ViewPoint

Editorial — It's time to start thinking about helping kids

Date Published: 
Aug. 18, 2017

We may not want to admit it just yet, but summer as we know it will soon be wrapping up, and children in the area will soon be returning to their classrooms.

And while we live in a community that can generally be referred to as wealthy, the average income in the area is not all that high. Much of the wealth comes from retirees and second-home owners, as families who are raising children in the community are often somewhat restrained by lower-paying jobs. Obviously, those are gross generalizations, but they fit a significant part of our collective demographic.

One expense that can certainly hit families hard is the acquisition of school supplies. The prices keep going up every year, as do the amount of items the students need to purchase themselves.

Several area groups are holding school-supply drives throughout the community in an effort to help every student have the best learning experience they can possibly have.

“These kids are our future, whether you have kids in the system [or not],” said Suzanne Brady, a teacher at Sussex Central High School who organized a drive for her more impoverished students. “If you’re able to spread your wealth a little bit, even if you can just buy a notebook, you can be helping kids that want to learn.”

The schools are also looking for mentors to help kids, which can be a way for people to chip in who might be a little financially strapped, or simply find themselves with a little free time to help.

“This is as important in high school as elementary,” said Mark Steele, superintendent of the Indian River School District. “The more school volunteers we have, the stronger the school community.”

Point of No Return — It’s not about the parties — it’s all about the hate

Date Published: 
Aug. 18, 2017

On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler killed himself in a bunker, along with his wife of two days, Eva Braun. Reports suggest both of them took a cyanide pill to avoid being captured by Soviet troops who were moving in on their position, and Hitler finished the job on himself with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.


As Hitler exited stage left, his dreams of a master race and the future of the Nazi movement left with him. World War II ended less than six months later, and all the fire that Hitler had sparked with his rhetoric-laced speeches and writings — and blitzkrieg assaults on neighboring countries — evaporated into dust.

How did Hitler lose the momentum and, ultimately, the war?

Well, my grandfather played a part. As did, most likely, at least one of your relatives. And those old men you see in the aisles at Hocker’s, wearing those hats commemorating their units or the ships they rode into battle? Yeah, they did, too.

In fact, much of the planet stood together, united in disgust over Hitler’s plan for a “master race,” the murder of approximately 6 million Jews, the attack at Pearl Harbor and the “conqueror” behavior of the “Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis.”

More than 60 million people reportedly died in World War II — approximately 3 percent of the world’s population — and more than 400,000 Americans gave their lives. There are countless stories of young American men lying about their ages to enter the war, women enlisting to aid the cause, and the skies raining confetti in New York City when the war came to an end. This was a big war, and in many historians’ eyes, it was the classic battle of “good versus evil.”

So, how in the world are we where we are today?

People were showcasing swastikas and chanting white-supremacist filth as they marched through the streets with torches in hand last weekend. It was not one nut-bag organization, mind you, but several groups of people coming together to promote a separatist cause.

In Virginia.

In the United States of America.

In 2017.

The results were nothing but predictable. Counter-protestors arrived in droves to speak out against racism, the two sides clashed violently over and over again, and tragedy struck when an alleged racist boot-camp washout from Ohio plowed his car into a sea of counter-protestors and killed a 32-year-old woman. Two Virgina State Police officers also died when their helicopter crashed while they were assisting in the mayhem below.

Which begs the question: Why are Nazis still a thing?

I happily embrace freedom of speech. My entire professional career revolves around that beautiful amendment, and I believe in my very core that we strip away enormous pieces of humanity whenever we attempt to take away a human being’s right to free thought and expression.

That being said, when people assemble with torches like they’re hunting down Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, and they wear the swastika ensignias and shields, and openly carry weapons, I suggest that free speech is not on their menu as much as creating mayhem and flat-out “picking a fight.”

It’s perpetuating hate, and every incident that springs out of their operations should instantly translate into a “hate crime.” It’s like robbing a bank — if you go in with a mask on your face and demand money, and the teller dies of a heart attack, it doesn’t matter if you pulled a gun or not. Your actions murdered someone.

Plain and simple.

I don’t lay the blame at President Donald Trump’s feet. Nor do I blame violence and looting at Black Lives Matter protests or inner-city Chicago murders on Barack Obama. But I will be quick to suggest that both men could have done more to try to pull people together with their platform, even though I can’t imagine any real impact they could have had, if I’m being completely honest.

We have deep-rooted problems that have been around for as long as we’ve been around. The end of the Civil War did nothing to end racism, nor did integrating our schools or military. The Irish and Chinese who came to this country looking for a better life were ostracized, belittled and beaten, and we see the same thing today with people from south of our border, and Muslims leaving whatever horrible situation they find themselves leaving to come here.

