Letters to the Editor -- October 15, 2010


Frankford resident gives take on council
Editor:

Regarding Frankford’s Oct. 4, meeting:

It was a cold night at 50 degrees, one of the coldest nights this fall.

New people were there to attend this monthly meeting. I thought this was great, as we usually only have two or three residents in attendance out of about 700 in any given month, and a reporter was present, as well. We could not have guessed or had any reason to suspect what was about to happen.

At 7 p.m., when our meeting usually starts, Councilman Jesse Truitt announced that they were going to have an executive session meeting and that we all had to leave. Yes, we stood outside of town hall for an hour. At 8 p.m., when we were allowed to go back in, over half of the residents had left. The reporter had to sit in her vehicle and, from time to time, started it to stay warm. This hour seemed like an eternity. I’m not sure if those residents will ever return.

When it came time for residents to make comments, ask questions, a 3-minute time limit had been put in place for only two people asking questions. Greg Welch and myself asked about town Ordinance 3, since water/trash bills are problematic. The council members would not respond and deferred the response to Dennis Schrader, the town solicitor.

I was told by the town’s police chief, [Bill] Dudley, my 3 minutes were up. At the August meeting, Dudley was called upon by Terry Truitt, the town clerk, to intervene when Welch was simply asking the council if they would consider guidance from the Attorney General’s Office on their billing customers new water rates for water used under the old rates. Welch was told to leave that meeting.

Part of my letter to Schrader and the town concerning this meeting:

Ordinance 3, Article III, Sec. 6 reads in part: “Bills are payable by the property owner or consumer within 30 days from the date of the bill, which shall be the date the same is mailed by the Town to the consumer.”

You told the council, town employees and the public that this ordinance means the due date of the bill is 30 days from the date mailed/postmarked, and not the invoice date and the due date stated on the bill, and the users have 30 days from that mailed/postmark date on the envelope to pay the bill without penalty.

I understand you to be saying the customer needs to remove the invoice and due date on the bill, when the bill is mailed out at a later date than that invoice date and write the postmark date in, thereby establishing a new invoice and due date. Even if that was correct, it is not the policy this Town has been practicing within the last eight years.

Customers are customarily billed an “interest” penalty when the bill is paid 30 days after the invoice date, including when the bill is mailed out seven or eight days after the invoice date on that bill and no time allotted for mail delivery (protocol).

In this example, the customer would have only 20 days with the bill in their possession before the penalty is applied.

Ordinance 3 simply says the bill is to be mailed out the same day as the invoice date, which just happens to be the opposite of what you told folks. It is written that way to prevent what the Town has been doing, which, I believe, is illegally taking advantage of unsuspecting and unaware customers.

So I conclude one of two things happened at this meeting: either the ordinance was spun in favor of the Town’s practices or I just need to go back and keep reading until I understand it the way you said it was and the way the Town utilizes it, one in the same.

I attempted to tell you the same expressed here, but it appears that you and the Town employed techniques to prevent open public dialogue at this meeting, with only two people having a question, on such as important issue, which affects approximately 300 users.

Jerry Smith
Frankford

Editor’s note: Those arriving some time prior to the start of the Oct. 4 meeting were informed that the executive session would precede other business. Our reporter stated that at no time did she start her car – to keep warm or otherwise.

Steele back with more political information
Editor:

We know who was at the rally on Aug. 28 – people like you and me – and we know how we cherish the Lincoln Memorial.

So, who was at the rally this past Saturday, Oct. 2? How did they treat the same area?

Well, I just happen to have a few links so you can find out. It will also allow you to go beyond the info I have.

www.theblaze.com/stories/one-nation-proud-socialists-on-the-march-in-d-c... — Look at the mall after their rally and compare it to the “wacko, right wing fringe, extremist, who could care less about the environment.”

www.theblaze.com/stories/one-nation-crowd-didnt-exactly-leave-the-mall-o...

