WEEKEND #8, 2019
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
TODDLER FOUND WANDERING ALONE IN SOUTH REHOBOTH
Lost children are not unusual in Rehoboth Beach, but what is unusual is to find one, especially a toddler, wandering the back streets alone before 7 a.m.
That is what happened this past Tuesday. A concerned citizen was out for a walk, says Lt. William Sullivan, when they found the 2-year-old boy in the area of Scarborough Avenue and Rodney Street around 6:55 a.m. He was wearing pajamas and holding a toy while wandering along the sidewalk.
Police tried to get some clues from the boy, but other than maybe a first name, they were not getting any useful info. So, Lt. Sullivan says he "brought the child back to the police department... while the other officers on the shift checked the area for the parents."
For about an hour, the officers looked for likely homes with toys in the yard or parents in distress.
Eventually, Lt. Sullivan says, police found the aunt and the mother who noticed him missing after someone left the door to the residence -- in the third block of Hickman Street -- open.
"His mom and aunt came to pick him up at the police department," he added. No charges were filed.
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TEEN SHINES LASER POINTER INTO EYES OF SUV DRIVER
A motorist called Rehoboth Beach police this past Thursday after he said he was suffering eye problems after somebody shined a laser in his eye as he was driving his Nissan Xterra. It happened here at 1st Street and Brooklyn Avenue during a rain storm around 10:10 p.m.
Lt. William Sullivan says the victim told officers that he was driving westbound on the first block of Brooklyn Avenue and stopped at this stop sign when the laser beam was pointed at his eyes.
He was able to identify where the laser was being pointed from, a residence on Brooklyn Avenue, Lt. Sullivan said. "Officers made contact with a 14-year-old juvenile and their guardian at that location," he added. "The guardian was unaware that the juvenile had a laser pointer and was unaware that he pointed in anyone's direction. The laser pointer was confiscated by the officers and the victim was going to follow up with a medical doctor to see if any damage was caused to his eyes from the pointer."
"No charges were filed at this point in reference to this incident," Lt. Sullivan said.
SHARK SIGHTINGS IN SOUTH REHOBOTH!
Lifeguards in both Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach warned beach goers after shark fins were spotted just feet from shore early this past Sunday afternoon. The first report in Rehoboth Beach was received just before 12:30 p.m. on the far south side of town.
Rich Macha took these photos around 12:35 p.m. as the fin sightings continued to move north. "Rehoboth lifeguards cleared the beach at Rodney Street today when two sharks were spotted near the shoreline," Macha said.
The sightings continued at least to Hickman Street at around 12:45 p.m. Lifeguards cleared swimmers in each section as the potential threat approached. "Once the sharks left," Macha said, "swimmers were back in the water enjoying the waves."
Photos courtesy Rich Macha
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2 MOTOR SCOOTERS DISAPPEAR IN DOWNTOWN REHOBOTH
Rehoboth Beach police are investigating the suspected theft of two motor scooters (mopeds) this past weekend. The first theft was actually reported this past Friday evening. A red 2009 ETon Beemer III with Delaware tag MP6591 was taken from the corner of 1st Street and Rehoboth Avenue in the scooter parking area around 7 p.m. This is an actual photo of the scooter.
The scooter has a unique decal of a pickle and some eyeballs, as shown below, from the cartoon Rick and Morty.
Lt. William Sullivan says the second motor scooter -- a sage green Genuine "Buddy" moped -- was reportedly removed from the scooter parking stall between O'bies by the Sea and the Boardwalk Plaza between 9:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. this past Saturday.
Back in May, Rehoboth Beach police investigated two other scooter thefts in front of Eden Restaurant and another attempted in front of Houston White Co. that same evening back on May 15. All scooters from those incidents were recovered on May 16, Lt. Sullivan noted, and suspects, a male juvenile and one adult male, were arrested for those cases.
Photos courtesy Jonathan Mensch
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BYSTANDERS ASSUME WORST WHEN CHILD GOES MISSING
A missing 5-year-old boy, a frantic mother and a floating dead horseshoe crab were enough for people to start drawing the wrong conclusion this past Friday in Rehoboth Beach.
About 50 minutes after the lifeguards had gone off duty, a mother lost sight of her 5-year-old son, says Lt. William Sullivan, and when she saw something floating in the water -- later determined to be this dead horseshoe crab -- she thought it was her son drowning.
But the boy was found on the beach moments after a massive water-rescue response -- including Rehoboth Beach police, firefighters, RBP Capt. Kent Buckson, DNREC, county paramedics, Dewey Beach police and the Coast Guard -- was headed to the beach near Virginia Avenue.