It’s not like racism is unique to the United States in any way. There has been slavery, genocide and generally-disgusting behavior on our planet since the dawn of time. We don’t celebrate our differences as much as we identify ourselves by sharing characteristics with one another — and then we attack others for having different characteristics.

But America was supposed to be different, wasn’t it? We were the “melting pot,” the land of opportunity. But we could never quite overcome the reality that we are a nation of people, and people have a tendency to screw things up whenever given a chance.

Republicans were not to blame for last weekend’s violence and ugliness, and Democrats weren’t to blame for a deranged person opening fire on a group of Republicans playing softball.

Hate’s to blame, and in the end, hate will be our ultimate downfall.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — Aug. 18, 2017

Date Published: 
Aug. 18, 2017

Food pantry thankful for support of many

Editor:

Thank you, Coastal Point, for listing our ministry in your Continuing Events column each week. This information is beneficial to those who may hit a bump in the road and for those on fixed incomes. We welcome their calls and truly appreciate Coastal Point’s involvement.

During our nine-month season, we served 819 families, plus six families who were in emergency during the summer. Several huge food drives came in — one from Coldwell Banker and another from the U.S. Postal Service. We wish to take this opportunity to thank all of those who participated in these food drives and the many, many others who collected for our benefit throughout the year.

A “special thanks” to our dedicated volunteers who keep the pantry operational. In November, we will celebrate our 25th anniversary of supporting the less fortunate in lower southeast Sussex. We can always use a few more helpers who are able to lift. If you have a few hours to spare, call me for more details at (302) 436-4118.

We look forward to the start of our second quarter-century and ask that you be in prayer for our continued success.

Dottie Campbell, Coordinator

Community Food Pantry

Reader blames federal troops for war

Editor:

Yes, President Lincoln did disapprove of slavery, and rightly so.

But, let’s look beyond what we think we know: In the 1840s, the mindset of the D.C. Swamp was to concentrate on their “Manifest Destiny” obsession and to send Zachary Taylor into Texas to pick a war with Mexico in order to grab Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California and the other territories; this to complete the God-given ownership of everything from Atlantic to Pacific. Oregon would be gotten from British interests.

Do we still wonder now why U.S. President Lincoln could not tolerate letting the South become its own stand-alone entity plus lose the South’s huge economy?

The Southern Illustrated News commented that it was said that Britain would not offer aid to the Confederacy because of fear of Northern invasion of Canada.

But let’s look at some Lincoln quotes. In his first inaugural address he plainly declared “the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.” In the same address, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the union and is not either to save or destroy slavery.”

During the Mexican War he was quoted, “Any people anywhere being inclined and have the power have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better … may revolutionize and make their own so much of the territory as they inhabit.”

Then “What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union.” Also “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgement, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality.”

Slavery was evil, but this was not main reason that the South attempted to leave the oppressive U. S. government.

Britain’s most powerful newspaper, the Times, said of the Emancipation Proclamation “where he has no power Lincoln will set the negroes free; where he has power he will consider them as slaves. Little Delaware with her 2,000 slaves shall still be protected in her tyranny. This is even more contemptible than wicked … considers himself a sort of American Pope.”

A few weeks before the Civil War:

Let’s look again at the proposed (and Lincoln approved) Corwin Amendment which stated “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service (slaves) by the Laws of said State.” A. Lincoln’s comment: “I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”

Even this offer did not deter the South’s quest for independence!

Still think slavery was it? Check the real history!

President Lincoln’s war cost him his own assassination and over 620,000 soldiers’ lives plus unfathomable civilian suffering but it was not just to free the slaves; please read on. The Confederate States wanted nothing from the U. S government and intended no harm or political intrusion; just peaceful co-existence as independent states.

No federal troops = no war!

Richard Jamison Sr.

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 2068

Reader supports Trump, admires vision

Editor:

I am responding to Valerie Reeves’ letter in the Aug. 11 Coastal Point. I believe that she has simply regurgitated the DemoNcratic Party and the liberal media’s talking points that grossly misrepresent President Trump’s actions. “They” still have trouble accepting that we have a president that is actually doing, or at least trying to do, what those that voted for him want him to do!

Sorry (ha), but there are many of us that approve and support what he is attempting to accomplish! Does he have a “hardness” to his presentations? Yes! But he has not been educated to be two-faced, like most of those in Washington in both parties. I am thankful that he is our president, especially after what many of us believe was a disastrous and poor performance of his predecessor!

Thomas M. Keeley III

Ocean View

Counter: Trump pushing us to war

Editor:

Is Trump’s belligerent rhetoric pushing us toward war? War would make a lot of wealthy people much wealthier, but at fierce cost to our country and the world.

