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WEEKEND #03, 2014

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

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5 FILE FOR 2 REHOBOTH BEACH COMMISSIONER SEATS, 2 FOR MAYOR

The deadline to file to run for mayor or commissioner in Rehoboth Beach ended Saturday at noon, but not before seven candidates submitted petitions to run for mayor or two commissioner seats.

Walter Brittingham, Rehoboth political guru, called this a "much different election with five candidates for two [commissioner] seats," and added that this was "highly uncommon for Rehoboth."

Those throwing their name in the hat for mayor are Mayor Samuel Cooper and Tom McGlone.

Mayor Samuel Cooper

Mayor Cooper, who has served the city as mayor for eight three-year terms, seeks a ninth term. Mayor Cooper said he has a history of experience in Rehoboth Beach and still enjoys the job.

Mayor Cooper has thus far proven to be an invincible opponent. He has faced mayoral challengers five times and won every time.

In 2011, Mayor Cooper won by 16 percent of the vote over Tom McGlone.

In 2008, former Commissioner Paul Kuhns lost to Mayor Cooper by 12 percent.

In 2005, Bethesda lawyer Bob Sokolove lost to Mayor Cooper by 30 percent.

The other two opponents who lost to Mayor Cooper were Rev. Dick Hamilton in 1990 and Bill Bahan in 1996.

 

Tom McGlone

Tom McGlone is the only opponent to take on Mayor Cooper for a second election. McGlone owns Heirloom Wealth Advisors, an investment planning firm with offices in Lewes and outside Baltimore. "I had more response from the community," McGlone said, "that tells me people are paying attention to this election." He is a supporter of term limits and said he is concerned about the $15 million proposal to build the new city hall. McGlone expressed concern about keeping taxes low. He said he is more focused for this campaign and he is engaged in more dialog and discussion with voters.

 

COMMISSIONER CANDIDATES

Five candidates have filed to run for one of the two city commissioner seats. They are Francis "Bunky" Markert, Kathy McGuines, John Meng, Lawrence Myslewski and incumbent Comm. Lorraine Zellers. In a letter to the editor of the Cape Gazette, Comm. Mark Hunker said he will not seek a second term.

 

Francis "Bunky" Markert

Markert, who goes by his nickname "Bunky," originally from Baltimore, has owned a home in the Schoolvue neighborhood of Rehoboth since 2004 with his wife, Kate, the director of the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C. He has been a resident since 2010 and splits his time between Rehoboth and Washington, D.C.

"I enjoy being a part of the work of the city, and in my experience the goal may be the draw but the doing is where the enjoyment lies. Working for the betterment of the city is what I like to do," Markert said. He has served as secretary of the Planning Commission since October 2009. He is also the treasurer of the Rehoboth Beach Sister Cities Association, which raised funds for the Garden of the Navigators in Cranberry Park. He is the Board Chair of the CityLit Project, a literary arts organization in Baltimore.

Markert graduated from Towson University in 1975 with a BS degree in Business Administration, centered in Accounting and later earned a MA in Mass Communication in 1984. As a CPA licensed in Maryland and Ohio, Markert does not practice public accounting. Markert worked for the State of Maryland for 17 years in the departments of Transportation and Environment as an auditor and later as the chief of accounting services.

"Due to its size, some people think of Rehoboth as Mayberry by the Sea, the idyllic southern town inhabited by odd and quirky townsfolk. There is some of that, but we all love this place and many of us choose to live here. We do so to be with the people who are here, with their varied personalities and backgrounds, and the City is thriving. It is very satisfying to be part of it," Markert added.

 

Kathy McGuiness

McGuiness, a former city commissioner for 12 years, is running for yet another term. "I love Rehoboth Beach," McGuiness states, and "I've been approached by many citizens and business owners for the past few months, asking me if I would consider running. I thought about it and the timing seems right for me. I feel I have a lot to contribute."

McGuiness said she knows how the city works. "I have years of experience here with the important issues like land use, our environment, city maintenance, constituent services, tourism, and budgeting. I have a proven track record and I can bring balance and energy to the Commissioner's table. I'm a hard worker, motivated to serve on as many committees as I am asked to be on, and roll up my sleeves to work helping the citizens of Rehoboth. My platform before was 'preserve, promote and protect' -- and nothing has changed for me. I want to continue to serve our residents, property owners and businesses."

