Saturday, February 02, 2008
Doctor Long Update
Happy Birthday Brenda
J. Fred Muggs
Today in 1953 J. Fred Muggs, one of the most celebrated of all TV chimps, started work on the NBC Today Show. He co-hosted the show with Dave Garroway. He made the show and increased the ratings to make the morning show a success. J. Fred Muggs and his live in girl friend, Phoebe B. Beebe, are still alive and living in the Tampa Florida area. His trainer Carmine Minnelli died in 2002.
J Fred Muggs created a minor incident with Great Britain due to his antics during the showing of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. He was refused entry, while on tour, to England due to this.
Like many co hosts Dave Garroway and J Fred Muggs did not get along. Dave Garroway accused the chimp of biting him. Mugg’s trainer accused Garroway of spiking Mugg’s orange juice with drugs to make him look bad. J Fred Muggs as he got older got meaner and in 1957 was dropped from the show.
Friday, February 01, 2008
When the fools turns on the shower, the water is very cold. So, he turns on the hot water. Only the hot water doesn't come on right away so he turns it on full blast.
Before long, the water gets very hot, very fast and scalds him. Reflexively, he dials back the heat only to find that he's too cold again.
Well, that seems to be what is going on at the the Federal Reserve. When the Federal Reserve changes the interest rate the economy doesn't change right away - well yes it does - if you save money you start looking for places to put it other than banks - maybe buy that ounce of gold and put it in that mayonnaise jar buried in the back yard. If you borrow money however it takes a little longer for the change to take effect. In Bernanke October 2003 speech, he suggested that an easy monetary policy not only raises stock prices but also lowers risk premiums. Lower risk premiums cause consumers to trim their precautionary savings. This reduction in turn leads to more spending by households. The effect of more spending in turn on economic activity gets amplified through the Keynesian multiplier. Again everything is based on consuming - not saving. In a normal world the money borrowed would come from individual savings accounts loaned out by the bank, today, the government just prints more money.
One of the federal reserve key interest rate - the Federal Fund rate, the interest that banks charge each other, decreased this week from 3.5% to 3%. In addition to cutting the funds rate, the Fed said it was reducing its discount rate, the interest it charges to make direct loans to banks, by a a 50-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 3-1/2 percent.
Voting for the monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Frederic S. Mishkin; Sandra Pianalto; Charles I. Plosser; Gary H. Stern; and Kevin M. Warsh. Voting against was Richard W. Fisher, who preferred no change in the target for the federal funds rate at this meeting. In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 50-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 3-1/2 percent. In taking this action, the Board approved the requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and San Francisco.
Boring isn't it. It does however effects all of us. I think the interest rate given by banks on Certificate of Deposits do not even come up to the inflation rate now, so my $1,000 CD will be worth less in buying power (as I can see in the price of heating oil) in six months than what it can buy today.
The Auction of the Virgina C
The winning bid was from Smith Brothers, Inc. Smith Brothers is a 90 year old Maryland company based in Galesville south of Annapolis that lease barges, tugboats and builts tugboats and barges. They are looking at converting it into a barge or selling it to a foreign country that may use a 3 car ferry. It has been towed out of Woodland and is now in their shipyard.
My previous post about the Virginia C is here.
A description of the Virginia C is given as;
This vessel was built in 1961 and has been kept in operating condition ever since by the Delaware Department of Transportation. In August of 2007 it passed the annual USCG inspection. It is an all steel hull cable driven vessel. It is guided across the Nanticoke River by a cable stretched from shore to shore. It is 64'9" long, with two ramps of 10'6" each for an overall length of 85'9", 17'0" wide, 3'8" deep and has a maximum draft of 2'5". Its current capacity is 3 cars or pickup trucks or 1 large truck. The vessel is propelled by a single diesel Detroit 471 engine with driving propellers at each end. The engine is located above deck with a clutch at each end.Gross tonage is 35 GRT, Net Tonnage is 28 NRT. Deldot continualy performs preventative maintenance on a strict schedule. It is strongly recommended that prespective buyers visit the site to view the vessel.
