecedented $776,979 for Charity Care. That’s roughly $250,000 more than in previous years. That figure includes caring for patients and families who had no means to pay, had needs beyond their insurance coverage or needed services for which we do not bill In FY 13 we cared for 1,030 patients and their families. On their behalf, we thank the generous community who made this possible.
It is the mission of Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care to provide comfort, dignity and respect to all those coping with a serious or life-limiting illness. If you or a loved one is facing a serious or life-limiting illness, the time to find out more about hospice and palliative care is right now.
Alane Capen
(The writer is president of Coastal Hospice & Palliative Care)

Remember Shelter
Animals In Debate
As a volunteer at the Humane Society for seven years, I got to know many people dedicated to the animals, including Director Kenille Davies. I witnessed Kenille overcome some tough obstacles through the years while rescuing animals in our county from abuse and neglect. To say that Kenille is an animal rights advocate is an understatement. She has dedicated her life to protecting animals with a “no-kill” concept.
In most organizations, people working together bring different beliefs and opinions. Somewhere along the way, the Humane Society Board of Directors, a group of people with so much in common, began to focus more on their differences. News of Kenille’s departure is now circulating the media.
The most important thing for readers to know is that the animal shelter is open and, as always, needs donations, contributions and forever homes. Please don’t begrudge the homeless animals just because people don’t always get along.
Judith Galuardi

Partners Recognized
In your Nov. 8 edition, you included an article written by Andy Berges. The article was about the Annual Berlin Harvest Fair that was held on Nov. 2 at the SonRise Church property on Worcester Highway.
As the article described, the event was a huge success again this year. There was a lot of fun had by all but I need to make one crucial clarification. The article stated that SonRise Church put on the entire event and that is not only incorrect but impossible.
As a pastor in this community, and the president of the Berlin Area Ministries United, I am very thankful for the partnership and cooperation we enjoy among many of the churches of this community. The spirit of unity and purpose among this group is very strong and is a great blessing to me personally. I wanted to make sure that all the partners were acknowledged because it takes a lot of resources and people to provide such a huge event. I also want to help anyone in our community that does not have a church home to find one and any of these churches would be a great option.
The Annual Harvest Fair is a totally free event to bless and serve our community and it is the result of a tremendous group of leaders and churches that desire to honor God and serve our community for God’s glory not our own. The churches and ministries of this community that contributed money and/or volunteers to make the event such a success are Berlin First Baptist, Buckingham Presbyterian, Solid Rock Ministry, Crossway Church, Holy Trinity, Lighthouse Church of God, Worship Center, The River, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal and Shirley Grace Pregnancy Center.
In addition to these churches and ministries, there were also many businesses and other organizations that helped and contributed: Berlin Fire Department, Berlin Ice Company, Elliott’s Hardware, Giant Food, Herr’s, Higgins Crabhouse, Home Depot Workshop, Lighthouse Counseling, Ocean City Fire Department, Pepsi Cola, Showell Fire Department, Waterman’s Seafood, Worcester County Sherriff’s Office and the Berlin Police Department.
SonRise wanted to make sure that all the partners were acknowledged and to say publically how much we appreciate their friendships and cooperation in caring for this community. For more information about any of these churches visit
Daryl McCready
(The writer is the lead pastor at SonRise Church and president of Berlin Area Ministries United.)

Hold Off Expansion
After reading the staff writers’ articles in The Dispatch and Ocean City Today, I would like to state my personal thoughts regarding the Convention Center project.
First, reference is made in both articles that if Ocean City hadn’t taken a chance back in the 60′s to develop the area Ocean City would still be a dirt road. This project if done in the 60′s would make perfect sense.
Second, supporters continually state that the food tax, based on its present contribution and expected continued growth, should be adequate to handle the expensive of this bond. Because of this there should be no concern about the possibility of the bond, due to lack of funds, falling on the taxpayers.
Third, there is an expected continued growth in visitor participation that will help fund this expenditure.
Now let me interject here what I see wrong, or overlooked, in the above analysis. All of the above arguments depend on an increased participation and use by people coming into the area drawn in by this new addition to the Convention Center. However, what they fail to take into account in all of their analysis is the ever increasing debt this nation is faced with today. A debt, while I sit and write this letter, continues to increase.
I think everyone is aware that the US Dollar is about to lose its status as the world currency to be used in all international transactions. If, or when, this happens, America will experience an inflationary period the likes of which none of us have ever experienced or seen. It’s only a matter of time before this happens. There is no getting away from it or solving it under the present conditions of which I’m sure all of you understand. If you’re not willing to accept or believe this possibility, there’s a name for this condition. It’s called: Normalcy Bias. We’re all guilty of falling into this concept or condition. It’s natural.
If you’re not aware of this concept, I suggest you look it up to understand what it can cause an individual to do. What will be the result if the dollar fails due to the debt? An inflationary period that will be so high people will not be able to afford to pay for the cost to travel. This town will be financially hurt.
So what is the solution to cope with this possibility? For starters, it would be wise not to start any major expansion projects that are dependent on participation of visitors. It only makes good sense to hold back now because of the present financial condition the nation is faced with today. It would be best, after paying for the cost of the continued town operation, to put the remaining money into a none backed dollar investment. We have to control the normalcy bias that causes us not to face the reality of the financial crisis that’s about to befall our country. I hope you will have the good sense to make the right decision on this present expenditure and hold back until we, as a nation, find our way out of the financial crisis our government has placed upon our nation.
Paul St. Andre
Ocean City