About Frank


Frank Calio, age 81; born and raised in Laurel, DE; graduated Laurel High School, ’56. Served in the U.S. Army Reserves. Blessed with 5 grown children, 9 grands and 3 great grands.

My dad immigrated from Sicily, mom’s parents from Italy. I had one younger brother who died with cancer from Agent Orange at the young age of 38, the chemical spray used to kill undergrowth in the Viet Nam conflict.

Began writing part-time shortly after serving 6 mos active duty in the Army Reserve for the Laurel State Register weekly writing bowling news at 5 cents an inch.

I was working full-time with my dad who owned a shoe repair business and became a part-time sports editor for the paper. I was offered a full-time job as sports editor for the Delaware State News, (DSN) turned down the offer and stopped writing all together.

Because of my involvement in Democrat politics, I was asked when the Banner newspaper was started by Bryant Richardson, to write a political column, which I did and when he sold the paper to Chesapeake Publications, who owned the Register and Seaford Leader I was part of the merger. I also began writing a political column for the DSN.

By then I had purchased the business from my dad, expanded it into shoes and women’s apparel, married, began a family and ventured into real estate.

Bryant managed the papers for Chesapeake; when they sold to the DSN group he started the Laurel/Seaford Star, I went with him and continued writing my column until the summer of ’09.

While teaching journalism at DelTech in Georgetown, I accepted a position as Economic Development Director and Airport Manager for the Sussex County Council where I stayed for 11 years, eventually closing my business.

My political activities include a stint as Chief Reading Clerk in the DE House of Representatives, Administrative assistant for Delaware’s Secretary of Public Safety, 8 years on the Laurel Town Council, Sussex County Chairman of the Democrat Party, and retired as State Election Commissioner in ’07.

I lost my wife of 42 years to a rare disease after a successful liver transplant in April, 2011. I resumed writing for the Star that December.

Although we live in the best country in the world there are some flaws with our system; political parties tend to hide the truth. One column a week wasn’t getting it; I am vocal, thus this BLOG.

I hope you’ll enjoy the information. Constructive comments welcomed.
Frank B. Calio

ABOUT THE BLOG:  We will attempt to write a “FRANKLY SPEAKING” COLUMN each Wednesday or once a week, then daily or as often as we can keep the blog fresh by doing mini stories about current events.


We welcome your comments and we will accept and print any constructive criticism. However we reserve the right to edit or reject any comment for any reason. No personal trashing allowed whatsoever.

55 thoughts on “About Frank

  1. Frank-you’re an icon in Sussex County politics. Is it my imagination that the political climate in Delaware is changing and the days of bipartisan cooperation for the greater good that we enjoyed (at least Sussex County) appear to be be a thing of the past?

    • Linda unfortunately your assessment about the lack of bipartisen cooporation in politics as we knew growing up is gone and I’m afraid forever, not only in Sussex but Dover and Washington.
      Joe Biden often remarked when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate both sides crossed party lines to pass important legislation. In the past decade he said that wasn’t happening; a shame. The American public are the losers.
      Both parties are guilty of not wanting to share credit for passage of legislation. Stalling legislation passage just runs up the cost of government.

  2. Always enjoy to hear your point of veiw. Have found you are so right MOST of the time. Miss your articles in the Star as they were what I read first. I agree that race has a lot to do with the hatred of the president. How sad and narrow minded. The majority of American voted for a change and this is what he is trying to accomplish. So much to be done. I wonder why anyone would want his job?

  3. Frank,
    I am having trouble opening your blog from my blog to the correct date. It keeps opening to January 19th. I finally just went to the Internet browser to see if it was something within my blog, but it did the same thing. Has anyone else mentioned a problem like to you?


  4. Dear Frank,

    I could not thank you enough for supporting The Delaware Automotive Service Professionals opposition to House Joint Resolution 8. It means a lot that someone like yourself would give us, the state wide independents a voice. This resolution is so full of faults and dangers to motorists, taxpayers and all repair facilities that I could take all day to explain them to you. But let me just offer a few of the reasons that HJR8 is not right for the citizens of Delaware.

