Archive for April, 2009

Earth Day should never end

April 27, 2009

It amazes me that the hype surrounding Earth Day dies off so quickly when it should be part of our lifestyle.

I can recall exactly what I was doing leading up to the first Earth Day in 1970. As a freshman in high school, I was leading a corps of students in an aluminum can drive. We walked the back roads of Sussex County picking up thousands of cans, filling up my backyard to overflowing.

The good news is, because of the price of aluminum, it’s hard to find cans on the roads and byways today.

That activity on the first Earth Day ignited a fire in me about the importance of protecting and enjoying the environment that has never burned out.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but most people do little or nothing when it comes to protecting Mother Earth.

In my neighborhood, about 10 percent of the residents participate in the Delaware Recycles curbside pick-up program, which is close to the statewide participation number. Most of the people I know, even though I try to lead by example, do not recycle or reuse, which is the foundation of any move to green.

Why? Money and inconvenience. Living in a throw-away society, most people are not brought up to reuse or recycle and to do so would require a major shift in routine. Secondly, there is no money in it – at least not much. When recycling puts serious money in people’s wallets, you will see that participation number jump like a Mexican jumping bean.

It’s not always been that way. My dear grandmother lived through the Great Depression and World War II years. Through necessity, her family recycled and reused just about everything. For her entire life, she saved scraps of aluminum foil, leftover food and jars – just about everything.

We have moved so far in the opposite direction, we may have gone beyond the point of no return.

But, there is some good news, and it’s on The Circle. County government has started an aggressive recycling program – with help from the public that uses the recycling center. In March, more than 20,000 pounds of material destined for the landfill was diverted, collected at county offices and recycled.

The county is doing its part – keeping about 100 tons of material out of the landfill each year.


Tea and protest has a familiar ring

April 14, 2009

Suppose they gave a tea party and no one came?

I don’t think that will be a problem Wednesday, April 15, on The Circle in downtown Georgetown. One of the more than 1,000 nationwide protest TEA (Taxed Enough Already) parties is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. in the historic spot where other protests have taken place over the years.

There are a lot of mad people out there who are fed up with the direction the government is taking. Are these people sore-loser Republicans who just can’t resign themselves to a Democrat-controlled government?

Some may be, but most feel the government is broken and is being run by politicians who have forgotten they represent the voters who put them in office. They feel a wake-up call, or bop on the head, is long overdue.

FOXY NEWS – Most of those who are mad as hell and not taking it anymore (with apologies to the movie Network) sit at home cursing the nightly news.

When they’ve had enough they eventually turn to Fox News and never return to other mainstream media. Don’t get me wrong, I like Fox News. But Fox News is so hung up on being fair and balanced they forget there is a lot of interesting news out there that has nothing to do with politics, President Obama or government.

There are times when you need to see a story or two about a two-headed cow in Iowa or a guy with a string collection in West Virginia.

DO THE DANCE – I have to count myself among those who are angry, but my anger is geared more toward basic necessities. I’m mad as hell that my health insurance premium has doubled, gas prices are $2 a gallon, electric rates are sky high, food is $10 a bag at the grocery store and everything from cable TV to haircuts to parking meter fees is going up.

I think I’ll organize a GEAR (Give Everyone A Raise) party to get the word out we all need more cash.

For health reasons, it doesn’t pay to stay angry for long. I break the spell by doing the Gratitude Dance. Go ahead and Google it – I dare you.

Oh, by the way, I’ll be on The Circle on tax day between noon and 2 p.m.

On The Circle

April 7, 2009

IT’S IN THE SEATING – The biggest question circulating around Sussex County political circles the past few months has been how the new county council will perform. How newcomers Democrat Joan Deaver and Republicans Mike Vincent and Sam Wilson were assigned seats may offer a clue. Facing the audience, Deaver is seated to the far left and Wilson is seated to the far right. If you spend any time with either council member, you will discover quickly that their political persuasions are not too far off the mark from the seating chart. Incumbents George Cole and Vance Phillips, both Republicans, moved a seat to the right, more to the center. Is there any symbolism in that move?

ONLY IN SUSSEX – New Councilman Mike Vincent of Seaford had to relinquish his Seaford council position to take on the new seat in Georgetown. His replacement is Bill Bennett, who is a relative by marriage of Sam Wilson, another new member of county council. The saying is true: You have to be careful whom you talk about in Sussex County. You never know who is related to whom.

EAGER DEAVER – New Councilwoman Joan Deaver is taking the county by storm. She has not only opened the county’s land-use comings and goings to the world with her own website, she has formed a group of ladies (there could be men in the group but I haven’t seen them) who attend all council meetings and advise her on matters. Deaver’s dedicated duchy is keeping a vigilant eye on every move made by the men of Sussex County Council.

WOMEN POWER – Maybe they feel more empowered now that one of their own is sitting in a chair of authority, but women are showing up more and more at county meetings. The Sussex chapter of League of Women Voters has started sending an observation team to every county meeting. And there appears to be a groundswell of other women who are attending meetings and speaking out during public hearings and during the public participation portion of council meetings.

Perhaps they are following in the footsteps of Abigail Adams who said:

“If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

And so it goes around The Circle.