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Lewes, Delaware
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February 25, 2000     Cape Gazette
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February 25, 2000
 

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Dennis Forney "ap- ;ser, /es, 152. Continued from page 6 considerably. Dewey and Re- hoboth allow people to vote pro- vided they own property or have resided there for at least three months. Millsboro requires you to spend more than 50 percent of your time in town for town coun- cil elections. Lewes, on the other hand, allows only permanent resi- dents to vote for mayor and coun- cil. Naturally, many people inter- pret these rules and regulations differently. What is odd is that Milton is about to hold a poten- tially contentious election for mayor and neither candidate has the ability to shore up their votes based on the nebulous definitions. In the event Milton wanted to change its voter eligibility re- quirements, the Town Solicitor suggested a revision of the Town Charter following the election by holding a public hearing. Unfor- tunately, this will be too late. This is not a recent issue. I have owned property and lived in Milton since 1988, and every election year this issue raises its head. What a trav- esty that former and current may- ors and council members have failed to respect the fundamentals of a democracy by allowing its citizens to exercise their civic du- ties and voice in matters that af- fect their daily lives. Your article last week stated that 44 percent of Milton property is owned by peo- ple who do not live in Milton full- time. This is not an insignificant number. As a matter of fact, these property owners represent 43 per- cent of the tax base in Milton. I believe any sane and sensible citi- zen (and candidate running for of- rice) would agree that this large constituency deserves a vote in how the town is governed. Deci- sions made by the mayor and town council clearly have a direct effect on their property and the quality of their lives in Milton. John Milton, our town's name- sake, who was a leading inspira- tion for our First Amendment rights would probably be ashamed of the Town of Milton's slipshod form of government. Since this is a democracy, the Town of Milton should publish clear rules on who is eligible to vote, that is, what ex- actly is a "permanent resident,' and allow anyone who qualifies the opportunity to register to vote prior to this election. This may re- quire a delay in the upcoming election, but isn't that the just and democratic thing to do? Rich Moonblatt Milton Editor's Note: The town solici- tor Jim Fuqua said that Moonblatt is eligible to vote. Update on Town Cats of Lewes I wish to report to the people that we have trapped two female cats and have taken them to the vet. They have been adopted, as have a litter of three little kittens. One of the females was adopted by me and is living a cat's life. Nicki Fisher saved the three kit- tens from the Ferry terminal and Kate Dooley, our volunteer work- er, took them to their new home. A very lovely lady donated cat and dog food and it will be given to those in need of it. We want to thank everyone who has donated money to our charter. It was greatly appreciated. We still need so much more and also a lot of volunteers. Many thanks from the Town Cats of Lewes. Virginia Bishop Lewes Cats should not be running free A cat is a domesticated pet and should be treated as such - in its owners home or on a leash, as dogs and other domesticated ani- mals are treated. The running ar- gument that a cat is intended to be free and run wherever it desires is ludicrous! My dog would love to run all over town, but I would not be a responsible pet owner if I permitted this - plus, it is against the law. I say to cat owners: Don't send your cats to my house. If I wanted one, I would adopt one and keep it in my house and out of harm's way. Those strays should be caught and taken to the animal shelter until some responsible per- son adopts it as a pet for them- selves and not the city. Let's consider the birds for once. Cats kill thousands of song- birds every year and soon we will be into their most vulnerable stage of life. The fledglings have no de- fense against a cat. I feed the birds and have had as many as five stray cats at any given time in my yard under the feeders, waiting for a chance to leap. Bells are of some help where the birds are mature, but not for a baby just learning to fly. I have heard much talk about dogs spoil- ing our curbs and parks, and I agree with that wholeheartedly, but where do you think cats defe- cate? I know where - in my mulched flower beds! Trying to work around plants, shrubs and flowers in the spring, and experi- encing all the excrement left by Quotes of the Week Bunnie Williams, co-owner of SeaCoast Speedway, on a request to beginharness racing at the tracg, have always called the track an unpolished gem._Al [Williams] has been polishing, polishing, polishing and now it is ready to go to the next level." Charlle Marsch, of Ocean Bay Mart Amoco, on the rising cost of gasoline. "Diet Snapple costs $1.29 for a 16-ounce bottle, which would be $10.32 a gallon. It's a good thing cars don't run on Diet Snapple. "' the cats is not fun. Jackie Nichols Rehoboth Beach Poking holes in Cadbury proposal I believe the recent public hear- ing on the proposed zoning amendment to Lewes' "Floating Districts" [CCRC], your Jan. 21 article and recent Letters to the Editor clearly established the fol- lowing: Cadbury has carefully timed and molded the presenta- tion of its proposal to place those who would challenge it in the un- enviable position of opposing friends and neighbors whom we care about and respect; and, in spite of multiple due process and procedural flaws, Cadbury insists on pursuing approval. Also, the proposal presents itself as a "con- tinuum" in spite of the fact that it is not; and there are those who are of the opinion that they, better than those of us who live here, know