Letters to the Editor

Reader wants to see charity at home

Editor:

Over a hundred years ago, the world gave rise to individuals who amassed unfathomable wealth. The names of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford and others came to personify philanthropy intended for the good of mankind. Such deeds would coincide with the great vision of President Teddy Roosevelt and others to preserve land as national parks for the benefit of generations to come.

Such sums of wealth from the 1900s are eclipsed in quantum leaps by modern-day billionaires.

Two quotes are instructive: Andrew Carnegie, who said that a man who dies with great wealth dies in disgrace, and Warren Buffett, who joked in 2013 that “maybe I should write a book on how to get by on $500 million, because apparently there’s a lot of people that don’t really know how to do it.” It’s the measure of “a lot” that makes this such a grotesque revelation of man’s inhumanity to man.

I believe that here in America, federal, state and local government is at heart an instrument of good, seeking to provide services to communities that individuals are unable on their own to accomplish. Education, transportation, public safety are but a few examples. Yet, the demands placed on our tax base overwhelm its ability to address all urgent and pressing needs with competent action. (For purposes of full disclosure, I must report that the needs of builders and developers here in Sussex County are most handsomely attended to by our elected officials. But I digress.)

The needs of the homeless, families with children living in poverty, financial barriers to access to quality medical and dental care, needed services to persons and families dealing with addiction, and transition services to those reentering society are just a few of the local and national stories that assault our senses from modern communication.

More specifically, persons living in tents, vehicles and storage areas, the loss of housing for delinquent rent of $600, a bench warrant for failure to appear in court for a traffic fine, a loss of job due to a loss of car are recent anecdotes that simply defy notions of “common sense” in our “civil society.” I hope, like me, on some level these realities of daily life make you mad.

I doubt any person who has $500 million amassed after taxes and struggles with life choices we all face (where is a parking place, when will this light turn green, got to submit premium for car insurance, remember to give daughter $18 to cover towel fee at school gym) will read this commentary.

But if by chance this small piece of the Coastal Point should find a friendly wind to ride through a well-timed limo door opening and catch the bored glimpse of a billionaire magnate, let it tug with the message: Hey, we got problems right here in America that you could with your spare pennies dramatically and inexorably alter and save lives in wondrous ways. In doing so, with grace, avoid disgrace at your day’s end.

James Angus
Selbyville

 

Traffic, traffic, everywhere!

Editor:

That’s the common complaint, but it is not ours at the moment. This situation is way more than a problem of not being able to get to the beach on a Saturday morning in July or traveling the back roads from Route 54 to Bethany and Ocean View.

There are multiple issues with the proposed Old Mill Landing development, and among them is the lack of a new Traffic Impact Study. As a part of the development approval process, DelDOT originally required a new TIS to replace the outdated and incomplete one from 2014, but later changed their mind at the developer’s request.

I understand that DelDOT has the option to accept what I call a PILOT: Payment in Lieu of TIS. What I don’t understand is why they would exercise that option in this case. There’s no question that things have changed drastically since 2014 and will certainly change even more by 2024, when this development of 227 homes is completed. The cumulative effect of this and other developments has pushed us to a tipping point, almost beyond the ability to implement meaningful corrections.

We are already experiencing serious difficulties in my development (Swann Cove/Swann Cove West) from drivers using our streets as a shortcut to avoid the light at the Route 20/54 intersection. The Herring Way cut-through was not even in existence in 2014, and this is just one of many failing intersections that would surely surface, should a proper study be conducted.

In addition, there are multiple issues along Old Mill Bridge Road, which this development will front. In typical rural fashion, there are two lanes, dangerous curves, a narrow bridge and no shoulders or sidewalks. It’s truly a nightmare for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, emergency vehicles and those whose driveways open onto this road. Cars end up in ditches on a regular basis, and residents who used to enjoy a jog or a bike ride no longer feel safe. And what about the ability to evacuate — an ever-increasing threat?

For the above reasons, and many more too numerous to detail here, we feel very strongly that a new Traffic Impact Study should be required before this development goes forward. Please make every effort to attend the Planning & Zoning hearing on Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. at the County [Council] Chambers, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. You can also voice your opinion at https://sussexcountyde.gov/contact-planning-zoning-commission or at Box 417, Georgetown, DE 19947.

Boe Daley
Swann Cove

 

Salvation Army efforts exceeded goal

Editor:

To the wonderful, so generous, Bethany Beach-Ocean View community:

Since Thanksgiving, the members and friends of St. Matthews By-The-Sea (SMBTS) United Methodist Church (UMC) of Fenwick Island have been “ringing the bell” for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Drive at Hocker’s G&E at Salt Pond.

