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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
April 21, 2000     Cape Gazette
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April 21, 2000
 

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Continued from page 6 these records. The Jon went on to assert that "...the fisheries section telling us they had-no historical records of rockfish catches in the Delaware Bay when they set the quota limits in 1985, so baseline quotas were established on 1970s landings. Now it turns out they did have records and certainly should have known about them. It's another example of how the fisheries sec- tion has misled and mistreated US." Shortly before this column came to my attention, Jon Mick came into my office to present his supposedly new data to me and to discuss the history of Delaware's allocation of striped bass as deter- mined by the Atlantic States Ma- rine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Striped Bass Manage- ment Plan. Compliance with the provisions of this plan is mandatory for all the states, lest they face the threat of federally imposed closure of their striped bass fishery due to noncompliance. The newly discovered data by Jon was in fact not new at all. It was the same data we have been using all along for the period of record. It appeared new to Jon because the commercial landings for Delaware were lumped with the commercial landings from New Jersey for the Delaware Bay for the 1970s, before New Jersey closed its commercial striped bass fishery. These landings figures, imper- fect as they may be, were com- piled by the National Marine Fisheries Service and are the only commercial landings figures in existence for the 1970s and be-- fore. These landings data clearly show that striped bass commer- cial harvests reached an all time high in 1973 and then began a de- cline that has lasted into the 1980s. The Division of Fish and Wildlife didn't receive legislative authority to make reporting of commercial landings mandatory. until 1984. Commercial quota limits on striped bass for Delaware and the rest of the east coast states were based on a percentage of the aver- age reported landings from the period of 1971 to 1979, once striped bass fisheries were re- opened in 1990 following five years of a moratorium on landing striped bass imposed to allow de- pleted stocks to recover. Initial commercial allocations were very conservative early in the 1990s until the Commission became convinced that the coastal striped bass stocks were well on their way to recovery throughout the species' range, The ASMFC allowed Delaware's commercial quota to rise slowly through the 1990s until it was frozen at the present level of 193,000 pounds in 1998 pending completion of a revised fishery management plan for striped bass due this coming October. At this time we cannot predict what our commercial allocation will be for the year 2001 under the plan which is being rewritten. It will depend on a lot of things, in- cluding how well recent commer- cial and sport fisheries for striped bass are meeting the existing plan targets for losses due to fishing. I pointed out to Jon that we have not been overlooking or hid- ing information on striped bass landings, and I hope that he now has a better understanding of what records are available and how the recent quotas have been calculat- ed. It is a shame that he didn't come to me before your reporter's interview with him so it would have appeared to readers that we "misled and mistreated" him. Likewise, a more balanced article on the topic could have been writ- ten by your reporter if he had tak- en the time to consult with me or others in the fisheries section on this matter. I believe it would be in the pub- lic's interest for you to use this in- formation to set the record straight with your readers. Thank you. Roy W. Miller Program manager Fisheries section Dennis Forney Critters is closing its doors The nonprofit organization Critters Inc., which furnishes toys, treats and medical care for the homeless animals at the Sus- sex County SPCA, will be clos- ing. Since 1988, Critters Inc. has helped the shelter in many ways. We have purchased numerous stainless steel cages which re- placed the previous ones. The new cages are larger, safer and easier to maintain. Many toys and treats were pur- chased for the animals. These items provided many hours of en- joyment for the animals while they were waiting to be adopted. We were able to spay and neuter some of the animals, which made them more adoptable. We would like to thank the fol- lowing businesses for displaying our collection canisters: Abizaks, The Coffee Mill, Country Wicker Etc., Dolphin Dreaming in Bethany and Rehoboth, Etched in Time, Four Paws Animal Hospi- tal, Garage Sale Antiques, The Herb Shop, Miattress Peddlers, Milton Country Store, Mizzen Mast, Murrow's Flowers & Gifts, Nature's Touch, Never Never Land Kennel, Noah's Lark, Silk & Sands Florist, Sugar & Spice Collection Inc. and the Wooden Idian. We want to thank Super- Fresh Store Route 1 for display- ing our food donation box, each holiday season since 1988. We appreciate Rehoboth Mall for allowing us, for many years, to have our Critters Wishing Well on display. We also want to thank George- town Animal Hospital and Four Paws Animal Hospital for provid- ing medical care for the shelter animals. Also thanks goes to Sea- side Printing for help with all our printing needs. I personally would like to thank Denise Irwin, of Home'Away From Home Kennels, for helping form the organization. After