By DONALD WITTKOWSKIDon’t hog the beach.Ocean City is making that point clear through a new set of regulations to prevent beach vendors that rent out lounge chairs and umbrellas from dominating large swaths of the shoreline.“The amended beach ordinance was drafted in consultation with existing beach vendors to avoid some of the issues we experienced last summer and to address other ongoing issues,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said.Last summer, the city saw one vendor, Frenchy’s, take over a section of the popular Ninth Street beach next to the Music Pier with its bright yellow lounge chairs and red-and-yellow umbrellas.Frenchy’s, a French fries business on the Boardwalk, later reached an agreement to lease the concession service to another company after negotiations with the city. The lease included terms that prevented the new vendor, Swift Beach Services, from setting up chairs and umbrellas before they were rented – a move that freed up a big part of the beach for the public.“I want to thank the owners of both companies for agreeing to these terms at the request of the city, and I want everybody to know that the city will do whatever it takes to preserve public access to the beach on behalf of every resident, guest and business in town,” Mayor Jay Gillian said last summer while announcing the deal. The new beach regulations for this summer, adopted by City Council on April 23, spell out in great detail the rules that vendors must follow while renting out umbrellas, chairs and boogie boards.Council President Peter Madden said in an interview Friday that the regulations are designed to make sure that vendors and everyone else on the beach “are comfortable” with each other while sharing the sand.“It’s to avoid what we experienced last year,” Madden said, echoing Bergen’s comments about vendors taking up too much space on the beaches.This summer, beach vendors will not be allowed to set up umbrellas and empty chairs ahead of time, unless they are pre-paid.The regulations specify where the vendors may set up, how long they are allowed to be there and how they can advertise themselves, along with myriad other requirements “to maintain an open accessway along the beach.”“The rental of beach chairs, umbrellas and boogie boards on the beach is a service which benefits many beachgoers and which, if conducted in an orderly manner, can be a benefit to the city’s residents, property owners and visitors,” the regulations say.In short, the regulations stress that rental umbrellas or chairs will not be allowed to “impede public use of the beach nor access to the ocean.”They also “shall not obstruct any beach access path nor the emergency access corridor/trough which is parallel to and adjacent to the Boardwalk,” according to an excerpt from the regulations.Hoping to avoid a repeat of last summer, the regulations also prevent vendors from setting up chairs and umbrellas before beachgoers arrive, unless they are pre-paid.The city received complaints last summer after Frenchy’s set up umbrellas and empty lounge chairs ahead of time, occupying a large section of the beach next to the Music Pier.One of the requirements states that vendors “shall use their best efforts to avoid setting up chairs too close to others on the beach.” That regulation seems particularly timely with the social distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.Another requirement calls for umbrellas to be anchored or tethered in the sand to prevent them from blowing down the beach and possibly injuring someone.“All persons renting and using beach umbrellas shall be mindful of weather conditions including, but not limited to, wind velocity and wind direction, and shall take umbrellas down when conditions warrant so as to prevent injuries from windswept umbrellas,” according to the regulations.Bergen, the city spokesman, said he was not aware of any serious beach injuries in recent years in Ocean City caused by wind-blown umbrellas.“It’s not at all uncommon for the wind to send umbrellas tumbling down the beach. I don’t know of any serious injuries in recent years, but the ordinance applies to everybody and is designed to prevent them,” he said. Frenchy’s umbrella and lounge chair rentals occupied a prime piece of real estate on the Ninth Street beach last summer.
Gov. Deval Patrick ’82 has nominated Gloria Tan, a clinical instructor at HLS’s Criminal Justice Institute, to a seat on the Massachusetts Juvenile Court. A leading national authority in the field of juvenile justice, Tan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the juvenile bench in Massachusetts.As a judge on the Juvenile Court, Tan will rule on cases regarding delinquency, children in need of services, care and protection petitions, cases in which an adult contributes to the delinquency of a minor, adoption, guardianship, termination of parental rights proceedings, and youthful offender cases.Currently, Tan teaches and supervises law students who represent indigent adults and youth in criminal and delinquency proceedings. Prior to joining CJI, Tan served as a public defender for the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Boston, as well as an attorney for CPCS’s Youth Advocacy Division.On Sunday, the students presented their model policies and participated in a discussion with Dean Minow. “After the presentations, we had an utterly fascinating conversation with the panelists that lasted about an hour longer than we had scheduled,” said Daniel Doktori ’13, an organizer of the event and one of the dean’s liaisons to the Harvard Innovation Lab. “This was a great example of Dean Minow’s commitment to alternative methods of legal education and her support of student-led initiatives.” Read Full Story
Ghana coach Kwasi Appiah says final round qualifying matches are never easy in international football.The Black Stars play Malawi in Accra on Saturday in the first leg of the final round fixture in the qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.Despite sitting 59 places above Malawi on the world ranking table, Appiah insists his players will not underestimate the threat posed by the Flames when they kick off at the Accra Sports Stadium at 15:30GMT.According to Appiah, the Black Stars are prepared for the tricky encounter.“When the competition reaches a stage like this, every side is prepared for it. The tie is decided over two matches. And over two games, it doesn’t matter the size of a country, it’s about the preparation, determination and hardwork of your side that will get you through,” Appiah told www.ghanafa.org ahead of the game on Saturday.Appiah is very confident that his team can do a good job in the first leg. “What I demand of my team is to put in the hardwork and get out there to do same. We’re well aware that they [Malawi] will be attempting to cause problems.“We must deal with it and be ambitious. So, what matters to me is to do our best. Sometimes, it might not be too pleasing for the eye but we have to give off our best and get the results. We won’t underestimate them.”The winner over both legs qualifies for next year’s tournament in South Africa.Thirty countries have been split into 15 home-and-away ties with the winners joining hosts, South Africa, who are automatic qualifiers for the Nations Cup.Next year’s finals will mark the last time that the Nations Cup will be held in even-number years since Ethiopia staged the 1968 finals. The competition switches to uneven-number years from 2013 to avoid every second tournament being staged in the same year as a World Cup.