Letters to the Editor -- August 2, 2013

Bethany Arms neighbor prefers houses to hotel

I urge all Bethany Beach residents to oppose changing the zoning of properties south side of Hollywood Street from currently R-1 Residential to C-1 or CL-1 Commercial.

This has nothing to do with opposing the planned replacement of the current motel with a new hotel. It has everything to do with fairness. The proposed zoning changes will negatively impact the value of our and our neighbors’ properties.

We are not opposing change. Bethany Beach has changed so much over last 27 years I have been coming here, and it will continue to change. However, free-market forces should determine that change.

Zoning changes actively help one party at the expense of other parties. Buildings erected under commercial zoning have a different set of rules, elevation limits and setbacks than those erected under residential zoning. The commercial-zoned properties are built all the way to the edge of the property and, as such, that partially or completely block the ocean views of our homes.

Because those views were factored in for the cost of those properties, losing those views means loss of property value. That is plain and simple. In addition to the parking nightmare, noise and congestion is not going to help with our home values, either.

Our opposition to this zoning change is not because we believe that Hollywood Street will be closed to the public, or the building will be six stories high, or a fly-over bridge between the buildings. That is a smokescreen. It has to do with converting a residential-zoned property into a commercial-zoned land so that a bigger hotel can be built.

However, no regard is given to the fact that such change will devalue surrounding residential properties. Yet the claim is made that it will benefit all. To that I say: Show me.

It has been said that we need a 100-room hotel because we lost the Blue Surf Motel. However, besides the Bethany Planning Commission and its chairman and town manager, nobody seems to care about loss of those rooms. The residents of Bethany Beach have not submitted any petitions to the Town authorities for more hotel rooms.

The Blue Surf Motel was replaced with a structure built under commercial zoning guidelines, with every square inch of the land on the perimeter used for the building. As it stands, predominant (70 percent) use of that structure is residential. The business owners of that property do not have parking spaces for themselves and their employees, and they use our neighborhood parking spaces for parking.

The developer of the Bethany Arms Motel is promising “ample parking” for their guests, however, there was no mention of parking for the vendors, workers and other employees of the hotel and proposed business owners.

It has been said that zoning should reflect current use of those properties. For 60 years these properties have been zoned residential. I do not know why the Town allowed non-conforming use of those properties for 60 years or why the property owners did not apply for change in the zoning code to commercial a long time ago.

It has been said that Town has granted them variance. I have not seen a copy of it, and none has been made public. It may be better for the Town officials to make it public and put it on line for everyone to see. They will have to produce it anyway if this matter gets adjudicated. However, to my knowledge, the variance is null and void once the building is demolished, and the replacement building has to be built under current Residential zoning regulation. That is why there is push for changing the zoning code from R to C.

The owners of the southern parcels of land and property (south side of Hollywood Street) have a very desirable parcel of land with residential zoning and it is very valuable and enough for four homes under current zoning regulation. Those property owners are not going to lose. Those properties may fetch more money if they are zoned commercial, but that will be at the expense of their neighbors.

We are thankful for this referendum, albeit a nonbinding one. The town council of Bethany Beach is taking a safe approach. If the proposed changes are not approved, they still could vote to approve them. However, if the proposed changes are approved, that gives them a legal cover.

Proceeding with zoning changes will adversely affect the property values in the surrounding area and will leave us no choice but to seek compensation for loss of value of our properties and, to my knowledge, there is precedent for that. I would rather see families establish their roots on those properties.

The Bhat family
Bethany Beach

Burbage defends his proposed hotel

Many have said and most agree, “The only constant is change.”

Yes, even a small idyllic town like Bethany Beach needs to change to meet the changing requirements of those who live, work, visit and own property in our Quiet Resort.

The addition of a new oceanfront hotel facility would be a positive change for Bethany. This would help energize the Bethany Beach downtown area and provide much-needed local accommodations.

The proposed new three-story oceanfront hotel facility will offer about 100 oceanfront suites with modern amenities.

My sons and I are the developers of this new Bethany Beach oceanfront hotel project. Wilbert Powell’s family is the owner of the Bethany Arms properties at the Boardwalk and Hollywood Street. Wilbert and I have a contract of sale that is dependent on a basic zoning change to the CL-1 classification to allow Burbage Properties to build a brand-new hotel facility with many modern amenities. This new hotel facility would be three stories in height and would replace the Bethany Arms Motel & Apartments that are also three stories in height.

