Frank Calio's Blog (

Current events, political, local, nationally


Dictators survive by being strong and aggressive. We don’t in this country believe in dictators because of their ruthlessness, greed, and power over the decisions of their people, that is unless that person is our dictator.

Once we can’t control them, then we want to go to war.

Regardless even in this country we want strong leaders. Donald Trump had turned on Americans who want someone to be outside of Washington. By being vocal and taking no prisoners Trump has vaulted to the top in the Presidential polls among the 17 Republican hopefuls.

But his campaign is shallow when it comes to substance and alternatives to the problems he says this country has. He holds no press conferences; when pressed for answers on issues he rambles on and trys to change the subject.

Crowds flock to see and hear him, but this country needs a strong leader not someone who shoots from the hip, has little respect for others, doesn’t care who he hurts with his comments and has no solutions for our problems.

Surely Republican voters will see through Trump as they finally did Sara Palin, both very shallow with the issues.  Trumps motor in his mouth starts before the motor in his brain. America is in enough wars; we don’t need to alienate other countries.


A lot of people file bankruptcy, many families for one reason or another. The law provides this says Donald Trump. I have no problem although not happy with those who get in over their heads from their own foolish spending.

But when a person wants to become the President of the United States, brags about his wealth and has filed bankruptcy 4 times leaving thousands unemployed, venders who depend upon a check for their business to survive, leaving them in a larch, and screwing investors/stock holders, no he doesn’t have my vote.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump is crying the  blues this morning on the national news how he was mistreated by the female commentator panelist from last  evening’s presidential debate. I thought she asked the proper question.

How can you manage this country after filing bankruptcy 4 times”, she asked. I’m sure there are others who wanted to hear that answer, again the thought a  fair one.

I’ve always felt Trump was thinned skinned. He’s used to having people bow to him as people do to people who have money. Saying “No” to the Donald is a mortal sin and like committing suicide. It’s his way or the highway.

You have to be thick skin to be in politics, especially a President in this country where the voting public is pretty much 50-50. 

I’ve always felt Donald Trump was a jerk; last evening it was confirmed. I thought everyone on the panel was tossed tough questions; all except Trump took the heat like a professional.

A good give and take debate. The Republicans can take pride in their candidates, although I disagreed with a lot of their answers, they have my respect.


With Obamacare being upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court for the second time, can the Republicans move on and accept this legislation, far from perfect, is the law of the land and stop trying to kill but move on to the more serious problems facing this country?

This decision is important to the 6.4 million Americans who receive tax credits to help pay for their insurance premiums. Researchers stated an estimate 70% would have dropped their coverage if the court had ruled the other way which currently reduces the burden on hospitals, which have to treat every patient who shows up in their emergency rooms, costing an average of $900 a year in costs for every uninsured person in their states.

Fifty times Republicans in Congress have attempted to repeal the law or wipe out its funding.  As more Americans become insured under the law Republicans may find their task increasingly futile.

Republicans stop trying to take the publics mind off the important business at hand such as jobs, and the economy by diverting attention of Obamacare. Suck it up and move on!!


Remember the good old days when organizations raised money with beef/chicken dumpling dinners, barbeques, ice cream festivals, carnivals, circus, bake sales, etc? Most of that is gone now funding replaced by grants from the state of Delaware at the expense of the taxpayers.

These grants over the years have allowed many no-profits to forego fund raisers, satisfied to live off what the state granted them.

Faced with a $20 some million deficit the state has moved to cut these non-profits by 5% this year and faced with a $200 million deficit next year the cuts could be deeper.

The reaction from some of these agencies is as expected; they will cut back on the services they are currently providing. Instead of thinking of ways to replace the loss funding and cutting off aid to those in need, it appears it is easier to ‘punish’ those in need.

Americans are quick to knock those who receive compensation also known as welfare but are as quick to hold out their hands for assistance when it benefits their causes.


Laurel District School Superintendent Shawn Larrimore presented a resolution at the monthly school board meeting to set aside $1.5 million dollars to preserve the exterior of the 1921 former High School Building which was approved by all 5 members of the board.

The remaining funds that were originally allocated to preserving the ’21 building as incorporated in the school referendum will be diverted to construction and renovation of the North Laurel School. The resolution will be presented to the General Assembly for approval. It will be co-sponsored by Rep. Tim Dukes and Sen. Bryant Richardson. The resolution has the blessing of DOE.

The compromise was brought about through Larrimore’s suggestion he had a solution he thought would be a win-win for the district to save the ’21 building and to move forward with the extra savings to complete the building program which will include monies for 5 grades in the New Elementary School. .

Mayor John Shwed then formed a committee to meet with Larrimore which included; Former State Senators David Elliott and Robert Venables, Dukes and Richardson, Madeline Dunn of the State Preservation Office, and Frank Calio.

The bone of contention was Venables had put in the bond bill over $3 million for the exterior preservation of the ’21 building based on estimates he received. Larrimore thought it could be done for $1.5.  He was asked to get a firm estimate.

His estimate from Richard Y. Johnson & Son, Inc. the General Contractor for the school construction came in at $1,469,089.50. I asked if the school board would agree; Larrimore said they would back his proposal, and they did.

The Laurel Alumni , State Preservation Office, and The Laurel Historical Society have been strong supporters in saving the building.

It’s so refreshing to find a person who finally was true to his word. Thanks Mr. Larrimore!!!

Once the building is secured on the exterior, the district will look for ways to use the building. One suggestion was to turn it into a trade school.


