Letters to the Editor -- May 14, 2010

Organizations should work together

This letter is in response to one published in Coastal Point on April 9, 2010. Kate Hungerford, who is a volunteer with the Delaware SPCA (Sussex) wrote the letter to which I offer reply. Had I not visited and explored Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary’s Web site, and had I not actually seen the comment in question in “red typeface” that Ms. Hungerford mentioned, I would not have decided to write my own letter.

Personally, I continue to be sadly disappointed by Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary’s antics. For any organization to include in its Web site negative information about any other organization is, in my humble opinion, unconscionable, despicable and simply nasty. What possible positive effect does this serve when animal rescue is involved?

Safe Haven’s Web site is visited and perused by innumerable people. What would be Safe Haven’s response to gaining knowledge that another group’s Web site contained written information reflecting negative or questionable rescue activities (by Safe Haven); i.e., for example, what if the Delaware SPCA’s Web site included potentially damaging information about Safe Haven? Shame, shame, shame!

For almost a decade, Safe Haven has executed fabulous fundraisers; it has also collected hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout Sussex County. Recently, the public has learned that Safe Haven has arranged to receive a multi-million-dollar loan and expects to open its doors in 2011. As of this date, and after almost a decade of raising funds, what are people to believe? Will Safe Haven someday open doors to a real building? Will Safe Haven then post signs on their premises filled with pessimistic information about other rescue organizations’ activities?

Very recently, 35 felines were trapped, neutered or spayed, and released (TNR) at a property in Greenwood, Del. Six regional non-profit groups collaborated in this effort. Of these, three groups supplied traps and assisted with trapping efforts. On two different days, the Delaware SPCA van was loaded and unloaded by three groups.

While the six groups involved with this project shared all medical fees, it was Delaware SPCA who pre-arranged the surgery date and provided transport on two different days. It was the Delaware SPCA who accomplished medical procedures that included all inoculations against rabies and distemper. The Delaware SPCA also funded medical fees for five female and five male felines. Another nonprofit group graciously offered to pay for all distemper inoculations. Kudos to all!

Unfortunately, it is possible that two nonprofit organizations have known for quite some time about feline over-population at the Greenwood property. Neither performed aggressively enough, so this population has simply been “allowed” to increase from year to year. One of these two groups did, in fact, participate with the collaborative TNR effort; sadly, the other did not.

Other than mentioning the organizations noted in this reply (Delaware SPCA and Safe Haven), I’ve carefully chosen to not mention any other organization names. People and groups involved with the Greenwood project know who they are.

Collective efforts among groups could, hopefully, someday, make a huge difference. Doing so would have only a directly positive effect toward reducing feline overpopulation. Bashing needs to cease, respect needs to be shown and recognition of various strengths and weaknesses needs to be accepted.

How wonderful it is that several nonprofit organizations, including Delaware SPCA, worked together toward reducing the feline overpopulation in Greenwood, Del., located in Sussex County. Congratulations to the Delaware SPCA for “playing well with others.”

Sue Peck
Cats Around Town Society Inc. (CATS)

Reader disputes notions of previous letter

The May 7 letter by Ed Banning and Eric Bodenweiser is based on so much misinformation about President Obama, it is impossible to set the record straight in a single reply.

What the writers do is create a fantasy, a monster: he favors abortion (he does not); he endangers family life (not true), etc., and then to proceed to urge that readers oppose the “monster” that is the figment of the writers’ own paranoid imaginations.

What’s worse, they argue that “scripture” requires that we opposed the president, the kind of righteous humbug that has nothing to do with what our Founding Fathers intended. The Founders knew enough about the bloody consequences of religious disputes in Europe to persuade them that in America that kind of troublemaking should be kept out of the public sphere. That’s the point of separating church and state.

Banning and Bodenweiser have a right to their opinions, but not to disseminate blatant falsehoods and then hide behind their idea of God to promote them.

This kind of nonsense makes a regular appearance in the letters pages of our local newspapers. Where in Sussex County are the voices of reason to counter this kind of thing? Isn’t it time that we who know better talked back, loud and clear?

Carolyn D. Lewis
Ocean View

A salute to three of our politicians

On April 27, Gov. Markell signed into law HB 159. This bill requires mandatory dementia training for all professionals working with those suffering from any form of dementia. With this signing, Delaware became the 41st state to enact such a law.

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s or any related dementia are the behaviors of the sufferer. It takes specific training to understand and properly work with these behaviors.

House Bill 159 was an obscure bill that drew no media attention – not exactly a career-maker. It began its journey to the governor’s office in the form of a resolution presented to the House in 2008 by Rep. Gerald Hocker. Rep. Hocker understood the great need for specialized training in our state and he brought it to the attention of the House through Resolution No. 74.

During the 2009 session, then-Rep. Joseph Booth, fully understanding the great need of some of Delaware’s most vulnerable citizens, wrote HB 159. Rep. Booth worked tirelessly and unselfishly to get this bill passed in the House of Representatives. He was successful.

