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WEEKEND #05, 2015
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
REHOBOTH COMMISSIONERS APPROVE GENERAL POOL REGS
New ordinance not specific to rentals and does not prohibit use by tenants
Rehoboth Beach commissioners Friday night adopted general regulations for all residential swimming pools in town. They also rejected a proposal that would have specifically regulated pools at residential rental homes which could have made them unavailable to tenants.
Rehoboth Beach commissioners considered Friday night several controversial topics regarding residential swimming pools. The commissioners listened to more than an hour of public discussion regarding the hot topic. At times the audience — packed with pro-pool supporters wearing red Save Our Nation's Summer Capital T-shirts – became rowdy, despite official pleas that they not applaud or interrupt.
So many people attended the commissioner meeting — about 250 initially – the meeting was held in convention hall.
Commissioners voted for the adoption of an ordinance creating new regulations for unenclosed residential swimming pools, including hot tubs and spas. That ordinance includes new rules for licensing, lighting, sanitation, drainage, safety and also noise. These rules apply to pools at both residentially zoned rental and non-rental (private) homes.
The city manager is given the authority to suspend or revoke a pool operation license which caused concern for many of the pool supporters. But commissioners largely agreed that the ordinance may require revisions, it was appropriate to be adopted now.
Commissioners did reject an ordinance which would have regulated swimming pools used in conjunction with vacation rentals in the residentially zoned areas of town. That ordinance would have specifically banned the use of all pools and hot tubs at rental properties within three years.
Comm. Kathy McGuiness called that proposal a "zombie ordinance," stating that it had been killed repeatedly but continued to return to life. The swimming pool supporters were relieved to have that proposal officially rejected.
Commissioners also allowed the moratorium on the construction of unenclosed swimming pools in residentially zoned areas to expire as of Friday.
The meeting with its lengthy agenda lasted for more than three hours. Those who stuck it out were showing signs of fatigue, even some of the town's best political gurus.
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POOL PROTESTERS DESCEND ON CITY HALL
It was one of Rehoboth's largest protests in recent memory. Friday evening, those fighting for swimming pools came in force to express their support. About 75 of them, mostly wearing red "Save Our Nation's Summer Capital" T-shirts, rallied in front of city hall. Here they were just before 4:30 p.m.
They brought banners and handed out fliers.
They also posed for photo-op's and gave interviews to news crews.
A protester wearing flotation devices chats with Ryan Mavity of the Cape Gazette.
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CENTURY-OLD OAK GETS THE AXE IN SOUTH R.B.
Man writes touching tribute to removed tree
Oh the agony of having to endure the sounds of a tree crew cutting down a huge tree that has been in the neighborhood for more than a century, only to be followed by the horror of hearing its limbs getting sucked, one by one, into a wood-chipper! That happened this past week in the second block of Rodney Street in south Rehoboth.
What happened last Tuesday was legal. "There was a permit to remove the tree as it was in the footprint of the new home and had some structural defects," says Terri Sullivan, Rehoboth Beach's chief building inspector. "A few years ago," she continued, "a large limb fell off of that tree and did quite a bit of damage to a car parked on the street." She provided this photo showing where the limb had split from the tree.
There is a bit of good news for the neighbors who feel the loss. "The tree that was removed will be replaced with nine American Hornbeams and one Crepe Myrtle," Sullivan says. The trees must be planted on the lot but the lot owner has the option to appeal the decision to the Parks & Shade Tree Commission.
In response to the tree's removal, a former property owner, Ralph Lee Scott, Jr., wrote this touching tribute to the tree, dubbed the Elegant Lady, and provided it to neighbors:
I first met her in 1942 at the age of 8. My parents had rented a cottage in Rehoboth Beach for the month of August. The cottage was in Old Rehoboth at 100 Rodney Street. She lived her entire life at what is now 102 Rodney Street. Even then she was elegant to even a red haired kid of 8. Her big arms embraced me and I climbed into them, often. My mother told me the lady was born sometime in the 18th century and like my dad, was a witness to much of the development of the growing beach population and expansion. WWII was in full swing, and we often heard rumors of the enemy invading our shores. Dad said she at one time saw another invasion as the main population were what we then called Indians.
