ViewPoint

Editorial — Area is showing itself to have big shoulders

Date Published: 
Dec. 8, 2017

It wasn’t that long ago when local business owners and Chambers of Commerce would meet to figure out how to create “shoulder seasons” in the fall and spring.

Sure, summers were great for businesses, as visitors would flock to the area to enjoy the beaches, and would visit our shops and restaurants as part of their family vacations. But it was basically a three- to four-month year for business back then, and any hiccup (storm or flooding) could greatly impact a business’ ability to stay solvent.

The area’s great golf courses certainly began to help, as golfers would come in the spring and fall, when lodging was a bit cheaper and the weather a bit milder. Those businesses and Chambers began hosting events in the fall and spring, as well, creating the “shoulder seasons” that continue to gain in popularity each year.

And now we’re noticing that winter has its potential here, as well.

Bethany’s Weekend Wonderland efforts kicked off last weekend, and downtown was packed with people shopping and celebrating the season. Other towns have held parades, tree-lighting ceremonies and other activities, generating both civic pride, and an excuse for people to be around town and visit shops and restaurants.

And we know that our area restaurants do well for New Year’s.

Sure, January and February will be slow, as they always are. And that’s kind of nice, even for the businesses, as it allows people to renovate, redesign or just enjoy some down time with family. But the area is not just a seasonal creature anymore. And that’s good for all of us.

Point of No Return — You might have to search, but Christmas spirit is alive

Date Published: 
Dec. 8, 2017

Not Zippy.


Yes, Zippy.

There was a full-fledged manhunt going on in Deerfield, N.H., as of Wednesday morning, as authorities were trying to find Zippy, the beloved mannequin that resembles a life-sized version of Elf on the Shelf, as reported by newhampshire.com.

According to the story, members of Deerfield’s Rescue Squad traditionally move Zippy around town to different locations during the Christmas season, and then ask residents to share his whereabouts on their Facebook page. Authorities say Zippy was last seen on a folding chair outside a town park, and that he was reported missing on Monday, Dec. 4.

“This is not a joke or a game; we are very upset about someone choosing to ruin the fun for Deerfield’s children,” the Deerfield Rescue Squad wrote in a Facebook post.

Actually, this is pretty messed up. Deerfield has a population of about 4,400, from what I can gather online, and you’d have to think Zippy was well-known to just about everybody in town. It sounds like it was a fun game for the kids in town to participate in, and a great way to forge a stronger connection between the Deerfield Rescue Squad and the town’s citizens.

An educated guess would probably lead someone to suspect that Zippy’s abduction was caused by teens, as opposed to something more nefarious, but still... Bring back Zippy. The holiday season only comes around once a year. Let the little ones have their magic.

More Christmas mischief appeared to be taking place in Sea Girt, N.J. According to officials, a popular Christmas light display in town was tampered with, resulting in damaged wires and a threat to the town’s planned tree-lighting activities last Friday, per foxnews.com.

Apparently, the town scrambled to repair the damage before the big event, and was able to save some Christmas spirit for the town’s residents. More good news came the day after the event, when police released video footage they caught of the suspect damaging the lights.

Yeah, it was a squirrel.

“The Sea Girt Police Department is proud to report that the case of our broken holiday lights has been solved,” they shared in a press release. “We are happy that no human acted as a grinch in this incident. The squirrel was ‘charged’ with criminal michief and released on bail.”

Oh, nuts.

Of course, sometimes it’s not a case of teens or random squirrels trying to ruin Christmas for everybody else. Sometimes, it takes an adult to act like a complete fool. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Pastor David Grisham, a self-described Christian evangelist and a Darin-described jerk-face.

According to a story on huffingtonpost.com, children and their parents had gathered last week in North Pole, Alaska, to have their time in the lap with Santa Claus. For starters, how cool is it for kids to visit Santa in North Pole, Alaska? I mean, yeah, it’s not the “real” North Pole, but it’s cooler than, say, 99.9 percent of the rest of the world...

But I digress.

As not-yet-screaming-through-tears children anxiously stood in line with their parents to see Kris Kringle, Grisham made a loud announcement to the group, according to the story.

“I wanted to tell you kids today, too, that Santa Claus does not exist,” said Grisham. “Santa Claus is not real. The man you’re going to meet today is a man wearing a suit like a costume and it’s make-believe. It’s not real.”

A video of the incident showed parents trying to ignore Grisham, but some kids appeared shaken by the man.

“Your parents have been telling you a story that is not true,” he continued. “There are no reindeer, flying reindeer.”

This was not Grisham’s first bold jerk-face moment. In fact, his organization, Repent Amarillo, is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and he filmed himself engaging in similar behavior last year at a Texas mall. A few years before, according to the article, Grisham held a mock execution of Santa Claus.

Look, I get that the true meaning of Christmas has been somewhat buried under an avalanche of commercialism and hyper-political correctness. That is a message that must be conveyed by more people, or we risk eventually losing the real “magic” of the holiday forever.

But Santa Claus is fun, and represents the very fiber of love and giving — two elements of this world that are in short supply in 2017. If you are purposely going out and trying to destroy this holiday for children, well, guess what? You’re a jerk.