Those are tears of joy as the boy's mother just discovers that her son is safe on the beach. Police and Capt. Buckson attempt to sort out what happened.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened, says Lt. Sullivan. "In the past we have had crab-pot buoys with sea grass attached floating in the surf and people have called it in as a man drowning."
FREE PARKING JUST OUTSIDE OF REHOBOTH, SORT OF...
One might say this parking situation on Canal Crossing Road is a bit unique. Some people have been using these shoulders on this road as free parking. It is only about a 1000-foot walk from here to the Rehoboth Beach city limits.
The shoulders between Corkran Boulevard and Church Street have no "bike" symbol on them or road sign indicating that either shoulder is actually a reserved bike lane, as the folks on Nextdoor.com have observed. No street signs prohibit parking here either. However, the shoulder between Corkran Boulevard and Hebron Road as well as around the corner on Church Street, are in fact marked with the "bike" symbol.
To further complicate matters, there is a separate paved bike/jogging path that runs along the roadway as shown in the background in the above photo. But as a bicyclist pointed out on Nextdoor, that path is too narrow for two-way traffic.
If that were not enough, apparently church goers have been also using this same section for parking as well on Sundays!
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CURB FLATTENS 2 TIRES ON MINI-VAN
It does not take much these days to flatten some vehicle tires. The driver of this Honda Odyssey flattened both right-side tires after striking the curb while entering the Lake Avenue side of the parking lot adjacent to El Jefe Gordo which faces Rehoboth Avenue.
Police came and helped the motorist contact a tow truck.
OFFICIALS STILL INUNDATED WITH TENT/CANOPY VIOLATORS
Some Rehoboth Beach goers are still not getting the message despite the city's outreach effort to educate visitors about the city's tent and canopy ordinance that was implemented in 2017.
The RBP compliance officer, who now has an assistant, can be seen regularly peddling back and forth along the boardwalk to explain to visitors the tent/canopy ordinance and asking visitors to dismantle non-conforming tents and canopies.
In addition, police and lifeguards make frequent attempts too to inform visitors. On Sunday alone, they had more than 35 such warnings.
Most visitors comply, especially after the police arrive to discuss the situation. But not everybody! A woman, who is on the beach under this tent, not visible from the rear, was written a citation because she refused to comply with officers around noon yesterday near Baltimore Avenue.
When asked for comment for this story regarding her violation she replied, "Just go away!"
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OnQFinancial OPENS REHOBOTH AVENUE OFFICE
OnQFinancial held a ribbon-cutting this past Thursday for its new office at 405 Rehoboth Avenue. Pamela Robichaud, area manager, explained that her company offers a mortgage application that can be completed using a mobile app and they can provide an assortment of products and programs that other lenders may not offer.
This, she said, includes reverse mortgages, bank-statement programs, a large product array of jumbo loans, a one-time close construction to perm program, among others.
Attending the opening were Ed Rexroth, Jr., Dover branch manager, Robichaud, and Hollie Fox, mortgage consultant.
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REHOBOTH BEACH COMMISSIONER UPDATES
The Rehoboth Beach Homeowners' Association Candidate Forum is scheduled at CAMP Rehoboth for Friday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m.
Mark Betchkal--- Unfortunately, Betchkal has been dealing with the recent loss of his mother in Florida. But he is back in town sharing his views with those residents who have expressed their concerns regarding Beach Walk (Bay-Mart Development). "One of my primary concerns is to seek measures to halt developers from routinely submitting non-code compliant plans to the Planning Commission and then rushing to the Board of Adjustment to seek variances or wholesale zoning changes," he stated. He also launched his Facebook page.
Edward Chrzanowski--- There was no news from Chrzanowski this past week. But his campaign signs are prominently being erected at various locations.
Charles Garlow--- Garlow has been busy this past week talking with property owners and inserting his campaign signs. He has also been going door to door distributing his door hangers. His new website is online.
Susan Gay--- Gay has also been expressing concern regarding proposed developments as vice chair of the Planning Commission. "My vision for Rehoboth," she says, is to "Retain our unique sense of place." She is hosting "Coffee with the Candidate" at Rise Up on Tuesday, July 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and another at The Coffee Mill on Sunday, August 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. She has a couple of events planned in various neighborhoods across town. Please see her website and contact her directly for dates and locations.
