Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Reporter Fired for Blogging

As shown by the Dover Post, we do have the right of free speech - - but there is no right to employment. As reported in the News Journal, the Dover Post fired Matt Donegan because of his blog.

Dover Post Editor Don Flood said: "He has a right to free speech, certainly... [the postings were] just so beyond the pale he could not possibly represent [the Dover Post]".

Grrr! Can't find a link to Matt's blog yet :(

It is analogous to the Cramer v. Ursuline Case, where a teacher in a private catholic school was fired because she publicly supported abortion.

In an interesting litigation strategy, Cramer claimed that The Ursuline Academy was not a religious school. That didn't go very far with the Judge.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The UK gets a Supreme Court

Under the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005, the United Kingdom will get its first Supreme Court.

This Court will handle some matters previously handled by the Law Lords of the House of Lords, and will be housed in the Middlesex Guild Hall.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Delaware wants frog lovers and volunteer naturalists

Want to help out in building the future of the State?

Delaware's Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) has a number of ways in which you can get involved in the health of the State's natural environnment.

One way is to review the Delaware Wildlife Action Plan Draft Document. The State is seeking comments on this plan by January 31st. As they note there:

Today, we are in the midst of preparing for wildlife conservation in the 21st century through new funds appropriated by Congress. Known as the State Wildlife Grants program, Congress challenged the states to demonstrate wildlife conservation needs in complete terms ? not just game, sport fish and endangered species, but comprehensive wildlife conservation: all species, all habitats. That?s why the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife along with all of the other states and provinces throughout the country are working on developing a Delaware Wildlife Action Plan (DEWAP).

Your comments can make a difference.

If you would like a more hands-on approach to helping out, there are other ways to get involved.

A press release from DNREC is looking for volunteers for part of a nationwide citizen science project which involves people helping monitor frog distribution and populations.

Learn the calls of 13 types of frogs and complete three surveys between late February and June on a survey route that is convenient for you. Routes are available in Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties. A pre-season meeting for volunteers will be held Monday, Jan. 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Aquatic Resources Education Center in Smyrna.

It is possible for teens to get involved in this program under certain circumstances, so if you know someone in high school who might be considering a career as a biologist, this might be something to bring to their attention.

DNREC is also offering Certified Citizen Naturalist Training Sessions, and also a chance for folks to help out in the restoration of a "rich woods" area near Smyrna this winter. So, if you feel like getting outdoors (pdf) with the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife (part of DNREC), this seems like a pretty good chance to do so. That Certified Citizen Naturalist Training sounds like fun. These opportunities seem to be centered in the Smyrna area.

A Green Infrastructure project is also looking for involvement from the citizens of the State, and they offer a wide number of ways to get involved.

The front page of the DNREC site publishes about new initiatives and projects, and news about ongoing projects on a regular basis, including links to public meetings and a calendar of events.

GSCB - Cookie Program - Tailgate for Troops

In 2004, my daughter became a Girl Scout. When January came around and it was Girl Scout Cookie selling time, I learned about a great program that the Girl Scouts were involved in.

This program was started in 2003 after the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Council and the Girl Scout troops had many inquiries from the community on how to help the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces overseas. The result from that was a program called Operation Taste of Home. This program allows the Girl Scouts to donate cookies to the USO located at Dover Air Force Base. Since the year 2003,over 40,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies have been sent to our Armed Forces.

Thank you for your support.

By Sharon

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Supreme Court Assigns a Special Master in New Jersey v. Delaware

The US Supreme Court yesterday, in case number 134, New Jersey v. Delaware, assigned Ralph Lancaster, Esquire, of Portland Maine as Special Master to assist in sorting out the land rights case that has been brewing in the background for many years.

The dispute has recently reared its head in the NJ quest to build a massive LP gas terminal in Delaware.

The News Journal reports that this process will delay the resolution for years more to come.

Monday, January 23, 2006

big blue blogs?

Julie Moran Alterio reported in this week's News Journal Business Monday, that IBM has adopted the use of blogs by its employees. Or have they? From my reading of the article, IBM encourages IBM staff to set up and use a bog on IBM's intranet, not on the internet. So, they are trying to contain the damage while making blogs an internal communications tool.

It sounds to me like IBM has made a savvy decision to join em, rather than be agin em. Most of the big corporations I see that even know what a blog is, have awoken to the realization that blogs are not just a geek fad. Blogs are the crest of a wave. So, going with the flow is not a bad idea.

Perseverance Pays Off

As reported in the LA Times, and located for us by Howard J. Basham of HowAppealing, the story is told of a 7 and a half year legal battle following a 50 year crime of art theft.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

a voice is heard for those that are locked away in cubes of silence

As reported in the News Journal, A US Appeals Court has upheld a million dollar verdict in favor of a state doctor who spoke out for the mentally ill.