Our companies, Burbage Properties and Bethany Land Co., have built and managed many Bethany Beach properties. One of our finest buildings is the Holiday House/Mango’s restaurant complex on the Bethany Boardwalk at Garfield Parkway. Our new proposed hotel project would be built just one block south, on the Boardwalk at Hollywood Street. We understand the challenges, risks and responsibilities associated with building oceanfront properties. We look forward to building a hotel facility that the entire town can use and one that will make all residents very proud.

Our new Bethany Beach oceanfront hotel project would offer these positive benefits for the Quiet Resorts:

(1) The hotel is designed to blend with the unique character and traditions of the Quiet Resorts and will have a traditional Bethany Beach look and feel while offering an exciting array of modern amenities not found in other resort facilities.

(2) The new Bethany Beach oceanfront hotel project will become a new focal point for the Quiet Resorts. We will offer a myriad of year-round activities that both locals and visitors will enjoy. All family members will be welcomed.

(3) Most all of our accommodations will be oceanfront and oceanside suites. The design of the rooms and the extra amenities that will be offered will encourage more guests to enjoy Bethany Beach on a year-round basis.

(4) The new hotel will be built to meet the highest construction standards and will have advanced safety features. We are building our traditional hotel to last a lifetime. Our property will be meticulously maintained, and all the services we offer will result in the best accommodations that the Delmarva Peninsula has to offer.

Whenever there is the prospect of positive change in Bethany Beach, there seems to be a small vocal group of people who develop a series of negative rationalizations to derail positive change. Some of these assertions are so far off the mark that a direct reply from me is the only way to clarifying the situation:

(1) Some actually believe Hollywood Avenue would be closed to the public. Closing Hollywood Avenue was never even considered, let alone needed. In reality, Hollywood Avenue will always be open and will be a direct route to the beach as it currently exists.

(2) Believe it or not, some folks are still saying that our project will be a six-story high-rise. A three-story structure is the maximum number of stories allowed to be constructed in Bethany Beach, so it is unreasonable to even suggest a six-story building, and the individuals who are spreading that rumor know better. Our plans only call for a three-story building, and we have never even suggested that a six-story structure was wanted or needed.

(3) There has been much misinformation about height, density and setbacks. Our architects were instructed to design all our plans to meet all height, density and setback requirements. Some even said that we would construct a “fly-over” or bridge between the two buildings. We never planned, wanted or asked for a “fly-over.”

(4) We have heard that our new hotel will create parking and traffic problems. All hotels and motels in Bethany are required to provide on-site parking for all their guests. There will be no parking or traffic problems created by our new hotel. There will be ample parking for all our guests.

(5) It has also been said that the new hotel would put many more people on the beach. Actually, the two hotels we would be replacing held more people than the new hotel will accommodate.

(6) Finally, to top off all the total untruths said about the new hotel project is a recent, totally unfounded, fabrication that there will be 189 units. 189 units? You’ve got to be kidding me. The figure of 189 units for the new hotel project is total fiction. Saying that that there will be 189 units is just one example of the depths to which some people have sunk.

We believe our new proposed Bethany Beach oceanfront hotel will be a great benefit to all of the Quiet Resorts, and we invite all of you to visit us once we are open to see for yourself.

We hope you will join us as we work to respect the past by keeping a traditional oceanfront hotel in our community. This will be a great hotel that will offer the finest accommodations on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Thank you for helping us to keep Bethany moving ahead by letting the Bethany Beach Town Council know that you support the new CL-1 zoning classification and our efforts to build a beautiful new traditional oceanfront Bethany Beach hotel.

Jack Burbage
Bethany Beach

Costello speaks out on process, leaders

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the voters and residents of Bethany Beach and was sent to the Coastal Point for publication.

The values that Bethany citizens cherish toward this town have been the same for over 100 years. Citizens sending messages to the town council regarding the rezoning for Mr. Burbage have overwhelmingly opposed the intrusion of commercial zoning south of Hollywood Street. Regrettably, our council members ignore such expressions of opposition. Our council and planners know best! We should trust them?

