Political Gossip and Tidbits Wandering About The Small Wonder That is Delaware- The Thanksgiving 2015 Edition

Cracker Barrel imposter moving to Rehoboth. Update on Deltech and let’s talk farming in Delaware, be gentle cause it’s a tough critique. Much more, click on in for smiles and snark.

I am removing my references to the farming business here in Delaware because it has upset some people. You pick your battles and this is not one of mine. I do have issues with how these farming monies are given out and I don’t think agriculture is the future of Delaware though believe I’d like to be wrong about that. Anyway, I was making more of a social argument than an economic one and…..but I’ll get back to it….give me time.

Christine O’Donnell Back In the NEws

From WXDE:


Former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell says a Federal Election Commission lawsuit accusing her of improper campaign expenditures is a “witch hunt” and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
O’Donnell, who famously declared during the 2010 Senate race that she was not a witch, made the comment Friday in a teleconference with the federal judge hearing the case.

O’Donnell also said she is having trouble hiring a local attorney, claiming that at least three lawyers she has talked to have received phone calls warning of “political backlash” if they represent her.

Her former local attorney, Richard Abbott, withdrew last month, saying he hasn’t been paid for his services.

The judge said he might consider the extraordinary step of waiving the requirement for local counsel so the case could proceed without further delay.

Goodness why don’t they leave this woman alone? Here it is 2015 and still they chase this woman down like an animal. That’s Delaware for you, if you are politically unpopular they will bother you for the rest of your living days.

Now I knew Christine O’Donnell and thought, and still think, that she’s a lovely person no matter how many people tell me I should hate her. She had money issues, I know that, and God knows she might well have mis-used some of her campaign funds.

But I know deep in my cynical heart that every other damn candidate has questionable charges on their campaign finance reform, I did that form for a candidate and even charged a haircut to contributions.

Understand haircuts are a legal cost of campaigning, on some level, and so are very many other questionable things.

This strikes me as political nastiness and nothing less.

Delaware Animal Control Issues Resolved…Allegedly

Now we all know that northern Delaware does not like southern Delaware and for sure southern Delaware despises northern Delaware.

As I am to understand, this animal control issue is a sore spot but now we understand the issue has been resolved.

For a while Sussex county had its own animal control, as did Kent county. As is Delaware’s wont, Newcastle county was on its stupid own.

The Chester county SPCA will be providing services for all three counties. Cost around 6.5 million and right now I declare that Sussex county will get lousy service.

This group has been serving Kent county and Wilmington this year since September.

Starting in January, stray animals can be reported to the Delaware Animal Services hotline at 302-255-4646.

We’ll be keeping sharp eye on this because if it involved Newcastle county, it will be a mess.

Help for Inventors-This Strikes me as odd.
Goodness, help for inventors, based on inventor’s annual income….this looks like a scam waiting to happen.

From Widener Delaware Law School:

Widener University Delaware Law School launches a new, free public service that will support innovation and creativity for people with the next “big invention.”

The school launched the Delaware Patent Pro Bono Program at an event attended Monday by Senator Chris Coons and officials with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

It’s not that I have any problems with inventors, goodness “Shark Tank” is one of my favorite shows.

And I know inventors get scammed by every Nigerian looking for a paycheck so this program gives me pause for our taxpayer monies involved in this.

Inventors will get free legal advice and help with the patent office. What’s even stranger, this help is provided based on the inventor’s annual income

What’s even more disturbing is this quote below:

IMPORTANT: The DLS Patent Pro Bono Program has limited resources and a limited number of volunteer patent attorneys and agents. Consequently, the program will not be able to offer pro bono services to every applicant who satisfies the eligibility requirements. Instead, the administrator of the program and the volunteer attorneys and agents will use their discretion to select those applicants whose needs are best suited to the services the program has to offer. We apologize in advance if we are not able to offer you the program’s services.

I do understand that someone inventing an electric fly swatter might not get as much help as they who invent something useful.

But it doesn’t sit right with me, it looks like a form on income distribution to me.

Larry Hogan Cancer Free

I know he’s the Governor of MERRYLAND but hey, he’s the token Republican Marylanders elect once the Democrats dr11.27.15deltidbitshoganraise taxes too damn high then they re-elect more Democrats and the cycle goes on.

But he’s a good guy and we are delighted that he beat this horrible form of cancer.

Delaware Women Legislators On the Decline

From WXDE:

The number of rank-and-file women in the General Assembly of Delaware is the lowest in 10 years.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that there are currently 15 female lawmakers in the state house today compared to 21 in 2005.

Additionally, Delaware is still one of three states, including Vermont and Mississippi, to have never elected a woman to serve in the District of Columbia.

Well Christine O’Donnell was female and they weren’t very nice to her. And Lacey Lafferty is female and she gets a lot of mockery, hardly a whole lot of encouragement.

