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January 24, 2014     Cape Gazette
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January 24, 2014

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8 FRIDAY, JANUARY 24- MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014 VIEWPOINTS Cape Gazelte Journal advised its physicians Letters )) that "healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, Continued from page 7 which we define as a regimen Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that encourages whole, plant- believed all workers, regardless based foods and discourages of skill level, should make enough meats, dairy products and eggs as "so they can live and educate well as all refined and processed their children and buy a home foods." This same information and have the basic necessities is presented in the outstanding of life." Please get in touch with documentary film "Forks Over your elected state representa- Knives," cited by Don and JoAnn tives and Gov. Markell and urge Szczepkowski of Rehoboth Beach them to work for a bill that will in their informative letter in the increase the minimum wage to $9 Jan. 17 Gazette. with annual cost-of-living provi- Myhusband and I once loved sions. Contact information can be our steaks, but have since elimi- found at, nated all animal products and Thomas J. 0'Hagan processed oils from our diet and Lewesas a result have been happily enjoying renewed health and Beware of 'expert' advicevigor. I now teach classes at no cost to community groups wish- on healthy living ing to learn about the importance It is heartening to see in your of diet in combating chronic special section Jan. 17 on Healthy diseases. For more information Living an emphasis on the inclu- on this way of healthy eating, see sion of fruits, vegetables, beans my blog Plant-based Living at and whole grains in one's daily diet. This information, if put into Dorothy P. Greet practice, would reap health ben- Lewes efits for everyone. What is troubling is the content State senator explains of an article by Molly MacMil- lan, also in the special section, stance on HB 88 in which Kim Westcott, medi- I wanted to speak to you, my cal nutrition therapist at Beebe constituents and others in the Healthcare, is reported to en- State of Delaware regarding the dorse animal products as part of recently defeated House Bill 88, a healthy diet. In her position at and my thoughts on why I could Beebe, Ms. Westcott may be re- not support this bill. quired to follow the ill-conceived House Bill 88 did not come USDA guidelines that include back for reconsideration last animal products, but it does not week when the Senate came back prevent her from keeping up with in to session. This bill was touted the professional literature in her as a mental health bill by the field of nutrition. Attorney General's Office. In my For example, she should opinion, and upon close review be aware that leading health of the bill, HB 88 had little to do advocates such as the Physi- with mental health. This bill is a cians Committee for Responsible new way for the state of Dela- Medicine have demonstrated ware to confiscate firearms. Here for years the importance of are a few of my thoughts on the eliminating all animal protein and bill, and they in no way constitute processed foods while consum- all the concerns I had with it. ing a whole food plant-based diet The only parts of this bill that for the prevention and reversal of I could support were adding chronic diseases including heart persons who have been found disease, diabetes, obesity and not guilty by reason of insanity, some cancers, or guiky but mentally ill, as well Also, in addressing the sky- as adding persons who have been rocketing occurrence and cost found mentally incompetent to of preventable diseases, Kaiser stand trial for a crime of violence Permanente in its Spring 2013 to persons who are prohibited B efo tin' killers targeted these victims aF O specifically and weren't just out joy killing. That may be comfort Continued from page 7 to some, but the tragedy of two lives snuffed out so violently should be, and the community and the uncertainty surround- has to know that such cases are ing the murders makes this being handled effectively, so issue urgently and immediately identified arsonists don't pose a relevant. future threat to any of us. The stability of any commu- Bitter cold, icy roads and nity depends on the willingness accompanying power outages of its participants to face all threaten us in ways we can feel issues that threaten its peace through our skin. They trigger and harmony forthrightly, hon- our internal survival mecha- estly and openly. That's why nisms, just as do hunger and discussions of relevance are so thirst. No debate on relevance important. At the Cape Gazette, there, we have no monopoly on know- Finally, the double murder, ing or determining relevance in Multiple gunshot wounds. The our community. We welcome welfare of the community at the comments and observations stake? Police say the killings of our readers on these and any weren't a random act, which, other issues they deem relevant without further explanation, to our community. presumably means the killer or from possessing a firearm. All other parts of the bill deal with adding a new class of persons who may have their firearms seized by the state of Delaware, or who may be forced to relin- quish their firearms to another person. The civil procedure that was outlined to relinquish firearms or ammunition directs a mental health professional to report to local law enforcement, or the Delaware State Police, any person that they feel may be a danger to themselves or others. The appropriate police agency is then required to investigate that claim, and if substantiated, forward the complaint to the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General's Office will then review the claim, and if they feel it is substantiated, they bring the complaint to a Superior Court judge. Only the party who is being investigated notified that there is an active investigation in process, and at that time may be able to mount a defense to these charges. This person, as in any action brought before the court, has the right to an attorney, has the right to call witnesses, and has the right to cross-examine their accuser. I had a couple of issues with this process. 1. Local law enforcement is overworked as-is. To add this new duty to them, and to have them make a determination of mental health state is a burden that I would not want to place on our towns' and cities' police departments. Moreover, if the firearms are seized, the local agency would have custody of these firearms and ammunition for an indefinite period of time. This raises the question of care for expensive or antique firearms, storage and security space in small police departments, and liability for any damages to fire- arms while in the custody of the police department. 