From the editor: Hometown news sees the ebb, flow of community life

The Harrington Journal and, in turn, its loyal readership saw a lot of stories in 2016. Notes were taken from a seat amongst the community at school board meetings to hear more about graduation issues or the recent cancer scare from both residents, employees and the board. Festivals brought good weather and extra visitors. Elections […]

From the Editor: What does compassion mean to you?

It’s been a difficult week. The election has come and gone and folks are still struggling with the results. There’s a powerful quote that is attributed to several historical figures: Plato, Socrates and Philo. There seems to be no concrete evidence behind who said the following: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a […]

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a day we salute and honor those men and women who have served in the United States armed forces. It’s a day we reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of our service members and their families. It’s a day we demonstrate that our gratitude toward Veterans is more than mere words. On Veterans Day, countless ceremonies are held across the country as we pause to honor those patriots who have safeguarded our liberty. We are the beneficiaries of the many soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, and guardsman vigilance and determination to uphold the democratic beliefs on which our nation was founded. What better way to thank our Veterans than to make sure they receive the care and support they need when they need it?

Readjusting to civilian life is not always easy for some Veterans, but the staff at the Wilmington VA Medical Center and at our Community Based Outpatient Clinics can help. Our professional staff are ready to assist service members by coordinating their care and guiding them to the appropriate support programs. We have specialized services and personnel ready to assist the unique needs of all Veterans, regardless of their era of military service.

While this has been a challenging time for us throughout the Wilmington VA Medical Center, we have remained committed to our mission of providing safe, quality and compassionate care to Veterans. This commitment was recognized by The Joint Commission, which awarded full accreditation to the Wilmington VA Medical Center following five unannounced surveys this past year. The Joint Commission survey team recognized the Wilmington VA Medical Center’s culture of quality and safety, and congratulated the staff members for maintaining transparency throughout the organization.

It is our duty and privilege to provide Veterans with the care they have earned through their service and sacrifice. Putting Veterans first and at the center of everything we do is a duty we take very seriously.

To salute and honor the men and women who served in the armed forces on Veterans Day, please help to make sure they are receiving the services they need and deserve. If you know a Veteran who needs assistance, please encourage them to enroll for VA health care. The enrollment process is simple and can be done simply by visiting our website at wilmington.va.gov and clicking on “Become a Patient.” Our Veterans served, and it is now our turn to serve them.

Editor’s Note: Robin C. Aube-Warren, a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executive, is director of the Wilmington Veterans Administration Medical Center.

A Harrington Heritage Day Thank You

Bill Falasco
Director, Harrington Parks & Recreation

The City of Harrington Parks and Recreation would like to thank all who contributed to the success of Harrington Heritage Day which was held on Saturday, August 29, 2015. The weather was fantastic and the crowd throughout the day gave our many vendors and entertainers the praise they richly deserved. Harrington Heritage Day can consume months of planning in order to bring an event of the caliber for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Our non-food and information vendor courts were excellent. Variety was key and our vendors did an outstanding job, especially at check-in in the morning. Given the number of vendors, it takes patience to sit in line and wait your turn to unload. Thanks to all who understood and were willing to assist others when needed.

As always, our food concessions were excellent. Heritage Day participants and visitors had many choices for breakfast and lunch that day. All food vendors should be proud of their hard work on that day and we thanks you for your efforts.

Special thanks to The First State Force Law Band for once again making the trip from Wilmington to join Flatland Drive, The Hrupsa Sisters with Special appearances by Darren Jones and Tom Kauffman, to entertain our crowd with great performances. You were great!

The Southern Delaware Street Rod Association sponsored car show was one of the best we have had in year. The First State Antique Tractor Club, the Kent Aero Modelers Club, new addition, Bad Wolf Racing/Blackbird Quarter Midget Club were well represented and we are looking forward to next year’s show to grow even larger. We would like to commend all parade participants, especially the street rods and antique tractors that participated in the parade need a special thank you for their efforts! We know how difficult it is for your vehicles to withstand parade pace. Fortunately, all went well!

