Letters


Reader decries the sellout of America
Editor:

America faces the eminent threat of losing her sovereignty by 2010. And, sad to say, the threat doesn’t come from foreign soil but from within our own borders and people.

Have you ever wondered why:

Many of our political leaders never seemed to be concerned about our Mexican border, through which a steady stream of illegal workers, drugs and terrorists pass daily into our country?

Two American border agents were sentenced to prison for pursuing an illegal alien who had physically assaulted one of them while smuggling drugs into our country?

The National Guard was called in to back up our border agents but were not permitted to carry weapons?

The boarder volunteers were called “vigilantes” by some of our leaders and did not receive encouragement or praise from them in spite of the fact they significantly improved border-security with their presence?

Some of our leaders are anxious to provide complete amnesty to those illegal aliens already in our country?

President Bush and former Mexican President Vincente Fox often seemed to be on the same side of the immigration issue, even when it seemed the interest of the two countries should have been diametrically opposed?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Kelo decision that, “fostering economic development is an appropriate use of the government‘s power of eminent domain”? Ever wonder why the decision occurred when it did?

Closer to home, have you ever wondered why:

The shoulders of I-95 in Delaware will be closed for the next four years, beginning this spring?

Presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden and Sen. Tom Carper voted to include illegal aliens under our Social Security program?

Carper voted against making English the official language of the United States?

The answer to these questions has to do with a plan called the Security and Prosperity Partnership and a project called the NAFTA Super Highway. Neither of these are household names to most Americans, but they will need to be if we are to have any chance of retaining our country’s sovereignty.

On March 23, 2005, there was a meeting in Waco, Texas, between President George Bush, then-Mexican President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. At the end of that meeting, they announced the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, (or SPP as most persons call it).

The SPP created a new administrative infrastructure that could transfer these three countries into a North American Union similar to the European Union, and, amazingly, it is being done without a treaty and without a vote in Congress. It was at this same meeting, grandly called the North American Summit, that President Bush pinned the epithet “vigilantes” on the volunteers helping to guard our borders in Arizona.

A follow-up meeting was held in Ottawa on June 27, 2005, where U.S. representative Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a news conference that “we want to facilitate the flow of traffic across our borders.” This seemed like a strange statement for a man in his position, what with a border that leaks like the proverbial sieve, but shortly thereafter the White House issued a statement that, “the Ottawa report represents the first step in achieving the goals of the Security and Prosperity Partnership.”

The SPP plan is spelled out in detail in a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) 59-page document called “Building a North America Community.” It describes a five-year plan for “the establishment by 2010 of a North America economic and security community with a common outer security perimeter.”

So, what does the phrase “common outer security perimeter” mean to the United States?

Here are two examples:

The first is the issue of “open skies.” That means Mexican and Canadian air traffic controllers will be able to direct airplanes into our air space and land them in our airports as if they were landing them in their own country. In order for them to do that, we will need to share our navigation systems with them. Furthermore, in order to do that safely they need to know how to identify U.S. military aircraft. So, as you can see, we will have to give away quite a bit of technology and information to them.

The second issue is the idea known as “trusted trader, trusted traveler.” The SPP work groups previously mentioned, have suggested “biometric” cards be given to all approved Americans, Mexicans and Canadians in order to identify them as “trusted North American travelers.”

The North American Union will supposedly protect the perimeters of North America but it will also essentially remove the borders between these three countries. If you think about it, that will also change the nature of the debate. Mexicans who have these biometric cards and come to the United States by definition will not be illegal. Remember the goal here is to erase the borders between Mexico, Canada and the United States.

The SPP created 20 different working groups, spanning a wide variety of issues ranging from e-commerce to aviation policy to borders and immigration. They have produced a number of memorandums of understanding, as well as trilateral declarations of agreements. These new trilateral agreements essentially rewrite our administrative law so that it can be harmonized and integrated with the other two countries. These working groups report to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Guitierrez.

These SPP working groups also provide for the designation of a “trusted trader.” There is talk about putting a Sentri electronic device in their trucks, so it would only take a few seconds to cross the U.S-Mexican border in Laredo, Texas. In a sense, it would be like using an Easy Pass on one of our toll roads in America.

