It seems like just yesterday our community was winding down another Jazz Funeral on the Bethany boardwalk, rolling up the sidewalks and turning off the lights on another summer season.
Well, that might have been a bit overly-dramatic, but it does seem like Memorial Day comes around fast around here. One minute we are cursing at the television meteorologist for telling us that it’s going to be cold again, and the next we are sweating in beach traffic, undeterred from our mission to go sit on sand and stare at the ocean.
For those of you who have not visited our little slice of paradise by the sea since last year, there have been some pretty significant happenings, and we have tried to lay those out for you in an article toward the front of the paper. Many of you will be most affected by the rise in parking fees in Bethany Beach, or the closing of the Harris Teeter store near Salt Pond, but another significant item that has taken place over “the offseason” has been the road-widening project on Route 26.
If you did happen to come down over the winter, you were no doubt stopped at some point along the road as workers closed lanes and re-routed traffic. Oh, the work is still being done — it’s just now being done at night so beach traffic can flow much more regularly.
So, don’t be afraid. It’s fine, we promise. Get out and visit those restaurants and shops along Route 26 that have become your favorites over the years, and stop in and visit some of the new businesses that have opened their doors since your last trip to our coastal oasis.
Please take the time to honor those who have paid the most for our freedoms this Memorial Day. Make it a day of flags and gratitude, as much as hot dogs and sunblock.
Many of us have that metaphorical little engine inside us that drives us.
Maybe yours is fueled by a desire to provide for your family. Or a burning need to come out on top of everything you do. Or a fear of failure pushes you to reach goals that many people would consider unattainable.
Me? Oh, I like making check marks.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still the somewhat-misguided champion of the notion that all of us can make a difference in the world if we simply attempt to do so on a day-to-day basis. In fact, I honestly believe that if we just tried the simple trinity of being nice to one another, taking other people’s feelings into consideration and trying to understand people as individuals we can accomplish great things in this world together. I truly do.
But as far as what makes me able to function in this crazy spinning globe of ours, it’s pretty simple — lots of lists.
I make a to-do list when I first get to work each morning. I add to it throughout the day, and only feel like I accomplished something when each item on the list is accompanied by a check mark. It’s a goal-oriented philosophy that I carry with me if I’m working, getting ready to travel or happen to have the baby all to myself for the day. My lists make sure that I get done what I have to get done and, maybe more importantly, allow me a little satisfaction with each item I finish.
Feed baby. Check.
Change baby. Check.
Vigorously wash hands and attempt to erase all memories of the diaper-changing tragedy by reliving old episodes of Hogan’s Heroes in my mind. Check.
Though there might be a few exaggerations in my example, there is no hyperbole whatsoever concerning my fascination with lists. One could say I am goal-obsessed and I wouldn’t be able to mount a solid argument against that. Unless mounting an argument is on my list. Then I will pull out everything at my disposal to ensure...
But I digress.
I do find, however, that there is a tremendous difference inside me when it comes to clear objectives on a list and resolutions. Like many of you, I make resolutions when the new year dawns, and, like many of you, those resolutions just never really get met. Oh, I want to lose weight every Jan. 1, but I seem to find myself swimming in barbecue sauce and washing it down with a milkshake by, say, Jan. 1, at dinner.
Regardless, I continue to make these ambitious long-term goals as resolutions with every new calendar year, and then I take an even longer trip down Masochist Lane each May when I list my Memorial Day resolutions — a compilation of things I’d like to accomplish during the coming summer season. Without further adieu, I present my Summer 2015 Resolutions.
Editor’s Note: These are for entertainment purposes only. If you find yourself gambling over these, seek help. Like, seriously. Drop the paper and go get help.
• I resolve to be in prime bathing suit-shape by July 4. Now, your definition of bathing suit-shape might be different than mine. In my mind, bathing suit-shape is when I can phsyically walk my fat rear end from my car to the boardwalk so I can ogle women in bathing suits.
• I resolve to be less creepy when ogling women in bathing suits this summer.
• I resolve to go nighttime fishing with Dave Long. For one thing, I think it would be cool. For another, I think Dave would be a lot more attractive in the dark.
• I resolve to not clarify which Dave Long I was talking about in that last one.
• I resolve to get my daughter to as many local summer events as I possibly can. She’s growing up in a remarkable community, and I want her to take advantage of that opportunity every chance we have.
• I resolve to not laugh this summer when Susan Lyons tells me she got a parking ticket or a bird dropped off a sign of remembrance on her head again.
• I resolve to laugh when either of the above happens. Might as well get one right!
• I resolve to work my tail off this summer to do my part with our team in improving our paper each and every week. This is a remarkably talented staff, and I’m just happy to be along for the ride.
• I resolve to eat a lot of crabs, drink a lot of beer and take a lot of naps. Now I’m just stacking the deck.
• I resolve to get out and visit as many local shops and restaurants as I can this summer. Typically, this is my time of hibernation as I avoid the crowds. This is the year I embrace it and actually enjoy my summer at the beach.
Letters to the Editor
Reader offers her input on death penalty
I went to Dover this past week to support the bill to repeal the death penalty coming out of committee to be discussed and voted on. There were many people testifying to why they thought it should or shouldn’t be repealed, but the majorities were just asking that it be released from committee to be discussed and voted on. In a democracy, that sounds quite reasonable over such an important topic.
Heart-wrenching stories from people who had family members that were murdered and felt the death penalty would give them the justice they required were shared. Heart-wrenching stories from people who had family members murdered who didn’t want the death penalty because it would make them a part of another murder were also presented.
There was a man who had been on a jury and had voted for the death penalty, and it has haunted him that he did that. He no longer believes in it. A man who was threatened with a choice of accepting life in prison or stand trial and get the death sentence also spoke. He had not done the crime and didn’t accept that offer over fear for his life, but people have made that choice.
