Resident wants new council to eye changes

Not everyone is particularly happy with the decision to spend millions of dollars on a beach replenishment project just to satisfy someone’s political agenda and the beachfront owners.

The excuse that visitors will not come without the replenishment is unfounded, as is evidenced by the condition of the beach this past summer and the number of people who came to our already crowded town/beach.

“Mother Nature” can take it all away and restore it as she sees fit. Everything being done this fall can be gone by next summer. Let’s hope the marine life being pumped up on the beach survive, the sand is real sand, nice and soft, and that the “drop off” created at the shoreline will not be a wader’s nightmare.

Having an artificial beach creates a whole set of new problems, including some environmental/nature issues not publicly addressed. I am not a pessimist, just a realist.

The Town needs to rethink this issue in the future, as well as:

• Having the State adjust the traffic signals during the winter to accommodate the local traffic. Why do we have to sit for many minutes during the winter when there is no traffic, like there is during the summer? Seems like the local officials would notice this and address the problem, especially at the Route 26/Kent Avenue light.

• Leave some benches on the boardwalk, so us locals can sit and enjoy the peace and moon rises. Why is it that the day after Labor Day seems to signal an end to life in Bethany, when it really should be the beginning?

• I realize the vacationers/visitors spend lots of money while they are here and, hopefully, they will enjoy our friendly town and will practice safe habits while they are here, but many seem to think the biking and pedestrian laws just apply to the locals. Hopefully, no one was seriously injured this summer, as the infractions are chronic. Walking on Kent Avenue is a challenge.

• I hope the latest Town Council election results registered a message to all that perhaps some future changes are in the wind. Margaret Young’s strong showing echoed some of the issues I have addressed in this message. One hopes the current Town Council will be more cognizant of her efforts to address local issues.

William Addy
Bethany Beach

Healy thankful for support, eager to start

I wish to acknowledge my thanks to those that assisted and encouraged me during the election process. Thanks also to those voters who took their time to consider my candidacy and to vote as they saw appropriate.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the courtesy, respect and collegiality each of the other candidates, Carol Olmstead, Bob Parsons and Margaret Young, extended to me as well as each other. They certainly, from my perspective, helped make the election a pleasant and positive experience.

Now I’ve got to get busy on this new job. I certainly want your critique and constructive criticism, both pro and con, regarding the issues. I will give my best effort on behalf of our town and try to live up to the expectations of those that supported my election bid.

Joseph T. Healy Jr.
Bethany Beach

Our local leaders should inspire feds

The word “bipartisanship” has, in my lifetime, almost become obsolete as it relates to national political affairs. Locally, however, it is alive, strong and used often by our intelligent leaders, Sen. George Bunting and Rep. Gerald Hocker. These remarkable men work at making our local government work. The town meeting conducted this week by Sen. Bunting and Rep. Hocker is just the latest effort on their behalf to serve us.

Politicians in Washington should take note. We are all Americans before and after elections and the winners need to solve the country’s problems, which is what they are paid to do when elected to office.

We are fortunate to have so many conscientious county and state leaders. Thank you from all of us.

E. Wayne Lednum
Ocean View

Family grateful for support of others

The family of Steve Loveland would like to thank the many friends who helped during Steve’s battle with cancer. The visits, food, financial donations, emotional support and prayers helped him tremendously during his illness.

We would like to extend a special thank you to Delaware Hospice for their care and compassion, and to Asplundh for their support and fund raising efforts, and to all who generously donated toward funeral expenses.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a good soul, but uplifted and touched by the kindness we received from so many. Thank you and God bless.

The family of Steve Loveland

Not everyone loves the windmills

I am against windmills. They will not provide peak generation when needed, i.e. storms and hot, calm days, and they will be a safety hazard to shipping, i.e. ice sheets blown a quarter-mile away from the props. (See EPRI report on Montana windmills.)

The only financial incentive is tax credits; they are not economical power production on their own.

Pat Fuller
Bethany Beach

HOPE for Alzheimers says thank you

We are in our final weeks of fundraising and we would like to thank everyone for their contributions so far in our fundraising efforts for the Alzheimers Association. Our Memory Walk ’07 Team (Hocker Organized Proud Employees — HOPE for Alzheimers) has already collected and submitted over $2,800 towards our donation for this year’s walk. We are hoping for even more in these final weeks of selling our “Forget-Me-Nots” in our stores and donations to our participating walkers for the event.

