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March 19, 2004     Cape Gazette
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March 19, 2004

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Delaware's Cape Region Friday, March 19 - Thursday, March 25, 2004 Volume 11 No. 44 "THE PRICE OF LIBERTY IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE" Ill I I New siren system causes uproar in Lewes Residents say maintaining city's character comes first By Andrew Keegan During the past year, Lewes' Mitigation Planning Team has been researching the feasibility of establishing an audible siren alert system in Lewes to better inform the community in the event of an emergency. Therefore, it was surprising to the panel when a presentation on how audible sirens would benefit the community was met with indignation by several residents at a March 16 meeting. Lewes Fire Department Chief Gordon Davis initiated the prospect of establishing an emergency alert system that was not linked to any wires. After researching the issue, Davis invited Wayne Richardson, from Communications Electronics, to pres- ent preliminary data on how the system would function. "As we stand today, Lewes has no effective way to alert the communi- ty in the event there is no electricity," said Davis. "Fire and police personnel could be committed elsewhere and unable to handle evacuation of this town." "It's true," said Richardson. "When you lose power you lose the ability to commu- nicate. We looked at Lewes and what it would take to ensure the community would have access to information during an emer- gency. Most sirens are alert-oriented. This one is different in that there's an alert tone followed by a message, so there's no sec- ond guessing." Richardson had initially proposed three poles to cover the city but at the request of Continued on page 19 Senate passes rent control As a panel of Supreme Court justices prepared to hear oral arguments, March 16, in the state appeal challeng- ing a 2003 Superior Court ruling lifting rent caps from renewed leases, 50 tenants marched quietly outside the Jim Cresson photo courthouse. Pictured (l-r) Merge Santmyer of Sweetbriar holds a placard, Ed Speraw and Bill Reed of the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association talk strategy. legislation Move comes in response to Supreme Court ruling By Jim Cresson General Assembly acted swiftly in the wake of a Supreme Court order lifting rent caps, March 17, with a legislative rent-con- trol effort that sailed through the Senate, 15-2, March 18. The House is expected to address the bill March 19. Sen. George H. Bunting, D-Bethany Beach, sponsored the legislation in the sen- ate, with full support from Senate Housing Committee chairman Sen. Bob Venables, D-Laurel. Rep. John C. Atkins, R- Millsboro, promised to introduce the same bill in the House. The legislative action, announced as the Cape Gazette was going to press, came as a joyful surprise to thousands of tenants in manufactured home parks owned by investor-owned, out-of-state corporations. The drama leading up to the Senate action Continued on page 16 Dolle's Can@land fries complaints against city Rehoboth law banning vending machines is issue By Amy Reardon Vending machines dispensing food, refreshments, sodas, cigarettes and water once dotted Rehoboth Avenue and lined the Boardwalk. The summer of 2003 cleared the streets and boards of all the machines outside businesses, but now the courts will decide if Dolle's Candyland's machines can be reinstalled. The Rehoboth Beach Commissioners adopted an ordinance banning outside vending machines in March 2002, and businesses with existing vending machines had until June 30, 2003 to comply. "The commissioners felt vending machines were proliferating around town and that they were something of an eye- sore," said Mayor Sam Cooper. "With our efforts to make Rehoboth more attractive through streetscape and other projects, we felt the vending machines were not appro- priate." Owner of Dolle's Candyland Tom Ibach complied when the city asked him to remove his vending machines from an alcove outside the store, but his lawyers plan to rectify the situation so he can put Continued on page 21