Letters to the Editor
Dewey Beach has a lot to be thankful for
Happy holidays to everyone! As we close out the year here in Dewey, we are blessed to have so many wonderful friends and neighbors, business owners and town employees who are working hard to end the year so positively.
The new town council has been working to identify a town manager who will bring expertise in grant writing, budgeting and management to the town. We have interviewed some very qualified candidates and hope to have a decision soon. Our thanks go out to Jim Dedes and the dedicated Town Manager Search Committee for attracting over 100 resumes and for such a thorough review process.
We have made progress on the legal front and have reduced legal fees by half the last few months due to cooperation by the entire council and strategic use of legal services by the mayor for selected meetings. We are restructuring our legal services to have more specialized legal services providers available to the town so that we can reduce billable time spent on legal research and not overburden one provider. We plan to use an experienced municipal law firm for ongoing municipal law services and employment counsel for labor and employment law issues. For land use and comprehensive plan legal services, we are interviewing land use attorneys who can advise us on the front end of any problems and provide for a smoother comprehensive plan process at a lower cost.
We appreciate the experienced planning commission members, led by Chairman Harry Wilson and Vice Chairman David King, taking on our comp plan analysis. David King and his budget team are also working closely with Bill Brown, our finance director, to shepherd the current budget to the end of this year with close oversight. We are conducting an audit of property owner/tenant accommodations taxes which is bringing in more revenue; we passed a modest 9 percent increase in business license fees across the board, and we are likely to conduct more audits after the first of the year which should result in increased revenue as well. Our goal is to do the most with what we have, but make sure we have what we’re supposed to have in terms of revenue.
Many more volunteers are working hard to address a variety of issues like noise, quality of life and infrastructure needs and develop a brand-new voter registration system. We voted to indemnify Mayor Diane Hanson so that all volunteers will know that the town stands behind them in their volunteer work. I’d like to see some additional volunteers tackle
long-range planning ideas for Dewey, look at other great beach towns and bring some of those good ideas back for consideration by our committees.
I also want to see a Holiday Decorating Task Force next year and would welcome former mayors and commissioners to help. Many thanks to the Dewey Beach Civic League, Commissioner Anna Legates, the McKinney family and Alvin at Town Hall for help with new decorations this year. With the transition between town managers, a previous promise to raise contributions for town holiday lighting did not materialize and no one realized it until it was too late. As evidenced by the large number of property owners who turned out for the festive holiday party, have no fear, Dewey has more than its share of holiday spirit this year!
And finally, a heartfelt thanks to Police Chief Sam Mackert who worked nights and weekends to get Town Hall in shape after the previous town manager departed. Chief Mackert even found time to apply for grants for our town over and above his other duties. We are very grateful to him, Bill Brown and all of the Town Hall employees for their dedication to our wonderful beach town. Happy holidays to all!
See the pure joy of Christmas
Christmas is upon us once again. We need to take the time to remind ourselves that Christmas is about love. It is a time of charity and giving, not of materialism and receiving. A new iPad or a flat screen might keep you entertained for a time, but ultimately they are just empty objects.
Want to give a precious gift this year? Give your time. Ask anyone who has lost a friend or loved one if they would rather have an Xbox, or more cherished memories. Reflect on your own experiences, and then reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
All too often we purposefully ignore the very same people that we should actually be trying to learn from. Don’t hide your face from the Salvation Army folks ringing their bells outside of stores. What are you afraid of? Go strike up a conversation with one. Look them in the eye and ask them why they volunteer their time. You will see pure joy and the spirit of Christmas staring you in the face.
Do you want to give a great gift? Buy two cans of food on your next trip to the grocery store, and drop them off at a church on your way home. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Walk into a nursing home and volunteer to visit with the elderly for a few hours. Walk up to a soldier, look him square in the eye, shake his hand and say “Thank you.” It will change you.
Christmas is about love. We have forgotten that. I think it’s time we show the world how to do that again. Merry Christmas.
Save Milton from mountain of wrong
So wrong and on so many levels. It is a veritable mountain of wrong! The Dogfish Head brewery's land acquisition and their rezoning request (residential to light industrial) is just plain wrong. As Bob Love, a former Cape Gazette columnist, indicated some months ago, "It may not be illegal, but it is wrong." So says public opinion, as well. Milton residents spoke out in large numbers against the rezoning application. But what of the legality of the matter?
