Letters to the Editor — March 29, 2013

BBLA to host meeting on zoning changesEditor:

Questions and concerns have been raised recently about a number of proposed changes in residential and commercial zoning provisions in the Bethany Beach Town Code. The changes, which were recommended by the Town Planning Commission, are pending before the Town Council for decision, which may occur as early as April 19.

The Council conducted a public hearing on March 15 to hear public comments on the proposals. However, Council hearing procedures do not provide for answering questions from the public. And some individuals at the hearing said they did not fully understand the proposals.

On Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 11 a.m. in the Town Hall, the Board of Directors of the Bethany Beach Landowners Association (BBLA) will host a public meeting to learn more about the proposed zoning changes and provide an opportunity for consideration of questions from the public.

Town Council Member Lew Killmer, who is also chairman of the Planning Commission, has kindly agreed to attend the meeting, together with knowledgeable Town staff members. Hopefully, with their participation, the moderated discussion will help further inform the public, clarify the proposals and provide some answers to the questions raised.

The proposed changes under consideration were described in detail in a letter dated Feb. 28, 2013, from the town manager to Bethany Beach property owners. The letter is available on the Town Web site, at www.townofbethanybeach.com, under “News and Events.”

In order to expedite the meeting, interested members of the public who have questions they would like to have answered are encouraged to send their questions in advance by e-mail to info@bbla.us or by U.S. mail to BBLA, P.O. Box 401, Bethany Beach, DE 19930.

Please mark your calendar and join us on Saturday, April 13.

John Himmelberg
President, BBLA

Resident questions Markell’s actions

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Gov. Jack Markell and was sent to the Coastal Point for publication.

I am disappointed in your actions regarding tax increases this month. Sen. Hocker told me that you were a businessman who would do great things for Delaware, but I fail to see your vision or your wisdom. I only see broken promises.

In 2009, you said that the tax increases you proposed would be “temporary” and would sunset. That is not what was passed this week in the four bills that make the 2009 tax increases permanent and continue to raise taxes during the worst economy in my lifetime.

Can you find no area to cut in your budget? You have no idea what is happening to the people of your state. Even your statement about the 1,200 layoffs just announced by AstraZeneca shows you have no idea why jobs are being cut and also transferred to other states. I am so disappointed in your “business” approach to running our State.

Philip M. Drew
Bethany Beach

Reader urges Hocker, Gray to support repeal


Senate Bill 19 was presented at Legislative Hall in Dover, March 12, before about 60 people. The bill is sponsored by seven senators and 10 representatives from both sides of the aisle. “It’s time for Delaware to end the insanity of killing killers,” stated the author of Bill 19.

Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson, R-Milford, sponsor of the measure, said his main concern was the possibility an innocent person could be executed. He said an average of one in nine inmates are sentenced to death are later found innocent. “It would be bad enough if we were killing one in 100,” he said. He asked, “But, one in nine?”

Rep. Joe Miro, R-Pike Creek Valley, said inmates who are now on death row would be given life sentences, and they would have no possibility of parole. “I think spending the rest of your life in prison is more severe than putting someone to death,” he said.

Sen. Gerald Hocker and Rep. Ron Gray are very giving and loving family men. Gerald has helped many organizations expand their financial ability to care for others. They are attentive to “all” of the residents of their districts. Why would “fiscal conservatives” spend “$3 million dollars to murder a murder when a murder sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole would cost $1 million dollars”?

Sen. Gerald Hocker and Rep. Ron Gray have expressed strong beliefs in the sanctity of life. The sanctity of life encompasses the creation of human life to the time of natural death. Republican Sen. Gary Simpson and Rep. Joe Miro are waiting for Ron and Gerald to join with them in repealing the death penalty in the State of Delaware. We, the citizens of your districts, want both of you to respect the sanctity of life. We want you to be “fiscal conservatives” with our tax dollars.

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

Reader questions figures cited by poll


On Tuesday, March 19, the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence proudly released a poll, completed by a Washington polling company, that stated, “66 percent in New Castle County, 56 percent in Kent County and 54 percent in Sussex County supported stricter laws for gun control.”

That sounds pretty overwhelming until you consider the following. There are 917,092 people in Delaware. This company “randomly” selected 600 registered voters in Delaware to conduct their poll. That means .065 percent of Delawareans were contacted. That is less than 1 percent! I wonder what the other 99.94 percent think?

At Gov. Markell’s Gun Control Legislation Debate on Tuesday, March 19, I took a poll of around 200 Delawareans, mainly from New Castle County. It revealed an overwhelming 99 percent of the attendees were against all five of Gov. Markell’s bills!

Keep in mind that this meeting was open to the public and heavily advertised by the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, which supports all five of Gov. Markell’s bills. We feel that this is a more accurate poll, as those who were in attendance are the people who are engaged and who have taken the time to research the proposed laws.

Theresa Garcia

Reader questions employment figures


I don’t profess to be a mathematical genius, but can someone explain to me how the following is arrived at?

For example: The government reports the unemployment figures dropped from 8 percent to 7.5 percent because the number of unemployment claims went down. However, at the same time, it’s reported that a figure many times larger than the above either no longer qualify for unemployment benefits and/or have given up seeking employment. Are they not unemployed? If so, are they in limbo and no longer count for anything? If someone can explain this it would be greatly appreciated.

Bill Lee
Ocean View

Reader questions previous Point letter


I am writing to express a couple of thoughts on Kit Zak’s “Reader believes death penalty has no purpose” in the March 22 Coastal Point. The letter cites many statistics and opinions as to why the death penalty should be abandoned. I’ll comment on only two.

First, she notes the expense involved with trying a capital case versus the cost of a life of incarceration. I think that perhaps we would be better served reviewing the appeal process and its costs, rather than scraping the punishment. And second, she refers to the questionable deterrent of the death penalty. I do not want to appear snide, but when the murderers and those that commit heinous and barbaric crimes and are executed, they commit no more such unthinkable acts.

Personally, I believe that semantics are a problem here. Rather than “capital punishment” we should call it “capital reward!”

Also, I find it reprehensible that people, mostly from the left, can get so worked up and defensive concerning capital punishment while they wholeheartedly support abortion — a terrible crime against the innocent unborn!

Kit Zak’s letter points out, with some justification, the possible miscarriage of justice with an execution. I also quail at that thought, but dare we consider the injustice and horror associated with the 53 million abortions that have been committed since Roe v. Wade passed in 1973? This is, coincidently, the same timeframe noted in Kit Zak’s letter expressing concern for 142 accused of a capital crime.

Thomas M. Keeley III
Ocean View

Family grateful for support with event


Thank you once again to the wonderful members of this community for your support and participation in our effort to help find a cure for pulmonary fibrosis. Once again, folks gathered at the Cottage Café to dine and donate... their time, gifts for the auction and their money to the Fund for Pulmonary Fibrosis at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

I appreciate the members of Carbon 14 who provided the musical entertainment and to the staff at the Cottage Café, who do a great job for us every year. Of course, it takes the efforts of friends and family who are always ready to help make this event a success. I am humbled by the outpouring of kindness and support offered by the good people of this community.

In a recent update by Dr. Sonye Danoff from JHH, letting me know how the money we raise is spent, she stated that she continues to work closely with another former physician of my husband’s to research the link between dermatomyositis and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as the genetic piece of these diseases, both of which intruded into our lives six years ago. The money that is raised by this community goes directly towards the education of those conducting that research.

We now look forward to our Tour de Har bike ride for a cure for pulmonary fibrosis on July 27, 2013, all in memory of Harry Jones Walls.

Thank you.

The Walls family: Doreen, Phoebe, Ian, Kerinne and Sam