Having trouble viewing this report or its photos? Click here: http://henney.com/weekend08/ or e-mail alanhenney@aim.com

WEEKEND #08, 2013

(Mid-Season Report)

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware



Series of fatal accidents continues on Coastal Highway

A man pushing a bike on Coastal Highway was struck and killed Thursday night after he was hit by a DART transit bus. The accident happened around 9:25 p.m. on the northbound lanes across from the Community Bank outside Rehoboth.

Police say George A. Bryant, 58, was driving the 2010 Gillig bus, owned by the Delaware Transit Corporation, approaching the intersection with Shuttle Road. The bus was changing lanes from the fast lane into the left turn lanes in order to make a left onto Shuttle Road.

Immediately upon turning into the turn lanes, Deepak P. Chatani, 37, of Rehoboth, was walking with his bicycle northbound in the roadway with his back to traffic, was struck from behind by the bus.

Police say Chatani was thrown forward and landed against the east edge of the median while the bicycle was partially run over by the bus, and remained lodged under the left front, as the bus came to a controlled stop in the turn lane. The bus windshield was shattered.

Chatani was taken by ambulance to Beebe Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Police say he was not carrying a flashlight while walking in the roadway, nor was one attached to his bicycle.

Bryant was properly restrained and was not injured. He was taken for a routine drug/alcohol test. The bus he was driving was empty at the time and was not in service.

According to a source familiar with DART, this is Bryant's first season driving for DART. He has a background of many years as a commercial driver before coming to DART. The night of the accident, Bryant had just returned in a spare bus from the Ocean City run, and was just preparing to cross Coastal Highway and return to the bus lot. That is when he struck Chatani.

This is the first fatal accident in recent memory, if ever, that DART has had in Sussex County. The morale among the drivers on Friday was likened to that of when the Rehoboth Beach Patrol lost a man who had drowned while guards were on duty in August 1998. Until that time, the patrol had a near-perfect record, and the loss was felt by all the lifeguards.

There are five cameras in every DART bus, including one in the front windshield. The bus and bicycle were impounded by the state police and presumably the video footage has been downloaded as well. No charges have been filed, but the state police note that the collision reconstruction unit continues to investigate. Traffic in the area was impacted for about three hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.



What was later described as a "burned up motor" triggered a massive response Wednesday night. The call for help came around 9:30 p.m. after employees noticed an odor of smoke in the food elevator to the second floor of the Grotto Pizza in the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue.

The restaurant was evacuated while firefighters searched for the source. Customers were allowed to return minutes later.



A dead sea turtle came to shore on Queen Street in Rehoboth Beach around 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Rehoboth Beach Patrol guards arrived and placed the turtle in trash bags. One bystander described the remains as badly decomposed and covered with parasites. The remains were moved near the sand dunes, investigated by the MERR Institute and later removed by public works personnel.

Suzanne Thurman, MERR executive director, says the turtle was a sub-adult loggerhead. She had been hit by a boat propeller across the top of her neck which severed her spine.



The rain which has been dogging us at the beach this summer continues!

The Rehoboth Beach boardwalk DEOS weather station reported almost 7 inches of rain on Friday.

Water consumed several chronic flooding areas, including Lake Avenue behind Hotel Rehoboth, which erected this emergency barrier and used a truck to help slow traffic and prevent wake.

Lake Avenue at Rehoboth Avenue is an extension of the same problem.

Officials blocked several streets in Dewey Beach, especially along Bayard Avenue. The ocean block of Jersey Street was completely submerged.

Some businesses had leaks from above and below, but Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach probably escaped with minimal disruption. Sea Colony had power outages, Lighthouse Road west of Fenwick Island had occupied vehicles stranded in high water along with other areas such as Long Neck.



A Norfolk Southern freight train, consisting of approximately 70 train cars hauling stone, being pulled by two locomotives, was traveling south on the railroad tracks in a wooded area north of Millsboro when it derailed around 4 a.m. Sunday.

State police say the train derailment occurred on a section of the tracks east of U.S. Route 113. The tracks run parallel to the highway between West State Street and Patriots Way.