I think it’s more the KIND of ACCEPTABLE female running for the GOP-e in this state, not any female, be honest about it people.

Rehoboth Jimmy’s Grille-Being Sued by Cracker Barrell?

I consider this an amusing local color story. I know of Alex Pires, of course, from his infamous run for Senate to his attempt to bring a Firefly type of event here to Sussex county.He also owns a lot of local businesses and is now building a new Jimmy’s Grille in Rehoboth.

From DelawareOnline:

Dewey Beach businessman and former U.S. Senate Candidate Alex Pires says attorneys are trying to negotiate a settlement of a federal trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the Cracker Barrel restaurant company.

Cracker Barrel filed the lawsuit last week, alleging that Highway I Limited Partnership, led by Pires, was using a design for the new Jimmy’s Grille restaurant and gift shop in Rehoboth Beach that copies and misappropriates the distinctive look of Cracker Barrel restaurants.
Pires said in an email to The Associated Press this week that settlement discussions are under way, and his attorney filed court papers Tuesday saying the parties have agreed to extend the deadline for Highway I to respond to Cracker Barrel’s request for a temporary restraining order.

Below is the picture of the restaurant being built right now.


It does kind of look like a Cracker Barrel but seriously, they own how their restaurant looks?

We’re keeping eye on this local action.

DELTECH Business Manager-I spoke to him, as promised

So here is My post on the matter, and below a quote:

Delaware Technical Community College’s president called for top budget officials Thursday to support a bill that would impose a property tax on all state residents.

Senate Bill 137, filed in June, would treat DelTech like the state’s three vocational school districts, creating a fund supported by a tax on assessed value of real estate. The legislation would create a tax maxing out at $1 for every $1,000 in assessed value. DelTech administrators say the proposal would cost most homeowners less than $10 in the first year.

I informed yon readers that I know the Business Manager of Deltech quite well and oh boy…..so I chanced to speak to him at a recent church event and Robert Hearn, Business Manager for Deltech went ballistic.

He ranted about Sussex Tech getting state money, that Deltech doesn’t have a chance to go out and do referendums to get more money, on and on and on through the dessert line to the coffee bar.

And I know if I called up Mr. Hearn and told him I wanted to interview him about this Deltech issue he’s probably refuse, blah, blah, “I can’t speak for the college”, yada, yada.

But I caught him at a time when he was ready to speak so THIS ladies and gems, is my interview.

Bob Hearn is a great guy, truly. I told him that Delawareans often left their home states to get away from ridiculous property taxes. And I didn’t care if this tax on my property allegedly would only be ten dollars a year, I got a bridge to sell to anyone who believes this.

Well he disagreed with me, of course, but I must wonder where does Deltech get its money now? No wait! Shouldn’t it survive on its tuition costs?

Meanwhile I’ll try to tie down Bob for a more formal interview but I DID tell Bob I was writing an article and instead of shutting him up it launched him into a rant.

Actually, it was great! Even though he’s wrong.

Insert wink here.

I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.
Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Working on the property dispute update. Wait until you see those circular roads in Beaver Dam with every one of them hitting my property line on the diagonal. They built those round roads TWELVE YEARS after I bought my land, some twenty years after my fence was put up and you don’t suppose that the circular road could be a bit off, do you? They should make this crap into a movie.

21 Comments on "Political Gossip and Tidbits Wandering About The Small Wonder That is Delaware- The Thanksgiving 2015 Edition"

  1. Creeper says:

    You’re a freaking idiot!

  2. Dunleve says:

    “Not farming country anymore”? Thats one of the most incorrect things I have heard yet from this contributor.

    Agriculture, not Turons, not transplants, not real estate; is still the #1 industry in this State.

  3. Dunleve says:

    The most corrupt money in the State is spent screwing with and fixing the coastline.

  4. fightingbluehen says:

    “It does kind of look like a Cracker Barrel but seriously, they own how their restaurant looks?”

    It looks exactly like Cracker Barrel, and yes, a restaurant can “own how their restaurant looks”….. Try opening a restaurant with two golden arches in front of it and see what happens.

    Pires is a smart guy. He probably knows what he’s doing. The facade of the building is practically a carbon copy of a Cracker Barrel especially where they will be placing the logo of the restaurant.

    My guess is that he is using a technique where that the builder completely oversteps the boundaries and then concedes to some minor alterations, but ends up with the version that he wanted in the first place.
    In this case I would think that he will just remove the logo back drop that sits above the facade. Less than a days work.

  5. fightingbluehen says:

    “Now I knew Christine O’Donnell and thought, and still think, that she’s a lovely person no matter how many people tell me I should hate her. She had money issues, I know that, and God knows she might well have mis-used some of her campaign funds.”

