Letters to the Editor -- October 22, 2010

Reader believes Hastings is the choice

My fellow Sussex Countians of the 41st Representative District are in great need – in need of lower taxes, in need of more jobs and in need of a balanced state budget that will not leave us in debt for years to come. The current state legislature has done little or nothing to meaningfully increase job opportunities; they have repeatedly increased taxes and fees disguised as taxes; and our state budget has swelled in the midst of the greatest economic recession our great country has experienced since the 1920’s.

Former 41st Rep. (and current candidate) Greg Hastings stands for fiscal responsibility. While in office from 2007 to 2008 he voted against tax increases and other costly budget initiatives. Greg voted against the increased state budgets for both 2008 and for 2009. He opposed the across-the-board toll increases on Route 1, leasing out public roadways to private interests and any other proposal that would have increased state income taxes.

Since that time, Greg’s opponent supported 9 House Bills (Nos. 210, 211, 260, 262, 264, 267, 287, 289 and 291), voting in favor of over $200 million in tax increases when the citizens and businesses of Delaware and the 41st District could least afford it. Six of these tax increase bills were decided by a margin of one vote, so we as voters need to think really hard about the importance of each representative’s vote and to consider this as we head to the polls.

My fellow veterans in the 41st District will be interested to know that Greg Hastings sponsored House Bill 237 with Rep. Jerry Brady to provide additional benefits to active-duty military prior to their activation of service. This provided state employees ordered to active duty an additional 7.5 hours of paid leave for each 30 days of activation, allowing more time with family prior to service. This was passed unanimously.

Protecting children and education have always been at the forefront of what is important to Greg Hastings. Greg supported two new laws to further protect children. HB 212 expanded the Child Safe School Zone to include parks, athletic fields, playgrounds and sites where children gather, which removed gaps in current law which made it difficult for law enforcement to prosecute suspected child predators in certain situations.

He also supported a new law, the Child Victim’s Act, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases. Greg also served numerous non-paying terms on the Indian River School Board, was appointed by the governor to the Delaware State School Board and served many years as a leader in the Boy Scouts.

As a taxpayer, as a parent, as a veteran of the U.S. Army and as the spouse of an educator, I support Greg Hastings as the logical and best choice to represent the 41st District and I hope that my fellow Sussex Countians of the 41st District will join me in voting for Greg on Nov. 2.

Randy Bethke

Reader believes McCabe is the one

Typically, I never write political support letters. The political rhetoric today is so disheartening, with continuous negativity, which at times seems just plain hateful. Very little intellectual energy appears focused on collaborative solutions. So much energy is wasted on finger-pointing and demonizing the “other side.”

However, Russ McCabe has changed my mind! Russ holds the promise to bring intelligence, honesty, integrity and genuine caring for our families to public office. He believes there are opportunities to develop common purpose, even when disagreements occur, to maintain the focus on helping create a more positive future for the children, youth and families of our communities.

As one who has devoted his life to education, I support Russ McCabe for the 36th District representative seat. There are many other reasons to choose Mr. McCabe in this race, but I am happy he has also included education reform and employment retraining in his platform.

While curiosity and lifelong learning are crucial in forming a well-rounded person, studies continue to connect education with a higher income and a resulting better standard of living. It seems to me that a part of the solution to help beat this economic downturn is through improved education and easily accessible job retraining. We need to turn all of our intellectual energies on solving the complex problems of the day, not demonizing the “other side.”

Russ McCabe has articulated good understanding of the challenges and possibilities in the area of education and job retraining, which are only a couple of the many reasons my vote will be for him on Nov. 2.

Kenneth V. Brittingham, Ph.D.

McCabe is there for the middle class

Our beautiful Sussex County is always being developed, and almost all of the old way of life we had here is gone. But what we have left and the culture we have is precious, representing America in a way that few other places do.

We are farmers, laborers, watermen, firefighters, workers, bankers. We work for the government or we work for ourselves.

We are middle-America. And I trust only one person who can understand that, protect it and make sure we have good job growth and development that protects our farms and bays, our history and our culture.

That man is Russ McCabe, and in November, I hope everyone who reads this votes for him for representative, because he is one of us and will represent us. Russ is going to go to Dover and make history, because he will advocate for Sussex County at a time we need it.

