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April 6, 2012     Cape Gazette
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April 6, 2012

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Cape Gazette VIEWPOINTS FRIDAY. APRIL 6- MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2012 7 Letters Continued from page 6 introduce and pass HB 290. Twenty-five of the Legislature's 62 members have signed on to sponsor or cosponsor this biparti- san bill. The sheriffs of both Kent and New Castle counties are also supporting the legislation. Understand that this bill would not prevent members of the Sus- sex County sheriff's office from receiving training and carry'mg weapons to protect themselves in the performance of their duties. Sheriff's deputies in Kent County carry 40-caliber handguns and re- ceive annual training in their use. In New Castle County, the sheriff and deputies carry pepper spray, a hand-held radio, and a 9-ram sidearm with which they must qualifythree times a year. Addb tionally, they receive training from county police in the use of force, CPR, officer safety and other non- investigative police issues: It needs to be noted that Sussex County Council sent a memo to Sheriff Jeffrey Christopher last October asking him to specify what training he wanted his deputies to receive, its benefit to his staff and what organizations would conduct the training. The sheriff has failed to respond to this inquiry, stalling the process for getting his staff the assistance they may need. The sheriffs of all three counties serve valuable fimctions in con- ducting tax and foreclosure sales, delivering court summons and in some cases, transporting prison- ers. These agencies, however, are not empowered to arrest citizens. In keeping with the suggestion of the state solicitor and the request of Sussex County Council, House Bill 290 is intended solely to re- move any small glimmer of re- maining ambiguity on this point. In doing so, it will also eliminate the looming threat that Sussex County residents could be liable for paying multi-million dollar set- tlements due to the defiant actions of their sheriff's office. The sponsors of House Bill 290 have tabled it in committee to give the public a chance to have some of their questions about the legis- lation addressed. Additionally, the sponsors are exploring the possibility of requesting the Delaware Supreme Court to make a definitive ruling on the issue. Sheriff Christopher's own re- cent statements support both HB 290 and the possibil!ty of getting an opinion from the High Court. In a WBOC story posted on their website Dec. 21, 2011, the sheriff said he was asking legislators to clarify the authority of his office: "I'd like to have a declaratory judgment on what the role of the sheriff should be in so much as how the law describes it." In pub- lished remarks in the News Jour- nal on March 28, he said: "It ulti- mately needs m go to the court system to be decided." State Rep. Dan Short Seaford Leave policing to proper officials in Sussex I've been reading in the last few issues of the Cape Gazette about the demands of Sheriff Jeff Christopher to be allowed to as- sume the mantle of full status of a police officer for himself and his deputies. Is this to allow the coun- ty to become liable for any infrac- tion that may occur while at- tempting to enforce the law that they do not now have authoriza- tion to do? Nor will they have the training to do so in the near fu- ture. I agree fully with Mr. Persow of Rehoboth Beach, who laid out many issues that the sheriff has re- fused to answer, (above the law perhaps) that indicates the county would or could be liable for every legacy issue that arises now or in the future. Who foots the bill for all of his demands? I believe that policing should be left to the legitimate town and state police departments. This is a Problems with Mediacom return his is a follow-up to my article of Oc- tober, 2011 about Mediacom's poor service in my area. I was extremely surprised when I received a phone call from Mediacom'g Mid-Atlantic office the very next day after the article was published. I'm not sure what exactly triggered the action - the article or the FCC complaint that I filed a few weeks earlier (probably both) - but in about one week after that, my issues were re- solved. And that's after eight months of numer- ous phone calls, emails, and techs' visits. For those eight months they had been telling me that new equipment needs to be ordered, deliv- ered and set up, and all that takes time, and more things of this nature. Was that all a lie? As soon as a little pressure was applied, the prob- lem was resolved right away! For about 1.5 months I was very happy with my service. And then, late December/early Jan- uary, it started all over again. Cable internet with DSL speed, but at the cable price. Again, more phone calls, service calls, more stories from Mediacom employees. No resolution so far, and it has been three months. I have discussed these issues with my neigh- bors in Gosling Creek community via the mass emailing system our community has in place. It turned out that the vast majority of residents have exactly the same complaints - slow inter- net, frequent outages, poor service. I would like to share some tools that Would help anyone who is unlucky enough to have Mediacom as a cable/internet provider to see if they are getting the speed they should be get- ting. Please go to either one of these sites to measure your speed: - click on Begin Test - click On Washington, D.C. Most people should be get- ting close to 15Mbps for the download speed. Also, here is the link to file FCC complaints that I utilized: I would like to publish some telephone num- bers of the people in charge of Mediacom's op- erations in our region: Glenn Bisogno, vice president for the Mid-Atlantic region, 302-732- 9332, Ext. 310, or David Rickards, technical su- pervisor, 302-462-5091. Anyone who needs more information can also send me an email to anton@antechcomp, com. I encourage as many people as possible to call Mediacom using the numbers I provided, file FCC complaints and submit a letter to the Cape Gazette. The more people do it, the more leverage we have on the company, and maybe they will finally do something about the sub- par service they provide! Anton Balakin Lewes blatant grab for power by the sheriff. J. Roche Milton There is plenty of crime in Sussex ounty This pertains to all those silent seniors and retirees who live in every community in Sussex Coun- ty and are afraid to confront the crime wave here in Sussex County. There are always two sides to a story, none of which any newspa- per down here wants to hear that other side. Now I have formed a group of people who go around and talk to senior centers and ask about what they're afraid of in Sussex County. Ninety-eight percent all give the same answer - crime and the lack of the proper law enforcement that needs to come to these com- munities and do what the state troopers can't do. The state troopers are our friends and they try to handle every aspect of crime here in Sus- sex County, yet with Sussex Coun- ty Council the big issue is control, and that is what the good old boys live by down here. So, they don't want anyone upsetting the grand scheme of the rotten politics that have existed here in Sussex Coun- ty for years. And, that's not just me saying this. I've run into peo- ple all over the peninsula who say the same thing. There was a state troopers' meeting at the Indian River fire- house March 8 and something must have jarred a nerve or two, because the "big guns" came down from Dover, including the major of the group. Now he brings down a leaflet, about eight pages thick, hands only a few out and proceeds to tell the audience that showed up that the crime is not down here in Sussex County. Don't believe it. Go to a website and it will show you all the crime thatexists here. If the citizens don't take a stand against the county council, which has no clue on how to handle the C ontinued on page 8 he whole country of Spain is celebrating Semana Santa this week, leading up to Good Friday and Easter week- end. In planning a trip to Spain to see sites and friends, we were advised to avoid this week be- cause of the huge crowds that would be gathering everywhere. We did, having just returned last week, so instead of seeing the crowds, we saw the prepara- tions. In Granada, in the south of the country and beneath the snow- capped peaks of the Sierra Neva- da, this year's posters advertis- ing Semana Santa showed a suf- fering Christ with the stiff thorns of his crude crown send- ing large drops of blood down his face. In Madrid, men dressed in loincloths and crowns of thorns stood motionless on the sidewalks of busy streets with large crucifixes propped against their shoulders. Living statues, they gathered coins dropped in small boxes by throngs of passersby in the historic down- town area of the nation's capital city. Between the crucifixion of Christ, the inquisitions that made Spain a nearly pure Catholic nation, revolutions and the nation's iconic bull fights, no doubt remains that the dry plains of the Iberian peninsula have been liberally irrigated with blood through the cen- turies. A few hours strolling through the galleries of the Pra- do in downtown Madrid further confirmed the passion of the na- tion and the Christ story. Huge oil paintings by Goya and other European masters captured some of the dynamic stories of the New Testament of the Bible in graphic detail. They also mixed those stories with impor- tant chapters in Spanish history. One, for example, showed a busy scene in the court of Spain's most famous royalty, King Ferdinand and Queen Is- abella. The king and queen kept themselves busy primarily with securing Spain as a Christian - almost exclusively Catholic - na- tion by driving the Muslims and the Sephardic Jews out of the country. They were particularly busy in the memorable year of 1492 when they completed their conquest of the Muslim strong- hold of Granada and also agreed to fund the historic voyage of Christopher Columbus. This particular painting is in- A LIVE STATUE OF CHRIST carrying his cross stands on town Madrid in the week leading up to Easter Sunday. DENNIS FORNEY PHOTO a busy street in down- teresting because it shows a wealthy Jewish merchant stand- ing at a table before the throned monarchs. An audio tour seg- ment explained to us that the merchant was offering a great sum of money to Ferdinand and Isabella to allow the Jews to stay in Spain and help fund the cru- sades against the Muslims. But at the moment captured by the artist, while the merchant is Continued on page 8