    Well, just like so many other TOURISTS who visit Delaware…..they come for a vacation, and they leave on probation.

  6. Frank Knotts says:

    Pat has stated above that she removed comments about farming here in Delaware, because they upset some people.
    Well let me put back at least the part that was sent to me as a complaint.
    “First, grow up Delaware. You’re not farming country any more. Not even Sussex county, much less those two farms near Port Penn for six million bucks.

    Who says we need to preserve farmland anyway?

    No wait! Farmers think so.
    Of course I have nothing against farming. But Delaware’s changing and this farmland preservation nonsense is more appropriate for Iowa than the swamps of Delaware….now it’s just another form of income redistribution.”
    It seems that the part that bothered people is where Pat says, “You’re not farming country any more.” Why? Because farming is still the number one industry in Delaware, second only to the state itself. They seem to think that Ms. Fish got her facts wrong.
    Well is Delaware, and Sussex specifically really farm country anymore? Maybe the reason farming is the number one industry is because we have no other real industry. When I look around Sussex I do not see a farming culture anymore.
    Furthermore, I agree with Pat, that Farm Preservation should be done away with, like all subsidies. If we focus more on removing the regulatory burdens and tax burden from the farmers, then maybe we wouldn’t have to subsidize them.
    I am not sure why Pat removed her thoughts from the above article, but considering what I have recently gone through with people who don’t like my opinion, I have to say that I wish she had left them up. Those who think her wrong have the ability to simply post links and make their case. Instead they choose to call her names such as “You’re a freaking idiot!”. I know this behavior, I have endured it myself.
    Maybe Pat was wrong about farming being number one, so prove it, would it have been that hard?
    If we are going to fight the fight fro freedom of speech, then it is for all, even those who get it wrong. Sorry, as I have said about my own situation, freedom of speech is not always pretty, it is easy to defend what you agree with, harder to defend those you disagree with.
    So make your case well, and be the bigger person.

  7. Sanity Check says:


    1.a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive:
    “a farm subsidy”
    a parliamentary grant to the sovereign for state needs.
    •a tax levied on a particular occasion.

    Neither of these two definitions of subsidy fits the Farmland Preservation program.

    The farmland preservation program offers to permanently purchase the development rights from a farmer at a very steep discount; keeping the land from being developed in perpetuity. The discounts in the last round averaged 70%; meaning that if the development rights of a farm were valued at $1 million, the farmer would receive $300,000 to permanently keep the land in agriculture.

    Agriculture is a 1.2 billion dollar industry in Delaware. Per acre, Delaware produces $2,505 of product per acre; number 1 in the nation; with # 2 ranked California coming in at $1,667. 41 % of all the land used in Delaware is for farming; 508,652 acres. And, of course, Sussex County is the highest-producing broiler chicken county in the country; as it has been since the 1940’s. 174 million birds. So how do these numbers tie in to Farmland Preservation?

    There’s a saying that ‘farmers don’t have 401(k)’s; they have their land. It used to be that a farmer would sell off lots for development in order to pay for new farmland, equipment, repairs, etc. This development pressure; as well as pressure from developers wanting to purchase large tracts of land to build homes, shopping centers, etc. are very enticing for farmers, and have led to many farms in Delaware being sold to fuel the explosive growth that the state experienced in the last two decades. And a lot of the money; after construction is finished; goes to the large national development companies (Ryan Homes, Horton, NVR, etc.) and does not stay local.

    Now bring in farmland preservation. Farmers are paid a fraction of their farm’s development value in return for a cash payment. Believe it or not, even farmers who farm thousands of acres here in Delaware aren’t cash rich. Their money is tied up in assets that can’t be easily liquidated. Now that cash for the permanent easement on their properties usually stays in the local economy. They purchase vehicles, equipment, build farm buildings, or even purchase more land to farm.

    Both the state and federal governments have seen a public benefit to maintaining agricultural lands. While generally I do not agree with many programs that use taxpayer dollars to benefit private individuals, I see the clear benefit of keeping agriculture alive and prospering here in Delaware; and especially in Sussex.

    Our county is indeed different now than it was just 15 years ago. Tens of thousands of ‘newcomers’ have made Delaware – and Sussex County – home. Families that no longer wanted to be in the business of farming sold thousands of acres of farmland to allow these sprawling communities of ‘tax refugees’. That fact in of itself should be reason enough to fight to keep the farmland we have left producing agricultural products for future generations.

    Just my three cents on the issue.

  8. Sanity Check says:

    Oh, and as for the name calling? come on people. You might not agree with Pat but she’s entitled to her opinion. Just like some won’t agree with mine. But if you expect everyone to fall in line behind you on every issue, you are living in the wrong country and in the wrong century.