Jeff Carroll Sr.

Paddle to the Park a great success

The Friends of Lewes Canalfront Park would like to express our sincere thanks to all those who contributed to making the first annual “Paddle to the Park Fun Fest” such a resounding success.

A bright, sunny day welcomed an eager group of paddlers on Lewes City Beach who launched their kayaks on their way to Canalfront Park, where families and friends waited to greet them.

We especially wish to thank our “Paddle to the Park” partner, Matt Carter’s Quest Fitness and Kayak, who supplied rental kayaks for the event, as well as providing fun-filled children’s activities in the park.

Special thanks also to Community Bank Delaware, Surf Bagel, Lewes Printing and Lewes Dairy. Without the generous assistance of these community-minded companies, “Paddle to the Park” would not have been as successful. And, of course, our many dedicated volunteers make us all aware of how lucky we are to live in Lewes. Thanks, too, to musician Reedo, who kept everyone’s toes tapping during the event.

Bernie Gilmore and Carolyn Quinn
Event Co-Chairs, Paddle to the Park Fun Fest
Friends of Lewes Canalfront Park

Reader believes Coons is right for the job

What is it with these atrocious, despicable new ads that Christine O’Donnell is running on TV? The ads say they are provided by the “Friends of O’Donnell.” What they don’t tell us is that only 14 percent of the money is coming from the people of Delaware. The rest of the $3 million is coming from groups outside our state. Even the head of the Delaware Republican Committee said he would prefer that outsiders keep their money and let the people of Delaware run their own campaigns.

Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Fund, which has raised over $75 million, has only three multi-billionaires contributing 91 percent of that money. The very rich want free rein to fleece the people of America. These contributors will want their payback from those whose elections have been bought.

Study the issue and then vote for Chris Coons. The once-noble GOP had disintegrated into an extremist party which could lead America into being a Third World nation: the very rich and the very poor. How is it that corporations have not yet figured out that if the middle class has no money, who is going to buy their products? May God save our nation!

Graden Scott
Ocean View

Keeley answers more letters this week

The Oct. 15 Coastal Point contained two letters from Janet Strictler, and I believe that both require thoughtful comment.

The first supports John Carney for Delaware’s lone seat in the House of Representatives. It notes a number of John’s laudable traits but fails to mention that he is a career politician. And apparently he’s not a very good one. He was elected lieutenant governor twice when Minner was governor, but he lost the Democratic primary for governor to Jack Markell when Minner, thankfully, could not run for a third term. Even with a solid eight years as Delaware’s lieutenant governor the Democrats didn’t even want him as governor.

Prior to being lieutenant governor he held a number of state positions. I believe his first job in the public sector, a job that he’s had for almost two years, is as president and chief operating officer of Transformative Technologies. Not a bad place to start a real job! Of course, he’s well qualified, as their product is primarily associated with “wind.”

Janet, he has practically spent his whole working life at public trough, spending your and my tax dollars! Oh, and we should not forget that under Ruth Ann and John, Delaware’s budget doubled!

The second letter asks the Tea Party a number of really silly questions and says that she wants some answers. Janet, even the Tea Party believes that we need public servants and government services. It’s just that the controlling party – yes, your Democrats – are not what the Tea Party consider the right people for the job at hand.

This will probably be a surprise to you, but we think the Democrats are going the wrong way and we hope to stop them before it’s too late. We do not believe that government exists simply to spend, spend, spend! We can not live like that, and neither can the government! We hope and pray that new leadership will allow us to find solutions to our problems without merely throwing money at them, and that we can again become the great country that we were just a few short years ago.

God bless America!

Thomas M. Keeley
Ocean View

Reader wants more support for Obama

President Obama has done more to move this country forward than any president since FDR. Just consider some of his accomplishments in the past 20 months:

He averted a severe 1930s-type depression by means of the largest economic stimulus bill in U.S. history.

He made historic investments in alternative energy and infrastructure projects.

He provided for a $282 billion tax cut – the largest in U.S. history – which included an $800 per family Making Work Pay tax credit.

He canceled a bloated and unnecessary defense weapons system, the F-22.

He fought for and signed the Lily Ledbetter Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guaranteeing women equal pay for equal work.

