Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Linzer Torte - The Cooking Adventure (first in a series)

With the best of intentions (we all know where that paved road leads) ,I promised to create and bring a culinary delight to my charming colleagues as an early holiday gift. Alas, on the momentous night of its preparation, a total failure of the heating system struck our household. Now, Dear Reader, I would like to be able to report of the unparalleled success of my adventure into gourmandy; however, that is not the case. My significant others felt, quite to my astonishment, that my efforts would be better served if I were to, and I hereby paraphrase my ultimate significant other, “stop worrying about a frickin’ torte and get the heat on.” Grasping (with little assistance mind you) that the logic of the additional heat provided by a cooking oven did not overcome the significant lack of appeal of a cold house - I mean, really, people don’t sleep on their kitchen floor next to the stove in the dead of winter waiting for a torte to finish its baking? Isn’t it closer to the coffee pot? Nonetheless, in the best interest of spousal harmony not to mention the thought of how cold a couch would be in a home with no heat and the lack of additional body warmth provided by most significant other (most likely forever), I blew off the torte. Upon waking the next day in a most displeased state (no torte and the extra body warmth thing never materialized), I reported to work the next day, which I will be happy to tell you about in the next installment.

By Scott (with significant contribution by Ms. Magaw which is hereby acknowledged)

Holiday Cheer

I love the holiday season. The spirit, lights, decorations and music bring out the gigantic kid in me. Everyone seems a little less grumpy to me this time of year. Here is a list of holiday related things to do that get me in the holiday spirit:

Internet Fun:

Naughty or nice rating (Christmas Naughty or Nice List)

Elf yourself (www.elfyourself.com)

Here is my elf yourself (http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1222724658)

Growing up there were some places my family went to visit every year. Even though they were essentially the same from year to year, they kept me spellbound. As I got older and had a child of my own it was wonderful to see the glee these displays always brought to me mirrored in his face.

Here are some of my favorite festive places to see this time of year:

Longwood Gardens (http://www.longwoodgardens.org/)
Macy’s Dickens Village (Macy*s - Our Stores - Events - Events)
Wanamaker’s light show (LIGHT SHOW)-details for times of shows can be found on link above for Dickens Village.
Wilmington Western Railroad Santa Claus Express & Holiday night express (Wilmington & Western Railroad)

The best light display I have ever come across:

Rich Faucher’s house 1054 Red Lion Road Bear, DE (http://www.lightorama02.com/VideosTemp/Static%20Christmas%20House.wmv)
I hope everyone enjoys their holiday season!!

By Michele

Friday, November 30, 2007

Will Cancer Cause Us to Alter Workplace Hours?

Studies are showing that sleep provides the body with strength to fight cancer. And conversely then, disruptions in our sleep and with our internal clocks weaken our resistance to cancer.

Will OSHA ban night shifts? What about police, overnight transport, nighttime security services, will these all be required to alter procedures to lessen the carcinogenic consequences of night shifts?

Will our "Open 24 Hours" country have to start setting curfews?

These studies are still in their early years, but significant between sleep and many health issues are being found. Things such as breast cancer research involving light.

Studies are also involving the gene that regulates the internal clock, and what affects it.

Other studies explore how high fat diets disrupt the clock, and how sleep disorders have serious consequences to one's health.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Eminent Domain Challenge in Wilmington

A recent Chancery Court action was filed seeking to stop the City of Wilmington from seizing private property under the Slum Clearance Redevelopment Act (31 Del.C. 4501, et seq). It is alleged that the politicians of Wilmington are being used as pawns by the developer, with the promise of creating a higher tax basis. It is also reportedly alleged that the area sought to be condemned and seized is not an urban blight area, using the developer's own headquarters as an example, as it is inside the proposed seizure area.

The expansive use of eminent domain puts us on a slippery slope. At the bottom of the heap, along with the ethics of many politicians, are our liberty and property rights, along with the failed experiments with communism.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Register Of Wills Increases Fees

While a 40% rate hike (from 1.25% to 1.75%) might at first glance seem extreme, the recent Register of Wills closing cost increase is in most cases modest, and in any case, long over due.

The New Castle County Register of Wills is the most user friendly government office that I have dealt with. I applaud them. The rate hike is effective for estates where the date of death is on or after July 1, 2007.

Please consult an attorney to get an accurate explanation of how this might effect any given particular estate, or estate plan.

Watch Out for Skimmers

Some local ATM's have been fitted with Skimmers to steal your bank account information when you access the ATM. Be cautious when using an ATM. If the swiping mechanism looks larger than normal, or otherwise different, go somewhere else. The News Journal reported these problems in Bear.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Has Halloween Gone to The Dogs?