• Try this video to see who the people are that support “hope and change” – www.youtube.com/watch?=Wkw7n9Qagu8

• This next link will scare the pants off you. This video has aired in Great Britain and it is about the environment produced by eco-terrorists – www.theblaze.com/stories/no-pressure-new-environmental-campaign-glorifie...

www.theblaze.com is a new Web site that uses the POTUS’s supporters’ own words to show exactly who they are and what they are after. It is, to quote President Obama, “to fundamentally change the United States.” He said that “five days” before taking office.

One more point about the difference between Aug. 28 and Oct. 2: For Aug, 28, all those thousands and thousands of people came on their own volition and paid their own way. For Oct. 2, all those hundreds and hundreds were told they were going and transportation was provided and paid for by their unions. After looking at the above links, you will see many differences that are too numerous to list here.

The biggest difference is freedom – Oct. 2 wants your freedom handed over to the government, or just flat out taken away from you.

You are just too stupid to manage on your own.

Again, please do your own research after looking at my links.

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach

Crab feast for JWJ Foundation a big hit
Editor:

On behalf of Justin’s Beach House, we would like to thank the Hawaiian Crab Bar and Grill for sponsoring, and hosts Becky Heath and Cheryl Stewart, for the crab feast that was held on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, to benefit Justin’s Beach House and the Justin W. Jennings Foundation.

Thank you also to Debbie Fulton, who coordinated the day with a silent auction, and the Ravens Roost, who sponsored a 50/50.

A special thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with the auction, and who served crabs and worked in the kitchen to make this a wonderful event.

Gift sponsors are always our greatest supporters and unsung heroes. Thank you for always giving and supporting our needs whenever you have been asked, which I know has been many, many times.

What a great day it was! Good food, great friends, all worked for a great cause. We have been blessed to live in this wonderful, giving area, a place of families and friends.

Craig Nantais
Mary Ellen Nantais, Founder and Chairman
Justin W. Jennings Foundation

Reader a supporter of Schwartzkopf
Editor:

Pete Schwartzkopf was one of the first people my partner and I met when we moved to Rehoboth in 2002. I knew very little about the issues or Delaware politics, but I soon knew I liked and trusted Pete. My initial opinion of Pete has not changed. In fact, my respect has grown.

Although, like Pete, I am a Democrat, I don’t always agree with him on an issue. I have learned through the years that Pete definitely crosses party lines when he is convinced that he is following his principles and his decision will best serve the majority of his constituency. However, when there is a higher principle at stake, like discrimination, he will stay the course until the end, regardless of popular opinion.

As we face the difficulties of this election season, many people are upset with this recession and the impact it has had on our lives. There seems to be an emerging opinion that all politicians should be replaced and people are being urged to vote against all incumbents. While I agree there are politicians who serve long past their effectiveness, I do not believe that Pete Schwartzkopf is one of them. Pete works for us.

Now, as majority leader of the House, Pete’s duties are much more demanding than they were when he started his tenure as our representative. Still with all the added work, he returns phone calls – not just to other legislators or committee members, but to the guy who has a question or complaint and wants to hear from him firsthand.

The past few weeks, in this age of electronic messaging, Pete is campaigning the way he always has …. door to door, meeting new voters and talking with folks face to face. Pete has never lost sight of the fact that we voters entrusted him with the position he now holds. Our rewards have been his loyalty and hard work on our behalf.

I am all for sending elected officials home when they are not doing a good job, but when we are fortunate enough to have someone who is not only doing a good job but who also offers experience and integrity, I think he has earned our vote.

This November we in the 14th District are fortunate enough to have many reasons to vote for someone.

Pete Schwartzkopf certainly has my vote.

Ann Black
Rehoboth Beach

Carney works to protect Delawareans’ health
Editor:

In 2008, John Carney worked with the state legislature to pass the Cancer Right to Know Law to require analysis of cancer incidence and mortality rates in Delaware at the census tract level. A few days ago, the Division of Public Health released a report that provides this information. This will enable Delawareans to make informed choices about cancer risks associated with the areas where they live and work, and will help to identify the causes of cancer risks in those areas.

