Letters to the Editor — Sept. 22, 2017

Date Published: 
Sept. 22, 2017

Sussex County has fallen and it can’t get up


A newly-designed flag to hang in Sussex County Council chambers should have a trident with a chicken sitting on a bed of corn (representing agriculture), a towering new building under construction (representing building and development) and a neon sign blinking “Eat at Joe’s” (representing tourist dollars pouring into our local businesses).

Each of these cultures has prospered to an overwhelming degree, ably aided and abetted by our state and local governments. Also depicted on the flag should be a dead crab, a one-room school with children spilling out the doors and windows, a house fire with bystanders raising hands to volunteer to fight the fire, a police officer set apart from a crime victim by a huge wall of time and a mish-mash of 10 cars trying to access a two lane road with a ditch for a shoulder. Now, that is a flag that represents all facets of life in Sussex County.

Over the last 13 years the Coastal Point has witnessed and reported on the “best of times” and “worst of times” in Sussex County. A deserved “well done” to The Coastal Point for its coverage of Sussex County “quality of life” issues. Roads, fire and police, schools, water and sewage and natural waterways are among the public issues that have received extensive coverage by the Coastal Point. During the past 20 years, Sussex County has segued demographically from a rural county inflated by a “three month beach season” to an urbanized county with a “beach season spanning the calendar year.” From 2000 to 2010, Sussex County experienced the highest numeric and percentage population growth in Delaware and it will again when the 2020 census is completed and published. Compare that to the growth in New Castle County — zero, or even possibly a decline.

And yet, despite the obvious, we stand with mouths agape at how ill-prepared, ill-equipped and disinterested our county council and the State of Delaware are with the reality of our overwhelmed infrastructure here in Sussex County. Nevertheless, kudos to our sharp-eyed state accountants who took a nickel from our pockets on the real property tax ($100 of the $500 — gone) with nary a whimper. Sussex County and the State should take note: these days of “robbing” from the cotton tops are coming to an end as political activism is churning in our souls. I do find comfort knowing that if we ever could get a decent protest going over local and state services, the Delaware State Police would have no place to put us, let alone accommodate our prescription needs while in custody.

Against this backdrop, there are groups of citizen volunteers trying to help Sussex County “get up.” One such group has focused on the pollution and destruction of our waterways, in particular Dirickson Creek which feeds into the Little Assawoman Bay. I admire the altruistic work of these citizen volunteers who are doing their best to clean our bays. The help they need is not partnerships with the forces that brought about the destruction and decay to our waterways (agriculture, commercial and residential development, businesses, lack of County oversight of water and sewer) but meaningful action to solve problems only government can tackle. For starters:

Sussex County: Freeze all new commercial and residential building permits, i.e. stop digging; rescind all building permits where construction is not underway; enact a usage fee of 5 percent on all commercial and residential real estate sales; enact of usage fee of 2 percent on all hotel and motel rooms; issue bonds to obtain by eminent domain all agricultural land abutting our waterways.

To builders and developers: Price into your costs a 5-percent earmark on all new commercial and residential sales to fund a public trust dedicated to promoting a safe and clean quality of life in Sussex County.

To the State of Delaware: Stop the New Castle County “Hand Jive” at budget time. The revenue the State derives from people [coming to the beach] should find a path back to Sussex County for dedication to local needs that were provided to New Castle residents over 70 years ago.

What is unproductive in this mission is meaningless political grandstanding. A recent example, Senator Carper noting the need for more work in the effort to clean the environment and, to that end, he and other senators are seeking at least $700,000 for each local program from Washington. This is glib “swamp speak” for: We will rustle up some local funds just as soon as the feds give us $700,000. Does anyone really believe our Congress will look to fund a local clean-up of Dirickson Creek with all the competition currently in play for federal dollars?