2. The Attorney General's Office is also overworked for the workload that they are faced with. Will these cases receive the proper attention and review? One of the most disturbing aspects of this legislation was that the burden of proof that the state must obtain is less than is required to prove guilt in a traffic court. Let me say that again. The state has a higher burden of proof in proving that a person was speeding, ran a stop sign, did not use the turn signal properly, etc. (beyond a reasonable doubt) than was required in this bill to sepa- rate a person from their constitu- tionally protected right to possess a firearm (clear and convincing evidence). Additionally, the amount of time that may be taken to mount this case against a person and bring it to a court is alarming. Again, with police departments that are overburdened, and an Attorney General's Office that is overworked, and a court system that is also overworked, these people who may be a danger to themselves or others would still possess their firearms for days or weeks until their case is adjudi- cated. We currently have a procedure for separating a person from their firearms. It is currently in Delaware code, and is currently being utilized. This process calls for an individual to be involun- tarily committed to a psychiatric institution if they are a danger to themselves or others. Under current Delaware code, that person would then be considered a person prohibited from owning a firearm in our state. If a medi- cal practitioner is concerned to the point that they feel a person should be separated from their firearms, this should be the ve- hicle by which the state ensures that a person is not able to have access to a firearm. House Bill 88 did not guarantee physical sepa- ration between a mentally ill per- son and a firearm. As we know from seeing news reports of other crimes involving firearms, persons prohibited, if left on the street, can and do obtain firearms regardless of any law prohibiting them from doing so. I plan on introducing a bill later this week to add the aspect of HB 88 that I and many others fully support: adding persons who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, or guilty but mentally ill, as well as adding persons who have been found mentally incompetent to stand trial for a crime of violence to persons who are prohibited from possessing a firearm: This is an alarming loophole in our current Delaware Code, and one that I hope to see fLxed very quickly. Thank you for letting me explain my stance on this bill, and thank you for the opportunity to serve the people of the 19th District! Brian Pettyjohn Delaware State Senator, 19th District Don't leave your pets outside in the cold Over the past few weeks, I have read time and again of pets found frozen to death due to the cold. On my twice-weekly trips to Georgetown, via Zoar Road, alone, I see two dogs constantly left outside. They have the legal requirements of food, water and shelter. One is in an approxi- mately six-foot by six-foot fenced kennel which is barely big enough for the dog to stretch out in. The other one is in an approximately 10-foot by 10-foot fenced kennel which is big enough for the dog to change positions. Again, both of them have the legal require- ments. One of the dogs is kept near a frequently flooded ditch. So added to the constant expo- sure to outside elements is the smnmertime misery of flies and mosquitos, and the real danger of heartworm infestation. But why have a dog if you are going to leave it outside? As a guard dog? How is the dog going to guard you when locked in a kennel? As a pet? Again, how when left outside all the time? We had single-digit temps in the last cold spell with wind chills of minus degrees, and there is another one in the works. ! know how miserable this can make a pet. I have a senior rescue dog who was left out all the time. He has permanent hair loss from flea allergies, scars from lying on hard concrete and cries when he has to go out in this cold, snowy weather for his potty breaks. How can people not realize that if they are cold when outside, so are their pets. No, not pets. People who leave their dogs and cats outside with a total disregard of the elements obviously have them as possessions. I have a sug- gestion for these folks, why don't you get a concrete pet. It would be so much easier for you: no food costs, no having to shovel up waste from the kennels, no visits from animal control to make sure you are providing the (basic/ minimum) legal requirements, no muss, no fuss!!! I was going to add no vet costs, but I really doubt this is a priority for this type of dog owner. Please bring your pets inside. tila Brown Angola Milton not the same without antiques shop Antiques in Milton on Union Street in the town center is gone now - and that, in my opinion, is a loss for the town of Milton. More than just a business, it was a gathering place for many - tour- ists and townspeople alike. A source of unique merchandise, it also served as a friendly stop where one could get directions to and helpful information about different businesses in the area (even competing antique shops). For those of us who reestablished roots here in Milton, the shop was a reliable guide to neighbor- hood organizations that needed volunteers, as well as to the rich history of Milton and its people. Antiques in Milton was owned and managed by Kathryn Greig in partnership with her son Matt. For eight years the shop was open seven days a week, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas and a few Tuesdays in the off season. During that time Kathryn wore many hats, shopkeeper, Mikon Garden Club member, local event organizer, to name just a few. She has a long history of committed involve- ment in most everything that helps the town she loves so much. I cannot do anything to change the situation Kathryn is in. There are many of us who would, were that possible. The one thing I can and will do, and the primary rea- son for writing this, is to simply say "Thank you, Kathryn." Thank you for your friendship and thank you for your loyalty and service to Milton, the town we both love and call home. M. Oates Milton MLK holiday: Just another shopping day? My last Air Force assignment was as the Secretary of Defense's personal representative to the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission. I was privi- Continued on page 9