The gradual takeover

It’s been awhile since I talked about the concept of Smart Growth, but some relatively recent developments caught my eye and I figured it was time to talk about them. One of these items has been sitting on my top bookmarks for a few weeks now.

Last spring, against my advice, the voters of Salisbury elected Jake Day to their City Council. Since that time, Day has joined with nine other local elected officials around the state as part of an advisory board for Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. This is a collaboration between the rabidly anti-growth 1,000 Friends of Maryland and Smart Growth America.

Now allow me to say that downtown development is just fine with me. My problem with so-called Smart Growth legislation – such as the Septic Bill which mandated counties provide tier maps for approval by the state, usurping local control – is that it eliminates options local landowners may choose to use. If there is a market for people who wish to live in a rural area, it should be served; moreover, many parts of the region are already off-limits to development because the land doesn’t drain properly. At least that restriction makes sense.

Developing Salisbury’s downtown is important for the city, but not squeezing rural development is important for Wicomico County.

Another recent development in the city is the adoption of designated bicycle pathways, which in Salisbury are marked by “sharrows.” Since I frequently drive in Delaware, I’m familiar with their custom of designating bicycle lanes on the shoulder of the highway, as that state seems to take the concept farther than their Maryland neighbors. But sharrows have a different purpose, simply denoting the best place to ride in a shared lane. In theory, however, a group of bikes moving along the shared lane could slow traffic down to their speed. It may seem extreme, but this has happened in larger cities.

Granted, the designated bicycle ways in Salisbury are somewhat off the beaten path of Salisbury Boulevard, which also serves as Business Route 13 in Salisbury. But the anti-parking idea expressed in the American Spectator article is a dream of Salisbury bicyclists, who want to eliminate one lane of on-street parking when downtown is revitalized. With the lower speed limits common along downtown streets, the bigger danger for bicyclists comes from a driver of a parked car unwittingly opening a car door in the path of a bicyclist rather than the large speed difference common on a highway with a bike lane.

Read more here.

Lower Eastern Shore News 5 Year Anniversary

It is hard to believe that today I am celebrating the 5th anniversary of starting this website, and when the day is over marching into my 6th. This site has come a long way since that cold day in December of 2008. As I state every year when this day comes around, the main reason I started this site was to state the truth of what was going on in our City and not have the lies and bs of Joe Albero be what people believed. I have accomplished that goal as only the blind cult members remain that support him or his site.He is a non factor in the area now as all that is on his laughable site is copy and paste from all over the Country .

The other great thing that has been accomplished in the past year was finally the removal from office of the Queen of hatefulness who had held this area under siege. That person was the one and only, thank goodness, Debbie Campbell. The way the citizens finally stood together and gave her a humiliating defeat to send her packing has been the highlight of my year, that along with the aforementioned moron getting humiliated by Jim Ireton.

The thing many don’t realize about this site is the number of nasty cowardly anonymous comments that are left every day that I laugh at and yet wonder what kind of human beings could say some of the stuff I have read. The thing is to all you idiots who don’t like me keep them coming in, because the fact is undeniable you cant get enough of my site or you wouldn’t be here.

Read more here.

Wicomico County Government Schools Stand Behind Bullies, John Frederickson Wants My 5 yr Old to be beat up……………..

So I get a call from a bus driver saying my five yr son stood up to two older bullies, and guess who gets thrown off the bus? I am tired of this pc, totalitarian crap. liberals hate our kids. My five yr old will not be bullied by anyone…………

How ObamaCare Is Destroying PRMC

I would like to point out how Obama-care is causing the changes at PRMC. The new rule is, if a patient is re-admitted within 30 days of their discharge medicare/cade does not pay the hospital. I would like to put this in the context of 3 common examples.

1- Patient comes into hospital with a heart attack- they are stabilized and found to be a candidate for open heart surgery. The patient is discharged home for a week or less to gain strength for the surgery. The patient is readmitted for surgery- NO PAY for open heart surgery!

2- A patient has cancer. The patient is on a 21 day cycle of chemotherapy and has to be admitted for 1 or 2 days to take their treatment. The patient is admitted for the first treatment, discharged and is admitted again 21 days later for their next treatment. This cycle is subsequently repeated. NO PAY for subsequent treatments!

3- A patient is admitted for an exacerbation of a chronic condition (i.e. Heart Failure and others). The patient is admitted, stabilized, and discharged. When the patient goes home they have trouble taking or refuse to take their new medications to treat their condition. The patient is readmitted within 30 days due to their medication failure- NO PAY for subsequent admission!

1+2+3= ALOT OF $$$

Maryland, under O’Mally’s leadership, has been the most aggressive state in implementing Obama-care. No hospital in Maryland is currently turning a profit- a direct result of the 30 day rule!

