Letters to the Editor -- September 14, 2012

Kiwanis leadership programs start new year

School is back in session, with high hopes and great expectations for our students to reach high academic goals, a winning sports season, fun in music and drama — great things for all aspects of our children’s school life. For Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs — Key Club, Builders Club and K-Kids Club — this means our children are reaching out to the community in caring service while learning leadership and such practical values such as integrity, honesty and team building.

To make Kiwanis Kids Clubs really work requires eager kids and caring adults. The adults must like kids and be willing to give a few hours of their time as leaders, mentors and advisors. In Sussex County there are several Kiwanis Clubs just waiting to welcome these adults to their ranks — Coastal Delaware, Georgetown, Greater Millsboro, even Bridgeville and Seaford Kiwanians.

If you are an adult, young or older, working or retired, and of good character, who likes kids and who lives or works near a school and are willing to volunteer several hours a week, then there is a rewarding job waiting for you. It may be to talk about something you do well, like gardening or carpentry, sewing or crafts, singing or dancing. It may be you are simply a friend or role model for a school-age child or teenager. The kids in our schools have many talents; they just need cultivating and encouragement.

Service projects include pancake breakfasts, food drives, making special gifts for nursing homes and shut-ins, working at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, caring for neglected animals, beach cleanup or beach grass planting — the opportunities are unlimited.

Most clubs meet after school, one day a week, for a fun planning meeting, and a service project once a month on a weekend. If you are interested in serving your community and our future generation, then call today to find out how your service can form the youth of tomorrow. Call (302) 537-7979 or contact stein@udel.edu for more information.

Rosemary Cummings
Kiwanis Club

Reader offers comment on ‘2016’ film

Well, our neighbor has, as in the past, believed everything he sees and hears without any checking. It is reminiscent of the Republican National Convention. After watching about 20 speeches, it became readily apparent that RNC speechwriters had provided working for all but a few of the speeches. They all used the same working. Mitt talks about how he likes to fire people — he should fire some of his speechwriters.

And the commentators’ new nickname for the VP candidate: “Lying Ryan.” So many faults that even Fox News was aghast at the lies, deceit and misconceptions.

And how about Clint’s wasted 10-12 minutes? Talk about no state management — he was supposed to have two minutes, and he overshot with material no one knew about. Even Ann Romney was upset, as the camera showed when it panned to her during his speech. She later said on the morning shows she was not prepared for that and wished the family video had been shown instead.

And, back to our friend who now believes that, just because someone made a movie — even if it is full of factual errors — it must be true. I think he is still hoping the Dark Knight will be joined by Robin and will save Gotham City.

We can hope the speeches at the Democratic National Convention will be better, as the Republicans didn’t set the bar too high.

Bart Derrick
Ocean View

Editor’s Note: This letter was submitted previous to the Democratic National Convention.

Bethany bandstand wraps big year

For the 12th year in a row, I have had the privilege to proclaim, “The Bethany Beach Bandstand season is a wrap for this year.”

Over the 100 days of summer fun and action we have presented a wide array of shows on our Bethany Beach Bandstand. This 12th season has been a huge success. We had 54 performances in the lineup beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The shows ran the gamut: community bands, big bands, military groups, tribute bands, jazz, Cajun, rock ’n’ roll, Dixieland, opera, steel drums, choral groups, children’s theater, country-Western, a talent show, magic, old favorites and new performances, and, wrapping it all up, a jazz funeral. All of our shows are free and sponsored by the Town of Bethany Beach.

These shows are a many-faceted effort. Our stage team includes Ray Disney as our sound technician, Salisbury University intern Kevin Hopkins and George Ely operating the lights and all the behind-the-scenes requirements.

We also rely on the Bethany Beach Public Works crew to keep our stage and benches clean and ready for our audiences. Melinda Linde and Jessica Williamson are diligent in their efforts to give us all a beautiful background, with hanging baskets and gardens on the stage and plaza area.

All performers required some special assistance from our Bethany Beach Police Department and Parking Department. Kudos to Dean Sister and all of the helpful summer cops, and the police dispatch that arrange for behind-the-stage parking and unloading of equipment, plus security for all our acts.

The Parking Department, under the guidance of Steve Grames, verifies and facilitates performers’ special parking arrangements.

The Lifeguard Station, under the direction of Capt. Joe Donnelly, also comes into the equation, because the building is used as a dressing room for all of our military groups and performers with costume changes. To reiterate, it takes a many-faceted effort to bring our shows to fruition.

New in the lineup this year was the addition of Movie Mondays. Under the guidance of Public Works Director Brett Warner and his very able crew, movies on the beach became a very popular addition to the entertainment sponsored by the Town.

It was fun to spot the inflatable screen, hear the super sound system and observe the eager audience on the beach, with chairs, blankets, popcorn and candy, all with a background of waves breaking in close proximity. The Garfield beach offered a very special venue to view the movies. Among those shown were “E.T.,” “The Muppets,” “Rango,” “Judy Moody” and more.