She is the founding President of Rehoboth Beach Main Street and has been the chair of the annual 4th of July RBMS Fireworks for the past 17 years. McGuiness has chaired and sat on many city committees including personnel, Bandstand and special events.

McGuiness owned and operated the Rehoboth Pharmacy from 1994 until 2002. She also owned and operated the Rehoboth Beach Bootlegger shop from 2005 to 2010. She is still a pharmacist and Realtor.

 

John J. Meng III

Meng was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. He has been a Rehoboth resident for the past 18 years. In 1988, Meng became a Massachusetts State Trooper. After he left police work, Meng moved to Rehoboth Beach and received a degree in Criminal Justice from Del-Tech in 1997.

In the later part of 1997, he purchased the former "Mulligan's Tavern" on Rehoboth Avenue-Extended and opened the "Double L Bar."

Meng said he owned and operated a bar at that location for the past 17 years. The bar is currently called "DIVE" and is a bar and dance club.

Meng is also an active member of the Rehoboth Volunteer Fire Company, one of the few members who lives east of the canal.

 

Lawrence "Larry" G. Myslewski

Myslewski specifically mentions these three issues to which he is committed:

1. Restore 14th Amendment rights (equal protection of the law) to Rehoboth Beach property owners who own motor scooters by amending the Scooter ordinance, denied by the current Mayor who also stonewalled efforts to mitigate this, currently in the Federal 3rd District Court of Appeals.

2. Bring the City's antiquated Human Resource policies and employee compensation and benefits to state-of-art for municipal government, and in the process saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, money that can be used for infrastructure and service improvements.

3. Audit the Mayor's office, because with a new transparent Mayor, City governance must have a fresh start, and legacy deals must be exposed and corrected.

Myslewski has been a Rehoboth Beach property owner and resident since 1996 as well as owner of Vespa Rehoboth Beach, Inc. from 2001 to 2008. He has an MBA in marketing from George Washington University and a B.S. in insurance and real estate from Penn State.

He is currently the senior human resource (HR) consultant at the World Bank, a senior HR consultant for Towers Watson, the Hay Group, and Booz Allen & Hamilton; HR director for NASD and the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.

Myslewski is the founder of the Foggy Bottom Historic District Conservancy in Washington, D.C. which is dedicated to preserving the historic character of Foggy Bottom. He has served on the Rehoboth Beach Architectural Review Committee and is a U.S. Army veteran.

Myslewski challenged the city's scooter parking ordinance last May, taking the city to court. He stated that the ordinance denied people with scooters equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. See the JUSTIA blog for more details about the case.

 

Lorraine Zellers

Incumbent Commissioner Zellers has been serving as a commissioner since 2008. She is known for her work as chair of the Animal Issues Committee and for her efforts to develop a city-wide beautification plan as chair of the Streets & Transportation Ad Hoc Committee -- Rehoboth in Bloom.

As a member of the Streets & Transportation Committee, she helped develop the current scooter permit policy and says she feels that it did its job of getting scooters off the sidewalk and back on the streets. She says the city tried to be fair to scooter owners by designating scooter parking spaces and corrals and allowing scooter parking in the permitted areas. Comm. Zellers added that she feels the first year was successful with 605 permits sold. She also serves on the Communications and Personnel Committees and on the City Hall Master Plan Task Force.

Comm. Zellers said she is most proud that the commissioners worked well together these past three years -- managed to orchestrate the first city-wide reassessment in 45 years and expanded the smoking ordinance this year to include the beach, boardwalk and other city parks, joining the ranks of the city's already smoke-free tot lots.

She added that she is also proud of her work on the Streets & Transportation Committee in trying to implement initiatives to make the city safer for pedestrians and bicycles. She is proud of the rain garden at city hall and the small gains being made to improve the city's green spaces.

The last day to register to vote is Friday, June 13. The election is Saturday, August 9.


 

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CABBIE CHARGED WITH INATTENTIVE DRIVING AFTER 4-CAR PILEUP ON RT.1

A chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles occurred just after 7 p.m. Friday on Coastal Highway southbound near Big Fish.

