Saturday, November 26, 2011

TIME MACHINE Preview ... 1922 Pocomoke City Fire Described

A next day account of Pocomoke City's devastating fire of 1922.

It's this Sunday on the Pocomoke Public Eye!

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

~Delmarva Discovery Center~

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The regionally and nationally awarded works of brothers Wally and Paul Makuchal will be on display in the  changing exhibit room during the remainder of November and through December.

NOTE:  Stop by Delmarva Discovery Center TODAY (Saturday) and see artist Wally Makuchal, Jr. at work.   

This is the perfect opportunity to see how some of these amazing pieces were created.

Wally will be starting at 10 AM, so be sure to stop by.

Christmas In Pocomoke !

Be sure to watch WMDT- TV Channel 47 (ABC)

Sunday, November 27, 2011
7:30 AM

Mayor Bruce Morrison will be talking about what many hope will become a Christmas tradition.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011


November, 1882

(The Denton Journal)

Thanksgiving Day

The following Thanksgiving proclamation has been issued by President Arthur:

"In conformity with a custom, the annual observance of which is justly held in honor by this people, I, Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States, do hereby set apart Thursday, the 30th day of November, a national day of thanksgiving. The blessings demanding our gratitude are numerous and varied. For the peace and amity which subsist between the public and all the nations of the world; for the increasing friendship between the different sections of the land; for liberty, justice and constitutional government; for the devotion of our people to our free institutions and their cheerful obedience to mild laws; for the constantly increasing strength of the republic while extending its privileges to fellow-men who come to us; for improved means of internal communication and the increased facilities of intercourse with other nations; for the general prevailing health of the year; for the prosperity of all our industries, the liberal return for the mechanic's toil, affording a market for the abundant harvests of the husbandman, for the preservation of the national faith and credit; for wise and generous provision to effect the intellectual and moral education of our youth; for the influence for the conscience of a restraining and transforming religion, and for the joys of home; for these, and many other blessings, we should give thanks.

Wherefore, I do recommend that the day above designated be observed throughout the country as a day of national thanksgiving and prayer, and that the people ceasing from their daily labors and meeting in accordance with several forms of worship, draw near to the throne of Almighty God, offering to him praise and gratitude for the manifold goodness which he has vouchsafed to us, and praying that His blessings and His mercies may continue. And I further recommend that the day thus appointed be made a special occasion for deeds of kindness and charity to the suffering and the needy, so all who dwell within the land may rejoice and be glad in this season of national thanksgiving."

Wild Turkey Bourbon Wants Obama's Pardoned Thanksgiving Bird

WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Wednesday will take part in the long-running White House tradition of sparing a turkey from the Thanksgiving plate with an official pardon. The lucky bird may even have a job lined up afterward: Wild Turkey Bourbon wants to hire it as an official "spokesbird."

What does that mean, exactly? The bird would strut its stuff as an attraction at Wild Turkey's distillery and, in return, would receive asylum from any sharp objects aimed at its neck.

Master distiller Jimmy Russell made his case bluntly, in a statement: "In a manner of direct speaking, we invite the President to give us the bird."

Russell pointed out that the Lawrenceburg, Ky., distillery's recent $50 million expansion, which enlarged the property to 134,000 square feet, would provide ample space for the bird to roam freely and live comfortably. Also, he added, there would be "no threat of future Thanksgiving-related job cuts."

For now, the bird and its alternate are supposed to head to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens after pardoning, where they're slated to serve as a main attraction during Christmas through Jan. 6. After that, they'll live out their days in a custom-built home at the estate.

Previously, birds pardoned from 2005 on had been sent to Disneyland, where they served as honorary grand marshals in the park's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Prior to that, the turkeys were shipped off to dubiously-named Frying Pan Park in western Fairfax County, Va. The change was made after allegations arose that the birds in Frying Pan didn't live long after their arrival.

The turkey's recent job offer is just one of several perks that come with a presidential pardon. Before the official ceremony, the turkey and alternate are staying at the swanky W Washington D.C. hotel, where they'll chow down on W Munchie Boxes filled with acorns, berries and corn.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thanksgiving Turkey

My father entered me in a turkey shoot when I was just a tyke, probably about 10-12 years old. It was held at the old V.F.W. on Dun Swamp Rd. I remember all the men that entered the competition had nice full choke Brownings and/or similar high-dollar guns.

