Letters to the Editor: July 20, 2012


Sorority fundraiser a hit, thanks to many
Editor:

The members of Alpha Delta chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority would like to publicly thank our sponsors for their generous donations to our annual fundraiser. It was held at the Turquoise restaurant in Bethany Beach to raise money for our local community and a portion going to the Scleroderma Foundation of the Delaware Valley.

Scleroderma is a progressive disease of the skin and connective tissue. Currently, there is no cure. Our sponsors’ contributions will assist the Scleroderma Foundation in providing education, research and counseling to its members who suffer from this autoimmune disease and who live right here in our community.

We can’t thank you enough for your donations of gift certificates, services and fun activities that made our auction a success; raising over $1,000. We recognize that there are many local charities that you can choose for your contributions, and we feel honored that you included us in your list.

Our thanks to Turquoise restaurant, Sharks Cove Adventures, Energy Gym, Advanced Alert, Bayville Liquors, Zen Spa, Mio Fratello’s, Garth Enterprises, Precision Sportswear, China Express, Cottage Café, Mind Body & Sole, All About You Salon, Pampered Chef, Cindy’s Nails, Mary Kay Cosmetics, La Mirage Salon, Just Hooked, Mango’s, Sea Shell City, Banks Liquors, Coastal Living Market, Japanese, Sea Colony Beach Shop, McCabe’s Gourmet, Bikinis and More, Sea Level, Bethany Florist, the Country Store and the Bethany Surf Shop.

Peggy Mullen, President
Alpha Delta Chapter, Ocean View
Beta Sigma Phi Sorority

Reader: Green jobs still elusive
Editor:

Investments in “green” jobs have yet to pay off nationally or in Delaware. The Obama administration has invested $9 billion in wind and solar projects between 2009 and 2011, creating just 911 direct jobs, according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s $9.8 million a job. A typical investment in private industry is about $20,000 a job.

Vice President Joe Biden promised 772,000 “green” jobs would be created by the stimulus bill. The money is about gone, and we are 771,090 jobs short.

The situation in Delaware is equally bleak:

• After much fanfare the Bluewater Wind offshore wind project collapsed, leaving about $2.5 million of unrecoverable cost from the tariff approval process.

• Fisker has received $9 million in state grants to pay utility bills and has yet to create a permanent job at the old GM plant in Newport. Opening of the production plant has been delayed till at least 2014.

• Bloom Energy has delayed groundbreaking on a fuel cell manufacturing plant in Newark and no target date has been set. The University of Delaware has spent a $7.5 million state grant preparing the site.

• About 400 to 500 temporary solar research and installation jobs have been created in Delaware but this has still not made up for about 700 jobs lost at the former Astro Solar photovoltaic cell manufacturing plant in Newark. Furthermore, CRI estimates higher electric rates caused by solar subsidies costs about two permanent jobs elsewhere in the economy for every one temporary solar installation job created.

Meanwhile, over 70,000 direct jobs have been created in Pennsylvania alone, tapping natural gas reserves. The delay in building the Keystone XL pipeline to bring secure Canadian oil to the United States has cost us 20,000 direct jobs. Can we please start investing in real industries?

David T. Stevenson, Director
Center for Energy Competitiveness,
Caesar Rodney Institute

Reader supports Republicans in the fall
Editor:

I am not sure what profession the gentleman who wrote the letter stating that we should support Democratic candidates in the fall, but I suspect he is either a writer of fiction or a member of the broadcasting media.

In the letter that Mr. Dennis Steigerwait wrote, he extols the virtues of ObamaCare, without listing a single drawback or reason why so many individuals are against this plan to completely overhaul our health care industry. Like the mainstream media, he conveniently forgets to tell the whole story.

There are a couple of good points in the bill, like the ability of individuals under the age of 26 being able to stay on their parents policies and the elimination of the pre-existing condition issue. However, the faults with ObamaCare far outweigh the advantages. For instance:

• Those who don’t purchase insurance, and don’t qualify for Medicaid, will be assessed a penalty of $95 (or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher) in 2014. It increases to $325 (or 2 percent of income) in 2015, and $695 (or 2.5 percent of income) in 2016. About 4 million people, or 1.2 percent of the population, will wind up paying the penalty rather than purchase health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates this will total $54 billion in penalties.

