There has been a lot of talk recently about the “Fenwick Four,” and the group’s collective effort to win seats on the Fenwick Island Town Council following the scheduled Aug. 1 election. Some of that talk has been good, while some of it has been not-so-good.
But there’s definitely been talk.
Voter turnout numbers are low across this country, on elections local and national, but impassioned conversations leading up to election day are a good sign that turnout should be significant. And that is always a good thing.
So, what has generated all the talk about this quartet of candidates? Part of it is the old “should non-residents be allowed to run for council” argument, which is fine and dandy, but they are currently allowed to in Fenwick, so this should be a non-issue. If the people of the Town don’t want that, then get a charter change before the next election.
Another concern is that the foursome is running on a singular issue, i.e. height restrictions in Fenwick, and that the residents deserve more well-rounded candidates. That’s a valid argument, for sure, but one that’s up for the voters to decide.
We’ve seen blocks of candidates run for office before in this community, but rarely as transparent as this group is. We see that openness as a positive, in that voters can be well-informed. But we also see the obvious negatives. Let the voters decide.
Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.
Following months of mind-numbing chatter from science nerds over the deflation possibilities of a football, public discourse over the reach of the NFL commissioners office and conspiracy theories that have bordered on the inane, the NFL announced Tuesday that it is upholding the four-game suspension handed down to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Let me catch my breath for a second. That was a ridiculously long sentence.
In review, Brady was suspended in May by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for allegedly conspiring with team employees to deflate footballs before his Patriots took on the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game last January. The theory behind his motivation was that the ball would be easier to grip, throw, catch and hang on to, particularly in the cold weather.
Since that original suspension was announced, we have been bombarded with scientific reports that have stated that the balls could have lost that air pressure naturally, considering the conditions, and subsequent reports debunking those reports. There have been allegations by Patriots fans that the NFL “has it in” for the Patriots, and that this entire ordeal was a slap in the face to Brady, a man they consider beyond reproach and a thumbs-up-from-a-pope away from obtaining sainthood.
There have also been theories from people on the other side of the coin, who believed Goodell had more information on Brady than he was letting out because it would be detrimental to the league’s fortunes if their golden boy was publicly embarrassed. And then there are those who just believe the Patriots are chronic cheaters, and that this amazing run of dominance the Patriots have enjoyed is due to the fact that their coach, in particular, will stop at nothing if it means his team gets a win.
Of course, the meat-and-potatoes of Tuesday’s announcement was that the league was upholding the four-game suspension for Brady following his appeal, but that wasn’t the nugget that had everybody talking. No, that would easily be awarded to this little piece of information: Brady reportedly told his assistant to physically destroy his cell phone on the very day he was to meet with independent investigator Ted Wells.
“Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs,” the NFL said in a statement.
Now, Brady is not one you’d expect to just roll over and accept defeat. Anyone who has watched him play knows that he gets himself into a frothy lather whenever his team is losing and, more times than not, he wills them to victory through sublime play and hyper-competitiveness. Within hours of the announcement that the NFL would be upholding the four-game suspension, the NFL Players Association announced it will appeal this latest decision on behalf of Brady in federal court.
So, yeah, there’s plenty more to come.
Brady fired out on his Facebook page Wednesday morning, expressing his disappointment that the NFL was upholding the ban, and continuing to proclaim his innocense with bluster. He said that he replaced his “broken” phone only after he told the NFL he would not be handing it over, and claims to have contacted the phone company to try to get a transcript of his records and texts so he could supply them to the investigator, but was unable to do so.
This will go on for a while. Some will say that Brady got flat-out busted and it’s time for him to man up and tell the truth, while others will say everyone else is jealous of the Patriots’ success so this is a witchhunt to knock them down to size.
Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what the NFL had in mind here. Pick a fight with arguably their most marketable player and four-time champion, accuse him not only of ordering balls to be deflated but also destroying evidence, spend a ridiculous amount of time and money pursuing this and then get ready for a possible probable appeal in a federal court, with the entire world watching.
That’s just good business there, right?
Without a confession or video evidence of Brady sticking a needle into a football during a game, we’re really left to speculation here, albeit with some tasty little morsels with which to form our opinions. Is Brady guilty? Probably. And, I’d say after the revelation about his phone-dump, even more probably.
Really, in the court of public opinion, that’s what matters, right? O.J. Simpson got off on murder charges, but what’s the perception? To many, Simpson will always be a double-murderer, court findings be damned. And, to many, Brady and the Patriots will be cheaters, no matter how this plays out in court.