Over the years, Bethany has placed limits on commercial areas, and such decisions have been fully supported by Bethany townsfolk, in comprehensive plans, surveys and communications to town government. Always before, council and planners held developers in check and vigorously protected the property rights of residents. Today, the opposite is true.

The idea of the quiet resort, a family-oriented, residential place of rest and relaxation, with limited commercial activities, is firmly planted in the Bethany psyche. Mr. Burbage’s idea of commercial revitalization, upscale shops and place-defining hotels may be suitable for other resorts, but not for Bethany. Citizens who prefer one idea over the other must make their views known to town government in no uncertain terms.

Your chance to tell them how you feel is the referendum. Vote against the special interest rezoning proposals and return your ballot in time to be counted by Aug. 12. Come September, we can elect council members who promise to put the views of Bethany families first. Don’t be fooled by all the slick propaganda that Bethany is on its last legs and needs to be saved by a glitzy hotel.

Some items to remember as you prepare to cast your mail-in ballot:

(1) Bethany already has a 100-room motel within walking distance of our boardwalk and commercial district. It has loads of on-site parking. It has guest facilities. It does not contribute directly to the intense congestion that Hollywood and Atlantic experience in the busy season.

(2) Bethany’s planners in the past have always supported the planning principle that commercial supports and serves residential. Our present planners support the notion that we residents are here to enlarge our commercial area. Don’t support the Dewey Beaching of Bethany.

(3) No real estate deal in Bethany’s history has ever been assembled without extensive and interactive residential participation. This one was planned and packaged behind closed doors. Nearby residents were not consulted or even informed about the deal ahead of time. Their property rights and values apparently were never taken into account. If the planners can disregard with impunity the rights of these residents, they can disregard the rights of all of us residents. Transparency and openness, values we have come to expect in public policy here, have given way to special interest zoning.

(4) Today’s planners in Bethany no longer protect us from undesirable development. Instead they actually are promoting it.

(5) When this anti-resident rezoning first resurfaced in the winter, Mayor McClenny and his planners repeatedly and publicly assured us that these changes had absolutely nothing to do with the Burbage hotel proposal. The truth is now being told — this rezoning has absolutely everything to do with the Burbage hotel proposal. Reversals of stories of this sort ought to be questioned by Bethany voters.

(6) Proponents of this special-interest rezoning giveaway argue that it must be approved. There are no alternatives. The sky will certainly fall. Bethany will become a wasteland. The best choice we residents can make is to soundly reject this rezoning because it is special-interest, spot zoning. We should send the whole issue back to the council and its planners for a thorough review, this one in the clear light of day, with plenty of sustained, honest public involvement. No more 10-minute rezoning recommendations.

(7) No rezoning at all may be an option. Minor adjustments may be another. Demands by buyers and/or sellers must be balanced against public opinion and the plain language of Bethany’s comprehensive plan.

What’s best for Bethany residents has never been vetted in this instance. All we have heard is that, if this deal for the buyer and seller is not approved, terrible things might happen to Bethany. Full public participation is the only answer here to a good public policy.

(8) Pay close attention to how this all turns out. Council candidates and planners, who have served as special interest cheerleaders for this unfortunate and harmful deal, will be on the ballot for council seats in September. The others will be on the ballot next year. This time, there will be good council challengers to choose among. It’s a truism that, in a democracy, people get the government they deserve, especially if they don’t participate by asking questions and holding officials accountable.

Dan Costello
Bethany Beach

Supporters of Dunes Pink Classic get thanks

The Women’s Golf Association at Bear Trap Dunes would like to thank all the sponsors who made our seventh annual breast cancer tournament, the Dunes Pink Classic, a major success. Our golf tournament on June 3, 2013, had over 140 women golfers and raised over $45,000 for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

Tournament underwriters were: Carl M. Freeman Foundation, host sponsor; Bear Trap Dunes & Troon Golf, golf ball sponsor; the Survivor’s Support Group, Closest to the Pin sponsor; Delaware Electric Cooperative, Longest Hole sponsor; I.G. Burton, beverage cart sponsor.