He expanded health coverage to include an additional 10 million children.

Moreover, President Obama has fought for working families against special interests.

He took the bold step of appointing Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Agency in order to avoid another standoff by obstructionist Republicans who thought her too critical of Wall Street and big banks.

He stood up to Big Insurance, relentlessly pushing forward a health care reform which ended exclusions for preexisting conditions and finally closed the Medicare prescription doughnut hole.

He is the first American president to put the Chinese government on notice to end their currency manipulation or face reprisals from the U.S.

He recently stood up to the banking industry with a pocket veto of a bill that would have made it easier for mortgage holders to foreclose on homeowners and more difficult for homeowners to fight fraudulent foreclosures.

I know the president would have accomplished even more if not for Senate Republicans’ record setting use of the filibuster. He needs our help to counteract the party of “No.” Please vote on Nov. 2 for John Carney and Chris Coons. Let’s send them to Washington to help President Obama continue his efforts to help average Americans like you and me.

Mike Kerrigan

Flowers gets support for treasurer slot

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed Chip Flowers for Delaware State Treasurer. That is great news for Chip and for Delaware.

Chip Flowers has a strong academic background and has had a rewarding career in the financial sector. Mayor Bloomberg, an extremely successful businessman, is serving an unprecedented third term as mayor of the financial capital of the world. His endorsement is a commendation on Chip’s credentials and a stamp of approval for his centrist ideas on how the Treasurer’s Office can help bring prosperity to Delaware.

Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement is especially meaningful because he is an independent who has endorsed candidates from both parties. He has no political obligation to endorse anyone.

Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg, for recognizing that Chip Flowers is the person we need in the State Treasurer’s Office.

Mary James Legatski

Hastings gets more support in campaign

Depending on whom you ask, our country has been mired in a recession, or “economic downturn,” for the better part of two years. While some jobs seem to be coming back, others are continuing to fall off. Consumer confidence is abysmal, and there is no real sign that anything will happen to turn things around.

Before we can truly figure out how to get things moving again, we have to figure out how we got there in the first place. There are lots of moving parts to the economic engine. However, some of the major things that control it are the taxes, fees, rules and regulations put in place by the government.

Our elected officials have led us down this path, and we went happily along. We thought that, just because our elected officials were accessible, they had our best interests in mind. We thought that because our elected officials talked with us at the football game, or came to the American Legion, or sat and had coffee at McDonald’s, that they would be looking out for us. We presumed that, because we could call our elected officials on their cell phones or interact with them on Facebook, they would do what was right.

We were wrong. Our trust has been violated. Perhaps it’s time that we elect someone who doesn’t look at us as individual special interest groups, neatly packaged into little voting blocks to ensure re-election.

Not all of us are farmers, educators or state employees. Some of us are Golden Knights fans, while others cheer for Indian River. We include some firefighters, sportsmen and veterans. We make up the one group that should truly matter to the folks we elect: the taxpayers.

Over the last two years, thanks to a liberal majority, our elected officials have raised fees and taxes to the tune of over $200 million. One thing is for certain, unless we elect someone dedicated to serving all of us, rather than small groups of us, we are doomed to continue down this road of increased government spending.

This is why, on Election Day, I will be voting for Greg Hastings in the 41st Representative District. Greg is a true conservative that will always vote for what is best for the district as a whole. He has a record that clearly opposes higher spending and tax increases. Greg will oppose the liberal spending that is being pushed by the Democrat leadership in Dover and will fight to keep more of your money where it belongs, in your pocket.

On Nov. 2, send a message to Dover that you are tired of getting your pocket picked. Vote for Greg Hastings, a real conservative, with real concern.

Todd Mumford

Readers make a case for S. Bethany park

The residents of South Bethany deserve the right to factual information regarding the future of the Richard Hall Memorial Park (RHMP). Only with accurate information will residents truly be given the opportunity in the forthcoming town survey to evaluate data and voice their interest in how the RHMP should be used.

Several statements in letters to the editor concerning development of the RHMP that appeared in the Oct. 8, 2010, Coastal Point were filled with numerous misstatements and inaccuracies, but we wish to focus only on two of these misstatements.

