Letters to the Editor -- August 7, 2009


Reader ponders voting in Ocean View
Editor:

Ocean View held a public hearing on Tuesday night, July 28, to hear what the citizens had to say about giving non resident property owners the right to vote in Ocean View elections.

The meeting had a good turn out with approximately 50 citizens. The speakers were 30 percent against the right to vote issue and 70 percent for the right to vote. These percentages do not consider that The Board of Directors of the Village of Bear Trap Dunes had a prepared letter from the Board stating that Bear Trap supports passage of this legislation. Bear Trap represents 700 properties or 25 percent of the properties in Ocean View. Considering this, the forces in support of the right to vote was overwhelmingly.

The mayor asked everyone to conduct themselves in a professional manner and the audience for the most part, complied. It was a good exchange of ideas with each side given every opportunity to speak their views. The mayor is to be commended.

The citizens against the right to vote for non resident property owners spoke of their concerns.

A summary of their concerns:

This right to vote is not given to non resident property owners in most other communities; the non resident property owners would be uninformed and would not share the same town values as the resident property owners. The towns that do give non-residents the right to vote are beach towns that do not have a large resident population.

The arguments submitted by the citizens for the right to vote spoke of:

The right to vote is given to non resident property owners in most other beach communities. Examples are Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach and Henlopen Acres. Ocean View made the transition from a small rural community to a beach community when it started down the path of annexing all of the new developments, increasing its size three fold. It was a conscious decision that was sure to have ramifications down the road. As one person stated, if the annexed communities were such poor candidates for citizens of Ocean View, why did you annex us?

They also spoke of the love of the Town of Ocean View and how they shared the same concerns as full time residents. They spoke of their interest in a safe community, good roads and decisions that would protect their property values. They asked, are these not also the values of the full time residents? They spoke on how they are neighbors and not enemies that want to take over the town.

The non resident property owners are not asking for control of Ocean View. They are simply asking for a “seat at the table”. As Mr. Zimmer said: “if you do not have a seat at the table, you will find yourself on the menu”.

The proposal suggested by Mr. Broadman is fair and it is believed that it would satisfy the non resident property owners while protecting the resident property owners. Ocean View will have to redistrict the town based on the 2010 census. Ocean View would be divided into three districts made up of resident property owners only. A fourth distinct would be created and made up of all the non resident property owners. The mayor would continue to run at large.

Much was made of how many considerations would have to be addressed to write legislation that would allow non resident property owners to vote. There are at least six neighboring towns that have found suitable language to implement non-resident voting. Examples of Town Charters that implement non-resident voting: Fenwick Island uses 332 words, South Bethany uses 272 words. Bethany Beach uses 167 words, Dewey Beach 149 words, Rehoboth Beach uses 740 words and Henlopen Acres uses 176 words. Maybe not as complex and some would lead us to believe.

Councilman Richard Nippes needs to be congratulated for having the foresight to bring this before the town.

Councilman Bob Lawless represents District 4, the biggest district with non-resident voters. Clearly, over 700 properties within his district have spoken with a loud voice. Let the people vote. It is hoped that he was listening. The mayor and other councilmen can not ignore the people’s voice. A compromise must be worked out that protects all of the property owners of Ocean View.

To not give the non-resident property owners the right to vote would be saying that Ocean View is not interested in their views, ideas or concerns. Ocean View is only interested in the non resident property owners’ tax money. Not a good message.

Roy Thomas
Ocean View

A new kitchen and a new soul
Editor:

A couple of months ago, we needed to get some major construction done at our home in Bethany. In other homes we’ve owned, we tried to get the best price and made the mistake of getting work done by friends and out of work people-turned contractors. We decided we were not going in that direction again. Quality not quantity was our motto, so we started doing our homework. Finally, we saw an addition at our neighbor’s home that was beautiful and the finish work was meticulous. We found our contractor, if we could afford him. His name was Michael McCarthy.

For those of you who don’t know, this is the same man who owns McCarthy Mulch and Stones on Route 26 in Millville. We made an appointment and he answered right away and was even on time for our first appointment. When he showed up, I was a little alarmed at the long soft curls and quick grin of a man who seemed much younger than his years and wondered at first if he had enough experience to finish such a large job. I soon realized he knew exactly what he was doing and we went over everything. When we were finished we somehow got on the subject of God.

I explained to him that I was disillusioned with my church but that I missed the spirituality that you get from going to church. My husband and I had started to go to different churches trying to find one that clicked. We never questioned that we wanted God in our life but began to question how certain churches worship and their politics.

