Unquestioning Candidates Forum Disappoints Ocean City Voters

first_imgCANDIDATE PROFILESMayor:Jay GillianEd PriceCity Council:Michael AllegrettoKeith HartzellMike HysonPete MaddenEric Sauder About 100 people gathered Wednesday in the auditorium at the Ocean City Free Public Library to learn more about all five City Council candidates and both mayoral contenders in the May 13 municipal election.But after each recited a five-minute opening statement, the candidates went unquestioned. Incumbent Councilmen Keith Hartzell (right) and Mike Allegretto speak with Ocean City resident Marc Shuster.Instead, they were invited to mingle with the  audience in a “meet-and-greet” that allowed individuals to ask their own questions.“This is a disgrace,” Lindy Shaw said after the opening statements ended and it became apparent that the public would hear no more.She and her husband, Bill, had come expecting to hear candidates debate the issues. Bill said he wanted to ask one question of the candidates: Do they support the “coastal cottage” concept (two small single-family homes occupying a lot typically occupied by a single duplex)?“I’m disappointed in the way this is being handled,” Bill Shaw said of the forum format.“I don’t like it this way,” retired Councilman Roy Wagner said.“We were disappointed, too,” said Bob Barr, president of the Ocean City Community Association (OCCA), the sponsor of Wednesday’s forum.Barr said the prepared questions for Wednesday’s debate were lost when OCCA board member Jim Tweed’s computer crashed on Sunday. He said the board met Monday afternoon and agreed that they could not properly vet a new set of questions in such a short time frame. They agreed to go with the meet-and-greet format.One factor, he said, was the proximity of next Tuesday’s (April 29) City Council candidates debate sponsored by the Democratic and Republican organizations of Ocean City. The event in the Ocean City High School auditorium will include candidates giving two-minute responses to randomly drawn questions. Council candidates will be able to rebut or respond to other questions during five-minute closing statements.A companion debate for mayoral candidates on May 7 at the high school will allow the audience to hear candidates each responding to the same question, Barr said.Incumbent Mayor Jay Gillian participated in the forum — just a few hours after leaving his brother Jimmy’s funeral. His challenger, Ed Price, also attended the funeral as a participant in a Masonic Service.Gillian and Price echoed their campaign platforms in their opening statements.Gillian said he stands by his record of accomplishment in his first term — including committing $10 million per year to infrastructure infrastructure improvements (with $5 million going to roads and drainage alone), negotiating public employee contracts with average salary increases of 1.2 percent, and responding quickly and effectively to help Ocean City recover from Superstorm Sandy.Price said “we can do better together” on beach, bay and other projects. He said he would be committed to ideas that would encourage people to “shop local” in Ocean City. And he said he would bring a new management style to the mayor’s office — the concept-design-fund-implement concept that worked successfully during a major renovation of the Ocean City Community Center when he was head of the library’s board of trustees.Among the city council candidates’ opening statements, Mike Hyson fell in line with the audience when he said, “I’m disappointed in the change of tonight’s format.”Incumbent Councilmen Mike Allegretto and Keith Hartzell are seeking their third terms. First-time council candidates Pete Madden and Eric Sauder also participated.For more on the candidates, see the following: VIDEOTAPED STATEMENTS Videotaped statements from all candidates will be replayed on several occasions on the city’s government access channel (Channel 97 on the Comcast cable system).The city established the policy of providing access to the channel for local election candidates in 2006. The city provides candidates the opportunity to have a five-minute statement professionally recorded at their cost and then replayed on Channel 97.The candidates’ statements will air on Channel 97 on the following dates and times:Friday, April 25, 7:30 a.m.Sunday, April 27, NoonWednesday, April 30, 7:30 p.m.Friday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.last_img read more

