WEEKEND #15, 2017
(Labor Day Weekend)
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
KITE SHOP BUBBLE CONTROVERSY
Merchant says shop is entitled to the same rights as the pubic
A business in downtown Rehoboth Beach has attracted some unwanted publicity after using giant soap bubbles and staging juggling performances to demonstrate its products outside the shop this summer. Police returned last Thursday to the Rehoboth Toy and Kite Company at 70 Rehoboth Avenue after a nearby business owner had complained again about the large soap bubbles created by store employees on the public sidewalk. The bubbles are created using the bubble wand that is sold under the Unbelievabubble brand name.
Police, the city manager's office and the building inspector were involved in examining the legality of this issue. After an officer investigated for more than an hour, and extensive back and forth among parties involved, the city's conclusion remains that the bubbles must originate from the property where the shop is located, and may not originate from public property if it is for commercial purposes. Persons who object to any bubbles originating from private property could sign a warrant for offensive touching and take that case to court.
The city ordinance that appears to apply in this situation, when bubbles are being released on public property, is § 120-24(B). Damalier Molina, chief building inspector, says "Section 120-24 B is primarily focused on activities that are soliciting and/or publicizing their wares to attract customers. Therefore, it is my opinion that a business or private property is using such a technique (bubble blowing) would run afoul of the ordinance where the intent is to attract customers. I do not believe the code would be so intrusive to prohibit children bubble blowing where the activity does not result in any lucrative outcome or just fun." Since the business is licensed by the city, the assumption is that bubbles would be allowed to originate from the shop's property, but not from public property.
Rachel Webster, the owner of the Rehoboth Toy and Kite Company, said Friday that she was aware that one merchant had complained about her bubbles and she does not allow it when the wind blows in that merchant's direction. "I don't want there to be a controversy," Webster added, who is often seen producing her own bubbles. "I want to try and work with her... I want to do whatever we can do to keep her happy," Webster said.
Webster, who has run the shop for the past 26 seasons and is a Chamber of Commerce board member, says making bubbles helps bring people to her store and surrounding businesses. "I am always in favor of promoting Rehoboth Beach business in general and for all business," Webster states. "I don't want this to be a controversy about soliciting or not. It is not. I will work with any neighbors and both my business partner... and I have personally contacted our neighbor who was upset. I just really don't want this to become a big issue. It is completely ridiculous to me that this is a controversy."
Webster's business partner, Bee Linzey, says they had actually experienced a similar situation about 20 years ago here in Rehoboth with their kite flying. "Some people at that time considered that advertising on public property (the beach)," she pointed out. "What the town solicitor and council decided at that time was that since everyone else was allowed to fly kites on the beach, that just because we owned the kite store did not prohibit us from doing something everyone else was allowed to do. As long as we followed the same rules everyone else does the town couldn't legislate the 'reason' we flew kites."
"We believe that the same thing applies here," Linzey explained. "It is not illegal to blow bubbles in Rehoboth. Anyone can buy a bubble blower from our store, walk outside and play with it. So the town shouldn't prohibit us from doing the same because we also sell them. No more than they can say that the person who sells bikes can't ride a bike on public property or that the person who sells pizza can't eat a slice of pizza on public property."
The safest and best place to make the giant bubbles, Webster says, is along the curb. That is where her employees were again this past weekend.
She notes that doing bubbles near the curb gives them better control and they do not make the bubbles if people sit on the bench or are eating. They also regularly demonstrate the shop's juggling sticks there and some other products to entertain and engage visitors.
She says the children love the large bubbles, like this one girl.
"Please call me," Webster says to anybody who is unhappy with the bubbles. "We want to keep the peace."
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ONLY 11 CONTENTIOUS DAYS LEFT UNTIL DEWEY ELECTION DAY!
With many Dewey Beach property owners in town for the holiday weekend, Comm. Diane Hanson opened her doors once again to introduce her picks for town council. This year she is endorsing Mayor Dale Cooke and, of course, herself. Comm. Hanson has had an unmatched streak of 10 years of continuous successful endorsements. Every candidate she has endorsed, including herself, has gone on to win.