As a result of the derailment, police say 15 cars were forced off the tracks and overturned, spilling their contents of stone, while the rest remained upright.

The two locomotives also derailed but remained upright. The train conductor and engineer onboard during the incident were not injured. An approximately ¾ mile length of railroad track was destroyed and/or heavily damaged.

State police say an assessment of the scene indicated that there are no hazardous conditions and no hazards or threats to the environment or surrounding communities. There are no detours or road closures in the area of the derailment.

State troopers along with Norfolk Southern officials continue to investigate.

Photos courtesy Delaware State Police



"The City of Rehoboth Beach has taken steps to answer 'Where Am I?' on the boardwalk and 'Where Is Such and Such?'" says Commissioner Stan Mills. The City recently installed 24 new wayfinding maps along the city's one-mile long boardwalk. The maps identify where the reader is located and marks locations of certain boardwalk amenities such as restrooms, water fountains, shower towers, an information booth and the beach patrol and first aid stations.

The new signs, erected this month, are attempting to make Rehoboth Beach easier to navigate and more visitor friendly. Commissioner Mills, project leader for the wayfinding signage project, said the "maps were recommended by the City Planning Commission within the Comprehensive Development Plan to 'Install uniform wayfinding signage for the oceanfront and the facilities supporting use of the oceanfront' and specifically to identify restroom locations."

Maps depicting the boardwalk and adjacent streets have been attached below the existing boardwalk & beach rules signs.

There are 24 rules signs along the boardwalk and now each one has a wayfinding sign/map attached to it.

Additionally, new street signs are now attached to the back/ocean side of the rules signs so people on the beach can more easily identify their location.




Beach replenishment equipment has started arriving at South Bethany this past week, and the new sand may be coming soon.

"The work is expected to begin in Fenwick Island around July 17," says Steve Rochette, spokesman for the Philadelphia District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "It should last approximately a month and then the contractor will proceed to continue working north at South Bethany, then Bethany, Dewey, Rehoboth, etc." he adds. "Work includes pumping 1.3 million cubic yards of sand onto the beaches."

Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson said Dewey Beach is scheduled for replenishment beginning on or about October 9, and to be completed by November 12 which eliminates problems during the summer season. She points out that the exact dates are subject to change based upon work progress. The project for Dewey will include placing sand on the beach and repairing dune crossings, installing sand fence, and planting dune grass.

Per the contract, Mayor Hanson says, the contractor may work seven days a week, 24 hours a day. However, she adds that the contractor must comply with local codes regarding noise at all times during the contract period. The Town of Dewey Beach will meet with the Corps and contractor prior to work being scheduled.

Photo courtesy Tony Johnson Crivella


by Dagmar Henney

Eric Davison, who recently took the helm of Gallery 50, continues the gallery's tradition featuring unique contemporary artists. His latest Michael Fitts exhibition is no exception.

For Fitts, it began in 1992 when a neighbor gave him a piece of scrap metal. Fitts, a graphic designer, said he found the variety of surface tones and textures immediately appealing. Using oil he paints precise detailed images typically leaving the surrounding metal background untouched.

These same images, Fitts says, would fall flat on white canvas. He says painting on scrap metal the artist has less control of the image. But it's a matter of letting go and negotiating with the metal that he finds appealing. He works with a combination of what was there before and the paint he adds.

Here is Fitts' ROBOT #1 (oil paint on scrap metal). The unpainted green metal background gives the painted image a sense of depth and intriguing perspective.

He displays the reverse side of the piece. This was a Pepsi Cola sign that had been given to him.

Fitts' Paddle Ball is another example of how the bare metal creates depth along with such a unique texture that cannot be duplicated on canvas or paper.

It has taken him years to get established, but Fitts says his metal painting artwork has been selling well during the past three years. He credits the smaller galleries, coffee shops and restaurants for helping boost his success. He said he likes his art to be approachable, not too pretentious, and wants to make people feel happy.

This exhibition runs through August 8. See the Gallery 50 website for details. The gallery is at 50-B Wilmington Avenue in downtown Rehoboth Beach and also offers professional framing services.


by Dagmar Henney

Ward Ellinger's cozy gallery is full of new beautiful and unique artwork for 2013. During the winter, he was commissioned to create a 15' x 6' painting for the Discovery Place museum in Charlotte, NC. Ward says he creates paintings of varying sizes to keep his work flexible in both price and use of wall space.

