Letters to the Editor — May 22, 2015

Reader offers her input on death penalty


I went to Dover this past week to support the bill to repeal the death penalty coming out of committee to be discussed and voted on. There were many people testifying to why they thought it should or shouldn’t be repealed, but the majorities were just asking that it be released from committee to be discussed and voted on. In a democracy, that sounds quite reasonable over such an important topic.

Heart-wrenching stories from people who had family members that were murdered and felt the death penalty would give them the justice they required were shared. Heart-wrenching stories from people who had family members murdered who didn’t want the death penalty because it would make them a part of another murder were also presented.

There was a man who had been on a jury and had voted for the death penalty, and it has haunted him that he did that. He no longer believes in it. A man who was threatened with a choice of accepting life in prison or stand trial and get the death sentence also spoke. He had not done the crime and didn’t accept that offer over fear for his life, but people have made that choice.

I would not be willing to be the one to make the judgment that someone should die, and I could not be the one to perform the execution. I feel it is murder, but even if we do not, what if we get it wrong and find we have executed an innocent man? Is it murder then? We shouldn’t hit our children to say it is wrong to hit, so why should we kill to prove it is wrong to kill?

I don’t understand why, if our legislators believe the majority of the people want the death penalty, they don’t let it come up for a vote to show they are correct in their assessment. Regardless of where you stand on the death penalty, let your legislators know and tell them you want an honest discussion and vote on the issue.

Rose Mary Hendrix
South Bethany

Bireley thankful for support in election


I would like to thank the residents of the 4th District for the Indian River School District that showed confidence in me with their vote to return me to the Board of Education for another term.

I sincerely appreciate the effort that you showed on Tuesday to take the time out of your busy schedules to cast your votes for me. I want to thank everyone who helped in any way with my campaign. I look forward to the next school year.

Thanks again.

Charles Bireley, 4th District
Indian River School District
Board of Education

Reader questions small voting numbers


Indian River School District Board of Education Election returns all the incumbents in District 1 and 4.

One could easily identify the results as an endorsement of them for their exceptional policy development, their budgetary controls, their support of well-paid educators and administrators, their taxation fairness, their employment practices, their religious views, their academic pursuits, their school building designs and much more. Ask the incumbents. Ask the administrators. Ask the educators. Ask the support staff.

How many voters were eligible to vote within the IRSD Districts 1 and 4? 30,000? Why did only 1,020 voters vote in these IRSD Board of Education elections? There are 9,842 students in the Indian River School District. Every adult 18 years of age and older was eligible to vote, regardless if you were a registered voter or not. You only had to live within District 1 or 4 and show an ID with your name and address to vote.

Did any of us get a phone call from the IRSD to encourage us to vote on May 12? No! Did any of us get an electronic flyer reminding us to vote on May 12 from the IRSD. No! We parents of students in the schools get one to two phone calls weekly regarding weather issues, school “lock-downs,” school-wide testing events, sport events, band events and much more. We get “quarterly” electronic flyers.

If you have an educator in your home, you got a mailing from the Teachers Education Association reminding educators to vote for the incumbents on the IRSD Board of Education as they have a good working relationship together. How many of the 1,020 total votes were educators, administrators and staff of the IRSD?

The IRSD Board of Education members and school employees know exactly how disconnected the voting populations of our district really are. They know how uninterested the majority of citizens are. The shame is on the majority of us.

What keeps our citizens from voting? You were not even required to be a registered voter. You did not care? You were not responsible? What is happening to our democracy? How many U.S., Delaware, Sussex County, IRSD flag-flyers did not vote? Take your flags down?

There are solutions to these “failures to launch”: the State of Delaware makes a “no excuse” law to vote by mail. The State of Delaware makes it a law to vote in all elections or be fined. The Indian River School District sends a paper ballot to every IRSD tax payer?

My wife and I voted — she at Lord Baltimore Elementary School and I by mail.

Congratulations to the three incumbents.

A big thank-you to Miguel A. Pirez-Fabar, Judith Ladd Teoli and Gregory Michael Goldman for your willingness to be candidates and to give your time, energy and educational insights to our school district. Stay connected.

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

VFW grateful for support with event


On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1105, and on behalf of all Vietnam veterans and their spouses and families who attended our event on May 9, we would like to thank everyone who supported our 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.

This was an opportunity to thank our Vietnam veterans and their spouses and families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States. Your donations and volunteer time allowed us to provide a fitting ceremony and festive picnic for those who answered our country’s call in Vietnam and those who awaited their safe return.

First, I want to thank the Planning Committee, who spent three months meeting and working to organize this ceremony and picnic: Bill Gay, Bernie Busby, John Mitchell, Rich Brennar, Rich Kuhblank, Bob Reeping, George Smith, Bill Healy, Danny Steele, John Jackson, Bill Hensley.

Next, I would like to thank the post canteen manager, the post cooks, the post bartenders and all the volunteers who cooked, prepared, served, etc., all the food and drinks to our guests.

Next, I would like to thank the honor guards (the VFW 7234 Honor Guard, Indian River High School JROTC Honor Guard, Delaware National Guard Honor Guard, Korean War Veterans Honor Guard) and the Delaware State Police Bag Pipers for providing ceremonial honors for the program. We would also like to thank Jennifer Carter for singing the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Also, thank to the Remnants for the Vietnam-era songs. Thanks to my parking committee, led by Hal Barber.

We were blessed with numerous generous donors and want to offer them a big thanks: Atlantic Community Thrift Store (ACTS), FedEx, Bethany Blues, Bethany Florist, Touch of Italy, Sysco, Pepsi of Salisbury, Utz, Town of Bethany Beach, Dutton Buses, VFW 7234 Ladies Auxiliary.

Finally, thanks to Sen. Tom Carper, our keynote speaker, for his inspiring speech; state Sen. Hocker and state Rep. Gray for their proclamations; Speaker of the House John Boehner for the American flag flown over the U.S. Capital; and thanks to the proclamations from U.S. Rep. Carney and Gov. Markel, who could not attend. Thanks to all the government and veteran organization leaders who honored us with their attendance.

As you can see, it took a lot of volunteers to accomplish this event. I am sure that I probably forgot many important volunteers that worked in the background. A big thanks to all who volunteered and helped out! Thanks to the veterans’ families and friends, and all those in the local community who attended. God bless our veterans and god bless America

Fulton Loppatto, Commander
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 7234
Bob Corsa, President
Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 1105