Two years later my family bought the 125 front feet on Rodney Street. I was then 10 and given the task of cleaning up her home and also the future summer home of the Scott family. In the year following the war to end wars, we built a cottage at 104 Rodney Street. I helped in a few simple construction jobs, always keeping a fond eye to the Lady next door. In 1947 I started working for a local plumber, mostly digging holes in dirt streets so water and sewer lines, with a hand shovel, could connect to the homes of the blooming population of Rehoboth Beach. The lady smiled at the red head boy working and now he had sun burned red skin. She liked seeing him come home each night to rest under her expansive trunk-like "arms."
Time moved on, my sister married the next door neighbor, John Waples, I went away to school, my sister had babies and my father passed 10 years after buying the lot at the beach. I married, had babies and my mother cared for the Lady as age started to weigh heavy on her limbs. My mother also passed and my sister moved in to care for the elegant and majestic lady. In 2014 my sister passed.
Now progress and ambition moved in. My sister's children could not care for the lady adequately amid the mounting pressures of progress. Ah yes the development that started over a century ago said it wanted the lady's home. It was not my choice, but the lady was to be euthanized. I stepped in to stand with her in her last gasp, to give her a new life into whatever you may think lies ahead for those who have read, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which has not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him." She passed Tuesday, June 16, 2015. I wept. Others who lived near her wept, also my Sisters Great Grandkids said "goodbye" and hugged her June 14th, 2015.
She is gone, but we kept parts to design and create décor pieces to pass to the next generations. Yes the great Red Oak of Rodney Street, in Rehoboth Beach is gone. A full day later it is as if she were never there. 3 Centuries of life, and love killed by the progress of MAN. I remember Shakespeare wrote of the speech for Caesar, "I came to bury Caesar, not to praise Caesar," or did he. Man, we are a wonderful species. She was loved, admired and appreciated. Yes she was a tree but she was also an elegant and majestic lady.
FYI TO VISITORS: Noise from grates is not a trapped person or animal
Rehoboth Beach police have responded to this sort of complaint multiple times in the past.
Around 5:45 p.m. Thursday, a man flagged down a parking enforcement officer expressing concern about the noise he heard from the grates at the foot of Rehoboth Avenue near the bandstand. He described hearing sounds as if somebody below ground were banging in distress.
Police came to investigate, but we are told the sound originates from valves which are part of the storm-water drainage system.
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EXHIBITION HONORS TOWN'S WOMEN
It will probably be one of the best exhibitions in Rehoboth history. The exhibition, Women of Rehoboth, at the Rehoboth Beach Museum, provides a rare glimpse into the lives of those people, particularly the women, who made a huge impact on the resort area.
The woman behind the brilliant exhibition is Nancy Alexander, the museum's director. She has her own story to tell of the challenges it took to piece together this exciting exhibition which tells simultaneous stories of the resorts early history through the lives of the women. "Women had a huge influence on Rehoboth beach," she observed.
For many of those attending Thursday's opening, it was a journey into the past to meet old friends whose ancestors contributed to development of this famous resort, particularly the local business community.
The exhibition pays homage to some of the resort's best known women, around 20 of them, and their families, some of them from more than 100 years ago. The list includes those behind the big names, such as the Village Improvement Association, Beebe, Corner Cupboard, Bottle & Cork, Dolle's, Lingo's, Oak Grove Cottages, the Horn family, among others. This portrait is that of Nettie Tappan Horn, a leader and pioneer of women in Rehoboth.
Signe Holmgren-Murray's grandparents, Thomas and Theo Pachides along with Rudolph Dolle, founded Dolle's in 1927 in Rehoboth. Helen Holmgren and Constance Brinkley were the prominent faces customers saw behind the counter until 1995, when it was sold to Tom Ibach, who runs it today.
