WEEKEND #8, 2021
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
THE 2021 RBHA COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE FORUM
Commentary by Hoyte Decker
The Good News is there are four well-qualified candidates -- Timothy Bennett, Richard Byrne, Rachel Macha and Mary Sharp -- for two Rehoboth Beach Commissioner positions this year. The Bad News is they debated the same old issues we've heard for years: parking, trees, maintaining the old homes. One candidate expressing the overabundance of rules and the seemingly endless deliberations about issues that never get resolved wondered, "Who's in charge?!"
Saturday morning's forum, held at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center and co-hosted with the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners' Association, lasted about 90 minutes. Unlike previous years, there were no questions directly from the audience; discussion topics were based on questions submitted in advance and edited by the moderators. There were several new topics including the recent LGBTQ+ ranking of gay-friendly communities and potential city options for federal infrastructure funds.
All of the candidates had good answers to the questions, reflecting their knowledge of the issues. There did not seem to be sharp differences in their positions on matters. This could make the voters' decision more difficult; but, the outcome of August 14th's election should be positive, whoever wins.
Despite some empty seats, especially in the front row, about 50 people attended the forum. As of Sunday evening, more than 60 have watched the recorded forum on YouTube.
Candidates have been busy on the campaign trail this past week meeting prospective voters in residents' homes. Here is Rachel Macha at Larry Carroll's house with some Maryland Avenue neighbors last Monday. She says one of their big concerns is the city responsiveness and follow-through regarding the commercial properties that back up to residential backyards. "Residents don't feel the city is responding to issues related to current 'big business' commercial properties," she says.
About 35 people attended a meet-and-greet to support Tim Bennett and Toni Sharp this past weekend. Here Bennett speaks with voters at the event hosted by Pat Hauptman, Joyce Lussier and Carole Ellison.
Sharp attended the same event. It was a good-size crowd.
This is Comm. Dick Byrne, the only incumbent in this race, out campaigning with his grandsons.
The election is Saturday, August 14. For info, see the city's website. To attend a meet-and-greet, click on the underlined candidate's name, above, which links to their websites.
Photos courtesy the candidates and Jim Ellison
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CRITICAL SCOOTER CRASHES OUTSIDE REHOBOTH
It's been a bad week for scooter/moped crashes in the beach area. State police charged a Honda Element driver with his third DUI and 1st-degree vehicular assault after a collision that left the rider of this scooter in critical condition on Shuttle Road near Rehoboth.
Police say Matthew Gleason of Lewes was driving the Honda on Bayside Outlet Drive approaching the intersection of Shuttle Road when he drove through a stop sign and cut-off a group of motor scooters. The first scooter rider was unable to stop in time and crashed. Police say he was not wearing a helmet. He was flown to a trauma center in critical condition.
Last Monday, police say the man riding this scooter down the bus/bike lane on Coastal Highway was critically injured when he was struck by the 2020 Honda Civic which was turning into the entrance of Cracker Barrel/Econo Lodge. He too wore no helmet. This has been a common problem on Coastal Highway where fast-moving scooters riding in the bus/bike lane are struck by autos entering parking lots. No charges have been announced.
In addition to these tragedies, a motorcyclist was critically injured on Stephen Decatur Highway last Monday morning in West Ocean City and two more scooter riders were injured on Thursday, one critically, on Lighthouse Road in Fenwick and the other on Beaver Dam Road at Dairy Farm Road near Lewes.
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WANTED MAN FLEES POLICE INTO REHOBOTH WITH BABY IN CAR!
A wanted man – with his baby in his car -- led state police on a chase late last Monday that ended in downtown Rehoboth. State police pursued the man driving a blue Hyundai Elantra down several residential streets before he finally stopped in the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue off 1st Street.
According to a police news release, the pursuit began just before 11 p.m. on Rehoboth Avenue outside of town. When the man -- identified as Christopher Johnson, Jr. -- had stopped at a red light, a trooper conducted a computer check which revealed that Johnson had a warrant issued for his arrest and he was also a suspended driver. When the trooper attempted a traffic stop, Johnson sped down Rehoboth Avenue to Lake Avenue to Maryland Avenue to 1st Street and finally, stopping here in the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue.
Once stopped, Johnson reportedly exited his car but failed to follow the trooper's orders and continued to walk toward the trooper at which point he was Tased and arrested. An ambulance was called as a precaution to check him for injury after being Tased.