When John Carney is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, he will continue his work to protect Delawareans from cancer. He plans to implement a framework for cancer clinical trials outlined in a 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine, expand cancer research capacity at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and secure federal funds for a statewide study to identify toxins in our air, water and soil that may led to higher cancer rates – information vital to reduce cancer risks.

John Carney is committed to reducing cancer rates and cancer deaths in Delaware and nationally. John is the right candidate to represent Delaware in Congress.

Richard Legatski
Dagsboro

Schwartzkopf gets more support in race
Editor:

After attending the candidates’ forum at the Lewes Library Wednesday night, I feel compelled to work even harder to help re-elect Pete Schwartzkopf as the 14th District representative.

His opponent, Chris Weeks, represents the party of “no” who wants to minimize the size of government so that nothing gets accomplished. Mr. Weeks seemed to blame Pete for “rampant taxation” and support of “special interest groups.” What taxation is he referring to? I am happy with the low taxes in Sussex County and the state of Delaware.

Who are these special interest groups that Pete supports? The residents of the manufactured housing community on whose behalf Pete has worked to protect their rights as homeowners? The small businesses and the workers in the tourist industry where Pete promotes job growth?

Or is Mr. Weeks talking about the citizens who want statewide recycling because it is cheaper than landfill expansion? Or maybe he’s referring to the citizens who recognize the importance of renewable energy and applaud Pete for helping to bring wind power to Delaware? Or could it possibly be the support Pete has earned for his efforts on behalf of all Delawareans to be protected from discrimination in housing, employment and insurance?

We need the tireless efforts of Representative Pete Schwartzkopf in Dover and not a candidate from the party of “no.”

Anne Pikolas
Lewes

Reader supports Coons in senate race
Editor:

Elections should not be popularity contests. Campaigns are job interviews, or should be.

If you visit Chris Coons’ Web site, you will find that he was elected and reelected to serve as New Castle County executive and improved the quality of life for 530,000 Delaware citizens. Chris has demonstrated that he cares about the people he is serving and has the courage to do the right thing.

Christine O’Donnell’s Web site states that she is “a nationally recognized political commentator and marketing consultant.” She is described as “an effective communicator” with “skill of winning over even those who disagree with her.” Yet on her Web site she uses a whole page to explain such things as why she has trouble paying her bills, why she will not tell us where she lives and detailing her troubles with the IRS. She obviously has not been doing very well as a “nationally recognized political commentator and marketing consultant.”

She is very cute, but cute won’t get Delawareans the representation they need during these tough times. It seems to me that she needs a job and has her eye on one paid for by the taxpayer.

As job resumes go, I will go with Chris Coons any day.

Carolyn Quinn
Lewes

Lewes reader supports Carney in election
Editor:

John Carney is one of us.

We need leaders in Washington who will fight for us when they get there, and not forget where they came from. John Carney won’t forget where he came from, because he’s lived in Delaware his entire life. He grew up in a middle-class family and had to work to provide for his own family. He has the same values we do and will fight for the things we care about. I don’t worry about him hanging out with the special interests or putting Wall Street priorities ahead of Main Street priorities. At the end of the day, voting comes down to trust. And I trust John to do the right thing.

Janet Strickler
Lewes

Schwartzkopf has an eye on environment
Editor:

I can think of many reasons to vote for Pete Schwartzkopf for 14th District representative, but I’m just going to write about one. He voted for S.B. 234, which will bring state-wide curbside recycling to Delaware in September 2011.

Pete voted for this bill, not only because it is good for our environment, but also because it makes good economic sense. Landfills cost at least $100 million to build. Recycling will dramatically lessen Delaware’s need for more landfills.

