Sussex County Council Silences Public

GEORGETOWN, DE – Have you EVER been to a City Council, County Council, Planning Commission, (or any other government board or commission) meeting where the public is denied the opportunity to get up and comment?  If you live in Sussex County you now have the opportunity.

The Sussex County Council has decided that there will be public comment … but only AFTER they have held their regular meeting AND their executive session.

Here’s how it works:

  • Council holds public session (public can’t speak).
  • Regular meeting adjourns and council enters executive session (public can’t be in the room).
  • After anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, the public (if anyone has actually stayed around, and of course the cameras are long gone) can come back in and have their say.

This sounds an awful lot like President Obama’s pledge to have the most transparent administration in history.  Democracy in action.  God Bless America!

Share Button

Where Is the Outrage in Kent County?

“Activists” are preparing to riot in Missouri, even though the grand jury hasn’t disclosed its findings regarding the Michael Brown shooting.  Gannett is ginning up racial hatred on the Lower Shore by pushing the subtext that African-Americans are UNJUSTLY arrested in disproportionate numbers.  Yet, there seems to be little outcry when an African-American candidate appears to have been robbed of an election in Kent County.

After election night AND the absentee canvass, GOP candidate for Kent County Recorder of Deeds La Mar Gunn was the winner by two votes.  However, the Board of Canvassers decided that incumbent Democrat Betty Lou McKenna was the winner after most of the public had gone home.  The Wilmington News-Journal reports the story as if there is no question of the results.  Even when covering Gunn’s contesting of the election results, the News-Journal seems to yawn.  The Delaware State News provides better coverage … just.

If Dave Anderson’s reporting at Delaware Politics is accurate, and he usually is, there a lot of questions begging for answers.  We all know that if Gunn were a Democrat and McKenna a Republican the mainstream media would be screaming racism from the top of their collective lungs.  Unfortunately for Gunn, he chose to run as a Republican.  Expect this to be swept under the rug.

Share Button

In Delaware It’s Only Tax Money!

WILMINGTON, DE – What happens when a local non-profit wants to invest $100,000 renovating a local museum?  The county government rejects the help of course!

That is what has occurred recently in New Castle County when a local group offered to spend $100,000 on the historic Rockwood Mansion.  Why?  The PRIVATE group was not going pay a “prevailing wage” on the work.  Delaware Rep. Danny Short and Delaware Rep. Deborah Hudson have penned an op-ed in response to Delaware’s system of kow-towing to unions at the taxpayers’ expense.

Yet one more method of the government queering the free market, prevailing wage laws are designed to encourage the hiring of union contractors.  If non-union contractors are forced to pay union-scale wages (the “prevailing wage”), governments are encouraged to hire union contractors.  There is no cost advantage to hiring a non-union contractor and non-union contractors don’t (as a rule) picket your job site.

In the case of the Rockwood Mansion, the project would be undertaken by a private group.  However, the government owns the property.  The New Castle County council and executive have decided that the prevailing wage must be paid even though Friends of Rockwood Mansion are a private, not-for-profit organization.  (The state law only requires “prevailing wage” on GOVERNMENT capital projects).

So, what’s the result?  An historic treasure won’t receive the renovation it desperately needs.  When it does, the cost will be far higher than it would be without the burden of the prevailing wage law.  And … Delaware taxpayers will have to pick up the tab rather than a group of private citizens who ponied up for the renovation to begin with.

God Bless the AFL-CIO and their lackeys in the Delaware Legislature.

Share Button

Why Do YOU Pay Rent to Joe Biden?

GREENVILLE, DE – Last year YOU paid $26,400 in rent to Vice President Joe Biden.  Why?

It seems that the U.S. Secret Service uses a cottage on the grounds of Biden’s estate outside Wilmington.  This property is used as part of Biden’s protection detail but Biden charges the taxpayers $2,200 per month!

Typical of most high-profile liberals, Biden and his wife donated less than two percent of their adjusted gross income to charity in 2012.

READ MORE …

photo courtesy of the Washington Times

Share Button

Today’s Weather – April 11, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Partly cloudy skies during the morning giving way to a few showers late. High 67F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

Tonight –
Showers developing late tonight with the possibility of a thunderstorm. Low 51F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High 77F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight –
Cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. Low 61F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Very warm. High 83F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight –
Some clouds and possibly an isolated thunderstorm late. Low 67F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

[Read more…]

Share Button

Today’s Weather – April 10, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 84F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Isolated thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy after midnight. Low around 60F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
A mix of clouds and sun. Very warm. High 84F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 62F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Sunshine and clouds mixed. Very warm. High 88F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Mainly clear skies. Low 64F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

[Read more…]

Share Button

Commercial Air Service to Resume in DE

NEW CASTLE, DE – Commercial air service will return to Delaware after a five (5) year absence.  The Associated Press reports that Frontier Airlines will begin offering three (3) flights per week to Chicago and Houston beginning on July 1.  Additional flights to Orlando, Tampa, and Denver will begin soon after.

