ViewPoint

Editorial – Safety, safety, safety with school buses

Date Published: 
August 26, 2016

Schools around the area will be opening over the next few weeks, and the Delaware State Police (DSP) recently shared some advice for students, parents and bus drivers on how to take precautions in regards to safety.

According to DSP, nearly 122,000 children across the state will ride a bus to school every day, and there are 1,850 school buses traveling approximately 120,000 miles to get them there every day on Delaware roads. Yes, we are a small state, but those are still staggering numbers to consider.

“Knowing this, everyone should consistently make safety a high priority for the children walking to and from the school bus stops,” said DSP representatives. “The motorists who must share the road with buses while school is in session must take into account any possible delays and be patient throughout the school year.”

This is a vital nugget from DSP, and one that seems to be ignored all-too-often.

For starters, it is important that motorists pay attention to the actions of school buses. If a bus is pulled over on the side of the road, always assume it is in order to pick up or drop off children and practice caution. If you are driving behind a bus, keep in mind that it could be pulling over at any time and keep a safe space between the vehicles. And if you hear that schools are delayed for fog, ice or snow, take that into account when you are leaving the house.

One mistake can haunt a lifetime. Please use caution.

Point of No Return: Loving thy neighbor needs to be in our daily lives

Date Published: 
August 26, 2016

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Remember that one? You know, pretty big reference in the Bible. Actually, it’s mentioned several times in the Bible, prominently in Matthew and Leviticus — and is the central theme of the standard “Golden Rule” that can be found in the texts of nearly every religion or philosophy recorded through time.


Confucius was credited (c. 500 B.C.) as saying, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.”

The ancient Greeks were led by the words of Isocrates (436-338 B.C.): “Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to you.”

Muslims studying the Hadith (the oral and written accounts of Muhammad) read the passage, “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them.”

No, this is not a column on comparitive religions or a snarky attempt to push the teachings of one faith over another. I am not qualified to be a theological “expert” by any means, and hold my individual spiritual beliefs close to my heart, and to myself.

I’m simply pointing out that great minds and leaders throughout time have recognized that the greatest strength we hold as human beings is our basic ability to act like human beings — to empathize with one another, lend a hand when a hand is needed and to treat one another with respect. Strictly speaking from personal observation, I feel like this ideal is one that gets lost all too often in our day-to-day lives.

Some of it can be attributed to the insanity we attach to our individual lives. We work like dogs. We try to get in as much family time as we can. We attempt to be social via online sources, text messaging or random visits. And we plug ourselves into our televisions — a situation only exasperated by the ease in binge-watching our favorite programs by streaming or “on-demand” options. That not only leaves precious little time sitting outside and talking with the neighbors, it also wraps ourselves into tidy little coccoons, insulated from much of the outside world.

Another factor in the lost art of “love thy neighbor,” in my opinion, is the stark and venomous divisions we have created in political idealogy. I remember being taught as a child that compromise is a great tool. Not that I should ever compromise my strongly-held beliefs, mind you, but that reaching an accord with someone who has different opinions or desires is a mature way of handling a dispute, and a powerful method in which to actually progress toward a common goal.

But we are now so caught up in “red” or “blue” or “black” or “white” or “brown” or “gay” or “straight,” that we can not look past any differences between us, and it’s easier to just stay “to our own kind” than to venture out and hear anyone else’s opinions. Heaven forbid a neighbor has a campaign sign for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, or even Gerald Hocker or Perry Mitchell. Those are fighting words for many of us.

And that’s a shame.

We dig in our heels and we give no quarter. Just look at how our national leadership operates when trying to put together a federal budget every year. Nobody works with one another. They all spit rhetoric and hate. And we are left with a deadline budget that contains a whole lot of the same every year. Absolutely nothing changes, and both sides of the political aisle leave the scene of the crime bragging about how they wouldn’t budge on such-and-such issue.

Do you think the boards of Apple or Exxon are filled with people who only have one opinion? No, but they behave responsibly and put together operating budgets that best serve their companies and shareholders. Well, WE, the American people, are shareholders in this country, and it’s time that the people WE put into office stop worrying about their next elections and start...

But I digress.

I really got off message there. See? Now I’m the one putting out messages of divisiveness. It just gets very frustrating to know that there are so many smart and creative people all around us, and we just collectively refuse to, you know, “love thy neighbor.”

But what’s maybe more frustrating is that in times of dire need or extraordinary circumstances, we do love our neighbors. We do step up. We do act like amazing human beings.

Case in point: The Phillips family in Tenino, Wash.

Marvin Phillips decided to pack his wife and five of his children into the family’s motor home for a family vacation last week. While the Phillips family was away, their home and truck were painted with racial slurs.

A neighbor, Heidi Russell, saw the graffiti and put out a call on her Facebook page to get the community over to clean up the mess before the family returned from vacation. “I want the racist cowards to know that we WILL NOT stand for this in our small town,” she wrote.

People came. Strangers came. Members of the rival football teams of one of Phillips’ sons came. Police and firefighters came. All told, about 50 people came to clean up the hate and spread the love.

Phillips said what touched him the most was a photo he saw of the cleanup, via a story on CNN.com. His friend was “holding her 2-year-old daughter and she was holding a paintbrush painting out the n-word.”

That is loving thy neighbor. In its purest form.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — August 26, 2016

Date Published: 
August 26, 2016

Reader not a fan of road project

Editor:

In a recent article published in the Coastal Point regarding the Route 26 widening project, it was stated that it is a “model” for future construction. This is a very scary thought.

If anything, the project has been one not-very-well-thought-out incident after another. Let’s look at the problems they left behind.

Starting with the intersection at St. George’s Church, are:

The only problem the existing intersection had was the stop sign from Powell Farm Road only allowed one vehicle at a time to go by.

This is an easy fix not requiring the rerouting of the intersection. Simply remove the stop sign, add to the existing red light by placing a second red light 100 feet east of the intersection, and then time the lights to allow one direction of traffic at a time to proceed.

Instead we now have Vines and Powell having an issue, and a red light on a curve! Plus, a blind driveway was added coming in from the right. So, now a vehicle can exit the blind driveway turning right and they are rear ended by another vehicle (who has the right-of-way). Duh!

Next, has anyone else noticed that portions of the Route 26 traffic lanes are not 12 feet wide, as required by the state code? There are vehicles and trailers that are 10 feet wide.

The bicycle lane is marginal and has storm drains and mailboxes intruding into the travel lane. The lanes themselves are not wide enough, and a strip of paint does not guarantee that no bicycle will be hit. During the construction lasting two years too long, debris was always on the roadway, causing numerous wheel problems, and raised portions of the roadway were a nightmare, also causing the misalignment of many vehicles’ wheels.

The turning lane is a mistake in locations. It ignores driveways, so a motorist wishing to turn does not have a lane to turn from.

The shoulder of the road is nowhere to be found, so should you break down, you will be partially in the travel portion for both bikes and cars that will (all) have to go around you, placing everyone at risk. No right-turn lanes were installed, so that slow-down is still a problem.

The road leading from Route 26 to the apartment cluster off Old Mill and behind Food Lion is now a right-turn lane only when you exit, requiring a U-turn to go east. The left-turn function was removed. Why? This now causes the vehicles exiting the apartment complex to drive through the Food Lion parking lot. If I were the owner of that lot, I would be seeing the State in court, as the added traffic increases the likelihood of an accident.

Also, as a result of the removed left turn, those vehicles desiring to turn east must now drive through the Food Lion parking lot and attempt to enter Old Mill’s left lane. Who had noticed that [mess] where the left-turning vehicles will now extend past the Food Lion exit on Old Mill Road? When the traffic is busy, should you get to turn east on one light cycle, you are lucky.

Just east from that mess is the intersection of Cedar Drive and Route 26, which also has been arranged so an accident will happen. The right-turn lane from Route 26 now meets Cedar Lane’s left turn lane on a curve! The vehicle turning right from Route 26 is only the width of a strip of paint from the oncoming vehicle in their right turn. Do not drive there in the rain. Plus, instead of squaring the intersection properly (by having a straight roadway before the turn), the turn lane is only one car length. So if the vehicle making a right turn is behind a left-turning car, there is still a wait.

Moving east, we find that the northbound lane of Woodland has the stop sign too far back from Route 26, causing that left-turning vehicle to intrude past the sidewalk.

Semi-associated with this project is the turn lane expansion in Millsboro from Route 113 south onto Route 20 east. This is another example of incompetence. It is understood that you do not create a double turn lane into a merging curve. This does not alleviate the turn problem. Instead, it exasperates it. Now the vehicles try to be in front of the next vehicle beside, then creating another slow-down as they merge, so the problem has only been moved onto Route 20.

Whoever is organizing the traffic control in Delaware is a joke.

All in all, my granddaughter could have done a better job designing this masterpiece using crayons.

And the State is saying it’s a good job? We are all doomed.

Wally Brown

Ocean View

Reader: Townsend has my vote and my trust

Editor:

Delaware only has one voice, one vote, one advocate in the U.S. House of Representative. That’s why we have to send someone to Washington with the Democratic principles we believe in — and the courage to act on those principles. I believe that person is Bryan Townsend.

I’ve watched Bryan speak out on the floor of the state senate in support of bills that will get big money out of politics, reform our broken criminal justice system and expand background checks to stop the sale of guns to criminals. I have also seen him take the lead on bills for Delawareans who have no voice in Dover, including the homeless, the working poor and the undocumented immigrant.

He has stood up to the NRA in Delaware and successfully led the efforts to pass a bill to give the FBI sufficient time to complete background checks on firearm sales. He will continue that fight in Washington.

Bryan will also stand up to Republican extremists in Congress to safeguard and strengthen Social Security and Medicare. He will not be influenced by lobbyists for the pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

Bryan has shown us what a determined, effective and principled lawmaker can do in Dover. He will continue that work in Washington, where he is committed to work for:

• A nationwide family paid leave policy;

• $15 minimum wage;

• Pay equity so women are paid the same amount as men for the same job.

Bryan’s website at www.bryantownsend.com reflects a lawmaker who respects voters by offering his candid views on the issues and citing specific legislation he supports. No vague generalizations and empty promises.

Bryan is the real deal. He is Delaware’s strongest candidate for Congress. I hope you will join me in voting for Bryan Townsend in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Joanne Cabry

Rehoboth Beach

Resident concerned about town’s direction

Editor:

I consider myself a conservative American: I believe in God, Country, Family and the Golden Rule. I also have high expectations for any government officials who are voted into office.

Last Tuesday, I proudly planned to watch my wife sworn in again as a newly elected Fenwick Island council member. I really wasn’t very happy when she announced several months ago that she wanted to run, but I respected her desire to bring the Town together and end the acrimonious divide that has festered for the past several years.

The swearing-in ceremony should have marked a time for the Town to begin anew. Instead, the meeting opened with the room in disarray, with chairs facing away from the council stage. Many people were still trying to rearrange their chairs when Gene Langan hastily started the Pledge of Allegiance.

Next, without words of welcome to the public or council members, the new members were quickly sworn in as a group to uphold the Town, state and federal laws. There was no decorum or respect for the process. Another attendee who is a councilperson from a nearby town observed, “Wow! This is a hostile atmosphere!”

The shabby swearing-in ceremony (?) was followed by subtly contentious nominations, which ended up with four male officers voting for each other, without consideration about working as a group or attempting gender equity. It seems as though the women who have served this town do not make a difference, given the apparent “backroom boys” mentality.

I predict this same male-dominated group will do whatever they can to dismiss or marginalize any new ideas from the public or the newly defined “minority” on the council. It would also not surprise me if the deck is stacked with carefully selected supporters in the makeup of future committees.

In my opinion, that is typical of the negative leadership style promoted by Gene Langan, who publically chastised the Ad-Hoc Election Committee recently for pointing out problems within the Charter’s election rules. It took the Town’s lawyer, supported by a second opinion from another lawyer, to prove that these same problems within the code exist and need to be resolved. What a waste of taxpayer dollars when common sense is all that is needed!

I truly believe if the Town is to move forward, the current leadership group must forego their power/ego/control modus operandi. Good leaders recognize the value of building consensus, as opposed to issuing autocratic edicts. A “we vs. they” mentality should have no place in this small town. Instead, the council should utilize, not limit, the talents of volunteers. Until this occurs, welcome to a divided Fenwick!

R. Wayne Carmean

Fenwick Island

FOSCL grateful for support with book sale

Editor:

Thank you! Thank you!

On behalf of the Friends of South Coastal Library, thank you to our wonderful community for their assistance in making our FOSCL Summer Book Sale a success! Thanks to our team of volunteers who moved boxes; unpacked and set up our materials for display; worked as cashiers and customer support; and assisted with the final takedown at the end of the sale.

Remarkable is the only adjective to describe volunteers that, in response to a “thank you for volunteering” note, reply with a “thank you” in return. Making this year’s sale extra-special, some of our volunteers included grandchildren of our book sale team.