• Taxes will be raised on one million individuals with annual incomes in excess of $200,000 and four million couples filing jointly with incomes in excess of $250,000. They would pay 3.8 percent Medicare taxes on dividends, capital gains, rent and royalties and 2.35 percent (up from 1.45 percent) Medicare taxes on income.

• Pharmaceutical companies will pay an extra $84.8 billion in fees over the next ten years to pay for closing the “donut hole” in Medicare Part D. This will raise drug costs as they pass this onto consumers.

• The freedom of religious organizations to follow their beliefs so long as they do not conflict with Constitutional principles, a key facet of the separation of religion and government that we have believed in since the founding or our country, is being overturned by recent actions taken by the Health and Human Services Department in its mandate regarding the provision in ObamaCare that all health insurance plans must provide coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

This mandate from HHS is unprecedented and the federal government is attempting to force religious institutions to facilitate and fund something contrary to their own religious and moral teaching. The HHS is also reserving to itself the right to define which religious institutions are religious enough to merit protection of their religious liberties.

• In 2014, those under 65 can only deduct medical expenses if they exceed 10 percent of income, rather than the current 7 percent. This is a hidden tax increase as this deduction will go away for many taxpayers.

Seniors especially will be hard hit by ObamaCare:

• ObamaCare will reduce payments to Medicare Advantage, likely decreasing benefits and causing approximately half of current participants to drop out. These seniors will have little choice but to go back to traditional Medicare, and buy a supplemental policy to cover Medicare’s big gaps in coverage.

• With the retirement of 77 million baby boomers beginning in 2011, the Medicare program will have to absorb an unprecedented demand for medical services. For the next generation of senior citizens, finding a doctor will be more difficult and waiting times for doctor appointments are likely to be longer. The American Association of Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 124,000 doctors by 2025. Obamacare does nothing to reverse this worrisome trend, instead making it worse.

• A number of organizations have projected that Obamacare’s irresponsible cuts to provider payments will cause 15 percent of all Medicare Part A providers to become unprofitable within the next 10 years, according to the Medicare Actuary. He declares that “Over time, a sustained reduction in payment updates, based on productivity expectations that are difficult to attain, would cause Medicare payment rates to grow more slowly than, and in a way that was unrelated to, the providers’ cost of furnishing services to beneficiaries.” As Medicare providers begin to operate at a loss, they will be unable to stay afloat, leaving seniors with less access to care.

A very recent quote from George Schultz, a past Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury, that is very much on point: “I fear that the approach to controlling costs in the health-care business is moving more and more to a wage-and-price-control approach. And one thing you know from experience is when you control the price of something, you end up getting less of it. So if you control the price of health-care providers, you will have fewer of them and that’s gonna wind up as a crisis. The most vivid expression of that … was Jimmy Carter’s gas lines.”

There are many other solid reasons why ObamaCare is bad for Delaware and bad for the United States. There are a number of Web sites that give facts and figures to back up my claim. I have to strongly disagree with Mr. Steigerwait. Vote for the Republican candidates, especially Kevin Wade for senator and Tom Kovach for Congress, so that they can go to Washington, repeal this devastating law and put in place a reform of our health care system that is not so damaging to our economy, our seniors or our constitutional freedoms.

Sal Castorina
Frankford

Elling discusses his stance on mascot

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the Indian River School District Board of Education and Indian River High School Principal Mark Steele, and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

The discussion of the IRSD use of an Indian mascot, multiple Indian heads and a wooden Indian has reached several avenues of review and commentary.

The IRSD Board of Education properly received my written materials and a four-minute verbal presentation on my request to terminate our “Indian” mascot. WBOC held a discussion forum on the topic that included a taped interview with me. Principal Mark Steele of IRHS has been open to my communications with him regarding this topic and willingness to discuss the concern further.

The commentary sections of Delaware Online and WBOC online have been filled with mostly non-supportive commentary and sprinkled with a few supportive expressions. Marla Daisey, a “friend” on Facebook stated that my daughter should not attend IRHS as she will be “hated” by my actions regarding the IRSD mascot, but Principal Steele assured me that it will not be tolerated at IRHS.

Jules Jackson wrote to me, “Thanks again for standing up Lloyd! I hope your family is proud!” She also stated, “P.S. Two items I forgot to highlight: When one really reads Robbins’ critique closely there is plenty of room that he will eventually object. He also mentions at least being somewhat offended and being open to full-out rejecting the mascot. We cannot let anyone breeze through the article and say he wholeheartedly supports the mascot.”

