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October 10, 1997     Cape Gazette
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October 10, 1997

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 10- October 16, 1997 r VIEWPOINTS Editorial Locally funded teachers will help Cape Cape Henlopen School District members took decisive and respon- sible action recently when they voted to use $500,000 in local funds to hire 10 new teachers to reduce class sizes. The action was decisive because board members saw an immediate problem as the school year moved into its first few weeks and acted to correct that problem. The action was responsible in the most literal sense because board members were in a position to respond, they listened to the most important component of their system - teachers and parents, and they acted in the best interest of the students based on what they heard. Although the timing of the process to move forward came into question by two board members, none disagreed with the need to take action. The spending of local funds to hire extra teachers to help keep class sizes manageable accords with a Cape Henlopen School District tra- dition forgotten in recent years. In the very earliest days of the dis- trict as a consolidation of the Lewes, Milton and Rehoboth school districts, board members saw the value of using local funds to supple- ment the teaching units funded through state education dollars. Smaller class sizes speak to the fundamental learning relationship between teacher and student. Having more teachers also improves the atmosphere of adult influence within the school buildings by low- ering the overall number of students per adult. Cape Henlopen School District is fortunate to serve an affluent area where additional funds can be available for hiring extra teachers. Right now Cape District is in a period of increasing revenues as the property-tax base rises steadily, resulting from rapid development. That situation won't continue indefinitely. The need for extra teach- ers, however, may continue for many years to come. The time may come for Cape District to propose a tax increase ref- erendum aimed at hiring extra teachers to keep class sizes manage- able. Decisions like the recent one to hire teachers from local funds will help increase the liklihood of success for such a referendum. Education is the cornerstone of healthy democracies and the greatest majority of people understand that. If the people feel that school board members are acting responsibly and decisively in the best interest of the students, who themselves will eventually move into responsible, decision-making positions, they will support the efforts. That's all the more reason for board members and administrators to stay in close touch with their communities and teachers. Such con- nections can only serve to strengthen the district's ability to respond decisively and make steady improvements - such as the recent hiring of teachers from local funds - which can only result in better-educat- ed students. Letters The sun slowly sinks into Delaware Bay as seen from the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park. Full Moon Last Quarter New Moon First Quarter October 16 October 23 October 31 November 7 00ttOBOTg Can't we keep a Lewes hardware store? Though I knew for some time that Franklin Hardware was for sale, I was stunned to learn last week of its approaching end, and shocked again to see, on a recent stop there, that the shelves were already getting bare. I told Gloria how sad it made me. She said, "We tried to sell it for three years. Why didn't you buy it?" I found myself wondering, why didn't I I? Well, I couldn't afford it, for starters, but why didn't I think about asking around to see if there might be enough interest to organize a bunch of partners, or shareholders to buy and run the busi- ness? Or to create a replacement. It may be that it's too late to rescue Franklin, but surely it's not too late to organize to keep a hardware store in r Lewes. (Or maybe the Fords would qon- sider renting the Franklin Hardware site to a "community hardware group" ,and expanding Kid's Ketch elsewhere.) Or maybe we could look into renting the former Western Auto store over on / the beach. It wouldn'i tm Second Street but it would still be a helluva lot closer than the big stores on Route 1. And maybe there are other possible sites, i Wherever it ends up, the store would continue, first of all, as a general hard- ware store. Maybe we could expand lthe inventory to include some of the hd- ware most wanted by renovators and restorers but not carried by Franklin. Maybe we could have a section for eber- gy conservation and solar retrofit materi- als. Of course there are many possibili- ties for how this idea might develop. Anyone interested in a meeting to explore the idea and how it might be financed is invited to call me at 644- 0437. Walt Rosen Lewes Begging to differ with Cape Gazette editorial Why does the Cape Gazette believe an appeal of the Board of AdjustmetWs decision on the DolphinBay ReSort Motel to be bad news? (I refer to the DeBraak editorial of Sept. 26). Is it because it would prevent construction of a needed motel on Lewes Beach? I don't think so. Or is it because, without the motel project, the Debraak building will remain in place, the eyesore it has always been? In the public deliberations on the building code variances requested by HKM Investments, Inc., the aesthetic and political embarrassment that the DeBraak building represents was, and remains, the dominant consideration. There are those who believe the DeBraak must go - whatever the price. However, I submit that in this case, the price is to create a monstrosity every bit as objec- tionable as the DeBraak that it would replace. Largely because of preoccupation with the DeBraak building, the public hear- ings were not responsive to the question of whether or not the proposed motel project should be allowed under existing laws. Instead, the discussions were side- tracked by secondary considerations - a peaked roof here, some landscaping there - in a futile attempt to make the best of a bad situation. Because of the prevailing mind-set that the motel must be built, albeit for the wrong reason, the possibility that it may not survive in our seasonal business cli- mate - or for some other reason - did not seem to occur to the board. It was not concerned that the project would result in what could well become another outsized building in search of a purpose - another Debraak, Farmer's Market or Lowe's, perhaps. To contemplate this happening again, especially on ".,.one of the most prominent pieces of commercial property in Lewes...." is more than one can bear - it would be sad - and entirely unneces- sary, Aesthetics aside, there are engineering considerations that also appear to have been neglected by the board. The likeli- hood that the underground parking level Continued on page 8 Write Now Letters are always welcome and should be signed and include a tele- phone number for verification. Please keep letters to 500 words or less. Write to Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Volume 5 No. 20 Publisher Dennis Fomey Editor Trish Vemon News Editor Michael Short Mews Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jen Ellingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angle Moon Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Robe-s Nancy Stener Joseph Mariann Wilcox Classified Sandy Barr Office Manager Kathy Emery Circulation Harry Stoner Production Staff Susan Porter Deidre Sudimak 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 qehoboth 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 else- where. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "To the illuminated man or woman, a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same." Bhagavad Gila