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July 11, 1997     Cape Gazette
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July 11, 1997
 

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Sussex communities band together to boost cable television quality By Michael Short More than a dozen Sussex County communities, have joined together to form the Consortium of Sussex County Cable Sub- scribers. Fourteen towns, includ- ing Rehob0th Beach, Fenwick Is- land, Milford, Dewey Beach, Lewes, Georgetown and Hen- lopen Acres, have joined the con- sortium to negotiate with cable companies. "Hopefully, we can get more stations at a lower cost," said Rehoboth Beach City Manag- er Greg Ferrese. The consortium is sending bid- ding proposals to 11 different ca- ble television companies, some of them local and some of them na- tional giants like Time Warner in an effort to get the best possible service and price for Sussex resi-" dents. The proposals hive been sent by the consortium to cable service suppliers from as far away as Maine. Detailed proposals from the cable suppliers are due back in the hands of the consortium by August. Proposals have gone to local cable companies, including TCI, Comcast and American Ca- ble as well as Time Warner, Bell Atlantic and other suppliers. "We certainly think competition .is good," said Tom Worley, Corn- cast's director of government rela- tions. "We are going tO work with them like we do any other fran- chise authority." The consortium has a list of re- quirements, although it's uncer- tain how many of those conditions will be met. "I don't know how much of that you can make stick," said consortium' spokesman Bill Bahan. - Here's a list of what the consor- tium would like to see. Increased basic service. The group is asking for increased channels as part of the basic ser- vice, instead of the more expen- sive tier of cable offerings. The additional channels requested are a weather channel, m all news sta- tion (like CNN) and an arts chan- nel. At least 64 channels (includ- in_g all current channels now of- fered) Improved service, including better quality and fewer outages. If the company does not meet standards, it could face financial penalties. For example, extended outagescould result in partial re- funds to subscribers._ Bahan said the consortium also wants a commitment to upgrade equipment and facilities over time. Bahan saicl he would like to see part of the franchise fee col- lected by towns from cable com- panies be used to operate an office where the consortium could be based. Both Bahan and John Mc- Donnell, the chair of the consor- tium, said that the consortium was formed because of cable com- plaints and because towns felt there was power in. numbers. Problems, especially outages, aren't limited to one company, but both said the towns felt they would have more negotiating power en masse. "There is strength in numbers," said Mc- Donnell, the mayor of Delmar. "I am all for competition," Fer- rese said. July Fourth Continued from, page 14 tion, they saw Jacoby in the water, and Wright leaned over his boat and tried tO get a response from him but was unable to do so. By that time, he said, other jet skiers had neared and tried to get Jacoby onto a ski but were unsuccessful. Wright and his son then pulled the man into the small dinghy. "I began CPR [cardio-pulmonary re- suscitation] at that point, and my son ran to the boat to Coconuts [Restaurant]," said Wrigtlt: "We were with him within the first two minutes from when he fell from the jet ski. What I looked for was trauma to his head or face...but there was none," said Wright. Unfortunately, he said, he was unable to get a pulse, Jacoby wasn't breathing and was cyanot- ic, or turning bluish because of lack of oxygen. When he and his son arrived at.the shore, another physician was there and helped Wright continue to administer CPR until other rescue personnel arrived a short time later. "We responded to the situation when we were notified by police," said Todd Fritchman, captain of the Dewey Beach Patrol. This is the first year the lifeguard staff has had a fully certified emer- gency medical technician (EMT) on staff. Being able to respond on foot to a scene, said Fritchman, is an ad- vantage in the beach community that often sees its roads gridlocked by traffic. "It allows us to be a lot more service oriented," said Fritchman. "We can act as a first responder and stabilize until the mobile units arrive." Greg Wisler, EMT and guard with the patrol, was among the first to arrive and assist with the CPR efforts. "Pulse and breathing was never established at the scene," said Fritchman. According .to Butch Kinerney, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control spokesman, Jacoby was transport- ed to Beebe Medical Center and pronounceddead at 2:15 p.m. "He had a history of heart prob- lems and apparently had some sort of seizure oh the jet ski," said Kin- erney. Kinerney confirmed that Jacoby was with a group of people from the group home in which he resided. " "We did the best we could," said Wright. "You just are ;ery disappointed that you can't do more in a situation like that - that you can't bring them back. It was very disheartening." CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 1! - July 17, 1997 - 15 The Beach is caused City of beyo d its fi d Rehoboth y for the delay, circumstances of the July !i!00iiiiii00iii0000 ..... .... ii00l!!!i!ii!iii! ed P the great The and ISSioners, er of Rehoboth Beach