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January 26, 2007     Cape Gazette
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January 26, 2007

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8 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, January 26 - Monday, January 29, 2007 Letters Continued from page 7 on earth but they sure think otherwise in the usage of electricity. The age of cheap power via oil is over but wind power and other alternatives can make it cheap again. As for the singing of the wires underwa- ter maybe they could become a new item on "American Idol." Transcontinental commu- nication lines have beenunder the seas for over 75 years and the fish don't appear to be harmed by them. Mr. Tyler, stop acting like an ostrich with its head in the ground and wake up. Times have changed and oil is no longer king. Your grandchildren will never see-the ocean the wayNative Americans did. They as well as the beaches have become dump- ing grounds. The future is definitely going to be alter- native sources such as wind power and when selfish people realize that they have to compromise their precious views for the good of all the people then maybe progress will happen. Scott Aijo Lewes Support Bluewater Wind for future of Delaware I hear a lot lately about the aesthetics of a wind farm six miles off shore. How about the aesthetics of another huge coal plant? How about the aesthetics of stacks spewing seen and unseen pollutants? How about the aesthetics of smog caused by global warming? How about the aesthet- ics of blown up mountains? How about the aesthetics of children gasping for breath? How about the aesthetics of the harm being done to all life? These can all be eliminated with an aes- thetic the size of your thumbnail. Let's pay attention to what really counts. Support Bluewater Wind for our future. " . Carol Vasselli Ocean View Delaware has the " opportunity of a lifetime The people of Delaware have the oppor- tunity of a life "tixne to make the air in our state much cleaner for ourselves, our chil- dren, and grandchildren. Four state agen- cies: DNREC, the Public Service Commission, the Controller General's Barefootin' Continued from page 7 treated wastewater without dumping all of that precious fresh water into the ocean. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH was scheduled to be in Wilmington this week to talk with DuPont Company officials about alternative energy sources. His visit comes at a crucial time for Delaware, when offi- cials are looking at alternatives for generat- ing additional electricity for the future. Hopefully. the Bush visit will spur state leg- islators to take a hard, hard look at the wind generation proposal that would generate the same 600 megawatts of power as the coal gasification proposal submitted by NRG, which owns the Indian River coal-fired facilities. It sure would be nice to enjoy 600 megawatts of additional electricity without the particulate and warming pollu- tion produced as a byproduct of burning coal. It's time for Delaware to get in a lead- ership position on these crucial environ- mental issues. Office, and the Office of Management and Budget are going to pick which kind of electric provider we will have for the next 20 or 30 years. This decision will have an enormous effect on the kind of air we all breathe, since the choice is between coal, natural gas and wind power. For the cleanest air, it is a "no-brainer." Wind powerdoes not generate any emissions. On the other hand, it will probably cost more initially to build a "wind farm" off our coast, than to build another coal- or gas-burning plant. However, remember what happened to our electric rates after Delmarva Power completed the seven-year price freeze. Residential rates went up 57 percent. Even if coal or gas rates are cheaper at first, just imagine what they will be in another seven years. On the other hand, the price of wind is not likely to change. These agencies are scheduledto decide our energy source by the end of February. If you care about the air you breathe, call them and let them know how you feel. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. David Jaeger Seibyville Research supports offshore wind power installations State Treasurer Jack Markell says that the Public Service Commission (PSC) should reconsider a formula for evaluating con- tracts for long-term energy providers in Delaware. He believes that the formula gives almost no weight to the environmen- tal impact and if that is weighed more heav- ily, there is a far better chance of using alternative energy. He suggests that the cit- izens of Delaware become knowledgeable and speak out on this issue. That is exactly what my husband and I plan to do. After listening to the eloluent and knowledgeable presentation on wind power by Dr. W'dlett Kempton from the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies and researching possible long-term energy providers in Delaware on the "'Union of Concerned Scientistg" website, among other websites, it is very clear to us that harnessing the wind is one of the cleanest, most sustainable ways to generate electric- ity. W'md power produces no toxic emis- sions or hazardous substances and none of the heat-trapping emissions that contribute -t o global warming. In an average year a typical coal plant generates 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global warming. Using fos- sil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas pol- lutes thenation's air and water, hurts plants and animals, and is a leading cause of smog and acid rain. Airborne particles from burn- ing coal can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravate asthma and can cause premature deaths. Waste created by a typical 500- megawatt coal plant includestoxic sub- stances like arsenic and mercury and can contaminate drinking water. Coal compa- nies throughout Appalachia often remove entire mountaintops to expose the coal below, damaging fragile ecosystems. Land and water damage can accrue throughout the life cycle of fossil fuels from mining, drilling and refining to shipping, use and disposal. Many areas of Europe including Spain, Germany and Denmark use wind power to supply over 20 percent of their electricity with no adverse effects on the reliability of the system. Delaware can become the Denmark of the U.S.! In wind plants or wind farms groups of turbines are linked together to generate electricity for the utility grid. The electricity is sent through transmission and distribution lines to consumers. Offshore turbines must be stabilized to survive waves and weather. Two