Letters to the Editor — November 14, 2014

Reader appeals for Town not to take over beach rentals


I am writing in support of my friend and former employer, Steen’s Beach Service. On the agenda for the workshop on Monday and open for further discussion at the council meeting this Friday, is the discussion of the Town of Bethany Beach taking over the beach concessions.

In addition to being against this for personal reasons, I do not think it makes good financial sense for the Town to undertake this endeavor. The Town would have to buy the equipment, the storage boxes, insurance, manage repairs, have winter storage and then figure out how to manage the business, the staff and the pay scales. It would be years before there is a return on this investment.

As it stands now, the Town gets a substantial yearly payment from Steen’s and then has no further responsibility re: equipment, staff or weather (since you don’t make money on rainy days).

Additionally, Steen’s has been in business in Bethany Beach since 1957. It is run by a local family that lives in and is an active part of Bethany Beach. Why would the Town consider taking away the livelihood of one of its residents? Steen’s Beach Service is an iconic symbol of Bethany Beach, almost as much as the totem pole. There are postcards and paintings and prints that feature Steen’s umbrellas as a symbol of Bethany Beach.

We have a wonderful relationship with the Hollywood Street Steen’s employee. As part of our beach house rental, we offer an umbrella and two chairs from Steen’s. The Steen’s employees are wonderful ambassadors for the Town and for the area. We routinely get positive comments about our renters’ interaction with the Steen’s Beach Service staff. I cannot imagine Bethany Beach without Steen’s Beach Service.

I am asking my friends and neighbors, if they share my opinion, to contact the Town, the mayor and council members and let them know that they don’t support the town taking over the beach stands. I am asking the town, the mayor and council members to reject any consideration of taking over the beach concessions.

Amy Brothers
Bethany Beach

More reader support for Steen’s


As you all know, Steen’s Beach Service is an incredible, family-run business that has sold beach chairs and umbrellas on all the Bethany Beaches for over 50 years. The Steen’s business draws in tourists and has employed a local workforce for years. Their reputation is above average and they are a true Bethany Beach trademark.

The Town of Bethany Beach should realize that, by supporting the growth of small-business entrepreneurs, like Steen’s, to serve the eco-tourism industry, the Town of Bethany Beach has been able to revitalize its own economy. The absurd idea of the Town of Bethany Beach taking over selling umbrellas and pillaging the umbrella business from Steen’s is a bad decision.

Another point is this does not makes financial sense for the Town to attempt to rent umbrellas on the beach. Any financial gain to the Town would take a decade to take place and in the meantime, destroy a fantastic, family-owned business.

Not only would the Town have to buy the equipment, the storage boxes, insurance, manage repairs, have winter storage, the Town would also have to create an accurate business plan on how to manage the umbrella business, hire additional staff and resolve pay scales.

Currently, the Town receives a considerable annual payment from Steen’s, then has no further obligations. Also, please consider that great ideas are often not profitable, and this one would also sabotage the Steen’s Beach Service business. This business is built on a long, dedicated structure, and their employees are committed to the Steen family. This is not something I believe any town member or official would want to ruin. Please exercise your intelligence and be kind.

Kerry and Brandon Case
Ocean View

Elling discusses voter motivation methods


Darin J. McCann, editor of the Coastal Point, writes, “36 percent of Delaware’s registered voters turned out to make their voices heard in Tuesday’s elections. That’s not a bad figure, comparatively speaking, but it still raises concerns about voter apathy. Polls show that the majority of people of this nation are not happy with how government is functioning, but only about a third show up to vote?”

Voting is the key element in this nation’s “experiment” in Democracy and we only get 36 percent, and “that is not a bad figure.” How is it possible to have a Democracy if “half” of eligible voters are not even registered to vote and only 36 percent of the registered voters voted in the election of November 2014? Changes have to be made, or we will soon see a government not of the people or by the people. Some think we already have.

Who is responsible for this fast approaching democracy failure? The majority of U.S. citizens are not pro-democracy? They do not give a damn about the responsibilities of citizenship? The political parties find it easier to manage, manipulate, motivate a limited number of voters?

Should we extend voting to 30 days every November for all elections? Should we all vote by mail and change from the voting booth to the mailbox? Should we make it legally mandatory to vote in all elections... and the penalty is...?

I have an idea; we can revoke the citizenship of non-voters and offer to the millions of immigrants who want to be a citizen of the U.S.A. their citizenship if they swear in the citizenship oath to vote? We could rotate millions of individuals annually into voters and “ex-pats.”