Share Button

Media Monday – April 8, 2013

WGMD HOST NOT READY FOR PRIME (OR ANY OTHER) TIME

When I’m cruising through Delaware (or northern Worcester or Wicomico counties) I often bump my dial over one tick from WICO-FM to hear what’s going on at WGMD-FM.  While I like talk radio, I prefer some local content and WICO is now 99.9% syndicated. (two public radio stations are now the only source of real local content on the Lower Shore)

Two Sundays ago I happened to tune in and heard some guy named Bill Rogers spouting the most ridiculous nonsense this side of MSNBC.  The problem?  Rogers claims to be a conservative.  Personally, I think we should trade this guy to the left for a future third round draft pick.

What was Rogers’ crime?  The guy’s entire show (I only listened for about 90 minutes while I was driving to Seaford and back) was an attack on Libertarians.  Sure, everyone has a right to their opinion.  I don’t disagree with Rogers’ premise that voting Libertarian is often equivalent to voting Democrat, but Rogers’ reasoning was based on a false premise that I found quite offensive.

Rogers claimed that Libertarians were foolish because of their stance on gay marriage.  He specifically claimed that same-sex marriage laws would require churches to marry same-sex couples.  He didn’t say this once either.  Rogers must of repeated this at least a dozen times in the period I was listening.

It’s bad enough that my party (the GOP) is systematically driving libertarian-minded voters away, now we have a supposedly conservative, local talk host trying to do the same with what are basically lies.

I will concede that the day may come that some court, even the US Supreme Court, may make such an outrageous ruling.  However, that day has not arrived … YET.  It’s bad enough that nominally Christian denominations such as the Episcopal Church perform what are de facto gay weddings.  We have enough battles to fight in the present.  People like Rogers don’t need to make up problems.  If he is a conservative, as he claims, he also doesn’t need to deliberately offend a portion of the electorate we need to win.

PARKER, CLAYBAUGH SHOW TRUE COLORS … AGAIN

[Read more…]

Share Button

Today’s Weather – April 8, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Sun and clouds mixed. Warm. High 74F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy skies this evening. A few showers developing late. Low 59F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 74F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy this evening with more clouds for overnight. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 58F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Partly cloudy. High 77F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
A few passing clouds. Low near 60F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

[Read more…]

Share Button

Maryland Group Enters Sussex Sheriff’s Fray Over Powers

GEORGETOWN, DE – Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher’s ongoing battle with the state of Delaware over the extent (limit) of his powers has found an out-of-state ally.  The Pasadena, MD based Institute on the Constitution hosted a forum yesterday at DelTech’s Georgetown campus.

“Our drive is to raise up a citizenry that understands these issues and can act on them from a basis of knowledge, not just petty personal interests,” said Michael Anthony Peroutka, a lawyer from Pasadena, Md., and founder of the institute.

Christopher argues that the state’s constitution provides his office with law enforcement powers.  Delaware governor Jack Markell, AG Beau Biden, and several state courts have disagreed.

photo courtesy of the Cape Gazette

Share Button

Fisker Heading Towards Bankruptcy?

Another beneficiary of millions in taxpayer subsidies appears headed for bankruptcy.  Fisker, the electric car company, has fired three quarters of its staff according to Wilmington’s News-Journal.

In 2009 Fisker received a $529 million Federal loan and $21 million in other incentives from the state of Delaware.  President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden heralded Fisker as a big part of the administration’s “Green Energy” initiative.

Share Button

Can Romney Make It Over the Top?

MITT’S ROMNEY’S EGO COULD COST OUR NATION DEARLY

Despite a lack of economic growth and continuing unemployment, President Barack Obama continues to run even with GOP nominee Mitt Romney in the polls.  Can Romney pull ahead and take the White House from the second coming of Jimmy Carter?  We hope so.  Deposing Barack Obama will certainly be better for the nation and our economy.  Will he?

It is almost certain that the race will be decided in a few key states:  Virginia, Ohio, and Florida to name a few.  Polling is expected to be tight.  Why then did the Romney campaign choose to throw away the potential support of libertarian leaning conservatives at the recent Republican National Convention?  By passing rules which are arrogant at best, despotic at worst, movement conservatives, Tea Partiers, and Paulistas are seriously questioning the wisdom of voting Romney / Ryan on November 6th.  Many of these same activists are just as, if not more, furious over the Romney campaign’s decision to strip legally elected Ron Paul delegates of their credentials to prevent Paul’s name from being placed in nomination.

In Delaware we could also see viable candidates like state senate candidate Ernest Lopez fall in a close race because of Romney’s actions (Lopez, like Romney, is viewed as an “establishment Republican”).  In Virginia, former governor and senator George Allen could pay the cost of Romney’s folly.  It is ironic that Dan Bongino could benefit from the active participation of disaffected conservatives in Maryland.  Unfortunately, Maryland is not likely to overthrow Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) any more than it is likely to give its 10 electoral votes to Mitt Romney.

