Letters to the Editor -- June 6, 2008

AARP thankful for community help

The Artisans Fair sponsored by the South Coastal Delaware AARP Chapter was a huge success, thanks to the support of many in our community. This was a new venture for our chapter, so we were charting unproven ground. Our goal was to raise funds for our newly created Scholarship Fund for Indian River High School seniors.

The fair met our expectations and more. First, we sold out all spaces at the Millville Fire Hall to a group of very talented artists in a variety of media. Businesses in the community contributed generously to allow us to save costs on concessions. Thanks to Hocker’s, G&E, Super Giant, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Subway in Bethany Beach and Grotto Pizza for their support. Many of our more than 600 members provided items for our sold-out Bake Sale.

No event will work without publicity. We are especially grateful to the Coastal Point for the wonderful features about participating exhibitors for several weeks in advance of the show. We also appreciate the many businesses who willingly let us post notices about the event in store windows and on bulletin boards.

Above all, I want to thank Jan and Bob Shaeffer who chaired the event, obtaining exhibitors, laying out the show, mobilizing volunteers and directing traffic on Route 26 on a very busy Saturday. Special thanks also go to Alicia McDermott, who helped in so many ways – especially in obtaining business contributions.

No event is a success without the involvement of many people, and more than 40 chapter volunteers helped throughout the day and leading up to the event. Finally, we want to thank all of the hundreds of area residents and tourists who stopped by to shop, eat and buy bake sale items. This support will come back to the community through the scholarships we are able to provide young people in the area.

Ione Phillips, Chapter President
South Coastal Chapter, AARP

Reader throws his support behind Carney

This year’s election is critical because Delaware needs a new way of doing business or our economy will not be able to keep up with the changing times. Lt.Gov. John Carney will bring new ideas to Dover and has the experience to actually get things done.

John understands that we need to tap into the pool of hardworking Delawareans in order to grow our economy. He’s been working to bring jobs to the state for 20 years and is the only candidate for governor who has the experience to face the challenges ahead. We need someone who can anticipate future problems and who has the vision to prevent budget crises before they arise. We need a governor who has been right on economic issues since the beginning. That governor should be John Carney.

Charles S. Rust

Local couple grateful to Bethany police
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Bethany Beach Police Chief Mike Redmon and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication:

We would like to officially acknowledge Officer Chuck Sharp, who went beyond the call of duty in assisting and helping my wife, who was having car trouble and was broken down on Coastal Highway. He is to be commended and his public service reflects his true caring for the people in this town. It also shows that your guidance, training and staff selections are right on the money. Please let Officer Sharp know how grateful we are and that it is good to know that there are people out there who are willing to help in any situation.

I also found out that Officer Rick Hayden had a hand in directing assistance to my stranded wife, and we would like to thank him as well.

Thanks again.

Alice and Jim Stromberg
Ocean View

State officials need to educate themselves

Whether one’s cause is the environment, open government, civil rights or something else, many Delawareans feel our state legislators, particularly our senators, are failing us miserably. What do they not understand about representative government?

As it happens, Delaware has no educational requirements whatsoever for its lawmakers — and it shows. A representative told me his religion aids him in voting against sexual orientation equality in the workplace. Another told me she supports amending our Delaware constitution to prohibit gay marriage because the Amish want it.

A senator opposes workplace equality for gay people because he is revolted by our private lives. Another opposed labor fairness for gay people because he was sure we recruit children to our “lifestyle.”

Such ignorance would be laughable, except that this is how our elected leaders govern us in Delaware. Frankly, we are disgraced as a state by those lawmakers who remain so cheerfully uninformed — as well as those lawmakers who are too timid to oppose them.

Whereas May 17 found Cuba hosting the International Day Against Homophobia, presided over by President Raul Castro’s daughter, our legislators cannot even agree that employment fairness for all Delawareans befits a democracy.

Douglas Marshall-Steele

Memorial Day service a meaningful event

I have been attending the Bethany Beach Memorial Day services for several years. I must say that this year was the most enjoyable and thoughtful of all the services I have ever attended.

First, the children’s orchestra and solo/duet performances were delightful, and it was a pleasure to note that the performers were from many diverse ethnic groups and backgrounds.

Second, the speeches were moving and deliberate in thought. I so enjoyed the speech from the 84-year-old man who had fought in World War II. His description of his experience in battle was gripping and fascinating and held the audience’s attention. The young man who won an award for his essay recited it (rather than read it!) with such maturity and expression. He was most impressive!

I particularly want to express my appreciation to William King, who led the benediction and invocation, for his sensitive choice of words of prayer that was inclusive and open to all those in the audience who come from varied religious backgrounds.

Thanks to the VFW members who planned and organized a very meaningful and moving service.

Carol Ann Rudolph
Bethany Beach

Joint effort is a noble cause for veterans

The News Journal devoted 75 percent of its Opinion Page to our veterans on Memorial Day. To have dedicated one-third or one-half of the page would have been fitting; to dedicate 75 percent is gracious and patriotic.

It was a masterfully balanced page with the cagelcartoons.com drawing at top center capturing the true essence of the day. The editorial at the center of the page provided the lesson for the day.

This editorial cited two groups in Lewes who have been opposing each other for 3.5 years about the war. They joined forces recently, “crossing the aisle” to send a letter to their U.S. congressmen. The letter asked Congress to provide resources sufficient for medical and psychological support for returning veterans. This joint effort, in my opinion, is the true essence of our country: Have your differences and exercise them fully, but join together to address the crucial issues.

About a month ago, I wrote a letter about the same topic to the same three congressmen. To date, Rep. Castle was the only one to reply. It is obvious the other two gentlemen have other interests to pursue. But, “I’m here to tell ya,” they don’t have a better one.

Our nation’s treasure is the minds, the bodies and the blood of our military men and women — all of them.

I sense beginning rumblings for concern for our nation’s psychologically wounded veterans across our great nation. My hope is that it will soon erupt into thunderous applause in recognition for the service they have given to our country. Perhaps that is what it will take for our nation’s leaders to recognize that their plight is indeed one of the most crucial moral issues for our day. They need to seize the moment and get to the bottom of this critical issue. They need to do it for each and every psychologically wounded veteran.

Best wishes to the two groups in their noble joint endeavor!

Harry Kreger
Ocean View