Destination Station in Rehoboth finalized

May 19, 2010

Delaware Deputy Attorney General Dennis Spivack announced on Wednesday, May 19, that a memorandum of understanding was signed Tuesday, May 18, among the Delaware Department of Transportation, Office of the Attorney General and a nonprofit arm of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, for a transportation hub and science center to be built at the entrance to Rehoboth Beach.

Destination Station, a 50,000-square-foot structure, planned for 1.75 acres of state-owned land on Route 1 outside Rehoboth Beach, will include an energy and technology museum, mass transit hub and visitor’s center. The chamber estimates construction will cost between $12 million to $14 million and projects roughly 500,000 visitors per year.

Spivack said the agreement represents a monumental public-private partnership. Spivack also said the negotiations began more than eight years ago, calling them protracted and difficult before being finalized.

Destination Station design requests for proposals will be advertised immediately and finalized by the end of June, say officials. Fundraising will also begin immediately, said Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carol Everhart.

Officials also say the project will create significant job opportunities.


Chris Weeks attacks Schwartzkopf in the 14th

May 13, 2010

Uses recycling bill to lambast House leader

Republican candidate for the 14th Representative District Chris Weeks is attacking popular and long-standing Democratic House Majority Leader Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach. Weeks criticized the incumbent lawmaker’s support of recently passed legislation that establishes statewide, curbside recycling.

Chris Weeks

Senate Bill 234 requires trash haulers to offer recycling pickup at single-family homes by 2011, followed by a rollout plan to offer recycling to multi-family developments and commercial businesses in subsequent years. Another provision of the bill establishes a 4-cent recycling fee on bottles. Those funds would be diverted to municipalities and private haulers to help fund the curbside program. The bill passed the Senate 17-3, April 29, and on Tuesday, May 11, the measure passed the House, 26-12.

But any bill that requires new fees and allocates the funds must pass by a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

While SB 234
received that majority in the Senate, it failed in the House. Still, the measure’s on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Pete Schwartzkopf

Republicans, including Weeks, are already questioning the bill’s constitutionality. Weeks, on Thursday, May 13, said he’s concerned about the “fast-track mentality” of passing measures and the constitutionality of the so-called bottle bill. He also said that state officials are slipping down a slippery slope with new ways to create revenue in Delaware. Weeks also attacked Schwartzkopf for raising taxes because Schwartzkopf supported SB 234.

State officials say the measure would help reduce costs in the long run by reducing materials headed to landfills. Democrats have also come forward insisting the 4-cent allocation is not a new tax. It is diversion of an existing fee to the curbside program, say bill supporters.

Keep in mind, the state already has a 5-cent deposit on bottles already in place.

Christine O’Donnell runs – again – for U.S. Senate

March 11, 2010

Will the third time be a charm for conservative Republican Christine O’Donnell?

Christine O’Donnell

Christine O’Donnell

She announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate, Wednesday, March 10, at the University of Delaware.

O’Donnell said she would carry the Reagan revolution into the 21st century. She also vowed to cut spending, shrink the deficit and lower taxes.

O’Donnell, who unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in 2006 and 2008, could force a Republican primary against Rep. Mike Castle, who announced last year his bid for the seat.

She said she has immense grassroots support and questioned why Castle isn’t remaining in the House of Representatives where he has seniority and influence.

“We will have all the resources we need to win in September and beyond,” she said.

Not so fast, says O’Donnell’s former assistant campaign manager David Keegan.

He’s threatened to out O’Donnell concerning debts she owes to campaign workers and companies. In 2008, O’Donnell won the Republican nomination to run against then-Sen. Joe Biden. State Republicans will make their nominations at a Saturday, May 15 state convention at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center.

Alma Roach runs for Sussex County Recorder of Deeds

January 29, 2010

Alma Roach

Georgetown’s Alma Roach announced Tuesday, Jan. 26 that she is seeking the post at the Sussex County Recorder of Deeds.

“I just feel with my experience in the use of records, it would bring something new to the office in quite some time,” she said.

Roach is the first challenger to emerge in a position held by John Brady. Roach announced her plans for the row-office seat at a Georgetown rally for Frank Shade who officially announced Tuesday, Jan. 26 his bid for the 37th House District seat – a seat held by Rep. Ruth Briggs King, who won a special election in September.
Roach is a title searcher with the Georgetown-based law firm Fuqua & Yori.

“We need to preserve history of the office, but at the same time, move ahead with a contemporary office. We need to remember the recorder of deeds office is the heart and soul of Sussex County and its history,” she said.

Roach is planning rallies and fundraisers in March, when she will officially announce her bid.

Frank Shade to run for the 37th District

January 19, 2010

Democrat Frank Shade, president of Punkin Chunkin for seven years, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 37th Representative District, a seat held by Republican Ruth Briggs King.
In a special election last year, Briggs King won the seat, topping Georgetown attorney Democrat Rob Robinson, who won the nomination in a vote of the Sussex County Democrats.
Shade, 61, lives in Nesbitt Station just outside Lewes and is Sussex County director of purchasing and fleet management. From 2002 to 2008, Shade served as president of the Punkin Chunkin Association, and, by choice, Shade said did not seek another term.
Instead, he became a Punkin Chunkin trustee and director of promotions and media. Under his presidency, he said Punkin Chunkin has earned an international reputation. Shade plans to announce his candidacy at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26 at Georgetown’s Brick Hotel. Later that day, he will announce at 2 p.m., at The Buttery in Lewes.

