Saturday, February 07, 2009

Gardening in February

This little bit of warmer weather we are having today makes me want to begin garden work. The danger you face, this time of year, is when you are shopping and see those big racks of seed packets is too buy a lot of what you will never plant. It is like being on a diet and finally giving up and going off it. You eat everything in the restaurant. Like wise with flower and vegetable seed packets. I would need two acres of land to plant the quantity of seed I have brought some years and seed packets aren't cheap anymore.

There is of course always raking leaves that are bunched on top of flower beds. I see some bulb plants are starting to pop up. Pruning grape vines and general cleanup is always there to do. Maybe clean out bird houses and upright bird baths.

Kyle Schuldt

The News Journal is reporting today another alleged theft by a cashier at a Shop Rite grocery store in the Brandywine Hundreds. Kyle L. Schuldt, 33, is accused of stealing $71,000 over a two year period. The tip off was a $1,000 withdrawal from petty cash that did not have receipts showing it's use.

The crime blog also has a writeup on him. The comments on the news journal article are interesting and as they point out for the unemployed there is a job opening at Shop Rite.

I doubt that he will get more than six month for this if he is found guilty. Had he knocked over a branch bank for $50 he would be looking at ten years but the courts rarely do anything to people who committee these type of crimes. Look at Bernard L. Madoff taking $50 Billion and I am sure nothing but a slap on the wrist will happen to him.

The Beatles Arrived in 1964

Today in 1964 the Beatles arrived in New York for their first American tour. The tour was from February 7th to February 21st. Their number one single I Want To Hold Your Hand was played like a mantra on every radio station in America. Even on Armed Forces Radio, which I was listening to at this time, played the song.

They set the musical agenda for the remainder of the decade and as they changed style we all followed them.

Among the songs they were singing on the first tour were; All My Loving, 'Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Roll Over Beethoven, From Me To You, This Boy, I Wanna Be Your Man, Please Please Me, Twist and Shout, and Long Tall Sally.

Sinclair Lewis was born today

In 1885 Sinclair Lewis was born in Minnesota. His books so impressed me that he was the first author that I actually looked for his books. Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith are my favorites as they describe characters in small towns that you can relate to your own town. He was the first author I read that would introduce a character from one novel into another novel, not as a main character again but just a passing remark in a paragraph. It was like a little secret shared among his readers that; yes you knew Babbitt, or who ever it was, that he mentioned. Historically I feel the 1920's was the peak of technology and social experiments so his book hold great interest for me in that area.

He lived and worked briefly in the Helicon Home Colony, which was an experimental community formed by the author Upton Sinclair in Englewood, New Jersey. It was established in 1906 and burnt in 1907 at which time it was disbanded. Communes exist today but in the early 1920's they seem to have more interesting ones. The ones you hear of today tend to be religious in nature. Of course there was also an upsurge of them in the 1960's and 1970's.

His book, Arrowsmith was awarded the 1926 Pulitzer Prize, but Lewis declined the award. In a letter to the committee, he wrote:

"I wish to acknowledge your choice of my novel Arrowsmith for the Pulitzer Prize. That prize I must refuse, and my refusal would be meaningless unless I explained the reasons.

All prizes, like all titles, are dangerous. The seekers for prizes tend to labor not for inherent excellence but for alien rewards; they tend to write this, or timorously to avoid writing that, in order to tickle the prejudices of a haphazard committee. And the Pulitzer Prize for Novels is peculiarly objectionable because the terms of it have been constantly and grievously misrepresented.

Those terms are that the prize shall be given "for the American novel published during the year which shall best present the wholesome atmosphere of American life, and the highest standard of American manners and manhood." This phrase, if it means anything whatsoever, would appear to mean that the appraisal of the novels shall be made not according to their actual literary merit but in obedience to whatever code of Good Form may chance to be popular at the moment."

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Fights

I think there were more people at the Civic Center tonight than the first fight they had there in October. The first bout between Shawn Porter and Cory Jones ended up with Shawn Porter winning. None of the bouts showed much in the way of a good fight.

The fight between Fernando Guerrero and Gabriel Rosado certainly show cased Guerrero. As he was in charge of the fight from the start.

