Letters to the Editor – July 1, 2016

Chamber grateful for support with event


On behalf of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Town of Selbyville and Chamber team, I would like to thank everyone who supported the 59th Annual Old Timer’s Day to make it a memorable occasion.

Over 130 classic cars and trucks lined Church Street and, with perfect weather, all in attendance enjoyed viewing the vehicles and chatting with the owners. Town Hall was full of energy, with live music from the Glass Onion Band, vendors lining the lot and a Children’s Corner, complete with pony rides and fire truck rides.

Presented by Bunting and Murray Construction Company, the day was highlighted with the award ceremony announcing the best of decade awards for best interior, exterior and engine compartment. Congratulations to winners Bob Kendall (’67 Dodge Charger) for the People’s Choice Award and Gene Esham (’65 Chevy Impala) for the Best in Show Award. Darvis Hitchens won the Tractor Best in Show.

As the classic cars arrived in the early morning, a gentleman drove up in his vintage tractor with his young grandson in tow, driving a smaller model of the same piece of machinery. Watching the grandfather teach his grandson how to park the tractor was a reminder that special events — whether in Selbyville, on the beach and everywhere in between — are important to the growth and prosperity of our towns. They promote community, commerce and fellowship.

Thank you to everyone who made the day possible, including our volunteers, town employees, the first-responders of Selbyville, local dignitaries and our sponsors who supported Old Timer’s Day and gave us all a day to remember.

Kristie Maravalli, Executive Director
Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce

New ‘Jim Crow’ book opens some eyes


On June 13, I attended a racial justice workshop that was a real eye-opener. It was based on the book “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander. There were a number of people from the religious community in attendance. This is a topic I would think that would be of great interest to all religious groups and all citizens.

After reading the book “The New Jim Crow,” I became interested in finding out more about it and how our area is affected by it, or how we personally are. The workshop gave me a lot to think about and the desire to learn more and do more. It also gave me an opportunity to work with both blacks and whites to have an honest conversation.

The [Southern Delaware] Alliance [for Racial Justice] wants to be a group that educates people about racial issues, but it also provides an opportunity to get to know each other and to become a solution to the problems.

We sometimes are part of the problem but don’t even know it, because everything seems fine around us. This group helps us look at problems that we may not think affect us but do, advocating for racial justice, equality and fair opportunity for everyone. The group wants to educate and activate all people to know what affects one affects all.

I would recommend reading the book and attending a meeting to see what you might learn or be able to contribute. SDARJ meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Trinity Faith Christian Center at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome. The website is www.sdarj.org.

Rose Mary Hendrix
South Bethany

Firecracker 5K called off this year


Unfortunately, we had to cancel the 2016 Firecracker 5K. It was scheduled for Sunday, June 26, at 8 a.m., with registration on the Bethany Beach bandstand. This was scheduled to be the eighth annual Firecracker 5K. This is the first time the race has been canceled.

We appreciate the support that the race has enjoyed for the first seven years, and I’m sorry we had to cancel this year’s race. We look forward to another strong year in 2017.

We have contacted some of the participants already, and they’ve been very understanding and supportive. As race director, it means a lot to me to hear how much people have enjoyed running in our race and that they’ll miss the tradition of it this year. I know there are some people who have participated in all seven previous events!

When I started this event in 2009, I hoped it would grow into an annual tradition for the families and friends in Bethany Beach. Bethany’s been a special place to my family and me for 30 years, and I saw this as an opportunity to give back to a place that’s given me so much.

And although it is unfortunate to have to cancel this event, it’s also been touching to hear the encouragement from the participants. Several asked if there is anything they can do and even offered to help volunteer for the 2017 race. If there has been a silver lining, it is the warm response from participants upon hearing the news that we canceled the race.

Participants who already registered will receive a refund for their entry fee. People who registered by mail will be contacted by phone at the number they provided on their sign-up form. People who registered online will be contacted via email.

No T-shirts will be distributed.