Sussex County and the State of Delaware act as stewards for protecting our property and enjoyment of life, without injury by one to another. (See, Delaware Constitution, Preamble). To all elected representatives from Sussex County: Start acting like you care about our quality of life and step up — do your job and begin making the tough decisions to help Sussex County “get up.”

James Angus


Chamber thankful for support with event


On behalf of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff, I would like to thank everyone who made the 39th Annual Bethany Beach Arts Festival a huge success.

Many artists reported record-day sales for the season as the crowds took advantage of the beautiful weather. Thank you to our many partners, including Schell Brothers, the presenting sponsor; Bayside, a Carl M. Freeman Companies Community; John Donato, who inspired artists of all ages with an interactive mural as the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) held the public vote for the finalists of the $1,000 Scholarship to a local junior or senior artist. Sponsored by Creative Concepts, the silent auction boasted over 90 pieces with all proceeds being split between the four local elementary school art programs.

The Arts Festival is a true testament of the famous quote “Many hands make light work.” First, the efforts of Dean Sissler and the Bethany Beach Police Department were much appreciated, along with the efforts of Brett Warner, Sean Ely and the Public Works team. Lastly, words cannot do justice to how much the Chamber appreciates the work of the outstanding volunteers. From the 5:30 a.m. crew who marked the boardwalk and streets, to the volunteers who made calls to the silent auction winners, your time and the feedback we received from your efforts are so meaningful to the staff.

Thank you, Christine Bohner, Anita Broccolino, Eunice Carpitella, Ron Derr, Jim Doyle, Susie Foskey, Mary Germann, Georgette Greason, Regina Handy, Rebecca and James Hayman, Max Hutsell, Kami Kane, Ron Lewis, Jim Mace, Mike Mall, Kristie Maravalli, Kevin McCourt, Danny McKenzie, Jeanne Mueller, David Nilsson, Tom Perry, Steve Plotkin, Mary Smith and Milt Warren. We are blessed to have such quality people who serve to promote community and commerce in the Quiet Resorts. Thank you for being part of our Chamber team!

Lauren Weaver

Executive Director

Bethany-Fenwick Area

Chamber of Commerce

Monument is worthy of challenge to remove it


Should we accept the fragmentation or “balkanization” of the country? William McCauley’s use of this term in a previous Coastal Point paper is intriguing. “Balkanization” is defined as a division of a multinational state into smaller ethnically homogeneous entities. The term also is used to refer to ethnic conflict within multiethnic states.

William McCauley wrote eloquently, “The break-up and even the ‘Balkanization’ of our great American country is always a potent threat. ... At least in this instance it did not succeed.” Is William McCauley leaving the door open to another effort? Does he appear to prefer to keep the historical identity alive in Georgetown’s Confederate Monument, which is in stark contrast to the expectation of the Sussex County branch of the NAACP.

He expresses educational value in this “monument.” He desires our “children” to embrace it “educationally.” I am rather suspicious of his intent in keeping a positive spin on the Confederacy and the Sussex County participants within the Confederacy and our country’s civil war as a value for our children to consider.

The Confederacy participants in the “Civil War” committed treason! Our brothers and sisters of humanity who were enslaved were clearly crimes against humanity. The “South” also kept the majority of “white” citizens poor and uneducated. I recommend the books, “White Trash — The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America” by Nancy Isenberg, “The Other Slavery” by Andres Resend, “The Irish Slaves” by Rhetta Akamatsu to mention a few.

Where did the driving force to keep slavery and keep poor and uneducated “whites” emerge from? It came from the “Christian” Churches of the Confederacy. Without the “Christian” moral justification the Civil war, it would “never” have occurred. We attend those churches today in Sussex County, and throughout the South and nation. Yes, they have “changed.” However, one must ask if those Civil War-supporting pastors and church members did indeed go to Hell for their sins of slavery. Did the Slave owners North and South go to hell for their sins? Did the Confederate leaders and participants go to hell for their sins? Yes, Christian Churches of the North had supporters of slavery as well. It also must be asked, “Did those pastors and members go to hell for their sins?” I do not know the answer. I only know what religious doctrine I was taught and read that might send me to hell.