I agree that shutting down the transitional care unit makes business sense, since there are other facilities (Healthsouth and others) who can provide this service. But, the transitional care unit is a small fraction of the real problem that PRMC is facing.

PRMC as a whole has effectively positioned itself for the new healthcare landscape. They have invested in outpatient facilities to focus on keeping people out of the hospital while maintaining cash flow. The hospital will still be there for acute care, but the goal is to decrease the need for acute care.

There will be ALOT of changes coming to healthcare in our country- some good, some bad. FOR SURE it will include more layoffs at PRMC! It will take time, but, I am confident that PRMC will recover and become a streamlined business.

From Anonymous…..

The new Salisbury ‘Dream Team’ – Day and Ireton

It probably wasn’t a big surprise based on the primary results and the perception that this election was a tag team match between Jake Day and Jim Ireton vs. Debbie Campbell and Joe Albero. But the preliminary results are in, and it’s all but official that the Day/Ireton side won handily: Day picked up just under 72% of the vote in routing two-term incumbent Debbie Campbell while Jim Ireton managed just 68% of the vote in defeating Joe Albero and winning a second term.

Campbell was the only one of the three incumbents to lose, as District 1 Council member Shanie Shields won a third term with just 48% of the vote – a quirk in the City Charter allowed both challengers to advance through the primary. Cynthia Polk received 3 more votes than April Jackson did this time.

So where will Salisbury go now? Later this month it appears we will find that the 3-2 majorities which always seemed to stymie Ireton’s key initiatives will now become 3-2 votes in favor, with Day joining incumbents Shields and Laura Mitchell to provide a pro-Ireton majority. And I’d love to get a hold of Debbie Campbell’s green-highlighted copy of the Day plan just to see how many of these items indeed cost city taxpayers.

But another question may be the fate of River’s Edge, which was touted by Campbell as one of her achievements. While the money from the state is probably still going to be there, will the plans have to change to accommodate the retail aspect Day wants to bring to the city? (It’s still pretty sad that taxpayers all around the state are going to be paying a subsidy for a artisan community, but that’s a subject for another time.)

Still, given the primary results none of these results were completely unexpected. Both Day and Shields actually improved their percentages from the primary – which was not surprising to me because people like to back a winner. Day gained 723 votes from the primary while Campbell picked up only 292. Over 71 percent of the new votes went to Day, reflective of the final margin and perhaps a result of the (somewhat undeserved) negative reputation Campbell acquired over the years.

Of course, it’s too early to tell what the future will hold for the losers. While April Jackson was a first-time candidate in District 1, Cynthia Polk has now lost twice. And while Debbie Campbell can look back at eight years where she went from the reformer darling against the “Dream Team” in 2005 to being portrayed as the Wicked Witch of the West on one local blog, Joe Albero literally relocated himself to an apartment inside one of the properties he owns a year ago to establish city residency after living outside Delmar, Delaware for several years. Is he through with Salisbury?

Read more here.

Salisbury Maryland Candidate Forum

Lack of Depth in Salisbury Maryland Mayoral Race

The first press shots across the bow by Salisbury mayoral challenger Joe Albero came in a slickly produced press release decrying incumbent Jim Ireton for…not showing up at a boxing event.

When I saw the headline “Albero Supports Youth Sports Program” my first thought was, okay, where is he going to get the money to pay for it? Instead, the thin gruel I was subjected to went like this:

Salisbury mayoral candidate Joe Albero attended Saturday’s “Warriors of the Ring” event at the Main Street Gym. The event was in support of Main Street Gym’s youth boxing program. Albero and his wife Jennifer, along with other local businesspersons such as John Robinson and Danny Burt, were sponsors of Saturday’s event.

Albero stated, “The work that Hal Chernoff has done with our local youth is phenomenal! Boxing is a great sport which instills the values of hard work and discipline. These are the same traits which will help these young people succeed as adults.”

Albero lamented the absence of his opponent, incumbent mayor Jim Ireton. “I’m sorry that Jim wasn’t able to be here tonight. We were both asked to participate in tonight’s event. Regrettably, Jim felt that campaigning was more important than showing support for this great program and our area youth.”

Both candidates had been invited to participate in Saturday’s event. Ireton declined, stating that he was too busy campaigning for re-election.

So Jim Ireton decided not to show up at a boxing match in favor of “campaigning,” yet his opponent makes a campaign issue out of it. I think I’d be more worried if Ireton didn’t show up at a mayoral forum.

Read more here.