    * It WILL cost the state money. There is no way we can reduce the productivity of our labor force already in the lanes and afford the additional labor to produce a “mobile” inspection force to oversee off-site locations. The state will double their cost. There is no doubt. Politicians that I have spoken with have admitted this fact.
    * Experts form other states that we had attend our meeting (2/24)advised us that the State of Delaware has one of the best and most co-ordinated DMV offices in the region. Why break that up?
    * Fraud. It would be there or it would cost way to much to make it not there. (Installing cameras, monitoring, paperwork, on-site inspectors, etc.) By the way, there is no oversight (except the task force – By the way, it is stacked with dealers) in this resolution, giving dealers carte blanche as to their practices.
    * This is not a Sales issue. This is a Service issue. Over 70% of all car service is performed by qualified independent service centers like the ones in our group and your district. Collectively and state wide, our operations are in contact with more constituents on a daily basis, than any dealer group. We are more of an authority when it comes to how motorists use their vehicles and what makes them operate best, and most importantly, respecting their budget.
    * D.E.E.P. Delaware Emission Education Program. This program was initiated by DNREC approximately 10 years ago as a way to satisfy Federal Emission Standards. It is still in effect and a large percentage of independent repair shops invested in the technology and certification program in order to assist the state maintain the fed standards. Dealerships did not participate because they felt that it wasn’t necessary to help. Very few dealers have Certified Inspection Technicians which is mandatory to pass a failed vehicle.
    * Finally, the risk of losing federal highway funds due to oversight, untimely record keeping, inaccuracies, etc. is enhanced with a de-centralized format like the one proposed in HJR8. As our Department of Motor Vehicle stands now, it is centralized, efficient and in most regards, very convenient to the motorist. We have matured this format for over 30 years and it works. In addition, DMV is a third party inspection system that has no agenda. You pass or you fail. That to us says it all.

    Again, thank you for giving us a voice on such an important matter as HJR8.


    Greg Buckley
    Delaware Automotive Service Professionals

  5. Greg wonderful news. A poor bill. We’re glad to have brought it to the attention of my readers. Several of them made phone calls to the sponsor. A bad bill. Thanks for your efforts as well.

  6. Good morning Frank,

    I wanted you to know that the dealer group is NOT backing down on the issue. They are evidently ready to fight to get this inspection bill through. Our group, DASP got wind of this yesterday,(Sunday 3/14)and they are determined to buy their way into this thing. We’re not sure of the players, but they are serious. As I said before, THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR DELAWAREANS. In fact, there is a very good letter to the editor in today’s News Journal. It’s just some of the things that happen in a de-centerlized situation.

    Just wanted you and your readers to know the latest.

    Thank you,
    Greg Buckley

  7. Greg thanks for the update. I saw the letter this morning. Legislation has a way of creeping in and paassing.
    I hope my readers will contact their legislators and tell them this is a bad bill; it will only end up costing you more to prepare your vehicle for inspection.
    Please take time to read the letter to the editor in this mornings News Journal.

      • Hello Donna,

        I haven’t been able to find the link for the latest comments on HJR8. May be they will be posted later on today. As soon as I see them, I will send them here.

        Thank you,

      • Greg I just returned from a 11 hr day at a Bethesda hospital for test for my wife and saw Donna’s note; Have you checked the legislative website to see if HJC 8 is still alive? Sen Petdereson would know since she has writteen me about the legislation. I haven’t had a chance to look since I saw the letter before leaving at 6:30 this morning.

      • Hello Frank,

        I haven’t had time to look for that yet. However, I had a conversation with one of the prinicpals in the dealer group yesterday. After the conversation, I feel much better that the issue may be permentaly tabled. I will never say “never” but I believe that I convinced the “other side” that this is NOT the right thing for Delawareans and our motorists. We shall see.

        I will be in Dover today with some colleagues, meeting the legislative body. It’s my first time, so I hope the experience is a good one.

        Thank you Frank and I hope all is well with your wife.



      • Hello Frank,

        I would like to inform you and your audience that HJR8 is OFFICIALLY rescinded! Rep. Carsons made the motion and it was voted out @ 3:00PM. Rep. Carsons came up to my colleages and I afterwards to thank us for bringing to light the errors in the resolution and the idea of de-centeralizing the DMV. I have to say, the Rep. Carson was very gratious and well meaning when he stated that mistakes are made, but this is America and we can make things right. That’s paraphrasing, but he was sincere.

        I would like to thank you and your audience for getting the word out about this unnecessary measure and I will be sure to report to my group about how you helped in our efforts to defeat it. Hopefully soon, you can follow us at http://www.deautoservicepros.com.


        Greg Buckley
        Buckley’s Auto Care
        Delaware Automotive Service Professionals

  8. Hey Frank, just found a card with your name on it. Beside your family, is your brother still around? Wow, you have a great family !!!! Your folks would have been very proud. If interested will be happy to supply you with my personal info. Be well.

    • Harold it’s been how many years? The entire block where you lived and had your store has been demolished a tragic mistake, but this is Laurel. As you can read I’m still raising hell and no one still is listening. Email me and we’ll exchange memories past and present. fcalio@comcast.net
      Oh, James died at the age of 36 with Agent Orange.

