Picture Told A Story
If a picture paints a thousand words, then The Dispatch cover photo June 14, 2023, by Nick Denny paints millions.
As a family and community remembers the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of 14-year-old Gavin Knupp, we continue to witness admirable strength and patience from his family. The photo of Tiffany taking part in the paddle out in memory of her son is an emotional and powerful reminder of a parent’s commitment and never-ending love. The beauty in Tiffany’s eyes and her sights ahead left me to feel as if she was paddling towards him.
The Knupp family has shown amazing grace and taught our community the power of faith. We continue to stand behind them as we face some of the toughest days ahead as the legal phase unfolds. One year later, Gavin’s memory is alive and well. We await #justiceforgavin.
Spot Zoning Wrong Move
I share Planning Commissioner Phyllis Wimbrow’s concerns regarding this “spot zoning” along Jarvis Road. The parcel should remain A1, and we should continue to protect and preserve all our A1 zoned land in the county.
Attorney Cropper is making the assumption that ‘farming’ is only practical on large parcels of land in order to be successful. However, monoculture of soybeans and feed corn on huge tracts of land has been the downfall of many once successful small farms in this county. Delmarva is a small peninsula of low-lying wetlands, intricate waterways, forests and before the 1970’s supported diverse farm and seafood economies that benefited our rural communities. Today industrialized agriculture production has changed all that, small farms have consolidated, small towns have disappeared.
As we look to update the 2006 Comprehensive Plan, the county needs to rethink how it perceives ‘farming’ and agricultural use of the land. This parcel is perfectly suited to become a thriving small truck farm and home for a family, growing crops other than corn and soybeans. Just because some of it is claimed to be ‘too wet’ doesn’t mean it can’t be productive. Just ask any small farmer who grows diverse crops to supply local farmers markets, local organic stores, or restaurants that offer up ‘farm to table’ menus. This type of farming is and should be an integral part of Worcester County’s agriculture economy.
As Worcester’s farmland soils change due to saltwater intrusion, sea level rise, and more intense periods of drought we need to re-think how the county zones these important areas to benefit both our economy and our quality of life. Worcester County needs to reassess its zoning districts to make agriculturally zoned land more conducive to other ways of farming instead of just corn and soybeans. Looking to the future of this county, we must consider new definitions and uses for our A1 and A2 zoned land that account for our soils becoming wetter while still preserving and protecting open spaces and important forest cover.
Do not “spot zone” just to appease a property owner. Spot zoning is detrimental to the Comprehensive Plan. Zoning must not be looked at parcel by parcel, property owner by property owner. Zoning must be looked at comprehensively and only be changed to protect the resource.
The ‘mistake’ is allowing this zoning change to occur.
No Room For Inaccuracies
Twenty-two years ago, my wife Laura and I purchased our home in Fenwick Island and we have grown to love it even more each year, appreciating the beauty of the beach and water, the tranquility of the area and the family friendly community. It is an ideal place to bring our children and grandchildren. This past Saturday we attended the FISH meeting to meet the candidates running for Fenwick Island Town Council. We were amazed by the inaccuracy of some of the statements made by the challengers to the incumbents. For instance, one of the challengers to the incumbents stated that the town is running at a $500,000 deficit. This was answered by Kurt Zanelotti, who clarified that this is an inaccurate statement. The budget, which does show nearly a $500,00 deficit, does not reflect the income from the realty transfer tax funds, which in reality gives the town a profit.
The fact is that the current council has done such a great job in managing the town’s money; they are actually $2.3 million ahead since they took office two years ago. The town’s money is now being handled responsibly, since now 91% is protected by FDIC insurance. Whereas in 2021, nearly $1.5 million was not insured. Under the 2021 town council, the previous town manager strongly suggested the need for a property tax increase in FY2023. However under the current town council, no property tax increases have been needed over the last two years and none are budgeted for FY2024. FY2024 budget is fully funded and the projected cash reserves far exceed levels recommended by the town’s auditors. After the budget was approved, the town received an additional $300,000 grant for the dredging project, which results in increasing the budgeted cash reserves by another $300,000. No property tax increases are necessary to support this budget.
