Letters to the Editor — October 7, 2016

Reader upset that political signs taken


This letter is addressed to the person or persons who removed the five candidates’ signs that I posted on Cedar Neck Road on the west side of the former Harris Teeter property near Fred Hudson Road last week.

Yes, the signs were for Democratic candidates and, yes, I know Democratic candidates aren’t too popular in this area.

At first, I thought someone took them down because of the heavy winds we were experiencing on Thursday and that they would appear again later on Friday. How naïve of me. They’ve still not been put back, though, and I have to assume they won’t be.

Interestingly, the signs for the various housing subdivisions weren’t touched — just the five signs for Democrats. Interesting also is that the Trump/Pence sign is still in place on Atlantic Avenue in an illegal spot right next to the curb, not the required 10 feet back. It’s very telling that the only political signs disappearing are the ones for Democratic candidates.

This is America — we do still have freedom of speech as a fundamental right. Apparently, someone in the 38th Representative District doesn’t know that.

Anne M. Allen

Bethany Beach

Reader has questions on referendum


I am writing because I am confused over the reporting on the Indian River School District budget issues. As reported, the school is funded from state funding and local property taxes. Per the article, “the State automatically increases its share (based on student population).”

Given that the rest of the article reports a significant increase in student population, the funding received from the State would seem to automatically increase year over year. As the article also reports, “the local tax rate doesn’t change” without a vote — this would imply that the funding received from local taxes would at least remain steady year over year (though given the significant increase in home building/buying in the area, it would make sense that even if the tax rate doesn’t change, the total amount received from local taxes would increase because there are more people paying local taxes each year).

So why is there a $6.87 million budget deficit? Where did the money go? That’s an awfully large sum of dollars to misplace somewhere, and none of the reporting I’ve read explains why this year’s budget fell from last year’s budget. If IRSD is going to ask us to vote on a referendum, school officials best provide a better explanation about what is going on.

Anthony Chiffolo

Bethany Beach

IRSD clarifies response to bracelets


This letter is in response to a recent Coastal Point article and letter to the editor regarding an incident on Sept. 19 in which two Indian River High School students distributed rubber bracelets containing inappropriate slogans and symbols.

The school in no way acted in a “cavalier” manner to this incident. Both students were disciplined in accordance with the school’s Student Code of Conduct. This fact was omitted from the Sept. 23 news article. In addition, staff confiscated nearly all of the bracelets before the end of the school day and contacted the parents of every student who was in possession of one. The school’s administrators and counselors acted immediately and decisively to address this issue. To state otherwise is inaccurate.

The Student Code of Conduct does not prevent students from purchasing inappropriate items from disreputable printing companies. Only when those items are brought into the school and the educational environment is disrupted can the school take disciplinary action against those involved. The administration did its due diligence in this case by acting quickly to address what was a joke in very poor taste.

Indian River High School is dedicated to serving the needs of every student. Counselors are available at all times to assist students with their emotional and academic needs. We further believe community is the key to every successful school.

IRHS is dedicated to working with any resident or group that wishes to assist us in providing the best possible educational experience for our students. To imply that Indian River High School did not take the bracelet incident seriously or failed to take appropriate action against those involved is inaccurate.

Our community demands that such incidents be handled in an appropriate manner, and the IRHS staff did so in this case.

Bennett Murray, IRHS Principal

Mark Steele, IRSD Assistant Superintendent

Reader takes issue with Cape’s play


I came from out of state to watch my grandson’s Indian River High School soccer team play Cape Henlopen Tuesday, Sept. 17, (River won, 5-3) and was amazed to see the poor sportsmanship shown by a number of Henlopen players, with much of the after-the-play cheap shots — from behind, yet — not called! I was wondering how the refs could miss those blatant hits.

After the game, I told one of the refs I’d seen some surprisingly mean-spirited and unfair hits on the part of Henlopen that weren’t called. He said the refs were aware stuff was going on and that they did issue a bunch of yellow cards, but there was just too much happening to police it all. Also, he said the ref team was suddenly short-handed for this particular game.

Ideally, I’d say, if you see any flagrant stuff, you’ve got to stand up to the bullies early before that bad behavior becomes contagious. Occasional minor acts may be overlooked, possibly in order to “let the game flow” — that’s understandable, but not anything grossly out of line. At that game, the bad behavior seemed to become contagious.

Players bent on playing outside the rules and “innocently” sucker-punching opponents after a given play make sports extremely tense and unpleasant for fair-minded people — players and spectators alike — regardless of the team they’re supporting. Nobody wants to see wins, fights or injury resulting from illegal behavior. In this game, however, injury did happen to one excellent IR player, who now appears to have his season, and perhaps his entire sports year, ended — the result of an uncalled-for and clearly illegal hit.

One would think seriously offending players would be quickly benched. That didn’t appear to happen. Why not?

I have to compliment the River players who were shoved or slugged from behind at times for not retaliating and then possibly getting in trouble themselves. They stayed focused on the important thing, what people came to see: the game, and, yes — as the public address announcer called for in the first place — a good, sportsmanlike game, at that. Not that it should be necessary to remind players to be sportsmanlike in any game! That’s a given, right?

Robert F. Merrill

York, Pa.

Local business gets a nod from readers


We would like to take this opportunity to offer praise for the work that Nancy La Fontaine at K-10 Dog Training is doing.

We have a nice active Lab puppy and have been taking her to class with Nancy, and have seen a dramatic improvement in her behavior since starting the classes. Nancy provides an excellent service, and we are very happy with the results.

John and Janice Raggie


Social security

an important topic


Nearly one half-million Delawareans are paying into Social Security right now, and more than 192,000 are receiving benefits today. They are the real losers after the first presidential debate.

In a campaign dominated by insults and attack ads, the debate was our best chance to get the candidates to tell us how they’ll keep Social Security strong for our kids and grandkids. If our leaders don’t act, future retirees could lose up to $10,000 a year in benefits. Yet, the moderator failed to ask a single question about Social Security.

Social Security is critical to my retirement right now, but with a volatile stock market and employer pensions disappearing, it will be even more important to future generations.

That’s why I’m volunteering on AARP’s Take a Stand campaign. During the second presidential debate, I urge ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper to help Delaware families get real answers about how the presidential candidates would stabilize Social Security for future generations.

Joan E. Thomas

Bethany Beach

Family grateful

for support after fire


Sept. 5, Labor Day evening, our dream home in The Refuge at Dickerson Creek was destroyed by fire. Regina and I, along with our canine Bitsy, were able to get out with only the clothes on our backs.

Watching our home and belongings go up in flames was breaking our heart. It was an overwhelming feeling of helpfulness, loneliness and fear.

Amazingly, coming out of our shock, we realized we weren’t alone. Our neighbors and surrounding communities came out to comfort us with offers of their homes, clothes, monetary support, but, most of all, comfort.

We don’t know most by name, but this heartfelt thank-you goes out to you.

There are those that stand out in our minds.

Thank you, Alex and Cathy, for being there for us. Our temporary lodging was greatly appreciated.

Martin, the president of our HOA and his wife, Helen, for their many trips picking up and delivering contributions from so many giving neighbors. Thank you to all board members.

Dolores for being a sister to Regina. Wilbur, my neighbor and friend, thank you for all your help and camaraderie.

Lastly, but not least, Regina’s place of employ, Southern Exposure of Fenwick Island, the Collins family, for their concern and generosity; her wonderful coworkers.

Thomas Tomsho and Regina Yancheski