Letters to the Editor — May 11, 2018
Editor’s note: Per longstanding Coastal Point editorial policy, we do not run letters-to-the-editor regarding an election in the issue immediately prior to that election, instead publishing our traditional question-and-answer series with candidates in that issue, so the candidates can have the last say. With the South Bethany town council and mayoral election set for Memorial Day weekend, the last issue in which letters-to-the-editor regarding that election can run is our May 18 issue. The deadline for letters-to-the-editor for that issue is 4 p.m. on May 14.
Reader endorses Voveris for SB mayor
Thankfully, South Bethany’s Pat Voveris is running for another term as mayor. Residents have seen her in action for the past four years, so they know what they are getting. I’ve lived in South Bethany for 52 years, so I can vouch for her for the following dozen reasons:
- She listens to people and is approachable.
- She has our best interests at heart because she, too, lives here and knows the issues.
- She’s welcoming to all: old-timers and newcomers. If you are doubtful, watch her at the Bull Roast and at council meetings. She will personally greet you and ask about your welfare.
- Our taxes have stayed in check.
- She handles naysayers and dissidents with courtesy and professionalism.
- She does her homework and is always prepared at council meetings.
- She supported code changes such as no smoking on the beach.
- She evaluates critical town services, such as monitoring our ambulance service.
- She acted as town manager herself in 2017 while we searched for a new one, so she’s hands-on and not afraid to step up when needed.
- In seven years, she has never missed a town council meeting.
- She cares about the community and is totally engaged with even mundane but troublesome issues like Cat Hill traffic, the Garden Club’s priorities and canal-end beautification.
- She encourages volunteerism and carefully selects committee appointments. Even her fellow council members agree that she is hard-working.
Best of all, she is not ego-driven. However, she’s a strong, gorgeous, intelligent woman, the kind I would like to see more of on the state and national level. Pat personifies the best of our little beach in Delaware, so it’s no wonder that our community is so desirable. Not surprising, her goal is to keep our budget sound without raising taxes.
I’ve lived here long enough to echo Margaret Thatcher, who said, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” Pat Voveris is that woman.
Reader supports Shaw for town council
Let’s keep Tim Shaw on South Bethany’s Town Council and vote for him on May 26.
OK — thoughtful and smart, that’s a start, but there’s much more. Active volunteer in South Bethany’s civic life and a good neighbor — yes, that, too. But perhaps most important for us voters — a solid and sound voice on Town Council for the past two years, with broad business and management experience bringing a much-needed measured voice to the council table.
A good guy with a good mind and good judgment. That’s the kind of mix we need to represent us.
Tim has been tapped as mayor pro-tem, being groomed by Mayor Pat Voveris to succeed her as a future mayor. That means, not only does he act as a town council member, voting with integrity and careful consideration, but it also means he has been partnering with Pat to divide appearances and participation outside our Town, maximizing coverage and exposure, always helping to make sure South Bethany is represented and represented well.
It means he has attended every ACT (Association of Coastal Towns) meeting, alongside our mayor, to work on initiatives with our coastal neighbors on behalf of our Town. And, it means his attention extends from our shoreline, where he is active in ASBPA (American Shore & Beach Preservation Association) to the bayside, where he is active with CIB (Center for Inland Bays), making sure South Bethany has eyes and ears on critical issues facing our Town.
And, real — a genuine guy who is quick to help with everything from planting beach grass, to participating in our annual beach cleanup, to walking the streets and watching out for our homes as an SBPOA (South Bethany Property Owners Association) Neighborhood Watch volunteer.
Tim has been our mayor’s right hand, pitching in beyond his formal role as town council member and Planning Commission liaison. That’s know-how and dedication we need to keep. It’s great to see true collaboration and partnership be part of our town’s leadership style. Let’s keep it that way and elect Tim Shaw to town council.
Ashman gets praise for mentor program work
Lisa Ashman is the mentoring coordinator at John M. Clayton Elementary School. She arranges mentoring for about 70 students, with about 35 mentors at Clayton each week, Monday through Thursday.
Students are referred to her for mentoring by teachers, and she then interfaces with the teachers to learn the areas where students need some help or support. She prepares a folder for each child with materials that are relevant to the students’ area of need, arranges a mentoring schedule that reflects the students’ availability and the mentors’ schedule.
Each mentor is asked to write a brief recap of their weekly interaction with their mentee, and Lisa reviews these notes to prepare the material for the next week’s meeting.
Lisa is not an employee of the school district and receives no compensation from the district. (The district does provide a room where the children and mentors meet.) Each year she must go out on her own and apply for grants to pay her modest salary and supplies. If the grant runs out, she must obtain additional grants or suspend the program. She also makes sure the mentors are properly screened and vetted by the appropriate authorities.
She is an enormously dedicated individual who should be recognized and lauded for what she does for so many children. As a mentor for the past five to six years, I marvel at what she does with so little.
While the mentors supply some academic support and also some relationship and life-skills insights, the program could not exist without her effort, her dedication and her love of the children. As citizens of this community, we owe her a debt of gratitude. This woman really makes a difference. Well done, Lisa!
