Letters


Group wants to preserve history of Ocean View
Editor’s note:
The following letter was addressed “to people who wish to preserve the rich history of the Ocean View area” and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

The Historical Committee of Ocean View has made many exciting discoveries about the rich and varied history of our town and received some truly remarkable donations of historical material that it hopes to house in an Ocean View Historical Museum in the very near future.

The current Historical Committee has a small number of members who are committed to preserving the history of Ocean View. The members have much work to do, including interviewing long-time residents who can describe Ocean View’s past, cataloging and organizing a large volume of information, preparing written materials for proper presentation and categorizing artifacts by year or decade.

Unfortunately, the committee does not have enough members to accomplish this labor of love in a reasonable time frame, and it is eagerly looking for new members who will share a love of and commitment to the preservation of Ocean View’s rich past.

The committee is also working with the town council and town manager to select a site for the museum, which it hopes to locate near or in the John West Park, the “jewel” of Ocean View.

Of course, the museum cannot become a reality without a great deal of dedicated hard work by people who love Ocean View and want to ensure that its rich history survives to enhance the lives of those who visit or live in our town.

We urge you to call the Town Hall at (302) 539-9797 and volunteer for the Historical Committee. A member of the Historical Committee will then call and extend a personal invitation to join us as we turn the dream of an Ocean View museum into reality.

We understand that many people hesitate to volunteer because they only have a limited amount of time or are unsure of their talents or skills. The committee wants to assure each volunteer that your offer will be gratefully received; the members know that this project cannot come to fruition without assistance from many members of the community. We need your expertise and talents to achieve our goals. The town has already lost so many chances for preservation and does not want the museum to fall by the wayside because we did nothing.

We also ask you to call the town if you would like to share your memories or would like to donate historical artifacts for the museum. A member of the committee will then contact you about your offer. Artifacts can be letters, articles, postcards, pictures, toys or old objects of any nature. Most letters or pictures can be photocopied so that you can retain the originals. We encourage you to share your memories and knowledge of past social or cultural events in Ocean View.

We hope that each one of you will help make the Ocean View Historical Museum a proud accomplishment that everyone can enjoy. Displaying our cultural heritage will bring honor to the efforts and accomplishments of so many from the past. Building this museum will help rekindle community spirit so that people can proudly say that they live in Ocean View, “a place to come home to.”

Mary Van Scoyoc, Janet Batlan and Richard Nippes
Ocean View Historical Committee

Captain Jack’s should walk the plank
Editor:

One can argue about the economic impact that Captain Jack’s miniature golf course has on Bethany Beach, but one point is inarguable: the décor of that establishment is utterly and completely tasteless. The project was designed and constructed with flagrant disregard of the character of the town and the sensibilities of its residents.

If anyone were shown an aerial photograph of the town and asked, “What is wrong with this picture?” he or she would unhesitatingly point to the oversized skull and the pirate ship.

Those on the town council responsible for approving this monstrosity have betrayed the citizens of Bethany Beach and should be forced to live across the street from Captain Jack’s until they come to their senses.

Robert Lewand
Bethany Beach

Reader describes death of an essence
Editor:

There once was a beautiful woman named Bethany who lived by the sea. Her coloring was vivid — golden with highlights of cream and beige. She had a significant other named Ocean Waves. At times he was strong and fierce. At other times, he was gentle and pacifying. Together, Bethany and Ocean Waves were an unforgettable team. People came from miles around to see them.

But one day, some well-meaning elders descended on this awesome pair. In the process of protecting Bethany, the elders destroyed her beauty. Never again would she be a bewitching siren — calling all to her and Ocean Waves.

Perhaps at the Labor Day Funeral next year we should weep for Bethany. Her essence will never truly live again.

Phyllis Waidner
Bethany Beach

A different perspective on Bethany dunes
Editor:

From a disabled person’s point of view, I say this for myself and for the other disabled people. For those of us that are in wheelchairs, ever since they put in the sand dune, I’ve heard the talk and read what people have said.

Some of you need to sit in a chair on the boardwalk and look at the view. Then you will understand what someone will see from a wheelchair.

During the summer, I travel from Ocean View to Bethany in my wheelchair. Even when summer’s gone, I still go down on the nice days. I really enjoy the goings on, but my biggest enjoyment is the water show; the local boys really put on a good one.

There will be walkways made from the boardwalk to get over the dunes for the beach-goers. All I ask is: make sure we wheelchair-bound have access from the boardwalk to the top of the dunes, so we can have that view back.

Dean Derrickson
Ocean View

Reader thinks we’re trusting wrong group
Editor:

“I’m here from the government, I’m here to help.”

So our new dune/mountains have been designed by the Army Corps of Engineers — aren’t they the same guys that brought us the New Orleans levees? Yikes.

They didn’t measure the height of the boardwalk correctly? Come on. These are the big guys.

When the Atlantic decides to breach the dune/mountains, how is the saltwater going to get back out where it belongs?

We are told get used to it. We’re told it’s the right thing to do. Shut up and the government will take care of it. The Army Corps of Engineers is looking into it? The dune/mountains are being built by a company from Covington, La. Bet they worked on the New Orleans levees?

Buy up the postcards of beautiful Bethany Beach as it was, we’ll never see it that way again.

More power to Tony Pratt and Mayor Carol Olmstead. Please keep up the fight for a reasonable fix to the problem.