If Romney loses any of these swing states by a few thousand votes, he can blame no one but himself.  Sending Ron Paul supporters to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or Constitution candidate Virgil Goode could cost Romney and this nation mightily.  Keeping them within the GOP fold would have cost his campaign nothing other than showing them the respect they are do.

Our view is simple – do what is best for the country and vote Mitt Romney.  In four years liberty loving conservatives can reevaluate.  Objectively there is no question – Mitt Romney would make a better president than Barack Obama.  Working hard for candidates, and letting them know that you are supporting them and NOT the GOP, is the best message you can send.  Merely sitting on your hands and hoping for what might have been is not serving your country; it simply helps extreme leftist Democrats to maintain effective control.

Share Button

Bonini Endorses Lopez for DE Senate

LEWES, DE – The campaign of Ernie Lopez for the Delaware Senate’s 6th district just received a boost.  Sen. Colin Bonini (R-16) and Sen. Dave Lawson (R-15) have endorsed Lopez in his fight for the GOP nomination.  Lopez faces former U.S. House candidate Glen Urquhart in the Republican primary.

from the Cape Gazette:

Delaware representatives served up ice cream to supporters of Lewes resident Ernie Lopez at Hopkins Dairy Farm in Lewes.  About 40 people gathered, Aug. 17, to hear Sen. Colin Bonini, left, and Sen. Dave Lawson, right, announce their endorsements for Lopez, center, who is a Republican candidate for the newly create Senate District 6.

“Ernie is a conservative, a common sense conservative,” said Bonini, R-Dover South.  “This is a sincere person who’s doing it for the right reasons.”

Lawson, R-Marydel, said, “I’m delighted to support him and endorse him any way I can.”

Also shown are Lopez’s daughters Anna, left, and Claire.  “Our campaign has been about family,” Lopez said.

Share Button

Can the Post Office Be Fixed?

WILMINGTON, DE – If Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) is to be believed, he knows how to save the U.S. Postal Service about $500 million each year.  $500 million is nothing to sneeze at, but according to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe states that $22.5 BILLION must be cut from the postal budget each year by 2016.  The USPS has already defaulted on a $5.2 billion payment to the federal government (for retiree health care benefits) and is expected to default on another payment later this year.

Can the post office be fixed?  Of course … in theory.  Unfortunately, we live in the real world.  Members of Congress, Democrat and Republican (but primarily Democrat) will simply not allow that to happen.  No legislator wants to see a post office, much less something like a processing facility, close in their district or state.  Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) are prime examples.  If you buy-in to their rhetoric, closing the Easton processing facility is akin to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.  Truth be told, Mikulski and Cardin would prefer a nuclear Iran over seeing a postal processing facility close in their own state.  To them, and many of their Congressional colleagues, the USPS is one more way to use YOUR tax dollars to buy other people’s votes.

USPS revenue remains a huge problem.  There is no doubt that the internet has put a huge dent into the USPS’s revenue stream.  Almost every bill you receive in the mail includes some encouragement or incentive to pay your bill online and sign up for “paperless billing”.  Why buy and mail a birthday card when you can send an “e-card” in less than two minutes, and often for free?  Businesses, and individuals, don’t bat an eye at paying a sizable premium to FedEx or UPS to send parcels or time sensitive documents because they know that they will be delivered on time.  The USPS can’t seem to deliver an overnight document on time.

Allowing the USPS to exit onerous union contracts, become more efficient, and pay wages and benefits comparable to their competitors will help; so will shutting down facilities.  Unfortunately, the men and women we send to Washington simply won’t allow this to happen.

Share Button

Cape Henlopen Residents Face Higher Taxes or Spending Cuts in Next Budget

LEWES, DE – Cape Henlopen School District’s FY 2013 budget was balanced with a tax hike.  Next year district residents could face more of the same, or reduction in school budgets, if federal money declines.

In a preliminary budget presentation by CHSC business director Oliver Gumbs, board members were warned of possible cuts in federal funding due to sequestration.  Unless Congress acts in the next few months, discretionary federal spending is expected to be cut 7.8% – 9%.  This would include funding for items such as Title I.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Waterboarding Pediatrician Gets Bail

GEORGETOWN, DE – Dr. Melvin Morse, the Sussex County pediatrician accused of abusing his daughter – including waterboarding – has been released on bond.  Morse is out on $14,500 secured bond, while his wife, Pauline Morse, is out on $14,500 unsecured bond in connection with felony endangering the welfare of a child and other charges.  The Morse children are in the care of the Delaware Division of Family Services.

photo courtesy of the Daily Telegraph

READ MORE …

Share Button

Milford Man Arrested for 5th DUI

from the Cape Gazette

A 40-year-old Milford man faces charges after he led police on a high-speed chase Aug. 11 on Route 1 near Milton before crashing into a fence.

