May 29, 2009

Reader: Atkins proving to be a real liberal

Rep. [John] Atkins apparently felt guilty enough that he had to try explaining his recent liberal vote in favor of expanding gambling. He points out that two generally conservative representatives changed their votes, as if their two wrongs make his wrong vote right.

He says that, because it is our fourth largest source of revenue, we need to have an advantage over Maryland, where not one slot machine is even up and running. He says we are allowed to have sports betting in Delaware, yet it will be tied up in the courts for quite some time before that issue is decided. Our state will be fighting the deep pockets of the NFL and paying out a lot of your hard-earned tax dollars to high-priced lawyers to finally be allowed the right to ruin more innocent lives with gambling habits.

Atkins says his vote was for the state workers. Was he referring to all the new state jobs that will be generated through the commissions and regulatory boards that will be needed to control sports betting and table games? More high-paying, cushy state jobs created! Threatening state workers with an 8 percent pay cut is allowing “Jump Back Jack” to get his way. He won’t do it and will be a hero when he doesn’t.

The late conservative radio commentator Paul Harvey in his Aug. 16, 1999, commentary proclaimed that if he were the devil, he would first “gain control of the most powerful nation in the world” and then among other things he “would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue.” Look it up, all of it is coming true. There is no money left to gamble away. Pray for our nation.

Atkins has also slipped over to the left on two other pieces of legislation of which he is the primary sponsor. HB 107 forces mobile home park owners to accept monthly rent payments from tenants that have written contracts spelling out annual payments.

To Atkins, some tenants lack the personal responsibility to save for the annual payment and therefore monthly payments must be legislated. At first read, it seems harmless enough, but then you realize this bill is just more government intervention into how business is conducted. The bill is pointed directly at Robby Tunnell and the Pot Nets Communities. His parks are basically the only ones that have the annual payment plan. It is hard for this writer to believe that Tunnell would turn away checks mailed to him monthly instead of yearly.

The problem could be solved in many ways without the need for legislation. Smells like more of President Obama’s “punish success and reward failure” to me. Tunnell’s parks are filled to capacity, proving his market price. He puts his money right back in our local economy, keeps his parks in top condition, treats and pays his employees well and is amazingly generous to local charities. Many people are thankful for every breath that man takes.

Furthering government intervention, Atkins’ HB105 forces all mobile home park owners to maintain, care for and remove trees, depending on who “owns” the tree. If Atkins is successful in passing both bills, his next logical step is rent justification (a.k.a. rent control). Rent levels will then be capped and park owners will not be able to recoup any of the lost increases by cutting back the expenses involved in keeping the landscaping properly maintained. Atkins says he has over 8,000 constituents on Long Neck road, yet the 41st District vote total was only 10,148 in the red-hot Atkins/Hastings contest.

With the exception of HB 5, the gay-rights bill (his vote was not needed to pass it), Atkins has voted in lockstep with Rep. Schwartzkopf, who is Delaware’s most liberal legislator and self-proclaimed as the governor’s waterboy. If Atkins does not want to be labeled the waterboy’s waterboy, he had better reevaluate his liberal stance on upcoming legislation – especially the Del Pointe project. If he votes and legislates like a liberal, he must be a liberal.

Eric Bodenweiser

Faith United grateful for supporters with events

Thanks to the many visitors, families, friends and community who came out on Saturday, April 4, and Saturday, April 25, to support Faith United Methodist Church’s double fundraisers – the basketball battle and chicken-and-dumplings dinner held at Cape Henlopen High School and Shields Elementary Schools, respectively.

Please know that all of this could not have been possible without your support.

There were several people who took the lead to arrange it so everything could happen according to plans. I would like to thank them publicly and personally, and they are Linda Betts, Shields Elementary School cafeteria manager; Cape Henlopen School District for allowing us to hold these community events; Troy Reese for setting up and putting things back in order; Robert Miller, who brought dinners and delivered to people in the neighborhood; chef Alonzo Batson, for his extreme and unique cooking talents; Shelldean Harmon and Claudia Denise Reese, for their knowledge and supervising the kitchen; the Reese family for donating the paper products; Happy Harry’s in Milton, Del., for donating bags; Diaz Bonville for advertising; Sunday-school youth who came out in full force to help with all types of duties; Freddie Bowe and Edward Reese III for volunteering their custodial services; all the women who baked cakes – Delma Batson, Estelle Waples, Henrietta Pierson, Irene Williams, Linda Bonville, Dilinda Deshields, Sallie Duffy, Bernita Hackney, Irene Duffy and Jane Duffy; Carreras Deshields for donating rolls and hotdogs; and Pepsi Cola Bottling & Co.