Even the ring girls seemed to lack much excitement in holding the cards up.

In the 8th round Guerrero was in such command of the bout he was holding his arms outstretched from his side tauting his opponent.

Naturally he won. The civic center was in an uproar cheering.

I watched the main bout of Yusaf Mack and Chris Henry. Frankly it was boring neither put any great effort into it.

In spite of what seemed to me to be little effort put out tonight I will return to them the next time they have them.

1910? Photo of State Street Delmar Delaware

From a 1956 edition of the Bi-State Weekly
They could not determine the date of the photo but felt it was the Veasey building with the church in the background

1909 Ad - The Skating Rink - Salisbury

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Millsboro's MAPP Meeting

My wife and I went to the MAPP (Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway) meeting in Millsboro tonight. The project wants to add to the existing 138KV AC power lines that crosses Delaware by adding 2 640KV DC lines. The current line runs north of Delmar and parallel to Race Track Road on its way from Vienna to Indian River.

On Race Track Road is the Nelson Substation. There will be no change to it. The new power line will go over top of it.

Another view of The Transformer station

The power Lines north of Delmar however will go from the current 65 feet in height to about 150 feet. Supposedly they will follow the existing path. FAA regulations require warning lights on them if they go over 200 feet but if there is existing airports (Laurel) in the area the FAA may require lights at this height.

At the meeting there was free Food and Freebies - what more could a Sussex Countian want? There were about 20 or more MAPP people there to explain.

MAPP person explaining, They had six stations explaining different aspects of the project.

About 70 "public" people were there and only 30 chairs

These are the lucky 30 who got seats. They had a 30 minutes presentation and about 45 minutes of questions.

Map of Delmar area. The red line is the power line path

You should realize that this is a done deal. The meetings merely are trying to put a good spin on it. There are certainly issues about going under the Chesapeake Bay with six to nine power cables. There is certainly the question "am I my Brother's Keeper?" As for me, Hell no I am not my brother's keeper. This power line is to feed electricity to the metropolitan areas and our bill will go up 40 cents a month. These northern neighbors are the same ones with high paying jobs who treat us like servants when they come down here.

This map shows the the Brown Area where there is power shortage. You will notice Sussex County is not in it.

Some of the questions asked were interesting however since it was in Millsboro a group who wants the Indian River Power station closed took over the question period and used it as a forum for their agenda. A number of people became bored with them and left.

There will be a MAPP meeting in Delmar on Feb 10th from 6 to 8. Needless to say I have not addressed many issues here and you may want to attend the Delmar meeting for the food, freebies, and maybe inform yourself about this project.

On February 25 at 7 PM the Sierra Club will host a public forum on Coal Ash and the evil effects of it at the Sussex County Council Chambers , administration Building in Georgetown.

1962 Delmar High School Flag

From the February 1962 Bi-State Weekly

1957 Minstrel Show

From the Bi-State Weekly Friday February 1, 1957


Delmar Memorial Post No. 8276, V. F. W. has set Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, as the dates for their eighth annual minstrel show.

The black-face boys will stage their show in the auditorium of the Delmar High School.

At the present time, the cast is incomplete.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Delmar School Districts and the Office of Auditor of Accounts

While doing the previous post I noticed the Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts also did an audit back in August of 2008 on Indian River and Delmar School Districts due to a complaint that the site coordinator for Creative Mentoring billed Indian River and Delmar School Districts for the same 15-17 hours of work on eight different occasions. The auditors found the complaint was only Partially Substantiated.

Time sheets obtained from Delmar School District did not have proper authorized signatures. The Mentoring Coordinator’s daily activities were not logged; her attendance was not consistently observed; and her progress was not frequently evaluated. Her immediate supervisor had no method to determine if she was in the building, and a system to track her progress was not established.

The report is found here. There is an interesting description of the Delmar mentoring program toward the end of the report (page 6).

Misappropriations and Embezzlement

I haven't posted anything on local embezzlers in a while, frankly, the amount of money stolen by our local crooks is so small compared to the banking bailout you almost don't want to write anything about them.