The verdict was against the "establishment" for wrongfully firing him. So... we the taxpayers are paying for this, and the years of litigation that led to it.

I too spoke up about problems at the Delaware Psychiatric Center, years ago when I raised an alarm about how the highest security building that we have for the criminally insane, was fenced by a security fence that was held together by twist-ties. It took more than a year for somebody to be sent to fix it.

The mentally ill in our community do not have an adequate voice as it is. When the government that is supposed to be protecting them turns out to be the silencer of the problems rather than the solution, the problem is compounded.

After more than 10 years of working for (representing) the mentally ill in the involuntary mental commitment process, I resigned because it became clear to me that by continuing to serve in that role I had become a facilitator of the state's negligence rather than a shield against it.

Lets face it, our State government handles problems only when they blow up in their face. Well, I hope this 1 Million dollar explosion is seen as a problem. But I doubt it.

Just When I Thought I Had a Clue

Denise Howell, of Bag and Baggage is also Denise Howell ofSound Policy Series on IT Conversations.

It is a very cool way to hear interviews by Denise of some very knowledgeable guests. This morning I found it handy while I was preparing for court, to listen to her interview of Bob Wyman

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Delaware Register of Regulations

Here's the site of the Delaware Register of Regulations. Not extremely user friendly, but there. And that's an improvement!

Will the New Mexico K-Mart Tax Case send ripples?

As Reported by Russell at Delaware Intercorp, Inc., the New Mexico Supreme Court quashed cert on an appeal from a lower court opinion which allowed New Mexico to impose an income tax on a Michigan transaction between two related Michigan corporations. It will be most interesting to see what happens next.

Do you think it makes a difference that the Court refused to hear the income tax part of the case, which in effect upheld the lower court ruling, as opposed to affirming the lower court ruling? Did the New Mexico Supreme Court see something else coming? Or am I reading too much into too little?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Delaware History Updates, Annotated

I've been turning more and more into a local history buff. One of the nice services from the Delaware Public Archives is a web page that lists historic events in Delaware, titled This Day in Delaware History.

It's possible to subscribe to the page so that you receive these snippets of history by email.

Mark Cutrona, who publishes To Seek a Newer World has just finished his second weekly installment highlighting some of these historical facts, and adding his own annotations to them.

His second installment is: To Seek A Newer World: Belated This Week In Delaware History (January 2nd - 8th).

It's a nice idea. The annotations definitely add to the history.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Online Access

As I was writing the Capano case blog yesterday, I was really excited about something besides the case... it was the ability to get it to you so quickly and easily.

Years ago I couldn't have just popped a link up on the page to share it with you without a lot of hullabaloo. Now, it takes about 5 minutes and very little technical knowledge.

The Delaware Court System has a website where you can access many of its cases. And blog technology brings it to your desktop :)

Capano ... blah... blah... blah... The real news is our continuing information explosion.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Capano Death Sentence Overturned

In the Delaware Supreme Court case of State v. Capano, Tuesday's Opinion is one more page in the thick book. The State will now have to decide whether to ask that the Court sentence Capano to life in prison, or conduct a new sentencing hearing.... or, they may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The crux of the matter was that the sentence hearing jury voted 11-1 in favor of the death penalty, and not unanimously. There was a change in federal common law that arose since Capano's conviction, that convinced the Delaware Supreme Court that a death penalty jury must be unanimous under circumstances like Capano's

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Attorney General of Delaware wants to shred your documents

And he is making it easy to do.

Named Operation Delaware Shred, the idea is to help protect you from identity theft. It is possible for people to go through garbage and recycling to find information that may put your identity at risk.

A press release from Attorney General Carl C. Danberg and the Consumer Protection Unit of the Delaware Department of Justice lists three dates when you can bring up to 2 file storage boxes of sensitive documents to be run through a commercial shredder.

The dates and locations are:

January 14, 2006 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Riverfront Parking Lot in front of the Blue Rocks Stadium in Wilmington

January 21, 2006 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Delaware Federal Credit Union at the Blue Hen Corporate Center (655 South Bay Road, Dover)

January 28, 2006 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Delaware Federal Credit Union at 80 Christiana Road (Route 273) in New Castle

The types of documents that they mention to bring include such things as "credit card statements, financial statements, pre-approved credit card offers, old IRS tax forms, bank checks and household bills." You should proceed with caution when getting rid of some of these documents. It can be helpful to maintain some history of your past financial dealings.

The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office has more information on identity theft, and an Identity Theft Victim Kit to help you create written proof for your bank and creditors and others, if you have been the victim of Identity theft.

Mapping crimes online in Delaware

Delaware's New Castle County has added a Crime Map to their Public Safety pages.

