Letter to the Editor -- November 7, 2008

Fenwick Island Lions Club says ‘thank you’

The Lions Club Selbyville 2008 “Spooktacular” Parade was held Wednesday evening, Oct. 29, and, by all measures, it was a huge success. The children’s costumes were fantastic and the floats and marching groups were a sight to behold. Such excitement and fun!

We extend a special thanks to all the businesses that provided financial support which made it possible to continue this annual event. They include, in alphabetical order: Bunting & Murray Construction, Chrome World, Delta Sales, Doyle’s Restaurant, Georgia House Restaurant, Dr. James Kramer, Hastings Funeral Home, Hoban Auto Service Center, Hoban Insurance Agency, Holly Kia, Mid-Atlantic Marine Service, McDonalds-Selbyville, PNC Bank, Pottery Emporium, Selbyville Pet & Garden Center, Wilgus Insurance Agency and WSFS.

We were fortunate to have three outstanding marching bands this year. Our thanks to Mr. Mark Marvel, director of the Indian River High School Band, Mr. J. D. Foell, director of the Stephen Decatur High School Band, and Ms. Christine Paxson, director of Sussex Central High School Band, and each of their groups.

Thanks also to Bob Dickerson, town administrator of Selbyville, to Police Chief Scott Collins, and to Fire Police Capt. Kenny Madara. It was also made possible by the invaluable assistance of the Selbyville-Indian River Lions Club and the Lord Baltimore Lions Club, as well as Indian River High School Leo Club, which we sponsor. And, we owe a special thank you to the State of Delaware, who supplied the lighting.

Our parade judges – Sen. George Bunting, State Rep. Gerald Hocker, State Rep. Greg Hastings, County Councilman Vance Phillips and the Rev. Dr. Bruce Cook of the Salem Methodist Church – did an outstanding job, as did our announcers, Bill Baker and Jessica Martinez of Great Scott Broadcasting, and Kevin Lynch, who provided the sound system.

And, a very special thanks to John DelVecchio of DelVecchio’s Bakery, who not only supplied but also served the coffee, hot chocolate and pastries at our food concession.

Due to the complexity of organizing and staffing this annual event, last spring, representatives from the Selbyville-Indian River Lions Club – which has hosted this parade since at least 1945 – requested that our club take the lead in organizing the parade this year. Recognizing the importance of this Lions Club event to the town, its residents and the children, the Fenwick Island Club was pleased to accept this responsibility. And, we are certainly glad we did! This is a wonderful example of life in small town America, and, unfortunately, more and more of these types of events are becoming a mere distant memory.

On Monday, we presented Mr. John Simmons of Philadelphia, Pa., (whose daughter and family live in Dagsboro) with a check for $1,715, as the winner of our 50/50 raffle. Congratulations to him, and thanks to all who purchased the raffle tickets. You may be assured that 100 percent of our club’s proceeds from this raffle will be put toward our humanitarian service projects, including our Indian River High School scholarship program.

Bruce Schoonover, President
Fenwick Island Lions Club

Herberts defend their survey on police

The Oct. 31 issue of the Coastal Point contained a letter signed by Jeff Lanuza attacking us for a report we conducted concerning police activity and shared town halls in Ocean View, Bethany Beach, Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Dagsboro, Selbyville, Laurel, Fenwick, South Bethany and Millsboro.

Mr. Lanuza’s letter is inaccurate and misleading.

He wrote that we claimed to have talked to everyone. The only use of the word “everyone” close to that context was, “Some of the people interviewed remarked that ‘everyone’ was wondering what Ocean View was thinking when they were building such a large Police Building…” That certainly is not a claim that we talked to everyone.

The truth about the number of Dewey Beach full-time policemen is that when we interviewed Town Manager Gordon Elliott in September the plan was not to replace two officers, putting the number of full-timers at six. In a meeting, after our report was published, the Dewey Beach Town Council voted to fill one of the two vacant positions.

The police take-home car policy has been an emotional issue ever since the Ocean View Town Council election campaign. We discussed the take-home policy with other communities to see if there is a better way to handle the issue. It is puzzling to us that Mr. Lanuza should find hat information to be, as he wrote, “…a blatant smear against our officers.”

During the OV election campaign it was stated that the police vehicle was or could be the only vehicle that a police officer and his/her family had, that the wife would be trapped at home if officers were not allowed to take police cars home.

