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July 11, 1997     Cape Gazette
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July 11, 1997

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 11- July 17, 1997 V00[EWPOINTS Editorial Mean-spirited grinches tough to control Rehoboth Beach city, fire, police and Main Street officials put the best possible spin they could this week on the agonizing delay that spoiled the long-awaited fireworks show planned as part of the Inde- pendence Day weekend celebration. Most attention and advance planning focused on the potential crowd problems that could result without proper organization. Ironi- cally, logistics involved with the staging of the fireworks show itself turned out to be the night's undoing. It takes a grinch to spoil Christmas and there appears to be a grinch at work in the overall scenario leading up to what evolved into a clas- sic fiasco. As former Rehoboth Commissioner Walter Brittingham observed, Rehoboth handled very well the aspects of the fireworks show under its control. However, when the United States Coast Guard's Philadelphia office fielded what we can only deduce was a mean-spirited phone call disguised as a "safety concern," it set into motion a series of steps that could only hurt those who invested so many hours in putting on a good show and the thousands of people who streamed into the resort for a bright finale. From all indications there were no safety issues real enough to merit the initial phone call but at that point the Coast Guard found itself in a "damned if it did and damned if it didn't" situation. It's easy to say in hindsight that the Coast Guard should have seen that the real problem on shore outweighed what apparently was only a technical problem at sea. And we believe a reasonable position of non-interference at that point was justified and that the show should have gone on as planned and the technical problem addressed after- wards. But that's not our job. That's for the Coast Guard to reassess while it also assesses the motivation for the original call. We applaud the spirit that drove the genuine and well-organized efforts to return fireworks as one of many means of invigorating downtown Rehoboth Beach and the spirit driving the effort already underway to ensure a good show next year. Letters What a weekend! What a show! Rehoboth Beach deserved to cap a blockbuster Independence Day weekend with as successful an event as that staged by the Delaware River and Bay Authority with the Beach Boys, for the benefit of/he hospitals in the regions served by the Cape May-Lewes Ferry system. Both Rehoboth and DRBA proved that heavy transportation require- ments could be met with proper planning, which sets the stage for more grand efforts in the future. The Beach Boys themselves played a tremendous concert under the stars in the fields of Sussex County, People of all ages connected with the band that has been pleasing audiences with its original music, great harmonies and All-American themes for three and a half decades and - like a good bottle of wine - improving with age. A weekend not soon forgotten. Corn stalks shine brightly in the hot afternoon sun on July Fourth weekend near Dagsboro. First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter New Moon July 12 July 20 July 26 Aug. 3 THE FOUR BEST VANTAGE POINTS TO VIEW THE JULY 6 REHOBOTH FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR... 9:30 P.M., END OF REHOBOTH AVE. 10:00 P.M., ROOF OF ATLANTIC SANDS- 10:30 P.M., BOAT IN ATLANTIC OCEAN 11:00 P.M., REAR VIEW MIRROR, RT. 1 -Route 1 bus rOutes .unsafe for all The following letter was sent to Del- DOT Secretary Anne Canby, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publi: cation. I am a longtime resident of Sea Air Village, off Route I in Rehoboth. It is the mobile home development behind the old Food City/PNC Bank, and two of the three Rehoboth Outlet Centers. The reason I am writing to you is one you may have been approached about before. In brief: those DelDOT/private buses that run all along Route 1, I feel, are unsafe in the way that they use the shoulder as their primary traveling lane during (and, I've noticed a lot of times NOT during) the hours of congestion along this route. Unlike the bus system in Ocean City, which this idea apparently mimics, the stretch of road from the Lowes/Route 9 intersection through the south end of Dewey Beach is full of deceleration and merging lanes which Ocean City does not have. I have nearly been struck by both a DelDOT bus and a Cape May-Lewes Ferry trolley simply by attempting to merge my vehicle into traffic. I'll gie you an illustration using the PNC Bank/Sea Air Village Route 1 intersec- tion. Coming from PNC Bank toward Route 1, there are three lanes approaching the light. Two turn left onto Route 1 North, and one goes into a merge lane heading south. This merge lane extends forabout 200 feet along the shoulder as do many merge lanes all along this stretch of road. There is posted there a "YIELD" sign, and I do yield, by looking to the left and across the road at oncoming traffic. However, just opposite this merge lane, on Route 1 south, is a deceleration lane for those heading south to turn into Sea Air Village/PNC Bank. When I look to the left, and see a vehi- cle in this deceleration lane, it is usually a safe assumption that the vehicle is going to turn into the development. This is not so with the buses, I (and my par- ents and my friends and many others) have come to realize, for as I 'stick my hood out,' into the merge lane, the bus DOESN'T TURN OFF! It continues through the intersection, on the shoulder, proceeding straight through the decelera- tion/turn lane, along the grilles of the vehicles waiting at the light to turn onto Route 1 north, and then straight into the merging lane...a lot of times without even slowing. In Ocean City, this isn't a big problem, as they have very few deceleration/merg- ing lanes along Ocean Highway. But in Rehoboth, almost every direct intersec- tion with Route I has a deceleration/ merge lane for some distance along Route 1. Just painting a white diamond in the shoulder doesn't quite get the mes- sage across that this is a bus lane as well, if you know what I mean. I am in the Marine Corps, stationed in North Carolina, but I was raised, from the time I was a small child until I shipped to boot camp, in Rehoboth. I come home to visit my family on week- ends and holidays, and although I have North Carolina tags on my car, I do not consider myself a tourist. I am legally a resident of Delaware and subsequently Rehoboth Beach, and have seen a lot of changes here to the roadways over the last 10 years, most of them designed to cater to the tourists. No problem. How- ever, this is one catering I think, in the interest of safety, we could do without. DelDOT has made mistakes here in Rehoboth in the past, one of which resulted two years ago in me having to return from active duty to bury a good friend of mine, Richard Soukey. They fixed the problem that caused that inci- dent. Is it going to take another incident, like a DelDOT bus or a ferry trolley smashed into the driver's side of some- one's car to get them to peel the white diamonds up out of the shoulder along Route 1. 9 If I'm not mistaken, there have already been a number of accidents attributed just this summer to these very circumstances. How many more? Robert T. Parke Camp Lejeune, NC Continued on page 8 i ii iil i Volume 5 No. 8 Publisher Dennis Forney Editor Trish Vernon News Editor Michael Short News Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jen Ellingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angie Moon Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Roberts Nancy Stenger Joseph Mariann Wilcox Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Clrculatlon Harry Stoner. Productlon Staff Susan Porter Deidre Sudimak Chds Wildt Peter Butcavage Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frededck Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is pub- lished by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Midway Shopping Center, Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Second class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: (302) 645- 7700. FAX - 645-1664. E-mail: capegaz@ Subscriptions are avail- able at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "There is a case, and a strong case, for that par- ticular form of indolence that allows us to move through life knowing only what immediately con- ceres US." Alec Waugh