With each approaching holiday, I find myself most intrigued by the history behind the customs and rituals than the actual celebration. Reclusive in nature, I would much rather immerse myself into a good read or history channel presentation than endure social gatherings that revolve around these events. This, of course, is the weary adult speaking-as a child, the magic was all encompassing and the mere anticipation of these times was enough to make me giddy. Now that I am a parent, I am fortunate enough to observe this same enthusiasm within my child.

With this said, Halloween is right around the corner. I ask myself, just why I’ll be accompanying my little girl on a begging for candy mission throughout my neighborhood. And just why will I be opening my door to “treat” those children that have in the past played the old,” ding, dong, ditch” game with my doorbell? Upon researching this subject, after failing to provide my inquisitive kid an acceptable explanation, I prefer to broadly describe it as a mish mash of pagan and Christian traditions. I personally enjoy the story of Celtic community bonfires and the bringing home of a flame in hollowed out gourds and turnips. There’s also the idea of ancient people wearing costumes/animal skins and heads to confuse evil spirits. Today, our children are using their imagination to morph into anything from sweet Disney characters to more scary creepy figures. My daughter, who is now well out of her cute girlie princess phase, has selected a skeleton costume. And well, our dog may be sharing in this tradition this year too.

by Kelly

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

King Tut Comes to US

With wide eyed wonder that only a child could have, I read and re-read my grandfathers King Tutankhamen issue of National Geographic. I wished with every fiber of my being to travel to Egypt and set my eyes (and chocolate smeared hands) upon the beautiful treasures of a long forgotten boy pharaoh. Now, many years later, I need only travel as far as the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA to view these priceless artifacts.

I am not a patient person by nature, and normally will not “do” lines, but this exhibit is special. I will pay my $27.50 entrance fee, and wait (with the restraint comparable to that of an 8 year old) for my visit with the boy pharaoh.


Monday, June 04, 2007

We Don't Have an Immigration Problem

We don't have an immigration problem, as I understand it. What we have is a tax evasion problem. Too many U.S. employers are willing to break the law by not withholding and paying the employment taxes associated with those that they hire.

The answer is not in the building of fences, because the problem is not that people are crossing the borders. The problem is with our own citizens and employers in building a culture in which it is acceptable to not pay taxes. And the problem is with the misallocation of resources.

When we apply the resources to fix the real problem, and when we clean up our culture of crime, we can improve the situation. Until then, we are just serving pork.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Delaware Stays on the cutting edge of corporate law, with State Constitutional Amendment

In a continuing effort to improve and develop Delaware's corporate governance laws, Delaware has implemented a Constitutional Amendment to speed up SEC inquiries. Delaware Online Reports.

Now, the SEC can certify questions of law directly to the Delaware Supreme Court. Here is some of the amended text (relative to the jurisdiction of the Delaware Supreme Court):

(8) To hear and determine questions of law certified to it by other Delaware courts, the Supreme Court of the United States, a Court of Appeals of the United States, a United States District Court, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or the highest appellate court of any other state, where it appears to the Supreme Court that there are important and urgent reasons for an immediate determination of such questions by it. The Supreme Court may, by rules, define generally the conditions under which questions may be certified to it and prescribe methods of certification.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The State is Giving Back $5,000,000.00!

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes the government does give back the extra money that was taken from people. Superior Court is now supervising the return of 5 Million Dollars in excess forclosure sale proceeds which have accumulated over the last 5 years. And this was from people who could scarely afford it in the first place!

The project is called.... Rightful Owner. The Court has set up a site to help us track this process, and gather information. Go ahead and check for your name on the list, if you were involved in a mortgage forclosure.

I remember when I supervised a project in Family Court to track down missing restitution payees. It was great fun, and it was very appreciated by the folks who were due the funds. I suspect that the folks involved in this Superior Court process will feel the same. After they jump through the procedural hoops though.

For cases where there is more than $1,000 involved, the filing fee is $75 and a title search (about $100 cost) is among the prerequisites to filing a claim. There is no filing fee for the cases of less than $1000.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Forever Stamp

As of May 14, the U.S. Post Office will be again raising the price of stamps. This time the price will go from 39 cents to 41 cents.

Also, which I though was kind of neat, they are introducing a "forever" stamp. It can be purchased for 41 cents, and even if the prices raise again, it will still valid:
"In 2007, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Forever stamp, which will always be valid as First-Class postage on standard envelopes weighing one ounce or less, regardless of any subsequent increases in the First-Class rate.

The stamp art depicts the Liberty Bell, which is perhaps the most prominent and recognizable symbol associated with American independence. Over the years, the historic significance of the bell's message has transcended our national borders, and today the Liberty Bell is an international icon of freedom. Replicas of the Liberty Bell exist in all fifty states and the District of Columbia."

by: Christine Orzechowski

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Walk for a Cure

As the JDRF Walk Chair Person, I would like to extend an invitation to be a part of finding a cure, in our life time, for Juvenile Diabetes.