Maryland Gangs

Dead Man Inc. Dead Man, Inc. (DMI), the third largest gang in Maryland, was founded in 1990 within the Maryland Correctional System. DMI founders had many of the same anti-religious and anti-government beliefs as the Black Guerrilla Family and created a similar “white off-shoot” gang. As the gang gained popularity and influence, some of its members were transferred to correctional facilities in Texas and Louisiana in an effort to marginalize the group. Unfortunately, these transfers resulted in an expansion of the gang in those areas as well Maryland. DMI now has an estimated 10,000 members nationwide. Although DMI members are largely located in correctional facilities, current leadership is pushing for an increase of members on the streets. Currently the largest concentration of DMI members outside the correctional facility is in and around Baltimore City, Maryland. Identification DMI members often display an eponymous tattoo on their chest, neck, back, or other areas of their bodies. These tattoos may also depict three adjacent skulls, the name of their gang, the illuminati pyramid or 4,13,9 which are the numerical letters for DMI according to the alphabet. Common identifiers of this gang’s members are shown in the photographs below. Membership DMI was originally an all-white gang. The gang has recently seen an increase in non-white membership by low level leaders. In 2009, senior leadership discouraged the further recruitment of non-Caucasians. DMI members are commonly referred to as “Dawgs” (DMI Against World Government), with newer members being puppies on probation period.

Membership in DMI is achieved through a formal, written application process. All members are to undergo a background investigation. Members are held to a strict, written code; the consequences of violations of that code are fatal. The gang follows a parliamentary structure. The Supreme Commanders are at the top of the hierarchy. Each correctional facility with DMI members is referred to as a “unit,” which is lead, in descending order of power, by a commander, a lieutenant, a field general, a sergeant-at-arms, and a finance officer.

Read more here.

Joe Albero files lawsuit vs. Mayor Ireton

In his line of work as a local news blogger and (ultra-conservative) provocateur, Joe Albero gets called lots of names he says can’t be published in a newspaper.

But he draws a line at being called a “Delaware blogger” — as Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton has learned.

Albero is seeking $200,000 from Ireton in damages related to the mayor’s twice calling him a First State resident at a recent news conference. The libel lawsuit, filed in Wicomico County Circuit Court in June, also accuses Ireton of making “defamatory statements” in telling the media that Albero lied about a prank phone call supposedly from the mayor.

Ireton declined to comment Wednesday for this report.

The lawsuit offers an ominous preview of next April’s mayoral election. No one has officially filed to run; Albero has publicly announced his candidacy, becoming a T-shirt-distributing, handshaking fixture at his downtown office and local events.

Albero alleges that Ireton called him a Delaware resident to raise questions about his eligibility to run for office.

City law dictates that candidates must be residents for at least one year before the election. Albero said he moved on March 24 from his home in Delmar, Del., to the second floor of his office on Salisbury’s Main Street.

Read more here.

Publicity Hound?

Originally I was going to use this item yesterday as part of the headquarters story, but on second thought I decided it deserved its own headline and post.

In five months beyond the November election, Salisbury voters will decide the fate of three of their leaders: District 1 Councilwoman Shanie Shields, District 2 Councilwoman Debbie Campbell, and Mayor Jim Ireton. I’m under the impression Shields won’t run again; the other two are presumably going to seek another four-year term.

You may recall that earlier this year I profiled a campaign kickoff by local realtor Adam Roop, for a yet-to-be-determined city elected office. But I hadn’t mentioned this effort by political gadfly and blogger Joe Albero – until today.

Now I understand my political advice is generally worth the price paid for it, but it seems to me that having shirts and bumper stickers will build name recognition but not give someone a reason to vote for you. As it stands right now, the website listed on the shirt simply redirects to his Salisbury News website, not a separate campaign site.

I can already see the comment now should Joe deign to add his two cents to this conversation, something along the line of “it’s my campaign, I know what I’m doing, you simply fail to understand my master plan to win this race.” Whatever – as I said, my advice is sometimes worth the price paid for it.

But if he’s as popular as his rhetoric makes him out to be, why would he be wheeling out a nearly full rack of shirts (presumably as a giveaway to supporters?) The shot was taken as he was leaving to go to another event, as Joe said to me.

I have a hard time taking Albero seriously as a candidate until I see a formal announcement and (as a Salisbury voter myself) his ideas on how to improve the city. Several of those I spoke with this afternoon felt similarly, preferring to keep their distance for the time being.

That didn’t have anything to do with the headquarters, nor will the local GOP be actively involved in the Salisbury city races because they’re non-partisan elections. Hence the reason I decided this should be a separate post. But I took the picture since Albero’s space was placed next to the GOP’s at the Farm and Home Show; aside from that, the Wicomico GOP has no official connection to the Albero mayoral campaign – or any other Salisbury one, for that matter.

Read more here.