Below, Ward showed one of his latest works. He calls it Merging. It is a 4-foot square acrylic painting on canvas. He works with the colors and almost massages them together in a progressive pattern. He likes bright, happy earth colors. Green is for earth, yellow for sunset, etc. He has a series of these works which would brighten most any room.

Also note, on the table below his painting, he has exquisite glass works on display.

Ward's featured artist this month is Novie Trump from Falls Church, Virginia. She is a talented sculptor and installation artist working primarily with ceramic and mixed media. She was trained in classical archaeology which shows in her works. Ward says she creates her work firing an oven to 2300 degrees.

Considering the effort it must take to create such pieces, her prices are so reasonable. Ward shows us her "small book" and "large book," both of which are made of porcelain.

Trump, who has an impressive biography, says her work is a visual exploration of the resilient fragility of nature. It is about time, birth, death, observation, beauty and loss.

You can find more of her work and Ward's on the Ward Ellinger Gallery website. Ward's gallery is at 39 Baltimore Avenue in the CAMP Rehoboth courtyard.



We have heard much about the piping plover birds and now we have new photos which show a rare glimpse of their life in the state park.

Here are a male and female plover taken at the Point in the Cape Henlopen State Park early this season. Matthew Bailey, DNREC wildlife biologist, said they call this male bird the "stained male" because of the discoloration on his chest.

At the Point, Bailey says three pairs of plovers have hatched chicks this season. One pair has three chicks and another has one; the third pair's chick had not been spotted for about a week. As of last week, two additional pairs of plovers were still incubating eggs on the Point.

The photo below is actually from last year, Bailey says, but shows three plovers fighting to establish territories at the Point.

See this DNREC news release for details on beachnester bird news from Bailey and his colleagues.

Photos courtesy Paul Kane and Rachel Emory



TODDLER INJURED IN SURF, TAKEN TO BEEBE HOSPITAL--- A 1-year-old girl was struck by a wave in the Rehoboth surf Sunday morning and was taken to Beebe Hospital from Beach Patrol HQ on Baltimore Avenue. According to one report, after the girl was hit by the wave, she was briefly submerged and started to vomit a short time later.

DRUNK MAN JUMPS FROM RUDDER DOCK INTO REHOBOTH BAY--- An intoxicated man kept Dewey Beach police busy Saturday after he jumped from the Rusty Rudder dock into the Rehoboth Bay around 7:45 p.m. Boaters tried to offer him aid and a life jacket, but he refused. At times he was standing in the bay, making no attempt to swim, then just treading water, going under and resurfacing as he moved around. Police thought at one point he was going to try swimming across the bay. After about 25 minutes, the man, wearing only black swim trunks, made his way back to the Dewey shore where he was caught by police and taken to the police station. Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, police spokesman, says the man declined to give his name, but eventually did. He was released without charges to family.



Update on Delaware wildfire crew in Alaska

The next big storm

Send your best summer shots of anglers to the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Fishing Photo Contest

New "Monitoring the Murderkill" video available on YouTube Delaware DNREC Channel

Sussex County celebrity sightings include Richard Gere, Luke Wilson

Dan Kelly's Korner: No phones, TV, Facebook; just friends (mentions Rehoboth's Wall's Apartments)

Bicyclist hits Delaware State Police vehicle, faces citations (forgotten mile)



The Rehoboth Weekend Update is distributed by Alan Henney. Should you receive the Weekend Update twice, or do not wish to receive it at all, please contact Alan.

To subscribe please visit: http://henney.com/rehoboth/

News leads and photos are appreciated! Please e-mail alan@henney.com or call 302-227-9160. Also try AOL or Yahoo instant-messengers or Facebook, Skype or Twitter (all screen names: AlanHenney).

For Rehoboth Beach visitor info please visit: Rehoboth Beach Fever.com

Real-time ship plotter: http://henney.com/sp


May we recommend... ...our favorite!