BEACH TRAFFIC A NIGHTMARE

A FB friend of mine recently posted a travel experience at 5 points in Lewes to the Midway Shopping Center. He said driving from those two points took him a 45 minutes, a distance of just a few miles. And this was not during the weekend, but in the middle of the week.

Unless you are booked to vacation at a beach property that has all the amenities you want in a vacation, parking, beach front eating places and shopping within walking distance, if you have to use your vehicle to get to these places, you are living a nightmare trying to fight traffic.

This is a vacation?

Locals who live year round shop the early part of the week, park their car on their property and stay home. Even the off season on weekends especially traffic is no picnic.

Gone are the Sundays when a large group of Laurel residents could drive up the main street to the boardwalk at Bethany Beach, park for free all day and pretty much have the beach to themselves.

And as long as our Sussex County Council can balance their budget from the sales of these homes without a tax increase development will continue. County council has been able to fund their budget based on the transfer tax from their sale of the high priced homes.

Both political parties are guilty of allowing too much development. I can’t blame the farmers who want to sell after years of fighting drought, price controls, environment controls while they laugh their way to the bank.

Now, that’s what I call true retirement.

LAUREL GIRL NAMED ONE OF STATES TOP POLITICANS WHO MAKE WAVES

A benefiting honor goes out to a Laurel young lady who was named by the News Journal as one politician who makes waves in Delaware politics.

Sara Wootten who describes herself as “the wonky nerd” in Legislative Hall who is anything but except a dynamitic no nonsense young lady where the sky is the limit for her political career.

Wootten, has been the House Democrat’s deputy chief of staff for policy since 2014. She was instrumental in many of the last-minute bills that lawmakers passed over the summer, including legislation to allow voting by mail in the 2020 elections.

She began her career upon completing college 19 years ago working for Governor Ruth Ann Minner in 2002 vetting political nominees, one of the lowest level positions as the assistant to the director of boards and commissions, a job leading to tedious work that taught her the necessary minutiae of state government.

By 2009, she had moved over to the state House and, after that, the Division of Research before returning to the House.

She is also credited being one of the main organizers of the police accountability task force, which the Black Caucus created in June as part of a eight-item list of efforts to address systemic racism. While she doesn’t take credit for those agenda items, she’s passionate about criminal justice reform.

She expects to dedicate the rest of her career in state government to include responding to the coronavirus pandemic because she believes sit will take a decade or longer to flesh out all policy solutions needed.

She is the daughter of Edsel and Kathy Wootten.

SOMEDAY I’M GOING TO BE PRESIDENT: JOE BIDEN 1977

Joe Biden was elected by a slim margin as Delaware’s US Senator, over popular Caleb Boggs in 1972.

Five years into his first term, 1977, Joe Conaway who was Sussex County Council Administrator had an interest in running for Congress. I had just been elected Sussex County Democrat Chair. Joe thought the senator could give him some insight for fund raising. Joes wife Joanne rode with us.

We met in the senators Wilmington office.

Most of the conversation was dominated by the young senator, and I’m not sure if we received any information on fund raising. Biden was just interesting to hear speak.

Just before our meeting terminated out of the sky Biden stated, “Someday I’m going to be President of the United States. I looked at Conaway, he looked at me, neither of us said a word.

Joe was driving home, and after we hit the outskirts of Wilmington, I broke the silence with, “Did you hear what I heard”. Conaway agreed. I have no idea how the conversation continued after that. We were still numb.

Well, Conaway decided not to seek office, and Biden’s ride to the White House has taken many detours to achieve his goal. But he stuck by his dreams. I heard a person tonight who wrote a book about Biden that even in school on some essays he would write about being president.

He is an inspiration to many of us who have failed in life, not to give up your dream. He certainly is a model for one who has fallen on his face, had to overcome tragedy.

I am glad people are getting to see the Joe Biden I know by the many documentaries now being shown about his life. As much as I would write about the passionate side of Joe, the many who did not know about him scorned him as liberal, socialist, communist, the regular name calling.

I lost my writing job because of my support of Joe and not of Trump, but I feel vindicated, very happy, and thankful to America for choosing Joe as their next president.

Tomorrow will be an emotional day for Joe, and myself. I feel at times I traveled that road to the WH with him. I wish I could be there tomorrow; we both waited 50 years for this day. Many times I thought he was down for the count, but he got up, started over and was a stronger person each time he got up.

God, please protect Joe and his family. He’s a good person.

