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April 28, 2000     Cape Gazette
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Continued from page 6 our questions or provide records. A deputy attorney general direct- ed the vice president to answer the complaint. Mr. Manning, LID's lawyer, re- sponded well past the extended suspense date, but the sloppy, un- responsive, arrogant answer re- quired the deputy AG's again re- questing UD "answer the mail." I have yet to receive a response from the AG, although by law I should have had it in early March. UD bureaucrats went to the Economic Development Adminis- tration (EDA) only after realizing they were caught with their proverbial "hand in the cookie jar," after Delaware Representa- tive Ennis and I in mid-March told Mr. Armitage, UD govern- mental lobbyist, of grant viola- tions. Mr. Hayward then reported- ly looked at the grant paperwork and recognized a problem. EDA officials made clear to UD that the RP was 166 acres and directed UD to submit a report on how it handled these acres so that LID's debt could be determined. More than a month has passed, and EDA still is waiting for this re- port. UD had two legal opinions about the RP: a 1992 written one from Potter Anderson & Corroon and statements by Mr. Manning, then with Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP, at a 1998 Lewes public meeting. Both said that UD had to get disposition instructions from EDA and repay it money if - RP land was used for anything but the RP. Both firms, however, por- trayed an RP of about 70 acres. Mr. Manning added that other UD land was not in the RP. Where did they obtain these facts? Certainly not from the grant packet, where 70 acres are depicted only as Phase I of a 166-acre RP. Did Mr. Manning ever even check his facts? Mr. Manning's other infelici- tous statements to the press have created new problems for UD: He stated that right from the start UD leadership never intended to de- velop a 166-acre RP. UD's EDA application, however, in numer- ous documents and maps, includ- ing a RP master plan, presented a 166-acre RP. Is Mr. Manning say- ing this official document was fal- sified to qualify for a larger EDA grant? Mr. Manning, President Roselle, and Mr. Armitage are all on record as saying that in the mid-1990's UD's Board decided to "liquidate" RP land. Where are EDA's disposition instructions for this land? With such public ad- missions by its mouthpiece, head, and lobbyist, it will be difficult for liD to wiggle off the "debt" hook for all RP acreage and to convince EDA it owes only for some of the land sold in 1997. As for Mr. Manning's assertion that UD can sell RP land in 2003 without repaying EDA, let him produce a document proving his claim. The law says EDA "may" release, in whole or in part, any real property interest in connec- tion with a grant 20 years after its award. Mr. Matyskiela, chief of EDA's Mid-Atlantic Region,. as- sured me UD has no such release at this time. Most importantly, federal regu- lations require a grant recipient to establish procedures to account for and control grant-related land and to notify EDA of program changes. Where are UD's proce- dures? UD, of course, is an ab- straction: people make the deci- sions. Only its board has full au- thority to increase or diminish the campus. The board has a Stand- ing Executive Committee em- powered to act on its behalf; the Standing Committee on Grounds and Buildings is responsible for real estate; it has a Real Estate Department; it has lawyers; and it has received many federal grants over the years. Are we to believe all the experts just missed the ob- vious, never "focused," as Mr. Manning so ineptly put it, on the basics? Such simplistic excuses are unacceptable in these days when accountability is demanded of those spendirig taxpayer mon- ey. Let an ordinary citizen try such absurd, lame excuses with the IRS. As for RP land. sales, UD is re- quired not only to have disposi- tion instructions but also to try to receive the highest possible re- turn. Where is an independent market appraisal, as well as the advertising and marketing for the sales? Land was sold for $12,800 per acre in 1997, which seems low. What was its market value then, what is it today? What is the selling price in the current contin- gent sale? In answer to Mr. Manning's call for me to challenge one sale in court, let me say every action has' "its own proper time. Moreover, his claim that the state's justice Dennis Forney Lewes Mayor George Smith addressing the audience at a land use symposium featuring planner Randall Arendt: "'1 will tell you like Elizabeth Taylor told her husbands. I won't keep you long." Land use planner Randall Arendt discussing the aging of Amer- ica at a symposium April 24" "The bab y boomer generation has tu " " " rned into the pre-geezer generatton. Lieutenant Governor Ruth Ann Minner describing being late in a shrub near a gas station halted traffic: "Nobody and you probably won't believe it either. But I was bush. '" department told me there is no problem with this sale is ludi- crous: I have never discussed it with anyone there. For now, our group is content to let common sense in the court of public opin- ion, and the proper federal agency, judge UD's actions. If UD is to put this sordid affair behind it, let it open its records of the RP and related land dealings, matters of taxpayer interest since our funds - $ !,431,000.00 - were spent, to public scrutiny. Do UD leaders fear records might reveal a more serious infraction than gross negligence? Without full public disclosure, UD remains minted with a patina of wrongdo- ing. Finally, let the reader now judge if Mr. Manning's epithet about me, "out of control,' might be applied more aptly to UD's management of the federal grant. Gerald Lechliter Spokesperson Citizens Against Town Sprawl Rehoboth property fights in jeopardy