Frankford election the next step in shake-up

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years of doing this, it’s that every town — every governmental body, really — goes through cycles.

Sometimes, that cycle simply consists of things sticking to the status quo, and the same people continue to sit in office to make decisions for the people they represent. The cycle is sometimes a gradual changing of the guard, as one or two faces change every election cycle. And, sometimes, there is massive change over a short period of time, which usually equates to both some uncertainty at the top and raw enthusiasm for the future.

That appears to be where Frankford is at this time.

Many people in Frankford have gotten involved in the Town recently, and that resulted in a massive shake-up in leadership. There have been a few bumps and bruises along the way, as one would expect, but there has also been a wave of town spirit with the new energy and enthusiasm at the top. The people who have assumed power in the Town are optimistic and excited, and if they can extend that enthusiasm to the residents and business leaders of the town, a revitilization could certainly occur.

On this Saturday, Feb. 6, the Town will hold a council election. Four candidates will battle for three spots on council, with incumbents Pamela Davis and Marty Presley taking on challengers Dawn Marvel-Beck and Edward “Skip” Ash. The election will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at Frankford Town Hall, and winners will have earned a two-year seat on council.

To help Frankford voters make informed decisions this Saturday, we have included our Q&A sessions, which each candidate took the time to fill out for our readers. We hope Frankford residents take the time to read their responses, weigh that with what they already know and get out and vote. It really does matter.

A change in the Sunday routine is miserable

Date Published: 
February 5, 2016

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divine.”

That oft-quoted sentiment was either first penned by Ralph Waldo Emerson or Justin Beiber. Or maybe it was a Mayan. Or an Aztec. Incan? I get them all confused.

Regardless, the line has been passed along from generation to generation as a reminder to people that doing the same thing over and over again limits you as to how far you can go in life. Greatness, as the theory goes, comes from stepping out of the norm and trying what others before you have not. Like the first guy to strap himself into a rocket. Or eat an oyster.

Nothing truly awe-inspiring ever takes place until people are willing to put themselves in uncomfortable positions and stick out their necks in order to achieve something monumentally glorious.

Oh, hogwash.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m a huge admirer of those who tackle new challenges to shine the light for the rest of us who follow behind them. Without those pioneers, we might still be living in caves, rotting away in ships to get overseas or watching television without Netflix.

We do need those people in order to evolve and achieve great things. History books would be quite thin if we just discussed how John Adams wrote a strongly-worded letter to the British government or Amelia Earhardt... well, that one did not go all that well in the end, but she did inspire others to go where they had never gone before.

That’s something, right?

But I would argue that those adventurous souls are supposed to be the exception, and not the norm. We need the rest of us to consistently wake up in the morning, brush our teeth and go about keeping society humming along until the next great thing comes along. Yes, it’s great to advance an entire civilization, but is it worth it if we allow the rest of society to crumble and fall apart while nobody pays attention to the “now?”

As evidence, I point to last Sunday.

As is the case every Sunday morning, I woke up early, stuffed some food in the baby’s mouth and flipped on the television to watch the early-morning NFL pre-game shows, while she wrestled with some oatmeal and fruit and I sipped my coffee. It’s that quiet time we both enjoy to start our Sundays, and she is happy as a clam, eating her food and bopping her head to the music that comes on between segments.

But there was no pre-game coverage. In fact, there was no game to be played last Sunday at all.

Yes, the Pro Bowl was taking place later that day, but, come on, it’s the Pro Bowl. The stars on the teams that made the Super Bowl wouldn’t be playing, and the stars on other teams that didn’t make the Super Bowl were not about to go risk injury and cash for an exhibition game a million miles away from their families — though, to be fair, it should be noted that the players can now fly to Hawaii, as opposed to taking a ship, because some brave soul...

But I digress.

There would be no football to watch last Sunday. My routine was demolished. My consistency would be interrupted by change. I was not a happy panda.

Calm down, big boy. People survived Sundays without football for thousands of years — you can certainly muddle through one. You do it every offseason. Just suck it up, get through the day and look forward to the Super Bowl next weekend.

My inner monologue was right. All I had to do was step out of my Sunday comfort zone a little, find some interesting things to do and just make it to bedtime around 10 p.m. Easy as pie.

7:13 a.m.

Oh, dear God. Almost 15 hours. That’s 15 hours I would normally spend rotting out my brain from the inside while watching big men collide with one another. My routine was ruined. Scrambling, I gathered the family together, got dressed and went out for some breakfast. We followed that up with a walk on the beach, and I realized I was having a great Sunday without football. We got back in the car, turned it on and...

11:46 a.m.

You have got to be kidding me.

Consistency is where it’s at, I was thinking. You know what you are going to do, and you do it. That’s the secret to life. This whole flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-thing was not working out for me, and I decided to take a different tack. For the rest of the day, I would simply immerse myself in different activities and not even pay attention to the clock or the position of the sun, and I would instead just focus on the “now.” This would be easy.

12:19 p.m.

Oh, dear God.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — February 5, 2016

Elling voices opposition to death penalty

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to state Rep. Ronald Gray and was sent to the Coastal Point for publication.

