Letters to the Editor — March 18, 2016


Bay Forest thankful for help with event

Editor:

We would like to extend a sincere thank you for the show of support we received during our Bay Forest Chili Cook-Off annual fundraising event, which was held at our BF Clubhouse on Saturday, March 12, 2016. The event, attended by 375 people, was great fun, with fabulous chili entries, delicious food and a wonderful collection of silent auction items for bid.

Together with your support, we raised $13,125, which will go to supporting the Millville Volunteer Fire Company. The 2016 Bay Forest record donation exceeded the previous 2015 donation by over 100 percent. Additionally, another $565 was generated through T-shirt sales sold by MVFC.

A big thank-you goes out to all of our generous sponsors, especially Natelli Communities & NV Homes, silent auction item donors, silent auction item buyers, chili cook-off chefs, event volunteers, guest bartenders, MVFC and the Bay Forest Social Committee. Special thanks to Mountaire Farms for donating 250 pounds of chicken wings that were enjoyed by all.

Winning first place in the Chili Cook-Off was Chili No. 7, created by Jim Collins and Cindy Hawkins. Placing a close second was Chili No. 2, cooked and delivered by Charles Kuzminski. Congratulations to the two winners and the other 10 chili chefs for their entries and overall event support.

The fire truck raffle was won by Karen and John Pfeil, and the fireball guess count had two winners, with a guess of 295 fireballs, missing the correct number of 294 by one. The winners were Penny Penello and our second-place chili chef, Charles Kusminski.

Once again, our Bay Forest Community has come together street by street to achieve the record setting MVFC donation and reinforce that Bay Forest is one of the best communities in Sussex County.

Thank you for a job well done!

John Corrao, Chair
Bay Forest Social Committee

Hattier responds to previous Point letter

Editor:

This letter is in response to Mr. Elling’s recent editorial about the Indian River School District. This is going to be lengthy, but Mr. Elling needs to understand what we, as taxpayers, are up against.

I want to thank the Coastal Point for being a forum that allows members of the community to express their opinions. And I want to state that what follows is my personal opinion and not that of the IRSD or the rest of the school board.

Mr. Elling is correct in that we are going to have to ask the members of our district to fund new and more schools at some point. It is not, however, due to poor planning.

Back in 2000, we asked the public to fund two new high schools, as well as refurbish and update virtually every other building in the Indian River School District. At that time, and even through today, the law was that you could only build to current capacity and not beyond.

At the urging of the school board, the State relented and allowed the district to build one school to a 1,500 capacity and another to around 1,000, even though we were not projected to hit that in a short timeframe. And after 14 years, we are still under capacity in both buildings. Not bad for long-term planning.

Every other building in the district was rehabbed, all outdoor trailer type units were removed and all children are now in proper indoor classrooms. And we did this for around $70 million; not bad again, considering a few years later, Cape built one new high school at $75 million. I commend the board and administrators for their future thinking and good conservancy of public money.

Since 2000, the growth rate has exceeded anyone’s expectations. Sussex Central will be at 1,700-plus in the next few years. Every elementary school in the north end of the IRSD will be at or around 750 to 800. Our middle schools will in some case be 850 to 900 kids. These numbers are freely available from the district office.

As was stated at one board meeting, 87 percent of the growth in the northern end is Hispanic. The district has gone from under 2 percent in 1990 to over 30 percent in a 26-year period. Try planning for that.

The IRSD has a reputation for including the public in its decisions. Every committee meeting that we have since 1996 is published and open to public input and participation — just show up. You don’t need an invite. Nothing stated above is a surprise or not known to anyone who has attended or tried to follow what the board and district do.

It is obvious that we are being pummeled with higher enrollments, but it is equally obvious that the district is laboring under the law and cannot strike out on its own. Otherwise, the reality is that we, as local taxpayers, would pay 100 percent of the expansion, as opposed to the State’s roughly 40/60 split that we get if we work with in their rules.

For Mr. Elling to state “obviously our district did not project their needs” does not reflect the hard and ongoing efforts that have been made to cope with the situation.

