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July 28, 2000     Cape Gazette
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July 28, 2000

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14 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 28 -Aug. 3, 2000 Cape Henlopen State Park plans $1M in improvements By Michael Short Cape Henlopen State Park hopes to benefit handsomely from this year's bond bill. The popular state park is ex- pected to receive $1 million from the state bond bill, although that bond bill must soil be voted upon during a special legislative ses- sion. If the funding stays in the bond bill and that is considered likely, it would be used to continue a major upgrade of the park which began last year with a revamping Of the Loetzer joins Army; When the son of a Rehoboth Beach couple was growing up during the height of the Cold War, he was taught to fear and mistrust all enemies of the United States. Along with English and math, he learned about war and commu- nism, and lived with the frighten- ing knowledge that with one mas- sive explosion, a nuclear bomb could obliterate life as he knew it. So when he joined the Army, he figured he would be training to destroy the same enemy he grew up to fear. The last thing he ex- pected was to find himself form- ing friendships with them. Spec. Douglas Loetzer, son of Robert and Edithe Loetzer, is ex- periencing the post-Cold War era first hand as a participant in Com- bined Endeavor, the largest multi- national communications exercise in the world. The exercise brought soldiers, airmen and Marines from 35 na- tions, many of which were former U.S. enemies, together to share information they were once in- clined..toJaide. "This exercise helps improve relations with other nations by working and having fun together," Loetzer said. "Former Warsaw Pact nations are able to witness how America and other democra- cies work. By working together, each of us can eliminate miscon- ceptions from the past." Combined Endeavor's mission was to establish a link between the participants, ensuring flawless communications in the event of a world crisis During the exercise, Loetzer and the other participants took part in a series of tests to deter- mine the compatibility of their entrance, the number one priority of a master plan for the park. That plan took years of some- times frustrating haggling to de- velop. But the newly revamped entranceway was classified as the top ority of the plan. If approved, $200,000 of the funding will be designated for de- sign andsitework for a new park visitor center to be located at the park entrance in the area of the former motorpool building near the park office. '" Plans had initially called for the state to try to save that building, but the roof collapsed, destroying any remaining chance of sal- vaging the large block building. That is the only money that is officially earmarked by the Divi- sion of Parks and Recreation, but Division Director Charles "Chazz" Salkin said work will al- so continue on the entrance. He said signage and burial of above ground utility lines will be part of that entrance improve- ment. Salkin said the state'hopes to re- store a small building near the of- fice that was actually used as the World War II motorpool, not the large building usually known as the motorpool. "I think it's going to be terrific," Salkin said of the improvements. "Cape Henlopen is a wonderful park." Another high priority will be repaving the pitted and potholed parking area at Gordon's Pond. Upgrading Gordon's Pond was another high master plan priority, but Salkin said there will not be takes part in communications exercise enough money in this year's bond bill to build a hoped for bathhouse facility at the Gordon's Pond end of the state park. Salkin said that a controversial path in the Gordon's Pond area will soon be built with crushed stone. But that pathway funding was allocated last year and the con- struction will not extend the path any further than what was already funded last year, he said. The con- struction is also on the existing path near Gordon's Pond. A wildlife observation deck, bike racks and benches are ex- pected to be added to that area of the park. Spec. Douglas Loetzer is participating in a special U.S. Army equipment, which ranged from World War II antiques to state-of- the-art'chnology. The final re- sult of this process would be one more step in establishing arguably the most complex tactical net- work in existence today. "My job here is to troubleshoot and repair computer systems, as well as link fietworks together," said Loetzer, a computer repairer normally assigned to the 261st Signal Battalion, Dover. "I also install, maintain and repair com- puters, printers and fax ma- chines." But Loetzer also had another job. He and the other U.S. troops had a unique opportunity to foster new friendships with allies and former adversaries. Many of Combined Endeavor's partici- pants were either members of NATO of the Warsaw Pact during the Cold War, with players from as far away as Kazakhstan and Slovenia. "I've been able to learn a lot about other people and how they function day to day," Loetzer said. "Although our cultures are differ- Submitted photo communications exercise. ent in many ways, a lot of our equipment is the same." The world has changed a lot since Loetzer was a child - the Cold War ended, the Wall came tumbling down and the Warsaw Pact dissolved. Although his past may have been marked by mis- trust and fear, Loetzer is helping to herald a new era of coopera- tion. QUALITY R00FING SUPPLYC0, WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF VINYL? 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