Reader defends Hocker on gun-control comments
Wow, I was surprised to see all the negatives in our local paper. I looked at all the names that were bashing our senator [Gerald Hocker], and I wonder if these people come to any of his meetings to ask questions or make suggestions?
Don’t hide behind writing in the paper and trying to make people look bad. His meetings are open to all. Let’s sit down together and make this county and state better. I know I am trying! Please look up the meaning of assault rifle and AK 15.
Reader says HB375 ‘an attack on the honest citizens of Delaware’
HB375 is a bill aimed at the honest citizens of Delaware who own high-capacity magazines. It seems clear that those that support this bill believe you as a Delaware citizen cannot be trusted with these high-capacity magazines, and therefore should be treated as a criminal if you own one.
It looks to me that supporters of this bill are convinced the honest citizens of Delaware are potential killers of the innocents. Why else would these magazine capacity limitations and firearms limitation in SB163 be placed directly on you the citizen? Could it be these lawmakers believe that Delaware citizens are “a danger to society”?
Consider this: these legislators say they are protecting the children — protecting the children from whom? Apparently from you, the dangerous, untrustworthy, law-abiding citizens of Delaware. They do not aim this bill at criminals, the mentally ill or those that take psychotropic drugs, but at you, the honest citizen.
These legislators must believe you are too dangerous and not trustworthy enough to be allowed to make the decision whether or not you purchase a high-capacity magazine, or even to make the decision as to what type of firearm you should own.
In my opinion, there is only two things we can do: accept that we are what they seem to believe we are, or these legislators are not working for us — they are working against us and we must vote them out of office.
If you believe some of these lawmakers should be voted out of office, you can work to this end. Even if you can’t vote in their district, you can help those that are running against them. You can knock on doors, make telephone calls, and send emails or texts to potential voters in their districts. You can distribute yard signs, lick envelopes and, yes, even donate to their campaigns.
Delaware primary elections are Sept. 6, 2018.
Delaware general elections are Nov. 6, 2018.
AAUW thanks community supporters
The Coastal Georgetown Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) wishes to extend our sincere thanks to all our community supporters for the success of our spring basket fundraiser held at Jake’s Seafood House in Rehoboth.
Without your generous contributions, we would not have been able to fund one of our scholarships awarded to a noteworthy young woman graduating from a coastal Sussex County high school.
We award three scholarships each year and raise the funds through donations from our community businesses, residents and clubs.
First, we wish to thank Jake’s Seafood management and staff for partnering with us in this endeavor. Their commitment to helping us to achieve our goal is greatly appreciated.
In addition to Jake’s, we wish to thank 1776 steakhouse, Accents Fashion Jewelry, American Classic Golf Club, Bad Hair Day Salon, Baywood Greens Restaurant, Bethany Diner, Blooming Boutique, Browseabout Books, Cottage Café, Crab Cake Factory, Cracker Barrel, Crooked Hammock Brewery, Betsy & Francis Cruice, D’s Just Desserts, Dickens Parlor Theatre, DiFebo’s of Bethany, Dog’s Day Out, Drifting Grounds, East Coast Garden Center, Ellen Rice Studios, Fenwick Hardware, Frank & Louie’s Italian Specialties, Freeman Stage—Bayside Golf Resorts, Freeman Stage—Bear Trap Dunes Golf, Giant Food (Ocean View), Inland Bays Garden Center, Japanesque of Bethany, K.S. Nail & Spa, Kids Ketch Rehoboth, Kings’ Creek Golf, Lord’s Landscaping, Mariachi restaurant, Nectar, Ocean View Deli, PetStop, Pickled Pig Pub, Pin Up Girls Salon, Pure Bliss Salon & Spa, Rehoboth Beach Yoga, Robert Thomas Salon, Rookery North Golf Club, RSC Landscapers, Salt Air restaurant, Sea Colony Gym, Sea Crest Gift Shop, Sea Level Designs, Something Comfortable, Jeffery Stephanic, Studio 26, Summerhouse restaurant, Treasure Island Fashions, Twila Farrell Clothing, Village Salon & Spa, Keenwick Womens’ Club and Yesterday’s Fun.
Spring Fundraising Coordinator
AAUW, Coastal Georgetown Branch
Reader reminds people of the legacy of racism
As slavery dominated the culture of the South, making it prosperous for landowners, black people sought ways to endure their plight. [Even after] the Emancipation Proclamation, the ability to escape was littered by obstacles. After Reconstruction, slaves were required to give more service until they reached age of 18 and, in some cases, 25, if they were of child-bearing age.
The Negro Act of 1740 in South Carolina made it illegal to move, assemble, raise food, earn money, learn to write; owners were permitted and encouraged to kill those trying to escape. From 1877-1950, the Jim Crow laws included… unlawful for races to mingle, play games, be handcuffed with a black prisoner or as a barber serve white women and girls.
Although the Civil War was lost to the North to rid it of the vestiges of slavery, the South’s resolve to keep it did not.
