Letters to the Editor -- April 9, 2010

DiFebo’s thankful for support with event


I wanted to take a minute before the holiday rush to reach out and thank this wonderful community of ours.

Several weeks after the Haiti disaster, I was in church, feeling the pain of the aftermath, thinking about the children and the loss of human life that had just occurred. I naturally wanted to jump on the next flight out to help, but knew that would be impossible. So I stood around talking to some friends and decide to help the best way I knew how.

We always have to help! It’s what my sister and I have been trying to teach our young children. Whatever we can do. Every little bit counts.

Having DiFebo’s restaurant has been a blessing in the way of outreach. My family, friends, neighbors, customers and employees have used the restaurant as a vehicle to help others during the off-season. (Cooking for a Cause, which we started in 1991.)

Well, we came together again as a community in effort to help Haiti. I cooked for about 350 to 400 (fearful that no one would show). Around 5:30 to 6, it seemed we had more volunteers than guests! I guess about 6:15 they started pouring in. People were coming from all over – out the door, they were standing to buy tickets.

The spirit of giving was overwhelming. I wanted to thank every person who took time out, to reach out and help. Weather it was a “to go” dinner, a ticket bought and you knew you couldn’t make it, a meatball roller, set-up and break-down, the musicians, our D.J., all the volunteers that night and, of course, being a guest and attending the dinner – anything and everything. We thank you.

A special thanks goes to my beautiful, devoted employees who volunteered their time, always (sometimes reluctantly) understanding my mission and my drive and hanging in there with me, even when I am in overdrive and become cranky and irritable. Thank you, Charly Weber, for your devotion and doing an amazing job, and to my family for their patience and understanding.

We raised $20,000 and served close to 400 people that night. Please do not give up on Haiti. Keep them in your prayers and continue to reach out.

Di Febo’s will continue to help. Always. We will keep you posted.

Lisa DiFebo Osias


Doctors, volunteers help local students


Dental problems are one of the major reasons children miss school. This information from school nurses is one of the reasons that the South Coastal DE AARP Chapter decided to sponsor a dental health project for children at the three elementary schools in the area. This was a continuation and expansion of the project we started in 2009 at Frankford Elementary School.

Two local dentists, Dr. James Kramer and Dr. Lois James, presented fun-filled programs to first-graders at Frankford, Lord Baltimore and Phillip Showell Elementary Schools in February and March. All programs were originally scheduled during Dental Health Month in February, but two of them had to be rescheduled for March because of February’s inclement weather. The dentists engaged students in acting out good dental health practices in a way that will stay with them forever.

Each student went home with a gift packet, including a tooth brush, toothpaste, a dental coloring book and a sticker, thanks to contributions from chapter members and the dentists. In addition, the chapter provided all first-grade teachers with ideas for activities to use in advance of the programs, to introduce their students to the importance of good care of their teeth. Each school also received a book for their school libraries, contributed by the chapter.

We would like to thank Drs. Kramer and James for their gift of time and materials. Dr. Wendy Brafman also provided some of the supplies.

This project would not have been possible without the ideas and leadership of chapter member Rose Oruc. We would also like to thank other chapter volunteers who assisted the dentists during their presentations, including: Don Clement, Maureen Eisenhart, Pat Fulton, B.J. Hildebrand, Alicia McDermott, Joan Moore, Eileen Pisano, Sami Oruc, Bobbie Shoff, Jan Thiel and Ann Woodrum.

Not only was this project worthwhile, it was lots of fun. There is no better audience than first graders. We look forward to doing it again next year.

Maureen Eisenhart, Community Service Chair

South Coastal DE AARP

Hocker thanks Wichmann for service

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Ocean View Town Councilman Bill Wichmann and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

As you are approaching the end of your second term as councilman for District 2 on the Ocean View Town Council, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your integrity, hard work, pride in accomplishment and loyalty to the citizens of Ocean View.

