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Multiple sources working for current Republican Senator Gerald Hocker have confirmed to Federal authorities that they are working 60-70+ hours and not getting minimum wage. As told by multiple foreign workers, it appears that what G + E and Hocker’s Super Center are doing, is issuing multiple checks based off different classifications…

You work 40 hours in the deli.  You get one check.  You then work as a cashier 40 hours you get one check… The shortage is the overtime pay that second check is supposed to provide….

40  X  $8.25  =  $330.
40  X  $8.25  X  1.5 (time and a half)  =  $495
Essentially a $165 dollar illegal shortage every week

Yes, they’re all “furiners” (Sussex County accent) who signed up without knowing better. Yes they all came from Turkey this summer to work at a beach and meet Americans and make money while experiencing American culture. Yes, they were not contracted to work over 80+ hours a week, but as denizens in a foreign nation, once here as captured labor, have no choice.

They work 8 hours in the deli, then 6 hours as cashier… every day, and get paid $8.25 for every hour they work…

Make no mistake.  This is absolutely, unequivocally, and entirely illegal.

I have always supported Hocker because of his great bill to keep the school year between Labor Day and Memorial Day.  That would be the biggest boost to improving education in Delaware which could ever occur. (It would cut out 3  full school weeks full of nothing but R-rated movie watching).  In fact, I thought hard about not passing this on because this may unfortunately  overshadow that now and keep his fantastic great bill from passing.

In the end, wrong is wrong and I couldn’t sit on it much longer….

Recommended action:

Get one of the 11 Turkish grad students at University of Delaware to interview all these employees in their native language and then, file the necessary charges…

If a voting member of the Delaware State Senate is willing to violate this sacrosanct law which applies downward pressure to the cost of labor for EVERYONE, it behooves us all what else his party, the Republican Party is willing to tolerate…

Perry Mitchell, Democrat, you need to own this….   Delaware Unions, you shouldn’t be sitting on your hands here…  Delaware Department of Labor, we don’t care if he votes money for your department, wrong IS wrong.

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The President today approved immediate use of exploratory techniques to determine the amount of oil lurking off the Delaware Coast.   The Brazilian spy agency was listening in.  Water Cannon will soon be used to create massive shock waves off Delaware’s coast and in Delaware Bay… These sonic cannons are 100 times more powerful than jet engines….

Whales, turtles, horseshoe crabs, dolphins, will all be hit with unbearable noise shattering their inner ears.  We might as well take down the Watch For Turtle signs on Route 1 between Dewey and Bethany…..

Here is what we do know about airgun blasts from studies done in areas where this process has been going on for some time… Impacts include temporary and permanent hearing loss, abandonment of habitat, disruption of mating and feeding, and even beach strandings and death. For whales and dolphins, which rely on their hearing to find food, communicate, and reproduce, being able to hear is a life or death matter.  Airgun blasts kill fish eggs and larvae and scare away fish from important habitats. Following seismic surveys catch rates of cod and haddock declined by 40 to 80 percent for thousands of miles.

The bureau’s environmental impact study estimates that more than 138,000 sea creatures could be harmed, including nine of the 500 north Atlantic right whales remaining in the world.

Here is a list of states and the breakdowns of how much of a hit to their economies this immediate cut will cause…

Delaware small as it is, stands to lose $875,852… between last Saturday and this past one.  By next week, if benefits are not restored by Congress, it will be double that, or around $1.7 million dollars of economic activity that just disappears….

That fails to consider the multiplier effect. Because the unemployed reliably spend all the benefits they get, they create a “multiplier effect” in the economy. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics (MCO), estimates that every dollar of unemployment benefits generates about $1.55 in economic activity.