Rebecca Andino, 22, of Dover pleaded guilty and was sentenced for embezzling $50,000 from the Federal Credit Union in Houston over a six month period last year. She was the Assistant Treasurer there. She received six months of work release. Again our court system supports white collar crime. Twenty two years old - awful young to ruin your name.

Marc-Antony Williams (Chef Tony) Christina School District Nutrition Supervisor at Gauger Middle School. He is a carryover from the Joseph Wise administration. In an audit was found to have misappropriated about $10,000. Interestedly the Christina School District would not say if Mr. Williams had been fired or removed from the employment of the school system. The audit (the report is here) said part of the money had been reimbursed and only $5,498.39 is outstanding. Besides Mr. Williams problems they also found, once again, the Christina School district had poor cash receipts methods and did not deposit Mr. Williams checks in a timely fashion.

Interestingly in the recommendations of the Delaware state auditor was this Recommendation;
CSD should strengthen internal controls. The following should be considered in order to strengthen controls:
• Monthly bank reconciliations should be performed outside of the Child Nutrition Office.
• Provide additional management oversight for all Child Nutrition operations.

A recommendation that can just as easily be applied to the Town of Delmar.

Some Effects of the Economy

I have been hearing on TV and in the paper that people are visiting their local library more since they find themselves unemployed and hanging around the house with time to kill. Maybe if the economy continues in a downward spiral they will become so bored that they begin to attend Council meetings. Last night at the Delmar Delaware council meeting, besides myself and Pat Hurley, there was no one present who didn't have a matter on the agenda. Actually Pat Hurley is interested in developing his land so maybe I was the only "public" there.

I also have read Delaware slot machine revenue is down due to the economy. Since I have never played the slots in Delaware and in general am against State supported gaming I can't say I am disappointed that the gaming industry is hurting in Delaware. I do occasionally buy a lottery ticket but I have not won even two dollars on the Delaware lottery in maybe two years so I have pretty much dropped that. I often think that if Delaware government could get a 50% tax put on abortions we would have abortion clinics all over Delaware. Our Senator and Representatives are whores who will encourage any kind of vice in order to maintain a large government and make sure there is no transparency of their actions.

I was riding by the unemployment office in Salisbury yesterday and I noticed at 10AM in the morning the parking lot was full.

The Death of the The Big Bopper

At about one AM today in 1959 a plane crashed in Clear Lake Iowa killing the pilot, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Jiles P. Richardson, known as The Big Bopper. You had to be a teenager in that time period to know the effect it had on kids at the time. Altho the plane crashed about 1 AM Iowa time it was not discovered until about 9:30 and the news didn't go on the radio until about 11 AM Salisbury Maryland time. Words spread around Wi High rapidly and girls broke down crying and some had to be taken to the nurses office. It was indeed a sad time.

Buddy Holly and Richie Valen had movies made about them but Richardson (the Big Bopper) as far as I know never had a movie made about him. Of the three, the Big Bopper was my favorite, afterall he was a D J and they are a higher life form. Richardson was a song writer who wrote such songs as "White Lightning" and "Running Bear" which won't mean anything to unless you are over 50. His big song that he sang was "Chantilly Lace". Life and death is strange when you are a celebrity, even if it was for a short period, his son had his dad's body exhumed last year and now is going to auction off the casket the body was in on e Bay.

A good site to look at is The Day the Music Died.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Delmar DE Council Meeting for February 2009

The Delmar Delaware Council meeting took place tonight at town hall at 7PM. All elected officials were present and it was over with about 8:10.

Among the things discussed tonight of interest to me was another annexation of a little over an acre on the east side of Rt68. The town officials are in favor of it.

The other matter of interest was Tidewater Utilities gave a brief talk updating everyone on what they were doing on the Waste Water Treatment (sewage) Plant that is too serve the East side of Delmar Delaware. Gerard L. Esposito, President of Tidewater, in summary, said due to the economic downturn it is not feasible to built a Waste Water Treatment Plant the size they originally spoke of. They are looking at phasing in the treatment plant in a couple or few years by building two 500,000 gallon a day units. At present a developer who owns land in the annexation area has found a buyer for his land but can't sell it unless he has some promise of sewage. Tidewater would like to build a sewage pumping station and put in a 4 inch force main into the town's current sewage system.

