Thursday, August 16, 2012

Maryland Office of Legislative Audits and Salisbury University

The Maryland Office of Legislative Audits did an audit of Salisbury University this year.  The results were put in a report put here;

Among some of the problems found (and none seemed all that bad compared to the amounts some people are stealing now days)

Procurement and payment processing procedures were not always followed

Formal policies and procedures were not established to provide control
over credit cards used for travel purposes

Internal control weaknesses were noted with respect to the bookstore’s
purchases and point-of-sale system

Internal control deficiencies were noted with respect to non-cash credit
adjustments recorded in student accounts and dietary materials and

Maeve Binchy

One of the writers that I enjoy was Maeve Binchy, an Irish writer, who wrote novels about Irish families and life and the Catholic Church in Ireland and Irish-Americans returning to find their "Roots" in Ireland, all written in a delightful way that made even I, a person who never travels, feel like he picked up something about Ireland.  Maeve Binchy Snell died this past July 30th in a Dublin hospital.  She was born May 28th, 1940, had a traditional Irish-catholic upbringing became a newspaper writer and published her first book in 1982 (Light A Penny candle") when she was in her 40's.  She wrote 16 novels and several collections of short stories.  Frequently the characters in one novel would appear in another novel so if you read many of her novels you felt very comfortable with them.  I understand she was not considered an exceptional novelist but I always enjoyed her books.  I think the best one was "Firefly Summer" one of her early books (1989).  "Firefly Summer" is set in the make believe  Irish town of Mountfern that only has a handful of families and a rich Irish-American returns to his family roots to build a hotel there.  In his attempt to economically help the town he creates more problems than he helps with. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The DElDot Archaeology blog

I had for some time wanted to mention the DElDot Archaeology blog but due to those senior moments of going from one web page to another I keep forgetting to do so.   As you know most States require an archaeological review of the area where new roads are going in and to some degree this blog is an outcome of that. Deldot puts it out and mostly it is about Northern Delaware.  Read it and see what great assumptions can be made by just looking a hole with charred wood and very old horse shit.

Giddy-yup! Food consumption and horse riding were the themes this week at the Rumsey/Polk Tenant/ site, and we found food remains and “horsey” items galore. Several large trash pits dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were excavated this week. A few pits that would have been used to store food, ie. “subfloor cold storage pits” in particular contained lots of evidence of the types of animals raised, ridden, and eaten on the farm. Objects such as a stirrup and a horseshoe revealed the former residents rode horses, an expensive commodity at the time, and one that required riding skills and equipment, horse stalls, and paddock enclosures. Riding horses also needed to be continuously shoed by local blacksmiths, which created an added expense to horse ownership. These finds will be researched and may be dated to give us more clues about when horses were used at the site. Careful excavation by crew members also recovered tiny egg shell fragments–likely from chicken eggs– delicate fish bones, and teeth, leg, foot and shoulder bones from pigs and cows. The fish may have been caught in the nearby creek or were bought at the local market. Domesticated chickens, pigs, and cows were likely raised by the tenants on the farm. Extra meat produced during seasonal livestock slaughter was probably bartered for other goods with neighbors or local shop keepers, a common practice during the eighteenth and nineteenth century that strengthened social and economic ties between community members.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

School Exams

The "Warren Buffett" Reform Act

Below is one of those emails that get passed around, it is much to logical for our elected officials to considered;

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers
one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are
ineligible for re-election.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in
service and receives no pay when they're out of office.


Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all

Americans do.
Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Congress loses their current health care system and participates
in the same health care system as the American people.


Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the

American people.

All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void

effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this
contract with Congressmen/women. Congress
made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress
is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned
citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s),
then go home and back to work.

The Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware (URCD) Upcoming Events

1. Monday, August 27, 2012: Syl Woolford on “US Colored Troops in the Civil War.” URCD Quarterly Public Program, Seaford Public Library, 600 Market Street Extended. Free and open, no reservations necessary. Flier is attached; please share and bring a friend. Near the Ross Plantation, so plan a dual visit (call 302-628-9500).
2. Tubman Centennial 2013: If you would like to be involved in planning some meaningful events and programs for the upcoming commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman, please email a reply an we will inform you of meetings. If your organization already has related events on the calendar, let us know so we can help to promote them.
3. Public Program topics wanted – If you have ideas for presentations by local researchers for our regular program calendar (UGRR history and closely related topics), please send your ideas. The Board (and you, the attendees!) prefer programs offered freely, so keep that in mind! Reply to this email or call 302-576-3107.
4. BECOME A URCD MEMBER and help us to expand our ability to present UGRR history to the public! Print and mail the attached membership form, or call 302-576-3107 and a form can be mailed to you.
1. August 18, 19 and 21, 2012, New Castle Courthouse Museum (DHCA), Delaware Street, New Castle: Dramatic Play about Thomas Garrett & John Hunn Trial in 1848: “Sign of the Times” by Colin Toomey, explores the story of Emeline Hawkins and her family’s quest for freedom. Audience members will have an opportunity to participate in the play by speaking with the characters, asking questions and, in some cases, serving on the jury where they will be mixed-in with the actors. Supported by the Delaware Humanities Forum. Come and learn about the story while sitting in the room where the trial took place. Call 302-323-4453 for reservations.
2. Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, from 10 a.m. to Noon, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, Del., will host the workshop "In Order to Prevent a Continuance of Slavery." The program will utilize primary-source materials such as manumission documents, bills of sale and family information to help illuminate the lives of slaves who lived and worked on the plantation and its surrounding region known as St. Jones Neck. The plantation will also be open for visitation and tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to the workshop is free and open to the public but, due to seating limitations, reservations must be made by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Friday, Aug. 24, 2012.
3. August 23, 2012, Baltimore: Group Selects Baltimore as First of Many Ports to Commemorate
Transatlantic Middle Passage: After years of planning, the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP) selected Baltimore’s Fells Point Harbor for a commemoration of Africans who perished in the Middle Passage from Africa to the New World. The August 23, 2012 ceremony shares the date with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and of Its Abolition. Two events are planned at Fells Point’s Broadway Pier on August 23: one at dawn (6:00 am) and the other at dusk (7:15 pm). These events will provide an opportunity for individuals and families to offer tribute to their ancestors by offering libation, drumming, prayer, and calling the names of the deceased silently or out loud according to the preference of participants. Information: Shauntee Daniels 410-878-6411;;
4. Saturday, September 15, 2012, 10:00am-3:30pm: Introductory Workshop on African American Genealogy, Delaware History Center, Wilmington. Free, but reservation required. Co-sponsored by The Center for African American Heritage at the Delaware Historical Society, and the Delaware Genealogical Society. Call 302-655-7161 or visit
5. African American Cemetery Research Tool: Saving Hallowed Ground,

