Letters to the Editor — October 21, 2016
Bennett puts support behind Connor
I want to address the citizens of the 41st District during this critical election year.
We face a choice between two candidates. I am supporting Brad Connor for the following reasons: Brad is accessible. He will return your phone calls and hear your concerns. As a longstanding local business owner, Brad is familiar with our landscape and our people. Brad does not receive large donations from major business and development interests and has not been bought and paid for by powerful political lobbies. Most important of all, he understands the fragile nature of Sussex County and this life that we know and love.
We are long past any tipping point, and our resources are being plundered faster than they can be replenished. Therefore, on Nov. 8, there is only one candidate worthy of serving the 41st, and that is Brad Connor. I have faith that you will make the right choice for this beautiful county that sustains us.
Carrie W. Bennett
Reader considers local history of racism
When Sussex County NAACP President Jane Covington speaks directly to racism in our schools, I pay attention. Has racism ever existed within the Indian River School District? Yes. Has the slavery of indigenous people or African people ever existed within the boundaries of the Indian River School District? Yes. A lawsuit has been presented to the courts to decide the most recent legal claim of the IRSD practicing racism.
The history of Sussex County, Del., clearly identifies to actively supporting the Confederate fight to maintain their right to enslave people and, in particular, our brothers and sisters of this continent’s first people and from Africa.
Is this racism? Yes. Was slavery practiced within the boundaries of the present Indian River School District? Yes. Was the historical purpose of the George Washington Carver School to focus on or honor the children of African-Americans? Maybe. Was that racism? Maybe. Does the Indian River School District use cartoon “Native American” images for a sport mascot? Yes. Is this racism? Yes.
Hispanic students have been blamed by the IRSD Board of Education for the need to expand our school facilities. Is this sounding like racism? Yes. Simply, it should have been referred to as an increase in students which we did not anticipate.
It may or may not be fair to point in the direction of the IRSD Board of Education “life” memberships. It may or may not be fair to point in the direction of the district’s administration staff with extensive longevity in their leadership. It may or may not be fair to point in the direction of the teachers of our district’s schools as a high number of teachers are clearly IRSD alumni… some still holding to old practices? Perhaps, the IRSD, by continually maintaining the status quo, is endemic to further racism.
We all know the majority of employees of the IRSD show and practice acceptance of all students and work endless hours to lift up each and every one of our students within the IRSD. It is these employees who must speak up and challenge racism practices within the IRSD. It is we the parents and tax fund payers to the IRSD that must speak up and demand that racism practices have no place in our children’s lives.
“There is not a country in world history in which racism has been more important, for so long a time as the United States. And the problem of the color line, as W.E.B. Du bois put it, is still with us.” Is it still with us within the IRSD?
Lloyd E. Elling
Reader takes issue with lawsuit
Come one, come all, to the public ridicule and scrutiny of Southern Delaware school system’s whipping boy (and please, this is not a racial phrase, look it up) the Indian River school system.
Everyone knows the game here in southern Delaware: Don’t agree with public display of religious belief? Don’t negotiate, litigate! Have problems with perceived racial inequities? Don’t negotiate, litigate!
Sure, they have had a big target on their back for years, whether it be a maligned mascot (I am sure these poor school children of all ages wake up every day with dread, as they don bookbags, jackets and sports uniforms with the logo on it) or someone innocently says Jesus [“Oh, the humanity!”] during some event. *Note to self, saying Jesus is worse than any curse word uttered in the school setting, it seems to me.
There will be those stalwart foes of these things who, rather than have public discussion of their concerns, using every last forum known to achieve change, run quickly and file a lawsuit as a first resort, it seems. You would think these zealots of diversity, the unprejudiced ones, the ones who have nothing to lose in a lawsuit, would be more understanding.
So get in line all you righteous do-gooders as you assail the evil Indian River school system. The inference, it seems, is that the powers that be in the Indian River school system, lay awake each night thinking of ways to be biased in religion and race. You would think there is a concerted attempt by the school system to offend, by what has transpired over the last 15 years or so. How many lawsuits are we up to now?
So what is the lesson here, ladies and gentlemen? If you have a problem with someone, something or some entity over important issues, what could your response be? Could you take your concerns and issues to the appropriate parties involved and try for some kind of reconciliation? Or has this become passé in today’s public setting, choosing instead litigation as your mode of operation, knowing that Indian River school system has been sued over and over again?
Bethany thankful for support in season
The summer is officially over, and the sand is settling, but the memories made over the last 100-plus days will last forever. We hosted 42 talented bands on our stage between Memorial Day and Labor Day — some new, some returning, but all appealed to a variety of audiences and set the bar high for future acts. We also gave would-be performers a shot in the spotlight with karaoke nights and the annual Talent Show.
We didn’t forget our families, either. Kids had their own special night of entertainment on Wednesdays in July, complete with children’s singers, magic shows and face-painting. We hosted a D.J. dance party under the stars and honored our sister-city relationship with France via Périers Day. That just covered the bandstand performances.
Our special events were just as popular. We drew intimate crowds for theater performances in town hall and attracted visitors by the thousands for our June Seaside Craft Show and July 4 parade and fireworks display. The bonfires and movies on the beach provided fun to over 100 families each night. The Friday movies on the bandstand were a refreshing change of venue that helped to extend the season.