Lynching became the primary mechanism of the day to keep free people in fear and subjugation. In that 75-year period, more than 4,000 black men and women were tortured and killed with no justice.
White supremacy has its roots in degradation and segregation to demean and not grant full citizenship to people of color. The Civil Rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought ways to improve the societal ills afflicted upon by black people, just to name a few.
When blacks gained a level of affluence, it was soon destroyed by angry whites. Our tortured history is filled with facts that have been whitewashed to paint a rosy picture of black life. However, this distortion has created an unrealistic reality for some to accept.
Consider the many accomplishments and inventions by blacks that are not widely known. Because the truth has been hidden for so long, to acknowledge it will be painful. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner, to name just a few of the slaughtered black men in this country without justice.
As a Christian nation we should ensure that all have the same opportunity to enjoy those promises that are contained in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
Colossians 3-12 says, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” But in the last days there will be a reckoning and those in power and authority will have to answer for their actions. God is the ultimate judge and will decide where we spend eternity!
Father supports funding of direct support professionals
Her manager said “No” to a vacation request. And we celebrated!
The person that was declined a simple vacation request is 21 years old, holds a good job at a chocolate store in Rehoboth Beach, has autism, is named Hope and is my daughter.
You may wonder why we would celebrate a declined vacation request. Because Hope was needed that day. Hope had submitted a vacation request like any other employee.
The requested day was the Sea Witch Festival in Rehoboth, one of the busiest days of the year. A day where a chocolate store needs products made and on the shelf. Her manager declined her request because Hope is valuable to that business, and they couldn’t do without her. She worked that day with a smile, and after her shift, the family celebrated this great victory with ice cream!
This story is not so much about Hope, but the incredibly dedicated and loving people that support her. In the disability community, these folks are called “direct support professionals” (DSPs). The DSPs help her at work, explaining to her manager how she thinks and how she does things. They are there to help guide her with instruction if needed. And, over time, she has gained more and more independence.
With the fantastic work of these DSPs, Hope has kept a great job for three years now. To Hope, dipping chocolates gives her satisfaction of a job well done. She feels valued. It shows she’s productive. She likes making a paycheck and is even bummed out about paying taxes.
It sounds a lot like you and me when we have a good job. But without the help of direct support professionals, this would not happen.
We lifted an ice cream that day to Hope’s hard work, but as I lifted my ice cream, my heart celebrated the great work of her direct support professionals. They are heroes in the eyes of many and are worthy of utmost thanks. Many other families have similar stories of how these heroes help individuals with disabilities around the state.
Here’s the dirty secret, though: These DSPs make very little money. Something to the tune of $12.50 an hour, and sometimes less. Imagine that pay for the immense responsibility they shoulder and go through training required to do this difficult job. Even though they love what they do, they also deserve to be able support their own family.
Delaware saw this issue years ago, conducted a study and found the direct support professionals and agencies they work for were lacking $19 million in State funding. The legislators promised to fund the gap, but the economy took a turn.
The disability community has asked for that gap to be filled over the years but have been told “not yet.” Well, now’s the time. The State budget has the resources this year. House Bill 104 is on the slate to be voted upon in this session. It is asking for $9 million this year, with the remaining over the course of three years.
I am imploring those in legislature and Gov. Carney to finally say “yes” to House Bill 104. The direct support professionals have worked diligently, holding on to the promises of full funding. The agencies that hire DSPs are seeing a turnover rate because of the small wages that make everyone in the disability community worry. This bill will finally enable those agencies to increase wages and provide needed training.
When you eat that chocolate treat, or pizza, or whatever, please know you may be enjoying a product someone with a disability put their love into. But also know there are some heroes behind the scenes that need funding to properly support them. It’s time to fulfill the promise. It’s time to fill that funding gap. Mr. Governor and state legislators, it’s time to vote “yes” to House Bill 104.
Reader urges common-sense gun restrictions
Most ethically-minded citizens are now aware that the Second Amendment debate is primarily focused around a mistrust that legislators will vote to repeal the Second Amendment due to the mass murders in this country.
Millions upon millions of Americans now own one or more AR-15 and similar assault rifles that can be converted to fully automatic mode. Various gun manufacturers team up with the NRA to hire lobbyists promoting their products to the legislators, who, in turn, pass various gun laws to retain their campaign contributions that help them win re-election. Greasing the wheel in this manner is the priority as profits continuously roll off the gun assembly lines.
If it were not for the fact that the Waffle House AR-15 killer in Tennessee a few weeks ago did not have to reload with another 10-round magazine, he would have killed more than four people and injured more than two. He was stopped by a patron who was able to disarm him while he tried to reload.
Common-sense legislation begins with common-sense restrictions. Recently, the manufacturer of bump stocks went out of business. Sport shooting, hunting and protecting our homes validate our Second Amendment in its proper perspective. And a well-armed regulated state and federal militia suffice to protect us all. The Founding Fathers would interpret the Second Amendment in our present-day society with much needed common-sense assault weapon restrictions.