Voices From The Readers

Voices From The Readers

Thankful For Service


On Aug. 20, 2009, my daughter, Kelsey, 20, was taken to the Emergency Room at Atlantic General Hospital for flu type symptoms. She was quickly diagnosed as being in septic shock as well as renal and kidney failure.

Thanks to the quick thinking of the doctors and nurses in the ER, Kelsey was resuscitated with fluids and admitted to the ICU. The next day, our daughter developed blood pressure and respiratory problems and Dr. Zeeshan, the pulmonary specialist and attending ICU doctor, strongly advised that our daughter be put on a ventilator.

For the next 10 days, our family watched Kelsey fight for her life while the doctors tried to figure what had happened to her. They said that her tonsils abscessed and thought that this was method of entry for the infection.

In all my years as a father, I can’t tell you how hard it was to sit everyday and watch her struggle for her life. My daughter’s life was in the hands of strangers and God.

I can tell you that the care she received in the ICU was second to none. Kelsey had nurses around the clock who watched over her like guardian angels in her most critical time.

Through a strong prayer chain of family and friends, Kelsey started to recover as quickly as she had become ill. The thing was that our daughter developed her symptoms on a Monday and was in the ICU on a Thursday.

There aren’t nearly enough words to express the thanks for all of the extra hours that my family and I witnessed as Dr. Zeeshan and his staff attended to Kelsey. I have a new found respect for the doctors and nurses in the ER and ICU of Atlantic General Hospital.

Kelsey was finally diagnosed with the H1N1 flu and has made a remarkable recovery, allowing her to celebrate her 21st birthday in September and returned to work.

This Christmas, our gift is from God, the gift of life.

Sincerest thanks to the doctors and nurses at Atlantic General Hospital, from our family.

Ron and Molly Eckman

Aaron, Kelsey, Drew and Holly Eckman

Mike and Jay Knapp


Key Elements Behind

Berlin House Debate


(The following letter was submitted along with a position paper by Michael Bourne, a Maryland architectural historian. That letter was not published due to space constraints, but the letter below that accompanied appears below.)

Unfortunately there have been key elements missing in many articles written about the house. Components that relate to the house, it’s historical significance in the footprint on Main Street and the possible demise of this structure.

We understand that all of the Historic District Commission (HDC) members that voted to demolish the house, have since regretted their decision, citing a lack of proper information on the state and history of the house, and testimony by non-experts.

In addition to the attachment of Mr. Bourne’s letter, below please find facts regarding the house and the recent history of events.

— The House is nestled in Berlin’s Historic District-In 1850 Elizabeth White owned the house-Multiple researchers & historians substantiate the history of the house.

— The House has been in a state of “Demolition By Neglect”

Berlin code 59-1 for many years. The Town of Berlin has never enforced the codes that are in place to protect the historic house despite the concerns of the community.

 — The current owner was advised by The Town of Berlin to make the necessary repairs. (letter dated 9/12/08) He never did.

— The current owner has repeatedly requested to demolish the house. He was twice denied.

— Architectural Historian, Paul Touart, testified 3 times (once in a letter) as to the integrity & significance of The Elizabeth White House. Both Paul Touart & the owner’s architect stated that the house could be restored.

— Berlin is supposed to preserve and protect the historic district–allowing a home in the district to be torn down negates the intension of the Historic District mission.

— Federal and state grants and tax advantages are available to the owner. They were never pursued.

We believe that the onus to preserve and protect not only the Elizabeth White House- however all of the historic district homes and shops, is the responsibility of our elected officials. The laws to do so are in existence.

We have asked for Due Process of Law, we have asked that the codes to protect neighbors from living among homes that are classified “Demolition by Neglect” (section 59-1) be sited. We expected that the laws in place be followed, and not to exist as a matter of interpretation or be subject to influence.

Destruction of a Historic District home affects the property values of all of those living in the district. The staff employees and elected officials charged with making decisions that affect the value and integrity of our homes, need to be cognizant of the ramifications of their actions.

Lastly, staff and elected officials also need to be held accountable for the education and dissemination of proper materials and facts concerning respective committee-such as- The Historic District Commission.

We have and always will welcome the property owner to the Historic District. We have always asked that he follow the same set of rules and regulations set forth by the Town of Berlin. He knowingly purchased a home in a district of historic regulation. The codes, rules and historic regulations are in place to protect the integrity of the shops, restaurants, galleries, and the Historic District homes regardless of size and stature.

The Beckstead Family


Article Objections


Your Dec. 4 article contains factual errors, which are defamatory to my company’s character and reputation. The article published under the headline, “Three Arrested in Club Fight”, recklessly ties in my company’s name as if to insinuate that the crimes committed were a direct reflection of the event promoted and hosted by Envius Couture. There are slanderous statements that question your ethics and underlying motives directed toward the event held that evening. Due to the “word play” used by your news editor, my company’s name has been associated with a negative circumstance that was completely of no fault of our own.

I believe your editor’s motives are set in place to damage my reputation seemingly tarnishing my company’s image impeding any possibility of hosting future events. I’ve worked hard over 15 years to build a company respected by numerous members of the community, only to be torn down by your article directly associating my brand with malice and mayhem perpetrated by individuals who have nothing to do with the company I have built. Whatever fights or disturbances that resulted in arrests that evening had nothing to do with my company’s name/brand or the hosted venue.

I strongly feel the editor could care less about my reputation when stating the event targeted “urban clientele.” Exactly what is that supposed to mean? Did you take into account how offensive that reads and sounds? Another direct quote from your editor mentioned the event titled “All Black Everything”, urged guests to wear all black attire. Black attire was recommended as a theme only basis but not a requirement.  It’s no different than a party that might suggest costume or formal wear only when attending their event. The average reader could take such quotes out of context suggesting that clothing color represents a certain group or gang of patrons. Also what happened to journalist checking their sources other than logging on to Face Book, Twitter or MySpace to write a story? The editor labels Envius Couture as a company based out of Washington, DC when in all actuality we are not. The “All Black Everything” event did not cater to a certain demographic area or group of people as you so insinuated. The event was entitled and themed as such strictly because we are a clothing company who uses events to promote our clothing line and not to mention the party occurred on Black Friday weekend.

In the future, I suggest you coach your editorial staff in the manner they choose to represent your news source by more carefully choosing politically correct verbiage when reporting a news worthy story. Certain derogatory, slandering and negative comments should not be associated with my company’s name. After reading this article I seriously question your ethics and integrity. The article obviously contains factual errors sending a blatant message that Envius Couture is bad for business. This was the 9th event in the past three years held by my company partnering with Castaways. Each event prior to your write up never had any problems, but your editor wouldn’t know that because positive things/outlets for the "Urban Clientele”, as you so stereotyped, aren’t good news stories.

Durran Whaley

(The writer is the owner of Envius Couture.)

Mr. Whaley,

Rather than dispute every point in the letter, which was printed in its entirety, all that needs to be said is we stand by the story as published. There were never any slanderous comments made against your company. We reported what was known about the incident, based on police reports and other informative sources. Claims that the article intentionally sent a personal “message that Envius Couture is bad for business” are absurd as are many of the other accusations hurled.