Letters


Nippes declares Ocean View candidacy
Editor:

I am taking this opportunity to announce my candidacy for councilman representing District 1 in Ocean View. [Voting in] this election for District 1 is open to all registered voters in Ocean View, not just the residents living in District 1.

This decision to seek public office has been made after intensive personal contemplation, support from my wife and encouragement from friends and residents in Ocean View. Let me preface my remarks by saying that I wish Eric Magill could seek re-election, because he has been a stalwart for advocating fiscal responsibility and smart growth. Unfortunately, a provision in the town charter that calls for term limits negates Eric’s ability to seek re-election. His departure is a significant loss to the community.

Mr. Magill wrote a letter to the local newspaper urging residents to step up and serve the community. I have decided after careful deliberation to accept his challenge and use my expertise to help solve the numerous challenges facing Ocean View.

I pledge to the residents of Ocean View to continue the movement spearheaded by Mr. Magill to place the town’s finances on a solid foundation and to stress “smart growth” for any future development in the town or annexations into the town. The rapid growth that has exploded in Sussex County has been a boom to the county and local towns. Transfer tax revenues have flowed into the town treasuries. There has been no need to consider raising real estate taxes because most towns are sitting on surplus funds.

Unfortunately, most towns did not plan for nor foresee a down turn in the housing market. Mr. Magill and other council members did see this eventuality and have begun a process to create a balanced budget predicated on a stable revenue base.

The long-range financial planning committee is making some difficult recommendations but if action is not taken on these recommendations, the town faces large deficits that will require huge real estate increases or cuts in services. I pledge to the voters of Ocean View to be a tireless proponent of fiscal restraint and maintaining promised services.

Some of you probably know my name from the Newcomer’s Club. As president of this public service organization, the members endeavored to inform the local residents about the consequences of unregulated growth and the burden it was placing on the local infrastructure. The organization sponsored debates among candidates running for public office and sponsored a series of town meetings where experts talked about the need for “smart growth.”

Ocean View has not been immune from this growth and in my opinion this growth has impacted negatively on the character of our small town. There is little land left for development in Ocean View without further annexation. I will work hard to see that Council employs “smart growth” principles to future growth. I personally feel that greater effort needs to be exerted to attract businesses to Ocean View.

Let me state unequivocally that I support our police department and its new facility. The police are one of the strongest assets the town possesses. Our chief of police is highly respected in police circles and he has created a highly professional police force in Ocean View.

In my community of Briarcliffe, when needed, the police responded within minutes on several occasions. The police have given out numerous speeding tickets on Woodland Avenue in an effort to make a dangerous road safer for communities that exit onto Woodland Avenue. I would not want to live in a community where I would have to depend on the State Police to respond, since they are spread so thin. Our town is also blessed to be covered by the Millville Volunteer Fire Company and ambulance service. These organizations deserve the support of the town.

Finally, I want to encourage residents of Ocean View to participate in creating social and cultural events that will rekindle a new esprit de corps in the community. The community has a rich historical background and this needs to be preserved and promoted. Highlighting the rich cultural history of Ocean View will bring greater statewide focus on the unique characteristics of the town. This will help to attract new business and people will seek to live in a community with rich cultural history and that also maintains a small town character.

In conclusion, my background and leadership experiences make me well qualified to serve you on the Town Council. I enter this election with trepidation, since the challenges facing the community are great, but with the current leadership on the Council and coupled with the expertise found among the residents, no challenge is insurmountable.

I solicit your vote on April 14, but regardless of whether you vote for me, please vote. Millions of young men and women, past and present, have made great sacrifices to preserve the right for you to elect your government leaders. Honor their sacrifice by taking the time to register and vote. If you have questions about my qualifications or my stand on issues, please feel free to contact me.

Richard Nippes
Ocean View

Wind power is very important for all of us
Editor:

I am a home owner in Millsboro. I purchased a townhome in Long Neck a few years ago with the intention to retire there next year. I have become increasingly concerned about the health issues that plague the area, namely the water and air pollution created by the power plant.

I am not insensitive to the remarks of one resident who expressed concern over the bird migration in the area that may be impacted by the wind generators offshore. But the negative impact coal has on the ocean and wildlife far exceeds any potential low impact of wind farms.

One of the reasons I purchased in Long Neck was to be able to enjoy nature near the water, including the birds. But I do not intend to move there for that serenity at the possible increased risk of cancer from the pollution levels in Delaware.

I ask the local officials: Please, please, please do not take further risk with the health of the residents, particularly our children and grandchildren, for the sake of the (maybe?) lower-cost coal fuel. Please put politics aside and think of the health issues when making this very big decision. Please choose sustainable wind power for Delaware.

Ann DiSisto
Millsboro

Sussex Smiles a positive for many
Editor:

It doesn’t take long for newcomers to Sussex County to realize how poor dental health is in our citizens. There are numerous jokes that begin “How do you tell a Sussex County girl from …” As a dental health professional I do not find it amusing. In fact, I find the situation abhorrent.

