Category Archives: Infrastructure

Hold on to your car keys is the International Walking Charter Coming to Dover?

City staff brought a proposal to sign the Walk21 International Walking Charter. It is an effort to use local government to pressure people out of their cars by designing a city to be inhospitable to them. It is from the same fountain as Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030. Considering the fact Dover's Comprehensive Plan is due for revision in the upcoming year, this is worth noting . Are you skeptical? Well hold on to your car keys! Here are some gems from the International Walking Charter. This proposal seeks the following: Put people on foot at the heart of urban planning . Give slow transport modes such as walking and cycling priority over fast modes, and local traffic precedence over long - distance travel 􀂇 Improve land-use and spatial planning, ensuring that new housing, shops, business parks and public transport stops are located and designed so that people can reach them 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).

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

The Loyal Opposition Asks, Who Has Been In Charge the last 5 and 1/2 Years?

President Obama and Governor Jack Markell stood at I-495 Thursday and panned the horrible state of the infrastructure in Delaware and around the nation. It is a terrible problem. I am glad they discovered it after 5 years. I say 5 because President Obama recognized it when he first came into office, he wanted to fund shovel ready projects to stimulate the economy. Most of the money in his stimulus went elsewhere and it seemed to drop off his list of top priorities. At least President Obama can claim almost 3 years of an opposition House (though certainly arguably), but Governor Markell has a super majority in both houses. Of course the Governor will claim that if he got his gas tax hike this year, all would be well. It still begs the fact that he ignored the problem for 5 years, went for an unrealistic proposal that even his own party couldn't buy in an all or nothing package. Read more

New Primer on Government Inefficiency – ‘Fed Style’

Remember when $10 million dollars meant something? Nowadays, such denominations are merely rounding errors for many of our Federal Government agencies and their myriad profligate spending programs. In today's Wall Street Journal, reporter Damian Paletta reminds us in his 'Billions in Bloat Uncovered in Beltway' article of how millions quickly add up to billions. Thanks to the stalwart fiscal oversight of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla), a report was commissioned on the Fed's cornucopia of redundancy, inconsistency and mismanagement -- also known as -- waste, fraud and abuse. According to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, The U.S. government has 15 different agencies overseeing food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs to help the homeless and 80 programs for economic development. This GAO report unfurls some interesting tidbits and is merely a microcosm of a Read more

Representatives Lavelle and Hocker Say “the time has come to fundamentally reassess” DEL DOT’s Organization

January 31, 2011 Governor Jack Markell Tatnall Building Dover, DE 19901 Governor Markell, Given recent events, we are deeply concerned that questions over management of the Delaware Department of Transportation have seriously crippled public confidence in the agency and impacted its ability to operate effectively. Our apprehension involves a long and well-publicized list of missteps, miscues, and questionable deals and is highlighted by news stories that surfaced today regarding two lawsuits in which the agency is currently engaged. The first involves action the state is taking in Chancery Court, alleging a 66-year lease NKS Distributors received from DelDOT for a prime parcel of land along Delaware 1 was a “typographical error.”  NKS, not surprisingly, is challenging that notion, contending that they have spent hundreds-of-thousands of dollars developing the site Read more

Look How Fast Libs Become 10th Amendment Advocates

The Army Corps of Engineers is planning to defy the state of Delaware and start dredging the River. The list of liberals who have all of a sudden discovered the 10th amendment and state’s rights is long. So is my enjoyment at watching them scramble. For the record, I hope they win. Whatever the merits of the dredging, Delaware has a right to its permitting process. Federal law confirms it.

This Time it will work.

There is a big celebration today of the Indian River Bridge Construction. It is obviously needed, but I am a little unsure of the reason for holding the event 11 months into the project. It is not to kick it off nor is it celebrating its completion. It does change the subject about the failure of the last project which was sinking into the water. I guess saying there is politics going on in government would be like saying there is guessing in weather prediction. Best wishes, we believe that this time it will work. (See the entire release on our First Draft of the News page)

NCCo’s WFH Ordinance and Local Vs State Roles

Due to the recent and wholly exaggerated and inaccurate attacks from Bill Powers against Dick Cathcart, Mr. Cathcart provided a response that again clarifies the responsibilities in regard to land use and how they are applying to the developers dream known as NCCo's WFH Ordinance. PLEASE read it objectively, thoroughly, and carefully. If you live in NCCo, especially in areas under the gun from this dibacle, you must be educated on what is happening and also to avoid being deceived into inaccuracies from those who left their fingerprints all over this handout to friends. NO CONFIDENCE TO THESE COUNCIL MEMBERS!!! I have pasted it here: LET THERE BE NO MISTAKE - THE COUNTIES AND LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES IN DELAWARE ARE THE ONLY ENTITIES THAT VOTE TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT. NO STATE AGENCY CAN STOP DEVELOPMENT - THEY CAN ADVISE, BUT THE ULTIMATE DECISION TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT IS ALWAYS WITH THE LOCAL Read more

A better approach to county planning

When I listen to the land management debate, I wonder why the real issues are often mentioned only in passing.  We are in danger of becoming a bedroom community not a vibrant self-sustaining one.   In Kent county, most people can no longer afford to live here on the wages paid.  According to the housing report, most people are being stretched by rent and mortgages beyond what they can comfortably afford.  High energy costs make commuting  to find a better job an unproductive option for many.  Stagnant wages, high energy costs, and a lack of affordable housing have created an iron triangle of despair for many people.  To answer this we need to begin with a smarter, fairer approach to land management.  It should meet these three objectives:  reviving our towns and cities, providing a diversity of housing stock, and promoting a vibrant business environment.  It needs to respect Read more