Friday, November 02, 2007

Laurel Delmar Football Game

Well the game tonight (7:30 PM) creates as much excitement in Delmar as Homecoming, maybe more. My wife and daughters, who as I have said before are the sports fans in the family, have been trying to decide for most of the week which outfit of orange clothing to wear to the game. It will not be a home game but instead held in the suburbs (Laurel) of Delmar. The traditional rivalry between Laurel and Delmar will of course end in the foregone conclusion of another Delmar win. GO WILDCATS!!

Lorelle M. Ward

The News Journal today recorded the death of Lorelle Ward. She was 84 and lived in the New Castle area. Mrs. Ward was the first woman in Delaware to enlist in the Navy WAVES in World War II. She trained in New York state and was stationed in Washington DC during the war. She will be buried at Graceland Memorial Park with full military honors.

The WAVES, or "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service" was established in 1942 and ceased to exist in 1948. Large numbers of them, including Mrs. Ward, performed traditionally female secretarial and clerical.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Code Enforcement in Delmar

Today, in the "Daily Times" is a Letter to the Editor about Delmar Code Enforcement practices. Entitled Why are only select stores targeted for violations? and written by Gary Reichrath of Mattress Express here in Delmar. Altho parts of his letter may not be entirely true, it is true that code enforcement in Delmar is selective. It is certainly one reason why some stores and housing developments can put out flags and others can't. It is the reason why the Lecates building has continue to be an eyesore in Delmar with no penalties put toward the owner.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007

Well on a relatively warm evening Halloween 2007 happened. We had 127 trick or treaters come to our house between 6 PM to 8PM. Princesses, ninjas, and that character from Scream were popular this year. This number is comparable to the number of Trick or Treaters I had in 1999 See 2006 Halloween for total trick or treaters thru the years.

Delmar Halloween in the Olden Days

As many old timers in Delmar can tell you Halloween in Delmar was a big town event for a number of years from the 1950's into the 1970's. Streets were roped off and they had prizes, free food, and free noise makers. The upcoming event; Delmar Heritage Day, will attempt to recreate this at a time other than Halloween. Lets hope they succeed. A look back at Halloween in 1950 can be glimpsed from this article in the Bi State Weekly Friday, November 3, 1950 Edition.

1500 At Railroad Ave. For Hallowe'en Party Tuesday Night

About 1500 people jammed Railroad Avenue Tuesday evening for Delmar's second big Hallowe'en celebration which was a great success due to the preparations under the direction of Harry Hudson, Jr, who was assisted by Joseph Whelton, Sr and Irvin J. Aydelotte.

For several days, pupils in the art section of the Delmar School under the direction of George Ody, had been coloring the windows of the downtown business houses and the judges awarded a prize for the best window to Mathew Aydelotte and Rollie Morris and a second prize to Sandra Kessel and Sandra Livingston.

Prizes were awarded by the judges Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Parsons, Charles Coulburn, and Miss Norma Jane Hastings, all of Salisbury as follows:

Youngest child, Craig Smith; best dressed child under 6, James Wilson; funniest under 6 Buddy White; best dressed, 6-18, Patsy Collins; funniest from 6-18, Mary McRea; best costumed twins, Charlotte and Ann Dashiell; best dressed adult, Elsie Rogers and funniest adult, Mary Quisk.

Soft drinks and cookies were served to everyone with a line forming on Grove Street and quantities of balloons were dropped from the air to the revelers. Of the more than 300 dropped, 30 contained prizes.

Joe Whelpton, Sr. acted as master of ceremonies, assisted by Robert Webster.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trick or Treaters Beware

Parents should review the sex offender registry in your area as a precaution for trick or treat night.

For Delaware List
please look and verify the address in case I made a mistake.
Those registered with a Delmar Delaware address are;
Dennis C. Baldwin, 14624 Whitville Road
Alvin R Bales, Stage Village Trailer Park
Carlos S Bryant, 3 State Street
Catherine Carey, 109 W. State St
John W. Cooper Jr, 34877 Bi State Blvd
Michael Hammond, 12162 Cardinal Road
Charles D. Harris Jr, 37972 John Way Stage Village
Michael A. Hovatter, 38076 S. Bi State Blvd
Tito L Jones, 6276 White Deer Road

