Letters to the Editor -- October 19, 2012

Hocker is the man

Hocker is the man for the job

Recently, I have been reading many letters to the editor about Senate District 20 Candidate Rick Eakle. I know Rick Eakle. He is a neighbor of mine and has many talents, but Rick Eakle is no Gerald Hocker.

Throughout his tenure as a state representative, Gerald has worked hard for the people in the 38th Representative District and for federal retirees throughout the state. Gerald has accomplished what his predecessor only promised but never finished. Gerald worked closely with Sen. George Bunting to get the inlet bridge replaced.

Rick may be the Chairman of the Center of the Inland Bays, but it was Gerald Hocker who kept the pressure on until the canal from the Indian River to the Little Assawoman Bay was cleared to allow better water flow.

Gerald has made himself available through coffees which were open to the public, not through “telephone town hall meetings,” as many of our politicians have begun to do. He readily provides his phone number and returns the calls promptly. Gerald gets things done while others campaign on them. Gerald Hocker has served the 38th Representative District well, and he will serve us well as the next senator of the 20th Senatorial District.

Walt Berwick

Millville grateful for support with festival

On behalf of the Town of Millville and the Festival Committee, we want to thank all those who assisted in making the 4th Annual Millville Great Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, Oct. 6, such a success.

Although we have not found a way to count the number of attendees, those of us who have worked the festival for the past four years were totally overwhelmed by the massive crowd this year. Our hearts were filled with joy to see so many children with huge smiles on their faces when they received their free trick-or-treat bags and when they were told all the games were free and they would receive prizes should they win… We had a lot of winners!

It was our goal to have a fun filled day for families at little or no cost to them and to showcase what Millville can offer through our very supportive business owners. It worked!

First and foremost, I want to thank the mayor and council of the Town of Millville for supporting this event and Deputy Mayor Jon Subity for chairing the committee and for always having confidence in me and my ideas. Ms. Kami Banks, director of Development & Marketing, for always being there with a helping hand and who would step up to the plate anytime. Jon and Kami were major players in this event. A special thanks to Sussex County Council and, specifically, Councilman George Cole, for his continued support of the Millville Great Pumpkin Festival.

Thanks go to our business sponsors: Sergovic, Carmean & Weidman (Town of Millville’s legal counsel), Millville By the Sea, Patti’s Hallmark Shop, AfterGlo Beauty Spa, Miller’s Creek, First Shore Federal, PNC Bank, Banks Wines & Spirits, Reliable Patio & Sunrooms, Aquacare Physical Therapy, Millville Pet Stop, Solutions Plus, Coastal Kids Watch, Hunny Do Maintenance, Steamer’s Crab & Seafood, Millville Mini Storage and Gulfstream Development.

Our Millville food vendor sponsors: Perucci’s, Fox Pizza, Fat Tuna, Bonkey’s Ice Cream and Doric Lodge. Non-profit sponsors: JROTC, Alpha Zeta Beta Sigma Phi, Millville United Methodist Church, Indian River Band Boosters, Lord Baltimore Women’s Club, Women of the Moose and Indian River Cross County Boosters.

The JROTC helped us out so much with the many games we had and watched over the kiddies in the bounce houses. It did our hearts well to see these fine young men helping their community.

Our crafters: Julia H. Mower, Sheila Dawe, Donna Driver, Leslie Brossus, Kim Dilorenzo, James McDevitt and Nancy Maupai. Our farmer’s market: Natural Creations Garden Center, Beach Sweets, Celtic Acres Farms, Sap’s Pudding, Honeybee Lake Apiary, Wisteria Lane Farm and Good Earth Market & Organic Farm with Birch Tree Café.

The following businesses were very generous in their donations for our giveaways: Reflections Antiques, AfterGlo Beauty Spa, All About U! Salon & Spa, Selbyville Pet & Garden Center, Steamer’s Crab & Seafood, Atlantic Auto and Dickens Parlor Theatre for the wonderful magician that roamed the grounds and did magic all day for the attendees. Thanks, Dickens!

Thanks to Mr. Zack McCarthy of Coastal Rentals for setting up the tents and tables for the event; Food Lion for their donation of water; and the Banks family for the flatbeds which held the Overtime Band and pie-eating contestants.

Words really can’t describe how grateful the Town of Millville is for the assistance of our Millville Volunteer Group. The following individuals worked many hours prior, during and after the event: John and Brenda Fegelien, Harry and Linda Kent, Rose Parsons, Maggie King, Elaina Moradi, Sarah Miller, Trudi Lombardi, Kim Lombardi, Pat Moulder, Susan Brewer, Richard Shoobridge, Maureen Walker, Charles and Charlotte Hawkins, Steve Micciche, Frank Hunt, Tom Sheeran, Joe Martinez and George Morris.

And who can have a festival without “festive” artistic posters? Thank you Jill Schwartz! Kudos to you all. The kiddies loved you ladies with your scarecrow costumes on.

What can I say about my wonderful assistant, Ms. Donna Schwartz? Her creativity really was put to the test when I asked her to dazzle me with a new advertising theme for the festival. She did with no problem. She and I spent many hours in the conference room, bouncing off new ideas for the festival and, because of her creativity, the kiddies had many new and fun games to play.

Thanks to our financial staff who ran the Town booth, registered attendees, sold products and handled the monies; and then there is Eric, the Town’s Code & Building administrator, who banged nails, re-banged nails (oops — my fault for that), painted, designed the layout, took care of trash, traffic control, set up and tore down.

A special thanks to the Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) who have always been so gracious in offering their property to host the festival and to Bob Steffens (MVFC) who met with us and set up the parking lot and helped with traffic control.

All of their assistance and cooperation helped in making this major community event run smoothly and enhanced the experience of thousands of visitors.

Finally, we are so appreciative of all of you who took the time to join us for our annual fall festival. We appreciate your ongoing support and hope you enjoyed the 4th Annual Millville Great Pumpkin Festival! We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s festival on Oct. 5!

Debbie Botchie, Town Manager
Town of Millville

Reader: America is moving forward

During his first month in office in February 2009, President Obama inherited a $10.7 trillion national debt, along with 5 million jobs lost from October 2008 through March 2009. The world financial collapse caused by Wall Street’s toxic mortgage crimes also resulted in the American people losing $13 trillion in their stock market investments. We experienced the greatest recession since the great depression. Consequently, former president Bush left office with a “net zero private sector job gain.”

There have not been any magic wands in the White House to bring an overnight cure to this continuing worldwide calamity. Nevertheless, the fact is that we have had 32 straight months of job recovery in the Obama administration, resulting in 5.1 million jobs.

We have also seen the stock market come roaring back, along with a steady housing recovery. In contrast, Europe continues to have a euro crisis and 25 percent unemployment in many countries. Our exports to them have predictably slowed down, due to their lowering demand. Slow but steady improvement here has been winning the race in this sluggish worldwide economic environment. There is not any reason to change horses in midstream in the upcoming election.

Bill Clemens

Healthcare and your vote, revisited

In last week’s Coastal Point, the editor printed my letter on this topic, and I want to express my appreciation. The letter was written to offer another way of looking at the Affordable Care Act (ACA), based on my professional experiences in healthcare. I take seriously the responsibly these letters have on the reader. I stand by what I wrote; but in spite of the fact that I read and read the letter before sending, I failed to clarify the issue in the section on Mr. Romney’s healthcare plan for coverage of pre-existing conditions. Worse, I am concerned that I may have muddied the waters!

Since I had already stated that I was retired, I am concerned many readers will interpret my use of “I” to mean that the pre-existing conditions part of the Romney healthcare plan relate to seniors. They do not. They relate to Americans under 65 years of age who are not covered by Medicare.

Delawareans for many years now have not been exposed to the most disreputable healthcare insurance vendors because the Delaware Insurance Commission simply doesn’t let them sell insurance in Delaware. Under Delaware law, insurers can only “look back” one year in denying a person coverage for a pre-existing condition.

In some states, that “look back” period is as long as five years! So you can begin to appreciate how devastating a policy which fails to cover pre-existing conditions would have on families at all income and socio-economic levels… Imagine the costs incurred by any family in caring for a child with congenital heart disease if you can’t purchase healthcare insurance even for one year!

This is just one of the ways in which regulations for coverage of pre-existing conditions differ from state to state; they also differ between federal and state. No wonder this is a difficult policy to understand and to enact on a fair and level playing field.

So with this in mind, Mr. Romney’s proposed healthcare plan, as of the first presidential debate (by the time you read this, the second debate will have occurred and changes may have been made), did not cover pre-existing conditions for those under 65 years of age unless the person had been paying premiums at least for the previous three months. And my statements on this fact should have read:

In the Romney plan if a person under 65 years of age (who, therefore, would not covered by Medicare) has healthcare insurance and has been paying healthcare premiums for at least three months before being diagnosed with diabetes, their plan must cover costs of managing the diabetes. But the insurance company can increase the premium when the coverage comes up for renewal and if the person cannot afford the increase, diabetes management would not be covered.

The person cannot afford to drop the current plan, though, and move to another insurer, because then the person will have a pre-existing condition and will be subject to whatever “look back” period his/her state has allowed before diabetes care will be covered. Under Mr. Romney’s plan, if the person received a diagnosis of diabetes and had tried to get healthcare coverage but was denied coverage by a private health care insurance company, the diabetes care will not be covered (I have not been able to determine how long the wait would be before coverage would start under the Romney plan).

Since much of my professional life was dependent upon good communication skills, I am embarrassed by this oversight. More importantly, I want to apologize to Coastal Point readers; we all desire better. Words do matter.

Patricia Frey

Beebe CEO discusses settlement

I believe it is welcome news to all that a settlement agreement, subject to Court approval, has been reached on behalf of the victims of Earl Bradley. All parties involved with the settlement recognized from the very beginning that the sooner a settlement for the children whom Bradley harmed could be reached, the sooner that resources could be made available to them and the sooner the children, their families and the community, could begin the process of moving forward.

I have been asked what the settlement means to Beebe Medical Center, and what kind of impact will it have on the services we provide to our community. Will the hospital be able to continue to treat those who seek medical care each day at one of our locations, hire staff to provide care at the hospital, and buy needed equipment to stay current with medical advancements and technology?

If the settlement as it is currently structured is upheld by the court at its fairness hearing on Nov. 13, then, “yes,” Beebe will be able to continue to serve the community just as it has for the past 96 years.

Though the court has made it clear that we cannot comment on the specifics of the litigation at this time, I can share that the financial viability of Beebe will not be compromised nor will the care we offer to our patients be impacted negatively once the settlement has been approved.

As set forth in the joint statement released by all counsel last week, the fund created by the settlement is comprised of insurance proceeds, a contribution of cash from Beebe Medical, and the provision of medical services in the future for the victims. Because we have anticipated a potential settlement for some time, we have been able to set aside the cash needed to meet the terms of the settlement without compromising the hospital’s mission to provide the best possible health care to the community.

The parties to this suit have acted in the best interest of the victims of Bradley’s horrific acts and their families, and have worked collaboratively to promote a solution aimed at healing and reconciliation. Though the legal proceedings may be coming to an end, we must recognize that for many individuals, and for our community as a whole, a tragic legacy remains and the most vulnerable in our community will continue to need our support and assistance.

Jeffrey M. Fried, President & CEO
Beebe Medical Center

Reader offended by Pires’ remarks

As a service member, I am appalled by Alex Pires and his slanderous remarks about Sen. Carper’s military service and record. As member of the Navy VF 103 Fighter Squadron deployed on the USS Saratoga, I honorably served my country from 1966 to 1970 by protecting the interests of the United States and Israel in the Mediterranean Sea. Those of us who wore the uniform know the honor and legacy that we all shared as brothers. How dare Alex Pires, who is a veteran himself, disgrace all those who served, risked their lives and spilled their blood for this country by blatantly lying about Sen. Carper.

Just look at the shameful campaign that Alex Pires has put together these past few months. Instead of talking about the issues, he’s focused his energy on ridiculous attacks questioning everything from Sen. Carper’s health and personal finances to his record of protecting Social Security for our seniors. Alex is now stooping so low as to attack Tom Carper’s military service to our country. It’s disgusting, and voters in Delaware deserve better.

Tom Carper has been the definition of a public servant, both in his personal life as a serviceman, mentor, husband and father, as well as in his public life serving the State of Delaware as one of our true statesmen.

I will not stand ideally by and continue to let Alex Pires stomp on the distinguished life that Tom Carper has so willingly given to the citizens of Delaware and to the betterment of the United States.

Tom is one of us — something that Alex Pires clearly has shown he isn’t and has no intention of being. Why would anyone want Delaware to be represented by this man’s actions? He is no statesmen… he is a disgrace.

Pete Keenan

Reader believes Gray is the choice

We’ve all been anticipating the bedlam that will be the Route 26 widening project. We wait, nervously, for the first backhoe and hence the first flagger and corresponding backups. The feeder roads are being prepared to shoulder the load while the painful memories of the similar Route 54 project remain fresh in our minds. Wooden stakes with red, white and blue tapes signal the gathering clouds of a construction storm that will impact our lives for years to come.

As a business owner on the Route 26 corridor, I am very concerned at how this will affect each of us. For a long period of time, it will not be “business as usual.” We say, “It’ll be great when it’s done,” but until then, look out.

There is one thing, however, we can all do to limit the pain and frustration and get the job done properly in the least amount of time. That is to cast your vote for Ron Gray on Election Day. Along with all the other attributes that will make him a terrific representative, Ron is uniquely qualified to make him our “go-to guy” in dealing with DelDOT.

He is a Sussex County native who grew up here, started and raised a wonderful family here, went to and sent his own kids to our local schools (IR and UD) and owns businesses here.

And by the way, Ron is a licensed civil engineer with experience in all forms of road and site construction. He lived the Route 54 nightmare and was directly affected by it. His businesses front on that highway. He has already formed a working relationship with DelDOT for that reason and is ready to hit the ground running when elected. He would serve effectively and tirelessly as our advocate.

Ron is very approachable and understands both sides of this difficult project. He’ll help avoid the problems that plagued the 54 project. Come on, Sussex County. The Route 26 project is a big deal for us, a game changer. Let’s get a guy in office we can trust to carry the ball for us and make Route 26 a project we can be proud of from start to finish.

Bill Lord
Lord’s Landscaping and Garden Center

Gray gets more support in election

I endorse Ron Gray for state representative in the 38th District.

Ron grew up locally and attended the public schools. He earned his civil engineering degree from the University of Delaware and an MBA from Indiana University.

After a successful career in the telephone industry, he returned to run several local businesses serving the public. These businesses, located along Route 54, experienced the problems brought on by the recent road construction. As a civil engineer and a good communicator, he was able to work with the decision makers to resolve these problems.

Now, we are about to experience several years of construction along Route 26. Ron, as our representative, and Gerald Hocker, as our senator, have promised that they will do everything they can to minimize the problems and burdens we will face.

Jim Moore

Taylor family puts support in Gray

We are writing this letter to offer our enthusiastic support for Ron Gray’s candidacy for state representative of the 38th District. We have known Ron and his wife, Candy, for over 20 years, meeting them when they became our backdoor neighbors, after moving back to southeastern Sussex County in order to work for the family business and raise their children in a place near and dear to Ron’s heart.

We have always found Ron to be a man of strongest character and highest integrity. A strong family man, Ron loves his wife and three kids and was always actively engaged in their school and sports activities. Ron has been active in many community organizations, and he supports his church with his time, his gifts and talents. He is a kind, compassionate, good man who truly has a heart and a desire for public service.

Ron is an engineer by education and a successful businessman. His education and life experience uniquely qualify him to manage the challenges facing the citizens of the 38th District. Ron is a practical visionary; he knows how to balance competing interests and still get things done. Ron will be able to look out for our interests on the Route 26 expansion project, and he will bring a balanced, no-nonsense approach to the issues relating to legislation, budget and taxes.

Ron Gray will represent all of the citizens of the 38th District well in Dover! We wholeheartedly endorse Ron’s candidacy and encourage everyone to vote for Ron on Nov. 6!

Stan “Buz” and Jill Taylor

Reader: Pro-birth is not pro-life

Simply demanding a pregnancy be brought to term is not pro-life. Pro-life is supporting contraception so unwanted pregnancies are avoided. Pro-life is supporting healthy pregnancies. Pro-life is supporting the feeding, housing and educating of a child. Morality requires realistic solutions to complicated problems, not slogans. Pro-birth is not pro-life.

Catherine Ward

Carper gets support from this reader

I want to thank Tom Carper for his efforts to support our military personnel and veterans like me. Sen. Carper served our country in uniform on active duty for five years during the Vietnam War and in the reserves for another 18 years, so I know his commitment is much deeper than just politics or convenience. He shares a special bond with those of us who wear the colors of this country.

And it shows.

He’s fighting to protect educational benefits for service members and veterans from abuse, and just last week he voted for a veterans jobs program that would help put many of our nation’s heroes back to work in this tough economy.

Unfortunately, the Republicans in Congress opposed this new program, despite many of them promising to support it. This is just another example of Washington politicians not understanding the needs of everyday people here in Delaware, especially our men and women in uniform, who currently suffer worse unemployment than civilians.

As a 23-year veteran, Sen. Carper personally understands the sacrifices made by the military personnel who have served in our Armed Forces, and he feels a responsibility to help make sure our vets can come home to good jobs with good pay. Sen. Carper actually authored an amendment to the bill to create this veterans jobs program that would help protect and secure veterans’ education benefits from fraud and abuse, too.

He is a great voice for service members and veterans in Washington, D.C., and we should thank him for his service — both in uniform and as our United States senator.

Isaac Whaley