Best To Pull Route 54 Development Plans
Following up on the superb letter from Ms. Danaher in the Aug. 6 edition, it’s very unfortunate that the Freeman Company, led by Michelle Freeman, have submitted plans to Sussex County, Del. for hotel & retail development along Route 54 in Fenwick Island, Del.
The land in question is directly along Route 54 and there is no additional capacity on Route 54 to handle traffic associated with any additional development, especially hotel, retail and restaurant businesses. This road is maxed out currently with traffic levels, especially on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. Other days have significant levels of traffic as well.
This land tract also supports wildlife and plant life, and is directly bayfront; if this land isn’t a wetland in the exact definition of the word, it’s as close as one can get. Bottom line, any development on this land or anywhere else along Route 54 will significantly impact the environment in a negative way and any surrounding wetlands. Trash, debris, noise, pollution (from the construction and then on going), water runoff (from cars in the parking areas, the roof tops, etc after a rain), cigarette butts, etc, noise and light, etc and etc will have an immediate and long lasting impact on this area and bay.
Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission has to do the right thing and deny this development. Being on this commission means sometimes a development cannot be approved because it’s not the right thing for the community that this commission serves. This is a prime example of a difficult but the right decision to reject a project that will have a significantly negative impact to the area. I am asking the commission to reject this project & any other development request along Route 54.
I am directly requesting Michelle Freeman and the Freeman Companies to withdraw its request to develop this land and instead set up land trust or the like to keep this land development free forever. When I go to the Freeman Stage and Ms. Freeman talks, she is always pointing to ‘doing the best for the area and community’. Well, here’s your chance to put those words into action. The project is absolutely not the right thing to do for Fenwick Island. Even if the Sussex Planning and Zoning were to approve this project (I certainly hope they do not), you can do the right thing and keep this land development free.
Let’s hope both the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission and the Freeman Companies (and Michelle Freeman) do the right thing and stop this project. It’s the right thing to do.
Working In Reality
In response to Scott Chismar having some comments about my letter.
Scott Chismar, you’re taking everything I said out of context. I backed up everything I said on why we need stronger background checks on all foreigners. Did you leave the part out about why I said it? Of course like the city council you want to use what’s going to benefit You. Maybe if you stop hiding behind a newspaper, we can sit down like gentlemen, grab some dinner or lunch.
I am extended my offer to you one more time. I have backed up my reasons on certain issues. You paint the peaches and cream, sugar coated painting of Ocean City. And I actually paint the reality you and many others seem to ignore. I welcome all visitors, I also welcome students, but as long as our state department does their job. Let me remind you to watch that meeting. And why I said things the way I did.
As far as my housing issues, the apartment has a history of mold issues in the past. And the boards out front had expended due to the age. I brought up these issues to the manager and owner. Before you even jump on that subject, remember it was not about me, it was about protecting my wife, my father in law from hurting themselves. They have epilepsy. If they fall, they could die. My son could have fallen through the boards that were coming up and fell in water. He’s 3 years old. The owner and manager neglected to fix it. A local contractor fixed it for me.
If property owners can’t fix issues, don’t own a property. I don’t back down from any argument or fight of any kind. I will defend my family and defend the families of Ocean City even if it takes proving people like you wrong.
About the Black Lives Matter meetings with our mayor, have you not seen the destruction and riots in this country? I know there are good groups that support racial tensions and are trying to solve it, but I don’t believe this is one of them. Number 2, the founder of this group has brought multiple million dollar homes in this country, the group has received millions of dollars. My birth place of Baltimore City has seen the destruction.
The same group that was in that meeting is the same group that has received $75 million on lawsuits with facts or not. The same group that got invited in the chambers is the same group filing a lawsuit against our town. And like many others, the city will settle out of court because it’s cheaper and less problematic. It’s amazing how you want to twist my words around like CNN to benefit you in any way possible.
I back up groups that support the foundation they build on and create changes, not groups or group founders who take donations from corporate businesses to buy expensive homes in California, burn down cities, riot stores, beat up innocent people of all backgrounds, only file lawsuits when it benefits the natural emotion that unfortunately many see when videos pop up. Meanwhile, the very nature of the group she founded is out of control. And needs new guidance on how to solve the issues regarding racism.
