Letters to the Editor December 25, 2009

Bethany resident responds to newsletter

Editor’s note: The following correspondence was addressed to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Thank you for your new e-mail newsletter. Great idea. I will continue to welcome your newsletter, provided you answer my e-mails and not by way of a form letter, which even fails to answer my own questions.

In other words, and with all due respect, if I don’t get a response to this e-mail, I would appreciate your not filling up my mailbox anymore with one-way stories. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I still believe that the people we send to Washington do represent us and have an earnest desire to communicate with us.

I would think that your total senate compensation includes enough tax-paid staffers who can help you with spending a little time giving me feedback on issues which I and many other Delaware residents consider of primordial importance.

Your newsletter failed to clearly explain how you stand on the so-called Obamacare, only that you’re involved with “negotiations.” But let me make something very clear: I don’t think you will find a single reasonable American denying the fact that we need health care reform.

The problem is that, based on what we have heard so far from the White House and Congress, this is not what we need, in my opinion (and in the opinion of most Americans, if the latest polls are correct). And I’d like to stress the word “heard,” for no one (and that probably includes you, if you’re honest) has read the full bills and knows what those thousands of pages really mean, let alone how much they will really cost now and in the long run.

Again, based on what I’ve “heard,” it seems that the final bill will be paid for in part by my reduced Medicare benefits, and in part by additional taxes. All of this is to take place right away, while the “benefits” will only become effective years down the road. Is that supposed to make me feel good?

In addition, I haven’t heard anything mentioned which would curtail the enormous and often frivolous tort cases. Wouldn’t reduced lawsuit awards also contribute to lowering health costs?

I haven’t “heard” anything either about insurance companies becoming competitive on a national basis, as they are for auto insurance. What would be wrong with doing that? Don’t you think that would bring costs down? Does it take a genius to figure that out?

Let me also be clear about my not agreeing to seeing my tax money being used for abortions. Aside from being Christian, I don’t consider a pregnancy as an illness or a “mistake” as the president once called it.

Since we’re short on funds nowadays, I think that there are plenty of legitimate illnesses requiring federal or state funding before we start paying attention to all the idiots who didn’t bother using contraceptives. Obviously, I would exempt cases of rape, incest or where the mother’s physical survival is at stake.

Finally, I haven’t heard anything making it clear that illegal aliens are to be exempted from such insurance. I came to this country legally over 50 years ago and have paid every cent of my taxes ever since. Why should someone who recently came here illegally benefit from my hard-earned contributions of an entire working lifetime?

Maybe all those items are indeed in the proposed bill, although I seriously doubt it, but how can we tell unless we see the bill?

In any case, I fail to see so far the justification for re-inventing the health care “wheel” from scratch, particularly in the midst of a severe recession. Shouldn’t the No. 1 priority right now be on turning around the economy and leave such items as health care and “cap and trade” for later? Or is what I consider as common sense really out of touch with political correctness?

Alan Bertaux
Bethany Beach

Lions Club thankful for help with event

The Fenwick Island Lions Club wants to thank the community for coming out and supporting our recent successful spaghetti dinner. We also want to recognize the Indian River High School Leos who also assisted us in serving over 600 dinners.

We thank the following businesses who continues to support us by donating supplies and food: Grottos Pizza, Mancini’s, Cottage Café, Hockers Supermarket, G & E, DiFebo’s, Marvin’s Market, Al Casapulla’s, Al Jordan’s Rooftop, DelVecchio’s bakery, Devito’s Deli, Johnson’s Country Market, Seashore Realty, Brasure’s Pest Control, Brasure’s Auto Repair, Ocean Side Pizzeria, Lighthouse Liquors, Spectrum Properties, Harpoon Hanna’s, Bob’s Marine Service, Boulevard Ford, Fisher’s Popcorn, Hastings Funeral Home, Kay Tingle & Associates, Shady Park, West Fenwick Carwash, Solutions Plus, Jimmy’s Grill, Brandywine Assisted Living, Harris Teeter, PNC Bank, Gregory & Associates, Dirty Harry’s restaurant and Mio Fatello restaurant.

