Letters to the Editor – June 24, 2016

Fenwick resident goes after council

Editor’s note: The following letter from 2015 Fenwick Island Town Council candidate Lisa Benn was addressed to town council members and sent to the Coastal Point for publication.

You were elected to be the leaders of our community, and to me that means bringing the community together, working together as a group and sometimes making compromises. Our community was split last year over the height issue, and many people tried to make it a bay side versus beach side issue.

As that is a moot point now, our community is still divided. As leaders you should be working as a group in bringing us together, in finding common ground, asking for opinions instead of criticizing those that are different than yours.

At last Friday’s town council meeting, the mayor publically criticized three members of the Ad Hoc Election Committee for making a mistake that was potentially unconstitutional. Was a mistake made — yes, and I take full responsibility for making that mistake, as I was the one who created the voter comparison spreadsheet. Regardless of who made the mistake, Council Member Lee apologized and said to disregard that item that was sent to Charter & Ordinance for review.

After the mayor chastised the committee and Council Member Lee apologized, Council Member Weistling proceeded to criticize Council Member Lee for over five minutes, for no other apparent reason than possibly his own political benefit.

At the beginning of the public participation portion of last Friday’s meeting, the mayor stated that there would be no campaigning from those in attendance allowed. So now I ask: Who is being unconstitutional?

How can you unify the community when almost all ideas that are suggested by a member of the community, not aligned with the majority of the council, are immediately dismissed? Last Friday was not the first time council members verbally insulted other council members or those in attendance. The current mayor once told a longtime member of the community that “if they didn’t like it they could move.”

So I ask the town council to be respected leaders, stop pitting neighbors against each other, listen to and think about what others have to say, instead of immediately dismissing their ideas. This should be a priority of the town council.

Lisa Benn
Fenwick Island

Reader points to the gun in shooting


Another human massacre — this time in Orlando, Fla. — and Americans are once more offering heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. Police officers and social behavior/psychological specialists are working diligently to determine motive. The press and social media are having a heyday with words that only inflame an already open national wound.

None of this really matters to the dead and their loved ones. They are still very and truly dead. The single most effective step to ending these mass killings in the U.S. is the one thing almost no one dares give voice to: reinstate the ban on assault weapons and their ammunition. Yes, people do kill people, but people who use military-style assault guns kill and maim more people faster!

Yes, it is true that assault weapons are not used in the majority of mass shootings where four or more people are killed, but they are the weapon of choice in shootings where the hatred makes the goal to kill as many as possible in the shortest time possible.

Fifty more human beings are dead; 49 of them were innocent! Never again will they love or receive love; never again will they laugh or cry; never again will they touch or be touched. Their families and friends will never be whole again. Platitudes, prayers and thoughts notwithstanding, dead is dead.

The number of human beings senselessly killed and injured in mass shootings so far in 2016 already exceeds those numbers in all of 2015.Shooters wielding these assault weapons have shown us that we are not safe in our houses of worship of any faith tradition, in our recreational and social arenas... movie theaters, restaurants and bars/clubs and, most terrifying, in our schools and colleges.

After the 9/11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon, America went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq with the stated intent of destroying “weapons of mass destruction” (never mind that 19 of the men who committed that crime were Saudi Arabian nationals).Yet we allow hundreds of thousands of weapons of mass destruction to be wielded with impunity in the public arenas of American life... all in the name of the Second Amendment... the right to bear arms.

Guns that were designed for military use as killing machines; designed to kill as many human beings as rapidly and as efficiently as possible, are lawfully sold to anyone, often with no background check or, at best, a check so full of loopholes as to be essentially worthless. No one needs an assault weapon to protect himself, his family and his property. Nor does he/she need one to hunt, to enjoy target practice or to be a member of a gun club.

There was a temporary ban on assault weapons which was allowed to expire in 2004. Since that time, mass shootings in which assault weapons are used and the number killed and injured has risen. Policemen and other law enforcement officers are outgunned, and fatalities in their ranks have risen.