For Maryland the list is at Maryland Sex Offender You should check and verify these addresses in case I made a mistake.
Those listed with a Delmar MD address are;
Maurice A. Adkins Jr, 8703 Bi-State Blvd
Christopher Allen Harpool, 26299 Norfolk Drive
John William Littleton, 600 S. Memorial Dr
Brian Keith Phipps, 309 Park Ave
James William Brink, 604 E. Elizabeth St
Joshua Mark McCready, 8966 Mar Lynn Dr
James Howard Jenkins, 29866 Connelly Mill road
Brian Robert Sullivan, 203 E. Chesnut
Martin Joseph Taylor, 5A E. Elizabeth

Delmar Joint Council Meeting October

The Delmar Delaware and Delmar Maryland Joint Council Meeting was held last night. All members except Delaware Councilman Figgs were present.

Let me say that what I write about is just my opinion on what went on at the council meeting, if you want to know what is happening at the meetings attend them, or read the on-line minutes the town post on their website in another month or so.

The first order of business was the reading of Delaware Ordinances 147, 148, 149, 150 and 151. These ordinances will annex in to Delmar Delaware about 382 acres of land east of Route 13. Mayor Outten read the Ordinances and has improved in readings and speaking since the last time he did this. Shawn Tucker, of Wolf, Block, Schorr, and Solic-Cohen - a fancy upstate law firm, mouthpiece for Jamie Rostocki (who was or is connected with the Waller Landing project See Duvafile
And who wants to put 412 housing units on 200 acres of land in this annexation spoke to council about the development. See also Waller landing Marlena Hodgins asked if the developers were required to pay an impact fee. Town Manager Sara Bynum-King said, yes, they paid a utility fee of $5,000 but were not required to pay an impact fee for schools and police, etc. Needless to say all members of the Delmar Delaware Council, with the exception of Figgs, voted for the annexation. I would feel slightly better if the Mayor and Council people would state when voting that they have no financial interest or business dealings with this annexation, but they don’t say that.

There were a large number of people in the audience tonight and they seem to have been there for the Attorney’s recommendation for the FOP petition, as they all left after it was discussed (so much for interest in the town). The Delmar Police Department has joined the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). They would like the Delmar Maryland Charter changed so bargaining will be allowed. They circulated a petition on the Maryland side of town for this charter change and submitted it to the Town. A number of on duty town police were present in the audience. I guess it was that show of blue they wanted. Hopefully someone was left on duty to look out for the town.

The Town attorney said he was asked to review and give an opinion on the charter change. It had previously been determined that the number of signers of the petition had at least the 20% or more of people qualified to vote in the municipal election. The petition as given to the council had to have the precise wording for the charter change. Robert Benson, the Maryland Town attorney, said he did not feel it was correctly worded for a charter change. Namely, it left a blank in the selection of an arbitrator. This created outrage among at least two Maryland Commissioners and a number of the audience.

Those that seem most adamant about accepting the charter change as written, regardless of what the town attorney, said were;
Maryland Commissioner Carrie Williams, whose husband is a Wicomico County Correctional Officer,
Marlena Hodgins, who husband I believe is Harry Hodgins prior Delmar police Chief and she is running for election as a Maryland Commissioner.
Commissioner Carl Anderton who has no family ties to the law enforcement community that I know of.
When they realized that the council did not seem in favor of accepting the wording as it was, they than wanted the petition wording changed, that night, so it would be accepted and put on the November 20th election. This is disturbing to me in the fact three hundred or so people signed a petition stating one thing and two elected people and a person running for elected office want to change the wording of a petition so it states something other than what the people signed. What happened to ethics on the Maryland side of town? For shame that these three people would ever suggest such a thing. It even sounds dishonest to me.

In an unusual move the town’s attorney had extra copies of the part of the town charter that pertained to the charter change and the Charter Change referendum. Below is the referendum wording and what I assume Maryland residents signed as being part of their petition. I have put in italics the questionable statement.

Charter Amendment Referendum

SUBJECT: Amendment to the CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF DELMAR WICIMICO COUNTY MARYLAND to add language to section DC7-4 authorizing employees of the Delmar Police Department to Organize and Bargain Collectively.

Section DC7-4 Merit system authorized; Right of Police Employees to Organize and Bargain Collectively.