First, this park is not a tidal wetland and therefore not subject to the state’s assessment. The State of Delaware only deals in tidal wetlands. One of the delineation companies who were recommended by the Center for the Inland Bays made an assessment of the RHMP in 2009 and found this area to be upland, not wetland. It is not a tidal wetland or a freshwater wetland. Water ponding in a few areas during heavy rains does not make the area a wetland.

Second, the South Bethany Park Committee (SBP Committee) does and always has recognized that there are costs involved. However, costs that were quoted regarding expense to taxpayers and park development are inaccurate. The SBP Committee does and will continue to emphasize that funds will be sought from public and private grants which can be used for planning, land preparation and equipment. While, indeed, there are no guarantees that grants will be secured, Delaware State Parks has stated, as recently as this month, that South Bethany is a “highly suitable match for the Delaware Land and Water Conservation Trust Funds grant.”

Those residents that voice favorable interest in park enhancement can do so with confidence that gradual park development will align itself with receipt of grant funds and matching funds from private donations and other sources. One example of such efforts is that a South Bethany property owner who is a civil engineer has already volunteered to do the site engineering work and multiple related tasks. Simply stated, park development and phasing is dependent on grants. If there are no grants, then there will be no park enhancement.

The South Bethany Park Committee (www.southbethanypark.org) is an independent committee of individual citizens of South Bethany representing those who are interested in creating a park within the wooded haven of the RHMP. Our committee has focused on gathering information, researching types of potential park development, suitability of the property and costs and available funds associated with any such endeavors, as well as accurately presenting this information to the residents of South Bethany. The proposed park is about this generation and future generations of children and families.

Diann Nazarian and Kathy Connor
South Bethany

Reader tired of animosity in politics

On Jan. 21, 2009, a man came into the office, shaking and pointing his finger at me, saying: “Mark my words, Obama will never get a second term, and a black man will never be president again!” Really?

In the short time he has been in office, President Obama has been accused of being a Kenyan Muslim, a Marxist and a socialist, as well as everything from causing global Armageddon to causing your soufflé to fall. Really?

Those on the Republican Right have sharply criticized the president, because he hasn’t totally and completely reversed and erased the worst financial meltdown since the 30s, in less than two years. Really?

The amazing American woman is watching as a certain female candidate is gaining political traction, not because she is experienced or has an impressive record of leadership and fiscal responsibility, but because she is “cute!”

In an Oct. 15 letter to the editor, Tom Keeley stated that Christine O’Donnell, who actually has a proven record of financial irresponsibility and no experience, other than being a “professional candidate” and comedy-show guest, is the “logical choice for the office of United States senator.” Really?

Republicans presented their “Pledge to America,” in which they offer no viable solutions on how to fix the problems that we face today – other than returning us to the policies that put us in this mess in the first place – and then expect us to believe that they are the new hope for the future. Really?

We live in a country where we’d rather elect a president or senator who is “me” or someone it would be “fun to have a beer with,” versus someone who is smarter than we are. Really?

Finally, the hatred and lack of civility that has arisen in our citizens (as seen above), against anyone who isn’t their clone, is increasing by frightening proportions. Until we, as a nation, can guarantee the same civil rights and privileges to all citizens, regardless of their gender, age, religion (or lack thereof), sexual preference, ethnic origin, race and socio-economic class, we should just change the Pledge of Allegiance to read: “…with liberty and justice for all affluent, Christian, white men only.” Then, at least, we would no longer be hypocrites.


Marilyn Paugh
Ocean View

Phillips makes his case for re-election

As we approach Election Day, I believe you share the same concern for our country as I do. Never before in my lifetime have I feared for our nation’s future so much. Unlike concern during the Vietnam War, the Cold War or on 9/11, when obvious threats came from afar, today I fear that our country’s greatest enemy lives within. But as concerned as I am for America’s future, I would like to ask you to take just a few minutes to consider Sussex County and my desire to continue to serve as a county councilman.

Unlike our federal government, Sussex County has managed your tax dollars efficiently and with a great appreciation to the fact that it’s your money, not the government’s. During my tenure, we have never raised taxes, and if re-elected, I solemnly pledge to never vote to raise taxes as long as I serve. I say this with confidence, because I am a conservative.