I have been visiting and vaca- tioning in Rehoboth Beach for over 20 years, and have been a homeowner for the last seven years. As many people who write letters to the editor, I too love the beauty of Rehoboth Beach and am concerned about overdevelop- ment and increasing traffic that plagues Route 1 I was very enthusiastic about the possibilities of what was be- ing marketed as 'neighborhood preservation.' I, like most home- owners, fully cooperated with the University of Delaware students who came to my home to survey my property. My interpretation was that the city, through a neigh- borhood preservation effort, would encourage homeowners to maintain the beautiful pine trees and foliage indicative of the pres- ent neighborhood landscape. I al- so assumed that the city would guide homeowners as to the type of architecture that would com- plement the City of Rehoboth. Most all of us are aware of a handful of houses that appear out of character for the neighborhood in which they reside. I had no idea that what was strategically marketed as neigh- borhood preservation was clearly an attempt to significantly change the existing zoning codes while the building moratorium is in place. What the Rehoboth Beach Plan- ning Commission is proposing could adversely affect the current and future value of some homes in Rehoboth, while significantly mcreasing the property values of others. The city is proposing that the front and rear setbacks be in- creased by 250 to 350 percent! Side setbacks will also increase. Those restrictions are in addition to your lot coverage decreasing to 40 percent. This is acceptable if you presently own a large lot in the City of Rehoboth, or if you have Continued on page 8 CAPE Friday, April 28- May 4, 2000- 7 Vacationing in Florida, Bookhammer finds he's not too old to save another man's life At 82, Gene Bookhammer says he's too old to be doing a lot of the things he's doing. But he keeps on doing them. A former state representative and Lt. Governor for Delaware, Gene is as much a manifestation of his native Sussex soil as any person alive. He spends his after- noons at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, within eyeshot of the west- ern shore of Rehoboth Bay where his ancestors have farmed and logged and developed land for well more than a century. On warm days he plays golf, On colder or wetter days, he plays cards with friends on tables topped with green velvet. The floor-to-ceiling windows that face south capture every ray of light that bounces in off the bay. He works around his property on Rt. 24 most mornings, near the Eugene D. Bookhammer Bridge crossing Love Creek, and he takes care of business. Wednesday morning this week, he traveled to Georgetown to continue running the bureaucratic gauntlet that all who develop land must run. 'Tin doing 22 lots on a thirty-acre par- cel. Nice lots, good size. There's just an awful lot you have to go through. The permits are the worst part. I don't know why I'm doing this at my age." But Gene Bookhammer's a rolling stone, gathering little moss. He stays active, not one to shy away from doing what has to be done, continuing to learn. Is 82 too old to learn how to save an- other person's life? Apparently not. Earlier this year, Gene and his wife, Kitty, headed south as they have for a number of years to spend some time in the warmer climate of Florida. "We rent a place in a 7,500 acre development known as Sandestin. It's in the town of Destin, on Florida's pan- handle. It's a beautiful place we've been enjoying for many years. We meet up with Jim Beebe and Bob Searles and some other locals. It's fun." Although Sandestin has 72 holes of golf, Gene belongs to an- other club nearby known as Indian Bayou. "A group of us has a men's club and we play golf every Monday and Wednesday. Most of the guys are Canadians. We were playing one day a couple months ago. Four of us were putting on the fourth green. I putted and then noticed one of the guys - Bill - ly- ing flat on his back. I went over and kicked him and said 'What are you doing there Bill? Get up!' It makes me feel like a fool to think that I kicked him - just a lit- tle kick - because I thought he was just fooling around." That wasn't the case. "He was still and quiet and not responding. I felt his neck and found no pulse. Then I put my ear to his chest and heard nothing. He was gone, dead. Had a heart at- tack I guess. I've never taken a BAREF00TIN' CPR [cardio-pulmonary resuscita- tion] class. But rve seen them do it on TV so I went to work on him." Gene opened the man's shirt and noticed a long scar down his chest. "He was old like me. I knew he had a bypass procedure because I have the same scar down my chest. Had it done a few years ago. I never had a heart at- tack, just shortness of breath. They did four bypasses on me and I'm still feeling good." Gene said the first thing he did was take out the man's false teeth. "I don't know why. Just some- thing I remember. Concern that they might be swallowed or some- thing. Then I started pushing on his chest and put my mouth to his and started giving him air. The other guys were watching and I told them to go to a house nearby and call the medics. It seemed like two hours before they got there but it was probably only fif- teen minutes. I just kept alternat- ing between pumping on his chest and giving him air." Gene said he grew more nerv- ous as he worked on his friend. "At one point I saw his tongue move but wasn't sure whether that was just a muscle reaction. Then the paramedics came. They gave him a shot of something in .the arm and stuck a tube down his throat. I watched for a minute and then saw his stomach rise and he took a breath on his own. That was a great relief." Theparamedics took Bill to the hospital where he was placed in intensive care. His wife called Gene a little later to thank him and Continued on page 8 BOOKHAMMER