Letters to the Editor -- May 21, 2010

Reader puts support behind Carney’s efforts

On March 31, 2010, the current administration announced plans to end the moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida.

On April 1, 2010, John Carney, Delaware’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, announced his opposition to ending the moratorium and called upon the federal government to reverse its plan to allow offshore drilling.

On April 20, an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in history.

On April 22, Earth Day, John Carney firmly re-stated his opposition to offshore drilling and asked Delawareans to stand with him to demand that the federal government abandon its plans for natural gas and oil exploration off of the Delaware coast.

On May 7, I attended John Carney’s press conference at the Great Dune in Cape Henlopen State Park. Standing there with our magnificent coast line behind him, John Carney once more spoke out against off shore drilling. Pointing at the dunes around us, he talked of the fragile ecosystem that we must protect. He warned how Sussex County’s $1.3 billion tourist economy could be destroyed with just one offshore explosion.

Appropriately, there was a wonderful breeze blowing as John talked of the benefits of sustainable wind energy off the cost of Delaware, both for our environment and our economy. He spoke of the good paying jobs for Delawareans that renewable energy projects, like offshore wind farms, will create.

Standing on the dune on that beautiful day, I knew I was listening to a leader who will work to bring a clean, green future to Delaware. I heard the resolve in his voice when he made the commitment to go to Washington and work with Democrats, Republicans and independents for an energy policy that continues to lead Delaware and our nation on the road to breaking our dependence on fossil fuels.

I made a commitment that day to support John Carney. Other leaders are now speaking out against offshore drilling, but John Carney spoke out three weeks before the Gulf explosion. He had the courage to speak out when he believed our federal government made an unwise decision. That tells me a great deal about him. He didn’t need a tragic explosion to know that offshore drilling should not be part of Delaware’s future.

At the press conference, John told us he knows we all want to do something about the tragedy of the oil rig explosion. He told us the most meaningful thing we can do is to stand up against offshore drilling off our coast. When I got home I went to John’s Web site at www.johncarney.org and signed the petition demanding that the federal government abandon its plans for natural gas and oil exploration off of the Delaware coast.

I ask you to sign the petition and take a stand for our environment and economy. I ask you to support John Carney, a strong leader who will work to protect the environment and develop a strong, green economic future for Delaware.

Joanne Cabry
Rehoboth Beach

Thanks to three anonymous fisherman

My heartfelt gratitude goes out to three anonymous fisherman who pulled my boat (and me) off the shoal at the south end of Massey’s Ditch at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 16, and got me on my way again. You represent the very best of Sussex County mariners, helping each other out.

My boat was well and truly grounded on the shoal just off Middle Island, and no amount of engine would budge it, nor did jumping in the water and pushing it (my seamanship is a topic for another day). The tide was running strong, pushing the boat further on the shoal, and no one responded to my hails until a skiff with three fisherman came to help.

It took a bit to figure out how to free me, and eventually one of my rescuers jumped in the water. We attached a line, and between his pushing and their boat pulling, my boat came free, so I could get home in time for dinner. Unfortunately, they took off before I got their names and could properly thank them, so I hope they read this letter. I hope I meet up with you, and perhaps we can hoist a few on my nickel to show you my appreciation. Really good work, guys.

Gerry Faulhaber
Bay Colony

Flotilla members available to offer help

U.S. Coast Guard Flotillas and the National Safe Boating Council are observing National Safe Boating Week from May 22 to May 28. This year’s theme is grab a lifejacket and “Wear it!” As experienced boaters know, a lifejacket works only if you are wearing it before a problem happens. As Memorial Day approaches and in light of the number of fatalities in Sussex County this year, this is especially important.

This spring’s unseasonably warm temperatures have lured many onto the water early. It’s important to respect the fact the waters are still in the 50s and 60s – low enough to cause hypothermia quickly even on an 85-degree day.

Most boating fatalities are drownings, and 90 percent of those who drown while boating are not wearing a lifejacket. Visit your local marine-supply store to see the variety of lifejackets now available – designed to be affordable, lightweight, easy to wear and comfortable even in hot weather.

Delaware law requires all children 12 or younger wear a USCG-approved lifejacket at all times while on any vessel that is under way, unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.

There must be a wearable, USCG-approved lifejacket for each person on a boat. The lifejacket must be an appropriate size for the wearer, in good and serviceable condition, and readily accessible. There must be an immediately available throwable on boats 16 feet and greater in length.

In addition to wearing a lifejacket, it’s important to make sure that your boat is in good condition and ready for a day on the water. U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 12-09 will be holding free vessel examinations throughout the boating season. To schedule an examination, call Bill Tower at 945-3423.

Beyond this, Flotilla 12-09 offers Basic Skills and Seamanship courses in the spring and fall. The course covers boating, navigational rules, required safety equipment, navigational aids, and numerous related subjects. This is one of the most comprehensive courses available for recreational boaters and satisfies both federal and state training requirements. For information, call Andy Smith at 537-2350.

For those interested in year-round boating safety, Flotilla 12-09 holds its monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, beginning at 7 p.m., at the U.S. Coast Guard Station located on the North Shore of the Indian River Inlet off of U.S. 1 South. Boat ownership is not required, and anyone 17 years of age or older is invited. For information, call 684-8793. Visit the Web site at http://www.a0531209.uscgaux.info/.

Members of the public should feel comfortable in contacting Flotilla members as a safety resource. Taking the time now to prepare for the boating season is vital so that you have a fun, safe summer.

Kay Carnahan, Flotilla 12-09

Resident a bit perturbed by Census Bureau

I was visited at my home this morning by a friendly lady who spent about 15 minutes with me. Guess what the visit was all about. The Census Bureau had my name on a list of people who had not sent in their completed forms.

I told her that I had indeed sent mine in. She politely allowed me to rant about government waste and inefficiency, and then she went on her way to fix other problems that the Census Bureau had caused.

Kirk Rankin
Ocean View