SUSSEX GOP STATE SENATORS REFUSE TO CONGRATULATE BIDEN/HARRIS VICTORY

Six Sussex County Delaware Republican senators refused last week to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for winning the 2020 election.

Lawmakers last week voted on two Democratic resolutions, which essentially serve as a formal statement without any legal or material consequence, to congratulate the state’s former U.S. senator and his running mate on achieving the highest office in the country. Six of the 7 Republican senators voted against the resolutions. Instead of trying to unite the two parties this is driving a wedge wider.

For a party trying to rebound from their worse election loss in years, losing all state-wide and federal offices, plus two senate seats, this action doesn’t exactly excite their base. Many Republicans in Delaware have spoken to me of their disappointment in some of the quality of their ticket and the embarrassment of recent developments in Washington, DC.

Some say the senators are voting the wishes of their constituents: 6 of the 7 Election Districts in Sussex supported Trump, one did not, represented by Republican Ernie Lopez who voted with Democrats in support of the resolution. The argument here they are supporting their majority.

Really, aren’t elected officials sworn to represent ALL of their CONSTITUENTS? When is the Republican Party going to stand up and grow a pair? Being ignorant, abusing power, disrespect by their leader the past 4 years hasn’t helped their cause, why not trying to be kind, tolerant of others regardless of their political differences?

What’s happened to the Christian values the conservatives preach. Somewhere in their principles must be the words, honor, forgive, love thy neighbor?

Although my ED in the 4/40 did not support the Republican ticket, straight Democrat for those who were contested, my senator, Republican Bryant Richardson voted with his members. What about me senator, are you going to ignore representing me because I am a Democrat?

Petty, pissy, shitty, disgraceful, childish, unprofessional, are just a few printable words I can think of. A slap in the face to a Delawarean we should be proud of regardless of politics.

I feel sorry for my friend Jane Brady State Republican chairlady. I know how strongly she believes in her party and being in her position is not an easy job. She is trying to rebuilt their creditability but each time she takes a step forward, something as this weakens her position.

If the Republican Party in Delaware is to rebound, and I hope it does because I believe in a good strong two-party system, it must rid itself of hatred and racism, both which strongly exist in the southern two counties of our beloved state.

WHAT WILL A BIDEN PRESIDENCY LOOK LIKE

By Frank B. Calio

What will a Joe Biden Presidency look like? For starters, quite tranquil compared to the past four years. We won’t have the tweeting, no verbal insults to women, people of color, disabilities or those who oppose his programs. Catholic, he practices his religion faithfully

A person who is one of us, the blue collar worker, the way he was raised by his family. Until he and his wife Dr. Jill Biden received book offers Joe was last on the list of US Senators in net worth.

Whether you love or hate him, most people know the name Joe Biden in Delaware. “In Delaware,” he says, “I’m Joe. I mean for real. It’s not some gimmick, I’m Joe”. There is an interesting story in this months DELAWARE TODAY MAGAZINE which gives a Biden Timeline from his birth to his present day election as the 46th President of the United States.

He is loyal to his friends who have helped him over the years. He has suffered tragedy, losing a wife and daughter in a vehicle accident shortly after he was elected the youngest U.S. Senator, Dec. 18, 1972, and lost his oldest son, former Delaware AG, Beau Biden to cancer May 30, 2015.

In Feb. 11, 1988 After two near-fatal brain aneurysms ae diagnosed, Biden undergoes successful surgery. Complications lead to blood clots in the lungs. It take him seven months to recuperate.

Even as vice-president you could still see Joe pop up anywhere in a store in Delaware whether it be catching an Italian Sub at his favorite sub shop, or getting a hamburger at the Charcoal Pit where he went as a college freshman at the U of Delaware

Joe has been a familiar face in Delaware politics since he was elected to the NCCo Council in 1970. I meant him shortly after when we both served on the State Democrat Committee to reform the Delaware Democrat Party which had just suffered a devastating defeat by the Delaware GOP.

He was thinking about a run for the US Senate against the popular Republican incumbent Cale Boggs. He asked me what did he need to do to win. Without hesitation I told him to screw the Democrat State organization, and form his own organization.

He asked me if I would serve as his Sussex County chair. I reorganized the Young Democrats, started a group called Teen Democrats, a group of kids not old enough to vote but volunteered to deliver once a month his now famous lit drops, folksy pamphlets about the milk man delivering milk giving talking points about the poor economy for the working class.