It's interesting, but a little confusing. On first looking at it, I thought I was in a crime free zone, because there were no crimes listed in the area where I live. Looking back at the Crime Mapping FAQ page, I noted that it only shows crimes within the jursidiction of the New Castle County Police, so my Newark neighborhood isn't included.

It also doesn't tell you anything about the crime itself, other that whether it was a Homicide, Burglary, Vehicle Theft, Criminal Mischief, or Theft. Having a sense of when these crimes might have happened could be helpful. Are the ones showing something that happened within the last week, or month, or year, or decade? The FAQ tells us that these are crimes that happened within "the three month period dating back one full month prior to the current date" So, if it is January, this will show crimes from the previous September, October, and November.

It's a good idea, and I think I'd like to see it developed some more. I looked around at some other mapping programs set up in other places, and the City of San Francisco has a CrimeMaps program that is pretty nice.

There are a few people who have used Google Maps to develop some Crime Mapping programs. The first of them was Chicagocrime.org. Some others have also emerged, and a blog that discusses Google Maps points to some of those Crime Maps.

The stated purpose behind the New Castle County Police Crime map is to show "general crime trends to the community." To some degree it does that, though a "trend" is something that allows for the measurement of change over time, and this doesn't allow for that. It's easy to criticize, however. Getting a map online is a good start.

One concern noted in the FAQ page is for the protection of victims' identities, which is why the map only shows the "blocks" in which crimes have happened, rather than specific addresses.

Government Technology has a writeup of the Chicagocrimes.org site titled Modern Mapmaker which describes a little about the use and creation of their map, and the site has received a lot of additional press. It makes me wonder if someone from New Castle County, or the State of Delaware would be interested in finding out more about how those folks created their map. It has a very usable mapping interface.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Widener University School of Law Appoints New Dean

Congratulations to Linda Ammons, the new dean of Widener University School of Law, effective July 1, 2006, and welcome to Delaware.

Linda Ammons, Esq., will be the seventh dean of the school since it started in 1971, and the first woman to hold that position.

The school has come a long way since the days I attended in the late 80s and early 90s. With Dean Ammons' leadership, I suspect that it will continue to thrive.

More about Dean Ammons can be found on her profile page from Cleveland Marshall College of Law, where she was Assistant Dean and Law Professor.

Online Contest! Design Our New Logo - Win $250.00

We are changing our company logos, due to our new, more efficient ownership and management profile. $250 will be awarded to the person who submits the winning logo design.

The new unified logo will be for the following pair of businesses:

1. Larry D. Sullivan, Attorney at Law, P.A. - a general practice law firm;

2. Delaware Intercorp, Inc - A corporate registered agent/filing agent/ and corporate services firm.

The winning original submission will be somewhat related to the businesses, the team approach that we use in the businesses and/or the owner (myself); it must be tasteful, professional, and fitting to wear on attorneys' dress shirts. The contest will remain open until we choose a logo, or until I tire of the concept, whichever occurs first.

Submit your entries to: anne@delawoffice.com

Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

People like the desert, and Delaware

A US Census Report from a couple of weeks ago noted that Nevada just edged out Arizona as the fastest growing state.

The top ten, in order:

North Carolina,
Delaware, and;

Note that Nevada was the fastest growing state for the 19th consecutive year. People must like the desert. :)

Delaware's More Open Government: The Government Information Center

A Wilmington News Journal story on Sunday pointed to a new law that requires Executive Branch agencies to electronically post agendas and minutes of their meetings to a central State web site.

It's a great move, and I'm happy that the State is doing this. It should make it a lot easier for anyone interested to keep track of when meetings are, what will be covered at them, and what happened at the meetings.

The central government web site looks like it will be the Government Information Center. There is a link on that page to Future Meetings and Events (labeled "Calendar of Events") that is showing a healthy number of meetings scheduled throughout the year, already.

Minutes of meetings are supposed to be published within five working days of the approval of the minutes.

There are 32 division boards and commissions in the state. Many of them haven't been publishing agendas or minutes online, so this requirement will be a welcomed change, and makes Delaware's governing process more open to the public.

The law that made posting of agendas and minutes required is the State of Delaware's Freedom of Information Act, in the section on Open Meetings. That section also describes when meetings can be not open to the public.

Also of note on that page is a link to RSS Newsfeeds from the State. It's a good way of keeping track of what is going on with Delaware's agencies if you use RSS feeds already to track blogs and news from news papers.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Management and Ownership Reunified

We have completed a reunification of managment and ownership of Delaware Intercorp, Inc.

We anticipate that under my new tenure as sole owner and administrator of Delaware Intercorp, Inc; as well as the law office and 3 other related peripheral businesses, we will experience an efficiency improvement for our customers and clients.