Lloyd E. Elling
Ocean View

Lions offer thanks for fundraiser support


The Fenwick Island Lions Club wants to thank the community for coming out and supporting our recent successful spaghetti dinner. We also want to recognize the Indian River High School Leos who also assisted us in serving the dinners.

We thank the following businesses who continue to support us by donating supplies and food: Grottos Pizza, Hockers and G&E Supermarket, Al Casapulla’s, Devito’s Deli, Brasure’s Pest Control, Brasure’s Auto Repair, Lighthouse Liquors, Harpoon Hanna’s restaurant, Bob’s Marine Service, Boulevard Ford Lincoln, Hastings Funeral Home, West Fenwick Carwash, Shady Park, Jimmy’s Kitchen, Dirty Harry’s restaurant, Brandywine Senior Living, Harris Teeter, Cato Inc., Goose Creek Food Stores, European Auto Werkes, Foxes Den, Crab Cake Factory and Mio Fratello restaurant.

We especially want to thank Scott Fornwalt for allowing us to use the Fenwick Crab House and staff to hold this spaghetti dinner. As in the past, the food that was left over was given to Diakonia, a shelter in Ocean City, Md.

The community support and the generosity of all of these businesses enabled us to have a successful fundraiser; and, you should know that 100 percent of the money raised goes back to serve the needs in the community.

Sam Mooney, Committee Chair and Director
Fenwick Island Lions Club

Salt Pond group thanks community for successful fundraiser


The Salt Pond Gold Course hosted its first Rally for the Cure outing on Oct. 1 in support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, to promote and provide information to the community regarding breast cancer. Fifty people came out to participate in golf and a luncheon provided by Birdies.

The effort raised over $1,800 for the cause, while enjoying a round of golf and a putting contest. A 50/50 raffle and the purchase of mulligans, as well as 14 individuals donated, to make sure of our success. [I] presented roses to four of our community’s breast cancer survivors.

We also want to thank the local businesses, Café 26, Treasure Island, Harris Teeter, Warren’s, Oceanova, Salon on Central, Lord’s Landscaping, Kool Bean, gift certificate for Starbucks donated by Carol and Bill Kester, gift certificate donated for Ocean Deli, gift certificate donated for a local spa, Hallmark, Salt Pond Golf, and, lastly, a pendant replica of our first hole created by local artist Trudy Fox.

Additional thanks to Coastal Point for running an article written by Maria Counts prior to our tournament and also to Laura Walter for taking pictures on the day of our event. Special thanks to Pat Milstead, … Frank DiNinno, Max Sewald and to our pro, Art Whaley, for working to make this event a success.

Marilyn Adams
Salt Pond

Steele joins chorus against Bethany rental idea


I have to join those who have voiced their opposition to the Town “taking over” the Steen Beach Rental business.

I only see a down side for the Town doing so. Here are my reasons:

A well-respected individual and a well-known business is being “taken over” because of the greed of the Town thinking that they need more money for beach services.

Except for cleaning the beaches, unless the situation has changed, the State has all the responsibility for the beaches.

With the new hotel, the Town will receive an increase in hotel rental receipts, thereby increasing the Town’s beach funds.

You will have to hire more town employees, which you do not have to do now; you will increase the cost of liability insurance and the cost of your payroll.

Most of all, you have given the Town of Bethany Beach bad publicity! It makes you look greedy and, with the results of the last mid-term election, it adds to the people’s opposition of government taking over of a private business.

To the administration of the Town of Bethany, please reconsider this idea!

Harry Steele
Bethany Beach

Lee grateful for support in Sheriff election


I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the citizens of Sussex County who spoke loud and clear at the polls. You made it clear that you wanted more cooperation and less controversy. You wanted focused attention to the job at hand, more fiscal responsibility and more emphasis on actions that will enrich all citizens of this great county. I acknowledge this and look forward to working with you in the months and years to come.

This campaign journey that started in April has been amazing. My wife and I have met thousands of Sussex Countians along the way, making some new friends for life. We appreciated your candor, your questions and your willingness to see through roadblocks along the way. We heard your pride in this place you call home, and I pledge to echo that pride back to you with my performance as your Sheriff. This is truly a God-blessed county, and I feel pride in “this dirt” I call home, too.

I have already heard from many of you, across party lines, expressing hope for a new way of doing things and ideas that will touch our community in a positive way. I can’t wait to sit down with you and bring these ideas to reality. Thank you again for your support. I look forward to serving you all.

Robert T. Lee