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Lewes, Delaware
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December 26, 1997     Cape Gazette
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December 26, 1997

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VIEWPOINTS Editorial00 With renewed faith and generosity The following is the Christmas message, slightly abbreviated, sent out by the Most Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington - Brothers and Sisters in Christ: One of my favorite Christmas stories has to do with a hostage situ- ation. It's a true story about a young American executive who was cap- tured in a foreign land in which he was working. The abduction was in protest against some American policy. His family was informed by our State Department that it had no idea as to where he had been tak- en. The young wife and her two small children were left only with a sign of hope and a deep faith that somehow her husband and their father would be returned to them. Days passed, months passed, and years passed. There was no word. The State Department kept sending caring and friendly notes to the family, but there was no word as to his whereabouts. After three long, difficult years, the wife suddenly determined that she had to do some- thing. She made plans to go to this foreign land. Her friends tried to dis- courage her, saying it would be of no use, but nevertheless, she was determined. She boarded a plane and arrived in this strange place. She was met by reporters asking her the reason for the journey - why had she come so far - she had no idea where her husband was - what did she hope to accomplish? Her response: "I could sit still at home no longer. I had to do something. I felt that if I came here, I would be as close as I possibly could to my husband. Even though I do not know where he is, I just had to be as close as I could possibly be." How is that a Christmas story for me? God in his loving, infinite goodness, in His constant care and concern for all of us saw our plight, saw our pain, saw our captivity and impelled by love alone sent His Son so that He might be "as close as possible to us." God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son (John 3.16). This Son came not only to be close to us but live in us! This is the message - the Christmas message - which we have to proclaim to the modern world. Especially to the least fortunate, to the homeless, the dispossessed, the sick, the outcasts, to those who suffer at the hands of others. To each one we must say as Mother Teresa her- self would say: "Look to Jesus Christ in order to see who you really are in the eyes of God." Like the Wise Men of old, our life must be a continual sincere search for the Savior without ever tiring, without ever abandoning the undertaking: Even though at a certain moment darkness may fall on our spirits, temptations beset us, grief and incomprehension wring our hearts. These are the things that are a part of our life here below. But these things can also do good because they mature our spirit. Een if it should seem to us that the guiding star sometimes is fading we must continue to seek Him with renewed faith and great generosity. Because He has come! He is close! As close as He possibly could be! Letters Angle Moon photo The sun slowly sets on a Sussex County woods as winter officially sets in. New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter December 29 January 5 January 12" January 20 In defense of JJ's Law objectives In the aftermath of JJ Stein's tragic death, which was alcohol related, Delaware's Speaker of the House of Rep- resentative, Terry Spence, has proposed a law that would make bars liable finan- cially for an accident involving death or injury that was caused by the consump- tion of alcohol sold by such bar to a vic- tim who had obviously had too much to drink. I believe this proposal by Spence is extremely prudent and overdue. I do not believe in dictating morality, and I certainly believe in individuals being responsible for their own actions. I am not against drinking; I do it myself on occasion and also enjoy wine with din- ner. However, when an establishment such as a bar or nightclub has a license to sell a legal drug which, when used in excess, dulls the senses and reduces inhi- bitions, such establishment should share in the responsibility of the results of sell- ing that drug. Technically, alcohol is really no different that marijuana, cocaine, or opium. When abused, alcohol can change or corrupt a person's senses as a negative way as well as any other drug. The only difference is that alcohol is legal, and certain people are licensed to sell it. As a matter of fact, the number one drug problem in the United States is not cocaine, folks, but alcohol abuse. Therefore, I certainly see no problem with additional laws controlling the sale of alcohol and making those who sell it responsible. These types of laws are known as dram-shop laws and are in effect in 37 other states in the Union. Delaware is only one of 13 states that does not hold those who sell liquor responsible for what happens to individuals who drink too much in bars and nightclubs. When an individual, especially a 21-year-old kid, can go in any bar in Rehoboth, and at last call consume five to 10 shots of whiskey, there is something radically wrong with the system. I have heard rumors that in many Rehoboth bars, especially in the summer time, if you know the bartender, you can virtually drink for free with absolutely no limit on your consumption, as long as you pro- vide a generous tip when you leave. If these rumors are true, then this situation must be stopped! Perhaps JJ's Law would scare bartenders (if they were held liable along with the owner) into being careful how much booze they sold and to whom. Statistically, those states that have established dram-shop laws have lowered alcohol-related deaths by 12 percent, especially in motor vehicles. It is high time the state of Delaware gets with the program and institutes the prop- er legislation. The only people who could logically object to JJ's Law are the bar owners themselves. Otherwise, it is a positive idea for us all - an idea that could save lives! I strongly urge John Schroeder and George Bunting, our local elected offi- cials, to advocate JJ's Law. We will be watching to see how you vote. I highly commend House Speaker Terry Spence, for having the courage to tackle this sen- sitive issue head on. He's got my admira- tion and completed backing on this pro- posal. If a dram-shop law does pass in Delaware, it will be a good thing. Some- times a little fear goes a long way. Just remember, folks, if some day in the future (because of this law) a bartender refuses to serve an individual who has already had enough to drink and that per- son gets home safely, it could be your son or daughter. I urge you all to think about this. Please support JJ's Law. I thank you. A. Judson Bennett Lewes Lewes man thanks his community This letter is long overdue and I apolo- gize to those concerned for my tardiness. My wife, Ethel, and I moved to the Lewes area on March 1, 1984, from Maryland after I retired. During the peri- 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. 31 Publisher Dennis Forney Editor Trish Vernon News Editor Michael Short News Kerry Kester Rosanne Pack Jen Ellingsworth Janet Andrelczyk Photographer Angle Moon Proofreader Bill Rable Sports Editor Dave Frederick Advertising Director Carol Mawyer Fehrenbach Advertising Cindy Forestied Nancy Stenger 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 Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Telephone: (302) 645- 7700. FAX - 645-1664. E-mail: capegaz @ dmv.corn 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. "Heap on more wood! - the wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will. We'll keep our Christmas merry still." Sir Walter Scott