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Although support for the TDC power plant may look like a chance to support jobs, the reality it that it is an environmental disaster.

When you support a disaster, you eventually lose….

Labor Unions will lose public support if this TDC center goes through….   Withholding the environmental dangers from the public may work short term and get approval, …

But once built, and when ash particles the size of golf-balls begin to fall on Newark, Stanton, Elsmere, Wilmington and Claymont, the public will ask,,, how on earth could this have been approved?

The truth will come out at that point, that bad people sneaked it through using bad ways…..

You will eventually lose prevailing wage if this TDC goes through…. The public will turn on you.  I almost turned on you before I calmed down. Economics are a strong suit. But one’s life trumps economics.  The environmental consequences of this TDC are gigantic.  Everyone who gets cancer will blame you…  Anything they can do to hurt you will become their dying wish, if you know what I mean….

What to do….

  • Support a data center without a power plant.
  • Support building a data center in a rural area close by so we get the same jobs… 20 miles into Cecil County or east of Middletown would do the trick.
  • Support something else being built on the same location…. One that has no environmental impact.

Putting your loyalty and support behind the Data Center, is like putting your loyalty and support behind a candidate who unknown to you committed child abuse 25 years ago…  At some future point, you lose all your investment…… and are left to fight a defensive war to keep more from being taken away by business groups…..

You did not know this would turn on you.  But it has, and will get worse….   Now is the time to sneak out of the back of the crowd while no one is really looking or counting…..

Signed:  Your most ardent supporter.

K

 

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It is rare in politics when you can see clarity over where a person or party wants to go.. Our former congressman Mike Castle was very good at talking out of both sides of his mouth… I once heard him extol all the benefits of dismantling public schools, and was getting really angry over his direction, and swearing to myself that he had to be unseated by any means possible, even a Tea Party candidate, and then, almost in the same breath, he said:  “one the other hand….” and begin running down my list of why public schools had to be saved… and I could feel myself cheering for each one…  “yes, he gets it..”

It was my eye opener to politics in the real world.  Prior I had the naive assumption one pitched causes to one’s constituents and ran on whether they wanted to go or not go in that direction… For example in Newark, if you want to breathe toxic elements you vote for this candidate, and if you want something more eco-friendly to go into the Star campus, you vote for their opponent.  Real politics doesn’t work that way.  In real politics both candiates play both sides and dodge being pinned to any side whatsoever… aka Chris Coons, John Carney, and Tom Carper… for examples….

So it is refreshing when clarity sneaks in through a back door… Like X ray glasses.  When you see the skeleton upon which all the now invisible flesh is hanging….you surmise the flesh form would kind of be draped across the skeletal frame you currently see in your vision.   If the skeleton was crouched, about ready to pounce, you should know to run, even thought you had no idea what animal’s skin and fur and facial features,  If the skeleton was ambling slowly to you, head to the ground, like a horse, apparently grazing, you would know it probably was safe to relax and check it out more closely….

The skeleton of the Republican party is its money. Without big money it couldn’t survive.  It certainly doesn’t represent real human being’s interests.  It represents a very radical minorities interest and without huge sums of money, it would by now long have been eliminated….  Like impoverished flesh draped across a skeleton, it’s shape IS its skeletal structure, which in this case is… HUGE money.

Don’t know if anyone else is familiar with literature surrounding pimps and hoes. Unfortunately my knowledge mostly comes from one ancient Tom Clancy novel..  In that relationship, psychological control was established by isolating a subject down to one single lifeline which the pimp controls.  Everything must go through him/her, otherwise you perish.  This enables the handler to get his subject to behave as he wishes, often in ways the subject would never have done on their own.   Crazy things happen in this way.

That is the best analogy as to how a creep like David Koch, can make Republicans everywhere do crazy, almost suicidal things. Shutting down the government and getting absolutely nothing in return… Remember that?  No?  Don’t worry, it got quickly pushed off the screen by the Obamacare rollout.  Remember the success of Obamacare?  Probably not;  That was yesterday pushed off the air by Issa and the IRS Tax Controversy, which last year was determined to not be any of a controversy at all… The contention now, is that taking the fifth is not taking the firth if one makes a statement when taking the fifth…  Yes! Of course it is bizarre.  Would anyone be talking about it if it wasn’t bizarre?  And that is the point.  Push success off the table, and put something, anything on to scream about… Did anyone hear about Benghazi?  Despite that nothing un-American happened, despite a very rational explanation by the CIA that satisfies all inquisitiveness over how it played out … there is under this almost perfect Republican President, nothing else to put on the table…. So. Benghazi it is…

Usually craziness like this would be dropped.  How many utterances by a Tourette syndrome sufferer currently  make the nightly national news?   Probably quite a bit,…  if they were as wealthy and as willing to spend as is David Koch….