Greg Mavraganis
Firecracker 5K

Mitchell supports funding program


I am writing to urge your support of the governor’s proposed $11.3 million funding in early learning programs. Delaware cannot afford the proposed $4.3 million loss from this program.

I am an advocate of early learning, and especially preschool programs, because a growing body of research points to the importance of early child development and its effect on later academic and social progress. Studies have demonstrated long-term benefits of preschool, such as higher graduation rates, fewer behavioral problems throughout elementary and high school.

Delaware education can’t afford this cut.

Perry J. Mitchell
Democratic Party
nominee for the 20th District
State Senate seat

Reader responds to previous Point letter


After reading the letter in the June 24, 2016, edition titled “Fenwick Resident Goes after Council,” I’m unsure if the writer and I attended the same council meeting.

At no time did Council Member Weistling “proceed to criticize Council Member Lee for over five minutes, for no apparent reason than possibly his own political benefit.” Mr. Weistling has no dog in this political fight, as he is not running for reelection. Mr. Weistling, in a calm and direct manner, was clarifying and correcting deliberate false information put forth by the “ad hoc election committee” that was presented by members of said committee trying to advance their own political purposes.

Last year there was an election in which a small, but vocal, geographically-concentrated group of homeowners sought to attempt a takeover of the council by using specious and false claims against the sitting members of the council. The so-called Fenwick Four were solidly rejected by the overall voting population of Fenwick Island.

Since that time, the same small group of residents has been unwilling to accept that their positions are not widely shared by the rest of the common-sense voters in the town and have been nothing more than a disruptive, grumbling foursome trying to rig the elections this year by using the very tactics for which they were called out publicly in the council meeting.

Mayor Langan was thoroughly within his rights as mayor to disband the committee. It was only after the committee’s duplicitousness was exposed did the members admit to making a “mistake.”

The committee’s proposals are in line with tactics used by some states to restrict the voting rights of its citizens. The net effect is turnout suppression and an election win based not on issues but rigged results.

These tactics are similar to why you can’t play checkers with a pigeon. Eventually, the pigeon will knock over all the checkers, c@#p all over the board, then strut around like they’ve won the day.

As for the so-called “bay side versus beach side issue,” it is exactly the same group that is now throwing that issue into the mix that is responsible for the perceived division. Currently, only one council member lives bayside. So the agitators’ solution is to hijack the council with candidates concentrated in basically two ocean side blocks to make things more equitable? Spare me. This bay side vs. ocean side canard is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to pursue personal agendas and obfuscate the issues.

Another point of contention being raised is commercial business in Fenwick. In my opinion, the questions being raised and a seeming undercurrent of antipathy to the business community is ill-conceived and short-sighted. It also demonstrates a basic lack of understanding of the need for diversifying the commercial amenities in town, as well as expanding the tax base.

Several months ago, the members of the same group, in yet another attempt to be disruptive to no end, questioned the members of the council as to why the town’s tax rates were higher than other coastal towns. The council members answered as to the reason why, but it should be noted that, if some of the council candidates want to diminish the commercial component, then the tax base will suffer and ultimately our rates will have to be increased across the board. This is a self-serving proposal.

In this letter, I have referred to the Fenwick Four. It should be noted that the Fenwick Four and the Fenwick Forum, an online “medium,” are essentially the same individuals and can be seen as interchangeable.

It is said that the only constant is change. We all love Fenwick Island. A lot of us fondly remember the way Fenwick Island was a few decades ago. We can all look back to what could be considered our salad days, but in the end, it is 2016. Time has moved on. The world is a different place, Delaware is a different place, and Sussex County is a different place and ultimately so is Fenwick Island.

We can all work to make sure that our town continues to move in a positive forward direction. What we cannot do is stop time and change. What we should not do is attempt a palace coup for personal and self-serving purposes by using innuendo and false accusations and then blame the very people that have been working pro bono for the larger good for not acquiescing to bad judgment and decisions.

Jim Simpson
Fenwick Island

Reader responds to Frey’s previous letter


This is in response to Patricia Frey’s letter in the Coastal Point dated June 24, concerning guns.

