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Lewes, Delaware
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December 16, 2014     Cape Gazette
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December 16, 2014

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Cape Gazette VIEWPOINTS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014 7 Letters )) Continued from page 6 communities into war zones, like Afghanistan and Iraq where police (military-l'hke) presence can be seen everywhere. This constant influence and in- vasion of black communities have created ' lowback" - unintended consequences for all involved. Instead of solving the problems plaguing the inner cities, it has led to more distrust, crimes and hatred of the police, as they are viewed as those suppressing the liberties of an entire group of people, because they are! The government has equipped police departments across the country with surplus military equipment to use on citizens. Police and government inter- ventions (the very things that many poor communities have requested over the years to help protect and serve them) are now the monsters that are destroying poor communities from within. These cities have become po- lice states, defined as "a totalitar- ian state controlled by a political police force that secretly super- vises the citizens' activities." History has proven that dictator- ships and police states don't work and lead to the very things we are witnessing in these poor com- munities. Many Americans have no clue how this ongoing monitoring and harassment negatively impacts communities, families and indi- viduals. They view themselves as above reproach as they proudly tell stories about how they respect the police and obey their every command. It is my guess however, if these same model citizens had to live under the conditions similar to communism, they might see things differently. Dictatorship knows no colors or boundaries and when a country (the people) sits withtheir so called holier- than-thou attitudes and allows injustice and militarism to invade our poor communities, it ulti- mately allows the destruction of us all - "Iniustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." These communities don't need more police presence equipped with body cameras or other monitoring devices. The citi- zens should be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, like everyone else. They don't need more social programs or handouts. They don't need more government influence; they need less. They need the same as every- one else...a chance. They need a chance to work and to make a good wage so they can care for their children. They need jobs and paid job training opportunities so they can feel valued. They need business- men and women to stop treating them like they have some kind of plague, but rather aggres- sively recruit and hire them for open positions. They need businesses (not government) to inundate their communities with job opportunities so that they can contribute to society. The government can help too, by changing the laws so that police stop arresting people for non- viblent crimes like selling loose cigarettes. DELAWARE CAPE REGION HISTORY IN PHOTOGRAPHS )) THE PENN DEPOT AT LEWES IN 1909 Penn. De, pot, ldemem, Del. DELAWARE PUBLIC ARCHIVES/DELAWARE HERITAGE COLLECTION THIS POSTCARD photograph from 1909 shows the Pennsylvania Railroad Depot in Lewes as it appeared on May 28,1909. The depot stood on property alongside Kings Highway which is now the home of Stango Park and Lewes Public Library. These same railroad tracks continued on from Lewes to Rehoboth Beach as part of the orig- inal Junction and Breakwater Railroad. A simple free for operating Lewes Church of Christ Crossing. I had heard they gave a business without a business the children a very nice party, but license should be more than deserves praise I had no idea how much time and enough to curb these activities. This being my first year as a money was spent on it. It went When we don't value commu- Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big way beyond what I had ever nities, and treat our own citizens Sisters Program, I had no idea imagined. like prisoners ofwar, we ulti- what was in store for us when They put on a magical show mately reap what we sow. I took my Little Sister to the for the kids, played games, atolyn . Showell Christmas Party sponsored by Millsboro Lewes Church of Christ at The Continued on page 8 or thousands of years, men plied the seas for a living with the aid of wind power. Recently, I continued that proud tradition ... by typing on my Mac. It wasn't quite the same as feeling the wind at my back with a star to steer by, but my computer was sailing along with the aid of wind power. The occasion was a Delaware Sea Grant Program seminar on "Mitigating Climate Change at the Local Level." It was held at University of Delaware Virden Center, nearly in the shadow of the great wind turbine that serves as a campus landmark. Actually, at 404 feet - which the tip of the blade reaches at its zenith - the turbine serves as a landmark for the whole Cape Region coastline, visible on clear days from New ]ersey. And since the wind was blowing at greater than 7 mph that morning - the turbine doesn't operate below that level - the giant windmill-like structure was supplying all the power needs for that morning's conference. In fact, said ]eremy Firestone, professor at the UD School of Marine Policy and Science, the turbine was generating enough power on campus for "six large O buildings that use a lot of en- ergy," plus additional electric- ity that was sold to the City of Lewes. There's no need to turn down the lights, he said, "We're being powered by the turbine." The benefits don't end there. By generating power by wind instead of fossil fuels, Firestone said, the turbine displaces be- tween 4,000 and 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Not that the turbine came without controversy. Neigh- bors complained about the noise. Some even compared the turbine's noise to that of a iet airplane preparing for a take- off. (I've driven by the turbine many times and never heard anything like a iet engine.) There was talk of a lawsuit. But a recent survey indicated that despite concerns, the wind turbine enjoys wide support. In 2013, UD mailed surveys to 1,250 coastal residents. About 47 percent responded. That's not a scientific survey - the respondents are self-selected, not random - but it's probably accurate. The survey showed that 78 percent of the people viewed the turbine positively or very positively. Only 10 percent viewed it negatively or very negatively. That's about as positive a response as you can reasonably expect. Even an idea as popular as oyster farming has detractors. The survey asked specifically about noise. Sixty percent said they had never heard the wind turbine, Firestone said. Some said they heard it, but that it wasn't bothersome, and others heard it but weren't sure whether it was bothersome. "I'm not sure what that means," Firestone said. Also of note were the respon- dents who said they heard it from their homes, even though they lived outside the one- half-mile range of the turbine's noise. Perhaps they have dog ears. But for me the most interest- ing responses were those con- ceming the turbine's aesthetic value. A full 82 percent liked the look of the turbine, and 14 percent considered it a "work of art." A giant piece of art that pro- vides clean, cheap electricity! Hard to beat that. It's possible the turbine will prove to be like the World War II-era towers that dot the coast- line. Objectively ugly, they've become beloved symbols of the Cape Region, subiects of count- less pictures and paintings. I grew up with them and always likedthem myself. But ! sometimes wonder whether those who remember Cape Henlopen before Fort Miles consider them eyesores. If they were to be torn down now, however, people would likely storm the beaches, figuratively anyway. Even wind power has downsides. Among the biggest concerns about turbines is the carnage they wreak among birds and bats. Estimates range in the hundreds of thousands of winged wildlife killed each year in what even called spinning "death traps" for birds. Those numbers are horrify- ing, but we should bear in mind other threats to our high-flying friends. (Also, UD is trying a device that would lower deaths among bats.) According to an April 2014 National Geographic article, "American homes and office buildings are responsible for hundreds of millions of dead birds per year, many times more than windmills." I don't expect people to start living and working in tents to save our birds and bats. Buildings aren't even the biggest threat to bird life. That distinction belongs to those cuddly stars of countless viral videos - house cats. As the National Geographic continued, "Researchers re- cently estimated that house cats kill well over a billion birds in the United States annually." A billion. If we really want to protect birds, we'll keep our cats inside, where they can work on their next video. We also need to recall that old American saying, which Firestone repeated that day: "There are no free lunches," he said. "We all use electricity. We're all going to continue to use electricity. We have to get if from somewhere." Don Flood is a former newspaper editor living near Lewes. He can be reached at