An officer tried to stop Josephi Anastasi at 11:22 p.m. for speeding while he drove southbound on Route 1 near Sylvan Acres Road, said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police.

Anastasi refused to stop and swerved through traffic at high speeds before turning onto Reynolds Road, Fournier said.

Anastasi lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a construction sign and fence before coming to a stop, Fournier said.

He ran into a cornfield where the officer arrested him. Police charged Anastasi with his fifth driving under the influence charge, resisting arrest, disregarding a police officer’s signal, driving while suspended, speeding and other charges.

Fournier said Anastasi previously was arrested for DUI in 1992, 1999, 2003 and 2005.

He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $11,759 cash bail.

Share Button

Markell Signs Bill Enhancing Definition of Animal Cruelty

DOVER, DE – Delaware governor Jack Markell has signed SB 211, “which enhances Delaware’s definition of cruelty to animals by amending the definition of cruelty to animals to include tethering a dog for 18 or more hours in any 24-hour period.  The law also bans tethering very young dogs and certain nursing mother dogs, regardless of how long they are tethered.”

READ MORE …

Share Button

MAPP To Be Cancelled?

CAMBRIDGE, MD – The Star Democrat reports that the PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee has recommended that the Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway (MAPP) project should be cancelled.

PJM issued Wednesday the final results of its 2012 transmission analysis, Jubic said, and “due to factors including lower load growth from the sluggish economy, the installation of new gas-fired power plants and the increase in demand response programs, no reliability violations were identified within the transmission planning window.”

The PJM Board of Managers is set to meet Friday, Aug. 24, to make a final decision on the TEAC’s recommendation, Jubic said.

Share Button

Sussex Citizens Turn Out to Support Prayer at Council Meetings

GEORGETOWN, DE – At last week’s meeting of the Sussex County Council, a group of citizens showed up to support the council’s long-standing practice of beginning its meetings with the Lord’s Prayer.  Federal District Court Judge Leonard Stark has prohibited the council from reciting the prayer.

Nearly half of council chambers was filled Aug. 7 with people who joined with council when they recited the 23rd Psalm to start the meeting. During the public participation portion at the end of the meeting, the Rev. John Betts of Abundant Life Church in Georgetown, spoke on behalf of the group.

Betts said the lawsuit and court action are part of a pattern of activities taking place across the nation to erode freedom of speech and other rights. “This is not a political battle, but a spiritual war,” Betts said.

He said from the time the foundation of government was laid, prayer has been used to open legislative sessions. “In these chambers, your practice has been the same as our founding fathers,” he said. “When a people forget their fathers, they do not know who they are anymore. We commend county council for standing up for the tradition of our fathers.”

Betts said there is a concerted effort under way to erase the memory of the county’s roots and basic beliefs. “Your stand in protecting these memories and practices is commendable. We urge you to continue to resist this attempt to forget who we are,” he said.

Betts presented council with 300 signed letters in support of the council’s policy of using The Lord’s Prayer at meetings.

photo courtesy of the Cape Gazette

READ MORE …

Share Button

Manufactured Homes Dominate Sussex County Candidate Debate

MILLSBORO, DE – Owners of manufactured homes showed up in force at the August 2nd candidate forum hosted by American Legion Post 28.  At the top of their minds were the candidates’ stances on a bill put before the Delaware legislature this year which would have limited increases in the lot rent paid by many manufactured homeowners.  SB 205 passed the Delaware Senate but failed in Delaware House.

photo courtesy of Cape Gazette

READ MORE …

Share Button

Burton Challenging Extradition

GEORGETOWN, DE – Matthew Burton, the accused murderer of Nicole Bennett, continues to challenge his extradition to Worcester County.  Judge Howard Mulvaney III of Delaware’s Justice of the Peace Court number 3 signed Burton’s extradition order Monday.  However, Burton will continue to be held in Delaware pending a habeas corpus hearing in Delaware Superior Court on Thursday.

If the Superior Court concurs with his extradition, Burton will be transported to Snow Hill, MD for arraignment and then held at the Worcester County Detention Center.

photo courtesy of Cape Gazette

READ MORE …

Share Button

Is Student Progress Really Part of Teacher Evaluation Plan in Delaware?

DOVER, DE – Delaware’s Department of Education has finalized its teacher evaluation plan for the coming school year.  As a requirement for its federal “Race to the Top” money, student progress must be a component.  Delaware claims that its standardized test scores will be a component for teachers of math and reading.  What isn’t clear is if the scores will be a true evaluation component or simply bureaucratic “sleight of hand” as in Maryland.

Earlier we had reported that Virginia was implementing a plan in which student progress would be used for 40% of a teacher’s evaluation.  We received comment that Maryland was using “student progress” for 50% of a teacher’s evaluation.  Delaware’s plan appears similar.

There is one major difference between the Virginia approach and that undertaken in Maryland (and presumably Delaware).  In Virginia, a poor evaluation could lead to a teacher’s contract not being renewed.  In Maryland it will be only a theoretical possibility that a poor teacher will not have his or her contract renewed because of a lack of student progress.

