Letters to the Editor
Bunting thankful for Wall, honor
Editor’s note: The following letter was originally sent to Mason Dixon VFW Post 7234, and was forwarded to the Coastal Point for publication.
I want to thank you for bringing the “Healing Wall” to our post. It allowed so many Vietnam veterans and our families to have the opportunity to pay their respects to fallen friends and loved ones. I’m very grateful to my boyhood friend, John Mitchell, and so many other friends who have done so much for Post 7234 over the years. I really appreciate your thinking of me.
It was truly a humbling experience for me to be given the honor of receiving a “quilt of valor,” of which all its recipients are deserving. It just goes to show how one mother from Seaford, who made a quilt to send to her son in Iraq, started what has become a national movement in which more than 200,000 quilts have been given to veterans, including many in hospitals.
The wall bears the names of fellow veterans whom I knew, including my cousin, William Joseph Bunting of Frankford, and friend, Lt. Thomas B. Adams of Selbyville.
As we age, the sleeping on the ground, slogging through the rice paddies, dealing with the leaches, drinking iodine-treated water from our canteens, and Agent Orange — not to mention the rigors of combat itself — takes a toll physically and mentally. But it was simply our duty to serve, and so that is what we did.
Thank you again for honoring me in this wonderful way.
George H. Bunting
Carmeans want to see proposal denied
After reviewing DNREC’s plans to lease more than an acre of the Fenwick Island State Park to the Orsted wind farm project located off the coast of Delaware-Maryland, we want to share our reasons for strongly opposing this proposal:
(1) No economic benefits — The Orsted project is designed to provide electric power to homes in Maryland, not Delaware. Furthermore, most of the construction is being done by workers from Europe, not America. Any other meaningful job opportunities will be open to Marylanders, not Delawareans.
(2) Rejection by other sites — In response to our question about possibly locating this interconnection facility in Ocean City, Delaware State Parks Director Bivens stated that Ocean City wants nothing to do with this project due to its potential negative impact on the environment and tourism. Assateague Island cannot be used for the same reason, plus it is an environmentally protected National Park.
Furthermore, when asked about locating this interconnection bunker near the Indian River Inlet, Mr. Bivens replied that the Army Corps of Engineers refuses to have anything to do with the interconnection facility or cable near the inlet.
(3) Health hazards and adverse environmental impact — The planned wind turbines are the largest ever to be designed. The proposed cable from the wind turbine to the interconnection bunker at the park will run through Delaware waters, under the beach and road over to a large bayside bunker.
No analysis has been done for potential impact on humans or the environment. After more than 50 years of reviewing research, the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that the electro-magnetic fields around power facilities may be carcinogenic, with a statistical augmentation of cancers and leukemias in both children and adults. At this time, science does not know how or why that it occurs, just that statistically it happens.
So who wants to test this observation by playing pickleball on top of the bunker or setting up a beach chair above the cable? Theory skeptics need to recall the final verdicts on Thalidomide, Agent Orange, talcum powder, World Trade Center debris and other “safe” carcinogen/DNA-altering materials over the years.
In addition, no studies have been conducted to determine what will happen to marine life and water quality when this cable is run from the turbine to its land base. We can already predict that existing wildlife within this beach area will be wiped out with the construction process, and thus the proposed nature center will have to import its exhibits.
(4) Possible violation of Delaware law — We are old enough to remember when the Delaware Coastal Zone Act Program was passed in the 1950s. Its purpose was to “determine that the coastal areas of Delaware are the most critical areas for the future of the State… In so doing, the State can better protect the natural environment of its bay and coastal area and safeguard their use primarily for recreation and tourism…”
However, a few areas north of Sussex County were set aside for heavy industry. While there is no terminology directly related to wind turbines in the Coastal Zone Act since it was passed before the technology was developed, the Act does ban dumping, transfer of products, heavy industry and manufacturing except in these few designated areas. Thus, it would seem that the Coastal Act should be applied to prohibit wind turbines from sending electric power for over a million people (heavy industry?) to a Delaware public beach.
(5) Unwanted local consequences — Our next objection has to do with the “bait” that is being offered to make the interconnection facility more acceptable, i.e., the $17 or $18 million to lease the land and provide frivolous “amenities.” What will this do to a quiet beach and the nearby Town of Fenwick Island, which is already struggling with summer traffic congestion?