He further suggests that we need to consolidate our schools into one giant district. That idea has been floated in many guises over the last 15 years. And the conclusion by the panel of experts, not the IRSD, then was that this will not save anywhere near as much as one would think. I believe that the district still has the most recent copy of this.

All research tells us that an ideal size for a high school is in the 1,500 range and no bigger. Why then, against the research, is he suggesting a high school with close to four or more thousand kids? And that is just the IRSD merging with Sussex Tech. Add Laurel Seaford and several other districts, and we would have an unmanageable school. Keep in mind that Sussex Tech serves the whole of the county, not just the IRSD.

And lastly, tradition is a big thing. I come from an area where everything was modern and up to date — Fairfax County, Va. If we went to that kind of system, every one in every district not only loses control of their own schools locally but the kids lose their connection to the local communities which they and their parents in many cases have long histories in.

Do we really want to destroy that? I am pleased as punch that my kids had a chance to grow up in a more rural and local environ. Our future is in keeping those connections, not destroying them,

With the growth rate of those people moving in from every source, the likelihood of school taxes going down is zero. How can we add 1,700 more kids without more teachers and space? The State tell us how large our classes can be and how much square footage they need. We have to comply with that.

This is reality. Unless Mr. Elling wishes to stop all growth right now, from any source, we will continue to grow in to the next 20-plus years.

I am always available to give information on this subject, and I think the district has made an admirable effort to keep the public informed as well. Those sources are there for anyone who takes the time to just ask.

Donald G Hattier
Ocean View

Annual CROP walk coming in May

Editor:

Join us!

Southeast Sussex has participated in the CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) walk since 1989. It is a way for the people of Sussex to show their connection to all people.

Last year, we had our best year yet, raising $20,000. The money is used to give people a hand up all over the world, including our own community; 25 percent of what is raised stays in the community. The walk is sponsored by the Christian Church Community of Southeast Sussex. You do not have to be a church member to participate, you just have to care.

The walk will take place on May 1 at 2 p.m. We will gather at the Bethany Beach bandstand for entertainment for those who can’t or don’t want to walk and for those who do. It is a great way to meet your neighbor and help in a good cause.

If you would like to walk, represent a group or find out who is the coordinator for your church, contact Rose Mary Hendrix at (302) 537-9417 or rm.hendrix@mchsi.com. You can also go online to www.cropwalk.org and login to Southeast Sussex Hunger Walk to get more info or donate to the walk or a walker.

All donations are appreciated, because many small amounts added together make a difference. Many times we have shown in Sussex County that working together makes a difference. Help make a difference in someone’s life, but also in your own. Sometimes we think my little bit won’t make a difference. It does and we do.

My life is great! I hope yours is too! Let’s help someone else!

Rose Mary Hendrix
CROP Walk Coordinator

Reader upset with state’s animal control

Editor:

I, for one, am very disappointed in Delaware officials. We have outsourced our animal control. Really, Delaware. We had KSPCA, and nothing was wrong in their services except Blevins got sold a line from a no-kill senator who even stooped to the level of Helping Safe Haven win the contract from KSPCA. Yes, people, we have proof in emails that were sent out.

Now we have animal control known as OAW. The director, Hetti Brown doesn’t even know how many officers she has on the road during shifts. She isn’t aware of how their lost-and-found website works. She said they only pick up stays sometimes. Probably right, since the website of found animals has January 2016 picking up 33 stays, February picking up 28 stays…

The KSPCA picked up an average of 150 per month. Big difference.

I asked Hetti Brown how many strays are her officers averaging, She told me same as the previous vendor.

We are so in trouble. When the strays are left on the street by OAW, bad things can happen. Hetti Brown says so he self in her newsletter. Animal Control is “someone employed to rid the streets of stray animal in an effort to reduce or to keep the public safe from packs of wild dogs.”

I’m confused. If Director Hetti Brown is aware of the need to pick up strays, then why sometimes? Why are her numbers less then FSAS’s strays they picked up?

She says there is no open shelters, and that has been for years. Then she goes on to say the last animal control provider offered limited intake of owned dog/cats. So which is it? No open shelters for years or one offered limited intake? She contradicted herself in this statement sent to me.

