Political Gossip and Tidbits Wandering About The Small Wonder That is Delaware- The 3/14/16 Edition

Former 35th District GOP Chair pleads guilty to illegal firearm dealing. The fees keep increasing and THE BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK! Tune in for updates and snark.

Fees, Fees and More Fees

I do think a $6 fee for cars with a Delaware license to be a very good deal here in the First State.

That’s the last good thing I will ever say about DNREC.

NEWS FROM DNREC – It’s fee season in Delaware State Parks

DOVER (March 3, 2016) – DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation reminds visitors to Delaware’s state parks that entrance fees are being collected through Nov.30, 2016.

Revenue generated from park entrance fees is used to manage 16 state parks and more than 26,000 acres of state park lands. Delaware’s state parks are primarily self-funded, with 65 percent of revenue to operate and maintain the parks generated by park users. The revenue is used for trail maintenance, environmental and recreational programs, visitor amenities, guarded beaches, management of campgrounds, cabins, and more.

Daily park entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks. Where fee attendants are not on duty, visitors should deposit the daily fee in the self-registration envelopes provided at park entrances and place them in the designated secured drop boxes.

Annual passes are a convenient way to access the parks for the entire fee season.

“For just $35, Delaware residents can enjoy unlimited park visits to get their children outdoors and to enjoy the parks with friends and family,” said Ray Bivens, Director of Delaware State Parks. “I’d want to thank all those who support our efforts to preserve and protect open space, improve services and expand recreational opportunities. As we celebrate the 65th anniversary of Delaware State Parks, it is truly the support of Delawareans and visitors to our state that has been the cornerstone of a wonderfully diverse parks system.“

There are several categories of passes. Annual park passes may be purchased online at destateparks.com, at all state park offices and at DNREC’s main office in the Richardson & Robbins building at 89 Kings Highway in Dover.

What’s This Recycling Report?

I remember this nonsense.

My private trash hauler HAD to supply me a recycling container, go to hell, and I didn’t want nothing to do with it.

But there you have, the state gubmint sticking their head in private business.

And read that part in bold about DNREC needing more money. DNREC can never have too much money.

The latest annual report by the Recycling Public Advisory Council raises some questions about the future collection of trash and recyclables and how Delawareans will pay for it.

The enactment of the Universal Recycling Law nearly six years ago required every waste-hauler in the state to offer curbside recycling to their customers in three stages: first to single-family homes; then apartments and condominiums; and finally commercial businesses.

The goal of the law was to divert 50 percent of municipal solid waste from landfills by the start of last year. That goal rises to 60 percent in 2020.

The recently released Recycling Public Advisory Council’s report notes that “Delaware’s Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) diversion rate is beginning to stabilize at approximately 42 percent.” While well above the national average of 34.3 percent, Delaware’s diversion rate is significantly below the program’s target.

“If Delaware’s MSW diversion rate is going to meet the established goals it will be necessary to take additional action,” the report states. “Those actions include but are not limited to performing additional recycling outreach and education in both the residential and commercial sectors; expanding organics recycling; implementing waste bans and/or establishing additional program requirements such as Pay As You Throw and Product Stewardship/Producer Responsibility initiatives.”

Traditionally, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee paid to a private waste-hauler. In a Pay-As-You-Throw model, residents are charged for trash collection based on the amount they throw away as measured by bags, containers or weight.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 communities in the U.S. using “pay-as-you-throw” systems, including San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland (OR).

Additionally, the Recycling Public Advisory Council calls on Delaware lawmakers to provide “adequate funding” to support the “continuing implementation, expansion and evaluation of universal recycling.”

The report notes that a previous source of recycling revenue — a four-cent fee levied on certain beverage containers sold in Delaware — expired a little over 15 months ago. “Therefore action is required by the General Assembly to ensure that future funding exists to fund the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s support, oversight and administration of the universal recycling law,” the report stated.

However, the advisory council stopped short of calling for an imposition of a new bottle fee, making no recommendation to legislators as to the scope and source of the funding it says is needed.

DSHA Names Newsjournal writer as new director

First, how hard can a job as director of the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Public Relations be?

Jonathan Starkey, famed writer for Delaware NEwsJournal and accused of being a favorite of Governor Markell now has this job.

They should have hired me.

Info from the Cape Gazette

Matt Opaliski will not go to trial

delpoli3.14.16mattopaliskisfThis is because he will be pleading guilty at a March 24th hearing.

I haven’t spoke to Matt in ages.

Matt….call me, give me an interview!

A former state Senate candidate and local Republican Party official who is facing federal firearms charges has agreed to enter a guilty plea.

A judge on Friday scheduled a March 24 plea hearing for Matthew Opaliski, cancelling a June trial.

Opaliski was indicted by a federal grand jury last year on three counts of dealing firearms without a license and two counts of unlawful transfer of firearms.

Prosecutors allege the illegal activity took place on several occasions between late 2014 and early 2015.

Opaliski, a tea party supporter and gun rights activist who has testified in the legislature on firearms bills, had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Opaliski has run for state Senate three times and also served as a GOP district committee chair in Sussex county.


Punkiin’ Chunkin’ Comes Back to Sussex County!

We lost two years because of this insurance issue.

Lookit, launching big orange-colored orbs into the air has an element of danger.
Sussex county is the PERFECT place to hold this inland event, after which attendees can visit the beach!
It’s Win-Win!
From WDEL.com

Punkin’ Chunkin’ is coming back to Sussex County in late Fall.

The World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition is destined to stay in southern Delaware this year, held on November 4-6, 2015.

Frank Payton, WCPCA board president, confirmed an arrangement with the Wheatley’s has been worked out for the event to return to where it was last successfully held in 2013.

After an exhaustive five-month-long search for land, the association should be able to breathe a little easier.

“There’s a certain level of relief that we’re returning to where we’ve been successfully able to hold the event but we still have a lot ahead of us,” said Frank Payton, referring to the cost to put on the event.

An insurance policy required to protect the landowner will cost the association nearly three times what they previously paid. Costs to host the event have increased over the years, and after not having the event for two years, the association will now start focusing on the budget.

From <http://www.wdel.com/story/story/73980-punkin-chunkin-is-returning-to-delaware&gt;

Punkin’ Chunkin’ could be making its return to Sussex County to the same farm property where the event was most recently held in the fall of 2013.

The President of the World Punkin’ Chunkin’ Association Frank Payton made the announcement Saturday on social media.

The organization says the Wheatley farm in Bridgeville will host the event November 4th, 5th and 6th.

Legal concerns led to the suspension of the event for two years, and attempts to hold it at the grounds of Dover International Speedway fell through in 2014 and last year.

Payton says in a statement that there was “an exhaustive five-month long search for land,” before an agreement with the Wheatleys was developed.

He adds that insurance will cost the association nearly three times more than its previous policy.

The loss of the non-profit event was felt in the community – Punkin’ Chunkin’ has generated more than a million dollars in scholarships and contributions since 2000.
I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.
Please feel free to email me at patfish1@aol.com if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Sussex county council tomorrow, it’s another Super Tuesday, and the GOP Sussex meeting is tonight. Lots to discuss!

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