Letters to the Editors -- September 18, 2009

Bethany boardwalk not what it was

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Anthony P. Pratt, program administrator for DNREC, copied to Bethany Beach Town Manager Cliff Graviet, and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Solely as an interested citizen of Bethany Beach, I hesitate to bother you again but I came across an article in the Wave of Sept. 8, 2009, that I hope will interest you and possibly be passed on to the Corps of Engineers.

Your letter to me dated Jan. 18, 2008, advised that the Corps of Engineers was in the process of modeling the level of protection that the 14-foot dune elevation provides. I hope the attached copy of the Wave article may bring to the attention of the Corps of Engineers the impact the 16-foot dune has on the Bethany Beach boardwalk.

The article, from Forbes Magazine, states that Bethany Beach is No. 3 of the “Top 10 Best American Boardwalks.” That conclusion floored me, since the current boardwalk is essentially a wood-paved walkway between a vegetated dune to the east and homes and businesses to the west.

It is clear the photo and the Forbes Magazine investigation represented a time before the dune was constructed. Certainly, no one can now sit on the benches and enjoy the view of the beach and sunrise, in contrast to the opportunities that exist in Rehoboth and Ocean City.

While the rating of the Bethany Beach boardwalk in such a prestigious magazine as Forbes is a great promotional asset, it is no longer valid. I suspect a current evaluation would drop our boardwalk well out of the Top 10.

It seems abundantly clear that the 16-foot dune has significantly damaged the function of the boardwalk as an opportunity to observe the beach and ocean which earned the No. 3 rating in Forbes.

I and many residents of Bethany Beach hope that the Corps of Engineers’ evaluation of the 14-foot dune, only along the length of the boardwalk, would consider the visual damage from the Bethany Beach boardwalk as one of the elements to be considered in addition to the presence of the timber bulkhead adjacent to the full length of the boardwalk.

Your efforts to apprise the Corps of Engineers of the above observations will be appreciated.

John J. Stamm
Bethany Beach

Readers: Further study needed on dune

Questions have been raised … about serious injuries as a result of the so-called “beach replenishment project” in Bethany Beach (“Swimmers beware of wave breaks at beach,” June 10, 2009). These projects appear to disturb the flow of sand and create abrupt drop-offs that can cause serious medical injuries for swimmers and surfers due to wave action. According to the article, after the renourishment project in Rehoboth, medical incidents jumped from 300 to 723 in the first year.

At the “Meet the Candidates Night” forum sponsored by the Bethany Beach Landowners Association on Sept. 11, council candidates Joe Billistri and Jerry Dorfman supported a call for an environmental impact statement to address and resolve these issues before the next round of replenishment work begins.

As discussed at that forum, the dune should have been constructed farther back, at the natural, pre-existing dune line. This would still keep the town safe, restore the view of the ocean from the boardwalk and allow for a natural shoreline that did not require repeated and costly pumping to maintain it.

This is not the first time that the Army Core of Engineers has made a mistake by being pennywise and pound foolish. For proof, just consider the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

R. Joseph DelMedico
Susan C. Lange
Bethany Beach

Family grateful for support with event

We would like to thank our wonderful community and all of the visitors who came out to support our third annual yART Sale. This year’s raffle recipient was the Shauna Kaufman Foundation. We collected $987 for the foundation.

We would like to give a special thanks to all of the artists who donated a piece for the raffle: Maureen Ickrath, Christina Weaver, Paula Howard, Ann McLean, Jill Thomas, John Donato, Gina Argyrou, the Bogans, Barb Dietrick, Amy Kaufman, Dawn Pierro, Lisa Knicely, Trudy Fox, Damon Pla and Northern Wings.

We would also like to thank all those who volunteered their time for the day, which was very much appreciated: Zoe Richard, Hannah Nichols, Zane Richard, Ian Kaufman and Mary Ryan. Lennea Downs generously donated her time as well, inclusive of designing our ad. Linda Zerfing gave all of her proceeds from the day to Autism Speaks.

We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful, giving community to support our local talent and charities.

Julie and Nick Kypreos
Bethany Beach

Healy grateful for support in election

I wish to express my thanks to all that took their time, consideration and support to each of the Bethany Beach Town Council candidates. A specific thanks to all that gave a priority to my candidacy.

During my upcoming term, I will continue to put forward my best effort for the benefit of our town. Your comments and critiques will be appreciated.