It should be noted that “progress” is the key word here.  Teachers of poor students should not be penalized because they didn’t turn their students into intellectual giants.  However, parents (and the public) have a right to expect progress.

Share Button

Dewey Beach Mayor Called to Resign

DEWEY BEACH, DE – In the wake of an Attorney General’s opinion that the mayor and council of Dewey Beach was guilty of multiple violations of the state’s open meetings law, the former mayor of this resort town has called on the current mayor to resign.  Former mayor Dell Tush, in a July 27th letter to Dewey Beach mayor Diane Hanson, asked Hanson to resign.  “It is time for you to resign before our town is damaged beyond repair,” Tush said.

“The micromanaging atmosphere you have created toward our town employees, including the police department, and our businesses have reached bounds beyond your scope of authority,” Tush wrote.  She did not cite individual instances to prove Hanson’s guilt but said she could provide them to further the request.

Tush also accused Hanson of spending town funds recklessly.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Government, Not Internet, Is Cause of Postal Service Default

Today the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will default on a $5.5 billion payment to the federal government to cover retiree health benefits.  In September they will default on another payment of $5.65 billion.  The federal government would like you to believe that the cause of the postal service’s decline is due to the internet.  I wish that were the case.

The USPS, once a department of the federal government and now a quasi-governmental agency, can only blame its “benefactors” in Washington for its demise.  Sure, the internet and cultural changes have impacted demand for the the USPS’s bread and butter first class mail service.  Myriad other “businesses” have faced similar challenges over the last 25 years.  Some have risen to the challenge and thrived.  Others have gone the way of the buggy whip.

[Read more…]

Share Button

Media Monday – July 30, 2011

Why Is Freedom of the Press the Only Inviolate Freedom?

You often hear (or read) in the media that the First Amendment is inviolate.  Yet, media coverage of our most basic freedoms begs a question or two:

  • Why are the other enumerated freedoms listed in our Bill of Rights no less important than those in the First Amendment?
  • Are those “sacred” freedoms found in the First Amendment really inviolate, or does this only apply to “freedom of the press”?

In Sunday’s Daily Times we are told that we need to have a discussion about gun control.  Our liberal friends shouldn’t expect the Lower Shore’s paper of record to go much farther on this issue.  They would lose too many readers and advertiser if they actually endorsed gun control or overtly supported Attorney General Doug Gansler and his attack on law abiding citizens who wish to carry a handgun.  Leave more strident opposition to the Second Amendment to outlets such as the Baltimore Sun or the Washington Post.

While the Bill of Rights guarantees “freedom of the press”, it also guarantees a “right to keep and bear arms”.  The Daily Times asks why a requirement to register a gun is wrong when we have to register cars.  I wonder what their response would be if they had to have a permit for their printing press?  Should we be having a “discussion” about placing restrictions on a free press?

Of course, we won’t even bother discussing little annoyances like the Tenth Amendment.  I doubt the editorial boards of any of the above mentioned papers even know that one exists.

Even the First Amendment isn’t sacrosanct to most of today’s mainstream media.  They seem to forget that there are other parts to the amendment than freedom of the press.  As activist courts have changed “freedom OF religion” to “freedom FROM religion” we have heard little from the mainstream media other than applause.  Ironically, thanks in part to the media, secular humanism has become the established religion of our media AND our government.  I wonder if we should be having a “discussion” about that.

Where is Local News on the Radio?

[Read more…]

Share Button

Dover City Employees Ask for AFSCME Union Representation

DOVER, DE – Dover’s non-union city employees have abandoned their previous tactic for organizing and asked the Amalgamated Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees to be their certified bargaining agent with Dover’s city council.

READ MORE …

Share Button

DelMarVa Municipalities Need to Act on Pension Reform

While Scranton, PA has been forced to reduce city worker salaries to minimum wage and San Bernadino, CA is the latest city to file for bankruptcy, cities and counties on the Delmarva peninsula continue to behave as if economic reality will never cross the Chesapeake Bay or jump the C&D canal.  As the population ages and more Delmarva taxpayers rely on fixed incomes, no municipality seems willing to acknowledge that future pension and medical costs simply cannot be funded forever.  Nowhere is this more obvious than in Wicomico County.

In 2011 the Wicomico County Council passed County Executive Rick Pollitt’s “early retirement” plan.  Under this boondoggle certain county employees have received larger pensions than they would have otherwise received.  In addition, others (such as the county’s former Public Information Officer) will receive lifetime medical benefits after only 5 years of service.  When this plan was adopted the council promised that they would look into reforming the county’s pension system.  While councilman Bob Culver has asked multiple times that the council fulfill their commitment to the voters, a majority has refused.

