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Lewes, Delaware
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June 24, 2005     Cape Gazette
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June 24, 2005

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8 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 24 - June 27, 2005 Letters 'Save Our City' letter writers should sign names "Save our City?" Today I received a two page letter from some group called "Save our City," an anonymous group, I should add, since there are no names in the letter. The theme of the letter seems to be that Re- hoboth must be saved from Realtors and the character preserved by the current adminis- tration, our property values will go down if we don't "save" our city now, city work cannot be done on weekends, and, to quote the letter verbatim, "the City reduced the number of townhouses that can be built and it modestly reduced the size of other resi- dential structures in order to stop the in- creasing number of McMansions being built." First, if you Save the City folks can't sign your names, I cannot trust a word you say. At least the Realtors signed their names. Second, stop the preserving the character nonsense. I have been here since 1959; the fundamental characte of Rehoboth re- mains intact. I miss the Henlopen Hotel, the Horse and Buggy, the theaters and the Crab Shack and places to go for my young adult children in the e,vening, but we still have the lakes, although they desperately need attention. We still have Funland, the Boardwalk, and a main street with a bandstand, lots of trees and old and new houses, each differ- ent with different character. As for home values, as long as the economic theory of supply and demand exists, they will never go down, that's bunk! As for "McMan- sions," that nonsense needs to stop as well. Drive around Rehoboth and take a look at the many older homes built in the 50s - how about eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms - I know that particular hom e and the fam- ily is in its third generation. These older beautiful homes were built as family re- treats. These homes are not McMansions, they are homes for families and family gatherings. The walls talk of generations past and present. If we limit the size of our homes to small boxes, then, what are you saying? If the issue is townhouses, then let the voters vote, yes or no for townhouses. Let the voters set the setbacks for yards, height of homes, size of homes, style of homes, and percentage of yard that must be grass. This is not that difficult to do. Ditto for the commercial buildings on commercial streets. You-say there can't be city meetings on weekends, why not? And finally, you state "By their vote on May i6, the Mayor and Commissioners were doing the job for which we elected them." It is my under- standing that our elected officials in this country are elected to represent the people and I don't believe these folks represented the people in their actions, nor have they for several years. I look forward to the election and in- stalling a new administration with a new Mayor and Commissioners who possess both the credentials and experience to rep- resent the residents of Rehoboth. PS. I am not afraid to sign my name J. Somers Rehoboth Beach Rehoboth needs to get to the .'specifics' on FAR I have concerns about a Rehoboth Beach ordinance passed on May 16, referred to as the FAR issue. My opening statements segue to explaining my trepidation of the Rehoboth Beach Commissioners over-reg- ulating residential building compliance by using a reduction in "Floor to Area Ratio" as a regulatory means of controlling build- ing. I presently serve on the board and archi- tectural review committee of two property owners associations. Having owned a home building business I've also faced construc- tion issues from both sides of the debate with regard to "what can I have vs. not have?" ... including ARC approvals of my own personal homes in three different sub- divisions. First, I must say, I support Ron Paterson. He is by far the most qualified candidate and would bring a considerable amount of experience to the table as a commissioner. He serves on the Rehoboth Planning Com- mission and worked on the CDP and high- way entrance task force. He is a full time resident and a very active civic association president. He's concerned about the traffic, parking problem, our lakes, playgrounds and the police force. He does want Re- hoboth Beach, as he describes in his cam- paign literature, to be "a better city". He and I however, disagree on the FAR reduction issue, he is for it and I oppose it "as presently adopted". Our agreement to disagree is minor since he has publicly en- dorsed a referendum should a petition to the city warrant that action. That's the f 'arness in him: "let all the people be heard". My concern over this deeply debated top- ic and 0505-01 being passed as it was is simply fundamental. We have four people running for commissioner and two for may- or on Aug. 13, 2005. Let the candidates and incumbents, for that matter, address impor- tant topics including FAR over the summer when most people are here for extended times. Lets have specific questions an- swered, to the point without all the hoopla Barefootin' Continued from page 8 along bits and piece of news to people who stopped by through each day. Ken was slow talking and sharp as a tack and knew what was going on all the time. He and his family have been holding court in the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter - warmed by their old Siegler stove - through a number of generations. A variety of maladies slowed him in the past few years but he never lost his humor even io the end. His family hasn't missed a step in operating the station - a credit to Ken and his businesslike approach to life. Phil Miller, artist and musician, will also be missed. He died this week at 57. Phil joined Bernard Sweetney to help bring some class and style to two Cape Gazette office openings including the current build- ing. He was a fine bass player, particularly with jazz, and many people will remember him from many years of playing with pi- anist Scotty at Ells Hooper's Corner Cup- board in the pines of Rehoboth and with Bernard for so long at Kupchick's on Lewes Beach. The same talented fingers that played stand-up bass so well were equally at home wrapped around a paint brush when he was doing sensitive and well-executed watercolors such as his clas- sic of King's Ice Cream in Lewes. Phil was one of the classic thin men who look