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February 18, 2011

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8 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18- MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2011 NEWS cape Gazette Letters )) Continued bom page 7 to wake up one morning and fred an RV or camper parked on the lot next to their stick-built home? Please come, and remember: If this is allowed, your community could be next. This is the one time that "never" is the right word. Dixie Boucher Lewes It's time to stop pointing fingers on U,S. 113 In late January, Gov. Markell called a meeting of the state rep- resentatives and senators from Sussex County to discuss the fu- ture of the U.S. 113 North-South Study Project. I was in attendance at the meeting, and one thing I am positive of is that Sussex County Councilman.Vance Phillips was not present at the meeting and therefore should not be writing editorials about what was said by the governor or any of the legisla- tors present. Yet, Councilman Phillips' recent letter claimed the governor's deci- sion to suspend the U.S. 113 proj- ect was notcaused by ongoing disagreements among local legis- lators but was instead somehow "a crafty attempt to avoid respon- sibility of providing real traffic so- lutions for Sussex County,' It is unfortunate some of the same people who contributed to the current Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) deci- sion are now blaming others. Councilman Phillips would have you believe that he was part of the meeting and has some kind of in- side information that no one else knows. His comments only serve to fan the fire and divide us. He stands on the sidelines and points fingers and creates some conspir- acy theory which only he under- stands. Councilman Phillips further claimed that the proposed routte was chosen "over the objections of the citizenry" That couldn't be further from the truth. From 2001 through 2007, DelDOT engaged in a very public planning process that included comments from hundreds of local residents, more than 85 public meetings and inter- views with 150 Sussex County leaders, including Councilman Phillips. At the end of that process, the Millsboro working group of residents and business leaders overwhelmingly voted to support the route DelDOT now prefers. One of the members of that working group stated there were no objections for eight years until about six months ago. Barefootin' Continued from page 7 er bridges - near Philadelphia - are planning to raise their tolls in July. Our tolls will still be less than theirs even after the in- crease." Revenues from the Delaware Memorial Bridge have long been the foundation for the authority operations - paying for the bridge and airport operations and subsidizing the perennial losses of the ferry operation be- tween Lewes and Cape May. "We're fully committed to the long-term future of the ferries" said Lowe. "We don't know whether we will be refurbishing what we have or shift to smaller, faster ferries - or a combination of new and old. All of that is be- ing reviewed now" The ferry operation has five vessels. Three are usually in operation with a fourth added occasionally. Two are for sale, but Lowe said the market for ferries is weak. "We think we can operate with just three vessels until we figure out what the future holds." The authority receives no tax dollars for operations. "It's only tolls. We've cut our staffby 100 positions. We're a whole leaner than we once were. And all of that pushed back the toll increase. But we can't any more and the bridges need work." I onmmkm Kitty Elliott wrote this week following last week's colunm about muskrats and longevity." "I read the article on how to cook muskrats.any grandmother lived to be 98, born and bred Sussex Countian, and my moth- er turned 90 on Feb 7. I grew up on muskrats and muskrat gravy and never heard tell of not par boiling them. Mom and grand- mornsoaked them in salted wa- ter overnight and then parboiled them with an onion till done. Drained them till they were al- most dry, and then salt and pep- per, and fried them in Crisco (solid type like lard, good for your arteries) till they were nice and brown. Then they used some of the broth and made gravy in the pan with the brown bits from frying the muskrats_Good eating. "My grandfather trapped them on Canary Creek until he was in his early 80s. I can see him now, skinning them and putting the skin on his drying board (that he handmade). I think he got 50 cents for the rat and 25 cents for the hide. "Those were the good old days; always had rabbits, muskrats, home-grown chickens, tons of hard crabs and all kinds offish. Imiss those days, when times were simple and everyone took care of everyone else when they needed help. "Those days are gone for us now," wrote Kitty, "but the mem- ories are great." Looking for fresh muskrats to try,? They're available at Morris' Market on Front Street in Fred- erica, not far from the marshes of the upper Murderkill River, Councilman Phillips also made the comment that out-of-work people of this county have a frag- ile psyche. I totally disagree with that comment. I have found the unemployed workers Of our coun- ty to be resilient, tough-minded and very patient, and they want to return to wore As elected lead- ers, if we are serious about putting this project and the jobs it will bring to Sussex County back on track, we need to work together to reach the consensus that the gov- ernor requested and the public demands. A bit of history is in order. In 2000, the General Assembly di- rected DelDOT to study the feasi- bility and cost of a new north- south highway in Sussex County. Residents, businesses and public officials widely agreed that such a project would support economic growth and sought the very signif- icant capital investment it would generate. In fact, the then-Sussex Cotmty administrator stated in 2001 that the U.S. 113 project, which would be 80 percent fund- ed by the federal government, was county council's No. 1 priority. Now, after years of work, some public officials in Sussex County have begun questioning whether we should move forward with this project at all. This creates signifi- cant uncertainty and puts the en- tire project at rise In light of that risk, Gov. Markell correctly chose to tem- porarily suspend work on U.S. 113, with an understanding that he would give us until lune 30 for the. state legislators in Sussex County to reach consensus on how Del- DOT should proceed. Why should the state continue to commit time and resources to a project of this magnitude if the elected officials in Sussex County can't agree on the fundamentals? I am confident that we will reach that consensus and provide Del- DOT with clear instructions on how to proceed with the upgrade of U.S .113. If we want this project, we need to work together and stop point- ing fingers. Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf 14th District, major'[ty leader Delaware House of Representatives Dewey leaders need lessons in ethics Would you want to be verbally attacked, sued, made fun of and have your integrity questioned while volunteering to help your hometown? Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson has suffered all of that in almost four years she has been in office. Mayor Hanson promised to support the town's 35-foot maxi- mum building height ordinance when she ran for office. She has since championed the ordinance throughout her years in orifice. Unfommately, last year Commis- sioner Pryzgocki authored a crude sex joke against Mayor Hansom - He displayed condoms and his wish that she not procreate. Pryz- gocki's fellow commissioners cen- sured him for his actions in the strongest way available to a town government. Evidence of Pryzgocki's mind- set and bias against Mayor Han- son re-emerged when town coun- cil brought up the latest issue, to indemnify Mayor Hanson for le- gal fees. Pryzgocki voted against indemnifying Hanson's costs and providing her with the means to defend herself. Then Commissioner Rick Sol- loway participated in faxing mate- rial used in a trumped-up ethics complaint against Mayor Hanson. Solloway could not sign the com- plaint, but the complaint was faxed from Solloway's office on Solloway's letterhead to our town attorney and our Town Hall. As with Pryzgocld, in the mo- tion to indemnify Mayor Hanson's legal fees, Solloway voted no. Based on the Vindictive mindset demonstrated by Commissioners Pryzgocld and SoUoway, they need to reverse their no votes to indemnify Mayor Hanson's legal fees and recuse themselves from further votes to indenmify Volun- teers for the town's wore Finally, given the evidence that Commissioner Solloway was in- volved in transmitting this com- plaint against Mayor Hanson, and given the fact that Dewey Beach Enterprises (DBE) later sued the town again using material provid- ed by Solloway, I think Solloway should recuse and not vote on any issue involving DBE, including the upcoming Feb. 26 vote on a mutu- al agreement. His obvious bias toward the de- veloper who has sued the town six times is evidence enough that Solloway is the one who needs to take a lesson in ethics. Donald Gritti Dewey Beach Sussex County Council has failed its duty Maybe I'm mistaken, but I al- ways believed that it was the duty of the members of county council tO consider and address the legiti- mate concerns and grievances that a residential property owner has when a neighboring business owner applies for a conditional- use permit for something that will adversely affect the neighboring homeowners. Obviously, Mrs. Deaver, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Phillips don't share that sentiment. After the commission dutifully did its job and made recommendations to address my concerns and griev- ances, those three decided to un- do the work of the commission. I guess having a friend on the coun- cil paid off for Mr. Lawson. As part of a conditional-use permit, I had requested that a vinyl fence be required to be in- stalled between my residence and the area where Lawsoffs Produce LLC has been conducting a mulching operation for the past three years - illegally, without per- mits and with no regard or con- sideration for the neighboring homeowners. That fence was to address the nuisance noise issues that this op- eration creates and to serve as a screen in the event that these piles of wood chips spontaneously combust. These mountains of wood chips are also an eyesore to look at from my residence, and the continuous stench that em- anates from these piles is quite unpleasant. That my quality of life is adversely affected by Law- son's business aspirations meant nothing to Deaver, Wilson or Phillips. Those three council members failed to address any of these con- cern , with their approval of this application and in deciding to re- move three of the commission's recommendations. Thanks so much for your incousideratiorL I'd like to offer each of them an opportunity to purchase my prop- erty for fair-market value and move theft families into my honae. Since you voted for it, would you be willing to live there with that your backyard? I bet not. Yet, you fred it acceptable for another tax- paying residential homeowner to live with that in their backyards.- I would like to thank Mr. Cole and Mr. V'mcent, who voted against this application, because they ob- viously understand that an AR-1 zoning includes residential in the zoning and voted accx dingly. H re. m Dog owners should clean up in parks Carry in, carry out at Cape Henlopen State Park means just that. It seems on most days when I walk my dog at the park, down the fence-lined trail leading to Herring Point/Naval Jetty Beach, there are filled poop bags decorat; ing the fence. If your dog is any- thing like mine, they love their beach walks, even in the dead of winter. Those of you that are not abiding by the rules to carry in and carry out and keep our- Delaware state parks beautiful and trash free should be ashamed.. If your dogs could speak, they would tell you to take that poop bag home in your car and dispose of it properly. Wouldn't it be sad if they put up signs "No Dogs On The Beach" - $500 free because of owners like you who can't cai-ry a poop bag home? Love your dogs unconditionally as they do you, pick up completely and keep Delaware state parks looking beautiful. Lisa Willey Milton University's wind turbine provided no jobs As a Sussex County resident, I fred it astounding that despite an 8.8 percent unemployment rate in our county, the University of Delaware Lewes campus has so- licited and been awarded federal taxpayer dollars, to date, in the amount of $5.3 million for its wind turbine construction and studies. No new meaningful, per- manent employment has resulted for a Sussex County resident from all of this spending. In fact, $2.5 million has gone overseas to pay a Spanish-based company for the cost of the tm/- bine. What a slap in the face to every unemployed and underem- ployed individual in Sussex Coun- ty. If federal taxpayer dollars are being awarded to the University of Delaware, it is imperative that they be spent to create new, per- manent jobs for Delawareans, Vaiarie Messick Elliot*, Rehoboth Beach