Saturday, February 18, 2012

TIME MACHINE Preview ... A 1905 Delicacy From The Eastern Shore

Its' chief source was from the waters around Crisfield but it wasn't crabs, and it was an expensive delicasy in demand from New York to the western U.S.

What was it? Details this Sunday on The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!



1/2 Rack Ribs & 1/2 BBQ Chicken w/ 2 Sides


Two-Year Covert Taxi Probe Nets 91 Drug Charges

Written By
Shawn J. Soper
News Editor
OCEAN CITY -- The Ocean City Police Department’s narcotics unit, in collaboration with allied agencies, late last month concluded a two-year drug distribution investigation utilizing an undercover officer posing as a taxi cab driver and owner with the grand jury indictments of 34 local residents on 91 charges.

Last week, the OCPD announced cursory information about Operation Sand Dollar, a two-year undercover operation targeting drug trafficking in the resort area during which an undercover officer posed as a cab driver to infiltrate Ocean City’s shadowy social circles.

On Monday, OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino, along with Worcester County Sheriff Reggie Mason, State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby and Mayor Rick Meehan laid out more of the details about the operation.

During the two-year operation, the officer turned cab driver made some drug buys and sales out of the taxi, but also established connections that led to further indictments. The operation was borne out of an idea to target known drug trafficking in the downtown area. After brainstorming, the OCPD came up with the idea of posing an undercover officer as the owner and operator of a legitimate cab company.

With the cooperation of the city, including former City Manager Dennis Dare, the cab, called the “Tipsy Taxi,” was completely legitimate including a taxi medallion.

“The undercover officer posing as a cab driver and owner was a good way to infiltrate the social circle,” said DiPino on Monday. “It’s often a primary mode of transportation for those involved in drug trafficking.”

After conducting Operation Sand Dollar for two years, the gathered information was turned over to the State’s Attorney’s Office and on Jan. 25, a Worcester County grand jury indicted 34 suspects on 91 counts of distribution of various controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and 28 charges of conspiracy to distribute CDS. DiPino said on Monday the operation targeted all forms of CDS distribution, but the primary focus was on the distribution of illegal prescription medication.

On Feb. 2, the OCPD narcotics unit, along with the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, began rounding up the indicted suspects. Thus far, 22 have been apprehended and four more were already in custody on unrelated charges. Information on the remainder of the wanted suspects has been forwarded to the Maryland State Apprehension Team. The total amount of preset bonds for those already in custody totaled $4.55 million.

DiPino praised the success of the operation and hopes it sends a message to dealers and users in the resort.
“We hope this sends a clear message to drug dealers and users to keep the activity out of our community,” she said. “You never know who an undercover officer might be. It could be the maid in your hotel, a bartender or even a street performer on the Boardwalk.”

DiPino said those targeted included local residents engaged in drug use and distribution. DiPino said the operation did not include tourists.

“The list includes many locals,” she said. “At no time were tourists targeted.”  

For his part, Mason said the operation could be the tip of the iceberg and promised similar operations in the future.

“We will continue to go after drug users and dealers,” said Mason. “You’re going to see a lot more to come.”

Mason said he hoped Operation Sand Dollar sent a clear message to users and dealers in Worcester County.

“This is obvious proof there is an absolute commitment to target users and dealers in Worcester County,” he said. “If you’re a dealer, get a new job. If you’re a user, get a new hobby.”


All in all, the operation led to 34 indictments and 119 total counts including 91 distribution charges and 28 conspiracy to distribute charges. Sixteen of the 34 suspects list Ocean City as their address, while seven others call Worcester County home. Twenty-two suspects have been apprehended, while four were already in custody on unrelated charges. The remaining suspects were still at large as of mid-week.

Among those apprehended already were Ronald Alimo, 51, Ocean City; Jonathan Grubbs, 23, Willards; Troy Middleton, 41, Ocean City; Charlene Chester, 47, Ocean City; James Camper, 49, Trappe; Glynnis Sullivan, 54, Ocean City; Robert Hayes, Sr., 44, Ocean City; Orean Kennedy, 52, Ocean City; Dawn Ramaska, 34, Ocean City; James Hudson, 49, Showell; Robert Ray, Sr., 53, Ocean City; Donald Collins, 53, Ocean City; Mary Baker, 55, Ocean City; Stacy Baker, 38, Ocean City; Guy Erbe, 52, Ocean Pines; Cheryl Merendino, 49, Ocean City; Stanley Layton, Jr., 53, Ocean City; Vernon Spence, 46, Snow Hill; and Robin McCready, 50, Pocomoke.