We are now in the 2010 session and Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, a nurse herself, joined now-Sen. Booth on this journey. Sen. Hall-Long understood more than most how this bill would benefit the citizens of the state, the facilities in the state, those working in daycare and home sitting services, even hospice settings, and the state itself. This caring individual worked very hard, writing proper amendments and getting HB 159 through the Senate, unanimously.

Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” We commend these outstanding individuals. They accepted a challenge to make the lives of dementia sufferers better. It appears that the habit of each is to serve all citizens of Delaware – even those who cannot speak for themselves. On behalf of all of us, including future generations, thank you for your commitment, your courage and your kindness.

Cynthia Tunney, Frankford
Carol Lovett, Arden

NARFE: Retirement benefits vulnerable

Not too many years ago, OMB Director David Stockman predicted $200 billion deficits “as far as the eye can see,” and budget-cutting took its toll. Now, an unprecedented $1.4 trillion budget deficit and $12 trillion national debt (attributed in no part to a federal civilian retirement system that is fully funded and actuarially sound) threaten to undermine everything we’ve worked for.

This has set up a dangerous situation where a presidential bipartisan commission will soon make recommendations to Congress that could result in higher taxes and huge cuts in government programs, including federal retirement and health benefits.

Your retirement annuity COLAs and health insurance will be on the chopping block. What is even more troubling is that congressional leaders have agreed to put the commission’s recommendations on a “fast-track” procedure that could make our friends in Congress powerless to remove cuts to your earned benefits.

Times are tough, and patriotic federal workers and annuitants want to do their part, but not if it means they are singled out for budget cuts while others are not asked to make similar sacrifices.

You may think that this is just another scare tactic. If so, I suggest you look at what happened with the Social Security Fairness Act in the late 1970s and the Social Security Reform Amendment of 1983. Earned Social Security benefits were severely reduced while additional benefits were added to those retirees not receiving federal benefits.

That’s why now is the time to start educating your lawmakers about this one simple fact: federal civilian retirement is not part of the problem, and for that reason, it should not become part of the solution.

You may think it is premature to be concerned about this before a bill is proposed, but I can assure you that when bills are introduced it is virtually impossible to stop them.

Based on recent history, now is the time to state where you stand. When we do that we need the loudest voice we can get and loudest means members/voters. If you are or were a federal employee, contact me to join NARFE now.

Walt Berwick, Membership Chair
NARFE Chapter 1690

Sorority fundraiser deemed a success

Members of the Alpha Zeta Sorority of Beta Sigma Phi wish to thank everyone who supported their annual fundraiser, Dance for the Cause, held Saturday, May 1. The dance along with the 50/50 raffle and silent auction were deemed successful and offered a fun-filled night to all who attended.

A special thank-you to the Millville Fire Hall in Ocean View; our D.J. for the night, “Seaside Jimmy” (Jimmy DeLorenzo); Les Worthington and Ken Beckman. All offered their facility/services for the cause.

We would also like to thank the following businesses or individuals for their donations, Five Guys restaurant, Bethany Blues restaurant, Dogs Day Out grooming salon, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Che Bella Carta Scrapbooking, Carol and Perry Psaros, Lee Joy and Elliott Workman, Jeannette Saneholtz of Shaklee, Linda Lewis of Mary Kay Cosmetics and the members of Beta Sigma Phi. All donated items for the silent auction.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank four very special guests, Cheryl Doucette from the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition; Marci Smith, Miss Rehoboth 2010; Shaila Gillis, Miss Mid-Atlantic 2010; and Chris Saltamacchio, Mr. Delaware 2008. These four very wonderful people made the night especially enjoyable for our guests at Dance for the Cause.

Mary Lou Meisler
Beta Sigma Phi Sorority

Women’s Civic Club offers thanks for support

On May 13, 2010, the Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach held our annual May Luncheon and Fashion Show at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club. It was a very special event this year, since we are celebrating our 85th anniversary of service to Bethany Beach.

The club would like to thank Ken Crooks from “Treasure Island” for providing the fashions and accessories.

My thanks go to Joann McGaughey and Barbara Bozak for chairing the Fashion Show and to Vice-President Sondra Mueller for her support in making the luncheon a success. Thank you to our models, assistants and all members who worked on this event, including Robin and Elaine Rabinowitz, who were in charge of the door prizes.

Our club sends its appreciation to our business community for providing the door prizes for our members and guests. We thank the following businesses: Antique Junction; Bikinis and More; Breakers Surf Shop; China Express; DiFebo’s; Dirty Harry’s restaurant; Fish Tales; The Frog House; Fudge Factory; Gem’s Boutique & Fine Jewelry; Giant; Harris Teeter; Hocker’s Super Center; Japanesque; Jimmy’s Kitchen; Kites, Tails & Toys; Lady Fenwick; Maureen’s Ice Cream & Desserts; McCabe’s Gourmet Market; Ocean View Family Restaurant; Patty’s Hallmark Shop; Penguin Diner; Pottery Place; Rhodes 5 &10; Sandy Toz; Sea Level; Seaside Country Store; Shades at the Beach; Southern Exposure and Wear It Out.

The generosity of our community is incredible. Thank you to all who were involved in this annual WCCBB event.

Suzanne Evans
WCCBB President