what our town needs and what is best for our future. The proposed CCRC floating zoning district does not currently exist. Cadbury, who wants to cre- ate this new zoning district, also insists on applying it to its land and on doing both things at once. The Lewes zoning ordinance re- quires all floating districts to be reviewed by the Planning Com- mission prior to their approval. Floating districts being both site and plat specific, necessitate the presence of the proposed plot plan for review. However, probably because Cadbury isn't sure which site they are going to develop, the Beebe tract, another 75-acre tract on which they hold an option or both, no plot plan is available. The commission can't review that which doesn't exist. More impor- tantly, although our code requires it, Cadbury has never appeared before the Planning Commission with or without a plot plan. Questions were raised regarding the demands this proposal will make on Lewes' infrastructure. Last week's letters to the editor raised the issue of sewage and compared Cadbury to the devel- opment on SR- 1. The comparison is without basis. Lewes' waste- water facility doesn't service the SR- 1 area, nor could it. The letter also stated that traffic will be min- imal. However, Cadbury has es- tablished that their residents will not be "nursing home" patients and those residents who have been identified by Cadbury are active, energetic, involved and outgoing people. It is important to fully under- stand what Cadbury is asking the public to believe, accept and ap- prove. This proposal has little to do with serving the needs of the aged and much to do with serving the desires of development inter- ests. Questions were raised regarding the proposal's cumulative eco- nomic impact on Lewes. A non- profit developer should not_be permitted to exploit a tax status as a marketing ploy. By maintaining Continued on page 8 C'APE'AZETTE; Friday, lbi-" 2ffE E-0. '/ As we live our lives, the winds of time and change swirl on The air of late winter and early spring blows wild at the point of Cape Henlopen. Some days it blows from the west with the scents of three thousand miles of the United States captured in its breath. Other days it swings around the compass to the east and the foam it sweeps up over the beach is spiced with sea salt. Then come the warm days of weeks like this when high pres- sure systems to our north draw winds around to the south. Birds sense the change in weather, along with the lengthening days, and be- gin singing more boisterously in the morning just before the sun starts to lighten the day. This is a great time of the year to walk the point. You can see the effects of another year of sand coming up from the south and broadening the beaches. Never has there been such a gradual apron of sand sloping down to the water. On the bay side of the point this week when the tide was out and the flats were drying in a west wind, several dozen live conchs lay exposed in the surf. Interspersed among them were strings of their distinctive eggs, each of the small wafer-like yel- low pouches containing dozens of miniature conchs. The broad beach at the point of the point is strewn with broken shells and looks like prime egg- laying area for piping plovers. The small birds lay their eggs in the broken shells, on the sand. They blend secretively with the color of the natural litter thrown up by the surf. In a couple of more months, park officials will close the point to all human traffic so the endangered plovers can have a chance to hatch some of their young successfully. TWO WEEKS HAVE PASSED since I drove north on Route I and watched flocks of geese flying from east to west. For more than four decades now I've watched geese flying over Delmarva in their V-formations. But this time was different. Cana- Dennis Forney photo The remains of a wrecked barge punctuate the shore- line of Beach Plum Island north of Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes. BAREF00TIN' da geese and snow geese flew to- gether in several different eche- lons. Canadas and snows will feed together in the same fields but usually in a segregated fash- ion. And they will fly together too, but usually not in the same formations. This wasn't just one or two flocks, but dozens. I craned my neck, risking a fender- bender, to watch the flocks pass- ing. In one of the echelons a Canada goose led, in another a snow goose was in the lead. For me it was remarkable and some- thing new under the sun. It con- firmed, one more time, that noth- ing is constant but change. FOR A NUMBER OF WEEKS I've considered writing about the barge that has been a landmark on Beach Plum Island for several decades. The aerial photograph included here shows the remains of the vessel and the impact it has had on the beach in that stretch of the coast. I've started scratching around for in- formation and will pass it on when I have enough for a story. But I can't wait long. When I moved to Delaware 25 years ago, the well- defined remains of an old sailing schooner marked the bank of the Broadkill River across from the shell landing at Oyster Rocks. Its bow still curved upward with the unique gracefulness wrought from the eye of a practiced builder. The house near the stern showed small rectangular openings where win- dows once clouded quickly with salt spray. The length of the hulk was 60 feet or better. I wrote at one time about the vessel and its history. Time and the elements kept up their persistent wearing away. Now it's gone. It reminds me of a trip a friend and I took one time to the Bridgeville studio of Jack Lewis. My friend was in the market for a painting and I never turned down an opportunity to visit Jack. We arrived at the pre-arranged time and Jack welcomed us into the cluttered building with skylights and broad windows letting in lots of light. He was working at the time on a large oil canvas showing a sunrise over the marsh at Dover bridge. That marsh is along the Choptank River east of Easton. The bridge is so-named because it Continued on page 8