Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Just Folks Festival


Okay at the same time of the Somerset County Fair the "Just Folks Festival" was going on. This is where the talent was. It was Sponsored by the Somerset County Arts Council and put on in Manokin River Park. Some very talented people were here.





Pat Ellison - very creative

Robin Daniels, Funky Fish

Joe Pasternak, Barren Creek Leather


My daughter and I stopped off at Peaky's for lunch - good food. Lynn the combination bartender waitress was one busy person. She really does a great job. I almost broke my 5% tip rule she did so well.

The Somerset County Fair

I went down to the Somerset County fair today. Now County fairs are love - hate relationships for me. I seem to go to them each year and am disappointed in the lack of participation in them. I would say 5% of the people who submit items for the fair submit a large quantity of items and account for 70% of the items on display. I know there is outstanding talent out there that should enter but for what ever reason do not. Here are some examples by Delmar area people that looked good.

Photo by Aaron Meredith, Melson Mustang

Pumkin Bread by Betsy Lowe

Banana Bread by Sarah Dorey, Melson Mustang

Cake by Melanie Rote

Buns by Sarah Dorey, Melson Mustang


Peach Jam by Chelsea Hudson

A pen and ink drawing by Chelsea Hudson

A vegetable display by Chelsea Hudson, Melson Mustang



Hog Judging

Dorotha Phillips entered this Netherland rabbit - really cute and just sandwich size.

Izzy's Busy Barber Shop


I see the spot between the pharmacy and the Laundromat became a barber shop instead of a pawn shop. Does anyone know if it is a black barbershop or a white barbershop?

The Delmar Library Survey Results

Cathay Crosby, Director of the Delmar Public Library sent me the results of the survey the library made the first part of the month.

Delmar Public Library
Highlights from results of the library use survey
The following highlights reflect a sampling from patrons who filled out a Delmar Public Library user survey from July 7 through July 17, 2010. Patrons were informed that the survey contained 13 questions (and an additional field for comments), and would take about 10 minutes to complete.

Library staff greeted and approached patrons with surveys and pencils throughout the day, and distributed surveys and signs about the survey throughout the library, as well as two survey collection boxes (some surveys were returned in the library’s drop box).
Not all questions were answered on every survey. And, some questions offered multiple answers.

There were a total of 165 completed surveys.

Part 1: In the library
The following section includes questions 1-4 and gives feedback about the patron’s frequency of visits, reasons for coming to the library, and whether the goal was obtained.
Question 1
“How often do you use the Delmar Public Library? Check one.”
• Out of 165 surveys, 87 patrons come into the library at least once a week.
• Another 50 said they come in at least once every three weeks.

Question 2
What are your main reasons for using the library today? Check all that apply.”
The top four reasons patrons come into the library are:
• To get DVDs, and other audio/visual materials (87)
• To find fiction (books) (81)
• To use the Internet (66)
• To find non-fiction (books) (52)

Questions 3 and 4
“Did you find what you were looking for on your visit today?”
• 145 patrons said, “Yes.”
• 3 said, “No.”
• 11 answered, “Somewhat.”*

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

*Of the responses, patrons indicated they were mostly after a book or item, but had discovered that it was already checked out.
From these, some patrons added that they had placed a hold on that item although no survey respondent checked 4h, “Staff requested materials from another library or source.”

Part 2: How are we doing?
This section focused upon customer service as well as patron desires for the ideal community library, from building space and use to the available collection and technology.

Question 5
“Mark all items which describe the service you received today.”
An overwhelming amount of patrons favored the service they received on their visit:
• 127 respondents indicated that they were greeted in a professional and polite manner
• 132 respondents reported that the staff was helpful and pleasant

Question 6
“Mark all items which describe the service you received today.”
• Out of six possible answers, patrons most often chose “Larger building” as an improvement for the current library (56).
• The next top choices are for more computers (32) and study rooms (24), which also indicate a need for more physical space.

Question 7
“What types of materials and books do we need to add to our collection? Check all that apply.”
The Delmar Public Library’s current collection could be improved by adding more
• DVDs (55),
• more general fiction (35),
• and specifically, more mysteries and thrillers (31).

Question 8
“What kinds of programs and events would you like to see at the library? Check all that apply and circle any suggestions you like, or add your own.”
• The public would like to see more adult programs that show how to – such as how to repair cars and bicycles, use a computer/software, find information, cooking and crafts (62).
• They are also interested in library programs that are family oriented (38), such as movie nights, and on self-improvement topics (38).
• There was a strong support for teen programs that include gaming and similar social events (37).

