Considering the thousands of basketball poles, mainly curbside, in front of homes in every state around the nation along with cries of more exercise to keep youngsters in shape, the uprooting by the state of a long-in-ground hoop Friday in Delaware should have raised alarm bells with more editors, finds Grumpy Editor.
Among media outlets recognizing what could be termed an un-American event, were USA Today, The News Journal in Delaware and CNN.
The focus was on the McCafferty family fighting to keep its basketball pole at curbside in Claymont where it had been for 60 years. Their young daughter used it. The pole was there when the family moved into the home --- on a cul-de-sac --- six years ago.
The Delaware Department of Transportation decided to yank several basketball poles in the neighborhood saying they violated the state’s Free Zone law, requiring the area immediately next to pavements in subdivisions to be free of obstructions.
This didn’t register well with John and Melissa McCafferty who protested when trucks and a front-end loader showed up in front of their home. Melissa McCafferty climbed to the top of the basketball pole to protest the action.
But DelDOT returned with Delaware State Police who threatened to arrest the family if they attempted to hinder the removal crew.
So the pole was knocked down and carted away.
Now Delaware State Police are conducting an internal investigation into the confrontation and pole removal.
Delaware State Rep. Bryon Short (D., Highland Woods) said he is working to get the pole returned and a fine against the family waived.
A YouTube video of the incident neared the 420,000 hits mark late yesterday. See the action at: