Letters to the Editor -- October 5, 2012

Reader offers praise

Readers offer praise for for Clear Space

I am one of the many people who have left the Big City to enjoy beach life (“bloom where you are planted!”). I frequented theater in D.C. and NYC with my husband, Ray, and we miss this stimulation. Luckily, there is an excellent substitute right here at the beach!

Clear Space Theatre is housed in a renovated old church in downtown Rehoboth Beach; this is a small, intimate theater with lots of off season free parking and many terrific restaurants and shops nearby. What a hidden gem we have we in Clear Space Theatre!

This is the last weekend for the current show, “Shirley Valentine,” a one-woman marvelous performance by a gal (Elaine Faye) who has been on the D.C. and NYC stages — a laugh-out-loud fantastic show (good for the heart!).

Clear Space Theater has fabulous productions year round and can be contacted at www.ClearSpaceTheatre.org or by phone at (302) 277-2270. Please treat yourself by enjoying and supporting this treasure! Presently, CST seems to be a secret, however, once you attend a performance, you will want to sing their praises and tell everyone of this grand beach asset!

Chris Aumiller
Bethany Beach

Reader questions Carper again

Is Sen. Carper taking us for granted? He no longer holds town house meeting face to face, only by telephone, where he only takes the calls to which he wishes to respond. I understand that he is refusing to debate his opponents, Alex Pires and Kevin Wade. Is he so confident after his strong win in the primary that he doesn’t need to meet face to face with his opponents and/or the public?

Walt Berwick

Collins makes his case for coming election

I’m Rich Collins, and I’m running for the Delaware House of Representatives. My opponent is John Atkins. I’m writing to briefly introduce myself and tell you about the things I will work for in Dover.

For the last 33 years, I have operated a small business that services Millsboro down to Selbyville, out to Gumboro, plus all the rest of Sussex County. We have an education focus, providing insurance and other financial services to teachers, other school employees and their families and neighbors.

I’ve made the sacrifices and tough decisions that small businesses have to make to be successful in a struggling economy. I’ve met budgets and made payrolls. I know what it takes to create jobs and get Delaware’s economy growing again. As your state representative, this will be my top priority.

I’m also a former public school teacher myself. So, education is extremely important to me. We need to strengthen our schools, support our teachers and ensure that our education dollars actually reach the classroom and aren’t eaten up by administration, red tape and bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, a majority of our current representatives are not supporting the programs we need to move our state forward. The CNBC business network just reported that Delaware has now declined to the 43rd worst state to do business in. We cannot prosper until this situation changes!

I have been working with both our elected officials and Delaware regulators for the last 15 years. For the last 11 years, I have lead a non-profit group dedicated to advancing liberty and economic freedom in our state, called the Positive Growth Alliance. Many times I have been absolutely shocked at how little concern many of our legislators have for the long-term consequences of their actions.

In particular, since the recession began in 2008, approximately 100 bills have been passed that have harmed the economy. In addition, dozens of taxes and regulations have been enacted or proposed that are devastating to businesses, jobs and wage earners.

Unfortunately, my opponent has had four years to take action since the recession began, but he has not proposed a single reform that would or could get the economy started on the road to real recovery.

I pledge to you that if you will trust me with your vote, I will do my utmost to reform the regulatory processes, the enabling legislation that created the bureaucracies and the Delaware tax code, to get the Delaware economy moving again.

Party affiliation will not matter to me. Most Delawareans are not guided by blind partisanship, and neither am I. I will be an independent voice for you. Thru my work at our non-profit group, I have stood against both Republicans and Democrats when they have advanced bills that were bad for our economy and supported ones brought by both Democrats and Republicans when they were good for Delaware.

As your representative, if good ideas are advanced, I will support them. If bad ideas are proposed, I will oppose them. And it won’t matter whether these proposals have an “R” or “D” beside them.

In addition, I will provide the constituent service you expect and deserve. I will always keep my cell phone number and home address available to you. If elected, I plan to open a satellite office in the district to make it more convenient to interact with my staff and me without having to go all the way to Dover.

As I travel the district doing door-to-door visitations, I have met many of our fellow citizens who are discouraged and even afraid about current economic conditions. I know that for many of you times are tough, but I am an optimist. If we return to the common-sense principles that made this nation great, both the U.S. and Delaware will return to prosperity. We just need to unshackle the “can do” American spirit.

Over the coming weeks, I will be sending you more information about my plans for Delaware. I sincerely hope you will join with me in working for the common goal of returning our state to economic health. Whether you vote for me or not, however, I will always be there for you. After all, we’re all part of the 41st District family.

I am humbly asking for your vote. With your support, I commit with all the strength I can muster to do whatever it takes to both revitalize our economy and provide the government services you expect. Working together, we will make Delaware the “first” state once again. If you have any questions, please call my cell at (302) 381-1610.

Rich Collins

Reader throws support behind Carper

In a time when people and radio talk show hosts are constantly arguing over social and economic wedge issues, we have lost our conscious center for compromise and bipartisanship in Washington. It’s time to collectively grow up.

In the 70s, I worked on Capitol Hill for two U.S. senators, both of whom reached across the aisle at every opportunity to actually pass good, solid legislation. It was common to see strong friendships and dedicated working relationships among senators of opposing political parties. It was not unusual to see a Republican committee chairman co-sponsor legislation with the ranking Democratic committee member, or vise-versa.

That’s how things got done back then. I have watched those days sadly dwindle away, replaced by immature, polarizing politicians.

It gives me hope that in Delaware we have one of the few thoughtful moderates left in the Senate — Sen. Tom Carper. When Sen. Carper casts a vote, I know that he has determined carefully how those issues affect real people. At times when I might not agree totally with his vote, I can still see and appreciate his informed reasoning.

Perhaps that comes from his background as a Navy flight officer who served three tours of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Perhaps it comes from his having been a state treasurer who took Delaware from the worst credit rating to an AA rating and then became Delaware’s U.S. congressman. Maybe it is a result of his experience as a Delaware governor who balanced budgets and cut taxes.

The end result is a U.S. senator who leads the fight for common-sense approaches to our biggest problems.

Delaware cannot afford to lose another intelligent leader with common sense, who has the ability to jump start bipartisanship in Washington.

Nancy Cullen
Long Neck

Reader: Eakle values volunteers

Earlier this year, I was honored to participate in a luncheon honoring local organizations and volunteers who contribute their time, energy and expertise to assist their neighbors and better our community.

This outreach takes many forms: mentoring children and providing college scholarship; delivering food to homebound seniors; building affordable housing; ensuring that our veterans and troops are not forgotten. I have participated in many of these activities and I can attest to the fact that I always get more personal in the way of personal reward than I give.

As I have gotten to know Rick Eakle, I have learned that volunteerism in support of community is important to him, as well. His words about that reflect his actions over the years. He knows we cannot be successful unless we work together in support of a high quality of life for all our residents. I will be voting for Rick Eakle on Nov. 6, in part because I know he values the volunteer spirit shared by so many in our community.

Lee I. Dogoloff

Eakle discusses local road projects

I am responding to an article in the Sept. 27 edition of the News Journal titled “State prepares for widening of Del. 26.”

I am also asking all responsible political leaders and candidates here in Sussex County to put aside our political differences and join together to ensure that this project is a new model for road improvement, not a repetition of construction disruption.

Because I experienced firsthand the Del. 54 project, I would like to help residents and businesses that are subjected to future necessary infrastructure projects get to participate (buy-in) early in the planning process, as early as the request for proposal (RFP) phase. There are many people in Delaware who could provide valuable input to these projects to minimize detrimental effects on both residents and businesses.

I applaud DelDOT for its insight into the lessons learned for the Del. 54 project and the attempt that it has made to establish a “working group of community leaders” to provide a “channel for on-going face-to-face communications.”

In order to accomplish that communication, a meeting was scheduled with the working group to begin interfacing with residents and businesses; however, the article indicated that the working group neglected to include Delmarva Power and Verizon in that first meeting, the two companies that must complete their work before the actual construction can start.

This brings me to the crux of my message. Forming a working group is a wonderful first step; but, to be successful, the focus of that working group must first include the appropriate people. Additionally, there must be adequate effort made to ensure effective communication among all parties.

I am committed as a candidate for Delaware’s 20th District senate seat, to continue to focus on this important and inclusive communication process. If I am elected to represent the citizens and businesses in the 20th District, I will spend the time necessary to ensure that all parties understand the ramifications of agreed-upon plans. Buy-in to project implementation by the affected residents and businesses is key to a minimal impact to all concerned. Let us not have a repetition of construction disruption on Route 26.

Rick Eakle, Democratic Candidate
Delaware Senate, District 20

Hocker has no financial interest in Castaways?

The 38th District state representative and candidate for the 20th District state senator position, Gerald Hocker, may find himself in a hole, and it is getting deeper.

Read the words of Maria Counts in her report on the Sussex County Council action to delay a decision on the Castaways Bethany proposal: “State Rep. Gerald Hocker, whose property abuts the southern portion of the property, wrote to the county council and said that it would be inappropriate for him as a sitting House member to take a position one way or another on the project. He wrote that he had no financial interest in selling any portion of his property and that he had encouraged people to attend the county council meeting.”

The next quote of “our” state representative is: “I have faith the council will make the right decision.”

Gerald Hocker is a successful business owner in the 38th District. Gerald’s business enterprises include multiple ones directly across the street from this Castaways Bethany proposal. The math logic tells me that those business interests (across the street) will certainly benefit significantly from the approval of the Castaways Bethany project.

Gerald’s words of “no financial interest” and the “right decision” can only lead to the cash register in his market, hardware store and the gasoline pumps. Gerald will not sell his property that abuts the southern portion of the Castaways property. He will, most likely, develop his property to expand his business enterprises. Gerald is a successful business individual, and he is focused on it full time, as he should be.

What the 38th District representative and the 20th District state senator candidate is not focused on are the serious objections of the residents of the 38th and 20th Districts with the Castaways Bethany proposal. We voters have a very good choice in who will serve us best, and the choice is not Gerald Hocker. My vote is for Rick Eakle and Shirley Price. They are listening to the residents of the 20th and 38th Districts and they are both opposed to the Castaways Bethany proposal.

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

Eakle will preserve affordable housing

As a retiree on a fixed income who resides in a manufactured-home community, I am increasingly concerned about the prospect of my yearly ground rent increasing beyond my ability to afford it. Many of my neighbors share that concern and have been working hard to have legislation introduced in Dover to provide justification for and fairness in the process of establishing ground-rent increases.

Rick Eakle, Democratic candidate for the 20th District senate seat, will support land-use legislation that will increase the number of affordable homes in Sussex County. I urge you to vote for Rick Eakle on Nov. 6.

Roberta Hemmerich

Reader questions Ocean View officials

Wow! What’s wrong with the town council of Ocean View? Do they have their heads buried in the sand? In regards in Castaways Bethany, Councilman Lawless and Michele Steffens state, “It’s a county issue. Let’s stay out of it.” Tom Sheeran said it would not affect the town at this point.

What are these people thinking? Castaways may be located in “the county,” but a lot of the traffic will come through the town of Ocean View. The traffic study done by the developer (which I and many others believe is flawed) says the project will create 1,312 more trips per day than we have now.

There are only two ways to get to the Castaways site on Cedar Neck Road: Fred Hudson Road and Central Ave, off Route 26. If the trips are divided in half, about 650 more trips per day will be coming through the town of Ocean View.

Then there is another matter — 30- to 40-foot RVs, plus the “hauler,” will be trying to make the turn from Route 26 onto Central Avenue, and from Central onto Route 26. That will greatly increase the current traffic jams on Route 26.

We fail to understand how the Ocean View council members can be so naïve as to think this development is “not our problem.”

Harry and Deborah Idema
Unincorporated area of Ocean View

Reader takes issue with Pires comments

I know we’re deep in the midst of political silly season, but Alex Pires, independent candidate for U.S. Senate, is taking political silliness to new lows. His latest attack is that our U.S. senator, Democrat Tom Carper, is for the privatization of Social Security. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The move to privatize Social Security, or some portion thereof, was proposed by President George W. Bush in 2005 and is still being touted by Republicans, ignoring the fact that Social Security was designed to be a safety net. Since we all know someone whose 401k has virtually disappeared, the idea of entrusting our safety net funds to the same risky market responsible for those not-worth-much 401k’s doesn’t make much sense to me.

Sen. Carper, and all other leading Democrats that I know of, are against privatizing Social Security and involved in taking action to strengthen the system. Not only did Sen. Carper oppose President Bush’s misguided Social Security, plan but he’s also voted repeatedly against Republican-led efforts to privatize Social Security.

Mr. Pires must be confused. I wouldn’t like to think that he is deliberately making claims that he knows are not true.

Anne Orr

Reader offers support for Rick Eakle

“The good of the many outweighs the good of the one.” This is how I see Rick Eakle. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Rick work for the neighborhood in which he resides, and his untiring efforts for the entire community are noteworthy.

His every effort is for the majority, after consensus is reached by all as the best course of action, whatever the deed. He has an amazing ability to reach across and work with local government and residents to forge an agreement that best suits all players, regardless of their affiliations.

His years on the Board of Directors of the Center for Inland Bays were remarkable, and his background and education prior to these years indicates that he has the intellect and drive to work with citizens and government for just and fair solutions for all.

If you value these traits in an individual, I ask that you vote for Rick Eakle for 20th District state senator come Nov. 6.

Michael Smith

Reader not happy with Tech policy

An integral part of high-school athletics is teaching sportsmanship, not only to the athletes, but to the band, cheerleaders, student body and fans — or so I thought.

Apparently, separating the opposing teams fans by a fence on one end and concession stand on other is Sussex Tech’s idea of teaching sportsmanship. There will be no fraternizing here. So if you think you’ll attend a Sussex Tech football game and venture over to the opponents’ side to say hi to a friend, relative or alumni, think again. You will have to exit Tech’s side, buy another ticket and re-enter through the opponents’ gate.

It certainly sends the message you are not trusted to behave in a sporting way, though I am certain it is under the guise of “safety.” I’m unsure how long this has been in practice, but I discovered it Friday night and am, quite frankly, appalled.

To think this is how my tax dollars are spent — taking away the social aspect of Friday-night football in Sussex County. Probably the last Tech football game I will attend as long as this practice is in place.

Chris Strassel

WRYP thanks supporters for help
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to supporters of the West Rehoboth Youth Program and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Nothing you do for the West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program is ever wasted. A big thank-you to the many friends and supporters of the West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program. We were nominated for the Chase Community Giving Award by Joan LaRusso with the help of Jack and Linda Casto. Although we did not win, we know God has something else in store just waiting for us. We would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all those who voted for us.

For the past 10 years, the West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program has been a place where children in our area could find friendship, safety, a place to eat nutritious meals, opportunities, excellence, arts and education, computer skills, literacy, field trips, after-school and summer activities, health and a sense of belonging. All children 5-15 years of age are welcome to attend.

What a blessing you all have been and continue to be to the West Rehoboth community, especially the children and youth program. Our community is blessed to have involved citizens like you who take the time to touch lives of our poor and needy.

We must not lose sight and remain focused on our values, traditions and rich diversity which gives our community much of its strength and resilience. The lessons you teach our children will never be forgotten.

For more information on the West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program contact us at (302) 227-5442 or write us at 19801 Norwood Street, Rehoboth, Delaware 19971, email: Diaz122455@aol.com.

Thank you again for sharing your gifts, talents and time with us.

Brenda C. Milbourne, Executive Director
Diaz J. Bonville, Program Director
West Side New Beginnings Inc.
West Rehoboth Youth Program