Letters to the Editor -- October 10, 2008

UD extends Coast Day thanks to many

On Oct. 5, thousands of people converged on the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp campus in Lewes for our 32nd annual Coast Day celebration.

I wish to thank everyone who came out to enjoy the beautiful weather and celebrate Delaware’s ocean and coast. It was a delight to speak with many visitors and to learn of their great interest in our special natural resources and the work being done to conserve them for future generations.

Thanks also to the many exhibitors, ships and vendors that make Coast Day such a special and unique event. Coast Day’s theme this year was “Coastal Challenges — Coastal Solutions,” and our exhibitors and presenters did an outstanding job of offering fun, educational activities that highlighted Delaware’s coast, the challenges of balancing our natural resources with competing demands, and steps that are being taken to solve those challenges. There were more than 100 activities to choose from, including seafood seminars, lectures, research demonstrations, exhibits, ship tours, marine critter touch tanks and a crabcake cook-off.

Several sponsors helped to bring this celebration of the sea to Delawareans, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, DuPont Clear into the Future, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Sunoco Inc., Bluewater Wind LLC, OSG, Port of Wilmington, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary/Delaware Bay Oyster Restoration Project, Gary Downes Insurance, Christiana Bank, UD Institute for Public Administration, UD Water Resources Agency and Delmarva Power. We thank them for their support.

We recognized several people at our special Coast Day ceremony. William Geppert, who teaches 11th- and 12th-graders at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, deserves our praise as the 2008 Governor’s Marine and Aquatic Science Teacher of the Year. Sydney Ostroski, Max Elder, Carey Karl, Shayelyn McKirby and Cole Conrad of Richard A. Shields Elementary School, Austin Gardoski of East Millsboro Elementary School, and Meghan Subach of St. Ann School should be proud of their fantastic winning entries in the annual Coast Day Fifth-Grade Essay Contest. Their teachers – Cindy Cunningham, Brandi Townsend, Joan Balback and Marilyn Vallejo – also deserve commendation. And, finally, I again thank Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, a longtime supporter of Coast Day and Delaware Sea Grant.

I look forward to seeing you at our next Coast Day, which will be held Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009.

Nancy M. Targett
Dean, UD College of Marine and Earth Studies
Director, Delaware Sea Grant

Dorfmann still ready to help town

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the folks that voted for me in the recent Bethany Beach Council election. The new Council is seated, with Tony McClenny as mayor; Carol Olmstead, vice-mayor; and Jack Gorden, secretary/treasurer. Congratulations to Tony, Lew Killmer, Margaret Young and Jack on your election victory.

I, of course, am disappointed in not winning reelection. However, I have every confidence that the new council will work hard to continue the progress our town has made in the last four years.

That being said, I again would like to thank the many persons who took the time to call me, e-mail me and shook my hand or gave me a hug after the election. They made me feel appreciated, and I am sure that I will continue to serve the town on committees and work to continue making Bethany Beach the best place to live anywhere.

Jerry Dorfman
Bethany Beach

Family grateful for support after loss

It seems that it has been too far past the time that I should have written this, yet it also feels as though no time has passed at all. I want to thank the people that make up this wonderful community for all of the support, kindness, love, assistance and prayers that you have sent my way since my husband, Harry, became ill early last year and since his death last November.

Places of business, schools, so many churches, organizations, families and individuals have stepped forward to help Phoebe, Ian, Kerinne, Sam and me as we have struggled through our personal crisis. We are surviving, but only with your help.

I also would like to thank all who again stepped forward to help me organize the first annual Tour de Har bicycle ride for pulmonary fibrosis, in Harry’s memory. Along with participants and a multitude of donations, we raised over $4,100.

I have received a note from Harry’s doctor at Johns Hopkins, letting me know exactly how some of the money has already been used. We will make a difference and perhaps assign a purpose to Harry’s death. Thank you for continuing to give.