The point of this embellishment, is to show that the current irrational behavior of the Republican Party, if understood by the relationship of pimp to hoe, is actually very rational.  Just like an abused child has to use their brain to navigate around their irrational and sick, diseased abuser, so do Republican operatives have to do irrational things to stay alive and in office….

So putting on one’s X ray glasses and looking at the Republican Party, one sees nothing but the skeletal frame of David Koch….. Studying what is David Koch, will point us to what the Republican Party is going to do, when we elect them in 2014…..  It is pretty much determined that without any type of uprising, they WILL win both houses of Congress in 2014…. So what will that be like?

Study the frame of David Koch…. By luck, we were handed a copy of  what David Koch stood on 34 years ago…. ..He was vice president of the Libertarian Party, and he published a testament to all he believes…. As you know, even though George HW Bush was silent after accepting Reagan’s VP offer, prior  to that he coined the term “Voodoo Economics” which even after all this time, he still believes he was right today.  And so do we.  The point, is that whenever one is campaigning for oneself… one tends to be very honest.  It is only after one loses or after one wins, that one begins talking outside of both sides of one’s mouth…   Therefore if we could only find somewhere, what David Koch was running on and stood for in that campaign, we would know  exactly what the Republican Party will do if both houses get owned by it  in 2014….

Guess what?  We do.  Thanks to Bernie Sanders who brought it back up to the surface…. If this is what you believe in, then by all means, vote Republican… But if this really scares you.  even if you currently resided in a safe district, you can’t just sit still.  IF you sit still like always.  then expect this……

We , the Koch- funded Republican Party of 2014 do attest to the following….

====

“We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”

“We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

“We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”

“We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”

“We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.”

“We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence.  Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.”

“We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”

“We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.”

“As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.”

“We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”

“We advocate the complete separation of education and State.  Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals.Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”

“We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”

“We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”

“We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”

“We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”

“We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.”

“We demand the return of America’s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”

“We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called “self-protection” equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”

“We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”

“We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”

“We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”

We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”

“We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”

“We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”

“We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

“We support the repeal of all state usury laws.

====

Sound familiar?  Of course it does…. As goes the pimp, so goes the hoe….

So it appears the Markell administration was so confident they would sell off their port, they put no money into the budget to cover it….

The answer is rather simple. If you need $20 million a year, write a new tax that begins at levels over $1 million dollars and get the $20 million from them….

How hard is that?

or you could increase port fees a few cents per ton…

Then, ask Siemans who they would recommend as a consultant if you were interested in finding a European buyer for our port…..

Solved.

We knew this but it  is now being published… and so it is in the news.

The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…

Just as plate tectonics and  Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason  for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.

Texas is now  what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..

If  West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain;  If it snowed 12  times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.

So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina.  Longer growing seasons,  some winters with no snow, hot summers…

However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat.  An anomaly so to speak  and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….

With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized…   Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.

Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience  the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water.  Call it our icy shower effect….

Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….

Cold Water in Summer Hugs Delaware's Shore  xoxoxo
Chart Courtesy of NOAA

So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast.    Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.

Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all….  Oh, the rising seas?  There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?

 

…. said Rick Jensen as Liz Allen finished and hung up the phone before Rick could answer….

I usually drive in silence but I laughed out loud when I heard that. Seriously glad I was not drinking coffee that very second…

To set the background, Rick was trying to pin the blame on unions like would a normal corporate shill and Liz called in and was objecting…

Basically her argument was that there were a lot of things wrong with this Kinder Morgan Deal.  Most of you know, I’ve outlined many.  Al Mascitti has outlined some. Nancy Willing outlined some. Norinda outlined some.  Bobby Marshall has outlined some.  John Kowalko has outlined some. The News Journal writers  and editorialists  have outlined some.  Even Alan Levin truthfully  outlined some…. And of course, Liz Allen was Delaware’s voice.  She outlined many…. And don’t even  mention that the entire House of the General Assembly, both Democrats and Republicans unanimously voted for General Assembly oversight on this strange thing happening, despite the Governor and Alan Lavin saying…”shouldn’t do that!!!”