Delaware Democrats castigate Rep. Mike Castle

January 11, 2010

Delaware Democrats are calling Republican Rep. Mike Castle a hypocrite.

The thrashing comes after a release was issued by Castle’s office Thursday, Jan. 7, crediting him with helping the state acquire $5.2 million that Democrats say were stimulus funds.

Not so, says Castle’s Legislative and Communications Director Kate Dickens. Nothing we released or announced were stimulus funds. They were regular appropriation funds,” she said.

Dickens said funds for the homeless came from the Omnibus Appropriations Act in 2009. She said about $500,000 were included in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010. At one point, Castle did oppose the homeland security measure because it did not include sufficient funds for rail or transit security, she said. Later, she said, Castle ended up approving the bill.

Delaware Democratic Party Chairman John Daniello said, In Congress, he does nothing to help create jobs and fix the economic crisis President Bush generated, but back in his district, he takes credit for projects opposed.

Dickens said Democrats and some reporters need to do their homework. Again, they’re not checking stimulus funds, they’re not checking their facts,she said.

Milton mayor responds to recent crime increase

December 4, 2009

Milton Mayor Don Post said increased community vigilance would improve safety in the wake of recent crimes.

“Basically, the sad thing is this is what’s occurring everywhere throughout Delaware. I think a lot of it is a bad economy producing an increase in crime. The only thing I hope is that Neighborhood Watch will continue to strengthen and to be more diligent,” said Post. He urges residents to increase community awareness.

Milton Police Chief William Phillips said he is considering a police substation or new police station for Shipbuilder’s Village, the residential development where some crimes have arisen.

“Sometime appearance calms the storm,” he said. “In our world, it seems there are fights about three things: sex, drugs and money.”

Sussex agency helps solve credit, mortgage woes

October 30, 2009

Shown at the grand opening are (l-r) Rony Peralta; Carlos Herrera, housing clinic director; Angus; Diana Bernal, credit clinic director; Rashmi Rangan, DCRAC executive director; and Jenna Fenstermacher, clinic coordinator-Public Ally.

DCRAC opens office in Georgetown

Title and payday loan officers and pawn shops in Sussex County – look out. Sussex County now has an office where Cape Region residents can learn to fix their credit, hold onto their homes and even dust off their resumes – all free of charge.

The Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council Inc. (DCRAC) opened a Georgetown office on Tuesday, Oct. 27, in the Georgetown Professional Park – an appropriate location next to the county’ social security and unemployment offices.

Founded in 1987, DCRAC aims to educate and advocate for equal treatment of under served populations when it comes to obtaining credit. Largely based on outreach, the council helps people become responsible and educated consumers through educational seminars on budgeting, credit counseling and first home-buyer advice. With two offices in Kent and New Castle counties, DCRAC executive director Rashmi Rangan said, a Sussex County office was long overdue. Plus, all clinic directors speak both English and Spanish. Rangan said because of the demand in Sussex County – parts of which have some of the highest foreclosure rates in the state – DCRAC decided to set up shop. Foreclosures are now creeping east toward Rehoboth, Lewes and Bethany. Although the nonprofit agency is designed to help low-income residents, Rangan said she is seeing more and more eastern county residents who need DCRAC’s services.

“The landscape is changing. I never dreamed I would see people needing help holding onto their homes with $150,000 mortgages,” she said. On Monday, a tax clinic helps residents tidy up their income tax problems. On Tuesday, a credit clinic helps residents repair their credit and learn to budget. On Thursday, a housing clinic helps first-time homebuyers and those facing foreclosure.

“Today, a half a million dollar mortgage is not unheard of. We’re seeing these people face foreclosure. These are people we never considered for our traditional clients,” said Rangan. “I fear this economic climate is only going to get worse. Our services in Sussex County are needed more than ever,” she said.

For more information, call 1-877-825-0750, or visit:

Milton council: Let the police chief do his job

October 6, 2009

At a Monday, Oct. 5 Milton Town Council meeting, the council decided to table a proposal to enact objectives and goals for Milton Police Department Chief William Phillips. Phillips was put on administrative leave for six months after internal department complaints arose regarding his leadership. The council, however, reinstated the chief at a Sept. 3 public hearing with a 3-1 vote. At the council meeting, with a 4-2 vote, council agreed to table the objectives for six months to allow the chief to regain his leadership and organize the department.

Drowning in Milton

September 17, 2009

Shipbuilders VillageShipbuilders Village, a residential development in northwest Milton, constantly floods during heavy rains. For five years, residents in the back of the development along Spinnaker often wade to their cars to get to work, or they wake up to find runoff covering their front doorsteps. Milton Mayor Don Post pledged to take care of the problem in a May letter sent to residents. Nothing has been done yet. Now, the Town of Milton is swimming in a legal puddle over obtaining easements to pump the water out of the drowning development.