Friday, February 22, 2013

AGP-8 The USS Wachapreague

I recently was reading a book titled "Devil Boats - The PT War Against Japan" by William Breuer.  It is an interesting book that is about  PT Boats in the Pacfic in WW2.  Toward the end of the book it mentioned the tender Wachapreague in a fight with five Kamikazes in Leyte Bay the Philippines.  I naturally perked up at mention of a local name.  As you know the smaller ships and boats in the Navy were named for bays and channels.  In the case of the USS Wachapreague the name came from the Wachapreague Channel as opposed to the town in Virginia but that is close enough. 

The Wachapreague started out as a Seaplane Tender but was than changed to a PT Boat Tender.  PT Boat Tenders provide the necessary fuel and provisions for the group of torpedo boats she was responsible for.    She was launched 10 July 1943 out at Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton Washington. 

She spent her time in the Philippines, Borneo, and received four battle stars for her service in WW2. After the war she was transferred to the Coast Guard and renamed the USCGC McCulloch.   In 1972 she was transferred to the South Vietnamese Navy and renamed the RVNS Ngo Quyen.  In 1975 with the collapse of South Vietnam, laden with refugees fled to the Philippines, where she was acquired by the Republic of the Philippines.  She was renamed BRP Gregorio del Pilar and finally decommissioned in 1985 and may have been scrapped in the 1990's.

Interestingly the USS Chincoteague, a sea plane tender, was built about the same time and followed almost the same route as the Wachapreague, serving as a Coast guard vessel, going to Viet Nam and finally ending up in the Philippine Navy.

The February Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

I went to the February Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last night at the Maryland Town Hall.  It was a short meeting - overwith by 7:45PM.  The members of the commission that were present were; Catellier, Ring, Luffman, Boyan and Dixon.  Robt Thompson was missing.

Among the items discussed were the proposed Tap Room that is looking at going into Caurso's Pizza at Delmar Commons.   The person who is looking at opening this bar is Erik Williams who is co-owner of Anejo Mexican Grill and Tequila bar in Trolly square Wilmington, Delaware. I understand he was originally from Laurel, Delaware and has family around Delmar.  He had an interesting run in with Ruby Tuesday back last year.  Ruby Tuesday bought a chain of restaurants in Florida called Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.  At that time William's bar was called Lime Tequila Bar.  Ruby Tuesdays sent him a letter saying they had a patent on the name Lime in restaurants and he had best change his name or be sued.  He decided he didn't have the money to fight it, so he changed the name.  The commission had a discussion centered around which percentage of sales would be alcohol and what percentage would be food - it would appear if it is a higher percentage of food it is classified as a restaurant and could come under the current zoning.  They finally decided since it was being called a tap room it would be a bar (beer joint -  after all a rose by any other name is still a rose or in this case a beer joint).  The commission decided to table the request until next month.

Next came Chris Gilkerson of Amber Ridge LLC who wants to built a single family home on lot 16 Amber Ridge II subdivision.  The home will be 1200 sq ft, 3 bedroom, 2 baths, stick built and sell for about $140,000.  Again this commission seem very loose on the requirements of layout and plats and what the house will look like from the builder and developer.  Gilkerson said the photo of the image of the house was one he got off the internet and the actual house would vary slightly.  He also did not map out driveways.  In the end the commission gave it a favorable variance and moved it on to the Joint Council meeting next Monday night.

Finally Chris Gilkerson requested to build a new home at 403 East Chestnut, Delmar, Maryland.  For those who may remember 403 East Chestnut had a two store house that caught fire a couple of years back and the house was torn down leaving an empty lot.  The Real Estate agent told how the lot had been on the market for 9 months and he had no potential buyers for it.  He said it would be a great thing if Gilkerson would build a house on the lot as so many people want to move to Delmar due to the great school system ( was that a kiss ass approach to one of the P&Z Commission members?) .  The house Gilkerson wants to build however is a single story, 1,000 sq ft, 3 bedroom 2 baths, sells for $140,000 and is long and narrow.  Again his drawing were confused as it didn't seem to have a backdoor to the house and decks and driveways were unclear.   Simply put this house is out of character for the neighborhood.  The neighborhood is made up of American Four Squares and Victorians built around 1920.  A single story house will stick out like a sore thumb.  The Commissioners looked for ways to justify the house and eventually they gave a favorable recommendation (4 ayes 1 nay)  to the Joint council to approve the building of the house.  The one vote against it was from Bunky Luffman. 