Edward Reese Jr., Coordinator
Faith U.M. Church

Fels responds to past letter in the Point

I am writing this letter in response to a letter published on May 15 by Sandra Ray of Bethany Beach. The letter was of her disappointment in our group for not assisting the dogs in Delaware. Paws of Tomorrow would like to clear up these miscommunications and state that 90 percent of our animals now come from Delaware and until recently only 2 percent of our adopters were from Delaware.

We transport all over the East Coast. Because of this, most of our adopters are not from this local area. We have started doing more public events and adoption days locally but still we have many adoptions from out of state. Virginia and New Hampshire are our top adoption states.

We will adopt a dog to any area in the U.S. that will give these dogs a great home. We have one dog that now resides in Colorado. The gentleman and his wife drove all the way to Delaware to pick up their new baby.

We have changed our systems over the course of time to pull the majority of our homeless animals from the local area. We still take some of our pets from out of state, but only about 5 to 10 percent of them come from other areas.

Paws of Tomorrow animal rescue has only been in operation since Oct. of 2008. We have worked hard to help every animal that found its way into our care. Our main reason for not originally pulling dogs from Delaware was because the shelters in this area are not as rescue-friendly as other states.

We have bent over backwards to work with them and yet only Kent County SPCA has agreed to work with us. We now pull most of our animals from Kent County, as well as donating food, treats and other items to the shelter for the animals we cannot assist. We pull an average of 5 pets per week from them currently. And if they have some that are facing euthanasia, we pull from that list also.

We are dedicating our lives to helping the Delaware animals. However, we can only do this if the shelters will allow us. We have extended our help to the Georgetown SPCA on numerous occasions, even going to meetings with them. They have told us that they are no longer a “kill” shelter and do not need our help.

We applaud anyone that is trying to help these animals and feel that anything the shelters can do is great, although recently we have gotten a lot of our owner surrenders from individuals that have been to the SPCA in Georgetown and been turned away. They say they are too full and cannot accept the animals.

We recently took four kittens and a pure bred Great Pyrenees that were turned away from the shelter. The Great Pyrenees weighs in at about 130 pounds and within a day of being on our Web site had brought in eight applications. We prefer to help local animals; it saves us valuable time and energy that we spend transporting dogs from out of state.

Paws of Tomorrow is an all-volunteer team. We all have other jobs and spend our lives helping these animals because we care. Unlike some other rescues, we do not just take in the super-adoptable animals; we are dedicated to taking the animals that really need a rescue: the senior dogs that would never get a second glance, the injured dogs that no one wants to treat and the special-needs dogs that grab your heart. We love them all and will help any animal sent our way.

Our team has faced a lot of negative feedback lately. It appears that a lot of individuals in the local area are not animal lovers and do not like that we have brought a rescue into the area. We have faced so much scrutiny in recent weeks that we almost decided to fold our hands and walk away. We almost gave up. Below is one example of trials we have faced:

One of our current volunteers resides in the Forest Reach development of Frankford. He resides in this community with his wife, son and their furry friends. … Another home owner in this community does not like the fact that this resident has multiple dogs. He states that these dogs bark at him and are a nuisance. However, no one else in the community hears them bark and [they] feel they are not a problem.

After contacting the home owners’ association multiple times, [this man] feels this person should be forced out. Not factoring in that only one neighbor in the entire community feels this is problem or that multiple other residents have far more dogs in their homes, the president of the home owners’ association has taken the position that the number of dogs at this residence is a violation of the covenants and restrictions of the association. This, coupled with the complaint by [the resident] is their cause of action to enforce the covenants.

“Although, we acknowledge the fact that there are other homes in the community that are not in compliance, there have been no other complaints for the need of enforcement,” said [the HOA president], also stating that this, coupled with the fact that the resident is involved in rescue work (dogs that come and go), is exasperating the situation.

The day after this was disclosed to the resident, all of dogs in this home were poisoned. The vet results show the toxin to be raw meat and rat poison. Paws of Tomorrow and this family spent $3,600 dollars in vet bills to help save these dogs. They did pull though, after a week of being hospitalized. However, one of the smaller dogs will be a special-needs dog for the remainder of his life, due to the toxins.

What is wrong with the protection level and love for animals in the Delaware area? What has to happen before a community realizes that the home owners’ association is going too far? How is it fair or legal for them to enforce this to one home? What kind of people makes up the Forest Reach Home Owners’ Association? And how safe does it make the residents of this community feel to know that these things can happen and the home owners’ association simply looks the other way to just enforce the convents?

This family has decided they will not alter their life because of this situation. Paws of Tomorrow will back them 100 percent in this decision and assist in any way possible.

