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January 18, 2013     Cape Gazette
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January 18, 2013

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s FR,DAY, ANUAR 18, MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2o13 VIEWPOINTS Cape Gazette Letters Continued from page 7 ~tructcd ~chools in the Milford and Colonial school districts, Fur- thermore, there was a plethora of information/data gathered and re- viewed to guide our decision- making process. Please strive to remain as positive as we have been about this exciting new era in our school district. Alison Myers Task Force III member and parent Editor's note: The Cape Gazette stands by the accuracy of the article in question. Melissa Steele reported that the commit- tee is developing a plan it expects to present to the school board in February or March. Superinten- dent Robert Fulton said the cur- rent plan is a starting point, which could be changed by the school board. Safe Haven board looks toward future Last week, the board of direc- tors of Safe Haven Animal Sanctu- ary took the very difficult, but necessary first step to begin focus- ing on its future as a leading no- kill shelter for homeless and aban- doned dogs and cats in Delaware. It is never an easy or simple deci- sion to make a change in executive leadership. And in so doing, the board wishes to acknowledge and express its thanks for the many significant accomplishments that Anne Gryczon achieved in our long journey to bring the Safe Haven Shelter from a dream to re- ality. As Safe Haven completed con- struction on the sanctuary build- ing and began operations during 2012, it became apparent that we underestimated the magnitude of the challenges ahead. It also be- came clear that our needs had changed and our director did not have all 0fthe skills we needed to manage our fast-evolving opera- tion. Unfortunately, she did not move quickly enough to fill key staff positions, which resulted in performance below the standard 0fserviee we had set for 0ur- selves. Moving forward from here, the board is undertaking a complete review of our Operations. This re- view will include: Complete reassessment of all animals in our care and taldng ac- tion to vaccinate, spay and neuter as needed Ensure animals receive appro- priate exercise and socialization; Conduct a top-to-bottom re- view of operational policies and procedures to ensure proper records are kept and statistics are published Move aggressively to increase adoptions and fosters, including increasing hours open to lic Commence an immediate search for a full-time staffveteri- narian Complete outfitting our med- ical wing as quickly as financing will allow Ensure there is a defm d process for reporting problems to management. As much as we strive to 3~rovide a nurturing and safe environment at the shelter, it's never an ideal environment, and our goal is to get animals placed in permanent, loving homes. We are confident that we have a dedicated, caring and competent staff who h~ve the best interests of the animals at heart, and who will carry on dur- ing this transition, we also want to express our deepest thanks to our many, many financial supporters and volunteers who have gener- ously given us their time and tal- ents and who are standing with us now. We are also very gratified by the many expressions of support and offers to help that we are re- ceiv'mg daily. Barefootin' Continued from page 7 were one of the first to get in- volved with this remote opera- tion back in 2008 or 2009," said Fried, "and there was nothing but problems. We decided, all things considered, to go to an- other vendor, so we had to write offthat old system because we could no longer depreciate it as an asset." Pernice said he is projecting a $6 million operating profit for the current fiscal year, which be- gan July 1. "Through October, we're ahead of where we budgeted," said Pernice, "but that's typical for this time of the year because it includes three of our strongest months." Fried said Beebe's challenge will be to sustain higher vol- umes through the rest of the year. If Pemice's projection holds true, Beebe will have re- turned to the kind of financial performance that was typical be- fore the Bradley tragedy. Fried said when everything is counted, the Bradley case will have cost Beebe more than $34 million in cash taken off its books. The good news is that Beebe's growth remdins on the upswing. Sixty more babies - a total of 889 - were born in Beebe in fiscal year 2012 than in 201L and outpa- tient revenues were up $54 mil- lion for the same period over the previous year. "That's impor- tant," said Fried, "because the government is reimbursing us less all the time for inpatient care, and more and more empha- sis is being placed on outpatient services. Those services cost less, and people would rather be in their own homes. We're seeing growth at our outpatient health ,campus onRoute 24, and we 'have our outpatient facility in Millville. We're also working on a new outpatient facility in Georgetown. Obamacare is ere- . ating impetus for organizations to do things differently. We have to because the government is paying us less. We still have to work on getting costs out." The biggest challenge, said Fried, continues to be how to keep people out of the hospital, As we commence our search for new executive leadership, the board wishes to emphatically reaf- fn'mour commitment to the no- kill ethic. We will also look for op- portunities to partner with ani- mal-rescue org zations and 0th- er shelters. The sheer number of animals entering our shelter and others is indicative of the scale of the problem and needs. For the sake of the animals, we need to move beyond internecine warfare. Please visit our website at and our Facebook page for up-to-date news and information about our program. If you would like to vol- unteer your time and talents, or make a contribution, you will fred information on how to do so on our website. We welcome your help and thank you for your sup- port. Board of directors Safe Haven Sanctuary of Sussex County Safe Haven deserves community, s support There have been recent articles posted in the newspaper and on- line attacking Safe Haven and the former executive director. Much of this information is false and/or misleading. A lot of this informa- tion is coming from disgruntled former board members and em- ployees wanting to make deci- sions for Safe Haven that are be- yond their abilities. Disinforma- tion is also coming from Kent County SPCA, a high-kill shelter that lost the dog control contract to Safe Haven. If these people are so sure of their positions then they should start their own shelter and not try to usui:p the results of the hard work that has been clone by Safe Haven staff and volunteers