Johnson's 1-year-old son was found secured in the rear seat of the Elantra. A BABY ON BOARD sign hung from the car's rear window. The boy was turned over to a family member at the scene. Police also found a Polymer80, Inc. 9 m.m. handgun with a matching holster in his car. Johnson is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Johnson was charged with seven crimes, four of which are felonies.
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DRUNK DRIVER SLAMS INTO STATE POLICE SUV ON COASTAL HWY
A state trooper driving north on Coastal Highway in this fully marked 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe was rear-ended by a northbound 2017 Lexus ES350 driven by a drunk driver. The crash happened around 3:10 a.m. on Sunday, just north of Conquest Road approaching Dewey Beach.
After impact, the Lexus left the roadway and slid through the grass center median, rotated counterclockwise approximately 90 degrees and came to a stop in the median. As a result of the impact, the state police Tahoe was violently pushed forward until coming to rest in the northbound shoulder of Coastal Highway.
The 11-year veteran trooper and the Lexus driver were the sole occupants in their respective vehicles. The trooper was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Lexus, later identified as Angela Robinson, was not injured.
Robinson was charged with DUI, 2nd-degree vehicular assault, excessive speed and no proof of insurance.
Photos courtesy Rehoboth Beach VFC
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BOATERS HELPING BOATERS ON REHOBOTH BAY
Good Samaritans helped the crew of this disabled sailboat on the Rehoboth Bay this past Saturday. It was a little breezy with some white caps rolling across the bay. Capt. David Koster says he was captaining a tour on the tiki-boat when he saw the sail down on their boat. "I headed over to see if they were ok," he said as "other boats just passed by without stopping."
The crew was taking down the rigging so they could be towed. Another boater finally came to assist. They had the bigger engine and towed them back to shore, he added.
Photos courtesy David Koster, PortraitsInTheSand.com
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MUSEUM EVENT EXAMINES COMMODORE SHOCK'S IMPACT ON REHOBOTH
Local historian Paul Lovett will be discussing Commodore William H. Shock's important influence on Rehoboth Beach's development in the 19th and 20th centuries this Tuesday, July 20, at the Rehoboth Beach Museum.
After a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, Commodore Shock retired to Rehoboth Beach and was involved, along with other locals, in the 1891 founding of Cape Henlopen City (now Rehoboth Beach). The Articles of Incorporation were adopted by the legislature of the State of Delaware and specifically identified a group of seven men who were designated as commissioners of the new city. Commodore Shock was sworn in as a commissioner on October 21, 1891. He was 70-years-old and served until 1903. He helped develop basic infrastructure and civil governance, street layout, sanitation, animal control and even street lights.
Lovett's lecture will describe Commodore Shock's illustrious career while taking us through the extraordinary times and state of mind of early Rehoboth Beach development. His research includes extensive review of city commissioner meetings, naval records and historical archives.
Reservations are required! Please see the museum's website for info.
Photo courtesy Rehoboth Beach Museum
RODNEY COOK RETURNS TO BACK PORCH CAFE!
It is that time of summer when The Back Porch Café features the beautiful watercolors of Rehoboth Beach artist Rodney Cook. His latest show, New Work 2021, opened this past Sunday. This is his 25th consecutive show here in Rehoboth Beach and features 35 of his latest pieces.
This show is predominately about Rehoboth, Cook explains. It features the beach drama associated with the major times of the day including early morning sunrises, late morning sunrises and moonrises, he points out. Also included are subjects he has not painted often, such as scenes from nearby North Shores including marshes, blooming grasses and migratory birds.
Of course, he has his classic lifeguards doing sundry things and the iconic Dolle's sign. People are sentimentally attached to that sign! "Once it is gone, it will be gone and people will be talking about it," he pointed out, as it has "always been a symbol of our village."
Cook, a college art professor, launched his art career painting murals in Baltimore including the eight-story Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower which became known as the Baltimore Arts Tower.
While in the field he frequently painted sketches with watercolors to see how the mural would appear. Watercolors are reasonable, could be done in a car without making a mess, are quicker and are good for gathering info, he explains.
The medium was not as well respected when Cook was growing up, he recalls, but in the 80's and 90's in New York, watercolors finally became more acceptable and became a legitimate medium of their own. Cook's exhibition will be on display at The Back Porch Café for at least the next month.
