Voters, you are on the clock.
After months of hearing from political candidates and their supporters, it is now officially time for the voters to take center stage in numerous elections that impact our area greatly.
For starters, we turn our attention to Bethany Beach — the resort hub for our community — and this weekend will feature a town council election where five candidates are vying for four seats. Incumbents Jack Gordon, Rosemary Hardiman, Lew Killmer and Margaret Bogan Young, along with challenger Bruce Frye, will all be on the ballot Saturday, and this figures to be an interesting election.
A pair of significant primary elections will also take place on Tuesday, as two Democrats and two Republicans will face off for Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips’ seat. Phillips will face Rob Arlett in the Republican primary, while Bob Wheatley and Brad Connor will go head-to-head in the Democrat primary. These are four well-known figures in the community, and it will be interesting to see how things fall when all the ballots are tabulated. It certainly appears to be setting the scene for a hotly-contested general election in November.
As has been our policy since starting this paper, there are no letters to the editor this week regarding elections. Our reasoning is two-fold: First, any inflammatory statements will not be able to be disputed by the candidates before the election. And, second, we offer our readers Q&A responses from the candidates themselves.
We also decided when we started the Coastal Point that we would not endorse candidates. That decision was based more on perception than reality. If we were to put our support behind a particular candidate, our basic reporting on the races could be questioned. We decided to simply remove any room for questions and just provide facts and candidate responses. It is our belief that a well-informed voter base will make decisions that best benefit the community, so we try to offer as much information as we can, and trust the people to make wise choices.
Get out and take advantage of your right to vote. It affects us all.
It had to be a startling scene for anyone who happened to pass by the park on that summer morning in 1979.
Two boys were sitting on top of a swingset, armed with peanut butter sandwiches and comic books, looks of determination and joy plastered across their respective faces. Oh, lots of kids climbed up and down that swingset over the years, but these two had the look of people who came to occupy and settle, not conquer and run along on their merry little way.
I was one of those knuckleheads on the swingset.
You see, we had big dreams in those days. Not to be astronauts or doctors or firefighters or even devilishly handsome weekly newspaper editors. No, we set our sights high, and we were fully determined that nothing could stop us from achieving our ultimate goal — to make it into the storied pages of the Guinness Book of World Records.
That day’s effort was to break the world record for pole-sitting, and the rusty swingset at the park was our best option. We figured that this was simply a case of mind over matter, and that if we could just stay committed to the task at hand, glory would surely be upon us.
Unfortunately, as we sat upon that swingset, we had an excellent view of the entire park, and subsequently saw teams getting chosen for a pick-up game of football. Seeing as how it was starting to get a little hot up on that swingset, and we really wanted to play football, we abandoned that goal fairly quickly and missed the world record by about a zillion hours.
There were other attempts. Though we knew our mothers would never let us approach the “flashy” world records — like the Indian man with the long, curly fingernails, or the obese brothers on the little motorcycles — we did go after several other records, like catching quarters that were balanced on our forearms, or eating crackers. We never once got to a point we could even consider close to a world record, but it was a fun way to kill time, and it generally kept us out of trouble when we had a specific task to attack.
I was reminded of that fun summer recently when I came across an article on the London Mirror’s website celebrating 60 years of the Guinness Book of World Records. They revealed in that article that more than 132 million copies of the book have been sold in upwards of 100 countries, and that there have been 50,000-plus claims submitted in the past year alone.
A few lucky people have earned their place in the greatest source of all things important this year, and the Mirror highlighted a few in their story. These are the ones that jumped out most to me:
• The tallest donkey goes to Romulus, a 9-year-old, 5-foot-8-inch tall jackstock donkey from Texas. His little brother (extra points if you already guessed his name), Remus, stands only 2 inches shorter, and the couple that owns them adopted them in 2012 to protect their livestock from coyotes.
I am no expert on donkeys, or protecting livestock for that matter, but I do have a bit of knowledge about coyotes that I’ve picked up over the years. It’s my general understanding that they can be defeated simply by painting what appears to be a tunnel on a giant rock.
• Ukranian strongman Denvs Ilchenko has been known to pull a car with his teeth, spin five people on a pole on his broad shoulders and let a car drive over him. Personally, I call that a heck of a Saturday night.