Mrs. Murray, a Rehoboth native, still owns the Dolle's property, probably the most iconic corner in Rehoboth Beach. Helen Holmgren and Constance Brinkley also had the Sandpiper Motel on Baltimore Avenue. Helen Holmgren ran the famous Beach Luncheonette on the boardwalk by herself until 1972.
"My grandparents came from Greece to live the American dream," Mrs. Murray adds. Dolle was not a candy maker as was her grandfather. She says Dolle was only the businessman behind the scenes who helped her family get started. Dolle never worked at the store in Rehoboth. Dolle had a location in Ocean City prior to 1927 of the same name which remains in business today at the same location. It was Holmgren-Murray's grandparents, mother and aunt who were the backbone of the Rehoboth Dolle's store.
Another famous area icon was the Lamp Post Restaurant. Sandy Coleman explains how her grandmother, Ruth Steele, started the iconic Libby's Pancake House in Fenwick Island in the early 60's. She owned and operated the pancake house until the late 60's, when she sold it to Coleman's cousin, Jay Prettyman, the famous restaurateur behind the Rusty Rudder. She then moved to Rehoboth and started Libby's Cottage restaurant along with Coleman's mother who operated it until the concept of the restaurant was changed. In 1978 it was transformed into The Lamp Post Seafood Restaurant, which her family operated until it was sold in 2003.
The exhibition tells the stories of people who came to Rehoboth, much as immigrants who came to America. People came to Rehoboth often with little resources, started building a business and past it along to future generations.
Another example is Stuart Vining's grandparents, Alice and Jessie Gundry, who started the Corner Cupboard Inn and the Winter Inn, both on Park Avenue in 1933. Vining says running an inn was a way to feed and house the family of four children during the depression. Back in the day, there were only a handful of places to eat in Rehoboth Beach, he noted. During the winter, they closed the Corner Cupboard and moved a block to the Winter Inn.
Vining, actually born in Baltimore and grew up in Virginia, explains how in
the old days the family would take a horse and buggy from Baltimore to Rehoboth.
It was a two-day trip, traveling along the Chesapeake Bay to Wilmington, and
to Rehoboth the following day.
Alexander deserves much credit for pulling together this exhibition.
Paul Kuhns, Rehoboth Beach Historical Society president, says Alexander came on in late 2007 when they opened the museum and she's "just been a Godsend for us as far as our director. She's been bringing more and more events to the museum all the time and very interesting exhibitions. We have increased our membership probably since she's come on by 75 percent. We are increasing donations. We got money in the bank for the second floor. So it is all due to Nancy. We are really in a positive situation as we move towards getting construction done on the second floor."
The exhibition's opening was an intellectual feast from the historical perspective through meeting the fascinating descendents and hear their stories. It was also accompanied by the most delicious treats arranged artistically by Deborah Vescovi of Food by Design.
The Rehoboth Beach Historical Society has a promising summer of events scheduled. In addition to the Women of Rehoboth Beach exhibition, there will be more walking tours starting this Thursday as well as a lecture on drone/aerial photography of Rehoboth by T. J. "Jack" Redefer. See the museum website for more events.
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JUDY EXHIBITS RADIANT LANDSCAPES AT MORTON GALLERY
by Dagmar Kirchner Henney
Eric Davison continues to make significant contributions to the Rehoboth art scene. His latest shows have been remarkable, from Caroline Huff, Dana Ellyn and Scott Causey to this weekend's latest artist, Judith Judy.
What a thrill to see painting after painting that delight the eye and makes one wish not only to consider the painting but also to get to know the artist. Judy, who has exhibited all over the world, now has her latest show at Eric's Philip Morton Gallery in Rehoboth Beach.
Her dreamy, catchy landscapes welcome the viewer to become part of the scene.
Her paintings combine layers of oil paints and glazes to become breathtaking compositions. Her paintings are grounded on nature but they take on a heavenly atmosphere. Like other famous painters, she had had an enthusiasm for painting for many years. She explains how she paints on boards prepared with gesso which yields a chalky white backdrop. Her colors are soft and often she has a tendency to show yellow, a sunny view of life. This is her painting, Dream Day.
Her work is finding its way into private collections. Her talent can be seen in each painting. She is delightful a person as well and has a musically talented son who shares her enthusiasms for art and music.
She calls her series of works imagination-landscapes, because they are based almost entirely on what images she conjures up in her mind. She may use a photo as a starting point, but from there, she explains, the process evolves until it is eventually finished. The technique is all process and she does not know how it will end up.
And when is it finished? Judith says that is the key and something with which all artists must struggle. Oil paintings like hers require patience and expertise. The paint typically must be allowed to dry between the layers. So she often works on a half dozen pieces at a time. She paints almost every day and has averaged about 30 paintings a year.
Her son, Ryan, described his mother as an artist who always is evolving, pressing her limits and challenging her expression and techniques. That is them in front of her artwork, Red Sky.
A preview of the exhibition is on the Philip Morton Gallery's Facebook page. Also see the Cape Gazette for more info.
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NOTEWORTHY COASTAL HIGHWAY ACCIDENTS
As the summertime population increases at the shore, so does the congestion and accidents, especially on Coastal Highway.
The construction zone outside Rehoboth has been the scene of two accidents with injuries this past week.
This past Monday, a 61-year-old female pedestrian was struck on Coastal Highway around 4 p.m. at Bay Vista Road. According to Sgt. Richard D. Bratz, she was hit by a 20-year-old man driving a 2013 Hyundai Tucson.
The pedestrian, police say, was standing on the concrete median of Coastal Highway when she stepped in front of the Hyundai which was making a left turn onto Coastal Highway from Bay Vista Road. She was taken to Beebe Hospital with non-life threatening injuries and cited for "no pedestrian shall leave curb path of oncoming vehicle."
Two days later, just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, four vehicles were involved in an accident at this same construction zone.
According to police, three vehicles were stopped at the stoplight on Coastal Highway at Bay Vista Road. That is when, police say, the driver of a fourth vehicle, an Oldsmobile Intrigue, failed to notice the traffic stopped ahead and was unable to avoid rear-ending one of the other vehicles. Police charged the 94-year-old male operator with inattentive driving. He was the only one taken to the hospital. He was released with non-life threatening injuries.
Elsewhere on Coastal Highway, a 29-year-old woman was injured when a truck rolled over around 8:25 p.m. Friday near Red Mill Pond. Southbound traffic on Coastal Highway was detoured for about 20 minutes.
Around 9 p.m. Saturday, a 9-year-old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a Chevy Suburban on Coastal Highway just north of the Delaware/Maryland state line. Paramedics took him to Northside Park where he was flown to Peninsula Regional Medical Center. See this WGMD article for details.
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VEHICLE CRASHES INTO BENCH, METER POLE ON 1st STREET
A vehicle reportedly making deliveries around 11 a.m. Tuesday destroyed a city bench and dislodged a parking meter. But it took less than 90 minutes for Rehoboth Beach workers to remove the bench and re-seat the meter post.
This happened near Nicola's Pizza on 1st Street. The driver later returned to the scene. No word on charges, if any.
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SEA WITCH FESTIVAL GROWS EVEN BIGGER
The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce called a press conference this past Tuesday at the Atlantic Sands Hotel to announce plans for the resort's famous Halloween event, the Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers' Festival, now in its 26th year.
The event, which Carol Everhart, Chamber president, says has an economic impact measuring more than $30 million, will expand this year both in activities and geographic area. The Delaware Seashore State Park will host a Sea Witch Brew 'n' Que Kansas City BBQ-sanctioned competition.