advantages of offshore installation are that offshore turbines can be made bigger. and the ocean location provides a greater amount of wind. They would be placed six miles offshore and not in prime resort loca- tions. They would not be placed on the bird migratory flyways and although realistical- ly there may be injury to some birds in the turbines, there would be far more avian damage due to damaged ecosystems. As reported on its website, The Audubon Society calls for "'a bold new direction in the 2007 Congress including a reduction of greenhouse gases that can cause global warming particularly through improved energy efficiency and development of clean, renewable energy sources." As avid birders here in Delaware we wholehearted- ly support the Audubon Society's position. And, as grandparents to four adorable granddaughters, we will do whatever we can as citizens to support wind power. Pete and Liz Rupprecht Lewes Gallos thank police, fire departments for response We would like to thank the alert Lewes Police Department patrolman and the fire- fighters whose diligence and hard work saved the building at 135 Second Street in Lewes when a fire broke out Jan. 23. We understand that Patrolman Chatham Marsch, who is also a volunteer firefighter, was on his rounds when he noticed that smoke had smudged the windows. Indeed, his keen observation prevented the total destruction of the building. We would also like to thank the members of the Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, and Milton volunteer fire departments for their fast, professional response. The fire damaged the stores and offices, but the structure of the historic building was saved. Also, the fire did not spread to adjacent structures. As the owners of the building, it is dis- tressing and amazing to see the extent of damage that an electrical short can cause. We have begun the process of cleanup and reconstruction, which will be extensive. Local police and firefighters provide a truly invaluable service to the community. We are very grateful for this and commend them for a job well done. The GaHo Family Lewes Reporter Kevin Spence will be missed by reader During the past couple of years the area readers have been informed of City of Rehoboth Beach proceedings, issues, and other area happenings by your (and our) Kevin Spence. We have had the benefit of excellent, well-formed articles which have enabled us, your readers, to be informed. Many meetings at the City of Rehoboth Beach extend for hours, sometimes past I 1 p.m. Kevin is just about always in the front row recording the details, not afraid to ask questions, and getting out the news, some- times broken into not one, but many articles from two to 10 or more column inches, nor- maUy without fluff, but to the point and researched. We have been well served. I have been informed that Kevin is leav- ing the Cape Gazette, and in his leaving, we need to be thankful for his contribution to the Cape Gazette and our area. Your having hired him has been a benefit to the commu- nity. Congratulations to Kevin as he moves forward in his career with the state of Delaware. We can look forward to knowing some of what is going on at the capital in Dover. His byline, "By Kevin Spence, Cape Gazette staff" will be missed. Walter Brittingham Rehoboth Beach Gazette article brings back fond memories The New Rehoboth Beach Museum arti- cle in your newspaper brings back old memories of the original building, and much more that relates to that era. We called it "The Ice Plant" in a similar vernac' ular that we called Route One "The Stone Road" (most others were unpaved). The sign near the top read "The Atlantic Ice Manufacturing Company" and, as none had ice making gear then, individuals as well as business owners bought their daily require- ment at the old wooden dock on the shady side of the building (facing the beach), one or another local business man always had a regular ice route to deliver cakes of ice in various sizes to downtown customers as well as those out in the country. Many cus- tomers (my family among them) preferred to pick it up themselves, and the size of the cake was dependent upon such factors as money available, size of your "ice box," and how long you wanted the cake to last, or maybe we would need extra to make ice cream. By the way, we all had to chip it into small pieces ourselves with an ice pick, as there were no cube machines then. I still recall the soda fountain clerks chipping the ice cake into small chunks for drinks in between customers. In summer, when I was a preteen, many of my relatives worked at the ice plant, and I was a constant annoy- ance I am sure, as it was a cool (in more ways than one) place to hang out. The floor inside the building was made up of many molds, each holding a three hundred pound block of ice, which had to be moved by overhead dolly to the staging room, where they would be "cut" with an ice pick into four pieces, which would then be sub-cut to order when customers came by. To cut the blocks to smaller size, you just chopped a line as straight as you could across the block in the proper direction and maybe once again and it would break apart at that point. It was great fun for me when my granddad or uncle would let me per- form this delicate task. I begged a lot but was not allowed to enjoy this very often. In those days I used to earn money by collecting soft shell crabs in the canal and selling them to tourists and discriminating locals. If peddling door to door was not a good option that day, I had regular restau- rant customers who would always buy them, but at reduced rates. By the way, the canal was pristine in those days compared to today, even though the laundry, the can- ning factory, the oyster factory, and the overworked water treatment plant emptied directly into it. On my crabbing route, going through the ice plant was a short cut around the canal bridge to get down the bank on the other side, so I always took it, but very carefully. The other end of the building housed the giant compressor which was always running and the doors were always open, and the fly wheel was about six or eight feet in diameter, and scary for an eight year old, but the short cut and challenge to get .through alive was worth it. There was a large hole in the roof at that point and folks told me that a dog got caught in the fly wheel and was thrown through it to dog heaven. Every time I pass by the old place I think of the old days of hanging out on the dock. If we weren't goofing around there it would be some- where else, back in the days when people knew how to relax, and did. Jim Joseph Long Neck