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Lewes, Delaware
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December 11, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 11, 1998
 

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" 6 -CtPE'GAZETrE. Friday, December 1"1" -Dece-'mr'17.18 VII00:WPOINTS Edit0ria Don't let fear beat us; bring on the vision While a Cape Henlopen State Park master plan steering committee works carefully on a vision for the future, Delaware park officials continue to acquire lands just west of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and along the abandoned railroad line. Those lands are outside of the master plan process, but state parks division officials have made no secret that their plans include a bicycle path and additional open space buffering for 'the unique natural environment along the canal. In additionto the fact that the land being purchased is of such great natural significance, it also lies in close proximity to the lands of the Wolfe Neck Wastewater Treatment Facility. The utility use of those hundreds of acres of land keeps them open and undeveloped and compatible with surrounding open parcels being purchased and eyed bythe sta:e. Soon we, as a community, will figure out how to prop- erly incorporate those lands - making good use of our natural fertiliz- er - into our recreational plans including a multiuse path, birdwatch- ing opportunities and other activities that keep us in touch with our natural world. It's time for the state to unveil its strategic plan regarding the bicy- cle path and the buffering lands. By revealing the vision, those in favor will be able to add their momentum to seeing the vision real- ized, while those with concerns can express them more specifically so they can be properly addressed. There are lots of ways to align a bicycle path so that it doesn't end up in someone's back yard but also so that it doesn't end up so far away that neighborhoods can't enjoy the great opportunity that a well-designed path will present. As a community, we must resist bicycle path arguments that use fear of others in our community as a means to stop a project. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his first inaugural speech, said, 'q'he only thing we have to fear is fear itself." The great value and oppor- tunity of a multiuse path between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, using lands being purchased by the state, is such a great opportunity that we cannot allow it to be stymied by transitory fears. Instead, we need to embrace those parts of our community where we have con- ceres and not tolerate a criminal element. If we stop great projects because of fear of criminals, they have beaten us. We're heartened by requests from nearly 200 people who live in and are interested in the West Rehoboth area who kant development projects in the area to provide another point of access to what now amounts to a dead-end community with festering problems that won't go away. If, as they ask, the community ,'allies to help bring more access and transportation options to that area, we will be more direcdy addressing a problem rather than fearing it. Very positive solutions are in sight. It's time to bring them more clearly into focus in the interest of developing con.aunity consensus. Letters The Weather Picture H Dec- 3 69 42 None [!iJ[)ec. 4 75 57 None : Iiii|Doe. s 75 56 None li]oo, e 76 53 None: H Dec. "7 77 59 None Dec. 8 71 51 .58 ..... Dec. 54 41 .64 As reported by the Lewes Board of Public Works Power Plant, an official U.S. Weather Station. ..... ":' Eleanor Olesen photo Joan Horn of Lewes submitted this photograph taken by her cousin, Eleanor Olesen of northern California. The weather here has been milder and we're a lot closer to Ocean City; too. Thompson's Island cartoon misses mark Contributor Geoff Veruon's cartoon about the current Thompson Island burial ground/Nanticoke Indian Tribe issue that appeared in the Dec. 4 edition of the Cape Gazette was a disservice to the readers of this fine publication. It trivial- izes an important, far-reaching topic. misrepresents the facts and merits of the case, and completely misleads the public about the matters at hand. Conspicuously absent in Vemon's car- toon is any mention of the Native Ameri- can burial ground itself, which is the crux of the debate between the state and my tribe. His depiction of me chastising a state worker literally put words in my mouth that never fell from my lips and expresses sentiments that were never in my heart. This is not a land-grab issue or a case of Indian sour grapes against the state and people of Delaware; it is about human decency, fair play, equality and the protection of sacred ground made hallow by the bones of tribal ancestors. Portraying this matter in any other light "is tantamount to disseminating misinfor- mation at a time when truth and openness are crucially needed. Vernon's misconstrued views are nei- ther shared nor echoed by Delaware offi- cials. I am confident that the officials respect my tribe's true position as is evi- denced by the ongoing good-faith negoti- ations between the governor's office and my people. Gov. Carper and his staff deserve due credit - and my tribe's appreciation - for their positive involve- ment in this issue. After six months of dealing with the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation about the burial ground, without acceptable or noticeable results, the governor's office took swift, decisive action that immediately stopped any further desecration of the burial ground and lessened the vulnerability of the human bone fragments upon it. We now agree on the principles and ultimate goals of this discussion; where we differ is on processes and implemen- tation. : Since no final determination has come from the governor's office yet about how - and by whom - the Thompson Island burial ground will be managed, there is no need for me to address any of the comments that other state officials have recently made in the media. However, the stated position of the Nanticoke Indi- an Tribe is that we do seek stewardship and control of this Indian cemetery; not because we don't want anybody else to "hunt this land, fish these waters or walk in serenity among these stately woods," as Vernon claims in his cartoon, but only because we feel we are best suited to property care for it, protect it and accord it the proper respect it deserves. No one would argue that the state has done an exemplary or even an adequate job of this in the past, but what is now at issue is what will be best for the burial ground in the future. The Nanticoke Indian Tribe cannot simply overlook the state's track record of the way it has handled the Indian cemetery since it acquired that land, especially the six months that lapsed without progress even after the terrible condition of the burial ground was brought to state officials' attention. That would be asking too much. I urge everyone, including this news- paper's cartoonist, to bear in mind an old Indian prayer when considering this and any other issue: "Creator, before I criti- cize my neighbor, grant me the wisdom to walk a mile in his moccasins. Charles C. "Little Owl" Clark IV Nanticoke Indian Tribe Assistant Chief Millsboro More on DelDOT and Route 1 congestion The follow!ng letter was sent to Delaware Gov. Tom Carper, with a copy submitted to the Cape Gazette for publi- cation: The Delaware Department of Trans- Continued on page 7 Write Now Letters should be signed and :include a telephone number for veil, fication. Please keep letters to 750 :words or less. V/rite to Cape Gazette, P@ Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958 or faxto 645-1-664. Volume 6 No. 29 Publisher Dennis Fomey DNF@capegazette.com Editor Tdsh Vernon newsroom @ capogazette.com Auoclato Editor Kerry Kester kester @ capegazette.com News Editor Michael Short " mshort @ capegazette.com Newe Jim Cresson Rosanne Pack qmckOcapegazette.com jenOcapoOazotto.com Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angie Moon am@on @ capegazette.com Proofrudm' Bill Rable Sports Editor Dave Frederick fredmanOdmv.com Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach car@If @ capegazette.com Advertising Cindy Forestied cindyf O capegazette.com Sharon Hudson Nancy Stenger Joseph njoseph @capegazette.com Classified Sandy Barr Offi Manager Kathy EmeW kemeryOcapegazette.com Circulation Harry Stoner Production Coordinator Deidre Sudimak Production Staff Susan Porter Chris Wildt Contributors: Tim Bamforth Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Geoff Vernon E-mail for news, letters: newsroom @ capegazette.com E-mail ;for advertising: wodocli @ capegazette.com E-mail to subscribe: kemery@capegazette.com The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is published by Cape Gazette Limited every Friday at the Midway Shopping Center, Highway One, Rehoboth Beach DE 19971. Second class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gaz-ette, P@ Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: 302- 645-7700. FAX: 645-1664. Subscriptions are available at $25 per year in Sussex County; $40 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazette, P@ Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. "There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient work- ing and waiting." Josiah Holland