Single-hole sponsors included: an anonymous friend of the Dunes Pink Classic, Aubré Watercolours; the Jones and Flynn Family; James Joyce Irish Bar & Restaurant; Lyons Enterprises; NRG Indian River Generating Station; Raymond Hall Electric Co.; Sea Light Build-Design; Sposato Landscape Co. Inc.; the Van Scoyoc Family; the Waters Family.

The Dunes Pink Classic pre-event underwriters were: A Red Carpet Event, Galaxy 66 & Skye Raw Bar, Harrington Raceway & Casino.

Eagle sponsors were: Argyle Country Club, Bay Club, Bayside Resort Golf Club, Beach Liquors, Bear Trap Dunes, Bill and Ann Gibbs, Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, Danette and Mark Travaglini, DiFebo’s restaurant, Donna and Mike Tanguay, Harrington Raceway & Casino, Hudson Trail Outfitters Ltd., Kings Creek Country Club, Norbeck Country Club, Rehoboth Beach Golf Club.

Shared hole sponsors were: Creative Concepts, Dr. Don Dillon, Giant Food, Hutchinson Wealth Advisors, Maureen and Jim Hurst, Resort Pointe Custom Homes, Wells Fargo Advisors, James J. Pomfret.

Birdie sponsors were: A Cut Above, After Glo, Ann Bucklew, Aquacare, Atlantic Bodywork Center, Baja Beach House, The Cove at Bayside, Bethany Blues, Bethany Sports Cards & Collectibles, Big Fish, Blue Coast Restaurant, Blue Crab Restaurant, Bob Ciprietti, Breach Break Bakrie & Café, Busy Beader Ria, Cottage Café, Crazy LadyZ, Debbie & Dennis Conway, Fish On Restaurant, Food Lion #1321, Fox’s Pizza Den, Freeman Fitness Center, Hair Snippery, Jean Otter, John Flynn, John Reddington, Just Hooked, Karen Howarth, Karen Sergison , Kia Massage, Lewes Auto Mall, Linda Fiscus, Lord’s Landscape, Mancini’s, Mangos, Marcia Bonifas, McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Mike McGowan , Mind Body & Sole, Nancy & Al Tucker, Nike, Oceanova, Parkway Restaurant, Pat and Frank Hanley, Perucci’s, Pitter Patter/Japanesque, Rita’s Italian Ice , Robert Cairo, Ruddos Golf, Ruth & Steve Rendle, Salon on Central, Sirlae’s Brazilian Steak House, SoDel Concepts, Studio 26 Salon and Spa, Tanger Outlets, Tenuto’s House of Ice LLC , The Buttery restaurant, the UPS Store, Twining’s Lobster Shanty.

Women’s Golf Associationat Bear Trap Dunes

Farrar asks people to stick to the facts

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Bethany Beach residents and was sent to the Coastal Point for publication.,/em>

As a homeowner in Bethany for 25 years and a former employee of the Town, I wholeheartedly approve of the architectural drawings of the proposed replacement hotel where the Bethany Arms now stands. Replacement is the key word. The Bethany Arms has been a motel for 50-some years. The Burbage project would replace and enhance the Hollywood Street location of the existing motel.

There is criticism, from anonymous people, that “a 100-plus room hotel ... will have a deleterious impact on our community.” Would a miniature golf with roaring dragons and spewing volcanos, or perhaps another T-shirt shop enhance and improve our lives and town?

Fact: the owners of the Bethany Arms are selling their property. It will not remain the same. Wouldn’t we want a bird-in-hand (the Burgage proposal) rather than gamble on what other commercial enterprise could be built? Mr. Burbage must go through the Town’s approval process and remain within the guidelines of our town code, just as the Blue Surf Condominiums gained their stamp of approval from the Town.

Fact: since the early 1960s, the Bethany Arms has been operating as a commercial, for-profit business throughout its entire existence, “in two buildings, one north and the other south of Hollywood Street, at the boardwalk.” The Burbage hotel proposal is planning on basically the same configuration: “two buildings, one north and the other south of Hollywood Street, at the boardwalk.”

Jack Burbage’s letter printed in the July 19, 2013, Coastal Point, mentions how Bethany (and its planners) have kept up-to-date with their vision while respecting tradition. Here is another example of the trust we have placed in our town officials: The Bandstand. The new stage and plaza were completed in 2006 and have made a positive impact on our community. The Summer Concert Series draws hundreds of visitors to our town on show nights, and the open plaza area and majestic flags are a daily positive asset for all.

Another point: we do have the beautiful and historic Addy Sea B&B, but the Burbage project would be the only hotel for visitors and our families within our town limits. We can’t all own a home here or rent for a week minimum or have room for all of our family.

I urge you to keep informed of the facts of the issue and support the traditions and visions that made Bethany such a desirable place to live and visit.

Gloria Farrar
Bethany Beach

Bethany resident urges ‘no’ vote on referendum

As a Bethany Beach resident having just received Burbage Properties’ four-page brochure encouraging the residents of Bethany Beach to vote yes on the upcoming town-sponsored referendum on the rezoning/hotel issue, I am reminded of a couple of adages: that, one, you can’t beat city hall, and, two, money trumps all. Or at least it’s beginning to look that way.

The brochure, along with the town council’s both formally and informally stated support for the two-building hotel complex, make for tough competition for those of us who don’t wish to see the hotel and required rezoning occur. As an aside, please notice how building No. 2 is de-emphasized in the drawings on the front and back pages. How do you feel about that tactic?

Having been somewhat involved in the grassroots process of opposing the hotel/rezoning from an early stage, I am greatly disappointed at the way the whole issue has been handled. Witness Burbage Properties’ ads that don’t show the second building, letter responses that fail to address the legitimate citizens’ concerns and instead state far-fetched scenarios, and the town council’s initial reluctance to have citizen involvement on such a defining issue, just to name a few.

Regardless of the outcome, I think that for many of us there has been real loss of the small-town feeling Bethany used to engender — a feeling that the government is an equal level extension of the citizenry, and that the business community is a partner in our quaint, unique town. We seem to be turning a corner to a point where Bethany begins to evolve into the larger towns and cities that many of us come here to have respite from.

This evolution will take time but the seeds have been planted. Jack Burbage calls this positive change, but remember that he is a businessman and a developer. His mindset is not going to match that of residents who value so much the low-key character that has defined Bethany Beach for decades.

I would encourage our citizens to vote no on the referendum, thereby sending the message that we want the character of Bethany Beach to remain as it is, and reject the notion that “progress” as defined by a developer is what we want for our town.

Neil Hopper
Bethany Beach

Reader believes Town not giving good info

I was very disappointed to learn that the Town of Bethany Beach had prepared and was widely distributing a video which appears to strongly support the proposed hotel rezoning, rather than presenting the facts in a neutral manner. While the video purported to convey accurate information about the proposal, in my opinion, it contained misleading, if not actually false information.

The video claims the proposal should be supported by the residents because of the threat that unless the new hotel zoning is approved the site may be developed in an undesirable manner into a greatly expanded commercial town center. This has no validity. The Town has the power to zone the property to control what is placed there, including uses, density and parking requirements.

The video states that the town council will only consider the new hotel zoning and not any other zoning changes that might assure proper non-hotel development, as this would affect the value of the property of the owner. The council is supposed to zone in the public interest of all the residents — not to protect the property interests of a particular owner.

The fact that there is a contract of sale does not limit the Town’s zoning authority. Any problems claimed to arise from the failure to approve the hotel zoning are due to the council’s failure to make the necessary zoning changes to assure the property is developed in a beneficial manner by a hotel or other than hotel.

For example, the zoning requirements could be changed to require that whatever is built on the site has to have parking, needs to be set back farther from the boardwalk to provide more room and further from the street to provide a drop-off/delivery lane, etc.

Further, the developer’s contention, that a hotel is not economically feasible unless additional land is rezoned for hotel use, rings hollow. What he is saying is that the price he offered to buy the property is based upon the assumption a hotel of a certain number of rooms can be built. If the size of the hotel is reduced, the purchase price will no doubt be reduced, and then a smaller hotel can be economically feasible.

The burden placed on the already overcrowded beach, especially in this area, does not appear to be adequately addressed. A 100-plus hotel rooms will generate a large number of patrons using the beach, given families with children in a room, groups of individuals sharing a room to cut costs, etc. This will result in more people than actually normally occupy the existing hotel rooms (as compared to the theoretical number of persons that could occupy the existing rooms represented in the video).