  9. Frank, I was wondering if you have any input on a situation that has risen as i registered my child from private school into the laurel school system…by the way, hope you can follow i like abbreviated versions unless asked for details. took the school from july to just this week to get my child tested as to what grade she would enter, even after viewing high test scores from a non delcas (or delcap?) testing.Just a week before school started the principle was hired and immediately contacted me, surely due to making a good impression on a persistant mother, said the test was available 8/16 for another student, but he was not principle then and made a proposal of the first week to get it done. so anyway, after dealing with that, i find out there is no PTA. Never have i ever heard of a school that has no support from parents. is it because the school doesnt want parents in the classes? i couldnt be that the teachers would not welcome the help….it has been my experience with schools that the more parents are involved the easier it is on administration and frees up time for the teachers to better teach our children. i also noticed that if there are any fundraisers, the teacher who heads it has to ask the board directly, instead of the pta volunteer for that fundraiser or the president. last night i saw the scouts holding registration, they were outside on the sidewalk!!! what? too bad if it rained or someone needed the restroom. there is sooo much more the school could improve on, and yes i volunteered to help…principle has declined one program, and has yet to answer me after 3 weeks on the others…whats your take on parent envolvement in this school district?

  10. POOR and welcome to the Laurel School District where it’s easier to blame all of their educational problems on Suyssex Tech than to take blame for their inabilithy to perform.
    Let’s hope the principal is still trying to find his desk, he was hired on short notice.
    The fund raisers go before the board because the school was having so many and the public got tired of answering the door bell to someone begging. Although the fund raisers were probably needed because of the districts poor finances it kinda got out of hand. Now the board determines the number of fund raisers.
    When our kids were in school PTA’s were active and pro-active, not having our kids in school for a couple decades I would assume like everything else today parents don’t have the time nor care about the PTA. Officers in all organization struggle to find people to volunteer for office.
    You could ask about forming a PTA; I would think the principal would want all the volunteer help they can get since so many were cut from the schools budget or you could go to your child’s teacher and ask if they could use some help; I’m sure they could. With larger class room numbers and lack of aides they have to be overwhelmed.
    Good luck and thanks for writing.

  11. frank, just an update on my comments and questions about laurel school district…had a productive meeting with the principle, Mr. Swain, teacher and guidence counselor. Though my daughter’s testing put her above the class, grade and state average on delcas she is not being moved to the next grade level as i wished. Turns out that the teacher and principle have made efforts to keep her challenged while still in her age appropriate grade level. Nice to see that the school has a teacher who cares about her students, as well as a principle that takes the time to address parents concerns (even though he has alot on his plate right now). The volunteering seems to be working out as well…pta is forming and my daughter and me are off on what i hope will be a good school year in the laurel public school system….thanks for letting me vent!

  12. Mr. Calio, just read your article about “Mommy Kissing Santa” and loved it. if you want to hear a special version of that song please come to the Paul Laurence Dunbar grade 1 Holiday concert on Dec. 19 at 9:30am or 1:30 pm. You will hear a group of 6 year olds do a really great job of that one!! The public is invited to attend either concert.

  13. Frank: I just read your article in the Star relating to the fire that destroyed your father’s business and the subsquent disappointment of only receiving a fire truck for Christmas. This brought memories for me. I remember that all I wanted for Christmas one particular year was a side dump truck. It was a solid metal truck with a trailer that when a lever was pressed, the body would dump a load of dirt or sand sideways. That is all I wanted for Christmas. I was very disappointed when I did not receive it and went into depression for a long time. The following Christmas I still wanted that same side dump truck. That year I got it. I was a persistent young lad who did not give up. I learned later that Santa Claus could not make the dump truck the first year. But alas he did make one the second Christmas.

  14. Frank: Merry Christmas.
    Read your letter on the opinion page this morning, and had to look you up. With modern technology, we cannot hide. Fortunately, you are not even trying. Your letter was masterful. I, too, am concerned with the Economics Dept. at UD. Between the Dept. head, name unrecalled, Jim Butkiewicz and the two women who wrote the article to which you allude, there is strong representation of very conservative philosophy. The problem is they are not shy about using the News Journal to promote a very right wing political agenda. Identifying themselves as UD Economics professors lends their views a sense of legitimacy they do not deserve.
    Several months ago, the News Journal published a response I wrote to a Butkiewicz article. Unfortunately, in editing my letter, too much of my point was lost. Your letter of today very well written and, from my perspective, demonstrated the professors’ article for the fraud it was. I read the article the day it appeared, thought about responding, but just shook my head in disgust and tossed the paper aside. Thanks for your response, and for doing it much better than I would have.

