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WEEKEND #10, 2011

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


Not every gull can make it home at night.

Imagine coming to Rehoboth Beach with the family. While on the beach, you notice a seagull with a broken wing fluttering hopelessly along the dune fence. You are an animal lover, and you want to help, but do not know what to do.

Somebody approaches the lifeguard stand for advice. The guard radios other guards who reply that nothing can be done or they give people false hope by promising that they will "contact the city." In addition, several guards make silly comments over the radio about what to do with a dying bird, not knowing if bystanders are listening.

This is a regular dilemma for beach visitors and lifeguards in Rehoboth Beach, something which has confronted the guards several times in the past 10 days.

In years past, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research had volunteers in the area who could transport injured birds for care to Newark, Delaware, where the organization is based. "We had a group of volunteers and a transport team from the beaches," writes Leah Lage, Tri-State Bird Rescue marketing manager, but "despite our ongoing recruitment efforts, it has gradually faded away due to attrition, rising gas prices and competing demands on time."

"We have tried many creative options," she added, "including using a bus service! Now we largely rely on the kindness of strangers to transport birds as far as Dover, where a relay of volunteers can be tapped to bring them up to Newark."

Rehoboth Beach, like other Sussex County resort towns, has no animal control. The SPCA, which states on its Website that it is funded only by private donations, typically handles cats and dogs while MERR and DNREC deal with sea animals. All bird problems are referred to Tri-State Bird Rescue which is almost 90 miles from Rehoboth.

Dewey Beach Patrol Capt. Todd Fritchman says when his guards receive an injured bird report, they assess the situation, find an appropriate box and use a towel to catch the bird. He says they will call Tri-State Bird Rescue. It is a process with delays, he added, and they might have to hold the bird or leave it at a drop-off location. But somehow, he says, they try to get it to Tri-State.

Ocean City has had two animal control officers for years. Jessica Waters, police spokeswoman, says the officers do respond for injured seagulls. "Each injured seagull is treated on a case by case basis, depending on the extent of injury to the bird," she writes, adding that "If the bird has a chance at being rehabilitated or can survive with its injury (say a broken leg) then they are generally aided by Animal Control and set free. If the injury is irreparable (a badly broken wing, for example) then they are on occasion euthanized, however that is a last resort option."

Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Lorraine Zellers, who chairs the city's animal issues committee, says "there are policies in effect, although it would appear from the [radio] audio that the guards were either not aware of them or were not aware that they were still in effect. It's obvious that they also need some instruction about how they should be communicating on the radios." Of course, she added that "the guards' first priority is the safety of our beach visitors - all else is secondary to that."

The Rehoboth Beach Patrol radio conversations referenced above can be heard by clicking here for July 22, or here for July 25.

Commissioner Zellers said that she has been told that the city rarely receives calls about injured seagulls. "But if they do, the policy has been to contact Tri-State Bird Rescue in Newark who will make every effort to work with the city and find volunteers who will transport the bird," she added.

With regard to finding a more efficient system to transport injured birds to Newark, it is not that Tri-State does not care, Lage writes, but "we have learned that our time is more wisely spent taking care of the birds that we already have at the clinic. In the summer we often have 200+ wild bird patients in-house, many that require hand feeding every twenty minutes. It is by necessity that they are our first priority. We truly are a hospital without an ambulance, and have limited resources to retrieve birds. As a result, and with a few exceptions, people are asked to bring birds to us whenever possible. It is just as difficult and expensive for a Tri-State staff member or volunteer to retrieve a bird as it is for a private citizen to bring it to us."

Tri-State Bird Rescue receives quite a few gulls. Lage said they are mostly ring billed gulls, herring gulls, laughing gulls and greater black-backed gulls. The most common injuries are caused by human activity: wing fractures and spinal trauma, often the result of being hit by cars or striking power lines and falling to the ground, internal injuries from ingesting fishing hooks, and circulatory compromise to legs and wings when they are ensnared by discarded fishing line.

If you find an injured gull or any native wild bird in need of assistance, Lage says you can call Tri-State Bird Rescue at 302-737-9543. The staff can advise how to safely catch and transport the bird to Tri-State Bird Rescue.

If you want to volunteer, Lage says Tri-State can provide training on safe handling, capture and transport of injured birds. She says the organization is looking for willing volunteers to help with transport; they make a difference by helping a wild creature survive.