2nd Annual Seaspray Regatta a Big Success; Buck, Weithenauer Take Championship

first_imgUnder sweltering conditions mitigated somewhat by a constant breeze, the 2nd annual Sea Spray Catamaran Regatta took place Saturday, August 14.The event consisted of four races with a point system used to crown the overall winner.Each boat had a two-person crew. The first and third races were sprints, the second and fourth were traditional triangle courses with of the triangle upwind.In all, 10 boats competed in the event.When the racing was completed, Captain Bruce Buck and crew Joanne Weithenauer took the overall title.Second place went to Jim Brown and son, and P.J. Chew and Kevin Matthews took third.last_img read more

Crowd cries for more from Oshen

first_imgOshen entertained the crowd with a song sung in a local Morobe language before performing his hit “throw away the guns”.His third performance “meri lewa” got the crowd singing along as he involved his audience in musical fun.He left the crowd screaming “one more, one more” before Sir George Telek came on stage.And it was then  fireworks galore as Prote  J performed on stage againlast_img

Pruitt’s “Red Team-Blue Team” Exercise a Bad Fit for EPA Climate Science

first_imgIn addition to the published literature, comprehensive assessments on the state of climate science note the significant role that human activities have played in recent climate change and have underscored the urgency to act. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports, with over 830 experts from around the world involved in its writing, confirms this. And the IPCC is not alone: in 2009, a joint statement was made by more than a dozen major national scientific academies stated that “the need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.” The United States’ very own National Climate Assessment, produced by more than 300 experts with review of federal agencies, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences and the public, found that recent warming is “primarily due to human activities.”No Need to Re-invent the WheelA review of climate science from the ground up is like re-inventing the wheel. There is little point to debate over something that has been confirmed and repeatedly reconfirmed.If the Trump administration wants to advance scientific understanding, how about boosting — or at the very least, not slashing — the budget for climate science research? Across the board the administration is rolling back progress and has proposed significant budget cuts to climate science and technology research, such as to climate research at EPA and its Office of Research and Development; NOAA’s satellite division; the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E), which funds research in energy technology development; and NASA Earth science missions, among others.The time for debate on the reality of human-caused climate change is at an end. The Trump administration needs to realize this unless it wants to keep the United States mired in the past, unprepared for a lower-carbon future. U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who spent much of his pre-EPA career suing the agency he now leads, has made no secret of his skepticism about the well-established role human activities play in recent global warming. His latest move would challenge scientific consensus on climate change through a “red team-blue team” exercise designed for crafting defense and intelligence strategies. The process of opposing red and blue teams — the consensus on one side with an equal number of opponents on the other — that Pruitt endorsed again last week might work well to encourage new ideas and test the strength of existing ideas. Indeed, it has been used by major companies in internal strategic exercises, but it is entirely inappropriate for science. It has no place in determining the science of a changing climate.Scientific understanding, unlike proposals for what to do about a given problem, is well established through the scientific method.Peer Review WorksIn calling for the “red team-blue team” exercise, Pruitt stated, “What the American people deserve, I think, is a true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2 [carbon dioxide].”That’s right: even Pruitt acknowledged the importance of peer-reviewed science. To be accepted into a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, scientific papers, which form the basis of the scientific consensus, are independently reviewed and commented on by a range of experts in the same field. This is an essential part of ensuring the quality of published research. It subjects research findings and methods to others in the field for question, and papers are either rejected, edited or accepted. Many journals also allow other scientists to publish critical comments on published studies, and some journals also have an open peer review process where the public may be able to view review comments and authors’ replies or even comment themselves.If skeptics want their voices heard in scientific discourse, they should try to get their findings published in the peer-reviewed literature. They would then be assessed on their merits through peer review. Indeed a small handful of papers have made it through the peer-review process to be published in the scholarly literature.Giving Too Much Weight to a Skeptical MinorityThe overwhelming majority — 97 percent — of peer-reviewed papers in the literature support the consensus view that human activities have contributed to the majority of recent warming. Because a “vanishingly small proportion” of published research rejects the scientific consensus, giving equal, 50-50 weight to both the red and blue teams in the exercise would mislead the public into thinking there is a debate when there isn’t one. And the Trump administration is likely to stack the red team with fossil fuel industry interests, as it has done with its cabinet positions.last_img read more