Thursday, November 15, 2018

OPPOSE opening of Creek Road north of Newark to motor vehicle traffic

The Honorable Shawn Garvin
Secretary, DNREC (Dover?)
(physical mailing address unknown)

Greetings, Mr Garvin,

It has come to our attention that a petition is circulating to, among other things, shore up and re-open Creek Rd north of Newark to vehicular traffic on a limited basis.

In response, and in opposition to this petition:

  • We oppose the re-opening of the road into the White Clay Creek. We feel that any and all vehicular traffic will have a detrimental impact on the existing infrastructure, and the nearby wildlife.
  • As cyclists and walkers/hikers, as well as concerned environmentalists, we will support any decision by DNREC to designate Creek Road and/or Thompson Station Road as permanent trails, excluding any and all vehicular traffic.
  • We absolutely oppose re-opening, and any vehicular use of the dirt section of Creek Road between Wedgewood Rd and Hopkins Rd. This area should remain closed to any and all traffic that is not human powered, either by bicycle or walking/hiking.

Let this be for the record that, as hikers and bicyclists who endorse minimal use of motor vehicles, we vehemently oppose any notion at all of vehicular traffic through the White Clay Creek Watershed and Valley. We additionally object to spending multiple millions -- possibly $6M or more dollars -- to complete such a project. Not only will this serve a very small minority of users on a limited basis, it further cements the fact that portions of Newark are shown favoritism, while other nearby areas suffer disenfranchisement. The road will also be subject to continued erosion and will eventually suffer the same fate it is currently undergoing -- falling into the river. What remains is doing just fine now, with its remaining ROW serving the purpose of a walking and biking trail. If provisions must be made for the elderly and/or disabled, the State should consider EV rentals (i.e. tractor, golf cart, or other) as the only option.

As you may well know, the entire region SE of Newark lost their last and only hope -- forever -- of a regional park on the site of the former Our Lady of Grace property as a result of blatant Govt corruption on the part of NCC AND the State of DE -- including DNREC, who could have done so much more to protect this living, carbon-sequestering, natural environment. Those forested and wetlands areas, as well as the open space, had been home to many species of birds and wildlife, some of them endangered. Even if not endangered, some species will suffer lessened population as they lose precious habitat areas. In the current environment we face, with the ever-rising threat of over development, loss of biodiversity, and climate change, every species of wildlife is worthy of our consideration and protection.

We chronicled and have presented factual evidence where this land should have been saved from development on our page, and we invite anyone to dispute anything found in our history of what occurred over the 2013-2018 time frame. But given what this region is suffering right now, and the regional park facility forever denied to it (traded instead for lost home values and zero recreational opportunities within walking/biking distance), we cannot endorse any of these efforts and will move to fight in opposition to them if necessary.

It is noteworthy to say that the corrupt legislators and govt officials that allowed this horrible travesty in Ogletown are in no way represented by the results of the mid-term election results. Low budget/little known opposition, Low voter turnout, gerrymandering, and national political scare tactics virtually assured their re-election. The system allows for disenfranchisement of certain neighborhoods, and we have seen firsthand how Legislators favor those living in the more affluent sections of their Districts.

In closing, WE will not forget what they have done to us, nor will most in the region surrounding the Orphanage Property-Rt.4 corridor. And we will continue to object to disenfranchisement and wasteful spending of Government monies where we see fit.

Respectfully yours,

Angela Connolly
Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Land Conservation Advocate
(302) 545-2797

Frank Warnock
Pedestrian, Bicycling, and Land Conservation Advocate
(302) 420-2198

CC: Senator Jack Walsh, Rep. David Bentz, Jim Ireland (Trailspinners), Arabella Bianco, Charles Salkin (DNREC), Leslie Reese, David Bartoo (DNREC), Charles Salkin (DNREC), Matthew Chesser (DNREC), Mary Clare Matsumoto (WCBC), David McCorquodale (Green Party, DE), Rep. John Kowalko, Rep. Paul Baumbach, Linda Stapleford, Senator David Sokola, Bernard August (Green Party, DE), Tyler Capana (Preservation DE), J.W. Haupt (White Clay Bicycle Club), Wilson, Xerxes (WNJ).