"Each of us has a chance to help make amends for the inadvertent injuries to wildlife caused by human activity," Lage states. "By spending a few hours to drive a bird to our center, you are giving it a second chance at life."



Rehoboth Beach police have been proactive using plain clothes and officers in uniform patrolling the beach for alcohol among other violations.

Police caught this man on the beach in front of the Boardwalk Plaza after he drank from a beer can around 5 p.m. Saturday. They walked him to a waiting police car, can still in hand, where they used a notebook computer to issue him a civil citation.

Lifeguards had complained that he was among a group of people who had refused to stop tossing a football on the beach when warned and they were supposedly taunting a guard.

Another officer on patrol around 1:34 p.m. Saturday spotted these men on the beach in front of the south boards Grotto Pizza. After running a computer check on each of them, he wrote out a civil citation.




These trash bags, discovered discarded beside a public trash can on Rehoboth Avenue, caught the eye of the Rehoboth Beach night-time code enforcement officer.

Around 1:10 a.m. Sunday, he asked for a police officer to be his witness as he opened and inspected the bags. Inside the plastic bags was evidence that potentially links them to a business elsewhere in the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue.

This could violate a couple different city codes. § 227-13 states that public waste containers "shall be used by the members of the general public as the place for disposal of wastepaper and material accumulated by members of the general public while using the public ways of the city."

The section adds that no business or property owner "shall dispose of or place any garbage, trash or rubbish in any public waste container of the city, except when such person constitutes a member of the general public..."



The doors of a Chevy Tahoe accidentally locked with the keys and a toddler still inside. It was reported to Rehoboth Beach police around 3:25 p.m. Thursday in the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue.

Police Chief Keith Banks says the parents never left the area. The window was open about two inches and Sgt. Scott O'Bier attempted to unlock the vehicle but was unable to do so. The child appeared to be in distress, so they broke the window.

An ambulance crew came to check on the child. The parents, who come from Rockville, Md., declined any further medical treatment.



These men spent several hours Wednesday digging out two beach chairs buried in the surf under the watchful eye of Rehoboth Beach police.

Read the story on the WGMD Website by clicking here.




Police have been called again on Tuesday and Friday this past week to ticket unauthorized vehicles parked in the two spaces reserved for city business in front of the Building & Licensing offices at 306 Rehoboth Avenue.

A police officer issued tickets to both cars on Friday. Both vehicles had more than two hours paid in the Reino parking meter.

These two parallel parking spaces are normal metered parking spots after 5 p.m. and on weekends. But during the work day, they are reserved for city business only, as explained by the sign between the spaces.

Last year at this time, Rehoboth Beach had already towed four unauthorized vehicles from lifeguard parking spots. This past Saturday was the closest a car has become this season to getting towed from one of those spots.

Around 12:30 p.m., a lifeguard on lunch break spotted this gold Chevy Classic in the reserved lifeguard parking on Olive Avenue.

The man returned as Coastal Towing was hooking it up. He said he did not see the sign. He had to pay a $95 show-up fee which did not include the fine for illegal parking. He did have more than 30 minutes remaining in the parking meter before the tow truck arrived.




Cheryl Blackman says she has been getting questions about what happened to her hair. She had breast cancer surgery this past winter, and is undergoing chemotherapy.

She has not been discouraged and despite the chemo treatments remains active working the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, as she has done for many years, posing for photographs and selling raffle tickets for charity, both KINfolk and the Village Improvement Association.

This article about her fame appeared in the Gannett newspapers in July.

Please keep her in your prayers. Blackman says she will play a leprechaun again during Snow Hill's Chesapeake Celtic Festival in October.


by Dagmar Henney

Anita Peghini Räber is among three talented artists exhibiting at Prudential Gallo Realtors outside Rehoboth.

She started painting 10 years ago and has become well established for her expressionism. Her latest works feature lovely natural settings. Anita says she believes visual art is a powerful non-verbal communication tool. It translates the meaning of words, represents the unsaid, the unknown and mystifying universe.

She translates the unsaid and unknown into brilliant color and glowing atmosphere. A mood full of color is her newest smaller beach scenes, several shown below.

Her style is softer than during her fabulous expressionist period, but they are full of power, color and feeling. Her joy is focused on sharing a collective awareness of the here and now. Nature and the untold stories will let you share the collective consciousness.