FSAC always had an open-door shelter, as they have said “one shelter should have open access to solve our animal needs.” Since the State does not budget money for shelters to take in owner surrenders, FSAC used funds from adoptions, along with donations, to provide this service for the state.

Crystal Shear
Milford

Reader hopes we’re too smart for Trump

Editor:

“If you see something, say something.” These words are a part of our American life for quite a while now. I feel compelled to say something regarding the events surrounding the campaign of Donald Trump.

I saw many people who had the courage to demonstrate at a rally in Chicago on Friday, the 11th of March. I saw a group of people who, by doing such an action, forced Donald Trump to cancel his rally. This group did what no other group, including the leadership of the Republican Party, has been unable or unwilling to do — shut Mr. Trump down. More voices need to be heard loud enough to outshout Donald Trump’s vitriol.

The rhetoric heard from Mr. Trump is hateful, divisive, misleading, insulting and quite scary. Also unnerving is the fact that so many Americans support him. Too many of his supporters at rallies become violent and aggressive to protesters. Donald Trump is an expert at setting people up to take the fall for him. I would like to think that Americans are smarter than this.

Mary Thormeyer
Ocean View

Event a success, thanks to many

Editor:

I want to thank all who came out last Thursday night to the Cottage Café in support of the Fund for Pulmonary Fibrosis at Johns Hopkins in memory of Harry Jones Walls. So many people continue to support us in our efforts to find a cure. It was a great night as we also remembered Tom Napier-Collins.

Thanks to Rick Arzt for providing great entertainment and the staff at the Cottage Café for again hosting our event: we couldn’t do it without you! Thank you to many individuals and businesses who donated to our auction table... it was filled with fabulous items.

I continue to be humbled by the outpouring of love and support we are given, not just for our two events but also for the kindness and friendship we have received on a daily basis since Harry’s death. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Tour de Har bicycle ride for IPF in July.

The Walls family

A frustrated voter’s questions

Editor:

Where are the giants in this election season? Who on the scene holds the outposts of thought? Are there any? What happened beyond the passing of time bringing us to an abyss devoid of giants? Why are we empty of leaders of government?

Where are those leaders with demonstrated principles instead of lust for power? Why are there some without any principle whatsoever? Who is the leader more conscious of duties than privileges? Why have we found most candidates inferior to our needs?

Can you show me the leader with principles and not dislikes and with unquestioned honesty? Why do we have a leading candidate who inflames against grudges?

Remember when we had senators like Jackson, Humphrey, Muskie, Baker, Javitts and more; governors like Rockefeller and Reagan; and a speaker like O’Neill, who commanded attention and respect because of their ability, personality, dedication, leadership and focus on principles. OK, you may not agree on these names, but you get the point.

Who are the principled leaders now? Hillary? Of course not. Trump? You must be kidding. Senate Minority Leader Reid? David Browder said it best, “America deserves better.” Senate Majority Leader McConnell? No! Cruz? No!

Are there any candidates in our democracy who will give and take for the common benefit? How did we get to the point where our leaders are only professional politicians who have been brought up to believe party advantage is the supreme good?

The “guardians” of accumulated wealth need no more help and buyouts; they need reins. Who takes their money but says they will control them? The record says their attacks on vested privilege sound good but are foredoomed to fail. Always have. But we need to try. We need to do more than establish a balance between greed and only the minimum requirements of the rest of us. Which leaders are so motivated?

Which candidates have the tenacity and record approaching obstinacy regarding maintaining worthy principles? I don’t know, but just maybe it is Sanders, who has principles but scary politics, the qualifying Democrat. Maybe Kasich — perhaps the only qualifying and viable Republican. Hopefully, there are others? I’m not sure. We need to think about it!

Last, but important, who is the candidate who will appoint the best cabinet and advisors? Our current president has failed on this important point. Hillary has demonstrated failure in bringing Arkansas law partners into the Clinton administration who were jailbait. This is so important: isn’t it time for candidates to share their thoughts on appointments so we can evaluate a possible administration and not just the candidates?

Gordon E. Wood
Ocean View