• More traffic will be funneled through the town, increasing hazardous conditions for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. The proposed entrance would be right next to local residences and would force southbound traffic into the town in order to make a U-turn to reach the park.
• Inappropriate overdevelopment, including pickleball courts, playground equipment, lifeguard dormitory, gift shop, conference center, multi-tiered parking garages and a potentially dangerous overhead pedestrian bridge would create a carnival/theme park atmosphere within what is now a quiet undisturbed beach. Plus, the intense weather conditions will make ongoing upkeep and repairs very expensive. Who will pay for these as the years go by?
• Habitats for land and marine animals would be decimated by the extensive proposed construction plans, which will take years to complete. Flooding will also be more of an issue since all these structures will limit the natural absorption of storm water in a low-lying area.
In conclusion, we are strongly opposed to DNREC’s plan to run an electric power cable from Maryland’s wind farm to transmission bunker to be built on a small, environmentally fragile Delaware beach. State officials need to recognize that this is Maryland’s project; therefore, Maryland should use its land resources, as well as deal with the liabilities!
We also feel that there is no comparison between the seasonal leases DNREC has offered to concession stands or kayak companies and this proposed long-term lease to a heavy industry wind turbine company.
However, if the State decides to offer a site, then one of those industrial-designated areas set aside in the Coastal Zone Act should be considered. Any monies DNREC acquired from this lease could be put to more useful and beneficial purposes, such as the much-needed dredging of our waterways.
We are hopeful that Delaware’s officials will reject or modify the current proposal. We would also like DNREC to follow its own Mission Statement to ensure the “wise management, conservation and enhancement of the State’s natural resources.”
R. Wayne Carmean & Vicki Carmean
Resident calls for reduced speed limits
Thank you for … [“DelDOT to install highway lights to address Route 1 safety concerns”].
This enhanced focus on safety by DelDOT is a step in the right direction, but the elephant in the room is why not also focus on lowering the unsafe speed limit from the unsafe level of 55mph south of the Inlet Bridge? What about the massive risk to life in North Bethany along the 2.5-mile stretch of Route 1 from when homes start south of bridge to Fred Hudson?
The Coalition for Safer North Bethany has really gained momentum, and our goal is to avoid this “accident waiting to happen.” A lower speed limit along the small stretch that makes up North Bethany as well, better enforcement and improved education of both driver and pedestrian will save lives. It is that simple.
Cotton Patch Hills
JBH officials grateful for support, assistance
The Board of the Justin W. Jennings Foundation and the volunteers of Justin’s Beach House would like to extend our gratitude to the Town of Bethany Beach and the Bethany Beach community for the kindness and generosity they have offered to our families. Opening in 2009 as a respite home for families dealing with cancer, we have welcomed 204 families from the mid-Atlantic area and beyond. Our guests have been from 1 year young to 87 years old.
Our guest book is filled with wonderful comments about the Bethany Beach community. Here are just a few: “We were amazed by the generosity of the community”; “We really loved the Bethany area and its family-oriented atmosphere”; “We are grateful to the Bethany Beach Community for this opportunity;” and “This was our first trip to Bethany and we are already trying to find a way to return someday, it is a lovely area for families.”
On behalf of the Justin W. Jennings Foundation, the volunteers and families, we would like to thank the following businesses and friends for their faithful contributions to the gift baskets we provide for each guest: Al Casapulla’s, Beach Liquors, Bonkey’s Ice Cream, Candy Kitchen, Cottage Café, DB Fries, Drifting Grounds, Fisher’s Popcorn, Good Earth Market, Linda Grimes, Gloria Knittle, Maureen’s Ice Cream & Desserts, Denise Null, Penguin Café, Ropewalk, Salted Rim, Linda Schools-Ayres, SoDel Concepts, Summer Salts and Turtle Beach Café. A special thanks to a former guest, Ryder Getchis (age 13) who provided Smile Packages for our young guests this year.
Jeff Baxter, Kathy Green, Ernie Felici, the Hon. Kathy Jennings, Craig Nantais, Pam McCutcheon and Linda Schools-Ayres
Justin W. Jennings Foundation Board of Trustees
Politicians should focus more on seniors
Politicians these days seem to be excluding any mention of seniors, whether it be locally, statewide or nationally. I guess I should say any respectful mention, as well as not at all. They do refer to seniors as “gray hairs,” “blue hairs,” “do nothing,” “too old” and more disparaging comments. This has to stop.
These wonderful seniors are children of the Greatest Generation. The Greatest Generation philosophy when raising their own children was that you work for everything you get, saving money no matter how little at a time should be a primary goal, nothing was free, respect for adults was paramount, honesty is a virtue, assertion but not aggression, trust is honorable, love of family, loyalty to friends and family, eating healthy, be firm but fair, and besides more that could be named, they instilled the importance of voting into their children. That is just some of the accolades that can be attributed to the seniors of today.
Why are they ignored by politicians? Seniors are the ones that definitely go out to vote. You don’t even have to ask. Seniors today are keeping small businesses open no matter what the season. In tourist areas, seniors are keeping restaurants open year-round. It is because of these seniors that doctors, medical specialists and hospitals expand in areas as never before. Spending is more prevalent among seniors because they saved all their lives.
They do resent comments heard that they are the ones that can afford higher taxes. How dare! No one else knows how to save, so now seniors have to take on the burden? How unfair it is for these dismissive comments to be made about our seniors. With Social Security now only going up 1.6 percent and so many only having money in CDs with no pension, this thinking is unacceptable.
Politicians must have more respect for our seniors. It would be nice if they made them believe it. What are you doing for our seniors?
VFW thankful for help with Wall That Heals
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 was honored to host The Wall That Heals for the local communities in Delaware and Maryland. We could not have accomplished this successful and memorable event without the hard-working volunteers and all our generous sponsors.
First and foremost, let me begin by thanking the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for bringing The Wall That Heals to our post, and in particular to Tim and Heidi for doing an incredible job in making these four days a time of healing.
We thank the many organizations, businesses, communities, that contributed your support; our Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors, and our many patrons. Your names are listed in our program. website and in our hearts; we thank you! To all our ambassadors who helped our visitors find names at the Wall, provide rubbings and someone to listen. They spent countless hours here around the clock and made these last four days a lasting tribute to the heroes on The Wall. We are so grateful to all of you.
We thank our Post Auxiliary for volunteering, fundraising, setting up the Vietnam memorabilia display, working with the Garden Club, and so much more. Thank you, Carol Weber and her team. A special, special thank-you to our post staff, our bartenders, cooks, servers — all of you. As busy as you were, you made everyone feel special and welcome. We salute you!
We thank Capt. Paul Burbank and our Post Honor Guard for the outstanding job you did; posting colors, volley and “Taps.” Thank you to the VFW Delaware State Honor Guard led by Capt. John Morrow for watching The Wall each night and participating with our Honor Guard. Thank you to our bagpipers from the Delaware State Police and the Dover Fire Department.
Thank you to Dana and Marguerite from the Quilts of Valor organization for your special presentations to our Vietnam War veterans, and all the quilters who made the beautiful and healing quilts. Thank you to our singers, Jennifer Carter, Liz Bolen and Bernie Busby and the Remnants and your music, especially “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”! Well done!
Thank you to those who read the names on The Wall, our bell ringers and to our Gold Star family members and surviving spouses in attendance. Thank you to our speakers — especially our guest speaker, Gen. Blanck, for your tribute to those who served in Vietnam and for the presentation of challenge coins!
Thank you to the veterans organizations and the local town mayors who presented wreathes at the Wall in “Honor of All Who Served” — especially our local heroes. Thank you to all The Wall assemblers who reverently carried the panels and placed them with care. We especially thank Dale Weese and Jim Jensen, who were working constantly on construction projects, and to Past Commander John Hickman for his construction and behind-the-scenes good work.
A big thanks to Frank Mathers and his parking crew, who managed record crowds with a smile, finding parking for everyone and helping those with disabilities make it to the Wall.
Thanks to the fundraisers, publicity coordinators, ride escorts and the Program Committee (The McDonald’s Five) who worked hard for five months to pull it all together with moving and emotional ceremonies.
For anyone we have overlooked, we thank you. Thanks to Mark Daughaday, what a job you did, Mark! Did you ever go home these past four days?!
Our thank-you cannot equal the thank-you of the 8,500 visitors who touched the name of a loved one, a friend, a buddy; placed a flower or flag, shed a tear and received some healing. You paid honor and respect to the 58,276 heroes on the Wall.
The Wall That Heals Steering Committee
VFW Post 7234