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February 24, 2006     Cape Gazette
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February 24, 2006

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IINSIDE: SOt: i i "'The Price of Liberty tis Eternal Vigilance" Delaware's Cape Region Friday, February 24 - Monday, February 27, 2006 Volume 13 No. 79 I Markell: Plan will control power rates Initiatives seek to reduce usage, protect consumers By Jim Cresson  Cape Gazette staff The state's top elected financial officer has outlined a response to Delmarva Power's proposed 59 percent rate hike. State Treasurer Jack Markell is calling for Delaware to give back to th Public Service Commission its role in regulating electricity. He also calls for a stay in Delmarva Power's proposed rate hike. He says three strong initiatives are war- ranted to ensure state consumers are pro- tected and that sufficient electricity sup- plies will be available at a reasonable cost over the long term. Those initiatives are as follows: to develop renewable energy sources to minimize reliance on current power suppli- ers to promote electricity conservation so people and businesses can play a role in lowering their electric bills to help those who need it most, such as hospitals, school districts, nonprofits whose budgets have been cut at the federal level, small businesses and those with low incomes. He also said the public has the right to more information regarding the costs Delmarva Power pays for the electricity it obtains from its subsidiary, Conectiv Energy. Flaws in deregulation Delaware power plants do not generate enough electricity to meet the local demand, making the state a net importer of electricity from elsewhere. Power providers must bid on wholesale blocks of Continued on page 16 Summit: Be prepared .for avian flu Kevin Spence photo Sussex Street zoning issueprompts debate in Rehoboth Rehoboth Beach Commissioners unanimously passed a to residential, affecting about 40 lots. Several Sussex resolution to hold a public hearing Monday, April 17, to Street property owners oppose the change. rezone several blocks of Sussex Street from commercial See story on page 19. Locals say no plans in place for pandemic By Molly Albertson Cape Gazette staff A statewide summit about a possible pandemic has left locals squawking about bird flu. Federal officials on a nationwide aware- ness tour urged communities to prepare in advance for worst-case scenarios, including a possible six-week quarantine, if avian flu becomes a virus transmitted from person to person. ',You need to do this now. You need a plan and a sti'ategy for preparedness," said Alfonso Martinez-Fonts Jr., special assis- tant to the secretary for the private sector of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Small communities and even neighbor- hoods need to organize, officials said, because if a pandemic strikes, many people will be confined to their homes. Under Continued on page 21 State reviews Senators project near Lewes Cluster to add 242 more units on Gills Neck Road By Rachel Swick Cape Gazette staff Paul Townsend of Lewes has a master plan for his family's land on Gills Neck Road outside of Lewes. But he's releasing the plan one piece at a time. The state's Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) discussed the newest piece of the puzzle, Senators subdivision, Wednesday, Feb. 22, in Dover. Townsend is also developing the 162- unit Hawkseye, also on Gills Neck Road, about a mile from Senators. Construction recently got tunder way on that develop- ment. Townsend s;aid the new Senators cluster subdivision wiill use 119 acres on what is a 400-acre plot of land, leaving about 339 acres. Part of ;.hat acreage will be reforest- ed to create a Sussex woods, similar to what was on the site in the late 1800s, he said. Senators will feature 242 single-family houses, clustered together, surrounded by recreation areas, ponds and woods. Several archaeological sites were found on the property, which has been farmland for several decades. Surveys done by archae- ologists found only a few artifacts in the field, probably because it has been plowed Continue on page 115