over the past seven years. There are plenty of needy and deserving ani- mals to go around. Safe Haven has undertaken a huge challenge by taking on the dog-control function in Kent County to save the excep- tional number of animals put down by the Kent County SPCA. This is where the community comes in. The community, both individuals and businesses, need to volunteer, preferentially adopt, and donate to the shelter to put the final piece of the puzzle in place. Anyone interested in volun- teering for Safe Haven should contact the sanctuary at Safe Haven has put the opportunity in place to make Kent and Sussex no-kill, but the public needs to also embrace the concept and make homes for these worthwhile companions in- stead of supporting backyard breeders and puppy mills. The kennel conditions the detractors try to attach to Safe Haven pale compared to the actual conditions suffered by breed stock in these facilities. Anne Gryczon's major accom- plishments while executive direc- tor are: $6 million worth of grants, loans, and donations; guided Safe Haven through the building process; established and ran Safe Haven's programs, such as spay neuter and pet food pantry; and obtained the Kent County animal- control contract. The Cape Gazette interviewed the origina/Safe Haven board many years ago and the stated mission of the group was, "Our purpose is to provide a safe and loving environment for lost and homeless anima/s, and to provide a strong adoption program. There seems to be a need to provide a safe place for animals that are lost or abandoned. The only animals that will be destroyed are the very sick and the very aggressive. The vision includes a spay and neuter clinic with a veterinarian or vet tech on site." This mission is still the focus of the current board and the dedicated volunteers and sup- porters of Safe Haven. They have withstood numerous detractors and attacks but have not.wavered from their commitment to the sav- ing of displaced animals and stop- ping the senseless killing of many animals in our area. Instead of lending credence to these detrac- tors the news media needs to chal- lenge these individuals with the simple question,.What are you do- ing to hell~ these animals besides bad-mouthing Safe Haven? How many animals are you rescuing this week ,or month? If someone wants to volunteer they need to contact Safe Haven directly. SafeHaven do~s not have 300 dogs; Delaware SPCA has approx- imately 200 dogs at any one time. Safe Hayep has about 190, and some of them are kept in the same kennels that house KCSPCA Sus- sex dog-control dogs. The KCSP- CA has about 300 dogs at any one time. Some of Safe Haven's dogs are transfers from the KCSPCA and were brought in to save them from KCSPCRs kill list. Safe Haven has certainly never refused access to Kent County residents looking for their pets. The shelter has always been open by appointment for their conven- ience, and currently has public hours four days a week. Prior to opening the facility at Shingle Point Road, Safe Haven started saving animals on Kent County SPCP/s kill list. These ani- mals were housed at various ken- nels throughout Sussex County. Many of the issues cited by the de- tractors happened during this time. It was an interim plan to save as many animals as possible and the system was temporary. Safe Haven is indebted and forev- er thankful to these kennels for their help and support. Many of these kennels and others continue to help and support Safe Haven ef- forts to save these animals. These kennels are the same businesses the public use to Care for their pets when they need to be away and cannot take their pets with them. David Hughes Safe Haven volunteer RV resort will negatively impact area Once again the people of Sussex County who live in the area of the proposed resort campground that Lingo/Townsend plan tO build are at risk of losing their manner of living and quality of life due to this proposed land usage. This RV resort is definitely not conducive to the area with respect to our el- ready overburdened roadsl.espe- cially in the summer months with the growing number of tourists that already come to the beaches and outlets. Contrary to what we were told at the first meeting with the Lin- go/Townsend representative, these people will be going to the beaches, outlets stores and restau- rants daily and adding to the traf- fic congestion. We were told that the intentions are to make this a destination resort, and these peo- ple would not be leaving the area once they have arrived in their RVs. Do they plan to lock them in after arrival? This is a ridiculous statement to say the least. The RV city will negatively im- pact not only the roads, but also the local wildlife and ecosystems that will be forever disrupted or destroyed contrary to what we were assured by the developer. If this RV city is allowed to be built,. this area will never be the same and there will be a significant dis- ruptiorl fQr those of us who live in the area and also to Love Creek it- self. I agree with the comment that if this is allowed, please watch carefully who you vote for in the future elections. This small group of people may impact your life forever. Sharon Hess Lewes Sussex must vote against proposed RV park I am writing thi~ letter in refer- ence to the proposed RV resort and campground in the Ward Road/Cedar Grove Road area. I have reviewed the PLUS report and also studied the site plan available in the zoning office. Be- ing a full- time resident of Lewes and a homeowner in one of the communities which borders the project, I have several concerns regarding the development of this plan. First and foremost is the nega- tive impact this campground will have on Love Creek and the Hetty Fisher Glade wetlands and the surrounding woodland areas that encompass this parcel. A project of this magnitude which includes the construction of roads, build- ings, lots, pools, docks, pavilions, the nmning of underground elec- trical wiring, and the addition of septic and water components would involve the removal of a great deal of existing forest and plant life, thus displacing and de- stroying much of the w'fldlife that make this their home. Native plants and grasses along with me- fine wildlife which border the glade and creek would also be af- fected by the continual use of these waterways for recreational purposes. Also, the runoff pollu- tion from the campsites would have a negative impact on the in- tegrity of the wetlands and its nat- ural habitat. Water quality in these areas must be preserved to best protect and ensure continued growth of the existing wildlife population that lives in these wa- ters and on the land; and for that reason, the location of this RV re- sort is not a good fit for the area. Secondly, the impact that this project would have on the current Continued on page 9