Letters to the Editor
Reader: Plea to my fellow sportsmen
Since September I have had the privilege to hunt some awesome public lands locally. The State of Delaware owns and maintains thousands of acres of land open to the public for hunting and other outdoor activities, from state parks to state forests and state wildlife areas, there is always a place to hunt close to home.
Many of these places have raised stands that are both safe and comfortable, and all of them have well maintained trails and access roads. They are truly an outdoorsman paradise.
Here is the big “But” — every time I sneak into a new stand before daylight as soon as the sun comes up, I find the stand surrounded by plastic bottles (some of them refilled) candy wrappers, lunch bags, cigarette packs, etc. Gentlemen, we are our own worst enemies!
Here’s my plea to my fellow sportsmen, as the shotgun season is just around the corner: I ask you all to just keep it clean… its easy just put a plastic grocery bag in your pack or pocket and put you junk into it. Simply put, if you carry it in, carry it out. And if your bag is only half full, I’m sure you can fix that on the way back to the truck!
I hate to say it but if we continue to abuse these properties, we just might lose our privileges to use them. If a troop of boy scouts can camp at a site for a weekend and leave “no trace” then one of us should be able to hunt some place for a couple of hours without leaving a “trace.” Think about it.
If we all just left our little spot in the woods cleaner then how we found it, how awesome would that be! Good luck this season and I hope to see you in the woods. I’ll be the guy carrying the bag of garbage.
Reader urges legislators: Make our schools safer
The latest chapter in the ongoing massacre of American children occurred on Nov. 14 in Santa Clarita, Calif., where a young man pulled a pistol from his backpack. Sixteen seconds later, two teenagers had been killed and four others were wounded, including the gunman, who later died.
Children all over the U.S. were once again reminded that they could be killed or injured just by showing up at school.
Here in Delaware, we had the opportunity in 2019 to pass legislation to address the crises of mass shootings, homicides and suicides. Unfortunately, because of an unusual alliance between gun advocates, Democratic leadership and members of labor unions, several gun-control bills were stuck in committee.
When the Delaware General Assembly returns in January, they can do the responsible thing and take action on:
• Senate Bill 68, which prohibits assault weapons in Delaware;
• Senate Bill 70, which prohibits magazines with a capacity to accept more than 15 rounds of ammunition;
• Senate Bill 82, which requires a qualified purchaser card in order to buy firearms.
It’s time for the members of the Delaware General Assembly to tell the children of Delaware they will make their schools safer by voting for meaningful gun legislation.
Ruth and Gerald Cohen, Co-chairs
Gun Safety Committee
Progressive Democrats of Sussex County
Reader bemoans impact of rental units
It is with great sadness I write to report on the pending and clearly imminent decline of Ocean View, Del. This decline will result from the recently acquired lot at Muddy Neck and Parker House.
Why a decline, you ask?
Because it is the understanding of the home owners of the surrounding established communities a developer bought that parcel of land and applied to have zoning changed to build 45 apartments — on a parcel of land currently zoned for single-family dwellings.
At the most recent Zoning meeting, it was also learned this property was, as stated by the developer’s attorney, intended to be “affordable” in order to attract traveling nurses and doctors. Yet we in this area know of no such demand for traveling medical personnel. Now add to the mix, the apartments will be rented on a six-month basis!
As we all know, a short-term lease is intended to draw the young, seasonal, migrant workers and other similar transient renters that converge on resort areas during the summer. With the short-term lease comes no commitment to the apartment, the apartment’s grounds, the community or the community’s values; and be not mistaken, with Ocean View being a mere 2 miles from the Bethany Beach boardwalk/beach — Ocean View is a “resort area.”
Also, with 45 apartments, there can be anywhere from two to six renters per apartment, or possibly more if tenants are allowed to sublet. So essentially there will/can be upwards of 180 people living in this small 3-acre parcel. Of note, that number can easily increase at the peak of the season when “friends” or family come to visit, party and stay in the apartments.
We, the home owners in this area, have a vested interest in our homes and county. We have a strong desire to maintain our homes and maintaining property values, whereas the transient and short-term renters do not.
On Dec. 10, the Sussex County Council will hold a meeting to listen to residents, and we of this area urge all who live in the vicinity of Ocean View to attend and voice your opinion to prevent this property from being changed from single-family units to an apartment complex.
Finally, if you think traffic along Muddy Neck, Central Avenue, Atlantic Avenue and Coastal Highway is bad now, wait until the apartments are built and the renters begin their daily trek to work and play in their vehicles, on foot or on bicycles.
Please stand with home owners, call your council members and, if possible, attend the meeting on the Dec. 10, 2019, at 10 a.m. at: 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947, or go to https://sussexcountyde.gov/county-council, then “Click” on the designated “email” link for each member to send your written opposition to this zoning change.
LWVSC hosting forum on education funding
How public education is funded in Delaware is a complex and timely topic which should be of interest to all. To explore issues surrounding the funding of public schools, the League of Women Voters of Sussex County (LWVSC) and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) are sponsoring a second forum on the topic.
In the first forum, information was provided about the present system of school funding and what constraints are presented through the current model. In the second forum, to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 at the County Council Chambers, 2 on the Circle in Georgetown, a panel of speakers will delve into issues presented by the current system of funding, their impact on local schools and what solutions might be presented to address these concerns.
The panel for the evening will include Neil Kirschling, director of policy and advocacy at Rodel, an organization addressing the needs of students in Delaware’s schools. Mr. Kirschling will speak to what inequities exist and are perpetuated as a result of how schools are presently funded.
Our second speaker will be Richard Morse, senior counsel at Community Legal Aid Society Inc. Mr. Morse is co-counsel in the lawsuit addressing the equitable funding of public schools which is now before the Court of Chancery.
Bringing a local perspective to the discussion will be Superintendent Mark Steele of the Indian River School District, who will address the challenges of providing education to meet the needs of all students in a diverse school population. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentations by the speakers.
Please consider attending this forum on the Funding of Public Education in Delaware: Part 2. While changes in the state of Delaware are being considered and proposed, developing an understanding of the reasoning behind possible changes will be helpful to all stakeholders with an interest in the education of students in Sussex County. We hope you will be there on Dec. 4.
To learn about the League of Women Voters of Sussex County, visit our website at www.SussexLWV.org.
Janet Ambrose, EdD., Chair
Social Policy Committee
League of Women Voters of Sussex County
Reader offers opinion on offshore wind farm
Two letters in the Nov. 15, 2019, issue of the Coastal Point offered reasons for avoiding placement of wind turbines off the coast of Delaware and Maryland. Unfortunately, the elephant in the room is meanwhile ignored.
As we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for electricity and gasoline, the global temperature continues to get hotter. As a result, oceans rise, storms get worse, along with increased coastal flooding.
We must urgently gut fossil-fuel energy production. Predictions under business-as-usual scenarios fail to anticipate massive increases in flooding. Scientists are alarmed, and their projections keep getting worse and worse.
None of the reasons to avoid wind farms can begin to compare with the disaster that is on the 30-year horizon. The future lies with solar and wind, along with economic development, jobs and investment profits. When tourists can no longer drive along the coastal highway without getting soaked, concerns about what the horizon looks like fade into irrelevancy.
Dr. Ted Spickler