WEEKEND #4, 2019
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
NORTH BEACH CHAOS SPREADS ACROSS DEWEY AT CLOSING TIME
Dewey Beach police had a mess to contend with early Sunday as officers struggled to stop numerous fights that broke out across town. Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, police spokesman, says it appeared to have started around 1 a.m. as "bar rush" began in the North Beach parking lot. That is where officers attempted to control an altercation that spread into the Ivy parking lot where arrests were eventually made.
Meanwhile, patrons leaving North Beach quickly flooded the parking lot and adjacent streets where more fights erupted. Several of the revelers headed for the parking lot on the corner of Dagsworthy Street and Coastal Highway and continued brawling along the way. Here was the view from the DelDOT traffic camera shortly after additional police arrived to contain the chaos (the parking lot is on the far left side).
Dewey police had radioed for assistance as officers were quickly overwhelmed. State troopers, Rehoboth Beach police and DNREC park rangers were among those who came to help. "It's a mess down here," one officer stated over the radio around 1:23 a.m. "We need some people. There's fights everywhere!" The additional officers got the situation under control within minutes. Police arrested a total of three men and a woman.
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SCOOTER ACCIDENTS OUTSIDE REHOBOTH
Two scooter riders injured this past week in separate mishaps; other driver charged in both cases.
Delaware State Police investigated two accidents that injured scooter riders this past week just outside of Rehoboth. In both cases, troopers charged the other motorist for causing the accident.
The first crash happened around 1:25 p.m. last Wednesday on southbound Coastal Highway near Williams Insurance Agency. That is where a 16-year-old male had been riding this scooter in the "Right Turn/Bus Lane" just south of Country Club Road, says MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, state police spokeswoman.
A Mercedes-Benz SUV, also southbound but in the right travel lane, was turning right into the parking lot. The SUV turned into the path of the scooter causing the accident, she said. The scooter rider was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The 70-year-old woman driving the SUV was not injured and was issued a citation for an improper lane change, MCpl. Jaffe added.
A similar situation occurred around noon this past Saturday on Rehoboth Avenue-Extended where it runs along Coastal Highway. MCpl. Michael Austin, state police spokesman, says a 26-year-old man on this scooter was passing the self-storage facility when a 2014 GMC 3500 U-Haul, driven by a 72-year-old woman, cut him off as she drove into the self-storage lot.
According to one witness, he was tossed into the air, landed on the curb and initially appeared to be unconscious. But, amazingly, MCpl. Austin says the scooter rider was taken to the hospital with only minor injuries. The U-Haul driver, who was not injured, was cited for "vehicle turning left must yield right of way," MCpl. Austin added.
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34-FOOT SAILBOAT BEACHES OFF CAPE HENLOPEN
In a bizarre incident, this sailboat, named the Maritime, became beached last Monday morning at the Cape Henlopen State Park in the Navy surf fishing area. State officials have released few details concerning the incident.
The DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police personnel are investigating the boating accident, says Joanna Wilson, DNREC spokeswoman. The man, and sole occupant, piloting the boat was safely removed and taken to the hospital for observation, she added. One source says he had a medical history that may have been a factor.
According to Rich King of the Delaware Surf Fishing report, the sailboat had actually been removed earlier after it was beached in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. TowBoatUS came to the rescue both times.
Photo courtesy Rich King, Delaware Surf Fishing Report
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BOARDWALK PLAZA NOW HAS ITS OWN PAPER REPLICA!
"The Boardwalk Plaza finally has some real competition because people might want to stay here," artist Timothy P. Credle jokingly says about his replica of the Boardwalk Plaza made from paint, cardboard, paper and about a quarter-pound of glitter! His work was unveiled at a ceremony at the Boardwalk Plaza last Wednesday.
Credle said he got started using paper as a medium because paper is easy, accessible and cheap. He started making Christmas displays several years ago. "I found some templates online and I made them as gifts for friends and they went crazy," he told the audience. He now uses an iPad and creates his own templates.
Credle has had a Christmas show, a window display, for the past three years at Miss. Pixie's, a store in Washington, D.C. He also created the replica of Bad Hair Day where he is the salon coordinator.
Eventually Ruth Ann Zerby, whose family owns the hotel, saw his work and commissioned him to create a model of her hotel. He put about 600 hours into the project which started about a year ago. He is joined by her and her husband, Jeff, here at last week's unveiling.
"I really don't make stuff out of paper," Credle says, "I turn adults into children!"