A. The town may provide by ordinance for appointments and promotions to the administrative service on the basis of merit and fitness. To carry out this purpose, the commission may adopt such rules and regulations governing the operation of a merit system as it deems desirable or necessary. Among other things, these rules and regulations may provide for compensation plan, a probation period, appeals by employees included within the classified service from dismissal or other disciplinary action and vacation and sick leave regulations. The town may request and avail itself of the facilities of the Commissioner of State Personnel for the administration of its merit system, as provided in state law.

B. In order that employees of the Delmar Police Department may participate in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies effecting their employment, they shall have the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their choosing, subject to procedural regulations that the Commission shall provide by law. The Commission shall provide by law a labor code for employees of the Delmar Police Department which shall include the following:

(1) the manner of establishing units appropriate for Collective Bargaining
(2) The manner of designating or selecting bargaining representatives; and
(3) Definitions for remedies for unfair labor practices.

The commission is authorized to negotiate through its designated representatives with collective bargaining representatives of police employees. In the event the commission’s designated representatives and the representatives of the Police employees are unable to negotiate and agree upon a Collective Bargaining agreement by March 1 of the relevant year, the Commission and the police employees are authorized to submit to binding arbitration any disputed issues arising out of negotiation of the Collective Bargaining agreement. The disputed issues shall be submitted to (a qualified arbitrator shall be named). The decision of this mandatory arbitration shall be binding upon the Commission and the Police employees. In addition, the Commission and police employees are authorize to submit to binding arbitration any disputes arising out of the interpretation to submit to binding arbitration any disputers arising out of the interpretation of, or the application of, any collective bargaining agreement. Nothing herein shall be deemed to authorize a labor strike by any public employee.

Okay wanabe lawyers what to you think?

This is one of those things where the Delaware side of town has no say in. If Maryland changes its charter and accepts bargaining, any salary given will have to be paid also by the Delaware side of town. So a very small number of the total combined towns will decide for all of us.

Parks and Recs Report;
Commissioner Williams said there was $2,300 earned money from the concessions, there was $9,400 in a money market account and $1,200 in the checking account.

Police report
An officer is retiring on medical leave. There has been reckless driving on Pennsylvania Avenue by teenagers. The police have talked to their parents and issued 4 citations. Trick or Treat is this Wednesday between 6 PM to 8 PM for kids under the age of 12.

Delmar Revitalization Committee Report;
Chris Walter said the contractor will start on repairing the caboose this weekend and it should be ready for the Delmar Festival on November 10th. There will no rain date for this festival. There will be a car show, pumpkin rolling and high school band performance.

Public Works Report
The Part-time mechanic the town had, has left, and the town is looking for another part-time person. The town is also looking for a general laborer. The State Street Park light that is bent will be dug up to see if it can be repaired. The Harvey Mack business is ready to be hooked into the water and sewer.
Public works will be working on cleaning out leaves from the storm drains.

Planning and Zoning
See my comments in an earlier post. Lee May from McDonald Corporation was again at this meeting to give a presentation on the proposed McDonalds in Delmar.

Town Manager Report;
The meeting date for the Joint Council and Utility commission in December is changed to December 17th.
Maryland garbage would be collected on Friday November 23rd.
December 10th at 7 PM would be a special meeting to swear in newly elected council people on the Maryland side of town.
The Town manager and Diane Buckley drove out by Yorkshire estates to look at the dip in the road. It will be repaired shortly. Ms Buckley insists she drove at 45 MPH while doing this.

Mayor and Commissioners comments
Diane Buckley said November 29th at the VFW they would have the Citizen of the year (Joyce Figgs) dinner.
Mayor Niblett asked what was the next step for Diamond Dream sports center? They were sent a letter saying part of the agreement to be in town was their drive way and parking lot would be paved and so for they have not done so.

Public Comment
I asked when Jewell Street and First Street would be paved. The answer was maybe early 2008. I asked about the LeCates building (the run down building on the corner of State and Pennsylvania) again I was told it is under contract to be sold and they are taking no action to see that it is repaired or torn down. Chris Mills, who has the contract, is in arguments with other owners of down town property about what to do with the back of the building and easements. So all of Delmar continues to look at this pile of crap while they hem and haw around.

Just a general comment, most of these elected officials were not around when the town had discolored water problems. Some of them currently insist on coming to the meetings with bottled water. Usually it is Mike Houlihan and Ed Ferro. The other members, at least, tear off the label from their bottle to show they have recycled the bottle and it has Delmar town water in it. A big tip of the hat to Carl Anderton for doing this. Let’s at least show we have confidence in the town water system.

The council gave up about 10 P M, I was glad I had selected a chair with a cushion in it.

Amelia Earhart 1929 Visit

From the October 31, 1929, Thursday, Wicomico News




Early Arrival and Drizzling Rain Disappoints Many Anxious To See Her

Standing in a light drizzling rain hundreds of people greeted Miss Amelia Earhart, famous aviatrix, as she arrived in the city Wednesday afternoon to become a temporary recipient of Salisbury hospitality.

Thousands who were anxious to see the first woman flyer to cross the Atlantic were forced to remain under cover due to the inclement weather conditions.

Schools called an early halt at the day’s classes to permit more than two thousand of the city’s school children to witness the arrival of Miss Earhart. Most of them congregated at Main and Division streets and halted the procession at that point as the car bearing Miss Earhart under escort of state police and a troop of Boy Scouts came into view.

The lusty voices of hundred of children cheered time and again as Miss Earhart arose and responded with a wave of the hand. Her voice was not equal to giving a brief talk which the crowd was demanding. For some time after she had alighted and was escorted into the hotel crowds remained about the street and rushed into the hotel for a glimpse or a few words from her.

Miss Earhart left New York in her plane early Wednesday. In the Philadelphia area she ran into storms and in Chester, Pa she was transferred to a Fairchild cabin plane piloted by pilot Forrest Wenyon of Del-Mar-Va Airport. F. W. Dryden, president of the Rotary Club, which extended the invitation and Henry W. Conner, Eastern Passenger Traffic manager of Transcontinental Air Transport, Inc accompanied Miss Earhart in the plane.

Pilot Wenyon landed at the Hebron Airport at 2 o’clock and Miss Earhart was entertained at the officer’s quarters until 3 o’clock when the procession started for Salisbury, detouring near the airport for a trip through Hebron.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Delmar Utility Commission - October

The Delmar Utility Commission occurred tonight. All Members were present.

Some items discussed were;

Voting on approval of the agreement with Tidewater Environmental Services, Inc (TESI) was postponed and another workshop was scheduled.

The new person hired at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WTTP) is working out well.

The Stateline Laundromat has been sold. Bononza Restaurant is current on their water bill.

The north water tower, which was scheduled for an annual drain and inspection, has a broken valve which is preventing the complete draining of the tower so the valve will have to be replaced.

Delmar is working with Rural Water Association to complete it Wellhead Protection guidelines.

The Pine Street pumping station has a pump with a broken seal. The cost to replace it may be $3,000.

Commission member Dewald said a number of people have told her they did not receive their summer water bill but did receive a turn off notice and she would like to know what happened. Diane Buckley said it was probably the post office fault.

Delmar Public Works and Wicomico County Public Works thinks that the pool of water, that in normal weather, seem to always stand behind the Rite-Aid may be due to a broken Fire Hydrant. I asked if the town did a quarterly "water unaccounted for" calculation. This is a rough indicator for new major underground leaks in the system. You simply compare the number of gallons pumped from the wells to the number of gallons billed to customers. The difference is the "unaccounted for" water. As an example if you pump 5 million gallons and bill for 4 millions then you have 1 million gallons (20%) unaccounted for. This 1 million gallons may be caused by hydrant flushing, water tank draining, the timing of the meter reading, etc but it also indicates the amount of water lose to broken pipes. If this number increases by say 5% in one quarter it may mean a new water main break has occurred. The town does not do it.

Upcoming Meetings

October 29, Monday, 6 P.M. Delmar Public Works Meeting at Town Hall
October 29, Monday, 6:30 P. M. Delmar Utility Commission
October 29, Monday, 7:00 P.M. Delmar Joint Council Meeting

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The post Elbert did on Bonanza at That's Elbert and my post on Bonanza seem to have been picked up by another blogger called Franchise Pick.

The Liner Merida, Gold Ship

In 1910 the liner Merida while in fog and approaching Cape Charles, Virginia hit another ship, the Admiral Farragut, and the Merida sunk. The Merida had in the bullion room over $4 million in gold and jewels plus another estimated million in money and jewelry in the cabins of the passengers bound for New York. The ship had left Yucatan and had on board the widow of Mexico's former president Francisco Madero who had been executed, plus other distinguished passengers who thought it was an appropriate time to leave Mexico. All passengers were saved from the sinking ship but the ship sank with all valuables.

