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Lewes, Delaware
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June 9, 2000     Cape Gazette
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June 9, 2000

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Continued from page 6 community association to do the same. CAS was instrumental in reducing the initial impact fees for those who originally hooked up from a proposed $2,000 to $500, and was also able to reduce the initial annual fees by 40 per- cent on longer than 100 front feet and about 25 percent on less than 100 front'feet. Here is another op- portunity to obtain further reduc- tions. Although not much has been said over the past several. years, we have continued to keep the sewer cost issue in front of county, state and federal officials; it has not been a dead issue. Paul J. Pasqualini Rehoboth Beach Dennis Forney Sto W on Cape employee disturbing I was extremely disappointed and disgusted by the article about Mr. Walls, the hall monitor, in the May 26 issue. The article had too much information about the ac- tions of Mr. Wails and the teen girl. I don't think it is appropriate to share such explicit details of their sexual encounter. I wish that the author had thought a little bit more about how her article would affect the people reading it. I don't think this article was fair to the girl, her family, or Mr. Walls' family. This is the worst kind of sensational journalism. We have to monitor what we see on the In- ternet and TV, but do we need to monitor what we read in a local newspaper, a paper which my whole family reads? I feel uncom- fortable handing it over to my 11- year-old brother. I am a teenage girl, who attends Cape just as the girl does, and I was extremely upset that two staff members at my school have been arrested for sexual misconduct. It really makes me question how safe we are in our schools. Grow- ing up, I have learned to be aware of the dangers many of us face, including drugs, bullies, and re- cently, shootings. But nowhere in my learning have I ever been taught to fear my teachers. We are supposed to trust our teachers. And we're not supposed to feel unsafe around them. What do I think now? Do I need to worry every time a male teacher is nice to me? This subjects disturbs me, and I'm angry that I, as a teenager with enough to worry about; have to add this to my list of fears. I think the community needs to be informed about these incidents, but there is no excuse for using such graphic terms. Thank you for printing my letter. Sarah Sprague Cape Henlopen High School A tribute to fallen classmates In the past week, we suffered a loss far greater than any other - wc lost a _friend. Ron Bull was not only a friend, but he was our family. It is a family that lost two other great people in Curtis Davis and Danielle Geurin. Some may think they are gone, but, in fact, they are right here be- side us. When they were included in the graduation ceremonies, I thought it was the most respectful thing ever, especially with the standing ovation by their class- mates at Cape Henlopen High School. To Ron, Curtis and Danielle, we miss you, remember you and will always love you. May you rest in peace. J.S.F. Classmate Cape Henlopen High School Class of 2000 Conectiv telling me what I already knew An event has happened that has compelled me to write my thoughts in this forum. I recently received additional electrical service for one of our buildings here, following nearly six months of waiting for the installation. I wasted many hours locating and exposing the existing utilities to facilitate the installation. Conec- tiv Power Supply finally chose the option to have the power sup- ply cable bored or drilled under- ground to the meter located on the building, from a transformer lo- cated on our property, instead of trenching through the earth as is customary. I have found myself too busy with other more urgent issues and have not taken the time to use any electricity at that location. Last month, when meter time came around, there was not one, but three meter readers here at the same time, one of whom I ex- plained that the meter had not budged a kilowatt since the instal- lation, and told him he could walk down to the building to confirm my claim if he chose. He accepted my statement. I recently received the first billing for this new meter. I am simply dumfounded about this sit- uation. Maybe one of your readers would be kind enough to take the time to explain their logic to me, as I am truly baffled. The billing in my hand indicates that I owe zero money for power usage and that I should enclose a check for $4,50 to pay for this information from them, plus I must attach a 33-cent stamp on the return state- ment. I know that computers are only as intelligent and efficient as the operators who run them, but let's get back to the basics or get real for a second. Do I really have to Spend $4.83 for the privilege of having Conectiv tell me what I al- ready knew? Presuming I owe this bill, am I not within my legal rights to send Conectiv Power Supply an invoice for $4.50 to tell them they do not owe me any money for picture framing and honestly expect them to pay it? Seems logical to me. Robin Reifsnyder Coolspring State responsible for preserving DeBraak The following letter was sent to Gov. Tom Carper with a copy sub- mitted