To look at the auction photo it looks like the Virginia C is pulled up on land but it is floating at it wharf in Woodland.
1952 Ad - Jimmie & Marie's
Sheree Stephens Charged with Theft
The Year Without A Senior Class
Now the above is based on what I read in some of the Bi State Weekly newspapers in 1949. I called the Wicomico County Board of Education and asked if this was true of all schools in Wicomico County, seems to me like it would be. I got the usual Board of Ed response of "we will get back to you." I am still waiting. Assuming a great deal, I guess you could project this out and say there was no graduating high school class in the state of Maryland in 1949, but I don't really know that.
I also have been told that Delaware High School graduates with only eleven years of schooling compared to the Maryland twelve years of schooling had difficulty finding jobs in Maryland because they were not viewed as having a High School education.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
P & Z Meeting January
Bill Mervine of Prestige Homes came to discuss the lot he purchased on Bynum Lane and the house he hopes to build on it and to request a favorable recommendation to the Board of Adjustments for a variance. There was much discussion about setbacks etc. The problem with the lot is it's small size and the fact most of the homes built on Bynum Lane tend to be out of variance. As William Boyan pointed out, it is an established neighborhood and the potential house fits the character of the neighborhood. Mr. Mervine said when he purchased the lot there was nothing said nor was there anything in writing that it was un buildable lot. The Commission decided to table any decision and research if the lot was sold as unbuildable lot.
Doug Marshall came to ask if the two lots owned by Irene Smith were recognized lots as he wanted to represent Irene Smith and auction the lots off. The Commission said the lots were plotted lots however if someone wanted to build they would have to meet the current zoning regulations or ask for a varaiance.
Carl Anderton and Michael Houlihan grapples with another problem.
Doug Warner, design person for Whitetail Run, came in to present preliminary plans. Mr. Houlihan explained that until the Tidewater Water agreement was signed nothing could be approved. Whitetail Run is on the Delaware side of town, off stage raod. It will have 340 units on 68.5 acres. 38% or 26 acres will be open space in the development. It will be made up of "Twin Homes" (a fancy name for duplex), quad homes, and seven units buildings. It will be a combination of rent and rent-to-own homes. Currently all will have a garage. The usual discussion of parking, street width and recreation areas followed. Doug Warner said he thought a basket ball court and possible tennis court was feastible. Carl Anderton mentioned that it would be nice if they donated an amount toward a regional recreation area on the Delaware side of town. Doug Warner didn't disagreed. The end result was; they will come back on Feb 21st to the next P & Z meeting and present the changes and then appear before the February Joint Council meeting to present their concept of Whitetail Run.
At the end of the meeting Carl Anderton presented James Henderson with the box of P & Z material Stan Benson had left for him.
The Happy "New Guy" with his stuff.
So what is up with Memories? Has it gone Mexican? I noticed a sign out front of the place that it may be called it "La Cabana".
Meat Enhanced with Solution
Planning and Zoning Meeting Tonight
Delmar Railroad Band
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Delmar Memorial Bricks
"The Lion" 2003
2003 "The Lion," a 563-foot empty tanker, temporarily lost power in the C & D Canal. Disaster was averted when the captain anchored the eastbound ship, thus avoiding a collision with the Reedy Point Bridge at Delaware City.
House For Sale
One of many houses for sale in Delmar. This one is in the 800 block of State Street. It is near the Delaware school. They are asking $184,900. Built in 1905 it has 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath, 1 half bath, a garage, the MLS number is 555141. The link to the MLS listing is here
The Real Estate Company for the property is above.
