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Lewes, Delaware
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May 23, 1997     Cape Gazette
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May 23, 1997
 

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Briefly Gazette files complaint with Attorney General The Cape Gazette has requested the Attorney General's Office de- termine whether the Cape Hen- Iopen School District has violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to disclose district ex- penditures as they pertain to for mer Director of Instruction Nancy Feichtl. The Cape Henlopen Board of Education voted on Monday, May 12, 1997 to accept Feichtl's retire- ment - more than three months af- ter the district suspended her. Fe- ichtl's current contract was slated to expire June 30, 1998, but with last week's agreement, the board will allow her contract to expire June 30, 1997. Neither the district nor Feichtl's attorney, Jim Griffin, have re- leased terms of the financial set- tlement of Feichtl's contract. The Cape Gazette requested, under the Freedom of Information Act, co- 9.peration from the district in re- lbasing the financial terms of the agreement. The district's attorney, David Williams of the Wilmington law firm Morris, James, Hitchens & Williams, responded in a Friday, May 16 letter to the newspaper, "You know the district has not re- fused to disclose the information. Rather, I told you that we will look at the controlling law and ad- vise the district as to whether it may disclose the information con- sistent with the privacy rights of the affected employee." At this point, the district has still failed to release the information. The Gazette's position is that the taxpaying public has the right to know how any funds are spent by a public body such as the school district. It is not seeking any information about the settle- ment other than that pertaining to financial terms. According to Becki Millman, board president, the board voted only to accept Fe- ichtl's retirement, not on a settle- ment agreement. A spokesman from the Attorney General's Office said the newspa- Clarifications In last week's edition, a story pertaining to Nancy Feichtl's re- tirement from the Cape Henlopen School District incorrectly stated the school board voted not to roll over Superintendent Suellen Skeen's contract. The board did not take a vote on the matter. Her name was not submitted along with the other administrators whose contracts were rolled over. A brief in the May 16 edition incorrectly reported that David and Christine Hastings, owners of the Jolly Trolley, had agreed with the Town of Dewey Beach not to make stops in residential areas. The Hastings report they are still negotiating with town officials and nothing is signed and sealed. per's complaint will likely be sent to the district by Friday, May 30. Following its receipt of the letter, the district will have 10 days in which to respond to the Attorney General's Office. That office will then determine whether the dis- trict has violated the Freedom of Information Act. Police arrest two during checkpoint Through a combined effort be- tween the Delaware State Police and the Rehoboth Beach Police, officers arrested one person for drunk driving and another for a child restraint violation on Tues- day, May 29. The police staffed a checkpoint on Rehoboth Avenue between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., where 385 vehicles passed throu.gh. Lewes ad hoc zoning committee to meet There will be a meeting of the city of Lewes Zoning Ad-Hoc Drafting Committee on Wednes- day, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held within coun- cil chambers of city hall located on East Third Street. The public is welcome to attend. Delaware corn planting running behind average Delaware's most recent Crop Progress and Condition Report, for the week ending May 18, shows planting of corn for grain to be "under the previous year aver- age and well under the five year average." The same is true of tomatoes, snap beans, melons and sweet corn. There hasn't been much rain lately, evidenced by the fact that there were 5.5 days "suit- able for fieldwork" during the 7 day period. "Topsoil moisture was two percent very short, 16 percent short, 80 percent ade- quate, and two percent surplus. Delaware farmers have prepared 71 percent of their fields for plant- ing," according to the report. The cool spring we've been having, up until this week, is evidenced by progress in the state's strawberry fields. The crop report indicates that as of May 18, 78 percent of the strawberry plants have bloomed compared to 92 percent at this point last year and 93 per- cent for the five year average. For those of you interested in pastures, the report shows that eight percent were in fair condition, 88 percent were considered good, and four percent were considered excel- lent. Spence discusses HB285; eyeing governorship Terry R. Spence, Speaker of the House for Delaware's House of Representatives for 17 years, spoke to Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club on Monday, May 19 about House Bill 285. Guided by Spence, the legislation intended to bring more safety into Delaware's public schools, is now law. "I think our schools are safer as a re- sult and I think our streets would be safer if we had more police of- ricers showing a stronger enforce- ment presence." HB285 requires that weapons and assault offenses, among others, occurring in public schools, must be reported to the Delaware State Police for investi- gation and possible action. Spence displayed a broad array of weapons confiscated from public school children in Delaware in- cluding guns, butcher knives, brass knuckles and more. "People from all cultures, economic back- grounds and ethnic backgrounds have told me time and time again that they want safer schools for their children. This law does that and I'm told it's making a differ- ence." Spence., a Republican, said following the meeting that many people have talked to him about running for governor of Delaware in 2000 and he is giving it serious consideration. Jockeying for posi- tion for a run for the state's top seat started two days after the 1996 election of Gov. Tom Carper to his second and final four year term at Return Day in George- town. Supporters of Lt. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner passed out pins at that point stating "Minner 2000." The 2000 election is al- ready shaping up to be a wide open and exciting affair. Schroeder allocates funds for Rt. 1 cosmos plantings 37th District Rep. John Schroeder said this week that he has approved allocation of $6,000 from 37th District Suburban Street Aid money for the planting of decorative flowers along Route 1. Joe Lesley, right-of-way devel- opment administrator for Delaware Department of Trans- portation (DelDOT) said that two large beds of cosmos bipinnatus will be prepared beginning in ear- ly June. "Cosmos is a multi-colored flower - white, pink and off-red - that thrives in dry, hot conditions and will begin blooming in about the third week of July and contin- ue past the first hard frost, which in the beach area can come as late as early December," said Lesley. He said the work will begin with fumigating, digging up and mulching the beds followed by seeding. One of the beds will be located in the rising area of medi- an strip on the north side of the Route 1 Nassau overpass - the gateway to Delaware's resort area - while the other will be in the grassy area defined by the "jughandle" at Five Points that carries traffic eastbound on Rt. 9 back on to northbound Route 1. Rehoboth gives Sydney's expansion green light The Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners granted a certifi- cate of compliance to Sydney Arzt during a special meeting May 15 to expand her Sydney's Blues and Jazz Restaurant in two phases. Any restaurant serving alcohol wishing to expand or change its floor plan must first go before the board for permission before seek-" cAp_E GAZE..'r.., li'day ., .May.23 - .1. y 29111 7 -3 Angie Moon photo Brush fire south of Dewey Beach Brush fires burned on a windy afternoon Friday, May 16 just south of Dewey Beach and north of Indian River Inlet. Rehoboth Volunteer Fire Company was assisted by Lewes, Milton and Bethany Beach in squelching the blazes, which spread easily due to the dry conditions. No one was reported injured. ing Alcohol Beverage and Control Commission (ABCC) approval. Arzt first plans to add bath- rooms and convert the adjacent building which previously housed Boston's into a new dining room. The second phase calls for relocat- ing the bar to where the present dining room is located on the east side of the restaurant and convert- ing the present bar area to dining. She will also enclose the patio for dining purposes and offer access from Rehoboth Avenue, and when the work is completed she will be able to accommodate 48 addition- al dining seats. The board stipulated that she must begin all of the work within the year. I off, and adding office space. DSWA to hold hazardous waste collection May 31 ,: The Delaware Solid Waste Au- thority (DSWA) will hold a spe- cial collection of household haz- ardous waste (HHW) on Saturday, May 31 in Rehoboth Beach. The event will be in the parking lot be- hind the fire station on Rehoboth Avenue and will operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the event of incement weath- er, citizens can call (800) 404- 7080 to check for cancellations. Residents may also call the above number if they have questions re- garding what materials are haz- ardous. Rehoboth board turns down Paternoster variance The Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment denied a request on May 16 from Emily Paternoster for a variance to allow her to maintain a nonconforming porch at 93 Sussex Street. "The board found no hardship involved," Building Inspector Su- san Frederick explained, noting that the porch was an increase to an already nonconforming use of the property as there are more buildings already on the lot than allowed by pi'esent zoning code. Also, there was no proof that she was replacing a porch that had previously existed there, as Pater- noster claimed. Paternoster was ordered to tear down the porch built without ben- efit of a building permit. No fines were issued. The board did, however, grant a variance to American Legion Post 5 to expand its building at King Charles and Laurel sts., which is on land zoned open space. While one board memb said he could see no basis for hardship, the fact that the land is zoned open space forces the Legion to apply for a variance any time it wishes to . change the building. The Legion will add 135 square feet to the back of the building, squaring it Cape Gazette offices closed for Memorial Day The Cape Gazette business of- rices will be closed on Monday, May 26 in observance of Memori- al Day. Regular offices hours resume Tuesday, May 27. There are no changes in news or advertising deadlines for the May 30 edition. First plovers found at Cape Delaware's first piping plover nest of the season has been found at Cape Henlopen State Park prompting park officials to close a short section of beach to pedestri- an and vehicular traffic. The nest was discovered May 12 along the beach in the Gordon's Pond area of the popular park. As a result, approximately two-tenths of a mile of the beach has been closed and will remain closed until any chicks which hatch are able to fly on their own. The beach will re- main open to the north and south of the nest to accomodate surf fishing vehicles. Typically, each nest produces rive to seven eggs. The eggs take about 25 days to hatch and chicks are usual!y able to fly within an- Continued on page 4