This year, the Wicomico Council used the Jim Mathias / Norm Conway / Rudy Cane mandated property tax hike to dole out raises to all county employees.  These raises increase the county’s future pension liabilities.  Maryland county governments are now on the hook for teacher pensions as well.

Pension and retiree medical benefits are the stealth costs which are bankrupting municipalities and crippling local economies across the country.  Our local governments don’t wish to address these issues because it’s too easy to ignore the problem and leave it for future generations (and future councils / commissioners) to address.  When local governments acknowledge that a problem exists, it can only be fixed by HUGE tax hikes, HEAVY benefit cuts, and often BANKRUPTCY.

These problems are easy to fix NOW.  Our local governments should do the responsible thing and ACT NOW.  Obviously, the states of Delaware, Maryland, and (and to a less extent) Virginia should act to reform their pension systems as well.  Unfortunately, we have no hope that these governments will act responsibly in the near future.

Share Button

Markell “Gun Shy” About Medicaid Expansion Under ObamaCare

DOVER, DE – Relying on the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the Federal government may not cut state Medicaid funding if states refuse to expand the program under ObamaCare, Delaware governor Jack Markell is refusing to commit to the expansion.

Currently, over 200,000 Delawareans qualify for free health care under Medicaid.  If Markell agrees to expand the program to 133% of the poverty level (as ObamaCare expects), the number of participants could increase by approximately 10%.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Beachgoer Lacks Engineering Degree … And Common Sense

REHOBOTH BEACH, DE – It’s not an unusual sight at the beach, children or even adults digging a hole in the sand or building a sand castle.  What happens when you dig two holes and try to connect them with a tunnel?

One beachgoer learned what most of us would already know – it doesn’t take much to collapse a tunnel dug in the sand.  This man’s lack of common sense almost cost him his life.

photo courtesy of the Wilmington News-Journal

READ MORE …

Share Button

Bay Shore Community Church Issues Statement Regarding Bennett Murder

GUMBORO, DE – Bay Shore Community Church, the church homes of the families of Nicole Bennett and the man accused of her murder, has issued a statement:

"We pray that justice will be done with respect to this tragic event," reads the statement from Bay Shore Community Church outside Gumboro.

"Bay Shore continues to cooperate fully with the authorities with respect to this investigation while also supporting and ministering to Nicole’s family," the July 7 statement reads. "When we became aware that [Burton] had a criminal record which had not been previously disclosed, he was informed that his contract would be terminated. Mr. Burton’s work for Bay Shore Community Church ended on June 14, 2012."

READ MORE …

Share Button

Church Custodian Arrested in Murder of Nicole Bennett

from WMDT.com

WHALEYVILLE, MD – A Dagsboro man has been arrested in the murder of Delaware woman Nicole Bennett. Bennett’s body was found in Worcester County last month. Maryland State Police arrested 28-year-old Matthew Burton Friday night during a traffic stop in Rehoboth Beach. Burton is reported to be a custodian at Bennett’s Church, Bay Shore Community Church. Officials are still searching for a motive in the case, but say Burton is being charged with first and second degree murder.

Maryland State Police have remained tight-lipped about the case before Burton’s arrest. They are now saying that Bennett’s cause of death was asphyxiation. Authorities are also saying that she was already dead when her body was left in the embankment off of Swamp Road in Worcester County. Bennett is survived by her husband Kevin and their three young children.

Family members told WMDT earlier this week that the family is staying strong. They still attend the church, where Nicole was last reported to be the night before she was found dead. Before the arrest, Bennett’s Father-In-Law Bob Bennett said, "It’s our faith and we’re not questioning God. It’s an evil world, evil things happen to good people and we have to be protective. I think we’re more protective than ever."

Maryland State Police say the investigation is ongoing and they are still trying to determine the actual crime scene in the case. Burton is being held at the Sussex Correctional Institution pending extradition to Maryland.

Share Button

Markell Signs Payday Lending Bill

DOVER, DE – Delaware governor Jack Markell signed a bill Wednesday which limits payday lending and creates a database to track the short term loans.

House Bill 289 limits to five the amount of payday loans worth $1,000 or less that anyone can take out in any 12-month period. It also requires that the state bank commissioner report back to the General Assembly on the prevalence of payday loans. “We do a lot of bills down here,” DeLuca said. “Hopefully we do a lot of good work. We probably do some things we shouldn’t do. This was a vote your heart piece of legislation. Not a vote your party piece of legislation.”

READ MORE …

Share Button

Letter to the Editor – June 27, 2012

Deputy Torres’ Hearing

You had to be at the Hearing to hear the testimony of witnesses and evidence to know that the decision by the Sussex County Board of Personnel had observers shaking their heads at the total disregard of the testimony and evidence presented on behalf of Deputy Torres. The observers in the room were in palpable disbelief upon hearing the board’s verdict.

This board relied on gps readings from cars that frequently lose battery power, recorded 7 mph when the car was parked, didn’t consider that different deputies drove the same vehicles and they had an entirely incorrect home address for Mr. Torres. They bickered over his stopping by his wife’s office since she would buy his sandwiches for him and perhaps eat lunch together. The had her work address incorrect as well.  Hardly viable evidence.

