opinions, everybody's got one...
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Buy Nothing and Get Arrested
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays.
I enjoy the joining together of family, the holiday feast, the mistletoe, and singing of songs, the decorations, and the giving of gifts. Yet I often wonder if the whole celebration is too commercialized.
When the lines start forming at the doors of shopping centers at 4 am, enticed by offers too good to refuse, I get a little bothered.
There's a movement that a growing number of people are participating in called Buy Nothing Day, sponsored by a group that asks us to look seriously at consumerism run wild, and to take some action to make others think seriously about it too.
Three sisters from Newark, Delaware, traveled to Christiana Mall this last Black Friday to try to get others to think about the holiday season in terms of what it means without the consumerism. They were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing for their efforts.
My family has instituted a no-gift-above-$10 rule this year. I hope admitting that in public doesn't get me led away in handcuffs.
Goodbye Paper, and Good Riddance
From the New Castle County Clerk of the Peace office comes the news that they will be getting rid of paper records.
It's great news. Remove the 400,000 thousand index cards, the 100 plus dusty old binders and books, and the hundreds of microfilm reels. Their day is done.
The Clerk of the Peace office keeps track of marriage licenses, and while they do a pretty good job of it, relying on the older media can mean that looking up older records can be a time consuming task. And all that paper takes up a lot of space.
When you hear that it will take about 30 DVDs to replace all of their paper records, you get a little idea of how much of an improvement that is. When you find out that it will take seconds to find records, even the older ones, the impact really hits home. Especially when some older records would take days and weeks to locate.
Certified copies of marraige licenses are needed for divorces, for estate law cases, for genealogical searches, and for other instances where that record may be important. This change will make the work of finding those records much easier for the Clerk's Office, and the decreased waiting time will be a boon for the people who need the records.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Busing Newark: those who make the laws rarely ride the bus
A plan for a bus hub in Newark sounds like it has everything going for it.
From what I gather, no longer will larger buses be roaming the streets of Newark. The destination point for the vehicles will be the transit hub, and smaller city buses will travel around the neighborhood streets.
Fine and good.
But it leads me to wonder how many of the people making this decision actually depend upon bus routes. How many of them know what it is like to transfer from bus to bus to bus to get to work. Especially on cold winter days, or when riders rely upon a wheelchair.
Are the smaller buses capable of picking up and carrying passengers with wheelchairs?
There are a series of public meetings to be held on this project. The first will be at the Newark Public Library from 4 pm to 7 pm on December 15th. I hope my bus gets me there on time.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Tax Presence - Tax Shelter or Tax Sham
Well, it froze over! I agree with a statement attributed to Richard Geisenberger in the News Journal today in an article about Delaware's efforts to continue to lead the way as a Corporate Headquarters location. He reportedly said:
"The stronger your presence in Delaware, the stronger defense you'll have in tax court,"
Delaware created a statutory Headquarters Management Corporation to provide structure and incentive for corporations to house their headquarters functions in Delaware. It is hoped by the State that this will bring new jobs and increased State revenues.
But this new law, and new type of corporation wasn't intended to handle all situations. Analysis will continue to be performed by other States' courts as to whether the protections under Delware Law have been properly implemented. As I have said many times, and as Richard Voll, Esquire (New Jersey) is reported to have said:
"You can't get credit just because you have a piece of paper in a lawyer's desk, you have to earn it."
This means that you should follow the advice of competent counsel as to the setting up and operation of your Delaware corporation, so as to receive the full benefit of this lawful vehicle to efficiency and tax savings.