I support all lives. Everyone matters. I support the human race. I don’t see skin color. It’s about respect. Like I mentioned before, if you want to have dinner. I am extending my offer to you.
Public Health Most Important
There, of course, have been a number of un-fact-filled responses to my recent letter on vaccinations, but I will only address two of the most ridiculous.
First, contrary to one opinion, it has been proven time and time again that masks do work. Vaccinations help do away with the necessity for masks.
Secondly, when I was growing up I was not admitted to school unless I could prove I had gotten certain immunizations. No political arguments, no questions asked. You just did it for public health reasons and the good of your fellow citizens.
That is the main point of wearing masks and vaccinating. It is caring not only about your own selfish interests, but also the lives of your loved ones and neighbors. Also, I never said those who objected to the shots for religious reasons or had to refrain due to health reasons should be forced to get the shots. For those who do not fall into these categories, it should not be a political issue but what is good for you and your neighbors. End of story.
A Slaughter-Free America
I remember my first chicken harvest, as it was euphemistically called. It was 1999 and I was 12. In a video of the event, you can see me in my denim work jacket, gripping my neck in vicarious horror. There was a performative aspect to my reaction. But despite this, the slaughter was the first real instance of violence I had ever seen, so far as I can remember.
And it was horrifying. Undoubtedly I had witnessed schoolyard scuffles, but nothing like this. Nothing that resulted in a bucketful of the lopped-off heads of living individuals, blinking in their apparent last moments of consciousness. When it was over, I remember lying in the grass with my friends, publicly vowing to become vegetarian. This oath, of course, lasted a few days tops.
I think many people recognize there is something wrong with our treatment of animals. What they might not be aware of is an emerging technology that will make aligning our values and actions easier. I’m talking about cultured meat, which is grown from cells, without slaughter. It’s better for the environment, public health, and, of course, animal welfare.
This may sound like science fiction, but it’s not. Cultured meat has already been granted regulatory approval in Singapore, and is even available for home delivery. Meanwhile, an Israeli company has reduced production costs for a quarter pound of cultivated chicken to less than $4.
The environmental benefits of this new protein are manifold. The land, fresh water, and greenhouse gas emissions required to produce it are a tiny fraction of those necessary to raise animals. Meanwhile, there is no runoff of agricultural waste into rivers and oceans, since cultured meat is produced in a closed system.
The public-health benefits of cultured meat are very important. It doesn’t require artificial growth hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. Since animals are removed from the process, the danger of zoonotic viruses making the jump to humans is eliminated.
The animal-welfare benefits offered by cultured meat should be apparent. We kill over a trillion aquatic and land animals every year for food. The amount of suffering this represents is impossible to comprehend. To put it in perspective, only about 107 billion humans have ever lived, according to the Population Reference Bureau.
By my third harvest, in 2001, I was thoroughly desensitized to the violence. Together with a girl I briefly dated, I wrestled a turkey into a large bucket with a small slit, just big enough for its neck to stick out from. I pinned the animals’ writhing body to the ground after its head was cut off with an axe, until the poor creature bled out.
From there, we brought the carcass through the methodical process of boiling, plucking, gutting and cleaning. Somewhere, there’s a photo of me smiling, holding the corpse upside down, waving to the camera with a glove-covered hand smeared with blood. While most people don’t participate in slaughter, I think many undergo a similar desensitization to animal suffering.
I think we learn the rationales for non-human exploitation in fits and starts. This education — or more accurately, miseducation — probably takes place throughout our lifespan, with different answers formulated to meet our ideological needs at different times and places. There’s nothing particularly nefarious in the process. Human violence against animals is just the way it’s always been.
I want to live in a world where this self-deception doesn’t feel necessary. I don’t think our food system needs to accelerate global warming, heighten our pandemic risk, or be so cruel. Cultured meat can help address all these problems without noticeable dietary change.
That’s why I want the federal government to fund open-access research into cellular agriculture. Despite great progress in the private sector, there’s so much more work to be done in order to reach price parity with slaughtered meat and develop whole-cut products, like steaks and filets. I hope legislators will support this effort.