Delaware Law Office
of Larry D. Sullivan, Esquire

A Weblog?
The column to the right, is a news/editorial/comment column. It is a weblog, also know as a blog.

The weblog thing comes from www.blogger.com, which offers us a convenient way to manage the posting, administratively. You don't really need to know all of that, but we have included this explanation so that you won't be confused by the term "blog".

Another important topic here is that since the column includes editorials and comments, you can be sure that we are just exercising our free speech rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and as not yet abridged by a reactionary opportunistic vocal minority.

opinions, everybody's got one...
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We encourage the exchange of responsible ideas.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Transparency in Federal Spending

 
President George W. Bush signed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (pdf) into law yesterday, September 26, 2006. This is a move in the right direction in letting the citizens of the United States know how money is being spent by the US Government.

Requirements of the Bill Include a Web site

A single searchable website, accessible by the public at no cost to access, where information about federal awards can be seen.

These federal awards include include grants, subgrants, loans, awards, cooperative agreements, and other forms of financial assistance. Also covered are contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, task orders, and delivery orders.

Individual transactions below $25,000 aren't included, and before October 1, 2008, credit card transactions won't be covered, either.

Types of Information Covered for Federal Awards

  1. Name of the entity receiving the award;

  2. Amount of the award;

  3. Information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, the North American Industry Classification System code or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number (where applicable), program source, and an award title descriptive of the purpose of each funding action;

  4. Location of the entity receiving the award and the primary location of performance under the award, including the city, State, congressional district, and country;

  5. A unique identifier of the entity receiving the award and of the parent entity of the recipient, should the entity be owned by another entity; and

  6. Any other relevant information specified by the Office of Management and Budget.

Will This be Useful?

Hopefully, it will. If nothing else, it will be a rich source of information for political bloggers, who showed with the passage of this bill that they refused to let it not be passed, by working together in a bipartisan manner, to identify some stumbling blocks in its passage: Blogosphere Unites in Pursuit of Masked Senator

A number of those bloggers were invited to the White House to attend a presentation which included the signing of the Bill.

President Bush made a statement at the signing of the Bill. Here's a short snippet from that:

By allowing Americans to Google their tax dollars, this new law will help taxpayers demand greater fiscal discipline. In other words, we're arming our fellow citizens with the information that will enable them to demand we do a better job -- a better job in the executive branch and better job in the legislative branch.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

October Conference on Delaware's Waters and Water Policies

 
If you are interested in state wide policies and regulations concerning the use of water in Delaware, there's an upcoming conference that you may wish to consider attending. But you need to act quickly. Registration is required by October 2.

A press release from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) points to a Conference on Delaware Water Policy, set for October 16th at the University of Delaware's Clayton Hall in Newark.

The Conference is a full-day meeting which will examine statewide water policy issues. Registration for the event is required, and the registration form can be found on the University's Water Resources pages. The cost is $25 to attend (which includes materials, lunch, and refreshments), and Senior citizens (65 and over) and students may attend free of charge by registering and requesting complimentary attendance.

The event is sponsored by:



Here's the Agenda for the Conference:

2006 Delaware Water Policy Forum Series No. 6

The Delaware: Challenges and Opportunities Affecting a Working and Environmental River

Program Agenda

7:30 Registration and Refreshments

8:30 Welcoming Remarks
Dr. Jerome Lewis, Director
Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware
Dr. Thomas Sims, Director
Delaware Water Resources Center, University of Delaware

8:50 Keynote Speaker - Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin
Robert Molzahn, President

Overview of the Delaware River Basin and the competing environmental, industrial and economic issues in the Basin

9:25 Roundtable Panel Discussion - Challenges and Opportunities for a Working River
Moderator: Robert Tudor, Deputy Director
Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)

Regulatory Initiatives
Kevin Donnelly, Director
Division of Water Resources, State of Delaware and Alternate Commissioner to the DRBC

Maintaining the River
Mike Arabatzis, Chief of Planning Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District

Emergency Response
Gerald Conrad
U.S. Coast Guard

Water Supply Concerns
Christopher Crockett, Ph.D., P.E.
Philadelphia Water Department