Deputy Torres gave a full and complete accounting of his time on the records. Sheriff Christopher’s words described Deputy Torres as you would a consummate professional.

He served the largest area in the county. Rather than consider all of the testimony and evidence provided in the hearing, this Kangaroo Court instead determined to destroy Torres’ character, reputation and any ability to find future work. They are saddling the county with the cost of two lawsuits because of their actions. The County Council has refused to rehire either Mr. Torres and another deputy that left to take a police chief’s job. The Sheriff’s staff is cut down, he has one computer in a small office and cars that repeatedly break down. The county is grinding out the sheriff’s department. The quality of service provided to the courts will suffer with these cuts in staff.

Those 5,000 voters that elected the Sheriff need to once again give him their support.

R. Carol

Share Button

Democrat Price Kicks Off Campaign to Succeed Gerald Hocker

ROXANA, DE – Realtor Shirley Price has kicked off her campaign to replace Delaware Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-38) in the Delaware House.  Hocker is retiring from the House to run for the Delaware Senate.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Firing of Sussex Deputy Upheld

GEORGETOWN, DE – The Sussex County Board of Personnel has unanimously upheld the firing of Sheriff’s deputy Ishmael Torres.  By a 3-0 vote the board agreed that County Administrator Todd Lawson had acted properly in dismissing Torres for the filing of questionable overtime requests.

Supporters of Sheriff Jeff Christopher have argued that the dismissal of Torres was politically motivated.  Christopher has filed suit against the county and state of Delaware in response to their position that Christopher and his deputies are not law enforcement officers and lack the legal authority to make arrests.

photos courtesy of the Cape Gazette

READ MORE …

Share Button

Biden Calls for “Bi-Partisanship”

WILMINGTON, DE – Speaking at a fundraiser for his son, Delaware AG Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden called for “bi-partisanship” and civility in politics.  In the same speech he attacked Republicans for wanting to destroy public education, deny access to health care, and opposing equality for women.

Civility?  Bi-partisanship?

READ MORE …

Share Button

Delaware Senate Passes Bill to Clarify Limits of Sheriff’s Powers

DOVER, DE – By a 12-3 vote, the Delaware Senate passed a bill to clarify the limits of a county sheriff’s powers in Delaware.  HB 325 now goes to Gov. Jack Markell for his signature.

The bill was in response to actions taken by Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher.  Christopher has brought suit in Delaware courts arguing that as the “conservator of the peace” he and his deputies have the right to make arrests and perform other law enforcement duties.  The Sussex County Council disagrees with this interpretation.

No senator from Sussex County voted for the legislation.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Sussex Council Looking for Compromise on Opening Sessions with Prayer

GEORGETOWN, DE – After a federal judge ruled that the Sussex County Council was in violation of the establishment clause by opening each meeting with the Lord’s Prayer, the council is seeking a compromise.  Under a compromised, which passed by a 3-2 vote, the council president would open each meeting with a non-sectarian prayer.  On occasion, the Lord’s Prayer would be used.

photo courtesy of the Cape Gazette

READ MORE…

Share Button

A fitting pause to remember Dr. James Beebe Jr.


Several hundred of the Beebe Medical Center extended family came out June 14 for the funeral of Dr. James Beebe Jr. at Epworth United Methodist Church.
Judge Bill Lee, chairman of the Beebe Medical Center board of trustees, was one of eight professional associates, family members and friends who delivered eulogies for Dr. Beebe, who died Friday, June 8. Lee opened and closed his eulogy with the same sentence: …

READ MORE …

Share Button

Fire at Beebe Hospital

LEWES, DE – A fire on the fifth floor of Beebe Medical center caused the evacuation of floor.  The fire began in the bathroom of a patient room.  It was caused by a faulty light fixture.  The fire was extinguished by the room’s sprinkler system.  No one was injured in the fire.  Several rooms sustained water damage.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Accident Shuts Down I-95

WILMINGTON, DE – An accident Sunday evening shut down the southbound lanes of I-95 for about four hours.  The accident occurred at around 8PM near the Rock Manor section of Wilmington.  DelDOT reported that the road was opened at 12:44 AM.

Share Button

Delaware Proposes Raises for State Employees and Retirees

DOVER, DE – The leadership of the Joint Finance Committee of the Delaware legislature is proposing a 1% pay hike for both active and retired state employees.  The cost would add about $20.7 million to the state’s budget.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Sussex County – 23 Years Without Property Tax Rate Increase

GEORGETOWN, DE – Sussex County unveiled a $121.1 million proposed budget for FY 2013 Tuesday.  For the 23rd consecutive year the county has completed its budget without proposing an increase in the county’s real property tax rate.