We especially want to thank Scott Fornwalt for allowing us to use the Fenwick Crab House to hold this spaghetti dinner. The food that was left over was given to Diakonia, a shelter in Ocean City.

The community support and the generosity of all of these businesses enable us to have a successful fundraiser and you should know that 100 percent of the money raised goes back to serve the needs in the community.

Fran Pretty, President
Fenwick Island Lions Club

Family grateful for response to fire

It is the time of year again to reflect and count all of our blessings in so many ways. For the Baker family and extended, three days before Christmas a year ago, our mother was rescued off of her roof from her burning home in Selbyville, as well as our father’s urn, which was also saved from the burning home.

We would again like to give such a heartfelt thank you to the Selbyville, Frankford, Dagsboro, Roxanna, Gumboro and Bishopville fire departments, the many firefighters that volunteer of themselves and give their time on a daily basis. We thank you all so very much. All of the neighbors, many friends, family members, co-workers, friends, the Ocean City paramedics and firefighters who came out in force, even strangers who came to lend a hand on that cold night and day.

In the days and months to follow, the care, love and support of the community, in and around our surrounding area, was displayed time and time again in one way or another. We thank each and every one of you so very much.

We wish you all a very happy holiday and peace in 2010.

Kim B. Latchum and family

Writer points out our mistake last week

Your editor’s note at the end of my letter which appeared in the December 18 edition of the Coastal Point was incorrect. The three lots which are being considered for rezoning are residential. Your own reporter confirmed this in her story on page 12.

The 3,000-square-foot limit on pharmacies is in the Ocean View code. Nowhere in that code is a drugstore defined, nor does the code address the difference between a pharmacy and a drugstore.

Susie Miller
Ocean View

Clarification: Our editor’s note in the Dec. 18 issue was incorrect about the current zoning designation for the three Ocean View parcels being considered for rezoning to accommodate a proposed CVS store. It is the parcels’ current use that is not residential. The three parcels are still zoned residential. Parcel 6 is currently used for commercial purposes, under a conditional use for an office in a structure that appears residential in design. Parcel 5 is used for parking, and parcel 7 is an “institutional” use for the neighboring church. We regret the error.

QRCF thankful for help with its event

The Board of Directors of the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) wishes to thank everyone who supported Caribbean Christmas 2009 on December 5th at Mango’s.

First, to our generous event sponsors and those who donated auction items: since we are a board made up primarily of current and former local business owners ourselves, we recognize how often you are asked to support many causes. Yet, for Caribbean Christmas, you step forward to offer your products, services, even your employees, with eagerness and generosity and we are grateful for your continued support. What your generosity represents to us and to our beneficiaries is more than the spirit of the season. It is community heroism, and we are humbled by your contributions.

Second, for those in attendance, you directly support our event beneficiaries — the Delaware Burn Camp, Habitat for Humanity and the QRCF Scholarship Fund. In turn, scores of people in our local communities will benefit from your extraordinary generosity.

Third, to our tireless volunteers represented from our beneficiaries and from the BBVFC and the Roxana Fire Company and the community, we are sincerely grateful to you. Without your assistance, there would be no Caribbean Christmas.

Finally, again, we sincerely thank each and every one of you and wish for you a healthy and happy new year. To learn more about the QRCF and how your organization can apply for funding or to join our all-volunteer efforts, go to www.qrcf.org.

QRCF Board of Directors

Resident weighs in on town zoning issue

The Ocean View town council will be voting on re-zoning, from residential to commercial use, properties located near the intersection of Route 26 and West Avenue. If re-zoned commercial, a 13,000-square-foot CVS store will be built there. Proponents of having a CVS in town have cited town tax revenue, job creation and meeting a need for the growing elder Ocean View community.

The town Planning and Zoning Commission have studied this proposal and recommended against this change. The key point being that this is not in keeping with the town’s master plan. It is also certain that traffic congestion would be increased at this major intersection.