Also not adequately explained is why the adjacent land now zoned residential should be rezoned to a commercial hotel use. We are told only that this residential land has apparently been used in a non-conforming way over the years for lodging. Nowhere is it discussed why this non-conforming use could not be phased out and returned to true residential use — i.e., houses or townhouses.

This would be more consistent with the character of the town as a residential community and more compatible with the lovely houses across the street from the land proposed to be converted to a hotel zone.

Apparently in an effort to frighten the viewer into approving the expansion of the commercial hotel zoning onto currently zoned residential, the video presents the most lovely of color renderings, presenting the hotel in the most favorable light as to what it might look like, and compares it to renderings of large and the most ugly townhouses imaginable, which it is suggested is what would be built on the property unless the hotel were approved.

I believe a debate and referendum on this issue are appropriate but hoped the Town would have taken care to provide the residents with more complete and correct information.

Norman Knopf
Bethany Beach

Safety at Royal Farms a concern for resident

I was truly disappointed during the hearing for the new Royal Farms that only one question was asked by the Planning & Zoning Commission that even came close to referencing safety. I am sure the residents who abut the site would love to understand how they will be protected from 60,000 gallons of gasoline.

Mr. Bainbridge, director of real estate for Royal Farms, tried to downplay the $600,000 fine by the Maryland Department of the Environment for recent gasoline leaks in Maryland. I wonder if MDE would agree with Mr. Bainbridge’s testimony at a public hearing that “it’s not exactly in there the way it actually occurred.”

He also stated that the one leak was confined to the site. According to the MDE report, chemicals were found off the site, in at least four wells. He also did not declare that Royal Farms admitted to having four other locations that share a variance in the inventories of gasoline at the present time. However, these variations do not necessarily mean the tanks are leaking.

He further stated that these leaks were from old equipment. Guess what? Ten years from now, the Ocean View location will have “old equipment.” Also, as a result of the recent settlement, Royal Farms must inspect an additional 70 locations for potential leaks.

Since the Planning & Zoning Commission seemed to lack interest in how the residents of Ocean View will be protected, I would hope the town council will at least have Royal Farms explain thoroughly how the system works and it will be available in the Town’s safety and procedural manuals. It would be appropriate also that the record show what does happen if a leak occurs. How would the residents nearby be notified and by whom, etc.?

I’m sure Royal Farms told the people of Cecil and Baltimore counties that their systems were perfectly safe! Guess what again?

Dick Logue
Ocean View

Seniors need to be aware of CPI changes

There is a new threat to seniors’ retirement income, the chained consumer price index. If you are receiving Social Security or any other federal pension income, then you are aware that in October of each year a COLA or cost of living adjustment for your pension is announced for the next year.

Both President Obama’s proposed budget and the Republicans in the House of Representatives are calling for a change to a new index called the chained CPI. This index, they claim, will save the federal government billions of dollars over the next 10 years. That may be true, but each dollar that it saves will be at the expense of those of us receiving federal pensions.

The current index, the CPI-W, uses a basket of consumer items and calculates the cost increase of the items in the basket over the year to calculate your COLA for the next year. The chained CPI takes into consideration your reaction to the increased cost.

If steak is one of the items in the basket and the price goes up, you may switch to chicken until you get the new COLA. The chained CPI sees that change and replaces chicken for steak in the basket so that your next COLA is based on the price increase in chicken instead of steak. The chained CPI will gradually lower your standard of living each year, which is exactly what it is meant to preserve.

Congress is expected to take up the issue of the chained CPI in September. With both the president and the Republicans pushing it, the chances of its passage are too high for us to sit on the sidelines and hope. We need to act now to convince our legislators in Washington that the chained CPI is not acceptable to seniors. I urge you to call, write or email Sens. Carper and Coons and Rep. Carney now. Protect our standard of living.

Walt Berwick, President
Delaware Federation of NARFE Chapters

State soccer champs offer thanks

The players, coaches and parents of the U15 River Soccer Club Express want to convey their deepest appreciation for the support that they recently received from area businesses and community members.

In early June, the team won the Delaware Youth Soccer Association State Championship. After celebrating this accomplishment, the team was quickly faced with the high costs associated with traveling to Kingston, R.I., to represent the state in the Region I Soccer Championships.