Altho Gilkerson didn't think a two story house could be built and sold at that price there have been several built in town that has sold.  Most notably are the ones to the East of Cheers on State street and behind the one on State Street.  Also when I think back to 2008 when Bill Mervine came before the commission asking for a favorable recommendation to build a house on lot #3 of Bynum Lane all the shit they gave him about the house design (it also was two story).  Today no one on the commission seem that much concerned as to what the house looks like nor how many windows nor what color it will be.  It is an insult to those people who have tried to build in Delmar in past years and had to jump thru hoops to do so and today people such as Gilkerson and Marshall can submit almost anything for a design and get approval.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The White House Easter Egg Roll Ticket Raffle Starts Today

The ticket raffle for the popular White House Easter Egg Roll starts Feb. 21. (Today)   Now we know you want your little darling (13 and younger) to have a shot at rolling Easter eggs at the White House ( wonder if the word shot and White House in the same sentence will bring the Feds down on me).  You can be part of the 35,000 people expected to show up for the egg roll.

Anyway you will need to sign up (Free) for the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll lotteryYou will need to create a free account at to be able to enter the lottery when it opens.

The deadline for lottery entries is 10 a.m. Feb. 25.

Lottery results will be available March 1.

This year’s Easter Egg Roll will take place April 1 on the South Lawn of the White House. The event is open to children age 13 and younger and their families.

More information about the event is available at

An online lottery system will distribute thousands of tickets for the 2013 White House Easter Egg

This year’s souvenir eggs come in four bold colors — purple, blue, yellow, pink — and include the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady. A commemorative teal “Bo” egg featuring the First Dog’s paw print is included only in the 2013 5-pack

Buying The First Handgun

I picked this up from a couple of western shore patch newsources and thought some people might be interested.

The age limits also interest me, I understand in Maryland you have to be 21 to own a legal handgun or 18 to own a rifle or shotgun however if you are 18 and in the military they will give you an M240 General Purpose Machine Gun - you may not own it but you can certainly use it.

By Allen Etzler, Capital News Service
ANNAPOLIS - I was brought up around firearms. I was taught to treat them with respect, but not fear them.
So, three months after turning 21, right around Christmas, I decided it was time to buy my first handgun.
My stepfather, who is my lifelong firearms instructor, informed me that buying a handgun would be a long process. The most fun part of the process would be deciding what I wanted to buy.
I wanted the gun for target shooting. I wanted something with inexpensive ammunition, and that was easy to operate, reliable and accurate. I also wanted something fairly affordable, because it was a Christmas present from my parents.
Dec. 16: Nine days before Christmas, I walked into Hendershots Sporting Goods in Hagerstown thinking I was going to buy an M1911 pistol, but after holding and examining an array of guns, I decided I wanted a Smith and Wesson 22A semi-automatic handgun. I knew nothing about the gun, but I loved its functionality and feel.
I took it to the register to begin the process. I handed the clerk my driver’s license, so he could begin filling out his portion of the paperwork. I thought that after filling out the paperwork I would get to take my gun home. I was wrong.
The store clerk brought me four forms to fill out. One was the federal form required for any firearm purchased from a licensed dealer. The second was the application for a regulated firearm, which is where the background check takes place. The third was the state registration of the firearm.
The final form is a one-sheet piece of paper that requires only your signature. This paper is a waiver that says the purchaser recognizes the requirement of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, or any facility similar, to disclose to the Maryland State Police whether you have a mental disorder, and a history of violence.
The background check form consisted of 11 “yes” or “no” answer questions that required my initials after each one. The questions addressed my age, U.S. citizenship, use of drugs or alcohol, history of mental illness and criminal history. One question requires the applicant to write-in his or her country of citizenship. If the applicant is not a citizen, he or she must write in their “INS-issued alien number or admission number.”
The gun registration form contains the firearm information, including the serial number, make and model of the firearm, as well as personal information, and dealer information.
I submitted the paperwork, paid the clerk and was getting ready to leave the store when the clerk told me that in order to be able to take the handgun home I was going to have to complete the Maryland State Police gun safety training course online, and bring a certificate of completion with me when I came to pick up the gun.
Maryland law requires a seven-day minimum waiting period before the purchaser can actually take a regulated firearm home with them. Depending on the number of firearms purchases statewide at the time, the waiting period can extend longer. During this period the police perform a ballistic fingerprinting test with the firearm.
Ballistic fingerprinting is a process in which one single round is fired from the gun. The firearm will leave a distinct set of marks on the casing that is only identifiable to that particular gun.
After the ballistics fingerprinting is done, the state police ships the gun back to the dealer.
Dec. 22: The Maryland gun safety course can be done online, so almost a week after my purchase, I began the safety-training program.
I watched several minutes of video clips, taking copious notes, as the instructor informed me about turning the safety on and off, assembling and disassembling the weapon, and the cardinal rules of safety for all handguns.
The video took nearly 30 minutes, and just as I prepared to use my notes for the final quiz, the instructor said I was finished and allowed me to print my certificate. The safety-training program does not require the handgun purchaser to pay attention to the program, nor does it require the purchaser to actually watch the video.
Dec. 24: On Christmas Eve, I still had not received a call about my gun being ready to pick up. It turns out that in the aftermath of the massacre in Newtown, CT, and because of fears about a possible assault weapons ban, gun sales in Maryland and elsewhere skyrocketed. Rather than seven days, my handgun was not ready to be picked up for 13 days.
Waiting periods have only increased since I purchased my gun and some people are waiting for more than three weeks.
Dec. 29: After I received notification that my gun was ready, I went back to the gun store to pick it up. When I arrived, the clerk handed me the gun, and some more paperwork. This paperwork was for proof that I received the gun. It took less than three minutes to fill it out and required only my signature and initials in a few places. That afternoon, I took my gun home.

