All posts by Wolf von Baumgart

Fallout From IRAN Nuclear Deal (1)

IAEA Withholds Information From US Senate and Obama Administration By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer An official spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) claims that International Atomic Energy (IAEA) Director, Yukiya Amano, in response to direct Iranian pressure, has withheld secrets of the “Roadmap of Cooperation Between Iran and the IAEA” [an apparent separate agreement with Iran] from the U.S. Congress and Obama Administration. Behrouz Kamalvandi, speaking in a meeting with Iranian lawmakers in Tehran on Monday August 17 declared that “If secrets of the agreement are revealed, we will lose our trust in the Agency.”, according to the FARS News Agency The announcement as it stands can have serious implications for US Senate ratification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 (commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Read more

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Rejects Iran Nuclear Deal

By Wolf von Baumgart,Staff Writer

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, has announced he will reject the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, despite major White House efforts aimed at securing Senate ratification.

Read more here:

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/08/18/Sen-Bob-Corker-rejects-nuclear-deal-with-Iran/6731439894543/?nll=1 .

Lifeguard Times to be Reduced at Delaware State Park Beaches

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Seasonal cutbacks of weekday lifeguard hours will be in effect at two Delaware State Park beaches starting Monday, August 24.

The Tower Road area at Delaware Seashore State Park and the Fenwick Lot area at Fenwick Island State Park will be guarded only on weekends and unguarded on weekdays from Monday, Aug. 24 through Friday, Aug. 28, and Monday Aug. 31 through Friday, Sept. 4 according to the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation.

The Cape Main and South Side Inlet state beaches will remain guarded from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day through Labor Day (Monday, September 7) with reduced swimming areas and fewer lifeguards on-duty.

For more information, call the Division of Parks and Recreation’s Operations Section at 302-739-9200.

Governor Vetoes HB 130: Sexual Contact Legislation

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Delaware Governor Jack Markell, on strongly-worded legal and constitutional grounds, has vetoed HB 130, bill that would have made sexual contact between consenting adults a felony level offense, earlier today. The bill specifically applied to health care professional/patient relationships during the course of treatment, but it failed to differentiate between consensual and non-consensual sex. It would have made it a Class F felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment with an automatic loss of professional license upon conviction. The Governor , in support of his veto, has issued the following statement: _____________________________________________________________________________________________ August 17, 2015 TO THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 148th GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Pursuant to Article Read more

White House Announces New Federal Drug Program Funding for Delaware

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Less that one week after Delaware Governor, Jack Makell announced his drug priorities, White House officials have announced that a $2.5 million federal allocation will fund the Heroin Response Strategy. Speaking with the Governor, in Wilmington earlier today, Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy, announced that federal funding for Delaware via the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program is part of a new law enforcement and public health initiative to deal with heroin and prescription drug abuse. New Castle County was designated as an HIDTA last year by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The White House announcement on the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program can be read in its entirety at: www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/high-intensity-drug-trafficking-areas-program The Read more

Experts File Amicus Brief in Marshall Islands Nuclear Non-Proliferation Case Against the U.S.

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer On 4/24/2014, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed an Application Instituting Proceedings Against the United States before the International Court of Justice in the Hauge. Four recognized American nuclear experts have filed a judicus amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the Marshall Islands effort to compel the United States to meet its requirements under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), ratified by the US Senate in 1970. Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists; Dr. James Doyle, a nuclear nonproliferation expert fired by the Los Alamos national lab after publishing a study arguing for nuclear weapons abolition; Robert Alvarez, a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, now at the Institute for Policy Studies; and Jay Coghlan, director Read more

Are Russia and NATO Preparing for WAR?

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer As Russia’s military exercises and maneuvers in the Baltic, Atlantic and Pacific (vis-à-vis NATO nations and other allies) have assumed a more aggressive and less cautious posture over the last two years, legitimate geostrategic questions arise: 1) Is this a classic geopolitical tactic to reassert regional dominance over former Soviet Republics (now independent states in Europe and Asia) and/or implementation a psycho-political control mechanism over the Russian people to minimize domestic dissent through creation of international tensions? 2) Given increasing bipolar force levels in closer proximity and emergent international tensions, can a serious untended conflict arise and get out of control? 3) “Are Russia and NATO actually preparing for war?” A recent article in the Daily Telegraph suggests the latter, according to a report Read more

Governor Markell Signs Locomotive Idling Regulation Bill

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Delaware Governor, Jack Markell, has signed SB-135, a bill aimed at restricting nonessential locomotive idling into law, earlier this afternoon.