This is where attorneys enter in. They'll be investigating the "wrongfulness" of the developer's sale to Dogfish. They will consider the legality of a $3.5-plus million land purchase made with no contingencies and undoubtedly they will ask, "Is the sale legal and who makes such an unconditional purchase and why?" They may also question the location for industry as being "ideal," per the Dogfish attorney. Nearly 40 acres within town limits and surrounded by residential is anything but ideal. The brewery knew for nine years it was surrounded by residential. Clearly they had plans for expansion elsewhere.
Was it legal for that developer to sell that land? Again, this is where attorneys now shall tread and on whose dime, Milton? More lawsuits, anyone?
One citizen suggested that perhaps mayor and council, under the auspices of our new town manager, should have conducted a survey asking, "Milton, what do you think?" Results from such a survey were indicated by the earful council got from a wide-awake Milton electorate.
Mountains of wrong . . . Sometimes they are akin to evil. Too strong a word choice? Then why fight wars to right wrongs wrought by evildoers? Why bother to look to the goodness and right-thinking of our Founding Fathers and our Constitution to chart the best course for our nation? Why take civic pride in our neighborhoods and towns and look long and hard at what is best for our neighbors and our collective future?
As for attorneys, one attorney, Milton's town solicitor, makes it sound as though mayor and council must vote to approve the rezoning. Why - simply because the applicant has met all the conditions? Hogwash! Our elected representatives do think for themselves don't they? I mean, they can't possibly be beholden to anyone other than their constituents. And what a mountain of wrong that would be if it were otherwise!
A longtime Milton resident spoke most eloquently suggesting we "hitch ourselves to that shining star known as Dogfish Head - that we should do this and hope for the best." OK, let's climb up that mountain of wrong and reach out for all we're worth (sorry, but selling out comes to mind...) and grab for a ride on today's very profitable and growing Dogfish. But what about tomorrow? How many microbreweries and like fad businesses have come and gone and we're talking, "Once it is rezoned to light industrial, it is forever!"
Thinking back on the public hearing, brim-filled with folks on all sides of the issue, I say, thank you, Milton, for recognizing the importance of this matter. And thank you especially to those who spoke to the hearts and minds of council, asking them to consider long and hard the ramifications of approval.
Here were citizens willing and wanting to hitch their hopes and dreams to yet another star, a star called Milton. They are to be commended. In addition, they keep good company. A leading Miltonian, a philanthropist and charitable giver to be sure, has clearly demonstrated his dedication to Milton and his dedication is instructive. This man, whether looking up from the base of that mountain of wrong or from its top, would tells us, "Reach for the star that is Milton!" After all, his public history and actions tell us to do just this. His recent gift of land in the heart of Milton is clear enough indication and no one could possibly question this gentleman's message to us all - keep faith within community and always do what is best for your neighbors, now and into the future!
A longtime resident had this to say after reading the "Read Amy's Letter" flier circulating about town, "Mind you, I've got nothing against the brewery, but Dogfish Head sure does get its way!" Milton, Milton, Milton, we can do so much better. The council votes cast on Monday evening, 6:30pm, Jan. 9, 2012, in the Milton library, will be long remembered, to be sure. Write or email mayor and council. Talk to your neighbors and have them tell council to keep control and oversight of our town. No to rezoning and yes to conditional use. Don't sell our town short, Mr. Mayor. Council, don't give away oversight for all the years to come.
What some might label selling out will only create yet again, another mountain of wrong. Such mountains tear at the moral fabric of our society and funny thing, they divide people. Is this in and of itself evil? Are you listening, Milton? High time we reminded ourselves that while there is no perfection in our world, might we choose to strive for it? And how far from perfection are beautiful small towns - towns like Milton and all across America - that heed the deep-pocketed and ignore the electorate resulting in what, as Ms. Amy Kratz so aptly put it, "Looks like it fell off the back of a truck!"
Towns divided. Towns that have lost their moral compass. Towns that little by little, give themselves away. Sad at the very least, if not evil.