I had an old 12ga. Topper, single shot, cylinder open-ended muzzle, that cost around $25.00 brand new at the hardware store. Yep, the Lankford And Cutler hardware store. I was just as proud of that old gun as if it were a hand crafted Belgian made Browning. (Does anyone remember the old Lankford and Cutler hardware store?)

Anyway, I probably bought the old Topper with grass cutting money that I had saved. (think a young boy can walk into a store today and walk out with a shotgun?)

My father signed me up for the shoot and if I remember correctly I had to use the shell(s) that they provided. When it was my turn to shoot I was very nervous, as a young'un I had to get down on one knee to shoot because that old Topper was so light and it kicked so hard it would knock me back a couple of steps (or down) and every-time I did shoot it, it would always leave a bruise on my shoulder.

I got down on that one knee, I was shaking from anxiety so bad that the end of that old gun must have been moving an inch in all directions. I aimed down my 'open' sights and took my best shot at that tiny card, and when I pulled the trigger you could see the trees behind the target pole rock back in what looked like a 20 foot diameter circle from that old gun with no choke.    

I watched as the competitors cards came in to the judging table, they were all peppered with shot, most dead on the money with hardly any paper left on the target card. As the judges examined the cards some were visually discarded, they were hit but the BB holes were not close enough to the tiny center dot of the target.

There was a small pile of cards that the judges saved back. The judges then took those cards and with a nautical chart divider, and a ruler, they would measure from the tiny dot in the center of the target to the closest BB hole left by the shooters shell. As I stood and waited I had still not seen my target. Did I miss completely with my old Topper because I was shaking so hard? because the old gun was not choked? Did I shoot the wrong target? All sorts of things were running through my head. I really wanted to bring that turkey home for my mother.

Now I've gone from nervous to confused and then to just sad because my target was nowhere to be seen. They must be saving me the embarrassment of missing completely.

Now after waiting patiently my father spoke up and asked where my target was. One of the old fellers started rummaging through the piles of targets and finally he found mine and held it up for my father to see and the old guy said "sorry he missed" and he tossed my target in the trash. My head just dropped in disappointment, I was a pretty good shot, I knew that I was nervous when I took the shot but I missed the whole target?

My father did his best to console me because he knew I wanted to bring that turkey home for Maw. We were about to leave and for some reason I decided that I wanted my target to take home with me. I made my way over to the trash can and asked one of the judges if it was ok if I took my target home with me. "No problem young man" said one of the judges, so I rummaged through the empty bottles, and the rest of the garbage until I found my target. I picked up the completely intact paper target and doubled checked that it was my target by reading my name on the back. When I flipped the paper target over to the back, low and behold there was one BB hole in it. "Dad, Dad, I didn't miss" I was ecstatic, I handed my Dad the target and a great big grin came on his face. He looked at me and said "good job boy" and he turned and started walking towards the judges table.

My father was standing in front of the judges with my target in hand, he reached it out to one of the judges and said "my boy didn't miss, you better take a better look". Now here we go again, I'm confused one more time. It just so happened that the judge that through my target in the trash is the judge that my father handed it too. You could see the blood fall from that judges face as he peered at my target with one tiny hole in it. The judge then handed my target to the other judge and again he just stared at it. I still had no idea what was going on. Then, the second judge took out his trusty nautical divider to measure the one single hole in my paper target and my father said "I don't think you'll need that"

After a few short minuets of my father giving the judges a quiet lecture we took my target and headed home.

When we returned home I was met by Maw and she of course asked me how I did. I handed her my target with one tiny BB hole right smack DEAD CENTER OF THAT TARGET and my father handed her my/her turkey.

sorry for the long rambling.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


This is truly amazing. How far can we go with technology? 

Hat Tip: Mrs. M.

Virginia State Trooper, Two Motorists Injured In Crash

VA. State Police Photo
 By Cindy Clayton
Lauren King
The Virginian-Pilot
A Virginia State Police trooper and two other motorists were injured in a crash on U.S. 13 on Wednesday.

The crash happened shortly after 10 a.m. while Trooper L. Farlow was parked in a turn-off, north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, conducting speed enforcement, according to Sgt. Michelle Anaya, agency spokeswoman.

A 2003 Nissan Murano was headed south on U.S. 13 when it ran off the left side of the road and slammed into the trooper's vehicle. The trooper's vehicle spun out and landed in a ditch. Farlow was knocked unconscious.

A Maryland man spotted the crash scene and used the trooper's patrol car radio to call for help, state police said.

Farlow and Jose Evans, 49, of Winterville, N.C., were each flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Farlow's injuries were considered serious but not life-threatening.