During Sunday's get-together, Comm. Mike Dunmyer, Comm. Gary Persinger, Mayor Cooke and Comm. Hanson each addressed the visitors.
The passion, emotion and some anger -- vintage Dewey -- is starting to show as the town's people prepare for election day. With the looming town manager controversy, opponents see opportunity. Mysterious messages have been circulating around town and all the candidates disavow any knowledge of the message source.
"There is a letter that is coming out right now by the Dewey Beach Neighbors," Mayor Cooke stated. "They never sign it. But it is from the Dewey Beach Neighbors. It just attacks Diane and me, vociferously... You would think I have killed my mother... It is just amazing what they claim... They are not telling the truth," he stated.
"If you have believed that we changed for the good, vote for both of us. If you believe that Dewey Beach could change negatively, if we don't win, then vote for both of us," Mayor Cooke added.
Infrastructure, sea-level rise and flooding on the bayside, street lighting, potential future in-town development, and, of course, personnel issues, were among the topics discussed as needing attention.
The only other candidate hosting a public event the past few days was T.J. John E. Redefer III, who had a morning coffee at Starboard Raw on Saturday. On Sunday, these three young entrepreneurs, Sammy, Marcello and Michael, were helping campaign for Redefer, Paul Bauer and Jill Compello while selling water ice, among other goodies.
The candidates have been on the local radio morning talk shows and may return again this coming week.
Dewey Beach voters should request their absentee ballots now if they plan to vote absentee. The town is mailing absentee ballots to registered voters who have submitted their affidavits and will continue to do so through Wednesday, September 13. See the town website for details. The 2017 election day is Saturday, September 16.
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SATURDAY RAINS CHASE HOLIDAY VISITORS FROM BEACH
The holiday weekend got off to a slow and wet start.
Saturday of Labor Day Weekend should have been packed. But rain combined with the blustery wind, with gusts as high as 25 m.p.h., drove visitors elsewhere.
No flooding events were reported, although the boardwalk DEOS weather station logged more than an inch of rain on Saturday.
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YET ANOTHER CRASH ON WARRINGTON RD CURVE
No injuries were reported when this SUV failed to negotiate a curve and ran off the road, according to a state police spokesman. It happened around 2 p.m. last Tuesday on wet Warrington Road between Old Landing Road and John J. Williams Highway.
A similar accident was reported around 2 p.m. again on Friday.
Photo courtesy David Koster, Portraits In The Sand
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LEATHER CENTRAL ROBBED, AGAIN!
Delaware State Police are investigating yet another armed robbery of Leather Central that occurred just before 8 p.m. the previous Monday. The shop is at 36983 Rehoboth Avenue-Extended off Coastal Highway across from the Fresh Market.
Police say the suspect approached a store employee at the counter, threatened the employee with his gun and demanded money. The employee complied with the demand and turned over an undisclosed amount of cash. The clerk did not sustain any injuries, police said.
The suspect was described as a black man taller than 6', about 200-225 pounds, between 25 and 35 years of age, wearing a dark hooded sweat shirt, light colored pants and light colored shoes. The suspect covered his face with a mask. This was the image captured of him by a surveillance camera.
The previous armed robbery was October 2, 2016.
Anyone with information in regard to this robbery is asked to contact Detective M. Doughty at (302) 752-3794. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, or via the Internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.
ILLUMINATION NIGHT COMING NEXT SATURDAY TO REHOBOTH!
On Saturday, September 9, the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society (RBHS) plans an "Illumination Night" of historic homes and buildings throughout the city to illustrate the town's evolving architectural heritage. The event will focus on lighting-up the many historic structures in the city between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Nancy Alexander, museum director, said "We are excited to say we have nearly 50 historic structures, including residential homes and businesses that will be participating. Most of the structures, built before 1950 and not substantially altered, will display white luminary bags, to indicate that they are part of the event. The Anna Hazzard house will boast oriental lanterns and parasols."
