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WEEKEND #04, 2013

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




A spectacular rainbow appeared over Rehoboth just before 8 p.m. Friday. It was visible in downtown and along Coastal Highway.

The rainbow was followed by menacing clouds about 25 minutes later.

The threatening sky brought a waterspout off the Rehoboth boardwalk.

Among the first to sound the alarm was Dewey Beach PD Sgt. Clifford Dempsey. He got on the radio with Dewey, Rehoboth and state police. "You guys," he said at 8:20 p.m. on the DBPD channel, "I think I'm seeing a tornado form over the ocean."

Emergency dispatch centers seemed to be caught off guard, having received no weather alerts. Weather RADAR showed just a patch of fast moving precipitation off the coast, which rapidly past Rehoboth from north to south.

7:30 p.m.

8:15 p.m.

Visitors at the bandstand and on the boardwalk had to scramble for cover as the weather abruptly changed as the waterspout headed for the beach. The mean clouds appeared to descend and meet the ground. In the haze, people said they lost sight of the funnel.

Love Seed Mama Jump performed at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand Friday night.

Photos courtesy Hoyte Decker, Kelly Ranieri and Marissa Seckar



Rehoboth beach police were summoned to the center island of Rehoboth Avenue just before 7 p.m. Saturday to check the welfare of a child. The caller said a child had been left unattended in the rear seat of a Jeep while the engine was running in the second block.

A police officer arrived minutes later and discovered a woman passed out in the driver's seat.

The officer administered a field sobriety test which she reportedly failed.

The woman was placed in the rear seat of a police car. A second officer brought a child seat to take the child to the police station. A flatbed tow truck had trouble removing the Jeep because they could not locate the woman's keys.

She faces charges of DUI and endangering the welfare of a child.



Tony Johnson Crivella, who runs Clean Beaches, the beach cleaning tractor service that covers several local beaches, said he found these bones in Dewey Beach early Monday off Collins Street.

Nothing was holding the group of them together, he says, but the bones were arranged "maybe in a pile... all the bones were together. Really strange," he added.

He showed the photos to his wife who works as a doctor at an animal hospital and her first thought was that they were from a deer. That was the same impression Suzanne Thurman, executive director of the MERR Institute, had.

Crivella said he turned the bones over to the police to be on the safe side.

Photo courtesy Tony Johnson Crivella



The sinkhole trend continues in Rehoboth Beach. This past Thursday, police blocked off this sinkhole after it was discovered near the intersection of Henlopen Avenue and Grove Street along Grove Park just before 6 p.m.

The previous Monday, June 3, this sinkhole was discovered around 8 p.m. inside Grove park. It was suspected to be caused by an old collapsed drain.




Every Friday in Rehoboth Beach piles of cardboard boxes, other recyclables and garbage are collected by the city from Rehoboth Avenue. It is all compacted into the same truck and despite the recyclability of these items; ultimately they find their way to a landfill.

Ironically, the same day, a contractor collects recyclables from residential customers in Rehoboth Beach, including some on Rehoboth Avenue, and those items are destined to a recycling center.

For the commercial sector, to recycle or not is in their hands. The business community in Delaware has not had to recycle, but that is about to change. Come Jan. 1, 2014, businesses throughout Delaware, including those in Rehoboth Beach, will be required to do so as mandated by the Delaware Universal Recycling Law.

Why is the business community not already recycling? James Short, an environmental scientist with DNREC, says the residential sector made the initial push in Delaware, "it came from the bottom up," about 15 years ago. He says with the emphasis and interest, residential recycling is what traditionally has received most of the attention.

When the recent recycling legislation was drafted, Short says, "Since we knew more about the residential sector than the commercial sector initially; the residential requirements came first."

Half of the waste originates from the commercial sector and the other half from the residential customers, Short says, "So to achieve high diversion rates you have to have a comprehensive residential and commercial recycling."

Some states, he notes, have diversion rates as high as 60 and 70 percent. These include composting of food scraps and yard waste, which Delaware is pursuing.

Short says Delaware's 2011 diversion rate was 37.4 percent. The 2012 rate will not be calculated until later this year, but he expects the percentage to be higher because it will include the first full year of single-family, single-stream curbside recycling.

The "diversion of these materials creates local jobs, conserves energy because it takes less energy to make products from recycled materials than it does from raw materials, conserves landfill capacity, and results in the production of mulch and compost locally that we used to have to import," Short states.

Furthermore, according to the Universal Recycling law, "recycling conserves valuable natural resources, energy, landfill capacity, landfill disposal costs, greenhouse gas emissions and litter, creates jobs and promotes a conservation ethic..."

