Delaware Town Ruins Basketball for Kids: Where's Michelle Obama Now?

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basketball hoopJohn and Melissa McCafferty are parents and residents of Radnor Green, Delaware, a quiet suburban neighborhood. In their front yard was a basketball pole and hoop that had been there for 60 years.

Last fall the McCaffertys received a letter from DelDOT (Delaware Department of Transportation) informing them that the placement of the pole was in violation of state law by being within seven feet of the public street, and that the pole had to be removed. They were working with DE State Rep. Bryon Short to contest the removal of the pole due to alleged traffic violations.

Before the matter was resolved, a truck came rambling through the neighborhood yanking poles out of yards. Melissa McCafferty beat the truck to her house, where she parked in front of her family’s hoop and climbed atop the pole in her fuzzy slippers to keep the killjoys from ripping her private property off of her private property.

Law enforcement officers had to be brought in to enforce the removal under threat of arrest. John McCafferty asked if they could keep their pole after it was removed. He was clearly told that he had the option of having the pole laid in his driveway after the removal. The pole was ripped out, and as the workers loaded it into their truck, John protested. 

The woman that seemed to be in charge of the law enforcement contingent said, “They’ll lay it in your driveway,” after John asked to keep his poll. When they start to haul it away, he said, “That pole’s staying, please.”

“No, all of them are gone,” the woman responded. 

“What??” John yelled in obvious frustration, “You just told me I could keep it! You lied.”

“I did not lie ... You can come and pick it up at a later date.”

“You didn’t say that, you said I could keep my pole!”

She did say that. The whole exchange is on video. Law enforcement lied to a private citizen about his rights. But wait! There’s more. She then tells the McCaffertys (with a pointed finger, as if she’s speaking to a belligerent toddler) that they need to go inside their house and not taunt the DelDOT workers. You know, because construction workers might get their feelings hurt or something.

This is government run amuck. Removing private property from private citizens and denying them their first amendment right to free speech, in their own front yards. Tom Blythe must be happy, since he’s one of the few that complained about the poles in the first place. It seems that kids were actually using them to play basketball instead of other popular teen activities like fooling around, smoking pot, or shoplifting. According to Mr. Blythe, the kids were “making all kinds of noise and disturbing the peace.” 

Paraphrased: “Get off my lawn!”

This is the perfect opportunity for a little bit of PR activity from a certain First Lady. Michelle Obama has made childhood health her priority, and what better way to get kids active than playing neighborhood sports? She could have a little sit-down with Tom Blythe and explain about shared sacrifice, something she and her hubby support whole-heartedly. She could talk to the kids about getting out of the way quickly for cars passing through. The community could probably use the morale boost.

barack obama, crime, in the news, law, media, politics

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sassy... sassykat122

Couldn't come up with any better way to snidely poke at the Obamas so you had to make this far fetched connection huh? I can almost hear the snear in your voice Jenny. You would have had a story without the Obama jabs as that ladies a C word, which I rarely use, and the guy who complained a douche lord

bills... billsfan1104

Awww come on Sassy, they all do it on here. Every story is a job at the politicians that they dont like. But Jenny, I have to admit, doesnt do it in a demeaning way like others do. But great story, Jenny. I heard about this on Hannity and I thought he was exaggerating. I just want to know, since when can the government , come on someones property to remove something? What about the damage done to the lawn? Who is paying for that?

butte... butterflymkm

God can she even write an article without hating on Obama? It's not the president or his wife yanked them out themselves! Where there children in danger of getting run over because they were playig in the street? Could the poles have been moved to a safer location such as a neighborhood park? Or to the top of a persons yard so the kids could play in the driveways instead of in the roads? You bitch about liberals being one sided but all you do is harp. Get off your Obama hating box and maybe people would listen to you more.

butte... butterflymkm

And what do you mean she does it in a non demeaning way? The friggin title is demeaning!

bills... billsfan1104

How is the title demeaning?? I mean, from the liberal theStir bloggers, Republicans have been called hateful, rude, ignorant, racist, sexist and numberous other names. Do you ask the liberal bloggers to stop hating on republicans or conservatives??

PonyC... PonyChaser

Tell me, ladies... where did Jenny "hate on Obama"? There isn't one single word in this whole piece that trashes either Obama. The only time she even mentions the First Lady is in the end, and points out that this would be a good cause for Michelle to get involved in, because it is directly related to her campaign about Children's Health.

Madel... MadelynMc

Because Michelle Obama apparently has direct authority over the Deleware Dept. of Transportation and also the ability to sense exactly when/where LOCAL workers are overstepping their boundaries and act on it. Clearly, she IS superwoman.



It must be a slow news day, what with the monumentous tragedies in Japan, the non-war in Libya, and Donald Trump mulling over a run for President. This basketball poll scandal definitely trumps all of these in terms of relevancy.

nonmember avatar Dan

Will Barry accuse the DellDOT thugs of acting stupidly? Or perhaps a kinetic military action will take care of these proles who still hold to antiquated notions of "private property". Lord Soetoro and Moochelle will have to tell us what to think about this.

jpfsmom jpfsmom

Ok this is such a strawman argument that I'm not even going to attempt to comment on it but I can say from personal experiences with my own home owners association which makes up the same type of stupid rules for our subdivision (neighbors call the HOA president if you leave your garage open, it's that ridiculous) I know that Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin or fill in your favorite or least politician figure) have very little control over that.

Just_... Just_Margaret

Ah, yes...throw Michelle Obama into the mix (however tenuous the connection), to gin up lots of good controversy.  Whatever happened to "States Rights", Jenny?  If Michelle Obama actually did insert herself into this preposterous situation, she's be over-reaching her designated role, wouldn't she?  Remember how freaked out you claim to be about her Let's Move program--how dare she tell us how to feed our children?--if she were telling Departments of Transportation how to operate their business, I can only imagine how incensed you'd be.


That being said, this is clearly not a national issue.  It's a local issue.   And this family was in violation of the law.   Attack the law, not the employees who are charged with  carrying it out.   The whole thing is ridiculous.  Perhaps the DOT doesn't think it's safe for children to play in the street--but I suppose they should just mind their own business--that is, until some kid gets flattened by a truck coming through the State roadway.

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