Planners are compelled to follow the plans

Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commissioners Bob Wheatley and Rodney Smith met with members of the Shore Democrats organization last week, and Wheatley made a particularly compelling remark during the discussion.

“Everything we do is governed by the planning and zoning ordinance,” said Wheatley. “We often have to act on things that we may not like, but it’s our job as planning and zoning commissioners to measure the application against the ordinance. Whatever the ordinance says, goes.”

Why is this such an important statement? Well, it’s really twofold. The first point is that many people in the community complain that P&Z approves too many projects, for too many homes, and the very fabric of our community is changing because of those decisions. The second is that builders who are looking at projects in Sussex County look at the ordinance closely before deciding to apply or not, and it’s important that they have all the facts before taking that big next step.

In a fair system, the ordinance would indeed be followed to the letter, and would be originally crafted with enough foresight to allow for responsible growth without changing the face of the community. And if a builder wishes to invest a significant amount of money into purchasing a piece of land, he or she should know what is or isn’t allowed to happen with said piece of land.

So, what can the people of this area do to affect that process?

Attend meetings. Be aware of the laws, and get involved via public comments when the land-use plan revision process starts. Complaining about decisions by the planners after the fact is akin to closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

Get involved. Stay involved. Make your voices heard.

But respect that the commissioners have a job to do.

These competitors never really get their fill

Date Published: 
April 24, 2015

According to a recent story on, a Sacramento woman recently ate three 72-ounce steak dinners in about 20 minutes during a food challenge held at The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.

Molly Schuyler also put down three baked potatoes, three shrimp cocktails, three salads and three rolls. There was no mention in the article whether or not she also wolfed down the plate, knives, table or seat, but she did say that the reason she stopped at three full steak dinners was because she was sick of the taste, not because she was full.

Curious, I dropped Schuyler’s name into Google. I was expecting to see... well, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, to be honest. I’ve seen a few of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contests on ESPN over the years (don’t judge me), and it always kind of amazes me that the dais isn’t filled with 946-pound “competitors” who need assistance simply getting out of their cars when they arrive at the contest.

And Schuyler was no different. If anything, she is thin, which makes her, (1) someone who obviously trains fairly seriously for the rigors this kind of activity puts one’s body through, and, (2) someone who makes me angry, as I seem to gain three pounds while watching the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN.

Regardless, this was not her first impressive feat when it comes to competitive eating.

The mother of four became the first woman to win the Stellanator challenge at Stella’s Bar and Grill in Nebraska in 2012, when she ate a sandwich that included six hamburger patties, six eggs, six pieces of cheese and six pieces of bacon, topped with fried onions, jalapeños, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, two buns and mayonnaise. Later that year, Schuyler and her friend Tyler Danforth ate the Big Joe Pizza at Frank’s Pizzeria in Nebraska in 28 minutes. The Big Joe Pizza, by the way, weighs 12 pounds.

She also won a contest in Washington, D.C., by taking out 26 burgers in 10 minutes; set a world record by eating a four-pound sandwich and one pound of tater tots in 2 minutes, 55 seconds; and captured another world record by eating five pounds of bacon in 5 minutes, 2.1 seconds. And she owns the female record at the Wing Bowl in Philadelphia, where she ate 440 chicken wings in 26 minutes.

Hungry yet?

My wandering mind led me to research the feats of more competitive eaters, and I quickly found the website for Major League Eating & International Federation of Competitive Eating. For starters, why didn’t this organization come up with a name featuring a cool little acronym like FOOD, or GLUTTON or BELCH? MLEIFCE does not scream, “competitive eating,” though it does sound like a noise I might make after attempting to eat the amounts of food listed under these...

But I digress.

Sonya Thomas once put down 8.31 pounds of Armour Vienna Sausage in 10 minutes, which is about 8.29 more pounds than I could ingest of that stuff in 10 hours, and she broke another world record when she consumed 8.4 pounds of baked beans in 2 minutes, 47 seconds — an impressive achievement, to be sure, but a victory party I would have probably tried to avoid afterwards.

Somewhat-famous hotdog-eating champion Joey Chestnut appeared several times for world records, including 12 pounds, 8.75 ounces of deep fried asparagus spears in 10 minutes; 4.375 three-pound apple pies in 8 minutes; 14 pounds of boysenberry pie in 8 minutes; 2.1875 gallons of chili in 6 minutes; 20 8-ounce corned beef sandwiches in 10 minutes; and, of course, 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

Oleg Zhornitskiy’s achievement was the proverbial straw that broke my stomach’s back — he ate four 32-ounce bowls of mayonnaise in 8 minutes.

I confess to feeling a tsunami-like wave of nausea typing that last sentence.