We began work on our home and from the start were impressed. The workers were there on time and worked hard all day. They were polite and even funny and the fact that one was cuter than the other didn’t hurt either. They cleaned up every day when they were done and kept the job going smoothly even when we made changes. The finished work was everything that we expected and often went beyond our expectations.

During this time, we also met up with other neighbors who told us about Mariner’s Bethel Church. When I mentioned this to Michael, he said that this was the church he and his family go to and invited us to come that Sunday. We did, and absolutely loved it. At 9:30 a.m. they have a mass with a rock band that makes it hard not to get up and sing along. One part of the mass had the children singing and it was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes at their sheer innocence. I watched in awe as the teenagers got up and did a mini-play and I was so impressed how they were so involved. My teenagers would never have been able to do that when they were that old. I watched families being true families. Couples in love with each other and everyone seemed so filled with the spirit of God. It made me jealous and we decided we wanted to be a part of this.

It’s been about six weeks now and every time I go to mass, I realize that I have learned more in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life of church going. God means something to me now and I am humbled at his work through nature and people and his love. I want to keep learning and I’m realizing that I can’t change the world to my wants or needs but I can if I can strive to be the best role model to my sons, husband, family, friends and neighbors than I can make a difference in this world. I don’t know enough to teach but I do know enough to listen. I now trust in God that he will lead me to where I need to be and help me to get there. I get it, that my world was never supposed to be without incident but that all the trials and tribulations and joys of my life go to make up the story of MY life.

When we go to church, we are greeted by the other members of the church and we feel like we’re home. We got to meet Michael’s beautiful wife Pat and their family. They even asked us to join them on their float for the 4th of July parade. We meet up with our neighbors and have met more of the members of Mariner’s Bethel including the pastor, Al Taylor and assistant pastor, Woody Wilson, who have the unique ability to hold your attention and make you reflect on their words. We leave every Sunday feeling like we’ve just experienced something wonderful and always anticipate next week. It changes every week and they use props and singing and even technical equipment to bring home God’s message. They also have traditional masses for those who enjoy that.

It’s been about two months now and we’re finishing up the construction. I got the final bill and found that it was not only reasonable but we were not “nickel and dimed”. We are thrilled with the final result but have gained so much more than just a beautiful kitchen and living room. We got our soul back. We just wanted to write and thank Michael McCarthy, all of his workers, his wonderful family, and the members of Mariner’s Bethel for a wonderful couple of months.

Thank You!
Scott and Pat Resnick
Bethany Beach

Tour staff grateful for support of many
Editor:

As Co-Chairs of the 18th Annual Beach and Bay Cottage Tour, we would like to offer our appreciation and gratitude to the tour committee responsible for making this tour an outstanding success. We also would be remiss if we did not thank the hundreds of volunteers who continue to give of their time and efforts — hostess coordinators, hostesses, ticket sellers, traffic coordinators, parkers, sign installers, flower arrangers, advertising sales, and raffle sellers. Without all of you, the tour could not happen and we sincerely thank each and every one of you for your hard work.

This year’s committee members were John and Lois Rubinsohn, Richard and Mary Legatski, Bob and Diane Maddex, Dave and Mary Ann Flickinger, Joan Gordon, Aubre` Duncan, Bob Bertram, Jean Newins, Ginny McDowell, Cynthia Headman, Susan Basile, Linda Kulin, Carole Lindes, Dick Fox, Joe Lane, Jay Headman, Paul Denault, Cathy Schultz, Marilyn Zuckerman, Barbara Carlson, Karen Lett, Judy Marcucilli, Barbara Natkowitz, Kathleen Jensen, and Carol Kester. These men and women worked hundreds of hours toward the coordination, preparation and implementation of this event and we would not have been able to do it without you!

We are truly indebted to the ten homeowners who gave us their homes for the two days of the tour. Thanks to Andrew and Pam Adkins, Jack and Vicky Cairns, Stephen and Ann-Marie (Bennie) Allen, Mary Ann Calvo, Michael and Cynthia Headman, Bob and Mary Ellen Williams, Sara Carlson, Paul and Jane Galvin, Dave and Lynne Pulford and Ed & Aubre` Duncan. We thank you for your graciousness in sharing your homes, putting up with many visits during the preparation, and for enabling the Friends of the South Coastal Library to raise much needed funds for the continuing services, programs and support of our community asset.