I believe those young kids sold their parents on Joe. He never forgot a name, knew all the kids, spoke on their level; they loved him. Joe met my dad one time. In a parade in Laurel, he spotted dad, got out of line, came over to speak to dad.

In 1972 just a few years being a Senator, I visited his Wilmington office with a fellow Democrat seeking some information. At the conclusion of the meeting he stated that someday he was going to be President of the United States. My friend and I said nothing until we got in the car to go home and I blurted out, “Did you hear what he said?

It’s been a long and sometimes bumpy road but Joe has hung in there and his goal has been reached. I’m sorry he can’t have the pomp and circumstance other presidents have had. I know he looked forward to seeing his well wishers at the Amtrak station in Wilmington, and his ride to DC, the same ride he took everyday to his Senate job

Recently under the new environment Joe was accused of touching women and children. That was the generation, the political environment he was raised in. Then you kissed babies, held them. Politics 101. I have seen women, especially elderly, standing in line waiting for a hug or kiss on the cheek from Joe, and if he missed them, I have seen women grab him. He used to genuflect when he would see my late wife to embarrass her. She used to make his favorite Italian cookie for he and Beau. Beau spoke at her funeral, and Joe called me from DC twice to comfort me. That’s the Joe I know and respect.

The elderly women fell in love with Joe, and Joe with them. An underdog against Boggs, but he won not only the state but carried Sussex County by over 600 votes. My job was to hopefully break even in SC or keep Boggs’s vote count down. To Joe winning Sussex was a landslide win. He has always had a special live for Sussex, and recently purchased a beach home in Rehoboth. I worked on all of his Senate campaigns until he became VP.

It was upsetting to me to read the negative comments on FB about Joe during the campaign. Knowing Joe for more than 50 years, I knew this was not the Joe I know. I hope those people give him a chance to show how a president should act, how he really cares about the working class, and his deep love for this country.

Republicans threw all the dirt they could dig up against Joe during the recent campaign. Nothing stuck which led one Republican to call him, “Teflon Joe”.

In my opinion Joe is the best prepared person for the presidents position of any we have elected. He has built a tremendous amount of respect from leaders throughout the world, he is one who will work across the aisle and not be critical of the Republican Party. He will bring dignity to the office and respect throughout the world.

He knows the system and he knows how to navigate the system. A liberal he is not, a socialist he is not. He is an American who cares about the welfare of his country.

Good Luck my friend. Your country is in your hands. I know you’ll take care of ALL Americans.

Frank Calio is a former Delaware State Election Commissioner. He resides in Laurel, DE.

WRAPPING UP ANOTHER YEAR

As we are wrapping up 2020what can I say except good riddance. I hope we never see another year like this one.

We suffered through the COVID VIRUS since January of this year. It took our government, or rather the president to realize it was the real thing by late March which put this country behind the 8-ball since other countries hopped on the bandwagon as soon as it hit their country.

Hospitals were short of supplies for the onslaught, no ventilators to care for the sick, no direction from the Federal Government, or should I say not from the president who consistently confronted his medical advisors.

As a result the U.S. numbers are reaching 350,000 deaths and 19 million hospitalized, with record numbers being recorded each day, expected to continue after the Christmas numbers come in.

The virus has wrecked the economy of our country, peoples lives, which will take years to overcome. People who have spent years building a business only to see their livelihood go down the drain. How many will lose their homes, be evicted for not paying rent, have difficulty finding a job?

Those who have their health, a roof over their head, able to put food on the table, have a job or retired with good pensions, are blessed.

And to our children of school age who are being cheated out of a good education they will never recoup, and the seniors in school who will miss out on the best year of their life, I feel sorry.

This was also a year of unrest in this country. The rein of white supremacy which seemed to be ignored by our President. And in his final days he has abandoned his country acting like a sore loser, contesting an election he protested by provided no evidence of fraud and threatening to hold up relief package he preferred not to participate in the drafting of the bill.

The only good thing that was a God send for the country, is Trump will be gone January 20, 2021 which should make next year a better year.

I will be doing a column soon why I believe Joe Biden will be a good leader for this country. Some will agree, but as his term goes on people will see a difference how a president should act.

And finally I thank the readers of my BLOG for following me this year. I did not write as often as I would have liked. Truthfully, I was depressed, afraid of catching the virus, sadden by watching the news seeing the number of new cases of the virus, people losing their businesses, jobs, homes. Just too much for this ole boy to handle.

MY CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

As a father of five, while my children were of the I Believe in Santa Claus age, I enjoyed Christmas as much as they did.