She further stated, “Please drop my name whenever you would like as a lifelong Sussex County resident, Native American and Nanticoke, since apparently “white guys not born here aren’t allowed to speak the truth.”

The IRSD identifies Character, Pride, Respect and Honor as their framework with the use of the Indian mascot. Principle Steele stated, “We push pride, character, respect and honor, which we all thought were characteristics of the Native American people.” Our discussion needs to include these significant words.

“Character is the action you take to carry out the values, ethics and morals you believe in. It is the consistency between what you say you will do and what you actually do. It is putting ethics into action. It defines, builds or breaks your reputation. It is moral strength … it takes moral courage to do what is right when it may cost more than you are willing to pay. It is who you are and what you do when no one is looking.”

William Penn wrote, “What is wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is still right, even if no one else is doing it.”

“Character is not reflected by what we say, or even by what we intend, it is a reflection of what we do.” — Anonymous.

“Pride is the quality or state of being proud. It is inordinate self-esteem. It is a reasonable or justifiable self-respect, a delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.”

Examples of pride can include: “Being able to work again gave him his pride back.” “Pride would not allow her to give up.” “It’s a matter of pride that she does the work all by herself.” “The novel is about a family consumed with pride and vanity.” “They needed help, but their pride wouldn’t let them ask for it.” “She showed a great pride in her family.” “These young people are the pride of their community.” “I had to swallow my pride and admit I made a mistake.”

How do we show pride in the races of humanity?

“Respect is a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation such as remarks having respect to an earlier plan. It is an act of giving particular attention or consideration. It has high or special regard or esteem. It can be the quality or state of being esteemed. It might be expressions of high or special regard or deference. Respect can involve giving attention to particular or detail.”

Respect can be an action toward others, their ancestry or their future.

“Honor is faithfulness to high moral standards. It is honesty, integrity, probity, rectitude, righteousness, uprightness. It is an asset that brings praise or renown. It is public acknowledgment or admiration for an achievement. It is something granted as a special favor.”

How do we honor our sisters and brothers who are culturally and genetically connected to our indigenous people with mascots, Indian heads and wooden “Indians”?

I understand the statements of many in the IRSD in their pride of the IRSD “Indian” name, mascot and emblems. Many see it as their possession… they own it and they created it. Here lies the dividing line between those who see it this way and how I and others see it.

I continue to want to know the identity of the “Indian” carved in wood in the office of IRHS. I want to know the Native American leaders the IRSD “Indian” heads identify. I want to know which Native American the IRSD “Indian” mascot is modeled after. If our IRSD wooden “Indian,” the IRSD “Indian” symbols and our IRSD “Indian” mascot are not identified to a specific Native American individual or tribe, is it stereotyping? Is it unethical? Is it immoral?

My role in this discussion is easily defined: “You don’t have to wait for racism to happen to you. If you see it happening to anybody — say something about it to the appropriate people.”

I have communicated it to the IRSD Board of Education. The entire IRSD Board of Education members made the decision to reject my request. You, collectively, decided that racism or stereotyping was not present within the IRSD use of our Indian mascot, Indian heads or wooden Indian. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak and write on the subject to you.

I was not only motivated to raise a question on this issue on moral grounds. I was further motivated by the knowledge that my wife’s maternal DNA results identified her with 20,000 +/- years of ancestral history on the American continents. Her connection is genetic, but not cultural. Her history is our daughter’s history and will be her daughter’s history.

What is the IRSD going to teach our daughter about her genetic and cultural history? She is not alone, as the population of Latina and Native American students grows. Her genetic history has a very high probability to be the same for other female students within the IRSD. What will us European-American educators teach these students about their Native American history? What has our IRSD taught our students about this history?

All of you have read the statements from the national organizations of Native Americans that I shared with you. I end this communication with a quote of the United Methodist Church and America’s Native People: In “The United Methodist Church and America’s Native People” (The Book of Resolutions, 1992; page 178; The Book of Resolutions, 2004, page 375), “The United Methodist Church has issued a call for repentance for the church’s role in the dehumanization and colonization of our Native American sisters and brothers.

“In light of this stand and the fact that we strongly believe the continued use of Native American names as nicknames is demeaning and racist, we urge all United Methodist-related universities, colleges and schools to set an example by replacing any nicknames that demean and offend our Native American sisters and brothers; and we support efforts throughout our society to replace such nicknames, mascots and symbols.”