Applied to Delaware the loss of economic activity jumps to $1.35 million per week, or a total $2.7 million dollars lost by this upcoming weekend.. or the equivalent one summer week’s loss of 900 New 5 BR Bethany Beach House Rentals. with Huge Kitchen & Deck, Comm. Pool & Beaches each week!… or the geographic representation of the loss of every house in Bethany Beach, East of the Coastal Highway between the National Guard Base (north entrance to town) to the high rises of Sea Colony….

Don’t let anyone tell you unemployment benefits are insignificant…

It’s been news that NRG, who owns Bluewater Wind, is dragging it’s feet and being criticized for doing so.

John Kowalko correctly points out, that without the Obama administrations support for continuing credits, even he, it were his money on the line, would back out too…

So don’t blame NRG.. Blame the Tea Party. They changed the political climate in Washington far too much, that even though Obama campaigned for lifelong extension of wind credits, he now, has to put that once solid expectation, on the negotiating table…

Would you invest $2 to $4 billion if it would cost you $250 to $500 million every year? Of course not!

Forcing NRG to go through without the support of wind credits, is wrong.

We would scream if it were to happen to us, they should too.

The issue is that we don’t have renewable credits guaranteed anymore because of the Tea Partiers… They, not NRG, are the ones to blame, if Delaware does not become the first state to have cheap clean efficient energy created off it’s own shores….

So how do we go around them? Two ways. The simplest was conceived by Tommywonk: use existing nuclear guaranteed loans to build the wind farm. The money is available; do the paperwork, and pull a Black Eyed Peas…. “Let’s get it started…”

The second way, was brought up during Delmarva’s fight to stop the purchase agreement. That was to do what we did the last time private capital investment froze up: The Great Depression… Have the Government build the wind power source… During the Depression, the Fed’s built TVA, the Columbia River System, Hoover Dam, and a myriad of other dams, producing a large part of those states electrical needs.

New York, conceived, funded, and ran the New York Power Authority, which built, staffed, and ran the power generative facilities at Niagara Falls…

Whether it is our state, or the Feds who take the lead on building a government run wind farm off the coast of Bethany Beach, either way, it appears that some form of government will necessary, to start the turbines turning….

Bethany Beach Waterspout 4/20

Imagine taking a walk around Bethany Beach on 4/20/08 and looking up to see this bearing down on you……….

Bethany Beach Waterspout while running fast..

Apparently this monster did not touch land, but seeing it through you own eyes, ..one wouldn’t know…..

Still Never Believed even though it was real

Next imagine barging into one’s spouse with this remark. “Hey, I just saw the largest waterspout off our coast….Its gone now.”

Being 4/20 the spouse would take one look at your fear driven wide open pupils…….and say….. “yeah, right…..”

Your Tax Dollars at Work Bethany Beach
Photo: Jennifer Wheatley c/o DNREC

On the day of the storm, the same one that washed ashore the Bluewater research vessel, the Corp of Engineers was scheduled to turn over Bethany Beach replenishment as a fait accompli….

They can’t do it now….

The entire operation, was washed out to sea. Almost as if “Someone” was trying to tell us that spending tax dollars there………was truly a waste of money….

Unfortunately, the actual beach area at Bethany today is quite small at high tide. Water comes right up to the dune. It was rather comical to see sunbathers lying down almost in a vertical position, to enjoy the ocean view…..

Some of the areas are considered dangerous. A dune washed away at its base could collapse and bury a nonchalant walking by…..

Could that money have been better spent? It is hard to say….for had that storm hit without the buffer that the new sand had provided, the town could have been eaten away instead………………….

The Corp of Engineers is still responsible for completing the project. Of cousre they will need another earmark to pay for it……

I can hear the land lubber states complaining about throwing money into the ocean ….right about .now…..

I say fix the damn thing, and repeal the Bush tax cuts going to the top 1% to pay for it…….. I know some people in Sussex County will arbitrarily disagree….but big government IS A GOOD THING. Imagine if Bethany had bonded our the project and had it done by themselves? Stuck they would be……and that is exactly the problem with the philosophy that says trim government down to nothng……..