This brings us to the NAFTA Super Highway. The Texas segment (known as the Trans Texas Corridor) will begin construction 2007. In April 2006, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) released a 4,000-page Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that describes a corridor that will be 1,200 feet wide (the size of four football fields.) It will parallel Interstate 35, and be five lanes north and five lanes south (three for cars, two for trucks).

In the middle will be pipelines and rail lines. It will also have a 200-foot utility corridor. By the way, wish to hazard a guess as to how many lanes Delaware I-95 will have when they reopen the “shoulders” in 2010? It will have five lanes heading north and another five lanes heading south — that’s right, exactly the same number of lanes as in the first NAFTA super highway to be built in Texas.

The U.S. portion of the NAFTA Super Highway will start in Laredo, Texas, and ultimately will connect with Canada. The highway will connect with ports in Mexico (specifically Manzanillo and Lazaro Carrdenas) for NAFTA trade. The plan is to ship containers of cheap goods produced by under-market and slave labor in China and the Far East into North American via Mexican ports. From the Mexican ports, Mexican truck drivers and railroad workers will transport the goods across the Texas border.

The advantages to retail companies like WalMart, K-Mart and Home Depot (just to name a few) would be enormous. Currently, the cost of shipping and ground transportation can nearly double the cost of cheap labor and slave labor from China and the Far East.

China will be able to unload huge cargo-ships in these deep water ports and bypass much of these costs. Mexican workers will undercut the Longshoremen Union port employees on the docks of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Mexican truck drivers will undercut the Teamster and U.S. truckers, while railroads will no longer be needed to move goods across the Rocky Mountains.

These Mexican ports will be controlled by the communist Chinese through a company called Hutchison-Wampoa. Not so incidentally, Hutchison Ports Holding owns Panama Ports Company, which controls both ends of the Panama Canal. The Chinese are also working to deepen and widen the Panama Canal so they can sail their enormous container ships to Florida and travel north through another corridor. Ultimately, the plan is to have seven such corridors through out the United States.

While on the subject of the Panama Canal, the man who is considered the father of the North American Union is Robert Pastor. This is the same Robert Pastor who proposed that the United States give away the Panama Canal during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. He was also the co-chair of the May 2005 CFR report “Building a North American Community.” In addition, he is proposing that we get rid of the U.S. dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso. Instead, we would have what he calls the Amero (just like the Europeans have the Euro).

As previously mentioned, the first segment of the NAFTA Super Highway is known as the Trans Texas Corridor and construction is scheduled to begin in 2007.The corridor will run from Laredo, past Austin, to the Texas-Oklahoma border and then on to Kansas City.

The plan calls for building some 4,000 miles of highway-railways-utility super corridor throughout Texas. It is estimated it will consume some 584,000 acres of what is now Texas farm and ranchland at an estimated $184 billion. The project will be financed by Cintra Concesiones de Infraestrusturas in Spain and a San Antonio construction company Zachary Construction Company. Cintra is an investment consortium owned by the Juan Carlos family in Spain that will collect the tolls. That’s right – the money from this project will go to Spain.

Obviously, a project of this magnitude will require huge parcels of land, most of it privately owned. That is where the 2005 Kelo decision comes into play. That decision established the legal precedent of eminent domain “taking” by the state even though the “taking” is for private development. It was also important that the Supreme Court rule on this issue so that it became a federal decision and not just a state ruling. Without such a federal ruling these various “Super Highway” corridors could and probably would be delayed for years by a myriad of legal challenges in each of the states that these highways would pass through.

On the other hand, only the most determined and wealthiest of property owners would even consider challenging the state’s “taking” knowing the Kelo decision had been rendered at the federal level. One has to wonder how much of a coincidence it was that in March 2005 the three heads of state met to create SPP. Then on June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court rendered its momentous Kelo decision, and only two days later the Ottawa meeting was held.

So what are we Americans really up against if this triple play consisting of the SPP, the NAFTA super highway and the Kelo decisions is successfully implemented? Cheap labor from Mexico is an essential part of the plan to build the NAFTA super highway. The CFR document calls for creating a “North American preference” so that employers can recruit low-paid workers from anywhere in North America. No longer will illegal aliens have to be smuggled across the border. Employers can openly recruit foreigners willing to work for a fraction of U.S. wages. The CFR document calls for “a seamless North American market” and for extension of full labor mobility to Mexico.”