    • Thanks for your kind words; on first reading I thought I was in for a butt chewing; things have changed there since professor Jim Soles left; I always felt they were more to the left-center. I always thought one of the two associate professors that wrote was more left.

  15. Mr. Calio,
    There have been articles that you have written in the past that made me want to go to the window, stick my head out and shout “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”! However, your article on “Bullying” several weeks ago and your latest on “Don’t Put The Blame On Our Teachers” were excellent. Retired now, I taught for 34 years in NJ. I am in agreement with most if not all of your points. Both articles should be required reading for all board of education members. Well Done!

    Tom Kelley

    P.S. The window is closed

  16. Frank, Your article on the GOP on Thursday was mostly plagarized from the News Journal on September 21st in an editorial by Saul D. Hoffman. Suggest you try using original material.

    • Fred, any letter to the editor, including the informative ones u write, opinion pages, editorials, newas shows, TV anchors quote in their writings sources from somewhere.
      I use Google, factCheck, political, a few syncidated columnists….but I check them for accuracy as I’m sure u do.
      Then if you notice I throw in my mix and always conclude with my opinion.
      Look at the post above you from Mr. Trivets to prove my point.

  17. Frank, what you are doing, in your last three articles, is plagiarize. This means you are copying word-for-word someone else’s writings without giving them credit. You are writing as if the words are yours, and so are the ideas. It is a form of cheating. Fred does not do it. He uses italics and cites his sources. You do not. I noted the one three weeks ago. You have copied from AP, Washington Post Opinions & The News Journal. If you taught a jounalism course, you know better. I figured you were plagiarzing, because suddenly your writings got so much better.

    • Barbara, thanks for your note…since I answered Fred, I can only duplicate what I told him and my editor.
      When I quote statics I give the source. My columns can contain information from Google, FactCheck, Politico, Eugene Robinson of the Wash Post and from conversations with elected officials on national issues, not when I write on local issues.
      As I told my editor because I felt u would call, when the candidates debate and give their facts they don’t divulge their source, nor do people in general who write letters, editorials, or opinion columns.
      I use those other sources to mix with my comments. Anyone who writes including who writes an editorial, opinion, had to hear or find that info somewhere?? Even if Fred credits which I agree I probably should do more of, his personal comments came from someone. Is this a fair response?
      Does your compliment mean you and Fred are coming over to my side of the political fence?

  18. You totally missed the point. All editorial writers use other people’s ideas, however, they don’t quote complete sentences or paragraphs word-for-word. That is exactly what you do. I hope you didn’t teach your students at DelTech to do this. It is so dishonest.
    I guess you assume that the Editors of the News Journal, AP, and Washington Post wont care if you steal the words of their editorial writers. Your followers in the Seaford Star deservebetter.
    As for when Fred and I will come over to the Dark Side, they will be making frozen cocktails, in Hell.

  19. Frank, totally different subject.

    An attorney who leads Laurel’s school board has been temporarily barred from practicing law after he acknowledged keeping fees paid by clients hidden from other partners in his law firm, the state’s highest court says.

    Really?? Laurel Schools the Soap Opera continues.


    I included where I got the information from so hopefully I will not be accused of plagiarizing.

    • Dy, I too have read that disgraceful story. It is shame , once again, that our Town and our School District is being dragged through the mud. Why did
      Vanderslice even run for School Board President knowing he had committed these offenses? I find that the most disturbing of all. And to add my additional taxpayer 2 cents,, his excuse that a family death led him to the path of
      embezzlement is ridiculous. I ask anybody here, if you were to steal $1700.00 from your place of business or even Walmart for that matter,, would you not have been arrested? I think Moore & Rutt has been pretty lenient all things considered. I certainly hope that our fellow citizens will finally put their foot down and demand Vanderslice’s resignation from the School Board Immediately. I am very tired of this attitude that people can do what they want in this town and get away with it.

      Enough is Enough!

  20. A reporter for a local paper called me yesterday afternoon about Mr. Vanderslice. I imagine the news is a huge letdown for his supporters.

    • If he is allowed to retain his School Board position, this fiasco will remain an embarrassment to the whole town.

      He should have removed himself when the investigation began. Hell, knowing of his wrongdoing, he should never have run in the first place.

  21. The Delaware Bar Association recommended minor sanctions and probation!?! It was the Delaware Supreme Court that imposed the 1 year suspension. Just makes you wonder if it was because he WAS on the Delaware Public “Integrity” Commission? And YES, Ed, it certainly was/is a huge disappointment for all the people in Laurel that supported Patrick Vanderslice!

  22. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

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