Then the accusation was made that the mayor breached the sanctity of the police office. This was immediately disputed and proven false. We have received mailers from the challengers repeating the false spin about the deficit. They also talk about the police chief’s contract that was not renewed. The police chief had a contract that was expiring, and he serves at the pleasure of the town council. Although legal personnel matters cannot be discussed, this is potentially a beneficial new beginning for all parties. Nothing sinister is implicit in letting a contract expire. It should be a sign that he is not a dedicated employee of the town with the town’s best interest at heart, since his immediate reaction is to sue the town for millions.
The challengers also talk about how taxpayers keep footing the legal costs brought against this town. No one likes to have to defend against a lawsuit, but the town cannot allow our town ordinances to be ignored; we have to fight for what the members of the town have approved. Our record on fighting these lawsuits is all wins to no losses, so clearly we are in the right to legally defend our town. In today’s political climate, candidates can say whatever they want and it is accepted as true, even when it is not. At the FISH meeting to meet the candidates, it was a recurring theme that everyone wants a council with integrity. This has to mean that they do not present as truth statements that are clearly not true. They should present only the true and accurate facts.
We are fortunate to have a town council to maintain the will of our residents, which is to keep Fenwick as the quiet resort with uncrowded beaches and a family-friendly priority.
Buzz and Laura Getschel
Offshore Wind Response
I’ve just read Anna Henderson’s letter, once again making the carefully worded claim “no scientific evidence” the survey work currently happening along the east coast has a known link to the 164% increase of large whale deaths we have seen in the past year.
Why not take a pause and do the research to ascertain a true answer regarding the massive increase in whale deaths?
Two people primarily responsible for overseeing the development of the U.S. coastline are former employees of a major law firm that is council to the offshore wind industry. The firm is Latham and Watkins. The U.S. Deputy Secretary of the interior, Mr. Tommy Beaudreau. The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Ms. Laura Daniel-Davis, who signs BOEMs Record of Decisions, was a Senior Manager. Many other decision making officials currently employed by BOEM and NOAA have similar connections to the industry.
Environmental departments of several states have acknowledged that the wind turbines “will destroy marine habitats, compress the seafloor, severely damage marine communities, compromise migration corridors for the endangered marine mammals, cause commercial fishing stocks to decline and injure the beach economy.”
Orsted, in its environmental impact statements admits there will be a 15% decrease in tourism, also known as money
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) in 2021, states in its Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Vineyard Wind 1 project “the construction of multiple offshore wind projects along the East Coast would have negligible impacts on climate change during these activities and an overall minor beneficial impact on greenhouse gas emissions.”
Wind turbines Ingredients: Aggregates and crushed Stone, Bauxite (aluminum), Clay and Shale, Coal, Cobalt, Copper, Gypsum, Iron Ore, Limestone, Molybdenum, Rare Earth Minerals, Zinc, Sand & Gravel.
Fossil fuels required for operation, per turbine (per Orsted): Grease 187 Gallons, Hydraulic Oil 40 gallons, Gear Oil 106 gallons, Dielectric Fluid 1,585 gallons, Diesel Fuel 793 gallons, Sulfur Hexaflouride (SF6) 243 lbs — (FYI massively more toxic than Co2 and lives in the atmosphere for 1000s of years), Propylene glycol 357 gallons, Ethylene Glycols 48 Gallons.
Fossil fuels are required to operate each substation (per Orsted): Transformer Oil 79,252 gallons, Diesel Fuel 52,834 gallons, Sulfur Hexaflouride (SF-6) 4,950 lbs, Hydraulic Oil 317 gallons.
Each substation and each turbine, require a cooling system outlawed for use at every other type of electricity generating plant utilizing natural water as a coolant except wind turbines in the ocean. These cooling systems kill all marine life sucked into them with the ocean water. That ocean water is then released back into the ocean at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Tens of thousands of gallons per day, seven days/52 weeks.
Wind electricity generation is not reliable.
Nothing “green” is being constructed by these subsidiaries of “big oil.”