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WEEKEND #05, 2012

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




A combination of wind, lightning, heavy rain and flooding made it a challenging weekend for people and businesses in the Rehoboth area.

Severe thunderstorms struck early Friday afternoon. Delmarva Power says lightning was responsible for striking the electric lines at Norfolk Street and King Charles Avenue around 1 p.m. That is where Delmarva Power crews spent hours repairing the lines, only to return Saturday when equipment failure caused an overhead power line to fail and then fall to the ground around 6:15 p.m.

After the power line fell on Saturday, firefighters were alerted to an alarm at the Star of the Sea Condo as well as a stuck elevator at Virginia One.

Both days, the Star of the Sea Condo became a victim of the power chaos. On Friday, the condo lost an electrical phase and firefighters reported an odor from a possibly overloaded transformer. There was no fire.

At the Star of the Sea, Brian Hancock, condominium manager, says both days guests were stuck in the elevators because of the power outages. He said the condo was without power for 3.5 hours on Friday and another five hours on Saturday. "Which although a hindrance to some people invokes a community spirit within a high-rise like ours," Hancock said. "Everyone congregates in the lobby waiting on the latest update, and before you know it you are getting their life stories! In the words of Winston Churchill it's a case of 'Keep Calm and Carry on.'" he added!

He says the power outages are becoming such a common occurrence the Star of the Sea requires each unit to provide a working flashlight with spare batteries as one of the many safety requisites.

Throughout the afternoon and evening on Friday, and again on Saturday, sporadic power outages were reported throughout Rehoboth Beach. The Rehoboth Beach Patrol HQ, Atlantic Sands, north boardwalk and various businesses along Baltimore Avenue, were among those without power at least one of the days.

At the height of the storms, says Matt Likovich, Delmarva Power spokesman, "we had approximately 20,000 Delmarva Power Delaware customers out of service. Our crews worked throughout the weekend restoring service. New Castle County was the hardest hit area in Delaware. All storm-related power outages are expected to be cleared up by late Sunday afternoon." He added that the "Saturday evening power outage in Rehoboth was due to downed power lines, unrelated to Friday's storms."

On the beach at 2 p.m. Friday, the wind was averaging almost 15 m.p.h. with a 30 m.p.h. gust at 2:30 p.m. That wind blew over a lifeguard stand and -- as one Dewey Beach lifeguard described it -- sent umbrellas flying down the beach like missiles. A tree on Silver Lane, near Silver Lake, came crashing down on this Lexus prior to the peak of the windstorm.

The Rehoboth Beach DEOS Weather Station recorded a total of 2.5 inches of rain on Friday -- more than 60 percent of that fell in one hour, between 10 and 11 p.m. The flooding brought about six inches of water at the Ruddertowne Circle in Dewey. One Dewey officer described the flooding over the radio as worse than last year's hurricane. Christian Street flooded over the curb at Rehoboth Avenue, the water level rose over the sidewalk in front of Cloud 9, and police closed the second block of Wilmington Avenue where standing water was threatening the storefronts at 50 Wilmington Avenue. Outside of town, Old Landing Road at the trailer park was also reported under water.



One of five new bicycle stations has been installed this past week in the second block of Baltimore Avenue adjacent to Dinah Lingo's Grocery.

Despite the signs, the parking has been dominated by mopeds and motor scooters.

The photo above and below were taken on Saturday around 5:45 p.m. when eight motorized bikes and five bicycles parked at the new station.

On Thursday, around 8:10 p.m., nine motorized bikes parked here along with seven bikes. Sunday at 3 p.m., it was tied, with three bicycles and three motorized bikes.

Delaware Greenways and the city's street & transportation committee has produced this preliminary bicycle map which identifies five locations for bicycle parking in the city as well as "bicycle friendly" streets.



Tony Johnson Crivella, who operates Clean Beaches, the beach cleaning tractor service that covers North Shores, Dewey Beach, South Bethany, Fenwick Island and private beaches, says he has kept busy cleaning an enormous amount of beach grass that has collected along the surf this past week.