Once again the street was worked by three individuals that need special mention. Juggler, Don Fisher walked our streets demonstrating the art of juggling during the day. His efforts in having people trying to learn more about the art of juggling was not only educational but fun! The Spinellas, Wizards of Happiness, were roaming our streets displaying a keen deft of hand and involving many of our adults and children with their wonderful bag of tricks! Our communities have talked about these performers over the past year and we are looking forward to seeing them return for another Heritage Day!

In closing, we need to acknowledge a very important group of people, The 2015 Harrington Heritage Day Committee. These committee members should be commended for their enthusiasm and perseverance throughout the year to make the event successful. This group combined with The Mayor and Council, City Hall Employees, The Harrington Police Department, Department of Public Works, The Harrington Volunteer Fire Department, and all the neighboring police departments/fire police should all be very proud of their efforts for providing our citizens and guests with an enjoyable, fun, and safe 2015 Harrington Heritage Day.

Thank you for a great day!

Semicolon is more than just punctuation: Ask me about my tattoo

A semicolon is used when a writer could have ended a sentence with a period but decided instead to keep on going.

In 2013, a young woman, mourning the loss of her father to suicide, started what has become the Semicolon Project. The faith-based nonprofit movement is dedicated to “presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury,” according to its website. There are many ways to get involved to help the initiative get people talking about suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

Many people across the country and the world are participating by getting semicolon tattoos. Every time someone sees the tattoo and asks what it’s about is a chance to have a conversation about how to help others.

The effects of depression and suicide are a part of many people’s lives. If they aren’t dealing with their own issues, they know someone that is, or has committed suicide or has been impacted by suicide. Myself included.

Depression and suicide has impacted many people I care about, so on Friday I got a tattoo.

I walked over to Delaware Branding Co. in downtown Milford, at 19 N.W. Front Street. They said they have done a few semicolon tattoos recently and I added my name to that list. I got a simple semicolon put on the inside of my left forearm.

My tattoo artist, who goes by the name “Lucas the Kid,” did an excellent job. It didn’t take very long and it didn’t really hurt. This was my first tattoo. I am glad I waited to find something with meaning.

While reading about the initiative last week, I stumbled on a startling statistic. On average, 22 veterans take their own lives every day.

If you know someone that may be struggling with depression or contemplating suicide, seek help. In an emergency, call 911. Locally you can call the Kent/Sussex Mobile Crisis Unit at 1-800-345-6785. If you just want to talk to someone, call 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).

When times get hard don’t use a period. Think about the semicolon and just keep going.

Remember the Wannasee Protocol during talks with Iran

Larry Koch, EdD
Frederica

Few people today know about the Reinhardt Heydrich’s Wannasee Protocol and even fewer have heard of the Forghani plan developed in Iran. It should be part of the debate on our negotiations, but there is little sign that it has merited even the passing attention of Secretary Kerry or the media. Adolph Hitler declared that “If war did come, it would be the end of the Jewish Race in Europe.” At Wannasee, a suburb of Berlin, a bureaucrat named Reinhardt Heydrich developed an operational plan to make the Fuhrer’s dream a reality. The most chilling part of the Wannasee Protocol was a list of on leger paper of Jews slated for death; i.e. “Belgium- 43,000”and “Rumania- 342,000.” Countries not under Nazi rule but slated for future conquest were also listed; “England- 330,000” and “Ireland -4,000.”
After Iran’s Supreme ruler declared that Israel “was a cancerous tumor that must be removed,” Alireza Forghani, a Khamenei ally and Governor of Kish province in Iran, published a blueprint for Israel’s destruction. Forghani’s Protocol specified “the use of the Shahab 3, Ghadr and Ashura missiles….until the final annihilation of the Israeli people.” Mirroring the Wannasee Protocol, Forghani lists the targeted populations “Jerusalem district – 907,300,” Northern District/Nazareth, -1,231,900,” “Tel Aviv-1,277,900.” Needless to say, the nearby regions’ Christians and Muslims will also be incinerated.