It is important to understand the shooter’s motives; to determine if the shooter has a history of mental illness or instability; to learn whether he/she belongs to or sympathizes with groups that encourage terroristic acts against people who are different from or who think differently from themselves (“the other”).

These variables are real; they are many and they are complex. Better understanding of these variables can be used for more objective and effective treatment of individuals; better management of hostage situations and, perhaps, better protection from foreign elements.

As complicated and as individual as each case is, there is an elephant in the room which we as a nation refuse to see and halt: Military-style assault weapons with ammunition capacities designed to kill as many human beings as fast as possible are used in the most deadly attacks.

Think Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine and Orlando.

Unfortunately, as we try to assess and understand the multitude of factors in mass shootings, we have lost sight of and/or have been unwilling to name the one single, most common factor… the shooter(s) had an assault weapon. Any person who is so full of hate, whether because of a “bad” childhood, mental illness, intolerance based on religion, race, color, ethnicity or sexual orientation, is able to kill more people faster with a military-style gun.

Why do we not have the courage and the honesty to name these actions for what they are? They are hate crimes and they are terrorism, no matter who commits them or why they commit them. They are enabled by easy access to military-style assault weapons in America.

I am not so naive to believe that banning sales of assault weapons will stop mass shootings. However, common sense dictates that this one simple measure will result in fewer innocent lives lost in any given incident. Following that ban with measures to (1) close loopholes and flaws in background checks; (2) offering programs of voluntary surrender of assault weapons by law enforcement agencies with no questions asked; (3) making the sale of assault weapons to anyone other than military or law enforcement, SWAT or similar police units a crime, and (4) increasing penalties for all crimes in which assault weapons are involved to the maximum allowed by law, would strengthen national efforts to reduce human carnage caused by assault weapons and to reduce all crimes of gun violence.

These are common-sense tools which make all Americans safer.

This not a Democrat or Republican problem. This is not a liberal, moderate or conservative problem. This is not an “us” versus “them” problem. This is not a problem which requires a constitutional amendment or which violates the right to bear arms. This is a uniquely American problem. The solutions we seek can further divide us, or they can strengthen us as a nation.

Do we have the political will to marry sound, sane and reasoned solutions that reduced these horrific crimes to a moral path that honors human compassion and respect for all creation? Or will all Americans continue to be held hostage by hate-filled rhetoric, by false cries of Second Amendment infringement by the greed of gun manufactures and by an NRA that suggests it is “cool” for John Q. Public to own a military-style gun just like our military and law enforcement officers use?

To our shame, the public discourse thus far suggests the latter.

Patricia W. Frey

Reader not a fan of DNREC efforts


Regarding the recent article on the Statewide Activity Approval for aquaculture in the Inland Bays: The continuing questions surrounding the project are integral to the economic vitality of the Delmarva region and the future health of the ecosystem.

Exactly which proposed sites can support the development of oyster spat, the growing of oyster larvae to the mature harvested oyster? Not many. In Rehoboth Bay, for instance, the continuation of DNREC Secretary’s Order No. 2016-WS-0013 under the direction of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program and U.S. Food & Drug Administration guidance documents for shellfish growing area classifications are closing areas to harvest.

And how does this proposed SAA permit fit into the Delaware Wildlife Program, which is federally funded to protect habitat for species? It doesn’t. The introduction of a commercial enterprise in Rehoboth Bay Areas A and C are a threat to species under protection of federal laws under the Endangered Species Act. Migratory bird population sustainability, nesting sites and habitat fragmentation are of grave concern to those whose understand the complexity and fragility of these places.

Both DNREC and the Center for Inland Bays are equally duplicitous in this fraudulent endeavor. Any expedited permit by DNREC is not legally defined under the auspices of DE Code Section 7, Environment. In other states, such permits are regulated by approval of respective legislative bodies. Delaware has no legal parameters for quick permitted actions, and a judicial overview and review of a DNREC Secretary’s Order, in which the proper due process of public comment and notice is required for adoption of a law, turns the present situation … into a giant regulatory mess.

Congratulations on wasting taxpayer time and money in Dover! Again!

Gregg W. Rosner
W. Fenwick Island

Annual show a hit, thanks to many


The 12th Annual Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show was held on Saturday, June 4. Once again, this juried show presented over a hundred crafters with a wide variety of offerings on our boardwalk and bandstand, as well as on Garfield and Parkwood streets.

We want to give recognition to all those who make this excellent occasion possible. The Seaside Craft Show Committee begins each year in September to plan for the upcoming show the following June. However, it is the generous assistance of our town staff and volunteers the day of the show that makes the event happen.

The Bethany Beach police are on hand from 6 a.m. until sometime after 7 p.m, when the last crafter has moved out. They provide the order that is necessary and appreciated in making things go smoothly from beginning to end. A very big thanks to Dean Sisler and our seasonal officers for their invaluable and friendly assistance.

Thank you also to Brett Warner and the other Bethany Beach Public Works staff members for attending to the many details that set the stage for a successful show. We could not do without their assistance both before and after the event.

Not least of our thanks is for the many volunteers who show up each year at 6 a.m. to mark booths and welcome the crafters, as well as assisting with the crafter parking at the Christian Church grounds. Maureen Killmer annually rounds up these folks, many who graciously return year after year, assuring that the day gets off to a good start.

This year that thanks goes to Monte Wisbrock, Mark Anderson, Ray Thibeault, Claire Carson, Neece Phipps, Carole and Ron Calef, Jim Lutrzykowski, Rick Morini, Bob Skonier, and three of our Town Council members, Lew Killmer, Chuck Peterson and Bruce Frye. During the day, Jan Kinsella, Diane Dee, Mary Lou Urquhart and Margaret Young provided booth-sitting for crafters who needed a short break. Thank you one and all!

And, finally, thanks to Maureen’s Ice Cream for the early-morning donuts and coffee we provide for our volunteers and crafters, the Disciples of Christ Conference Center for the parking area for the crafters, and to all those who attended the show.

Gloria Farrar, Stacie Loftus, Carol Olmstead, Karen Taylor, Joan Thomas, Cheryl Wisbrock
Seaside Craft Show Committee
Bethany Beach Events Director
Julie Malewski
Intern Shannon Kiley

NARFE thankful for support with event


Coastal Sussex Chapter 1690 of NARFE (National Active & Retired Federal Employees) would like to thank the many area merchants, professionals, golf courses and individuals who made donations to support our annual charity golf tournament, luncheon and charity auction to support Alzheimer’s research and the Sussex County branch of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The events held June 3 at Salt Pond Golf Course and at the Cottage Café restaurant in Bethany Beach resulted in raising more than $10,000 for this important cause. We are very appreciative of the support from the following:

Ace Hardware, Lewes; Alcana Gladstone Group, Millsboro; All State Insurance, Paul Sarnak, Lewes; Apple Electric, Rehoboth Beach; Artistic Designs Spa & Salon, Lewes; Atlantic Liquors, Rehoboth Beach; Auto Gallery, Bryan Hecksher, Lewes; J&J Barrett UPS Store, Ocean View; Bayside Resort Golf Club, Selbyville; Bayville Package Store, Selbyville; Baywood Greens, Long Neck; Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach; Bethany Blues, Rehoboth Beach; Bethany Fine Arts Gallery, Bethany Beach; Bethany Travel, Millsboro; Big Fish Grill, Rehoboth Beach; Bob Evans Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach; James Cohee & Assoc., Accountants, Ocean View; Concord Pet Foods, Millsboro; Crabby Dicks, Rehoboth Beach; Cripple Creek Country Club, Dagsboro; Dagsboro Paint & Wallpaper, Theresa Disharoon, Dagsboro; Delaware Electric Co-Op, Greenwood; Dollar General, Lewes; Fast Mart, Lewes; Fenwick Float-Ors, Fenwick Island; Fish Tales, Bethany Beach; Fifth Ave. Jewelers, Rehoboth Beach; Giant Market, Millsboro & Ocean View; Griffin Family Practice, Selbyville; Grog Shop Liquors, Lewes; Harris Teeter Market, Millsboro & Selbyville; Holland Jewelers, Lewes; Hooked Seafood, Rehoboth Beach; Hoopers Landing Golf Course, Dagsboro; H & R Block, Rehoboth Beach; Jennifer Hughes, Realtor, Frankford; Jimmy’s Kitchen, Fenwick Island; Jiffy Lube, Lewes; Edward Jones Financial Services, Rick Solloway, Bethany Beach, and Max Hutsell, Ocean View; Kings Creek Country Club, Rehoboth Beach; James K. Kramer, DMD, Selbyville; Lighthouse Liquors, Fenwick Island; Loftus Wealth Strategies, Millville; Long Neck Diner, Millsboro; McDonalds, Rehoboth Beach; Moe’s Southwest Grill, Rehoboth Beach; NARFE Chapter 85, Newark;