Thursday, November 8, 2018

STOP defeat complete: Ogletown-S. Newark Legislators win re-election landslide

From the Newark Post - 7 November 2018:

"New Castle County Councilwoman Lisa Diller earned her third full term, easily defeating Republican John Richard Thomas in the District 5 race."

"State Rep. Ed Osienski emerged victorious in District 24, easily defeating Republican newcomer William Dilks."

"Incumbent State Sen. Bryan Townsend cruised to victory against his Republican challenger Daniel Kapitanic, securing his seat for another term in the District 11 race."

Easily defeating. Emerged Victorious. Cruised to victory. 

What can we say, friends? Except that today, we are taking the first healing steps forward, in trying to recover mentally and physically from the advocacy efforts that we have put forth for you, our neighbors, and for the wildlife, and quality of life, that this development now brings. It was hard work - gathering and presenting the facts and evidence, spending hours researching and writing. But today, this will be our last post, and the Facebook page deleted forever. There is nothing more for us to say and do. We now know that, except for those in adjacent communities, no one's listening, and nobody cared. That's a hard fact to accept . . . that there are so few of us. We were outnumbered by others who were willing to forgive the three Legislators responsible for this preventable tragedy -- or worse yet, simply didn't care about the quality of life that will now be compromised for us in Todd Estates 2, Breezewood, and other communities along the Route 4 corridor. The numbers proved that last night. Not only did the challengers lose, but it was a resounding defeat -- an electoral massacre that was made even more bitter by the fact that two of the challengers -- William W. Dilks Sr. and Dan Kapitanik -- worked very hard. They canvassed, met with Constituents, went to civic meetings, etc. We are grateful to them that they stepped up, and gave us hope that those who did this to us would be voted out.

We want to say a very big Thank You to those few of you who were with us every step of our 3.5 year journey, fighting for our region's last precious parcel of bio-diverse land that so few thought worthy of saving, and that was abundantly clear in the votes we saw on Nov. 6. We will now focus on our website Ogletown Resilience, where we will share our ideas for gardening, encouraging wildlife conservation and protection, permaculture, sustainability, and active transportation with like-minded folks. Our goal is limited now to preserving our own properties, making them even more eco-friendly, and to share ideas with others who cherish the environment, as we do. We hope that you will think to contact us sometime, and maybe visit us there. Thank You especially to those of you who consistently "liked", commented on, and shared our posts and articles. There are too many of you to mention by name, but you know who you are. You are among the very best and honorable among us, because unlike the Legislators and those who voted for them. you cared. Unfortunately, caring about anything in DE anymore has become a crime -- the like the wildlife whose crime it is to cross the highway. We wish all of you peace, especially those of you who will now suffer the consequences of this environmental crime, both in your home values as well as further increased traffic congestion and property taxes. Life for you will change, forever.

During this effort, we experienced corruption and appalling Legislator behavior that we didn't imagine possible, like their tantrums and unprofessional behavior at meetings, which we were unprepared for. We were helpless as key large Environmental orgs refused to endorse and help us. Unlike with Newark's advocacy community (that also ignored the STOP campaign), no attorney would even look at our situation, never mind assist pro-bono. At almost every turn, we were discouraged, and even berated, as it was reported to us that the Legislators, particularly Townsend and Osienski, were telling our neighbors and others that we were liars, conspiracy theorists, etc.

And finally, please - always remember that the Legislators did this to us. The destruction of the land and the unnecessary development will forever remain their legacy, even though their reputations have emerged unscathed and even improved over the STOP outcome. For the few STOP followers that did care, we will always know this happened under THEIR watch. We will be forever convinced that Senator Townsend, Rep Osienski, and Councilwoman Diller deliberately kept plans for the Chestnut Hill "Preserve" hidden from Constituents for over two full years because they wanted this development to happen as donor payback. Then, stunned that anyone would oppose it and want a park instead, they went into overdrive to silence those voices . Based on the evidence, there can be NO other explanation. Don't forgive them for that, ever. Not only is the region forever devoid of a regional park because of them, but all the innocent wildlife, including the threatened and endangered, will be dying in vain as their home in the forest and open fields are forever destroyed, and what's left degraded by pesticides, fertilizers, Chem-Lawns and other suburban runoff.