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July 28, 2000     Cape Gazette
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July 28, 2000

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Continued from page 6 The state has $5.2 million to re- do the Forgotten Mile and that will probably be closer to $10 million by the time they are done. Priorities, again. Use the money where it is most needed. Give us consistent and timely police pro- tection and then let us talk about sidewalks. Robert Pritcbett Sea Ranch Motel Rogers' plight needs support I read with extreme horror the letter in your July 21-27 issue from Patricia Staby-Rogers con- cerning the decision handed down from the Lewes Board of Adjust- ment regarding property next door to them on Market Street. I could not believe what I read so I rode past their home to see for myself if indeed there was some gross exaggeration, but to my shock, it was the truth. The Rogers are two of the most cooperative and considerate peo- ple I have had the pleasure of meeting in a long time and they are being punished. They stated that they weren't contesting the original variance request provided one consideration be made, a rea- sonable one at that. I don't under- stand how, in any kind of con- science, the Lewes Board of Ad- justment could allow their own regulations to be enforced willy- hilly. (Enforcement of anything these days seems to be a problem for all sorts of concerns.) The board should be ashamed and em- barrassed. They should rescind its decision to allow any variance on the adjacent property to the Rogers, no matter what the ex- pense to the owner to undo an ob- vious wrong. The owners are ap- parently not even constructing the addition according to what was originally approved! Good grief! Homeowners of Lewes, the whole situation is really frighten- ing. All Lewes homeowners should support the Rogers' plea for justice and rally around them. It could be you next whose whole lifestyle is being totally altered by the arbitrary administration of town regulations. It could be you living next door to a totally inva- sive structure. If your voice isn't added to those of the Rogers, then shame on you. And nearby charming historic towns...Milton, Millsboro, Georgetown, Bethany, etc._watch it, you're next. Barbara Lloyd Milton Questions on Su-Sax Acres unanswered Last week's article on Harry Bonk's attempt to sell lots in Su- Sax Acres CSu-Sax residents take developer to task," July 21-27), raises some basic questions about land use and fairness that I hope the Gazette will find an opportu- nity to answer. How is that homeowners in the same development can have dif- ferent covenants? Why should anyone be forced to maintain a road that they do not own, and which the owner plans to use for future development? How can Mr. Caulfleld, appar- ently speaking for Mr. Bonk, say that 'we understand [homeown- ers'] concerns' and that we 'want to cooperate' when in fact, Mr. Bonk refused to discuss these un- fair covenants at a homeowners meeting - and apparently would not even discuss them personally with your reporter? Why is Mr. Caulfield apparent- ly trying to mislead your readers by implying that Island Farms - which owns the polluted pond in Su-Sax Acres - is not controlled by Mr. Bonk? Who is he kidding? How is it that Mr. Bonk has paid virtually no taxes for decades on this land and yet is now al- lowed to sell it under a set of out- dated rules which hurt our com- munity and cheats all the resi- dents of Sussex County? And finally, where are all our elected officials? How can they allow this injustice to take place. Nora Martin Milton A chapter in Dewey comes to an end A chapter of Dewey Beach's entry into law enforcement closed on Sunday, July 9, with the pass- ing of Michael Overman. Many will recognize his name, while others may not. Mike was a homeowner in Sea Breeze along with his wife, Carol, and daughter Anna. In 1982, as Dewey was begin- ning its second year of incorpora- tion, money was scarce and the need for police officers and equip- ment was critical. Upon hearing of our dilemma, Mike Overman stepped up to the plate and offered to provide our police deparmlent with reconditioned radios, batter- ies and charging systems. The on- ly cost to the town was for the crystals on Dewey frequency. For the next 10 years, Mike continued to provide radios as well as service to keep our depart- ment strong and our community safe. Though it would be difficult to place a value on Mike's time and the equipment he provided, it would be safe to estimate that many thousands of dollars were saved because of his unselfish contribution. We will miss you, Mike, but you will never be forgotten. You are one of Dewey's unsung he- toes. P. Brooks Barite Police commissioner, retired Dewey Beach Response to anti-abortion writer Hmmm. I thought I'd already heard every reason in the book why right-wing Bible-thumpers were antichoice and antigay and lesbian rights. In one breath, Ms. McDevitt complains about the worker 'offspring' that prochoice pregnancies and gays and lesbians are not producing, but in the next breath opposes the benefits that would attract gays and lesbians to fill jobs and perpetuate the growth of our nation's work force in an equal pay and benefits for equal work environment. I don't know, but the last time I checked, I was living in a Democ- ratic country with a Constitution and a Bill of Rights that protects minorities and promotes the in- alienable right to pursue happi- ness today, even if those individ- ual's lifestyles are beyond the ap- proval of Ms. McDevitt and the Vatican. Just as she is concerned about a dwindling work force preventing her from receiving social security in the year 