In the year 2000, the Surgeon General of the United States released a first-time-ever report on oral health. It focused on how oral health is an essential determinant of a person’s quality of life, functional abilities, and sense of well being. C. Everett Koop, M.D., called for every state and community to make the oral health of their population a priority. He called for dental professionals, policy makers and interested individuals to get started implementing effective community-based oral disease prevention and health promotion strategies.

In March of 2003, after several years of planning, contacting key players at the state level, community-speaking, fundraising and equipment donation gathering, Sussex Smiles Dental Care Inc. opened its doors. The faith -based non-profit, modeled on the Pierre Toussaint Dental Office in Wilmington, was and still is the only place in Sussex County where adults receive dental care at fees less than private practice offices.

The State is our landlord and generously rents us a building on the Stockley Campus in Georgetown. Donations from the Carl M. Freeman Foundation and Delaware Community Foundation enabled us to purchase the two new pieces of equipment we needed. The Longwood Foundation and Discover Bank each donated $25,000. Community groups like the Seaford Lions and Georgetown-Millsboro Rotary were also supportive.

Unfortunately, after the first year we had to stop accepting new patient applications. The response for services is so overwhelming.

Dental care is expensive — very expensive — and it is a luxury item for so many people. Be that as it may, dentists are necessary when delivering dental care; and that is the obstacle for our operation. The Division of Public Health, State of Delaware published a study called “Dentists in Delaware, 1998.” It is full of bar graphs demonstrating the total lack of dentists in Sussex County.

Even more disturbing was the finding that over one third were 55 years of age or older. It was the hope of the founders of Sussex Smiles to tap into that pool of retiring Delaware dentists. It is well known that the first year of retirement is difficult psychologically for many; and a charity clinic could be a win-win for all concerned.

Unfortunately, this did not come to pass. Dr. Bob Emory of Milford was our first and foremost volunteer dentist. Unfortunately, he moved to Virginia in late 2005 and the citizens of that state are now benefiting from his charity work.

Our next thought was to seek a licensing mechanism for the out-of-state relocating dentists moving here. Unfortunately, we cannot get a bill through the legislative committee, as organized dentistry in Delaware objects and lobbies hard. Meanwhile, the thousands of Sussex Countians in need of dental care are still waiting.

Sussex Smiles has submitted a FY 2008 Grant In Aid application asking the state to provide money for the salary of a dentist, assistant and receptionist for one year. The 12 members of the Joint Finance Committee who will decide how the money is distributed are: Rep. Cathcart and Sen. Cook, co-chairs; Rep. Booth; Sen. Henry; Rep. Miro; Sen. McBride; Rep. Wagner; Sen. Vaughn; Rep. Schwartzkopf; Sen. Amick; Rep. Williams; and Sen. Cloutier. To e-mail any of them, use the formula of firstname.lastname@de.state.us. All legislators receive regular mail at P.O. Box 1401, Legislative Hall, Dover, DE 19903.

If you believe low-income adults who live in Sussex County should have an alternative to private-practice offices; and if as a taxpayer you are outraged spending $.5 million dollars of medical assistance funds per year for adult recipients to drop into the Beebe and Nanticoke Emergency Rooms for pain and antibiotic prescriptions for dental infections that will keep reoccurring, please contact your legislators and the Grant In Aid committee. Ask them to fund this project.

We need serious money to pay salaries. Only dental treatment by dentists and preventive services by hygienists like myself can help our community turn its poor dental health around. Let these policy-makers know that Sussex County is tired of being the stepchild.

My observation after decades in dentistry is that oral health is getting worse and worse, even thought scientists are proving it more and more important. The old adage, “when you have your health, you have everything,” could not be more timely.

Anne E. Green
Millville

Using IGCC sounds like a smart plan to reader
Editor:

Right here in Delaware we have the opportunity to act now on a topic of national concern.

On Feb. 26, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the site of a proposed NRG Integrated Gasification Combustion Cycle (IGCC) plant in upstate New York to announce the reintroduction of her “Strategic Energy Fund” bill in Congress – a $50 billion investment for expanding research, development and deployment of clean energy.

In her announcement, Sen. Clinton touted IGCC plants as “next-generation power plants” that will enable this country to meet its long-term energy needs by tapping into our most abundant fuel source “without contributing to global warming.” Sen. Clinton was clear — it’s simply not feasible for coal to be replaced as a source of electricity in this country in the near term, so it is incumbent on all of us to find ways to use this abundant fuel source while minimizing its environmental footprint. In this, there is only one answer — “IGCC” and NRG wants to put this technology to work in Delaware.

Sen. Clinton’s support of IGCC reflects the very same imperatives that we at the Indian River power plant are driven by in proposing an IGCC facility at the existing site. But instead of being encouraged in this endeavor, it seems that people just assume that if coal is used, it’s like a 19th Century Dickens novel and it’s just plain bad. This couldn’t be further from the truth and there is a lot to lose — $1.5 billion of investment, over 1,000 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs and environmental improvement opportunities.

