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Lewes, Delaware
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October 21, 2011     Cape Gazette
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VIEWPOINTS cape Gazette 8 FRIDAY OCTOBER 21 - MONDAY OCTOBER 24 2011 Letters )) Continued from page 7 dogs are on a leash and cleaned up after? Who is responsible for personal injury if someone should trespass on the property owner's property? Who is responsible for property damage if someone or an un- leashed dog trespasses on a prop- erty owner's property? How safe can a bike/walking trail bewhen a train still uses the tracks? It doesn't matter how Of- ten the tracks are used. or how fast the train is traveling (your ar- ticle states 10 mph), it only takes one brief second for a tragedy to - occur. We already have many facilities and activities for the public that are not taken care off public rest rooms on the Lewes beach are filthy, trash cans are overflowing, and people walk dogs on the beach and do not clean up after them. Dogs are On the beach when prohibited and there is no one there to enforce these rules. Roosevelt Inlet has porta potties that are overflowing and filthy; the parking lot needs to be paved with lines to designate parking spaces; the beach is t'filed with trash and the trash cans are overflowing. Dog waste fs plentiful. Herring Point in Cape Hen- lopen still has not been complet- ed; the barriers that are there for the public's safety are a joke. The roads and paths in this particular park are in desperate need of re- pairs. The same litter and dog waste line the bike/walking trails that I have mentioned earlier, I can only comment on this park because it is the only one that I frequent. I have to agree with Council- man Sam Wilson, R-Georgetown, do we have our priorities right in spending millions of dollars for the trail when there are so many existing projects that need com- pleted/repaired/maintained? (Sussex officials place priority on airport, new trail, in the Cape dat- ed Sept. 13). This is a major concern for me and I would like it to be ad- dressed. Debbie Butz Lewes DelDOT's Rail with Trail Project getting on track Recently, the Cape Gazette re- ceived a letter from Debbie Butz raising several concerns about the Department of Transportation's recently proposed Rail with Trail Project, which is a new, innovative concept to build a recreational trail path along the existing, and infrequently used, Georgetown to Lewes rail line. The Rail with Trail Project will improve and expand multi-modal transportation alter- natives in our state. Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt and Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Collin O'Mara are committed to this project and recently signed an agreement to move forward with Gov. Jack Markell's First State Trails and Pathways Plan. Several pathways have already been iden- tiffed statewide, one of which is the Georgetown to Lewes (to Cape Henlopen State Park) rail with trail project. Any new project can bring a va- riety of questions and concerns. That's why in August, DelDOT held a public workshop in Lewes to discuss the Georgetown/Lewes Rail with Trail Project. The work- shop was well attended and repre- sents the starting point for public involvement on this project. While the exact alignment of this path is still conceptual, and pre- liminary design engineering is set for spring 2012, there will be more opportunities for public involve- ment and comment. Developing rail with trail proj- ects within Delaware as part of a multi-modal transportation sys- tem is part of a nationwide effort to provide alternative modes of transportation given our aging road system, environmental and health concerns, and the need to reduce dependence on petroleum imports. These projects can im- prove air quality, the health of path users, and ultimately benefit the towns and states where they are located. An example of a suc- cessful recreational trail in Delaware is the Junction & Break- water Trail in Lewes/Rehoboth. When this trail was being built, there was a great deal of coordina- tion between DelDOT, DNREC, the City of Lewes, Sussex County and the public. This resulted in a useful pathway for cyclists and pedestrians that is now strongly supported by neighboring com- munities. DelDOT is currently engaging these same entities in discussions about a concept for a Rail with Trail Project utilizing the rail line between Georgetown and Lewes which is currently state owned. This rail line is currently main- tained by the Delaware Transit Corporation, which contracts its use to the Delaware Coast Line Railroad. Maintenance of the pro- posed trail is still being discussed, but it will be an important compo- nent of the plan. DelDOT is moving cautiously as it works through maintenance. safety, and environmental issues associated withthe George- town/Lewes Rail with Trail Pro- ject. Given that a specific path and design has not been decided on, it is premature to say exactly which, if any, property owners may be af- fected and to what extent. Right- of-way easements or acquisitions, if necessary, will be a part of a de- veloping plain, and will be clearly communicated early in the process for those affected. We will also identify law en- forcemem entities with responsi- bility for dealing with possible graffiti, noise and trespassing is- sues. Right now. it is unclear whether that would be local or state law enforcement officials. Communication Will be key as DelDOT works with various part- ners on this front. Regarding concerns with main- taining the cleanliness of this area, the City of Lewes assures DelDOT and the public that the area will be cleaned on a regular basis as with all beach and public facilities lo- cated within city limits. Any con- cerns about such issues should be directed to City Hall. DelDOT's chief priority is safe- ty, so safety will enter into every aspect of the agency's decision- making and