The Catholic Church along with other major religious churches are seeing their attendance fall off and seeing very few young people going to church or even claiming a religion.

Even the Evangelistic movement has slowed as many of the young are wrestling with the contents of The Holy Bible.

Being gay, same-sex marriage, and abortions are sins according to the Biblical readings of the churches.

What a shock it must have been to the Catholic Church when Ireland recently passed overwhelmingly approval of gay-marriage by 62% in a heavily Catholic country even with the Catholic Church pushing strongly against the vote.

Society has changed, but churches have not moved with the times. Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said after voters approved the constitutional change, “We must move into the denial of the realities.”


The U.S. Military is working on an experiment to see if women can keep up with men in combat. They are doing everything expected of a man, lift, climb, carry heavy back packs, load heavy ammo, the works.

Now, I’m not sexist; I believe in equal rights for women, equal pay, their right to choose, but I don’t think I want a woman in combat with me. Surely they would give their all, but their bone structure is not that of a man’s; even if they can lift what a man can there is one big difference in a woman vs a man.

Emotions; a woman thinks differently than a man. Their motives in life, how they react to even killing a fly, their sensitivity, their reaction to danger to be is munch different from a man’s; just my opinion.

What’s your opinion on the subject?


Laurel School Board incumbent Brent Nichols retained his seat for another 5 years defeating first time candidate Kim Trivits 288-168. Voter turn out was low, only 456 residents voting, a poor showing for our educational system.


Branding as described by Webster is trying to make your product better known in an effort to sell more of their product. Like a brand of toilet paper telling you their new brand of toilet paper is better than their former product.  Apparently your butt was getting a raw deal, no pun intended.  

Branding is known more for product promotion but now it is becoming fashionable to promote towns, even government.

Sussex County is in the process of paying for a study to rename the Georgetown Airport and their Economic Development Office. Apparently there are too many Sussex County’s in the country and the pilots might be confused and land at the wrong Sussex County? People have been landing there for years and I don’t recall anyone being lost, at least not when I was Director of the Airport.

Grants of $10,000 were recently given to several towns to ‘re-brand’ themselves including my town of Laurel. A few other towns including Seaford were given much more to study and revitalize their decaying downtowns.

Laurel has used their $10,000 to hire a consultant and in discussions for town ‘branding’ has called their ‘branding’ project “Ramble” in an effort to promote the town and businesses.

Another $25,000 grant through DNREC has been awarded to Laurel for another study this one to ensure there are not environmental issues since the ‘new’ Laurel will be along Broad Creek, a study lasting 4-6 months. God forbid they find a rare frog or plant.

  tying in the downtown and along Broad Creek hoping to make Laurel a travel destination area. I am for anything to promote my home town, but I am afraid they are blowing smoke.

In my many years in economic development the story remains the same. Businesses profit if they are located on the main thoroughfares, which in the case of Laurel would be Market Street or RT 24. Laureltowne built on Front St. by the LRC a block down wind from Market St. was supposed to replace the stores demolished by the LRC on Market St as the ‘new’ business district; it failed, it is used as service businesses, and half the stores are vacant.

Face it, the tourist industry is fueled by females. They need two ingredients; places to shop and places to dine. Laurel certainly has the dinning industry, but when the stores on Market St. were demolished Laurel lost the charm of shopping similar to Berlin, MD.

The moment the wrecking ball hit the block of stores, Laurel the town with the largest number of buildings listed on the National Historical Society in Delaware lost any chance of being a travel destination. No shopping, no tourist buses.

The plan for “Ramble” is to include a farmer’s market, ice cream vendors, a kayak and canoe launch along with other amenities. Good luck with that, sincerely.

By the way; where is the money coming for all this construction?  The town has no money and the LRC lost their God Father when Senator Bob Venables, of Laurel and former chairman of the State’s Bond Community who was responsible for the funding of Laureltowne, The Dr. Pierce Ellis Medical Building and the construction of the building housing Abbotts Grill lost his re-election bid in November?.


Ever since I can remember babies born of American Citizens in a foreign country can have dual citizenship or denounce their foreign citizenship.

Thus I believe a foreign-born to an American citizen should be eligible to seek the highest office in this country that of President.

The U.S. Constitution says presidential candidates have to be “natural-born citizens.” But the Supreme Court has never weighed in with a definition, leaving it open to interpretation.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX the first announced candidate for President was born in Calgary, Canada where his parents worked in the oil industry. His mom was born in the United States, Delaware,  his dad was born in Cuba, but later became a U.S. resident.

There already are questions from some of Cruz’s eligibility to run for president because of his birth place.

Many recall the controversy over President Obama’s birth place. Obama’s dad was born in Kenya, his mom Kansas and the president was born in Honolulu Hawaii. Although proof has been shown of his birth certificate proving his birthplace, some still won’t give in to that fact.

For the sake of the non-believers, if Obama was born in Kenya, with his mom being born in America, shouldn’t he have the same right to run for the office Cruz seeks?

John McCain was allowed to run given that he was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone; Obama and Hillary Clinton, both senators then, voted for it.

Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP nominee was born in AZ when it was a territory-not a state, and some questioned George Romney’s eligibility to run in 1968 because he was born in Mexico. Romney’s parents were U.S. citizens.

But they were Republicans and Democrats didn’t protest like Republicans protested Obama’s credentials.

I don’t look toward the Republican Supreme Court to take up the issue either. So, allow Cruz to run, he won’t be in the race long.


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