But implementing commercial recycling might cause growing pains. "To understand how commercial recycling might impact traffic, take a look back seven years ago when Rehoboth Beach residents put out their waste comingled with yard waste and recyclables and everything was collected in one pass of the refuse truck," Commissioner Stan Mills notes.

"Now with recycling and mandatory separation of yard waste materials, we have three pickups -- one for each material type -- and resultantly more containers on the street (and many empty containers on the street after collection) plus three runs of collection vehicles when there used to be one," he adds.

Mills continues: "Apply a similar scenario to commercial recycling collection and that could mean each participating business has separate collections for refuse, for recyclables and for organics, and which, of course, means the potential for more traffic congestion. To minimize time in the city, I would bet that the [operators of the] collection vehicles recognize that the earlier they perform their collection services the earlier they can get out of town before traffic slows them down. Regardless, there would be multiple pickups at participating businesses. Still, I am a fan of recycling and believe that realizing the guiding principles of Universal Recycling is a laudable goal."

What is going to change on Rehoboth Avenue in the next year or so?

Delaware businesses falling within the commercial recycling phase three of the Universal Recycling law are required to participate in a comprehensive recycling program by Jan. 1, 2014, says Commissioner Mills. The businesses will have to self-haul or seek their own vendors to collect their recyclables.

"I expect no change in refuse collection services for the city's commercial refuse customers," Commissioner Mills stated. "Adding recycling collection services for commercial businesses would require separate trucks – possibly new ones added to our fleet – and would require additional labor and time for transferring the recyclables to the state collection site. This could put a strain on our resources and so might be ripe for discussion of whether or not the city provides commercial recycling services. Analysis might prove that other recycling vendors could be more efficient and be less expensive."

"Hopefully you will see more single-stream or cardboard-only dumpsters," Short said. But space limitations are a major concern. "Where there's a will, there is a way," he says. "Some haulers will have businesses with a dozen wheeled carts… keep in mind as you divert more recyclables you have less trash, which helps to make it a little more palatable." He said recyclables are typically light but bulkier than the regular trash.

More than likely, Short says businesses will be offered single-stream recycling but it depends on the kind of materials, who has services and other variables.

Some businesses in town use the drop-off recycling center behind the firehouse, and Short expects that to continue, especially since there is no fee.

It is not a given that a trash hauler is also going to be a recycling company for businesses because the state does not want to put recycling companies out of business. Short notes that unlike the residential sector, in the commercial sector there is no requirement on the hauler. "We did not want to put recyclers out of business" he said, by requiring commercial trash companies to provide that service.

DNREC has been trying to get the word out to the business community. "We have had grant workshops," Short notes, and have and are working through the chamber of commerce.

The commercial sector recycling requirement is a universal mandate throughout the state including the resort area, notes Carol Everhart, President/CEO of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. "There is an enforcement component which will require commercial businesses to participate in the program. For the most part the businesses in our resort area will need to make their own arrangements. This is again one of those two-sided swords… good for the environment but yet another expense and mandate for the business," she stated.

Although recycling does have costs associated with it, William Miller III, DNREC environmental program manager, says "we have heard from several businesses that have been able to reevaluate their entire waste stream, and either add recycling at no cost or at some savings. Because when adding recycling, you can usually reduce your trash. The DSWA and DNREC have some resources available to help small businesses reevaluate their waste stream for those [businesses] that are interested."

"By recycling, in addition to the environmental benefits, we're taking responsibility for our waste today as opposed to landfilling it and in the process creating a long-term liability for generations to come," Short noted.

During 2014, "We will be 'regulatory patient,'" Short states, "but after that, the law has an enforcement component," and it will be enforced much as DNREC enforces any environmental laws.

Almost all of the business people interviewed for this article stated that they have received little or no information regarding the Jan. 1, 2014 transition.

Randy Haney, comptroller of Rehoboth's Blue Moon Restaurant, says his workers want to do the right thing and the business has been attempting to recycle for years. But it has been more difficult than he expected. There has been an "overall lack of information" concerning the Jan. 1, 2014 transition, he said. No government agency or local organization has contacted him regarding the change.

He said the Blue Moon currently recycles. But Haney also expressed concern in the lack of knowing exactly what is recyclable and what is not. He is especially confused with regard to plastics. The information he is receiving comes from his recycling hauling company.

Also frustrating was the recycling of glass beer bottles. When the bottle deposit was changed to a tax, he said he had nobody to recover his bottles and they ended up in the trash. The employees did attempt to drop the bottles behind the firehouse, but that became a major task.

Removal of recyclables is another problem, Haney pointed out. He says he has recyclable pickups schedule on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But during weekends, his recycling company will not haul the materials.

