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Lewes, Delaware
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January 24, 2014     Cape Gazette
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January 24, 2014
 

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cape G ette VIEWPOINTS ' FRIDAY, JANUARY 24- MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014 7 Letters )) Continued from page 6 First off, his remark flies in the face of facts and accuses ex- tremely knowledgeable sources of using junk science. Remember, this is a guy who claims that the number of coyotes in Delaware is known by the number of road- killed animals found by DelDOT vehicles. (Using that, we don't have maw.? beavers, otters, minks, and eagles I suppose.) Secondly, what are "bio- logically and socially acceptable levels?" Since no "boots on the ground" surveys have been conducted, this is just another lie to baffle readers. To give you an example,'a survey was completed on whitetail deer some years back. That survey found that the "socially accepted" density of whitetails (you know, those who just love seeing deer in their yards and along the roadways) was 40 deer per square mile. The biological level (meaning the animals have enough cover and food to lead a healthy life) was 20 deer per square mile - and only in rural areas where food and shelter were readily available. Finally, the preface to this article is a cheap shot at the out- doors community. Though much of the media would project us as being illiterate yahoos, they're confounded to find out that most of us are more attuned with factual information than they are. Our publications are filled with the nation's very best biologists, naturalists and conservationists keeping us abreast of real-world issues. We're a self-leveling group who expel charlatans quickly. We are not frothing, slobbering killers bent on "blood sport" as some would like to be- lieve. We trust those in positions entrusted to make sound bio- logical decisions to at least be as educated as we are, and when we find a pretender like the current administration continues to back, we reject it. Where did the reporter come up with the notion that "no coyotes vcere killed during the season"? According to Saveikis, any shot before Jan. 1t would have been illegal to begin with. Therefore, presuming none were killed is silly. Obviously none were reported. Hunters and concerned landowners are simply not going to play by those "rides" Saveikis hides behind. When we know an issue is wrong, the liber- als call it "social protest." We call it shoot, shovel and shut up. And just for edification: I have mounted two coyotes for the state agencies. The first one was hit by a car just south of the St. Jones River on Route 1 in 1996, and the second one came from US 13 just south of Canterbury in 1998. Using the data Saveikis is hanging on might indicate that there are a "plethora" of coy- otes already established here in Delaware. George Roof Magnolia Why we need to raise the minimum wage There is currently a Senate Bill in committee to raise the current Delaware state minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to over $8, b,t it has stalled. Living in our region is very expensive, and someone working 50 hours a week for 52 weeks makes only $18,850 a year before taxes - hardly enough for one person to get by on, let alone anyone with a family to support. About 10 per- cent of citizens living in Sussex County live below the poverty line, with close to 5 percent mak- ing less than 50 percent below the poverty line. For a region whose major industries are construction, tourism, poultry processing, and food service, and rents above av- erage, it is very difficult to make ends meet for those who support these industries. While the argument goes that Lewes planners clarify misinformation e read with interest the news release from the Lewes Com- munity Partnership that was printed in the ]an. 17 edition of the Cape Gazette. We wholeheartedly agree that the Lewes Comprehensive Plan, which was approved by Mayor and Council in 2005 and is on schedule for its regular 10-year update as required by state code, is an impor- tant part of the policy framework that guides development and governance in Lewes. And we look forward to strong input from Lewes residents, and the many activist groups that have formed in the city, at the planning com- mission meetings at which that update will be developed. We would like to offer a slight clarification to the notion that the comprehensive plan is out of date and that that has affected flood-in- surance rates. The plan is not out of date and will be updated by October 2015. The planning commission and city council have regularly reviewed the plan and adjusted several city ordinances in response. The comprehensive plan is one of many fac- tors that affect the city's Coramunity Rating System score and the price of flood-insurance policies. A goal of the 2015 update of the comprehensive plan will be to make improve- ments that should help improve the city's overall flood-hazard resilience. But there are many other parts to the picture. The Community Rating System is complex. We encourage all