Doreen Walls
Ocean View

BBLA answers gripe about political event

The following letter was addressed to Bethany Beach resident Joan Gordon, in reference to her recent letter to the editor regarding the Sept. 5 Meet-the-Candidates night sponsored by the BBLA, and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Thank you for your letter expressing concerns about the Meet-the-Candidates Night meeting held in early September, which was sponsored by Bethany Beach Landowners Association (BBLA). BBLA has sponsored this civic event for many years.

I note that a majority of the comments I’ve seen and received were favorable regarding how the meeting was conducted by our volunteers. In fact, as reported in the local papers, most comments supported the efforts by BBLA’s volunteers. For example, former mayor Jack Walsh congratulated the moderator for the “excellent job he did….” Another letter to the Coastal Point also congratulated the moderator and BBLA for an “educative and well-run candidates night meeting.” I also received several similar comments and I did receive one negative comment. Given the foregoing, it appears to me that you and some others do not agree with those who believe the meeting was “well-run.”

One comment I disagree with is that BBLA is not impartial. We are. The fact that two members of BBLA board ran for office in this election does not translate into partiality. These two candidates, like many before them who have been elected to the Council, were given no special treatment at any time, directly or indirectly, by BBLA. These two candidates were eligible to run for these positions, and their involvement with BBLA does not disqualify them from running for these positions.

Also, the fact that BBLA sponsors this event does not make it partial to one candidate over another. BBLA simply has not and does not sponsor any candidate. And, as you state, the moderator stated that fact at the beginning of the meeting.

I believe the meeting process was fair to all. BBLA’s volunteers worked hard to make the process fair and facilitate the flow of information from the people to the candidates and back again. We prepared a special Election Newsletter that provided an opportunity for every candidate to present his/her credentials and to answer the same questions.

This newsletter, which included the candidates’ responses, was mailed to all eligible voters, not just BBLA members. The order of the candidates in the newsletter and at the meeting was selected randomly, by drawing names from a hat. In the newsletter, we also asked for questions from the readers for the candidates and received numerous written questions. These were grouped by topic.

At the meeting, each candidate was offered the opportunity to give an opening statement and respond to written questions from the readers of the newsletter, written questions from members of the audience that came during the meeting, and live questions from members in the audience. After responding to the questions, each candidate was offered the opportunity to make a final statement.

I think that process is pretty fair. I do not have any indication that a particular candidate had advanced notice of questions or that final statement. And, even if a candidate had never attended prior meetings, I would think that he would expect and prepare for opening and closing statements and questions in between. The fact that someone had answers and/or comments written beforehand certainly can be attributed to being prepared about common issues.

Questions from the floor are not censured, even if a question or statement is pointed. The moderator had to make a decision on the spot, which he did. Certainly, the candidate could choose to ignore the question or he could comment on why the questions or statements were out of line. And, sure, we would not be surprised that someone in the audience who supports a particular candidate would pose an “easy” question to that candidate.

One thing on which we probably agree is that an event that gives the voters a chance to meet and listen to candidates for office is a worthwhile event with a constructive purpose. Each year, we attempt to improve, and we will certainly review the timing and publishing of the agenda and ground rules and the wording.

BBLA’s volunteers do our best to make the Meet-the-Candidates Night an event in which each candidate can make his case directly to the voters and the voter have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates. We try very hard to make the process fair to everyone and, based on the comments we received, most believed we accomplished our goal.

Again, I thank you for your comments, and I hope we can talk about this sometime.

John M. Himmelberg, President

Reader puts her support behind Ryan

I am a retired professional who chose to move to Delaware’s 38th District because I had vacationed here and found the area to be enticing: clean environment, less traffic and less stress. However, I now realize that this area has problems of its own: over-crowded roads, lack of adequate infrastructure to support the growing population and environmental pollution with serious long-term adverse health effects.

That is why, on Nov. 4, I will be voting for Kay Ryan to represent our district as state representative. Kay shares my concerns about traffic congestion on Routes 26 and 54, about the cancer-causing emissions from the Indian River Power Plant and about the lack of affordable housing in our area.

