Letters to the Editor — April 27, 2012

Reader offers opinion on Obama presidency

For those who support Obama, you may reconsider after reading the following. Mr. Hope & Change wants to create a nation humbled, humiliated, casting-aside capitalism and individual freedoms for one where we the people are government-controlled. This would be a system that genuflects mediocrity, steals personal aspirations and opportunities, and punishes those who strive to be successful. Should you doubt this, read on.

A gallon of regular gasoline the day BHO was inaugurated was $1.79 on an average. Today, that price has risen to $3.59, a 100.6 percent increase! The number of food stamps recipients has risen since BHO took office, from 31,983,716 to 43,200,878, a 35.1 percent jump. Long-term unemployment has soared 146.2 percent during the same 34-month period, from 2.6 million to 6.4 million.

This is hope and change?

American citizens living in poverty has risen 9.5 percent and the number unemployed has risen almost 25 percent. The number of unemployed blacks has risen from 12.6 percent at the end of George Bush’s terms to 15.8 percent today. Our national debt has been increased from $10.627 trillion to over $15 trillion under BHO. Remember, these figures can be documented, as we recount the number of firsts for this sitting president:

• First president to refuse to show valid birth certificate.

• First president to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

• First president to have a Social Security number from a state he has never lived in.

• First president to preside over a cut to the credit rating of the USA.

• First president to violate the War Powers Act.

• First president to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

• First president to defy a federal judge’s court order to cease implementing the health care reform law.

• First president to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

• First president to spend a trillion dollars on shovel-ready jobs and later admit there was no such thing.

• First president to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

• First president to bypass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive order.

• First president to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the USA, including those with criminal convictions.

• First president to demand a company hand over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

• First president to terminate America’s ability to put a man into space.

• First president to encourage racial discrimination and intimidation at polling stations.

• First president to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

• First president to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

• First president to threaten insurance companies if they publicly speak out on the reasons for their rate increases.

• First president to tell a major manufacturing company in which state they are allowed to locate a factory.

• First president to file lawsuits against states he swore an oath to protect, i.e. Arizona, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana.

• First president to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

• First president to fire an Inspector General of Americorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

• First president to appoint 45-plus czars to replace elected officials in his office.

• First president to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office.

• First president to hide his medical, educational and travel records.

• First president to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely nothing to earn it – amazing!

• First president to coddle American enemies while alienating American allies.

• First president to go on multiple global apology trips and tours.

• First president to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends, paid for by us tax payers.

• First president to early on in his presidency refuse to wear the U.S. flag pin. Now that he is on the campaign trail, he is never without it!

• First president to have 22 personal staff members at taxpayers’ expense work for his wife.

• First president to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 per year, again at our expense.

• First president to repeat what the Holy Qur’an tells us and openly admit the early morning call of Azan, the Islamic call to worship, is the most beautiful sound on earth.

How can we possibly afford another term under BHO? I suspect we have a fraud, a Muslim sympathizer and narcissist in the highest office in our land. We knew little or nothing about this person a few years ago. Today, we still lack knowledge about who BHO actually is. We do know he is a danger to our constitution, freedoms and way of life as our forefathers intended. Vote him out come November or suffer the consequences.

Jack Rine
Ocean View

QRCF grateful for help with BunnyPalooza

I would like to send a wholehearted letter of thanks for the enthusiasm for BunnyPalooza from Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) supporters.

I am delighted to report the QRCF’s inaugural BunnyPalooza was a sell-out and a resounding success. On Saturday, April 7, 800 runners and hundreds more spectators, party-goers and volunteers gathered on the Bethany Beach boardwalk for the 5K/10K in support of QRCF’s scholarship and grant programs.

The QRCF mission is “dedicated to improving the quality of life in Bethany-Fenwick and the surrounding area by providing financial assistance in support of programs, individuals and organizations that enhance the community for residents and visitors alike.”

I am thrilled to thank all who participated and raised thousands of dollars for our scholarship and grant programs.

