Publisher emeritus Jim Flood notes that with spring around the corner, it's time to change hats -- literally.


With spring here, finally, it’s time to change hats. Or at least that is what I’m doing (although News Editor Jeff Brown said he had the idea first). Hence the photo this week sporting the warm weather hat again..

Long ago there was a Hollywood gossip columnist – Hedda Hopper – whose widely syndicated column carried a new photo of her in every new column. And she was wearing a new hat each time.

That’s not really my style.

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Mary and I enjoyed attending the annual Legislative Luncheon sponsored by the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. It was last week at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.

Big attendance, more than 200 people. Perhaps it indicates a more lively interest in politics. Elected leaders and other local office-holders attended and members of the General Assembly were given the opportunity to answer questions.

Headlining the event was the appearance of Gov. Jack Markell, and I was glad to see the Delaware tradition observed of having everyone rise when he was introduced by chamber President Lisa Hastings (who also gave a well-written and fitting invocation to open the program).

I was personally pleased to hear the governor highlight improvements in education as one of his main focus points. There is a direct connection between improving the economy and a better education system. The state’s as well as the country’s economy ultimately depends on innovations pursued by able and informed people.

A current topic of interest to everyone there was the future of gambling in Delaware as a source of revenue, and it was clear that in central Delaware the present three gambling venues are viewed as enough. Of course the fact that two of the state’s three gambling locations are in Kent County has something to do with that frame of mind.

State Sen. Colin Bonini, R-Dover, who would like to become the state’s next treasurer, took a different tack in terms of the state’s fiscal problems.

“We don’t have a revenue problem,” he said, “we have a spending problem.”

He outlined his plan to solve Delaware’s fiscal difficulties, a plan he will no doubt  be repeating over and over again as he campaigns for a new office.

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Another big gathering we went to last week was the Taste of Home event sponsored by the Dover Post Company and held in the spacious theater at Delaware State University.

The 950-seat theater was filled as the audience, mostly women, watched a Taste of Home culinary specialist turn out a variety of dishes, with visibility helped greatly by having her movements followed on a big screen.

Members of the Dover Post staff helped with the planning, preparation, running about, and clean-up involved in putting the varied program together. Everyone who came got a bag full of various items from local merchants. They also were able to patronize local vendors. There was rapt attention and boisterous reaction as a variety of gifts were distributed by drawing names of the attendees from a basket.

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Every once in a while I mention speeding on our highways because it seems almost a joke to have limits posted which say “Strictly Enforced” and then have cars speed past you as you are going the limit and perhaps a little bit more.

The reason for not changing the posted limits, I know, is the widely held conviction that cars would go even faster, figuring they could be 10 miles or more over the limit and not get picked up.

Now if you drive through Felton on Route 13 you know the posted limit of 45 miles per hour is serious. Locals learn to be careful. Out-of-state vehicles are more likely to think that 45 mph doesn’t actually apply.

Just have to mention it from time to time. Won’t do any good except get it off my chest.

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One other quick repeat of a beef: TV advertising. Remove from the screen all the ads for medicines of all kinds, buying gold, hiring a lawyer and somehow avoiding paying your debts and viewers wouldn’t get so frustrated. I know there are ways to get rid of the ads other than using the mute button but they are beyond my technical ability.

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This guy was walking down a city street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking bum who asked him for a few dollars for dinner.

The man took a $5 bill from his pocket and asked, “If I give you this money, will you take it and buy whiskey?”

“No, I stopped drinking years ago,” said the bum.

“Will you use it to gamble?”

“I don’t gamble. I need everything I get just to stay alive.”

“Will you spend the money on greens fees at a golf course?”

“Are you crazy! I haven’t played golf in 20 years!”

The man said, “Well, I’m not going to give you five dollars. Instead, I’m going to take you to my home for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife.”

The bum was astounded. “Won’t your wife be furious with you for doing that? I know I’m dirty, and I probably smell pretty bad.”

The man replied, “Hey, man, that’s okay! I just want her to see what happens to a man who gives up drinking, gambling and golf!”