2027, so too are many uneducated and disadvantaged in- dividuals concerned about how to survive paycheck to paycheck in the year 2000 when a certain po- litical party (many who preach the edicts of the Moral Majority) can't see fit to increase the mini- mum wage fulltime job pay be- yond the poverty level. From what I have been able to gather, with unemployment levels at all- time lows, it is mainly these low- paying minimum wage jobs that are going unfilled in our country. And those, ostensibly, are the jobs Ms. McDevitt would like to see America's 'offspring' aspire to. I think Ms. McDevitt fails to see the big picture here by knock- ing on the 'moral' door instead of the political one with her con- cerns about our economy. Her ed- itorial appears to me to be just an- other attempt by an individual to preach her religious point of view out of fear, insecurity and igno- rance toward those who think dif- ferently from her. I wonder if she also read the play about the open-minded, tol- erant and nonjudgmental Chris- tians who greet their narrow- minded, intolerant and critical de- tractors at the pearly gates? Can anybody say Drama Desk Award? Jill Roberts Milton On leaving the scene of an accident On Wednesday, July 12, as I was traveling north on Highway One in my full size, red 1994 Crown Victoria. A car driving west to east in the crossover on the south side of Nassau Bridge, hit my car and then proceeded off the highway straight ahead onto Nassau Road. The woman driving Continued on page 8 CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 28 - Aug. 3, 2000 - 7 A fearless mockingbird on a summer day reminds us of nature's countless dramas "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Franklin Delano Roosevelt While the world of man and woman swirls each day in houses and buildings and cars and on the streets, nature unfolds countless dramas. Occasionally, nature forces us into her world to witness. As ani- mals ourselves, our eyes are at- tracted to areas of brightness and motion. That's why duck hunters like windy days. They know they can't sit still in a blind waiting for their quarry to come along. On windy days, there's lots of move- ment in trees and grasses so the uncontrollable movements of the hunters aren't as much of a dead giveaway. As for light, look at a painting sometime and see where your eye is drawn first. Usually it's to the lightest area of the painting. Part of survival. Scientists and envi- ronmentalists working with sea turtles watch their nests on beach- es and stand ready with flash- lights. When the baby turtles break their way out of leathery white eggs, always at night, the scientists wave the flashlights in their eyes - from a distance. They know the turtles go instinctively toward the light because that's where the sun rises - over the ocean - and nature tells them to go that way to get to the protection of the sea. We get so caught up in the tran- sient popular culture that sur- rounds us daily that we forget that we are stamped deeply with sur- vival techniques developed over millions of years of evolution. One day last week around noon, when the sun was high and bright in the sky and the air was thick with yellow heat, I drove out Kings Highway from Lewes to- ward Route 1. Coming up a short rise near the bend in the road known as Murray's Corner, some rapid motion attracted my eye. A mockingbird was flying excitedly about three or four feet above the ground, flapping its wings rapidly and making several diving at- tacks. As the car drew nearer to the scene in the tall grass of a front lawn, I saw something black stick- ing up from the grass about a foot tall. The mockingbird was cir- cling and diving. As I passed, re- alization flashed across my mind. The bird was attacking a black snake. The snake was reared up in striking position to defend itself but the mockingbird, fearless and fast, dove relentlessly and poked and swiped at the snake with its bill, over and over again. I drove on for another hundred yards and then decided I had to confirm what I had seen. I swung the car around in a U-turn when there was no traffic and headed back to the yard where I had wit- nessed the assault. Pulling over on the shoulder, the tires crunch- ing noisily over the gravel, I BAREF00TIN' slowed to a stop and looked. Nothing. No bird, no snake. Just my imagination? I couldn't leave it at that. I got out of the car and walked through the grass, slowly, toward a spruce tree in front of the house. I bent over to look under the tree. Sunlight glistening off the blackness of the coils caught my eye. The snake was licking its wounds on the rough carpet of pine needles. I was no threat. Un- like the mockingbird, I'm afraid of snakes and keep my distance. Later that evening in conversa- tion, my good friend Cawood - who is as tuned in with his natural surroundings as any man I know - reminded me of one of James Audubon's dramatic drawings in a large coffee table book that we grew up with. "You remember it," he said. "The drawing shows a mocking- bird attacking a snake that's going after eggs in the bird's nest." The image came to my mind and I resolved right then and there to publish a copy of that drawing with this column. At Lewes library, Kathy Gray- beal was most helpful in trying to find the Audubon book. "Sure, we have that one. It's right here in this section," she said as she peered through half glasses at a lower group of shelves. She pulled out a number of books but not the Audubon. "That's funny, it should be right here," and then she walked off to check records. Continued on page 8 This drawing shows two mockingbirds in a holly tree squabbling over territory. Nature has stamped mock- ingbirds with loads of ag- gression.