The Obama administration believes we need to ignore the Iranian missile program, or its proxy attacks on our Mideast allies, or its persecution of Christianity, because this will complicate and compromise our chances of reaching an agreement on anything. The Iranians especially singled out Israeli issues, which they declared totally off the bargaining table. This is known as “decoupling,” and while perhaps the motivation is good, I fear it is doomed to fail. Revolutionary Iran defines itself first of all as Anti-American, -remember the embassy hostages? To this day its crowds chant “Death to American,” to which Khamenei responds “Yes, death to America.” Iran’s deep hatred of America, and its expansionistic dreams are endemic to Jihadist world view, be it ISIS and Iran. The enemy of our enemy is still our enemy, and both take satisfaction from roadside bombings and terrorist attacks. Decoupling was first tried in Munich, where a naïve Britain and France in effect agreed to sacrifice democratic Czechoslovakia and European Judaism, thinking the effect of an agreement would end Germany’s territorial, racist and warlike ambitions. But the success at the negotiating table did not make Hitler’s regime become anything but what they were; they did not, and would not, redefine themselves out of existence, becoming, in effect, no longer “Nazis.” Similarly, the Mullahs of Iran cannot redefine themselves so they are not who they are. They will remain anti-American, anti-Christian, expansionistic and a growing threat to world peace, with their first goal the destruction of Israel. While the notes of the then secret Wannasee plan were first discovered in the files after World War II, the Forghani Protocol was openly and repeatedly shared in the official Iranian press, and has never been reputed. The destruction of Israel is believed to be the first step leading to the ascension of the 12th Imam, and eventually lead to the world’s conversion to Shia Islam. In the 20th Century, genocide was conducted by a factory model- ending with the gas chambers- in the 21st Century it might be accomplished using missiles and nuclear weapons. While the Shoah took years and was never fully accomplished, the one proposed in the Farghani Protocol will take minutes. But the world has changed in other ways. The Jews now have a state of their own, with approximately 400 nuclear weapons, their own long range missiles and what has been recognized by some as the second strongest air force in the world. Do not expect that Israel will go quietly to its own destruction alone, and that in addition to Iran, some long held debts will undoubtedly be repaid.

The agreement at Munich was greeted by a gullible world with almost universal acclaim. It was said then, as it is incorrectly said now, that this bad deal is the only alternative to war. It in the end it led to a far more destructive cataclysm than if Hitler’s bluff had been called, and we now know that many in the German army would have repeatedly revolted if the west had chosen instead to do what was right I am sure some will dismiss my concern about the Forghani Protocol as they dismissed the murderous threats of the Nazis, because to them it is unthinkable. The biggest difference is this Iranian Protocol has not happened yet, and is preventable. God grant the United States Congress and the American people the strength and insight not to make a decision that will lead to untold future destruction, and will brand our current leadership as foolish bordering on criminal, as history has correctly branded Neville Chamberlain.

Support SB 100

Martha Lehman
Magnolia

What if you were being abused by your husband but when you went to the court for a Protection From Abuse order, you were told no? You were denied protection because under the foreign law your husband followed, he was allowed to do so. Since the law your husband believed said it was OK, the court agreed. Seem extreme? Well it actually happened right here in the United States. Could it happen here in Delaware? Not if Senate Bill 100 is passed. The proposed bill would give Delaware courts clear instruction that any foreign law that steps on our constitutional rights would not be accepted in our courts. Globalization is important for business and even our thinking when dealing with others, but it shouldn’t trump our laws. I hope the Delaware legislature believes in protecting women, our sisters, mothers, daughters. Please support SB 100.

Despite how you may feel, try and be thankful

MILFORD – Bear with me, I sat down to write my column in somewhat of a reflective, and potentially rambling, mood again.

Last week was a little frustrating for me. Looming deadlines, increasing challenges and other stuff nearly had me at the limit of my strength and patience. So Friday with my blood pressure rising, I decided to take a walk. I jumped up from my desk and announced, “I’ll be back later.”

I walked one block south and found myself strolling along the Mispillion Riverwalk. I went west, past the Riverfront Theatre. There was a lot of activity in the water there. Mom and baby ducks played along the water’s edge. A team of male ducks gathered together to do laps, charging up and down that part of the river. Two Canada geese slowly swam through while appearing to look down at the smaller animals they shared the river with. Turtles floated or crawled out on rocks and other ledges to bask in the sun.

