Just as I originally feared, looks like I-495 will be closed from "weeks to months". I'd be surprised if I-495 reopens before the traditional end of the summer driving season. This Friday will be the first Friday afternoon/evening since the closure of I-495. I assume beach traffic will paralyze I-95 and adjacent roads for the greater part of the afternoon/early evening.
One wonders if Delaware businesses - which suffered from the unusually severe winter with multiple snowstorms - will now suffer the effects of this paralysis. Fewer people than first projected going to the beaches?
And DelDOT is sending crews to examine similarly constructed bridges up and down the state. Could you imagine the impact if DelDOT uncovers a single irregularity along I-95? Not to be melodramatic, but upper Delaware would be close to paralyzed. In so many ways, a devastating economic impact.
Meanwhile, David Charles of Duffield Associates - the engineer who detected a problem with that I-495 bridge - says he e-mailed DelDOT's bridge unit (with photos attached) last Thursday, May 29th, at about 6 p.m., but DelDOT didn't officially learn about the irregularities until that Friday, and didn't close the bridge until this past Monday.
Breaking news: And now, another bombshell - late Friday - from The NEWS JOURNAL with regard to the bridge...'
Charles Allen, Junior, a business owner in Wilmington, says he notified DelDOT about a problem with the bridge more than a month-and-a-half ago.
And The NEWS JOURNAL corroborates that claim, having obtained a recorded copy of that 9-1-1 emergency call from April 15th. Allen says he noticed that the northbound lane seemed to be about a foot higher, and that the jersey barriers weren't aligned. After repeated calls to 9-1-1, Allen got a return call from DelDOT, and the assurance that someone from DelDOT would inspect it.
The gun violence, as noted here before, isn't confined to the city of Wilmingon, proper. A man was gunned down Thursday night along the 700 block of Peachtree Road in Claymont.
And Friday, police took a guy into custody after shots fired in the parking lot of the V.A. Medical Center.
The NEWS JOURNAL reports ex Tower Hill School headmaster Christopher Wheeler's attorney says prosecutors embarked on a "fishing expedition" for child pornography when they convinced a judge to allow access to Wheeler's computers. Defense attorney Thomas Foley argues law enforcement and prosecutors had "zero evidence" that the defendant tried to intimidate three men claiming sexual abuse as minors.
The child sex abuse trial of ex state Senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser took another turn Thursday when defense attorney Joe Hurley alleged someone had improperly "coached" Bodenweiser's accuser in the middle of trial. Hurley also continues to zero in on discrepancies from the accuser. But is it possible Hurley's aggressive questioning could backfire with jurors?
More female teachers behaving badly: 30-year-old Stephanie Amato - a 30-year-old, 8th-grade, special ed teacher at Ethan Allen School in Mayfair (a neighborhood located in lower, northeast Philadelphia) - stands accused with the statutory sexual assault of a 14-year-old, special ed student. Amato posted 10 percent of her $125,000 bail.
The Bowe Bergdahl/Afghan Taliban prisoner swap continues to inflame passions. The Obama Administration now argues it could not notify Congress in a normal matter because the Taliban had threatened to kill Bergdahl if word of the negotiations leaked.
Meanwhile, from The WASHINGTON POST:
SOURCES OUTLINE CONDITIONS on TALIBAN LEADERS' RELEASE in EXCHANGE for BERGDAHL
"The five senior Taliban leaders released to Qatar after years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are subject to strict bans on militant incitement or fundraising that might pose a danger to the United States, according to people familiar with the negotiations that freed American prisoner-of-war Bowe Bergdahl.
The Afghans are also under a one-year travel ban insisted upon by Washington despite a Taliban request that the men be allowed to make the Hajj, Muslims' annual pilgrimage to nearby Saudi Arabia.
The Obama Administration has kept the document detailing the terms of the men's conditions of release confidential, partly in deference to Qatar, the tiny Middle-East country that served as an intermediary..."
Sighs of relief in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: Authorities have arrested suspected cop killer Justin Borque, sought in the fatal shootings of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the woundings of two others. Gun violence of any kind is rare in eastern Canada, and Moncton had not witnessed ANY shootings for a long time.
Not like south-of-the-border, where shootings, of course, are numbingly routine. Campus shootings too, the latest example being Thursday's shootings at Seattle Pacific University, a small Christian college. Police say the suspect, 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra, fatally shot one student and wounded three others with shotgun blasts. But while the suspect was reloading, Jon Meis - an engineering student and hall monitor - took on the gunman with pepperspray, grabbed the gunman's neck, and tackled him to the ground. Several other students jumped on the attacker and held him down. The gunman is not a student and had no apparent connection to the college. As of Friday morning, police detectives were still trying to figure out why he had targeted Seattle Pacific.
