Letters to the Editor — April 4, 2014
Writer contemplates needs in the state
On March 13, I attended a Chamber luncheon in Rehoboth Beach featuring Gov. Markell as our guest speaker. I am a longtime resident of Bethany Beach and a business owner. The governor began speaking and was giving us the background on the Route 26 utilities movement, anticipated closures and overall update. My son, Mike, even asked him a question about the project’s advancement, costs and whether it would impact summer traffic.
Then the governor began to give statistical information about our water that quite simply got my attention. He stated that 94 percent of the state’s waterways could not support healthy fish and 86 percent of our rivers are not safe for swimming. As an avid water enthusiast and outdoorsperson, this was an eye opening, repugnant statistic.
I have raised my family here in Bethany Beach. They all surf, kayak, boat, fish and waterski. I couldn’t believe it. Then, I thought, wasn’t our little town of Bethany given Top 10 “Best Secret Beaches on Earth” award by Travel & Leisure magazine just last year?
Now, I truly understand as a small business owner that all financial burdens must be weighed by the anticipated benefit. We need infrastructure, with special attention given to flooding, but what will it cost? There are neighborhoods that every time it rains, it floods, and how do we fix it?
We need better transportation and traffic patterns to continue to attract visitors to our shore. Without tourism to our beaches, nearly all of our businesses here in Sussex County would vanish, and many of our families depend upon them.
However, we need to be critically careful not to tax our senior citizens beyond their ability to pay. Many seniors are on fixed incomes that cannot afford $45 more per year. So when considering the burden to the taxpayer, we must first be mindful of exempting anyone who cannot financially afford it.
Having stated that, however, it is critical to have safe, sanitary water — above all else. As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Without safe water, none of us would even be discussing infrastructure, flooding, safety issues, tourism, roads, schools, etc.
After the meeting ended, as we drove back to Bethany over the Indian River bridge, all I could contemplate was the state of the waterways and how they would affect my children, neighbors, friends, community and their future. It also made me think what we do now will irrevocably impact future generations. Frankly, I, for one, do not want to kick the can down the road for someone else to pick up.
Business owner discusses Streetscape
Bethany Beach Town Manager Cliff Graviet was quoted in last week’s Coastal Point that, last spring, the business community was adamant that the Streetscape project not restart in September 2013, that it be pushed back to begin after Columbus Day.
This meeting might have been well-attended by business owners, but it was not attended by all owners. I am a business owner owning four businesses in Bethany, and I was not in favor of the project getting started later.
I was never against the Streetscape project, but I do not understand why the elected officials and town manager could not keep to the schedule. You are more to blame for the delay than the business owners that you say voiced their opinion on delaying the work The business owners that were so much against this project ever getting started, and against it getting started on schedule, are now the ones that are still complaining.
This work did not get started until 2014, so what did your request accomplish?
Mother Nature is a bigger person than you are!
Kathy Dryden, Owner
Shore Foods, Sandy Toz,
Sandy Pawz, Ocean Treasures
Clean water or more chickens — pick one
In my opinion, Delaware has to choose between a clean groundwater system, Indian River, Indian River Bay and Rehoboth Bay (a.k.a. the Inland Bays) or growing and slaughtering more chickens in Sussex County.
The Inland Bays are already impaired and have been for years. Even our own governor states this to be true. The Inland Bays are currently polluted with high levels of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) originating primarily from agriculture and poultry business within the state.
As many people know, another chicken slaughterhouse owned by Allen Harim is proposed at the abandoned and contaminated Pinnacle/Vlasic Pickle plant in Millsboro, Del. The plans call for 2 million chickens a week to be processed (104 million chickens a year). The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that the “annual (poultry) litter from a typical chicken broiler house of 22,000 chickens contains as much phosphorus as a community of 6,000 people.”
Thus the 104 million chickens and 400-plus chicken factory farms associated with the proposed slaughterhouse will contain as much phosphorus as in the sewage of a community of over 4 million people, over four times the entire population of Delaware. The phosphorus levels produced by the 104 million birds are equal to over 1,000 Millsboro sewage treatment plants.