But when these things happen and we feel like everyone is against us in our fight, we look in the eyes of one of the animals that we have saved and remember why it’s worth it. The gratification that is offered by those puppy-dog eyes, in a dog that would have been euthanized within hours...

Ava, Berber, Chauncey, Lady, Riley and Tinkerbelle are all dogs currently in our care that were pulled from Kent County at the last minute. You can view them on our Web site at – dogs that were on the euthanasia list – take a look and you will see why we cannot give up on them.

The next time you see someone involved in this or any other rescue, please take the time to stop and thank them for their continued dedications to these animals. They spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week trying to save these pets from a grim fate. To them, one word of support can be what is needed to keep going.

Also, please join us for a fundraiser at Beach Daze (formerly Outrigger’s Grill) located on Lighthouse Road, Selbyville, off Route 54, on June 4 from 5 to 9 p.m. A portion of all proceeds from the restaurant and bar will be donated to Paws of Tomorrow to help us cover the medical bills for these and other animals. As you can see, we need your help more than ever. For details visit

We would also like to thank our sponsors for their continued support to our rescue and our urgent pets: House of Pets, Millville; Jerry Mueller Real Estate, Bethany Beach; and Beach Daze Seafood Grill and Market. Please take the time to thank them for us! Without them, we would not have the ability to assist these animals locally.

April Fels
Paws of Tomorrow Inc.

MSO thanks Kool Bean, Alberti and Point

As the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra closes an excellent 2008-2009 season, we would like to thank our subscribers and patrons who made it an outstanding success.

A special thank-you is extended to Keith and Nancy Crass of the Kool Bean Café for hosting a perfect “Keep the Music Playing” fundraising event on Tuesday, May 19. Thanks also go to Lauren Alberti for her ideas, her enthusiasm and her support in making this a great evening.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Darin McCann and the staff of the Coastal Point for supporting us throughout this year. Their coverage and publicity of our concerts was invaluable and contributed to this most successful season.

Finally, we want to publicly thank our many MSO ambassadors who make the concerts run smoothly and “Keep the Music Playing.” Thanks to all.

Sandy Lehman, Board Member
Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra

Saxton thankful for support in election bid
Citizens of South Bethany:

I want to thank the voters of South Bethany for their support on May 23, 2009. I will do my best to represent all constituents across the variety of issues that will face the town in the coming two years. I would also like to thank the Citizens for Communications and Financial Responsibility, as my campaign would not have been as successful without their support.

I look forward to working with the Mayor and the Town Council starting May 30, 2009.

Tim Saxton
South Bethany

Thank you from Justin’s Beach House

Mary Ellen and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all who participated, attended and contributed in some way to our two recent fundraising events for Justin’s Beach House – the Hope event at The Ellen Rice Gallery on May 16 and our Justin’s Beach House 2009 Memorial Run on Memorial Day weekend. Your efforts, goods and donations are appreciated beyond measure.

DiFebo’s restaurant, Banks Wines & Spirits and United Distributors did an outstanding job of providing and serving fine food and wines at The Ellen Rice Gallery’s “Hope” event, while John Pollard livened everyone’s spirits singing and playing his guitar throughout the evening, all under a big-top provided by Barton’s Landscaping. Artist Ellen Rice contributed posters, a 10 percent donation from all of her gallery sales that night and five beautiful raffle prizes.

On May 24, still more individuals and businesses contributed their time, money and goods for our First Annual Justin’s Beach House 2009 Memorial Run.

Our sincere thanks go to T-shirt sponsors Baja Beach Bar & Grill, Cottage Cafe, Miken Builders, Sandstone Construction and Logo Motive; beverage sponsors Bundy’s, Maureen’s Ice Cream & Desserts, Mr. Natural Water, Dynamic Mortgage, Giant Food Market, Hocker’s Super Center, Al Casapula’s Subs, Steak & Pizza, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Surf’s Up Pizza and Surf Bagels; PNC Bank; and to Beth Evans Re/Max by the Sea and the law offices of Susan Pittard Weidman for their donations.

We had about 50 people sign up early for the race and expected maybe 50 or so more the day of, but we had over 200! Thank you so much!

And last, but far from least, thank you Coastal Point for all of the publicity you provided for both events, without which they could not have been the successes they were.

Thank you to everyone for caring so much about our cause: building a beach home in Bethany Beach to provide a respite to families facing the challenges of cancer.

And thank you for your kindness, encouragement and moral support, too. These are tough times, the emotion lingers, but our community inspires us and we know that Justin’s Beach House will be a great addition to Southeastern Sussex County that much sooner, one donation at a time, because of you.

Craig and Mary Ellen Nantais (Justin’s parent)
Directors, The Justin W. Jennings Foundation