The CFR document calls for allowing Mexican trucks “unlimited access” to the United States, including the hauling of local loads between U.S. cities.

The CFR document demands that we implement “the Social Security Totalization Agreement negotiated between the United States and Mexico.” That’s code language for putting illegal aliens into the U.S. Social Security System, which is bound to bankrupt the system.

Experience of the European Union and the World Trade Organization makes it clear that a common market requires a court system, so the CFR document calls for “a permanent tribunal for North American dispute resolution.” Get ready for decisions from some non-American judges who probably won’t like the U.S., regardless.

There is another handout included in the plan. U.S. taxpayers are supposed to create a major fund to finance 60,000 Mexican students to study at U.S. colleges.

To ensure that the U.S. government carries out this plan so it is “achievable” within five years, the CFR calls for supervision by a North American advisory council of “eminent” persons from outside the government, along the lines of the Bilderberg Conference. Since the CFR itself is outside our elected government, we would then have another outside organization providing direction and oversight to our elected government officials. Don’t think we want that, do we?

Given the enormity of the consequences to what is being proposed, it is imperative we all become familiar with what some of our government leaders, in conjunction with others, are trying to implement. That is, they are attempting to bypass our normal democratic process through the use of trilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding – which only adds to the appearance of a conspiracy.

It is important, however, to understand that the CFR is a private organization and has no official standing within the U.S. government. It does, however, seem to have unbelievable influence within the U.S. government. But that is another story for another day.

Sen. John Ensign of Nevada had offered an amendment to prevent illegal aliens from collecting Social Security benefits, but the amendment was defeated, 50 to 49. Had either Sens. Biden or Carper voted for the amendment instead of against it, illegal aliens would not now be entitled to receive Social Security benefits. So, thanks a lot, Joe. Thanks a lot, Tom.

Since the Kelo decision and Ensign’s amendment were decided by only one vote (Kelo was 5-4) it is evident those who disagree with those results have plenty of supporters. Should you wish to defeat this concept of a North American Union and a NAFTA Super Highway, contact your elected officials and let them know the Mexico government’s failures ought to stop at its own border and not be exported to the U.S.

At the same time, ask them to vote for “House Concurrent Resolution 487,” which says the United States should not enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada, nor engage in the construction of a NAFTA Super Highway system. The bill was introduced by Reps. Virgil Goode of Virginia, Ron Paul of Texas, Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Walter Jones of North Carolina.

Allen B. Ide
Millsboro

Captain Jack’s a welcome addition
Editor’s note: The following open letter was addressed to Carol Schultze, owner of Cap’n Jack’s Pirate Mini Golf in Bethany Beach and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

Ahoy, Cap’n Jack!

I would like to be one of the first in what should be a very long line of people thanking you for coming to Bethany Beach this summer.

You see, I’m your neighbor across the street, a little gift and accessories store called Of All Things! I’ve witnessed the hurdles and potholes you experienced as you tried to get the right to come to town. I watched the painstaking construction process as you were built, and watched as your neighbors came at you with lawsuits and insults. I’m amazed that you even bothered to open, considering the preponderance of problems you had to overcome. I, for one, am very glad you persevered.

This is my fourth summer of business here in Bethany Beach and finally, thanks to you, there is life at the dead end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Prior to your arrival at the corner of Central and Pennsylvania Avenue, we were forced to look at empty buildings in various states of disrepair, then a vacant lot that was closed off with heavy cables, collected litter and generally looked like Beirut of a bad day. And then there was the sinkhole that formed in front of your property and just about caused the roadway to cave in.

Now that you’re here, I can look out my front door and see hundreds of people having a wonderful time playing mini-golf. I hear the joy and laughter coming from children and see the pride of their parents as someone hits that elusive hole-in-one. But mostly what I see are new customers.

I can’t tell you how many times this summer I was visited by mom while dad and the kids played mini-golf. People said they didn’t even know there were businesses down this far. You have single-handedly helped provide me with a 26 percent increase in summer business.

Perhaps now that you’re here, Cap’n Jack, we won’t be treated like the step-children businesses of the town. Maybe we’ll get a change machine down at our end, so people don’t have to feel embarrassed when they come in the store just to ask for quarters.