We received amazing financial support from our sponsors: D3 Corp, 3E Marketing Solutions, 16 Mile Brewery, A,J. Future Financial, All Clean Power Washing, Aquacare, Aquatic Marine, Baja Beach House Grill, Beach Break Bakrie & Café, Beach Health Associates / Dr. Donald Hattier, Beach Liquors, Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Massage, Big Peaches Bar & Grill, Bethany Blues, Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf, Coastal Point, Cottage Café Restaurant and Pub, Creative Resource Group Inc., Delaware Wave, DiFebos restaurant, DJ Bump, Dr. Paws, Evergreene Homes, Fudge Factory, Giant Food, G&E/Hocker’s supermarkets, Halpern Eye Care, Harris Teeter, Japanesque, Jeff Baxter, Prosperity Mortgage, artist John Donato, Just Hooked, La Vita Bella Day Spa, Lead Your Way Solutions, Leslie Kopp, Mango’s, Mann Properties, Matteo’s Salsa Loco, Matt’s Fish Camp, McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Mancini’s, Nantuckets, NCM Media Group, NorthEast Seafood Kitchen, M&T Bank, Michael Orhelein, Ocean View Animal Hospital, Pitter Patter, PNC Bank, Rehoboth Beach Running Center, ReMax by the Sea, Rotary Club of Southern Sussex, Law Offices of Scott & Shuman, Sedona restaurant, Selbyville Pet and Garden Center, Shore Break restaurant, SoDel Restaurant Concepts, Starboard, Steve Alexander, ResortQuest Real Estate, Tidewater Physical Therapy, Transformative Dynamics, Sysco Eastern Maryland and Wilgus Associates.

We also received tremendous support from local and visiting runners, spectators and volunteers. This event was a true partnership of businesses and individuals.

I must thank BunnyPalooza Chairs Rick Hundley and Ernie Felici, and their committee members: Steve Alexander, Sue Baxter, Eunice Carpitella, Diane Comolli, Faith Denault, Mary Franz, Jackie Inman, Meg Josetti, Jeff Osias, Marian Parrott, Karen Taylor and Deb Wayland. They devoted hundreds of hours organizing, promoting and building a very successful (and fun!) event.

We were thrilled by the warm response from the community. Thanks to all who supported the event and who so generously join us in carrying out our mission.

K. William Scott, Esq., President
Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation

Clear Space thankful for support

The Clear Space Theatre Company is extremely grateful to DiFebo’s restaurant in Bethany Beach for recently contributing a portion of its dinner income to the theater company. It was a wonderful evening with great food for which DiFebo’s is deservedly famous.

We thank all the diners who contributed to the event and who spent time talking with company performers who circulated among the diners – Doug Yetter, Dana Peragallo and David Button – discussing the upcoming theatrical season, which includes shows such as “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Cabaret” and “Annie.”

Additionally, we cannot thank the management and staff of DiFebo’s enough for their coordination and gracious service, which is always top-of-the-line and never disappointing.

A very special thanks to Banks Wine & Spirits of Ocean View for contributing a wonderful and very beautiful basket of exotic wines for a raffle that was won by Valorie Jarrell. The 50-50 was won by visiting artist Lydia Schneider.

Several Clear Space directors – Joan Thomas, Kelly Quinn and Pam Fitzgerald (and Pam’s husband, Bob) – worked to make the evening a success. Thanks to all.

It was a truly wonderful evening, and we look forward to seeing you at the theater. For tickets and information call 227-2270.

Doug Yetter, Artistic Director
Kay Ryan, Chair, Board of Directors
Clear Space Theatre Company

Spaghetti dinner a hit, thanks to many

The friends of Kyle Ewing would like to thank the entire community for the support during the spaghetti dinner that was held at the Roxana Fire Company on March 24, 2012.

