Thursday, August 08, 2013
Parents need to teach children 'street smarts'
One wonders how people fall for scams. Part of that is being street smart.

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the line I get to sing in Les Miserables in September at Possum Point in Georgetown as a convict. I also get to be a drunk and a thug in the play. I have been teasing people because I am originally from Brooklyn, New York. I said I was being typecast. However, it got me thinking. Parents need to teach their children many things. One of those things can be termed "street smarts." It is something that you learn very early growing up in Brooklyn. Some of it you learn from your parents and some of it you learn out on the streets. When I grew up in Brooklyn, my street smarts were average. When I joined the Air Force, I quickly recognized that people from other areas did not have that same background. Street smarts from New York City meant a lot more even if they were average. Let me give some examples. The first has to do with the idea of playing a convict. I was walking down the street one day in Brooklyn. A gang of about 15 kids came around the street corner. The first two grabbed me. Before they had a chance to do anything, there was a voice from the middle of the crowd. It said "Leave him alone. That's my neighbor." Boy was I glad that he had gotten out of reform school two weeks early. I also had the chance to run into some thugs. I was walking to the bowling alley from high school with two of my friends. There was a group of kids coming in the other direction. There were seven boys and three girls. As we walked past, one of the boys intentionally banged into me. Knowing that there were so many of them, I ignored him. However, a second one banged into one of the guys that was with me. He wasn't quite as street smart. He threw his books down on the ground and yelled at them. As expected, they stopped. I was looking at the 7 to 3 odds and thinking that this was not going to be good. Fortunately for us, their girlfriends were not interested in seeing a fight. They pulled them away and kept on going. Another time I was with a friend right outside of school. These two guys came up to us and asked for money. We told them we did not have any. One of the two threw my friend up against the schoolyard fence and held him there. I figured that this was not going to be a situation that we would easily get out of. I had my attache case in my hand. I swung it at the guy who was asking me for money. I caught him just right and hurt him and the two of them took off. Thus with two similar situations, street smarts called for different actions based upon the situation. When I was in college, I was walking down the street with two friends. One of them was the treasurer for the society we belonged to. He was carrying a lot of money. He was saying aloud how strange it felt to be carrying that much money. I told him that wasn't a smart thing to do. He responded that it was okay because he had a black belt in karate. I told him that I didn't so he needed to keep his mouth shut. One wonders how people fall for scams. Part of that is being street smart. It leads you to be wary of what is going on around you. It leads you to think ahead about situations. It is almost like playing chess. Parents need to understand that teaching these things to their children. It is like anything else. It is not always instinctive. You need to be able to react to situations. However, you can only do that if you are taught those lessons over time.

West Nile reported in chickens West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in Delaware for the first time this year in blood samples taken from DNREC's sentinel chickens that are monitored for mosquito-borne diseases. The samples are collected as part of a statewide surveillance program conducted by DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife Mosquito Control Section. No cases of West Nile virus have been found in wild birds, horses or humans so far in Delaware this year. The virus-positive results were reported to DNREC on July 26 by the Delaware Division of Public Health Laboratory. The chickens were sampled at monitoring stations near Leipsic on July 22 and Georgetown on July 23. Based upon these virus-positive findings, Mosquito Control will increase its mosquito population monitoring activities in these areas and take appropriate mosquito control actions. Mosquito Control operates 24 monitoring stations with caged chickens statewide. The sentinel chickens are humanely kept and tended in the field. Sentinel chickens bitten by mosquitoes carrying WNV or eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) viruses - both of which can affect humans and horses - develop antibodies that enable them to survive. Their blood is tested every two weeks for these antibodies, which indicate exposure to these viruses. "The 2013 mosquito-disease transmission season is really only beginning, and it's difficult to predict how intense the situation might become, with hotter than normal summers often making for worse disease outbreaks, such as what happened last year," Meredith said. "This finding of West Nile virus in Delaware serves as a good reminder for people to take common-sense precautions against mosquito bites," Meredith said. These include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors in mosquito-prone areas, applying insect repellent containing 10-30 percent DEET in accordance with all label instructions, and avoiding mosquito-infested areas or times of peak mosquito activity around dusk, dawn or throughout the evening. To reduce mosquito-breeding, people should drain or remove items that collect water, such as discarded buckets or containers, uncovered trash cans, stagnant birdbaths, unprotected rain barrels or cisterns, old tires, upright wheelbarrows, flowerpot liners, depressions in tarps covering boats, clogged rain gutters, downspout extenders, and unused swimming pools. To help determine when and where control services are needed, Mosquito Control encourages area residents to report intolerable numbers of biting mosquitoes by calling the Milford office, serving Sussex and southern Kent Counties at 302-422-1512.

