Editorial – Latest IRSD referendum born from area growth

Date Published: 
September 23, 2016

Latest IRSD referendum born from area growth

This is one that comes at no surprise, whatsoever.

The Indian River School District (IRSD) recently announced they will be hosting a current-expense referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The amount needed has not been announced yet, as IRSD officials want to make sure they “can be very exacting for what every penny will be used for,” explained Superintendent Susan Bunting.

So, why is this not a suprise? Well, schools are primarily funded through state funding and local property taxes. With the student population growing exponentially, and the 2017-fiscal-year budget dropping by $6.87 million, IRSD had to pull from its reserve fund and slash discretionary budgets by 30 percent. That can put any entity at risk, and it is especially disheartening when it is our schools that are at risk. The growth could contribute to another referendum in 2017, as well.

IRSD is working with the state’s Department of Education to potentially build new schools and classrooms to meet the growing need of a growing population. If the District deems that is a direction they need to go, then they will apply for another referendum for major capital improvement (to build new schools) and current expenses (if more money is needed for continuing costs of operation).

The area is growing, and nobody can question that with a straight face. There are also more young families here today than there were yesterday, and the school population figures clearly display that fact.

Our schools will need more money to maintain their standards.

It’s early, but masks are already all around us

Date Published: 
September 23, 2016

If you’ve entered a grocery or drug store since, oh, July, you have noticed that Halloween items are filling the aisles.

Candy corn, miscellaneous goodness from the fine people at Hershey and trinkets that howl or laugh ominously greet you at every turn. There are costumes for witches, warlocks and wizards, to go along with beloved Disney characters and the old standbys, like Strawberry Shortcake and various superheroes.

So, yeah, like nearly all the other holidays that are celebrated throughout this country, Halloween gets an obscenely early start at our stores. But don’t look at this remarkably-handsome editor to complain about this one.

I like Halloween. I love watching kids get dressed up in their costumes and excitedly chase candy. I like when people decorate their houses, haunted houses open up and scary movies dominate the television listings. I get a kick out of the new costumes that pop up every year that reflect our current times, smoke machines at nearly every event and the playing of “Monster Mash” on the radio every 11 minutes.

The celebration of Halloween in this country is largely centered on individuality and creativity. Every kid wants the coolest costume of his or her friends. Many adults want to host or attend the craziest Halloween party, give away the best treats or make their homes the wildest in their neighborhoods.

It’s fun.

Sure, there are the random eggings, candy-stealing and flaming bags of poop that mysteriously pop up on the doorsteps of people who either don’t give away candy or give dental floss, but I’m an adult now, so I’m guessing those numbers have dropped dramatically since about 1981. There was that one year when my friends and I...

But I digress.

There is also the thrill of being anonymous, right? You get to put on a costume, toss aside who you are on a day-to-day basis and become someone else, entirely, if only for one night.

And then there is Shaun Miller.

Miller, 31, of Hyannis, Mass., was a heroin distributor for the notorious Nauti-Block street gang, which investigators claim is responsible for “a significant portion of the heroin that is distributed on Cape Cod,” according to

Federal prosecutors had been reportedly staking out Miller’s mother’s house for weeks, but didn’t arrest the old man who walked out — until an alert officer noticed something was odd about the old man’s eyes. As officers approached the old man, they got a little closer look and one of them reportedly pulled a mask off the old man. Lo and behold, it was Shaun Miller, and he had allegedly been avoiding arrest for months by wearing the realistic mask around town.

“I think it was pretty clever,” said Peter Dunbar, a neighbor who had watched the arrest take place. “I’ve never seen something like that before. That’s someone who really knows what they’re doing.”

Well, kind of. Miller was indeed arrested, after all, and police reportedly discovered two loaded weapons and nearly $30,000 in cash hidden in a laundry basket in the house.

An NBC affiliate in Chicago reported on a bank robbery that took place in a neighboring suburb last Friday. According to the FBI, the robber showed a handgun during the robbery, and was able to get away before law enforcement got to the scene.

It was the description of the subject in the story that most stood out to me: “He is described as a black male, standing between 6-feet and 6-feet-2, with a medium build, the FBI said. The suspect was wearing a wolf mask, a red hat, light-colored pants and a dark blue long-sleeve shirt.”

I’m sorry. Did you say, “wolf mask?”

Here’s why I would make a terrible witness in a crime like this:

“Mr. McCann, can you describe the suspect?”

“Yeah. He was a wolf.”

“I understand he was wearing a mask, but what else can you tell us?”

“Dude was a wolf. A wolf wearing a hat. Are there a lot of those running around town these days?”

“I think we’re done with you, Mr. McCann.”

Of course, while masks are nearly always used for concealment, sometimes it’s not about hiding who’s inside as much as what’s inside.