Thanks to all of those in the community who donated materials for sale and for supporting the sale with your purchases. Whether one finds a first edition of a sought-after title, an out-of-print title or a light beach read, the sale is a win/win for all. Equally valuable is the opportunity for the community to come together and assist an institution that provides such value to the quality of life for the community it serves.

Due to everyone’s efforts, the sale netted over $4,200 to benefit the South Coastal Library, enabling the library and its staff to continue to provide exceptional programming and services. Thank you, all!

The Friends of South Coastal Library Book Sale Committee:

Lois Rubinsohn, Theo Loppatto,

Fran Markowski and Audrey Young

Jazz Funeral a true summer tradition

Editor:

The end is near, and everyone is invited to attend.

You can tell that the summer season in Bethany Beach is starting to fade away when it becomes easier and easier to find a parking spot on Garfield Parkway. The inevitable is taking place… it is the end of the summer season at the beach.

To help ease the pain and sadness of the passing of the summer season, a group of folks from the Quiet Resorts get together to give the summer season an appropriate sendoff. This, of course, is the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral, and this is your personal invitation to attend.

For the past 31 years, the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral has been held each Labor Day Monday to say “Thank you” to all those who have worked so hard to help please our summer visitors. This is truly a Labor Day celebration to recognize local businesspeople and their dedicated staff members.

The Jazz Funeral is also our way of saying goodbye to the summer of 2016 with humor and music. Accompanied by a New Orleans-style jazz band, we march down the Bethany boardwalk to the bandstand with a mannequin (named Summer) in a casket to celebrate the passing of another summer season in Bethany Beach by burying “Summer” at the Bethany Bandstand.

If you have not seen this before, it is great fun. All those in attendance participate in the end-of-summer parade by mourning the loss of the Summer of 2016. This is followed by a mini-concert of Dixieland jazz music by our group of talented jazz musicians.

The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral also lends a helping hand to a local charity by holding the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral Silent Auction on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day. Habitat for Humanity of Sussex County will receive 100 percent of the funds raised by our Silent Auction, to be held at Bethany Blues restaurant on Friday, Sept. 2, beginning at 3:15 p.m.

The Jazz Funeral is indebted to Jim Weisgerber for graciously donating the facilities of Bethany Blues on the busy Friday afternoon right before Labor Day. This is the 11th year Jim has generously hosted the Silent Auction, all in the name of raising funds for five local charities that included the American Red Cross of Sussex County, the American Cancer Society and their Relay For Life program, the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, and the Delaware Audubon Society and the Chesapeake Audubon Society, as well as Sussex County Habitat for Humanity. Many thanks, Jim!

We wish all the businesses in the Quiet Resorts continued success for the rest of the summer and on into the fall. We hope to see you at the Jazz Funeral at the Bethany Beach Boardwalk on Labor Day Monday at 5:30 p.m., and please try to participate in our Silent Auction at Bethany Blues at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2. Both charitable events are free of charge, and everyone is invited. Please tell your friends and pass the word.

Paul Jankovic, Chairman

Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral & Silent Auction

Lee wants unity from Fenwick leadership

Editor:

Congratulations to the newly installed members of the Fenwick Island Town Council. I look forward to working with all members of council for the betterment of Fenwick Island.

It is disheartening, however, with all of the campaign talk of working together, that the block of four council members felt it necessary to marginalize the other members of council by electing themselves to all four of the officer positions. It is especially discouraging that none of the female members of council hold any of these positions. I certainly hope that we will not see this trend continue as the mayor selects his committee chairman and committee members.

I write also to hold Mr. Waide and Mr. Simpson accountable. Mr. Waide’s July letter to the editor was filled with so many inaccuracies, I must assume he is misinformed. Mr. Simpson has taken the tactic of slinging mud to see what sticks. They should not be allowed to continue making unsubstantiated accusations and false statements.

One candidate in particular was much maligned by Mr. Waide, Mr. Simpson and Ms. Mumford. It was undignified to misrepresent him or his positions. The attempt to tie him to the Fenwick Four was absolutely ludicrous.

The Fenwick Four, a group of four candidates united behind the desire to keep the height limit at 30 feet, ceased to exist on Election Day 2015. They campaigned for open, inclusive, responsive leadership. Everyone should want that from their elected officials. I find it almost humorous that the fear of the Fenwick Four has continued to rally such anger in the community.

The Fenwick Forum has nothing to do with the Fenwick Four. It was started by a group of two dozen homeowners in Fenwick Island to foster more open communication between residents, full and part-time, and to provide more timely information about happenings in Fenwick Island. Something the Town was not doing. No council members are part of the Forum. The Forum, however, is available to everyone.