So the Blue Moon is left with no choice but to dump all debris into the trash once the recycle bins are filled to capacity. The trash is removed on weekends. Memorial Day Weekend was especially challenging for the business.

Haney noted that the Blue Moon is actually in a better position than other Rehoboth Beach businesses because the restaurant has its driveway with some storage space for waste.

"I have a private carrier who is offering recycling now," says Bitsy Cochran of Monograms Unlimited, "so I am not too worried. My business is picked up every two weeks, which quite frankly is not adequate, even for my small business. Luckily I have two recycle cans. I have not heard anything from the city on this matter or any other organization. I was aware of changes coming but not all the details."

Perhaps one of the biggest producers of cardboard and wastepaper in town is Rehoboth's Funland amusement park. "We do have a lot of goods to be recycled," says Ian Curry, Funland's operations manager. "Cardboard and plastic soda bottles are our two biggest and we have been recycling both for 20+ years (before plastic we recycled aluminum soda cans). We still have a very small amount of glass and aluminum bottles/cans which are recycled but the numbers are so small that we can fit them in our current single-stream bins. We recycle about 18 cubic yards of cardboard per week during our busy season; almost entirely of which is the packaging from our plush stuffed animals."

He says Funland has recently implemented a system that allows the park to both shred and recycle used ride and redemption tickets. "This has cut our total amount of trash destined for the landfill by a third," Curry notes. "Notably it was James Short [from DNREC] who pointed me in the right direction which I am very grateful for," he added.

Funland consists of 40,000 square-feet of floor space and the park hires more than 100 full-time seasonal employees along with 15 part-time workers. In addition there are 10 individual families (third and fourth generation Fasnachts) actively involved in running the business. "I don't foresee the new regulations having much impact on our business for we currently recycle as much as we possibly can," Curry said.

Curry too noted that "We haven't been approached by anyone regarding the new regulations. It was only through my research into how we might be able to recycle our ticket waste did I find out that there was a regulation scheduled for the commercial sector. Interestingly I also discovered that many more items are now acceptable in the current residential single-stream program. Notably wide-mouthed plastic containers, rigid plastic (toys, wash baskets, trash cans, etc), even our Funland souvenir cups sold at our food cart can now be recycled (Although why would you want to discard one of those...). In fact, there are very few plastics that are not accepted these days which I think is great!"

Curry expressed interest in the lack of recycling cans on the boardwalk, streets and beaches in Rehoboth Beach. Short says the city is not required to provide those kinds of public recycling containers. "Some communities are planning on providing recycling in the same location as public trash cans," Short said. "Newark has been doing this for a couple of years now and Lewes will be installing recycling containers next to their public trash cans very soon via a recycling grant."

Dewey Beach has had separate waste containers on its beach for several years now.

"I think Stan Mills is right," Curry added, "when he says it will take a bit of analysis to determine what will work best. The city commissioners and manager do a great job at keeping Rehoboth looking as good as it does; I'm confident they'll take the new regulations in their stride."

Weblinks of interest:

Delaware Recycles

Inside a single-stream recycling plant





The Dewey Beach Monday movie night returns for the 2013 season this Monday (tonight) with the Lorax. Movies start around 8:30 p.m. on the beach at Dagsworthy Street. See the following schedule for a list of the other movies scheduled this summer.

The Dewey Business Partnership will host its third-annual kids' party on the beach, Wednesday, June 19, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Dagsworthy Street. Activities will include games, face painting, deejay, singing, dancing, fun with mascots, free food and refreshments and other surprises! The party will be followed by the first Wednesday bonfire of the season. Rain date is June 26.

Starting this week, bonfires will be held every Wednesday from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. through August 28.

PARKING – All metered parking remains in effect; non-metered spaces are FREE Monday through Wednesday after 5 p.m.

In event of inclement weather, cancellations will be determined no later than 7 p.m. on day of event for movies and 6 p.m. on day of event for bonfires. Notice of cancellation will be posted at the Dewey Beach Life Saving Station bulletin board.

Photo courtesy Carolyn Watson Photography



Dewey Beach police arrested two Newark, Delaware high school students late Monday in the 100 block of Saint Louis Street where police had been investigating a disorderly dwelling complaint. One teen faces charges for possession of marijuana and the other admitted to smashing the car windshield belonging to a Dewey Beach police dispatcher.

This past spring, Sgt. Clifford Dempsey said, the police department once again continued its campaign to reach out to the high school grads and their parents.

"The nuisance is still here," Sgt. Dempsey stated, but the numbers are down. He noted that the town had several related evictions again, but says the proactive education efforts appear to be making a difference.