Yesterday two states officially got out of Common Core. Oklahoma and South Carolina... Add them to Texas, Alaska, Nebraska, and Virginia all which never joined. Indiana opted out last month. Tennessee's legislature has postponed Common Core's implementation for two years.
This is a ridiculous change, totally unnecessary, and parents in states that care a lot about what parents think, are making their displeasure turn into viable action.
Fri, Jun 6, 2014 12:30pm
A really bad development in Dover yesterday was the sleepwalking passage of a bill (SB 234) to change the law allowing charters to exist at 100 ppl. Law previously required 200. That level was required for economic viability.
Pencader had 410 students. It went under. Moyer is in danger of being closed. It has 282. Reach has over 400... There is no way the tiny funds designated for 100 students can equal the education of a public school system...
So by allowing charters to open at 100 people (micro-charters) you are a). dooming those 100 to inferior education, and b). you are stealing away resources currently in place for all the other students.....
Reason for this bill is to take care of friends of the Delaware Senate.... People who have invested money into charter schools opening next year, and stand to lose their investments if the schools do not open.
These schools, by law, should not open because they fail to meet the minimum threshold established as the bare minimum... Senator Sokola is simply dropping the legal bare minimum by half, even lower, so these people will then qualify, and his friends won't lose their money.....
All New Castle's children suffer. So 'Friends of Sokola' won't lose their money....
Should all our children be forced to receive an inferior education, especially our low-income students in Wilmington proper, who need more resources, not fewer..... just so 'Friends of Sokola' don't lose their pocket change?
Remember when Charter Schools first came out, how their proponents gloated that the great thing was -- and I can hear Ronald Reagan saying it now -- that unlike a public school, if a charter school didn't pass muster, it could be shut down, sparing children from being further victimized by an inferior education....
Well... these charter schools did not get enough interest to remain viable. The public has spoken. It does not want to send its kids to creepy charter schools! It feels that a charter school is inferior to our current public education (which Delaware's own test scores prove without a doubt) and wants the best for its children.... That best isn't Charter Schools.
Instead of shutting these failing schools before they open and begin to ruin children, Dave Sokola's bill drops the minimum to keep them open, hurting all children.....
This is an outrage... It is nothing less than using Delaware's children as a Human Shield to protect those investors who foolishly put their money into something obsolete... It needs to be called out for exactly what is is...
Fri, Jun 6, 2014 1:03pm
And it is time to call out those Republicans demeaning a veteran. You are not patriotic. You are pathetic. You are the vilest of everything this country has ever stood for... This person is a soldier. This person was a prisoner of war... Captive for fighting for this country.
And solely to blemish the character of the first black president before you know any facts... and based only on hearsay, you denigrate this veteran who went to fight for his country... just like some of you did.
Are you going to denigrate every other fighting American too, because he/she answered the call of duty and supported Obama in Afghanistan, him being their commander-in-chief?
In America, this is what the Conservative Movement has become. A hateful, vengeful, cesspool of the worst of humanity. Any person still a Republican... is guilty for supporting a party that will think nothing of using an American veteran for its own political gain...
It is the vilest, most hateful, and unpatriotic thing I think I have witnessed. And I witnessed a lot after Vietnam... But this is just as bad if not worse, than how America treated those who went into hell and fought for our country.....
Conservatives do not deserve the right to call themselves American. They are traitors to this nation. To them, a veteran is only worth anything if that veteran hates Obama.
This is what American Conservatism is... it has become a collection point for the garbage of America, no one else wants.
Fri, Jun 6, 2014 9:02pm
Hey kavips: You wouldn't know patriotism if it cold-conked you in the face.
Fri, Jun 6, 2014 9:23pm
For anybody who cares about a well-rounded and rational explanation of the Bergdahl/Taliban deal, here's five minutes of excellent prognostication from one of the most brilliant minds in American media today:
I do declare, I have had some fleeting thoughts about moving to Texas. Trouble is, I don't like spiders and cockroaches.
Sun, Jun 8, 2014 10:50pm
kavips: I completely agree with you in your opposition to Common Core (though I'm still not sure why you oppose it...it's being pushed by Progressives on both sides and the "greatest president ever ever")
You, and others here, might find this link interesting: http://www.commoncoremovie.com
We definitely will have to "agree to disagree" on Bergdahl's status as a patriot...unless some new revelations prove otherwise he sounds like a defector/turncoat. Sadly, I think Mad Magazine has the true story..
Mon, Jun 9, 2014 9:35am
kavips: IF you truly are against Common Core...maybe you should stop demonizing those of us (i.e., Conservative Republicans, Tea Partiers, and Conservative Libertarians) who are in AGREEMENT with you... imagine what could happen if we united (rather than divided) on the important issue we agree on...
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