Letters to the Editor -- May 8, 2009

Is sportsbetting the answer? Don’t bet on it

Sportsbetting is some of our legislators and governor’s saving grace to part of the state’s budget crisis. I am totally against this idea, especially under the current economic conditions.

Of course, we have slots which are a form of gambling and many people lose and lose. But the difference is with slot machines you the player have absolutely no control over when your machine is going to hit paydirt. With sportsbetting, if you are an avid sports fan you may think you know the outcome of the football games or basketball games because you have been following the teams, but there are always upsets. And who’d have thought the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl this year or who’d have thought the N.Y. Giants beating the 18-0 New England Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl?

Lots of people who are struggling to pay their mortgages or heating bills and are watching their hours get cut at work may believe their odds of betting on a game look pretty good. However, when they lose what money they have then what happens. Eventually they end up in the crime system or the welfare system, which then costs the state or taxpayers. This seems to have become a great temptation to our state as it is struggling, just as great a temptation to Delawareans that are struggling.

Unfortunately, Delawareans will lose and the state will only make minimal gains in the $750 million deficit. In addition, those forecasted revenues are based on a thriving economy. There are right ways and wrong ways to gaining revenue and I don’t believe gaining revenue through creating problem situations in some families is the right way to go. If the government was created for the people to govern, control, regulate and assist, then how can government allow such legislation that could hurt the people?

There are many other solutions to our deficit problem and I believe the first step is for our legislators to meet with business leaders to determine which businesses are growing and which are not. Job creation is the million dollar answer to the deficit problem. And government must evaluate how it can assist companies in having the right tools for growth without overstepping its boundaries in the private sector.

I also believe the Delaware Economic Development Office could survey and evaluate all of the state’s towns and cities and determine what businesses, products and/or services do not exist, but are needed and may thrive if established. Delaware also needs performance standards and reviews for all state employees because there are many outstanding workers who deserve more while there are others who do not even deserve a job.

If our state representatives and senators have any will and determination, they’ll find there are many ways to overcome this significant budget crisis. It is time for these elected leaders to rise to the challenge. Delawareans don’t be fooled, sportsbetting is not the answer. Our government and our legislators can do better.

If you do not support sportsbetting, call your state rep or senator, your voice does matter and they need to listen. Our governor states when speaking about gambling there is no such thing as being half pregnant. What an analogy. So does he realize the birth defects already known of this full fledged pregnancy or will the House and/or Senate force a miscarriage?

If we continue to add gambling to our state we will not be attractive for young families to settle and work here as the governor had once campaigned for. I pray our legislators will come to their senses and not take the separation of church and state too seriously. Speak out against further gambling in Delaware before we all lose.

Scott W. Wilkins

CHEER analyst defends organization
Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to the Delaware House of Representatives and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

To the Honorable Legislators of the State of Delaware,

Although Delaware is considered to be geographically flat there is a mountain, unlike any ever faced by this state, which must be climbed by June 30. The virtual mountain is, of course, the economical challenge of a balanced budget, worsened by the state of the world economy. This crisis did not arise quickly but was fostered by years of budget growth which also can be said to be unlike any ever faced by this state. The Web site www.sunshinereview.org contains a chart which shows Delaware’s General Fund expenditures from 2003 to 2008. The General Fund expenditures grew 39.4 percent, from $2,454,100,000 to $3,421,600,000. These statistics do not consider the state’s Appropriated Special Funds, The Transportation Trust Fund nor the Non-Appropriated Special Funds.

As an employee of CHEER, Inc., one of the state’s largest non-profit agencies, I can personally attest that even though the agency’s main source of revenue is state funding we did not receive this unparalleled budget increase. Truthfully, CHEER has departments funded by the state that have not had an increase in six years! The agency has had to approach budgeting with the thought of “Do more with less.”

Grant-in-Aid funding for the senior centers serviced by CHEER increased only two to three percent annually, before inflation, during those same five years referenced above. During this time period it was necessary to add the Meals-on-Wheels Homebound meal service in one CHEER Activity Center and two independent senior centers receiving meals from CHEER. Expenses were constantly monitored, volunteer services were used and CHEER obtained private donations in order to survive the challenging times.

Fiscal 2009 funding was approximately a seven percent decrease to Grant-in-Aid, flat funding in Transportation and reductions to services in both Nutrition and Home Services. Meanwhile the senior population in Sussex County continued growing, at rates that exceed any other segment of Delaware’s population, along with the need for senior services. The result includes a hiring freeze, staff reduction through attrition, reduced staff hours, elimination of agency cell phones and limitation on staff travel.

As you can see, CHEER senior services have shouldered their burden through the years. Please also consider that the dollars which fund CHEER services save the state when weighed against the costly institutional care that is often the alternative.

I trust that you will share this concern and vote accordingly in order to allow senior citizens to maintain their independence and receive the cost saving services which keep them in their home and out of long term facilities.

Thank you,
Ken Moore
Senior Management Analyst, CHEER, Inc.

Pet adoption event a huge success

On Saturday, April 25 and May 2, Paws of Tomorrow held adoption days at House Pets in Millville. Paws of Tomorrow is a local non-profit rescue group that pulls dogs and cats from high kill shelters along the east coast and finds foster homes for them until they are adopted. Many of these animals have less than 24 hours until they are euthanized.

On these adoption days, 20 plus puppies, young and older dogs were either adopted or placed in foster homes. I would like to thank those who opened their hearts and homes to these loving companions and to those who made donations.

For those who could not make it to either adoption day and are interested in adopting or fostering, please check out their web site at www.pawsoftommorw.com. Donations of new or used items can be dropped off at House Pets in the Creekside Plaza, Millville.

Again, thanks to all and keep watching for the next adoption.

Kim Ciavolella
House Pets

SDCS apologies for cancelled concert

I wanted to apologize to the residents of the Bethany-Ocean View-Millville area for canceling our planned concert for Sunday afternoon, May 17, at Mariner’s Bethel UMC. The church had unexpected emergency renovations which necessitated the closing of the Sanctuary and we were unable to find another suitable venue on short notice.

Our spring concert will feature Haydn’s “Mass in Time of War,” including the “Te Deum” and his “Lord Nelson Mass.” In between the parts of the two masses, letters will be read to the audience from Delaware’s soldiers who have served, or are currently serving, in Iraq or Afghanistan. There will be only one performance at Epworth UMC on Holland Glade Road in Rehoboth Beach, Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., May 16.

Tickets for that concert are available by calling (302) 645-2013 or online at sdchoralsociety.org. Tickets are still available and I hope that some of the Bethany-Ocean View-Millville people will be able to enjoy the performance in Rehoboth.

Clement Edgar, president
Southern Delaware Choral Society

A poem to all the mothers out there

On this Mother’s Day, I’d like to dedicate my poem to all the mothers of Sussex County. To all, a happy Mother’s Day.

A Mother’s Hands

The hands that made me grow…

Are my Mother’s Hands don’t you know;

She taught me to crawl, stand and walk,

She even taught me how to talk;

To say “hello” and wave bye-bye,

And even when it was okay to cry;

To eat my food that made me grow,

To cook and clean and even sew;

To clap my hands and throw a ball,

And how to make a phone call;

But best of all when she was there…

She showed me how to hold my hands in prayer.

Kathleen Teti
Ocean View