CHEER Needs Your Help
March 13, 2014
As executive director of CHEER, Inc., a non-profit agency responsible for senior citizen programs throughout Sussex County, I get pleas from senior citizens who are begging me, on behalf of CHEER, to help with their many very serious concerns that they are having trying to live on a fixed income. Topping the recent concerns are the DART (Delaware Authority for Regional Transit) rate changes which took effect recently and the upcoming changes to DART Paratransit which become effective July 1st.
Many are very tired of hearing that "paratransit services are not sustainable at the current rate" and that supposedly, everyone agrees. Well, I do not agree and have not talked to one single person who does believe this. Medicaid has not been sustainable for years, but it has never been cut nor has there ever been a charge to the clients. Paratransit is every bit as essential as is Medicaid, which seems to have no budget restrictions whatsoever.
Paratransit in Sussex County is essential to hundreds, if not thousands, of frail elderly who can no longer drive. It is not their fault that our Department of Transportation has failed to adequately plan and prepare for this predictable outcome. What happened to those transportation planners and all those consultants that something like this can even happen in a retirement state?
The Delaware Department of Transportation Joint Finance Committee Hearing has been rescheduled to March 19th at noon in Legislative Hall in Dover. Let me assure you, CHEER will be there and we hear your concerns. We will do our very best to send the message to our elected officials, but I would advise senior citizens and their family who are as concerned as I am about the future of transportation services in Sussex County to attend and sign up to speak, if not for yourself, for your parents and relatives who are fast becoming transportation dependent. I also recommend that you send letters to the editors of your local newspapers as I am doing.
Arlene S. Littleton
CHEER, Inc. Executive Director
How About 186,000 Fewer Marijuana Arrests?
March 12, 2014
The in-depth front page story in USA Today about 186,000 criminals, many violent, escaping justice by simply crossing state lines is illuminating. This is yet another tragic consequence of our misguided "War o Drugs": Drug cases and related crimes are sucking up so much time and money of police resources that they do not, will not, extradite violent criminals. We arrest nearly 750,000 people a year on non violent drug charges. This is preposterous, when it comes at the cost of thousands of violent criminals running free!
Ken Abraham, former prosecutor and president of Citizens for Criminal Justice
Crime Lab Thefts
Feb. 26, 2014
Yet another consequence of the failed "War on Drugs" is police corruption. (The Kingpins have purchased virtually the entire Mexican Government!) It seems pretty clear that officials have stolen drugs from the testing labs of the Medical Examiner's Office. While the current discussion focuses on whether and how pending drug cases should go forward, the attention should focus on the Delaware Crime Reduction and Rehabilitation Act, soon to be introduced in the Delaware Legislature, which will divert non violent drug users to treatment centers instead of prison! This bill will reduce recidivism and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
One defense lawyer, whose client plead guilty to a marijuana charge and could get sentenced to eight years, said it was "a fair resolution of the case". "Fair"? 8 years in prison? It is unjust, unwarranted, and unnecessary. Eight years in prison will cost Delaware taxpayers at least $280,000.00. The one year court ordered personalized treatment program will cost Delaware taxpayers approximately $9,000. Which makes sense?
Ken Abraham, former prosecutor, president of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE
Sussex County Board of Adjustments' Decisions Questioned
Feb. 12, 2014
If you haven't read the article, here's the link:
The newspaper quoted the BOA members as saying, "It comes down to the residents' ability to enjoy their property" and "they (AT&T) had not exhausted opportunities for other locations" and "In my opinion, it has substantially adversely affected the use of their property" and "the tower would substantially adversely affect neighboring properties."
As a resident, which attended the first original meeting on June 3, and all the others that followed, I am confused as to why that same logic and consideration did not take place by the BOA when the Allen Harim chicken slaughterhouse came before the BOA for the "Potentially Hazardous Use Permit," and then was granted on Sept. 23, 2013.
How is it when a chicken slaughterhouse is planned to be put in a residential community in Millsboro, which less than a mile down the road is an elementary school, and a little further is a middle school, that the BOA doesn't take the same position!! I am sure if the chicken slaughterhouse comes to fruition that it will affect the nearby resident's ability to enjoy their property, property value, and most importantly how it will affect the health and well being of the communities that SURROUND this proposed facility. In addition, I don't believe Allen Harim has exhausted opportunities for other locations? How is it that the BOA didn't treat the local Millsboro people like they did the people in Bethany Beach?
DISCRIMINATION AT ANY LEVEL IS UNACCEPTABLE.
Take Action Against Fish Kills
Jan. 11, 2014
With billions of fish being killed annually from intakes at power plants, why aren't more people demanding that their senators and representatives stand up to the big companies? NRG's Indian River Power Generation Plant is shutting down their units that don't have a closed loop. If they were to pipe treated wastewater from Millsboro, the closest town with a wastewater treatment plant, they could eliminate all fish kill.
Every power plant can accomplish the same environmentally friendly situation by creating closed loops and piping treated wastewater from a close town. Even nuclear plants can accomplish this by adding chillers and turbines in their loops.
Yes, the cost to these plants are huge; but the economic benefits that the commercial fisheries, the recreational fishing industry including the bait and tackle shops, the additional tourism traffic, and the savings that the towns would see from cheaper wastewater disposal should trump the big companies.
All citizens, not just environmental "nuts" need to demand these common sense changes now.
David O. Richards