However, what has gained him the most glory is his new world record for juggling the greatest combined weight, as he was able to juggle three car tires weighing about 59.5 pounds.
Well, last week I managed to carry a case of bottled water and a grocery bag full of potato chips into my house from my car.
All at once.
• Californian Nancy Siefker is a bit of a contortionist and a bit of an archer. To claim her place in the annals of all things truly important, Siefker managed to fire an arrow on to a target less than 6 inches in diameter from a distance of more than 20 feet away. With her feet.
This is an underappreciated skill, in my humble opinion. What if we find ourselves sucked into a time machine that transfers us to the 16th Century and rules of engagement lead us to having to do battle while walking on our hands against a foreign threat?
You’d be happy to have Nancy Siefker on our side then, wouldn’t you?
• We don’t even have to leave California for the next one, as Jason McNabb ate his way into the hallowed pages of Guinness this year. McNabb sat down with a pile of ghost peppers (considered more than 400 times hotter than tabasco sauce), and ate nearly two-and-a-half ounces of them in two minutes.
I’m guessing another world record closely followed that feat, but we are a family paper, so I’m going to flush that comment.
• It’s said that the heart of our nation is the Midwest, so let’s recognize Beth Johnson of Ohio for her patriotic-themed yo-yo, which took her 18 months to create, and now stands as the largest yo-yo in the world at 12 feet in diameter, and weighs more than 4,600 pounds.
You’d need to be a pretty tall donkey to use that thing.
Letters to the Editor
ACS very thankful for support with Relay
As the online promotions chairperson of this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Coastal Delaware, I would like to thank everyone for their generosity and support! Twenty-six teams joined in this year’s Relay For Life and raised almost $60,000 to help save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays. I am so proud of our community for standing up to cancer to finish the fight!
Fifty-five survivors registered to walk the opening lap and inspire those currently battling cancer. Our Luminaria Ceremony showed the community’s warmth and strength in caring for those who are no longer with us.
I would also like to thank the many Relay for Life volunteers, committee members and teams who worked to make this year’s event a success. We certainly want to thank our partner sponsor, Beebe Healthcare. Other top sponsors include NRG Energy, Delaware Fisherwoman, Thoro-Good’s Concrete, Coastal Kayak and M&T Bank.
The 2015 Relay for Life Committee will be forming soon. If you would like to help make next year’s event an even bigger success and work toward the time we no longer hear the words “You have cancer,” call 1-800-227-2345 or visit RelayForLife.org for more information.
Online Promotions Chairperson
American Cancer Society Relay for Life
of Coastal Delaware/East Sussex
Clam Jam a success, thanks to many
On Sunday, Aug. 17, the Bay Colony Marina hosted its 4th Annual Clam Jam. It was a fun, family event centered on a clamming tournament and an on-water scavenger hunt. The day’s events also included food, dancing, games and raffles, which were enjoyed by almost 200 people from southeastern Sussex County. Through those efforts, we were able to raise $500 to benefit the Center for Inland Bays.
As chairman of the 4th Annual Clam Jam, I’d like to extend my sincere appreciation to the many local businesses who contributed to making this year’s event a success. They include: Auto Plus & Marine, Bank’s Wines & Spirits, Bethany Auto, Bluecoast seafood restaurant, Bob’s Marine, Casapulla’s, Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, Delmarva Board Sport Adventures, Fox’s Pizza Den, G&E/Hockers, Ike & Vina’s Market, Just Hooked, Miller’s Creek, Millville Volunteer Fire Co., Patty’s Hallmark, Paradise Grill, PNC Fenwick Island, Rent Equip, Studio 26 Salon & Spa, Summer Salts Café, Tow Boat U.S. and Venus Nails. We are also grateful for the continued support from Shurhold Industries in Palm City, Fla.
I appreciate the support from the Bay Colony Board of Directors. Special thanks also go out to the Clam Jam committee members: Linda, Neil and Ashley Brosnahan; Del and Sharon Baker; Gary Carpenter, Harry Cloud; Brian Emery; and George and Therese Weise.
Again, thanks to all for the contributions and support for the Clam Jam.
Kevin Brosnahan, Chairman
Clam Jam 2014
Frye looking forward to new challenge
Thank you to all the voters who supported me in the Bethany Beach Town Council election. I now look forward to serving you.
