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Lewes, Delaware
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June 24, 2008     Cape Gazette
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' cape GM.et00 VIEWPOINTS TUESDAY, JUNE 24- THURSDAY JUNE26, 2008 7 I Letters )) Continued'Won: page 6 their legislators and tell them "No to a hospital provider tax." A tax on hospitals means fewer dollars will be available for preventive care and community outreach, fewer dollars will be available to hire needed nurses, allied health professionals, and doctors, and fewer dollars to purchase state of the art equipment patients need and desire. Hospitals will be faced with no other option but to raise their fees, which will mean more out of pocket expenses for patients. No, a tax on our hospi- tals is not the answer to balancing the budget. It's only bad medicine for Delaware. Or. lr V. Strauss Lewes Steps Out for fitness June 26 On Thursday, June 26, at 6 p.m., the third year of Lewes Steps Out For Fitness begins. This year we have moved the location to Smith Pare and expanded the opportu- nities for participation. Come out and register for the program and receive a free stopwatch! You can monitor your time participating in any type of physical activity. Our theme of "Every Minute Counts" allows walkers, runners, bicyclists, kayakers or any other type of workout to be logged into our time count. Then we will record our efforts as a community. Opening night is our communi- ty night, with opportunities to register for the Lewes Police De- partment Neighborhood Watch Program, curbside recycling and gather information regarding healthy eating, free blood presse readings, as well as obtaining safe- ty information from the Leaves Fire Department, demonstrations, and even magic tricks. Also, don't miks out on your opportunity to earn the first ever Lewes Steps Out For Fitness lapel pin, certain- ly something to be desired by alll Be part of our community. See you on Thursday, June 26 at 6 p.m., Smith Park. If you drive, park at the consortium school. But better yet, walk or bike to the event so you can begin to log in your time on the way home; plus, you will be kind to the environ- ment. Everyone is welcome; bring a your family or a friend. Mayor Jim Ford Oty of Lewes, and parbmrs Beebe Medkl Crater eazette Quest Frmess Lewes Chamber of Commerce Never disagree with those in power in Dewey We cannot say that we were shocked by the June 20 letter to the editor attacking Maggie Mesinger, signed by Joy Howell and Joan Claybrook of Citizens to Preserve Dewey (CPD), only that they took so long to send it to the paper. It is impossible to stand up for what one believes is in the best interest of Dewey Beach unless you are prepared for this kind of abuse by CPD. "We speak from experience and know how diffi- cult it is to say or do anything in town if it is not considered to be in favor of what CPD has decided in their in/mite wisdom is good for the town. We have being going to town meetings since 1992 when we re- tired to Delaware. We have vol- unteered for committees, special events and projects for many years. But this is the fnt year we have seen such hateful comments being made at meetings and to the press. Ms. Mesinger has the right to come to our town meetings and should not be insulted or ques- tioned regarding her interest and why she comes. She has asked ditficult questions of the commis- sioners and has put them on the spot, but she has always been re- spectful and has not insulted them nor any property owner. She has not behaved any differently at the town meetings than CPD when they feel strongly about an issue and are unhappy about what the commissioners, town manager or staffhave done. Instead of discouraging Ms. Mesinger's participation at town meetings, we should welcome her participation in light of her con- siderable experience in town gov- ernance and as a local Realtor. This is a democracy and all Americans have rights, regardless whether they own property or are in business in town or can vote in town elections. We should be grateful that peo- ple are involved in our town and want to contribute to making it a special place to live, work or visit. VMan and Bob Bamj Dwey eeach Cape district needs to band together for positive change 've lived in the Cape Region for 30 years. My career was in education. I believe in public education. I believe in the Cape Henlopen School Dis- trict. Do I always agree with the decisions of the school board? No. However, I am disappointed and discouraged with the man- ner in which the community is trying to be heard. Change can be made positively and support- ively. It is too bad that so many of us are not choosing that path. I see Taxpayers for Fair Elec- tions with its three members as a negative, destructive element in our community. I know they see themselves as a godsend, in- forming the community of what they couldn't otherwise know about the business of the school district. I see them as having no real understanding of the issues or the impact of their preaching. Anyone who has lived in this community for a long time real- izes there has been a lot of change in the past few years. I believe that what George Stone and the school board are trying to do is help the district through the many obstacles of change. I work with Dr. Stone on the board of the Cape Henlopen Ed- ucational Foundation. I see his vision for our schools as cre- ative and realistic. He's a doer. He tackles things as they hap- pen. Sometimes that may seem a little rushed for the public, but in the case of this referendum, time was of the essence. It seems that too many are willing to follow the loudest voice, a Pied Piper, rather than trying to understand the issues for themselves. Federal and state money, once a reliable source of income for the schools, are allocated much more cautiously. In fact, there have been major cutbacks in all areas in recent years. Another source of income, but a much smaller one, is money collected from local taxes. An increase in local funds must come through referendum or the vote of the people. The people voted last year to raise taxes for the new high school Because the bond market was good at the time, the funds made money. In essence, an excess of money accrued from the investment. The community had a chance in this most recent referendum to show its support for the edu- cational system by agreeing to spend the excess in a way the elected board felt was impor- tant. The loud voices in the community convinced the vot- ers that the money could be used more wisely. Isn't it impor- tant to offer our children the best that we can? Within their reach was a new stadium. I don't know the exact statistics, but I bet if a poll were taken, we would fred that a majority of the students at Cape play sports at some time in their high school career. All the major sports are offered for both girls and boys, so one field is serving the major- ity of about 1,200 students. Sound a little amazing? What's in the future as our community continues to grow? Realistically, it seemed like a good way to spend the excess funds. As for the operational expenses, the district already knows that the state budget is going to be cut on lune 30. Now what? Chil- dren who participate in Cape Carousel, theater programs and others will probably not have these offerings as a choice. Isn't that a shame. This morning on Dan Gaffney, one m#n was railing against Dr. Stone for threatening to take out on the children the loss of the referendum. This is not a clear picture of what was said. What Dr. Stone did say is "If the fund- ing to certain programs funded by the state is cut, the programs will have to be cut:' This is a fact. Aren't Cape's children the very ones who are going to lose inall this? I challenge those who prefer to criticize and scrutinize to help rather than hurt. Support the school district in its pursuit to give its students the best. Have faith in the decisions made by your electedoffmials and ad- ministrators. Get involved if you feel you want to do more. There are a variety of ways that one may volunteer to help in the schools. Recognize the good happening in our classrooms every day. Help to create change where you feel there needs to be change, but don't tear down the system to make your point. We have a proud history here at Cape. Cape has an excellent reputation for providing won- derful opportunities for its stu- dents. Academically, artistically and athletically, Cape has achieved excellence, Students have graduated to become doc- tors, lawyers, actors, musicians, artists, service workers, nurses and very importantly, teachers, many of whom are now teach- ing in our schools. We have so much to be proud of as we work to fix thatwhich needs fdng. Let's make it even better by banding together for positive change. Chris King is a retired teacher at Cape Henlopen High School.