Last year, we had the first contested election in eight years. This was a good thing. Once again, this year we had candidates willing to run. For two years now, Mr. Waide and Ms. Mumford have campaigned negatively against those candidates with whom they disagree.

Mr. Simpson has taken this negative campaigning to a whole new level. The things they said were so blatantly untrue it would be laughable, if it were not so hurtful. Let candidates run on their positions and their character. It is not necessary to falsely impugn certain candidates. The Fenwick Four never campaigned negatively.

We all love Fenwick Island. We should all work together to generate a common vision for the future of our town.

Julie Lee

Fenwick Island

Visitor loved her time at World Series

Editor:

I would like to thank Coastal Point newspaper for preparing the special edition of your newspaper for the Senior World Series softball tournament that happened a few weeks ago — we will be keeping it as a souvenir for our daughter, who is mentioned in it a few times.

Also, I would like to thank the organizers of the world series for doing such a great job putting on the event. And in particular the young men who kept the diamonds so well-groomed even after that terrific rainstorm that happened on the Tuesday of that week.

Our family had a great time meeting the locals and talking to the volunteers — so many friendly people. And it was a great chance to check out the surrounding countryside and marvel at all the great beaches you have. Thanks again to everybody involved in making this a memorable event for all the girls that were lucky enough to be able to participate.

Susanne Rautio

Victoria, BC, Canada

Pastor supports capital punishment

Editor:

Capital punishment (the death penalty) is very definitely Biblically-mandated and should be enforced.

Putting aside for the moment whether or not capital punishment is a deterrent to violent crime (which it would be if it was consistently administered more quickly and expeditiously than the typical 10 to 15 years it takes to wade through all the circuitous appeals procedures and bureaucratic nonsense prior to finally fulfilling an execution) and also whether or not it is economically feasible (which it would be if we switched from lethal injection to another simpler method — e.g. hanging, firing squad, or perhaps even getting a mixed-martial artist to come in and simply choke them out; any one of which would cost pennies on the dollar and be much more efficient), as a pastor I will focus on presenting some Biblical evidence how when a nation (country, state, etc.) refuses to carry out the death penalty it is displeasing to God, dishonoring to His word, and even defiling to the land itself “So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.” (Numbers 35:33).

“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6) “Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.” (Numbers 35:31).

International Bible expert Dr. Ron Rhodes, in his book “The Complete Book of Bible Answers” (copyright 1997 by Harvest House Publishers) likewise affirms capital punishment thusly, “Certainly the death penalty was incorporated into the Mosaic code (see Exodus 21:12; Numbers 35:16-31). And in Romans 13:1-7 the apostle Paul taught that human government has a God-given right to use force in its resistance of evil. Romans 13:4 indicates that the government has the right to take the life of a criminal. “Now, it is true that one of the Ten Commandments says we are not to murder (Exodus 20:13). However, murder by a citizen and execution by the government are viewed as two different things in scripture. One is a premeditated crime; the other is a deserved punishment. And since government is set up by God (Romans 13:1-7), it would seem that capital punishment may be viewed as the enacting of divine judgment through the instrumentality of the government.”

But what about “turning the other cheek?” That is an admonition on how to respond to a personal insult or slander between individuals, not an instruction for a nation or government dealing with crime. Look it up! The Apostle Paul submitted to capital punishment (“For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die…” Acts 25:11a), as did Jesus Christ Himself.

And for those readers of the liberal persuasion who are of the “Hug-a-Thug” mentality and philosophy who believe in coddling criminals and justifying and encouraging their behavior instead of punishing it, let it be noted that the Eighth Amendment prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” is to stop torture, not hinder any chosen methodology of capital punishment; the founders and framers were in favor of capital punishment — look it up.

It is also readily seen in the Mosaic Criminal Justice model the emphasis is on punitive, and not rehabilitative actions. Full disclosure: I served as a correctional officer, and was personal witness to the large amount of resources invested in the purported rehabilitation of unrepentant offenders, and to the inefficacy of this investment both in short and long-term applications (no reduction in recidivism). A nationwide return to the Mosaic model would save lots of time and money.

Capital punishment is very definitely Biblical; its appearance can be seen before the Old Testament law, under the Law, and even under Grace (New Testament) and woe to the state, country or nation which abolishes its practice! “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)

The Rev. Cameron Swain

Trinity Baptist Church, Lewes