Maybe the potholes in the road will be fixed, and you can get real paved parking places in front of your entrance. Maybe we’ll get public trash cans so visitors won’t leave their trash on the steps and windowsills. And wonder of wonders, maybe they’ll even fix the storm drains and canal backwash to stop our street from flooding every time it rains more than an inch.

Finally, I hope we, as businesses and landowners, can all work together to help promote Bethany Beach as a fun and exciting place for families of all makes and means to visit. And not just in July and August, but year-round.

Scott Spencer, proprietor
Of All Things!

Chicken dinner a huge hit for Lions Club
Editor:

The members of the Lord Baltimore Lions Club wish to thank the residents of the community and visitors who attended our AUCE Fried Chicken Dinner on Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Millville Fire Hall.

Over 1,052 people attended and supported this Lions Club fund-raiser.

All monies raised through this effort is returned to our community, district and international projects, such as programs for the visually impaired, scholarships for our local high school students, loans of medical equipment free of charge, support of local Girl and Boy Scout troops, senior citizens, eye examinations and screening for students in our elementary schools and many more. None of this money is used for our administrative obligations.

We also thank the Millville Fire Company for their continued support and cooperation. They, like us, are all volunteers, and we appreciate their efforts and friendship.

Again, thank you all.

Bill Scott, Chairman
Fried Chicken Dinner Committee
Lord Baltimore Lions Club

Resident feels Parsons is the answer
Editor:

I wholeheartedly support Bob Parsons’ election to the Bethany Beach Town Council. I first met Bob when I became the founding president of the Friends of the South Coastal Library with the object of building and furnishing a library. Bob was one of our most ardent supporters and, as mayor, was instrumental in furnishing us with start-up funds and providing the land for the building.

As a longtime resident of Bethany Beach, Bob is anxious to preserve the character of our town and at the same time is a very forward-thinking resident. He is open to new ideas and solutions that will maintain our viability in the years to come. With his years of experience and his many contacts in local and state government, he will be able to focus attention on Bethany Beach and its needs.

I urge you to support Bob Parsons with your vote on Sept. 8, 2007, either in person or by absentee ballot.

Elizabeth Cranston Baxter
Bethany Beach

Resident sees Olmstead as the right choice
Editor:

It is great to see so many endorsements from individuals for different candidates running for election to the Bethany Beach Town Council. To me this means that people care enough about our town as I do to want the best representation on Council and are planning to turn out to vote.

I am writing to recommend that we vote to keep Mayor Carol Olmstead on town council for another two years. Carol has demonstrated her leadership abilities time and again during her four years working for the town, both as a member of Council and currently as mayor. She has worked tirelessly to establish more open communications between the Council and town residents. She listens to all sides of an issue and is not afraid to take a strong stand when needed, but is also reasonable and prudent in her decision-making.

Carol has already proven that she has the financial acumen the town needs to manage us through this difficult time of lost revenues created by the real estate slow down. It takes tough decisions to ensure the financial stability of a town and she has demonstrated that she is capable of making those decisions. Carol has worked extremely hard to help bring us the much-needed beach replenishment that will begin this fall. She has devoted countless hours to meetings to help her keep current with information and abreast of issues in Bethany, neighboring towns, state representatives, in workshops, and she takes time to support local community projects.

Carol has an impressive grasp of the issues that are facing our town in the future, i.e., continued growth, preservation of our town’s aesthetics, infrastructure needs, emergency planning and financial structuring, and is willing to work hard with Council to develop solutions for those issues.

How can we possibly let this experience, passion, devotion and determination go? I urge you to vote for Carol Olmstead on Sept. 8.

Paul Denault
Bethany Beach

Dorfman knows who he wants in office
Editor:

Everyone has the right to write letters to the editor supporting candidates of their choice. I have no problem with that, of course. What I do have a problem with is the misinformation that is being disseminated to the readers of the local papers.

Take the letter of longtime resident Julia Jacobson. While I have the utmost respect for Julia, her letter last week has some inaccuracies that need correcting. It was stated that the Town Council suddenly raised taxes in the middle of winter.

The fiscal tax year starts April 1 of each year in Bethany Beach. For years, the Budget & Finance Committee meets in February and March and puts together the town budget for the coming fiscal year, with the help of the town manager and the finance director. Because of the downturn in transfer tax income, new revenue was needed to continue to provide the services we enjoy here in Bethany.

