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Lewes, Delaware
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December 28, 2006     Cape Gazette
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December 28, 2006
 

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t II I /,23 Secret base plays vital role in Cold War Covert mission in Lewes kept under wraps for decades By Ron MacArthur Cape Gazette staff It was so super secret and essential to the Cold War effort, the U.S. Navy did not reveal the highly classified SOSUS pro- gram until the early 1990s. Yet for decades, one of the SOSUS lis- tening stations was based fight under Cape Region residents' noses at Fort Miles - and no one was talking about it. Some area residents knew the Naval Facility (NAVFAC) in Lewes, at what is now Cape Henlopen State Park, was a lis- tening station, but they had no idea naval personnel were listening for Soviet sub- marines as the first line of defense against nuclear war. SOSUS, the U.S. Navy Sound Surveillance System, has been called one of the most impressive engineering feats of the early Cold War. "The cover story was it was an oceano- graphic research facility working on cur- rents and temperature in sea water," said Proposed development borders Superfund site Neighbors fear environmental risks and developer mistakes By Rachel Swick Cape Gazette staff Sussex County developers and construc- tion workers are in their heyday as devel- opment booms, but with more building comes possible damage to an already sensi- tive ecosystem. When they present their plans to county officials, developers explain how they will protect wetlands and streams. But When construction starts and reality sets in, some protections may be overlooked in get the development built in time and under budg- et. This is nowhere more apparent than at developments such as the Preserves at Jefferson Creek, The Peninsula and Heron Bay, where notices of violation were dis- tributed by the Sussex Conservation District and the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army corps recently went into the Preserves at Jefferson Creek, outside Bethany Beach, and found that developers had illegally filled in wetlands. Bill Winkler, a Bethany Beach resident, said he saw the problem and called the Army corps to correct it. Winkler said in the past, developers have been getting away with violations, and it istime to bring down the hammer before valuable natural areas are destroyed. Heron Bay, a development under con- struction off Beaverdam Road, was issued a notice of violation last month for pollut- ing a neighboring stream with sediment. Duringconstruction, developers are required to contain all stormwater and sed- iment on-site. But while the county requires developers to submit a plan for stormwater management, it relies on Sussex Conservation District to issue viola- tions to the developers. Continued on page 4 Public, board ask for closer look at high school plans Cape official asks for windows that will open By Laura Ritter Cape Gazette staff Cape Henlopen school board offered a public preview of plans for the new Cape Henlopen High School at the Dec. 14 board -meeting, when the board made several decisions related to the heating and energy systems. The board decided to eliminate under- floor heating and cooling and not to use funds allocated for the new high school to install wind- or solar-power technology, although it did not rule out such technology later, perhaps as student projects. Among the most debated issues raised at the meeting was board President Gary Wray's request that architects install win- dows that can be opened. Concerned because of frequent air-quali- ty problems at the existing high school, Wray said he's heard from teachers who want to be able to open at least one window when the cooling system fails to work Continued on page 5 retired Navy Capt. William Manthorpe of Rehoboth Beach, a member of the Fort Miles Historical Association. Manthorpe and David Henderson spoke during the association's annual MA_N-'IORPE fall meeting Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Biden Center in Cape Henlopen State Park, the former U.S. Navy headquarters building. Henderson, coordinator of the Delaware Technical & Community College engineer- ing tech program, presented work his class did on mapping out the area of Battery 519, the location of the future World War II museum. SOSUS operated out of a termi- nal building at Herring Point from 1962 to 1981, when the base closed. NAVFAC Lewes was one of the most highly decorat- ed bases in naval history, because the base garnered every honor possible, said Manthorpe, who has done extensive research on history of the base. The base was also the first naval base in Continued on page 3 Ron MacArthur photo Milton ceremony honors the homeless Showing compassion for the homeless, people gathered at Case San Francisco in Milton Thursday, Dec. 21, during a prayer service for National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day. Candies were lit in memory of the seven known homeless people who died in Delaware during 2006. Shown taking part in the ceremony are (l-r) Steven Smith and Joy Troop Smith of Lewes, and Pat Post of Milton. See additional photos on page 12