Letters to the Editor -- April 10, 2009

Birkmeyers take exception to column

This is in response to the guest column by Ocean View Councilman Roy Thomas in the March 27 issue, reviewing his three years of service on the council.

We’ll be the first to commend Mr. Thomas on his efforts to help promote the financial well-being of Ocean View, especially during these difficult economic times. However, when a sitting councilman uses his column to accuse others of distorting the facts and then blatantly does the same thing himself, this demands a response. Let us cite just two examples.

First, Mr. Thomas claims that before he took office, the center of town government was located within the Public Safety Department and the Citizens Auxiliary Patrol (CAP) and it was a shadow government.

Really? We’re sure the former mayor and other council members would take a strong issue with that statement. The center of government has always been and continues to rest within the town council. And to accuse the CAP — a volunteer group of mostly retired men and women whose only goal was to support law enforcement with non-confrontational duties and assist with a wide variety of community service projects which led to the group receiving the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award — is utterly felonious.

Mr. Thomas owes every Ocean View police officer and every CAP member a public apology for falsely identifying them as a shadow government.

Second, Mr. Thomas has the temerity to accuse citizens who disagreed with his policies and unprofessional behavior on the council as a “small vocal group of individuals who did everything within their power to prevent the reorganization of Ocean View.”

Perhaps Mr. Thomas failed to notice that the so-called small group of individuals has become a large contingent of concerned citizens who has filled the Town Hall at council meetings during the past year.

To top it off, Mr. Thomas claims — with absolutely no justification — that these individuals even cut his tires twice. We find this accusation indefensible — as well as slanderous — and suggest Mr. Thomas check out the definition of paranoia in the dictionary.

We openly admit that we are pleased Mr. Thomas is not seeking reelection, because now we can look forward to a return of civility among members of the council, as well as an open and honest dialogue between the council and Ocean View citizens, an experience we have not been able to enjoy for the past three years.

Richard and Elaine Birkmeyer
Ocean View

Plenty on tap for Ocean View Historical Society

The Ocean View Historical Society would like to invite residents of Ocean View and surrounding towns to attend the next meeting of the Historical Society.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 21, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the old Town Hall on West Avenue.

The future of the Coastal Towns Museum will be discussed. Your involvement and participation is needed to help make the museum a reality. If you have any interest in preserving the rich history of the coastal towns in lower Sussex County, please plan to attend this meeting.

There are numerous committee opportunities where you could share your expertise.

Our next event will be dinner at the Bethany Blues restaurant on Thursday, April 23. The Bethany Blues restaurant will be donating a percentage of the night’s proceeds to the Ocean View Historical Society. Please come out and enjoy a great dinner at the Bethany Blues restaurant and at the same time help the Historical Society raise money to preserve the history of this unique area of Delaware.

Richard Nippes
Ocean View Historical Society

Legion grateful for help from Food Lion

American Legion Post 24 of Dagsboro held a St. Patrick’s Day dinner on March 17. We would like to thank Dave Kuntz from the Food Lion in Millville for a generous contribution in support of our dinner.

Glenn Laser, Historian
American Legion Post 24

Mitchell defends his stance on issue

I want to clarify my arguments made to the Board. [Robert] Lawless was on the radio yesterday saying I was against free speech. That is not true. I am one of the biggest advocates of free speech and press there is.

My argument to the Board was based on Lawless’s conduct, not speech. I made it very clear that his words on his brochure and the GOP Web site are protected speech. My argument was about the in-kind services he received from the Republicans.

Ironically, the Board’s decision did not mention free speech but cited court cases such as the school board case (Hawkins v. Butler – Truesdale) in D.C., which provided for non-partisan elections but that partisan acts by a partisan candidate did not violate a non-partisan election. Obviously, I was not aware of the cases cited. Had I been, I would have dropped the complaint.

The Board of Elections decision was a historic one for all of Delaware because, as far as I know, it is the first of its kind in this state!

Thus, the traditions of a true non-partisan election which has existed in Ocean View for some time were shredded by Lawless in his campaign for election to the council in Ocean View.

Perry Mitchell, Councilman
Ocean View

Reader believes Obama shows arrogance

I take exception to President Obama’s recent remarks while traveling abroad about this great country being “arrogant.”

We are the most generous country on the face of the earth, i.e. saved Europe during WW II; donate billions of bucks to countries after a disaster; pour billions of dollars down the drain attempting to help third world countries; without us the UN would fold; take in countless illegals and allow them benefits; etc, etc.

If this is being arrogant, so be it! Obama’s personal opinions and thoughts do not necessarily need to be spoken while representing the country he governs. He represents all of us, not merely himself and the current administration. His reminding us that he won is not reason to be self-serving. If anyone comes across as “arrogant,” it is Obama as he reads from a teleprompter.

Jack Rine
Ocean View

SPCA thankful for help from Millman’s

The volunteers and staff at the Georgetown SPCA would like to publicly thank and acknowledge Millman’s Applicances for their generous donation of a washer, dryer and refrigerator for the shelter.

When Gary at Millman’s heard the homeless pets at the shelter needed these appliances to keep up with the laundry and store medications for the animals’ needs, Millman’s stepped up without hesitation to help the SPCA out. Their kindness and generosity is so appreciated.

Kate Hungerford
Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator
Georgetown SPCA

AARP thanks Carper for listening

It’s good to be first, or so says much of Delaware’s tourism materials. We reside in the First State and are known for leading the way with great arts, culture, shopping and nature.

However, AARP would like to propose we are first in something else – the first state to ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care. This was the topic of conversation at an AARP listening session with Sen. Carper on April 7.

On behalf of all our members, I want to say thank you to the senator for listening. Opening up to hear about the most pressing issues for older Delawareans is certainly a step in the right direction.

AARP members nationwide believe that health care reform is urgent and must be the nation’s top priority. Change to make affordable coverage options available to all is especially urgent for AARP’s 50- to 64-year-old population. They are especially vulnerable as the fastest-growing part of the uninsured population in America – and Delaware is no exception.

The fact that Sen. Carper is willing to listen gives our members a sense of hope for the future. Thank you again, Senator.

Jeanne Nutter
AARP Executive Council