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Lewes, Delaware
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October 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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October 17, 1997

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8 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, October 17- October 23, 1997 Le ters Continued from page 6 ments, etc., are coming over the same number as emergency calls. Separate numbers exist for gener- al information, employment, home energy tips, and the like - but none for emergencies. ii have spoken to representatives of Delmarva and the State Utility Commission. All parties agree that this situation should not exist, but no one gave me any idea when or if it will be corrected. Meanwhile, it is only a matter of time before a death or serious injury occurs because Delmarva Power does not have a separate, dedicated number for emergen- cies. Ronald G. Paterson Rehoboth Beach Editor's Note: Jay Mason, man- ager of corporate relations for Delmarva Power, offers the fol- lowing response. "Delmarva Power's customer service and emergency service telephone number (1-800-375-7117) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When our phone lines are receiving very heavy customer call volumes, typically during thunderstorms, many cus- tomers speak to our service repre- sentatives to report power out- age& other customers use our au- tomated reporting system to record service emergencies, and unfortunately, some customers will receive a busy signal. If a service emergency is, or becomes, life threatening, the situation should be reported using the 911 emergency number, which has a hot line connection to our dis- patch service." More thoughts on smaller class size The following letter was sent to Suellen Skeen, superintendent of the Cape Henlopen school district, and Sue Shupard, president of the Cape Henlopen board of educa- tion, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication: As parents we will always sup- port smaller class sizes and a smaller teacher to student ratio. We thank the Cape Henlopen school district hoard of education and the administration for listen- ing to our concerns about class size and what is best in the interest of our children. While we applaud the hoard of education's desire to create I0 new teaching positions from local funds, we still wonder if the hoard and administration missed the message that we, as parents, were trying to present at the board meeting on Sept. 9, 1997. Yes, we are concerned about class size, but our first concern is the "uprooting" of the children in second grade, the graduating class of 2008, for a second time in two years. Approximately one-half of these students were subjected to a teacher change in kindergarten when Mrs. Nelson went on med- ical leave in February of that year. Last year as first graders, they were again subjected to a change through the creation of a fifth first-grade class because of the units generated as of Sept. 30, 1996. Now, in the second grade, the numbers again show the need for a fifth second-grade class. The facts that were presented by the parents at the meeting on Sept. 11, 1997, show that the need for a fifth second-grade class existed in August, before the school year started. If the records from last year are checked, you will find that the fifth class came to exist the first week of October. This year, we are already in the first full week of October and the fifth teacher has not yet been hired. This is allow- ing the students and teachers to become more settled in their envi- ronments each day. What criteria will be considered for a fifth teacher to fill this posi- tion? Will this person be an expe- rienced teacher or a "rookie" with little or no experience. In order to made the smoothest transition, an experienced professional is the likely choice. One who can step in during the second-to-third month of the school year and continue with the pace that is already set. The classified ad that appeared in the Cape Gazette stated "Teaching Vacancies, Full Time, 1997-98 School Year Only." Will an expe- rienced teacher apply for a posi- tion that is for one year only, knowing that almost two months of the school year have passed? In the Oct. 8, 1997, edition of the Delaware Coast Press, there is an article by Jessica Norris titled, "New teachers sought with funds." Dr. Skeen is quoted as saying, "I don't like moving any- one. But the benefit of having smaller class sizes outweighs the movement." We all agree that smaller is bet- ter. But is it better at this point for the second graders, who, as I state again, have been down this road two years in a row and some of the students three years in a row. Will the class of 2008 begin each new school year with the fear of being transferred to an additional class? How will they develop a sense of belonging when this situation has presented itself to them "for the first three years of their public school life? At this point, many of the par- ents would like to see the children remain where they are have the district hire paraprofessionals to assist the teachers for the remain- der of the school year. Maybe this will prevent a setback in the learn- ing, teaching process for both the students and the teachers. It would eliminate the need to start all over again. It appears that the graduating class of 2008 is a "balloon" class that will require a fifth teacher each year. It is imperative that this situation is looked at and consid- ered well in advance of the school year in September. If not, these children may be faced with this problem all through school. Parents of the Rehoboth Ele- mentary School students received a letter from the principal, Mrs. Selby, explaining the procedure to reduce the class sizes. Inasmuch as the parents this year can "vol- unteer" to have their child move to a new class, I feel that this will not solve the problems ahead. What about those parents who are strongly against the moving of their child; will their feelings be considered? As parents, teachers and admin- istrators, we all have the best in- terest of the children in mind and we strive for that goal. Perhaps now is the time to start a campaign to change the procedure for deter- mining the number of "units" a school "generates." Let's not wait until Sept. 30. Let us participate in House Bill 141 and have the cut- off date be March 31 or let the Cape Henlopen school district create a policy as suggested by the Rehoboth PTO to use the figures as of Aug. 1 as the determining factor for the number of"units" generated. Please, consider