Those already in custody on unrelated charges included Miranda Florio, 24, Jessup; Lorenzo Sears, 41, Oak Hall, Va.; and Brian Harmon, 39, Westover.

Those indicted but still at large included James Leech, 50, Berlin; John Leo Parker, 57, Bishopville; Darryl Lee Whaley, 55, Berlin; Geraldine Woodland, 49, Ocean City; Christopher Denike, 32, Ocean City; Michael Rose, 54, Ocean City; Paul Francis, 32, Glenwood, Md.; David Allen Brown, 44, Baltimore; Kathy Matthews, 40, Rivera Beach; and Robert Gross, Jr., 43, Kensington, Md.


Eastern Shore Rural Health Announces Addition Of New Physicians

One new physician, physician assistant join Eastern Shore Rural Health
Pamela Gray, M.D. and Physician Assistant Jessica Day have joined Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. Dr. Gray, an internist, and Day are at Onley Community Health Center.

Dr. Gray has practiced internal medicine since 1985. She last practiced at University Health Systems in Greenville, N.C. She is a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School where she also completed her residency. Dr. Gray did a rheumatology internship at University of North Carolina Medical School. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the American College of Rheumatology, Medical Society of Virginia and American College of Physicians.

Dr. Grays areas of special interest include osteoporosis and inflammatory arthritis (such as lupus, Lymes Disease and rheumatoid arthritis) and adult health care.

Day, also a National Health Service Corps scholar, trained as a physician assistant at Philadelphia University. She is a member of American Academy of Physician Assistants, Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants and Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants. Days areas of special interest include nephrology, ear/nose/throat, veterans health and fibromyalgia.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Shooting Update- YMCA

Feb. 17, 2012

On February 16, 2012 Pocomoke City Police Officers responded to Accomack County District Court to detain arrestee Roderic R. Savage, age 17 who waived his extradition rights and willingly returned to Worcester County Courts. Savage was seen by the Commissioner and subsequently held on one million dollar (1,000,000) bond at the Worcester County Detention Center pending trial. A 2nd suspect William H. Wilson, age 22 of Onancock, Virginia was arrested and charged with Accessory after the Statute, Handgun on person, and Handgun in vehicle; he was held pending an extradition hearing. A 3rd suspect Dontrell A. Scarborough, age 20 of Atlantic Virginia was arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Assault and released pending trial.

These arrest stem from a collaborative effort by local Law Enforcement agencies to include: Pocomoke City Police Department, Accomack County Sheriff’s Office, Worcester County Sheriff’s Department and Snow Hill Police Department. Police are still seeking the whereabouts of one additional suspect involved in this case. Additional information will be available at a later date.

Chief K D Sewell
Pocomoke City Police Department

February 17, 2012

Progress on the New Restaurant- Downtown Pocomoke City, Maryland

Friday, February 10, 2012
Pocomoke City, Maryland

At this point all windows have been installed....
you can tell that they have been covered.

SHORE BEEF and BBQ Friday Specials


Let SHORE BEEF & BBQ do the cooking for you!

Friday Lunch Special
Beef Brisket Sandwich w/ Side
and Drink ~ $7.50 

Friday Dinner Special
Full Rack Baby Back Ribs w/ 2 Sides

Accomack Board Takes No Action On Fire Tax

By Connie Morrison

Although many members of the public spoke about the agenda item, the Accomack County Board of Supervisors did not take up the Fire Commissions recommendation for an equalized (flat) fire tax.

Several Chincoteague residents and firefighters, along with Chincoteague Mayor Jack Tarr, spoke in opposition to the proposal, which would implement the same fire tax in all election districts, including instituting a fire tax in Chincoteague for the first time.

 Opponents to the proposal said the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department is self-sustaining, due to on-going fundraising efforts, and does not need additional revenue.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

TIME MACHINE Preview ... A 1905 Delicacy From The Eastern Shore

What was the delicacy from the waters around Crisfield that was much in demand from New York City to our nation's West? (This delicacy wasn't crabs.)
Details this Sunday on The Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

Pocomoke City Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes - 1/9/12

January 9, 2012

The regular meeting of the Pocomoke Mayor and Council was held in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Monday, January 9, 2012. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M.