Authorities in New Zealand, according to another story on (I swear, I do visit other sources), discovered an 881-pound diamante-encrusted horse that arrived at Auckland International Airport, via Mexico. Within said horse were 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine, valued at nearly $11 million U.S., according to the story.

Two quick thoughts: First, “diamante” is a word describing a glittering ornament, not just a make of car. I looked it up. Second, why was it not surprising that the two men arrested at the airport were a Mexican national and an American?

You would think that the people responsible for a potential drug-smuggling operation in New Zealand might be, you know, from New Zealand. But, nope.

And they will probably be wearing orange jumpsuits for Halloween.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — September 23, 2016

Date Published: 
September 23, 2016

Chocolate tasting a hit, thanks to many


Thank you to everyone who attended the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park’s recent Chocolate Tasting on Sept. 10, 2016. All of the proceeds from the Chocolate Tasting support the Thatcher Education Fund, which provides travel expenses to schools that need help to bring their students to the park.

We would also like to thank all the local businesses who donated items for our raffles and the many dozens of volunteers who baked and served the delicious chocolate nibbles. These individuals donated over 300 hours of time to make the Chocolate Tasting an outstanding success.

Finally, we would like to thank the management and staff at the Cape Henlopen State Park, who without their support and co-operation, the Chocolate Tasting would not have been possible.

Pam Plaza and Trish Baines, Co-Chairs

FOCHSP Chocolate Tasting 2016

Reader: 620,000 did not die over slavery


The secession of the southern states in the 1860s was not a treasonous act. It was in response to a subversive federal government. They did not desire to destroy the federal union. Their desire was for localized government instead of federalized government.

Jefferson Davis stated, “We desire peace at any cost, save that of honor and independence; not conquest, aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the states we’ve left.”

There is no shame or dishonor in loving freedom; these are the principles that bred the Southern Confederacy. Of course, there are those who insist it was all because of defending slavery, which was very much in vogue, in the North and South, in the 1800s. Slavery, as an institution, was still protected by the U. S. Constitution and defended by the U. S. Supreme Court.

Slavery was not the reason that thousands of federal soldiers marched south, nor that caused thousands of Southern men and boys to wear the gray. (So they could own slaves?) No slave ship ever flew the Confederate flag, but they did fly the federal flag!

As Confederate-descended Americans, we honor our Southern heritage, the Confederate Battle Flag, Confederate monuments, Confederate leaders and our Confederate soldiers, our ancestors, as all American veterans!

We do not honor the historical institution of slavery any more than we would honor the historical practice of non-voting nor educational rights of women, child labor or segregation.

Richard Jamison Sr., SCV Camp 2068


Reader not happy with triathlon traffic plan


I think triathlons are great! I respect the athletes that participate very much. However, whoever established the route and handled the traffic [for the Bethany Beach First Responders Triathlon, Duathlon & Aquabike] did an awful job. It took me 35 minutes to travel one mile. Seriously! Never have I had to be stuck in traffic so long. Hundreds of people were held up because of poor planning.

I would like to suggest that maybe they rethink the route. In years past, they had one lane on each side closed to traffic. Why did they change?

The money that is raised by the triathlon is extremely important. I don’t mind being inconvenienced, but this year was ridiculous! In other major cities, where a bridge is concerned, they close one side to traffic. The congestion everyone experienced was the crossover from Route 1 to Pennsylvania Avenue. There has got to be a better way! People do have to work.

Peggy Milloy

Bethany Beach

Former planner calls for mayor’s resignation


Over the last several months, Mayor Truitt’s actions and repeated failures to act appropriately have demonstrated that he either simply has no idea what he is doing or does not take responsibilities seriously.

The most recent came on Aug. 1 in a public town council meeting in which he completely and totally ignored the Dagsboro Town Charter, Chapter C, Section 15, titled “Duties of the Mayor and President of Council,” section (B), which states, “The Mayor may, for any reasonable cause, by and with consent and upon the address of a majority of all the members of the Town Council, remove from office any person appointed by him/her or any of his predecessors.

“The person against whom the Council may be about to proceed shall receive five (5) days’ written notice thereof, accompanied by a statement of the cause alleged for the removal and shall be accorded a full and fair hearing, if requested within ten (10) days following the date that notice of removal is received by such person.”

The action taken on Aug. 1 removing me from the Town of Dagsboro Planning & Zoning Commission did not comply with any of the above and therefore is null and void. Plus, none of the reasons cited by the mayor at that meeting were factual and none rose to the legal definition of “reasonable cause.”

Unless Mayor Truitt resigns immediately, I am compelled to defend myself from the lies and defamation of character that occurred that night and the violation of my right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment and my First Amendment Constitutional right to free speech that occurred while I was under surveillance of the Dagsboro Police Department on June 8.

Readers are encouraged to read the front-page article in the Aug. 5 edition of the Coastal Point newspaper for more information.

James M. Thompson