When I was first elected, I discovered the county was nearly $10 million in debt and began to work to encourage our government to pay off its debt. Today, we are debt-free. When I became president of County Council two years ago, an audit indicated the budget had a soaring deficit. Liberals speak of fixing our budget with tax increases, but I pushed for reduced spending, and as a result we cut government expenses by 16 percent without laying-off workers or reducing critical services. Today our county is running a budget surplus.

As a result, while governments all over America are having their bond ratings downgraded, Sussex County recently was awarded an upgraded bond rating as recognition of the hard work and sacrifice made to keep Sussex County on solid footing. Additionally, we have voted to suspend the capitation tax.

I am a sixth-generation Sussex Countian, and so these conservative principles that make us strong are bred into my bones. I love everything about Sussex and desire to serve her people. From the fields of western Sussex, to the beaches in the east, and for all the hard-working families in between, I desire to make government the least of your worries. I believe in personal responsibility, so, for me, government is not the solution to our problems, but oftentimes is the problem.

It is with a faith in God that I believe America will survive. There are many things happening that I cannot control, but if you would please give me your vote on Nov. 2, I promise to always work hard for you so that we may continue to be a shining example of how good government is supposed to be.

Vance Phillips

Reader: Flowers will bring jobs to state

Chip Flowers believes the Office of the Treasurer can play an integral role in advancing economic development in Delaware. You and I would call that bringing jobs and businesses here.

Chip has a detailed blueprint on how the Treasurer’s office can promote fiscal responsibility. You and I would call that saving taxpayers’ money.

Chip recognizes that the Office of the Treasurer must move into the 21st century if it is to be a viable part of the state government. You and I would call that common sense.

Chip is the first candidate or official in this state who I have heard address the idea of coordinating the various agencies or offices in this state that deal with economic issues. I can’t be the only one who has wondered about the differences between the Office of the Treasurer, the Department of Finance, the Office of Economic Development and the Office of Management and Budget.

I read Chip Flowers’ ideas for Delaware on his Web site at www.chipflowers.com. It was refreshing to read concrete and specific ideas for the economic health of Delaware. Just to give you one example, Chip would implement an early-warning system so there is enough time to study the financial impact of important legislation before it is voted on.

Chip Flowers’ statement, “Good planning and forecasting always precedes good government,” reflects the kind of thoughtful, intelligent ideas he will bring to the Treasurer’s office.

Delawareans have a clear choice when they go to the polls and vote for State Treasurer. I am going to vote for the person who wants to make a difference in our lives with positive constructive ideas and a willingness to work for all of us. My vote is for Chip Flowers.

Peter Schott
Rehoboth Beach

Reader pushes for Democrat ticket

Delawareans need jobs. Americans all over the country need jobs. Yet, just before adjournment of the U.S. Congress, the Republicans blocked a bill from coming to the Senate floor that could keep jobs in America.

The Democratic Party wanted to end certain tax breaks for companies that have been sending jobs overseas and provide new incentives to businesses bringing jobs home. The bill which would have accomplished this was successfully blocked by the Republicans.

This is proof that the Republican Party does not care about the American worker or the unemployed. We are about to have an election on Nov. 2 which will determine which party will control Congress for the next two years. Do we want these naysayers controlling Congress, or do we want Democrats who want to help the American worker?

The Democratic candidates for Congress, Chris Coons and John Carney, have shown their real concern for Delaware workers, and their opponents have not.

The races could be close, so it is important that everyone concerned about working people vote for the party that wants to help the American people, the Democratic Party.

Nancy Sedmak-Weiss
Rehoboth Beach

Phillips gets support in re-election bid

The theme of this year’s campaign season, influenced by an antiestablishment “tea party” movement, is a familiar one: “Throw the bums out!” It’s a cliché, but in most cases is justified; the federal and state levels of our government have enacted anti-business regulations, driven up the unemployment rate, created new taxes and raised existing ones, and seem to be doing their darnedest to ensure that this recession sticks around.

Happily, this is not the case in Sussex County, where our county government continues to work for us, responsibly managing our hard-earned tax dollars. While other county governments in Delaware operate in the red and raise taxes and fees to compensate for irresponsible overspending, Sussex has a surplus.