Present: Mayor Bruce Morrison
Council Members: Rob Clarke, Tracey Cottman,
Diane Downing, Donald L. Malloy
City Attorney William Hudson
City Manager Russell W. Blake
City Clerk Carol L. Justice

Review Minutes:
In a motion (Cottman, Downing passed), to approve the minutes of December 5, 2011.

Review Bills:
In a motion (Clarke, Malloy passed), the bills presented to be paid. (Copy of bill list attached to original minutes).
Mayor to introduce Mr. Bill Badger, recently appointed Economic Development Director for Worcester County:
Mr. Badger said that he was very pleased to be in Pocomoke City and to meet the Mayor and Council. He stated that he has had 28 years’ of experience in economic development:, 17 years with DBED and 11 years with Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation. He first met City Manager Blake when they worked together on the Beretta project in 1990. Mr. Badger stated that economic development is his first love, and it is a great opportunity to be working with the City and the County to make Pocomoke City a better place economically.
Mr. C.D. Hall of Hall Realty Co., to discuss request for waiver of water and sewer hook-up fees at Drawbridge Villas Condos on Riverside Drive:
Mr. Hall introduced Mr. Fred Adams, a representative of the lender/owner of the Drawbridge Condo property.
Mr. Adams stated that he is with American Acquisition LLC., and that they would like to request that the water/sewer hook-up fees be reduced by half for each unit. The original plans showed only one hook up. With the fees being $63,000 it is not feasible for them to complete the units and pay the fee. They would like to get each unit ready to be rented or to be sold.
City Manager Blake explained that the total cost would be $58,500 rather than $63,000, in accordance with the City’s fee schedule for multi-family buildings.
Mr. Hall stated the original plans only showed one hook-up for the entire building.
Mayor Morrison asked how many units were completed.
Mr. Hall stated four (4) units with three (3) units occupied. There are three (3) more unfinished units, for a total of seven (7).
Councilman Malloy asked how much needed to be done for the other three units to be completed.
Mr. Hall stated that two units could be completed for around $25,000, and the third one would be around $35,000. The flooring and cabinets need to be installed.
Councilman Clarke stated that he had a problem with waiving the fees. He explained that rates were recently increased to cover expenses, and that the general fund had to subsidize the Water and Sewer fund in recent years.
City Manager Blake stated that another option would be to pay half now and the other half would be a lien on the property to be paid when the property is sold.
Mr. Adams stated that he would not like to have liens placed on the property, it would be more complicated once it went to settlement
Councilman Malloy stated that he agreed that they should not be exempt from paying the hook-up. They could pay half now and half when each unit went to settlement.
In a motion (Malloy, Cottman passed) to accept half of the hook-up fee now and the other half once each unit is sold, or when the entire property is transferred.
Second Reading of Ord. 408 to authorize a new franchise agreement with Comcast Cable, Inc. for Cable TV, Internet and other services:
Mayor Morrison postponed this reading until a later date.

Discuss proposal from Center for Research on Biotoxin Associated Illness which will result in a publication of a book concerning the ecology of the Cypress Park Nature Trail and up to $5,000 in grant funds toward completion of the board walk around Stevenson’s Pond:
Councilman Malloy stated that Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker and his daughter Sally are asking for a non-binding expression of support for a study on the wetlands of the Pocomoke River. Completion of the project will include a recorded walking tour of the Nature Trail for use by people visiting the Trail. The City would bear no responsibility or liability for this project, but would receive at no cost a digital publication and walking tour for visitors.
In a motion (Clarke, Downing, passed) to offer Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker support on the publication of a book on the Nature Trail and the “walking tour” of the Trail.

First Reading of Res. A-12-01 to annex property at 1139 Ocean highway (Dr. Leroy Johnson, owner):
Mayor Morrison read for the record Res. A-12-01.

Discuss request from Worcester County Commissioners concerning possible appointment to Commission on Aging:
Mayor Morrison asked for any suggestion for appointment, he stated that the individual did not have to be an elected official. It was agreed that Councilmembers would call Mayor Morrison to recommend someone for this position.

City Manager to present six-month budget summary report:
City Manager Blake presented a six-month budget status report. Revenues are generally better than expected. Real Estate Taxes are at 75%; Room Taxes 58%; State Highway Taxes 67%; Ambulance Department paid memberships are at 102%;. Water and Sewer revenues: water charges received are at 50%, sewer charges are 51%; Sewage Hauler fees 77%. Total revenues are over 54%, while total expenses are at 41%. We will continue to be very careful as to what we spend in the next six months.
Councilman Clarke commended City Manager Blake and Department Heads for keeping expenses under control.