Most of the sea grass, Crivella says, is from the Delaware Bay/River. After heavy rains and/or high tides, he says the water floods the marshes in Jersey and the remains wash down stream and land on the Delaware beaches, given the right wind and currents.

He also suspects the recent full moon and flooding at high tide probably had something to do with the grass accumulation."When I crossed the ferry a week back I could see it floating," he said.

He took this photo of one of two piles of sea grass he collected in Fenwick on Friday. He said the first pile was two dump-truck loads. The pile in this photo should be about four or five truck loads, he added.

Crivella has been running the service since 1994. He owns three Barber 600HD Surf Rakes pulled by John Deere 5525 and Kubota M9000 tractors. He owns, drives and maintains the fleet at his shop and office outside Rehoboth behind the Electric Tiger tattoo shop on Church Street.

In 2010 Crivella was recruited by Barber, the manufacturer of the beach cleaning Surf Rake, to help train operators for the BP oil spill that occurred in the Gulf states. He traveled to Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

This past spring Crivella worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for five weeks on a project in Cape May where he removed more than 600 tons of stone and rocks from the beach.

For more info on Crivella and his company, visit his Facebook page.



In a two-day period this past week, Rehoboth Beach became victim to several acts of vandalism. At least five vehicles had tires slashed sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Multiple tires were targeted on the same vehicles in the 300 blocks of Laurel Street and Country Club Drive.

The Coastal Highway canal bridge got tagged with words such as HELLO, free Earl, Zawed Up, etc.

More than 10 empty beer kegs were reported stolen Tuesday morning from a restaurant in the ocean block of Wilmington Avenue.

Police have not said if any of the crimes were related.



WGMD's Andrew Koch happened to be among those who witnessed a boater who had been stopped by DNREC marine police on the pier at Northbeach Sunday afternoon, when the suspect suddenly attempted to flee. Sgt. Greg Rhodes, DNREC spokesman, says it started as a commercial clamming violation. The man failed to stop and police chased him on foot through Dewey. After several minutes of running through town, police caught him headed toward the Bottle & Cork. They took him to state police Troop 7 for an alcohol test. But police have not said if he passed.

After the man was arrested, a DNREC vessel was seen taking his boat into tow, below.

Sgt. Rhodes added that Coast Guard personnel have been jointly patrolling with DNREC marine police this past weekend for Operation Dry Water, which is targeting intoxicated boat operators.

Photo courtesy Andrew Koch, WGMD News



Following the town's first-ever homicide, the Dewey Beach commissioners have scheduled a public community meeting on Saturday, June 30 at 10:30 a.m. at the Best Western Hotel on Dickinson Avenue. Police Chief Sam Mackert is expected to make a presentation for increased police presence in the town during the peak summer vacation season. The meeting's agenda has been posted on the town's Website.


For more details on the murder from last Monday, see this News Journal article from Saturday and this one by WGMD's Andrew Koch.



Rehoboth Beach lifeguards helped bring to shore this dead sea turtle around 5 p.m. Sunday south of the Henlopen Hotel. Suzanne Thurman, executive director of the MERR Institute, which investigates sea turtle and marine mammals that are found injured or dead, said this is the 11th sea turtle incident MERR has investigated this year in Delaware. All 11 were dead. Ten were loggerheads and one was a leatherback.

Thurman, who is shown taking the measurements, said this loggerhead was a juvenile, maybe 10 to 12 years old, with a shell about 2.5-feet long. She said it appears to have been the victim of a propeller strike, judging from the damage to its shell.

Molly Murray from the News Journal wrote this article last week about the recent sea turtle deaths.


If you want to learn, this group will show you how!

by Dagmar Henney

A terrific evening was spent at Anita Peghini-Räber's lovely tango event. No lights, no problem! In the midst of a power outage, colorful, beautiful dancers moved in the candlelight amid Anita's artwork. It was wonderful pleasure by candlelight and orchestrated by thunder and lightning of Friday night's storm!