THE  ENTIRE  HOUSE  OF  THE  GENERAL  ASSEMBLY  VOTED  FOR  SENATE  BILL  3  YET  KINDER  MORGAN  IS  SINGLING  OUT  A  LABOR LEADER,  JULIUS  CEPHAS? ? ?

All of these people are more to blame for swaying public opinion than Julius Cephas.  However, truth be told, without Julius, none of these people would be swaying public opinion….  He didn’t harangue, he didn’t bash, he’d didn’t twist arms…

All Julius did to persuade this wave against Kinder Morgan, was speak the “truth”.  The letter paints Julius as a feisty uncooperative fiery personality…  Anyone who’s sat on a panel with Julius finds that hard to believe.  That is not how Julius handles adversity.  He digs down and works.

Of course as we all age we come to realize that anything is possible.  But if we are going to allow ourselves to consider even the most outrageous items,  what I find far more possible, and far more probable, was that Kinder Morgan was seriously planning on cutting jobs.  Furthermore, it probably had it’s eye on the DRBA portion of the state pension fund… Speaking strictly as a vulture capitalist here… who wouldn’t?

Apparently Julius Cephas was in the way…  We all owe him a thank you.

I know Texas gas firms.  This deal is not off.  What we have here is a lighter being held up  to Delaware’s foot.  To scare us a little, try to get us to move things up, to get us to concede… They sharply deduced that to have a successful operation here, they need to do away with the union.  Hence, instead of excoriating Bob Marshall’s leadership, which they would have done if they truly were to pick up and go, …knowing they might need him later instead they chose to focus on Julius Cephas…

Can they turn the state into an out-roar against Julius and the Longshoreman’s union, so much so that we offer them a counter-offer with “the union”  completely eclipsed out of it?

In their minds they think they can.   They’re Texans…  Look at Governor Perry.  (Hope you weren’t drinking hot coffee right there… )

What they don’t realize is that to convince Delaware to come aboard, they have to accomplish all these four things…

A.  Convince us first  on the concept of privatization; Trust us, our state is completely against it.

B.  Give us $5 billion for 50 years.

C.  Promise us the Longshoreman’s Union will be around forever .

D.  Expand business so the outside businesses will grow….. 

I think this is more money than they want to bear right now….  But if they are willing to agree to these propositions,   send us an offer….

Us Delawareans are a little stronger negotiators, with a little more backbone,  than is Alan Levin….  I’m sorry from a honesty point of view, if his actions sort of misled you.

There are two ways to do business.  One is do what is best for the business by being selfish..  The second is to do what is best for the customer and community, which in our view, turns out to be what is best for the business.

Delawareans (minus Rich Heffron)  subscribe to the latter…..

 

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

Most of you missed this, but Alan Levin and Senator Bob Marshall stopped by coincidentally at the same time to visit Rick Jensen of WDEL, and smooth as he was, Rick convinced both to sit down for an hour and go head to head over the topic of  privatizing the Port of Wilmington….

First Alan Levin;  Delaware Economic Development Office….

a.  Delaware river will be dredged to 45 feet.

b.  Panama canal will open to new big ships from the Pacific, which will be coming up the Delaware River.

c.. Ships if not coming here, may go to ports north to Philly, Paulsboro, Newark NJ, Norfolk.

d.  If we don’t accommodate these larger ships, jobs will go elsewhere taking 3000 jobs. By 2016 we should start seeing them.

e. Was not a sweetheart deal. Competing bids were proffered.  Local  ILA (International Longshoreman) even asked the state to search out new private/public partnership bids back in Sept 09

f. Turns out that the  Bank of Montreal was advisor for port transactions, the division was located in San Francisco. It’s job is to  just finance ports.  Sent out 70 inquiries  17 expressed inquiries for further information,   4 actually made bids.  2 were called non responsive.  leaving 2 good. Kinder Morgan and one private equity group financed by local individuals.

g. Of the two bids received, the Kinder Morgan bid secured workforce. The other group said they would rob workforce pension and union bust to squeeze their profit out of efficiencies.

h. Kinder Morgan bid grants a three year guaranteed security, to the  ILA, to the  teamsters, to the businesses outside..  What other business gives you a three year guarantee?

i.  Kinder Morgan would grow profits by increasing tonnage.  They want to add 3 additional warehouses  200,000 square feet each, and 28 additional jobs.  The other bidder, made up of local cutthroats, would cut the workforce to squeeze out its profit.

j. Kinder has the ability to bring in additional volume, to negotiate and bring other companies in.  The other bid doesn’t.  Improvement costs are substantial.  $12 million per crane. It costs between $60-70 million to replace berth 5 and 6, just the repair of which will cost $8-10 million. We need the long term lease. Companies want return over time.  they won’t do it for 5, they won’t do it for 10. That’s why it is a 50 year lease.  The people of Delaware want commitment as well.  They don’t want someone saying “we’re outta here” after 5 years.

k. BDO did an independent audit.  As does the State Senate  they also show a $ 3 million yearly loss.  Reports are posted in their auditor’s office.  BDO is independent and won’t jeopardize  their reputation by lying about the port of Wilmington.  It is bottom line business.  Net profit in the end, is minus $3 million dollars.  The General Assembly is putting in $10 million a year for improvements.  That $10 million doesn’t get us past where we are. It doesn’t get us out to the large ships.  We need to get out into the Delaware  and that will cost $100’s of millions of dollars.  Kinder Morgan has considered expanding the Delaware River auto berth, built 20 years ago to accommodate Volkswagon.  The berth goes southward. Kinder would go northbound, and put two berths, with two cranes which will service the 3 warehouses being built.l.

l. LNG is off the table,  that has been committed to in the General Assembly and will also be in the lease. Can Wilmington accommodate LNG tankers?  No!  The port of Wilmington is not big enough to do LNG.  And two, they will not increase coal over today’s level; our same level of 100,000 tons of coal is stipulated for the next 50 years.

m. Protests against the port are  having negative effect. Both Mr. Kinder and Mr. Foster came with the understanding we were the ones seeking and they were not expecting negativity. They understand the ebb and flow, but were not prepared for this huge outcry. it was us. We invited them to the party. Had they come to us as a hostle takeover, the outcry could be right and proper… So far we’ve done  what we thought was right.  We got to find a way to stop the annual spending of the $10 million because the $10 million won’t get us out to the river. Kinder proposed and promised and has done it elsewhere.

n. Kinder Morgan if they have a customer who needs to get to the river, they then will build to go to the river; they can make the extension at that time.  But Kinder (like any successful business) does not promise or commit to anything except what it is prepared to do today.

o. If deal falters, the future of port will be tenuous.  It will continue to have great management, and a great workforce, but won’t have the proper resources to go to river.

p.  If deal collapses, no,  the port won’t go bankrupt.  but collapsing the deal  is not responsible.  Being responsible is doing something to stop the $10 million  bleeding.

Now… state senator Bobbie Marshall…author of Senate Bill 3 signed by Jack Markell, overseeing the lease of port….

a. Big problem is… we do not have details of Kinder Morgan.  No written proposal,

b.Expansion is something we all favor. but deal  receded into one of ” no expansion”, but we will now have to turn over the entire port. including the 300 acres owned by Delaware citizens, managed by Diamond State Port Authority to someone we don’t know.

c. Port is actually  a profit making entity if you remove the depreciation yearly. Actual operation is profitable.

d. Port could grow jobs within the  interior 250 acres if port grows and expands, and with new money, more employment opportunity exists if expansion occurs…

e. Point out that Julius Cephus (ILA) has rallied people, businesses, and elected officials, and has pointed out that this may not be beneficial in long term.

f. Preliminary proposal at this time, the due diligence will be present by end of month which will allow presentation to bond bill and bond bill will hold hearings on the proposal… Senate Bill 3 requires review by bond committee.

g. Members of legislature representing the state of Delaware, passed bill in 1994 to allow Diamond State to operate the day to day operations, but never was it place  in the code, to give either Diamond State or the governor sale and total control of 300 acres of port property.  General Assembly and its citizens are the tenant. Diamond State Port is the renter.

h. Port of Wilmington Directors are responsible to exercise “all function” of port….including the leasing of lands to companies…. That is different from” selling” the land of the taxpayers out from under them.  The state taxpayer keeps ownership but leases to Kinder Morgan.

i.  All  interested parties, need to read Miami Herald and how expansion of Panama Canal will affect the ports of the east coast. We need to invest the Delaware river side of the port and that is not happening with Kinder Morgan.