Appoint members of the City’s Board of Elections Supervisors for two-year term beginning February 2012:
Mayor Morrison stated that the five person Board of Elections Supervisors serve for two years, and their terms will expire later this month.
Councilman Cottman made a motion to reappoint for of the current members, ( Barbara Browning, John Haynie, Grace Holland, and Vanessa Jones), motion seconded by Councilwoman Downing, and carried unanimously.

Comments from Audience:

Adjourn to Executive Session:
Following a motion by Councilwoman Cottman and seconded by Councilman Clarke, the Council voted to meet in a closed session at 8:10 P.M. in the Council Chambers. Present were Mayor Morrison, all council members, City Attorney William Hudson, City Manager Blake, and City Clerk Carol Justice. The Mayor and Council discussed real estate and legal issues as permitted under the provisions of Section 10-508 (a), (1), (7) and (8) of the State of Maryland Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Items discussed were Rico DiMattia regarding possible new industrial business on Pocomoke River; Discovery Center financial situation; MIST Building/Possible new industry; and Salvation Army Youth Club status.
With no further business, the Executive Session adjourned at 9:30 P.M.


Carol L. Justice
City Clerk

The Mar-Va Theater This Weekend

Have You Seen Me??

7 year old family pet is still missing.

Missing in the Butler Village area
Pocomoke City, MD.

She is wearing a pink collar with a heart shaped tag that has her name and telephone on it.

PLEASE call 410-490-6579 if you have seen "Mittens"

Spaghetti Fundraiser

This is a fundraiser for a  trip to the Dominican Republic to help the people rebuild.

Author Event and Book Signing

Local authors *Kelvin Sewell and Stephen Janis will be at
Barnes and Noble
in White Marsh
Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 1:00 P.M.

Both authors will host a discussion and then sign copies of "Why Do We Kill?: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore"

*Author Kelvin Sewell is currently the Chief of Police with the Pocomoke City Police Department.

For those local that would like to purchase a copy of "Why Do We Kill?" go to Barnes and Noble in Salisbury or you can purchase a copy through Amazon.  It IS a MUST READ!

White Marsh
The Avenue @ White Marsh, 8123 Honeygo Blvd. Suite E, Baltimore, MD 21236, 410-933-9670

Barnes & Noble


GET SET......
GO !!


Lunch Special

Pulled BBQ Chicken w/ Side
Drink ~ $7.50

1/2 Rack Ribs w/ Side ~ $9.95

LIKE Shore Beef and BBQ on FACEBOOK

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Worcester County Sheriff's Office Press Release

Request the following be released to local paper and news:
     Area citizens have reported an increase in scam attempts. These attempts include request for credit information, wire transfers and other pertinent billing information after stating that you have won various prizes or offers of large amounts of credit. These request have been made by email and telephone and though seemingly harmless, are a valid threat against your personal information and should be taken seriously. 

     The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office in its continuing efforts to prevent crime, remind you to do the following:
1. Do not give out personal information. Creditors of yours should already have this information.
2. Do not confirm creditor information, ask them to mail you the request for confirmation.
3. Protect your computer, use up to date virus protection.
4. Create hard to guess passwords and change them often, at least every 45 days is suggested.
5. Do not ever place your Social Security number on any identifying paperwork or checks.
6. Be aware of your surroundings at all ATM or other cash type machines.
7. Make a list of all credit cards and keep it in a safe.
8. Order your credit report and pay attention to discrepancies.
9. Always file your complaint with your local Police or Sheriff’s Office.
10. Check them out on the web at
11. Never respond to a unsolicited email.
12. The best practice is to delete unwanted emails prior to opening to prevent worms and other downloads.

     Recently; at all area Crime Watches the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office has presented and discussed prevention methods for Identity Theft, the #1 reported crime to the Federal Trade Commission in 2010. We urge individuals to report suspicious activity and to refer the calls to the Better Business Bureau or local law enforcement. Also, we remind each citizen to take a stand and become a part of the local Community Crime Watch that they live in. For more information, please feel free to contact Deputy First Class Dale Trotter; 410-632-1112 for a Community Crime Watch near you.
     Most legitimate creditors will respect your privacy and be willing to go the additional distance to prove their worthiness.
     Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn't true.