The Governor’s Press Secretary, Kelly M. Bachman, confirmred that the bill was enacted, but was not at liberty to comment further in light of Norfolk Southern’s federal challenge to the jursitiction, intent, scope and effect of the legislation.

Norfolk and Southern, a major interstate Class I railroad serving large portions of the South, Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S., filed an acclelerated motion for declaratory judgement with the US Surface Transportation Board on August 4, 2015 contending that state and local regulations of raiload operations are explicitly precluded by the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995 (ICCTA).

Norfolk Southern Opposes SB-135

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In light of increased rail shipments of Canadian crude oil to the Delaware City refinery, the Delaware General Assembly has passed SB 135, designed to limit “non-essential” locomotive idling between the hours of 8pm and 7am. Fines would range from $5,000 to $10,000 for a first offense, with $10,000 to $20,000 fines for repeat violations. It is not clear to what degree that the statute would actually be enforced if Governor Jack Markell signs it into law. The controversy pits the quality-of-life interests of nearby residents against the interests of Delaware’s railroads and petroleum industry in the greater context of economic and environmental concerns. Additionally, a complex legal technicality has emerged : EPA/federal preemption of state regulation of locomotive environmental impact, largely due to the interstate nature of railroads and Read more

Is Putin in Trouble?

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Faced with being bogged down in the Donbas, international sanctions, an impending oil and natural gas glut, a receding economy and various internal pressures – all in the context of increasingly blustering rhetoric and daringly provocative military maneuvers; it is logical to ask if he (and by extension, Russia) is in serious trouble. Brian Whitmore (of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) in a recent article in Business Insider claims that he is. Historically, a common tactic of those in power, faced with increased domestic problems and emergent dissent and social instability is to create increased international tension as a method of internal control. These may, in turn, lead to serious external repercussions. • Putin’s recent claim of the North Pole as Russian territory is dubious at best, but makes for international high drama. • Read more

FAS Issues Report on Implementation of Iran Nuclear Agreement

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Nuclear Verification Capabilites Independent Task Force of the Federation of American Scientists has issued a report, “Six Achievable Steps for Implementing an Effective Verification Regime for a Nuclear Agreement with Iran. “ The intent of the FAS analysis is to outline challenges to and offer constructive suggestions for effective implementation of the proposed Iran Nuclear Agreement. The report emphasizes six feasible steps for executing an effective nuclear nonproliferation verification regime with Iran: 1. Ensure that the Joint Commission Works Effectively Among the P5+1 and Iran to Facilitate Compliance and Communication 2. Organize Executive Branch Mechanisms to Create Synergy and Sustain Focus on Implementation Over the Long-Term 3. Support and Augment the IAEA in the Pursuit of its Key Monitoring Role 4. Read more

Girls Inc. August, 2015 Latina Family Bonding and Health Conference

Posted by: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Girls Inc. of Delaware and Beebe Healthcare will present a free family bonding and health screening event for Latinas in Delaware on Saturday, August 15th, beginning at 9:00 am at: La Iglesia de Dios Maranatha on 24620 German Road, Seaford, Delaware. The free bi-lingual event, SABER ES VENCER: SALUDABLES PARA NOSOTRAS Y NUESTRAS FAMILIAS (designed to strengthen the bond between mothers and daughters between the ages of 9 to 15) will be hosted by Pastor Israel Figueroa and La Iglesia de Dios Maranatha and will include : • Health Screenings will by Beebe Healthcare including Blood Pressure, Glucose and Cholesterol • Programs with speakers from La Red, Westside Health, NAMI Delaware, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and more • A discussion about Diabetes Prevention and how to manage chronic illnesses • A presentation about Read more