j.  This is a lease, this is not a sale to Kinder Morgan. The Diamond State board can do leases….  Alan’s understanding is if the bond bill committee approves Kinder Morgan deal, it goes to the House and Senate for up or down vote with no debate.  But Marshall say debate will be impossible to quench.

k. Any one can appear before the bond bill committee… Alan will appear. Senators can appear. Kinder Morgan will be given total control of port. Diamond State Board will still be in place, will still have oversight, but not its running on a day to day basis.  They make sure agreement is in force, and if not, they will take appropriate action.

l. Worried about control  People getting laid off?  Kinder Morgan will automate and cut employees down to one.  Low skilled people will get shut out,  Has happened all over the country.  Failed private ports run by Kinder Morgan, cut people.  (Which ones ask Jensen.)

m. Kinder Morgan is interested in the fruit business, Kinder Morgan is paying premium for fruit; they want to build three warehouses. Already they are seeking  long term contracts with Dole, Chiquita, and the Chilean Pacific Seaways in order to get their fruit.  They have to have to be given the chance.

n.  (Jensen) Depreciation needs to be on the form to comply with IRS. Depreciation is where the loss of the port is coming from. Without it, the port is profitable according to Marshall.

o. Kinder Morgan is a bulk and liquid bulk company. (John Vitale):  Concerned this deal will cost him money; his business is on the outside of the port.  Container experience is limited to one 10 acre container port in Florida. Taht is all the experience they have.  Products generating most jobs in ports are containers, breakable containers as in fruit, and automobiles. Handling bulk products are the least job creators.   The outside area around the port has grown because the conscious decision not to handle bulk, because they didn’t mix with fruit and automobiles… .

p.   Ok, (John Vitale) With Kinder Morgan switching to bulk, we could end up out on the river, but we still would have 20 percent of today’s  jobs.

q.  Flat out,(John Vitale)  bulk products are far more profitable and will drive out costlier containers which are labor intensive, forcing the outside businesses to go out of business. High number of jobs at the port are there because of fruit, these will be lost by not sticking to containers…. A for-profit company will not be in the best interest of the  existing port.

r.  Ferrous alloys, fertilizer, liquids are not competitive with the outside businesses. (Alan).  We can promise this:  employees will last three years, we will get an income stream to the people of Delaware, and that capital improvements will happen.  Check out Vancouver where Kinder Morgan has spent in last two years, $140 million spent on improvements for cargo bulk containers, something they didn’t anticipate when they leased it two years ago. …They are  willing to pay a premium for our expertise. They think fruit is good business.

s. Concern that we are putting too much faith in hope. Kinder Morgan is a Wall Street for-profit stockholder company.  Delaware’s General Assembly’s support is contingent on growing business to the river. Legislators are very worried about the external  businesses existing outside the port.  i

t.  Bonds $7 million owed to the city (Roger Roy) ..  In 1994, we made two deals with Wilmington: one to pay them over time, and the other was to take over  the bonds they owed,  which is to pay off their bonds which they currently have.  State still owes city close to$7 million..

u. (Kowalko).  We will debate the bill on the floor. … Alan is saying the Bond Bill Committee will debate the pre proposal proposal… not the proposal because at this time, there is  no proposal.  Issue is not about Kinder. …  The bond bill was to discuss t he ethics of privatization of the port, not the deal itself.  Therefore when it goes on the floors, that will be the only time to debate the actual Kinder Morgan proposal.

v. (Liz Allen)  Vancouver contract shows Kinder Morgan is not liable or loss for any cargo, not liable for any delay, strikes, fires explosions, or acts of god, and Kinder Morgan is indemnified from all losses…. Both (Alan and Rick) spoke up that sounded like a standard hold-harmless contract, one required for all business.  So who is responsible if there is an explosion (Liz)?   Responsibility goes to Kinder Morgan, they have the liability(Alan), their insurance covers that, and we are not absolving them of liability.  All obligations go to the person leasing the deal, not the lessor…

w. (Rick)  Emotion doesn’t make sense. Why so much negative  emotion?. (Bob Marshall)  Those interested and raising concerns are those who work in the port, work in businesses  around the port.  Kinder Morgan is a profit making company, former operator working as Enron officials, that raised a red flag. Rick asks:  is everyone at Enron a criminal?   No.

x. (Alan) Trepidation is about change to what we know.  We have tried to mitigate  that concern on everyones issue.  Bottom line is people of Delaware can no longer afford putting $10 million a year to upgrade the port.

y. (Alan)we take money away from everyone else in the state to bolster the port. We have an obligation to the port of Wilmington, but we can’t take anything away from Seaford, and Laural, and education and public safety….

There are thousands of reasons why this union is a bad idea. Some are classified under categories of labor, some under categories of environment, and some under categories of finance. But as much as the Governor’s office is infatuated with this union, when it comes down to it, we are really nothing more than a cocktail waitress who happens to catch George Clooney’s eye at one of many events,and become infatuated with the prospects.

Bottom line, Kinder Morgan bought El Pass Oil for $36 billion. If the Delaware Port deal goes through, they will pay $18 million up front and then a little under $3 million a year after that….

The first purchase was a private company. The second is our public entity. We are being propositioned to give up one of our most prized possessions, for something amounting to only five hundredths of one percent, of what our proposer, just gave another suitor….

All of us would silently scream “NOOOOOOOOO” if cinematically forced to watch a young girl willingly give up her virginity to a famous actor she happens to meet at his own bachelor party….

We can’t sit silently and let Delaware do the same.

The Port That Almost Got Away
Courtesy of news.delaware.gov.

It wasn’t that long ago, Markell and Alan Levin said: “With a private investor we were going to get $500 million invested in the port. There would be new upgrades, new docks poking out into the Delaware, new infrastructure”, and the New Castle County construction industry, labor and contractors, saw that $500 million aimed at them….. .

Monday, February 11th, we finally heard the deal….

$5 million towards expansion.

It is being rolled out as a $200.5 million dollar deal. But, that comes spread over 50 years. $200.5 divided by 50 years is $4.1 million a year.

But wait again. We are getting $16 million up front, which disappears into the General Fund this year, and is gone forever. And some of those costs will go to infrastructure. So if we pull the $5 million for expansion, the $24 million for maintenance over 50 years (or $480,000 per year), and the $12.5 million for infrastructural improvements (or $250,000 per year), we have a lease payment coming in of…..$2.85 million a year….

$2,85 million is exactly the tiny bit the state of Delaware spent on funding Pencader Charter School, which is about to go belly up … Despite state investment the school has had difficulty working with its annual budget, leading to it having been at risk of closure in 2011, 2012 and again in 2013.. In October, 2011, the school fired three teachers who had been reported by the state for being paid a state pension at the same time that they were getting teaching salaries. They immediately rehired the fired teachers as independent contractors, a fact which came to light when one of the teachers was recorded calling a student a “bitch”. That teacher, Bob Lewis (husband of school head Ann Lewis) was found to be being paid $6,500 a month for teaching a single class on morals and ethics…..

We are thinking of giving away our port for what it costs to fund a Charter School that teaches “morals and ethics”…

As previously mentioned, if the 420 dock workers have their union dissolved and make $10 less per hour, that bodes a deficit of $5 million every year to the City of Wilmington and County of New Castle economies…..

Delaware’s seaport creates 4,300 family-sustaining regional jobs which produce $365 million in annual business revenue and $31 million in regional annual tax revenue. Port activity generates $34 million in annual Port revenue.

You can’t blame Kinder Morgan. Anyone would jump on getting control of this port for $2.8 million a year….

The blame has to belong solely to whomever it was who decided to sell the 2nd best fruit and banana port in the entire global market, across the entire circumference of the planet, for almost nothing.

We cannot afford to lose the port of Wilmington and only to get a negative return back on it.

Forget absolutely everything else but money. This is just a plain bad deal….

If you were supposed to be getting married and found your future spouse out on a date with someone else,  there is probably a good chance you won’t be getting married.   One could alway hope.  Perhaps it was a business meeting.  Perhaps it was an old friend?  Perhaps a long talk with a former love?

But in all probability, your fiancée is probably going to call the wedding off.

It is in this framework that we hear that Kinder Morgan,  the only approved suitor for the Port of Wilmington, has just bought out Copano for $5 billion.   Let’s see.  The total cost of their Wilmington Port investment up front fee was $16 million or 0.32 of One percent of what they just spent on buying out Copano.

That gives you an idea of how important Wilmington was  to them.

Today they signed an agreement totaling $30 million investment in improvements down in Southern Texas with Calpine, a power generating company.

At the same time they were meeting with the Diamond State Port Authority here just off 13 south of  State Road….

The Wilmington Port nor Diamond State Port have commented at this time….

Looking at the money there is a good chance we just got brushed off……