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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
October 2, 1998     Cape Gazette
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October 2, 1998

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8 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 2 - October 8, 1998 Continued from page 7 rent boat yard typifies the "moder- ate and traditional scale of the town's water-based commercial and recreational activities," the project proposed to replace it will overwhelm the adjacent historic neighborhood and destroy the open views of the canal. [At right, a composite picture showing a drawing of the pro- posed building superimposed on a photograph of the site demon- strates the oversized scale of this prOject compared to surrouhding structures.] At approximately 52 feet high and 300 feet long along the canal side, the proposed building dwarfs any other commercial or residen- tial building in the city. Yet, if al- lowed to be built, the project will establish a new baseline for future de,elopment along our waterfront, to the detriment of the City of Lewes, its residents, businesses and visitors. Several hundred concerned indi- viduals are expressing their oppo, sition to this project in a petition which is circulating throughout Lewes. Members of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, Com- mercial Architectural Review Commission and City Council have a responsibility to uphold the core values as expressed in the Long Range Plan, and should re- ject this project as currently pro- posed. In addition, Lewes' zoning reg- ulations need to be made more stringent in order to prevent other projects of this type to be built I Barefootin' Continued from page 7 saw several deer come walking through the marsh. They looked at us and didn't act like they cared. Then they walked right in- to the canal, every one, and swam across to the other side. I'd never believed it if I hadn't seen it my- self." He showed me the crabs they were catching: dark green on top, white underneath and blue inside the claws. He grabbed one with his tongs and pulled it from the basket to show me and four or five more - claw to shell to claw - fol- lowed it out of the basket like a coil of rope unwinding. "They're heavy and they're big," the man said. "And this week they're all males. Last time we were here, a few weeks back, most of what we caught were fe- males." I idled on past the crabbers, picking my way through the re- mains of the old bridge, and con- tinued for another mile farther in- to the marsh. A dozen or so egrets and one white heron, twice the size of the egrets, rose from a muddy point as I neared and set- tled onto a flat a dozen yards Letter-writer Kim Ayvazian submitted this composite pic- ture of how the proposed Pilothouse will fit into the land- along our waterfront. Kim Ayvazian Lewes School finance plan should be enacted The senior citizens, school par- ents, school administrators and legislators seeking to reform the way we finance our public schools saw their efforts rewarded in a big way recently. Last Monday, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) revised Delaware's revenue estimated up- ward by $39 million for the cur- rent budget year and by $43 mil- lion for the next budget cycle. Supporters of school finance re- form, like me, have argued all along that our strong economy presents us with a once-in-a-life- time opportunity to implement our bold plan. Monday's revenue forecast sup- ports our contention As proposed, our school finance reform idea would bring to an end state-mandated local school taxes after a five-year phase-in period. The state would assume the local share of school costs (in grades kindergarten through 12) for ma- jor construction, minor capital im- provements and tuition tax in ex- change for a matching cut in local school taxes. In addition, the state would as- sume full responsibility for major capital expenditures on the books but not in progress. Local school districts would still retain their de- cision-making authority as well as the flexibility to continue using the referenda for initiatives that gain the support of local taxpayers in addition to what the state will be providing. Last, but not least, the plan would slash residents' property taxes by approximately 20 percent per year for five years - at a total savings of $250 million dollars. It is no wonder that our" school financing plah enjoys widespread support. It is a "win-win" proposi- tion that would provide substan- tial funding to our public schools scape along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. The diagram is in- tended to show the relative scale of the proposed project. while reducing the property tax burden on our citizens. But there are some who do not think this is a good idea and who continue to raise doubts about the state's ability to pay. Last session, when we intro- duced our school finance plan, H.B. 659; we also presented thor- ,ough budget and financial data showing how it was to work. This data included revenue and budget estimates prepared by DEFAC and members of the Legislature's Budget Committee, and showed how the state could afford to take on the responsibility of funding state-mandated local education expenses. In spite of the data, the governor and some members of the Senate kept the property tax reduction plan at arms' length, with some saying it was too expensive and others saying they wanted to study the idea further. This is where Monday's. DE- FAC revenue forecast comes into play. It rewards the argument that we can and should implement the plan now while revenues are at historic levels. Obviously there will be several more DEFAC revenue projections in the months ahead and we will have to study them closely. But it should be pointed out that at the present pace of revenue growth we might very well end the current budget year with a sub- stantial revenue surplus. If that is the case, I see no rea- son why our school finance pro- posal should not be signed into law in the coming year. Needless to say, I am anxious to move this bold plan forward when the Legislature reconvenes. Charles W. Welch House Majority Whip 29th District Representative Dover away. Then as I eased the boat up an even narrower gut - the engine tilted up so that the prop turned just barely below the surface, a single black duck rose from the water, around a sharp bend. As I watched it climb invisible steps, its flight carried my eyes toward a big flock of ducks flying above the treetops, headed, like the geese, toward Gordon's Pond. Black ducks, I guessed, but flying with such direct purpose that I thought they must have just crossed the Delaware Bay from New Jersey and were looking for a resting spot. I knew the gut would be shallow when it widened into a natural cul-de-sac between two wooded fingers of Cape Henlopen State Park. The prop stirred up thick clouds of mud and I backed one way and then went forward two or three times to finally get the bow headed back the way I had come. I passed the crabbers again. They had moved up the gut a little with the tide and showed me a basket now half full of crabs. "They like this high tide," he said. Those bridge timbers are show- ing less now than when I came by before," I said. "This tide's still coming." "It doesn't get any better than this," he said. "Working with our senior citizens on legislative and funding ini- tiatives is one of my primary responsibilities. During the past ses- sion of the General Assembly, we increased the pension exclu- sion 66%, repealed our gift tax, initiated nursing home reforms and established an Adult Abuse Registry Directory. In addition, the Lewes and Cape Henlopen Senior Centers will receive $210,618 for much needed services." {_^ PAID FOR BY FRIENDS OF JOHN SCHROEDER