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Lewes, Delaware
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October 2, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 2, 1998

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6- C2kPE GAZET, Friday, 0ctober2"- ()ctober 8,1998 VIEWPOINTS Preserving farms an excellent strategy In the last few years of his life, Delaware Cape Region artist Tom Wilson painted a number of rural farm scenes showing fields of late soybeans yellowing in the fall against the characteristic Sussex back- drop of a thick and dark treescape. Wilson loved his family&apos;s Primehook Neck farm and his deepen- mg appreciation of the rural beauty of his home state as his days waned manifested itself in the power of his masterful oils and water- colors. When we come across paintings such as those of Wilson, they remind us, too, of the importance of agriculture to our Delaware exis- tence. Those of us who-live in the thick of the more urbanized areas of Delaware's Cape Region, and Who spend a large percentage of our time ih Lewes and Rehoboth Beach and the surrounding communi- ties, and driving between them on Route 1, can easily lose sight "of the importance of the agricultural community. A story in this week's Cape Gazette shines a spotlight on how influential agriculture is on the Delaware experience. The story also details some of the tremendous strides the state is making in its efforts to maintain and enhance the positive benefits of agric.ulture to the state's economy and to the quality of life of its peo- ple. Many may find it surprising, for example, to learn that Delaware is in the nation in percentage of land in farms, rariking with such Midwest powerhouses as Kansas and Iowa. Agriculture continues to hold on to the state's No. 1 industry ranking. And those who take the time to drive some of the back roads of Sussex know the peaceful and aesthetic benefits that derive from fields of grain, trees, fruit and flowers. Because of Delaware's uniquely strong financial standing and the millions of dollars that poured into state from the settle- Angle Moon photo ment of the New York Sussex cornfield state abandoned brokerage accounts litigation, the state's farmland preservation program, by the summer of 1999, will have permanently preserved 50,000 acres of valuable farmland. That's nearly 10 percent of the existing ,550,000 acres of farmland in Delaware. Efforts to add raore funds for pur- chase of development rights to push that figure to 25 percent and beyond are already planned. The long-term benefits of these initiatives should be ex;ident to artists and nonartists Mike and should be celebrated and encouraged by all of us. Letters The Weather Picture Angle Moon photo A rose is guarded by fence spikes standing sentry on a glori- ous morning in early fall, the sun shinging on every open petal of the flower. Don't spoil Cape Henlopen State Park The following letter was sent to the Cape Henlopen State Park Steering Committee, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication. Inasmuch as the date is fast approach- ing when you will render your final deci- sion on the controversial Lewes- Rehoboth bike path, I feel compelled to add my opinion to those which disagree on the need for the path. My reasons for this are several: 1. If the primary purpose of the path is to afford bicycle access to those commu- nities, why has the Delaware River & Bay Authority already applied for a per- mit to run a jitney on this path? 2. If indeed a jitney is to run on the bike path, what then will happen to the outlets? Is the Authority doing to stop their bus runs to the outlets? If not, why do they need an additional run between the communities? This is obviously going to add to already polluted environ- ment, Unless these jitneys are electric (not really cost effective), they will stress the neighboring vegetation and wildlife immeasurably, to say nothing of their potential for running over pedestrians and bikers. 3. My final reason for objecting to this proposed bike path is one that is most important to me, my family and my friends. If all that is needed is a proper place to exercise, biking and walking, why are all the present paths not suffi- cient for this purpose? Committee members, I implore you - please, please do not spoil one of the few untouched areas on the East Coast! Please realize that the very reason this gem is so attractive to so many people is its great natural beauty! I pray greed and bureaucracy do not influence you to ruin this jewel in our park system. Joyce G. Stecher Lewes Lewes should listen to its residents on traffic I came away from the Lewes Planning Commission's Sept. 23 meeting on traf- fic planing with a nagging feeling that something was askew but it took a while to figure out what it might be. The committee members had well- intentioned spirited discussions on how best to develop a plan, ranging from a long-term concept to those of more mun- dane aspirations. There was an extended discussion on the relative merits of bringing in consultants and which ones should be considered. There was also a discussion on the need for additional moneys to hire the consultants that they feel are needed. A majority agreed that they should make that request from the city council for the 1999 budget. Several members were to contact potential con- sultants and report their findings at the October meeting. As appropriate as these issues may be at some point in time, it occurs to me that the committee might be getting ahead of itself right now. With the exception of an informal traf- fic survey of Savannah Road by Sam Russell's friend and general acknowl- edgment that New Road is handling a lot more volume from people trying to avoid Savannah Road, there was no further dis- cussion about what specific problems or situations the proposed traffic plan is supposed to address and solve. Wouldn't it be more appropriate at this point for the committee to concentrate on , preparing a formal, prioritized list of traffic problems? The committee would then be in a better, position to determine exactly what type of consultants really would be needed, if any. The council would then be better informed so they could then make a more intelligent deci- sion on the committee's budget request. Right now, the Committee is just picking a number out of the air and that in turn is what the council would be voting 9 n. How could the committee best com- pile their list of traffic problem areas or situations? First, they could use sugges- tions from their own members. Second, they could use the best sour'e of all. I am Continued on page 7 J Write Now Letters should be signed and include a telephone number for veri- keep letters to 750 or less. Write to Cape Delaware 19958 or faxto Volume 6 No. 19 Publisher Dennis Forney Editor Trish Vernon Associate Editor Kerry Kester News Editor Michael Short News Jim Cresson Rosanne Pack Jen EIlingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angle Moon Proofreader Bill Rable Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Forestieri Sharon Hudson Nancy Stenger Joseph Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Circulation Harry Stoner Production Coordinator Deidre Sudimak Production Staff Susan Porter Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is published by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Mid- way Shopping Center, Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Sec- ond class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, PO 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 else- where. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, PO Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "Fame lulls the fever of the soul, and makes us feel that we have grasp'd an immortality." Longfellow