Crabbing In Delaware


DOVER (Aug. 13, 2012) – Blue crabs are one of Delaware’s most popular seafood catches, and plenty of recreational crabbers frequent favorite crabbing spots during the season. However, not all of them follow Delaware’s Fisheries regulations, as evidenced by the more than 300 crabbing-related citations written by DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents this year.
“Delaware’s crabbing regulations are designed to protect and conserve our state’s valuable blue crab populations for the present and future, while allowing crabbers to catch and enjoy this popular delicacy,” said DNREC Fisheries Administrator John Clark.
“Fish and Wildlife Enforcement is tasked with achieving public compliance with Delaware’s fish and wildlife regulations through education and enforcement actions,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “We encourage anyone crabbing Delaware waters to become more familiar with our blue crab regulations before they head out to set their pots or drop their lines.”
To help crabbers in this respect, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement offers a summary of key Delaware crabbing regulations.
· The most common crab-related violation this year so far has been crabbing without a fishing license. Since 2008, Delaware has required recreational crabbers, along with freshwater and saltwater anglers and clammers, to purchase a Delaware fishing license. A resident license costs just $8.50; the fine for being caught without one is $106.50.
· Another common violation this year has involved possession of undersized blue crabs. The minimum size for keeping male and immature female blue crabs is 5 inches, measured from point to point on the top shell. The minimum size for soft-shell blue crabs is 3.5 inches, and 3 inches for peeler blue crabs. Since female blue crabs may not measure 5 inches when they reach maturity and stop growing, regulations allow crabbers to keep mature females under 5 inches. Mature females (sooks) are identified by rounded apron on underside; immature females have a V-shaped apron.
· Regulations also prohibit possession of females bearing eggs, known as sponge crabs, which are identifiable by orange eggs visible under their apron. Egg-bearing females must be returned to the water immediately.
· Recreational crabbers are prohibited from selling blue crabs.
· The daily limit of crabs for a recreational crabber is 1 bushel.
· Delaware has a set of regulations that cover recreational use of crab pots:
o Recreational crabbers may use no more than two crab pots at a time. Delaware does not have a limit on hand lines and collapsible wire traps.
o All crab pots must be fitted with a by-catch reduction device. The device is a handmade or purchased rigid rectangle of metal or plastic that is securely attached to the entrance of a crab pot to help keep terrapins out.
o All crab pots – both recreational and commercial – must be properly marked with floats. Recreational pots must have the owner’s name and full address, either on a white float or in a waterproof container attached to the white float.
o Only the owner of a crab pot is permitted to tend it and remove crabs from it. Anyone other than the owner tending a recreational or commercial crab pot faces a fine for tampering.
o Crab pot owners are required to tend their pots at least once every 72 hours. If not, the crab pot is considered abandoned and may be seized; the owner may face a fine.
o All crab pots must be removed from the water each year from Dec. 1 to the last day of February.
For more information on crabbing regulations, please check the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide, available online at and at fishing license dealers throughout the state, or call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Food Food Food

The last few weeks I think we have ate out more than usual.  My wife's Birthday is about two weeks before mine so between us going out to celebrate and later my daughter's taking us out we have been going to a number of places plus our annual family reunion was this past weekend so we have just been eating and eating.

For my birthday we rode to Chincoteague (actually maybe Wattsville) to eat at Ray's Shanty only to find a line waiting to get in.  Well, if you know me, you are aware I have other things to do with my life then wait in line or wait for service. 

So we rode over to Wright's Seafood.  We have not been to Wright's in ages and I don't know why.  Those who have been to Wright's are aware their heyday was back in the 1980's and 90's,  Certainly the wear and tear on the place shows it, however the food was GREAT.  As good as I remembered and you just can not beat the view of the bay from the dinning room windows.   They do single fried oysters right. 

As I said this weekend was the Miller Hasting Family reunion out at St. George's Church.  More Food.
and to top it off on Sunday we picked up a bushel of crabs and have been picking and eating for the last couple of days.

Let's Make A Deal

Sussex County Tax Bill Has Arrived

There are a number of reasons why I like living in Sussex County; one reason is the tax bill, which I recently received.   First the taxes are low, based on 1974.   Besides the one time tax credit we received this year which amounted to $9.01 reducing my real estate tax to $105.58.  there is an  an old fart (over 65)  tax credit on your local school tax  of 50%.  Now the school tax is a killer as you seem to have little control over it.  This year it was $967.53 for the Delmar school district and $72. 38 for Sussex Tech so I got $490.27 knocked off the tax for being old. 

Cat Resume

Monday's Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn and Arthur Miller

The ADA Ramp Curbs Are Useless

As I have written before the Handicap ramps at the corner curb and driveways that have been put in are useless.  Currently, due to the construction in our area, the drains have fabric covering so they don't drain very quickly anyway, but the water now backs up and floods the sidewalk.  So in this recent rain everything flooded - except the normal sidewalks.
This may have been a good ideal originally but somewhere along the way it just didn't work.  I don't even think the less then a half percent handicap people we have in Delmar even use them so the other 99.5% have to be inconvenienced by the ADA ramps.  I wonder how many school students walking to school will walk in the street instead of having their shoes get wet trying to walk on the sidewalks.

Public Hearing To Borrow Money August 27

The Fire Trucks Are Back

Wow I was eating my dinner tonight and looked out the window and a fire truck was sitting outside.  For me, happily, it went on to a small fire at 203 North Second street, a block away. 
This house was for sale back a few years ago  and it is one of the older houses in Delmar.  I would say prior to 1900.