Santa usually made a house visit prior to Christmas, and I would always give him a few tidbits about the kids behavior before he entered the house.

My favorite was to ask him to look at our ceiling vents for his hidden cameras. I had told the kids of the hidden cameras but I don’t think they were convinced. Angie and Dominic were my favorite targets for this visit. Santa walks in the house, instantly looks up to the ceiling and says, “Just checking my cameras to see if they are working.”

Brother and sister look at each other as if to say, “Busted”. The look on their faces were priceless, still etched in my mind as if it occurred today.

Dominic like many kids his age liked to jump on our sofa in spite of many verbal pleas. On this same occasion Santa told him he needed to listen to dad and stop jumping on the couch. Again the two siblings looked at each other in disbelief.

Then their was the year Lisa, disappointed she didn’t receive the bicycle she wanted found it in the garage when we sent her to the freezer to fetch something. She came out of the garage screaming with joy. And other toys and games we hid in closets we would send the kids to find something for us.

The year Lisa was living in California with her daughter and I arranged for her to fly home for Christmas as a surprise to her mom. Son Chris and I drove to BWI to pick them up only to find their baggage was lost including the one special gift her daughter wanted.

The employees at BWI upon hearing of the loss, got together and purchased that special gift and others, AND delivered it to our house THAT evening.

And yes, mom was surprised to see the two covered in blankets in the back of the station wagon.

Yes, many pleasant memories, WOW where did the time go?

Enjoy your family and memories while you can. They will comfort you in your senior years.

Merry Christmas; stay safe.

RUDOLPH AN ABUSED REINDEER

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is probably the most popular Christmas song and TV story with a positive ending, but if the “Me Too” policies were in effect when Western cowboy Gene Autry introduced his song, today Santa would have to resign in disgrace.

Let me explain. Rudolph was born with a physical defect, a bright red shinny nose. Because of that he didn’t have any friends. Remember fellow reindeer wouldn’t play any reindeer games with him, they laughed at him. He was ignored by all including his parents and particularly Santa Claus.

I think today that is called verbal abuse. In later years he ran away to an island of misfits like himself. After a brief period of isolation from his family he decided to return to his home.

As the story goes this particular Christmas Eve a heavy fog set in and if the fog didn’t clear Santa would have to postpone Christmas. Panic broke out in Santa land, what to do?

Then suddenly a flashing red light appeared. It was Rudolph’s red nose blinking. Santa took a quick look, and a light bulb went off in his head; “Rudolph with your nose so bright you could guide my sleigh tonight,” said Santa.

Suddenly Rudolph jumped to number one on Santa’s popularity list which also moved him to number one celebrity in the neighborhood, for Rudolph was going to save Christmas for all the children in the world.

Frankly Speaking I would have told Santa to take his sleigh and reindeer and shove it, but Rudy was a team player and was a true trooper willing to put all his abuse and pain behind and save Christmas.

My point of my story is this: isn’t this still true today? Kids being made fun because they aren’t wearing designer clothes. That’s the reason many schools are going to uniforms. If a person has a physical defect people tend to shy away from them, or make fun of their physical issues. If you are lucky enough to raise a kid who is a genius, (nerd) they get hassled by idiots.

And, now their is such a disparity in wealth in this country that their is them and us. God forbid if you are homeless, help, not enough, comes from local churches, private individuals, not much from greedy large corporations. Our local chicken industry is the only large groups I see making any kind of effort to provide some relief to the poor, hungry, and homeless.

Folks, as our president elect spoke eloquently Monday evening stating, “This is America, we are all Americans, Republican, Democrat, or Independent”. His message was intended to heal the wounds which have split this country, to unite Americans.

All colors of Americans, white, black, or brown, the foreigners in our country, immigrants, those with mental illness, physical defects all bleed red. We all have our imperfections and I am sure during our lifetime we have said or done something we were sorry for.

This is the Christmas season, the season and the reason for giving. Their are a lot of Rudolph’s out there, kind, passionate, in need of love and attention.

This has been a trying year for all Americans, and people throughout the world. Millions are doing without many of the things in life we have taken for granted.

If you have survived the year with some relevance of good health, have a job or good income, roof over your head and food on the table, look out your window of you neighbor who may not have done as well as you and their family is suffering, reach out to them and at least make sure they have a good Christmas.

Food Banks are being overwhelmed, donate goods or money, even time to help distribute or stock their pantry’s.

Who knows, that someone could be you someday. Remember Rudolph.

Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year.