Victoria Poynter of Winterville, N.C., was taken to an Eastern Shore hospital. Evans and Poynter each had injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Evans was charged with reckless driving.

Turkey Shoot Tomorrow

November 24, 2011
Stockton Volunteer Fire Company
Shooting starts @ 7 AM
50/50 Raffles
Kids Rounds
Plenty of good food!

Police Plan to Patrol Virginia Roads Over Thanksgiving Holiday

It's called Operation C.A.R.E., Combined Accident Reduction Effort, but it's also because the officers do care enough to give up the holiday weekend with their families to keep you safe on the roads.

"This is strictly on a volunteer basis. The officers are not assigned to do it, but they volunteer. They step up," says Capt. Kelly Walker of the Waynesboro Police Department.

With many people traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday will be the Commonwealth's busiest travel day of the year.

"We'll see an influx of traffic into the city. You know visitors and also people that are just getting off the interstate to get a bite to eat," says Walker.

Along with all those extra drivers, extra officers are needed, even if it's only to be seen.

"It's important to have our presence and to be visible to let the citizens know that the state police are patrolling," says Sgt. Mike Rossetti of the Virginia State Police.

It doesn't matter if you're on the interstate or county roads, you'll likely be covered. State police say 75 percent of their officers will be on the road this holiday weekend. The Augusta County Sheriff's Office is planning a DUI checkpoint, and over in Waynesboro, extra police officers will be on hand on select patrols looking for speeders reckless drivers and drunk drivers.

"We want to ensure that the motorists get where there going and avoid distractions, to drive alcohol and drug free and to wear their safety belt," says Rossetti.


TIME MACHINE Preview ... 1922 Pocomoke City Fire Described

A next day account of Pocomoke City's devastating fire of 1922.

It's this Sunday on the Pocomoke Public Eye!

And check right here tomorrow for a TIME MACHINE Thanksgiving Day item.

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!



Monday night, November 28, 2011, Pocomoke City will be transformed into a “Winter Wonderland” as Pocomoke City plays host to one of Delmarva’s largest nighttime Christmas parades.

Always held on the first Monday night after Thanksgiving, the Pocomoke parade has become an Eastern Shore tradition and will attract over 100 units from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia along with thousands of spectators.

Each year the parade features marching bands representing high and middle schools from seven counties in three states.  Also featured will be beautifully decorated and lighted floats entered by schools, civic organizations, churches, and commercial enterprises.

Clowns, marching units, fire departments,
equestrian units,
and of course Santa Claus
will round out the two-hour event, slated to kick-off
at 7:00 p.m. sharp. 

The route will take the parade north on Market Street
beginning at  14th Street  and ending at the Pocomoke River.
In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be postponed until Tuesday, November 29, at 7:00 p.m.

Deadline to register in November 25th

For more info:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011



So many special wishes coming your way today and everyday.

You continue to be in our prayers.

Visit Courtney's facebook page: Prayers For Courtney Bloxom

Blind Man Says Paramedics Prevented Guide Dog From Traveling With Him

By Julie Scharper
The Baltimore Sun
A 62-year-old blind man has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice claiming Baltimore paramedics refused to allow his service dog to accompany him in an ambulance after he was struck by a car.

Curtis Graham Jr., a Marine who served in Vietnam, was on his way to the city's
Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11 when he was hit by a car near his West Baltimore home. Paramedics would not allow Indo, his 2-year-old golden Labrador retriever, into the ambulance, Graham said.
They refused to take a service animal who I need very much," said Graham, who suffered minor injuries. "He is my eyes."

Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman Kevin Cartwright said the incident was under investigation. He confirmed that a blind man was struck by a car and taken to a hospital by ambulance, and said he believed the victim's guide dog had not been transported.

Cartwright said that to his knowledge, the department did not have a policy on service animals.

A spokesman for the National Federation for the Blind said first responders are "legally obligated to transport the service animal" under Maryland law.

"You're basically taking the blind person's way of understanding his environment away from him," said federation spokesman Chris Danielsen. "I have no idea what sort of irrational thought process was behind not letting the dog in the ambulance, but that is an act of discrimination," he said.

Graham said he had planned to take the subway to join in the city's Veterans Day parade, then head to the
National Aquarium, where he volunteers at the information desk. Graham, a retired bus driver, has relied on a guide dog since 2006, when he lost his sight to glaucoma.

Graham said he and Indo were crossing Cold Spring Lane near Dolfield Avenue when a car making a left turn plowed into them.