Dr. Gorgui named to association Nanticoke Health Services is pleased to announce that Khalil F. Gorgui, MD, medical director of the Nanticoke Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, has been named an associate of the American Professional Wound Care Association (APWCA). The APWCA is an independent multidisciplinary organization that serves as a resource to health care providers, patients and care givers, insurance companies, governmental agencies and industry while promoting excellence in wound care and patient advocacy. Dr. Gorgui, an internal medicine physician who specializes in hyperbaric and wound management, brings with him broad experience in wound care, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and internal medicine. Dr. Gorgui is board certified in internal medicine and has been a senior member of the medical staff at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital since 1995.

Free to Breathe Delmarva 5K Champion the lung cancer cause by registering for the fourth annual Free to Breathe Delmarva 5K run/walk and 1-mile walk on Sunday, Aug. 11, at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes. The inspirational event will bring the community together to raise funds that will fuel groundbreaking research necessary for making the dramatic breakthroughs in early detection and treatment that can save lives. All proceeds support the National Lung Cancer Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022. For more information, to register or donate, visit

Outing to benefit Hospice Center The 3rd Annual Eleanor Soltner Memorial Golf Outing to benefit the Delaware Hospice Center will be held at The Rookery North at Shawnee in Milford on Wednesday, Aug. 14. Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., and the shotgun start is at 9. Contests will include the team putting, longest drive ladies & men, and closest to the pin ladies & men, along with team prizes. Registration is $100 per person, which includes greens fees, cart, light breakfast, refreshment cart, range balls, and an awards reception with lunch. Silent auction items will be available. Proceeds benefit the Delaware Hospice Center. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For $25 you can attend the luncheon, awards and silent auction. For more information, call Bob Burd at 302-422-3501.

Autism Delaware open house Enjoy an informal evening of information and light refreshments with the staff of Delaware's premier autism agency on Thursday, Aug. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Milton office. On hand to discuss the agency's current status, Autism Delaware's executive director Teresa Avery will also present the challenges of the future and answer questions about Autism Delaware's strategic plan. Come and share your family's most pressing needs. Children are welcome, but child care is not available. R.S.V.P. at or 302-224-6020, ext. 203.

Nanticoke offers first aid classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community First Aid classes to anyone interested in learning first aid on Tuesday, Aug. 13 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn basic first aid that will enable them to administer help during the first few moments until emergency responders arrive. Classes are open to participants ages 13 and up. The course covers cognitive learning, role-playing and skill practice. Cost is $35. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. To register, or for more information, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Bike to the Bay for MS Bike to the Bay presented by NRG Indian River Generating Station is Sept. 21-22. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Bike to the Bay is the largest and longest running bike ride in Delaware. The goal is to raise MS awareness and $1 million to support national multiple sclerosis research as well as programs and services needed by more than 1,550 Delawareans with MS. Bike to the Bay attracts more than 1,800 bicyclists. The ride covers much of Kent and Sussex counties, with a choice of six route options, and finishes at the Towers at Delaware Seashore State Park, just south of Dewey Beach. For more information and to register, visit or call 302-655-5610. DBCC hosts kayaking event

DBCC hosts kayaking event The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) will host a "Nurture with Nature" event for breast cancer survivors at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, at Assawoman Bay. Led by teacher/naturalist and 12-year breast cancer survivor, Deloris Donnelly, participants will kayak the shores of Fenwick Beach. Participants are asked to pack a swimsuit and a brown bag dinner for a poolside picnic-dinner at Deloris's home in Fenwick to watch the sun set on the bay. The event is open to all breast cancer survivors and costs $5 for admission; no experience is necessary. Choice between single or tandem (double) kayaks will be offered. A limited number of spots are available for this event, so participants must register by Aug. 9. For questions or more information regarding registration, contact Lois Wilkinson of DBCC at 302-672-6435 or 302-242-2895 or send an email to