Voices From The Readers – January 19, 2024

Voices From The Readers – January 19, 2024

Tax Relief Needed For Middle Class


When I first starting to pay my taxes in the 60’s we could deduct all interest payments. Credit was difficult to get, unlike now. Now credit easy is to get but the interest rates are higher than what loan sharks got arrested for back then and cannot be deducted. With the high balances that many middle class people have, it would be a massive tax break to be able to deduct it again. Allowing all medical expenses to be deducted, not just that over $7,500 would also help.

When Eisenhower was President in the “golden age of the middle class” the top tax rate was 90%, which very few actually paid with all the loopholes, which still mostly remain for the rich. Ask Warren Buffett who says he has a lower rate than his secretary or Mitt Romney who reported a 13% rate on his taxes.

Reagan lowered it, then brought it back up to 50%. Bush and Trump dropped it down to 37%. Ours have remained the same, so no real tax breaks ever. The overpaid executives have most of their compensation in the form of preferred stocks which they can leverage for no interest loans and has been reported to be as high as 97% of their compensation. All compensation should be taxed at the same rate as the rest of us who get paid normally.

My wife and I are middle class on pensions and social security and have finally managed to live without interest payments, but we feel for our friends, children and grandkids with credit and educational loans that they cannot deduct to reduce their tax burdens. We would also appreciate retired folks getting a lower tax bracket, since we have been in the same 24% one for decades.

Correspond with your representatives to return our deductions to get tax relief for the middle class. The Rich have had almost every tax break for too long, and they have benefited the most from living in America.

Hans Van den Bosch 

Snow Hill 


An Open Letter To Bethany Beach Residents


This past Friday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. the parking situation in downtown Bethany Beach resembled a typical summer day, except that folks were clad in winter coats instead of shorts and T-shirts. It was exciting to see so many citizens parking and converging on the entrance of the Bethany Beach town hall, with one mission in mind, to learn more about the 20-year deal the mayor and town council are contemplating with foreign-owned US Wind. Once inside, the energy was palpable with a feeling of deep concern and camaraderie. Citizens were very polite and respectful as many entered, looking for seating or a place to stand. This meeting was packed with standing room only in the back with easily over 100 people there.

Mayor Hardiman opened the meeting with a statement that bringing offshore wind turbines off the coast of Delaware was a “done deal” and that there would be no discussion of the merits or cons of offshore wind turbines and that the meeting was only to discuss the proposed contract between US Wind and the Towns of Bethany Beach, South Bethany, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey and Henlopen Acres, as these were the towns whose names were written on the contract, to accept $100,000 per year in exchange for their silence over US Wind offshore wind turbines.

To put this amount of money into perspective, as per the Bethany Beach treasurer, $100,000 is less than 1% of the town’s annual budget, so a pretty small amount. In contrast, many homes in Bethany Beach are projected to lose $100,000 each in property value if wind turbines are built off shore. And in exchange for paving the ocean floor in concrete, as each wind turbine tower requires an acre of concrete at its base on the ocean floor, Delaware residents can expect to save $9 a year – nine dollars a year.

When the council was directly asked as to how the council was leaning toward accepting or rejecting this contract with US Wind, the mayor refused to answer the question, saying only they were not voting on the issue that day. But if I had to judge by the softball questions the council members inquired of their featured speaker, US Wind, you would have your answer which way they were leaning.

If you would like to learn more about the 20-year contract that US Wind is proposing to make with Bethany Beach, then I suggest you research it yourself and plan to be at the next Bethany Beach town hall before they vote on this very important issue that will affect Bethany Beach for no less than 20 years, and more if offshore wind turbines are allowed off the coast of Delaware.

Jake Nichols

Bethany Beach


Contradictions Within NOAA


Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

Remember a couple of years ago when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed draconian new speed rules for commercial and recreational vessels up and down the entire Atlantic Coast? This rule attempted to extend to vessels between 35 and 65 feet in length the existing requirement that vessels over 65 feet in length reduce their speed to 10 knots in what is called Seasonal Management Areas along the Atlantic Coast. Had this amendment to the rule been approved, it would have been incredibly harmful to commercial fishermen. It would have made their jobs infinitely more expensive and compliance would have been beyond burdensome. The rule was intended and designed to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW) from boat “strikes”. The NARW is on the endangered species list and according to the NOAA, there are only about 350 left in the world, of which fewer than 70 are reproductively active females.

NOAA received so much negative blow-back in its comments section that the extension of the rule was withdrawn and became a ‘“suggestion”. Keep that in mind later.

Fast forward to now, and we find that NOAA Fisheries has received a request from U. S. Wind, LLC, for a Letter of Authorization for Incidental Take Regulations (basically killing) of members of several marine mammal groups over a period of five years (2025-2029) during the construction of the wind farms off the coast of Maryland. Although the request is for a “small number” of takes, the chart accompanying the request shows six Harassments. Since there are about a dozen planned offshore wind farms on the Atlantic Coast-each of which will have the authority to kill a similar number (U.S. Wind is constructing three of them) you can multiply that by 12 for a potential of over 72 NARW takes or “kills” out of a population of 350 (or 20%).

So, on the one hand, a federal agency attempts to issue rules that are incredibly harmful to our fishing industry (both commercial and recreational) in an effort to “Save the Whales” and then the same agency is considering granting permission to the offshore wind industry to kill about 20% of the remaining population.

Of course, both US Wind and Orsted have been claiming for years that OSW does not and will not cause harm to whales or any other sea life. Go figure.

Since NOAA abandoned the extension of its rule regarding speed after the comment period it might be a good idea to file a comment regarding the incidental taking (killing) of the NARW. You can read all about it and comment at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-auhorization-us-wind-inc.

Comments close 02/05/24.

Another interesting tidbit I found in my research is a study by Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. The researchers studied crab behavior near the St. Abbs Marine Station offshore wind farm and found that the high level of electromagnetism coming from the subsea cables delivering power from the turbines is affecting the blood cells of crabs which makes them susceptible to bacterial infections. The crabs “freeze” when they come close to electromagnetic fields generated by the cables. This disturbing behavior may also affect the creature’s migration habits . Another study by the university showed that the electromagnetic cables also negatively affect lobster and lobster larvae. (Heriot-Watt University studies published in 2021 and 2022).

Think about the impact the wind farms on the Chesapeake Bay (our Governor’s dream) will have on the Maryland crab industry.

Once again, I’m just trying to get information to the taxpayers so they can understand what the future may hold.

Carol Frazier

Ocean Pines