"My dog took the blow because he was trying to protect me," he said. "By the grace of God, he wasn't hurt."

Graham said he was flung onto the hood of the car and carried about 10 feet before he rolled off. Paramedics quickly arrived and strapped Graham to a board to stabilize him, but balked when he said Indo needed to accompany him.

"They were going to leave my dog on the pavement, and I wasn't going to have it," he said. "I said, 'The hell you ain't. He's a service dog.' I said, 'If you don't take my dog, I ain't going.'"

Graham eventually called the apartment complex where he lives, and a maintenance worker came to retrieve Indo.

"He was upset and I was upset," Graham said of the dog. "He didn't want to go as they were taking me away in the ambulance."

Danielsen said guide
dogs are highly trained and would not cause problems in an ambulance or a hospital. And, he said, it's a misdemeanor to separate a guide dog from a blind person.

Graham was taken to Sinai Hospital, where doctors determined he had bruises and swelling. He was treated and released. Graham said it was disorienting to be in the hospital without his guide dog.

"As far as I'm concerned, they violated my civil rights," he said. "We're partners, and it's against [the] law for them to separate the team."

THANK YOU To Our Soldiers.....cont...

Gettysburg National Cemetary
This cemetary is  for the Union soldiers only.
The Confederate soldiers  were all left in mass graves on the frields.
They have no candles.
Photo/ Cindi Pietroski


Thank you to each one of you.......

Richard C. Brown, Jr., Air Force

Jacob Gibbons, SSgt. Air Force

Lt.Col. Carlyle S. Harris, Air Force - Viet Nam POW

Jeremy W. Doyle, Army,  Scout Battalion 69th  Armor Regiment-
On second tour -Operation Iraqi Freedon -  KIA

David Greene, Air Force

Patrick A. Dize, Navy

Richard S.  (Steve) Lawrence, Army, VietNam

Rick Choquette, Army

Bruce Glenn Merritt, Jr.,  Navy
Here's what his mom had to say about him:
 ("MT2/E5/SS He served on the USS Kamehameha and the West Virginia from 1990-1994.
Those that might not know the navy meaning of the above they stand for missile technician, second class, E5 pay grade, sub surface qualified.
Both submarines were nuclear....the big ones. He has seen parts of the world we will never see, including Scotland! He was so young and did an amazing job! We will always be proud of him and thank him for his service to our country.")

Roy Woodrow Wilkins, Navy

James Walter  Morris, Navy

Orland E. Howard, Marines, Korean Conflict

Buddy Hughes, Army, Korea

William Byron Schoolfield, Navy, WWII Pacific Theater

Byron Dorsey Schoolfield, Army WWI

Jack Sipilia, WWII, Navy (Retired)

Billy Hall, Army, Vietnam (Deceased)

James W. Maddox, WWII, Army (Deceased)

Art Sexton, Corporal, Marines, Vietnam

John Carey, Rank E-4, Airforce

Richard  Hitchens, Army and National Guard, 1st Sergeant, Vietnam, Afganistan (40 yrs. later)

Larry Fykes, Coast Guard, Senior Chief, Desert Storm, Operation Iraq, Deep Water Horizon (Katrina)

Lawrence Tull, Airforce, Captain

Kenneth Tull, Airforce, A2c

James B. Maddox, Army National Guard, Vietnam and Desert Storm

Jason Harris, Airforce, 167 AW, Kuwait

Larry Wood, Navy

Paul Hill, Navy, Chief, WWII

Michael Hill, Navy

William Byrd, III Cpl E4, First Marine Brigade, Vietnam

Michael Coutu, Navy AZ3 (SCW)

Nicholas Jones, Marines, PFC

Cornell Ginn, Air Force, Master Sgt. E-7 Veteran of Foreign Wars

This is just a start.  There are so many more names out there.............PLEASE send them to me.  Help me keep this list of names of our brave American men and women growing  so everyone will know who they are and how proud we are. 

Please fly your flags and yellow ribbons!  Let the active military know they are in our hearts and NOT forgotten.

Space Station Trio Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

HOUSTON -- Three International Space Station crew members safely returned to Earth on Monday, wrapping up nearly six months in space during which NASA and its international partners celebrated the 11th anniversary of continuous residence and work aboard the station.

Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum, Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Sergei Volkov of the Russian Federal Space Agency landed their Soyuz spacecraft in frigid conditions on the central steppe of Kazakhstan at 8:26 p.m. CST Nov. 21 (8:26 a.m.

