2013 Update—September 3-13

On the 3rd I had a meeting with a home birth advocate and members of DPH, the DE Department of Public Health, to discuss goals for the current efforts to improve our midwifery laws and regulations.  I then met with DelDOT to receive their analysis on the costs to shore up the southern portion of Creek Road just north of Newark.  I forwarded this analysis to the Citizens Advisory Council for White Clay Creek State Park.  That evening, I moderated an information session on the proposed Data Center and Power Plant, which drew hundreds of attendees, and literally hundreds of questions.  We were able to cover over 70 questions during the two-plus hour meeting, and both the full set of questions, and the company’s responses are available online.

On Saturday the 7th I attended an education forum in Wilmington, exploring challenges specifically facing urban schools and families, and searching for steps that the schools, the communities, and the families can take to improve the situation.

On Monday the 9th I attended a DelDOT legislative briefing, to learn current and future planning on road projects.  I learned that the new DMV location at Delaware City should be open by mid summer 2015.  Unlike most states, Delaware has 95% of its state roads and bridges in fair or good condition.  There will be construction on the bridges over route 95 at both route 896 and at Otts Chapel Road next year.  Elkton Road renovation is on the drawing boards, but the planning/engineering, funding, land acquisition, and construction likely to take six or more years (in the meantime DelDOT is in ‘pothole fixing mode’).

That evening I was able to join the opening of pickle ball courts at the Hockessin Activity Center.  I encouraged the county to establish public pickle ball courts, due to learning from a friend about this great, relatively-new sport.  I was very impressed as upwards of forty pickle ball players had come out to try the new venue.  The county did a great job with this launch.

On Tuesday the 10th I received a tour of the UD STAR campus.  That evening I attended a meeting on the proposed CVS store at the corner of Paper Mill and Corner Ketch Roads, and I then also attended the Christina School Board meeting at which I raised the issue of the overcrowded 4th grade classrooms at Downes and West Park Elementary Schools.

On Wednesday the 11th I joined State Republican Party Chairperson Charlie Copeland to provide students of Chris Counihan’s UD class on government with a point/counterpoint on the proper role of government.  I had a blast.

On Thursday the 12th I attended the first meeting of the Charter-District Collaboration Task Force.  The meeting was productive, as we not only met our fellow task force members, but we also identified what we hoped to accomplish by January.  I also participated in the ribbon cutting for the Skate Spot at Handloff Park (formerly known as Barksdale Park).

In response to several constituent questions, I have worked with DNREC to better understand the Bloom Energy program.

On Friday the 13th I joined the Volunteer Firefighter Association annual luncheon, and sat with long-time members of the Aetna Fire Hose Hook and Ladder Company, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

My aide David Meluskey and I have been working on finalizing the spending of our Community Transportation Funds, for needed road repairs throughout the district.  We are working together with Senator David Sokola, and with the City of Newark, to make our dollars go as far as possible.

I ensured that DelDOT quickly corrected the timing of the light at Apple & South Main Street, and I had DelDOT begin a traffic study on Aronimink in Chapel Hill, where many residents are concerned that speeding there creates undue danger for the area children.

In response to a resident concern, the City of Newark Stormwater Department staff identified a pipe problem which can be responsible for some of this year’s flooding, and they are working with DelDOT to resolve this in the next month or two.

In response to a resident concern, DelDOT is exploring the proper speed limit for New London Road north of Fairfield Shopping Center.  Their recommendations will likely be brought to the City of Newark Traffic Committee for their review.

I have spread the word about a regional community meeting on September 23rd by the county Department of Public Safety and Community Governing.

I have lent a hand to a Smyrna manufactured housing community which is concerned that its community owner is violating the new law which we were able to pass this year, on rent justification.