For details on his artwork, please look for him on Instagram or Facebook. The replica will be open for public view starting in mid-July in Victoria's, the hotel's restaurant at 2 Olive Avenue in downtown Rehoboth Beach.
STUCK BETWEEN 2 OTHER PARKED CARS... WHO YOU GONNA CALL?
Rehoboth Beach police came to the rescue for at least the second time this month after a car was parked and stuck between two other vehicles that left the driver only a few inches to escape. The driver of this Nissan Sentra called police for assistance around 11:40 p.m. this past Saturday from Sussex Street east of 4th Street.
It took a couple minutes with officers on either side of the car coaching the driver as she steered forward and backward, forward and backward, forward and backward, until she finally wedged out her car without any damage!
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FLAME-OF-HOPE JOURNEY STARTED FROM REHOBOTH BANDSTAND
The 33rd Annual Statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics started its three-day 160-mile journey to Newark from the Rehoboth Beach bandstand this past Wednesday. Leading the motorcycles and carrying the Flame to the bandstand was Pvt. Jonathan Costa who is with the Delaware River & Bay Authority.
Hundreds of law enforcement personnel along with politicians, athletes and residents came to show their support. Here is Kathy McGuiness, state auditor, along with Chief Keith Banks of the Rehoboth Beach Police Dept.
In its 33 years, the Torch Run has raised more than $7.8 million to support the Special Olympics year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. For more details and how to make a donation, see the 2019 Delaware Law Enforcement Torch Run website.
Also making an appearance at the event was Tyler Carach, on the left, with his mother, Sheena, and Lt. William Sullivan. Tyler, known as "Donut Boy," has embarked on a journey to visit every state in America to let police officers know that he appreciates their service by giving them each a doughnut. Delaware was his 46th state. He has distributed 80,000 doughnuts so far!
Tyler, now 11, started this project on August 1, 2016 in a local store in his hometown. He saw four deputies and wanted to buy them a doughnut with his allowance money to say "thank you for their service." He did and they were excited, his mother explained. So Tyler has been on a journey to thank police in every state.
"I want people to know that all police officers aren't bad," Tyler said, who has become quite a celebrity on both social media and in national and local news. He went on to visit police in Ocean City, Md. last Thursday. For more on his project, or to make a contribution, please visit his website or Facebook page and this YouTube video.
RAL OPENS 46th ANNUAL MEMBERS' FINE CRAFT EXHIBITION
The Rehoboth Art League opened its 46th Annual Members' Fine Craft Exhibition this past Friday and it features something for every art lover. "It is an exciting thing to see: The diverse talent, the originality, the skill in which they execute their work," says Nick Serratore, the RAL exhibition's director. "They are still true to their craft and what they enjoy doing the most," he points out. "That includes pottery, woodwork, glass, metal, so they stick with it." More than 25 artists are participating in this year's exhibition.
Maureen Everett of Lewes is a stained-glass artist who started by taking a course about four years ago. She says her work has evolved into larger works where she now includes foreign objects such as shells and beach glass, all items found on Delaware beaches. She thoughtfully arranges and solders them into place. Here is her work, Shells and Glass.
Another exhibition that the League opened on Friday was Amend by Heidi Lowe, Rehoboth's jewelry artist. Her work features "past-life regressions," visions she has had when she meditates. In each regression there's jewelry, she explained, and she makes the jewelry from what she saw in the meditations. "It's probably me in another life," Lowe says. "So [in] one, I was an Egyptian boy, and one, I was a mermaid. In each one the jewelry was a significant moment in the life," she explained. "So I saw them wearing it. It was really fun to make, so simple and easy!"
Other exhibitions RAL opened on Friday included:
Vicissitudes by G.W. Thompson. Thompson is a 2019 individual fellowship award winner for emerging artists. This exhibition consists of 365 paintings he created daily over a year's time.
A Moment by Sydney McGinley, a pastel artist whose inspiration has been the female figure in its grace and mystery.
All of the shows run through July 21. Watercolor painting class begins at the League on June 19. See the web for details.
NEW BOOK EXAMINES FUNLAND'S HISTORY, NOSTALGIA AND SUCCESS
One man has turned his passion for his childhood joy and summertime occupation into probably the best-selling book of the summer in Rehoboth. In Land of Fun: the Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages, Chris Lindsley tells the story of Rehoboth's biggest attraction second only to the beach --- Funland!
"I think the book is a very interesting and readable history of Funland," Lindsley states, as it features stories from about 150 interviews, including everybody from employees, family, customers and former mayors Sam Cooper and John Hughes. "You name it, I talked to them," Lindsley said, and many of their thoughtful testimonies line the book's 143 pages, along with historical photographs.