Lewes residents to attend meetings and workshops of federal, state, and city agencies as well as citizens groups to learn more and to make their voices heard. The Lewes Planning Commission will play a part. We usually meet on the third Wednes- day of each month at 7 p.m in city hall. We look forward to seeing you there. Mike Mahaffie chair Kay Camahan vice chair Lewes Planning Commission smaller retail businesses would take a hit, especially with the hundreds of students hired dur- ing the summer, it is also a valid argument that the extra money earned here will be spent here by these workers just trying to get their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing met. It is not just to show leadership in Delaware that raising the state's minimum wage should be reopened for discus- sion; it is just the right thing to do. Betty Kirk, Lewes Delaware needs to increase minimum wage Raising the minimum wage has already been approved by the American public; 76 percent of us say we would vote for rais- ing the minimum wage to $9 an hour, and 69 percent of us say we would vote to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour with automat- ic increases tied to.the inflation rate. Workers cannot support their families on the minimum wage. They are forced to rely on federal assistance such as food stamps and Medicaid paid for from our taxes. In essence, our tax dollars are used to increase the profits of business owners who do not pay fair, livable wages. High school and college students trying to work to save money for college rather than go tens of thousands of dollars in debt to complete college are also entitled to a fair wage. If business owners really believe that they are paying fair wages, maybe they should walk a mile in the shoes of their work- ers and try to live on a minimum wage salary for one month or one year. Then come back and say that they are paying fair wages at $7.25 or $8.25 an hour. Workers will spend the ad- ditional money on their families. Economists point out that every $1 put into the economy gener- ates $3 in total purchasing power as it is spent and respent. This will work to add new jobs to the economy. Delaware tried to raise the minimum wage last year. The original bill called for future increases linked to the cost of living. The Senate passed a watered-down version that would increase the minimum wage to $7.75 in 2014 and to $8.25 in 2015. The cost-of-living provi- sion was eliminated. But even this weakened bill stalled in the House Economic Development Committee. The committee chair, Rep. Bryon Short, has recently expressed his support for the bill and scheduled a committee hear- ing and vote that would raise the Continued on page 8 ,a hisweek in the hallways of the Cape Gazette, we are dis- cussing the double murder of two young men: what motivated the horrible act and whether those responsible will be captured quickly. We're discussing the upcom- ing Lewes Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics, the arrest of two juvenile arsonists, the snow and the bitter cold, the rescheduled forum on Aging in Place, leanup plans for the former Vlasic pickle plant site on Indian River, and the list goes on. In the midst of it all always looms the question: what is relevant? The answer, of course, is that it all is relevant. All of these topics affect our community in different ways. Some positively, because they involve activities designed to address issues in our society. Some, for obvious reasons, very negatively. The Polar Bear Plunge helps Special Olympics provide sports programs for intellectu- ally disabled members of our community. It encourages and promotes inclusivity and unity. The Aging in Place forum is relevant because we live in-a community with a large proportion of aging retirees. The organizers understand this group has special needs and as- sets that need to be recognized, addressed and harnessed for the benefit of the entire com- munity. The Vlasic cleanup is rel- evant because the magnificent Indian River and surrounding community have been under industrial assault for decades. Wastewater and smokestack emissions have polluted the water and air, degrading the environment and quality of life. That alone justifies the great pressure to get thecleanup right. Andit's not just a cleaner environment at stake. So too are hundreds of sorely needed jobs that would come to the community if Harim - the South Korean firm that pur- chased Allen Foods - succeeds in its proposed conversion of the former Vlasic facility to a poultry-processing facility. Jobs processing food to feed other humans represent hope and honorable work, especially to the currently unemployed, so critical for self-esteem and the WHEN THE TEMPERATURE alive become very relevant. DENNIS FORNEY PHOTO sinks to single digits, staying warm and staying strength of families and com- munity. It's critical that the state and the community get this one right, for the benefit of all stakeholders. The arson case is relevant because arson can and does destroy property and lives. Delaware's judicial system classifies arson as a violent crime, rising to felony status. That's serious business, as it Continued on page 8