On 40, Pro Fighting and Education

Herein, how young people and the professionally mature are changing Delaware for the better.




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Age sure has a way of sneaking up on you. Staring down the barrel of 46, it gets a little too easy to wonder where the years have gone and what they’ve accomplished.

So my hat comes off to the people assistant editor Matt Amis has profiled in this month’s feature “40 People to Watch Under 40” (page 102). In it, you’ll read about men and women who are helping to rebuild New Orleans, excelling in athletics, overseeing critical wartime operations and more. The shame of it? There are so many people doing interesting, significant things, we can’t possibly print them all.

One of them is Dave Tiberi. Delaware’s first professional boxing champion is managing fighters and promoting events, as he has for several years, but now with a twist: Tiberi wants to restore some civility and gentlemanly behavior to the sport.

In an age of extreme events like ultimate fighting and reality shows such as “Tapout” (barbaric, in my humble opinion), he’s hoping that boxing can become family entertainment—and that Delaware will become an alternative to the boxing meccas of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Read more about it in writer Jim Waltzer’s fine story “In this Corner” on page 114. (Jim offers his thanks to author Doug Gelbert and his “The Great Delaware Sports Book” for historical information about local boxing.)

We’re sorry that you never get to read all of managing editor Drew Ostroski’s At The Table interviews in these pages. The subjects say far more during one lunch than we can possibly fit into the magazine. We’re especially sorry that you can’t read all of Secretary of Education Valerie Woodruff’s remarks here, so I urge you to visit www.delawaretoday.com for the full interview.

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Woodruff is the lightning rod for all criticisms of our public schools, though, in all fairness to her, she doesn’t make policy decisions alone. If it seems the state should have driven reforms similar to those espoused by the forces behind Vision 2015, rest assured that Woodruff is dedicated to the plan. The state may not have funded the initiatives to the degree some would have liked, but the Vision committee and Department of Education are finding ways. You can read all about it on page 81.

There’s much more, as always. Please enjoy.


Mark’s Day Book
At the Delaware Chamber of Commerce annual dinner at the Chase Center, we were fortunate to be seated with friends Vicky Cooke and Priscilla Rakestraw from the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, as well as Senator Dori Connor. She and her late husband, Senator Bob Connor, were friends of the family, so Senator Bob was very good to me when I started as a young reporter in Legislative Hall so many years ago. It was great to reminisce with Senator Connor a bit about life in New Castle.

Speaking of the state chamber, lunch with president Jim Wolfe at Conley Ward’s Steakhouse was a real pleasure. Conversation ranged from the direction of Daimler Chrysler to new developments with Vision 2015. Many thanks to Jim and others for making the effort, which deserves all our support. (Read more about it on page 81.)

I enjoyed discussing the UD-DelState matchup with Riverfront Development Corporation director Mike Purzycki over lunch recently, but more exciting is his appointment as head of Mayor Jim Baker’s Hope Commission. The causes of crime in Wilmington go deep, and they can be difficult to discuss, so it will take a real diplomat to address the problem. I wish Mike the very best.


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