Letters to the Editor — May 23, 2014

Reader: It’s time to stamp out racism


Am I a racist? Are you a racist? I would bet every one of us would say no. Is being white an advantage or a disadvantage? Is being black an advantage or disadvantage? If you could choose your race based only on how it would benefit you socially, economically and academically, which would you choose? Those are some questions to think about when answering the question.

A few other questions: Facing a jury, would you rather be black or white? Were your great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents more likely to have come to this country on their own or as slaves? Would they have owned property or not been allowed to own property? Could they vote?

The life our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents led affects our life. How many people in Sussex County have the benefit of inheriting family land? How many were not even allowed to own land or not allowed to swim in the ocean off Bethany Beach when they were growing up?

It was only 50 years ago that the Civil Rights [Act] was signed. That paved the way to make equality a possibility. It did not happen overnight, and it still is not there. Yes, things are better, but are they where we want them to be?

It is time for the community to come together and discuss the issues honestly. Not white-on-white or black-on-black or Hispanic-to-Hispanic, but as a people of all groups, to learn to know each other and how alike we are.

Many people, including me, were upset about [Sussex County] Councilmen [Sam] Wilson’s and [Vance] Phillips’ remarks about the NAACP, but since Sam Wilson himself said he really stirred the pot and caused quite a stink, let’s take a look at that pot and how we might change the ingredients, working together so we produce a sweet aroma from that pot, not a stink.

Now would be a good time to have churches, service organizations, schools, government, etc., getting together to make Sussex County a place where we only see people, not color. We are not there, but we could be.

Rose Mary Hendrix
South Bethany

Murray apologizes for Grand March confusion


The administration of Indian River High School wishes to thank the entire community for your support of the prom Grand March last Saturday. Unfortunately, severe weather seemed imminent, forcing us to use the school gymnasium, because student safety is always our first priority. The storms veered south at the last minute, and we do apologize for any confusion that might have ensued with the change in venue.

E. Elbridge Murray IV, Principal
Indian River High School

Resident offers advice on home construction


The primary purpose of this letter is to warn you and make you aware of a little known construction detail that’s crucially important for a well-built home.

For most of us, the purchase of a home is one of our biggest financial decisions of our lives. So one needs to be aware of any possible hidden dangers and things that normally go unnoticed; and that one doesn’t normally think of as being important when deciding to buy a new home — things like a well-constructed subflooring system. Most people and builders have no idea how important the subflooring application is to a well-constructed home built on sandy ground.

It’s no longer a safe assumption that a builder knows what he’s doing, especially here on Delmarva where there’s mostly sandy ground and where no consideration is given to this crucially important detail — not by the builder and not by the County inspectors.

This is the key to what I’m addressing — the sandy composition of the ground. A house built here simply moves more, and most builders here (with few exceptions) do not apply the subflooring correctly, but they all say that “it’s the industry standard and code.”

But this is the crux of the problem: that the code makes no allowance for this sandy ground and it’s only casually inspected, at that, meaning the inspectors don’t even attest or certify that the basic construction or building code “guide” is adhered to. They generally just glue it and nail it, and it’s lucky to even have just a little bit of glue or sparse nailing. Plus, this part of the job is usually done by the cheapest immigrant labor, so you tell me how much quality is involved here.

Heck, I strongly suspect that not even one nail was used here in my home, considering the level of structural damage it’s experiencing. My builder only cares about one thing — his profit, his bottom line and getting in out quickly and cheaply, because time is money and he wasn’t wasting it.

So, all you prospective buyers out there: beware, especially during this time of year, for those considering buying an existing home, because the ceiling cracks, especially, aren’t visible until wintertime, when it gets colder. But creaking floors are generally a year-round thing, oddly enough, and it’s a telltale sign that the subflooring was sloppily installed.

So, if you’re in the market for a new home, then make absolutely certain that your subflooring is not only glued but screwed, as well, and every 3 inches at that. This is what makes a solid home here near the ocean. Accept only the best, so you don’t get screwed out of your life savings like I did.

Good luck and buyer beware.

Susan Rush
Ocean View

Bethany resident proud of her community


On Saturday, May 10, as we were driving up from Florida, all I could think about was a crabcake. Florida doesn’t have our kind of crab, and I was really hungry for a good crabcake. We unloaded the car and, without unpacking anything, I said, “Let’s go up to the Blue Crab for dinner.” So, about 6, up we went.

On the way, I tripped and fell over the curb. I thought I was OK until I saw the blood and subsequently realized my ring finger on my left hand didn’t bend.

Off we went to the ER at Beebe and, while there, my husband noticed that my wedding ring was missing from my finger. In all of the excitement, I hadn’t even noticed.

While in the ER, he called my brother and cousin, and they went down to look for it. Apparently, lots of people helped with the search, but to no avail. However, the next morning, the owner — Tim — called and told my brother that, while he was cleaning up the deck area of the restaurant, as he does every morning, he saw the ring on the ledge of the deck railing. We retrieved it that evening as I got my crabcakes.

I have no idea who found it, but I am so very thankful. I would love to thank you in person, but since I can’t, I hope you will see this in the paper. What wonderful town we live in! It is so gratifying to know that people like you live here or visit here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Jean Steele
Bethany Beach