Question 9
“Mark all areas(s) in which you would like to see technology improved. (Please be aware that the Delmar Public Library’s new website is under construction ...)”
• The most requested technology improvement was for more Internet access computers in the library (37).

Note: It is interesting that most patrons who answered this question chose “More Internet access computers” as a technological solution they’d like to see since only 4 patrons indicated that they couldn’t get what they needed during their visit to the library due to computers in use (which means they would have to wait) (see questions #3 and #4). Comparatively, 66 respondents came into the library to use the Internet (question #2 and 32 respondents would like the library to have more computers (question #6).

Part 3: A little about you
The following responses give us some idea of who are patrons are. Note that very few children filled out a survey separate from their parent’s/guardian’s.

Question 10
“You are….male or female?”
• Females (105) use the library about twice as often than males (52).

Question 11
“Your age group”
• Of the respondents, most are between 60 and 69 years old (30).
• Those who are between 19 and 29 were the next largest group (27).
• Patrons who are between 40-49 and 50-59 tied for third place (there were 26 respondents for each category).

Question 12
“Your current highest education level”
Most of the Delmar Public Library’s patrons have graduated from high school (44) but a significant number have higher education levels and degrees:
• some college = 39
• college graduate = 34
• graduate degree = 16

Question 13
“Your residence”
Of those who answered, the Delmar Public Library’s patrons mostly visited –
• from Delmar, Maryland (33)
• and from Delmar, Delaware (23)
• 10 respondents revealed that they were from outside Delmar, Delaware
• and 10 were from outside Delmar, Maryland

We had many comments and suggestions, some of which are included below:
“Much larger building!”
“Great atmosphere friendly”
“More surveys”
“You should maybe put some craft stuff in the teen room like beads or something.”
“Martial arts rock!” (Also commented: “More books on marital arts.”)
“Overall library is improving in quality and just about all employees are wonderful.” Also, new director makes herself known and is quite pleasant. Please update speed and browsers of Internet.”
“Provide volunteer opportunities for the community here @ the Delmar Library. I would like to see more “series” for teens and early readers available here @ the Delmar Library. I would also like to see more of the community (Delmar) involved w/effective fundraising for the Library.”
“Nice workers”
“The staff here is wonderful and extremely helpful.”
“Staff has always been very helpful.”
“Personally I think the library is good. Every time I come in the people seems to be content with the library, just as I am. No problems, no complaints.”
“You’re doing great! J”
“Great place and great people. Can’t improve on perfect!”
“More Playaway stories.”
“Arts/crafts books.”
“Wifi”
“Self-help automotive repair”
“No complaints everything okay”
“I am always so pleased that when a book is not in the library, staff is eager to search the system until it is found!”
“New mathematics books of various math.”
“As a teacher, I would love to see the library become an extension of the school as a resource. Anything that the library could provide (study groups, homework help, discussion groups, etc.) for children in cooperation with the school could really benefit our kids.”
“Staff is great and accessibility to materials is great! Can’t think of a thing to make it better except no fee for me (Md. resident). If they don’t have it, they (staff) find it. they have the greatest selection of area info – Thanks! I attend programs as I can and always like the chosen events. Tech is not my bag. I’m fine with the “old” ways but glad it is available if need be and I know staff will help me out. Thanks. What can I say – my favorite library in the world and I’ve seen a lot!”
“Great hours and friendly staff. Nice facility. Request towelette – type sanitizing.”
“The staff is always helpful and friendly.”
“Thank you.”
“Staff are great.”
“What I’m interested in is this: To see that the Delmar [Public] Library can be made the best library that it can be. Say that the Delmar [Public] Library has been given a rating by the State of Delaware as a five star library. But if the average for the libraries in Delaware is a ten star rating then I want to see whatever it takes (within reason) to bring the Delmar [Public] Library up to that rating; or as close as it possibly can come. e.g.: I am an older person. The younger students that are coming up need the resources to get the best education that they can. The better the library the better the education, possibilities. If all I learned is learned in school I wouldn’t have/know much. I have always used a library, learning a great many things on my own.”
“Great place to visit!”
“Very nice & efficient and helpful staff.”
“Love the changes in the looks of the libraries.”
“I like this library. I think you need a bigger building so more boys and girls can come in and you should let more than one person on a computer.”
“Avid bookworm, but many books available I’ve already read. Larger selection would be wonderful if possible.”
“Thanks for being here. I love it!”
“I’d like to see services geared toward the disabled/homebound person. I can order materials online but must rely on others to pick it up. Problem is, they don’t always have my card. Might be a different person everytime.”
“I [heart] your staff. You are doing a beyond wonderful job. God bless you all!! [heart, heart, heart]”
“Your library is very nice and welcoming. Very good job.”
“Great facilities – nice to use high speed Internet. Thanks.”