With regard to her style, Anita says her "interest lays in expressing the raw emotions in the here and now while using the shapes and colors as I please to accomplish my composition by balance. I am a plein-air painter catching the moment in the open space; I attempt to capture even the unseen like the breeze in the air. I do the exact same thing in my studio inside with my model by observing the emotional connection between the figure and myself and the colors of the season reflected on the skin, the cool and warm colors bouncing playfully off the skin tones. I basically use anything meaningful to me to splash color on the canvas while hinting on several possibilities; I leave freedom to wide open interpretation. I believe in the 'Don't fence me in!' therefore I would never freeze frame any living object such as a flower that I paint."

"I feel even the flower in a painting deserves a route of escape," she continues. "In being free lays all the opportunities there are. While being aggressive in my paint application and the directional dark lines reflecting our time in the here and now, I am hinting at the complexity of an object (there is never black vs. white, this vs. that, there is a spectrum of gray shades in between). I want the viewer to pause in our hectic world and fuse with that moment of Timelessness, to enjoy and to reflect... Thinking is a sport that needs to be revived, I feel."

Anita's two oil paintings Resting at Sunset and Morning Glow are breathtaking. Her newer work feature lovely natural settings, for example, Beach Walk and Woman and Bird, shown below.

The Fine Arts Exhibition Series, The Beach, will be showing through September 30 at Prudential Gallo Realtors at 37230 Rehoboth Avenue Extended. Works by artists Linda Dickey and Michael Sprouse are also on display. Thanks to Prudential for supporting local artists with this exhibition. This is a bi-monthly show.

Anita has 62 more paintings at Preshy's Gallery Restaurant in the Midway Shopping Center as well as at Philip Morton Gallery and Hobos Restaurant, both on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach.

Anita is an astounding representative of Swiss-American art. Paint on Anita!


by Guillermo Silveira

How does a one-of-a-kind thrown-away furniture piece become art? Colored patterns, applications, artistic designs, and of course, the marvelous hands of Sherrylee Biele, elevate old furniture, lamp shades and mirrors to a fantastic artistic level. Her refinement and humor is bright and appealing, and her hospitality is immense. Sherrylee offers her "without gallery friends art" with honorable elegance. Jewelry, clay crafts, sea glass from our beaches, glass clocks, cement ornaments, painted floor mats, and more may be purchased at PAINTIQUES, with Biele's unique painted vintage furniture.

Paintiques is at 20 Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. Call 302-258-4203 or www.paintiquesgallery.com.






POLICE NAB 4 DUIs AT REHOBOTH CHECKPOINT--- Rehoboth Beach police caught four drunk drivers at this weekend's checkpoint. Police Chief Keith Banks says officers also caught violators for failing to use seat belts, an illegal left turn, headlights and registration issues. The checkpoint, part of Checkpoint Strikeforce, was not a secret. It was announced on the WGMD Website on Wednesday and was on this same weekend last season at the same location, Rehoboth Avenue east of the canal bridge.


ANOTHER STINGRAY INJURY--- For at least the second time this past month, a man was stung so badly by a stingray he took an ambulance to the hospital. The most recent incident was reported around 7:15 a.m. Friday on Broadkill Beach off Seashore Drive. A Milton ambulance crew took the man to Beebe Hospital with an injury to his left wrist. They did not say if he had been fishing. The previous incident was July 12 in the Cape Henlopen State Park, Gordons Pond side.


BOATING INCIDENT NEAR POT-NETS--- A 56-year-old woman was injured while riding on a boat in the area of Pot-Nets Bayside around 11 a.m. Friday. According to EMS reports, she was thrown forward after another boat sped past the boat she was aboard. She was reported in serious pain after dislocating both shoulders, cutting her lip and bruising her forehead. An ambulance took her to Beebe Hospital.



TODAY Show's Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford in Rehoboth Beach [video]

Rehoboth police warn of lodging credit card scam

Another Rehoboth scam alert; bogus travelers' checks

Group fights don't frighten Rehoboth

122 new ballots go out to Rehoboth voters

Save Our City - Rehoboth Beach election news

Two Delaware birds test positive for West Nile Virus

Ex-USS Radford nearly ready for reefing off Delaware coast

Ex-USS Arthur W. Radford reef sinking expected soon

Ex-USS Radford ready to be sunk as reef off Delaware coast

New shark regulations for Delaware anglers

Jellyfish largely absent from shore

Fire marshal investigates 2 intentional car fires at Pot-Nets

Dew Tour's first beachfront event a huge success in O.C.

3 charged in thefts from vehicles in Lewes


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