Included in the budget is a $0.035 tax credit (incorrectly called a rebate in some reports) for the coming fiscal year.  Under the plan taxpayers whose taxes are current will receive a credit against their current tax bill.  This amounts to a 7.8% decrease in  the effective tax rate.

Because Delaware has independent school districts, the county budget does not include the cost of public schools.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Harris Ranks 100th in Use of Frank

WASHINGTON – Freshman Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) spent over $109,000 on franked mail last year.  “Franked” mail is mail sent to constituents from a congressman’s office for information or constituent service purposes.

In an article written by Gannett Washington bureau chief Nicole Guadiano, it was disclosed that Harris ranked 100th among all members of the House and 45th among freshmen.  Buried in the article was the fact that Harris’ predecessor, one term Rep. Frank Kratovil spent over $320,000 on communications during 2009, Kratovil’s first year in the House.  During the same period as Harris, freshman Democrat Rep. John Carney (D-DE) spent over $187,000 compared to Harris’ $109,000.

Share Button

Closings / Delays – May 23, 2012

The following schools and businesses will be closed or delayed today due to weather.  This will be updated throughout the morning.

MD
BERLIN HEAD START
2 HR DELAY

DE
BETHEL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
2 HR DELAY

DE
CAESAR RODNEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
1 HR DELAY

DE
CAMPUS COMMUNITY SCHOOL
2 HR DELAY

DE
CAPE HENLOPEN SCHOOL DIST
2 HR DELAY

DE
CAPITAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
1 HR DELAY

DE
CAPITOL BAPTIST
1 HR DELAY

MD
CAROLINE COUNTY SCHOOLS
2 HR DELAY

MD
CHESAPEAKE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
1 HR DELAY

MD
CRISFIELD HEAD START
2 HR DELAY

DE
DELMAR SCHOOL DISTRICT
2 HR DELAY

MD
DORCHESTER CO. SCHOOLS
2 HR DELAY/NO AM KINDERGARTEN

MD
EASTON HEAD START
90 MIN DELAY

MD
EDEN HEAD START
2 HR DELAY

DE
GREENWOOD MENNONITE
90 MIN DELAY

MD
HOLLY GROVE CHRISTIAN
2 HR DELAY

[Read more…]

Share Button

School Budget Cuts Spark Protest

LAUREL, DE – Students at Laurel High School staged a protest Friday to oppose personnel cuts in the district.  Fifteen teacher, two secretaries, six custodians, and twelve paraprofessionals were notified Friday that they would not be employed by the Laurel School District next year.  The reduction-in-force was made necessary by a $650,000 shortfall in the district’s budget.  The fifteen teachers represent 8.7% of the districts total teaching force.

photo courtesy of the Wilmington News-Journal

READ MORE …

Share Button

Bill To Restrict Sheriff’s Powers Passes Delaware House

CHRISTOPHER FILES SUIT IN SUPERIOR COURT

DOVER, DE – The Delaware House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday designed to codify the duties of a county sheriff and his or her deputies, including that they do not have the legal authority to make arrests or investigate crimes.  The bill, HB 325,  passed by a vote of 36 – 2 with one abstention.  Rep. John Atkins (D-41) and Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-38) were the two votes against the bill.

On Wednesday Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher filed lawsuit in Superior Court requesting a declaratory judgment that he and his deputies do have arrest and investigative powers under Delaware’s constitution and that he is the chief law enforcement offer of Sussex County.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Sussex County Adopts Dress Code

GEORGETOWN, DE – In the private sector most people don’t give a second thought to dressing appropriately.  If you want to be considered for promotion or even keep your job, you aren’t going to show up for work wearing bib overalls and no shirt.  Working for the government is a bit different.  Civil service protection often times means never having to worry about such things … UNLESS there is a specific policy in place.

This is exactly what Sussex County has done.  New County Administrator Todd Lawson has designed a dress code for all county employees.

"I think most people understand there’s a certain level of professionalism that certain jobs require," Lawson said in an interview. No one instance of sloppy dress prompted the new code, he said, but a review of policies since he took office late last year turned up no dress code, so he and his department heads developed one. …

… "All body art, such as tattoos or body piercings, of questionable public acceptance will be kept covered," the policy states. If a county employee’s manager deems an outfit too casual, the employee can be sent home to change, off the clock.

READ MORE …

Share Button

Markell Nominates New Delaware Secretary of Education

DOVER, DE – Delaware governor Jack Markell has nominated Mark Murphy as Delaware’s next Secretary of Education.  Murphy, a former teacher and principal, is currently the Executive Director of the Vision Network.

“Delaware has made remarkable progress, putting forward a detailed agenda and implementing innovative ideas to make sure more students graduate ready to succeed in work or college. If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to helping move each of these efforts forward,” Murphy said. “The teachers, principals, parents and community leaders that I get to work with each day know how critical it is that we keep making progress, and keep doing so together.”

Lillian Lowery, Delaware’s current Secretary of Education, is leaving the post to become Maryland’s new state superintendent of schools.

READ MORE …

Share Button