There have been a number of attempts to salvage the gold and jewels. In 1915 there was attempt but it was decided the ship was in too deep of water. In 1925 another attempt that was called off. In 1932 another attempt but due to fighting among the salvagers the Coast Guard had to be called in and the attempt was given up. In 1950 another attempt but the results are not known and in 1983 amateur divers tried but were driven off by the Coast Guard. Most of the attempts were called off due to the depth and the currents where it sunk.

The Merida lies in twenty-five fathoms of water east-southeast of Quinby Inlet. It is marked on US Government charts.

Excerpt from the Wicomico News Feb 18, 1932

Captain Harry L. Bowdoin is one man whose boyhood dreams of seeking lost treasure will come true. In April he and his crew of searchers will sail on the ship Salvor for a point off the Virginia Capes where $4,000,000 in gold lies in the purser's office of a liner that went down more than a score of years ago.

Since 18, Captain Bowdoin has wanted to seek treasure and for the last sixteen years he has been working on inventions which he is certain will now make the search possible along the sea deeps where disaster has claimed ships containing gold. the operations will be carried on by divers wearing a suit designed by Captain Bowdoin. The Captain makes many unusual claims as to the possibilities of success with his suit.

A diver may be lowered immediately to salvage scenes in it and be brought to the surface as quickly as lifting machinery can handle the 1,400 pound suit, he says. The suit's shoulders are equipped with powerable searchlights and the armor is flexible at necessary joints giving it the appearance and roughly, the qualities of a robot. Claws are fitted at each hand, worked from the inside and movement of the 'arms' and 'legs' of the suit are worked by small machinery.

Backers of the corporation which has been formed to salvage sunken ships maintain that this suit is the first in which work can actually be done at low depths. Tests in the suit have been made at more than 200 feet lower than ever before. One of these was a certified test at 210 feet, made off New London, Conn. Captain Bowdoin stayed down for an hour and 56 minutes, sending up stones from the bottom of the sea, in a special lifting basket.

From this depth, the diver was brought to the surface in 1 minute and 52 seconds.

An important feature of the apparatus is that it allows the diver to breathe natural air forces down thru a tube. This gives him more working time below and eliminates any physical ill effects from the operations of descent and ascent.

A four ton observation tank also will be lowered its occupants to cooperate in the work of the diver reporting by telephone to the salvage ship above and to the diver himself. The two units will coordinate in the finding and salvage of sunken objects.

The Salvor's immediate salvage object will be the steamer Merida, which went down in a dense fog off the Virginia Capes in May 1911, after the liner Admiral Farragut rammed a hole in her side. The Merida was bring back from Mexico $4,000,000 in gold and according to reports at that time, fabulous wealth in jewels, all stored in the purser's strong room.

Captain Bowdoin says he will have no trouble in finding the Merida, one phase of salvage that has baffled others treasure hunters. He will use an electric sound device which he believes will show just where the ship lies. It is the same apparatus used on many ocean liners today to show depth of water and sunken objects.

When the wreck is located Captain Bowdoin will bring his ship above it and begin operations. But his dream will not end there. If the Merida is successfully salvaged the Salvor and her treasure hunting crew will seek other gold freighted wrecks. all over the world, in water too deep for ordinary salvage, lies ships with vast wealth in gold and jewels.

Among them Captain Bowdoin mentions the liner Egypt, which lies off the coast of France in 400 feet of water and which, so far, has proved inaccessible to other salvage equipment.

Fraud in Scotland

I read an interesting article in the online version of the "Scotsman" newspaper about a finance director named Sharon Bridgewater, who stole around £2 million (a little over 4 million US dollars) from a London marketing firm. She received five years in jail for it.

Part of the money she spent directly on her boyfriend who was also put on trial. He said basically the same as other boyfriends and husbands of people who were caught stealing. He was just a "kept man", a "modern-day househusband" and never suspected there was anything amiss.

Yea right there is just 4 million dollars in extra income, maybe he thought she got a bonus.

Everett L. Young

From the Bi State Weekly November 28, 1958

Everett L. Young, already chief of police in Delmar and a deputy sheriff in Wicomico County was sworn in as constable of Sussex County in the Georgetown Court House Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Young fills the vacancy created by the death of Clarence Mathews. He was appointed by the Commissioners of the Levy Court.