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WEEKEND #11, 2009

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


It won't go down as a large protest, but it was certainly the only protest in recent memory in Rehoboth Beach. On Sunday, the Sussex County Community Organized Regiment, which calls itself a grassroots conservative movement, protested the rebuilding of the boardwalk using federal stimulus funds.

Pictured above are John Murray, Angel Clark, Paul Jorgensen and Gwendolyn "Wendy" Jones.

Murray, a Vietnam veteran, carried a copy of the Constitution in his shirt pocket. He is also an artist and a regular at the Rehoboth Art League. He says he is protesting for his grandchildren.

Clark is one of the protest organizers. Her sign reads Was your vacation worth 7 million and WWFD - What Would our Founding Fathers Do on the reverse. Jorgensen's sign says Welcome to the Pork Walk WPA New Today. Jones holds the Do not tread on me flag and is a Libertarian Party candidate for the 19th Senatorial District in Monday's special election.

The protest was scheduled to start at 2 p.m., just as a thunderstorm arrived in the area. The four protesters took shelter in the bandstand along with beach goers. Clark said other protesters were stuck in traffic or decided not to attend because of the weather.

Fox News ranked the Rehoboth Beach stimulus funds as #16 in its Waste 101 report that aired on TV and appears on the Internet. But Clark said she was concerned about the proposed spending long before Fox News aired its report.

Parts of the boardwalk are in serious need of repair. On Saturday, a 65-year-old woman fell on the boardwalk after reportedly tripping over a board sticking up along an old section near the Boardwalk Plaza around 2:10 p.m. She declined an ambulance ride to the hospital. A member of the beach patrol said he nailed down the offending board, but other boards are well weathered along this heavily traveled section.



There's nothing like the first week of August as city dwellers flock to the shore. With them come traffic, packed beaches, more waiting lines and lost kids.

Traffic to, from and at the shore was often a mess this weekend!

On Saturday around 5 p.m., beach-bound Bay Bridge traffic backed up four to five miles at the toll plaza.

But back at the beach, traffic was already becoming a mess. In Rehoboth around 6 p.m. Saturday, traffic backed up to Second Street. For much of the evening, traffic crawled out of town. In an effort to improve Rehoboth Avenue traffic, a police officer was stationed at the circle until around 11:30 p.m. to help direct traffic. DelDOT supposedly changed a traffic signal to speed up the out-bound traffic around 9:45 p.m.

Traffic on Rehoboth Avenue often backed up to around Second Street, and the streets which emptied into Rehoboth Avenue were affected as well. Lake Avenue, shown below, looked like this much Saturday evening.


On Sunday, as the thunderstorm approached the shore, traffic was again in disarray as visitors attempted to flee downtown Rehoboth Beach starting around 12:45 p.m. Sgt. Jack Bushey formulated a plan around 1:15 p.m. and assigned officers to help ease Rehoboth Avenue congestion by directing some traffic out State Road. The officers continued to direct traffic during part of the thunderstorm.

By 2 p.m., DelDOT traffic cameras showed what looked like a steady stream of vehicles headed north on Coastal Highway from south of Dewey Beach, through Dewey and along the "forgotten mile" past Rehoboth.


With the crowds come found children and lost parents. These two young men hailed a Rehoboth Beach police officer when they found themselves lost in front of the Atlantic Sands Hotel around 6:45 p.m. Saturday. The officer interviewed the boys and radioed the info to his dispatcher. It took more than 30 minutes before the mother was found.

Typically more children are found before parents report them missing. Former Rehoboth Beach Patrol Capt. Jate Walsh would often say that lost children wonder in the same direction as the wind. Another theory is that they turn to the left.



Next Saturday is Election Day in Rehoboth Beach, and we have one last week of campaign sign counts. On Thursday we surveyed the entire length of Rodney Street in the south, and Oak Avenue in the north.

If a candidate had more than one sign on a property, it was counted only once. But if two different candidates had signs on the same property, both were included in the totals.

RODNEY STREET--- A total of five properties displayed campaign signs for at least one candidate. Four were for Commissioner Paul Kuhns, and one each for Commissioner Kathy McGuiness and challenger Bill Sargent. One property displayed signs for two candidates.

OAK AVENUE--- A total of 10 properties displayed at least one campaign sign. Bill Sargent had eight, Commissioner Paul Kuhns had five, and Commissioner Kathy McGuiness had two. Several properties on this street had signs for two candidates, and one had all three!

