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Lewes, Delaware
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April 16, 2013     Cape Gazette
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April 16, 2013

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Cape Gazette VIEWPOINTS TUESDAY. APRIL 16- THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 7 Letters )) Continued from page 6 of the three Rehoboth Beach police officers involved in the ar- rest. This officer twice kicked the arrest subject in the head. This appalling behavior is simply inex- cusable under any circumstances. I am not condoning or sympa- thizing with the offender. He was uncooperative and unresponsive to the officers' commands and shouting obscenities. However, the police officers were in control of the situation. They had the subject sitting on the sidewalk and had used a Taser gun on him several times. When he appeared to resist the officers' placing handcuffs on him and a scuffle ensued, one officer first kicked the subject, then stomped on his head with his boot. I cringed at the sight and couldn't believe what I was see- ing. How can this happen in Re- hoboth Beach? What a huge black eye this will be to the city's image of a friendly little beach town. I hope Chief Banks will view the video and investigate the circumstances of this arrest. The officer involved should have exercised more self restraint. Personally, I believe he should be fired immediately. There should never ever be a circumstance where kicking someone is the head is condoned, excused, or accepted as a legiti- mate law enforcement technique for subduing a subject. I hope the right thing will be done. Richard Kirchhoff Rehoboth Beach Many factors weigh into RV park opposition My opposition to the Love Creek RV Resort and Camp- ground proposal is based on several factors including traffic, safety, county economics and status of other RV parks. I have history in this area, having owned a home in Plantations East for 12 years prior to relocating to The Retreat at Love Creek in 2011. The primary cause of my move was the dramatic increase in traf- fic and safety issues on Plantation Road. Traffic routinely backs up on Plantation Road/Waverly Road from Robinsonv'llle to Old Landing Road. It is not unusual for this approximate 3/4 mile drive to take 25 minutes on a weekend or holiday. The acci- dents were so frequent in front of the Plantations, a system of lane markers was deployed with little success. I personally witnessed two accidents, and a trooper mentioned 10-12 accidents oc- curring in a year. Adding tractor- trailer- sized vehicles to this traffic equation will only increase the stress on these roads. I fully support sensibly planned housing growth for this area - consistent with current development. Tax revenues can only make our county better. As pre.viously commented on in this publication, minor revenues will be collected by an RV park, zero realty transfer taxes. These campgrounds will al- ways start with glorious presenta- tions and commitments from the developer. Have you ever seen an ugly brochure? Then when DELAWARE CAPE REGION HISTORY IN PHOTOGRAPHS )) Cape Henlopen Lighthouse fell into the sea April 13, 1926 CAPE GAZETTE FILE PHOTO ON APRIL 13, 1926, FOLLOWINGA pounding storm the day before, the venerable Cape Henlopen Lighthouse toppled from its sand-hill base and disappeared from sight. It had been guiding vessels around the Hen and Chickens Shoals at the southern entrance to Delaware Bay since its construction in 1767. The 69-footstructure, built of granite quarried near Wilmington, stood on a 45-foot sand hill placing its intense light more than 100 feet above sea level With its strongest lens, the light on a clear night could be seen 17 miles out at sea. According to the 1938 Delaware Guidebook compiled by authors involved with the Federal Writers Project of the Works Proj- ect Administration: "Pieces of the masonry are favorite material for fireplaces and many a Lewes or Rehoboth mantel has a painting of the lighthouse above it." Renowned southern Delaware artist Ethel P,B, Leach painted this image of the lighthouse looking from a vantage point onthe beach south of the light. Her rendering captured the precarious location of the light which was abandoned in 1924 due to the threatening erosion. you arrive at the destination you cal area. It is not consistent with for the developer to do the right realize the pictures deceived the County Comprehensive Plan thing - create the appropriate you. Based on visits to other lo- and other development (existing project for this pristine land. cal parks, it is my view that this or planned). I urge our officials Richard Wright project will never fit into the lo- to deny the conditional use and Lewes you keep building on success? That might be question John Rieiey, newly elected chair of the Sussex County Republican Committee, asks himself. Rieley recently