There was a lot of activity on the Mispillion River on May 22.
I stood there leaning against the railing of the boardwalk section of the river walk and thought about how thankful I was to have this opportunity to see all those things just blocks from my work and my home.

As the frustration and other feelings started to melt away, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a good friend – more of a father figure – recently.

A few weeks ago while talking about our days, my friend told me about a sort of epiphany he had recently. After a seemingly long stretch of bad days, he woke up early one morning in a sour mood. He went about his routine and headed to work. On his drive, he said is when it hit him. He asked himself, ‘Why am I in such a bad mood?’ He continued his thought, ‘I have a successful business, a loving family, I can walk and breath without any help, I have a lot of friends … I should be thankful.’

That is what he decided to be – more than being in a sour mood – he was going to be thankful. He started during the rest of his ride to work and continued throughout the day. He thanked his staff, he thanked his suppliers and thanked his customers. He said many people seemed to respond positively.

The next morning he got up feeling better than the day before. During his ride to work, he quietly thanked God for allowing him to wake up and for the air he breathed, etc.

Standing along the river walk Friday, my thoughts then drifted to a story I recently wrote. A couple of weeks ago, The Journal profiled Richard Wilson. April 2015 was a special time for him and his family. He was celebrating life, as it marked the 10th anniversary of life-saving surgery that involved multiple organ transplants.

“Decade after multiple organ transplantation, Milford man is good,” can still be read on our website.

At the end of the story I included a quote from Mr. Wilson and I kind of wrote the story around it. And now, thinking about my friend’s advice and reflecting on other things, I think I missed the greater meaning of his words.

I asked him how he was feeling now, a decade after needing a new stomach, pancreas and small intestine. He simply said, “I am good.”

I thought he meant his health, but upon further reflection, he probably meant a lot more. Maybe that he was thankful to be alive and to be able to be a father.

When my friend told me of this efforts to be more thankful, he suggested I do the same thing. I tried for a while, but I am going to make a real effort to be more thankful from now on.

So, as I write this column, I am thankful for the opportunity to visit the Mispillion Riverwalk. I am thankful for thoughtful and inspiring friends. I am thankful that I get to meet people like Mr. Wilson. I am thankful for the other people in my life. I am thankful that I get to be a part of all the communities my newspapers and I serve. I am thankful to be a part of this newspaper. I am thankful that I get the opportunity to share my thoughts in these pages. I am thankful for you, my readers, for allowing me to express my ramblings in these columns.

Go out, take a walk; think about things you are thankful for. Let those thoughts be what leads your mind and remember to so your gratitude.

And again – thank you.

Delaware House committee approves legislation removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession

DOVER — The Delaware House of Representatives Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee approved a bill 5-4 on May 6 that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for possession of a small amount of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.
HB 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South), would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $575 fine and up to three months in jail.
“This is a modest, commonsense policy change that is long overdue in Delaware,” Rep. Keeley said. “Simply possessing a small amount of marijuana does not warrant jail time and the other serious consequences of a criminal conviction. The punishment should fit the crime, not cause more harm than the crime.”
More than two-thirds of Delaware voters (68 percent) support removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession and making it a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $100 with no possibility of jail time, according to a statewide survey conducted in March by Public Policy Polling. Only 26% said they were opposed. Full results are available at http://www.mpp.org/DEpoll.
“Criminalizing people for marijuana possession is neither reasonable nor popular,” said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “People should not be put in jail or saddled with a criminal record simply for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol. Most voters agree, the governor agrees, and hopefully most House members will agree, too.”
In a letter to the editor of the The New York Times published in March, Gov. Jack Markell (D) said he is “hopeful that [his] state will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.”
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws removing the threat of jail time for possession of marijuana, including Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, where voters have approved measures making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older.