I would not be willing to be the one to make the judgment that someone should die, and I could not be the one to perform the execution. I feel it is murder, but even if we do not, what if we get it wrong and find we have executed an innocent man? Is it murder then? We shouldn’t hit our children to say it is wrong to hit, so why should we kill to prove it is wrong to kill?
I don’t understand why, if our legislators believe the majority of the people want the death penalty, they don’t let it come up for a vote to show they are correct in their assessment. Regardless of where you stand on the death penalty, let your legislators know and tell them you want an honest discussion and vote on the issue.
Rose Mary Hendrix
Bireley thankful for support in election
I would like to thank the residents of the 4th District for the Indian River School District that showed confidence in me with their vote to return me to the Board of Education for another term.
I sincerely appreciate the effort that you showed on Tuesday to take the time out of your busy schedules to cast your votes for me. I want to thank everyone who helped in any way with my campaign. I look forward to the next school year.
Charles Bireley, 4th District
Indian River School District
Board of Education
Reader questions small voting numbers
Indian River School District Board of Education Election returns all the incumbents in District 1 and 4.
One could easily identify the results as an endorsement of them for their exceptional policy development, their budgetary controls, their support of well-paid educators and administrators, their taxation fairness, their employment practices, their religious views, their academic pursuits, their school building designs and much more. Ask the incumbents. Ask the administrators. Ask the educators. Ask the support staff.
How many voters were eligible to vote within the IRSD Districts 1 and 4? 30,000? Why did only 1,020 voters vote in these IRSD Board of Education elections? There are 9,842 students in the Indian River School District. Every adult 18 years of age and older was eligible to vote, regardless if you were a registered voter or not. You only had to live within District 1 or 4 and show an ID with your name and address to vote.
Did any of us get a phone call from the IRSD to encourage us to vote on May 12? No! Did any of us get an electronic flyer reminding us to vote on May 12 from the IRSD. No! We parents of students in the schools get one to two phone calls weekly regarding weather issues, school “lock-downs,” school-wide testing events, sport events, band events and much more. We get “quarterly” electronic flyers.
If you have an educator in your home, you got a mailing from the Teachers Education Association reminding educators to vote for the incumbents on the IRSD Board of Education as they have a good working relationship together. How many of the 1,020 total votes were educators, administrators and staff of the IRSD?
The IRSD Board of Education members and school employees know exactly how disconnected the voting populations of our district really are. They know how uninterested the majority of citizens are. The shame is on the majority of us.
What keeps our citizens from voting? You were not even required to be a registered voter. You did not care? You were not responsible? What is happening to our democracy? How many U.S., Delaware, Sussex County, IRSD flag-flyers did not vote? Take your flags down?
There are solutions to these “failures to launch”: the State of Delaware makes a “no excuse” law to vote by mail. The State of Delaware makes it a law to vote in all elections or be fined. The Indian River School District sends a paper ballot to every IRSD tax payer?
My wife and I voted — she at Lord Baltimore Elementary School and I by mail.
Congratulations to the three incumbents.
A big thank-you to Miguel A. Pirez-Fabar, Judith Ladd Teoli and Gregory Michael Goldman for your willingness to be candidates and to give your time, energy and educational insights to our school district. Stay connected.
Lloyd E. Elling
VFW grateful for support with event
On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1105, and on behalf of all Vietnam veterans and their spouses and families who attended our event on May 9, we would like to thank everyone who supported our 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.
This was an opportunity to thank our Vietnam veterans and their spouses and families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States. Your donations and volunteer time allowed us to provide a fitting ceremony and festive picnic for those who answered our country’s call in Vietnam and those who awaited their safe return.
First, I want to thank the Planning Committee, who spent three months meeting and working to organize this ceremony and picnic: Bill Gay, Bernie Busby, John Mitchell, Rich Brennar, Rich Kuhblank, Bob Reeping, George Smith, Bill Healy, Danny Steele, John Jackson, Bill Hensley.
Next, I would like to thank the post canteen manager, the post cooks, the post bartenders and all the volunteers who cooked, prepared, served, etc., all the food and drinks to our guests.
Next, I would like to thank the honor guards (the VFW 7234 Honor Guard, Indian River High School JROTC Honor Guard, Delaware National Guard Honor Guard, Korean War Veterans Honor Guard) and the Delaware State Police Bag Pipers for providing ceremonial honors for the program. We would also like to thank Jennifer Carter for singing the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Also, thank to the Remnants for the Vietnam-era songs. Thanks to my parking committee, led by Hal Barber.
We were blessed with numerous generous donors and want to offer them a big thanks: Atlantic Community Thrift Store (ACTS), FedEx, Bethany Blues, Bethany Florist, Touch of Italy, Sysco, Pepsi of Salisbury, Utz, Town of Bethany Beach, Dutton Buses, VFW 7234 Ladies Auxiliary.
Finally, thanks to Sen. Tom Carper, our keynote speaker, for his inspiring speech; state Sen. Hocker and state Rep. Gray for their proclamations; Speaker of the House John Boehner for the American flag flown over the U.S. Capital; and thanks to the proclamations from U.S. Rep. Carney and Gov. Markel, who could not attend. Thanks to all the government and veteran organization leaders who honored us with their attendance.
As you can see, it took a lot of volunteers to accomplish this event. I am sure that I probably forgot many important volunteers that worked in the background. A big thanks to all who volunteered and helped out! Thanks to the veterans’ families and friends, and all those in the local community who attended. God bless our veterans and god bless America
Fulton Loppatto, Commander
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7234
Bob Corsa, President
Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 1105