Saturday, August 01, 2009

Oiling The Streets Of Salisbury - 1913

From the Wicomico News July 13, 1913


Council Will Try Oil to Keep Down The Dust

Committee Visits Crisfield To Inspect streets

Will Prove Great Relief To Those Residing On Shell streets – Cost Is about $350.00 Per Mile Complete – Oil Will Preserve Streets

A committee of city officials Mayor Kennerly, Councilman Parsons, and Parker, and Messgr Wm. J. Downing and Frank Hynson, went to Crisfield last Friday to make an examination of the oil streets in that town. For the past four years Crisfield has been using oil on the shell streets of the city and have found it satisfactory. The first year there was slight complaint from the householders that the oiled dust was more uncomfortable than the shell dust, but after the city authorities had more experience in putting the oil on this complaint was met and the citizens are now so well pleased with the results that the oil for the streets of Crisfield is purchased by voluntary subscription.

The oil used in Crisfield is known as road oil No. 4, sold by the Standard Oil Company. It is light oil with no tar and when put on a street which has been properly prepared is said to last for a year and to not only lay the dust, but also helps preserve the shells by making the street waterproof. The cost of the oil is about $300.00 per mile and it costs about $50.00 per mile to properly prepare the street and put the oil on. The Standard Oil Company furnishes wagons or sprinkling carts for placing the oil on the streets. Before the oil is put on the streets must be swept clean of dust and refuse and should be rolled in after being placed on the surface. When applied in this manner the oil lasts very much longer and saves the shells from wear and from being powdered up by the automobiles. ..

It is the intention to take the matter up at once with a view of getting at least two miles of streets oiled this summer and if the experiment is a success the city authorities will take it up early next year and oil all the main thoroughfares of the city where the traffic is heaviest. Of course the bitulithic and brick streets will not be oiled. They will have to be sprinkled as usual, as the oil would make them too slippery for traffic.

We certainly hope the Mayor and Council will get to this work as speedily as possible and oil the cross streets of the city at once. The dust on some of them is almost unbearable. East Church street, beyond the depot, is badly in need of being looked after in this manner. Isabella, Williams and Newton Sts as well as South and North Division Sts. are also suffering most because of the traffic. Main street Extended is another street which needs oiling.

Dollar Watermelons

About two miles north of Delmar, on Old 13, they have a stack of watermelons they are selling for a dollar each. Straight out of the field, via the watermelon bus, so you know they are fresh.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Venables and his Relatives

I have been catching up on some newspapers and I see where the husband of a niece of Delaware State Senator Robert Venables (my district) received a $50,000 bond bill grant for a french fry machine he is trying to develop. Okay I think Venables is a nice guy but he has been in office too long (1988) - the same for Biff Lee. In Venables defense, living in western Sussex county where every other person you meet is at least a 32nd cousin once removed, it is difficult to deal with anyone that isn't in some way related to someone you know or are related to. On the other hand given the fact the niece lived next door to him he could have mentioned it as a matter of disclosure. Certainly any native Sussex county person elected to office will have the same problem. I have noticed people running for office in Sussex County will usually mention they are related to some previously elected person in order to ride on that tie in - Polly Adams Mervine is a good example of that. It is like they don't have the ability to hold office themselves so they try to bring in their relatives for support. As I recall Venables has had problems along this line before when his construction company went bankrupt and they disclosed how many state contracts he had and I think at least one of his sons work for DNREC. Like I said he has been in office too long, but in Delaware once elected you have a lifetime job - look at the late state Sen. Thurman Adams. Plus it doesn't matter how bad you screw up you still get re-elected - look at John Atkins.

The Town of Delmar and the Delmar Council, to my knowledge, does not have an ethics committee or any form of disclosure requirements other than the personal integrity each member has. So they can vote on any item that they feel fit to vote on.

DNREC Press Release

Volunteers Sought for Fall Storm Drain Marking Project Planned in Seaford

DNREC’s Sediment and Stormwater Program and Watershed Assessment Section is currently seeking volunteers to mark storm drains in the town of Seaford with medallions bearing the reminder, “No Dumping - Drains to Waterway.” Seaford storm drains will be marked on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009.

“Storm drains are marked to remind community residents and businesses not to dump anything down the storm drains, including oil, trash, paint or other pollutants,” said Environmental Scientist Jennifer Volk of the Watershed Assessment Section. “We are eager to work with the towns and volunteers to implement a practice that will reduce stormwater pollution that would otherwise drain into the Chesapeake Bay.”