History can be very painful as recorded: The Roman Catholic Church to the Indigenous peoples as they were told that God declared that the Pope rules all people, regardless of their law, sect or belief. This includes Christians, Moors, Jews and Gentile, or any other sect. The Native Americans were to come forward of their own free will to convert to Catholicism or “with the help of God we shall use force against you, declaring war upon you from all sides and with all possible means, and we shall bind you to the yoke of the Church and Their Highnesses; we shall enslave your persons, wives, and sons, well you or dispose of you as the King sees fit; we shall seize your possessions and harm you as much as we can as disobedient and resisting vassals.” “Furthermore, the Natives who resist are to be held guilty of all resulting deaths and injuries from the ‘just’ war waged against them.” Did this Pope go to hell?

We have much to answer for. Why would we ever want to “raise up on high” monuments to those who committed crimes against humanity... North, South, East or West?

Lloyd E. Elling

Ocean View

Layton moving ahead with new project


According to my research. Lower Sussex Little League was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1966. If, my dates are wrong, please, accept my apology.

In the beginning, the teams were sponsored by the Selbyville Elks, The Fenwick Island Lions Club, The John M. Clayton Lions Club and The Lord Baltimore Lions Club, and there might be more, but I can not find anything else in the past minutes that I found.

They played their games mostly at the high schools at that time: Selbyville, John M. Clayton and Lord Baltimore High Schools.

Lower Sussex Little League started to grow so much, they were to able to move to a central location at the Pyle Center with three fields.

Our (Arlene and I) children started playing at the Pyle Center in 1985 and we were able to start serving on the Lower Sussex Little League Board in 1987. I was elected President in 1989. In 1990, we able to sign a 99-year lease for a new section (approximately 14 acres).

When softball was introduced, the number of children grew dramatically (averaging 700 children a year) so the building of new fields were needed. Many people volunteered their time to build a first class facility.

I want to thank the many volunteers (managers, coaches, umpires, concession stand workers) and the people who donated money to build this facility. We have a facility that has no debt.

In 2004, we were lucky enough to land The Senior Girls Softball World Series (Ages 14 to 16) and, in 2013, we landed a second World Series, which was the Big League Girls (ages 16 to 18). These girls come from around the world and they get to see the United States and make new friends.

Who would have thought that our complex would be seen on ESPN? Some of the best softball is played in Sussex County, because some of our local teams have won the World Series.

I have been on the Board of Directors for 30 years and I have served as president for 21 years, but I am looking for a new challenge.

I am also serving on the Pyle Center board, and I have received permission to explore the idea of building a YMCA or a community center.

The Pyle Center has two other parcels on which we can build. We have a partial board of directors in place. If you would like to volunteer, please, let me know. You can reach me at brucelayton@verizon.net.

Again, it has been a pleasure to serve on the Lower Sussex Little League Board of Directors, but it is time to see if we can build another facility.

Bruce Layton

Ocean View

Reader asks: Equal justice ... or not


Cash bail is the dirty secret of America’s justice system. Being poor should not mean more jail time, however, if you don’t have resources that is where you’ll be.

Municipalities across the country jail more people for not being able to post bond than given a speedy trial. Hence the growing prison population and the mass incarceration that exists today. And, I might add, that the for-profit prison industry has grown proportionately. We have in this administration individuals willing to roll back regulations that are both harsh and punitive. These statutes unfairly impact poor people and people of color. When I look at the scale of justice, I see a blindfolded woman who doesn’t see you. But in actuallity, a double standard exists that being poor, black and innocent results in more jail time than a white person of means who is guilty!.

As the struggle for the promise of America continues we are confronted by the pathological lying and bigotry by our current president.

Valerie Reeves

Ocean View