In closing, Mr. Lanuza wrote that we were way off base when we reported that the News Journal compilation of crime reports submitted to the Delaware State Police were six from Ocean View for the 90-day period of June 1 through Aug. 31. That is a fact – that’s the figure printed in the weekly News Journal reports. He also wrote that OVPD “… logged 628 police (not crime) reports in that 91-day period.”

There are police reports and then there are police crime reports. From Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 (nine full months) the OVPD’s official count for crime reports is only 429.

Obviously, there is some glitch in the crime reporting process. Unless the problem is resolved, the crime reports in the News Journal are meaningless for Ocean View residents.

This letter is our effort to clarify the situation, and we have done that without the use of personal insults and attacks. It’s too bad that Mr. Jeff Lanuza is not able to communicate that way. Private citizens should be able together and share information in an effort to shed additional light on their community’s problems without enduring unwarranted attack.

Elaine and Ed Herbert
Ocean View

Millville trash is not a major problem

As residents of Millville, we were very surprised to read your Oct. 31, 2008, edition on page 4, where Sussex County Councilman George Cole is quoted as saying, “They’ve got a trash problem.” This quote is part of the Coastal Point’s reporting on recent Sussex County Council action approving a $5,000 community development grant for the Town of Millville to help the town start up a municipal trash service.

Whether Councilman Cole’s comment about Millville’s trash problem was reported “out of context” by the Coastal Point, or whether, in fact, this is a direct quote, how unfortunate that the Town of Millville was characterized that way.

Moreover, we disagree in principle with the Town requesting $5,000 from Sussex County to start municipal trash service when the Town of Millville has more pressing and important needs, such as starting its own police service.

Mark Reeve and Joan Bennett

Reader is disgusted by modern politics

I think it is disgraceful that in this country, under the rubric of public funding of political parties, that the governing bodies allow taxpayer monies to be used for outrageous purposes such as hate-mongering, the spreading of innuendos and lies, rumor generation, demeaning and baseless accusations and deliberate false-hoods to enhance a politician’s own standing at the expense of their opposition without extending that same person the same rights of self-defense as guaranteed under the laws of this land and the Constitution.

Sadly, that has been the case in this election, and it has resulted in the despair of many who stand firmly against such tactics.

Yet, neither the media or the courts have spoken out.

As a private citizen, let me, therefore, declare expressly that I am sorry that the tactics in play do not do honor to America or the law of the land and they demean us as a people. We are better than that!

Moreover, as a taxpayer, I did not give authorization for my taxes to be used for such purposes and, if this issue is not addressed, I will sue the government and the Republican Party to have our funding returned where it could be used for some positive purpose, like rebuilding the bridges or the schools.

When public funding is being used to do is conduct slanderous attacks on citizens, or used to condone despicable actions that are incompatible with the American way, public spirited citizens should intervene, the Congress should interrupt the flow of funds and the chief executive should speak out. This has not happened and the scurrilous conduct has not abated. Most of us will agree that the public funding laws should not be used for any than honorable purpose.

Need we be reminded that under the law of the land, everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of their peers? And that every citizen is entitled to benefit from the protections of the law?

However, the public needs to be reminded that when public funding is being used to defame, denigrate and embarrass a public figure who, by every measure, is a man of outstanding credentials, a man who has served the best interests of this country, it establishes a bad example, it is counterproductive to the American purpose, it only serves to denigrate the American ideal and it establishes a bad example for future generations that is inconsistent with the fundamental thrust of Democracy and the reason so many want to come to this land.

I am frankly disappointed and embarrassed to acknowledge that I am a citizen of a country that could allow such actions to persist for nearly six months without intervention or without warning to those who treat our laws with such contempt.

I would like to see every public servant come out and go on record as being against such tactics and swear that they will never support or condone such actions.

I would like to take this opportunity for those parties who are guilty of such misuse of public funding issue an apology to the other party and the American people who have been forced to witness this disgusting display that only serves to further polarize the American people.

Should the candidate(s) refuse to acknowledge this public request, I would like to see funds denied to them for the balance of the campaign for any purpose and in any future campaigns.

Les Aaron-Friedlieb

Ocean View family unhappy with building

As a resident on West Avenue in Ocean View, I am writing to express my opposition to a proposed Public Work building sited for building for West Avenue near the John West Park.