WRDE-TV has been named "Mega Monster Sponsor" of the event with a minimum donation of $8,000. Bob Backman, WRDE president and general manager, says the station plans to air the Sea Witch parade live from Rehoboth Beach on Saturday, October 24. WRDE will provide coverage of other Sea Witch events leading up to the big weekend, Backman added.
For more details see this report by WRDE reporter Charles Watson.
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MALLARDS IN BOB EVANS PARKING LOT ALONG COASTAL HWY
RBP LIFEGUARD STANDS DAMAGED--- At least three lifeguard stands in Rehoboth Beach were reportedly damaged this past week. Two appeared to have damage consistent with vandalism. They were on Olive and Delaware avenues. A third chair was reported to have been damaged when it was struck by the beach sweeper. Friday morning, public works crews found a fourth stand placed upside down leaning against one of the beach rental shacks.
O.C. CAR CHASE ENDS AT REHOBOTH TRAFFIC CIRCLE--- Multiple police agencies chased a 35-year-old woman from Ocean City/Worcester County along Coastal Highway and into Rehoboth Beach early Tuesday. As the chase reached the Indian River Inlet around 3:43 a.m., Dewey police began evacuating the roadway in town. The female driver sped through Dewey going approximately 80-85 m.p.h. By 3:48 a.m., she headed into Rehoboth, turned west on Rehoboth Avenue and ran her vehicle into the curb at the traffic circle where it came to a stop around 3:50 a.m. Police placed her under arrest. No word yet on charges. The Worcester County sheriff deputies initiated the chase.
MOTORCYCLE REPORTED MISSING/STOLEN IN DEWEY BEACH--- Early Saturday Dewey Beach police took a report that a red Kawasaki had disappeared from McKinley Avenue. One sketchy description suggested it was taken by two men in a silver pickup truck. No word yet from police on the circumstances concerning this incident.
POOL INCIDENTS INVOLVING CHILDREN--- EMS crews in Lewes responded to two different incidents involving children rescued from pools this past weekend. The first was around 4:25 p.m. Friday on Sycamore Drive in Edgewater Estates. A 3-year-old was reportedly discovered by her mother floating in the pool. But she was alert when taken to Beebe Hospital by ambulance.
The following day, EMS crews responded to Oyster Rocks Road, north of Red Mill Pond, after a 7-year-old girl was discovered floating at the bottom of a pool by her mother. Joe Hopple, Sussex County EMS spokesman, says the girl was playing in the pool when her mother found her around 1:25 p.m. Saturday. She was pulled from the pool, assisted by a nurse bystander, and was alert on arrival of the ambulance crew.
Earlier this month, another toddler nearly drowned in a pool near Millsboro. See this WGMD link for details.
MAN WITH BURNS TO FEET FROM BEACH SAND, TAKEN TO BEEBE--- A Rehoboth Beach ambulance was called around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to the Gordons Pond area for a man who suffered burns to the bottom of his feet from walking on hot sand. The ambulance took him to Beebe Hospital with blisters on both feet.
NEWS RELEASES / NEWS REPORTS:
Shark anxiety spreads up Atlantic Coast
Carney tours Rehoboth Beach, opposes offshore drilling
Piping plovers and coastal change
Flame of Hope lights up Special Olympics
Dogfish variance rehearing set for June 22
America's 51 Best Mail-Order Foods -- Every Day with Rachael Ray picked Snyder's taffy as one of the best
10 Hottest Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach
Report details home price increases in US "gayborhoods" (mentions Rehoboth)
Best beach towns for partying (Fox News ranks Rehoboth #5 but shows Rudder photo?)
Dewey Beer Co. opens its doors
FEMA draws a crowd at South Bethany maps meeting
Ocean City Planning Comm. endorses new district where weekly rentals would be banned
Extreme heat, cool water blamed for O.C. drawbridge malfunction (Tuesday)
Coast Guard medevac's man 46 miles off Ocean City (Friday)
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