Last week we counted the properties displaying signs on Laurel Street and Park Avenue.

Next week we will have election photos, the results, and which streets - if any - predicted the correct outcome!


Veteran sandcastle builders and several new contestants participated in the popular sandcastle building contest sponsored by the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce on Saturday. The contest was held near Rehoboth Beach's Henlopen Hotel.

Awards were given for best sandcastle, free forum and animal in adult and child categories. Check the Chamber of Commerce Website for more 2009 pictures on the photo page (click "forward" at the bottom of the page until you reach sandcastle Contest).

Darrell O'Connor, below, says he's been a sandcastle contestant for 20 years. This year he won the award for original sandcastle which he built by himself.

David O'Brien, below, was assisted by Shai Segall with this sand sculpture, Bailout. In the right hand the sandman holds a bag of tax, and $$ in the left hand. In front is a bottle labeled Bonu$, and in the rear are tombstones for Fannie, Freddie and GM. O'Brien says he's been a sandcastle contest participant for more than 10 years.

Photos below by David Koster, Portraits In The Sand


This past week, at least four Reino meters in town were out of service while the city waited for parts from the manufacturer. That included I-106, I-108, R-110, which had been out much of July, and R-301. All of them, with the exception of R-301, which serves a single space in front of the old High's Dairy store, were repaired and working on Saturday.

But the Park & Pay machine in the city hall parking lot was out of service, again.

However, the city was still able to collect parking fees by telling visitors to pay at the nearby Parking Division building.



A motorcyclist was struck by a truck on Rehoboth Avenue just east of Coastal Highway across from Clubhouse Golf. It happened around 2:40 p.m. Friday. The motorcyclist had serious leg injuries but not life threatening. He was taken to Beebe Hospital.

Here is a picture from the DelDOT traffic camera.


While Friday's storm brought much needed rain, it also brought wind gusts in excess of 30 m.p.h. Here is video Mati Kerpen and Jeremy Settle shot of a sign blowing past Dewey Beach's Best Western Gold Leaf hotel.

Story and Photos by Bob Pugh

Firefighters were summoned to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay marina Saturday afternoon to contain a diesel fuel spill. An estimated 50 gallons spilled in the water. Cambridge hazmat crews contained the spill using booms and the Maryland Natural Resources Police kept boaters from entering or leaving the marina during the clean up. The resort is on the Choptank River off U.S. Route 50 east of Cambridge.





The late-night noise and crowds do not deter these sparrows from nesting above the terra cotta roof of Grotto's Pizza's entrance on Rehoboth Avenue.



TEEN STUNG BY RAY--- A 17-year-old male was stung by a skate or sting ray in the left wrist around 5:50 p.m. Thursday. A Bethany Beach ambulance was initially sent to Bay Street in Fenwick Island to take the teen to the hospital, but his parent declined EMS transport. The EMS personnel were not certain if he still had a barb stuck in his wound. They said he was soaking his wrist in warm water and reported it felt "a lot better." They never said if he were fishing or swimming when he was stung.

REHOBOTH POLICE ARREST 10+ TEENS FOR DRUGS AND ALCOHOL--- "The pavilion at Wilmington Avenue at the Boardwalk has always been a hangout for local youths and a source of numerous complaints to the RBPD," wrote Det. Kevin Jones in the April 24 RB Neighborhood Watch. "The RBPD took a more proactive stance in this area last summer which resulted in several arrests for various crimes. We intend on taking the same approach this year," Det. Jones added.

Indeed that has been the case. Around 9:15 p.m. Saturday officers stopped seven teens on the dune crossover opposite the Wilmington Avenue pavilion. Three males and four females were arrested. Officers said it was for underage consumption and possession of alcohol. About the same time, police stopped two more male teens a block south near the beach entrance at Delaware Avenue. One was arrested for drugs. Around 9:20 p.m. Sunday evening, police arrested three more teens for drugs on the beach near Norfolk Street.

VEHICLE-BLOCKING DRIVEWAY COMPLAINTS--- Rehoboth Beach police handled at least four vehicle-blocking-driveway complaints on Saturday. Perhaps the most notable was reported around 10:25 p.m. on Delaware Avenue. The resident wanted a Saab blocking her driveway removed. Shortly after Coastal Towing removed the car, the owner returned and started arguing with the woman who called police. The seasonal officer was still there, and was told by his supervisor to tell the towee to stop arguing or he'll end up getting arrested for disorderly conduct."

