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Lewes, Delaware
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April 28, 2017     Cape Gazette
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April 28, 2017

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8 FRIDAY, APRIL 28 - MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017 VIEWPOINTS Cape Gazette After a calm run down the North River and a quiet evening in Broad Creek, we motored out early the next morning to cross the broad Albemarle Sound before the wind came up. Even at 0700 we weren’t early enough to beat the northeast zephyrs pushing across the sound. Becky white-knuckled it as Nellie surfed, scudded and pitched her way over the 10- mile passage. “We need a bigger boat!” Going up the waves on the following seas, she labored back to about eight knots. Surf- ing down the other side, she would speed up to 14 and enjoy the ride as I wrestled her on as straight a course as I could manage. Becky wasn’t amused. It’s generally true that the vessel can take more than the crew. Alligator’s little reprieve Getting inside the Alliga- tor River didn’t give us much pause, as the wind was blowing straight up its axis and ours too. So rather than spend another few hours seeing just how nasty that building northeast wind could get, we opted instead to pull into the remote but protect- ed Alligator River Marina. Wanda runs a tight ship there, and we met nice people who also had ducked in. Craig and Ellen were on a 40-foot trawler heading north. They sold every- thing in Birmingham, Alabama last fall and left in October to make the Great Loop that in- cludes the Mississippi River, the Florida coasts and East Coast, and on up until entering the Great Lakes and turning west- ward and southward to finish on the Mississippi. “We’re taking two years and looking for where we will live next,” he said. We told them about the great restaurant along the ICW in Coinjock. (You can drive there or boat there.) Ellen said that fit her impression. “We weren’t impressed by the seafood in Florida. Bland. But we’ve been impressed by what North Carolina does with theirs.” The sounds and wilds of the eastern part of North Carolina aren’t that far away, but they really are a different world. We don’t have alligators in our rivers. Vashon, who gave us a ride to Coinjock to get our truck and trailer - Becky refused to go any farther until I agreed that the next time we crossed Albemarle Sound would be on a bridge and not a boat - told us he had eaten alligator. “It’s chewy and tastes like snapping turtle,” he said. We also don’t have signs along our roads warning us of bear crossings. And billboards calling the U.S. Fish and Wild- life Service liars about red wolves are few and far between in Sussex County. At one marina, the dockmas- ter told us not to fall into the river. “We have water snakes and water moccasins here,” he said. “They’re cagey.” Cawood says a snake will eat anything he can get his hands on. And I don’t even want to get into the sharp-tusked and 300-pound boars that Pat said roam the wildlife areas that fringe the sounds and rivers. Becky said we will probably forgo camping there. The weather settled down after that, stayed warm and gentle, and we made it through the Alligator-Pungo rivers canal to get into the Pamlico River system. There’s a lot that could be said about one of the world’s largest potash plants, on the shores of the Pamlico - basically mining thousands of years of marine creature skeletons from great pits. And about the sleepy crab- bing town of Belhaven - birth- place of the ICW - where we ate with Pat and Mary in an unbe- lievably good and unexpected restaurant called Spoon River. Our waitress Tamika looked like Oprah - only prettier - and was just as delightful. The marina operator at Dowry Creek said Spoon River is the best restau- rant in eastern Carolina. And I could talk about the vil- lage of Bath, which is to North Carolina what Lewes is to Dela- ware - the states’ first towns. But that’s enough. I’ll put some photos of these places with this column online if you want to take a look. Jimmy Buffett sings lovingly: “From the bottom of my heart to the coast of Carolina ... .” I can see why. The land and water are dynamic and beautiful, and the people are just the same. We count our blessings that we were able to sample it and report back that spring is doing just fine down that way. Barefootin’ Continued from page 7 meetings and voice their con- cerns and opinions on the direc- tion of growth in our county over the next 10 years. Ten minutes for a better 10 years is a small price for a worthy outcome. Go to for the complete schedule. Sussex Alliance for Responsible Growth  Tongue-in-cheek observation on City Hall I have been following with mild amusement the saga of the town’s new city hall, beginning with demolition of the old building before the cost of its replacement was finalized and continuing through a series of change orders and other items that have inflated the project’s price tag by more than 16 percent. Especially hilarious is leader- ship’s logic for approving change orders in small, private meetings rather than with all of the city’s elected commissioners present. According to the city’s explana- tion, published in the April 21 issue of the Gazette, “(t)he meet- ings cannot have four or more commissioners taking part or else the gathering becomes a quorum and the meeting must be publicly noticed.” Yes, notifying the public might slow work, but it also would shed light on the project and allow residents to know how their tax dollars were to be spent before funds were committed. Maybe city leaders just don’t want people to know about changes, such as “$11,000 to modify the walls of the commis- sioners’ caucus room, a tower structure standing on the eastern corner of the building.” Perhaps it would be appro- priate to rubber-stamp one final change order - to cover the tower’s exterior in ivory, creat- ing a perfect vantage point from which to look down upon the mere citizens who’ll be paying for their leaders’ edifice complex. Peter Harrigan Rehoboth Beach Lewes variance denial is ludicrous So much hoopla over some variances. You have good people who only wanted to