Kazakhstan time, Nov. 22). The trio arrived at the station on June 9. They spent 167 days in space and 165 days on the complex. Volkov, a two-time station crew member, now has accumulated 366 days in space.

Before leaving the station, Fossum handed over command to NASA's Dan Burbank, who leads Expedition 30. Burbank and Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov of Russia will continue research and maintenance aboard the station.

The remaining Expedition 30 crew members, NASA astronaut Don Pettit, European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, and cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, are scheduled to launch Dec. 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and dock with the station on Dec. 23.
For more info:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden Get Booed at a NASCAR Race Sunday

First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden visited NASCAR’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday to honor military troops and families, as well as to recognize new commitments by companies planning to hire and train veterans and military spouses.

While there for a good cause, it sounds like the crowd booed the introduction of Obama and Biden over the loudspeaker before the two, with a veteran and his family, delivered the most famous words in NASCAR. Video cut by Mediate:

The AP reports that the women had received a standing ovation at the pre-race drivers’ meeting Sunday, where Obama said NASCAR has been “amazing in terms of its support, not just today but every day for military families.”

But while serving as a grand marshal for the finale Sunday, it sounds like NASCAR fans in Florida are not fans of the First Lady.

Do you think the crowd was clearly booing Mrs. Obama? Does that cross the line, given that in addition to Biden, the First Lady was serving as a grand marshall with a veteran and his family while honoring the military?

VIA: TheBlaze

Insane spectator does what it takes to get the shot at the Baja 1000

El' Stoopeed'o

At nearly every motorsports event we attend, there are usually strict rules about where photographers can be located. Generally, those spots are taken from behind multiple layers of gravel traps, concrete walls and catch fences. That's not the case for the Baja 1000. Race fans and photographers are allowed to pretty much go wherever they want, even if that means putting themselves in a dangerous position.

That's the case for this insane spectator at this weekend's Baja 1000. He decided the ideal vantage point to take a photo was from the actual race course. Despite the crowds around urging him to do otherwise, he sticks to his guns, even as a truck flies inches over his head. Check out the incredible footage after the jump.

VIA: AutoBlog

Virginia Background Checks for Gun Sales Challenged

By Julian Walker
The Virginia-Pilot
Virginia's criminal background check system for firearm purchases, the first of its kind in the nation, is being targeted for elimination.

Gun-rights advocates have lobbied Gov. Bob McDonnell to scrap the program, arguing that it is redundant because a federal background check system can replace it.

Gun-control groups say doing so would take a valuable law enforcement tool away from Virginia State Police and undermine state gun laws.

Efforts to cancel the state's 22-year-old background check system, known as the Virginia Firearms Transaction Program, could be debated in the upcoming General Assembly session. Republicans will control state government for the first time since 2001 and a determined push to loosen state gun laws is expected.

Some of those supporting looser controls on guns are the National Rifle Association, which has urged Virginians to lobby McDonnell on background checks, and the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

A spokeswoman for McDonnell said "informal discussions with interested parties" about the background check system have been held and the subject remains under review.

Ending the state background check could be a tricky political issue for McDonnell, a pro-gun Republican who doesn't own firearms.

Doing away with it would likely shrink the state bureaucracy and at least nominally reduce spending, areas where the governor has worked to distinguish himself. But it also invites potential blowback from gun-control and public-safety advocates at a time that McDonnell is nurturing vice-presidential aspirations.

By law, prospective gun buyers must clear background investigations before dealers are permitted to sell to them.

The state program and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System screen purchasers for criminal history, illegal presence in the country, drug offenses, dishonorable military discharge, mental health adjudications and protective orders against them.

While there is overlap, the state system is not exactly the same as federal system, which has been around since 1998 and is overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Some Virginia standards are stricter than the federal prohibitions, State Police officials said, and ending the state program would undercut aspects of state gun law.

Among the key disparities: State protective order rules apply to more family situations than the federal standards; Virginia's drug policy disqualifies buyers for longer periods of time; and rules on foreign-born purchasers differ.

What's more, Virginia law blocks people with juvenile felony convictions from obtaining a weapon. Because the state severely limits access to state juvenile criminal records, however, information about youthful felonies doesn't appear in the federal background check system.

There's also a difference between how the state and federal systems view mental health treatment.
Both bar those who have been involuntarily committed from purchasing guns.

But Virginia law also specifies that someone evaluated under a temporary detention order who then submits to voluntary treatment would be barred from purchasing a weapon - an outgrowth of the response to Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho's history with the mental health system.