EARLY O.C. FIRE ALARMS--- Ocean City had only two early morning fire alarms since Friday. The first was reported around 3 a.m. Friday at 101 123rd Street at the Jockey Beach Club Condo. Firefighters discovered an activated fire alarm pull station on the third floor of the four-story condo, but no fire.

Around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, firefighters responded to the Sandalwoods Condo at 14300 Jarvis Avenue for several calls reporting an odor of smoke. Occupants were told to evacuate. Firefighters eventually discovered food on the stove in one of the condos in the "B" building.

EARLY MORNING STRUCTURE FIRE--- Lewes firefighters assisted by those from Rehoboth and Milton battled a blaze in a two-story vacant structure on Lewes-Georgetown Highway and Sweetbriar Road around 1 a.m. Saturday. That's west of Arabian Acres. One firefighter was taken to Beebe Hospital suffering from exhaustion.

MULBERRY KNOLL ROAD, JOHN J. WILLIAMS HIGHWAY IN THE NEWS--- Mulberry Knoll Road is a small road off John J. Williams Highway (Route 24) about a mile west of Coastal Highway. But it has seen an unusual amount of fire/rescue and police activity the past couple weeks.

Last week it was the site of a multiple-vehicle crash (see story/photos on the RB VFC Website). Just before 11 a.m. Friday, Route 24 was shut down here again after a property damage accident followed by another crash involving three vehicles. Three patients were taken to Beebe Hospital with minor injuries.

About 100 yards west is Retz Lane where the police-involved shooting took place around 4:20 p.m. Sunday in Country Village. See state police news release.

Also on Sunday, right around the corner on Warrington Road south of John J. Williams Highway was another accident which was reported around 5:30 p.m. A single vehicle rolled on its side. The passenger, a 22-year-old woman, was flown to Christiana Hospital with possible pelvic and abdomen injuries. The driver, another 22-year-old woman, was taken to Beebe Hospital. Both supposedly wore seat belts.


Friday, 4:05 p.m. -- Irons Lane in Bay Colony, four children reportedly flipped off a raft about a half-mile from shore near the marina. Millville firefighters, county paramedics, and the Coast Guard responded. All of the children were safely back on shore about 10 minutes later just as officials arrived.

Friday, 5:35 p.m. -- A pontoon boat was reportedly sinking, then later stranded on a sandbar, as a storm moved through the area. The boat and occupants were safely located on the Rehoboth Bay near New Road west of Delaware Seashore State Park.

Saturday, 9:30 p.m. -- Slaughter Beach and Bowers Beach firefighters searched for two persons who broke down on Jet-Skis on the Mispillion River. One report said they had been out for almost three hours. Both were safely located around 10 p.m.

Sunday, 11:30 a.m. -- A 56-year-old man was injured and initially reported as unconscious after a Jet-Ski accident. It happened near Roosevelt Avenue in Cape Windsor. That's west of Fenwick Island just across the line in Delaware. An Ocean City medic took him to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Sunday, 3:35 p.m. -- Ocean City received reports that a boat struck the Route 90 bridge with possibly two persons in the water. Firefighters, marine police and the Coast Guard searched but could not determine what, if anything, had happened.

COASTAL HIGHWAY CRASHES--- Fire/EMS crews were dispatched to at least five accidents on Coastal Highway on Friday and Saturday in the Rehoboth-Lewes area. None were serious:

Friday, 2:10 p.m. -- three vehicles were reported in an accident at the light to Kmart/Camelot outside Rehoboth. Debris were scattered across the roadway, blocking two northbound lanes. None of the vehicle occupants took an ambulance to the hospital.

Friday, 5:10 p.m. -- a Dart Bus driver suffered a shoulder injury after an accident with another vehicle in the northbound lanes near the Rehoboth Diner.

Friday, 6 p.m. -- the fire department was requested for fluid on the roadway and to clear debris after a four-vehicle crash near Anderson's Carpet.

Saturday, 5:45 p.m. -- "About" four vehicles were involved in a crash in the northbound lanes south of the Wawa after a teen rear-ended another motorist at low speed. None of the occupants took an ambulance to the hospital.

Saturday, 8:05 p.m. -- A woman was injured after a two-vehicle accident near Lazy Susan's. She complained of left-side shoulder pain and was taken to Beebe Hospital.






SHORE BREAK: Little-Known Big Beach Danger (CBS report with OCBP)

O.C. STORM WREAKS HAVOC (headboat struck by lightning)

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