In past years, we finished our efforts on Christmas Eve with Santa and Mrs. Claus joining us but this past year our Santa, Mr. Sam Pierce, passed away, so we dedicated our efforts in his memory. Our “bell ringing” helped the Salvation Army exceed its Sussex County goal of $220,000 for this year’s Red Kettle Drive.

Again, I would like to thank the Bethany Beach-Ocean View community for their generosity. I would also like to thank Sen. and Mrs. Hocker who permitted us to “Ring the Bell” for those 22 days at their store.

It couldn’t have been done without all of the volunteers who helped make our success possible. They are: Ken & Nancy Anderson, Grant Angeny, Earlene Bradford, Mark & Mary Brennan, Sue Clark, Vicki Daisey, Merle & Evelyn Dimeler, Mimi Drew, Dave & Cherie Edwards, Robbin Gray, Jamie Hayman & family, Anne Hodges, B.J. Houser, Susie Howard, Rev. Mike Hurley, Ron Jones, Denny & Cindi Mather, Ron & Wanda Nagers, Helen Nappier, Bob Nickle, Sami Oruc, Mike & Patsy Phillips, Nancy Purchase, Doris Ann Pierce, Glenn & Sandy Pierce, Nancy Purchase, Rich Robinson & family, Nancy & Hank Rojewski, Velma Sanford, Ruth Sheaffer, Barbara Slavin, Angi Smith, Timothy Smith, JoAnn Strawser, Bill & Gail Stubbs, Bob Turner, Trippe Van Dyke, Gary Ward, Ray & Marilyn Wockley and Charlie & Bonnie Zonko.

Philip M. Drew, President
SMBTS-UMM

 

The Friends say ‘Thank you’

Editor:

2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Friends of the Millsboro Public Library.

We’d like to thank the community for celebrating this milestone with us.

Many people who attended our Antiques Appraisal in March were very surprised to learn the value of their prized possessions. Despite the heat and humidity in July, locals and visitors made our annual Book Sale a great success. At our well-attended “Dine and Donates” at Wayback Burgers in August and Blue Water Grill in December, patrons and restaurant owners gave financial support to the 2020 Summer Children’s Reading program.

Join us today for our second 25 years. As a member of the Friends, you’ll be part of a meaningful community group. Visit the Friends of the Millsboro Public Library Face Book page, contact friendsofmillsboropl@gmail.com, or call (973) 919-5745 for further information.

Kathy Salamone, President
Friends of the Millsboro Public Library

 

Starting public school classes after Labor Day

Editor:

When I return to Dover on Jan. 14 to start the second session of the 150th General Assembly, I will be introducing bi-partisan legislation co-sponsored by the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate and myself to establish the first day of classes each school year to be the day after Labor Day for Delaware public schools.

This is a win-win proposal for our great state.

There are several reasons for this legislative proposal. They include economic development for our state; young people being employed in businesses during the summer through Labor Day; increased tourism at Delaware resorts and the ability for our families to take vacation toward the end of August instead of rushing around preparing for the start of classes.

Starting school after Labor Day has been the subject of a Delaware Legislative Task Force and a recent Maryland Comptroller’s report, with both reaching the same conclusion: This is a good idea for both of our states.

This proposal is the law in Michigan, and it helps families with their vacations, tourism and young people with summer jobs. Currently, [in] the last two weeks of the summer season, beaches lack lifeguards, businesses are short of workers and total tourist visits are down. The early start of the school year impacts our economy in Delaware. This bi-partisan legislation will help fix this issue and help our communities that depend on tourism dollars.

State Sen. Gerald Hocker
Senate Minority Leader
(R) 20th

 

Reader offers some ideas for better safety

Editor:

I have volunteered at the Ocean View Police Department for five years. I saw a need by the Ocean View Police Department for assistance in answering phones, dispatching calls, manning the front desk for walk-in needs and other activities that would free up police officers to do active policing.

I am not a retired cop nor had any experience in law enforcement. I have always believed in volunteerism as an active part of democracy. And, I am impressed by the dedication, experience, training and empathy of the OVPD. These attributes are the reasons why the town of Ocean View has been rated as the safest town in Delaware for two straight years.

The OVPD was the first in the state to have training on Naloxone to help save drug-abusers’ lives from overdoses. The OVPD was one of the first to have an active-shooter exercise at a local church that included FBI, Homeland Security, state police, Bethany Beach police, Millville fire department, Ocean View police, church congregants and others to simulate an active-shooter event during a church service.

These and many other training exercises are some of the reasons why Ocean View is safe and why we can have confidence in our police force when we need them. But the other reason is the strategic thinking by the chief of police, Ken McLaughlin.

However, there are other issues to be addressed by the Town to ensure its police force remains one of the best in Delaware. One issue is the placement of emergency vehicles and equipment during times of climatic or terrorist events to safe areas.

