Editorial — Remembrance should be on our minds this weekend

Date Published: 
May 26, 2017

Memorial Day has a certain mystique around this community, and it should. Summer is when we shine, and it is the time of the year we should be enjoying all around us and welcoming others to share in our “wealth.”

But there is a much-larger meaning of the day, and we ask all of you to take a few moments and remember.

Remember that more than 1.1 million Americans have been killed in wars, according to figures from the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s 1.1 million people, many of whom were far too young to have expired, who have gave their lives in defense of the ideals and freedoms of this nation.

Think about someone you might have known who took in their last breath in Normandy, or the Chosin Reservoir, or Khe Sanh, or Kuwait, or Fallujah or any other piece of foreign soil. Think about the pain you might have felt in their passing, or the pride you took in knowing that this individual paid the ultimate price for something he or she believed in enough to venture “outside the wire” with utter disregard of personal danger.

Maybe that 1.1 million figure even seems more remarkable now after you’ve related to it on a personal level.

Feel no guilt in riding inner tubes in the bay or splashing in the ocean this weekend, as that is exactly what the majority of those 1.1 million fallen heroes would have wanted you to do. They fought for a belief in the almighty “American way of life,” and Americans being Americans is a major part of that.

But take a minute to bow your head, to take in your surroundings and say thanks. Honor them by living your life, and remembering theirs.

Point of No Return — Another season is here, and resolutions follow

Date Published: 

Game on.

This weekend marks the start of Summer 2017 for our coastal oasis, and that means steamed crabs, cold beers sodas, evenings largely spent outside and husbands wearing their darkest sunglasses on the beach so they can see bikinis the dolphins without anyone being savvy to what they’re watching.

This is when our little slice of paradise truly comes alive. Sure, there really is nothing better than enjoying our area in the fall, and spring is when we start to crawl out of our self-imposed hibernations to enjoy the splendor around us, but summer... this is when we shine.

Soft-serve ice cream dripping down our forearms as we walk the boardwalk, live music under the stars in Bethany and at the Freeman Stage, personal watercrafts zipping along the inland waters, huddling around a campfire with friends and a bottle of Fireball thermos of hot chocolate and simply standing over a grill with slabs of red meat fresh vegetables sharing their aroma with the neighborhood — all the sights, smells and sounds of summer can not be topped.

We could easily replace Jan. 1 with Memorial Day weekend around here in terms of the true start of the year, both fiscally and physiologically. Summer drives our entire economy, and there’s something about that summer sun warming our shoulders that can temporarily make all the bad things in the world just slip away.

On the flip side, summer is indeed fleeting. We wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, and then it’s gone. One minute we are donning patriotic garb and honoring fallen service men and women on Memorial Day, and the next we are lining the boardwalk in black attire for the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral on Labor Day. It’s like a three-month Christmas — you plan for it meticulously, but then it all seems over by your second cup of coffee while you’re shoving as much wrapping paper as you can into a Hefty bag and complaining about all the garbage precious gifts lying around the floor.

So, knowing how quickly the summer season flies by every year, I’m taking a moment now to put together my summer resolutions for the 2017 season.

• I will go to the beach at least 10 times. This one seems a little fanciful, as I have resolved to go to the beach at least once in previous years. However, my 2-year-old daughter has an obsession with the beach, and given the choice between watching her try to ride the dog down the stairs or taking her to the beach is not much of a choice. I’ll drop the remote and hit the sand, and save myself a little shred of sanity, because, you know, going to the beach in the middle of summer is the definition of madness rational thought.

• I will go camping at least five times. It does get a little difficult to enjoy camping in summer, what with the mosquitos, crowded campgrounds and heat that melts my belt buckle to my waist increased warmth, but getting away and simplifying life for a few days is always a gift — and I’d rather have my daughter playing in the dirt than watching cartoons.

• I will make/find the time to get out and move a little more often. It’s easy to fall into the trap. You work hard all day or night in the summer, get home to the sweet hum of your air conditioner and collapse on a couch. I don’t only fall into this trap with alarming regularity, I often bait it, citing a need to go through my emails for work so I can steal some guilt-free time on the sofa. Not this year! Well, maybe some, but not often! Well, not every day.