In just three weeks, the community rallied around the team and donated more than $12,000 to cover the cost of hotel and travel expenses for the players and their families. Donations also allowed the team the opportunity to share team meals prior to two of our matches and provided each player with tournament apparel so that they may remember their experience at Regionals.

Donations ranged from $20 to $1,000 and added up quickly. We are thankful to the River Soccer Club and Mike Nally from Lead Your Way Solutions, who each provided $1,000 for our trip.

Special thanks go out to sponsors who each donated $500 for individual players. The list is too long to include in this letter, but each $500 sponsor will be receiving a special plaque from the team to recognize their donation. One pair among those deserves an extra thanks: along with their generous $500 sponsorship, Angela and Brian Keith from Mia Fratello in Fenwick Island hosted a Dine-and-Donate event at their restaurant that generated another $660 for the team.

Two community families who showed tremendous support for their friends on the team deserve a huge thanks: Celia and Rich D’Orazio and Missy and John Burbage reached out to their networks of businesses, friends and family members to raise more than $4,000 on their own. The River Soccer Club Express is extremely proud to say that we live in a community with friends that provide this kind of support!

The experience that the players had while at Regionals couldn’t have occurred without the generosity of community members. The boys have gained memories that will last a lifetime, and they greatly thank everyone for their assistance in getting them to Rhode Island!

Duncan Smith, Head Coach
U15 River Soccer Club Express
2013 Delaware State Champions

Steele weighs in on Bethany referendum

So the question for Bethany Beach residents is, “How should you vote in the non-binding referendum?”

The answer would be, “For!”

The information in the packet you received from the town manager clearly states the case and leaves no doubt it would be in the town’s benefit to have this complex as designed.

“The town’s benefit” means yours, mine and ours!

There is a small vocal group against it. We do not know who they are, because they did not sign their names to their mailer. I believe they belong to one of three groups. They are:

• NIMBY, Not In My Back Yard;

• CAVE, Citizens Against Virtually Everything;

• BANANA, Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.

So, cast your vote in favor!

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach

Doctor fears changes to profession under ACA

For too many people, Santa Claus is coming early for Christmas to bring us unlimited free health care that “someone else” will pay for. For medical providers, all services will be paid for by the government, and paperwork responsibilities will lighten. Health insurance companies have been promised an increased base of business because everyone will be in the pool. And, of course, the government will run things more efficiently than the free market and save trillions.

For over 60 years my family (I am a third-generation doctor) has offered free medical services to a clinic with the Wilmington Hospital to provide free care for those who cannot afford medical services. My family did this because we wanted to — we did not get paid and we received no other reward for doing so.

I also deal with my own patients on a case-by-case basis. For example, one of my patients, a poor peach farmer from Kent County, could not afford to pay the bill in full. So he paid the only way he could — with a basket of big, fresh, delicious peaches from his orchard — when he came in for his yearly exam.

But now, because of ACA, that is no longer necessary. The law allows for medical providers to be paid for charity work. A lot of doctors like the idea of getting paid by the government for people who in the past we treated for free because we were good people. These payments will add to the budget deficit, and most doctors will see more patients.

Due to the increased workload of doctors, in many cases you may not even see one; you might see a nurse’s aide or a physician’s assistant instead. Business-savvy doctors may succeed, but a large number of old-fashioned doctors like me will step aside because I can’t see too many patients too quickly and feel like I’m being a doctor. But then again, maybe I’m too stubborn.

Finally, ACA law gives too much power to bureaucrats, most of whom have no medical background, to make decisions on healthcare for patients. This will destroy the doctor-patient relationship, which has existed since long before Hippocrates became famous for his Hippocratic Oath.

One-quarter of general practitioners in America are over the age of 60. Many who do not like the direction medicine is going in will either retire or refuse to take any private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid,. You will have to pay a flat fee for services. The wealthy will be able to afford a good doctor, but everyone else will have to wait in line, and even then you might not see a real doctor.

We as humans are hardwired to care for our kin. But as the bureaucracy grows, aided by Obamacare, the patient-doctor relationship will give way to bureaucrats making decisions solely based on cost.

Charity healthcare will disappear.

My calling will become a trade.

Chris Casscells, M.D.
Director, Center for Healthcare Policy
Caesar Rodney Institute