What is Juvenile Diabetes? Type 1 Diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a disorder of the body's immune system—that is, its system for protecting itself from viruses, bacteria or any "foreign" substances. What is JDRF? JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide.

In June, Alan and Ellen Levin of Happy Harry's will sponsor our Annual Gala for a Cure. This is a wonderful opportunity to not only donate to a wonderful cause, but also to promote your business and sense of community commitment.

JDRF is accepting donations of cash as well as auction items. If you would like to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity, please contact either Stephanie Bucksner at JDRF at 302-888-1117 or Christine Pavlik at 410-398-0110. To learn more about JDRF in Delaware, please visit our website.

Posted by Christine Pavlik, CPA

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Elvis Memorabilia Battle in Delaware Chancery Court

There's an airport hangar somewhere in Nevada, filled with Elvis memories, and a couple of 18-wheelers ready to take them on tour for the children of America, at $20 per head. They aren't leaving the hangar until a battle over their ownership takes place.

The fight over them is brewing in Delaware's Chancery Court. These memorabilia were used by Elvis Presley, and by his Doctor George Nichopoulos, and it sounds like it could be an entertaining time in Court.

The tug of war involves such things as:

Doctor's bag: "Black doctor's bag used by Dr. Nichopoulos for making house calls to Graceland and touring with Elvis Presley."

Stuffed dog: "Elvis had this dog in his suite at the Las Vegas Hilton . . . Elvis jokingly used dog as a pillow. Just as they were leaving to go on stage, Elvis threw the dog at Dr. Nick and said, 'This dog is for you!' Framed notarized letter of authenticity."

Laryngeal scope: "Used to examine Elvis' chronic sore throat and tonsils . . . Dr. Nick had to take additional schooling to learn how to use this."

A Delaware Limited Liability Company was formed with three members, Businessman Richard S. Long, Entertainer Bobby Freeman, aka Robert G. Gallagher, and Betty Franklin are in a fight over ownership, and Gallagher and Franklin are asking the Court to dissolve the limited liabilty company that was set up to own the collectibles, and be responsible for touring them across the countryside.

Robert G. Gallagher didn't show up in Court for the first day of proceedings.

Earlier articles:

The King . . . and the courts

Singer, businessman battle over Elvis memorabilia

Friday, February 09, 2007

Delaware Climatologist On Thin Ice

Yes, Delaware does have a state climatologist. And he's the center of a battle over the human influence on global warming.

Professor David Legates teaches at the University of Delaware, and he drew more attention than most previous state climatologists have when his name appeared upon this amici curiae brief (pdf) filed with the US Supreme Court.

The brief questions global warming, and that view may conflict with an effort by the State of Delaware to get funding from the Federal government to use to reduce emissions, in an effort to "fight" global warming.

Those issues are described in a Wilmington News Journal article, Del. scientist's view on climate change criticized: Ties to big oil, industry-funded lobbies draw fire

Some of the charges agains Dr. Legates come from the Union of Concerned Scientists, in their report: Scientists' Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science.

Here's one of Dr. Legates' reports:

Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts

I ran across a critique of that report, which I thought was interesting:

Comment on "Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts" (pdf)

One of Dr. Legate's former students defends him as being brave enough to tell us that the emperor has no clothes, in:

The tyranny of 'global warming'

Is the earth getting warmer? Is global warming a problem caused by humans? There are a lot of media reports stating that permafrost is melting in Alaska and Siberia, and weather patterns are unusual. We've experienced record breaking warm years recently. There seems to be a lot of agreement that the earth is getting warmer, and a report released last Friday from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts significant rising sea levels for the Mid-Atlantic region, causing the loss of a significant amount of Delaware's coastline.

Our State Poet was in the news last month, too. I hope that she gets involved in the discussion over global warming. It seems to have the makings of an epic struggle.

Just What is Web 2.0?

One of the most fun videos I've seen in a while:

via Denise Howell

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sister Company... Delaware Intercorp Inc... Rated # 1 amongst Delaware Incorporators!

The Delaware Business Ledger's annual Book of Lists came out this week.

It ranks a variety of Delaware businesses, including incorporation firms such as our sister company, Delaware Intercorp, Inc.

On page 126 of this year's edition, they rank Delaware Incorporation Firms.... and this year... We are Number ONE! It's not bad to be ranked Number One Incorporator in the Number One State for Incorporation!

Congratulations to all of the DI team for their hard work and dedication! And a thank you goes out to our satisfied customers who make this all happen!

We are already working hard to earn it again for next year.