Letters to the Editor -- December 19, 2008

QRCF offers thanks for Caribbean efforts

The Board of Directors of The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) wants to thank everyone who supported Caribbean Christmas 2008 on Dec. 6 at Mango’s. The music of Plenty Problems greeted our guests while Electric Velvet kept them rocking for hours on our Caribbean-inspired dance floor; they snacked on exquisite tastings and beverages from local purveyors; and shopped in our awesome silent auction – all to benefit some great causes our communities believe in.

Everyone had a great time, and we want to thank our guests, and also our sponsors, for donating the food, beverages, services and auction items our guests enjoyed. Of course, we could not have presented this fantastic evening without the help of our outstanding volunteers, and we want to thank them as well.

Our beneficiaries for this event, The Lord Baltimore Lions Club, Lower Sussex Pop Warner and our scholarship recipients, will all share in the proceeds from the evening. The Lions will purchase building materials to ensure homes are accessible for persons with disabilities; Pop Warner will utilize their funds to renovate their field and continue to improve their outstanding programs for our local youth; and our scholarship recipients will continue their studies at the colleges and universities your generosity helps them attend.

We want to thank our major sponsors, many of whom support this event annually, including: Beach Liquors, Bethany Blues, Bethany Florist, Chalkboard Tavern & Grill, Coastal Point, Coastal Coffee Works, Coastal Point, Cottage Café, Creative Resource Group, DiFebo’s, Harpoon Hanna’s, Jammin’ John’s, Mango’s, Matteo’s Salsa Loco, Miranda & Hardt, Misaki Sushi, Northeast Seafood Kitchen, Sedona Restaurant, Steakhouse 26, The Fat Tuna Grill, and the Wave.

We also thank our other many sponsors, who generously contributed food, beverages, services and silent auction items to help make this a special evening: Absolute Sports, All About U Aveda Salon, Antique Prints, American Dream Limousine, Atlantic Books, Aquacare Physical Therapy, Aquatic Marine, Baja Beach House Grill, Jack & Janet Bauer, Susan Baxter, Bayside Golf, Beach Plum Antiques, Bear Trap Dunes, Jim Beck, Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Bike Shop, Bethany Dental Associates, Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, Bethany Surf Shop, Jennifer Carter, Christmas Spirit, Coastal Printing & Graphics, Comcast Spotlight, Comfort Inn, Cool Breeze Café, Coronado Jewelers, Cripple Creek Country Club, Mike & Cathy Cummings, Dave Marshall Tennis, Mark and Paula Dieste, John Donato, Aubre Duncan, Fish Tales, Frank Franz, Tom Frey, Galaxy 66, Gallery One, Giant Food, Tara Funk Grim, Hall’s Restaurant, Anne Hanna, Harpoon Hanna’s, Dick Heidenberger, Kay Herrman, Suzanne Hickey, Laura Hickman, Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey, Hook’em & Cook’em, Jammin’ John’s, Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, Kalbrosky Associates, Gwen Kangas, Karimali for Hair, Fay Kempton, Kirby & Holloway, Lighthouse Liquors, Lions Club, Lovin’ Life Limos, Made Ya Look!, Ramona Manning, Judy Marcucilli, Dave Marshall Tennis, Ted Mathias, Maureen’s Ice Cream & Desserts, McCabe’s Market, MedSpa, Millman’s Appliances, Millville’s Pet Stop, Joe Momma and Chris Button, Frank Morris, Jeanne Mueller, Pat Murray, Nick’s House of Ribs, Northeast Seafood Restaurant, OC FM 98, Ocean Aerials, Old Inlet Bait & Tackle, Overture, Parts Depot/Goodyear, Parkway Restaurant, Penguin Diner, Plenty Problems, Quiet Storm, Robert Ravida, Jeff & Kathy Ray, Rebel One, Reliable Home Maintenance, Rent Equip, River Run Golf, RJ Studios, Mary Ellen Rozell, Ruddo’s, Salt Pond Golf, Scott & Shuman, Sea Colony Recreation Association, Ralph Semsker, Dianne Shearon, Dale Sheldon, ShureLine Electric, Silver Woods, Sprout Creatives, David Stancliff, Standard Distributors, Starboard, Steen’s Beach Services, Ted & Sherry Stephens, Surf’s Edge, Sysco, Jill Thomas, Treasure Island Fashions, Tulip, United Foods, Venus Nails, Casey Vosburg, Sandy Weld, WGMD Radio/Wayne Cannon, Wilgus Associates, Tanya Williams, George Young, and every other business, artist and individual who donated to our event.