the suggestion to hire paraprofessionals for the remainder of the school year 1997-98, and use the remainder of the year to devise a plan of attack for the school year 1998-99. The Board of Education has voted to use local funds to hire new teach- ers as opposed to using only state funds because they do see the need for smaller classes. This is a start in the right direction. Let's keep the lines of commu- nication open between the admin- istration, teachers, parents and children - we are all striving for the same ultimate goal, the best education for our children. Pamela G. Beckman Rehoboth Beach Look at managed care consumer protection act So, you and your family now find yourselves covered by a man- aged care health plan. Maybe you haven't had any problems yet, but- you've certainly heard about those who have. Any of these situations sound familiar? a friend who cannot find a qualified primary care physician who is still taking new patients; a sick or injured relative whose claim for an emergency room visit is denied; a loved one who isn't getting the whole story about available treatment options; a fellow worker who can't get referred to a specialist; an early retiree who wonders ff there are financial incentives of- feted to providers tolimit care; a young family whose needed prescriptions aren't covered by the plan; a confused neighbor who is in- timidated by a plan grievance pro- cedure that its time-consuming and hard to understand; an acquaintance who is suspi- cious that care decisions are being made by the clerks and not the ap- propriate medical personnel; or a colleague who is being de- nied medical care because it is claimed to be experimental. Familiar? Want to avoid finding yourself in one of these situa- tions? Then you want to take a look at the Managed Care Con- sumer Protection Act (H.B. 295). This legislative initiative is de- signed to help Delawareans assert their position in today's rough and tumble managed-care market- place. I urge you to call your state representative to request a copy of this bill. H.B. 295 will be taken up when our legislature reconvenes. Be prepared. Call now. Lloyd Mills, III Lewes American Legion thanks Home of the Brave The American Legion Auxii- iary, Unit 17, and the American Legion Post 17, Lewes, would like to thank the Home of the Brave for being their guests at the Chicken and Dumpling Benefit Dinner held in their honor on Sept. 21. The Home of the Brave received all the proceeds from the dinner, a cash donation and many, many items from their "wish list," This list helps to subsidize the overwhelming funds needed to keep this wonderful organization going on a daily basis. The Home of the Brave wish list: cleaning supplies, toilet pa- per, coffee and creamer, sugar, spices, light bulbs, stamps and en- velopes, office supplies, pillows and sheets, pots and pans, pre- paid phone cards, gift certificates for clothing and food, tissues, laundry powder, small appliances, canned goods, personal items and cash donations. If anyone wishes to donate items from this list, or furniture in good condition, to the Home of the Brave, they may call the American Legion Auxiliary, Betty Dunn, president at 645-9258, or the American Legion Post Home at 645-9965, and someone will be glad to come and pick up your do- nation. American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 17 Lewes Where's our mascot? Our newspaper has just learned that the rumors of a possible mas- cot-napping in our area may be true. James Knepp and Steve Young, members of the Aludium Q-36 Pumpkin Modulator Team, admitted that their mascot, Mar- vin, has been missing since the Morton Ptmkin' Chunkin' Con- test. Local police have been busily checking out all leads. They also contacted the FBI for their assis- tance, ince Marvin is from outer space. The Aludium Q-36 Pumpkin Modulator was built in Mary and Bey Litwiiler's shop in Hopedale, Ill. by team members Rod Litwiller and Chuck Heerde, both of Hopedale; Matt Parker and Steve Young, both of Morton; and James Knepp of Groveland. Marvin the Martian became the team mascot after first appearing at the home of Matt and Michelle Parker. He was very upset because he thought the team had been fir- ing pumpkins at him. After learn- ing that they were not aiming for him, and that this was all for fun, he agreed to join the Q-36 team as their mascot, if they would agree to fire him home when he decided to go back. The Parkers, along with Matt's parents, Bonnie and Pat Parker, were too distraught to comment to reporters. Chuck Heerde said he and his parents Tom and Karen have been swamped with phone calls from area people offering to help. He says they have been organizing search parties and passing out posters. The Heerdes had been planning on taking brownies to the Delaware competition in No- vember to share with all of the : nice Delaware competitors who had traveled to the Morton Con- test, but they are now afraid that unless the mascot is found soon, they will not have time to bake them. Rod Litwiller says the Q-36 team is still planning on attending the Delaware competition on Nov. 1-2, but they are concerned be- cause it will be very hard to con- centrate if their mascot is still missing. Authorities assured us they are doing all they can to locate Mar- vin as soon as possible. They would not deny rumors of possi- ble sightings of Marvin at Lewes and Dover, Del. Karen Heerde Armington, Ill. Thanks for support The Lewes Public Library wish- es to thank Kids' Ketch for the do- nation of 100 toys as prizes for the Summer Reading Program. Also, the annual contribution of free pizza slice coupons and five T- shirts from Grotto Pizza, Inc. is a highlight of our "Congratulations Celebration." A new sponsor, 2nd Street Popcorn & Candies, donat- ed over 300 "gold coin" choco- lates to the cause! Our sponsors foster community spirit, self-esteem and a lifelong love of reading by acknowledging the efforts of the children of Lewes in this way. Thank you again, folks. Kathy Graybeal Children's Librarian Thanks to Derrickson from art league We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Bob Derrickson for allowing the Reh0both Art League and Burton Village to dis- play a painted mural that the chil dren of Burton Village worked on this summer. Mr. Derrickson was generous enough to offer us space to dis- play the piece in Mariner's Square, where many people were able to walk by and view the Com- pleted mural. Mr. Derrickson's support of the arts in Rehoboth is greatly appreciated. Trudy Andrescavage HousingManager Burton Village Shontelle Schmidt Education and Outreach Coordinator Rehoboth Art League