Perhaps most distressing to some gun-control advocates, the federal system doesn't limit handgun purchases to one a month, as Virginia law does. As a delegate, McDonnell voted for the one-gun-a-month law, but he has since said he would sign legislation overturning it.

Getting rid of "the piece of law that's stuck in our craw since 1993" is a goal for gun-rights activists, said Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave.

Like the NRA, Van Cleave's group has problems with the state background check system, but for different reasons: Members says it has ceased to be the rapid-response system it was initially billed as.

"There was a promise made to gun owners back then that this was going to be so smooth, so quick," Van Cleave said, noting that at the system's inception, "state police in Virginia were showing everyone in the nation how this should be done."

Over time, he said, the federal system has eclipsed Virginia's program.

State Police officials said any delays in processing checks and replying to gun dealers is due to steady growth in application volume even as the economy has dipped and the number of staffers doing the checks has shrunk. The department processed roughly 276,000 transactions last year.

Gun-rights advocates also bridle at the $2 state fee charged to purchasers, which goes to the State Police to offset program costs. There is no such federal fee, they say.

Response times might improve, State Police say, if legislation to boost the criminal history check fee clears the General Assembly.

A bill to boost the fee to $5 was filed by Sen. John Watkins in 2009, but it died in the House of Delegates. Watkins is a Powhatan County Republican who, like McDonnell, voted for the handgun limit law in the 1990s but now favors repealing it.

However, he doesn't support doing away with state background checks because he fears it would undermine Virginia standards.

"I'm worried that the federal system is not going to protect us from the sale of weapons to people like Cho," Watkins said. "The system has got to work better and the only way I think you're going to get that is to set your own standards and impose them."

That sentiment is shared by others who support keeping the state system.

"Our state police are leaders in the country in processing background checks," keeping guns away from those disqualified to purchase them and apprehending those who try to illegally obtain firearms, said Lori Haas, a board member with the Virginia Center for Public Safety and the mother of a student shot at Virginia Tech in 2007.


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Says Obama Has a New Christmas Tree Tax

Have you been hearing the hoopla about the Christmas tree tax?  Here's the story......
And nope- no tax this year.

                                                            By Greg Abbott
Weeks before Thanksgiving, the Internet was abuzz with holiday news that no doubt would turn Santa Claus' smile upside down: President Barack Obama was trying to make it more expensive for people to buy Christmas trees.

A headline on the Los Angeles Times’ website asked: "Is President Obama 'the Grinch who taxed Christmas' trees?" And a Republican congressman from Louisiana posted a press release slamming the president for trying to "sneak through this new tax on Christmas trees."

In Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott and others took to Twitter the same day — Nov. 9, 2011 — to express their opposition. Abbott's tweet: "Obama = Scrooge. Obama has new Christmas Tree Tax."

Christmas trees are a big business in Oregon, so our PolitiFact colleagues there jumped on this claim.

Included in Abbott's tweet was a link to a Nov. 8 blog post by David Addington on the conservative Heritage Foundation's website titled "Obama couldn't wait: His new Christmas tree tax." The post cited an entry in that day's Federal Register — which publishes information on regulations — announcing an effort to help the Christmas tree industry promote itself.

It's what’s known as a "checkoff program" — under which producers of a commodity are required to pitch in money for ad campaigns, market research, product development and consumer education efforts. Some of the most familiar checkoff programs are for beef ("it’s what’s for dinner") and pork ("the other white meat").
According to the Federal Register entry on the Christmas tree program, it was sought by an industry group called the Christmas Tree Checkoff Task Force. Proponents of the program say the Christmas tree industry needs a sustained national marketing campaign to compete with advertising by sellers of artificial trees.

To fund the program, growers and importers of Christmas trees will pay a "15-cent assessment" on each tree sold, and the money will go to a board made up of 12 Christmas tree sellers, who will direct the research and marketing efforts. Board members will be nominated by the industry and selected by the U.S. secretary of agriculture. Growers and importers who sell fewer than 500 trees a year are exempt from that 15-cent assessment — which Addington dubbed a tax in his blog.

A day after the Heritage blog posted, criticism of the program exploded across the Internet. By the end of the day, the White House was telling reporters that the administration would delay the Christmas tree checkoff program. No new start date was given.

Justin DeJong, a spokesman for the Agriculture Department, told us that the program is on hold because "misinformation" about it had created confusion for consumers shortly before the start of the Christmas season.