Festival Hispano 2015

Festival Hispano was held at the Millsboro Little League Field on Sunday, August 9, 2015. The gala community event celebrates and shares the rich and diverse culture, cuisine, music and dance of 19 Hispanic nations of North, Central and South America . The event, organized by La Esperanza, a non-profit agency that serves the various needs of the Hispanic Community of Sussex County, Delaware, is held annually from Noon to 6 pm. Festival Hispano, known for its high positive energy and friendly atmosphere, is an integral part of the Sussex County music scene. [ Photos by Wolf ("el Lobo") von Baumgart ] La Esperanza can be visited on the Internet at:http://www.laesperanza.org/ Read more

Senator Tom Carper Comments on the Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted by: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In response to a Midlantic Dispatch inquiry, Delaware U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D) has issued the following statement: August 4, 2015 Dear Mr. von Baumgart, Thank you for contacting me about the recent announcement of an international agreement to address Iran's nuclear weapons program. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. As you know, U.S. relations with Iran have been heavily strained in recent years due to Iran's growing nuclear program. As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Iran is permitted to maintain a peaceful nuclear energy program in exchange for its commitment not to develop a nuclear weapons program and allow periodic inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency – an independent nuclear watchdog organization that reports to the United Nations on the safety and security of Read more

First State Animal Shelter/SPCA Proposes Public Contract Extensions

Controversy Remains By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In an apparent change of strategy, First State Animal Shelter/SPCA Director, Kevin Usilton, has proposed a one-year extension (to June 30, 2016) of all public animal control contracts in Delaware after previously announcing that they would be terminated by September 15, 2015. Currently, about 40 FSAS/SPCA animal control officers and other employees are scrambling to find new jobs in anticipation of the termination, as the State of Delaware moves to assume direct administration of animal control functions through the Office of Animal Welfare. Annual FSAC-SPCA annual contracts ranged as follows: Sussex County ($682,616), Kent County ($895,041.12), New Castle County ($1,035,000), Wilmington ($600,000), City of Dover ($40,000) and the Delaware Department of Public Health for rabies ($275,520) and cruelty reimbursement of ($106,000); Read more

Khamenei Says Iranian Foreign Policy Towards the US Won’t Change

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Speaking officially earlier on Saturday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that “A landmark nuclear deal with world powers won’t change Iran’s stance toward the arrogant United States government.

While proponents of the recent nuclear accord may speculate that the statement was intended for domestic consumption, opponents will use the comment to strengthen their case.

No word as yet on White House or State Department reaction.

First State Animal Shelter Terminates Public Animal Control Contracts

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Board of Directors of the First State Animal Shelter and SPCA (formerly known as the Kent County SPCA) has voted (14-1) on Monday, July 13 to terminate all public animal control enforcement contracts in Delaware, effective 15 September 2015. Instead, the organization (based in Camden, DE) will switch to an "animal rescue and no-kill shelter" operation. The board's decision potentially leaves a gap in related services in the event that various state, county and local officials do not formulate an alternative operational strategy. This includes setting up an animal shelter, training and outfitting of personnel, implementation of legal framework, administrative operations and soliciting bids. The Delaware Office of Animal Welfare recently announced that it would assume direct responsibility for animal control enforcement operations at an estimated Read more

Delaware Congressman John Carney Comments on Iran Nuclear Agreement

Delaware's sole U.S. Representative, John Carney, has issued the following statement on the nuclear agreement with Iran: Congressman Carney Statement on Nuclear Agreement with Iran WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman John Carney (D-DE) today released the following statement on the nuclear agreement with Iran: “I'm pleased to hear that an agreement has been reached -- I look forward to studying the details of it with skeptical and clear eyes. The central question is whether we are indeed better off with the deal than without it. “As I've said all along, a good deal must curtail Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons program and put in place a tough regime of inspections that will ensure that Iran is playing by the rules. International inspectors need complete access to Iran's known nuclear facilities and to other secret facilities that might be used to get around the terms of the Read more

Senator Chris Coons Comments on Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted by: Wolf von Baumgart Delaware U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has released the following statement regarding the multinational nuclear deal with Iran: “The United States must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten our national security, the security of Israel, and the stability of the entire Middle East. “I will review the details of this agreement promptly, and I will only support it if this deal prevents every Iranian pathway to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  In conversations with senior Administration officials, I have been clear about the specifics of what I want to see from this nuclear agreement.  The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must have timely and effective access to military and sensitive facilities in Iran, and Read more

President Will Veto Any Congressional Opposition to Iran Nuclear Proliferation Agreement

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer President Obama has vowed that he will veto any congressional legislation that would run contrary to the nuclear accord reached with Iran. He flatly stated that he was confident that the deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and its allies. He also advised members of Congress to tone down their rhetoric regarding Iran. Under the terms of the agreement reached earlier Tuesday morning in Vienna between the US, Russia, Germany, China, France, UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran, most UN-imposed economic sanctions against Iran will be lifted under the following terms: ⁰ A 15-year delay on advanced nuclear research and production. ⁰ Lengthening of nuclear device breakout time from 2-3 month to 1 year. ⁰ Elimination of 2/3 of Iranian centrifuges. ⁰ IAEA inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities. ⁰ Prevention Read more

Rosedale Pier Repairs Completed

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has announced completion of scheduled repairs of Rosedale Pier, a popular public boat ramp adjacent to Gull Point near Millsboro, in time for the Fourth of July weekend. The repairs included replacement of deteriorating wooden floating docks with aluminum floating docks and fill-in of a major hole at the end of the concrete ramp that made boat retrieval difficult at times. BEFORE: Rosedale Pier in Need of Repair[photo: Wolf von Baumgart] AFTER: Rosedale Pier Upgraded [Photo: DNREC] The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, in a public effort to prolong the integrity of the facility, urges boaters not to engage in the practice of power loading boats on trailers, as large holes in the bottom are readily created in this manner, necessitating further maintenance at public Read more

Open Letter re: HB 204

Guest Opinion By: Doug Beatty Dear Representative Lynn, This citizen must take umbrage with your sponsorship of H.B. 204. On what planet is this a sound idea? The animal control officers at KCSPCA/FSAC have racked up an impressive history of unanswered complaints. At this very moment one Jacqueline Dyer of Hartly has publicy stated that Lt. David L. Hulse is retaliating against her for a drug test Hulse failed in 2006 administered by Dyer. After Dyer went public, she was criminally charged for dog at large on very shaky probable cause. In fact, in spite of evidence to the contrary according to Ms. Dyer and video from her home surveillance that she has made public. Anywhere I've lived except this place would call that retaliating against a whistle blower. Here, nobody cares how many officials know about this event it seems to always fall outside their responsibility. Giving Read more

Finnish Defense Minister Attends NATO Brussels Conference

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Finland’s Minister of Defense, Jussi Niinistö, participated in a major NATO ministerial meeting held in Brussels on Thursday, 25 June 2015. He took an active part in the Resolute Support (RS) discussions, focused on facilitating training and advice for the Afghan security forces and agencies and the future of the operation.

The meeting also discussed the general security situation in Afghanistan and assessed the progress of Resolute Support from an operational perspective. Finland currently has 80 peacekeepers and advisors stationed in Afghanistan.

Delaware Senate Passes Opt-out Bill With Amendments

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Delaware State Senate, yesterday, has passed HB 50, legislation that legally codifies the existing rights of parents to have their children opt out of standardized state educational testing, by a margin of 14 to 7 with two amendments. SA 1 to HB 50 (passed 11 to 9 with 1 absent) would also allow parents to opt out of district-wide assessments was sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman, David Sokola (D-Dist.8, Newark). Additionally, SA 2 to HB 50 (passed 13 to 3 with 5 not voting) that would enable high school juniors to opt out of state testing, was sponsored by Senator Bryan Townsend (D-Dist.11, Newark). The amendments drew criticisms from HB 50’s primary sponsor, State Representative, John A. Kowalko (D-Dist. 25, Newark South) who stated that the amendments, in his opinion, were designed to kill the bill. For the record, Senator Read more

Putin Announces That Russia Will Add 40 New ICBMs to its Strategic Nuclear Force in 2015

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Speaking at the Tuesday, June 16 opening of the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2015 in the newly-created military-patriotic recreation park in Kubinka, Moscow Region, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that forty new advanced ICBMs will be added to Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal in 2015.“This year, our nuclear forces are going to get more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating all existing, even the most advanced missile defenses.", he said. He further elaborated that “The state would persist in paying specific attention to realization of a massive military rearmament program and modernization of the defense industry”. Vladimir Putin opening the IMTF ARMY-2015 Exposition [Photo:RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf] This announcement comes in the context of significant Russian weapons systems development Read more