Thank you to those you donated items for the auctions, brought baked goods and donated their time to help organized and run the dinner. We would also like to thank the following business who donated so generously to this cause. They are: Hit the Deck, Matteo’s, Ace Hardware, Fenwick Island Pottery Place, 4 The Shore Furniture, Millville Pet Stop, Patti’s Hallmark, Sea Level, Hudson’s General Store, Japanesque, Sea Needles, Pitter Patter, Harpoon Hanna’s, Lord’s Landscaping and Gardening Center, Silhouettes, Ocean View Seafood, Grotto’s, Miller’s Creek, Country Wicker, McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Magee Farms, In My Spare Time, Fireplace Specialties, Salon On Central, Ocean City Comfort Inn, Ocean City Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Payless Furniture, Blue Hawaiian Crab, Fenwick Tackle, Jonathans Landing, Sports at the Beach, the Ellen Rice Gallery, Indian River 2011 Football Team, Roxana Volunteer Fire Company, Great Scott Broadcasting, Coastal Point, Baker’s Hardware, Perucci’s Italian Restaurant, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Super G, Mac’s Catering, Roger’s Graphics, Turtle Moon Designs, Selbyville Pet and Garden, Cathy Bowden/31 Consultant, M Insurance Services, Fenwick Crab House and the band Monkey Paw.

It is truly a blessing to have had the community embrace this family and help them thought this difficult time. Again, thank you to everyone for their support.

The friends of Kyle Ewing
and the Ewing Family

Reader supports local botanical garden

I recently was introduced to a group, Southern Delaware Botanic Gardens Inc., trying to significantly improve our environment and create a tourist destination. They are supporting development of a botanic garden in eastern Sussex County.

I used to live in Wheaton, Md., where Brookside Gardens is located. I spent many days, in all seasons, strolling through the garden with seasonal plants in bloom, with my children and grandchildren. If Mike Zajic, the longtime Supervisor of Planting at Montgomery County’s 35 acre Brookside Garden, designs the Southern Delaware Botanic Gardens to be half as beautiful as Brookside Gardens, Sussex County will be forever grateful.

Those interested in supporting the botanic garden project should contact Linda Blumner at lblumner@verizon.net or access the Southern Delaware Botanic Gardens Facebook page to obtain more information.

Frank Hopkins
Ocean View

Reader questions Ocean View leadership

I received a notification of increased value to my home from the Town of Ocean View on April 19, 2012. The letter states the home values “…have changed significantly since 2007.” It is estimated my home’s value increased 1.4 percent since then.

In the same notification I am advised that the proposed new tax rate will increase my new tax payment by 30.4 percent. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out something isn’t right here.

I have two issues concerning the notification:

(1) I think the property value has actually gone down since 2007, since you can barely sell a house in Ocean View; and

(2) The town service to residents appears to me to have deteriorated since 2007.

I am not against tax increases per se when they are needed. Usually you can see your tax revenue at work and can tell. I cannot see any improvement to my street. Cars still speed, and the town’s responsibility for grass cutting is still slack.

I do notice however, an expanded town park with sidewalks that lead to nowhere, which I can’t use anyway because I walk dogs and dogs are not allowed in the park. Who is going to use sidewalks to nowhere?

As I stated, I received the notification on April 19, 2012, and was told that appeals would be held by appointment April 18 thru the 27. This does not allow enough time for a person to research the results of the Town’s conclusion as to property value in order to dispute the new property value. In fact, the hearings started before I received the letter, which shows poor planning, period.

Although we have some new members on the town council, it appears that a continuing theme of mismanagement endures. Or is it bad management? I can’t tell the difference.

Michael O’Neil
Ocean View

SDSA admission policies strike a nerve

The article in last week’s issue of the Coastal Point regarding a change in policy for admittance of students to the Southern Delaware School of the Arts only served to increase my concern about how this school determines who can attend.

While SDSA’s admittance policy would seem, on the surface, to be a fair one, involving “the luck of the draw,” the high demand for the limited number of spots at the high-performing school, with its arts-based curriculum, has, in fact, turned it into a de facto legacy school, thanks to policies such as the one the Indian River School District Board of Education adopted last week.

The admittance policy does not offer equal chance of admittance to students from across the district who wish to attend. It actually gives the average student who does not already have a tie to the school very little chance of getting in – an inequity that then perpetuates across that student’s family in perpetuity.

Would the taxpayers who foot the bill for the school be surprised to learn that the first-grader who lives next door had about a 1 in 20 chance of getting in to SDSA in the current school year? I sure was.

Even more surprising to them may be that their poor odds were not entirely due to the number of applications, but rather due to the fact that so many of the children admitted in the first grade are admitted solely because they happened to have a sibling who already attends the school.

In fact, siblings of existing students get second priority for admittance, right after students who already attend SDSA, giving them about a 100 percent chance of attending. As of last week, children residing in the IRSD service area whose parents work for the district get third priority. Then, finally, the average IRSD student gets a shot. They come out in the priority list only above various types of students who do not live in the IRSD service area.

This year’s first-grade classes at SDSA were essentially completely filled with siblings of existing SDSA students, leaving only – from what I was told – one or two spots in the entire first-grade class for students who did not already have siblings at the school. Those one or two spots were offered up through the lottery system that is what the public seems to think was supposed to be the way that students admitted to the school are chosen.

To top it all off, the 19 or 20 students who were left waiting without a spot in first grade were left hanging until the end of summer and even through the first weeks of school, told that a spot or two might open up at some point, and that spot would then be given out – again, by a lottery in which these students had only the tiniest chance of coming up a winner. Imagine how many sets of school plans and work and transportation arrangements were left hanging until mid-September thanks to this procedure!

In addition, those who were denied admission because of the high demand and legacy priority have also been informed that they should probably wait until third or fourth grade before making another major effort for admission, as only then will it be likely that more than one or two spots be opening up, thanks to the increased class size. There might be a handful of spots for them to compete over two or three years down the road. (Wow!)

What this boils down to is that a school focused on the arts – thanks to its good academic reputation – has become a legacy school where a student must have had siblings admitted in the first year of its existence or have a parent working at the school in order to get a spot.

Any semblance of its reputation as an actual arts school has been left behind, except for the curriculum itself. There is no priority for young students who have a deep interest in the arts, who take music lessons on their own time, who aspire to be professional dancers or actors or pianists. There are no auditions for these younger students to prove themselves, no essays or interviews to allow them to show their passion for the curriculum the school was founded on.

Instead, any student whose parent wishes them to attend can get in, so long as a sibling already got in. The luck of the draw for those students who got in that first year persists for their siblings – allowing them the opportunity to go to a good school for academics – but robbing the average IRSD student of a chance to pursue their passion in an arts-focused academic environment.

One could argue that the sibling policy is a matter of efficiency: fewer car trips for parents dropping their children off (a non-issue when many families have students in middle- and high-schools), maybe a few less bus stops, fewer sets of parents to learn the rules.

But I doubt many taxpayers would regard such “efficiency” as perpetuating the fairness the supposed lottery system was expected to engender, and I doubt many of the parents of the arts-loving children whose wish is to attend SDSA has been stalled because of the priority system can explain to those children how this system is fair.

It was, perhaps, a noble idea to open this new magnet school to children in a way that everyone had an equal chance to get in. It has since defied such notions of equality to admit children based solely on the basis of who they’re related to. And it defies any notion of a love of the arts to admit children who might be just as happy at a technical magnet or high-performing traditional school over their arts-loving peers.

I would propose two changes to improve this situation:

(1) Change SDSA admissions for younger students to include a system of auditions, interviews and/or essays and letters from the applicants and their families, so that the student population can better reflect the school’s mission, along with eliminating the priority on sibling admittance to offer true fairness; and

(2) Put serious focus on adding another magnet school to the area, such as a technical magnet school – which could then feed into Sussex Technical High School and foster the State’s focus on STEM education, while also allowing those wanting arts-based education a better chance at getting that.

The demand for admission to SDSA has more than proven the need for magnet schools in this area. Let’s make sure that kids aren’t attending our arts-focused magnet school solely for the academic education it provides but for the curriculum it was intended to offer to district students as a whole, and let’s make sure a true sense of fairness exists in this process, as an example to our children.

Cherith Snyder