Real estate taxes had not been raised in Bethany Beach since 1991. The Town Council had been acutely aware for years that any sudden downturn in transfer taxes could result in a real estate tax increase. But the Council was also aware that asking citizens to support a tax increase while the town was receiving an unanticipated $1 million-plus in revenue would not have been palatable.

Joseph Healy, member of the Budget & Finance Committee, which I chair, came prepared with excellent suggestions, and his input was very valuable. The Council passed increases in the rental tax, parking meters, business tax, as well as the real estate taxes. This had the effect of having the visitors to our town, as well as the businesses, contributing to the budget along with the homeowners. Bethany Beach, at 16 cents a $100 of assessment still has the lowest tax rate in the State of Delaware.

Letters were sent to each homeowner from the town explaining the shortfall in transfer taxes and the need for more revenue. The only fixed revenue source the town has is the real estate tax. All other revenue streams are subject to a good summer season.

The Town Council still meets every third Friday of each month, as it always has. Any meetings scheduled in addition to that are also open to the public. An example of an agenda at those few meetings is working on the protocol manual for incoming new Council members, which was completed recently. All meetings are open to the public. The Council that I presently serve is open, and is attentive to public issues and concerns.

I have worked with present Councilwoman Carol Olmstead, who has been our mayor this past year. I think she has been excellent in that capacity, representing our town, and one of the main people we owe a debt of gratitude to, for working so hard to bring beach replenishment to our town.

Joe Healy brings CPA experience to the Council if elected. He was a valuable member and contributor to the Budget & Finance Committee this past year.

Bob Parsons has been a prior member of Council and former mayor. He would bring experience and know-how to the Council. He also was very helpful in Bethany obtaining funds for beach replenishment.

I would hope you will vote for these three hard workers for Town Council.

Jerry Dorfman
Bethany Beach

Food pantry prepares for coming season
Editor:

As summer comes to an end, the Community Food Pantry is planning for the upcoming season. We look forward to getting in touch with the many volunteers who support us each year; and hopefully can interest others to join us on Fridays. A covered pickup truck and driver would be so helpful.

Last season, the Pantry served a total of 616 families who have found it difficult to survive the high costs of living. All of us are seeing increases in utilities, meds, food, etc. When on a fixed income, it is necessary to choose whether to take care of one’s health, keep warm or eat. Our objective is to ease the burden our membership faces each month.

In addition to our monthly support from the Southeast Sussex Ministerium and a group of area churches, we have received some generous donations, many food drives, gifts of warm gloves and hats, and some gently used educational toys. The Delaware Department of Fish and Wildlife donated enough ground venison for three months distribution. The Pantry was able to purchase meat products each of the nine months we were open. We have truly been blessed.

We try to keep track of the many volunteers who come on the third weekend, September through May, to shop, load the trucks, pack the bags, carry the food for our seniors and handicapped, do the paperwork and our guest ministers who open with prayer.

Rather than try to mention each individual or group and miss someone, I prefer to thank you en masse. You know who you are and we cannot say “thank you” enough to really let you know how much we appreciate everything you do. Volunteers are one of a kind and each of you is so special to devote your time and energies to keep our mission to the Lord functioning for these last 15 years.

Our special thanks to all of you who participate in the food drives held by various church groups and private organizations; and for the bread donated to us each month. Our membership also appreciates the many blessings they receive.

Last but not least, we thank Salem United Methodist Church for giving us a home three years ago. They are in the process of enlarging our closet and we look forward to some extra space for storage. We pray for continued support so that we may continue to carry on this mission to the Lord. Please call me should you want to participate or have a pickup truck and driver available on the Friday morning before the third Saturday of the month.

Dottie Campbell, Coordinator
Community Food Pantry

Reader believes that Olmstead is the pick
Editor:

It is again time to choose candidates for the Town Council to lead Bethany Beach in the coming two years. The election is Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Town Hall and I hope you all exercise your right and obligation in this process.

There are several good candidates for the three positions; however, I must recommend one particular candidate — Carol Olmstead — who I believe deserves your support.

Ms Olmstead was first elected to the Bethany Beach Town Council in September 2003; she has, over the past four years, served as secretary-treasurer, vice-mayor, and this past year as mayor.

Our beach replenishment project, finally receiving full funding in March of this year, required her to attend numerous meetings with state and federal officials. This experience has, no doubt, broadened her view of the processes involved in addressing issues and accomplishing important goals for Bethany Beach. She has also been a member of our Budget and Finance Committee, the Communications Committee and chair of the Commercial Design Guidelines Committee, which established guidelines for building or renovating in the business areas of the town.

Upon becoming a member of our Town Council, the need to reestablish our Town Museum, now located in the lobby of Town Hall, led her to ask Council, in February 2004, to approve the Bethany Beach Cultural and Historical Affairs Committee (CHAC), of which she has been chair over the past three and a half years.

CHAC has hosted, at the Town Hall, evening talks on cultural and historical topics related to Bethany Beach and the surrounding area, identified “historic” homes in town with bronze informational markers, and sponsored the “Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show” held on the boardwalk in early June each year. CHAC continues to seek ways to highlight the history and culture of our town.

Town Council members, in recent years, have had many important issues to address as Bethany Beach and our surrounding area continue to become attractive to an increasing number of people. Maintaining the quality of life so important to all of us, while confronting inevitable changes, requires informed and comprehensive decision making.

I have personally seen Ms Olmstead in action at many Town Council and committee meetings over the past several years and have been impressed by her leadership, knowledge and contributions to the topics discussed. Ms Olmstead’s commitment, coupled with her recent past involvement, contributes to her being the best choice for Bethany Beach Town Council this year.

Jack Gordon
Bethany Beach

Hocker provides local roads update
Editor:

I wanted to bring area residents up to speed regarding two intersections that have been the source of numerous complaints: Whites Neck Road (S347) and Old Mill Road (S349), and Irons Lane (S348) and Holts Landing Road (S346).

Following up on safety concerns about these intersections, I contacted the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) about making each a “four-way stop.” DelDOT conducted an assessment and determined that neither intersection qualified.

According to the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a four-way stop would be justified if:

• the volume of traffic is approximately equal on each road and there is a set minimum number of vehicles using each approach for at least eight hours a day; or

• there have been five crashes in a year that might have been preventable with a four-way stop; or

• the vision of motorists leaving the less traveled roadway is impaired; or

• (as a safety measure) when motorists expect conflicting traffic to stop.

Naa-Atswei Tetteh, a DelDOT traffic studies engineer, says neither intersection met these criteria. He added that accidents resulting from people running stop signs or “driving under the influence” are not considered as part of the crash data because these incidents would not have been preventable with a four-way stop.

With regard to Whites Neck Road and Old Mill Road, DelDOT will improve safety by installing “stop bars” on Old Mill Road, as well as “solid double yellow centerline markings” on westbound Old Mill Road and southbound Whites Neck Road. The agency also says they plan to place temporary traffic control at the intersection if it becomes part of the detour route for the SR 26 sewer project.

In the matter of Irons Lane and Holts Landing Road, DelDOT will install thermoplastic rumble strips to encourage motorists to comply with the existing stop signs on Irons Lane. Additionally, oversized “STOP AHEAD” signs with high intensity reflective sheeting and an oversized “STOP” sign for northbound Irons Lane will also be erected. Some bushes in the area will likely be trimmed to improve sight lines.

As development in the area of each of these intersections increases, both will be re-evaluated as four-way stops.

With extra vehicles plying downstate roads during the warm summer/fall months, all of us should be more alert to inattentive drivers. Smart defensive driving, combined with appropriate safety upgrades, will reduce the chances of local residents becoming unfortunate highway statistics.

State Rep. Gerald Hocker
R-38th District

Is stopping smoking on the beach the answer?
Editor:

I am glad that Delaware prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and other enclosed public places. That law has enhanced my enjoyment of those places and made me more likely to go to them.

I believe, however, that the idea of banning outdoor smoking on the beaches at Beth
I believe, however, that the idea of banning outdoor smoking on the beaches at Bethany Beach is going too far. There is room for people to get away from smokers, especially with the upcoming beach replenishment, and a little courtesy on the part of smokers is all that is needed.

There are times when restricting one person’s freedoms can be justified in terms of protecting the rights of others, but this proposal is over the line. Smokers should be able to make the decision to smoke, despite its negative health effects, as long as they do it in a manner that does not affect others.

Upon entering the beach, we are already informed that there are no dogs, ball playing, tossing objects, kites, fishing, boats, fires, alcoholic beverages or overnight sleeping. How many more restrictions do we need?

Now, if you are really looking at banning something on the beach to enhance everyone else’s enjoyment, how about getting rid of cell phones?

Larry Sherman
Bethany Beach and Lancaster, Pa.

Steele explains his choices for council
Editor:

We have four candidates applying to the voters for three spots on the Town Council. The question is “which three deserves my vote?” Let’s look at their experiences and commitment to the Town of Bethany Beach:

Joseph Healy: Serves on the Town’s Budget and Finance Committee; treasurer of almost every organization he has been a member. And has attended some of my Drainage Committee meetings. It is clear he would have no problem working with and understanding the town’s financial situation

Carol Olmstead: Currently serves as mayor. Has served as secretary-treasurer and the town’s vice-mayor. Has been the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. Was a member of the Communications Committee for the Town of Bethany Beach. Chaired the Commercial Design Guidelines Committee for downtown Bethany Beach.

J. Robert “Bob” Parsons: Bob has been mayor and vice mayor of Bethany Beach. He has worked with our Congressional delegation to get beach replenishment for the first time since 1962. He has chaired the Board of Adjustments for the past 20-plus years. And he has worked with state legislators to pass a new town charter.

Margret Young: She has been secretary of the Women’s Civic Club. And she has been a member of the Historical Association and the Cultural and Historic Affairs Committee.

There you have it! Three of four!

Some of you want to vote out the incumbent(s) because they voted to double your taxes.

A few points: they also voted to double their taxes as well. That sounds like a large increase, but consider the fact that only one other town along the coast pays less tax than Bethany Beach — it is Dewey Beach. Their residents pay no taxes; their businesses pay all the taxes.

Also, 75 percent of you, your taxes went from $300 to $600 on your multi-thousand dollar home. I am in the 25 percent that paid a much larger share and had no problem supporting the increase.

I know that there are citizens in this town that think the town should have cut their expenses first. Well, they did! There are fewer off-season police and grounds crew. It would be irresponsible to cut back on services in the summer when there are more people in town than ever. Would you be happy with a delayed police response so you could save $100?

Some of you have commented to me that there are too many flowers. If you drove through this town and you were not a resident, you would say, “My, aren’t they beautiful.” And they are! Keep up the good work, and kudos to the town employees for their hard work.

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach

Reader: Parsons is the choice for town
Editor:

My wife and I have been owners of property at 120 Oceanview Parkway Bethany Beach for 27 years and friends of the Parsonses for that period.

I served with Bob Parsons on the Board of Adjustment of Bethany Beach for about two years, during which time Bob was chair of the Board. The Board deals with issues of property owners regarding the Bethany Beach zoning and related regulations and laws, and performs an administrative decision-making role which is also judicial in nature.

The cases are sometimes complex and always important to the applicants for adjustments. Bob was a very fair, judicious and sensible chair and handled difficult, sometimes emotional, conflicts with an “even hand.” His temperament was especially suited to his position. I think he demonstrated through that his role as chair why he was and would be an excellent member of the town council.

In addition, his knowledge of the town, as a longtime devoted resident, is unparalleled and his commitment to maintaining its integrity as a very special, congenial beach resort has been demonstrated to me on numerous occasions over many years.

Recently, he has performed a lesser-known service to the community as he has taken it upon himself to assist the many young people from Eastern Europe and Russia who have obtained work permits and travel visas to come to Bethany and surrounding communities to work at summer jobs in the service businesses of the area.

Often, these young people arrive without any accommodations, means of transportation or contacts with the people of the communities in which they work. Bob has steadfastly assisted them with housing, transportation and even arranged tours of D.C. for them.

In my opinion, he has done a great service to the state and community because these young people would otherwise often be unaided and view their U.S. experience and Bethany with much less of a positive perspective.

My family and I are very much in support of Bob’s election to the Council on Sept. 8.

Thank you for supplying this opportunity for me to express my opinions publicly.

Richard E. Verville
Washington, D.C.