Sen. Clinton not only uttered the word “coal,” she actually heralded this abundant domestic solid fuel and IGCC technology as innovative and an absolutely critical component of not only addressing our future energy needs, but also addressing the very real issue of global warming.

She is not alone in her views. There are initiatives all over this country to build coal plants that utilize IGCC. In Texas, environmental groups such as Environmental Defense, a leading national nonprofit organization, which links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems, have actually lobbied the governor of Texas to urge his support for IGCC facilities to be built.

Sen. Clinton and others — including other states that will compete with Delaware for federal grants — know that coal must be part of our country’s long-term energy strategy — a strategy that absolutely must address supply issues and environmental concerns.

The truth is that other technologies such as wind, solar, natural gas and even ethanol, while a necessary part of our overall energy strategy, simply cannot substitute for coal since those other technologies either do not produce enough reliable electricity, or their cost is contingent on fluctuating foreign fuel sources which we, as a country, have no control over.

Therefore, as residents of this state, why wouldn’t we support IGCC, which uses coal and innovative technology to produce clean energy, as part of our long-term energy strategy? Why can’t we see what everyone else is seeing?

Dave Tober
Georgetown

Hocker plans on taking concerns to the state
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the 38th District and forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been attending my “Coffee’s On Me” events at Hocker’s Grocery & Deli. The attendance has been fantastic, which proves that the 38th District cares about the issues affecting our area. I pledged to “Take Sussex County to Dover” and this is the best way to listen to the concerns of my constituents and do the job you elected me to do.

Our last event brought updates on the energy decision and, I hope, I brought some new light to the subject, explaining the need to look at all possibilities. We need a combination of energy sources at this point to supply the needs, as well as finding cleaner ways to protect our district.

As expected, the DelDOT shortfall and the effects on our local projects were discussed. There were some suggestions on ways of increasing funds and some concerns on the possible proposals from our governor.

We discussed the updates on the Indian River Bridge project and discussed some local road issues as well. We had some individual problems brought to my attention and I hope I assisted everyone in their needs, whether it be contacts for communities on stormwater management, follow-ups on the Double Bridges Road issue, or contacts for personal issues in the state agencies.

A new constituent requested a “survey” to the constituents. He was not aware that I have done exactly that since I have been elected and I explained that the current survey was in print at that time and, hopefully, everyone has received your copy at the time of this printing. Please complete and return that survey to me as soon as possible. This is another very important way of listening to my constituents and “Taking Sussex County to Dover.”

My next scheduled “Coffee’s On Me” is Thursday, March 29, at Hocker’s Grocery & Deli from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Please pass the word that this is a public event and I invite all of my constituents to attend to be informed. You can also feel free to contact me anytime by phone (office: 537-6016), e-mail (Gerald.Hocker@state.de.us), or just stopping me in one of my stores.

Rep. Gerald W. Hocker
38th District

Jefferson School thanks many for support
Editor:

The Jefferson School enjoyed another successful comedy fundraiser on March 2, thanks to local individuals and business that offered their help in ways both great and small.

As organizers of the fourth annual comedy fundraiser known as An Elegant Evening of Laughter, we wish to thank everyone who supports the Jefferson School’s innovative approach to education. The fundraiser makes its possible for the school to continue pursuing its mission.

We owe a debt of gratitude to all of our sponsors: Great Scott Broadcasting; Prudential Gallo Realtors; The Cape Gazette; Kids Cottage; Wal-Mart; Paulice and Rick Bell; Grotto Pizza; Jack Lingo Inc., Realtor; Preston Suzuki and Millsboro Automart; Fuqua & Yori, P.A.; Delmarva Temporary Staffing; Intervet Inc.; Community Bank Delaware; Go Fish!; Shore Electric; The Rusty Rudder; Mr. and Mrs. Donald Anderson; Delaware Beach Life magazine,; Kid’s Ketch’ Curtis J. Leciejewski, DDS; Peninsula Oil & Propane; Law Office of Schab & Barnett; The Sussex Countian; and The Jefferson School Parents Association.

Thanks, also, to the businesses that donated gifts and services for our raffle: Bellinger’s Jewelers; Café a go go; Café Azafran; Café Zeus; Cloud 9 Restaurant; Eden Restaurant; Espuma; Go Fish!; La La Land; La Rosa Negra; Nage; Spa by the Sea; Surf Bagel & Deli; The Buttery; The Cultured Pearl; and Victoria’s. Door prizes were donated by: bad hair day?, Browseabout Books and Delaware Beach Life magazine.

We’re grateful for the help of David Warick, our master of ceremonies, and to the Delaware Comedy Theatre, which opened the performance. Several community volunteers who very generously donated their time include David Engel, Holly Lane, Brooke Sterling, Tom Miglino, and Melissa and Ed Martin.

Finally, we thank our patrons, who continue to support this event and enjoy an evening of laughter with The Jefferson School.

Alison Blyth, Tricia Ratner, Patricia Rivera, Susan Selph, Nathalie Willard
An Elegant Evening of Laughter event committee.