to the Cape Gazette for publication. It has been brought to light by an article written in the Cape Gazette newspaper in Sussex County, that there is no funding in the budget for the conservation of the Debraak shipwreck artifacts. It is the responsibility of Deiaware to conserve these arti- facts properly and hopefully to provide a museum so the public can enjoy the cultural history of our most famous shipwreck, the DeBraak. I am requesting, as a citizen and a taxpayer of the State of Delaware, a complete audit and investigation of the following: What was the requested budg- et each year for the past 14 years for the conservation of said arti- facts? What was the actual budget approved for each of the 14 years for the conservation of said arti- facts? Who authorized the elimina- tion of funding for said conserva- tion budget? Your immediate attention would be appreciated in this most important matter of cultural and historical significance to the State of Delaware. The $500,000 Bond Bill re- quested by Rep. John Schroeder of Lewes should take priority over all other Bond Bill requests, since the conservation of the De- Braak artifacts as a preexisting obligation of the state, or an amendment, on your part, should be made to the 2001 budget. William J. Winkler Ocean View Boaters ruin Half Moon reenactment Just returned from the Half Moon re-enactment battle in Lewes. Thank you Half Moon crew for your excellent event. Much work and planning went in- to this activity. Rain did not stop this event, the playing of the fife and drum corps or the many people watching. The rain also did not stop the very rude and inconsiderate peo- ple with their boats. Too bad the boat police could not have roped off the complete area beforehand to keep such peo- ple out. M. Hughes Harbeson Two homes about to fall in Lewes bespeak a different culture, a different time Two houses tucked into a quiet part of Lewes at the southwestern end of Mulberry Street will likely fall to demolition crews over the next couple of months. Standing side by side in an overgrown section of the commu- nity, behind Beebe Medical Cen- ter's complex, the houses repre- sent a rapidly disappearing aspect of Lewes culture. For most of the 20th century, the houses were home to black families with the names of Riley, Sunkett, Hill and Polk. The prop- erties were sold recently. Lewes Mayor George Smith, who grew up just a block away, agreed this week that it's unlikely they have been purchased by black families of the area. "It just takes too much money to afford the prices that people are throwing up on properties in town now." Smith said the houses are proba- bly in the realm of 100 years old. "Both are now empty and suc- cumbing rapidly to the persistence of nature and its elements and vines. Althea Palmer lives across the street from the William Sunkett house which stands on the corner. "It's been there as long as I can re- member and I've been here many a day," said Palmer. Elizabeth Stewart, 82, lives a block or two away on land in Shipcarpenter Square. A lifetime Lewes resident, Stewart enjoys her small house that at one time was the only dwelling on the en- tire block now filled by the re- stored houses of Shipcarpenter Square. "Those houses [the Sunkett and Riley houses] were there before I was here," said Stewart this week. ''They're everybit as old as I am. William Sunkett's dead now but his wife, Mabel, is in the nursing home. He was an ordinary per- son. Down sick for two years or more before he died. Bedfast. He and his family came around Lewes in the 40s or 50s I'd say. He shucked oysters and did differ- ent things for people. He may have worked down to the fish fac- tory for a while. I don't really know. After he died, other mem- bers of his family lived there a while but I think it's been empty BAREF00TIN' for a good while now." Elizabeth hasn't been feeling well lately but she's no longer bothered by people approaching her to buy her valuable piece of land in Shipcarpenter Square "They don't bother to ask any more. I've told them no so many times. They know it's no use." William P. Sunkett's 'name still stands prominently in store- bought metal letters on the front door of the falling and ramshackle house where he and his family lived. Stewart said the Sunketts kept cats and someone in the neighborhood continues to feed them. One day this week two sat quietly on the cracked front walk before the front door and ate from plastic bowls. They're the only life left at that end of the street where there used to be lots of ac- tivity. Mayor Smith said Ernest Riley lived in the house next to Sun- kett's for a while and then moved into a larger house next door, clos- er to Blockhouse Pond. That was before the mid-point of the 20th century. "He worked for the state for a while and his wife, Lucy, worked for the hospital. She mothered most of his children. I think there were 10 in all. After she died Ernest remarried and had a couple more children by his sec- ond wife. Four or five of his chil- dren were older than me and I'm approaching 70." The larger house they lived in was torn down a number of years ago. Smith said when he was grow- ing up, Lavinia and Latin Polk lived in the smaller house. Continued on page 8 Dennis Forney photos The only life around the Bill Sunkett house these days is the cats that enjoy the generosity of neighbors.