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    See how easy that was? An opposing point of view.
    However Sanity says, “Believe it or not, even farmers who farm thousands of acres here in Delaware aren’t cash rich. Their money is tied up in assets that can’t be easily liquidated. Now that cash for the permanent easement on their properties usually stays in the local economy. They purchase vehicles, equipment, build farm buildings, or even purchase more land to farm.”
    So, farmers are given tax dollars to keep doing what they are doing, and they get to use the money as they choose. And this is not subsidizing the farming industry, how?
    It would seem as though we are okay supporting farming refugees.

  10. Sanity Check says:

    Frank, farmers are given money to protect a resource that, once divided out and sold, cannot be reclaimed. They don’t make new land (OK, unless you’re China).
    It’s analogous to the government paying for land to build a road. Both benefit the public interest. Ag preservation is just not as overt a benefit.

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    Sanity, farmers selling a hundred acres of bottom that is non productive does little to preserve anything. And if they cease to work that land it is no longer farm land.
    I say again, remove the tax and regulatory burdens, and maybe the farmers would not see the need to sell to developers.
    And you can do nothing about the fact that many children of farmers do not want to be farmers.
    And finally, farm preservation has become little more than a way to stop projects like Overbrook, though at the rates you quote, if it is about the money, then the developers win.

  12. Sanity Check says:

    Looking at the maps of where current farmland easements are located, I would respectfully disagree with the assertion that the vast majority of these lands are non-productive.

    Many of the farms that are in preservation are not directly on the major corridors (US 113, 13 and DE 1). While I’m sure the property that is being considered for OTC is eligible for preservation, it is the owner’s choice whether to pursue selling for development, or selling the development rights. Obviously a larger premium will be paid to the landowner for development, however many farmers wish to keep their farms in agricultural production.

  13. Rick says:

    The reason O’Donnell is having “difficulty” finding an attorney is because most lawyers don’t want to work for free. It has nothing to to with political intimidation.

    And yes, Cracker Barrell owns “how their restaurant looks,” just like a musician owns “how their song sounds.” Of course, that is up to the court, but my guess is that Pires, being an attorney, will acquiesce, and alter the design at this early stage where not so much needs to be remodeled, and thus, will cost less to alter. Pires may be loaded, but he doesn’t throw money away.

  14. fightingbluehen says:

    “permanent easement on their properties”

    A “permanent easement” is just a “product” usually offered by well dressed well connected fancy boys in a very lucrative, “not for profit” land trust firm of some sort, ultimately financed by tax revenue.

    We don’t know what interest future generations and entities will place on certain parcels of land, but I will assume that they will ultimately do what they want with the land.

    Do you really think a future town or county council will be beholden by some one or two hundred year old easement ?

  15. Subsidize Me says:

    The farmland preservation program offers to permanently purchase the development rights from a farmer at a very steep discount; keeping the land from being developed in perpetuity.

    I take issue with the “in perpetuity” part of this statement. The state can also buy development rights for periods of time (i.e. 10 years).

    And just like the Open Space program, there is no guarantee that the land purchased by the state can’t be sold at a later date for development. Many states have sold land they purchased through different types of trusts to offset budget gaps. Delaware has large projected budget gaps for the foreseeable future.

    Delaware also just passed major legislation allowing every part of the state to set up not for profit land trusts to purchase land in foreclosure, they even tried to give themselves a trump bid that would have eliminated any private sector competition for property, thankfully that part of the legislation failed.

  16. Fish Bites says:

    Of course a restaurant owns “how their restaurant looks”. When you see a Taco Bell, it looks like a Taco Bell. When you see a Pizza Hut, it looks like a Pizza Hut. When an architectural appearance creates that kind of impression which causes you to think of a particular chain, it functions as a trademark.

  17. Frank Knotts says:

    Sanity, when I say that the lands are likely no-productive bottom land, I mean that the land is non-productive as farm land, so selling the rights to the state gains the farmer money on land that is not producing as well as other parts of their farms.
    Sanity says, “however many farmers wish to keep their farms in agricultural production.”
    And nothing is stopping them from doing so, it is their choice to farm or sell to developers. If your point is that they need the money in order to continue farming, then you should retract your assertion that Farm Preservation is not subsidies.

  18. Rick says:

    Do you really think a future town or county council will be beholden by some one or two hundred year old easement ?

    Assuming the easement was validly articulated and recorded, yes.

    There are many reasons for an easement, but the most obvious is to allow access to a parcel of land that would otherwise be “landlocked,” and thus, inaccessible.

  19. fightingbluehen says:

    I’m specifically talking about a “conservation easement”, Rick.

  20. Rick says:

    Okay, I’ll admit I didn’t concider the context.

  21. fightingbluehen says:

    Yeah, I probably should have been more clear about the conservation easement.

Got something to say? Go for it!