Friday, February 02, 2007

Tex Ritter Visit to Delmar

Back in January, 1973 Tex Ritter, Country singer, came to Delmar. He was doing a tour encouraging country music. He visited town officials and had lunch at Orrell's State Line Restaurant. This was his second trip to Delmar, as he had a few years earlier came to help the Delmar Fire Department with some fund raising. Tex died a year later on January 2nd 1974. I guess once he had been to Delmar, he figured he had done it all and dieing was the only thing left.

Those of us who are older, have all sit around a bar, drinking beer and singing to Tex's songs on the juke box of "Rye Whiskey", "Deck of Cards", "Wayward Wind" and that tear jerker of "Hillbilly Heaven". He sang the title song in "High Noon" of "Do not forsake me oh my darlin". His son was, of course, John Ritter of "3 is Company" fame and his grandson is Jason Ritter of "Joan of Arcadia" and "The Class" fame.

Brenda Morris has a Birthday today

Horray for old people.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Black History Month

In the 1960's Delmar became more sensitive to race relations. The race riots in Cambridge helped speed up that sensitivity. The Delmar High School stopped having Blackface ministerial shows and "Aunt Jemima Pancake and Sausage" Suppers stopped. Blackface never returned and now the suppers are just called "Pancake and Sausage" Suppers. The ad was from a 1962 issue of the Bi State Register. All that for just a dollar.

Country Grove Waste Water Treatment Plant

I stopped by "Country Grove", the development north of Delmar, today to see how the building that encloses the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) was coming along. As you can see from the photo, it is pretty well closed in. Tidewater Utilities serve Country Grove for Water and Sewer. Of interest, they charge $80 a month fixed fee for sewer and $23 plus usage a month for water. I think the ideal of enclosing the Water and Sewer facilities so they look like a building as opposed to a large black box, is a good ideal. When smells are detected, if someone see a large black box they know is a WasteWater Treatment Plant (WWTP), then they naturally think the smell is coming from there. This poses customer service questions to the Water and Sewer company and has an outcome of a lot of finger pointing. If the WWTP is not a so obvious the people may look elsewhere for the source of the smell. Certainly with the number of drainage ponds Country Grove has on the property smells could emit from them.

I have an interest in Water and Sewer that goes back to when I worked for a Water and Sewer company in Ocean Pines. Ocean Pines is one of those unique developments where a developer filled in swamp land and sold it to government employees from the Washington DC area. Many of those people had never lived in a "country" environment so they thought every unpleasant smell came from the sewage system. In many cases it was true.

Now, Country Grove is an interesting situation. At full build out it will be 177 homes. Currently they have twenty or so built. The houses in the development will have a Delmar Post Office address. The majority of the people and houses will be in the Delmar School District (there is a group of about twenty houses in the Laurel School District). I don't know if the development falls into the Delmar Fire District. With a Delmar mailing address they will use the Delmar Library. I can assume most people will use the "Delmar streets", at least in order to get to the library or post office. These are the same items the Town Council is in an uproar over for Blackwater Creek development, yet I have never heard the town council complain about this development that is "out of town" and will have the same impact on Delmar service facilities as Blackwater Creek.

For more information on Country Grove you can go to these two links
Country Grove Indian River Land Company

Country Grove Maryland Shore Homes

Court Briefs

One of the informative things the "Daily Times" does is to print the cases that were heard in the Wicomico County District Court. It is a shame the court cases in Delaware are not printed also. It is also infuriating to see the results of those cases. In the weeks of December 18 to January 5th, 34 cases were listed. 22 of those cases had charges put on stet docket or the charges were dropped or were given a suspended sentencing. Of the 12 found guilty, 5 had under aged drinking charges for which they only had to pay a fine.