He reported increased attendance again -- by both parents and would-be grads -- this year at the D.C. area and upstate Delaware schools the officers visited.



A new writing contest promises to give writers a chance to see their work in print. The Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Competition is seeking submissions of fiction or nonfiction stories for a paperback book to be published later in the year. The Beach House, to be published by Cat & Mouse Press, will include the best entries, as chosen by a panel of judges. Judges for the contest include local writers: Rich Barnett, Gail Braune Comorat, Kristen Gramer, Fay Jacobs and Ethan Joella.

The top-scoring story will also win $500 in cash, sponsored by Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach. Entries must fit the beach house theme, have some connection with Rehoboth, and be submitted by July 1. Writers do not have to live in Rehoboth. There is a $10 fee per entry. More information is available on the RBR website or the RBR Facebook page.

The goal of the Rehoboth Beach Reads contest is to showcase new and upcoming writers while creating a great book for summer reading. One of the most popular activities for residents and visitors is reading on the beach, and the contest seeks to collect the kinds of short, engaging stories that help readers relax, escape, and enjoy their vacation time.

Writers may choose to write any kind of story (mystery, romance, nature, memoir, humor, etc.). The only kinds of writing that are off-limits are poetry, erotica, religious material, and children's literature. Entries must be 500-5,000 words long, written in Microsoft Word, and sent electronically to nancy@catandmousepress.com.






*5* KILLED IN SUSSEX COUNTY WEEKEND ACCIDENTS--- It has been a deadly weekend on the roads in Sussex County.

The tragic series of accidents began around 11 a.m. Friday and continued through to Sunday afternoon.

Fri. 11 a.m. -- A Bethesda man was killed on Seashore Highway in a two-vehicle crash west of Georgetown.

Fri. 11 p.m. -- Two pedestrians were struck by a Jeep in Fenwick Island. One died at the scene and a second man was flown to Christiana Hospital where he died.

Sat. 6:30 p.m. -- One person was killed and two injured in a single-vehicle roll-over crash near Delmar.

Sun. 3:30 p.m. -- A woman driving a Jeep was killed and her passenger was injured when she lost control and struck a utility pole in the Milford-Slaughter Beach area in another single-vehicle crash.


7 INJURED IN WRECK ON JOHN J WILLIAMS HIGHWAY NEAR REHOBOTH-LEWES FIREHOUSE--- A total of seven people -- including several children -- were taken to Beebe Hospital after a crash on Route 24 around 12:10 a.m. Saturday. The roadway was shutdown. No injuries were life threatening.

CARS KEYED IN REHOBOTH BEACH--- Several vehicles were discovered "keyed" early Tuesday in the area of Scarborough Avenue and Hickman Street. RB Neighborhood Watch reports that it occurred sometime between 1 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

BARGE UNDER INDIAN RIVER INLET BREAKS LOOSE--- The barge was reportedly drifting around 12:45 p.m. Friday and headed toward South Shore Marina. The Coast Guard, DNREC and a private tugboat got it secured.

DEWEY BEACH PATROL LIFEGUARD STAND FOUND BURIED--- A lifeguard stand was discovered buried in sand around 8:50 a.m. Thursday at Houston Street. This is one of two lieutenant stands. The other is Read Avenue.

TEEN GETS PICKUP STUCK ON DEAUVILLE DUNE CROSSOVER; GETS EXPENSIVE BILL--- A male described as a juvenile from Virginia got his white Ford pickup truck stuck in the pathway used by city vehicles to access the beach from the Deauville lot in Rehoboth Beach. The truck was discovered blocking the access by a public works crew around 7:15 a.m. Thursday. It took more than an hour, with the assistance of Coastal Towing and the use of a front-end loader operated by a city employee to free the truck. Chief Keith Banks says the teen was billed by the tow company as well as the city for the use of the loader and an employee. Chief Banks also noted that he was issued a ticket for driving on the beach.



Ocean Currents lecture to discuss plant adaptations in the coastal environment (Thursday, June 20)

Heavy rains prompt mosquito alert and advisory; DNREC Mosquito Control working to thwart big rise in numbers

America's best little beach towns (Rehoboth-Dewey made the list on CNN.com)

Dewey brewery on hold for now

Top court hears Dewey Beach ethics case

State high court slams door on Ruddertowne plaintiffs' lawsuit

Dewey Supreme Court/Ruddertowne decision

Volunteers beautify Delaware inland bays

Endangered oystercatcher chick and parents successfully relocated at Indian River Inlet

Thurmont man arrested by OCPD in connection with early morning triple stabbing (Friday)

Former OCPD Chief Frank G. Pappas dies

Coast Guard rescues 2 from life raft near Assateague Island, Md



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