Milton residents are so very kind
One of the pleasures of living in Milton is the kindness of the residents. Thanks to the work of Janet Hoff, the families of Wagamon’s West Shores completed their second Christmas food drive. Janet collected the food, stored it in her home and with her helpers filled the boxes. This year 10 families in Milton will receive food boxes and a gift certificate to the Food Lion market. And while singing the praises of Milton, a thank you to the Milton Knitters for dressing our statue of John Milton in Mill Pond Park. He looks great!
Maryann and Alex Donnan
Wagamon’s West Shores
Women of Zwaanendael Club give thanks
The GFWC-Zwaanendael Women's Club would like to thank the City of Lewes, local merchants and all the members of the Lewes community who supported our open house and fundraiser Dec. 3. Charlie and Anne Boehm and their son Charlie of Charlie’s Hot Dog Cart supplied all the delicious and mouthwatering pulled pork sandwiches, hot sausage, soda, chips, chili and hot dogs. We are indebted to them for all their hard work and liberal contributions. Philly Soft Pretzel Company on Route 1 in Rehoboth has continued to support the Zwaanendael Club through all of its fundraisers this year Annabellas Italian Restaurant has faithfully supported the club with generous contributions all year long.
This year the club has been granted 501(C)(3) status and we would like to thank all of those who have so charitably contributed to this fundraising campaign especially the members of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce who have contributed and are continuing to support this small club. The members of the GFWC-Zwaanendael Women's Club have continued to bring all their homemade cookies and knowledge of the club history to the public forefront each Christmas season.
The clubhouse is open for tours and information upon request all year long. This member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs has continued to maintain its building and contributed to the community because of the support of the generous people of their community. In this season of thanks we wish each and every one a happy holiday season and thank you for all your support!
Dr. Somori will be truly missed by community
After reading the news article recently published regarding Dr. Brent Fox, pain management physician, of Salisbury, Md., I felt compelled to write this letter. The lower Delaware area is losing two pain management physicians this month, though it seems only one will truly be missed. Dr. Gabriel Somori of Coastal Pain Care Center of Lewes recently announced he is closing his practice to relocate to Tampa, Fla., and he will truly be missed by myself and the many local residents he treated.
Dr. Somori provided compassion and relief to many individuals suffering from chronic pain and other illnesses, and is the textbook example of what a responsible physician should be. He provided this care, while at the same time safeguarding the local community against the ravages of prescription drug abuse. I know firsthand the many criteria Dr. Somori employed while practicing his art here in Delaware, and we need many more like him to do the same in the battle against substance abuse, especially prescribed drug abuse. Dr. Somori, we love you and wish you all the best as you leave us to serve the Tampa area. May God bless you, and thank you!
Thanks to Milton Elementary supporters
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and families of Milton Elementary School for the kindness that they have extended. Every year we collect toys for needy children in Sussex County for the Salvation Army. And every year I am amazed at the generosity of the parents and staff at our school. We were able to fill 15 stockings and numerous boxes of toys for the children in need. Some classes in the school do this as a class project. Teachers or groups of staff members, such as the nutrition staff and office staff, fill others. Thank you for making a child smile this holiday season. Happy holidays to every member of the Milton Elementary School family.
Milton Elementary School
coordinator/contact person for Salvation Army at Milton Elementary
Resort chamber appreciates supporters
Happy holidays! It is with gratitude and appreciation that I send this message. On Dec. 3, the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation hosted our annual Caribbean Christmas fundraiser. This terrific event was held at Mango’s and raised funds to support local, all-volunteer fire companies. I am delighted to preliminarily report that more than $36,000 was raised for the brave and dedicated work of the men and women who serve the Quiet Resorts as firefighters. This gift was made possible by the many sponsors, volunteers and guests who attended the event. Thanks to our sponsors: Bethany Blues, Beach Liquors, Bethany Florist, Coastal Coffee Works, Cottage Café, Creative Resource Group, Coastal Point, DiFebo’s, DiFebo’s Bistro, Harpoon Hanna’s, Mango’s, Matteo’s Restaurant, Mio Fratello, North East Seafood Kitchen, Off The Hook, Overture Home Electronics, Perucci’s, PNC Bank, Sedona, Turquoise, The Delaware Wave and Wilgus Associates.