Denise resigned I was for- tunate to have Annie Bishop take her place and help keep the organ- ization functioning. Critters Inc. especially wants to thank the many volunteers who withstood cold temperatures and rainy days during our outdoor fundraisers. Without the contin- ued support of our faithful volun- teers year after year these fundraisers would not have been possible. We would like to thank every- one who contributed to our canis- ters, wishing well, and supported our various fundraisers. Lastly, I'd like to thank my family and friends for their end- less support and help with all my Critters related activities. Dawn Walls-Baugh Lewes Bill Lee for governor Bill Lee for Governor!! Yes in- deed, a likable, friendly man who relates to people is the one who can win the governor's seat in No- vember. Bill Lee for governor - the man with a proven record of public service to our nation - lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps; our state, prosecuting attorney, teacher, real estate law and criminal justice as a judge in Family and Superior Court, where as resident judge for Sussex County he was also re- sponsible for the administrative duties of the court; his church, Epworth United Methodist Church - adult Sunday school teacher for 27 years; his party - serving as county hairman of the Republican Party until his ap- pointment to the bench. Bill Lee for governor, devoted father of four grown children who raised his family in Delaware. All four of his children attended Delaware's public schools, so he is well aware of the need for at- tention-to improving our educa- tional system. Bill Lee for governor, the man with a clear vision of how he would lead the state and reaffirm our claim as the First State. He of- fers skilled leadership and a com- mitment to moving state govern- ment into a more efficient opera- Continued on page 8 CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 21 -April 27, 2000 - 7 Spring is bringing delicate Red Bud blossoms to the Appalachian lowlands of Virginia Twenty-five years ago my wife, Becky, and I headed south one spring to visit my sister and her husband living in a ramshackle- and aging plantation house in the scrubby Piedmont plateau of east- central North Carolina. We left Delmarva in the evening. As we crossed the Vir- ginia-Carolina border, the air warmed and we lowered the win- dows. The air of spring was fra- grant with the sweetness of lilacs and the purples, reds and whites of blooming azaleas. We arrived early in the morn- ing, before the sun began spread- ing light across the remnants of a soybean crop in the sandy field around the house. My sister met us in a robe and we whispered in the quiet of the pre-dawn hours. We marveled at the l2-foot tall ceilings in what we all fondly be- gan calling the palazzo. A wide and sagging porch went around three sides of the one story struc- ture. Coupled with the dark and cavernously high rooms inside, the design was intended to beat the sweltering heat of Carolina's summers before air conditioning. We went to bed to catch some winks after the long drive and woke a few hours later to the sound of birds singing and beauti- ful music wafting through the walls and halls. The strings and winds of the symphony somehow matched the scene and the season perfectly. That's how we were in- troduced to Aaron Copland's mag- nificent Appalachian Spring. Unlike the almost syrupy sweet- ness of lilacs, the beauty of Cop- land's music - with the elegant Shaker melody "Tis a Gift To Be Simple" prgviding the centerpiece - has never cloyed through the years. It always captures the freshness of dew drops in the coolness of a spring morning's first hour of sun. "It's been ten long years since I left my home in the hollow where I was born. Where the cool faU nights make the wood smoke rise and the fox hunters blow their horns. " Spring in the Appalachians of course has lost none of its charm. BAREF00TIN' Last week we set our compass west and after stops in College Park and Charlottesville, wound our way through hollows and along switchbacks to the Blue Ridge Parkway. All along the way we passed the intense purple- crimson blossoms of Red Bud trees - looking oriental along black branches - and the crisp whites of dogwoods. We left the Parkway to travel west to Warm Springs, Virginia. Barely more than a crossroads in the hills, Warm Springs lies along a north and south spine of heated and mineral-rich springs in the valleys just east of the Virginia- West Virginia border. The Red Buds there were accented with frozen rain on a gray day. Two white-boarded, octagonal buildings, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson in the late 18th century, stood alongside a small parking lot. Separated by about 25 yards, the buildings straddled a small and misty flowing stream. The policies have never changed. Men go in one building, women in the other. Outside the door to the men's building a paint- ed list provides the mineral con- stituents of the water inside. I pushed my way through the simple wooden door and found a crude pool inside - about forty feet in diameter and six feet deep - with three men floating around naked in the mineral bath. In the women's side, the more modest ladies were given light flowered smocks to take their baths. For $12 you get an hour in one of the nation's oldest and simplest re- sorts. The spring water bubbles Continued on page 8 Dennis Fomey photo This is one of two wooden structures at Warm Springs, dat- ing back to the late 18th century, that house natural pools of 98 degree spring water.