"Illumination Night" will also include a celebration beginning at 7 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, including music and a greeting from Roger Truitt, portraying the Rev. Robert Todd, founder of the Rehoboth Beach Camp Meeting Association, which beginning in 1873 developed Rehoboth Beach. This will be followed by tours of the historic Anna Hazzard House, with a portrayal in costume by Roger Truitt as Rev. Todd, and by Patricia Truitt as Anna Hazzard, who was the matriarch of early Rehoboth Beach real estate development and civic leadership. Those planning to attend can download a candle "App" on their phones to display when the Rev. Todd announces the Illumination will begin.
The historic illuminated homes will not be open to the public. Instead, a handout will list participating properties with some of the history of each property, if available. Residents and visitors will be encouraged to walk or drive throughout the city to view the homes and businesses that will be illuminated to highlight historic preservation.
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REHOBOTH DRAG VOLLEYBALL RETURNS FOR 29th YEAR!
By Guillermo Silveira
After getting washed out last Labor Day Weekend, drag volleyball returned this past holiday weekend. This year's incredibly popular match was between the female diva team "South Side Sisters" (Vegas Showgirls) and the blazing beauties "Queen of Pop" (Pop Divas). It was a fantastic game to honor the end of the Rehoboth Beach summer season. "South Side Sisters" obliterated the "Queen of Pop" in a magnificent match.
The event looks almost more like a fashion show than a drag volleyball match nowadays. Famous drag queen "Anna Rexia," impeccably dressed, made the game!
Dressed for the ovation, after she got a lift, "Anna Rexia" showed off her feathered head piece.
See the Rehoboth Beach Drag Volleyball Facebook page for more.
Photos courtesy Guillermo Silveira
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CHAOS AND CELEBRATION AT ISNER'S NEW GALLERY 50 SHOW
Pop artist Terry Isner opened his latest exhibition, Comic Book Heroes…the story continues, this past Friday at Gallery 50 in Rehoboth Beach. He is a regular at the Rehoboth art scene and a master of taking old comic books and using them as a foundation for his art and storytelling.
In this particular exhibition, Isner points out, he explores chaos and celebration, common themes in most every comic book. "So when you look at the show," he explains, "there is a bit of chaos, which is controlled, and then there is celebration!" Isner, on the right, points out how this is demonstrated in his piece entitled"I'm With Her," shown hanging on the wall.
The dots, which feel a bit like confetti falling, add a sense of achievement in his art... "We have either saved the world, or we have succeeded in some way, and that is really what I wanted to kind of get out of this... the idea that we live this life of chaos and celebration... kind of the cycle that we are in and that is kind of where I portrayed it with the cartoons and the comics," he added.
The other part of the show is his photography, specifically his PEZ pieces. "I love the idea of taking the original pieces, these photographs and then stripping them down so they appear as if they are illustrations and they are built based on a dot pattern," he observes. But they become the model which tells the common everyday story.
"I love to be able to take everybody back in this show," Isner adds. This is why he uses comic books from the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, and along with PEZ, with which we all grew up. "I have just taken the show and brought you all the way to your childhood... that's my goal!"
Better hurry up! This must-see exhibition is on display only through Wednesday, September 13. Please visit the Gallery 50 website for more info.
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OH NO! LAST WEEKEND UPDATE FOR 2017!
We hope all of you have had a good summer and holiday weekend. Thank you for your continued support. Please keep the e-mails, photos, articles, announcements and news releases coming. Many thanks to our sponsors, photographers, contributors and WGMD Radio! Our appreciation goes to Jim Davis of dcfire.com who creates many of our banners.
A special "thank you" to our friends, Suzanne Siney, and her sister, Carolyn Portanova, who were kind to invite us to their Labor Day celebration.
We welcome sponsors and partners for 2018. Please write or call if you have an idea or proposal! If you spot us on the street or beach, please stop us to say "hi!"
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BETHANY'S ANNUAL JAZZ FUNERAL
The long-standing tradition took place in Bethany last night, the annual Summer Jazz Funeral.
See the Shore News Beacon Facebook page for more photos!
Photo courtesy Shore News Beacon
DEWEY BEACH SUNSET
Sunfish at Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association in Dewey.
