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Determining Delaware’s Great Places to Live: Safety, Schools and Location Come First


We get hung up on addresses. Location is something, but it’s not everything. We need to live in decent school districts where kids are safe—or, at least, we pray they are. We don’t want to drive 50 miles for a Wawa. We hope for neighborhoods bustling with children—or no kids at all. I suppose addresses are status symbols for some. But I’d rather be judged on my contributions to my world rather than the neighborhood in which I live.

A house is a building—it’s not a home. Home is where you raise your children and create memories. Home is solace. You live the way you choose to live there. You decorate. You take pride in your home. And regardless of what it costs or where it’s located, home is where you feel loved.

Staff writer Mark Nardone, who offers this month’s cover story, “12 Great Places to Live,” researched trends and sales, but also took into account the important things: safety, schools, costs, convenience, and yes, location. He offers substantive suggestions for all of our readers, from first-time buyers to empty nesters. Delaware is unquestionably a wonderful place to live—for meaningful reasons— and we hope this feature is illustrative of that fact.

Mark also wrote “Building a Life,” a profile on Marnie Oursler of Bethany Beach. The national spokeswoman for 84 Lumber’s Build American program, Marnie, as Mark writes, is in the process of revitalizing a sagging construction industry by boosting sales of American-made products and creating jobs. She is thriving in a male-dominated industry for two reasons: her intellect and her work ethic. My feeling is that she’ll open doors for young women who will one day know no boundaries in a society where the phrase “male-dominated industry” is no more.

Doug Rainey offers “Things are Looking Up,” a story about Delaware’s aviation industry. We can’t take credit for this one. Real estate consultant Bob Ruggio gave us the tip. Thanks also to Alan Levin, myriad aviation experts, and to the folks at Delaware Technical Community College and various airports for providing photos.

As I close, I’m thinking about what my son and I will be doing at home tonight. After homework, dinner, trumpet practice and walking the dog, we’ll probably watch a little TV. Maybe we’ll rent a movie. Who knows? We don’t really plan things out. We just do what we want, when we want to do it. It’s our home, after all.

Enjoy the issue.


Team Notes

Mark Nardone 
A special thank you to Alan Muller of Green Delaware and to the members of Delaware Audubon for mentioning the magazine’s recent profile of Muller during Audubon’s annual dinner. Muller received the organization’s Conservationist of the Year award, and the presentation (really more of a roast of the famously cantankerous environmentalist) cited Bob Yearick’s excellent story many times.

Ron Dubick
I’ve learned that there are a lot of terrific people here in Delaware doing very good things for people in need. Making photographs for the Doing Good column, I just met Joe Hickey, executive director of the St. Patrick’s Center in Wilmington, on a day when Joe and volunteers were very busy giving out fresh produce. The center serves more than 7,000 people a year. Now that’s doing good.

Drew Ostroski  
Both of my children play soccer at Hockessin Soccer Club. It’s funny because at one time, while the kids were playing at other local clubs, they flat out hated Hockessin teams and their black uniforms. I, too, was somewhat hesitant to join the Dark Side. But the experience has been pleasant for us all. Now I’m standing on the sidelines with those terrible Hockessin parents of yesteryear. Turns out they’re all very cool folks.