Chunky Dunking

The Chincoteague Trip - 2010


Well this week we went down to Chincoteague for the pony swim. We camped out at Maddox Campground and everything went well this year (no frog strangling rain like last year). I had a good time in spite of a large crowd and poor service most places we went. For those who only come down on Wednesday they are directed to the High school where you park your car on the football field. If that happen in Delmar Coach Hearn would have a heart attack.

The 4H club Plainwell Pony Pals from Michigan were camped at Maddox campgrounds. Boy scouts and other groups arrive in caravans for this event.

Our campsite

Some of the crowd waiting for the swim to start - you wait two hours for a 4 minute swim. I never take a good photo of the ponies in the water so none is shown

A parched Casie downs a gallon of water while Nelson watches. It was hot in the sun waiting for the parade down the street to start

and after the swim is the pony parade thru the streets of Chincoteague

The ponies in the corral at the carnival grounds and having about two zillion photos taken of them. My crew was looking for Surfer Dude, one of the stallions that has a band of mares.

My daughters went to the beach and crabbing. Here is number three daughter holding some of the crabs.

The fireman's carnival. I did get my Oyster Fritter and Chincoteague is still the best spot on Delmarva for Oyster Fritters. The other food is another story. French fries are miserable things, the hot dogs are served cold, the funnel cake is frozen and is put in a toaster oven to heat up and is usually cold in the center when you get it. We need to send Phyllis down to teach them how to make funnel cake. When we ate out on Tuesday at Don's Seafood we had to send the french fries back because they were cold.

Frying Oyster Fritters - a man who knows his business.

Chincoteague has a lot of art work and art galleries now. These pictures are a nice change from ponies and is done by Dawn M. Tarr.

My neighbors were camping with us and he went fishing a couple of times. Sea Robins seemed to have been about the main thing he caught. Chincoteague allows you to fish from the Park or the town docks, where the fire hall is, without a Virginia Fishing license.

As is typical of East Coast Beaches, they start with a list of don't do's. Actually a few years back a park ranger followed me around and compiled this list from watching my activities - I am surprised bonfires are not on it.

And of course at least one afternoon is spent on the Beach at Assateague.

The auction - sitting or standing in the hot sun while the mare calls to her colt who is being sold off. Nothing I enjoy watching.

Friday and swim back day - And the ponies are glad to be swimming back to Assateague. The Swim back is always good, there are less people, the ponies are ready to go and the saltwater cowboys are ready to see them go. This is the south herd that only numbers about 40 to 50. The North herd is horse trailered back and I think they are close to a hundred.

The visit to Chincoteague was good, but I don't think I will camp there on a pony swim week again - too many people - poor service etc.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Social Security Act of 1965


On July 30, 1965 at the Harry Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, creating the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Truman, the 81-year-old former President, was at Johnson’s side during the signing and had been one of the most vocal advocates for a national health care program throughout his long career in Washington.

During President Johnson’s remarks that day about the new legislation, he turned to Truman and said, “They told me, President Truman, that if you wish to get the voluntary medical insurance you will have to sign this application form, and they asked me to sign as your witness. So you’re getting special treatment since cards won’t go out to the other folks until the end of this month.”

On that day in Missouri, with a simple act of bureaucratic government paperwork that millions of Americans would someday fill out, President Johnson enrolled President Truman as the first beneficiary of the Medicare program. Truman’s wife, Bess, received card number two. Somewhere in the archives of our nation is this application card with the signatures of two of the most powerful men of the 20th Century.


I found this bit of information over at Dead Presidents and thought I would share it with you.

Sussex County Press Release

Sussex County begins issuing annual property tax bills

Georgetown, Del., July 28, 2010: Sussex County’s annual tax bills are on their way to mailboxes and some inboxes, too.

Starting next week, the County’s Treasury Division will begin issuing tens of thousands of annual tax bills for the 2011 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $101 million in revenue. Bills will continue to be mailed throughout the month of August. Payment is due by Sept. 30.

While the total number of bills issued tops 168,500, the County once again will reduce the amount of bills actually printed and mailed, to about 128,000 paper bills this year. Just as was done last year, the remaining 39,500 will be sent electronically to mortgage lenders, requiring no paper, postage or time to distribute, representing a sizeable savings to County government.

Amanda M. Bennett, director of the County’s Treasury Division, said last year’s shift to paperless billing for those property owners whose taxes are rolled into their monthly mortgage payments, through what is known as escrow accounts, was well received. All property owners can view their tax bills online, and those who no longer receive a statement still can request a paper copy of their account’s status, if needed.