Maritime Issues
Dennis Rochford
Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River & Bay

Industry Perspectives
Marc Gold, Esq.
Manko Gold Katcher & Fox LLP

10:30 Break

10:45 Roundtable Panel Discussion - Challenges and Opportunities for an Environmental River
Moderator: Gerald J. Kauffman, P.E., Director
Water Resources Agency, Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware

Reporting on Environmental Conditions: The First State of the Basin Report
Jessica Rittler Sanchez, River Basin Planner
Delaware River Basin Commission

Living Resources, Flora and Fauna in the Delaware Estuary
Kathy Klein, Executive Director
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

Successes in Fish and Shellfish Restoration in the Delaware Estuary
Roy Miller, Administrator of Fisheries
Delaware DNREC, Division of Fish and Wildlife

The Reemergence of the Delaware Bay Oyster
(Speaker TBD)
Rutgers University, Bivalve Oyster Laboratory

11:45 Audience Survey, Feedback and Discussion of Key Issues
Moderator: William McGowan
Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware

12:30 Buffet Lunch

1:45 Recent Developments in Water Law and Possible Effects within the Delaware River Basin
Moderator: Robert Collings, Esq.
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Kenneth Warren, Esq.
Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen LLP and General Counsel to DRBC

Timothy Weston, Esq.
former DRBC Commissioner representing Pennsylvania now with Kirkpatrick and Lockhart Nicholson Graham

3:00 Summary and Wrap-Up
Dr. Jerome Lewis, Director
Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware

Some information about previous Water Forum Conferences is available on the pages of the Univeristy of Delaware's Water Resources Agency. Here are links to proceedings from previous forums:



Other publications from the Water Resouce Agency

This looks like it could be a pretty interesting Conference.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday Night Football in New Orleans

 
Our favorite New Orleans legal blogger, Ernie the Attorney, will be providing some insight and commentary, and even some roving reporters, on the the incredible proliferation of media that has come to his home city tonight, starting with his post: Monday Night Football Madness comes to New Orleans.

I'm looking forward to watching the game, and happy to see the energy and excitement around it. I'll also be cheering for the Saints in this one.


Keeping an Eye on Hewlett-Packard

 
Hollywood couldn't write a script this compelling. How does a company protect its trade secrets? Should spying upon your own board members and tapping their phone conversations be a routine business practice?

Hewlett-Packard had a problem with information discussed only in board meetings finding its way to journalist ramblings in the news. What steps do you take in that situation? The Christian Science Monitor probes some of those issues in The changing rules of corporate spy games.

A Dow Jones MarketWatch article notes that "Hewlett-Packard Co. is ranked second on Business Ethics magazine's 100 best corporate citizens for 2006" and the article points to some specific reasons why. But, in light of the company's methods to uncover sources of leaks, the good will gained from such efforts comes under question.

One of the questions that many companies should be asking themselves in light of this drama being played out in public, with news of SEC investigations, and questioning by the US House of Representatives, is how they can keep themselves from finding themselves in a similar situation? How can they plan before hand to handle problems like the ones that Hewlett-Packard faced in a manner that can be viewed in a positive manner?

Alex Simpson, at Corporate and Securities Law Blog, has been posting a storm about issues involving Hewlett-Packard recently, including today's post - HP Part XXXI -- Now Look What HP Has Dunn...


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Newark Electric Woes - More than Meets the Eye?

 
Yesterday and Today I read in the News Journal that the City of Newark had tried to raise the U of D electric rates without raising the other electric customers' rates.

Most of the story in the paper is asking why did the City attempt to raise the UD's in violation of the contract between the City and the UD (which aparently limits the UD rate increases to the increases applied to other Newark electric customers).

I suspect that the real story is... why didn't the City raise the electric rates for all of its customers? And how much is that going to cost the city?

Doesn't the City of Newark buy its electricity elsewhere? Didn't all of those costs raise dramatically several months ago? All except the re-sold Newark electricity.

If Newark is having to pay more for its electricity now, and it hasn't raised its rates, I suspect that the loss to the City will be much larger than the reported 1.5 Million or 1.7 Million that it will lose from the UD contract.

I think that more needs to be learned about this problem.








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