NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.
Delaware Gov. Thomas R. Carper has renewed our confidence in his willingness to listen to those he governs this week.
First, he agreed to save the historic Brick Hotel on The Circle in Georgetown after receiving a petition with 800 signatures and a rally by 75 protestors in front of the hotel on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 1999.
Then, in what has to be one of the most stunning turnarounds in state history, he said on Friday, Nov. 12, that he would support the idea of delaying enforcement of Student Accountability measures for one year while he, the Department of Education and the General Assembly ironed out the kinks in the state's education reform efforts.
That surprise announcement came just two weeks after the governor threatened to bypass the General Assembly and implement as many of the Teacher Accountability measures as possible on his own in response to the General Assembly's deferral of a vote on the bill during a special session.
When the governor first made his threat, we couldn't help but think his threat was politically motivated by his desire to build a legacy to run against popular incumbent William V. Roth in their U.S. Senate campaign next year.
And while it is likely that Gov. Carper made his dramatic turnaround with that same campaign in mind, not wanting his legacy to be an education reform movement that few others in the state felt comfortable with, we feel he is on the right track by listening to the people of the state.
Cape Henlopen State Park has always been one of my favorites. I've camped there, swum there, hiked there and fished there.
I may be biased, but I think it's one of the best parks on the East Coast.
And all the while, we never knew that the park was on the site of one of the country's most important military installations during World War II, used to thwart German U-Boats that might try to clog the entrance to the Delaware River and Philadelphia ports from which most of the oil for the nation's war effort sailed.
I bring this up because the state begins a major renovation of the park Monday, Nov. 15, 1999, with an $800,000 re-design of the park's entrance that is expected to be completed by next March.
The major goal of the re-design, according to W. Britt Murray, the chief of design and development for Parks and Recreation, is to make the park "look more like a park than a military installation."
The improvements will include repaving old cement roadways, removing unsightly fencing, planting barriers to hide nearby housing and industrial developments and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, construction of 10-foot wide multi-use bike paths, and the placement of overhead electrical lines underground.
William Swain Lee, who recently won the right to leave his Superior Court seat to campaign for the governor's office, will be doing some of his campaigning on the web.
Judge Lee, who presided over the murder trial of Thomas Capano, is running for the Republican nomination for the state's highest office. He will officially file later this month and run on a platform of improving education, protecting the environment, and reducing bureaucracy in government.
His web site can be found at http://www.leedelaware.com.
We expect the web to have a significant impact on next year's as candidates learn how to reach the voters directly with the medium. Beside's Judge Lee's site, other candidate sites that we've been able to find so far are:
You can voice your opinion on Sussex County issues in the Sussex County Online Forum or cast your vote on various Sussex County issues on our online poll. Just follow the links below to make your voice heard and your vote count:
If you're looking for medical information on the Internet, a good place for basic information about medical topics is Drkoop.com, a site led by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. In addition to reference material on more than 60 conditions, the site also provides breaking medical news and a dozen medical forums broken down by topic. You can search the site by symptom or by illness or disease.
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