The QRCF manages and distributes funds to qualified organizations serving our local communities. The QRCF gives priority to organizations and programs that inspire neighborhood improvement, improve social services, enhance educational efforts, and benefit the area and its citizens. To learn more about The QRCF and how your organization can apply for funding or to join our all-volunteer efforts, go to www.qrcf.org.

Thank you again for making Caribbean Christmas such a successful evening. Mark your calendars now for Dec. 5, 2009, when the palm trees start swaying for Caribbean Christmas once again.

The Board of Directors

Ocean View: The town with two town halls

The Town of Ocean View had a Town Hall meeting on Dec. 9 and a question was asked of the town councilmen by me, which was, “How many people from this town hall, which was rebuilt three years ago, are going to move to the second floor of the new one-year-old police station?”

At that point, the mayor said, “We can’t answer questions,” but the town manager picked up the microphone and started counting on his fingers – one, two, three, four, five.

Then I asked another question, “How many are going to be in this town hall?” and he said three.

I also asked if this town hall is still going to be called “town hall,” and he said no.

So I said to myself, since this is not going to be called the town hall, let’s call it the Public Works Building, so we don’t have to spend over $100,000; or just call it Town Hall One building and the police station with the gang of five, Town Hall Two building.

Now, I asked these questions to see if they knew what they were doing. Evidently, they don’t, as you can see when a town manager has to count on his fingers very slowly and not know right away without counting on his fingers who would be moving to Town Hall Two building.

Why change a new police station’s second floor at a cost of over $200,000 dollars after everything is said and done, when they can change the Town Hall One at much less cost. This does not make sense. Whose ego is trying to be satisfied here?

Vincent Bertone
Ocean View

Bunting thankful for support of many

My wife, Donna, and I would like to thank God and so many kind people who lifted us in prayer, sent cards, called, e-mailed and brought food during our recent stay in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

As many of you know, I have been suffering from a hereditary kidney disease and had for some time now been undergoing dialysis treatments several times a week. I was on the list for a kidney transplant. Because of the fact that Donna was willing to donate one of her own kidneys, even though hers was not entirely compatible with mine, I was able to move up on the list for a transplant.

Donna donated her kidney to a stranger, so that another stranger could give his kidney to me. Johns Hopkins Hospital specializes in arranging these double organ trades and they found a compatible match for me. As it turned out, the man Donna gave her kidney to was from Virginia and was the brother-in-law of the Myrtle Beach, S.C., man who gave his kidney to me.

Twice before over the years, Donna had offered to donate her kidney for a person in need. For one reason or another, it did not happen. As you can imagine, my feelings of gratitude to this wonderful woman, who has been such a blessing in my life for so many years, go far beyond anything that words can ever express.

We also wish to thank my sister-in-law, Donna’s sister, Terry Carey, and our son, Clinton, who looked over us during our stay in the hospital; my own brother, Jimmie, for getting me to testing appointments, and my cousin, Cindy Harper, for meals and housecleaning.

My thanks to the FMS Dialysis Center in Rehoboth Beach, where so many people from our area have received life-saving dialysis, with these fine medical professionals doing so much for so many with warm friendliness and a fine sense of humor.