Sgt. Paul Shavack, state police spokesman, says a 2005 Dodge van operated by a 30-year-old man struck the rear of a 1995 Lincoln Town Car, causing the Lincoln to strike the rear of a 2005 Honda Accord, which in turn struck the rear of a 2004 Nissan Maxima.

The 62-year-old driver and 35-year-old passenger of the Lincoln were taken to Beebe with minor injuries, Sgt. Shavack said.

The 30-year-old driver of the Dodge van was issued a traffic citation for inattentive driving.

Photo courtesy Jeff Balk, visitrehoboth.com


 

EXPERTS WEIGH-IN ON BLOBS FOUND IN SURF

The past couple weeks brought these unusual blobs to shore. Here is a cross-sectional view. Beach goers and lifeguards were wondering what they were and the expert opinions are differing slightly.

"We asked our experts, and Chris Petrone, our Education Specialist with Delaware Sea Grant's Marine Advisory Service," says Katy O'Connell, Director, Environmental Public Education College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment & Delaware Sea Grant College Program, University of Delaware.

Information O'Connell provided suggest they appear to be potato sponges (Craniella). They are common in the mid-Atlantic on sandy ocean bottoms. They are usually found floating and washed up on beaches after big storms or heavy winds. Wednesday and Thursday [the previous week] had strong to moderate east winds, which is probably how they were detached from the bottom and brought to shore. They were common after Hurricane Irene.

O'Connell noted that another one of the university's experts, Prof. Doug Miller, said they could also be a fig sponge (Suberites ficus).

Michael Globetti, DNREC spokesman, said one of DNREC's marine biologists reports that these are clumps of dead sponge (Cliona celata) which appear to have rounded off by tumbling in the surf. They often have been mislabeled as "sewage sludge," he said. If alive, the sponges would be yellow, he added.

Suzanne Thurman, from the MERR Institute, said she had received a report of unknown eggs discovered last week in the Cape Henlopen State Park. They were sponges.

For true identification, O'Connell says they would need to make a closer examination.


 

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STATE POLICE BOMB TECHS CALLED TO REMOVE SUSPICIOUS ITEMS OUTSIDE REHOBOTH

State troopers and bomb techs spent several hours Monday afternoon investigating a couple pieces of ordnance discovered on an overgrown property along Country Club Road, near the Rehoboth Beach Yacht & Country Club. There were no evacuations.

Cpl. Gary Fournier later identified them as two 3.5-inch inert practice rockets.


 

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SIDEWALK GRAFFITI INCIDENT

Rehoboth Beach police investigated a case of graffiti discovered on a driveway near the sidewalk on Munson Street on Wednesday morning.

Lt. William Sullivan said the names "Maggie" and "Maddie" were painted in the driveway. The homeowner did not know anybody by those names and did not know who would have written that on the driveway.


 

DEWEY BEACH LIFEGUARD STAND FOUND BUSTED

Dewey Beach lifeguards reporting for work Sunday found Stand #9 on Swedes Street broken. They were efforting a replacement.

Photo courtesy Tony Johnson Crivella


 

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SHIPS ON THE HORIZON

The low humidity makes ship watching much more enjoyable the past few days with almost perfect visibility to the horizon.

Check out the ships currently off shore using one of the many ShipPlotter programs or apps.


 

PIPING PLOVERS ARE BACK AND HATCHING!

DNREC reports that this season's first piping plover chicks began hatching this past week on the Point in the Cape Henlopen State Park.

One nest contained one chick and three eggs when observed. The other eggs were expected to hatch shortly thereafter.

"We anticipate seeing chicks hatching in another nest on the Point by [this past] Friday," said wildlife biologist Matthew Bailey, who coordinates the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Piping Plover Protection Program, noting that a third nest is expected to hatch this coming week. "A fourth pair of plovers has just begun laying eggs on the Point. We expect that nest to reach a full clutch by this Saturday," Bailey added.

The piping plover was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1986, and DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for the bird's protection in Delaware. Check the DNREC website for details.