Patricia Getter
Huntington, N.Y., and Bethany Beach

It’s definitely time to study voting process
Editor:

Voting season is rapidly approaching, and Perry Mitchell’s article dealing with the problems with and mistrust of touch screen system (TSS) voting machines is timely. The issue will not go away, and with good reason.

The machines used in Delaware are neither transparent nor verifiable. When one touches the names of the candidates, those names light up. When finished voting, the vote button is pushed and the names disappear from the screen. The voter has no idea how his vote was recorded. Thus the vote lacks transparency.

At the end of the day the machine is opened and buttons are pushed to produce a paper tally of the vote. There is no way to do a recount, thus the vote is not verifiable. In a recent election, a candidate lost by three votes and was certainly entitled to a recount but of course it is not possible to do a recount on the Delaware voting machines.

It is interesting to note at this point that the companies who manufacture these machines also manufacture ATM machines. The ATM can record the transaction at the bank, issue money and a receipt. One has to wonder why they did not manufacture voting machines that issue a receipt to the voter that could be checked for accuracy and then deposited into a ballot box to be available for a recount.

Are they that dumb or were they selling the ability to control the vote? When one considers the money and power that accrue to those who hold public office especially at the federal level the motivation to rig an election is obvious. People have been killed for less.

The Clintons are a good example. Before being elected to public office and moving into public housing (the Arkansas Governor’s mansion and the White House) they had very little money. They are now millionaires.

Computer science professors in prestigious universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Rice, Johns Hopkins, Caltech and MIT and others have done studies and issued reports on the many ways that elections can be rigged and stolen using TSS machines. Doubtless this has already happened.

If it is possible to do something then someone somewhere is probably doing it. The state of Maryland purchased these machines even after hearing a report from Professor Rubin of Hopkins on how easy it was to break into and rig these machines. Prior to the last election, Gov. Ehrlich of Maryland was advising voters to vote on absentee ballots to leave a paper trail. Gov. Ehrlich lost the election. It could have been honestly or the election could have been stolen. There is no way to know.

Thirty-five percent of the counties in the U.S. use TSS computers as voting machines but some of these issue a receipt. Fifty percent of the counties use optical scan equipment. In this system the voter marks his choices with a #2 pencil on a sheet of paper. This is then read and counted privately with an optical scanner, much as the SAT exams are graded, and the ballot is then deposited into a ballot box and is available for a recount. These machines are much cheaper than TSS machines.

The Delaware election officials assure us that the TSS voting machines are reliable and trustworthy but in reality neither the voter nor the people who run and witness the elections have any idea what the machines are doing with the vote.

They are in effect asking us to trust them. Ronald Reagan always said, “Trust but verify.” The next time you wonder why it is so difficult to “Throw the bums out,” look at how you are voting, not at for whom you are voting.

Dorothy Ireton
Bethany Beach

The dune is not built for the view
Editor:

For many years, residents in our area have been fighting for and writing to government officials for funds to build a dune to protect our embattled beachfront which has suffered serious erosion over the decades. As an oceanfront homeowner in South Bethany who has seen her beachfront disappear more every year, I was elated when the funding came through and construction began last month in Bethany Beach.

Consequently, I was appalled when I read that Bethany Beach residents are requesting to lop off as much as five feet of the dune because the dune now under construction is ruining their boardwalk view. Negotiations are now being held with the Corps of Engineers to discuss reducing the dune.

I sincerely hope that Mayor Olmstead, Tony Pratt and the Corps of Engineers stop this attempt to reduce the dune even one inch. After a recent storm Tony Pratt said, “The dune appeared to have settled about a foot. I could see a plentiful amount of ocean. I could see people standing on the beach at waist height. Another foot down, and I’ll see the beach.”

With the first nor’easter storm, and subsequent storms, the dune will automatically be reduced another foot and more. I am dismayed that the Bethany boardwalkers are so short-sighted (no pun intended) that they don’t realize that Mother Nature will be lopping off the top for them very soon, and if they hasten the process, they will also hasten the subsequent erosion of the dune and the beach.

Finally, has anyone thought about raising the Bethany boardwalk benches so the short people can see over the dunes? Wouldn’t raising these benches on a platform two feet higher than the dune be simpler than delaying and physically undermining a project we’ve worked so hard to get?

I realize that it’s possible the dune height may also affect the view from my own oceanfront home, but I think the importance of protecting my beach for the future takes priority. It is a fragile piece of earth and we have been given the opportunity to ensure it exists for decades to come with a strong dune construction. Let’s not chip away at that opportunity.

If the Bethany folks want a future beach for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I’d suggest getting some booster pillows to temporarily wait out the storms that will quickly reduce the dune to their ankle level.

Therese Keane
South Bethany

Aumiller deserves credit for library efforts
Editor:

Saturday night was the Harvest Ball for the South Coastal Library. It was a great night and a lot of people did a tremendous amount of work to get it ready and to make it a success. Ray Aumiller gave all those people credit for the work they did. It was a long speech, because there are and were a lot of people to thank.

But, there was one person who was not thanked. I checked with others to make sure I am right and they agreed with me. So, I would like thank him now. He was, is, and will be a major factor in getting the new addition built. He is the speaker himself, head of the Campaign Fund, Ray Aumiller.

Ray, you have done one hell of a job.

Congratulations, Ray.

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach