You can fight town hall, if you do try
How many times do we read an article in the paper and become so infuriated we toss the paper across the room in disgust? “How can those idiots do that?” we say to no one in particular. Two minutes later, we start on the sports page. We forget what upset us and move on with our lives.
Sound familiar? You bet it does! Let’s examine what an individual can do to influence decisions by our local elected and appointed officials. Many of the following suggestions are old hat, but take it from a guy who spent 21 years in city politics: more often than not they work.
First, register to vote. If you’re not registered, you have, in my opinion, forfeited your right to beef. Get your entire family registered. Now you’re able to speak for multiple voters. Get your friends and their friends registered. Now you’re able to speak for even more voters.
Second, how about a simple phone call? Yeah, it works! Many times, a simple explanation by the official can straighten out misunderstandings. Voice your concern. And, guess what: these officials are as close as your local phone book. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to call with the same concern.
Third, simply send an email or write a letter. When an official receives a letter or email, it is generally answered with explanations for the action. It also becomes a permanent record. Ask your friends to write. Starting to sound too simple to be true? No way! Let’s go on.
Fourth, go to the meeting. All levels of local government present opportunities for citizens’ input. Call first and find out how you can arrange to speak and what the rules are. Then, when your turn comes, be polite but express yourself and ask for the explanations you seek.
About now you’re asking, “Will any of these procedures really do any good or am I just wasting my time?” If you believe the latter, you’ll probably be throwing your paper across the room again tonight. If you believe the former, I will tell you frankly you can make a difference.
What you need to understand up front is that there will be times when nothing will change. However, I speak from experience that many decisions are continually made because they were never challenged and the official, probably justifiably so, believes he or she must be doing what the citizens want.
Admittedly, there are some decisions which are dictated by circumstance or by law, but the majority of day-to-day decisions are up for grabs. Elected officials take great pride in being able to say they truly represent their constituents, and for that very reason you can help in shaping decisions.
It is now time for your decision, get involved or throw your paper! Your call!
Seniors served over the holidays
On behalf of the staff at Home Instead Senior Care, I would like to thank everyone who helped with this year’s very successful seventh annual Be a Santa to a Senior program.
With support from generous shoppers, Cape Henlopen Senior Center, Delmar Town Hall, Dover Mall, Dr. Deakyne and Halpern Eye Associates, who all hosted trees, we were able to collect more than 5,876 gifts for local seniors who otherwise might have been overlooked this holiday season.
We also would like to thank the many volunteers who shared their time to collect, wrap and deliver the gifts to 2,720 area seniors who continue to struggle during these tough economic times.
Thanks to all those who helped us brighten the holidays for our local seniors and truly make a difference in our community.
To participate in the upcoming year (2012), please contact our local office at (302) 697-6435.
Robert Ware, Director
Home Instead Senior Care
AARP doing work for the community
The local AARP Chapter 5226 has been busy donating $8,000 to organizations in our community. The organizations receiving gifts from the local chapter are: Indian River Parent Center, the Gull House, Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company EMS, South Coastal Library, the Red Cross, USO Delaware, Roxanna Cheer Center, Home of the Brave, Cheer Coastal Center, Food Bank of Delaware, Meals on Wheels and the Pyle Center.
In addition, the chapter sponsored a Luncheon with a Purpose on Jan. 6, 2012, at the Cove in Fenwick Island. This luncheon raised $2,400 for the Sussex Community Crisis House service.
The chapter’s Scholarship Committee conducts fundraisers to provide scholarships to Indian River seniors. The major fundraiser is the Annual Artisan’s Fair, which will be held on May 26 at the Millville fire house.
Reno Calabrese and Gary Meredith,
AARP Chapter 5226
Smoking ban good call for Delawareans
I’d like to applaud the recent decision by Gov. Jack Markell to put into effect a smoking ban outside of state office buildings in an effort to promote health and wellness and also protect the financial burden to Delaware taxpayers.
As an addiction, smoking claims the lives of nearly 1,200 Delawareans and reaps an economic toll of $678 million to the state. As secondhand smoke, it is just as dangerous: proven to cause lung cancer, heart disease, chronic lung ailments and low birth weight. In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
As smoking bans continue to emerge by state and local governments, employers and major institutions, we should take fulfillment in the fact that we are steps closer to removing the deadly threat of tobacco in our community.