take an old house and make it great again, and all they are getting for their trouble is a lot of grief. Does 10 feet really matter? In 50 years those 10 feet won’t amount to a hill of beans, but the house, because of good workmanship, will still be standing with a family living there enjoying the life they wanted in Lewes. To make these people tear down portions of this house is so stupid. Please, take a moment to really think about it and grant them the variances they need to complete their project. Sadly for Lewes, don’t think they will rescue any other houses in Lewes. Joanne Dover Wilmington There are ways to combat the epidemic In your April 25 editorial titled, “Citizens must demand solutions to heroin epidemic,” you state, “As the epidemic mounts, no one at the federal, state or local level has offered a serious plan to combat this epidemic.” This is not true; your editor has not done his/her homework. The federal government is making $485 million per year for up to two years available to states to help combat the opioid crisis. The funds are provided for in the 21st Century Cures Act through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin- istration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention have just concluded accepting applica- tions for these fiscal year 2017 grants. The program aims to address the opioid crisis by increasing ac- cess to treatment, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of preven- tion, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder, including prescription opioids as well as illicit drugs such as heroin. These grants will be awarded to states and territories via formula based on unmet need for opioid use disorder treatment and drug poisoning deaths – just what your editorial claims is needed but for which you incorrectly state no plan is offered. Perhaps a more useful edito- rial on your behalf would be to report on your investigation as to whether Delaware has submitted its grant proposal to receive its share of this enormous amount of funding to fight the heroin epi- demic here in Sussex County. You also state in your edito- rial, “This epidemic was brought to us by drug companies selling relief without properly warning of its dangers.” What a wrong and myopic point of view! In fact, every prescription dispensed by a pharmacy for an opioid phar- maceutical is accompanied by a lengthy explanation of the drug: its potential side effects, dosage, and other information that warns of its dangers. How arrogant of you to pre- sume that you know the rea- son for the epidemic and offer absolutely no support for your assertion that drug companies are the fault. Nowhere in your editorial do you even imply that the cause, or even one of the causes, could be the tons and tons of illegal heroin smuggled across our national bor- ders into our cities and suburbs to be sold at enormous profits with no concern for the health of the purchaser. You say nothing is being done at the federal, state, or local level about this, yet President Trump will be offering a plan to build a wall to help stop the influx of heroin into our country from the south. In addition, the federal govern- ment at present is unable to arrest and deport many drug-dealing de- generates in our society because some state and local law enforce- ment officials grant them virtual immunity in their so-called sanc- tuary cities. Yes, your editorial is fake news because it is not based on fact. First, it is based on a false state- ment that nothing is being done about this problem when indeed there is. Second, it is based on an unsubstantiated statement that places the blame of the heroin epidemic on pharmaceutical firms while avoiding any discus- sion of illegal smuggling by drug dealers. In summary, there are serious plans being offered to combat this epidemic and to identify its source - you just overlooked or chose to not state them. Ken Dietel Lewes Closing deficit with legal marijuana not the answer Here comes the sell. There was a front-page article in the News Journal April 24 with informa- tion supplied by a state-funded organization. Kind of like the government lobbying itself. Is the government and those advocating legalizing pot ready for all the as- sociated costs from another drug which will have similar costs to alcohol use/abuse? There are some questions I have about the bill legalizing the “recreational use” of mari- juana. How does the government propose to test for those using marijuana (pot) while driving? Has a new test been developed besides a blood test? How will it be sold and who will control the handling of licenses? Where will it be grown and can I grow my own? What happens to those who are pulled over having used medi- cal marijuana? The one cost that government may not have included is the cost of those who use marijuana as a gateway drug, one that leads to use of other drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, LSD and others. What are these costs? I am sure there is no conclusive research on this subject. There is evidence on both sides. Whose side will win depends on the tax dollars seen in the eyes of those wishing to fill the state’s deficit. Do they believe the tax revenue will outperform the cost in dol- lars in enforcement as well as all the associated costs to society in other areas? How do you reconcile that pot is still illegal under federal juris- diction? There will be no federal (our tax money) dollars for fund- ing enforcement or areas related. How is revenue generated from tickets and related activities for enforcement, etc. reported to the federal government? Can it be? Is it perhaps just another govern- ment slush fund? Voting to further erode the morality of society for the hope of raising more tax revenue, or other issues, is a dark deed. So, if you decide to support this step, be fully aware and prepared for the consequences. We can only pray that this is not one of the bills worked in the wee hours of the last day under dark of night when most people will not show up in opposition to watch. As an aside, there is already a medical use of mari- juana permitted in Delaware. Is this added use only an easy way to plug the deficit? John Poe Bridgeville Letters » Continued from page 7