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Lewes, Delaware
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August 1, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 1, 1997

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 1- August 7, 1997" " VIEWPOINTS Editorial Massive dredging project deserves hearing Delaware legislator Dave Ennis noted recently that only the Thames River in England has enjoyed a more dramatic environmen- tal improvement in this century than the Delaware River and Bay. That's not to say that more improvement isn't possible. And, more importantly, that's not to say that we can be less vigilant about the potential environmental harm on the great Delaware system by pro- posed projects. For several years now plans have been in the works for the deepen- ing of the shipping channel in the bay and fiver from 40 feet to 45 feet. There's little doubt that by the time the project gets underway, probably some time in the next ten years, its total cost will dance with the billion dollar mark. Most of that money will be spent digging out the channel and moving millions of cubic yards of dredged material to disposal sites along the way. Those acquainted with the project understand the economic bene- fits of a channel which will allow deeper draft vessels to make their way up to the ports of the Delaware River. And there are environ- mental benefits as well. For one, a deeper channel means less ligh- tering of crude oil from tankers inside the bay to decrease their draft before they continue up the fiver. Lightering - offloading oil from ships to barges to decrease the load of the ship - always carries with it the potential for spills. (It must be noted however that Delaware Bay lightering operations are known for their sophistication and, as a result, almost non-existent spilling problems.) Nonetheless, a project this large brings potential for negative envi- ronmental impact. An immediate concern expressed recently by local fishermen is with the proposal to dispose of sand dredged from the lower bay channel onto submerged bay sites off of Broadkill and Slaughter beaches. The Corps of Engineers admits that such dispos- al, though cost effective, would smother bottom-dwelling creatures in the proposed dump areas. One of those areas, known as the Coral Beds, off of Broadkill Beach has for decades been a favored spot for fishing because of the volumes of sea life on the bottom. There's also concern that the disposal of dredged materials would alter familiar patterns of navigation by bringing the bottom up significantly at low tide. Delaware beach officials question further why material can't be piped ashore for placement on beaches always in search of more sand. Another concern that has received less attention is the movement of potentially pollutant-laden materials from the channel into new areas of the bay. How long will our fish be negatively affected by that "stir- ring of the pot." The bottom line is that all of us should support U.S. Sen. Bill Roth's recent call for the Army Corps of Engineers to hold an official public heating on this project. It deserves the focus such a hearing would provide and could help ensure that nothing will be done to reverse the internationally respected improvement recorded in the Delaware River and Bay system. Letters A mallfird hen and her ducklings swim in the canal near Lewes. Q New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter August 3 August 11 .August 18 August 24 Stack article shows bias against district This paper, its editors and reporters have once again demonstrated its bias against the Cape Henlopen School Dis- trict with the publication of an above-the- fold article concerning the resignation of Wes Stack. And its reporter has fallen in the cub-reporter trap of accepting as gospel the unsupported statements of a disgruntled employee. Even five minutes worth of checking with a second source would have shown the story not worthy of publication. The most obvious error, upon which the story is based and is fatally flawed, is that Stack was a "Top Level Administra- tor." That is simply not true. The highest rank he ever held was principal four years ago. Since then, and at the time of his resignation, he was a teacher, paid a teacher's scale for a 10-month job. He supervised no one. He was not an admin- istrator. He merely oversaw one aspect of the technology program at Cape. I had worked closely with Stack over the past year on our Community Out- reach Computer Training program. Not once during our hours of meetings did he express any of the sentiments that came out in the story. Obviously, these were things he only chose to mutter on his way out the door, and this paper chose to use [them] to attach the school district. This article once again calls into ques- tion the journalistic integrity of this paper. As I have pointed out before, the community expects fair, accurate and unbiased reporting of real news. The Cape Gazette has once again failed in this case. We, the public, expect more. Dean Dey Lewes Disturbed by DeBraak decision I find it ironic (and disturbing) that while one arm of our town government has decreed a 130-day moratorium on construction along the canal, other arms of our government have approved con- struction of a mega-motel, smack dab at the heart of our family beach. If you think a gazebo might spoil your view of the canal, just try to imagine a 365 degree view (note to our authorities: views aren't just in one direction) of Lewes Beach, with the proposed 57-unit motel looming over the scenery. If "views of the canal" are so impor- tant, I would suggest that "views in and around our town beach" are just as important, if not more so. Why not a 130-day moratorium to allow time for a real community debate over a prime par- cel of state-owned land, the use of which is going to have a major impact, for good or bad, on our community? Ralph W. Richardson Lewes Why give up so precious a resource? Concerning last week's letter about the canal bank issue and Tony Pratt's stance on the current moratorium. First, I have to say that I hate the idea of the canal being turned into a private enclave for the wealthy. If there were no visual access, let alone the occasional physical access, my family, friends and neighbors would consider this a tragedy of no small proportion. Access and an open commu- nity are one of the things that make Lewes great. Leave the gated communi- ties to Rehoboth. I can't even imagine why someone would want to give up so precious a resource to the privileged few. A case in point is the canal's latest addition of "The O.K. Corral" (as my neighbors have taken to calling it.) With its professional "no trespassing" and "docks for rent" signs (and fences and security lighting) it was clearly built to be a commercial property in an area zoned residential. In addition, its boathouse with toilet (sewer) kitchen and shower certainly stretch the limits of the boathouse zoning. It was hardly built with our neighborhood in mind. Howev- More letters on page 8 Volume 5 No. 10 Publisher Dennis Fomey Editor Trish Vemon 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 Circulation Harry Stoner Production Staff Susan Porter Deidre Sudimak Chris Wildt Peter Butcavage Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vemon 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: 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. "Little minds are interest- ed in the extraordinary, great minds in the commonplace., Elbert Hubbard