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WEEKEND #11, 2014

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




According to the VP press office, there were no public appearances during this past week's visit of Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Secret Service vehicles were spotted in the Rehoboth area starting last Sunday, but the Bidens arrived under the cover of darkness Monday by motorcade along Columbia Avenue through Rehoboth Beach to a multi-million dollar home in North Shores adjacent to the Cape Henlopen State Park.

During their stay, men in black Chevy Suburbans and several smaller, less obvious cars, sat outside the residence, on either side and across the street, often with the doors propped open, as if prepared to engage intruders or curious onlookers.

Sussex County tax records show that the home, pictured below, belongs to Michael D. & Frederica P. Sheehan of Bethesda, Maryland.

Several men by the name of "Michael Sheehan" are affiliated with the recent presidential administrations. Even one major newspaper website seems to have a difficult time distinguishing between the men.

The Michael Sheehan in this case appears to be the head of Sheehan Associates, a public relations firm based in Washington, D.C.

This Washington Times article refers to Sheehan as a democratic image maker who was "Once dubbed by [former] Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as an 'extraordinary media coach' who helped her master the teleprompter." He receives praise from former President Bill Clinton in this Youtube video and is recognized in the book Game Change, for preparing Biden for his debates and honing his communications skills.

This Daily Beast article refers to Sheehan as the "go-to communications guy for Democrats (Obamas, Clintons) and CEOs (Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt)."

Biden has also videotaped clips supporting the American Institute for Stuttering where Sheehan serves on the board of directors. Sheehan is quoted as saying "We all didn't get where we are now in spite of our stuttering. I think we got here in part because of it."

On Monday, the FAA had issued a Temporary Flight Restriction prohibiting most aircraft over the Rehoboth area. The TFR covered a radius of roughly seven nautical miles of the residence as indicated by the red circle on the below aviation map. Despite the TFR, at least one banner plane entered the restricted airspace.

The FAA lifted the flight restrictions when the Bidens and their entourage returned Thursday morning.

As a coincidence, a new book, The First Family Detail, written by former Washington Post and Newsmax journalist Ronald Kessler, anonymously quotes Secret Service agents about the private lives of the people they protect. The book notes Biden's desires and insistence that his motorcade not interfere with his neighbors when he returns to Delaware.

Kessler's book states that insistence keeps the Vice President at a dangerous distance from critical resources in his detail. Kessler writes that because of these requests, desires and activities, plus his non-stop schedule changes, protecting Biden is the second-worst assignment, only behind former First Lady Hillary Clinton's detail. Read more at WGMD.com.


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Residents on one normally quiet road in North Shores have seen quite a bit of activity this past week.

It started last Sunday when the black Chevy Suburbans and other mysterious vehicles parked along the street occupied by men throughout the day and night guarding the residence the Bidens would occupy through Thursday morning.

On Saturday morning, fire apparatus from Rehoboth Beach and Lewes filled the same road surrounded by high-end beach homes after a reported electrical fire broke out at 16 Farview Road.

The call for help came in around 8:25 a.m. after the occupants noted flames coming from an inside exhaust fan.

Firefighters arrived within minutes and reported that the fire was confined mostly to the second-floor powder room although it was spreading to the attic. They had the fire under control in less than 20 minutes.

The four occupants escaped unharmed. That is them talking with a fire marshal. No cause or damage estimate has been released as of yet. The house is a rental.


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Rehoboth Beach police ended up arresting the driver of this motor scooter after he and his passenger sideswiped the Ford SUV, busted its taillight and wrecked the bike. Both men declined an ambulance ride to Beebe Hospital despite their cuts. The driver was suspected of being under the influence. It happened near the south end of the boardwalk on Prospect Street around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Lt. William Sullivan, Rehoboth Beach police spokesman, says the scooter driver was charged with DUI, No License in Possession and No Registration in Possession. He was taken to Beebe Hospital for a blood draw.

Earlier Tuesday, around 11:30 a.m., a scooter was involved in a low-speed collision with a Lincoln in the traffic circle on Rehoboth Avenue. The 55-year-old male scooter driver was taken to Beebe Hospital with shoulder pain and a suspected collarbone injury. Lt. Sullivan said the woman driving the car was charged with Failure to Yield.