DeJong disputed the labeling of the 15-cent assessment as a tax. "What’s being talked about here is an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself to fund a promotional campaign, and there are many success stories in every sector of the industry (milk, beef, pork, etc)," he wrote in an email.

Official notice that the program had been delayed indefinitely appeared in the Nov. 17, 2011, Federal Register. The entry says that the program is on hold "to provide additional time for the department to reach out to the Christmas tree industry and the public to explain how a research and promotion program is a producer-driven program to support American farmers."

Betty Malone, an Oregon tree farmer who led the task force that submitted the request for the program to the Agriculture Department, told PolitiFact Oregon that she was stunned anyone would describe the tree fee as something dreamed up by Obama.

"We’ve been working on this for three-and-a-half years," she said. "The industry has talked about this for 20 years. This started long before Obama" was president.

According to the task force's proposal, filed with the Agriculture Department on Aug. 12, 2009, sessions to gauge interest in the establishment of a checkoff program among growers were held in Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania in 2008 — when George W. Bush was president.

Not everyone in the industry embraces the idea. According to the Nov. 8 Federal Register entry, the Agriculture Department received more than 550 responses about the checkoff program proposal during its 65-day designated "comment period." Of the total, 398 were in favor while 147 were opposed.

In Texas, Marshall Cathey, president of the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association, with more than 100 members, said the group voted against supporting the checkoff program proposal.

We talked with two Texas Christmas tree farmers opposed to the program. Bob Childress, whose farm is about 40 miles east of Abilene, said he considers the program an example of government reaching inappropriately into the marketplace.

Marc Nash, co-owner of Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, agreed and said he objects to being forced by the government to pay into an industry promotional campaign. Nash also said Texas growers, which primarily have small farms in rural areas, won't benefit from the checkoff program because its marketing efforts would most likely take place in major, urban areas where any increased sales would help large Christmas tree wholesalers.

Next, we looked into whether the 15-cent fee would be passed on to tree buyers and whether it amounts to a tax, as Abbott says.

The National Christmas Tree Association, a supporter of the program, said in a Nov. 9, 2011, press release that "the program is not expected to have any impact on the final price consumers pay" for trees. However, Addington, in his blog, writes that "of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees."

Bryan Ostlund, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, told PolitiFact Oregon that it's unclear whether the fees would ultimately be the responsibility of buyers. "It doesn’t get automatically passed along, but somebody along the line has to cover it," he said.

PolitiFact also found disagreement about whether the tree charge is a tax. The federal government monitors the agricultural marketing board that administers the money, but the revenue doesn't go to the government.

The national tree association agrees with the Agriculture Department that the 15-cent assessment isn't a tax.

Again, Addington's perspective is different. In his blog, he writes: "The federal government mandates that the Christmas tree sellers pay the 15-cents per tree, whether they want to or not. The federal government directs that the revenue generated by the 15-cent fee goes to the board appointed by the secretary of agriculture to carry out the Christmas tree program established by the secretary of agriculture. Mr. President, that's a new 15-cent tax to pay for a federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees."

For other perspectives, PolitiFact consulted national experts.
"It certainly doesn't smell or quack like a tax," said Robert Litan, the vice president for Research and Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation who was an associate director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton.

On the other hand, Dan Mitchell, an economist with the libertarian Cato Institute, says "a coercive levy is a tax."

Our ruling
Opinion is split on whether the 15-cent fee on Christmas trees — if it goes into effect — would be a tax and whether the cost would be passed along to consumers.

Setting that eye-of-the-beholder issue aside, the claim that Obama was behind the tree charge suggests he came up with the scheme. That's not correct; the idea originated with the industry before he became president. We rate the statement Mostly False.


A Special Birthday Today.......


"There is no better friend than a sister.
And there is no better sister than you."
~Author Unknown

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TIME MACHINE ... Abandoned Island's Former Life


After President-elect Grover Cleveland made a visit to the Eastern Shore of Virginia's Hog Island for a duck hunting vacation an 1892 American Press Association article was published about the island. The following information is gleaned from that article:

Hog Island was still inhabited at that time, with twenty-one families living there. Workers were oystermen, and employees of the government and a sporting clubhouse named Broadwater Clubhouse.

"Every man and every half grown boy can sail a boat, and the people are as near amphibians as they can well be without having web feet."

"The United States government has vainly essayed to give Hog Island the more euphonious name of Broadwater, but the name Hog Island sticks and the island figures thus upon the official election returns of Virginia. Hog Island cast thirty-one votes for Mr. Cleveland and none for any other candidate. That is the usual Democratic majority of the island, and the vote is so easily counted that although the ordinary method of reaching the mainland is by open sailboat the Hog Island returns are usually among the first to come in."