Now this drives me insane, the whole purpose of having Tidewater come in was to build a Waste Water Treatment Plant, now they are want to do what the town was trying to avoid and that is adding more users to the current treatment plant. This is all driven by a developer that thought he could make a buck by being annexed into town and now finds with the down turn economy he can't so he wants to sell the land and screw the town by dumping any shit generated into the current treatment plant. A number of the elected officials are going along with this.

Previous posts I have done of Tidewater are here here and here

In the Public comment part I mention the lack of parking downtown. Mayor Outten said letters had been sent to business owners down town concerning this matter.

They Just Hate To Give It back

Once they get it they just hate to give it back. In Hawaii there is a law that requires a refund to the taxpayers when ever there is a year ended with a surplus. Naturally the Hawaiian government is acting like they are trying to piss a squid worm over it. This year it is only a dollar per person but state law requires them to refund it. More power to the people, a dollar in their pocket is always better than a dollar in the hands of a government official.

The Slow Progress on the American Legion Addition

As you know the American Legion in Delmar, with the help of the Ford Brewington Trust, is adding an addition to the original 1930 era building. At the time of the groundbreaking the president of the Ford Brewington Trust said 1) the building would be up by mid October and 2) once construction started the exterior of the building would be done in a week. Well none of that happened. Work finally started on it just prior to Christmas and it has been slow going. As I was walking by it a couple of days ago a workman, who was visiting a workman who was working on the building, was leaving and he said as a farewell to buddy "well don't work to hard" and the workman replied by saying "Oh, no problem I don't intend too." He certainly has been true to his word. Below are some photos of the progress from before Christmas to today. I don't know the name of the company doing the work but I will let you all know when I find out.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Alabama Sheriffs Food Money

In Alabama, sheriffs are given $1.75 per day to feed inmates in their jail. Any money left over can go into the Sheriff's pocket. On the other hand if it costs more than $1.75, the extra money has to come out of the Sheriff's pocket. This has been in effect since the 1930's.

The sheriffs said they are able to feed inmates on $1.75 because they don't have to abide by the state bid law. The sheriffs can strike deals with local farmers or get surpluses from grocery stores and food processors.

Obviously it tends to make inmate meals on the light side in Alabama. Now the inmates are whining about their meals and since we live in a politically correct society U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon sent the Morgan County Sheriff, Greg Bartlett, to jail for one night until he came up with a plan to provide inmates with "nutritionally adequate" meals. Sheriff Bartlett said after that he would spend the full $1.75 on inmates. Bartlett testified in federal court that he made $212,000 over three years with surplus funds used to feed prisoners. There is also the feeling that by reducing the amount of food for inmates it forces them to buy snacks from the jail "store" increasing the profits of the jail.

I came across this article in The Arab Tribune about the matter. Arab of course is a small town next to Huntsville, Alabama. When I lived in Huntsville it was a great adventure to drive over to Arab.

The Albuquerque Cheese Sandwich Controversy

In Albuquerque, New Mexico the Public School system has gone to a policy of serving a cheese sandwich, instead of a hot meal, to all students who have a lunchroom debt. They said they had over $140,000 owed them. Since starting this policy about a month ago they have collected $40,000. A number of parents have applied for the federal lunch program who until now had not done so (why should they by just owing the school they were getting totally free lunches). A short video is here and the resident blogger "Burque Babble" has this to say (in part 2 of the post.)

The Texas Prison Riots

There is an interesting post on Alaska Pride Blog about the prison riots in the Reeves County Detention Center in Pecos, Texas. As pointed out by the writer of the blog, Alaska does not have Private Run Prisons, however our other western states have quite a few of them. Many states such as Alaska and Hawaii send their prisoners to theses private run prisons. Prisons are a growth industry.

The Eddie Adams Vietnam Photo

Today in 1968 Saigon police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to head producing one of the more famous photos of Vietnam. This photo won a 1969 Pulitzer prize for its photographer Eddie Adams.

1958 DHS Varsity Basketball Squad

Click to enlarge

A & M Auto Salvage - 1958