Thanks to event chairwoman Karen Taylor and vice chairwoman Sue Baxter and the members of their committee: Steve Alexander, Diane Comolli, Mimi Drew, Ernie Felici, Mary Franz, Denise Goehner, Kate Herrman, Jackie Inman, Jerry Kappes, Tom Lannon, Susan Lyons, Ellen Magee, Jeff Osias, Marion Parrot, Cathy Schultz, Liz Weiss and Jean Wode. Our thanks also to the over 300 attendees who supported the event as guests, bought raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items. As a representative of the QRCF and on behalf of the dedicated board and advisory members, my thanks for this incredible broad effort staged in support of local charitable organizations.
On Jan. 1, 2012 at 9:30 a.m., in downtown Bethany Beach, we will host the inaugural Hair of the Dog Run. The 5K and 10K run features overall and age group awards, a walk/run with your leashed dog division, and a postrace party at Mango’s on the Boardwalk and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach, featuring complimentary 16 Mile brews, sponsored by 16 Mile Brewing Company, Georgetown Delaware. The 10K finishers will receive finisher medals. Preregistered runners are guaranteed a technical shirt and goody bag. Hair of the Dog 10K Run is $45 for preregistered runners, $50 for day-of registrants. Hair of the Dog 5K Run is $25 for preregistered runners, $30 for day-of registrants. Participants are encouraged to preregister now at www.HairoftheDog Run.com The Hair of the Dog Run is presented in conjunction with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber’s Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos Swim on New Year’s Day at noon. Proceeds from the Hair of the Dog Run, and the Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos Swim following the run, benefit the many groups that are served by the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation and the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.
K. William Scott Esq.
Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation
Thanks for Nouveau Beaujolais support
I am extremely appreciative of all the hard work and support that made the 23rd Annual Nouveau Beaujolais fundraiser a success for the American Red Cross. On behalf of the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula, I thank Lynda Messick and Community Bank, Jim and Ronnie Kiernan and the Irish Eyes staff, and Dale Lomas of Atlantic Liquors. I am also grateful to Financial Services Incorporated and The Insurance Market for sponsoring the event. In addition, I’d like to thank the Nouveau Beaujolais Committee, spearheaded by Shannon McGinn, for all their hard work to secure the donations of food and auction items as well as organize this amazing event. Lastly, a heartfelt thank you to the numerous restaurants, merchants and individuals who donated to Nouveau Beaujolais. This fundraiser helps the American Red Cross continue its mission to provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In closing, I thank those who supported the Red Cross by attending and hope the community will continue to help us keep the Delmarva Peninsula a safe place.
Patrick K. Delaney
American Red Cross of Delmarva
Ambassador replies to Red Hat article
An article was placed in this paper not too long ago regarding women who may have moved to southern Delaware and were looking to connect with other women who may be interested in joining the Red Hat Society. At the present time all who had contacted me have been directed to chapters that were all very happy to have them as new members.
The individual chapters meet different days of the week; also there are night meeting chapters.
I would like to welcome these new members and encourage other women who would like to belong to an organization that is international and growing. The Red Hat Society has become the international society dedicated to reshaping the way women are viewed in today's culture. The Red Hat Society supports and encourages women to pursue fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment of lifelong dreams and fitness. It serves as the center point for all communications and opportunities for its members, offering tools, tips, discounts, services and events specifically with Red Hatters in mind. The Red Hat Society has spent over a decade developing a strong online communication tool for members, assisting them in gaining new and exciting ways to enjoy life, sharing their unique and motivating stories and helping members find local hatters and activities they can participate in. Women over age 50 are known as Red Hatters, while those under 50 are lovingly referred to as Pink Hatters. Contact me at bjy324@ verizon.net and to learn more about the Red Hat Society go to www.redhatsociety.com.
Red Hat Society ambassador
Things are changing at Prime Hook Beach
I would like to comment on the letter sent in to the Dec. 13 edition of your paper from Geary Foertsch regarding the sea-level rise scenario facing our Delaware shoreline. My family has lived in back of Prime Hook Beach's marshland for over 25 years. We could never see water up until the last year. I don't need science to tell me that things are slowly changing - I just have to look out my kitchen window. The Delaware Bay is slowly creeping up.
While Mr. Foertsch may spend time looking for scientific evidence to refute what is going on, my husband and I will be hoping and praying that we can live out the rest of our lives in the home that we have worked so hard for all of these years.
Prime Hook Beach