Letters to the Editor — November 20, 2015

Health, fun key parts of pickleball


I am writing this letter on behalf of the members of the First State Pickleball Club, as well as hundreds of other pickleballers around Sussex County.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America, and especially in Sussex County. Our organization has grown from a dozen players less than a year ago to more than 250, and in that time we converted, in a self-help program, a tennis court complex in Frankford to 10 pickleball courts. This is the only facility dedicated exclusively to pickleball in the entire state of Delaware.

Pickleball is a sport that can be played both indoors and outdoors and keeps people active year-round. Therefore, I want to draw attention through your wide circulation to the fact that we have very few indoor facilities in this county available for the winter season. This past week, one small facility started accepting winter memberships and sold out in a matter of hours. At First State, we are overwhelmed with requests to learn pickleball, and we have to push them back for four or five months.

There has been a lot of talk about a healthier Sussex County. First State Pickleball Club has done more than talk... by sending volunteers across the entire county to show various communities how to play pickleball. Because of this, we know there are pickleball players who want to play, but because of certain medications, they cannot play outdoors, even in the summer. Politicians speak about a healthier Sussex County, well our bodies need exercise 12 months a year! Here is the hidden nugget. Every day we hear comments like, “Saved my life, best physical exam results in years, dialed down my Meds, lost 80 pounds, threw away my cane, got off that old couch, had a blast, laughed and laughed, and oh yes, met new friends, ....”

Baby Boomers, who are very active seniors, are looking at the Delaware beaches for their retirement relocation, and the sad reality is there is very little for them to do in the winter months. There are other areas near us, outside Delaware, now including indoor pickleball as a sales attraction. No doubt, retirees will be investing in some of those communities outside Delaware.

Thank you for hearing us out. Now I am asking for help from the citizens of Sussex County to help in finding us an indoor facility so that many can stay active and healthy throughout the year. To accommodate the number of players at the present time we would need a 20,000-square-foot building with a minimum height of 14 feet.

I am proud to be associated with a sport that has done so much for so many, and just happens to be great fun. It is downright addictive, the kind of positive addiction that our society needs more of.

If you play pickleball, or want to learn to play, please send us your email to the following address so we can explain to Sussex authorities just how many citizens share our mutual passion: delawarepickleball@yahoo.com.


Winfield “Butch” Martin
President - First State Pickleball Club Inc.
USA Pickleball Association Ambassador
Sussex County Delaware # 3647

Reader feels new motel will help town


The current condition of the Sands Motel is deplorable and is not contributing to the overall image of our town. Over the past years, the previous owners did little to no maintenance which has resulted in today’s deplorable state. The new Sands will be an asset to the image of the town and increase the tax base.

The residents of Fenwick Island should not allow a small, yet vocal, clique motivated by self-interest to dictate to the larger population. Elections have consequences. The residents overwhelmingly returned the incumbents to the town commission and the one member of the Fenwick Four that was newly elected barely eked out a win, I suspect due to the fact that it was an open position and the “Four” were competing against each other. The town commissioners should support the redevelopment of this eyesore.

I had submitted comments to the “Fenwick Forum” website in support of the redevelopment but the moderator rejected the comments. That, in my view reflects poorly on the objectivity of the “Fenwick Forum.” It seems as if your input does not fit into the preordained narrative of the “Forum” then your input will be censored.

Jim Simpson
Fenwick Island

AARP committee thankful for support


The South Coastal DE AARP Scholarship Committee partnered with Hooked Up Ale House to hold a very successful fundraiser for scholarships on Thursday, Nov. 5. The restaurant graciously donated a portion of its proceeds for the evening. Guests were able to bid on baskets assembled by the committee, thanks to gifts from many area businesses.

The evening brought in enough funds to cover several of the six scholarships offered annually by the chapter. We are most grateful to Steve Hagen, owner of the Hooked restaurant group, and Hooked Up manager Kevin Richardson for their willingness to host this successful event. We also want to thank the businesses who provided gifts for the auction. They included:

99 Sea Level; Bayville Postal Services; BJs Wholesale; Blossoms; Blue Water Grill; Capriotti’s; Carl M. Freeman Co. & Golf Facilities; Catch 54; China Express; Cottage Café; Country Wicker; Crabcake Factory; Crepes & Crazes; Curves for Women; DiFebo’s Restaurant; Fenwick Float-ors; Garth Enterprises; Georgia House Restaurant; Good Earth Market and Organic Farm; Hickman’s Discount Liquors; Hoban’s Service Center; Hudson’s General Store; Japanesque; Mancini’s Restaurant; McCabe’s Gourmet Market; Nick’s Original House of Ribs; Steve Parsons, attorney; Parsons Farm Produce; Pier One Imports; Plant Arrangements; Porto Pizza & Grill; Rooster’s Nest; Rosenfeld’s Deli; Salon Central; Salted Rim; Sam’s OC Hair Cuts; Sea Needles; Seaside County Store; Serendipity Quilt Shop; Sweet Dispositions; Touch of Italy; Treasure Island; Venus Nails; Victoria’s Secret; and Z’s Hair Studio.

The hard work of the committee led to the success of the event. We are most appreciative for the leadership of coordinator Barbara Shamp and for committee members who solicited the community donations, put together the baskets and helped throughout the evening.

We also want to thank the members of our chapter and others from the community who came out to support the event. We truly live in a community that cares about supporting young people and adults who want to continue their education.

Ione Phillips
Co-Chair, South Coastal DE AARP Scholarship Committee