Our team (G&E and Hocker employees) has shown what can be done when we work together for a good cause. Employees have not only collected donations but have contributed their time, baked goods and yard sale items to make our events a success.

Of course, this would not be possible without our customer’s support as well. Thank you for realizing the importance of this fundraiser and please continue to purchase those “Forget-Me-Nots” at our registers (just $1 each)… You will be supporting us in our upcoming Memory Walk ’07, being held Sept. 29 in Rehoboth Beach.

Our Hocker team has turned in more donations this year for the “Forget-Me-Nots” sales than any other team in our region. We are very proud of this.

If you are interested in supporting or joining our team, please feel free to contact our office at 537-6016.

Thank you.
Ruth Ann Marvel, Kim Blake
Co-Captains, HOPE for Alzheimers

PUMH would benefit the entire area

As a resident of Ocean View and a member of St. Martha’s Episcopal Church, I would like to encourage the Ocean View Town Council to favorably consider the annexation of the retirement community proposed by Peninsula United Methodist Homes (PUMH).

This continuing-care retirement community is a facility that will fill a growing need in the entire south coastal area. I think it offers a measure of prestige to the town of Ocean View to include a community like this. The community will offer employment to 200-plus people in this vicinity and will require minimal services.

When St. Martha’s became beneficiary of this land, it began a lengthy discernment process to determine the best use of this gift. Rather than accept offers from developers, the congregation wanted to see the property used in a way to enhance and benefit the communities in this area of Sussex County. The proposal from PUMH met the criteria and expectations of St. Martha’s members.

Although several issues have been raised concerning density, taxes and voter registration, I feel these can be addressed and resolved to the satisfaction of the town council and residents of Ocean View.

George Jones
Ocean View

Booth discusses workers’ comp

There has been a lot of confusion regarding the Workers’ Compensation reform legislation that was enacted earlier this year. This letter is intended to address some of the questions these reforms have generated.

Senate Bill 1 was enacted in mid-January to improve the Workers’ Compensation system and lower the expensive premiums paid by Delaware businesses. These premiums had been among the most expensive in the country, putting First State employers at a competitive disadvantage and discouraging new job creation.

SB 1, the first comprehensive Delaware Workers’ Comp overhaul in nearly 100 years, was designed to reduce premiums by 15 to 25 percent by updating the fee schedule for medical reimbursements, creating new treatment protocols and cracking down on fraud.

However, it was recognized when the bill was enacted that further action would be needed.

The first additional “tweak” came in the form of Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 68, which clarified the obligations of sole proprietor businesses as well as independent construction contractors and subcontractors.

One of the bill’s provisions, which took effect July 17, changed the Workers’ Compensation exclusion for sole proprietorships. Under the bill, these business people can now claim the exclusion if they register as a limited liability corporation (LLC) or incorporate. Either type of filing is capped at four members or stockholding executive officers, respectively.

SS1 for SB 68 also requires contracting businesses to keep the “certificate of insurance” or “a notice of exemption of the corporation/LLC it hired,” for three years. If documents not obtained, then contracting entity would be responsible for providing coverage.

I was very glad the reform bills preserved the aforementioned Workers’ Comp exemptions. As a small businessman myself, I knew how vitally important this was, especially in Sussex County where 85 percent of the workforce is employed by companies with five or fewer employees.

Switching to an LLC or corporation will entail a little pain. The move will cost most organizations several hundred dollars, as opposed to the $75 cost of the business license most previously operated under.

Those who have questions about their own personal status may call one of the architects of this massive overhaul, John Kirk III at the Delaware Department of Labor at: (302) 761-8200. It is also recommended that since individual status may be unique, guidance from an attorney or an accountant may be necessary.

Senate Bill 1 was not an endpoint but the first step in an ongoing journey. The people who crafted the new law realized this and included a provision that established a committee to determine methods for tracking success of the Workers’ Comp reforms. Creating the processes for doing this, and gathering the relevant data, is estimated to take up to 15 months. However, once finished, they will undoubtedly lead to further improvements to the system.

State Rep. Joseph Booth
37th District