Especially when you consider the sacrifices some Santa Clauses will make, just to give a kid a smile.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that a skydiving Santa was looking to make quite the entrance while taking an Elf on the Shelf (no relation to Zippy. I checked) to a 9-year-old girl on a beach near St. Petersburg, Fla.

George Krokus was dressed as Santa during a Saturday skydiving effort to bring toys to the Tampa Bay Beach Bums Operation Santa Charity Volleyball Tournament, with the aforementioned Elf on a Shelf earmarked for young Madison Spiers, when he crashed into a tree and light pole, breaking his leg.

Spiers got her Elf, proving that the Christmas spirit is alive and well, when jerk-faces aren’t involved.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — Dec. 8, 2017

Date Published: 
Dec. 8, 2017

Reader weighs in on proposed regulation

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed as comments to Secretary Susan Bunting of the Delaware Department of Education, regarding the draft anti-discrimination Regulation 225, which was up for public comment through Dec. 4. The comments were sent to the Coastal Point for publication.

I support many of the goals Regulation 225 seeks to advance and, as drafted, it offers hope to students and families that find themselves thrown into the vortex of this public controversy believing the full force of Delaware law exists to vindicate and protect their interests.

As an advocate of the ideals behind this draft regulation, I seek Gov. Carney’s pledge that he has received the blessing of his chief legal officer that the path he has ordered his Secretary of Education to journey will be upheld by existing law.

In my view, the draft amended Regulation 225 is sure to deliver disappointing setbacks to those who rely on its protections based on ethnicity, gender, or gender identity or expression (additions to regulatory coverage that lack statutory support).

Sadly, as many individuals sponsoring this effort surely know well, future lawsuits will, in all probability, blunt its force and effects in major respects. Years of contentious litigation would delay needlessly the more important work of putting in place appropriate protections for students without the clamor of legal overreach. Such a future need not come to pass if supporters of this draft regulation cease this four-month parade toward implementation.

The efficacy and survivability of this proposed regulation will pivot on simple concepts: where lies the statutory authority from which the Department of Education:

· Unilaterally elevates and adds ethnicity, gender, and gender identity and expression to protected group status;

· Endows each school district with parental authority (parens patriae) over all students, without regard to age;

· Allows a secret (sub rosa) contract between student and school district with no parental notice.

Thousands of Delawareans from a broad spectrum of educational and economic strata have been challenged to publicly step forward, announce who they are and offer their commentary. Strange, is it not, that these persons have done so without the benefit of the views of the chief legal officer of Delaware, Attorney General Matt Denn.

Surely the largest law firm in Delaware, with 220 attorneys, possesses the legal acumen to weigh in on this important statewide initiative by providing an opinion to the Secretary regarding the items referenced above and having that opinion placed in the public record.

Indeed, Attorney General Denn has demonstrated tenacity and oversight in addressing bullying in our public schools, e.g. 2015 Update on Implementation by Delaware Public Schools of the State’s 2012 Anti-Bullying Laws.

The most disappointing aspect of this notice and comment process is that it trivializes a legitimate need for student protection: a need that should be supported with statutory authority and, thereafter, common-sense guidelines that will grow and expand with the benefit of local and national experiences.

James Angus

Frankford

Reader responds to previous letter

Editor:

I am responding to the Nov. 17 letter by Donna Purcell. The major points we all agree upon is all U.S. citizens desire peace, freedom and sovereignty and to uphold the U.S. constitution.

The constitution outlines governance; however, this is the first administration ever to try dismantling what was set up by our forefathers by inept appointees to cabinets and agencies. The chaos in both the White House and the Congress will cause our great nation to fall… perhaps like Rome did.

We can keep saying “no one is perfect,” and we aren’t, but that is no excuse to support a person in office who is a narcissist.

Psychiatrist Dr. M. Scott Peck, also a Christian minister, explored whether or not evil is a sickness and, if so, could it be cured? He worked with many patients over the years and in his 1983 book “People of the Lie: The Hope for healing Human Evil” catalogues his experiences with patients whose symptoms defied any therapies he offered.

He found that the malady of evil could be distinguished by some common characteristics in some of the patients. The first was their denial of all personal responsibility. Evil individual programmatically indulge in scapegoating, blaming personal problems or the problems of society on someone else. Evil parties consider themselves above reproach and must deny their own badness by lashing out against others and saying how horrible those people are.

Erich Fromm, the German social psychologist used the term “malignant narcissism” to define persons whose exaggerated pride deceives them into thinking they are smarter than they are and above any authority. Narcissists also demand to be in control and refuse advice from specialists, or anyone, etc.

Christians can find many scriptures to support their points in an argument. But the Ten Commandments, which is the basis for our Judeao-Christian faith, lays down the laws by which man should live.

Our president has broken several of these laws, and the worst one is “you shall have no other Gods before me.” The pursuit of power and wealth is the false god that some people put before our Lord God. Jesus supported this with “Love the Lord your God with all your heard and your neighbor as yourself.” If this would be the goal for each of us, then we might have peace and justice in our world.

“Birds of a feather flock together.” — Author unknown.

Doris Pierce

Selbyville