Cape Gazette

Tuesday Letters

Letters to the Editor

Sep 13, 2011

Traffic light at Church Street is unsafe

The traffic light at Church Street and Rehoboth Avenue Extended is unsafe and here is an example of why:

Recently, I was waiting on Church Street  to turn right onto Rehoboth Avenue. Although it is legal to turn right on red at that intersection, it was not possible due to the unending line of cars coming into Rehoboth. When the light turned green, I proceeded to turn right, but at that exact same time, a car coming toward me on Church Sreet from the other side of Rehoboth Avenue turned left and practically hit me.  The driver was quite rude and made numerous gestures at me as though I had done something wrong.  I was mystified: I  wondered why he would be turning left into me when I had a green light!

Days later, I learned that the oncoming traffic at Church Street gets a green arrow at the same time that the other side gets a green light.  I have never heard of such a thing.  As I have always understood it, a green arrow gives total right of way while others at the intersection are stopped by red lights. There should never be a green light at the same time as there is a green arrow.  I do hope that the powers in charge of this situation will rectify this very dangerous light before a serious accident happens.
Peggy Adams Douglas
Rehoboth Beach

Issues arise over Lewes bicyclists

Remember the bike path that everyone was petitioning to get on Gills Neck Road? Well, someone must have forgotten about it, because the partially unpaved path has weeds overgrowing it and the fence that used to run alongside of it looks like it got a beating from Hurricane Irene. (Unfortunately it looked that way well before Irene hit). The path dumps bikers from Rehoboth onto Gills Neck Road, instead of continuing to Lewes like everyone was told it would. There are no signs explaining to bikers that the path just ends abruptly, or that there is a blind “S” curve farther up the road.

Obviously all of these problems have deterred bikers from using the path, since they now ride on the road, which does not have a shoulder. Don’t get me wrong; I love riding my bike and I am all for people getting as much exercise as they can, while enjoying the town and outdoors. However, as a resident of Lewes, it is very frustrating trying to dodge cyclists as they take up an entire lane, and make it impossible to get around them if a car is coming down the road in another direction.

The 90-degree turn and the blind “S” curve also make it extremely dangerous for cars to attempt to pass cyclists that are taking up entire lanes. Anyone who has been stuck behind a cyclist on their way to work or church in the morning will be able to understand this frustration, as well as the fear of hitting one because of the dangerous nature of the road.

All of these things aside, I was shocked to see the new signs posted as I rode home from work the other day. They read as follows: “MAY USE FULL LANE.” I saw the sign again, two more times to be specific, all three on Gills Neck Road.  After looking up some of the Delaware laws online, and confirming with the proper people that none of them have changed, it seemed that these signs were blatantly against the law. The law regarding cyclists on the road can be found in Title 21, Chapter 41 Section 4196 of the state laws, and reads as follows:

“(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway except under any of the following circumstances: (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction; (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand edge of roadway. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes and a posted speed limit of less than 30 miles per hour may ride as near the left-hand edge of such roadway as practicable.

(c) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.”

By the way, the speed limit on Gills Neck Road is 35 mph. This leads to my biggest question of all. How did these signs get put up on Gills Neck Road when they obstruct the law? Who approved this and who paid for them? My question to them is this: Where did the money for these three signs come from?

Three signs, all on Gills Neck Road, which is all of 1.6 miles long. I can’t tell you how much it costs for a street sign, or the pole it stands on, or the labor to put it up, but I can tell you it isn’t a cheap expense. Signs that break the law and never should have been posted in the first place, and create a liability issue with the state of Delaware. During an economic crisis, someone must have thought it was a good place to waste taxpayer money.

If you ask me, whomever approved the purchase of these signs should pay for them, and the money can go to something that is actually needed like the maintenance of the bike path, the continuance of the bike path, signs directing tourists that don’t know where to go on the path, or signs that state “ MUST USE BIKE PATH.”
Jennifer Warren

911 through the eyes of a Rehoboth child

My name is Patrick Hunter Graves. The date is Sept. 11, 2011. Ten years ago, the country that I live in was attacked by terrorists wishing to destroy our way of life. Wishing to scare us. Wishing for us to live our days in fear, uncertain of what was going to happen next.
Ten years ago, on this very date, I was sitting in Mrs. Jones’ second-grade class at Rehoboth Elementary. I was 7 years old. Our school year had just begun. Our class was rowdy. We were 7 - what would you expect? My brother had Mrs. Jones as his teacher three years prior, and I had always known her to be an extremely happy and excitable woman.

She was very good to us in her second grade class. She had a cell phone which she would only answer in case of an emergency. As we were all sitting in class, getting ready for our English lesson that day, Mrs. Jones' phone rang. It was her husband. I remember Mrs. Jones' voice, full of uncertainty, asking him to repeat what he had said. She seemed to forget herself and just started whispering, “Oh my God...Oh my God.”

I bring up my memory from that day, to prove that I do indeed remember it. I am currently a senior in high school, and every year, at this same time, Cape Henlopen takes time to remember the events of that fateful day. Every year, teachers, parents, administrators and adults in general tell us how this event affected America.

Because we were too young.
Because we don’t remember.
Because we didn’t understand.
Because we were children.

The fact that I was 7 does not diminish the events of that day and what I was able to see.
The eyes of a child may be young.
The eyes of a child may be naive.
The eyes of a child may not be able to comprehend.
The eyes of a child are able to observe.
The eyes of a child take in what they are not meant to see.
The eyes of a child see the truth.
And the mind of the child is able to understand far more than you expect it to.

On Sept. 11, 2001, no, I did not understand the concept of terrorism, nor did I understand why any group of people could hate the country I lived in so much that they would try and kill our people. I did not understand the war on terror that was started. However, there were certain things I did understand.