What instruction do your specific churches call for regarding the same?

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

Food pantry grateful for support
Editor:

The Community Food Pantry in Selbyville is grateful for its many volunteers who give of their time and energy to make this mission succeed. We wish we could personally thank each person who comes to help. Some enjoy it and return year after year. Others may find it too difficult. But we appreciate every minute you donate to make these distributions successful.

We have a terrific group who handle the food drives. Many food drives come as a surprise. Make phone calls, and a crew of committed volunteers show up to unload the trucks and sort the food. This is dedication.

We will enter into our 20th year in November 2012. The pantry formed when a group of churches saw a need in lower southeast Sussex County. I don’t know how many were served monthly, but it has grown tremendously. Our season runs from September through the third Saturday in May, but we assist emergencies over the summer. During this time, we served 1,065 families or approximately 3,700 individuals.

It would be impossible to list the many, many groups who hold food drives, send cash donations, provide meats, fortune cookies, etc. … the list is endless. They know who they are, but we want them to know how very important they are to our existence.

Most crucial to our survival is the church family at Salem United Methodist Church, which has given the pantry a home since 2004. We are forever grateful for their participation, love and support.

We are so very blessed.

Dottie Campbell, Coordinator
Community Food Pantry

BBLA urges involvement in election
Editor:

It’s getting to be that time again: the annual election for the Bethany Beach Town Council. This year, four of the seven council positions are up for election, which is scheduled to be held on Sept. 8, 2012. In addition, a Town proposal to borrow up to $3.7 million for construction of a new water tower at the Collins Street water plant site will also be before the voters in a referendum.

A more immediate date to consider now is Wednesday, July 25. According to the notice of election posted by the Town on June 8, anyone wishing to file as a candidate must do so at Town Hall no later than 4:30 p.m. on July 25.

The notice lists the eligibility requirements for candidates. A candidate has to be at least 21 years of age; a U.S. citizen; without any felony conviction; a duly registered voter; and for at least six months before the election, a permanent full-time resident or owner of real estate in the Town. The notice provides more details.

Beyond those basic requirements, some other qualifications come to mind, including: a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to serving on the Council, including the time necessary to study the issues that arise and prepare for meetings; availability and willingness to listen to citizens and fairly consider different opinions; independent judgment; and an overall emphasis on doing what’s best for the Town and its citizens.

For decades, the Bethany Beach Landowners Association (BBLA) has supported the election process by providing ways for candidates to present their views on issues to all voters, at no cost to the candidates. By doing so, we hope not only to assist all candidates, but also to help voters make informed decisions.

For example, BBLA poses the same questions on issues to all candidates and then publishes their responses in a newsletter mailed to all eligible voters before the election. This year, BBLA has improved that process by developing the questions earlier and with broader participation of the BBLA membership.

In addition, BBLA Board members follow developing significant issues, such as the issues related to construction of the new water tower, by attending public meetings, meeting with Town officials and by related research. The Board may then provide its perspective and related information to BBLA members for their consideration.

The Board plans to provide a perspective and information on the water tower issues in the next newsletter before the election. We note that the Town announced on July 16 that the Council will hold a special meeting at 10 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at Town Hall, to discuss and hear public comments regarding the need for a new water tower and the voter referendum scheduled for Sept. 8.

BBLA developed an initial list of possible questions for the candidates this year based on input from our members. We recently publicized the questions in our June newsletter. (Go to www.BBLA.US and click on the Newsletter menu item to see the newsletter and the questions.) The questions will provide candidates with an opportunity to identify the most important issues they see, as well as their specific goals and objectives if elected or reelected.

Other questions ask the candidates to express their opinions on a number of particular issues, including: the proposed construction of a pond as part of the development of a park on the Church/Neff property; taxes and spending; Council communications with the public and public participation in meetings; Town ordinances and regulations; and various public concerns. Other questions may be developed on other issues.

As in the past, BBLA will send the questions to all candidates and give them an opportunity to respond. We will then publicize their responses in a pre-election newsletter. The newsletter will also be posted on the BBLA Web site at www.BBLA.US. This will aid candidates in making their views known to the voters and voters in making informed decisions.

This year’s election will provide an opportunity for candidates and voters to focus on a number of important issues and clarify policies, goals and objectives for the Town. For now, we urge all those who are eligible and interested in serving on the Town Council to file by the deadline on July 25.