My humble thanks also go out to the caring people across our nation who donate organs and tissues to others in order to make it possible for so many people to live longer in happiness and with a higher quality of life. With the exception of my Donna, they shall remain nameless, but they are truly heroes of our age.

I extend my thanks as well to my primary care physician and dear friend, Dr. Vincent Lobo, who first diagnosed my kidney problems, and to Dr. Robert Montgomery and his surgical teams and nurses at the Johns Hopkins Transplant Center for operating on Donna and me and two strangers, and for the follow-up care we will receive for years to come.

I was truly surprised and moved to see three of my fellow Marines from Vietnam, who traveled long distances to come see me. Two of the three I had not seen in person for 42 years.

Lastly, I thank my office associates, friends all, who have run my insurance agency while I heal, my Senate staff person, Bonnie Wood, who has handled constituent problems and concerns, and my friend and colleague, Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, who has been a true mentor during this journey. Oh, when I mentioned the true heroes up above, Pete belongs on that list too.

As I offer each and every one of you my heartfelt best wishes for a happy and joyous holiday season, I ask also that you stop, with me, and think about those in need in so many different ways this year and reach out to them, just as so many wonderful people have reached out to Donna and me in this time of our need.

May God bless you all.

George Howard & Donna Bunting
Bethany Beach

Reader shares a special letter with Santa
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Santa and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication:

This year for Christmas I would like some equipment so I can use the Swann Keys amenities. I will need a putter, golf balls, volleyball net, volleyball and, of course, shuffleboard set. Fortunately, the pool is filled in the summer, so I won’t have to bring my own water to swim. We have been told that we need our own putters and golf balls for the putt-putt golf but, as no information has been provided about the other new amenities, I am assuming I need to provide my own equipment. I’m looking forward to opening my gifts on Christmas, Santa.

— Claire

In the latest issue of the Swann Keys Newsletter, the president’s message consisted of the board patting themselves on the back for their achievements and speaking to malicious gossip/rumors that are being spread around the community about the infrastructure.

Yes, the board is partially doing the job they were elected to do by maintaining common areas. Two streets have indeed been repaved, with plans to repave the rest within three years. However, the two streets that have been repaved have no markings and no speed bumps, which is a distinct hazard in a community where roads are shared by cars, pedestrians and pets.

There was no plan revealed for taking care of potholes on the streets that have not been repaved. In three years, some of these potholes will potentially be “tire killers.” The pool has been resurfaced but the fact that the pool is currently too small to meet the needs of the community remains unaddressed.

Residents are now being asked to inform the board if they wish the putt-putt golf to remain. The community voted to not have it installed; now we are being asked to inform the board of our wishes. They were aware of our wishes when they decided to ignore them and install the course.

Contacting the Board of Directors is another continual issue. On Dec. 4, a certified letter was delivered to the office addressed to a board member, requesting permission to speak before the board at the January 2009 meeting. As of this date, the letter has gone unacknowledged and unanswered.

How then, Mr. President, is the community to make its wishes known other than by requesting the assistance of the media? How the community to know what is really going on if they don’t attend board meetings and residents don’t spend their own money to inform the community?

No statements made in letters or the media are false or malicious, and the president’s comments in the Swann Keys Newsletter come perilously close to libel. Have a care, Mr. President, our statements can be proven…

Claire E. Hawksley

Selbyville resident grateful for hometown

Each week when I pick up a copy of the Coastal Point, I wonder before reading it what awful things are happening in Ocean View “this week.”

I am so pleased I live in Selbyville, not Ocean View. We are pleased with our mayor, town council, police department and the way the town is operated.

I’m sure CAP would be welcomed in Selbyville to help out.

Larry Hickman

NARFE offers thank you to 1776 Steakhouse

On behalf of the members of the Coastal Sussex NARFE Chapter 1690, I would like to express our appreciation to the 1776 Steakhouse next to the Midway Theaters in Rehoboth Beach for the service they provided us in 2008.