Gary Glass--- Had been out of town but has now returned. "Although I've been away with family, I have started getting the campaign signs out, and I have been closely following the latest developments regarding the wastewater and water rate changes. I am also monitoring the accommodations tax in Dover, which has not yet been signed by the Governor as best I can tell," he said. In regard to his FOIA complaint, he said he was disappointed by the Attorney General's opinion, because he does not think it is right that the mayor and commissioners are "keeping the public in the dark about which city property they are talking about selling." This is not the "kind of transparency that I expect from our city government," he stated.
Suzanne Goode--- Goode says she is also going door to door with the voter rolls, and speaking to as many folks as possible each day. She attended the meeting for the water/wastewater rate hikes proposals. "I am learning that our neighbors are a wonderful, varied group, all of whom love our small town, but who feel there are significant problems which need attention," she added. She also has a website now online.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION NEEDED FOR REHOBOTH COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
With a target of completing a new Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) in 2020, the Planning Commission has scheduled two initial public workshops for July 20 and August 3, beginning at 9 a.m. The July 20 workshop will focus on reviewing sea-level rise and environmental issues and their impact on the City. Tony Pratt, a consultant specializing in marine erosion and sediment deposition issues, sea-level rise impacts, coastal community resilience, and coastal government affairs, will help facilitate the discussion. He served as the Administrator of Shoreline and Waterway Management Section within the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control before retiring from that position in April 2018.
Sea-level rise will impact flood patterns in Rehoboth Beach over time. Natural hazards that present threats include coastal storms, severe thunderstorms, winter storms, wind, extreme heat, and drought. The steps we need to take to address sea-level rise are to understand the regional impacts of climate change better, assess local vulnerability, and create strategies for hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation.
The August 3 workshop will deal with mixed-use housing in commercial districts. The workshop will explore expanded use of residential and mixed-use structures within the commercial area. Modifications of current code related to mixed-use structures have the potential to improve curb appeal and may provide best-use options for property owners. Mixed-use development guidelines establish a regulatory framework to meet community expectations and are used in conjunction with zoning regulations. As part of the workshops, the public is encouraged to contribute their ideas.
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Dinnertime for the osprey family...
"My niece, who now lives in Switzerland, has been coming to Rehoboth Beach her entire life," writes Jennifer Duncan. "She yearned for some Dolles' caramel popcorn... and this picture tells the rest of the story.
Photos courtesy Mona Steinhauer and Jennifer Duncan
PIRES ATTORNEY SENDS LETTER ACCUSING MOSKOWITZ, APPELBAUM, SMITH AND HANSON OF DEFAMATORY REMARKS--- Friday's Cape Gazette featured this article regarding the defamation lawsuit that Highway One has threatened against Comm. David Moskowitz, former Mayor Diane Hanson, former town manager Marc Appelbaum and Jeffrey Smith, founder of Dewey Citizens for Accountability. This is the actual letter.
NEAR DROWNING AT SEA COLONY--- A 54-year-old man was taken to the hospital last Monday after he had gotten caught in a rip current and was pulled to shore by bystanders. It happened just before 7 p.m. near the Island House. He was alert when taken to the hospital.
MAN ARRESTED FOR BANK FRAUD--- This past Thursday, police arrested a man after he attempted to cash checks at several Sussex County M&T Bank branches including those in the Rehoboth-Lewes area. MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, state police spokeswoman, says state troopers arrested 56-year-old Kirk Smith of New York, NY in connection with two of the incidents. One was at the M&T branch in Long Neck in which he provided a false identification and unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw cash. The other incident occurred at the M&T branch in Rehoboth. Smith provided a false identification and was able to withdraw an undisclosed amount of cash from this branch, she said. State police charged him with identity theft, felony theft and forgery. Smith received a $30,000 cash-only bond on those charges.
STATE TROOPERS ARREST TEEN AFTER EXTENSIVE MANHUNT IN SWAMP--- What began as a single-vehicle accident investigation around 5:15 a.m. this past Saturday turned into a multi-hour manhunt through the swamp in the Gills Neck/Wolfe Point area outside of Rehoboth. The accident happened on Scenic Drive at Wood Drive. That is where the driver of a 2006 BMW 530i drove off the roadway, struck several trees, abandoned his vehicle in the yard of a residence on Wood Drive and fled on foot. State troopers used a police canine and helicopter to try and find the suspect. Just before 10 a.m., the canine caught up with him at the pool house on Blue Marlin Court. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The suspect has been identified as Christopher William Bainbridge, 19, of Warwick, Md. He was charged with resisting arrest, leaving the scene of an accident, malicious mischief by motor vehicle, reckless driving, failure to provide information at collision scene, failure to have minimum insurance, failure to report a collision to police and driving a vehicle at unreasonable or imprudent speed.
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