Look, I’m certainly not one to judge how much someone eats, or how they earn a living. Countless pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream have fallen victim to my late-night binges, and there is no cash prize in sight for that accomplishment — nor is there much pride. I can’t imagine what they put their bodies through is good for them in the long run, but most of them appear to be reasonably fit, and I’m sure there is way more involved in their training than watching cartoons and eating potato chips all day.

But... really? At a time when people are finally beginning to appreciate the importance of what they’re putting into their bodies, competitive eating gains recognition? Where does this “sport” go into the future? Olympics? Pay-per-view? Pay-per-spew?

I already feel full.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — April 24, 2015

RSC Landscaping celebrates 25 years


Thank you to everyone who has supported the Cordrey Companies over the years! Here is brief history of the company and what is new on the horizon.

Twenty-five years ago, Sen. Richard S. Cordrey and Mary Jane Cordrey gave their sons Rick and Steve 16 acres to start RSC Landscaping Ltd. Rick, Steve and Rick’s wife, Valery, started with one employee (Teresa Berner) and have grown to over 80 employees. The first year in business they did mainly maintenance jobs and one major landscape project in Henlopen Acres.

Trying to make the business profitable during the winter months, they constructed the first greenhouse. At this point, they are producing annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses and shrubs in 70 greenhouses.

Over the years, they have expanded the business in several directions. There is a landscape division, East Coast Garden Center, the Nursery Division, the Cordrey Center, Cordrey Charities. The diversity of the business is what makes it unique. There is not a company that is anywhere in the area that branches out in so many different directions.

They are now in a transition period by allowing the next generation of family members to take leadership roles in the ever-expanding business. At this time, there are eight family members working each day to make it a great company.

Over the years, they have received numerous awards to acknowledge their accomplishments. Multiple years, the Garden Center and the Cordrey Center have won Best of Delaware awards! The Garden Center has also been voted one of the top five garden centers in the country by Today’s Garden Center. RSC Landscaping has won numerous times the best landscape in the state of Delaware by the DNLA.

Cordrey Charities goes into local schools and teaches students the values of gardening. The Cordrey Center hosts about 20 weddings a year, as well as cooking classes, gardening seminars and many other special events. At the present time, they are building a children’s garden and have a weekly radio show that teaches the public about several gardening topics.

With a new generation of Cordrey family members continuing the company values of the past, the Cordrey Companies should prosper for many years to come. Their mission is to make the facility a destination and to spread the joys of gardening to all the people we come in to contact with.

Thank you for all your support now and in many years to come.

The Cordrey family

Reader offers thoughts on road projects


I would like to submit my recent submissions to several local representatives and CEI Engineering (in particular Jill Frey, who was quoted in the April 17 article [regarding the Route 26 improvements project]).

The community is being abused by this project and its contractors and managers. I guess they feel we will sit back and take whatever they dole out to us. Below is what I have sent to Gerald Hocker, Ken Cimino (project PM), CEI Engineering (where Jill Frey works), Robert Arlett and George Cole. Someone needs to be accountable for what is happening here. Memorial Day is right around the corner — wow, what a mess it will be. Below is what I have sent out.

(1) For the past several months section(s) of Route 26 were completely shut down to replace some bridges and other road work. It has been rumored that the contractor was under a contract schedule to complete the work and re-open the closed portions by March 31, 2015, otherwise there would be a late fee penalty assessed. At that time, barricades were to be removed and traffic was to flow through again on Route 26.

Well, the barricades were removed on March 31, but promptly the next day, work continued and sections of the road were closed again, and traffic was “one lane,” causing backups and other driving issues from flooding due to poor drainage. So the work was not complete, and the road should have remained closed and a penalty assessed.

Now things are even worse, as work crews are blocking off parking lot entrances to businesses and people have to park in someone else’s parking lot and walk to their business offices. Needless to say, this type of poor management and performance should not be tolerated and the contractor needs to do better; and they should have been penalized. Something is drastically wrong here.

(2) With the Route 26 closures, a “work-around” traffic solution was to run traffic south of Route 26 on Central Avenue and allowed for being able to pass around and behind the work areas where Route 26 was closed off. To help with the traffic flow, two traffic signals were installed; one is at Windmill Road (allows you to get back on Route 26 or cut over to Route 17, and the other is Road 349A (allows you to cut back behind to get to Giant).

It has been reported that these signals will be removed and/or become inoperative beginning in May 2015. Big mistake! These signals continue to be needed because of what was noted in Item 1 above, and because these signals have help to slow down traffic on Central, and have been an immense help in being able to turn onto Central from Road 349A, and Windmill.

Additionally, Central in this area has a designated bike lane, and many folks walk that portion of the road in the summer. Slowing the traffic is a safety issue for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Leave the light up and running. They are already there; why is there a need to remove them?

As a permanent resident of the county and a resident of Bethany Beach, I hope you will consider what I have identified above and act accordingly.

Albert DeFazio
Bethany Beach

Reader responds to previous letter


I would like to offer three thoughts on Joanne Cabry’s letter, “It’s time for a full House vote on SB 40,” in the April 27 Coastal Point.