Personally, I’ve always liked Brady. I think he’s smart, talented, dedicated to his job and living “the dream” — not out of entitlement, but because he fights and grinds every single day. He was drafted in the sixth round out of Michigan, a slot that certainly sees more players cut from their teams than reach Hall of Fame status, but he never lost faith in himself or his abilities.
Sure, I’m a Ravens fan, and I do love when my team beats Brady (not that it happens nearly often enough). But part of that fun is the acknowledgement that he doesn’t quit, and that he gave you his best. Does this series of events damage his legacy? Nope. He’s still a legend. But it does hurt his reputation. Badly.
Letters to the Editor
Bethany parade a hit, thanks to many
Praise has rolled in for the 2015 edition of our Bethany Beach July 4th parade.
The parade committee wants to thank the many involved, including Julie Malewski (events director/media coordinator), Greg Mavraganis (Firecracker 5K Run/3K Walk), Police Chief Mike Redmon, Capt. Darin Cathell and all the local, state and seasonal police, Chief Brian Martin of the fire department, Bill Bowden (fire police), Doug Scott (EMS), Karen Lett of the Ladies Auxiliary, Brett Warner and his public works crew, the Christian Church Conference Center, St. Ann’s Catholic Church; Lord’s Landscaping, G&E/Hocker’s and Complete Tree Care for trucks; Magnum Electronics for radios, the Frog House Restaurant, Steen’s for umbrellas and Walgreens for bottled water.
We all look forward to an even better parade for 2016.
Bruce Frye, Chairman
Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade
Volunteer firefighters get thanks
On behalf of the owners and renters, the Edgewater House Council thanks the members of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, Millville Volunteer Fire Company, Roxana Volunteer Fire Company, Frankford Volunteer Fire Company and all additional responders for reacting quickly and efficiently to the false alarm on July 3, 2015. We feel very grateful to live in this community.
The Edgewater House Council
Once again, Tour a major success
As chair of the 24th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, it is my pleasure to offer my most sincere appreciation and gratitude to everyone responsible for helping to make this year’s tour an outstanding success. This annual tour is held in support of the South Coastal Library & Cultural Center in Bethany Beach.
Special thanks go out to the exceptional committee members: Ann Boteler, Carrie Boyden, Carol Brigleb, Barbara Carlson, Thea Chandross, Faith Denault, Sharon Dillon, Jen Edmonston, Dick Fox, Joan Gordon, David Green, Meaghan Green, Lindy Griffith, Joe Healy, Carol Kopay, Charlie Kopay, Linda Kulin, Linda Manning, Judy Marcucilli, Lois McNamara, Dick Oliver, Janet Parham, Donna Philpitt, Eileen Quigley, Maureen Rayborn, Karen Taylor, Marylou Tietz and Barbara Turner. These men and women have worked hundreds of hours throughout the year in the coordination, preparation and execution of the tour.
Also, this event would not happen without the dedicated 450-plus volunteers who annually return to us, serving as hostess coordinators, hostesses, ticket sellers, traffic coordinators, parkers, advertising sales and raffle sales. Thanks to all!
We are indebted to the 10 homeowners who loaned us their homes for the two days of the tour. We thank Linda and Ed Feulner, Stephanie and John Harmon, Debbie and Paul Klinedinst, Pam and Bill Oetgen, Ceci and David Parker, Bonnie and Ward Richards, Deborah Elias-Smith and Les Smith, Helen and Ron Stevens, Judy and Tony Teoli, and Margie and Nicholas Viggiano. We thank you for your graciousness in sharing your home!
The Adopt-a-House program was a great success again this year, and thanks go to the following local organizations for their support in providing coordinators and hostesses in the homes: the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, the Barefoot Gardeners of Fenwick Island, Bay Forest Homeowners, Bethany Lakes Book Club, Cripple Creek Ladies Club, Gardeners By the Sea, Lord Baltimore Women’s Club, Salt Pond Women’s Club, Shore Democrats, South Bethany Women’s Club, Villages of Southampton HOA, Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach, the Women’s Council of Realtors and the Women’s Golf Association at Bear Trap Dunes. In addition, we have many other hosts and hostesses who volunteered outside of these organizations, and to you we send many thanks.