Owners Tom Holmes and Bob Mitchell worked with us on scheduling and provided us with a meeting place with an elegant décor and always provided whatever room we requested. The servers provided us with outstanding service and went out of their way to make sure everyone had an enjoyable experience. Executive Chef Tammy Mozingo was always extremely flexible and succeeded in providing excellent lunches at affordable prices that varied with every meeting.

Walt Berwick, Social Committee Co-Chair
Coastal Sussex NARFE Chapter 1690

Firefighters: Article only gives half the story

A lot of attention is being drawn to the Delaware volunteer fire service by a series of articles written in the News Journal. The articles, which took a year to put together, are misleading, only give you part of the picture and leave some important facts out.

The Delaware volunteer fire service has a long and proud history of providing fire and emergency medical service to our residents, whether they be in urbanized New Castle County or the farmland of rural Sussex County. Some of our fire departments have histories that reach back into the 1800’s.

First, do we need to update our processes and accountability? Absolutely! The DVFA is working, in collaboration with the Delaware State Fire Commission and the leaders of the fire companies to understand our problems and to correct them.

While fire trucks, in some instances, are taken for granted by the public, it’s important to note each one can cost upwards of $900,000. The basic pumper, for example, costs a bare minimum of $400,000 before you put one piece of working equipment on board. It is not unusual for a rescue truck or aerial truck to be over $1 million completely outfitted.

Running gear for each member of the fire service costs in excess of $3,000 and it must be replaced regularly to meet the standards and to able to withstand heat that often can reach 1,500 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

A firefighter can’t be expected to fight a fire or enter a burning building wearing a raincoat and a regular pair of rubber boots. Helmets must be specially constructed to withstand heat and protect the firefighter from falling debris. A building to house a fire department, typically, can cost $3 million or more. The leadership of the fire companies understand the cost to operate their companies so they invest and save for future purchases.

Our ambulance services are among the best in the country. One of our fire companies, Delaware City, was recently recognized as the best volunteer ambulance company in our entire country. Members of our association and the Delaware State Fire Commission are at the forefront of a national effort to make ambulances safer and increasing their ability to with-stand impact from crashes which, unfortunately happen.

Every place I’ve traveled, from one end of the nation to the other, people admire the training and the leadership of the Delaware volunteer fire service. The support of our citizens and our government has given us the ability to provide these services without having to go to each property owner or business and ask them for an increase in their taxes.

One of the suggestions made in the News Journal article was that the volunteer fire service is struggling and consideration should be given to changing to a combination paid and volunteer fire service. They suggest that we look at Montgomery County, Md., as a model for change.

Making that change would require a tax outlay of $178 million in the first year alone. That’s $204 for every man, woman and child living in Delaware. A family of four would have to pay an additional tax burden of $816 a year, just to get started.

Insurance industry experts have told us that switching to a paid fire company, may save you about $300 or less per year in insurance costs. That leaves you with an additional tax burden of $516 at best. The costs are staggering and only go up after the first year.

The fire service works constantly to reduce the dangers of fire and to save lives, by promoting Wake Up Delaware, a nationally recognized program that provides free smoke detectors and batteries to anyone who asks for them. We’ve given away tens of thousands of them. Evidence shows working smoke detectors in the home save lives. We promote fire prevention and life safety programs in every school in Delaware through our Risk Watch and Poster and Essay programs.

A recently released study by the Delaware Heath and Social Services shows fire injuries and deaths in children are dramatically down in Delaware, because of our efforts and because families are cognizant of the dangers of fire and the improvement in fire safety they can achieve.

Do we need help? Yes we do. Our country right now is in one of the worst times since the great depression. We as Americans need to come together. What better way to do that then to take up a community service like the volunteer fire service. Give back to your community and come join our family. Once you have touched a life, you will understand why we do what we do.

Thanks to thousands of our residents, the Delaware volunteer fire service has worked well for generations. With your help, it will continue to do so.

Warren Jones, President
Delaware Volunteer Firemen’s Association