Trivia Information

Chartreuse (yellow-green) is the most visible color to the human eye

As you may recall just a few years back, road construction and maintenance crews wore florescent orange-red vest as a safety garment color.  However the orange-red color tended to blend in with the orange workzone machinery and equipment.  Instead of changing purchase orders to buy equipment in a color other than orange the "government" decided everyone working on the highway from construction people to police and fire department people would now wear the florescent yellow-green vest.  This created an economic boost for China who supplied either the vests or the material to make the vest (made in the USA?) and created budget problems for small town and other organizations required to buy them.

Food Safety Certification



Feb. 20, 2013

DOVER – Agricultural entrepreneurs who want to produce specific foods in their on-farm kitchens can receive food safety training and become certified under Delaware law at an upcoming workshop jointly sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture.
The two-part program by Dr. Sue Snider will take place next month at the Department of Agriculture offices near Camden. Sessions will be March 19 and 26, both from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The registration deadline is March 12.

Participants will learn how to identify potentially hazardous and non-potentially hazardous foods; understand foodborne pathogens and ways to control them; reduce the risk of foodborne illness; evaluate their plan for controlling potential microbial problems; and understand state regulations on farm-produced, non-potentially hazardous food items.
Those items include such things as baked breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, non-chocolate candy, jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, fruit butters, fruit pies, herbs in vinegar, honey and herb mixtures, dried fruit and vegetables, spices or herbs, maple syrup, sorghum, popcorn, caramel corn, peanut brittle and roasted nuts.

The training, certification and inspections of farm kitchens are required under Delaware regulations adopted in 2006, and apply to farmers who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at DDA-listed farmers’ markets, on their farm or at a roadside stand on or near their farm.”. On-farm kitchens will be inspected by appointment after participants complete the training and pass a written test.
To register for the training, please contact Debra Whitmore at or 302-698-4540.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The February Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting

The February Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting is scheduled for 7 PM Thursday February 21st at the Maryland Town Hall.  Among the items on the agenda are;

New House at 403 E. Chesnut St.

New House at Lot 16 Amber Ridge II

Beer Joint at Caruso Location

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mike Dixon To Speak At The Delmar Library March 9th

Mike Dixon will speak about the Mason Dixon Line at the Delmar Library on Saturday March 9th at 11 AM.  Mike is a noted historian on the Eastern Shore.  He is active in the Cecil County Historical Society and writes a blog called Reflections On Delmarva Past
and Mike's History
and Windows On Cecil County Past
and Mike Dixon, Historian

He has recently written a piece on the Delmar Library on his Reflections On Delmarva blog. 

A Hanging In 1821

From The Marylander and Herald Princess Anne MD November 1921

The following item is from the Somerset Union of November 1st, 1821, which was published in Princess Anne at one time by the late Col. Levin L. Waters.

On Friday, the 19th of October, at Princess Anne, Somerset County, Maryland, Jenny, a Negro woman, nearly 70 years of age, suffered the punishment prescribed by law for a murder committed some months ago since on the body of another Negro, Sidney Williams.  Jenny was brought from the jail under the escort of a company of militia and arrived at the gallows at about half past 11 o’clock, where an impressive discourse was delivered by the Rev. Mr. Colgan, and a hymn sung suitable to the occasion after which prayer was offered up and the clergyman addressing the prisoner, exhorting her, through to no avail, to make a confession of her guilt before she was launched into eternity.

About 700 whites and double that number of colored persons were present as spectators.  Many of them were sensibly affected by the remarks of the clergyman, and a few remained unmoved by the wild grief of Jenny’s children, several of whom were present.  Their sorrow seemed contagious.  When the awful moment arrived in which the sheriff proceeded to the execution of his duty, numbers fled from the spot, and several hundred of the colored people squatted on the ground with their backs turned toward the gallows, covered their faces with their hands and uttered a simultaneous groan, which while it expressed their feelings added not a little to the horror of the scene.  When the body had been suspended for fifteen minutes it was cut down; immediately after which many of the blacks retired to their homes in good order, but the sensibility of others was so short lived that they spent the afternoon in drunkenness and other kind of debauchery.