Photo courtesy Paul Kane (via DNREC)


 

GRAY SQUIRREL EATS BREAD (REHOBOTH PINES)

This photo was taken this past week, but earlier this year, DNREC posted this Youtube video to coincide with the National Wildlife Federation's Squirrel Appreciation Day.

Joe Rogerson, a wildlife biologist with DNREC's Division of Fish & Wildlife, takes a quick look at the common gray squirrel, a ubiquitous visitor to backyards and bird-feeders up and down the state.


 

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OTHER NEWS:

MAN DROWNS, TODDLER INJURED IN SUSSEX CO POOL INCIDENTS--- Troopers are conducting a death investigation after a 29-year-old man from Coatesville, Pennsylvania was discovered at the bottom of a pool in the Gulls Way Campground in Dagsboro just after 1 p.m. Saturday, says Sgt. Paul Shavack, state police spokesman. CPR was initiated and the victim was taken to Atlantic General in Berlin where he was pronounced dead. Cause and manner of death will be determined by the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, since the man was pronounced dead in Maryland. The preliminary investigation, Sgt. Shavack says, indicates that foul play is not suspected at this time. The man's name is not being released at this time pending confirmation of notification of next of kin.

Around 8:30 p.m. Friday, a toddler nearly drowned in a hot tub at the Breakwater Development on Overfalls Drive-North off Gulls Neck Road, near Lewes. Rescuers pulled the two year old from the pool and performed the Heimlich maneuver and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The boy was reported conscious and alert when taken to Beebe Hospital.

 

MAN ARRESTED AFTER SEX-IN-CAR COMPLAINT--- Rehoboth Beach police were called to the second block of Olive Avenue around 11:30 p.m. Thursday after a man and woman were reported to be having sex in a vehicle. Lt. William Sullivan says officers arrived and found the couple sitting in the front driver and passenger seats. The man, later identified as William A. Wessells, Jr., 30, of Claymont, Delaware, was found to have two active capias orders out of Newark Alderman's Court. He became disorderly and started yelling obscenities after being taken into custody and was charged with disorderly conduct. Wessells was arraigned and committed to Sussex Correction Institute in default of $500 secured bond, Lt. Sullivan added. The woman was freed and taken to the guest house where she was supposedly staying.

 

STINGRAY RESTAURANT PATIO UPDATE--- In regard to last week's report on the liquor license for Stingray's patio, Robert Wiest, Deputy Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner, says four letters of protest were received during the most recent application (not any as previously stated). The law requires 10 letters or signatures of property owners to require a hearing. No alcohol license has been granted yet for the patio. Comm. Wiest added that he cannot comment further until the applicant has met all of the necessary requirements of the law and the ABC office.

 

STATE REP GETS TICKET TOO--- In Rehoboth Beach, even state representatives are not immune from receiving parking tickets. At least this past week, a ticket writer radioed his office and asked what to do with a vehicle with a "Representative of Delaware" plate. "Walk away?" he asked his supervisor. "Issue a ticket" was the reply!


 

NEWS RELEASES / NEWS REPORTS:

Tips for identifying counterfeit bills

Humpback whale spotted in Delaware Bay

Major retail development under consideration for Route 1

Large brawl at Lewes Wawa

Ellendale man turns himself in after mother sees Lewes Wawa video

Dogfish Head expanding in Delaware, beyond

Rehoboth Beach Police participate in "Operation Chill"

Rehoboth Beach public works director, Mel Craig, to step down

2nd Annual Rehoboth Beach VegFest (June 13-15)

Shotguns, pellet-style guns, flat-screen TVs stolen in Rehoboth Burglary

Delaware Chancery Court tackles fight over decades old water and sewer pipes (Rehoboth Beach)

Dagsboro man dies after Jet-Ski runs aground in Indian River Inlet

WATCH OUT for Diamondback Terrapins crossing Coastal Highway between Dewey and Bethany

Millsboro resident one of two more confirmed killed by fentanyl-laced heroin

Man steals 40 pairs of sunglasses during Fenwick Island burglary

Wildlife reminders issued in light of recent fox, deer sightings In North Ocean City

High school graduate from Burtonsville drowns in Ocean City surf

Beach Week tradition elicits cautions about possible perils

College Takeover falls short of online buzz (O.C.)


 

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