I have noted that you, once again, have voted No to the proposal to delete the death penalty in Delaware. It does not surprise me, but it does disappoint me. Your Christian faith does indeed support the death penalty. The murder of an “innocent” victim is punishable by death, according to your religion’s biblical commandments. Islam and Judaism concur with Christianity on this religious law.

What if the declared “murderer,” after a trial by his/her peers, is put to death and later found to be innocent? Do then the legal processes commit murder by putting to death an innocent person? Do then the trial participants (judge, prosecutor, jury members, witnesses, prison authorities, the person injecting the lethal chemicals and the supportive elected representatives) become guilty of murder? Are they to be put to death for killing an innocent person?

Rep. Gray, I am a 69-year-old man who has lived his entire life as a pacifist. I have never owned a gun or weapon capable of killing another. I have always committed myself to step in front of a person who is being threatened with harm. I have always been willing to die for others. I have not and will not put to death another member of humanity. It is a lifelong expectation of myself, and I am rather near to fulfilling my personal expectation.

If I am ever selected to be a member of a trial involving murder, I will not vote for the death penalty. Most likely, I will be disqualified from such jury duty. I will be rejected by the prosecutor. However, you are included on jury trials for murder, because you are willing to put a “murderer” to death. Our legal process is ripe for error. If you are wrong, should you be judged as an accessory to murder?

Relax — elected representatives are not held accountable for their votes. Your Christian church will embrace you and forgive you. Will your God be pleased with you? I have no idea.

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

HOAs reach out to state, feds

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Sarah Cooksey, administrator of the Delaware Coastal Management Program for DNREC; Steve Smailer, program manager for the Wetlands & Subaqueous Lands Section of DNREC; and Edward Bonner of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Regulatory Branch; and was sent to the Bethany Beach Town Council and to the Coastal Point for publication.

On behalf of the undersigned homeowner associations (HOAs), representing over 200 taxpayers, we are writing to oppose and urge you to reject the above referenced applications for the proposed Mews of Bethany (proposal) project in Bethany Beach.

As you know, Mr. Stanley Walcek is applying for evaluation for Federal Consistency under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 for the destruction of 1.92 acres of federally regulated non-tidal forested wetlands for a proposed residential development.

The HOAs urge you to oppose the proposal for the following reasons:

(1) The proposal for the Mews of Bethany threatens degradation of the federal wetlands and the state wetlands.

Post-construction, stormwater runoff is prone to carrying contaminants, such as pesticides, fertilizer, motor oil, herbicides, detergent, etc., thus presenting a threat to the environmental health of wetlands (both federal and state).

(2) The proposal will have an “adverse environmental effect on living resources” and will harm the area’s crucial role as a natural protective system for the absorption of storm wave energy, flood waters and heavy rainfall, thereby increasing flood and erosion damage.

The 1.92 acres of the proposal, as well as all the surrounding land where the HOAs are located, continuously experience standing water that rises and falls with the tides and floods after light rainfall. Heavy storms bring commensurate flooding. The proposal will only make this flooding worse.

(3) The proposal will eliminate a habitat for resident species of wildlife including furbearers, invertebrates and finfish.

The residents of the HOAs regularly observe hawks, snakes, turtles, blue heron, foxes, owls, fish, deer, birds, raccoons and other animals directly on the land in the proposal.

(4) The proposed mitigation site does not address the problems with the proposal.

The proposal does not:

• describe how the mitigation site would impact or handle the impact of additional surface or ground water on the surrounding properties,

• offer any detailed discussion of alternative locations or designs, as required by state law, and

• provide detailed or quantitative analysis or evaluation to adequately compensate for the loss of approximately 1.92 acres of forested wetlands.

In closing, the opposition of the HOAs to the proposal is based on the potential for increased flooding, expected loss of natural resources and the fact that the mitigation plan does not address these concerns.

Based on this, we respectfully request that DNREC and the Army Corps of Engineers reject the proposal.

Bethany Crossing West
Homeowners Association

Bethany Winds
Homeowners Association

The Canal
Homeowners Association

Hidden Harbor
Homeowners Association

Sniders Crossing
Homeowners Association

Stewards Watch
Homeowner Association

Birding Weekend a hit, thanks to many


Birds have economic value, and this was on display again last weekend with the enormous success of the first ever Winter Delmarva Birding Weekend. We would like to thank all of the local businesses, Chambers and conservation groups for their tremendous support.

It certainly paid off, with visitors from all over the U.S. descending on Worcester and Sussex counties to watch birds. While most of us know the inherent value of wild things, it’s important to remember the billions of dollars spent in the country every year from both bird-watching and wildfowl hunting. The modicum of investment we put into protecting land and water pays huge economic dividends.

Thanks especially to our sponsors, Southern Delaware Tourism, the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center, Worcester County Tourism, the Howard Johnson’s Oceanfront Plaza Hotel, Days Inn Ocean City, the Boardwalk Hotel Group, Fager’s Lighthouse, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delmarva Almanac, Town of Snow Hill, the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy, Somerset County Tourism, The Avenue Inn and the Breakers Hotel & Suites.

We’ll see you in three months for the spring Delmarva Birding Weekend, April 21-24.

Dave Wilson Jr.

Editor’s note: Wilson is the former director of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the current co-owner of Conservation Community Consulting.