Letters to the Editor — January 20, 2016

Reader: Faith trumps physics, for us all


An airplane in flight is controlled by four forces of nature: lift, thrust, drag and gravity. While that may be enough for most people, I add to the mix my humble view that the “collective will” of all souls on the plane keeps it in flight. In my faith, “collective will” knows not “mournful numbers” but, rather, is measured by intensity of spirit.

After a long, grueling two years, America has chosen our next president. The campaigns of the aspirants each had their unique physics. Some say candidate Clinton had more “lift” to her campaign, while others believe President-Elect Trump created some serious “drag.”

For me, the collective will of the American people carried the day: our faith in our system of government and its “checks and balances.”

So here we are, on edge, at the dawn of a new administration. Historians and political analysts will have time enough to dwell on the physics of this election. For now, Americans should muster a collective will dedicated to the notion that our country must succeed for all our sakes and the sakes of the generations following.

James Angus


Reader poses question about Trump


As Inauguration Day approaches, one appropriate question:

Would you buy a used car from this man?

John Dupont

Ocean View

Hattier responds to previous letter


As my father always says, a broken clock is right twice a day (analog only). And in this respect, I can agree with Mr. [Lloyd] Elling in several areas. Although I am a member of the IR Board, I do support vouchers. This is an issue of fairness. Those people pay taxes and ought to be able to move their tax dollars to their kids’ benefit. My school tax dollars paid for a good part of my four kids’ education. Why not let those parents that want something different for their kids do just that?

Just remember, one of the things that makes some private or charter schools better is that they don’t have the massive regulation courtesy of state and federal governments as the traditional public schools do. This allows for the teachers to be the professionals that they are and play a more direct role than they are allowed to in most public schools.

This is also what Dr. Gebhardt recommends. That doctor is on to something. Our teachers are very frustrated at times by the constraints that are placed on them by the powers that be and just might do better if allowed to do what they feel to be right and proper.

It is not the Board of Education’s or local educators’ role, however, to allow this. We are constrained by the powers that be and have to comply. We can only do what is allowed.

I strongly disagree that nepotism is practiced. Are relatives hired? Yes, but only after having completed the various requirements for the respective jobs. I am personally aware where people in higher positions recommended that their relative not be hired or were part of disciplinary action since that person being disciplined deserved discipline.

I am not sure how Mr. Elling missed the part in one of my earlier responses that many people in Sussex County are related to one another. Much more so than in the Baltimore or the Washington, D.C., area. This will no doubt change in the future, but for now it is what it is.

All school districts hire scorekeepers as part of sports. This has been in existence for 20-years-plus. Mr. Birely has graciously made certain that all of his so-called “earnings” — legal, by the way — go to the basketball boosters and other groups without him ever seeing those checks. That money goes right back into the sports programs involved. How in the world can Mr. Elling refer to this as illegal? He needs to do better homework.

I find it interesting that he also calls for all of us to resign. Dr. Bunting is so bad at her job and so corrupt that the incoming governor, who has access to all of this mess, looked at her record and said he wants her as the state DOE head.

I respect and approve of the governor’s decision, knowing just how far the IR district has come educationally under Dr. Bunting and how she might help the rest of the state improve as well. Not to mention bringing Sussex County plain thinking to the job. So in a weird way, Mr. Elling is getting what he wants. She will be resigning and retiring from the IRSD.

I am not certain how many times it has to be stated that none of us on the Board would knowingly do anything wrong. Under the state system, we are supposed to be checked annually for compliance. When that agency tells us the full 14 years I have been on the board everything is OK, then it’s OK.

I am not sure that even Mr. Elling would hire an outside firm to doublecheck what the State is already supposed to do. No other district does this. And there is no provision in the state payment structure to pay for it, either. The State assumes that their audits will give a proper picture.

None of the people that Mr. Elling wants to resign have any access to the financial system in order to check up. That is not in the purview of what we do, by state law.

No one argues that what took place didn’t happen. It did, but where was the State for 14 years to tell it was wrong? If a person chooses to engage in what some are calling criminal behavior, which by definition is criminal, and we have no way to check that, how can we stop it?

None of what transpired does anything to stop the flow of people moving into our area and overcrowding our schools. None of what transpired takes away from the many fine accomplishments that our district has had. I can’t speak for Dr. Gebhardt, but he might just approve that the district, under Dr. Bunting and her team, went out and did innovate where they could to make things better.

As I said at the beginning of this letter, a broken clock is right twice a day (analog only). In the end it is still wrong. Mr. Elling really needs to spend more time going to the meetings and learning the challenges that face not only our district but all districts.

Donald Hattier, Board Member

Indian River School District

Richard Allen School to host gala


The Richard Allen School in Georgetown opened its doors in the 1920s as one of 80 schools built for African-American children in Delaware by philanthropist Pierre S. DuPont. It continued to serve as the heart of the African-American community for over half a century. When desegregation was implemented, it became part of the Indian River School District. Six years ago, the school district decided to close the school.

In 2014, a diverse group of men and women came together to form the Richard Allen Coalition. The goal of the coalition is to restore the school so it can once again be a cultural, civic and educational center.

In 2015, the Delaware General Assembly passed a bill which deeded the building to the Richard Allen Coalition. At the bill signing in front of the school on Aug. 12, 2015, Gov. Jack Markell said, “In the end, it came down to members of the community who had a vision that they wanted to keep alive.”

In 2016, the Coalition continued the work to make their vision a reality. With your support, a consulting firm specializing in historic preservation projects was hired, and their final report is due in March 2017.

Throughout the year, Dan Parsons, Sussex County Historic Preservation Planner, has been interviewing former students of the Richard Allen School so that their experiences will become a part of the history of Sussex County. The National Historic Foundation also awarded a grant to help fulfill the vision.

Our 2nd Annual Gala will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 5 p.m. at the Georgetown Cheer Center. Please consider joining us.

When Richard Allen School opened its doors, it was a beacon of hope for African-Americans living in Jim Crow Delaware. When it reopens, it will welcome all of us who want to learn about the past while helping our youth explore their talents and prepare for a wonderful future.

Please join us on our journey to open the doors of the Richard Allen School. … For more information contact Betty Deacon at (302) 644-4303.

Jane Hovington, President

Betty Deacon, Executive Director

The Richard Allen Coalition

SVFC, Auxiliary thankful for support


The Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company and its Auxiliary would like to thank the community for supporting our AUCE Spaghetti Dinner on Jan. 14.

Your enthusiasm, attendance and donations helped to make it a wonderful success, and we’re very appreciative. You’ve inspired us to do it again!

Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company & Auxiliary

Reader questions Tillerson’s nomination


Rex Tillerson, a man with no diplomatic experience, to serve as Secretary of State — he spent 41 years in the oil business and oversaw the funding and dispersal of fake science on carbon’s impact on climate — be trusted to act in the best interest of our country and planet?

Reports have confirmed that Exxon executives knew that carbon emissions were fueling global warming in the 1970s. Yet they continued to publish misinformation, while using calculations of dwindling sea ice to work with Russia on future projects in the Artic.

Although Tillerson acknowledged the science of climate change in 2007, he has persisted in funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), who perpetuate lies about carbon-induced climate change. Exxon has written off $1.7 million in charitable contributions to ALEC.

As CEO of Exxon, Tillerson has participated in a long and systemic campaign to lie about climate change and used the courts to block us from learning the truth. For decades, he put personal and corporate interest above the welfare of our planet.

I ask Sens. Carper and Coons to vote against this nominee. Rex Tillerson cannot be trusted to fulfill the duties of Secretary of State.

Kit Zak