design process for the recreational trail. There will be a clear area of separation between the tracks and the walking path. The walking path will be con- structed so that one would have to purposefully climb over a protec- tive barrier placed near the tracks in order to get in the way of the train. Also, because the tracks are minimally used by only one train, which moves very slowly down the track, the risks associated with constructing a parallel trail are be- lieved to be minimal. Certainly, any type of accident can happen in a brief second, and as such, a degree of personal responsibility and safety is assumed by both builders and users of any recre- ational trail. Anyone with comments or questions about the Rail with Trail Project is welcome to contact DelDOT's Planning Office at 1- 800-652-5600 (in state) or 302-760- 2080. If citizens have specific con- cerns or comments related to the Rail with Trail Project with re- spectto city services, the City of Lewes welcomes calls at 302-645- 7777. If there are concerns about the impact of this project at the county level, contact Sussex County Administration at 302-855- 7742, or from an environmental as- pect, feel free to contact DNREC's Division of Parks and Recreation at 302-739-9200. And finally, DelDOT plans and builds facilities for the use and en- joyment of the public we serve, and asks citizens to help us in be- ing good and watchfifl stewards so our public spaces can continue to benefit all of us. Tina Shockley Delaware Department of Transportation Milton sidewalks are very dangerous I love sidewalks. Growing up in Washington, D.C., hours were spent with my sister playing hop- scotch, jumping rope, riding scooters and roller skating. As a result, my knobby knees were usually adorned with scrapes and bruises. So, when looking to retire in Sussex County, I was impressed with Milton's charm and walkabil- ity. However, I had to relearn how to be a safe pedestrian after many years of suburban living surround- ed by farmland. I wrote last year regarding a car nearly hitting my husband as we were at a cross- walk downtown. Today, I write to warn walkers of uneven sidewalks throughout town. Don't think these aren't dangerous. I fell Sept. 15 at the bridge on Wagamons Pond. There is at least a two-inch gap from one concrete walk to an- other. I was distracted by the high-speed police chase passing by. I needed emergency care and donned a wrist cast for a short while, along with the sidewalk's autograph on my face for a longer while. I notified town hall of the Continued on page 9 Barefootin' Continued from page 7 Salkin said he's turning his atten- tion now to construction of a new visitors' center at Cape Henlopen State Park. Trap Pond also has yurts, cab- ins and tent sites available at good prices. Dust off your maps or get out your GPS or Google maps and ride the back roads of Sussex to Trap Pond. It's about a 40-minute drive from the coastal area and you're guaranteed to be impressed and enjoy yourself. Unique Christmas gift Finding unique presents is al- ways tough. But sometimes they just smack you in the face. Ed Mihm, whose family owns the Dairy Queen on Lewes Beach called last week to say he had an unusual request recently. A woman whose husband teaches English asked if she could buy the Open Everyday sign that Ed strung up in front of his busi- ness. 'Apparently 'Every Day' is two words, not one," said Ed. The woman said her husband notices such misuse of the Eng- lish language and had pointed out the sign to her on a recent trip to the town. "He likes to gather examples like this one and share them with his classes," said Ed. The woman said she wants the banner as a gift for her hus- band. So, will Ed be able to ac- commodate her? "Sure, any- time." Or, is that any time? Abair rocks Rehoboth Mindi Abair, a nationally pop- ular young saxophonist, vocalist and songwriter, brought a full- house crowd to its feet last Thursday night during the Re- hoboth Beach Jazz Festival at the convention center. She and her talented band kept the ener- gy level high with an awe- some live per- formance which demon- strates why live music is so important Mindi Abair and why the jazz festival is so popular. Den- ny Santangini, president of Delaware Celebration of Jazz, said this year's festival had more sell-out concerts than ever be- fore with ticket sales up in dou- ble-digit percentages over preci- ous years. This was the 22nd year for the festival, which f'filed the area with tons of talented jazz artists. Abair added to her style with feathers woven into her hair. Ray Clifton, the Midway barber, advised me long ago that the less hair you have, the less you should wear. Most of my hair's gone on top but I'm starting to think I should let the hair at the back of my head grow down into a pony tail so I can weave a few turkey or blue jay feathers into it like Mindi. Reminds me of that Steven Stills song 'Almost Cut My Hair." He didn't, and why not? He says, in the Song, he "felt like letting my freak flag fly." God bless the USA! Next up: Sea Witch NOW that the Jazz Festival is over, Rehoboth is taking a cou- Can you find the Christmas gift in this photo? ple of weeks to prepare for the Sea Witch Festival, which is also celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year. Rehoboth Beach- Dewey Beach Chamber of Com- merce Executive Director Carol Everhart is trying to figure out a way to hold the parade down to about two hours. "Last year we had 500 people with pets in that part of the pa- rade alone," said Carol. That doesn't count the thousands of people who show up in cos- tumes to strut their stuff. "It's immensely popular," she said. The Sea Witch Festival, another one of the great festivals that bring so many people into the area in the fall, requires more than 100 volunteers to stage. After Sea Witch comes Punkin Chunkin - the weekend after Sea Witch - and then the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival the following week.