Photo courtesy Evan Stoddard
GOLF CART ACCIDENT SENDS GIRL TO BEEBE--- A 14-year-old girl was injured while riding in a golf cart that overturned around 8:30 p.m. Sunday on Mahogany Street in Bay City/Long Neck. She was conscious but confused with no obvious external injury when taken to Beebe Hospital by ambulance. See the Indian River VFC Facebook page for photos.
NEAR-DROWNING IN DELAWARE SEASHORE STATE PARK--- A 40-year-old man had to be pulled from the surf just south of the Indian River Inlet around 12:40 p.m. Sunday. He was initially reported as unresponsive and CPR had even been performed on him before an ambulance arrived. But he was alert when taken to Beebe Hospital.
TROOPERS REVIVE MAN SUFFERING SUSPECTED HEROIN OVERDOSE--- State troopers revived a 23-year-old man believed to have been suffering a heroin overdose at a residence on Arnell Road near Marshall Road near Rehoboth around 7:10 p.m. Saturday. MCpl. Gary Fournier, state police spokesman, says troopers administered four separate 1 m.g. doses of Narcan. He was taken by ambulance to Beebe Hospital.
TEEN DRIVES GO-CART INTO CONCRETE WALL, FLOWN TO TRAUMA CENTER--- A 19-year-old man drove a go-cart into a concrete wall on the Formula One track at Jolly Roger Amusement Park in Ocean City around 2:30 p.m. Friday. He was wearing a safety belt but was traveling about 25-30 m.p.h. when he lost control. He was unconscious for several minutes after the accident and was eventually flown by the state police helicopter to a trauma center.
EXCHANGE STUDENT CRITICALLY INJURED IN HIT&RUN--- Ocean City police say a 21-year-old female J-1 student from Slovakia riding a bike was critically injured around 3 a.m. last Wednesday after a SUV struck her in the 200 block of Philadelphia Avenue. She was taken to a trauma center. Police say they have identified a suspect and charges are pending. More info is on the Ocean City website.
RANGE ROVER STOLEN FROM REHOBOTH AUTO SHOP, FOUND DAYS LATER IN ANGOLA --- Rehoboth Beach police were called to investigate after a 2004 Land Rover Range Rover that was undergoing repairs was stolen from an auto repair shop along Coastal Highway. The theft was reported around 8 a.m. last Tuesday but appears to have taken place around 11 p.m. the previous evening. State troopers found the Range Rover on Friday in Angola. No word from police on suspects.
FOX SIGHTINGS PLUMMET AFTER POLICE SHOOT, KILL FOX--- The Monday prior to Labor Day Rehoboth Beach police shot and killed a fox that was reported on the Rehoboth Elementary School field. For the previous several weeks, police had been called to daily fox sightings mostly in the area of Silver Lake. After this incident, daytime fox sightings in Rehoboth plummeted to only a couple for all of last week, both of which were seen on the beach.
MYSTERY SOLVED! THOSE DEVICES ON REHOBOTH AVE WERE TUBE COUNTERS--- Robert B. King, DelDOT spokesman, says the devices reported seen last week on Rehoboth Avenue were in fact tube counters used to perform traffic counts through and around the circle during high-peak times for a DelDOT study. "The data will be used to determine the path forward for the Junction Breakwater Trail connection onto Rehoboth Avenue," King said. "Any information obtained will be presented at the project public workshops. At this time we do not have a date for the next workshop," he added.
TRI-STATE BIRD RESCUE DOES INDEED HAVE VOLUNTEERS IN THE REHOBOTH AREA--- After last week's report about injured seagulls in Rehoboth Beach, Dr. Ray Bryant, a local who performs bird rescues for Tri-State, made contact with the Rehoboth Beach police and is getting them equipped with collapsible animal boxes to help capture injured birds. He has been with Tri-State now for three years and drives about 10,000 miles a year either capturing or picking up those birds. People who find injured birds are encouraged to contact Tri-State at (302) 737-9543 or if all else fails, the police non-emergency number, (302) 227-2577, which should be able to now put callers in touch with Dr. Bryant or a colleague.
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