Thank you for exercising your right to Sound Off

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines…

***

So far this year, we have enjoyed the public discussions that have been taking place on our Opinion pages. We believe those pages belong to our readers, so you’ll not find us taking a stance on issues and telling our readers what to think.

“Our role is to facilitate the community’s discussion of public issues, draw people out, make sure the discussion is as open and vigorous as possible, and keep it within the bounds of fair play,” we state in our Newsroom Guidelines.

Certainly, Delawareans have had plenty to discuss in recent months.

Sometimes, it has been weighing in on a national issue like health care or an international concern like the U.S. missile strikes on Syria.

But, mostly, we see a need to discuss local and statewide issues.

The siege at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in January has been one of the hottest topics. So have the salaries of state workers and the wrangling over the state’s operating budget, what with a $380 million shortfall in the headlines.

To capture this discussion, the Delaware State News has been monitoring social media comments on our website, our Facebook and occasionally the pages of Delaware’s elected officials.

The result can especially be seen in “Delaware Sound Off” — a compilation of the variety of viewpoints.

In March, we published more than 230 Delaware Sound Off comments from readers.

We also are enjoying numerous letters to the editor, and we hope that our readers are, too.

Our pages are open to all sides of the arguments, but we ask that you share your opinions in a civil manner.

We understand that our opinion page approach is different from many daily newspapers.

Elsewhere, publishers and editors use their newspapers to advance their own political views.

Here, we believe our public trust requires that we facilitate community discussion, instead of dominating or stifling it. To comment on stories at www.DelawareStateNews.net, readers must use a Facebook registration.

We also welcome comments via email to newsroom@newszap.com.

***

On Tuesday, the Delaware State News will share with readers news and celebration about the opening of DE Turf in advance of the first major tournament.

The Shooting Star field hockey event Friday and Saturday will showcase the region’s top talent in front of scores of college coaches.

DE Turf has 12 artificial surface fields located just off Del. 1 near Frederica.

A 13th field, featuring a field hockey-specific turf, is still under consideration and fundraising is ongoing.

***

This past week, the United States observed the 100th anniversary of our decision to go to war against Germany and the entry into World War I.

Locally, the most prominent reminders of this time in Delaware history are American Legion Walter L. Fox Post 2 on Bay Road in Dover and Carlisle Fire Company in Milford.

Private Fox, at the age of 25, died of wounds from machine gun fire in October 1918 in France. He was the first from Dover killed in the war.

Before the war, he worked at the Farmers Bank in Dover but spent mornings and evenings working at his family’s farm outside Dover. His mother inherited the farm from two of his uncles, who took young Walter in, after the death of his father.

“He could have claimed an exemption as the sole support for his mother and sister, but he decided to go and fight for his country,” Fox Post historian Paul J. Bastian told the Delaware State News in a 1999 feature.

Paris Townsend Carlisle, a first lieutenant who had been a fire company member and businessman in the community, was killed in action in France in November 1918.

There were 43 Delaware soldiers killed in battle in World War I. But an estimated 250 soldiers from the First State died on foreign soils from all causes, including those lost to the influenza pandemic.

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.