After the storm of this destructive administration has passed, we can see that perhaps taxing the rich a tiny bit, is a damn good idea after all.
High Tide  Right Up To The Dune Bethany Beach
photo by xzmattzx

Delaware’s number one lobbyist, Charlie Copeland, does not believe in Global Warming. To him it is just some mumbo jumbo pattering designed to steal profits from his number one client, Delmarva Power. Since Charlie believes it, it must be so. Since when has a Dupont ever been wrong in Delaware?

Let us look at what little we know of Global warming. Let us see if those liberal detractors of Delmarva Power have any evidence supporting their lovely wind farm?

Today there are 8 billion metric tons of carbon spewed into our atmosphere per year. That means nothing to me. What’s a metric ton? How much is too much? It would be relevant to note, that in Ike’s years, 1957, the world put out 2 billion metric tons of carbon. Ok….so we are producing carbon at a rate four times more per year, just 50 years later? What does that mean in terms I can understand?

Good question. Let’s go small.

Throughout most of the history of man, carbon in the air, hung at 280 parts per million. When we started burning coal, gas, and oil for our energy it started to rise. In 1957 it hung around the 315 level. It is now at 380 and is increasing by 2ppm annually. Now if you think of a million then an additional 65 ppm doesn’t sound like much…….. but it turns out that the watt of heat that that subtle change traps per square meter of the earth’s surface, times the immense number of square meters covering the planet, creates a big number…… enough to raise the temperature 1 degree already.

One degree! Is that all? With all that liberal talk and Gore(y) movies of rising oceans, you would have thought the world was ending…..One degree, There is no way I am changing my energy habits for one measly degree, no way, no how……..

But that one degree over fifty years so far has set everything frozen to start melting. It has changed seasons, and growing patterns, it has set the sea to rising…… all that from one degree?

Alas, the genie is out of the bag. No matter what we do, global warming will increase for now. The question is how much, by our actions, will it increase before it levels off and starts to drop? Apparently our task is rather boring; it is to contain the damage and keep thing from getting out of control. But exactly where, at what point, does it suddenly go out of control? Until recently we had no way of guessing where global warming would reach a critical point.

The standard consensus is that around 450 ppm is where things heat up real quick. That is 70 more ppm and is a goal we are estimated to hit around thirty years from now……. At 450 ppm, Greenland and Antarctica’s icecaps melt and seas swell catastrophically. So we got some time left…..so what do we do with it?

So far only the Europeans and Japanese have tried to trim their carbon emissions and it looks like that they will not even meet their own modest targets. The genie is definitely out of the bottle. So dependent on Carbon are we, that weaning ourselves from its mixture, seems now only a remote possibility. The US, China, and India, will all be producing much more carbon in ten years, than they currently do today……….

The one answer, the only way for the oceans to stay level, is for the technologically superior nations to cut back drastically, then transfer their technology to developing countries as soon as possible. But are they even capable of such sacrifices?

Every clarion call rolls out a new technology. Hydrogen is the savior; no it is nuclear; no it is ethanol; no it is solar; no it wind………In essence not one of these technologies can single handedly make the dents in carbon usage we need……

Three years ago a Princeton team, just up the road, consisting of Stephan Pacala and Robert Socolow published in Science a paper that gave us 15 wedges which we could choose to minimize carbon warming. Sort of a smörgåsbord of ideas from which we could mix and match and reach partial, if not all reduction to our global warming. Here they are:

1) Improve fuel economy in all cars on the road to 60 mph.

2) Reduce miles traveled by car per year from 10,000 to 5,000.

3) Increase electrical effieicncy in heating, cooling, lighting, appliances by 25% .

4) Raise coal power plant efficiency to 80% up from 40 %.

5) Sequester carbon from coal fired and gas fired power plants.

6) Use capture systems at coal power plants to capture hydrogen to be used in electric fuel cells cars.

