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Lewes, Delaware
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April 5, 1996     Cape Gazette
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April 5, 1996
 

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16 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, April 5 - April 11, 1996 Rehoboth officials field another request for topless beachgoing By Trish Vernon An elaborate April Fool's ruse or a sincere attempt at social en- lightenment? No one knows for sure, but "Cathy, Michelle and Debbie" are back - the same women who vowed to unveil their breasts on the beach at Norfolk Street on July 22 last summer. While the crowds gathered around Police Chief Creig Doyle on the Boardwalk at Norfolk that day, the bare-breasted women never materialized, to his relief and the crowd's disappointment, as he vowed to arrest any woman violating the city's code. (That vow was carried out on Aug. 2 when a Dover woman was arrest- ed for topless sunbathing.) Last week, these women sent a lengthy letter to Rehoboth Beach officials, explaining the reasoning for last year's events and request- ing that these officials set aside a section of beach south of Queen Street "to begin accommodating women who share our viewpoint. People in this section of beach are quite tolerant of other people's lifestyles and beliefs," they said of the area. The beach to which they referred is known to attract a pre- dominantly gay crowd, although it straddles outside the southern city boundaries. The women asked Rehoboth of- ficials to evaluate the communi- ty's feelings on the issue as well, polling people on the beach, espe- cially in the Queen Street area, but also in the center of town. "Select people at random and please ask the specific question 'should women be allowed to uncover their breasts on the beach if they want to?'" If people seem willing to accept topless beachgoers or the response is neutral, "Cathy, Michelle and Debbie" requested that city offi- cials announce that the law will not be enforced south of Queen Street and that a sign be erected clearly informing the public of the lack of restrictions. "We are asking you only to lis- ten to people, be sensitive to the issue, and to try to accommodate women who believe as we do. The idea is reasonable and fair and could provide women with a choice that we do not have in our local area today," they wrote. The letter goes on to explain that they are native Delawareans, two employed in the medical field and one in real estate. In an at- tempt to answer the question of why they want to uncover their breasts and why they are investing so much time to the cause, they state: "Women were given breasts for a pure and simple reason - to feed our babies. Our breasts are not obscene or dirty and there is noth- ing inherently sexual about them...Women's breasts have long been exploited by people in the smut business...our breasts have acquired a bawdy image and an added value - sexually related entertainment. Often young boys receive an early education about breasts from sleazy sources...This 'sexual' association with women's breasts stays with them as they grow older. A cycle exists which keeps the topless clubs and other sleazy enterprises flourish- ing." While sleazy magazines and adult entertainment are legal, nursing mothers are sometimes ejected from public places. "This is not a simple equality issue. It is an issue that involves respect, along with a willingness to re- evaluate old beliefs and fears. We are in favor of any change that would allow women's unclothed breasts to be perceived in public, non-sexual settings and we think the law should be supportive of that, as well as support the smut business." The good news, they stated, is that "our culture has been chang- ing." They cited a large, diverse crowd gathered on July 22 at Nor- folk Street "They came to sup- port us, not to exploit us. l'heir mood was upbeat and enthusiastic and they were very orderly. The usual crowd also appeared on the beach despite the reports of bare- breasted women and no one came to stage an anti-protest," they wrote. The women informed Re- hoboth officials that in New York State, when the laws were changed, police braced them- selves for social unrest on the beach which never arose. "Cathy, Michelle and Debbie" explained that the reason they aborted their breast baring plan last summer at the "final moment" was due to concern over their ca- reers and legal costs they could not afford. On that day, they note, Continued on page 17 Site-based Continued from page 15 each of the three buildings gener- ated through the grant. Both mid- dle schools have $30,000 at their disposal, while the high school has a $60,000 budget. "Their work here is going to be very meaningful," Smith said. "They're going to be wrestling with some tough problems in the school." Smith said that the com- mittees may also be the first step in a more broad based site-based management system. The move toward site-baKed de- cision making or management is presently gaining support from both the state legislature and the State Board of Education. The ba- sic philosophy of the system is to form decisions about school man- agement through teams comprised of people from varied back- grounds but who have an interest in the school. "I see it growing," Smith said of the district's three new site-based teams. "I do see it as the beginning of an evolution- ary process." The following lists the commit- tees for the two middle schools and the high school: Milton Middle School: profes- sionals - Paula Simpson, Cathy Cofrancesco, Maymar Annett (alt.); paraprofessionals - Melissa Hilligoss, Dianne Huff, Venessa White (alt.); students - Kristen Fo- ery, Germaine Willis, Latisha Burton (alt.); parents - Nora Mar- tin, Rama Peri; community - G. Ruth Batten; principal - Jackie Keyser; and assistant principal - Janis Howell. Lewes Middle School: profes- sionals - Betty Manion, Mark Sudimak, Terry Kopple (alt.); paraprofessionals - George Meili, Wayne Lott; students - Mark Moore, Kayla Ulrich, Shane Massey (alt.); parents - Willie Mae Duffield, Cindy Popovich; community - George Smith; prin-" cipal - Peg Menear; and assistant principal - Wayne Steele. Cape Henlopen High School: professionals - George Glenn, Sue Comorat, Susan Seal (alt.); para- professionals - Dee Lott, Connie Rickards, Peggy Kirby (alt.); stu- dents - Lindsey Weldin, Ryan Mc- Manus, Rochelle Knapp (alt.); parents - Pat Gaffney, Midge Di- natah; community - Phil Jackson; principal - Ronnie Burrows; and assistant principal - Sue Dutton. 10 Day E aster S ale I JE0000rY * THE o jETTY Friday, April 5th - 14th 20% OFF Sportswear" Dresses" Sweaters Sale does not include jewelry, aocessones, tees, sweats, or swtmwear. *Discount applies to original ffice. THE JETTY 123 Second St, Lewes 645-4606 Open 10-5 Daily Sunday 12-5 TAKE YOUI00 FAMILY OH A JUNGLE ADVENTUI00E Cross Delaware Bay aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry and visit the Cape May County Park & Zoo--the County .... -" "- " -'LI ----I '_ ;" - biggest tourist attraction- with over half a million visitors annually! See 250 species of animals. birds and reptiles in this large and impeccably maintained facility. llere'$ all you do:. L Call 1-800-717-SP, IL to reserve your tickets, 2. Come to the Lewes Terminal by 9.30 am and park your car. 3. Catch the 100 aJTt Ferry to Cape May. 4. Take a shuttle bus to and from the Park/Zoo. $. Return to Lewes on the 42:) p.m Ferry. Tkketm $15 price for adults and children includes round-trip Ferry ride and shuttle service to and from the Zoo. Plus, all kids receive a free Rand McNally Fun Book. Tickets for this one-day event are available on a first-come first-served basis Ferry space is limited! Please call for reservations! .APE Y-