Grocery Stores In Delmar
The traditional Mom and Pop stores from the 1940’s and 1950’s were usually within walking distant in the neighborhood, usually one every 4 or 5 blocks. They were frequently located in an old two story house with the bottom floor being the store and the top being living space for their family. The owners of the stores were proud of their store and gave the store their name such as; Jack’s, Caldwells, Hines, Wootten, Whayland, R. W. Adkins, etc. Some were associated with grocery buying associations (IGA). They were independent and civic minded. They were gathering places where the regulars would stop in and buy a soda, chat, and catch up on the news. In hind sight they had a somewhat rustic favor as they were not as brightly lit as today’s stores, usually they had a wooden plank floor or it was covered in a worn linoleum. Some were air conditioned, most were not. They usually offered credit, as back in those days, the wife was given a limit amount of money but she had charge accounts in all the places she did business; gas station, laundry, hardware store, grocery store, and dress shops. On payday the husband would go around and pay the charge accounts. Sometime the customer would serve themselves but more frequently you would give the clerk, who usually wore a large white apron, a list of what you wanted and he would run around and fill the order. Sometimes the housewife would just telephone in the order. The groceries were usually put in a cardboard box and he would list each item on an order tablet and tear off the carbon copy of the slip from the pad so you would know how much you owed. Credit was the downfall of a number of these store. Women were usually helped to the car with the groceries or since they all offered free delivery a kid on a grocery bike (had those big baskets and sometime a store sign on it) would deliver it later.
The store itself usually had meat case with a hamburger grinder, meat slicer and one of those large meat scales that would show you the weight of your food. They usually offered a good selection of cold cuts and meats. They had bins of in season produce and Irish (white) potatoes. Besides the shelves of can goods and the bread shelf they had penny candy jars, and open boxes of cookies. Cleanliness was assumed in those days as the clerk would pick up the candy or cookies in his bare hands and put them in a paper bag. You also didn’t look too closely at the fly strips hanging from the ceiling.
The one thing for me that does stand out is those old soft drink ice chest coolers. They had refrigerated water or a slurry of ice and water in them and a Nehi ginger ale from one of them was always near freezing.
The stores were an asset to the local farmers as the store would buy local produce, eggs, etc from them, usually in exchange for store products or actual cash.
The family that ran the store usually had for supper what didn’t sell or was approaching it’s pre-spoil stage.
One disadvange of the large chain stores replacing mom and pop stores beside the decreased advertising business for newspapers, was decreased donations for church, civic and school groups. Before a band booster club could get $50 from 6 or 7 Mom and Pop Grocery Stores, now they get one donation of a hundred dollars from either Food Lion or Walmart.
We tend to give these Mom and Pop stores memories and specific visions and notions of an idealized life. There is a reason why they aren’t in existence in their 1940 or 1950 form today, in spite of what your memory says they had a limited selection of products, high prices, miserable hours, frequently closing by 5 or 6 PM, Altho most were honest businessmen other store owners would not hesitate to cheat you, they were gossip centers, and very prejudice in regards to social standing and treatment.
Years ago when I thought this might be an interesting business to be in I looked at buying a small country store and found if you worked 14 hours a day, 7 days a week you could cleared about $9,000 a year - not enough for the effort required from someone as lazy as me.
Mom and Pop grocery stores still are in existent in Delmar, they are usually in the form of a convenience store and they are usually run by an Indian, Asian or Hispanic person. Immigrants seem to be more entrepreneurial than us local natives, they don’t seem to mind taking a chance on a shoestring budget.
Some Grocery stores that have been in Delmar (most of the ads are from the 1950 to 1962 period);
Jacks Market,Jack and Ruth Dashper moved here with son Jackie about 1945 or 1946 and took over the market at 301 Pine street.
This is 301 Pine Street today. The building has been home to a couple of groceries. I think J. R. Hines and son had a grocery here before it became Jack's market.They lived at 411 Pine street. In 1951 he moved to the Wilmington area and took a job with DuPont and in 1958 transferred to Western Tennessee with them He died about 1974 and his wife died about 2007.
Jack and Herb Dashper at 411 Pine street.
Mills Store was on the. corner of Elizabeth Street and Second street(208 E. Elizabeth). It was operated by Gene Mills in the 1920 and 1930’s and 1940’s.
Sturgis Store was down on Elizabeth Street near Bi-State blvd and was owned by Tom Sturgis.
W. W. Whayland’s store see post I did back in November on Whayland’s store.
Caldwells Market was out by the VFW. I think Thorp caldwell ran it.
Brittingham and Culver (B & C)Started by C. Edward Culver and John R. Hines in the building occupied by E. H. Brittingham on the corner of Pine Street and Rt13 in 1944.
