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Lewes, Delaware
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June 13, 2003     Cape Gazette
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June 13, 2003

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 13- June 19, 2003 VIEWPOINTS Editorial Letters What is the fight mediciner As is the case in most states across the nation, Delawareans are wrestling with mounting health care costs most often in the form of insurance premiums. Individuals are seeing their health care insur- ance costs rising, businesses are seeing those costs rising, and doe- tors are seeing a rapid escalation in the cost of malpractice insurance. Delaware's General Assembly is currently debating the merits of leg- islation which would create greater oversight of malpractice claims and which would cap awards for non-economic damages at $250,000. Doctors and hospitals support this legislation saying it would take away the unpredictability of awards that scares insurance companies into hiking their rates. The state's trial lawyers oppose the legislation saying the insurance companies themselves - unregu- lated by anti-trust laws - are required to justify very little when they go about hiking eir rates. The lawyers also argue that in Delaware judges have an almost 100 percent rate of reducing jury awards for non-economic damages. These arguments, however, don't get to the root of the problem. Though we will never get away entirely from problems resulting from mediai'procedures, Wewould do betteras a society if do{0rs J in Delaw were to police their own ranks and be public in such  J "proceeclings as do the s tate's' lawyers. Delaware's Bar Associhtion J takes its professional status seriously and is in a steady mode of mon- 1 itoring those given the privilege of practicing law in the state. Those who violate the accepted standards of the bar come regularly under the authority of the association and the courts resulting in repri- mands, suspensions and occasional disbarments. These actions are made public and distributed to the news media of the state for broad distribution to the public. The public as a result understands that the profession is watching itself carefully and taking steps to correct the behavior of those who violate the standards of the profession. That level of oversight not only directly addresses problems, it also sends the message through the ranks that substandard behavior will not be tolerated. Such public exposure of similar activity in the medical ranks is virtually non-existent. Delaware's medical profession ranks at the bottom of the states in taking and reporting such disciplining action. In many malpractice cases, settlements include a gag order that prevents the public from knowing the results of a lawsuit. That takes away one of the strengthening forces of our community - awareness and information. A recent study by a national health organization determined that five percent of physicians account for more than 50 percent of the malpractice cases in our land. If Delaware's medical profession were to police its own ranks more aggressively, it might be able to decrease instances that constitute malpractice. Fewer instances of malpractice and resulting claims would make good argument for lower insurance premiums. There's no doubt that frivolous lawsuits aimed at cashing in on heavy insurance policies need to be eliminat- ed from our state. Doing so would be much easier if our state's med- ical profession moved from the bottom of the list to the top of the list in terms of policing its own ranks and taking aggressive action to correct those violating the profession's honorable standards. The Weather Picture Bartmm Q Dougherly photo A faithful reader spied this mother duck and her eight or nine ducklings swimming across Silver Lake. The photogra- pher noted how blessed we are at this time of year "as our abundant bird population renews itself before our eyes." .Takin, exception to ambBrighton letter In response to the Friday, June 6 let- ter to the editor from Elaine Johnson. Affordable housing is definitely a necessity in the beach areas. Some of us "locals", born and raised here are unable to build a home nearby our families, aging parents and/or grand- parents who need us, because of the increasing property values. Let me thank you now for my inability to purchase a home in my hometown for less than $350,000. Oh wait, aren't the lots alone going for that on the beach? You're right, we need more people to come here to buy up our "chicken farms and cornfields." to overburden the wastewater treatment plants, congest the highways, and then insult all of us, locals, who main- tained these towns before most people were even aware Lewes and Rehoboth existed. I do agree that we don't really need Brighton, but, I also didn't think Henlopen Acres, in Rehoboth, needed to become its own city. It did, regard- less of what we thought, and other than a name change it really hasn't affected us. Are we really supposed to believe that when you moved here, it was because of the name? Not because of our beautiful beach, or access to major cities, or good hospi- tals, or kind neighbors. In addition to increasing our prop- erty values and population, we have had a huge increase in crime. Especially burglaries. I imagine the million dollar mansions going up around my litde mobile home seems much more inviting to a burglar. I'm sorry that I don't think it's okay to push mom and pop stores out to let big business in everywhere, and I cer- tainly do not think its fair to push peo- ple, especially local seniors, out of their homes. It is happening. Traffic, come on, I remember when we didn't have buses or taxis, let alone 1.5 million people on Route 1. I don't want to go back to that but I also would like to drive to Rehoboth in tess than an hour in the summer. It used to take ten minutes. You moved to our area to get away from places like the "Schuylkill Expressway", don't you realize you brought more here than just your bags and your mohey? We are small' towh people; that is where we are from, and that is who we are. It does not make us "red- necks", we lived here because we enjoyed the small town life, and the beach. We didn't want bigger houses or fancier cars, or a lawn that costs more than our house. We loved "our home" even if we did buy it with less than nationally average salaries and wages. In closing, I would like to add that I love theCape Gazette newspaper, of course no one else in the state has heard of it, that is why it is the CAPE Gazette not the State Gazette. I enjoy the fact that when you pick up the Friday paper, there is usually a posi- tive story on the front page. They cover community issues, our commu- nities, yours, mine and even the "cow pastures" T. Evans Lewes Letter writer has some nerve criticizing locals In response to the letter written by Elaine Johnson on June 6, I would like to start off and say you are rude. I was born and raised in the town of Lewes and you have some nerve say- hag those things. I really don't care how much you spend on your lawn or how much money you have. Its obvi- ous to me you don't care about any- thing that does not involve you. I have seen many changes in this town some good and a lot bad. For one thing, building has to stop in this area we are running out of room. There are a lot of people who like to hunt and fish in this area and all the farmland and wet- lands are being bought by developers Continued on page 7 Write Now Letters must be signed and include a tele- phone number for verification, Please keep letters to 750 words or less. Write Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. faxto d: or eraail news-, i Volume 10 No. 4 Publisher Dennis Fomey dnf Editor Tdsh Vernon newsroom @ Office Manager Kathy Emery kemery @ Associate Editor Kerry Kester kester @ News Steve Hoenigmann steveh @ Jim Cresson jcresson @ Rosanne Pack Jan Ellingsworlh jen Bddin Reynolds-Hughes bridin @ m Janet Andrelczyk Andrew Keegan ekeegan Amy Reardon areardon Kad Chalabala ahotogmohem Dan Cook Ka Moshor Edk Sumption :Dave Frederick davefredman @ Sports Wrltors "lim Bamforth tbamforth @ prodigy, net Frederick Schranck Fschranck@ Advertising Cindy Bowlin cindy @ Sharon Hudson sh udson @ m Amanda Neafie-Lucks amandal@ Chris Rausch I i crausch ' Pat Jones Classified Sandy Barr Kim McPike Webmaster Catherine M. Tanzer web Receptionist Kandy Vicary Clrculatlon Harry Stoner Joni Weber production Coordinator Norma Parks nparks @ Production Staff Chris Wildt Molly Wingate Teresa Rodriguez Laura Kucharik Ron Winterstein Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Emeil for news, lettem: newsroom @ Email for advertising: production @ Emaii to subscribe: subscribe @ The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub. liched by Cape Gazette Umited every Friday at the Midway Shopping Center, One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Second- class post-age paid at Rehoboth Beach, Dela-ware. Address all conespennce to Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302-645-7700. FAX: 645-1664. Subscriptions are available at $27 per year in Sussex County; $45 else- where. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, RO. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope." Bill Cosby