Letters - August 19, 2005

FOSCL offers thanks to those who helped

On behalf of the Friends of the South Coastal Library, I would like to offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to our fantastic Cottage Tour Committee and the wonderful volunteers who worked together to make the 14th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour a resounding success. For the sixth year in a row, the tour attracted a sellout crowd, netting approximately $100,000 to benefit the library.

To the 10 homeowners whose beautiful homes were on the tour, I offer our utmost thanks. Without their generosity there would have been no tour. We greatly appreciate their warmth and graciousness in sharing their lovely homes with tour-goers, thus enabling the Friends of the South Coastal Library to raise funds to expand the services and facilities of the library.

Another thank you goes to the restaurants that provided prizes for our annual “Dinner for Two” raffle. Six lucky ticket holders won dinner at DiFebo’s, Nantucket’s, The Parkway, Magnolias, Sedona or The Den at Bear Trap Dunes. We were also fortunate to offer a second raffle, thanks to popular artists Dorothy Harrison-Braun, Aubre’ Duncan, Carol Dyer and Laura Hickman, each of whom donated beautiful framed copies of their limited edition prints.

We extend special gratitude to Greg Hastings and John Mitchell of the Indian River School District for providing two school buses to carry patrons to two of our homes in Fenwick, and to William Clark and James Sample for tirelessly and good-naturedly driving on both days of the tour. Special thanks go to the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce for the use of their parking lot on the days of the tour and to Karen McGrath for her support. Also, we thank Father Kelly for allowing us to use St. Ann’s parking lot as a staging area for hostesses and parkers.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who attended the 2005 tour. I hope you had a wonderful time here in the Bethany-Fenwick area as you visited these ten delightful homes. Please join us again next year; the 15th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour will be held on Wednesday, July 26 and Thursday, July 27. Reservations for the 2006 tour will be taken after Jan. 1, 2006 by mail, and at the library beginning in late April 2006.

As we approach the time of making the expansion of our South Coastal Library a reality, we thank you for your support.

Donna J. Repass
Tour Chairman

Substitute teacher has appreciation for staff

I am a substitute teacher within the Indian River School District. My primary responsibility, as a substitute teacher, is to maintain a continuity of students’ education in the absence of their homeroom teacher.

It may shock parents to learn that there are students who disobey and/or disrespect substitute teachers. My authority allows me to dismiss errant students from the classroom and send them to the office. These students would then be placed under the jurisdiction of other school staff members for behavior interdiction.

I most certainly value the assistance of the intervention team specialists, and have many people to thank at the various schools for which I have fulfilled teaching assignments. At Indian River High School, my contacts were Mr. Smack, Mr. Walters and Mrs. Marvel. At Selbyville Middle, my contacts were Mr. Eyre, Mr. Hall and Mrs. Parker. At Sussex Central Middle, my main contact was Mr. Purnell. At Sussex Central High, there were several people who assisted me. In all circumstances, I needed their help to reassign unruly students so as to reduce classroom disruptions.

I am extremely disappointed that these “non-teaching” professional staff positions are scheduled to be eliminated for reasons of economy, as though these positions have no importance in education. I am deeply concerned about deterioration of students’ safety in the absence of these behavior modification people. What is even more perplexing to me is the situation that, apparently, has precipitated the school firings — namely, the giveback of school funds to the state of Delaware.

Mr. Lake
Indian River School District

Townsend family thanks community for support

The family of Phillip J. Townsend would like to thank the Ocean View Police Department, Delaware State Police Department, Masonic Lodge, St. George’s Church, Mercantile Peninsula (Baltimore Trust Co.). Howard’s Pub, the Department of Corrections and their many community members, family and friends for the much needed love and support provided after Phillip’s death.

It was your food, flowers, cards and phone calls that gave us emotional strength at the funeral. And it is your continued thoughts and prayers that will help us in the days ahead.

Your kindness and generosity were much needed and appreciated last week. We thank you from the bottoms of our hearts as we miss our dad (husband, son, brother, uncle, grandfather, friend).

The Townsend Family

Our youth are paying the price for war

Finally, a reality check from U.S. officials — not from the press, not from Democrats — but rather from U.S. officials on the U.S. handling of the war in Iraq.

“According to U.S. officials ... the United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society where the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges ... U.S. officials say ‘What we expected to achieve was never realistic … We are in a process of … shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning.” Washington Post, 8/14/05

“For the second time since the Iraq war began, the Pentagon is struggling to replace body armor that is failing to protect American troops from the most lethal attacks by insurgents. The … vests … cannot withstand certain munitions the insurgents use … tens of thousand of soldiers are still without the stronger protection … Upgrading the plates [for vests]…will cost at least $160 million, according to industry estimates.” The New York Times, 8/14/05

And the human cost — 1,850 American soldiers dead, at least 10,000 soldiers injured and maimed, and just recently a minimum estimate of Iraqi deaths: “Iraq’s Ministry of Health estimates bombings and other attacks have killed 4,000 civilians in Baghdad … [just] since April 28.” Washington Post, 8/14/05

No, Mr. Cheney, the insurgency is not in its last throes.

Where is our outrage? Impeachment comes to mind. At a minimum, Secretary Rumsfeld should be fired.

God bless our troops and all their families. What a terrible and costly burden they have been asked to carry for an uninformed, ideologically conceived and ill-planned war. Our youth have paid a terrible price. May God forgive us.

Mary K. Ryan