I would agree the Orlando shooting was a tragic event. Almost all mass shootings happen in areas known as “gun-free zones.” That’s because the shooter knows no one will challenge him. These people become easy prey to him.

You mentioned the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. Here is a quote concerning the ban: “No one should have any illusions about what was accomplished (by the ban). Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.” — Washington Post editorial, Sept. 15, 1994.

“Assault weapon” would be a machine gun or select fire rifle that fires multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger. The military has these type of guns. Civilians do not. Though they may look like a military rifle, they are just cosmetically similar.

You mentioned guns that were designed for the military are lawfully sold to anyone. No, they’re not. The public cannot buy an automatic weapon that military uses without a very strict license authorized by the ATF.

You also mentioned that no one needs an assault rifle. I also don’t need a fire extinguisher, but have one in case of a fire.

You stated you’re not so naive to believe that banning “assault weapons” will stop mass shootings. Then why do you want to ban them?

When there is a bombing, we blame the bomber, not the bomb. When someone is killed by a drunk driver, we blame the driver, not the car. Why are you not blaming the shooter but are blaming a so-called “assault weapon”?

Here is a website where you can look up true gun facts and gun myths. Then research what you call “assault weapons” and the understanding of that phrase: Gunfacts.info.

John Uibel

VegFest a hit, thanks to many


For the fourth year, Rehoboth Beach VegFest brought out so many from our community and from afar to revel in a day of kindness, good food, plant-based good health and mindful living. Our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude at the turnout — we had large crowds of enthusiastic festival-goers, five speakers, over 80 exhibitors, and great fun and positive uplifting energy all day long. We thank all who attended, promoted and supported this life-affirming festival.

We send a special thank-you to our top sponsors, Jenn Harpel of Morgan Stanley, CAMP Rehoboth, Cape Gazette, Delmarva Public Radio, Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market, Rehoboth Beach Film Society and VegFund. We simply could not put on VegFest without your very generous support, and we are truly grateful.

Thank you to the over 80 organizations — restaurants, businesses and non-profits — who exhibited at VegFest. Your products and information help make the world better.

A special thank-you to our amazing speakers, many who came from quite a distance, and all of whom spoke with such knowledge and heart: Linda Casey, Abundance Child, Dorothy Greet, Kate St. John and Charles Wolfe — thank you so much!

Thank you to talented and generous musicians Gary Loewenthal and Colleen Orozco, who came to Rehoboth to share their beautiful music at Rehoboth VegFest.

We want to thank the kind people at Epworth United Methodist Church for once again allowing us to hold the festival on their beautiful grounds, and for all the technical help they provide.

A heart-felt thank-you to Sue Early and Rehoboth Beach Film Society for hosting our film screening in your beautiful Cinema Art Theater, and to Rich Garrahan and friends at Crooked Hammock Brewery for kicking off the weekend with cheer.

Thank you Gallery 50 for providing your gallery space and hosting our Evening Art Exhibition on Saturday night.

Thank you to our featured artists, Rachel Black and Tara Lausch, who displayed their provocative and touching works to celebrate animals.

Thank you brilliant and ultra-kind Chef Hari Cameron/a(MUSE) for hosting our Sunday Celebrity Brunch and preparing an absolute feast of exquisite plant-based dishes.

We send a special thank-you to our friends at The Cultured Pearl for generously donating delicious vegan appetizers for the Evening Art Exhibition — they were fabulous!

Thank you Jolly Trolley for providing a van to take festi-goers back and forth to the Boardwalk.

Thank you to our kind-hearted friends at Sussex Family YMCA for providing counselors at the Kids Tent, and Kids Cottage for sponsoring the Bouncy House and arts and crafts.

Thank you to Stars on 9, UU church and Rehoboth Art League for all you did to make the Kids Tent such a big hit.

Thank you to all the wonderful friends who participated to make our Yoga Village so energizing and peaceful: Lewes Yoga & Meditation, Dimitra Yoga, Free Spirited Foundation, and Tim Rennick of Bad Hair Day.