"Oysters, diamond backed terrapin and water fowl of many sorts swarm about Hog Island, and its neighbors. -- There is some attempt on the part of Virginia to protect the diamond backs, but restrictions upon the pursuit of game are not popular among the islands, and terrapin are caught and eaten whenever they are fit to eat. They are never cheap, even within a few miles of their feeding grounds, and they easily fetch from fifteen dollars to twenty-five dollars a dozen at Chincoteague."

"All craft at Hog Island, as along the whole coast, are flat bottoms because of shoal water.. -- The mail is ordinarily brought over to Hog Island in an open sailboat unless the owners of the clubhouse happen to be down, when the steam yacht performs the task."

"The people of the Atlantic coast islands of Virginia are as simple and kindly as any on earth. For the most part they live generation to generation upon the islands, and the only newcomers, save on populous Chincoteague, are the government employees and the sporting stranger."

Footnote: (source: Wikipedia): Hog Island.. "is a part of the Virginia Coast Reserve of The Nature Conservancy. Starting in the mid-19th century the town of Broadwater, Virginia was located on the southern end of the island, but had to be abandoned in the 1930's when rapid beach erosion made its continued existence untenable. However, many of the houses and other buildings were floated by barge to the mainland and can be found in Willis Wharf, Virginia and Oyster, Virginia."

May, 1893

(The Atlanta Constitution)


President Cleveland Off for a Few Days Fishing

Washington, May 30.- President Cleveland, accompanied by *L. Clark Davis of Philadelphia, left Washington for Hog Island, Virginia, over the Pennsylvania Railroad at 930 o'clock p.m. There was no other persons in the party except a porter. The president is due at Hog Island at 5'oclock tomorrow. He occupies a combination dining, sleeping, and observation car. His car will be switched off at Wilmington, Del., and will go south to Exmore, Va., where he will proceed by boat to Hog Island.

The president's determination is to return to Washington Saturday evening.

The president arrived at the station at 530 o'clock and made his way, accompanied by Mr. Davis and a valet carrying his hand satchel to his car. He was enveloped in a gray linen duster and wore a gray slouch hat pulled down almost over his eyes. Upon reaching the car, he took a seat near the door, lit a cigar and with his back to the window, sent smoke curling out of the back door of the car. Hundreds of people passed, but no one aside from the station officials and a watchful reporter seemed to be aware of the president of the United States.

Footnote: *Davis may have been associated with a group of Philadelphians who owned the sportsman's lodge on Hog Island at that time.

TIME-SNIP ... June, 1930

Four new chapters of the American Legion Auxiliary were being formed in Maryland. One was to be at Pocomoke City, attached to Worcester Post, No. 93.

TIME-SNIP ... February, 1960

Robert Frostrom and Donald Bennett of Pocomoke City were among area scouts saluted by The Salisbury Times as "Newspaperboy Scouts" on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of The Boy Scouts Of America. The boys were members of Pocomoke's Explorer Scout Troop143.


May, 1941


Washington, May 20-(AP)- President Roosevelt declared today that the experiment of moving up the day of Thanksgiving Day by a week to improve retail business had not worked and that next year Thanksgiving would be on the customary last Thursday in November.

This year, however, it will fall on the next to the last Thursday by presidential proclamation.

Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers.. such as a big snow storm, a favorite school teacher, a local happening, something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? It can be just a line or two or more if you wish. Your name won't be used unless you ask that it be. Send to and watch for it on a future TIME MACHINE posting!

Progress On the New Restaurant ~ Downtown Pocomoke City

When we visited downtown Pocomoke on Sunday, October 30th,  I took these photos of the area in which the new restaurant was being built.  There wasn't very much to be seen that day and I just more or less took pictures of dirt. But I needed to start somewhere in order to keep this documented if  not  for another soul but myself.

I happen to believe this is a very good idea.  One reason?  BOATERS!  If you have ever owned a boat, canoe, jet ski or any other floating device, and have traveled the waters of the Pocomoke River you have some  idea of just how hungry you can get!   We boated for years and always packed a picnic lunch- which is always fun but gets old before the summer is over.  This would have been a blessing.....

Let it be known that there are many other reasons to have a restaurant downtown - right where it is.

 Photos below taken Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 3 weeks later.

Still hoping for crab crepes on the menu.