The estimated $6,000 to $9,000 tax revenue would not be nearly sufficient to help in solving of our financial problem. Allowing CVS in our town will avert no future residential property tax increase.

It seems a bit parochial not to be concerned about the loss of jobs and potential business that CVS could cause to the existing pharmacy-based stores in the adjacent area. A large discount store would have to serve a far greater populace than the residents of Ocean View.

CVS must view the stream of traffic coming down Route 26 from points far beyond as their potential customers. This resulting traffic congestion would be an overall detriment, rather than a benefit to the residence of Ocean View.

Most disturbing would be for the council to ignore the well-reasoned wisdom of the Planning and Zoning Commission and our master plan.

Robert A. Ravida
Ocean View

South Bethany resident wants referendum

In this day of complex and costly congressional bills with many hidden earmarks, I believe Americans are yearning for a simpler government with more transparency.

In our own slice of America in South Bethany, there are many residents who want to start the process of developing the Richard Hall Memorial Park. We envision a multi-generational recreation area, with a playground, fitness stations and a pavilion taking up less than 10 percent of the park area.

When the Hall family donated this parcel of land to the town, it was with the wish that it would be developed as a park. These plans would honor their wishes.

Development of our town park might be done in stages as money, including grants, becomes available. The Town Council is preparing to address short- and long-term financial planning, and it would be appropriate to include this development in the vision.

However, in our unique vacation community, property owners are basically unavailable to attend meetings for much of the year. Some of the Town Council – and especially the current mayor – insist on pinning down all the specifics of the development before hearing the wishes of all the property owners on the overall concept of having such a recreational facility.

The only way the town council will know the will of the people is to know the intention of all the property owners through the town-wide ballot process. I therefore propose that this matter be put on a referendum at our next town election in May 2010. Listening to the voice of the citizens is the American way, and allowing all of us to vote on the matter is the very essence of good government.

Jennifer Riggione
South Bethany

Steele in full support of Bethany dune

It seems that there is a lack of understanding about beach replenishment. The latest letter about the dunes states to “only spend the minimum amounts necessary to ensure public safety.”

This last storm came within a few feet of breaching the bulkhead along the boardwalk. If this dune were not of the design needed, we would have lost the bulkhead, boardwalk, businesses and homes of our neighbors and friends.

The writer, who lives in the Salt Pond, states that “our country is mired in an economic recession” and “we simply cannot afford to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to fight the forces of nature.

The writer and others must not be aware of the economic impact that would be felt if we allowed the beaches to migrate west. I say others, because this is the same view put forth by professor Orrin Pilkey from Duke University in the Nov. 15 issue of the Wilmington News-Journal.

If we were to allow the beach to move west as “Mother Nature” saw fit, we would cause such an economic disaster well beyond Bethany Beach and the coast of Delaware.

Consider that Indian River and Cape Henlopen school districts receive 72 percent of their funding from beach properties. Consider all the workers who do various “jobs” here at the beach: construction companies and their suppliers; restaurants and their suppliers; grocery stores and their suppliers; department and specialty stores and their suppliers; hardware stores and their suppliers; and the tourist industry and all related businesses and their workers. Consider where these people spend their money and the impact if they did not have that money.

When I was on the town council, there was a report from the University of Delaware that for every dollar spent on beach replenishment, the state of Delaware receives $7 to $10 dollars in tourist related money. There is an accommodation tax that Sen. George Bunting and the state legislators crated so that every person who visits and spends the night in the state of Delaware contributes to the state’s beach replenishment fund.

The writer states that “Bethany Beach has existed for over 100 years without manmade dunes. It can certainly continue to survive … for centuries into the future.” If I am not mistaken, after 1962 we had to create dunes. Also, we’ve had possibly three, maybe four storms since 1962 where we had to replenish the beach and dunes. So I hope that the above information helps you, the readers, make a better, more informed decision concerning beach replenishment.

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach