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Lewes, Delaware
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April 10, 1998     Cape Gazette
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April 10, 1998
 

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VI00]EWPOINTS Editorial Dolphin Bay decision should stand Superior Court Judge Henley Graves closed the hearing he called on April 3 regarding the appeal of the Dolphin Bay Motel variances granted by the Lewes Board of Adjustment with an impromptu state- ment about the workings of communities. "These zoning board deci- sions - there's no job more difficult. They raise all difficult ques- tions. Many of you [lawyers at the hearing] make a living working your way through the maze of documents involved in zoning cases. Civil boards, public boards - they're made up of volunteers doing their work for the service of their communities. It's a tough job. Half the peope who come before them end up happy, the other half come up mad. They are thankless positions. I sit up here and look down - sometimes like Oz - and try to put it all together." Judge Graves questioned a number of legal issues at the hearing but appeared most concerned about a factual question involving height limitations and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements. He recognized the variety of responses to legal issues invariably addressed in such cases but returned again and again to his concern about whether the town's status with FEMA would be jeopardized if the variance decisions stood and the Dolphin Bay project went forward. That Judge Graves is so sensitized to the FEMA concern is understandable given the storms and flooding that have caused so many coastal problems this year. That he is sensi- tized to the plight of the volunteer boards working to make the right decisions shows his connection to and understanding of the commu- nities from which his court ultimately arises. One year has passed since the Dolphin Bay project was proposed. After numerous hearings and extensive community involvement in molding a project that met a variety of contemporary concerns in Lewes, it finally appeared that there was relief in sight for the "DeBraak" problem on one of the most visible and valuable pieces of property in the community. When Judge Graves is finished with his deliberations, we hope that he will find that there are no FEMA concerns and that the communi- ty's decision on this important project should stand. Letters A good beach preservation line Tony Pratt of Delaware's Beach Preservation Section said there has been a line of reasoning going around state circles recently about the justification for beach preservation. "The state is spending $900 million on the Route 1 bypass project to get people to the beach con- veniently, safely and quickly. It's most likely that the annual mainte- nance of that project will be more than what we will have to pay to maintain our beaches. Yet we balk at maintaining our beaches." The reasoning makes sense to us. Our beaches are our Grand Canyon. They need to be protected and maintained. Nothing is more impor- tant to our long-term well-being than taking care of them. Angie Moon photo A pattern is cast by the streetlights under the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk on a cool spring evening. @ Full Moon Last Quarter New Moon First Quarter April 11 April 19 April 26 May 3 00ltlfft ':3)(: 'L(:::::4:::;!:,';; Bennett expounds upon upcoming election I have been patiently waiting for the final "hats to be thrown into the ring" for the upcoming Lewes election on Satur- day, May 9. We now have four candi- dates, including myself, who have offi- cially filed to run for two important council seats. Frankly, I am happy to see that there is competition and that it has finally surfaced. Now I can go to work and convince you, the citizens of Lewes, that I should be one of your elected offi- cials. My analysis of my opponents is as fol- lows: I see them all as good people who care .about Lewes. There are some very distinct differences in our positions and some similarities, which should give the voters of Lewes some interesting things to contemplate. There are two seats open this year, and regardless of whom you elect, if I am one of your choices, I am certain of my ability to work with any of the other three, even if we do have differ- ences of opinion. In our democratic gov- ernment, compromise is sometimes the only way to get things done! However, unlike some of my competition, I do rec- ognize the need for some positive changes. Lewes is a growing community with a lot of new faces and a lot of new ideas. As a community, we must be able to move forward together, incorporating the old and the new, to maintain and improve our unique treasure - Lewes, Delaware! If you do elect Jud Bennett, I promise that I will maintain what is good, and improve what needs to be improved. I would like to reiterate my position on some important issues that I believe will improve the overall operation of our gov- ernment and the quality of life in our community. Planning and Zoning: The Lewes Plan- ning Commission should be restored to its legally designated status for making the final recommendations to council on all issues concerning new and revised development, especially that which con- cerns out infrastructure. Lewes has too many committees. Our city government needs to be simplified and streamlined. Street repair: All streets in the City of Lewes in need of repair should be fixed. The City of Lewes has almost $3 million and the Board of Public Works has almost $4 million. This is our money, folks. Fixing up our streets would be a good investment for the future. As a matter of fact, Lewes would be entitled to considerable help from the Delaware Department of Transportation, which would defer much of the cost. Cedar Avenue and Savannah Road are the State of Delaware's responsibility and should be upgraded at the state's expense. Safety: A comprehensive pedestrian and traffic plan should be developed and implemented for our city. Let's make our streets safe for everybody. Reserve Capital: Right now all our reserve funds are sitting in one local bank collecting a minimum interest rate. The City of Lewes is losing thousands of dollars as a result. Our reserve funds should be diversified in order to achieve the best return on our money. If we sig- nificantly increase the revenue on our reserve funds, we could definitely improve our infrastructure and prevent tax increases in the near future! Police force: Our police force should be well educated, well equipped and well supported. We need dispatchers, a city detective, K-9 corps and state-of- the-art computers. On Saturday, April 18, City Hall will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a spe- cial registration day for those who have to work weekdays. Registration ends Friday, April 24, at 4 p.m. If you did not vote in the last two Lewes elections, you must re-register in order to vote. If you tiaven't registered specifically in Lewes in order to vote in local elections, you will not be able to vote. Registering to vote in national elections does not entitle you to vote in Lewes. City Hall is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This Continued on page 8 Write Now Letters are always welcome and Please keep letters to 500 words or less. Write:to CapeGazette, P.O, Box 213, Lewes, laware 19958, Volume 5 No. 46 Publisher Dennis Fomey Editor Trish Vernon News Editor Michael Short News Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jen Ellingsworth Janet Andreiczyk Photographer Angie Moon Proofreader Bill Rable Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Forestieri Nancy Stenger Joseph Mariann Wilcox Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Circulation Harry Stoner Production Coordinator Deidre Sudimak Production Staff Susan Porter Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is published by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Mid- way .Shopping Center, Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Sec- ond class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: (302) 645- 7700. FAX - 645-1664. E-mail: capegaz @ dmv.com Subscriptions are avail- able at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 else- where. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious." Spengler