Other towns that have been marked in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed include Greenwood, Bridgeville, and Laurel. Greenwood was marked on Friday, May 15 by the Peach Blossom 4-H Club led by Elaine Webb. Bridgeville’s marking was done on Tuesday, June 2 by the Woodbridge High School Key Club, led by Kelli Duncan. The Laurel event was held Saturday, June 13 with volunteers from the Delaware Surfrider Foundation, the Nanticoke Creekwatchers, and representatives from the town and George, Miles, and Buher, Inc.

DNREC’s storm drain marking initiative was first spearheaded in 2007 in Lewes, where nearly 500 storm drains were marked by more than 65 volunteers. Other communities that have implemented this program since then include Milton, Georgetown, and Wilmington’s Southbridge community.

Funding for the projects in Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay communities has been provided in full by the Chesapeake Bay Implementation grant. Past projects have also been funded in full by grants.

“This is a great program that gets communities involved and provides a positive and lasting reminder about protecting our vital watersheds,” said project coordinator Beth Krumrine of the DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Program. “We would like to continue to work with other communities in the future if the funding is available,” she added.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Seaford marking event on Sept. 19, please contact Jennifer Volk at 302-739-9939 or

DNREC Press Release

DNREC Boosts Mosquito Control Efforts with Cross-Training

DOVER – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara announced today he has initiated cross training and other measures within the Division of Fish and Wildlife to help the Division’s Mosquito Control Section respond to an abnormally large recent outbreak of woodland-pool and other freshwater mosquitoes during a time when recent retirements and transfers have left the section downsized with several vacancies.

Recent heavy rains during the past two months triggered the large outbreak of mosquitoes which in turn led to more than 2500 complaints from the public seeking mosquito relief and control services from early May through early July. Historically, the annual average total statewide for all five months from May to September is about 2100 complaints.

To bolster the Mosquito Control Section staff, one division employee will be transferred to the section while other non-Mosquito Control staff will be cross-trained to enable them to operate (when requested) in relief mode truck-mounted sprayers (“foggers”) for adult mosquito control.

“These personnel moves will enable Mosquito Control to continue to deliver their frontline services important for the public’s comfort and well-being and for protecting public health from mosquito-borne diseases,” said O’Mara. “During times of decreasing resources for operating state government, this is an example of how we’ll try to maximize efficiencies across agency lines while continuing to deliver core public services.”

According to Division Director Patrick Emory, the “foggers” must be operated by qualified staff to achieve both the desired control results and avoid any unintended collateral impacts.

“The additional staff and cross training will help to address times of high mosquito outbreaks that require the section’s frequent ‘fog runs’ in cities, towns, suburbs, subdivisions or other populated areas, along with treating more rural sites,” said Emory. “Fog runs” typically begin in the evening around dusk and often last until midnight or later, or sometimes in the early morning from just before dawn up until about an hour after sunrise.

The Obama Beer Party

So an old white guy, an old black guy, a middle age white guy and a middle age mulatto sits down in the garden to toss back a couple cool ones. Now I have to ask why the host would have an outside get together as we know Washington DC is like a Sauna in July. It must have been just a cozy photo-op. I won't comment on the disagreement between Harvard's Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley as your viewpoint (like the OJ Simpson Trials) would be based on rather you were black or white and I certainly won't ask if they were drinking Colt 45. I will say I think the President should have never commented on this issue to begin with.

I do like to mention race related items in my blog as it makes the politically correct white people that read this blog cringe, particularly those north of the canal. It makes them think all their beliefs as to what Western Sussex County people are like is true.

