Posted: April 19, 2005


Gebelein watch 

The Superior Court judges are on alert for a Gebelein sighting -- expecting to see their colleague any day now, once he sheds his army uniform and gets over his jetlag.

Richard S. Gebelein left in August, a National Guard colonel in the Judge Advocate General's Corps called up for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He began the transition home a week ago on April 12.

In an e-mail Gebelein sent to Superior Court President Judge James T. Vaughn Jr., he said he was returning via stops in Kyrgyzstan in Asia, Turkey, Germany, Baltimore and then Georgia, where he was scheduled for a few days of debriefing before getting back to Delaware.

The judges expect Gebelein to drop by the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington to say hello. Officially they have scheduled an hour-long "Welcome Back, Judge Gebelein" reception to greet him Friday morning, April 29, before the court gets going for the day.

The judges have been shorthanded in Gebelein's absence. After the reception, they know when they want him back on the bench.

"The next week," Vaughn said.

100 Days

New Castle County Executive Christopher A. Coons has sent out a press release congratulating himself for his first 100 days in office. Coons, a Democrat, was installed on Jan. 4 and completed his version of that famous stretch of political time on Friday.

The "First 100 Days," of course, is associated most prominently with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat elected to the first of four terms in 1932, for his whirlwind stint confronting the Great Depression in the early days of his presidency.

What did Roosevelt do? He saved the banking system, created the Civilian Conservation Corps, provided relief for farmers, set a minimum wage, cut federal spending, established the Tennessee Valley Authority, appointed the first woman to the Cabinet, punched a hole in Prohibition to let America buy a beer again, and still found time for a fireside chat with the country.

How did Coons compare? His press release says his "work to date emphasizes ethical, transparent, responsible county government."

It did not go deeply into specifics, but here are some of Coons' accomplishments:

--He did not hire anybody named Freebery

--He fired somebody named Freebery

--He did not accept a $2 million loan from Lisa Dean Moseley

--He did not OK a golf course for Lisa Dean Moseley

--He did not put Christmas decorations away for Lisa Dean Moseley

Way to go, Chris. In laying claim to FDR's mantle, success means never having to say you're indicted.