Our raffles were a huge success this year and for that we thank the eight restaurants — Bistro at Kool Bean; DiFebo’s Bistro on The Green at Bear Trap; DiFebo’s on Rt. 26; Isabella’s Pizza Bistro & Vino; Magnolia’s Seafood Bar & Grill; Oak Arbor Inn Restaurant, The Parkway Restaurant; and Sedona. The winners of the “Dinner for Two” have been notified and will certainly enjoy their evening at these wonderful restaurants.

Also, our great local artists donated five wonderful pieces of art for the raffle. They are — Tara Funk Grim; Cheryl Wisbrock; Laura Hickman; Aubre` Duncan; and Tinsel Hughes. Thanks to each of you for your support!

To the many advertisers represented in our booklet and on our tote bag, and also to the many generous donors who made financial contributions to our tour, we send our sincere thanks and we hope we can count on your continued support in 2010.

Our Adopt-a-House program has expanded each year and we would like to sincerely thank the following local organizations for their support. They are Bay Forest Homeowners, Gardeners by the Sea, La Rosso Cappello — Red Hat Society Chapter, Lord Baltimore Women’s Club, Salt Pond Women’s Club, South Bethany Women’s Club, Bear Trap Social Club, Shore Democrats, and the South Coastal Delaware Chapter #5226 of AARP. In addition, we had many other hosts and hostesses who volunteered outside of these organizations and to you all we send many thanks.

Local owners of vacant lots that were close to some of our homes made the parking logistics much easier this year and to Mr. Reese Hickman, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Evans, the Reverend Art Decker and Mr. Arthur Schulte, you all have our thanks for your support. The VFW, Mason-Dixon Post 7234 was kind enough to allow us to use their parking lot to stage our busses that were used for one of the homes. St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Lord Baltimore Elementary School and St. Matthew’s By-the-Sea Methodist Church also allowed us the use of their parking facilities for our hostess parking.

To the Beebe Medical Center who has provided the tour with booties for the last several years, you have our sincerest thanks and appreciation!

To the towns of Bethany Beach, Ocean View and Selbyville and all of their police departments, we thank you for your cooperation in coordinating the parking logistics for our tour participants, we sincerely appreciate your help!

We also would like to thank Governor and Mrs. Jack Markell for graciously serving as our Honorary Chairpersons and for their support of the South Coastal Library.

Finally, thanks to all individuals who attended the 18th annual tour. We truly hope that you enjoyed all of the homes as well as our lower Sussex County hospitality. We look forward to hosting you at next year’s tour, which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, July 28, and 29, 2010. Please mark your calendars and be sure to make your reservations early. Visit our website at www.foscl.com for more information on the tour and other upcoming events that will be held on behalf of the South Coastal Library. Again, we thank all of you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Faith M. Denault
Karen M. Taylor
Co-Chairman
2009 Beach and Bay Cottage Tour

Government should stay out of health care
Editor:

In solving the present health care/insurance problem it is critical to first seek the number of uninsured. Timely dissections of census data over the past several decades by economists have always shown approximately the same result. About one-third illegal aliens, one-third young adults who self-insure, and about one-third unemployed who are normally re-employed within a few months and have access to COBRA if they are so inclined.

That leaves about 5 million of the highly touted 45 million as hard-core uninsured individuals that could use some type of assistance in obtaining insurance. However, they are not without health care as that is provided in every ER in the country. Thus, it is disingenuous to use 45 million uninsured as the premise for Universal Health Care.

This is not the first instance for the cost of health care insurance to rise to the level of public concern. Over two decades ago Milton Friedman identified rising medical costs and the coming deluge of ‘baby boomers’ that would flood the national retirement and medical programs leading them to bankruptcy. Always prescient, Dr. Friedman tied a large measure of the rising health care costs to the ‘free medicine’ that was being given as a tax-free supplement to the employee.

Recipients spent more time figuring out the price of their McDonald’s lunch than their health care costs as they were freed of personal and financial responsibility through the third part payer system that evolved. These systems ultimately fail as the first and second parties become separated from their personal relationships by the third party payer’s financial interests. The public school system is often used as another example of third party failure.

As in all democracies, the application of free market principles to our everyday lives is still the best hope for economic and personal freedoms. They do not accede to power hungry political parties wishing to degrade the individual and make him a ward of the state. Rather, they allow citizens to act in their own best interest; and, thusly, hold him responsible for his personal actions. Such freedom of action renders selfish political power grabs inert. The application of free markets to develop cures for social ills is the enemy of the professional politicians who so invade our lives. They will do or say anything in combating it, as their interests are best served through their control of those programs that entangle us for life.