One of the items the Delmar 150 year festival is having is a brother of the beard event. If you don't grow a beard you will go to jail. Now interestingly those few photos I have seen of old-old-Delmar rarely show anyone with a beard. Being a Railroad Town there may have been a ruling against railroad employees having a beard, but they had this event at the hundred year festival so they are going to have again. Now my Great-Great-Grandfather, who lived outside the town of Delmar, had a beard. He grew his beard during the Civil War period and oral family history says it was because Lincoln had freed the slaves and my Great-Great-Grandfather said he wasn't going to shave again until they were made slaves again. Of Course he was buried with a beard, but I have to ask how prevalence this reason for sporting a beard in Western Sussex County was? Could there have been a secret organizion in which beards were a sign that you belonged to it, the same as a masonic ring means you are a mason? We certainly know Delaware was a slave owning state - didn't Joe Biden say that? We also know that in spite of Lincoln freeing the slaves during the civil war, Delaware did not back the Federal law up with a Delaware law freeing the slaves until the 1890's. So when you see people in Delmar with their beards, in a couple of months, you can wonder what is the real reason they grew them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pony Penning 2009

Our neighbors and us have been going camping together for a few years. This year we had adjacent campsites at Maddox Campgrounds. They left for the campgrounds on Sunday and Tuesday morning when we were getting ready to go they called us and told us too bring their sump pump down for them, not a good sign.

When we entered our tent site we found kids wading and splashing on it. Should have just turned around and came back home, but we had all ready paid for this site a month ago and Maddox doesn't give refunds, only rain checks, so we decided to stay. After a few hours the sump pump had cleared the water but the soil stayed damp the entire time we were there.

Water standing around the tents

This was our first stay at Maddox Campgrounds. Depending on who you listen to Chincoteague received between 5 to 12 inches of rain between Sunday and Monday. My neighbors, who came down two days before us, said their tents had 3 inches of water in them and they were floating on their air mattresses the night the main amount of rain came down. Under those conditions we did not see a good side of Maddox campgrounds. Once the sun came out the Mosquitoes came out, big time. Even with the town spraying and us buying foggers (the campstore must have made a fortune off selling them) it still didn't keep them down with all that water standing.

At pony penning you always have groups of Amish that come down to camp. Like myself they are early risers (or maybe they just want to avoid prying eyes) so at 5 AM the bath house usually have Amish and me using it. Usually in a campgrounds everyone drags themselves over to the bath house in the morning wearing the bare minimum. The Amish arrive in their standard uniform, give you an evil look and disappear behind the curtain into a shower stall, to reappear later in their standard uniform.

We like to have dinner at Don's Seafood restaurant at least once when we are there for Pony Penning. The quality of the seafood was excellent but except for the fried oyster and crabcakes the preparation and seasoning was lacking this year.

Let me say Chincoteague at Pony Penning time is not a good time to SEE Chincoteague. Every place is just overwhelmed with visitors and some businesses can handle it and some can't. Needless to say traffic was a bitch on the island. Lots of rude people from New Jersey and Pennsylvania

The crowd, smaller than last year. I think many people left Chincoteague because of the rain on Sunday and Monday. Out in the marsh we were not bother by mosquitoes.

Ponies entering the water for a little over four minute swim

Ponies resting up from the swim

Hiking back to our car thru the marsh

Ponies on parade heading for the carnival grounds.

Saltwater Cowboys

The beach at Assateague Islandwas packed but at least, with the ocean breeze, there was not any mosquitoes.

We had hoped between the town spraying and the water going down the mosquitoes would be reduced but no luck. By Thursday afternoon we had had it with the mosquitoes and gave up in disgust and came back home.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Delmar Joint Council Meeting July 2009

The July Delmar Delaware and Delmar Maryland Joint Council meeting was held tonight. All council members were present. My usual disclaimer is; I am not part of the council and what I write is my personal views, not the minutes, of the meetings. It is also just the parts I want to comment on or write about. If you want to know the real story go to the meeting.

Jill Braungart of Woodcreek came before the council to request the town install speed bumps in Woodcreek. She said there is only one main road in Woodcreek and that road carrys the traffic of 300 to 400 residents and delivery men daily. Since there are no sidewalks in Woodcreeks the residents and pets have to walk in the road. It is creating a hazard given how fast people drive thru Woodcreek. She gave the Mayor three estimates to install two speed bumps.

The resolution to amend the prior resolution authorizing of the issuance of a $1,293,250 bond for the waste water treatment plant. The bond was approved in 2001 and work did not start on the project until this year. The start date and maturity date of the bond was changed reflecting this.

Ordinance 701 to purchase the Old Bank of Delmarva Building, land, and generator was advanced. The purchase price is to be $375,000. The building, land, and generator is to be purchased by the Town of Delmar Maryland. The purchase date is to be September 10th.

