Letters to the Editor — 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