Oak Orchard Diner, Millsboro; Ocean Grill I, Lewes; Ocean Grill II, Millsboro; Oceanside Casual Furniture, Rehoboth Beach; Outback Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach; Outlet Liquors, Rehoboth Beach; Palate Cafe, Rehoboth Beach; Pam’s Hallmark Shop, Rehoboth Beach; Parcel Plus, Rehoboth Beach; Peninsula Golf and Country Club, Millsboro; Peninsula Health, Millsboro; Perfect Pet Grooming Salon, Millsboro; Platinum Roofs, Lewes;

Rehoboth Beach Country Club, Rehoboth Beach; Rehoboth Diner, Rehoboth Beach; Re-Max by the Sea Realty, Bethany Beach, Ken Simpler Hook, Selbyville, Kim Hook, Bethany Beach, and Audrey & Frank Serio, Bethany Beach; Rentals Unlimited, Mark Gillespie, Rockville, MD; Rookery North Golf Course, Milford; Ruby Tuesday, Rehoboth Beach; Ruddo’s Golf, Rehoboth Beach; Salt Pond Golf Club, Bethany Beach; Sandcastle Realty, South Bethany; Sea Level Designs, South Bethany; 1776 Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach; JD Shuckers, Lewes; S3 Technologies, Selbyville; 16 Mile Brewery, Georgetown; Soules Management, Magnolia; State Farm Insurance, Denise Beam, Ocean View, and George Bunting, Rehoboth Beach; Steen, Waehler & Schrider-Fox, James Waehler, Esq., Ocean View; Surf Bagel, Lewes; Sussex Pines Golf Course, Georgetown; T.G.I. Friday’s, Rehoboth Beach; Touch of Italy, Lewes & Rehoboth Beach; Tidewater Physical Therapy, Robert Cairo, Ocean View; Treasure Island Fashions, Ocean View; Venus Nails, Fenwick Island; VFW Mason Dixon Post 7234, Ocean View; VFW Auxiliary, Mason Dixon Post 7234; Susan Pittard Weidman, Esq., Ocean View; Wharton’s Landscaping, Lewes; Hon. Gerald W. Hocker, Delaware state senator, 20th District; Hon. Ronald Gray, Delaware state representative, 38th District; Claude Benner; Walt & Linda Berwick; Rudolph & Gertrude Buerger; Pia Calhoun; Robert & Jane Clark; Dominique DuShuttle; Jim & Sharon Horn; Joe Kratz; Walter & Mary Little; Edward Marshall, Jr.; Dorothy McGovern; Richard & Margaret Oliver; John and Theresa Pitman; Nancy Purchase; Sherry Rogers; Larry & Kathy Trombello; Pat Voveris; Nancy & Michael Walsh; Ron and Carol Weber; and Dr. Eric West.

Carol Weber, President
Coastal Sussex Chapter 1690, NARFE