There are a number of reasons to oppose this building:

• It is proposed to be built on a residential lot directly across from a nice home – the lot is not commercially zoned;

• It is adjacent to West Park where children play and families gather for picnics – there are safety concerns – in addition to being unsightly;

• It is big and costly and is designed to house equipment and other commercial-type vehicles – a “maintenance shed,” to be specific;

• It is costly at a time when the town has revenue concerns;

• It will bring traffic to a quiet, residential area already burdened by increased traffic over the years – a “cut-through” street as we say;

• It is in the middle of the very area that is being considered for an historical register designation – a public works building would be outside the “feel” of the area;

• It is being proposed with a veil of secrecy – notices were only sent to 20 houses in the immediate vicinity;

• It is not attractive in design and huge in size – a five-bay garage.

You know, I have been a homeowner in Ocean View since 1980. I have seen a lot of changes in the town – some for the good and some for the not so good. This is clearly one that is not good. Everyone who has the authority to review and approve such a building should ask themselves the following:

• Would I be happy if this were next to my house?

• Is this building attractive to the town overall?

• Should this PW building really be where we are suggesting it be?

• Should we spend this money at the suggested levels?

The Town should ask itself all of the above, and if they can find the answers to be “no,” just as I did, then they should say no.

Jane and Paul Galvin
Ocean View

Reader takes umbrage with Hocker comment

I was amazed to hear Rep. Gerald Hocker tell an audience of potential voters at the Millville Fire Hall recently that he “always supported the Bluewater Wind project.”

When the Public Service Commission’s consultant estimated that the additional cost per customer to be $6.50 per month, Mr. Hocker e-mailed me to say, “The $6.50 will not start to cover the cost.” We now know the additional cost will be about 70 cents a month.

Mr. Hocker brought up at the same meeting the “fairness” issue, suggesting the additional cost of wind power would be borne by only 28 percent of Delawareans. According to the Public Service Commission, Delmarva Power has roughly 300,000 residential/non-residential customers - compared with 100,000 municipal and co-op utility customers. So the percentage is more like 75 percent of the total instead of 28.

Finally, Mr. Hocker voted against House Concurrent Resolution 38, which would have directed Controller General Larson to approve the Power Purchase Agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power.

So, when Gerald Hocker tries to get your vote by saying he supported the Bluewater Wind project, don’t believe him. He didn’t.

David Jaeger

Lawless lays out plan for Ocean View run

I intend to run for membership in the Town Council in next spring’s election because:

(1) Change is needed. The Town Council is presently dysfunctional. Too much time is spent on attempts to show brilliance by legalistic nonsense. Efforts to provide clean, direct information are frequently frustrated by points of order and parliamentary maneuverings more appropriate to a United Nations committee than a small town government.

(2) Financial responsibility is needed. Even though we have heard that we are in jeopardy, the Town of Ocean View plans to spend huge sums on changing the structure of the Public Safety Building to add office space for administration. This does not make any sense. The Town plans to erect a Public Works building in an area where it is not wanted. There must be some exploration of other possible sites. There should also be a hold placed on these projects until the economy brings us the revenue needed to pay for them.

(3) I have the background, time and energy to help correct the problems. I was a human-resources manager, a consultant and a property manager before retirement brought me to Delaware. I spent most of my life in New York City, where one person can rarely make a difference. Here and now, I can help stop a problem that has made Ocean View an example of governmental confusion.

I expect to visit every voter in town over the next few months and ask for the support of my neighbors.

Robert R. Lawless
Ocean View

MOMS Club thankful for help with event

The MOMS Club of Rehoboth Beach Area recently held their third annual Children’s Consignment Sale, which raised over $1,800 for the Sussex County Foster Parent Association. Over 500 shoppers came to get some terrific deals on thousands of maternity and children’s items.

The MOMS Club appreciates everyone who helped to make this sale our most successful one yet.

We would like to thank the Angola By The Bay community for the use of their clubhouse; “Pa” (Edward Cline) for his early and late hours and all his time, effort and neverending support of the MOMS Club; Carter’s, K-Mart, Osh Kosh B’Gosh and Children’s Place for hanger donations; Robin Fantl from the State of Delaware; Lynn Stanton and the Sussex County Foster Parent Association; Joy Cadden for donating the spinner racks; T-Shirt Factory for lending a rack; the Cape Gazette; Copyright of Lewes for making the road signs and BeachMoms.com; all those businesses and individuals who advertised the sale; and all the community members who volunteered and/or consigned.

For more information about the annual consignment sale, visit www.childrensresale.blogspot.com.

The MOMS Club of Rehoboth Beach Area