First, I find it hard to understand Ms. Cabry’s demand that this bill be promptly acted on. She obviously understands that bills often languish in either house. A better example would be the hundreds of bills that almost always languish between houses. And many were lost in the bowels of Harry Reid’s desk.

Second, I don’t question why Ms. Cabry and the Democrats desire to eliminate the death penalty. Their proclaimed position is to prevent an injustice that would result in the loss of an innocent life. A laudable position, but dubious considering their staunch defense of abortion. Especially since abortion has claimed more than 55 million innocents since 1973.

And third, don’t Ms. Cabry and the Democrats know that there are some really, really bad people in our world that we, as a society, would just be better off without?

Thomas M. Keeley III
Ocean View

LBWC thankful for Hagen’s support


The Lord Baltimore Women’s Club sincerely thanks Mr. Steve Hagen, owner of the restaurant Just Hooked, for his hosting of our Dine & Donate evening on April 2, 2015. Mr. Hagen not only provided an outstanding menu, service by his staff, as well as giving Lord Baltimore Women’s Club 20 percent of the evenings proceeds.

We are so grateful for your generosity and caring about our community. If it were not for people like you Mr. Steve Hagen, LBWC would not be able to provide the services to the community that we do on a regular basis.

To the anonymous purchaser of the 50/50 ticket who so graciously would not accept his portion of the amount LBWC: Thank you. Mr. Hagen and the purchaser of the ticket are Lord Baltimore Women’s Club Men of the Month.

Lord Baltimore Women’s Club

Bear Trap donors get thanks


Our family would like to thank the anonymous members of Bear Trap Dunes whose act of kindness will never be forgotten.

Our relationship with this remarkable group of people began last year. Although we were not club members, last spring, Neil Maurer, the club PGA pro and one of the nicest people you will ever meet, gave our two girls permission to use the practice facilities at Bear Trap Dunes golf course. And on a pretty regular basis, the girls would use their immaculate driving range, chipping range and putting green as they prepared for their drive, chip, and putt golfing competitions.

We had just started visiting the course again this year when Neil shared the good news that a group of anonymous members had sponsored our two daughters to become club members, allowing them regular play on the beautiful courses at Bear Trap Dunes, as well as many other perks that come with club membership. Masters Sunday suddenly got a whole lot better!

Upon hearing the news, our girls exploded with excitement! When they started practicing at Bear Trap last spring, our family had a feeling of nervousness and intimidation, like we were intruding on the space of the members. But it didn’t take long for this feeling of nervousness to turn into a feeling of comfort. The staff and members at Bear Trap are amazingly friendly. They made us feel welcome like family from the very start, and it seemed that every visit we met new people who took time to talk to and encourage our girls’ efforts.

While Bear Trap Dunes happens to be just over a mile from our home in Ocean View, we would drive there no matter how far away we lived. It’s our new home away from! Our family thanks you very much again for your act of generosity and kindness.

Garrett Lydic
Ocean View

Reader asks state to examine ‘therapy’


The White House condemned it and called for its end. The United Nations Committee Against Torture raised it as a potential human rights violation. Two states and D.C. banned it, and 18 more states have introduced bills to ban it. Delaware has yet to address “reparative therapy.”

Also called “ex-gay therapy” or “conversion therapy,” this practice seeks to change one’s sexual orientation or gender identity by counseling and sometimes bizarre activities. All reputable medical and mental health organizations — the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the World Health Organization, to name a few — say the practice is not only ineffective but potentially very harmful. They warn of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide resulting from trying to fix what does not need fixing and in any case cannot be changed.

Whatever junk science practices adults try for themselves, there at least can be no allowance for state-licensed therapists to practice “reparative therapy” on minors. I hope Delaware legislators move soon to protect vulnerable minors from this deeply discredited practice. Because of who is at risk — Delaware children and teens — it is the worst kind of consumer fraud.

Douglas Marshall-Steele

Nantais thankful for support with event


Once again I’m overwhelmed by the generosity, compassion and sense of community during the Annual Beauty for the Beach House that was held Tuesday, April 14, at the VFW in Ocean View. This event benefits Justin’s Beach House in Bethany Beach which provides a vacation home for families dealing with cancer.

Lois from La Vita Bella Day Spa & Salon chaired this event and, as always, she did a fabulous job coordinating the supporting sponsors. Thank you, Lois. I would also like to send my sincere thanks to Studio 26, Ruby Ribbon, Heather’s Homeworks, Renove Med Spa, Crazy Ladyz, Royal Affairs Catering II and D.J. Donnie, the food, fashion show and the models, as well as the pampering we all enjoyed.

God bless you all for helping the families that come to Justin’s Beach House and helping us pay down the mortgage.

Mary Ellen Nantais, Founder
Justin Jennings Foundation