7) Use capture systems at coal plants to make diesel fuel from coal residue.

8. Replace 1400 coal fired power plants with natural gas fired ones.

9) Displace coal by increasing nuclear power generation to three times its current rate.

10) Increase wind power to 25 times its current capacity.

11) Increase solar power to 700 times current capacity.

12) Increase wind power to 50 times its current capacity to generate hydrogen for fuel celled cars.

13) Increase ethanol production 50 times its current capacity, requiring 1/6 of the worlds cropland.

14) Stop all deforestation

15) Expand conservation tillage to all cropland. Normal plowing releases carbon by speeding decomposition of organic matter.

We are currently at 380 ppm. Hell begins to be real at 450 ppm. We have fifteen options before us….What do we do?

Obviously we have three pursuits. We can do nothing and let ppm climb. We can employ Draconian measures and try to hold the line steady at 8 metric tons a year, or we can use worse than Draconian measures and try reducing the the amount of carbon we are exhaling.

If we do nothing, then by 2057 we will stand at 800 ppm and witness a global temperature 9 degree F higher than what we experience now. If we implement 8 of the wedges mentioned above, and we hold emissions at todays rate, then over the next fifty years we will sit at 525 ppm and have a temperature increase of a quaint 5.4 degrees F. But if we chose to reduce emissions by half over the next 50 years and cutting 4 more wedges, then in 50 years we will sit at the 450 ppm threshold with only a 3.6 degree increase in global temperature. Remember, we said the 450 level was the edge where the big “things” started to happen.

So here is the scary truth. Even if we cut our emissions in half during the next 50 years, and produce only 4 billion metric tons of carbon a year by 2057, instead of today’s 8, we will still sit on the 450 ppm threshold and be sweating under climatic changes of 3.5 degrees F. Remember all the changes we have experienced so far, have come from a measly one degree increase of global temperature.

So our children will never see the snows of Kilimanjaro. They will wonder how Glacier National Park ever got its name…….But if we try absolutely everything possibly to stem the rise of carbon into the air, it is just possible that our children may still get to know Rehoboth Beach, which without our help, is due to submerge under 20 feet of seawater.

Therefore it stands that anyone who stands in the way of moving Delaware forwards to a less carbon energy diet, is putting our state’s physical geography in danger. The sooner Blue Water Wind goes on line, the less carbon our electrical usage puts into the air. We apparently do not have time to lose.

If the delaying tactics of Gary Stockbridge and his chief lobbyist Charlie Copeland, set back Blue Water Wind of one or two years, than the whole planet hangs in balance…..literally.

Perhaps it is time for a new personification of evil in this post modern world………… If we do, then it is a good bet that anyone who blocks wind power from coming to Delaware, would certainly be a good candidate for taking that position on………….

And as future waves come crashing through Mike Castle’s Rehoboth residence, one can almost hear his ghostly murmur, in that special tone of his……………….”Thanks Charlie…….”

Tremendous Economic Advantages to Using Wind

Delaware’s PSC trimmed high hopes for a 600 MW wind farm off Delaware’s coast, by recommending a 200-300 MW one instead. This was to be backed up by a gas turbine which would fire whenever wind stopped blowing…..

Though disappointed, I understand their point. One, afraid of rushing into a new area of development, they are putting their toes in the water first, before jumping in. Two, dealing with a recalcitrant power utility, they are trying to minimize the taste of the medicine, by using half the dose. And adding a ton of sugar. (Hey Honey, come out in the garage and check out my new gas turbine….)

We understand,………. but we have to realize what we are dealing with. That is, simply put, the economic future of Delaware.

So what is at stake. Every new wind turbine creates a new job. 600 turbines, as opposed to 200 turbines means 400 less jobs or at 100,000 apiece, 40,000,000 pumped into our states economy. At a low 4% tax rate, this is 1.6 million that could be in our treasury but isn’t.