I understood the fear in Mrs. Jones' voice.
I understood the panic in our principal's tone of voice and the way she held her body.
I understood that my mother was confused and afraid when she came to get me.
I understood that my father was scared enough to come home early from work, something he never did, nor ever does now.
I understood that the people around me, the people I loved, the people who were my mentors, the people who I looked to to take care of me now needed someone to take care of them.

Through the eyes of a child, I observed what happened that day. I saw what a group of men could do to an entire nation. I saw the fear that reigned over our country for the months to come. I saw the anger that our people felt, and I felt the blood-lust that followed. I saw the uncertainty that lay in our future. I saw everything.

Never discredit what a child may see, because the eyes of a child are far more observant than any may realize. Today, on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, there are children who were not even born when the planes hit. They do not remember. They only know what they see and what we tell them. But as they get older, don’t patronize them, telling them that they don’t understand what occurred. Because as you tell them of your experience, they see your memories.
They see the pain.
They see the anger.
They see the fear.
And they know what Sept. 11 means to this country, the same way that I knew in second grade.
Patrick Hunter Graves
Rehoboth Beach

Tornado victims thank Cape community

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all who were so helpful and so kind following the severe damage done to our home in Nassau Station by the tornado Aug. 27.  First on our list are our neighbors, Jim and Patty Marvel.  Jim persisted in his attempts to reach us, finally tracking down Jack’s cell phone number and calling to inform us of the extent of the damage as seen from the street.  Patty initiated a rapid response from the Lewes Fire Department that resulted in the gas supply being promptly turned off, preventing any further damage to the homes in the immediate area.

State police officers spent several hours on Sunday, from early morning to late in the afternoon, securing the house and the surrounding area.  Workers from Premier Restoration Company responded promptly to a call from the insurance adjuster Sunday morning and spent the day covering and tarping the roof, cleaning up the yard and packing up the contents of the house for storage. We appreciate the kindness of Grotto Grand Slam, which refused any payment for the food delivered to our home on Sunday afternoon so that we, our family, and those who had been working so hard could have something to eat.
In addition, we must thank the Schell Brothers, who arranged for delivery of a dumpster and for 35 to 40 of the "Extreme Makeover" volunteers to come to our home Sunday afternoon to assist in the cleanup. We count ourselves very fortunate to be part of such a generous and caring group of people and look forward to rejoining our neighbors in Nassau Station and the larger Lewes community in, hopefully, the not-too-distant future.
Sue and Jack Holloway

Many benefits to plant-based eating

I was excited to read Patricia Haddock's letter (Aug 26) in praise of plant-based eating.  I, too, have joined the ranks of those who are discovering the extraordinary health benefits of this approach to eating.  My husband and I adopted a whole foods, plant-based eating lifestyle largely because of Bill Clinton's CNN interviews.  He has reversed his heart disease through his new plant-powered diet based on the medical research of Caldwell Esselstyn, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic and the scientific studies of T. Colin Campbell, PhD, of Cornell University. I now hold a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell and will be teaching a course in plant-based eating at the Osher Institute in Lewes this Fall.  For additional information go to and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation website or contact Dorothy Greet at 302-644-7514.
Dorothy Greet

Rehoboth Watermelon Festival a great success

I would like to thank the over 150 people who attended the very successful third annual Rehoboth Beach Museum Watermelon Festival Aug. 13.  Clearly, all of the attendees and especially the children thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful day and various activities created to get all of the children, as well as their parents and relatives involved in a bit of Rehoboth history. The creation of the event was the brainchild of our Executive Director Nancy Alexander and board member Harvey Waltersdorf.  This event could not have been as successful without Nancy’s thoughtful planning and the numerous volunteers who gave their time and creativity to ensure such a festive occasion.

We would also like to thank the following businesses for their generosity in donating fantastic prizes for the watermelon seed-spitting and watermelon-eating contests: Arena’s Deli, Fun for All Toys, Funland, Rehoboth Toy and Kite, Walmart, Friendly’s, Bonkersville and Ryan’s Beach Store.

We thank Snyder’s Candy and Lois Anne and Curt Raynor for donating the nearly 4,000 jelly beans for the jelly bean counting contest, and Dolle’s for donating 10 pounds of taffy for the taffy guess contest. We thank the many volunteers for cutting, hauling, and cleaning up more than 60 watermelons, and for managing the games and contests. They are the backbone of our organization.

Finally, we would like to thank SuperFresh, Food Lion, and Safeway for generously donating the watermelons that were so important to the success of this enjoyable event and the happiness of all of the participants.

As mentioned, this was the third annual Watermelon Festival.  Please save the second Saturday of August next year for this wonderful event put on by the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society to promote the Rehoboth Beach Museum.   The next time that you are in the city, please take the opportunity to experience the history of Rehoboth at the museum and our newest exhibit, Skimming the Surface.
Paul Kuhns
Rehoboth Beach Historical Society

Cape High needs to fly Old Glory

The fine editorial in the Aug. 19 issue of the Cape Gazette pointed out what an outstanding community we enjoy. There are always people ready, willing and able to join together and accomplish whatever needs to be done.

Comment was also made about our beautiful new Cape Henlopen High School and the part it can play as a community center, as well it should. The school enjoys one dubious distinction, however. No flagpole stands in front of the building, from which Old Glory should proudly wave, reminding our citizens of the great country we enjoy.

I have commented on this publicly, and by direct letter to the board of education without receiving any positive reaction to correct this situation.

Not everyone is moved by feelings of patriotism, but everyone should at least recognize that without that flag flying, we would not have the opportunity to rally together and accomplish so many good things.
Ernest R. Swanson

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The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.