Pete recognized the need not to burden the people of Delaware with additional fees. This bill doesn’t cost you or me anything. We’ve been paying a 5 cent bottle deposit for years. (I don’t know about you, but I have never returned a bottle to get my 5 cents.)

With S.B. 234, Pete voted to eliminate the 5 cent deposit and to replace that with a temporary 4 cent charge to cover recycling start-up costs. The 4 cent fee will terminate in four or five years – unlike the bottle deposit, which had no deadline.

Rich Collins and other members of the Positive Growth Alliance have filed a lawsuit against the State in order to block curbside recycling. Let’s show PGA that we want to save money while helping the environment by voting for Pete Schwartzkopf on Nov. 2.

Dr. Kaye Wachsmuth
Rehoboth Beach

Reader likes King in her election bid
Editor:

Rep. Ruth Briggs King demonstrated her open-mindedness, foresight and wisdom in understanding the tremendous value the amateur radio community has in providing the residents of the state of Delaware invaluable services during emergencies and natural disasters in both the past and in the future.

Through her determination and tenacity, she unilaterally introduced and supported, to its successful unanimous conclusion, amendment No. 1 to House Bill 494 in the 145th House of Representatives General Assembly, which, like many other states in the U.S., exempted FCC licensed amateur radio operators from the requirements of the Act.

Her action continued to allow the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), as well as the Radio Amateur Communications Emergency Service (RACES – FEMA-based organization) which are comprised of a significant percentage of the approximately 1,600 FCC-licensed amateur radio operators in the state of Delaware to continue their regular fixed and mobile communications structured training exercises, not to mention the coordinated services they would provide in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

To vote for and re-elect Rep. Ruth Ann Briggs on Nov. 2, 2010, would retain a member in the Delaware House of Representatives who clearly listens to and represents not only her own constituency in the 37th District, and, as well, indirectly all of the citizens in the State of Delaware.

Richard Drevo, RACES/ARES member
Lewes

Reader puts his faith in O’Donnell
Editor:

I must write in response to Ed and Nancy Appel’s letter, “Readers choose Coons based on past” in the Oct. 8 Coastal Point.

I give Ed and Nancy credit for understanding that the labels given to these candidates by the opposition are mere rhetoric. At the same time I must seriously question their other observations.

I’m going out on a limb here and assume that Ed and Nancy voted for Obama and Biden in 2008 and ask where their concern for experience was in that election? Unfortunately, that is in the past and we are now living with that error after the disastrous past 22 months.

But more to the point of what Chris Coons brings to the table: First, Coons’ vast experience with South Africa, New York homeless and the I Have a Dream Foundation is perhaps laudable but hardly saleable political capital. And, second, there’s his extensive background as a Wilmington/New Castle lawyer/politician. Wow! That’s an impressive experience package. It perhaps puts him right up there with “community organizer,” and need I mention being elected and reelected as a Democrat in Wilmington is not a big deal to many of us?

Does the Christine O’Donnell package compare with that of Coons? Thankfully no! She does, however, offer the “Hope and Change” mantra of 2010. She is supported by the often-maligned Tea Party, and she whole heartedly supports the Republican agenda’s Pledge to America. Both the Tea Party and the Republicans’ Pledge to America hope to reverse the socialist – oh, sorry, progressive – successes that continue to thwart economic recovery, expand government intrusion into our lives and create mind-boggling national debt that gives no indication of slowing down.

Ed and Nancy, perhaps, with this enlightened comparison, you can now pick Christine O’Donnell as the logical choice for the office of United States senator from the First State.

Thomas M. Keeley III
Ocean View

Reader asks questions of Tea Party
Editor:

The candidates supported by the Tea Party say that they want no government intervention in the lives of our citizens.

Does this mean that they want no highways, no bridges, no schools, no police, no state universities, no Medicare, no Social Security and no jobless benefits?

I would like some clarification as to whether they want any government at all. I really need some answers here.

Janet Strickler
Lewes