From the Publisher – Darel La Prade

“Just because everything is different doesn’t mean everything has changed.”
This wonderful proverb is among my favorites, and nowadays, it’s a saying with broad application to our world.
You could even apply it to The Journal. Let me explain.
Last year, we introduced an updated nameplate for The Journal and a contemporary front page design, and now, we’ve launched a new website specifically for the newspaper. You will now find us on the web by pointing your browser at www.harringtonjournal.com.
The changes we made in the newspaper started by our defining small, practical and aesthetic improvements that would strengthen our identity and make the paper overall more appealing to readers.

In the new nameplate, though, we took a bolder, more modern approach, and artfully compressed the actual name of the newspaper to the upper left-hand corner of the front page to create space for an expanded index of the stories and pictures inside.

This gave us a chance to change the front-page layout, where we opted for a single large photograph and headline. This “billboard” design allows us to take full advantage of the paper’s compact format. The paper’s web address and UPC code appear at the bottom of the page.

Again, these were practical decisions, to give us a new way to use the front page for presentation of our most important material.

On the inside pages, we will continue to develop more consistent identifiers for regular features and special pages.

Though these changes are aimed at improving your experience while reading the paper, they are, all-in-all, relatively minor in scope.

Changes to our website, on the other hand, are much more radical and extensive. Besides the new address, the new website is dedicated exclusively to stories and photos from Harrington and the Lake Forest School District.

Navigation of the new website is much more straightforward, so when you visit www.harringtonjournal.com, it will be easier to find and share stories that interest you.

The site remains affiliated with Newszap, our company’s long-time syndicated brand, but www.harringtonjournal.com is now a stand-alone entity, that will focus on very local news and more in-depth coverage of our community.

Besides the obvious facelift, we have also added several interactive features to www.harringtonjournal.net. Among the most important additions is a new option to subscribe to an e-newsletter, which will be delivered every Wednesday morning to your e-mail inbox. A digest of headlines, with links to stories and photos, this newsletter will summarize the news of the week past, while also providing a useful reminder of upcoming events and meetings. You can even sign up for a breaking news edition, which will provide you timely, up-to-date alerts on important local stories as they happen.
Subscribing to the newsletter couldn’t be simpler. It is a two-step process: Visit www.harringtonjournal.com, click the newsletter icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and enter your e-mail address. That’s it. Takes only a couple of minutes.
Another important improvement to the website is how well it will adapt to your mobile device. The site uses “responsive code,” which automatically senses whether you are visiting from a desktop computer, a notebook, tablet or a smart phone. What you see will be adjusted to fit the screen of the device you are using.
These changes, and others to come, are evidence of our team’s commitment to continuously improving The Journal and its website. Our goal is to let our coverage of the community evolve as new technology becomes available and reliable. These changes are aimed at only one goal: To make it easier for you to read and access the local news. We intend to keep this objective squarely in our bead.
With the rapidity of technological change, it is so easy to blink and lose sight of the target. Too often newspaper owners and publishers inadvertently fool themselves into believing the latest software or social media fad are instantly indispensable tools, and without them their newspapers and websites will be rendered out-of-date and meaningless.
This craze is understandable. None of us would deny digital technology has wrought widespread change in our culture, but we often fail to see the Internet, mobile phones, social media and all the rest of the related technological phenomena for what they really are.
These things are, in most cases, just a new means to an old end.
The truth is that local communities are the bedrock of America – where citizens first learn to work together to serve each other, and where businesses first learn to thrive by serving the needs of their customers. Yet local “sense of community” has been weakened in recent years by innumerable factors, including the Internet, digital technology and cookie-cutter media outlets.

The Journal and www.harringtonjournal.com mean to buck this trend.

The mission of The Journal is to serve, nurture and celebrate your community. The Journal is published by Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA (INI), which in turn is owned by a non-profit journalistic trust that shares the commitment to The Journal’s mission. We think local communities are of the utmost importance, and that they must be preserved and strengthened.

So “just because everything is different doesn’t mean everything has changed.” Our commitment to Harrington and Lake Forest hasn’t changed; it is just as steadfast as ever.
Darel La Prade has worked the last 17 years for Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA. He is publisher of The Journal and five other weekly newspapers on Delmarva. He can be reached at dlaprade@newszap.com or on Twitter @DarelLaPrade.