Cape Gazette

Lewes Ferry terminal music is disruptive

By Hans Oberdiek and Constance Hungerford | Mar 28, 2014

In the March 24 issue of the Cape Gazette, Cape May-Lewes Ferry officials defending their request for a variance are cited saying that “they’ve provided live music for nearly a decade on the boardwalk area of the Lewes terminal” and Jim Walls, chief operating officer for the Delaware River and Bay Authority, is quoted as saying: “We’re not looking to do anything substantially different than what we had in place prior to last year.” I suppose this depends on what “substantial” means! Prior to last year, there was live music one night per week in 2012 and 2011, not five nights per week as in 2013.

The amplified music was disruptive, but we assumed that the ferry had legal permission to do so, though we asked them to turn down the volume, only to discover that they had no such permission.

As far as providing music for the last decade, there was never any regular music on the water side of the terminal. If the ferry disputes this, they should provide the number of times in the past decade amplified live music has occurred on the boardwalk area. My wife and I have lived in Port Lewes facing the terminal every summer for the past 20 years, and there was never more than very occasional live music for special events. So when Mr. Walls contends that there the ferry doesn’t intend to do anything “substantially different” from previous years, this should be taken with a grain of salt.

At its recent open meeting, the ferry pledged that they will refrain from offensive lyrics. This pledge is repeated by Mr. Walls, who says they have no plans to have some group such as KISS perform. So far as I know, however, no one has objected to the offensiveness of lyrics, but the invasion of our tranquility by amplified music, especially four or five days a week every evening from well before sunset to well after sunset. The loud, thumping sound travels across open grass and water with thunderous effect!

Hans Oberdiek
Constance Hungerford
Port Lewes

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