The new group, which includes several University of Delaware marine studies students, is called Tango Lewes. They also offer free tango lessons once a month at various locations. E-mail Nicole Voutsina for information. This is her dancing with Ben Ciotti, above left. Another member of the group is Alyssa Findlay. She says, if you can walk, you can dance!

Ciotti added that the dance group has grown "organically" without any promotion.

They learn how to lead and follow, so it is gender neutral. Anita says this makes this the perfect dance for Rehoboth, it's so social!

Thank you Anita for bringing the group to Rehoboth Beach. You added an extra to our little town. I even met a landsman from Berlin among the tango dancers -- what fun! Keep dancing and painting dear Anita!

Want to tango? Click here to e-mail Tango Lewes.



A book launch was held Saturday for Rich Barnett, the author of The Discreet Charms of a Bourgeois Beach Town: Rehoboth Beach Stories. Barnett is well known for his entertaining "Camp Stories" in the CAMP Rehoboth newsletter.

About 200 people attended the book launch in downtown Rehoboth Beach.

Barnett says he has been writing six years for CAMP Rehoboth and, after six months of work, has compiled the book. When asked what he would want people to know the most about his new book, he replied: "Rehoboth is a fun town, and this is a fun book!"

Visit Barnett's official Website to read more about him and his thoughtful writings.



Last Wednesday evening, the Dewey Business Partnership hosted its second-annual Dewey First Night kids' beach party and bonfire on Dagsworthy Avenue. Activities included beach games, hula hoop, sports, face painting, DJ, dancing, refreshments and free snacks.

Look for other events sponsored by the Dewey Business Partnership posted on the group's Website.







WOMAN STRUCK BY FALLING ELECTRICAL INSULATOR--- After driving home and taking a shower, a woman called for an ambulance. She told EMS personnel she had been struck in the head by an insulator that fell from a pole while walking in Bethany Beach earlier in the day. The 20 year old complained of a headache and nausea but had no obvious bruises when taken by the Millville ambulance to Beebe Hospital around 4:25 p.m. on Friday.

CHILD FEARED MISSING IN OCEAN, SAFELY LOCATED--- A massive search was initiated around 7:10 p.m. Saturday evening after a 3.5-year-old child was reported missing in the ocean off Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. Police, firefighters and the Coast Guard were en route or already on the scene when the boy was safely located less than five minutes later and about a block away.

OCEAN CITY PIZZERIA FIRE--- Ocean City firefighters were called to the pizzeria at 12th Street and Philadelphia Avenue just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived, they reported smoke in the alley with a person on the roof using a garden hose. Inside the restaurant was a light haze of smoke. The fire appeared to be confined to the roof and attic.



Milton police arrest woman for dumpster diving (took food)

Milton man charged with DUI following crash near Lewes (Wednesday)

Police investigating hit & run accident outside Lewes (Wednesday)

Kings Creek Country Club golfer instructor has chance to play with professionals (Rehoboth)

Boy pulled from pool; dead at hospital (outside Rehoboth, Tuesday)

Art league seeks truce with Henlopen Acres to end fines

Rehoboth's Cheryl Blackman wins national honor for public service

More couples tie the knot at the beach (Rehoboth Beach)

In Del., beach memories spur couple to become second generation to buy there (mentions RB)

Scam alert at Rehoboth-Dewey restaurants

Dewey PD looking for 2 men who assaulted a man and woman

Man cited after driving jeep into building on Long Neck Road (Thursday)

House in White House Beach struck by lightning (Long Neck, Friday)

Sussex County police officers sworn in for "Checkpoint Strikeforce"

Checkpoints promote bike safety (Delaware bike accident stats)

German subs in World War II off the Delaware coast

Fiery crash in Berlin under investigation (Thursday)

Police arrest men with drugs in parking lot of public safety building (Ocean City, Tuesday)

OCPD warning residents, business about counterfeit money

OCPD arrests 2 Berlin residents for burglary

OC burglar arrested

Emergency ordinance in OC changes open container law

OC police bike patrol officers arrest 4 for robbery

Jellyfish invasion on the way?



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