Applause goes to you, our audience. Some of you have an almost perfect attendance record, and some folks take in a show during their week in Bethany. It is fun to see all of the familiar faces, and it is fun to observe folks just walking by and then see them pick up the beat and do a little jig as they go in pursuit of an ice cream cone or a walk on the boardwalk.

The sounds of the summer 2012 bandstand season have ended, but the memories are fond and fun.

Gloria Farrar, Entertainment Director
Town of Bethany Beach

Reader defends Joe Paterno

Years ago, my father told me, “In your lifetime, if you have one true friend, you are a lucky man.” I wonder how many Joe Paterno thought he had. I’ve seen many sports writers that would’ve given anything for an interview with Joe now only write only hateful articles about him. I see where Bobby Bowden, a man Joe stood up for many times, also has ran Joe down. Could it be because of the amount of wins?

Also, the administration of Penn State, an administration that should have stood up for Joe, for without Joe, nobody would’ve heard of PSU football, or even the college. He made the PSU football program respectable and one of the most followed programs in the country.

I also see what the NCAA has done to PSU. How can they fault the football program, when they have only slapped the hands of many teams that have cheated and lied about their players and their programs? I believe what the NCAA has done to Joe Paterno’s name is despicable.

You know, there was a lot of coaches and programs that were jealous of PSU and Joe Paterno. Well, they got their chance, and their hate has surfaced as fines and taking away many wins, which is stupid. Joe will always have more wins than any other coach.

They killed Joe Paterno when they fired him, and why? He stood up for a friend. They should’ve stood up for Joe.

I now see where they are putting players’ names on their jerseys, just like every other football team, and since they’ve done this to Joe, they’ve become just another football team. Joe made boys into men. He demanded and got respect — the way it should be.

As my father said, “Son, in your lifetime, if you have one true friend, you will be a very lucky man.” Looks like Joe never had one. His so-called friends let him down.

Herb Fogelman Sr.
Ocean View

Residents offers input on Church/Neff property

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the Bethany Beach Town Council and town manager, and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication. (A public meeting on a park proposed for the Church/Neff property has been set for Saturday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. at town hall.)

As previous letters in our local papers show, Bethany Beach citizens are concerned and have ideas as to the use of the Church/Neff property on the corner of Route 1 and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach.

Why doesn’t the Town Council have open meetings to receive input from Bethany Beach residents regarding the final appearance and use of this land? There was a lot of publicity regarding the proposed new water tower, including meetings inviting input from the audience, drawings and plans, a history of the situation, and the town’s three proposed uses.

This parcel of land so visible to residents, as well as travelers on Route 1, deserves the same opportunity to have various options explored.

Expenses of maintaining the property, as well as the expenses of producing the final park area, should be explored by all of us — council members, town manager and Bethany Beach taxpaying residents.

As Bethany Beach property owners, we hope the town council and town manager have not already determined what they want to do with the property and do not want or invite input from Bethany Beach’s citizens.

We hope the public is invited to attend open meetings at town hall, where various proposals are presented; drawings and plans are presented; and discussion welcomed from those attending the meetings, as was done with the water tower.

Barbara and Fred McNally
Bethany Beach

Reader not happy with local disposition

I live in Bethany Beach and have a 30-year history with the area and love it! That said, I am well aware of what living and working in a tourist area can do to your psyche, especially if you’re in retail. However, that does not give you the right to be indifferent or downright rude to your customers. If you can’t take the pressure, do something else for a living.

I am a fisherman and over the years have spent lots of money at a certain fishing shop. … Today might have been the last straw. I asked the counter guy a question about a particular product, and instead of offering to help me, he rolled his eyes like I was an idiot for asking, pointed to the wall and said, “That’s all I got, on the wall over there.”

Then, I attempted to start up a conversation with the other guy about a fish I had just caught off the beach, and neither of them could have been less interested. At least they could have faked it! So I sheepishly walked out the door with my mullet rig, probably never to come back. It’s not like the store was busy... there was no one else in the place. And I’m not one of those lonely guys who purposely goes into stores and chats up anyone who’s there.

Fishing is my one great avocation, and in my experience with other fishing shops across the country, the owners and staff made it a point to make friends with their customers, encourage their questions, and offer help and suggestions. We would stop in and tell our fishing stories, share pictures. It was a gathering place for like minds with like interests.

I was always told there is a gruff, abrupt “Delaware way” in Sussex County. I don’t buy it. I have plenty of native friends who are good, friendly people. Rude is rude, no matter where you are. Bottom line? And this goes for restaurants and other businesses, as well: If you learn to treat your customers better and make your retail establishment a pleasant place to go, maybe they’ll look forward to coming back and spending more money.

T. Trout
Bethany Beach/