Eppie Culver, son of Edward Culver, worked there and later attended the University of Maryland. He was known for his baseball skills.
Wootten’s Market; Herman Wootten ran the store on the corner of Pennsylvania Ave and Grove St. Herman Wootten was active in the community. It was in the boarded up corner of the buildings downtown.
Clover Farm Store; Started by Lester Smith and transferred to his son Jimmy Smith. It was located in the LeCates Building at the corner of State Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. I think Clover Farm was a grocery store buying association like the IGA.
R. W. Adkins; Riley Adkins ran a successful store for a long period of time. Even after his death in 1944 the store continued to operate under his name. It was at State Street, past the 13a stop light.
Highway Market at the corner of BiState and Delaware, later became Midget Market
Jimmy Jones Grocery store located where the Foodrite building is.
Benny Wootten ran a grocery store at the corner of State and Maryland Ave.
American Store; Altho not an independent Mom and Pop operation I will mention it since I think it was the grocery in town that was connected to a large grocery chain. It was located where Linda’s railroad Café is now. Acme merged their store with four Philadelphia grocers in 1917 to become the American Stores Company. In the 1930s, most of the grocer's storefronts became Acme Markets, the one in Delmar stayed an American store.
Other stores I have no information on except they sold groceries in the 1920 era; Wainwright’s, Parker’s, Melson’s, Hearn’s, and Gordy’s.
Delmar MD Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
1962 Ad - C E Bennett
Wicomico County Neighborhood Congress Meeting
The Poor House
This Day in Delaware History:
1791 The General Assembly gave Delaware counties the authority to set up almshouses (poor houses). It decreed that "patients" would wear a red cloth on the left arm denoting the county: "PN", "PK", or "PS."
Interesting, can you imagine the outcry today if Welfare recipients had to wear an arm band to show they were on welfare?
Monday, January 28, 2008
Delmar Joint Council Meeting January
James Henderson, from Wood Creek, was sworn in as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He replaces Stan Benson. Of note, the January Planning and Zoning meeting has been rescheduled to January 31st.
The first reading for the purchase of land on Foskey Land for "public use", mainly a new police station, was read. The land is to be purchased for $399,000. Tell me the town doesn't have money.
Gerard Esposito, president of Tidewater Water Utilities with a backup crew of about eight other people spoke about the agreement between Tidewater and the Town to build and operate a Waste Water Treatment Plant. He highlighted some of the items of the agreement;
It is for the growth and expansion areas as indicated on the map in the agreement.
It will allow the town to purchase bulk treatment processing should the town want to purchase it.
Tidewater will contract with Developers to supply sewage treatment to them and require them to be annexed into town.
All rates of Tidewater are required to be approved by the PSC in Delaware.
There is no direct cost to the town.
Tidewater will be responsible for the area indicated on the map with the agreement.
There is a buyback provision for the town to buy the Waste water treatment plant from Tidewater if they so desire.
They will be using spray irrigation with a storage lagoon.
Diane Buckley asked about Tidewater setting up a trust fund of $150,000 for donations to non profit organizations. Mr. Esposito said he doesn't remember any discussion of this item but Tidewater has always donated to scholarships, civic events and organizations
Carl Anderton said he would like a workshop with Tidewater and the Maryland side of town to discuss the amount of water being pulled from the aquifer of any future wells Tidewater may drill. He says it effects the water supply of Maryland.
The Delmar Delaware lawyer said any acceptance of the agreement would hinge on the acceptance of a Water Plant agreement with Tidewater.
Both sides of Town accepted the agreement with some modifications.
From overwhelming happiness at the agreement finally being accepted Tidewater gave the Council members free Tidewater bottled water and a basket of cookies.
There was public hearing of the gateway annexation on the Maryland side of Town. Carl Anderton still has problems with the width of Stage Road.
Approval of the Source Water Protection Ordinance was postponed because the Maryland side felt they needed one also and the lawyer for the Delaware side of town, said Sussex County and other towns had different versions of this, so rather than accept the DNREC version of it, perhaps we should wait and see what comes of the other versions.