Our raffle was terrific, and for that we thank the six restaurants who donated gift cards: Magnolia’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Mancini’s, Matt’s Fish Camp, Off the Hook, The Parkway restaurant and Sedona. We also owe gratitude to the five local artists who donated wonderful pieces of art for the raffle: Aubrè Duncan, Tara Funk Grim, Laura Hickman, Jeanne Mueller and Cheryl Wisbrock. Thanks to each of you for your support!
Without the many advertisers in our booklet, the tote bag sponsors and the many generous donors who made financial contributions, the tour would not be so successful, and to them we offer our sincere thanks. To the Beebe Medical Center, who has provided the tour with booties for many years, you have our sincere thanks and appreciation. We hope we can count on your support in 2016!
To the Towns of Bethany Beach, Ocean View and Millville, we thank you for your cooperation in coordinating the parking logistics for our tour participants. We appreciate your help! We also thank Onix Z LLC, Onix Group LLC and Salt Pond Plaza LLC for the use of the parking lot to stage our buses and the Jolly Trolley for transporting our tour attendees.
Thank you to the seven businesses that allow us to sell tickets in their establishments: Bethany Beach Books, Browseabout Books, Carolina Street, Japanesque, McCabe’s Gourmet Market, Rooster’s Nest and Sea Needles.
Special thanks go to our local newspapers, the Coastal Point and the Wave, and to the publications Coastal Style, Delaware Beach Life and Delaware Today, for giving us advance coverage of this event. Your support over the years has helped us tremendously.
Finally, thanks to all of you who attended the 24th Beach & Bay Cottage Tour. We hope that you enjoyed all of the homes, and we look forward to hosting you at next year’s tour.
Mark your calendars for the celebration of the 25th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour on Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, July 28, 2016. Be sure to make your reservations early!
For updated tour information, visit our website at www.beachandbaycottagetour.com and like us on Facebook.
Again, thanks to all of you for your continued support of the South Coastal Library and Cultural Center.
Kathy Green, Chair
2015 Beach & Bay Cottage Tour
Reader: Beware the perils of peace
The Middle East is and has always been a seemingly mysterious and faraway land for most Americans, even though we have been commercially involved with them since our very early years.
We were originally at war with the Muslims instigated over free navigation of the seas and their pirating in the late 1700s, where Tripoli and Leathernecks entered the Marine vocabulary. With these adversaries, others warned Jefferson that money and fear were the only two conditions that could be used as a basis for negotiations.
Following modern-day world involvement with the Middle East that began in 1908 with the first major oil find by the British in Iran (then Persia), we now find ourselves to have negotiated a recent nuclear agreement with them that seems to offer only money without a condition they would fear.
What has changed over the two centuries? Only our fear of martial conflict it seems. How can we survive as a nation in a world where war seems endless and is endless, if we fear such?
The driving force of Western civilization, and the U.S. in particular, has been the concept of individual and economic freedom. That combination may be the most influential intellectual force the world has known and led to the U.S. becoming a worldwide economic and military power.
The wisdom of history suggests that we must extract the past lessons that apply to today’s role of a superpower. Ignoring the patterns of history is a false choice and is to risk repeating the mistakes that have toppled other nations.
Another historian notes that we are living in an “a historical age — an era when too many people are willing to invest in a dangerous delusion that science, technology and the information superhighway make us immune to history.”
For thousands of years, wars among nations and societies have left a deep imprint upon the social life and culture of those involved. War is not something desired but something that seems inevitable. As Durant informed us some time ago, war is one of the constants of history, with only 268 years out of the last 3,421 years being free of it.
An important implication is whether the U.S. will experience the same ultimate fate as the major democracies and superpowers of the past. It is not inconceivable, as internal and external forces can be equally dangerous as freedom is not a universal value.
Maybe Thucydides was correct in his analysis that, “…peace is an armistice in a war that is continually going on…”; and, just maybe, peace truly is far too complex for humanity to attain. It certainly has been during my lifetime that includes much of the 20th century, the bloodiest century of all.
It may not be politically correct; but it must be said that if we fear war, then we risk the fate of our nation! That is the unspoken national alternative that every political body must accept from past history for as long as Mankind survives.
And, that is what lies as the general discontent by our citizens with the nuclear treaty, that it was negotiated because of our fear for an enemy that calls for our destruction. Our citizens fear that money will not buy a lasting peace, and that a nuclear Iran is now guaranteed. History supports their fear!
As a lasting bit of advice from the ages to all of us is to not take lightly the perils of peace, “...that our enemies will go as far as our hesitation.” That has been our history and it has not served the world or us well.
Lt. Col. Richard Spencer, USAF Ret.