John Himmelberg, President
BBLA

Reader thanks teens, organizers for help
Editor:

I want to bring attention and thanks to the wonderful teenagers and adults who took part in the 1st State Workcamp held here in our community this last week. Sponsored by Mariner’s Bethel Church and the youth CRASH program, it was an inspiration to all of the recipients.

Teens and adults (400-plus strong) from all over the country, from many different churches and denominations, took part in doing community service to help us in the neighborhoods.

I was so relieved to have a team of four from different areas of Virginia (two boys, two girls) and another great boy from New Jersey, who were led by a wonderful pastor from Pennsylvania.

They came and painted my shed, then proceeded to do much-needed yard work, over and above their work assignment.

The work and coordination of the Mariner’s adults and our wonderful CRASH teens was something to behold — with over 400 teens and adults coming together here, it was a large undertaking!

Thank you, Mariner’s adults, CRASH members, Pastor Woody and wife, Christina, and especially the wonderful workers.

I especially enjoyed the devotions and sharing of thoughts of these young people at lunchtime. They were an inspiration to me and all who saw them and the hard work they completed. They were a credit to their parents and churches, and I know that God must have been smiling!

As the song goes, “You will know they are Christians by their love.” That is so true.

Joan Kehoe
Ocean View

Delaware Seashore State Park offers thanks
Editor:

On behalf of Delaware Seashore State Park, I would like to express how grateful we are to the local businesses of Fenwick Island, Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach for all of their generous donations to our 32nd Annual Sand Castle Contest. Without all of the amazing donations we received, the contest would not have been such a great success.

The event took place on Saturday, July 7, and drew a crowd of 76 participants. We couldn’t have asked for a better day! We were able to send every single one of our competitors home with a prize.

This would never have been possible without the generosity of the following businesses: McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Beach Plaza Scoops, Cattails Gift Shop & Boutique, Armand’s Pizza by the Sea, Charlie’s Bayside, Sea Shell City Inc., the Gallery Espresso, Bistro Café, Big Peaches Bar & Grill, Lisa Baker, Fenwick Crab House Seafood Restaurant, Endeavor Trading, Gregg Rosner, Sweet-N-Treats, the Bookend Café, Made By Hand International Cooperative, TCBY & Pretzelmaker, Moe’s Southwest Grill, the Cultured Pearl, Snyder’s Candy, BonWich Café, Woody’s East Coast Bar & Grill, Wings to Go, Rusty Rudder Restaurant, Purple Parrot, Christmas Spirit, Rehoboth Beach Variety, Fisher’s Popcorn, Jeramia’s Beach Party, The Starboard, Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, East of Maui Surf Shop, Friendly’s Ice Cream Shop, Tanger Outlets, Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant, Alley Oop, the Lilypad Children’s Boutique and Ed’s Chicken & Crabs.

Despite these challenging economic times, these businesses kindly donated prizes for our contest in order to support their community and the visitors to our state park.

We cannot say thank you enough to this remarkable group of local businesses. Because of them we were able to put on this free event for sand castle contest participants from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and New Jersey. We sincerely appreciate your support of this and the rest of our programming efforts at Delaware Seashore State Park.

To learn more about other programs and special events in our Park Region, check out our Web site at http://www.destateparks.com/programs/delaware-seashore.asp.

Mary King, Naturalist
Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum
Delaware Seashore State Park

Reader opines on variety of topics
Editor:

How about some common sense?

Why is Bethany putting in another park on the corner of Route 1 and Route 26? We don’t need another park. We need a parking lot. With the beach just two blocks away, there are very few people who will choose to use the park.

We have had friends visit that tried to go to the beach and drove around for 40 minutes looking for a parking space, only to finally give up and come back home frustrated. On the occasions that they do find a parking space, it is too far away to carry all the chairs, etc., and is getting increasingly expensive (25 cents for 10 minutes, plus 25 cents for using your Mac card). Also, my ParkMobile app that I put on my smartphone didn’t work.

Most people like to get near Garfield because that’s where all the food and bathrooms are. If you need to spread out the crowds, put in bathrooms on either end of the boardwalk and allow some vendors there.

Also, if I wanted to order a takeout meal, picking up the food would cost me too much in parking. That chases buyers away. If shuttle service is supposed to be our mode of travel, maybe we could expand it to go to many of the developments. We can drive to Route 26 or Route 1, but we can’t park our cars. Are we trying to chase the tourists away?