Delmarva Discovery Center~ Reptile Festival

Crime Report Is Being Kept Updated.......

For some weeks now the Pocomoke City Police Chief Kelvin D. Sewell has been determined to keep the Pocomoke citizens in the know through a Press Release from his office each week. What you may or may not know is that since that time the Pocomoke City Police Crime Report is also being kept updated.

For some time now Tom and I have felt that the Crime Report was being missed or overlooked on the Pocomoke Public Eye by our readers. So that it can't be missed any longer Tom has placed the same icon used in the Press Release. (Thanks, Tom)

This icon can be found on the right side of the page. To see the current crimes in various areas of Pocomoke City click there and it will take you to the current crime reports.

Thank you again, Chief Sewell, Angel and Gayle for keeping the citizens informed. Also thank you to the Pocomoke City Police Officers for being out there at all times to protect the people of Pocomoke City.  Your presence is noticed.


GET SET.....



Still Missing........


Have you seen

MISSING from the Butler Villiage area.
Pocomoke City, Maryland

"Mittens" is wearing a pink collar with a tag that includes her names and telephone number.

Her family misses her very much.  If you see her OR find her

Va. State Senator Ralph S. Northam~ General Assembly Update #5

General Assembly Update #5

I hope that everyone is doing well and continuing to stay safe and warm during the winter months. As I mentioned last week, "cross-over" is quickly approaching, so we are hearing hundreds of bills in preparation for them to move to the House for consideration. I was right when I predicted that I would not have a spare second leading up to cross-over, as I have been busier than ever. There is still a lot of work to be done, including negotiating the state budget. This means that I will be working hard to ensure that transportation, education and healthcare, and other state priorities are adequately funded. My own legislation has progressed since the last update, and if you ever want to be informed of the status of my bills during the week, please feel free to click here.

A few years ago I worked closely alongside Governor Kaine to enact a smoking ban in restaurants all over the Commonwealth. This year, I am sponsoring legislation that extends the smoking ban to public school grounds and the inside of public buildings. Both of these bills, SB 467 and SB 468, were heard in the Senate Local Government committee on Tuesday, where they passed with bipartisan support. This legislation aims to keep our youth from being subjected to secondhand smoke during a time that they are the most impressionable. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that both of these important and commonsense pieces of legislation pass on the Senate floor.

The issue of sea-level rise is becoming increasingly dangerous, as it has already started to negatively affect the Hampton Roads and Middle Peninsula regions of the Commonwealth through increased coastal flooding. While the sea is rising, the land is continuously sinking, so the time for us to act is now. In an attempt to address this issue, I am sponsoring legislation that requests the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to study strategies for adaptation to the rise in relative sea level in these localities. This resolution would have scientists document what has already been done in Virginia to address the issue, as well as in other at-risk areas of the United States, in order to allow them to make appropriate recommendations on how the problem should be handled. The Senate Rules committee passed this legislation and it will now be considered by Finance. I will continue to keep you posted on its progress as it continues to move through the legislative process.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office in Richmond at any time. You can call our office at 804-698-7506 , or you can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . My Legislative Assistant, Matt Strickler, is happy to assist you in any way that he possibly can.

I hope that you all have a relaxing weekend and that you will continue to look for General Assembly updates every Friday!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Legislative Updates ~ Delegate Mike McDermott/Same Sex Marriage Vote

Press Release on Same Sex Marriage Vote in Joint Committee
Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
Delegate Michael A. McDermott
February 14, 2012

The O’Malley-Brown Gay Marriage Bill was voted on in a combined House Judiciary and Health/Government Operations Committee meeting. Several attempts were made to amend the bill and a lot of behind the scenes arm twisting has going on up until the final minutes before the committee convened. All of the Democratic leadership from the House was in the room to keep the pressure on members.