A special thanks to all that gave their advice, assistance and time on my specific behalf during the election process. A very special thanks to my wife, Peggie, Connor Joseph and Riley Kathleen, as well as my entire family for their loving support and understanding during this period.

Now it is time to get back to work.

J.T. “Joe” Healy
Bethany Beach

Gas laws could mean creation of many jobs

I have contacted one U.S. president, one U.S. vice president, 80+ U.S. senators, 40+ U.S. governors and various other parts of our government, i.e. Homeland Security. Not one of our leaders showed any interest in my proposal.

Is it because the oil industries’ lobby is that strong or because the oil industry makes campaign contributions that both parties can’t do without? Do you realize that our government has turned us into slaves when it comes to the oil industry? After all, you must get out of your car and go to work for the oil industry for free. That’s right. You must pump your own gas, and the oil industry makes billions of dollars profit with its free labor.

Currently, New Jersey and Montana are the only two states where it is against the law to pump your own gas. In the other 48 states, you must pump your own gas.

There currently are more than 130,000 gas stations in the U.S. If it were against the law to pump your own gas, each and every one of those 130,000 gas stations would need to hire anywhere from four to seven people on average, thereby creating 520,000 to 810,000 new jobs.

Our government also puts a potential bomb in millions of hands every day. Just think what a terrorist can do with a gas pump in his or her hands. Must we wait for another 9/11 before our government takes action?

I urge you to contact your U.S. senator, congressman, governor and president and urge them to make it against the law to pump your own gas. Oh, yes, gas is cheaper in New Jersey than in New York, Delaware and Pennsyvania. So don’t let our leaders say the price of gas will be more expensive.

Elimination of self-service gas stations – senate and congress vote no.

Same health-care package for senators and congress that they want to give us – congress and senators vote no.

We do have the upper hand. I urge everyone to vote in November.

Peter Sambogna
Ocean View

Fenwick guards say ‘thank you’

The United States Lifesaving Association National Championships were held last month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., featuring the best lifeguards and athletes from across the country, as well as Hawaii. It is with great pride that we share with the community another excellent performance by the Fenwick Island Beach Patrol and the Sussex County Lifesaving Association.

The 4-by-100 relay team placed third in their quest of defending their national championship. Tim Ferry repeated as Masters Beach Flag champion and Randy Vanderhook placed fourth in the Open Men’s Flags.

Overall, the Sussex County Lifesaving Association (guards from Rehoboth to Fenwick Island) placed fourth in the country, behind Los Angels County; Monmouth County, N.J.; and Volusia County, Fla.

All of the competitors should be commended for their hard work and effort as lifeguards and competitors.

These accomplishments would not have been possible without the financial support from the Fenwick Island community and businesses. Please know that the lifeguards are extremely grateful for your generosity (especially in this year’s economy), and we hope that you will share in the accolades that are well-deserved.

There are numerous individuals and businesses that truly have been outstanding in their support and, in lieu of trying to list everyone, please accept our thanks again for making this another memorable trip. A special thanks goes out to the Fenwick Island Beach Committee, Fenwick Island Town Council, Mickey’s Crab House and Maryland Screen Printers.

We hope that your summer has been safe and enjoyable.

Tim Ferry, Captain
Fenwick Island Beach Patrol

All Americans deserve health coverage

Aside from keeping costs down and providing insurance to those who don’t have it, do you realize the creativity that would be unleashed by the “public option”?

Workers would not have to stay at jobs they didn’t like, or ones that they felt did not use their talents. Parents would not have to say to their children as they leave the nest, “Get a job with health insurance.” Parents would not have to stay in jobs where the environment is unrewarding and sometimes even hostile because they needed the health insurance offered for their dependents. American citizens could work where they wanted to and be covered by government health insurance.

The “public option” isn’t socialism or communism. It is freedom.

I have been covered by government insurance for a very long time. I have just added Medicare (also government health insurance) to my plan. Both are wonderful. My costs are extremely low. I can go to any hospital or doctor I want without asking anyone’s permission. My care is excellent.

I think everyone should have what I have. Anyone who doesn’t want it is either very poorly informed or very foolish.

By the way, all those politicians condemning this “public option” are themselves covered by a “public option,” and I doubt you could get any of them to cancel out. Find out why they are enjoying something that they don’t want you to have.

Ann Nolan