Letters to the Editor — March 21, 2014

ALA gives kudos to Rehoboth Board


Hats off to Rehoboth Commissioner Stan Mills and the Board of Commissioners for prohibiting smoking on the boardwalk, parks, bandstand and designated areas on the beach. The board voted unanimously to prohibit smoking, and as Mr. Mills noted, the goal of the ban is to “reduce litter, pollution and health risks.” Bravo!

Their decision to do so will make for a healthier and more enjoyable beach experience for residents and tourists alike, and the American Lung Association in Delaware is proud of the board’s vote.

Nearly 50,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer and heart disease attributable to secondhand smoke. Lifelong non-smokers who live with smokers have a 24 percent higher chance of contracting lung cancer.

Mr. Mills has previously noted that discarded butts create litter, pollute the environment and, if not fully extinguished, pose a significant threat of fire, as well as risk of injury to barefoot members of the public.

Smoking poses significant health risks not only to the smoker but to all, including children who inhale secondhand smoke. With 1,200 Delawareans dying each year from tobacco-related illnesses, and 700 Delaware teens becoming smokers each year, I am confident the law may encourage these youth to kick the deadly habit.

I hope other municipalities in Delaware will follow suit and enact stricter smoking laws — because smoking is optional, but breathing is not.

Deb Brown, CEO
American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic

Support touches home for local woman


On Feb. 19, my staff at Fox Den Bayside put together a benefit for me to help with cope with medical bills, being out of work for months and to help me get back on my feet, due to the fracture of my ankle.

I cannot express my gratitude to the community, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, transportation providers, homemade meal providers and Fox Den Bayside. I am overwhelmed by all the love and support provided by each and every one of you.

A special thanks to the following local business who donated support for the benefit: Oceanova Spa, Bout time Auto, Parkway, Mio Fratelli, Cleaning by Kathy, Banks Liquors, The Salted Rim, Hooter’s OC, The Cove, Bay Club Golf, Scotty’s Bayside, 1776 Steakhouse, Just Hooked, Flying Fish, Purple Parrot, Lord’s Landscape, Vicky’s Cleaning, After Glow Spa, Nantuckets,16 Mile Brewery, New Face in Town, Crab Bag, Donna’s Beauty, Cottage Cafe, Driftwood, Racc Fitness, Arbonne, Heather’s Home Works, Studio 26, Kool Bean Cafe and Difebo’s.

A special thanks from the bottom of my heart to: Jennifer Wojcik, Terry King, Lisa Welling, Deb Fulton,Tammy Moingo, Debbie Jerman and Sandy Fehre.

It’s going to be a long road, but those who know me will agree: you can’t hold this girl down!

Debra Holmes
Fox Den Bayside

CHEER director speaks up on Paratransit


As executive director of Cheer Inc., a non-profit agency responsible for senior citizen programs throughout Sussex County, I get pleas from senior citizens who are begging me, on behalf of Cheer, to help with their many very serious concerns that they are having trying to live on a fixed income. Topping the recent concerns are the DART (Delaware Authority for Regional Transit) rate changes, which took effect recently, and the upcoming changes to DART Paratransit, which become effective July 1.

Many are very tired of hearing that “paratransit services are not sustainable at the current rate” and that, supposedly, everyone agrees. Well, I do not agree and have not talked to one single person who does believe this. Medicaid has not been sustainable for years, but it has never been cut nor has there ever been a charge to the clients. Paratransit is every bit as essential as is Medicaid, which seems to have no budget restrictions whatsoever.

Paratransit in Sussex County is essential to hundreds, if not thousands, of frail elderly who can no longer drive. It is not their fault that our Department of Transportation has failed to adequately plan and prepare for this predictable outcome. What happened to those transportation planners and all those consultants that something like this can even happen in a retirement state?

The Delaware Department of Transportation Joint Finance Committee Hearing has been rescheduled to March 19 at noon in Legislative Hall in Dover. Let me assure you, Cheer will be there, and we hear your concerns. We will do our very best to send the message to our elected officials, but I would advise senior citizens and their family who are as concerned as I am about the future of transportation services in Sussex County to attend and sign up to speak, if not for yourself, for your parents and relatives who are fast becoming transportation-dependent. I also recommend that you send letters to the editors of your local newspapers, as I am doing.

Arlene S. Littleton,
Executive Director Cheer Inc.