The following amendments were offered:
1-Would allow public school teachers the ability to opt out of teaching materials relating to sex education or non-traditional families if it were to be opposed to their values or religious teachings. This amendment was defeated following debate.
2. Would allow parents the opportunity to determine what portions of a sex education curriculum that their students will participate in at school. As opposed to opting out of the education, this would require parents to opt into the instruction. This amendment was defeated following debate.
3. Would prohibit a minor from marrying another individual of the same sex. It was fascinating to see all of the democrats agree that it would be alright for a 16 year old boy to marry a 48 year old man...incredible! Even this amendment, reasonable as it is, was defeated.
4. Would allow the effective date to be pushed back by several months to allow for a public referendum to be mounted. There was much debate on the process and whether the rights of the people would be protected should the Attorney General not certify the petition process.There is a lot of concern that shenanigans would follow this process and the people would have their Constitutional rights abridged. This amendment was also defeated on a very close vote.
5. Would protect the definition of marriage and create Civil Unions for same sex couples.It would give all the rights of married individuals to same sex couples, but it would not redefine marriage as being between a man and a woman. I consider this amendment a great compromise that bridges the gap. This was also defeated by the democrats.

Following the amendments, there were closing statements on HB-438 itself. Having made the final arguments, and lamenting that the people were not being allowed to vote for themselves.Several delegates raised concerns on many aspects of the bill, but in the end, both committees voted largely along party lines with a few democrats voting against the bill. The bill was passed onto the floor by a vote of 25-18.



The Ocean City Police Department’s narcotics unit recently concluded a nearly two-year undercover investigation with the criminal indictments of 34 individuals. The indictments, which included 91 charges of distribution of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and 28 charges of conspiracy to distribute CDS, resulted in preset bonds totaling $4,555,000.

During the investigation, an Ocean City Police detective acting in a covert capacity started a legitimate taxicab company during which the detective acted as the owner/operator.  The cab company, the “Tipsy Taxi,” had an actual official Town of Ocean City cab license and ran legitimate fares, in addition to the undercover operation.

On February 2, 2012, the Ocean City Police Department, along with the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, began apprehending the indicted suspects.  During the course of three days, the law enforcement teams apprehended 22 of 34 individuals.  In addition to those apprehended, four of the suspects were already incarcerated on unrelated charges.  The arrest warrants for the remaining wanted individuals who are no longer living in the Ocean City area will be turned over to the Maryland State Apprehension Team (MSAT).

“I commend our narcotics unit for their investigative initiative,” said Chief Bernadette A. DiPino.  “I also want to commend the undercover detective involved in this operation.  The self sacrifice and dedication to this lengthy investigation demonstrated incredible commitment and reflects great credit upon them and all of the law enforcement officers involved.”

During the operation, the Ocean City Police Department seized two vehicles, a stolen firearm and $985 in cash.  “This operation would not have been possible without our partners at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Worcester County State’s Attorney,” Chief DiPino said.  “Sheriff Mason, State’s Attorney Oglesby and members of their agencies, have helped in not only keeping drugs off the streets of Ocean City, but Worcester County as a whole and continue to make our community a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Legislative Updates: Delegate Mike McDermott

Feb. 14th, 2012

Lincoln Day Speech:
to the Maryland House of Delegates February 13, 2012
by Delegate Michael A. McDermott

Motive is an interesting thing. I have questioned the motives of people for decades, as, no doubt, have you as well. As an investigator, I can tell you that finding the motive for a crime is a critical element in solving it.

On a ball field, it is easy to spot the team that lacks motivation. The best coaches are those who can keep their team upbeat and pressing toward the goal.

On a battlefield, it is the leadership which refuses to surrender, finds a way to win, and leads from the front.

We admire it in an individual, we struggle to maintain it in ourselves, and we will die without it…motivation.

If we want to be a successful leader, we look to those who, having been tried in a crucible, came out to victory on the other side. And, having found them, we must uncover their motive, less we be guilty of merely mimicking their actions.

Perhaps no president has been studied as much as Abraham Lincoln and we could easily find ourselves occupied by his actions without searching out his motives…but we would do this great man a disservice and would hinder ourselves in our quest.

No doubt, a couple of things jump right to the front when we consider his motivation. For starters, how about saving the union? We could easily make that argument. Yet, saving the union was only relative to the preservation of that which was greater.

We could make a case that the emancipation of those held in bondage would provide all the motivation necessary to propel a man to cast aside every burden and press on to the goal which lies before him. Yet, even this noblest of causes does not reach the depth of Lincoln’s motivation.

 It was a speech in Peoria where he challenged his listeners by saying:
“Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south -- let all Americans -- let all lovers of liberty everywhere -- join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union; but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed, to the latest generations.”