replaced Jerry Wood, who died late last year after leading RePublicans to victory in November with big wins in the newly formed District Six Senate seat (Ernie Lopez) and District 20 Representative seat (Steve Smyk). "I think that a lot of it comes down to having good candi- dates that actually get out and campaign hard,,' Rieley said. He also credited the party's "tre- mendous volunteer base." "I don't tfiink it's a lot more complicated than that," said Rieley, a longtime Millsboro resident who has served as vice chair under five different committee chairs since 2003. Back then, he said, Sussex was mostly a purple county. Now it's mostly red - Repub- licans hold four of five seats on County Council and 11 of 14 legislative seats - despite a continuing Democratic edge in registered voters. But Rieley, an investment advisor for Edward Jones, said he doesfft think Sussex has .changed that much. It just ap- pears that way compared to the more Democratic upstate. "I don't know that we've changed our values in Sussex," he said. That includes Demo- crats. With their disadvantage in registered voters, he said, Republicans need to attract Democratic and independent voters to win. Has the influx of new resi- dents changed the county po- litically? Not necessarily. Rieley said the slight Democratic ad- Vantage has held fairly steady. "You look at the Lewes and Rehoboth area and that seems to be trending more progres- sive, Democrat," Pdeley said, "whereas you get down to Bethany and the 38th District and that seems to be conserva- tive." As the new chair, he's been confronted with two recent cOntroversies but he doesn't appear overly concerned. One involves John Fluharty, executive director for the state Republican Party, who attended a fundraiser in support of gay marriage. In response, Sussex Repub- licans passed a non-binding resolution saying: "The Dela- ware Republican Party stands for traditional family values and all hired representatives of that organization SHALL publicly reflect that view." That was interpreted by some to mean they sought Fluharty's dismissal. Pdeley said that wasn't the case. "It didn't mention anybody by name. It didn't call for any- body to be fired," he said. Ac- cording to Rieley, it's the kind of statement any corporation would have in its HR manual. Or as Duke Brooks, Republi- can communications director, put it, "If you work for General Motors, you don't buy a Mus- tang." That emphasis on "family values" might well have had an impact in November's election. Nationally, though, support for gay marriage is growing. If the same is happening in Sussex, county Republicans could find themselves modifying their stance. In any case, Fluharty has remained as executive director. The second controversy revolves around Sheriff left Christopher and his continuing attempts to expand the pow- ers of his office. Unlike some Maryland counties, such as Queen Anne's, Delaware sher- iffs have traditionally served as officers of thecourts, not in law enforcement. Christopher contends that he should be the top law enforcement officer in the county. He recently lost in Superior Court, but he could still take his case to the state Supreme Court. Rieley acknowledged the controversy, but didn't take a position, leaving it up to the Su- preme Court and to the voters. "I think the sheriffs race could be an interesting one," he said. He expects the Supreme Court to render a decision be- fore the next election - which could affect the race - but said there's interest in the office among both Republicans and Democrats. "I think we'll have an oppor- tunity to vet the issue," Rieley said. As county chairman, he would only say that he would fully support the decision of the state Supreme Court. To digress briefly, while I expect the Supreme Court would rule against the sheriff, everyone should read Ron MacArthur's story in the April 5 Gazette. It mentions the sher- iffs efforts to raise a "posse" and, yes, that's the word that's used. Anyone over the age of 15 is eligible, because, well, noth- ing says modern law enforce- ment like a bunch of teenagers acting as a posse. Actually, it's worse than that. Christopher says he has the right to summon the entire population above the age of 15 to help him "keep the peace." In other words, he has the right to raise an army. Is that likely to happen? No. Should voters, Republican and Democratic, in the next election make it clear they don't support his efforts? Yes. Rieley did have one predic- tion for when Republicans meet for their state convention later this month in Wilmington: The party's new vice chair will be from Sussex County. That's because the only two candidates are Nelly Jordan, chair for Representa- tive District 20, and Rep. Ruth Briggs King of District 37. In the ever-changing world of politics, that's as close as you can get to a sure thing. Don Flood is a former newspaper editor living near Lewes. He can be reached at