Delaware shipped an excess over 40 million pounds of poultry manure/litter out of state in 2013. The additional 104 million chickens will produce at least 215 million more pounds of poultry litter that will have to be shipped out of the state just to keep the poultry litter level status quo.
If any of the additional poultry litter finds its way into groundwater, rivers, streams, etc., leading to the Inland Bays, it will only add to the existing pollution. At least 10 percent of the nitrogen and phosphorus will likely find its way into the groundwater and local surface waters.
Poultry people and the nutrient management people within the state will tell you they have had nutrient management plans and nutrient relocation plans in operation for years already, and that’s great and should definitely continue. The fact still remains that the Inlands Bays are still polluted, even with these ongoing nutrient management plans and efforts.
Politicians from the governor on down have been touting the 700 new jobs that will be created at the new Allen Harim chicken plant. The Mountaire CEO recently stated they could easily take on 300 people at $13.10 per hour with benefits, but local people would not take those jobs. The Mountaire chicken plant is less than 1.5 miles from the proposed Allen Harim site. If the locals won’t fill the Allen Harim jobs, they will have to be filled with immigrants. How would this help the local job situation or the state of Delaware?
Most of the chickens processed at the proposed Allen Harim plant will be sent to Korea. The worst-case scenario could be that immigrants take most of the 700 jobs processing chickens that are then sent to Korea for consumption, leaving behind several hundred million pounds of chicken manure/litter/waste for the people of Sussex County to clean up, further polluting the groundwater and Inland Bays.
Apparently, the politicians think this is a good idea. The only people that win in this scenario are the immigrants, a large Korean chicken processor and the people that receive benefits from the chicken processor. The losers in this situation are the residents of Sussex County, the Inland Bays, people outside Delaware that utilize the Inland Bays and all the rest of the people that currently live in Delaware.
Any politician or person that is for the Allen Harim chicken plant has to know they are against the protection and clean-up of the Inland Bays and our groundwater. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t add gasoline to a fire and expect to put it out and, in turn, you can’t add more chicken litter to Sussex County and expect to clean-up the Inland Bays.
People, it’s time to make a choice. Clean-up and protect the Inland Bays and waterways or more chickens. Personally, I don’t think we need any more chickens, and surely we don’t need any more chicken litter in Sussex County. What do you think?
Reader targets ‘the big lie about the uninsured’
A major reason the ACA is a costly and failed experiment is that Obama and his Democrat colleagues have consistently cited that a large group of citizens (35 million to 45 million) were uninsured, but that does not mean they were not insurable, as they inferred.
This inference that a large group of citizens being unable to obtain insurance then became the main public reason touted for the ACA. Years ago, because of the Clinton’s attempt to do the same, I began to have my MBA classes dissect the uninsured as reported through Census data.
Here is the general breakdown of their findings for probably the last 50 years about the 45 million uninsured: One-third, or 15 million, could afford insurance but elected to self-insure; another 15 million were the young, who have always felt invulnerable and did not elect to purchase insurance, even when it was available to them; 7 million were unemployed but had access to COBRA, as they normally regained their insurance through reemployment within about two to six months; 5 million to 7 million were illegal immigrants. That left about 5 million citizens who were unable to obtain insurance for one reason or another.
This dissection shows a major reason why people are angry and are only signing up mainly through government coercion, as they all had insurance or were self-insured, except about 5 million. The 45 million deemed not insurable was simply not true. The administration knew the facts but chose the lie! Few of the 5 million have signed on to the ACA, and hardly any of the remaining 40 million have done so.
The outright bribery of Democrat senators and representatives for their votes by President Obama, and a Supreme Court decision where nobody on the Court, even those who agree with Roberts’ conclusions, concurs with his reasoning, has infuriated a majority of the population.
The Progressives (a.k.a. journalists, academics, Democrats and others who generally follow a socialist view) wanted it to be true. They create social contrivances with their artificial logic without regard to the unpleasant side effects such deceptive reasoning always produces. But, it has not been unusual for these groups to choose these false promises of a utopian lifestyle, or at least not in my almost 80 years of life. Shameful, but true!