We need Kay’s experience and expertise in the state legislature to make sure that the 38th District remains an attractive and inviting place for residents and businesses.

Vote for Kay Ryan on Nov. 4.

Mary James Legatski

Lipsett a supporter of Ryan in election

The 38th District is fortunate to have Mary Kay Ryan as a candidate for state representative. Kay is a life-long advocate for consumers and small business. She is intelligent, knowledgeable and resourceful.

Our next governor and lieutenant governor, Jack Markell and Matt Denn, have crafted a blueprint for the future – one that ensures health care for all Delawareans; small-business creation; and clean and affordable energy.

When voters in the 38th District elect Kay Ryan as state representative, they will be helping to ensure that the Markell/Denn blueprint for the future will become reality. Kay will be an invaluable member of the Markell/Denn team – and a new and effective voice in Dover for 38th District residents.

I urge you to join with me in electing Kay Ryan as the 38th District’s next state representative on Nov. 4.

Lois F. Lipsett
Bethany Beach

Lydic grateful for recognition, presenter

I would like to thank the members and Staff of the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce for the wonderful honor given to me last Friday night. I am privileged to join an elite company of recipients of the Lighthouse Award and to have worked with so many members of our community.

I do, however, have to clear up one item. The late Josh Freeman (also a Lighthouse winner) set up the FACES foundation to award grants to deserving organizations and we sat on the committee as members. There were no officers, just a group of people dedicated to serving the needs of the area.

It was especially nice to receive the award from Quinn. Again, thanks to all.

Walt Lydic, Kaylor Kent
Mortgage Associates
Ocean View

Bethany resident opposes project

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the to Bethany Beach Town Council and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

As a 31-year owner in Bethany Beach, I want to register my opposition to your proposed project to widen the boardwalk.

Within the last two weeks, we have had the second storm to cause damage to the newly widened beach and beach dune. It seems that the town needs to keep the funds in reserve to repair the existing beach and access ramps. It would certainly be more prudent than spending large sums to widen the boardwalk. Although the state is currently doing the repairs, the time may soon come when they say, “Enough.”

One suggestion for creating more space on the existing boardwalk would be to remove some of the benches on the areas both north and south of the bandstand area. Less people are using these, as they cannot sit and look at the ocean from that point anyway. And, I have heard it said that if the boardwalk is widened, people will be better able to see the surf. According to the principles of optics that I know about, the closer you get to a wall, the less distance you can see!

I urge you to reconsider this use of taxpayer money and to scuttle the whole project.

Nancy Voss
Bethany Beach

Powell family thanks many for support

The family of Billy Powell would like to thank you for the wonderful article that you ran in the Sept. 26 edition of the newspaper. It is so hard for us to fathom that 25 years have passed since Billy’s death, and it is comforting to know that so many people remember him so well.

In the 28 years Billy lived, he overcame many obstacles and only grew stronger and more determined to reach out and touch and change the lives of so many people. He definitely succeeded in fulfilling his purpose on this earth.

This past weekend, Lee Bunting, Steve Parsons and many other lifetime friends hosted a tribute party in Billy’s memory. Who would believe that so many friends would join together and spend an evening reminiscing about how Billy had touched their lives? He was so full of life and never missed out on an opportunity for fun.

Much of the evening was spent remembering Billy with laughter, but along with the laughter, tears were shed. Michael Truitt touched our hearts with the song that he had written for and sang at his funeral — a song composed of Billy’s last thoughts and dreams.

As we were sitting by the ocean (Billy’s most precious spot), everyone in attendance could feel the presence of Billy and his deceased father, Bill, looking down on us with much admiration and love.

For all of Billy’s family and friends that were able to attend, some traveling from far away, we thank you for everything you did to provide us with such a special night at the same house of Norris and Dot Bunting where Billy sat and watched the ocean for the very last time. It will be an evening we will never forget, a night full of memories of one we hold so dear. In our hearts, Billy is living yet, because we all loved him too dearly to forget.

Wanda Powell, Carol and Brent Hurley, and Kristen