Parks and Rec said they had not had a meeting in January but did have one planned in Febraury. It was announced that Carrie Williams our Parks and Rec representative from Maryland has been nominated to the Wicomico County Parks and rec's.
The Police Chief report was discussed. Carrie Williams said she had received about 30 emails concerning my post on the Police Commission in which I said I felt it was unethically for her to be on it. She explained her husband was not connected to the FOP nor has she spoke to anyone from the FOP. My thoughts have not changed on the matter. I asked the two mayors if they were satisfied with her and they said they were.
Code Enforcement; Debora Huddleston, who handles these matters, has quit and taken a job on the western shore. Mayor Outten was concerned over a rental property that has trash in their yard.
James Rostocki, of Chesapeake Bay Reserve, gave a presentation similar to the one he gave at the Planning and Zoning meeting last month. Chesapeake Bay Reserve development will have 478 homes on 206 acres of land. 37% or 75 acres will be open space. There will be mini parks in the development for the residents. In addition he is volunteering a Parks and Rec fee to be given to the town each time a permit is issued to his development. This money will go into a general fund to build a larger regional recreation area in Delmar, Delaware. I will say for a developer Jamie Rostocki has done his homework. He has been to almost all the meetings of the Joint Council, Planning and Zoning and The Utility Commission for well over a year now. He knew what questions the council and Planning and Zoning would ask and has addressed those concerns into his development. I have not seen any other developer put out the effort he has put out.
Other comments; The Little League will have their parade on April 19th.
The Delmar Revitalization Committee will have Heritage day on Sept 27 with a rain date of Oct 4th.
The Delmar Revitalization Committee asked that a new Delaware representative from the council be appointed, as Lonnie Figgs has not shown up at the meetings.
Another discussion of the Motel cleanliness and people living there took place.
The food supplied by Jimmys Grill for the Town employee Christmas party was not satisfactory.
Cars parking on Pennsylvania Avenue in the compact car area are not compact and they want the sign enforced as it is creating a traffic hazard.
The new Police cars are in and Carl Anderton thinks they look sharp.
Public Comments; It was pointed out Yorkshire Estates put gas lines and cutoff valves in the easement of the tax ditch by them. When equipment is sent in to clean the ditch it is going to break the valves off.
I asked about street paving on Jewell Street. The town manager said the job should be advertised this week.
I brought to their attention that they talk about rental property having trash and the Motel trash conditions yet they never mention the crumbled building on State and Pennsylvania, that I refer to as the LeCate Building. Are they blind to it or just don't think it is problem?
I also mentioned their website should be updated with current minutes and agendas.
Delmar Water Commission
There was a brief discussion about the trick Heron Pond wants to pull on the buyers of it's lots in the Heron Pond Development. They want to charge the residents of Heron Pond a amount for the water and sewer utilities they put in at Heron Pond. They increased the selling price of a lot because it has water and sewer and turn around and charge the buyer and owner of the lot a fee over the next 30 years to recover the cost of them putting the water and sewer lines in. A double charge. Years ago when I worked at Maryland Marine Utilities in Ocean Pines we tried to do a similar thing but using a slightly different approach. The Maryland PSC were all over our ass about it and eventually we were force to remove that metod of collecting additional money.
Vernon Esham, a Developer of Amber Ridge II, off stage road, wants the Town to allow him to be reimbursed for the pumping station he installed at his expense to service Amber Ridge II. The pumping station had certain design features changed to allow addition, non Amber Ridge II residents, to use it. He wants the full cost of the entire pumping station, if he receives anything it will only be for the increased costs incurred for deepen wet well and increased force main. He did not appear before the commission tonight so there was no discussion with him.
The Council and Utility commissions will start work on the budget for next year in a few days. If residents or users have an issued with rates or service they need to contact their councilperson and let them know their concerns. A list of Councilpeople is at the Town of Delmar Website.
Town Meetings Tonight
The town of Delmar will install an electric light and water plant. Representative Ellis has given notice of an act granting the town commissioners authority to bond the town for this purpose.