In short, we offered something for everyone five nights out of the week. It has been a labor of love for me, and I’m privileged to have the opportunity to plan the free entertainment so generously offered by the Town of many.
There is a lot of magic that happens behind the scenes, and crews are in place long before and after these events occur. The Bethany Beach Public Works crew cleans the benches, beaches and stage areas, builds the fires, sets up/takes down the large movie screens and sound equipment, and provides the beautiful landscaped backdrop.
Regarding the stage itself, our production crew is responsible for the sound and lights that bring the bandstand to life. The lifeguards offer the Lifeguard Station as a dressing room for acts requiring costume changes and clean the rooms before they leave for the day.
Events also rely on the Bethany Beach Parking and Police departments and Town staff members. They provide parking permits, supervise the load-in and load-out of equipment, provide security and assist with the general details that ensure a successful event.
The Town also provides an annual intern opportunity for an events assistant. My assistant this year was a University of Delaware student. She did a wonderful job and acquired a lot of knowledge to support her double major in marketing and business management.
Special thanks to the Blue Crab for donating the marshmallows, Shore Break for donating the ice and the volunteers who devote their time to the special event committees.
Last but not least, no season would be complete without you, the audience. You make it all worthwhile. I enjoy seeing your familiar faces and meeting new acquaintances. My hope is that, with each season, you will discover something new and walk away with a feeling of happiness and a collection of fond memories of your time spent in Bethany Beach.
Julie Malewski, Events Director
Town of Bethany Beach
Reader supports rights for homeowners
I want to call attention to the Town of Bethany Beach public hearing which was held by the Bethany Beach Town Council on Monday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m., which I attended.
During this meeting, a rezoning issue was discussed that could have a potential negative impact on our community, and the only notice that we received was a small mailer card. We believe this is a very important change to the Town of Bethany Beach code, because it could eventually impact everyone on the east side of Route 1 in the R-1 and R-1B residential zones.
At present, the next meeting of the Town Council to vote on this ordinance is Friday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. You can find the full report online, at www.townofbethanybeach.com.
To start, the buildable footprints on the lots on the east side of Route 1 are to be reduced from 40 percent of the coverage to 32 percent. This will result in an 8 percent loss of buildable space. These lots are already smaller than the lots on the west side of Route 1. We believe that reducing the size of a home that is on the east side of Route 1 could cut down the value of homes if they are built or changed in the way put forth in the ordinance.
The ordinance restricts homes on the east side and creates an imbalance of property ownership in the town, placing an unfair burden on anyone building a home. Why are they putting these restrictions on owners of property only on the east side of Route 1? Why would not all of these people in Bethany have this requirement put on them? It appears to be discriminatory to have only the homes on the east side of Route 1 affected.
We want to point out that there are many requirements when people build a home. They want to be able to have the home of their choice, not someone else’s. They want it to look like whatever it is that they have in mind for them to have their house look as they wish.
Suppose you have in mind an entirely different building style than is portrayed in the diagrams. There are many, many things that one can think of as being a burden. Under the ordinance, in order to build with dormers and different roof heights, people will accrue a large added expense.
For instance, people with disabilities who cannot manage in their homes unless they have a walker, a wheelchair, elevator or some other device will be impacted. This goes certainly to the amount of space that can be utilized and can impair their ability to use their home as needed. In addition, large families may not be able to use a house as needed because of the number of rooms for use being smaller than they would need.
Entry problems could also be a factor in accessing their home. It is possible that the features that have been shown to us by the Bethany board would be entirely different from the ones that the home would actually have. We believe that on some occasions they would not be able to build their home of their dreams, if you will, because of this ordinance.
The prospective owners should have free choice in these two cited zones and should also have the right of ownership to select how their homes are going to look and not be chosen by a board. Please submit your questions and concerns to the Town of Bethany Beach ASAP.
Nettie J. Propps
Readers decide Trump gets their vote
After much consideration to everything that has been said and thrown at both candidates in this very unusual election, we will cast our votes for Donald Trump. We feel he is sincere in his heart when he says he wants to work for all our citizens and the betterment our country, plus he is beholding to no one.
How many of these stories against him are actually true or untrue? His personal life, as ours, will be judged by the only One that counts. Help repair our nation by giving Donald Trump your vote, also.
Mary Anne & Joe Rossano
Women’s club looks for new members
Lord Baltimore Women’s Club needs a few good women to join us.
The Lord Baltimore Women’s Club was started by a small group of very insightful women back in 1934. Since that time, we have grown to approximately 100 members.
The fall fashion show and luncheon is our largest fundraiser. … Over the past five years, we have given scholarships to Indian River High School and Sussex Technical High School totaling approximately $30,000.
We are involved in many other activities, such as the local food pantry, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warriors, the Inland Bays Project, Adopt a Highway and supporting the local elementary schools. We also schedule approximately three trips a year for our members to enjoy. We have gone to Harrington casino, Clear Space, Possum Point Theatre, the Philadelphia Flower Show — just to name a few.
Lord Baltimore Women’s Club meets the third Monday of each month for a luncheon meeting at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club. If you are interested in joining our club, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lord Baltimore Women’s Club