like they exist on coffee and cigarettes. He poured plenty of art and music into his rich 57 years. and fear tactics and comments over proper- ty value and real estate folks vs. the poor townie. Then we can make up our own minds on election day. And likewise all of those wishing to, deserve an opportunity to be heard on the issue of FAR by a referen- dum vote at the same time as we elect those who will carry out the implementation of the plan. If we vote in or out, the right or wrong candidate for an inaccurate or just wrong reason ... we do a disservice to our- selves. There are several questions everyone should want to hear answered from each candidate and incumbent. No. 1 - How large is their house on their lot? No, 2 - How much of the lot is built on? Lets have proper disclosure - don't invite hypocrisy by saying "I have mine, but you can't have yours". Then without ambiguity - No. 3 - How each and every conditional use of the FAR issue will effect new construction and remodeling and most importantly? No. 4 - blow square foot calculations will actually be determined? The raw numbers of square feet don't mean anything if an arbitrary interpretation is to be applied to porches, decks, swim- ruing pools, basements, non-living space, mechanical rooms, etc. Let's get the whole story on the table so we can elect the fight people in this election and prepare for the next one by electing responsible candidates who will shepherd our growth spurt cor- rectly, intelligently and most importantly, fairly for everyone. There are changes needed especia].ly con- cerning an updated code version. Perhaps even some change is needed to control den- sity; commercial overtaking of residential areas and protecting the character of a neighborhood but singularly selecting regu- latory compliance by FAR alone isn't the answer even if it was the first step. It's really time to get the "specifics" and stop sniping at each side of the debate. The commissioners' job is to support the wishes of the people by speaking for us. Our obli- gations, as citizens, is to find out what the commissioners' positions are and speak to then through our vote Aug. 13. Stephen Simmons Rehoboth Beach Angola residents favor centeral sewer I attended the sewer meeting at the Ango- la by the Bay clubhouse June 15. The rea- son for the meeting was to discuss expand- ing the sewer to all of the Angola area. There were many comments and questions. My.opinion was that most residents, es- pecially from Angola by the Bay, were in favor of the sewer to protect the environ- ment and enhance the quality of life in the Angola area. The owner of Angola Crest 1 and 2 has already spent a great deal of mon- ey on their own system and stated it was unfair for them to have to spend more to hook up to the new system. The meeting was very well attended - standing room only. Residents and devel- opers from the area presented questions and comments in a dignified, mature and re- sponsible manner. I was amazed when I read the news arti- cle by Molly Albertson, Cape Gazette staff, in the June 17 edition. The piece included phrases like "Controversy roared..." "Part- time residents went wild at this concept," and "...but a roar of indignation went through the crowd .... ". The article made it sound like an unruly, irresponsible, uncon- trolled angry crowd was in attendance. That just wasn't the case. These people want to do the fight thing the right way, at the best time and at a fair price. Weare talking about the safety of our drinking water; the Inland Bays and the ability to live here in a healthy environ- ment. Jack A. Noel Angola by the Bay Embryonic stem cell research - it's all about money! Why are Representative Mike Castle, on the national level, and Senator Venables along with the University of Delaware, on the state level, pushing so hard for passage of embryonic stem cell research legisla- tion? It's all about money! Any company or university research lab in Delaware, or for that matter in America, can experiment with human embryos, but they have to use their own money or private funding. If Cas- tle and Venables get their bills passed, our federal and state tax dollars will pay for this controversial, and many believe unethical, experimentation on and destruction Of the human embryo. Our tax dollars would be better spent on adult stem cell research, already in clinical trials, curing or substantially improving the conditions of patients with spinal cord in- juries, heart attack damage, MS, Parkin- son's, leukemia, diabetes, and more. It's not a promise or a hope but a reality. Embryon- ic stem cell research, after 20 years of ex- perimenting on animals, is still uncontrol- lable, producing tumors and a high rate of rejection, making it too risky for use in hu- mans. There is no guarantee that the explo- sive embryonic stem cells can ever be con- trolled. What really goes on in the labs conduct- ing experiments on human embryos? The National Academies, an independent sci- ence advisory board chartered by Congress, recently released a detailed set of guide- lines aimed at U.S. researchers who per- form experimeats with human embryonic stem cells. These guidelines allow for the possibility of making various types of ani- mal-human hybrids called "chimeras." But such experiments would face close scruti- ny, the report declares. Will our tax dollars be used to create "chimeras" (under close scrutiny of course)? Rachel Leonardo Lewes Vigil objectors denigrate the idea of democracy As one who has observed the demonstra- tions that take place on Savannah Road each Sunday, I think something is being lost by those who participate. I do not think that anyone on either side of the road is in favor of war or have any disrespect for those who are fighting it. But if we are beating the costs of that conflict to bring democracy to the people of that land, then we might step back and think about what that means. The essence of democracy is the right of the citizenry to peacefully demonstrate against the policies of their elected govern- ment. If we have asked more than 1,700 of our citizens to lose their lives so that the cit- izens of Iraq have this right then we can hardly object when our citizens exercise it here in Lewes. The demonstrations have grown increas- ingly bitter. Those who oppose the right of others to protest the war have moved from simply waving the flag to carrying signs that indicate that they object to anyone ex- ercising that right. Those who do so are the people who are failing to support the troops in the field. If Continued on page 9