If southern Sussex County ever had a hurricane hit off of Bethany Beach, the tidal surge and flooding would leave most of Bethany Beach, Ocean View and Frankford under water. If this were to happen, the storm surge could be over 3 feet, leaving all the police and fire equipment flooded and inoperable. The police would not be able to respond to assistance to residents in need.

However, if towns around Ocean View were to invest in a piece of property that is safely above flood stage that could have an evacuation center for residents, as well as a safe place to position police and fire vehicles and manpower, then our first-responders would be able to actually help save lives.

This issue leads into another one — a regional police force. Many towns around Ocean View are having trouble staffing police departments. We saw this past year the problems with South Bethany and Frankford. Chief McLaughlin assisted the Town of South Bethany by entering into a memorandum of understanding that allowed Ocean View police to provide police services while they re-vamped their police force.

South Bethany is on its way in developing an excellent police department while both towns have agreed to work with each other in the future to ensure public safety. Millville is another town without a police force. Perhaps Millville working together with Ocean View, Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick could form a partnership that allows all jurisdictions to share public safety resources.

A regional police force would require state legislative approval. It is a concept worth exploring and one that could be economically viable and would go a long way in deterring crime in the rural towns without police departments.

The state police have this mandate now, but they are understaffed and response times are woefully slow. Ocean View response times are less than 3 minutes per call. The memorandum of understanding between Ocean View and South Bethany is a great step forward in sharing resources to fight crime and ensure public safety.

Another initiative that Chief McLaughlin uses to enhance his department is the use of grant funding provided by the federal government and the State to purchase new equipment, provide training for his officers, and funding to offset taxpayers’ funds for police salaries.

These are some of the reasons why Ocean View can remain one of the safest towns to live in, and I endorse these activities to ensure the quality of life remains high in Ocean View.

John Reddington
Ocean View

 

Reader responds to previous Point letter

Editor:

Harry Steele’s letter to the editor (Coastal Point, Jan. 3) stated his opposition to the recent windfarm proposal and stated his opinion that global warming is not human-caused. Many of his points are demonstrably wrong. I will discuss only the worst of them.

His paragraph made it sound like hurricanes today are no different than long ago. On the contrary, Wikipedia has an entry under the title “List of costliest Atlantic hurricanes,” and it shows damage levels from recent storms being seriously worse than four decades ago.

His point about the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) making a mistake about a temperature datum made it sound like all their other data are worthless. Mistakes are isolated events. For the benefit of readers, DMI has a 118-page free-download report that can be obtained using the internet search string “DMI REPORT 18-04.” Near the end are 10 summary bar graphs of temperature data going back many decades. You don’t need statistics to see big Greenland temperature increases in the last 1-2 decades.

Worse than Steele’s misrepresentation is his omission of a report of record Greenland glacier melting one day last summer. I do not recall learning about any retraction or correction of that report. Calculations showed that for just that one day, enough water flowed into the oceans to raise the sea level by 1 millimeter.

CO2 may not be a pollutant in Steele’s eyes, but in science it is a greenhouse gas and accurate measures with physical instruments are not in question. CO2 concentration increases over the last 50-100 years are in parallel with industrial consumption and combustion of mined coal, refined petroleum and captured gases. The tonnage, barrel numbers and cubic meter data for these fossil fuels are in reference databases. Calculating how much CO2 is produced is high-school chemistry.

Very accurate measures of sea-level rise over the last 100 years show that the rate is increasing in recent years. In the last decade, it is about double the rate of 3-4 decades ago. Increased glacier melting is driving this. The sea levels estimated for 2100 may be here in 2050.

An internet search for a recent report entitled “Shocking new maps show how sea level rise will destroy coastal cities by 2050” will show computer simulations. An internet search on “flooding and real estate prices” will show that storm and high-tide flooding in coastal areas has recently become worse and has started to drive down prices by noticeable amounts.

Arthur E. Sowers
Harbeson

 

Reader offers some numbers

Editor:

Worldometers reports that more human beings died worldwide in 2019 as a result of a procedure chosen by mothers called abortion than any other cause of death including cancer, HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents and suicide.

• 42.3 million unborn children died in abortions

• 13 million people died from disease

• 5 million people died from smoking

• 1.7 million people died from HIV/AIDS

Worldometers estimates about 58.6 million deaths occurred world-wide from all causes excluding abortions. Abortion figures are calculated separately because many governments and organizations from which data is collected do not recognize unborn children as human beings even though biology indicates they are unique human beings from the moment of conception, and die brutal, violent deaths in abortion.

As we listen and read about violence in the world today, the comments made by St. Teresa of Avila at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 5, 1994, ring true: “The greatest destroyer of Peace today is abortion because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another.”

Cliff Wolfe
Frankford