The jobs would land on both ends of the state. Assembly of the turbines at dockside in Wilmington, benefiting the hard strung Port of Wilmington, and off Lewes where boats would ship out to fix the foundations. Now is not the time to laugh off 40,000,000 dollars pumped into our states economy.
Assemblage of wind turbines is a BIG job

We recently had a bill in the General Assembly that offered a tax rebate to any company bringing in a hundred jobs over 100,000. And we are passing up 400 of those jobs to please Delmarva?

There is fear and trepidation among General Assembly members about crossing Delmarva Power. Their money is nice during election time. But it is countered with the fear and loathing individual voters have for their personification of evil in this small state of ours: the electric utility company………and those voters are needed to stay elected.

Therefore pressure can be maintained by all citizens who wish to pay less, not more for their electricity. They can call on each individual legislator over the break. If every member of General Assembly heard from just 5 constituents, who voiced their anger at 600 MW not moving forward at full power, the next General Assembly would be held in a changed environment. The new owners (the voters) would be in charge………(it’s an election year, you know.)

As has been mentioned before, 600 MW of wind power will drop costs of providing power from 5.6 cents per kilowatt hour, down to 2.3 cents. As everyone else knows, coal with carbon attachments, may soon cost over 15 cents per kilowatt hour. Any company worth its corporate stock would want to manufacture in a state where energy costs were cheapest. One has only to look to the Buffalo-Albany corridor to see what cheap electricity from the Niagra River Power Plant did for jobs in that state………

Delaware has the chance to do so. Waiting until other states have built their wind-farms, and stolen the manufacturers who would have come to us, is an option Delaware can ill afford.
wind farm capacity by state

Building a full capacity wind farm would give our state’s economy a huge boost. It would fill the coffers of the State treasury without costing any lost revenues, as other such incentives have been known to do.

To sum up, Big Wind will bring cheap power to Delawareans currently paying more than Pennsylvanians and Marylanders for their electricity. It will bring high paying jobs specifically to Delaware to build the turbines and foundations. It will bring employers who are pulling out their hair to meet margins on current high utility costs. Imagine Chrysler saying ‘No” to 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour? And move somewhere else and pay up to 25 cents later? They would have to be nuts……………..

We cannot go half assed. We need to go forward.

Every time I stuck my toes in the water, it was always too cold. I never went in. But every time I said “what the hell” and dived right in,…. after 45 seconds, the water was fine……………………………

Tonight Delaware’s PSC will listen to the public one last time. Originally the last meeting was supposed to occur in insider safe Wilmington, where a large number of Delmarva Power supporters could comment and be seated.

Delmarva wants to buy energy on market, tack on their percentage, and pass both costs on to you.

But, by an event almost serendipity in its nature, the weather caused the last meeting to be held tonight. This does not bode well for the “powers that be”, for originally this meeting, which most would expect to be the most volatile of the three, was to be sandwiched between the two held in “more friendly” environments.

Sussex County is the host of two of the proposals: the NRG facility near Millsboro and the Blue Water Wind farm off the coast of Rehoboth and Bethany. Locally they have the most to say since both are slated to be built in their own back yard. Citizens of Sussex County will have to deal with any negative effects associated with either proposal.

The NRG crowd will pull from its current employees who no doubt see their own job stability in their support of coal, and will express support for the NRG coal gasification option.

The Blue Water supporters should include everyone else: including those who currenly breath Millsboro NRG’s pollution, those who want new jobs to come to their county, those who want to pay less for Delmarva’s power, and those who are concerned about the eradication of Delaware’s pristine coastlines by rising globally warmed seas.

If you can possible make it, even if you were present at one of the previous meetings, you need to go. The meeting is scheduled at tonight at 7:00 pm, in Georgetown, at the Del Tech Community College Jack F Owens campus theater.

The only official poll conducted on local energy choices, has shown that Wind Power has over 90 % of public support. This being the case, it would be a shame if those supporters failed to show up and did not add their support to the one plan that will benefit Delaware for a long period of time.

The Public may file written comments with the Public Service Commission up through Friday, March 23, 2007.

The last chance for the public to listen and debate the upcoming new energy proposals, will be on this Tuesday at 7 pm in the House Chambers of Legislative Hall, Wednesday at 7 pm at the Jack F Owens theater on the campus of Delaware Tech in Georgetown, and Thursday at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Carvel State Building in Wilmington. The purpose of these meetings is to allow members of the public to ask questions and make comments regarding the energy proposals now before the Public Service Commission.

 

We will be told that out of the three new proposals, the gas fired plant was deemed to be the best solution, but that perhaps the current plan we have now, titled the “do nothing” plan is probably the best one for the future of Delaware. This current plan allows Delmarva to purchase power at market price, add its surcharge, and sell it to us. For Delmarva Power, this status quo is ideal for it requires no costly investment on their part and guarantees substantial future earnings. Expect them to propose basing future cost increases on the price of coal instead of natural gas and show us how stable coal prices have been over long periods of time……

 

There is a tendency by mankind to base decisions on his past experiences. However, the best decisions ever made by man, are those based on a careful reading of the future.

Fossil fuels are depleting. Wind, due to global warming, has actually increased due to a greater disparity between hot and cold temperatures.

As a fuel becomes more scarce, demand shoots up that fuel’s price.

Natural gas production in this country has peaked. It will cost more and more to pump scarcer resources to the surface. Historically gas has increased 300 percent since the Clinton administration passed the torch to Bush.

How high will it continue to rise? Across the world oil and natural gas fields are depleting. The North Sea, will be empty in less than twenty years. Twenty years? I still hear songs played from 87, and it seems like yesterday. Twenty years is a relatively short time.

If we are to invest in something costing 1.5 billion, doesn’t it make since to invest in something we will get more than a few years out or? Of course it does…………………

Coal, that’s cheap we are told. That “dirty” fuel we have supplies left for 250 years. But that fact is misleading. Demand for coal is rising. China is bringing a new coal fired power plant on line EVERY WEEK. Each coal fired plant burns one two mile train load of coal every twenty four hours.

India, also is bringing on line a new power plant at a much slower rate, one per month. So remembering how demand from new emerging nations wreaked havoc with our gasoline prices just last summer, how can one expect coal to remain at a flat price?

And keep in mind, that 250 year supply of coal is misleading. That figure is based on pure wild card speculation which itself is based on estimates of future demand. Looking back,  an interesting pattern occurs. In 1988, as we were listening to INXS, we had 300 years of coal left. In 1904, we had 1000 years of coal left. In 1868 we had 10,000 years of coal left……
And some of that coal lies under cities, towns, parks, scenic areas; at what cost will we go to extract those last few seams?

Carbon emissions are the driving force behind most green renewable energy initiatives. But, if one disregards the entire controversy surrounding global warming and chooses a energy plan, just based solely on economic factors outlined by Adam Smith over two hundred years ago, Blue Water’s wind farm will save Delawareans tons of money over the life of the proposal……….tons…………

And, as a sidebar, if your children’s or your own health means anything to you, for eleven dollars at today’s prices, with wind you can eliminate breathing that very carcinogen that perhaps someday will kill either them or you.

 

Please show at one of these meetings. Only massive public support for the cheaper alternative can sway the argument away from pricey fossil fuels, towards the new energy alternative of the future.

Delaware is poised to make a difference, one that could start a chain of events that may have profound effect on our future. Next week will be too late to pine for what could have been…………..

On the back of the Delaware state quarter lies the image of Ceasar Rodney, a man who is credited with a marathon mad dash to make a certain meeting on time.  That meeting would have grave consequences for the future of our nation. We, in the next three days, shall have a much easier time of it, but the consequences may wind up to be far more important globally than Ceasar Rodney’s ride.