Deb Brown, President & CEO
American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic
Grateful for hope and change
When President Obama took office, many folks suddenly adopted the attitude that we have to take America back. Back to what and where?
Why weren’t you mad during the eight years of the Bush/Cheney administration? Now you get mad? Why weren’t you mad when Dick Cheney, former Halliburton CEO, used his connections to award Halliburton no-bid contracts in Iraq?
Our neo-con warmongers borrowed $800 billion dollars from China to wage an “unprecedented preemptive” illegal war in a country that did not present any threat to our national security.
Why weren’t you mad when Bush Jr. borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 presidents combined? This borrowed money was used to pay for two wars and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
Why weren’t you mad when we gave the 1 percent of our wealthiest citizens over a trillion dollars in tax breaks? Where were the jobs they were supposed to create? Instead, we had the worst eight years of job creation in several decades. In fact, millions of jobs were outsourced overseas. Why weren’t you mad when multinational corporations shipping their jobs overseas were rewarded with tax breaks?
Why weren’t you mad when the lack of oversight and regulations on Wall Street led to “corrupt secretive trades” that caused U.S. citizens to lose “12 trillion dollars” in investments, retirement and home values? The Bush administration oversaw the global financial collapse and the taxpayer bailouts in 2008 that cost another $800 billion.
You finally got mad when a black man was elected president. He was given the keys to the office in 2009, along with a $10.7 trillion deficit.
You got really mad when Obama decided that all our citizens in America deserved the right to seek affordable healthcare. Then you brought up expenses. Suddenly, the Affordable Health Care Act was immediately prejudged as unaffordable. You didn’t seem to mind that approximately 200,000 U.S. citizens lose their lives yearly because they cannot afford health insurance.
Illegal wars, lies, corruption, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929, were accepted without hardly a whimper about expenses and debt until the “Affordable Recovery Act” stimulus bill was passed. Then an obsessive outcry, that “we want our country back,” occurred. We are in the process of taking it back. We should be grateful.
Lawless announces plan to run again
I have decided to seek a second term as Ocean View Town Councilman for the Fourth District. I have completed the required forms and paid the necessary fee.
The past three years have been productive ones for our town. The tone of our council meetings has been cordial and open. Actions to be taken have been announced in advance, often “workshopped,” and subjected to close examination by our community.
• We have implemented a program of street maintenance, which will help keep our roads in excellent repair.
• The West View drainage project, which has been studied for years, was completed.
• Our financial position has been moved steadily toward balance with only modest increases in taxes.
• The Ocean View Police Department has continued to function as one of the finest small agencies in the state.
I am proud of my contributions to these accomplishments. I have listened to the people of my district and believe that I have accurately and effectively represented their views to council.
Please vote for me in our April town election.
Robert R. Lawless, District 4 Councilman
Anniversary party an affair to remember
This past Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, my lovely wife Betty and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary at DiFibo’s Bistro on the Green at Bear Trap Dunes. We were the recipients of a party hosted by our two daughters, Karen and Mary, and our three sons, Chuck, Jim and Jeff.
The party was attended by nearly 80 well-wishers. The affair was emceed by Don Minyon, who supplied music and repartee for the evening while Charlie from the Bistro gave her personal touch to each detail, from the hors d’oeuvres to the buffet, to Rita’s wedding-cake dessert, ensuring everything was perfect.
Works cannot express the love we have four our daughters, our sons and our 13 grandchildren and the effort they put into planning this event and the distance they traveled: Karen and Tom Scarangella with their kids, Gina, Lea, Kara and Dylan, from here in Ocean View; Chuck and Mickey with their kids, Connor and Hayden, from Oklahoma; Jim and Michele with their kids, Riley and Brook, from New Jersey; Jeff and Paula with their kids, Mark and Eric, from Maryland; and Mary and Dominic Parada with their kids, Cole, Luke and Jacob, from Pennsylvania.
Our family and all of our close friends made this an unforgettable evening. Betty and I are truly blessed to have such a loving family and loyal friends. We thank the Lord for each and every one of you.
Betty and Bill Wichmann