Jim Parks, editor

July 3, 2017



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          Forty-three years ago come early next month Richard Nixon resigned as President of the United States. If Donald Trump were to do the same, he would he would make the greatest possible contribution to the well-being of the nation. We realize, of course, that's an impossible dream. Nixon had to resign. He faced inevitable impeachment and probable criminal prosecution. President Trump is still far from being in like position. To be sure, both are eventual possibilities. But, unfortunately, demeaning the high office he holds and being totally incompetent to handle many, if not most, of its responsibilities are not indictable offenses. And it would seem that, having come to power with less than a plurality of votes cast and since then being favorably regarded by barely a third of the American public, President Trump apparently has enough support among his dubious following to forestall the possibility of his recognizing the reality of the precarious situation which can only become progressively worse as long as he remains in the White House.


          We can't help thinking that, if he were alive today, Russ Peterson would not be too unhappy that the General Assembly modified the Coastal Zone Act. The former governor was a realist. He would recognize that contaminated idle factories are an unintended consequence of the pioneering environmental legislation that is his still-recognized legacy. It now will be lawful for owners of 14 such properties -- 13 of whihch are in New Castle County -- to redevelop them for industrial uses other than those for which they originally were intended. In so doing they will provide Delaware much-needed 'blue collar' jobs. Governor Peterson certainly would favor that with the proviso that each proposed project receives thorough vetting before being permitted to go forward. 


           What happened to the spirit of bipartisan collegiality in Congress? After a gunman attacked Republican law makers and staff members practicing for the annual congressional charity baseball game, senators and representatives voiced as one a pledge to drop the rancor and get along with each other despite political differences. The attack occurred less than three weeks ago. Congressman Steve Scalise, the most seriously injured victim, is still in the hospital. Early this week Med Star Washington Hospital Center issued a statement listing his condition as fair but improving. Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan declared the seat Scalise usually occupies in the chamber will go unused until he returns. But over on the Senate side, majority leader Mitch McConnell tersely rejected the notion that he'd welcome Democrat participation in resolving the difficulty in enacting a revision of the Affordable Care Act to correct its acknowledged shortcomings. Based on the number of public statements from members of both parties, we suspect that a Capitol Hill poll would show that a clear, if not overwhelming, majority favor replacing the Senate's all-Republican strategy with a cooperative effort. To their credit both senators from Delaware -- Democrats Tom Carper and Chris Coons -- have long-standing reputations for working well with colleagues across the political aisle. Either or both should undertake one-on-one campaigns to see that emulated for the country's benefit.


           After a totally unnecessary seven-month delay, the Wilmington city administration is going to consider a proposal to save Baynard Stadium. Salesianum School has offered to rebuild the sports facility, which dates to 1922, in return for a long-term lease to manage it. The city would continue to own the property. After the proposal was announced last November, State Representative Charles Potter called for a study to determine the future of the stadium. A committee came up with five options of which only one -- a 'public-private partnership' -- was viable. Mayor Mike  Purzycki then issued a
Conceptual illustration of what Baynard Stadium will look like if the city accepts the Salesianum proposal.
request for an official proposal. Not surprisingly, Salesianum was the only organization which responded. The idea is now back to where it stood last November. The city administration will negotiate the details of a lease agreement, which City Council has to ratify. Hopefully, that standard process will not cause further delay and the city will have what essentially will be a new sports facility without having to use taxpayer money or increase its bonded debt. Salesianum, of course, also will benefit from its investment -- in the estimated range of $15 million to $20 million, privately raised from one or more donors -- in the form of a sustainable revenue stream generated primarily by users of the facility. To employ a will-worn cliché: It's a genuine win-win situation all the way around. [EDITOR NOTE - The editor of this web page is a Salesianum alumnus.]

          The Republican health care proposal is a disaster waiting to happen. Unless some Republican senators decide to follow their consciences rather than President Trump, majority leader Mitch McConnell and other party brass it could happen this week. Rather than deal with recognized flaws in Obamacare -- principally lack of fostering actual competition in the insurance business and controlling premiums and deductibles -- what emerged from behind closed doors was vintage Republicanism -- take from the poor and give to the rich. Despite the President's repeated promises during the 2016 campaign and since taking office to protect the poor and those in his middle-class constituency dependent upon such programs as Medicare and Medicaid, those are primary victims of this twisted version of "reform" (note the quotation marks.). By now we're used to the doublespeak and lies emanating from the White House and Capitol Hill. Millions of Americans cannot wait for future elections to provide a remedy. If anything good can come from the threat they now face, it's that it could induce us to seriously consider joining most industrialized nations which provide their people single-source medical care.