If a park has to be there, at least give the kids a skate-park or another basketball court. The basketball courts are packed in the summer, and everywhere you look, you see “no skating” signs. These are all healthy things for kids to enjoy and will bring families with kids to the area. If you want to keep kids out of trouble, give them something fun to do.

Since there is limited parking in Bethany and it is expensive, many, like me, have chosen bikes, skateboards and scooters to get to the beach. I recently read an article suggesting safety lessons for the bicyclists. I seriously doubt many people will use their vacation time taking these classes. A better suggestion would be to widen the bike lanes.

Throughout this area we have bike lanes that start out wide and then get smaller and smaller and sometimes just stop. When they get smaller, the bicyclist is forced into the street, which is dangerous not only to the bicyclist but to the driver who tries to go around them and goes in the adjacent lane.

We invite these tourists down here. Don’t we have a responsibility to try to keep them safe? We have built more and more developments, put more people on our streets yet never widened them to allow for the traffic. How about a moratorium on building until the infrastructure can handle it?

One particularly ridiculous move was the bike path off of Fred Hudson Road. It’s a nice wide path from Harris Teeter to McCoy’s Way, but then it takes you across the street and into the woods with no paved path, no lights and is very narrow. To make matters worse, it’s going in the wrong direction! Most of the people riding their bikes are trying to get to the nearest beach which is Bethany, not Dewey. A more commonsense approach would be to widen the bike path all the way to Route 1.

Another long-term approach for DelDOT should be a bypass from Rehoboth to Ocean City. An argument I’ve heard against that is that the outlets in Rehoboth would lose the shoppers. Simply not true. People who want to shop would just get off that exit, and those of us that avoid the traffic during summer months would venture out if they didn’t have to sit in traffic that doesn’t move.

Why did Ocean View spend all that money to create a figure-8 paved walking space with some benches by John West Park? I haven’t seen a single person choose to walk in circles or sit down every 10 to 12 feet. That money could have been so much better spent repainting that spinning ride in John West Park that currently has about 10 different colors of chipped paint.

I recently watched about eight kids come to the beach with skimmer boards around 5 p.m. As I watched these kids patiently waiting for the perfect wave, they would go running down to the water only to have some inconsiderate jerk jump in front of them. Now the kids with the skimmer boards were using just a small area and the visitors had all the rest of the beach.

These kids do not come down all day and purposely wait for most of the tourists to leave so that they can enjoy the beach too. Have a little respect for these kids and move down a couple of feet and let them have fun. If not, designate a couple of streets where they can use their boards. They are not hurting anyone. It is healthy and keeps the kids out of trouble. Much more, the more respect we show our children the more likely they are to show us respect.

I recently heard that it will cost as much to take the old Indian River bridge down as it did to put it up. Please tell me that isn’t so.

Just a little common sense. I understand all of this won’t happen overnight, but a little logical planning is in order. That’s all I ask.

Pat Resnick
Bethany Beach

Reader speaks out on cell tower issue
Editor:

As a 28-year homeowner and seasonal resident of South Bethany, I have been following the AT&T tower debate with interest for the last few years. We gave up our landline five years ago after the last elderly relative, who didn’t use a cell phone, stopped visiting. When we inquired at our town office about the erratic availability of any service on our AT&T cell phones, we were told that a tower was coming to Bethany and that should be helpful.

The temporary tower made it slightly better; though we still joke with visitors that sometimes they arrive at our house before the text message announcing their ETA (estimated time of arrival) does.

The need for a more consistent level of service was reinforced in our household three summers ago when someone suffered a medical emergency one evening on our screened porch. Luckily, another family member was present who literally ran five houses up the street before they could get reception to call 911 while I remained on the scene.

We share the general concern about property values in this economy, but for Sea Pines Village homeowners to use that a primary argument against placement of the tower there is a simplistic and ultimately selfish perspective. Maybe they don’t have visitors or renters who use AT&T cell service or will ever have the need to send or receive emergency messages?

I have the option of reinstalling a landline, but to do that “just in case,” when there is a more comprehensive and “modern” solution, is a step into the past.

Unfortunately, it seems the attitude to do something for the “greater good” has gone out of style these days — here, as well as on the national agenda. In that spirit, I predict the need for a new water tower for Bethany residents will be solved only if the residents of Indian River Inlet don’t object to it being in their back yard.

Gail Russell
South Bethany