The Delmar Revitalization committee said they painted the watchman shack and put out flowers down town. They are looking at putting benches out. Chris Walters complained about building owners not getting building permits to work on their building. He said the old restaurant was gutted and they put paper on the windows so no one know. Apartments are being built over top a couple of stores with no permit. Where is Gaylon?

The town manager said the State of Delaware had not approved street aid and as such the Delaware side of town is looking at a $43,000 revenue decrease. The budget is being reviewed to find areas to cut.

Jamie Rostocki came to inquiring about adding a special gaming district to the Highway Commercial Zoning. The Mayor said there was nothing to prevent him from doing it without a change as the Zoning does not specifically prevent it. He said his lawyer felt the language should be in the zoning allowing gaming. He has 131 acres across from the racetrack he wants to put a casino on. He went into the pros of having casino, the jobs it would create, the economic base it would give Delmar. He would like to have a series of public hearing to address the public concerns. With the exception of Mr. Houlihan the rest of the council seem to be in favor of it. Mr Payne said he felt Las Vegas was a family oriented town and hoped Mr. Rostocki would aim his arguments for a casino in a family manner.

At the public Comment section I spoke against having a casino in Delmar.

The meeting was over with before 9 PM.

Delmar Utility Commission - July 2009

The Delmar Utility Commission had their monthly meeting tonight. All members were present. Among the items discussed were;

There is a disagreement on payment between the Town and the contractor who broke the sewer line up town during the streetscape project. The town is out money for repairing the sewer line. The contractor says his plans showed the sewer line should have been at ten feet but was struck at six feet.

The Delaware Council is to consider tonight amending the General Obligation Bond for the Waste Water Treatment Facilities Improvement (BNR improvement). The bond ($1,293,250) was done in 2001 and the work has just started on the project. The amending mainly consist of changing the start date and maturity date of the bond to reflect when the work actually started.

The first progress meeting will be held on the BNR project tomorrow.

One estimate was received to replace the media in the filter at the water treatment plant. The estimate was $43,986 per filter and there are three of them.

Tidewater Utilities still want to connect to the town wastewater treatment plant instead of proceeding ahead on building their own. This is to benefit a developer who wants to sell his land and can not if it doesn't have immediate sewerage. Once again someone who agreed to one thing with the town is now trying to change the terms of the agreement and fuck over the town.

DNREC Strikes Again

DNREC Issues Notice of $143,900 Penalty to Christy Tire for Failing to Properly maintain and Operate Underground Storage Tanks at a Gas Station in Georgetown

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara has issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty Assessment and Secretary’s Order to Christy Tire for violations of Delaware’s underground storage tank regulations. The Order includes a cash penalty of $143,900 and an additional $21,585 as cost recovery reimbursement for the department’s expenses associated with its investigation.

Christy Management LLC, Christy Tire, and Mr. Salman Choudhary (collectively, Christy Tire) are the owners and operators of a retail gas station located at 501 East Market Street in Georgetown. The gas station has four active tanks and the owners have been operating these tanks out of compliance since at least October 2007.
On May 7, 2008, the Department issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the owners of Christy Tire requiring them to submit the necessary documentation to demonstrate that they returned to compliance within 30 days. The violations include: failure to demonstrate that the tanks and lines are not leaking, failure to demonstrate that the tanks are not corroding in the ground and failure to carry insurance to pay for the cleanup of any leaks from the tanks and underground piping that could potentially contaminate drinking water supplies in the local area.
Christy Tire failed to take any action to respond to the NOV. Their failure to address the compliance problems causes an increased risk of contaminating groundwater and the environment with harmful petroleum chemicals. Subsequently, DNREC’s Tank Management Branch notified Christy Tire of the Department’s intentions to classify its storage tanks as ineligible to receive product deliveries in an April 23, 2009 certified letter, and on June 1, 2009, affixed red tags on the fill pipes of the underground storage tanks to prohibit the delivery of petroleum products to the facility.

The owners of Christy Tire have since moved their tire business to another location, leaving behind the out-of-compliance underground storage tanks and any possible related environmental or financial liability.

The owners of Christy Tire have 30 days to request a public hearing regarding the Order.

Delmar Joint Council Meeting Tonight

As a reminder there will be a Delmar Delaware/Maryland Joint Council meeting tonight at 7 PM at Town Hall. Not much is given on the agenda but the "Casino" will be discussed again tonight and Jill Braungart will talk about WoodCreek Speed Bumps.