R. Bruce Frye
SEAs the Day truly a wonderful event
What a privilege and an astounding experience it was to be a part of the incredible series of events that comprised Operation SEAs the Day! Thanks to the brainchild and hard work of Diane Pohanka and Becky Johns, joined by Richard Katon, Bethany hosted — for the second year — Operation SEAs the Day, in conjunction with the Wounded Warrior Project, to provide respite and relaxation for military families.
There have been few things in life to compare with the emotional impact of being with this group of men and women and their families who have given so much for our country. And the outpouring of gratitude and love from our small community made us proud to be residents of Bethany Beach.
Tuesday, the day of arrival, featured a welcome reception at the VFW, where the road was lined with handmade posters and the VIFs (Very Important Families) were showered with gifts. The next day offered a cookout at Sea Colony, with beach portraits, entertainment, a bonfire on the beach and more gifts; Thursday’s program was highlighted by a magic show on the Bethany bandstand which enchanted the children.
A procession escorted by fire trucks, motorcycles and cars escorted the VIFs on Friday from Sea Colony along roads lined with people waving American flags and welcoming posters to the Freeman Stage, where a sumptuous buffet at the Cove was followed by a special performance of “Bruce in the USA” that had the audience on its feet, clapping and dancing.
The area offered many attractions on Saturday, including the arts fair on the boardwalk, the Classic Car Show at Cripple Creek and a barbecue lunch; the farewell breakfast (with yet more gifts) was held Sunday at the Bethany firehouse.
The generosity of the business community was breathtaking. The groceries, gifts, coupons and gift certificates donated by our local merchants for these wounded veterans and their families provided them with more meals than they could possibly eat and gave them many items to take home to remind them of their stay in Bethany Beach.
Myriads of volunteers, in addition to those who donated their homes and those who served as hosts to the VIFs, were on hand everywhere. Activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, boating and fishing, horseback riding, spa treatments for the ladies and movies for the kids were available each day — all free to the VIFs.
We feel so fortunate that we could participate in this wonderful week to express our thanks to a group whose sacrifices make it possible for us to enjoy our quality of life as Americans. I know that all the volunteers share that feeling, as well as the pride in being part of this community. Our area certainly showed its best face with Operation SEAs the Day.
Hardiman thanks voters, supporters
I want to thank all those who took the time to vote in the Bethany Beach Town Council election, all the other candidates who volunteered to serve on Council, and the Town staff and volunteers who helped in the election process.
Thanks especially to all my friends, neighbors and family members — especially my husband Jerry — who supported and helped me in so many ways with the election campaign. I could not have done it without your support, advice and assistance.
Finally, I want to thank all those who voted for me. I greatly appreciate your trust and confidence and will continue to work to deserve it. Furthermore, whether or not individuals voted for me, I welcome the views of everyone and will fairly consider the interests of all Bethany Beach property owners and residents in considering matters before the Council.
Recognizing the importance of public involvement in our Town government, I encourage all citizens to share your concerns and suggestions with me and other Council members. Together, we can ensure that Bethany Beach continues to be the well-managed, family friendly community we all love.
Rotary event succesful, thanks to many
On behalf of the Southern Sussex Rotary Club, we would like to thank the community for the huge support for our Pig Roast held at Olde South Barbecue in Frankford. Attendees enjoyed delicious pulled pork, chicken and sides provided by Scott at Olde South and relaxed to the incredible music provided by Cole Haden
The tents provided by Wayne Bowden of St. George’s church provided ample cover during the rain storm so that we could enjoy great food and fellowship! Thank you to Wayne and St. George’s for their tents (and assistance in putting them up), Coastal Point for their sponsorship, Cole Haden for his beautiful tunes and Scott for the delicious food.
Despite the rain, we had an incredible turnout. Thank you. We are always amazed and energized by the generosity shown at these events — 100 percent of the proceeds from each of Southern Sussex Rotary’s fundraisers are given back to our community. This event supported our Jackie Pavik RYLA scholarship foundation, Easter Seals Camp Fairlee camperships, as well as our annual programs like providing dictionaries for our local third-graders. Please like our Facebook page to get more information about upcoming events or to contact us about becoming a member!
Christine McCoy, President
Southern Sussex Rotary