Frank Calio's Blog (

Current events, political, local, nationally


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.



It appears it is happening a lot lately, professional players being suspended for substance or sexual abuse charges, or actors or sport reporters for using racial slurs, and news reporters who have been caught in ‘little white lies’ about their reporting assignments.

The two most recent high profile figures are Brian Williams of MSNBC for his untruths about his war coverage; he was suspended from his news cast show for six months without pay.

The most recent is Bill O’Reilly who misled the public of his war coverage from foreign fields. His boss, Roger Ailes President of Fox News has given O’Reilly full support.

I’ve never considered FOX News a competent reliable news network, but an entertainment network which throws out innuendo’s false at that, with beauty queens reading the BS from a teleprompter. The rare times they have a legitimate interview with someone who knows what they are talking about the FOX host usually stumbles through the interview and ends up embarrassed.

To me O’Reilly is a fraud. I have refused to purchase his books because based on what I have seen from his interviews about his books they are fictional entertainment and not factual. Many of his political comments have been shot full of holes.

The only reason’s I have to believe he is still on the air is because he does have a lot of viewers who share his far right views which equals $$$ in advertising revenue and, the fact he is a fake journalist and an entertainer and does not have to be held to journalistic standards.


With the filing deadline days away a third candidate has filed for the Laurel School Board Election. John Bowden who lost in a 3-way race last year has joined the race with incumbent Brent Nichols and new comer Kim Trivits.

Bowden is a retired school employee.


For some 20 years Laurel has sponsored an annual town-wide 4th of July event. Once the largest 4th of July celebration, the last years have seen a reduction in crowds and vendors.

A special seven-member committee that has been overseeing the coordination of the event is recommending several changes to include:

Eliminate the July 3rd Block Party; move the parade from morning to around 5 p.m.; have a band perform n Market Square Park following the parade until the fireworks begin around dusk; allow a limited number of vendors to set up in the area of Market Square Park and Central Avenue around 4 p.m. prior to the parade, and to end the evening with a fireworks display.

I don’t think the vendors are going spend the time and money to set up for a couple hours, even food vendors.

What the committee didn’t say, is most town employees had to give up the day to be with their families to make sure the all day event went well. Not fair to them.

The event has been a pet project of Mayor John Shwed, but even he had to admit attendance has been falling off, and in the past few years the heat on that day has been a killer.

I think the committee’s recommendation is right on target. Times change, unless someone has a better plan, Laurel’s Mayor and Council should heed the committees recommendations.


Dear GOP in Congress. I know you don’t like the president. Wait, let me rephrase that. I know you hate the president. He’s beaten you twice, but get over it, don’t punish America because of your hatred.

You’re holding immigration over his head because he made an executive decision to keep immigrant families living in American with American born parents or children from staying in this country and you are willing to tear apart these families because he signed an executive order?

Dear GOP, did you complain when Presidents, IKE, Reagan, Bush, G.W. Bush did the same thing by giving animosity to immigrants? Did you try to shut down the government during their administration?

Statistics show allowing these American born immigrant families amnesty as other Republican presidents did will fuel the economy by allowing them to come out of their shadow and be productive, working better jobs, and starting their own businesses.

God forbid if the GOP had acted this way when my illegal immigrant dad came to this country, where would I be today?

Have you ever tried to pass an immigration bill? One had passed the Senate when the Democrats were in control. Now you are in control. Pass a bi-partisan bill and the president will sign it.

You are willing to lay off 30,000 American workers and put another 100,000 working without pay. You work for nothing and try to pay your mortgage, a car, send your kids to college and buy food. See how you like it. You all say how much you love God and Country; well, protect us.

Homeland Security also includes DEMA. What are you going to do if their is a major disaster in this country? Oh I know, blame Obama for his lack of response time. You are so good at shifting the blame to the president.

Dear GOP; let’s stop the spiting, the hatred, and get on with business for all Americans not just your selfish interest.


· Winter Weather Advisory in effect from February 25, 10:00 PM EST until February 26, 01:00 PM EST

· Hazardous Weather Outlook is in effect

Today Sunny, with a high near 38. West wind 8 to 13 mph.

Tonight Snow likely, mainly after 4am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 22. Light and variable wind becoming northeast 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Thursday Snow, mainly before 10am. High near 30. North wind 7 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Thursday Night Cloudy, with a low around 18. North wind 5 to 7 mph.

Friday Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. North wind 8 to 13 mph.

Friday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14.


With the Laurel School Board Election almost 3 months away, two candidates have filed for the 5-yr seat now held by Brent Nichols.

Nichols has re-filed; today Kim Trivits also filed to challenge Nichols.


Again their will be no town election next month in Laurel as the filing deadline has closed.

Mayor for life John Shwed is again unopposed.

Only one vacancy existed, that of Council President Terri Wright who declined to run citing health reasons. She is being replaced by newcomer Cheryl Martin for the 4th ward seat. .

Randy Lee said he would not run again if someone qualified stepped up; no one did so he filed for his seat in the 1st ward.

Councilman-at-Large Chris Calio is once again unopposed.

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