Friedman’s solution was simple. Unleash the powerful forces of the American entrepreneurial class by separating health insurance from the employer and thus returning the individual to his rightful place as the first party participant. Employees would have their present salaries increased by the amount the employer has been paying and they would then be responsible for purchasing their own insurance. Those that wanted to remain with a health plan provided by the employer could do so with an imputed tax liability for its cost. Since the normal cost per employee is approaching $12,000, the employee would soon want control of this health insurance money as he could buy a tailored policy for about a third of that. The vast majority of Americans would opt for a catastrophic policy with large deductibles and that would return the patient/doctor relationship to its rightful place with personal choices and without government interference leading to the bureaucratic rationing of services.

The free market thrust for the health insurance dollars of our over 300 million citizens would be enormous and prices would be competitively adjusted. Reductions would begin the minute a national policy of citizen responsibility for his health insurance was announced. The entire medical field would be in competition and have no choice but to change its pricings structure, as they want and need your business. As in all free market situations, the citizen is now in control of his expenditures and that is a powerful mitigating factor against run away costs. You pay, they play!

Recently, the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank estimated the present value of the unfunded liability of Medicare and Social Security to be in excess of $100 trillion and actuarial reports show them both close to insolvency. Thus, our true National debt is more than ten times its publicized size and there is no method to pay. If every earned dollar were paid in taxes, it still would not cover the expenditure. If the country is to survive this impending bankruptcy it has to immediately begin to shift health insurance to the free market and to the individual in order to decrease costs across the spectrum.

The past sophistry used by politicians in order to amass political power by persuading the victims that they are being robbed for their own benefit finally seems to be failing in the present rush for a national health care bill. The premise that we need to create a national health care system in order to cut down on government spending does not pass that laugh test. It is truly comical, and somewhat tragic, to see the elite support a bill that they have publicly said they will not participate. It is a shameful partisan and political act that has become a national disgrace to set up our progeny to live in a debt-laden country because we are unwilling to accept personal responsibility. Some day the children of these political charlatans will refer to their ancestors as the ‘horse thieves’ they are. Sadly, honesty and integrity seems to have deserted the present political class.

We are at a crossroad for our country’s financial future. The unique origins of American Exceptionalism do not support the present efforts to degrade the individual and put him under the care of the state. The false promises of Socialism to create a personal Utopia through wealth redistribution has never worked and its absurdity leads to personal and national ruin. The present path leading to the government becoming the main pensioner, that in turn leads to the loss of personal and economic freedoms sounds much like the policies of those countries that we spent the 20th century freeing with our blood and treasure. It is our choice to repudiate these false promises of government care and to let the free market work as it always does by providing affordable products, including health insurance for all; or, to be a part of the offending generation that bankrupted the country through selfishness.

Richard L. Spencer, Ph.D.
Lt Col USAF Ret.
Frankford

Reader: We should all work toward equality
Editor:

The Revised Spiritual Leaders’ Statement is a document supporting civil rights, including civil marriage, for gay and transgender Delawareans. It is signed by Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other clergy members who live or minister in Delaware, and to date there are nearly a hundred signatories. Would-be signatories may sign electronically on my website at www.towardequality.org. Laypeople might ask clergy members to sign.

Yes, Delaware finally enacted sexual orientation antidiscrimination law after over eleven years of Dixiecrat obstructionism. But while that was a major success, it did nothing to protect transgender Delawareans, who continue with neither hate-crime nor anti-discrimination protection.

And without civil marriage, same-gender couples lack 1,138 federal rights and hundreds of state rights automatically deriving from civil marriage. Most non-gay couples take these rights for granted. Gay couples can only wonder what it must be like to be that enfranchised.

The Revised Spiritual Leaders’ Statement will provide input to Delaware lawmakers as they consider these unresolved issues. More broadly, the document affirms that religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to deny American citizens their civil rights — and that we should love, not loathe, our neighbor.

Toward equality,
Douglas Marshall-Steele
Milton

SCHFW thankful for support of many
Editor:

On behalf of the SCHFH Women Build 2009, I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you within our community that helped in various ways throughout this project. The following are some of those that contributed; time, donations, food and support!

Kool Bean, Good Earth Market, St. Ann’s Youth Group, SCOAR, Sue & Larry Kelly owner, Kelly’s Maintenance & Landscaping, McCarthy Stones, Democratic Club, Barefoot Gardeners of Fenwick, Lowe’s of Millsboro, Jeff & Lisa DiFebo, Bistro on the Green and Alpha Beta Sigma Phi. THANK YOU ALL and many other’s that contributed. We look forward to another successful build in 2010!

Sincerely,

Kathy Goodman, Realtor
Project Leader for Women Build
Habitat for Humanity