This quote from Aristotle, though written more than 2,300 years ago, speaks, I believe, to our current situation:

“Many even of those who desire to form aristocratical governments make a mistake, not only in giving too much power to the rich, but in attempting to overreach the people. There comes a time when out of a false good there arises a true evil, since the encroachments of the rich are more destructive to the constitution than those of the people.”

Michael Lawton

Ocean View

Rymer will be missed by many in Fenwick

Editor:

Fenwick Island has suffered a heartbreaking loss with the passing of long-time resident John Rymer. John cared deeply about Fenwick Island and was passionate about University of Maryland athletics. John contributed often to the Coastal Point. His letters were well-written, thoughtful and on point. John always had a positive attitude and gave of himself cheerfully. Fenwick Islanders will miss him terribly, and our hearts and prayers go out to his dear wife, Vicki, and sons David and William.

Julie Lee

Fenwick Island

Reader blames park service for mare’s death

Editor:

The subject of my letter is the demise of Chama Wingapo, the 7-year-old mare who died due to the consumption of dog food. This tragedy is due to the federal park service’s lax rules. Having been to Assateague Island National Seashore, the Maryland portion of said seashore is a dump, the rangers have a lackadaisical attitude, and the bathrooms are the pits!

If the National Park Service was serious, they would ban dogs from the park; no dogs, no dead horses.

As for the campers that own dogs — go online, find a reputable kennel and put Fido there, and let the rest of us enjoy nature without annoying people and their dirty, noisy curs!

Ralph Nerbel

Millsboro

Resident upset with signs in town

Editor:

South Bethany is a small, intimate residential town that is but a mile long, yet vacationers come from all over to enjoy our amenities and quality of life. This season, however, their outdoor experience, and mine as a property owner, has been punctuated by street signs erected across town suggesting there is a battle waging against outsourcing our police function.

I don’t know who put up these signs, but whoever you are, this is not who South Bethany is. Instilling fear and compromised safety is not the way to debate this topic. Come forward, and get your voice heard at a town council meeting that offers ample opportunity for community input.

While the topic of outsourcing is reasonable to entertain, regardless of the fierce loyalty the community has for our police officers, it is not a current town council agenda item. Should it be considered, in a town where escalating costs and services of all kinds threaten to exceed our budget, perhaps yes, but this debate has yet to occur, and for partisan views on this topic to suggest there is controversy and contention in our town over this topic is plain wrong.

The Town has tried over the past few years to develop a plan to improve its police building facilities, only to be stymied by a price tag that made this plan untenable; instead, a modest renovation within the structure is taking place. Yes, a disappointment, for some, but in a Town that prides itself in being fiscally responsible with a modest budget, a prudent move.

Over the past few years, the Town has added police staff and increased pay and benefits, but members of the police department have taken legal action that says, not enough. The Town just released a message to property owners that reiterates what was said at its last Town Council meeting: “…we investigated the matter with our own attorney, and we have found the demands to be without merit.”

So, yes, police-related issues are top of mind, but there’s a time and place for debate. Don’t litter the streets with fear-frothing messages that do not reflect accurately what is going on or tarnish our community spirit.

Sharon Polansky

South Bethany

Civic club has full schedule ahead

Editor:

The Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach held its transitional meeting/luncheon at the end of June at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club.

The 2017-2019 Board members include: B.J. Hildebrand, president; Kay Houston, vice-president; Annlyn Ayres, treasurer; and Linda Carey, secretary. The outgoing board was thanked for their service to the club. All committee chairs presented their proposals for the coming term.

Some of the exciting programs and events for the remaining 2017 calendar year:

• Sept. 14 — Beebe Renovations/Expansion, presented by Judy Aliquot, Medical Foundation.

• Oct. 12 — History of the First Ladies, Martha & Beyond, by Dr. Robert Gudalunas.

• Nov. 9 — Annual Fashion Show/Luncheon at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club.

• Dec. 14 — Holiday Luncheon at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club.

This year, the WCCBB will once again present donations to the Town of Bethany Beach, the Bethany Beach fire and ambulance departments, the South Coastal Library, the Millville ambulance department and multiple other area worthy causes and organizations, amounting to over $8,100.

Since its inception in 1925, the WCCBB has supported local and charitable endeavors in the area.

Meetings are held the second Thursday of each month at the South Coastal Library. Meetings begin at 9:30 for refreshments and social time, followed promptly at 10:00 with program and club business. All are welcome. If interested in information on the women’s club, visit our website: www.WCCBB.org or contact Andrea Gowetski, membership chair, at (302) 541-4751.

Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach