Saturday, March 03, 2007

Little Leaque Tryouts


About a hundred or so people were at the Little League Field today for the 9 to 12 year old tryouts. On March 24 will be the tryouts for Juniors and Seniors from 10 till noon.

Going for the high pop up

I have not been by the basketball court in a while. I see they now have both basketball hoops back up. A number of kids were playing on it.

2007 Iditarod begins

Today, in Anchorage, the ceremonial start of the 35th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will be held. There are many websites following the race these two are as good as any Iditarod 35 and 2007 Iditarod

82 mushers will actually begin the 1,100 race tomorrow in the town of Willow, 30 miles north of Anchorage, to Nome. In Anchorage today at 9 AM EST it is 13 degrees and in Nome it is minus 8.

In the days before the internet was popular I use to take out a 3 month subscription to the Anchorage Daily News just to see photos and read articles on the race. I think it use to take about two weeks for me to get my copies of the newspaper so it was old news.

Lou Costello

On March 3rd, 1959, at the age of 52, Lou Costello died. He was half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. Who's on First? was one of their famous comedy routines.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Gunpowder and Joe Albero

The blog Gunpowder Chronicle made an interesting post on the Salisbury Officials and Joe Albero.

All Things Irish - The Shankill Butchers

Since March is the month for Saint Patricks day I thought I would write about Lenny Murphy, who was born March 2nd, 1952 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was the leader of a group called the Shankill Butchers. At the time of the Shankill Butchers, 1975 to 1982, (refered to as the troubles) there was fighting between the Catholics and the Protestants. Murphy was a loyalist (Protestant) with a great hatred of Roman Catholics. The Shankill Butchers got their name from both the Shankill road in Belfast where they hung out in the Protestant bars, and from the butchers' knives used to torture and kill their victims. The 20 plus member gang kidnapped Catholics in Belfast late at night, tortured and killed them.

One example of their killing was the murder of Tom Madden. Madden was abducted and then stripped naked. He was hanged upside down from the beam of a lock-up garage, and slowly skinned alive. He eventually died of slow strangulation.

The Shankill Butchers tortured and killed 26 or more Catholics. Murphy was killed by the IRA in 1982 when a van pulled up by him and opened fired with machine guns and 22 bullets ripped into him. The gunmen fled and a couple of days later the IRA claimed responsibility for the killing. In 1982 under an agreement to stop the killing between Catholics and Protestants the Shankill Butchers were not tracked or hunted down for their actions.

For added comment see this blog Its a Matter of Opinion

The Shankill Butchers inspired this great little Irish children's song by the Decemberists;

"The shankill butchers run tonight
You better shut your windows tight
They're sharpening their cleavers and their knives
And taking all their whiskey by the pint

And everybody knows if you don't
Mind your mother's words
A wicked wind will blow
Your ribbons from your curls
Everybody moan, everybody shake
The shankill butchers wanna cut you away

They used to be just like me and you
They used to be sweet little boys
But something went horribly askew
Now killing is their only source of joy

And everybody knows if you don't
Mind your mother's words
A wicked wind will blow
Your ribbons from your curls
Everybody moan, everybody shake
The shankill butchers wanna cut you away

The shankill butchers run tonight
They're waiting until the dead of the night
They're picking at their fingers with their knives
And wiping off their cleavers on their thighs

And everybody knows if you don't
Mind your mother's words
A wicked wind will blow
Your ribbons from your curls
Everybody moan, everybody shake
The shankill butchers wanna cut you away"

A Delmar Sign

Friday's Quote

"Not everyone believes that Friday is unlucky, but nearly everybody agrees it is a waiting day. In business, the week is really over. In school, Friday is the half-open gate to freedom. Friday is neither a holiday nor a workday, but a time of wondering what Saturday will bring. Trade and amusement fall off. Women look through their closets to see what they have to wear. Supper is leftovers from the week."
From "Sweet Thursday" by John Steinbeck

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Moonshiners


From the BiState News March 4, 1938

Not a very clear photo of the article but it writes about a 55 gallons still, 400 gallons of mash and 11 gallons of whiskey destroyed and 400 pounds of confiscated near Columbia. William Bradley, Charles Robinson, Isaac Matthews and Charles Timmons were arrested.

You hear less and less about moonshine and moonshiners now, but I am sure moonshine or at least some form of illegal alcohol is still being made in the area. My neighbor, Butch, told me in the 60's his family lived in a house on the Maryland side of town, out by the profax bottled gas company, and the house had previously been lived in by a well known moonshiner. While doing some home repairs they came across a hidden room where he suspected the moonshiner stored his whiskey.

Good Crab Cakes, dumb stabbing

In the Baltimore Sun is an article Stabbing about a stabbing over who was next in line to order crab cakes at G&M Restaurant in Linthicum Heights MD. It would seem when the counter help asked who was next, both Keith Rantin and Jeffrey Rites step forward. Both wanted to order crab cakes and in the ensuing fight Rantin stabbed Rites.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WACO

February 28, 1993 U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF)attacked the Branch Davidians' church, Mount Carmel Center. Up until April 19, 1993, when the church was burnt and 74 men, women and children were killed, the public was entertained on TV with scenes of the United State government, one of the most powerful governments on earth, playing games. It was one of the most dumbest things I have seen. There are so many spins on this I don't know if the Branch Davidians and David Koresh were right or wrong, I do know the way the government handled the entire thing was ridiculous. Frankly I just could not believe it. As usual all the government officials kept their jobs as opposed to bring them up on murder charges. Rats protect rats. I kept expecting some mass public intervention into Waco, but it never came.

Some references: The Waco massacre

FrontLine Waco

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

201 East Jewell Street


The Town has owned 201 East Jewell for a number of years. The town decided the house was in bad shape and should be torn down. I also understand people have been sleeping in it at night. Today was the big day, it started out looking like this in the morning.

By 11 AM it was looking this

At 2 PM this was it. I am sure it came down a lot quicker than when it went up, but it is always easier to tear something down than to build something. I don't know what the cost is to tear a house down but with dumping fees and filling in with dirt, I would guess at $13,000 to $15,000. So now what is the town going to do with the empty lot that will be there?

David Faison

David Faison, of Largo Maryland, was sentenced yesterday to nine months in federal prison for stealing uncut sheets of $100 bills from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. He will also have to pay back the $37,200 he spent. Now I would have thought stealing from the mint would carry a stronger prison term than what he got. The real question is how did he get 21 sheets of uncut bills out of the mint? Apparently there is less security at the mint than what we have been lead to believe.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Delmar Joint Council Meeting 2/26/07

The Delmar, Delaware and Delmar, Maryland Joint Town Council was held Monday, February 26th, 2007. It started at 7 PM and ended about 8:45 PM. Delaware Councilman Lonnie Figgs was absent. There were about 15 people in the audience.

A discussion of the Jamie Rostocki Annexation Request was held in which the Delaware Mayor appointed an annexation committee to look into the annexation request. This annexation is for property on both sides of Old Stage Road, north of Yorkshire Estates. The land is owed by a number of people and has more than 15 tracts of land connected with it. The bulk of it is land owned by old Stage Road LLC.

A Maryland matter was discussed concerning the Wilbet/Maszera Agreement. Maszera needs a storm drainage ditch for his property development and the ditch is on Wilbet property. Since there is flooding in that section of town, the town would like to have access to the drainage ditch in that area on Maryland Avenue, if needed, and this agreement would help that problem.

Delmar Revitalization Committee; From the audience point of view there was a confused half hour discussion about the agreement between the town and the Delmar Revitalization Committee. Chris Walter from the Delmar Revitalization Committee and the Mayors and council people discussed the agreement while each had two different copies of the agreement. The public was not let in on what this agreement was about (and they wonder why the residents don't trust them), but I am sure anything Chris Walter is involved in will cost the taxpayers money. Chris Walter also pointed out the Delmar Revitalization Committee is selling personalized commentative bricks to go in the sidewalk downtown. The profit from which will be used on the "Doctor" museum. He said the Delmar Revitalization Committee is working on the "doctors" Museum and the caboose. They hope to use the museum as a meeting hall. There was a discussion on rather brick sidewalks were legal in Delmar. Now back in 1984 when First Street was paved the town made Joe Morris takeup his brick sidewalks. I think they were the last brick side walks in Delmar. I know Joe was pissed about it. So I guess things change and exceptions can be made for some people.

Walnut Street Extension - As was discussed in last month's meeting, The Maryland side of town researched the request of the owner of 700 East Walnut to see if the town would pay for paving the street. This is currently a dirt road at 7th street and Walnut (It is at the end of Walnut street). The owner is proposing to built houses on this street. The people building the houses would, of course, like for the town to bear the cost of paving the road. Tonight Mayor Niblett and Maryland Commissioner Carl Anderton said they didn't see the town paving the road as the town had too much too handle now. It would be up to the developers to pave the road.

Public Works has the new truck in service. They bought a bulk spreader for salt distribution. The new public Works Director will began work March 1st.

Planning and Zoning - The Verizon wireless company in State Line Plaza would like to put up a sign in order to attract business. Several possibilities were discussed.

The house at 201 East Jewell Street is to be demolished as it is in poor repair. The house is owned by the town.

The Delmar Elementary school is looking into the possibility of putting an antenna on the town's south Water Tower in order to provide wireless Internet service to the school. The town agreed they would not have a problem with that as long as there was an agreement that the school would do maintenance on whatever problems they may create with the antenna

Delmar Utility Meeting, February 26, 2007

The Delmar Utility Commission held their meeting on Monday, February 26, 2007.

Among the items discussed;

The Tidewater agreement - this agreement is between the Town and Tidewater Utilities to supply and operate a water and sewer plant on the east side of Rt 13. This operation will supply the new annexed developments on the east side of RT13 with water and sewer. This agreement is still being worked on.

The Pine Street Pumping station is down. The sewage is being pumped pass this station. This pump station has two pumps installed about 1994 and both have failed. There was some question as to if maintenance procedures had been followed. We agreed to buy a new pump at $21,000 and repair another pump at $13,500. The repaired pump should be arriving this Thursday and should be installed shortly after that.

Harvey Mack Business Annexation - At the corner of Foskey Lane and RT13 is the Harvey Mack Company. They have requested annexation into the town and would like to have sewer connected before the annexation process is completed. I was against this as we don't know that once they are connected they will back out of the annexation. I am also under the impression, in Maryland, you can not disconnect sewer lines once they have been hooked up, however other members of the utility commission felt that since the Maryland Town Lawyer had not mentioned this than we should be able to disconnect if they were hooked up and not annexed.

Wicomico County has an urban service agreement with the town to supply water/sewer to some county residents. They requested two more properties be added to this service in the Wood Lawn area. We decided against doing that.

The Delaware Dept of Health told us the town was not meeting Fluoride standards. This problem is also occurring in other towns so it may just be the testing procedure used by Delaware Dept of Health.

I mentioned that I had seen the water meter readers at work today and I questioned why there were two of them reading the meters. Again the Town Manager said it was for training purposes - the same answer I always receive from her when I ask this question. I have worked for two utilities, a water utility and a gas utility, in neither one did we have meter readers work in pairs. When you see the electric or gas company meter reader come by your house it is one person. Why are we wasting money having them go in pairs. It remind me of when the town collected trash and there would be 6 to 10 people on the trash truck. Now it is handled by a private company and two people are on the truck. In addition we have spent quite a bit of money on electronic meter reading wands, so meter covers would not have to removed. They were purchased so two people would not be used, but still we waste money. No doubt the reason is because the water and sewer utility is rolling in excess funds created by unreasonable rates and do not have to watch their money.

The Lone Ranger Rides Again

On Tuesdays the Delmar Bonanza Restaurant has "Kids Eat free Night". To add to this night they are having the Lone Ranger make an appearance. Now I don't know as the Lone Ranger is a popular hero with kids today, but he will be at Bonanza tomorrow night. Tonight at the Joint Council Meeting Maryland Mayor Niblett said the manager of Bonanaza had invited the Mayors and Councilpeople/Commissioners to Bonanaza after 5 PM for a free meal and a chance to meet the Lone Ranger. ( See my previous post on Elected Officials accepting "free" meals).

The New Dollar Coin

I got a few of the new dollar coins from the bank yesterday. Frankly, I am not impressed with them. They are gold colored like the previous ones but they feel lighter. The coins remind me of Mardi Gras money. Instead of being milled on the edge they have writing around the edge and the stamping of the writing doesn't look of very good quality.

With all the liberties that have been removed from us over the past 40 years I don't see why the government is having a problem with converting to a dollar coin. Just stop printing one dollar bills and everyone will have to use the coin.

Lobbyists and the Delaware State Auditor

The News Journal has been running articles on how lobbyists influence Delaware State elected officials. Click here Lobbyists Let me say that I was pleased neither Representative from the Delmar District was written up too bad. Representative Clifford Lee received about $655 in lunches etc from Lobbyists and Senator Robert Venables received nothing. The Northern Delaware elected Representatives and Senators however must stood on a street corner begging Lobbyists for a handout.

Of greater concern to myself, as a retired accountant, is the amount the Delaware state Auditor R. Thomas Wagner accepted. The News Journal says he accepted $5,340 in gifts. Those gifts were listed as:
$250 for Chamber of Commerce Dinner
$250 for NCCC of Commerce Dinner w/spouse
$416 for Motorsports
$416 for Motorsports
$208 for NASCAR
$208 for NASCAR
$456 for nascar
$150 for Chamber Annual Dinner Ticket
$1,152 for Nascar tickets
$150 for Chamber Annual Dinner Ticket
$672 for NASCAR TICKETS
$852 for Nascar Tickets
$160 for Chamber Annual Dinner
Now an auditor should be independent and I just don't see one being independent if they are accepting gifts. Which state audit will be slanted or not performed because of these gifts? He is a disgrace to the profession because he accepted these items. I have contacted his office over the years to look into some the going ons of Delmar government but his office has always refused or ignored my requests. I will probably have another request to the state audit department coming up shortly, so maybe I should include $50 cash attached to my request to see if it handled this time.

In Delmar, over the years, I have had issues with the Town's auditing firms because of shit like this. When the Town was looking for it's first computer system we contracted with the then current town audit firm to assist us in finding the correct one for the town. It turned out the audit firm, besides being paid by the town, told the computer vendors they expected a 2% fee of whatever the town purchased as a finder fee. How independent was that firm?

Just as bad is the non elected State employees accepting gifts. Click here Non Elected Gifts Among those listed were;
Superior Court Judge Calvin L. Scott Jr
Chief Justice Myron T. Steele
Justice Henry duPont Ridgely
Deputy State Treasurer Ann Visalli
Deborah J. Messina
Joy C. Bower, assistant secretary of the state Senate
Thomas M. Jarrett, state Department of Technology and Information

Lilly Rae Howard has a Birthday

Lilly Howard has a birthday today. Happy Birthday!!!

Meeting Reminder

Tonight there are three public town meetings at Town Hall. They are;
Delmar Public Works meeting 6:00 PM
Delmar Utility Commission Meeting at 6:30 PM
Delmar Joint Council Meeting at 7:00 PM

There is a non public Joint Council Budget Workshop on the 28Th at 7:00 PM. Remember to submit your thoughts on the budget to your elected officials.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Yikes! Snow!


Good day for Chinese. Stopped off by the "New Peking Cheer" restaurant for takeout. Not surprising it has the same menu as the "Taste of China" restaurant across the street. For those who may want to phone in an order the phone number is 302-846-2857.

Big Flakes came down for a couple of minutes, nothing came of it. Mixed with too much rain.