Over the years, I have seen you give your best to each task before you and, even during the tough times of frustration and disappointment, you did not give up or lose your commitment.

You are a man of principles and high ideals. You have much to be proud of, especially the planning and construction of the Wallace A. Melson building and the creation of the Citizens Auxiliary Patrol.

Finally, I note that, as your days as a councilman grow short, you have not slowed your pace or waivered from your dedication. You have brought honor to yourself through your service to others.

As you enter a new and exciting time of your life, I am hopeful your days are enriched by the quality of your contributions along the way. I know I speak for your many friends and colleagues in wishing you the very best.

State Rep. Gerald W. Hocker

38th District

Former councilman takes issue with chief


I have held off writing this letter for several weeks. It is always better to sit back and reflect before one takes action. The local papers did not adequately cover the behavior of Chief Ken McLaughlin at the March Ocean View Town Council meeting, and several citizens are very concerned about the events and have encouraged action.

In the week preceding the vote on the possible removal of the censure of Councilman Bill Wichmann, Chief McLaughlin openly lobbied two councilmen to vote in favor of Councilman Wichmann. Chief McLaughlin called one councilman and asked him to come to his office and he would explain why the councilman should vote to repeal the censure. Chief McLaughlin cornered another councilman at the police station and actively lobbied on Bill Wichmann’s behalf. This type of backdoor political action by a town employee is unacceptable and unprofessional.

Chief McLaughlin’s behavior while citizens were speaking was contemptible. Like a little kid, he moved his head side-to-side in disagreement and mouthed the words “not true.” I do not believe that the mayor would have condoned this type of behavior on the part of the chief if he had been aware of it. This childish behavior shows the chief’s contempt for the very citizens he works for.

Next, Chief McLaughlin asked for an opportunity to address the Town Council on behalf of Councilman Wichmann. The mayor cautioned him several times. To no avail. He deliberately turned his back to the Town Council and commenced to challenge several citizens in the audience who had spoken against the repeal of the censure. His eyes were wide, and his pupils were dilated. It was almost scary. He appeared to be on the edge of losing control. The mayor, contemplating the chief’s behavior, notified the chief that his time had expired, when it had not, saving the chief even more embarrassment.

Chief McLaughlin’s public comments were confusing and not based on accepted principles of law. The chief stated that, since Councilman Wichmann did not intend to violate the Town Charter or town ordinances, he is not guilty. Does Chief McLaughlin really believe that “intent” is the criteria for establishing guilt? Does he apply these same criteria across the board to violations of the law? I think not. One standard for his friends and another for the “little people”?

Several retired police officers were in the audience, observing the chief’s behavior. They sat there in disbelief. It was the consensus that this type of behavior could have possibly resulted in an immediate investigation and/or suspension of duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation of unbiased individuals. What will or has happened in Ocean View?

Lastly, it has come to my attention that Chief McLaughlin has ordered special medallions to hand out celebrating 50 years of the Ocean View police department. Who authorized this type of expenses during a budget crisis? I understand that it was several thousand dollars. The chief should make public exactly who received these medals and why. Again, one benefit for his friends and nothing for the little people.

Chief McLaughlin seems to have forgotten exactly whom he works for. He works for all of the citizens. Not just the citizens who promote his agenda. It is because of this type of behavior that Ocean View has two governments: one representing the taxpayers and the other representing Chief McLaughlin and his agenda.

Over the last four years, 90 percent of the controversy in Ocean View has revolved around the Public Safety Department and its fighting of every attempt by the Town Council to reduce the structural deficit and other reorganizations during this period of budget crisis. This is not about Chief McLaughlin and his empire. It is about the taxpayers. Of whom Chief McLaughlin is not one!

Roy Thomas

Ocean View

Magill speaks out on previous letters


I wanted to correct some misinformation that appeared in [a few previous] letters to the editor.

As a member of the Ocean View Town Council from 2001 to 2007 who participated in the interviews to replace Kathy Roth as town manager, we did not hire Dr. Conway Gregory to serve as town manager and chief financial officer.