Thank you to Sign A Rama for once again supporting VegFest and making us such great signs!

Thank you to Grand Rental Station for again being a sponsor and so expertly getting our big tents up.

Thank you to Delmarva Public Radio, 89.5 Fine Arts & Culture and 90.7 Rhythm & News, for again being one of our top sponsors. We are so appreciative for what you do for VegFest and for our community all year long.

Special thanks to Bob Steele, Walt Palmer and all the wonderful folks at 92.7-FM WGMD Radio, “The Talk of Delmarva,” for having us on air to talk about VegFest. Bob Steele, you just brim with good energy!

And special thanks to East Coast Garden Center for being a generous sponsor of VegFest, and also inviting us to be on air with them. East Coast, the fresh-grown aloe plants you donated were wonderful!

Thank you to Rehoboth Beach Starbucks for providing dairy-free delights free of extra charge in honor of VegFest — so very delicious!

We are especially grateful to our friends at Cape Gazette for being such a generous sponsor of VegFest, and for providing outstanding journalism to our area all year long. Thank you so much!

And we could not put on VegFest without the many individuals who came out to volunteer their time and help. For our friends at CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program — Sue Goudy, Sue Early, Jeffrey Troutman, Leslie Sinclair, Robert Sills, Babs Butta and Rebecca Moscoso — we send you special hugs and thank you so, so much! The meat-free barbeque meatballs and meat-free mandarin orange chick’n you served were awesome!

And a huge shout to Bob Sills, Amanda French and Susan Pawlikowski, who helped take down the tents and gather trash and recycling.

To anyone who helped who we might have missed, please know that you matter and that your help made a real difference. We are grateful.

And to each person who came to the festival, sampled the food and shared in the day — we thank you. Whether you are dedicated to meat-free living or just starting to lean into eating less meat, we salute you and the path you are on. The world is better because of you.

We will see you all next year — save the date: June 10, 2017. See you then!

Patricia Haddock and Tara Sheldon
Rehoboth Beach VegFest

Historical event a terrific time for all


Each year we attend Chautauqua. This year, it was co-sponsored by the Lewes Historical Society and the Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs. Another year of wonderful free entertainment to the members of the community. Each performance was absolutely wonderful.

This year we attended an outstanding historic New Castle Chautauqua Bus Trip, which was guided by J. Marcos Salaverria, director of education of the LHS. Marcos was thoughtful and considerate. He was well-acquainted with the buildings and history of New Castle and was willing to answer all questions. The trip was delightful.

We have been to New Castle several times but never have we heard or saw as much historical facts and enjoyed ourselves so much. The bus was comfortable, clean, with a restroom provided. The trip included a delicious boxed lunch — sandwich, chips, cookie, water and fruit. We prefer a boxed lunch, therefore no time is lost eating in a restaurant.

Executive Director Daniel Citron was welcoming and engaging. The guides of each of the buildings also were knowledgeable and answered each question, which facilitated a pleasurable experience. Returning back to Lewes, surprise treats were distributed to everyone by the LHS director. If they have any other bus trips this year, just don’t miss them!

Bridget Warner, site supervisor of the Zwaanendael Museum, and her staff who work so very hard make this Chautauqua experience so enjoyable. I would like to thank all of them for everything you did. We hope the rest of the community who have attended appreciate all the time and work they put into it and send you a “Thank you,” and especially since it is all free. I am grateful for five days of free programs and entertainment.

Are there bugs in June? Yes, there are every year, so thank you for the bug spray. Is it hot? Yes, most years. Thank you for the cold water and hand fans and electric fans (after all, some of the programs are out of doors and under a tent in the Zwaanendael Park). Thank you for the ice cream, courtesy of King’s Ice Cream, always a real treat on a hot summer’s night.

We are hoping you will continue your partnership in future years, and again thank you to all who made Chautauqua such an enjoyable historical experience.

B.J. & Charles Young