Our county council recently approved a plan to return nearly $600,000 in excess general-fund revenue to local taxpayers, police departments and fire services, which means that each and every taxpayer will have to pay a bit less next year than we would have had to pay otherwise. That would be good news any year, but is especially so in these difficult economic times. “The money belongs to the people,” said County Council President Vance Phillips. “When there is excess, it should be returned.”

As someone who prefers a thick wallet to a thin one, I agree.

Though the county council is working for us, many important decisions are made by a 3-2 vote. Phillips is one of the three and consistently votes with our best interests in mind. It is vital that we preserve the current balance of power, lest a different mindset take over our county government and turn it into an expensive bureaucracy, complete with unnecessary programs, higher taxes and fees, and an utter lack of accountability. This is the norm in upstate Delaware, but here in Sussex, we’re better than that. We demand more of our elected officials — and, so far, we’ve been getting it.

I thank Vance Phillips for his service and sincerely hope that my budget-conscious friends and neighbors in southern Sussex will choose to keep him on the county council.

Chris Slavens

McCabe gets out his message

Following the announcement of Rep. Carey’s retirement I received many calls from friends and neighbors, Democrats and Republicans alike, encouraging me to run. After considerable soul-searching, I concluded that I have a debt to repay for my many blessings – and giving back isn’t just a choice – but my duty and responsibility.

Simply put - I am running for 36th District representative to make Sussex County and Delaware a better place. This is no time for political gamesmanship or business as usual. It’s time to vigorously address the real problems that confront us.

I believe we should take all measures necessary to improve our economy, create jobs and support our farmers. Because good jobs depend on good preparation, I will push for improved educational and training opportunities for young people and for those changing careers later in life.

I will insist that infrastructure keeps pace with development, while also preserving open spaces. Real challenges require real ideas, and I am committed to saving tax dollars by modifying the state’s purchasing rules and adopting an action plan to reduce the size and cost of government.

In order to make progress, we must avoid the polarizing effects of partisanship and reach “across the aisle” to get things done. I am a firm believer in honest and open governance, with Delawareans having full knowledge of and open access to their own state government. Now more than ever, our district needs a representative to serve as an active advocate – someone who will stand up and speak out for us.

I believe my proven record of service and deep knowledge of Delawareans and their government will be valuable assets for the residents of the 36th District, and I am ready to hit the ground running on Day One.

Russ McCabe
36th District Candidate

Reader believes O’Donnell is the choice

Just about every time I turn on the television or read letters to the editor, Christine O’Donnell seems to be mocked, and the Republican voters described as having less than a full deck when it relates to political savvy for turning out Castle, a certain winner for our vacant senatorial seat.

But, I ask the mockers, which candidate for this vacant seat has done the most harm to Delaware citizens through the years, and which one has done no harm to fellow citizens?

Of course, the mockers – mostly biased journalists and pundits whose characteristics were clearly demonstrated by their performance at the recent debate – do not consider it to be harmful to limit our liberties in order to build a larger centralized state system.

In fact, they and their Democrat brethren seem to feast upon the idea of an unconstrained role for government through tax-and-spend policies that continually limit personal and economic freedoms.

Taking from one diminishes the other, but they seem to prefer that in order to build the power of the Democratic Party through the labor of the unsuspecting citizen.

The Bearded Marxist, Coons, fits right in with this description and his résumé is filled with his “successes” of raising taxes and increasing government’s role in our lives. Do you think it will be different for him as a senator and a pet of Majority Leader Reid? I do not, as he and his party seems to be proud to lead us down “The Road to Serfdom.”

Mr. Coons and his minions have never confronted a tax they did not like, and he has harmed thousands upon thousands of Delawareans through the years with his convoluted view of governing that promises a utopian lifestyle through the increase of state power. Now, Mr. Coons wants to continue instigating such wreckage as a senator. Show me, in the history of the world, where his utopian view has ever worked!

Now, Miss O’Donnell, the GOP candidate, to my knowledge, has never raised a tax, believes in constrained federal government, believes in balanced budgets, believes in cutting federal spending; and, above all, believes that all laws should follow the mandate of the Constitution. An almost heretical view of governing if one listens closely to Mr. Coons, the Democrat Party, and the mockers at large.

The fundam