Author Archives: Alan Muller

About Alan Muller

Executive Director of Green Delaware

Died: “Lewis Morgan ‘Skipper’ Purnell, renaissance man”

Purnell and MLK in JamaicaLeft:  Purnell, then a foreign service officer, takes Martin Luther King, Jr. on a tour of Jamaica (Photo: Dick Carter via The News Journal)

Another exceptional Delawarean from a previous generation of activist types has died.

Skip Purnell passed on on July 28, 2015, at the age of 93.  He and spouse Til Purnell had celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in June.

Skipper and Til were fixtures of life in Sussex County for decades, until moving to Virginia in 2006 to be closer to family members.  Their estate on Herring Creek included a building collection–mostly houses–, moved onto their property from various locations.  They were an interesting combination of conservative Sussex County, Delaware, traits and the progressive thinking of people who had seen the world–Purnell had a career in the US Foreign Service.  Til was (is, I presume) more the environmentalist, perhaps the most active in Sussex County.  Skip represented the League of Women Voters in the process that lead to the gutting of the Delaware Coastal Zone Act.  Whether he ever regretted what he agreed to, I don’t know. Continue reading

“Sunday, July 19th, will be a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Delaware!”


Kid in gas mask

Kid in gas mask

Sunday and Monday are forecast to be CODE ORANGE bad air days for OZONE.

In addition, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are forecast to be CODE YELLOW bad air days for fine particles (PM 2.5).

In addition, an excessive heat warning is in effect with forecast heat index values over one hundred for both Sunday and Monday afternoons.

As we have noted many times these “stressors” add up and we would consider the combination of multiple air pollutants, heat, and humidity to add up to CODE RED.  Please take care. Continue reading

Unanimous consent for rollbacks of Delaware’s environmental regulations?

ACTION:  Better get on the horn to your legislators and tell them to come to their senses and reject HB 147, SB 113, and SB 120.

Sometimes I think Green Delaware has done its work and we should fade away, having done more than our share for a long time.  And then, something like this comes along — bills that make me wonder how things can get this bad without objection.

The obvious intent is to create opportunities for wholesale rollbacks of environmental regulations, as well as other categories of protective regulations, and to prevent new regs from being enacted.  The idea is not new, it’s a perpetual theme of Chambers of Commerce ALEC, etc.   Tom Carper set up regulatory reviews immediately upon becoming Governor in 1993.  Green Delaware was pretty much alone in objecting.  There have been other episodes since.

We previously wrote about the beginning of the present scam in some depth (Feb 8, 2013):

“Streamlining?” Don’t be fooled by Governor Markell ……

Continue reading

What does it mean to support “Fast Track” and the “Trans Pacific Partnership” (Etc.)?

Update:  We have heard this afternoon that the House rolled on this and sent it back to the Senate, which leaves the ball with Senators Carper (202) 224-2441 and Coons (202) 224-5042.   So they are the ones to call now.

Since this was written there have been some developments.  Senators Carper and Coons, as one would expect, have been fully supportive of these anti-democratic measures.  On the other hand, Rep. John Carney voted “no” on one important Friday vote.  (He voted wrong on another one.  We can’t provide any details as nobody from his office returned our calls.)  But the fight is far from over and the forces of justice and democracy obviously do not prevail in the US House of Representatives.  Another vote is expected today (Thursday).  Action Alert below:

Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans are bringing Fast Track back to a vote TODAY. Will you call your Democratic Congress member and urge them to vote no?Here’s why your call matters, Alan. Your Congress member did the right thing on Friday, as one of 157 Democrats who voted no on Fast-Track. But the White House and corporate lobbyists are still trying to pressure them, and they need some positive reassurance.Please call your member TODAY at the number below, and leave this message:

Rep. John Carney
(202) 225-4165

As your constituent, I want to thank you for voting “no” on Trade Promotion Authority Friday. Today’s vote is even WORSE, as the Fast Track bill now has no measures that would help displaced workers. Please stick to your principles, and continue to represent me by voting “no” today.

Now, the original post: Continue reading

Response to the New Castle Weekly “Green Recovery Technologies” puff piece

[To the New Castle Weekly]

Your June 3rd piece “Beware the Chicken Plant…That Wasn’t” might better be entitled “Beware Journalism…that Isn’t.”

It’s wonderful that the reporter is on a first-name basis with the promoter and reports everything he says as fact, but this does not help readers understand the pros and cons of this proposal. Continue reading

Upcoming bad air times….upcoming bad DNREC public hearings


Kid in gas mask

Kid in gas mask

Delaware air, by the official categories, mostly varies between Code Green and Code Yellow, with occasional excursions into worse conditions.  Now is one of those times.

Some states issue notices of Code Yellow conditions, but Delaware is not one of those states.  We (Green Delaware) often but not always do emails for Code Yellow days.  Feedback would be welcome on whether readers would like this always.  Several significant DNREC public hearings are coming up in June. Continue reading

Alert 521: In contempt of the people–the campaign for Attorney General of Delaware

[Originally published Nov 6, 2006]

“Criminals never ask their victims if they are Republicans or Democrats.”
“After 26 years as a prosecutor, I know that some things are right; I know that some things are wrong…”
— Ferris Wharton, from campaign website 
“DuPont has been an outstanding corporate citizen for many decades.”
— Beau Biden, heard on WDEL radio
Continue reading

Bad air in Delaware….

Delaware is just now coming out of a long episode of bad air, but there will surely be many more this “ozone season.”  Bad air has been forecast every day from May 3rd to May 9th, usually for both ozone and particulates (invisible find dust).

As we’ve noted many times, people foolish enough to breathe in Delaware are stressed by a combination of chemical pollution, heat, humidity, and allergens (pollen, molds, etc).  So, is it not surprising that many residents and visitors suffer from the effects of bad air. Continue reading

Death Penalty Repeal making progress in Delaware

Senate Bill 40, repealing Delaware’s death penalty, has passed the Delaware Senate.  The vote was narrow: 11-9.  A similar bill passed the Senate in 2013 but was blocked in the House of Representatives.  This could happen again.  Please consider urging your Representative to support SB 40Contact information is here. The ACLU also has a link for sending emails.

The death penalty has come and gone in Delaware. Legislators reinstated it in 1974 after an unpleasant crime.  Some history here. More info from the ACLU.  Sen. Karen Peterson has championed the cause of repeal for many years, with support from Republican Gary Simpson.