“I think many people appreciate having one less thing to worry about,” Ms. Bennett said. “Quite a few constituents have commented about how easy the new paperless billing is. We’re glad they’re happy with it, and we’re looking at ways we can add even more convenience in the future, including additional tax information on our Web site that the public can access anytime.”

Annual tax bills include County property taxes, as well as County sewer and water, tax ditch and street lighting fees, where applicable. Additionally, tax bills include local school district taxes, which are collected by the County, but turned over to the State. Delaware law requires Sussex County to bill property owners for school taxes on behalf of the eight public school districts within the county. Approximately 10 percent to 14 percent of the typical residential tax bill is for County property taxes.

Sussex County accepts tax payments by cash, check, money order or credit card. Taxpayers have different options to make their payments. These include:

THROUGH LENDER
Many taxpayers have their annual taxes paid out of an escrow account by their mortgage lenders. If these taxpayers have any questions regarding the status of their escrow accounts, they should contact their lenders.

ONLINE

Payment can be made on the Internet, with the use of most major credit cards or by check. Go to www.sussexcountyde.gov/e-service/propertytaxes/ and select “Make a Payment” on the left side for more information.

BY MAIL

Property owners can mail their tax payments using the return envelopes included in their statements. Bills should be addressed to the Sussex County Treasury Division, PO Box 429, Georgetown, DE 19947. All payments sent by mail must be postmarked by Sept. 30 to avoid the 1.5 percent penalty, per month, on unpaid balances.

IN PERSON OR BY TELEPHONE

The County’s tax office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The office is located on the second floor, Room 252, of the County Administrative Offices building, 2 The Circle, in Georgetown. For more information, call (302) 855-7760.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Couple Items From The Joint Council Meeting


People insist on using the handicap ramp in the sidewalk as an exit or entrance to this parking lot. so barrier posts had to be put up.

Glass was falling from the LeCates Building on to the streets and sidewalks. The windows have now been plywood over. Makes Me feel safe. Now I only have to worry about pigeon shit or a loose brick hitting me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The July Delmar Joint Council Meeting

The July Delmar Joint Council Meeting was held tonight. Councilpersons Mary Lee Pase and Woody Payne on the Delaware Side were missing. Mayor Niblett, Commissioner Karen Wells were missing on the Maryland side of the council.

Some of the items I find worth mentioning are;

Mayor Outten said he would not run for re-election

St. Stephen's Methodist Church requested that on August 28th, between the hours of 7Am to 5 PM, First street (between State Street and Grove Street) be closed for a festival they are having in the church parking lot. Their request was granted.

The park reservation form used for reserving the Park for events has been modified and now there is a warning that loud, amplified music and music with vulgar words would not be tolerated in the parks in Delmar.

Fire Chief Joey Morris also commented on Grove street, when these events were taken place there is too much parking on the street. He thinks everyone should park at the parking lot by Johnson and walk back to the park. He also wants parking in front of the library on BiState to be prevented as it interferes with the fire trucks backing into the fire station. He suggest for people to again park at the parking lot by Johnsons. I guess he isn't thinking of some mother with four children having to walk across Bi-state Blvd to the library.

Three Delmar police Privates will be promoted, at next month's meeting, to corporal

There was a drug bust at Gordy's Exxon parking lot

JCR trucking was again discussed. I think they haul chicken guts from Perdue to the rendering plant in Linkwood. They are spilling guts on the streets of Delmar when they come thru the town and the Fire department has to wash the streets down.

Full House Poker in Delmar wants to split their unit into two unit and add a sports party event room to their business.

Woodcreek people were there tonight to complain about speeding in Woodcreek - with a speed limit of 15 miles an hour what do they expect? - most cars idle faster than 15 MPH. They want additional speed bumps put in. They may be the only place in town where the town provides speed bumps - I say they should raise the speed limit and act like normal people.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Watermelons Are Here


Watermelon picking time is in full swing in this area. The above photo is a field east of Delmar, I think it is one of the many fields Vincent Farms have. When I was a teenager I worked on farms loading melons, picking cucumbers, stacking baskets of sweet potato, etc. The difference I think between the fields 50 years ago, compared to today, is the fields are much larger. It seems like the fields we worked in 50 years ago were more like 5 to 10 acres, now days they seem to be 40 to 50 acres maybe more. Back then the fields would always have a strip of woods around them so when you got to the end of the row you could take a bathroom break or just rest in the shade a moment. When I have driven past this field thru the week I see people sitting in vans, pickup trucks, or trying to find shade next to a watermelon bus and of course they supply porta potties. And with the watermelons come the watermelon buses (no tags, no inspection, no valid driver license)and the migratory field crews