Dr. Gregory informed us up front during the interview process that he did not have the accountant’s background that Ms. Roth had and that if the town hired him, we would also need to hire someone to handle the day-to-day accounting tasks.

Based on the finalist interviews, four of the five council members made Dr. Gregory their first choice among the finalists, knowing that the chief financial officer position provided for in the town charter would need to be filled by someone else to handle the daily accounting tasks.

Eric Magill

Ocean View

Christ grateful for support in election

The following letter was addressed to the citizens of Ocean View and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Thanks to all who came out to the Town Hall on Saturday to vote. I know it was a beautiful day, so it meant a great deal that you took time out of your day to stop by and vote. I would also like to thank everyone that voted by absentee ballot.

I was humbled by the election results. You have put a great deal of trust in me and I will work hard to keep that trust. It will be my pleasure and honor to serve our community as a councilman.

Please do not hesitate to contact with any concerns you have.

Geoffrey Christ, Councilman Elect, District 2

Ocean View

AAUW looks for support with equal-pay bill


April 20, 2010 will be Pay Equity Day, and we will be celebrating it here in Delaware to focus attention on the inequity between men’s and women’s earnings. Senate Bill 182, the Paycheck Fairness Act, if passed, will be a boost to working women to end past gender discrimination.

The national statistics show, at this time, when a man earns $1, a woman earns about 78 cents – both having the same education, experience and job. (Earnings for a woman are slightly better in Delaware – 80 cents to a man’s $1.)

Research released by AAUW (American Association University Women) for 2007 show that after one year out of college, women working full-time earn less than their male counterparts working in the same field.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, Senate Bill 182, would: give women effective equal-pay protection; close loopholes and strengthen incentives to prevent pay discrimination; help create a climate where wage discrimination is not tolerated; deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties; and prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about employee’s wages practices or disclose their own wage.

Pay Equity Day is celebrated on April 20 this year. This is the date when a women’s salary finally catches a man’s earning from the previous year. The House bill, H.R. 12, has already been passed. Please ask your senators to support SB 182.

Lana Cobb, Delaware State President

American Association of University Women

Barbara Mullin, Public Policy Chair

Delaware State AAUW

OV resident discusses TV, anger management


Why is it that no one is talking about the real issues here on the shore? Topics like the high rate of auto insurance; or that it’s extremely difficult to earn a good living here (unless you’re established and work for yourself); or, the awful-tasting tap water; or that, for the first time ever, free TV is available (over-the-air) for anyone who wants it; or all this outrageous distracted driving making it extremely unsafe for us “others” to share the road, and which is getting worse as it’s not being addressed; how about our public safety department’s solution to the problem? To stay off the road…

For the life of me, I don’t understand why no one is taking advantage of this new free TV. It’s such an easy savings. Oh, wait, that’s right [the pay services] who charge for TV lied to everyone so that it could remain a secret.

And, because everyone’s feeling hurt and put-upon, they missed this major lie during the transition to digital broadcast signals. A great example of why it’s important to be happy and not entrenched by misguided anger and all the other negativity that seems to be growing exponentially. Don’t worry, be happy.

I suspect it’s this climate of anger brewing which causes unclear thinking. After many conversations, it’s become painfully clear that folks are hurting. But, they know not the source of their angst and therefore are easily taken in by negativity of others spreading vicious propaganda. The perfect outlet for this hostility is the government. It’s not a conscious or deliberate act – any mental health professional would agree.

We’ve all heard it before: You cannot reason with someone who is angry or filled with rage. The first step to dissolving anger and negativity is to acknowledge its existence. It’s that simple. Only then will we collectively have any clarity about anything.

Gratitude, too, is crucial in overcoming feelings of negativity. So, please, let’s all wake up and start paying attention to what really matters. What are you grateful or thankful for? Write it down, it’s a great tool and it’s helped me tremendously.

Susan Rush

Ocean View