That speech was given six years before this country would plunge itself into a great civil war. It was a clarion call to embrace that which we had walked away from. The Founders had made solemn declarations about us as a people. We had claimed a God given right to freedom as opposed to the charity of a government or a king. We had stated clearly, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”…and yet we allowed one citizen the right to enslave another. We were not walking in the truth we had proclaimed. By the sixteenth presidential administration, it had finally caught up to us.

The harmony which Lincoln sought…that place where practice and policy would merge so that all could enjoy the fruits of liberty, was not fully discovered in the Constitution…yet the foundation for it is laid out plainly in our Declaration of Independence.

Lincoln saw clearly that the United States was liberty’s hope. If the world would know freedom, its lamp could not be extinguished in America. If his country was broken asunder…if some of her sons and daughters remained in bondage…liberty would not continue and the promise that was independence would be consigned to that forgotten shelf of history.

Lincoln new that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were unalienable rights given by God and not granted by a government…and for the government to impose itself on that which was granted by God could only produce sorrows and shame. 

If Life and Liberty were a gift of God’s grace, Lincoln wisely concluded that they were not merely to be experienced on our shores, but they belonged to the world as well. If they died here, there was no telling if the opportunity for men and women to know freedom would ever arise again.

Lincoln’s motivation was not simply to save or to set free, but rather to restore. It was in restoration of liberties principles that salvation and freedom would be found. And not simply found and preserved for future generations of Americans…it was to be for the world.

Even as our own countrymen struggled with freedom for all peoples, never the less, the foundation stood firm. Lincoln took us back to our beginnings that we might right the wrongs and provide a hope and a future to ourselves and our posterity.

Some may find it interesting and some may view it as prophetic the words of a speech given by Lincoln on September 11th, 1858 in Edwardsville, Illinois

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

It is our love of liberty that makes us a peculiar people. It was this love that was secured by our founders when they pledged their lives, their treasure, and their sacred honor. The price has not cheapened over time although the love of liberty is often hidden from a people who take it for granted.

Are we nobly defending liberty in this place or is it our own ambitions and affections? With every law we pass, with every word we speak in these halls we are building up or we are tearing down the principles that guard our freedom.

Our country was never intended to become merely a fortress where liberty could find a voice. We  were never intended to simply provide safe haven for the oppressed peoples of the world. We were crafted as an instrument of change for the world…we are the example so that others might see. Lincoln ran to the battle with this in mind.

Consider for a moment that icon of liberty erected in New York’s harbor. Many have described the Statue of Liberty as guarding the gateway to freedom…that her presence bids the people of the world to come to our shores as she lights the way, but the artist had something far greater in mind.

The statues name in French is La Libert√© √©clairant le monde which translated m eans “Liberty Enlightening the World”. At her feet lies a broken chain and she is not standing in place, she is striding forward, away from our shores and moving out into the world. She is the vision that Abraham Lincoln had of America...the same vision shared by the founders and the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

It is a vision that may be lost on those who have confused power for liberty and money as the means of freedom. We are under attack by those who do not comprehend the essence of our spirit. It was seen on December 8th, 1941 and on September 12th, 2001 when flags fluttered from our homes and we stood together to reaffirm and readopt those principles that find fertile ground in our hearts.

On Abraham Lincoln's inaugural journey to Washington in February of 1861, he stopped in Philadelphia at the site where the Declaration of Independence had been signed and made a few remarks.

I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing here, in this place, where were collected together the wisdom, the patriotism, the devotion to principle, from which sprang the institutions under which we live. You have kindly suggested to me that in my hands is the task of restoring peace to the present distracted condition of the country. I can say in return, Sir, that all the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated and were given to the world from this hall. I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here, and framed and adopted that Declaration of Independence. I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that Independence. I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is a sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.

Abraham Lincoln did not surrender the principles of liberty. He laid hold of them for future generations and preserved a heritage and hope for the entire world. That which stood up at Lexington and Concord...that which knelt humbly before God at Valley stood at Antietam, Gettysburg, and crawled through the Argonne swam ashore from Pearl waded ashore at has been a hand extended to our friends and one brandishing a sword against is that same unquenchable spirit that dwells in me and you...and while we, as a family, can argue and be angry with one another from time to time...we are, in the end, family...bound together by cords of liberty, paid for with the blood of patriots,  past...present...and future.

Let us encourage one another with these words and let us maintain these principles and be sure to teach them to our children’s children... that government of the people, by the people, and for the people will never perish from this earth.

May God bless this General Assembly and the Great State of Maryland.