WEEKEND #4, 2009

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


Parking in Rehoboth Beach is sometimes like one of those visual puzzles -- if you stare at it long enough, you can often see it both ways.

Rehoboth dealt with several interesting parking anomalies this past weekend. One of the most notable, perhaps, involved this metered parking area in the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue in front of the Rehoboth Beach Theatre of the Arts. This is the same spot where the water line broke a year ago.

The confusion involves the four metered parking spaces (pictured above). Three consecutive parking spaces have no markings, followed by a fourth space which is marked with a broken white line.

The single post and meter actually belong with the parking space with the storm drain. The red Ford Escape, and the white Chevy Venture share the post with the pair of parking meters.

The woman who parked the white Chevy Venture called the police and the parking meter division around 2:15 p.m. Saturday because she received a $30 summons for failure to feed the parking meter. She was frustrated, because she said she found out later that she actually fed an expired meter for the red Ford Escape.

She explained the parking dilemma to police and the ticket writer. She said she thought the space where the storm drain was, was not a valid parking space. In addition, the gray car on the far left is park over the white line. So, she assumed the meter for her space, where she parked the white Chevy Venture, was the left meter of the pair.

She said neither the police nor parking division would void her ticket. However, she was told that she could take the case to the city's alderman's court. She said she was visiting Rehoboth Beach for the day, comes from Annapolis, and does not know if she'll be able to handle a court appearance.


Judging from the radio chatter, the Rehoboth Beach parking technicians have been working almost non-stop since the beginning of the season, trouble-shooting parking meter and change machine problems, and dealing with visitors who often have trouble understanding how the parking meters work.

The multiple-space Reino parking meters control parking on Rehoboth Avenue and are credited for reducing visual clutter on the town's main street. Sensitive computerized circuitry combined with visitors who are unfamiliar on how the Reinos operate, often create headaches for parking repair technicians.

This couple is on the cell phone with the Rehoboth Beach parking division office, reporting that Reino I-108 would not accept their credit cards around noon on Saturday. The man said he tried one card, then a second, canceled that transaction, and then his wife tried. They couldn't get it to work.

After speaking with the parking division, the conclusion was that they should pay with quarters.

But those quarters could not come from Change Machine #3, which is in front of city hall, because the city manager ordered the parking division to place it out of service around noon on Saturday.

Parking division techs kept the city's other two change machines, behind the bandstand and on 1st Street, operating throughout the weekend. In addition, most ticket writers carry quarters.


Reino multiple-space parking meter I-106, which is on the center island in the second block of Rehoboth Avenue, is unique for at least two reasons.

Space 15 has an arrow on the pavement that points toward the I-106 meter.

But the I-106 meter does not accept money for a Space 15. The meter only claims spaces 16 through 23. Visitors are unable to pay for Space 15. For now, they park for free!

To further confuse matters, I-106 does show a Space 23. But the arrow on Space 23 actually points toward I-108, which does accept payment for Space 23.

It appears that as of Sunday, I-106 stills shows Space 23, but will display an error message when somebody attempts to select it to enter time.

In a radio conversation, one of the ticket writers reported the problem regarding Space 23 to the parking division dispatcher on Saturday. The dispatcher said she recalled a ticket that was issued the previous week which may have been related to this space mix-up.


Reino I-106's Space 15 was not the only free parking spot in town. At the city manager's request, the city parking division installed a parking meter on Wilmington Avenue where a single parking space had none, and provided free parking just steps to the boardwalk.

The remains of a parking meter post were still visible in the sidewalk in front of the silver Ford Escape. A parking technician installed a new post and meter by 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. He said he put one hour on the meter before departing.



Rehoboth Beach police stood guard after a dead sea turtle was discovered on the beach at Virginia Avenue early Friday evening.

A MERR volunteer arrived later in the evening to study the remains. Suzanne Thurman, executive director of MERR, said Sunday that the remains were that of an adult female loggerhead. Because of the significant decomposition she said they have not determined a cause of death.

A park ranger in the Cape Henlopen State Park also reported a dead sea turtle around 12:35 a.m. Sunday near the main swimming beach. Ocean City had a similar discovery on Saturday around 20th Street.

MERR was also requested to investigate a dead dolphin this weekend. It was reported around 2:25 p.m. on Sunday about 75 yards north of Indian River Inlet.


State troopers have investigated three unusual deaths this past week in the Rehoboth area. The first was reported last Sunday, when a man died allegedly while burglarizing the Aqua Leisure Plus shop off of Route 1.

The following day, on Monday morning, a 19-year-old man working for a pool service was discovered dead in a swimming pool on Wade's Court in the Canal Corkran development across the canal from Rehoboth Beach (below). Here is the state police news release.

Early Thursday morning a two-month-old foster child was discovered between a mattress and the wall in the 300-block of Swedes Street, just outside the Dewey Beach town limits. The boy was taken to Beebe Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The state police issued this news release.


Fire apparatus came from a half-dozen Sussex County fire companies after lightning reportedly touched off a house fire on Coventry Road around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. A fire marshal news release says the damages were estimated at $250,000.

Photos by Bob Yesbek



Rehoboth Beach police arrested a 24-year-old man on Thursday who has been accused of stealing approximately $9,000 from his former employer.

In an e-mail news release, Det. Kevin L. Jones says an investigation was launched after a theft complaint was received from the business where Pyle was formally employed in a management position. Police have not released the name of the business.

Pyle allegedly used the business' credit card to rent a vehicle for his personal use in December 2008. He continued renting the vehicle for several months racking up approximately $7300 in rental car fees.

In addition, Det. Jones writes, "Pyle posted his own bail from a prior and unrelated arrest in early May 2009 with a business credit card totaling nearly $1800." Pyle was able to conceal his actions by virtue of his position in management until an accountant noticed the irregularity.

Police obtained warrants charging Pyle with five counts of unlawful credit card use. He was arrested without incident and later released on a $5000 unsecured bail.

Joseph K. Pyle


The weather was not always cooperating, but coordination for the OC Air Show kept city officials busy all weekend. One of the featured attractions was the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

Professional photographer David Koster, of Portraits In The Sand, submitted this photo from Friday's rehearsal. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform next weekend at the Dover Air Force Base Open House.

Around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, an airplane canopy washed ashore on Assateague Island. Fearing they had a downed airplane, officials notified firefighters who reported to the Ocean City airport. They eventually determined that an airplane had lost its canopy on Friday, but landed safely. The canopy had a name and contact phone number attached to it.



Waterfowl enthusiasts consulted on Yahoo's Pet Ducks R Us and Geese as Pets e-mail groups have come up with several theories regarding the breed of this duck couple at Rehoboth Beach's Lake Gerar.

The majority of the e-mail responses say the male duck (drake), with his whitish torso, is a Welsh Harlequin. Other possibilities suggested include a Campbell, or perhaps a Silver Appleyard and mallard, or other mix.

His female companion, who is blue with the white chest, is probably a Blue Swede.

One of the experts says the curly tail feathers help distinguish the drakes from the hens in breeds that are the same color in both sexes (except Muscovites, which are a different species and don't have tails like these). Plus it's only the hens that quack, drakes are practically mute.

The ducklings with their mallard pattern presumably belong to them, although sometimes it's hard to tell, as they wandered away on their own. Another duck enthusiast says Welsh Harlequins are genetically brown ducks and Blue Swedes are genetically black. A mating of the two can produce all "wild pattern" (mallard-colored) offspring.


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