• I will eat crabs, burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, corn on the cob, barbecue, ice cream and a dinosuar slathered in sweet hickory sauce fresh produce every single chance I have. I love “summer food.” For the record, I’m also a fan of “fall food,” “winter food” and “spring food.” Hey, I’m a man of the seasons. What can I say?

• I will ride a ferris wheel, race some go-carts and tame a wild dolphin, simply by using the powers of my mind and a deep will...

But I digress. I will ride something with my daughter this summer.

• I will not get overwhelmed at work this summer. Admittedly, I say this every summer, and honestly start out with the best of intentions. But usually by, say, today, my blood pressure starts pumping faster than Usain Bolt running downhill and I look for the closest reporter to throw a stapler at throw a book at throw a small truck at advise. This is the summer I will learn to let go of a few things, leave the rest in a mental bucket when I walk out the door and go enjoy everything around me. (Editor’s Note: Do not place a bet on this working out for me.)

• I will work on an article for Labor Day that cites all the things that went wrong with my summer resolutions this year, including excuses for each thing I missed. Some possible excuses include being too busy at work, an attack by an alien life force that only I saw and was bravely able to repel and some random blame assigned to Shaun Lambert. For instance, “I would have gone to the beach but Shaun invited me to a bar found out about a juicy poker game in Atlantic City asked me to help him deal with a very sensitive issue.” Hey, I’m there for my friend.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — May 26, 2017

Date Published: 
May 26, 2017

Reader calls for vote on HB 109


House Bill (HB) 109 is an important piece of legislation that warrants a vote in the House. It is a progressive restructuring of Delaware’s tax rates and brackets that will generate additional revenue now and over time. It will help grow the economy by putting more money into the hands of those who will spend it locally.

HB 109 lowers the current tax rate by .05 percent for each tax bracket and creates new tax brackets at $125,000 (7.05 percent) and $250,000 (7.80 percent). Under the current tax rate, an individual whose taxable income is $60,001 pays at the same tax rate (6.80 percent) as someone whose taxable income is $250,000 or above. The bill also provides a tiered reduction of itemized deductions based on taxable income.

Consider that from 2009 to 2012 the income of the top 1 percent of Delawareans grew 15 percent. In the same period, the income of the other 99 percent fell 1.6 percent. Surely those who have benefitted most economically in the past eight years can afford to be taxed at a slightly higher rate than those of us who were left behind.

HB 109 has been on the House Ready List since April 5. It is time to put it on the agenda so our legislators can vote for a responsible and equitable solution to raise needed revenue to fund our schools, deal with the opioid crisis and address the corrections system problems.

Joanne Cabry, Chair

Progressive Democrats of Sussex County

IRSD Odyssey team gets support


Eighteen businesses and foundations in Millville, Ocean View, Bethany and South Bethany contributed $2,450 to help defray travel expenses for the three IRSD Odyssey of the Mind teams which placed in the Delaware statewide competition, (see Coastal Point, March 30, 2017).

Our three teams will compete in the World Finals, at Michigan State University, Lansing, Mich., beginning May 23, against teams representing all 50 states and approximately 26 foreign countries.

The theme of this “mini” fundraising event, “A contribution to IRSD’s OotM Teams is not just a ‘contribution,’ it is an investment in your business,” seems to have resonated!

Contributing firms are as follows: Artisans’ Bank; Contractors for a Cause; Dennis Beam, State Farm Insurance; D. Stephen Parsons, Attorney at Law; First Shore Federal Bank (Delaware Community Foundation); 1st. Choice Properties; G&E Hockers; Long & Foster Realtors, Bethany Beach Sales Office; Pro Talk; Scott & Shuman, P.A., Law Office; Steen, Waehler, & Schrider-Fox, Attorneys at Law; the Leslie Kopp Group Real Estate; the UPS Store; Tidewater Physical Therapy; True North Land Surveying; Vickie York at the Beach Realty; Weidman Law Office; Wilgus Associates, Real Estate & Insurance.

Also, contributing merchandise: Bethany Fine Arts Gallery, Millville’s Pet Stop and RACC Fitness.

We deeply appreciate the support extended by these businesses and wish our IRSD teams the best of luck in the World OotM Competition!

Robin Hall, OotM, IRSD, and Vic Covey

Reader asks people to get involved


I always read with trepidation, the particulars of Delaware’s beach replenishment dilemmas. Each year it’s a similar story (with increasing frequency) for public expenditures and the continued destruction of near-shore habitat for dolphins, sea turtles and shorebirds.

I’ve witnessed my Surfrider Foundation colleagues spending countless months (volunteer) studying the issue, holding meetings in Dover with DNREC, coastal engineers and elected officials over the last couple of years.

Many concerns were examined including the safety of swimmers entering and exiting the water at local beaches. We even requested varying the beach slope, as other municipalities have done on the East Coast, making recreation safer and increasing the value of the water experience for everyone that visits Delmarva.

All these efforts fell on deaf ears. We blindly construct beaches, using an engineering template that is designed to fail. The sand simply goes away. We can all see these flawed results in Bethany and Rehoboth year after year.

When no attempt is made to construct a natural sand sharing beach, with sand bars and preservation of habitat, we are doomed to repeat the same fatal mistake. “We are different in Delaware. What works in other places might not work here” is the refrain. Is this working?

As there are several conservation groups in the area, including the MERR Institute, which are always seeking people to help marine life — join!

If you have a constructive solution to make to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who are responsible for designing these projects, then raise your hand and read the 500-page environmental impact statement. Write something productive as a public comment!

It takes many volunteer hours to make even a slight impact for the well-being of a community.

Gregg Rosner

Delaware Surfrider Foundation

Wood offers advice to the man at the top

Editor’s note: This was written as an open letter to President Donald J. Trump and sent to the Coastal Point for publication.

Presumptuous of me? Yes. After 25 years in Washington, this octogenarian has been privileged to see and learn a lot of nuts-and-bolts approaches. I share some with President Trump. I also share some walking-around-smarts accumulated over the years, some of recent vintage.

Fire all your campaign operatives now. Newly-elected politicians continually make the same mistake. The successful campaign operatives are PR people. They demonstrate they are good at that if their candidate is elected.

By and large, few know anything about really managing government. They become personal publicity-seeking liabilities. They compete for time with the boss and against each other. They think the country’s and the world’s issues are only those campaign issues they worked so hard to sell. Thank them publicly, and fire them all, now!

Throw away your cell phone! I am not a communicating-via-cell-phone, -laptop, -computer-or-tablet geek — far from it — but I have learned something. Communications have to be well thought-out, then thought about some more, then yet even more. Any communication from you not having scrupulous attention to detail should be canned.

If not thought through enough, your communications will hurt more than help, as demonstrated so clearly. Quick responses may make you feel good, but for no good reason. For goodness sake, learn this lesson. Throw away those things now. The garbage can!

You are president. Everything you say is studied and has impacts. Shut the heck up. It is nice to have people know you have important information at the tip of your tongue. It denigrates your image so much to brag seemingly about being in-the-know. Shut the heck up! It does harm, especially in the realm of foreign affairs.

Back to speaking: Shooting from the lip on important subjects is always a bad idea. When done, hopefully seldom, the sequence is not fire-aim-ready!

You are a smart guy, I hope. Really smart people know and understand that many folks are smarter than they are on every issue and subject. Seek them out. Listen to competing views, not just from those who share yours. Listen, listen, listen!

Mom said, “Choose your friends carefully.” Everyone who wants to be your friend isn’t or won’t be. Be loyal to friends and brutal with those who don’t deserve loyalty. Can them. Now! They don’t deserve your defending them. Lying to the vice president…

Did I say this before? Tweets, Twitter and the like turn you into a teenager clone. Stop it! Act your age! You diminish both yourself and your views.

Buy some skin conditioner! Skin conditioner? Yes! Why? You are about the most thin-skinned person I have ever seen or heard. Criticism, personal and on positions, comes with the job. Learn from it — don’t immediately react to it. You don’t have the time in your around-the-clock job to waste it in a manner that makes you look foolish to political opponents and supporters alike, around the world.

You have important job appointments to fill. Seek out the best and listen to their advice and adopt positions that are good for the country, not just for you and your party.

Party and personal political power are important, but our country and the world need a president (and Congress) with more than those selfish goals.

You have a chance to help make Washington work. Stop wasting it!

I couldn’t vote for Hillary, either.

Gordon Wood Sr.

Ocean View