As a professional journalist who worked six summers at Funland, Lindsley was surprised that there was no book already written about the amusement park's history. He recalls coming to Al Fasnacht, the amusement park's co-founder, with the book idea several years ago. "We do not need a book, but if it is important to you, I will help any way I can," he recalls Fasnacht telling him. That was the book's start. Here are Lindsley and Fasnacht last month at the Rehoboth Beach Museum.
Lindsley is the first to admit that he is not an unbiased observer. He grew up visiting Funland as a child and loved working at the amusement park and for the family who has owned it since 1962 and runs it still today.
"They housed us and fed us dinner six nights a week," Lindsley recalled. He explains how the Fasnacht family worked hard to make employees feel like part of their family. "Al has always told summer employees that 'you don't work for us; you work with us,'" Lindsley said. The Fasnacht family created that family atmosphere through things like having weekly employee and family social events such as sub and pizza nights and bumper car nights, along with games of football, softball, basketball and employee tournaments on games like Skee-Ball and Whac-a-Mole. This, Lindsley sees, is part of the amusement park's success.
This focus on family is part of the reason Funland is a fourth-generation family business, something only three percent of family businesses accomplish, he points out. There are lots of stories about what it was like growing up in an amusement park family and working together over the years. "The secret, as Al has said many times over the years, is love," Lindsley added.
His book features interesting facts that even long-time Funland customers may not know:
As he points out, people have forgotten how Funland, unlike its competition, did not raise ticket prices for 25 years starting in 1962, when tickets were 12 for a dollar! And to this day, two rides – the Boats and the Fire Engines – still only require a single ticket to ride!
The haunted mansion, a custom-designed ride by Funland, is another example as it was selected as one of the 10 best in the country according to industry experts, and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this summer.
The back-story involving the Royal Treat, the city's popular ice cream parlor, was a partnership based on a simple handshake!
Funland also features five timeless classic rides -- Boats, Fire Engines, Sky Fighters, Merry Go Round and Helicopters -- that many parents have ridden as well as their children and now grandchildren. The Boats and Fire Engines have been in the park since 1948. Many rides in operation during Funland's first summer in 1962, he notes, were a part of Sport Center, which was located on the same site from 1939 to 1961.
"We as a family have been happy to support Chris and his book project 'Land of Fun,'" says Chris Darr, Funland's personnel manager. "Chris is passionate about the time he spent working with our family as a youth and how that shaped who he is today. Chris realized how many other people have a strong connection to Funland and that others would be interested in our story."
"Since the release of the book," Darr adds, "we as a family continue to be humbled by the kind words, stories and connections to Funland that our customers have shared with us. As a fourth-generation family member it is a great reminder of where we came from, what makes Funland special and why we want to honor the hard work of the generations before us."
This coming Friday, July 21, Fasnacht is doing a book signing at the park from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The following day, Fasnacht and Lindsley will hold a book event and book signing at Browseabout from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The book is available for purchase at the park's gift shop or on the Land of Fun website.
Photos courtesy Funland
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
The Dewey Beach's longest sandcastle at sunrise!
Having fun on the beach at Rehoboth Avenue!
Photos courtesy Tony Crivella of Dewey Beach Beautification & Raking and Mariette Heavey
MERR INVESTIGATES 3 MORE SEA TURTLE AND 5 DOLPHIN DEATHS--- Suzanne Thurman, MERR Institute executive director, says her organization investigated the deaths of two loggerheads and a leatherback sea turtle this past week along with five bottlenose dolphins, one of which was initially alive. This was similar to the previous week's deaths of three sea turtles and four dolphins.
LEWES POLICE CHARGE BICYCLIST AFTER SHE IS STRUCK BY MOTORIST--- Lewes police have charged a 61-year-old female bicyclist from Newark, Delaware after police say she suddenly made a movement to the left exiting the bike lane and into the lane of traffic. As she made this movement, a vehicle, driven by a 57-year-old woman from Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, was traveling the same direction and was next to the bicyclist. The sudden movement caused the cyclist to strike the front passenger-side quarter panel of the vehicle which ejected the female from the bike causing her to fall to the ground and strike her head on the roadway, police said. The cyclist was not wearing a helmet.
The bicyclist was treated and stabilized and then flown to a trauma center, police said. She was discharged on Sunday for further treatment of a "Diffuse Axonal head and brain injury." The cyclist was charged with making an improper left turn, police said. The accident happened around 11:45 a.m. Saturday on East Savannah Road near Massachusetts Avenue.
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