Photos courtesy Charlie Browne
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INSPIRATIONS OPENS AT CAMP REHOBOTH
A rare mother-daughter show comes to Rehoboth
Inspirations, a mother-daughter exhibition, opened last Monday at CAMP Rehoboth. The exhibition explores the similarities between a mother, Aina Nergaard-Nammack, who is an acrylic painter, and her daughter, Marta Nammack, who is a photographer.
Marta explains that she likes textures, playing with shapes and shadows, and black & white, while her mother also likes shapes and textures but typically lots of colors. This is a painting her mother created from a 6th-grade picture of Marta. The photo on the left is one Marta took of her mother, and that's Marta on the right!
Here is a beachscape. Marta took the photo and her mother painted it!
"We try to make it inspirational... both of us enjoy the beach so I try to put more of it," Marta explains. Aina is an acrylic painter who often uses Gesso or even sand to add more texture in her paintings.
This exhibition will remain on display through August 3. See the CAMP Rehoboth website for info.
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Viceroy butterfly by Jerry Sipes...
Dewey sunrise by Bob Pfister...
The bees like a little summer nectar by Jerry Sipes...
MERR REPORT--- Suzanne Thurman from the MERR Institute says that last week her organization once again had no sea mammal or turtle strandings to report. Preliminary numbers from Saturday's dolphin count are low, she noted. "It was slack tide when it started so that may have had something to do with it but then it was an incoming tide," Thurman said. The MERR dolphin cruise will be held next Sunday, July 25, with a second cruise scheduled for August 8. The second is an eco cruise out to the Harbor of Refuge where dolphins usually abound. See the MERR website for info.
SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE INVESTIGATION IN CAMELOT MEADOWS OUTSIDE REHOBOTH--- Delaware State Police bomb squad responded to a suspicious package call on Ladd Lane in Camelot Meadows around 10 p.m. Sunday. No word yet on what they found or the circumstances.
MAN INJURED AFTER TRAILER EXPLODES--- A man was injured after an explosion in a single-wide trailer on Pine Street in Banks Acres in the Millville area. It was reported just before 8:45 a.m. last Wednesday. Firefighters arrived and found blown out windows after a suspected stove leak. The male occupant was taken to the hospital with burns to his hands, face and hair.
MAN STABBED AT FISH TALES IN O.C.--- Police found a man stabbed in the abdomen around 2 a.m. last Thursday at Fish Tales Bar & Grill off 22nd Street in Ocean City. He was conscious when a helicopter flew him from Jolly Roger to a trauma center.
DEWEY BEACH BENCH FOUND ON ROGERS AVE--- Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, police spokesman, says six men stole a city bench from Houston Street this past week. The missing bench was later discovered on Friday and recovered by Dewey Beach just three streets north of the town limits, on Rogers Avenue. The suspects are still at large.
DEWEY POLICE FINE BICYCLIST $1000+ AND CONFISCATE HIS BIKE--- A 21-year-old man from Georgetown, Delaware, had his bicycle confiscated and he also faces more than $1000 in fines after Dewey Beach police caught him biking erratically on Coastal Highway last Thursday. According to Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, police spokesman, the bicyclist had, among other offenses, been latching onto passing cars to pull him along.
4-YEAR-OLD ON RAZOR SCOOTER COLLIDES WITH PICKUP TRUCK--- A four-year-old boy on a Razor electric motorcycle collided with a 2013 Ford F150 as it was moving on a dirt road. It happened in the Holly Lake Campsites just south of Angola around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Amazingly, although his bike was reportedly wedged under the truck, he was still conscious and talking when EMS crews took him to the hospital. He was wearing a helmet. Rob Mauch, Sussex County EMS spokesman, says the boy was last reported in stable condition. Sr. Cpl. Jason Hatchell, state police spokesman, says there are no charges against the driver of the pickup.
MEN ARRESTED FOR REMOVING VINYL TRUMP DECALS FROM VAN--- Dewey Beach police have arrested two northern Virginia men, one from Aldie and the other from Oakton, after they were caught "red handed" early Sunday pealing large vinyl TRUMP decals from a man's van. Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, police spokesman, says it happened on Dickinson Street around 12:45 a.m. They have been charged with criminal mischief.
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