It is obvious that something is wrong. Either we have too many laws which means you are charged for a number of different things when you are picked up for one thing in hopes that one of those charges will stick, or the police are not doing a good enough job in providing evidence to make the charge stick, or the Judges and State Attorneys are just drawing a pay check and not interested in prosecuting criminals. No doubt it a combination of all three. Either way the cost of "public Safety" continues to increase and the taxpayers pays the cost of it and has less protection from criminals that should be behind bars.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Army Rehab Center

I am sure you have seen on the news and in the local paper the announcement that the Army has a new $50 million rehab center for the soldiers who have severe burns or are amputees from the Iraq war. It is the least that can be done for them. What bothers me is two of the speakers at the dedication ceremony. They were Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain, both of whom are running for President. It strikes me that they were there merely for the publicity of the event. What bothers me also is the local paper chose to print a picture of Hillary Clinton by the article instead of the building or the men who will be there. These men were sent to Iraq by politicians, at least give them some respect when a rehab center is being built for them instead of publicity for Clinton and McCain.

Updated Fire Hydrants

Many of you may have noticed that some of the fire hydrants in Delmar are sporting a new shiny red thing on them. I have been told that this is a 5 inch adapter. It is sort of a universal size that all fire companies can hook to. Supposedly, it means if an outside fire company comes to Delmar to assist in a fire the 5 inch adapter will allow them to hook to our fire hydrants. The adapters have not been put on all fire hydrants in town.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Delmar Joint Council Meeting January

Tonight, the Joint Delmar Council Meeting was held. It lasted from 7 PM to 10 PM. Delaware Councilperson Mary Lee Pase showed up late and Maryland Councilperson Carrie Williams did not attend. Altho not discussed, Delaware Council person Lonnie Figgs has cut his hair. I almost didn't recognize him. Now you know Delmar is a small town when something like that is mentioned. About 40 people attended the meeting.

Some items discussed:

Larry Points discussed his involvement in the Wicomico Environmental Trust and their outlook on growth.

The Delaware side approved Resolution 2007-01-29 which gave their approval to the Del DOT streetscaping project for the business section of downtown Delmar Delaware. It limited Delmar Delaware contribution to $35,000. See my Post of Dec 18th 2006 for additional information on this project.

Chris from the Delmar Revitalization Committee gave a speech and a request for the committee to become a part of Delmar Town Government the same as the Parks and Recreation committee. This would allow them to request money from the town. they also asked for $7,200. There was a general discussion of the agreement of which the Public did not have a copy so it was a semi private conversation among the councils. The councils requested changes in the agreement and would look at it again. Note; back at the February 27th 2006 joint council meeting John Johnson appeared and discussed some of these same points. He sent a letter to the council outlining a number of things concerning the down town including making the revitalization committee part of the town government. That letter was the one Maryland Mayor Niblett said he would have included in the next town newsletter and than reneged on the that promise. You can see my comments on that joint council meeting in my post of February 28 2006.

The Maryland side discussed the request of the owner of 700 East Walnut to see if the town would pay for paving the street which is currently dirt at 7th street and Walnut (It is at the end of Walnut street). The Maryland side said they would have to research it.

There were eight applicants for the position of Director of Public works. The Town will interview the most qualified.

Planning and Zoning report - Delaware side - There was a request to put a modular home on Bynum lane. A request was also made to put a house on the property on Second street that was rezoned residential in November.
Maryland side - Final Plat approval Lighthouse square, an additional house request was asked for 500 East East Street and other request at other locations in Maryland.

The Harvey Mack and Rental equipment business asked to be annexed into town. They want Water and sewer before they are annexed.

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for Yorkshire Estates. Jack Markell will be down for it. For those who don't know about YorkShire Estates it is located on Old Stage road opposite Building Blocks. It has three model homes and another 8 or so homes built. It also has two large unfenced drainage ponds which in real estate terms is described as a water view. As Mayor Outten commented this may be the first ribbon cutting for a development in Delmar Delaware in 40 years.

A grant of $29,000 was received for playground equipment for Gordy park.

Council Person Buckley read her letter to Sussex county Council regarding Blackwater Creek development. The councilpeople all agreed they were against the development as it currently is and against the Sussex County Council decision to approve it. I will do a future post on my views of this development.

Utility Meeting - January 29th

Tonight, on January 29th, the Utility Commission held it's monthly meeting. Among the items discussed were:

The utility agreement between the Town of Delmar and Tidewater Utilities continues to be discussed. This agreement will allow Tidewater Utilities to handle the water and sewer service to the east side of route 13.

Both pumps at the Pine Street Pump Station are out. One pump was unable to be removed but the other pump will be repaired at a cost of $13,800.

Yorkshire Estates Pump station has been inspected and it was found it did not meet the specifications required of it. Currently it pumps at 190 gallons per minute whereas it should be 210 gallons per minute. The real estate developer would like for the pump station to be approved and he will reduce the number of EDU's it will handle. The Utility Commission decided, no, it will have to meet the specifications before it can be accepted.

Holly Oaks wants to add 36 lots and 2 new streets to the north side of the mobile home park. Our engineer is suggesting we defer that until the waste water treatment plant is upgraded. This will take at least two years to do.

There is still an open position on the Utility Commission, if anyone is interested, from the Maryland side of town, please contact Mayor Nibblett.

Councilperson Pase did not attend the Utility Meeting.

Jonathan's Birthday

Today Jonathan Hajime Dickerson turns 32, let hear a big Happy birthday Jonathan!!!

To Bag or Not To Bag

I was throwing some brown paper grocery bags away today and I thought of other uses they have been used for. Back when I was young (in the 50's) and luggage was expensive and we didn't have much money, if my brother and I were staying over night somewhere, my mother would use A&P grocery bags to pack our clothing in. Since the bags had the A&P emblem printed on the side we would refer to them as our monogrammed luggage.

I use to work with a single woman and she had a rating system based on brown paper grocery bags for her dates. No grocery bag was the best score, the guy was acceptable in appearance. One bag was if the guy was ugly and she didn't want anyone to know she was going out with him so she would but a bag over his head. Two bags over the guy's head (double bagger) was if the guy was really ugly and she didn't want to run the risk of using just one bag and having it rip open exposing him. The worst was the triple bagger where she double bagged the guy and put one over her head just in case his double bag would rip open. I never heard of a triple bag date she went on but there were some days she would come to work and comment she had a double bag date last night. The single world is cruel.

Town Council Meeting Tonight

As a reminder tonight there are three town meetings.

The first is at 6 PM and it is the Public Works Meeting.

The second is at 6:30 PM and it is the Utility Meeting.

The third is at 7 PM and it is the Joint Town Council Meeting.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Black Dahlia Files

On January 15th, 1947 Elizabeth (Beth) Short mutilated body was found in a deserted lot in Los Angeles. On the plane trip to Phoenix from Philadelphia I had time to finish "The Black Dahlia Files" by Donald Wolfe, in spite of the fact some guy was trying to cough up a lung two seats behind me for the entire flight. "The Black Dahlia Files" is yet another book on the Elizabeth Short murder. In recent years we have been exposed to a number of books, articles, TV shows, and a movie on this subject. Each book and media event implies it was a different person who did the murder. I have often felt the murder has an attraction simply because they gave it the name "Black Dahlia". It creates it's own interest even without knowing about the murder. Friends of Elizabeth Short use to refer to her as the Black Dahlia because of her jet black hair and the black dresses she wore.

The book itself is interesting. The author had access to police files that have only recently been released. He somewhats claims that Benjamin "Bugsy" Seigel, mob boss, did the murder. All the books and media mentions how corrupt the LA Police force was in this time period. With so much cover up by the police we may never know who did the crime, after all it has been 60 years since the murder. Most of the people investigating the case are dead. If you are interested in the "Black Dahlia" murder the book is recommended. It should be pointed out there is another website that debunks this book so who knows what is really true. The website is L M Harnish also another good website is Black Dahlia