Around 1 a.m. Friday, a 40-year-old woman driving a scooter in West Ocean City was unconscious after a crash on Stephen Decatur Highway at Airport Road. She regained consciousness and was talking to paramedics prior to being loaded on a state police helicopter for the flight to a trauma center.

With regard to the moped/scooter accidents, Lt. Sullivan says "it appears that there are more and more people operating scooters as they are an economical way to get around. Naturally with more and more scooters, the potential for accidents with these vehicles increases. The unfortunate side to operating a scooter or moped is that you have to be especially careful because you do not have any protection if you are in an accident. We always encourage the use of helmets when operating mopeds or scooters so that if you are in an accident you at least have some sort of protection for your head. Consuming alcohol and operating any vehicle makes for a very dangerous mix, especially when operating something on two wheels."


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Dewey Beach police made a quick arrest after a female pedestrian was struck in the parking lot of Northbeach/Ivy early Wednesday morning.

Both Dewey and state police were already on standby for the "dollar drink" special when the female victim was hit around 1:40 a.m.

Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, Dewey Beach PD spokesman, says an intoxicated 22-year-old woman driving a car got into a fender-bender while trying to leave the parking lot. As she fled that accident, she hit the pedestrian, then drove out on to Dagsworthy Avenue and headed for Coastal Highway.

According to one report, the 24-year-old woman was struck from behind, pushed forward and her head hit one of the vehicles. She was not seriously injured but complained of knee pain when taken to Beebe Hospital.

A Dewey Beach police officer stopped the female driver as her car approached Coastal Highway. Sgt. Dempsey says she was arrested for DUI and taken to Beebe Hospital for a blood draw.

That is where she became "disorderly" and attempted to fight off two police officers and a hospital worker. She was further charged, he said, with "offensive touching" of the officers and hospital worker.



This is how it looked on the DelDOT traffic camera on Rehoboth Avenue at Church Street outside Rehoboth after a man was struck by a car around 10:45 p.m. Friday.

Cpl. Gary Fournier, state police spokesman, says a 27-year-old woman from Rehoboth had been driving a 1998 Dodge Caravan north on Church Street crossing over Rehoboth Avenue-Extended on a green light. At the same time, a 56-year-old Rehoboth man was attempting to cross Church Street, on the northern side of Rehoboth Avenue while the pedestrian control device was in the DON'T-WALK mode and that was when he was struck by the Caravan.

Shortly after the accident, the traffic camera video was abruptly disrupted with this message.

The man was taken by ambulance to Beebe Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. According to one report, he had trouble remembering what happened and had suffered cuts to his head and the van had obvious damage from the impact.

Cpl. Fournier says he was cited for Disregarding a Pedestrian Control Device. The female driver was uninjured.


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This sign is causing some controversy with less than a week left to the Rehoboth Beach municipal election. It appeared recently on State Road at the alternate entrance to Rehoboth.

"A healthy dialogue on issues such as the City Hall project is a good thing," states Mayor Sam Cooper. "However," he continues, "I do not see that negative sound bites [like this sign] add anything to help residents better understand what is at stake. Such tactics are meant to divide not inform. Unfortunately, these divisive tactics have become the norm on the national scene. I hope this is not the direction our little town is headed."

The current city hall, Mayor Cooper says, "is woefully inadequate in meeting the needs of the departments that occupy it," noting that the planning effort has been a two-year project involving all of the commissioners, four citizens, two of whom are architects, the city manager and the police chief.

Remodeling and adding to the existing building was investigated in early stages, Mayor Cooper notes, but was quickly deemed to be unworkable because of the many challenges present in the existing building. "Every effort has been and will be made to design a building that meets the needs of the City staff, is architecturally appropriate and is cost sensitive. It is important that everyone understand that no money will be spent for the construction of this project without the consent of the property owners and residents. The Commissioners will include a funding strategy as part of the final plan," Mayor Cooper added.

Mayor Cooper's challenger, Tom McGlone, says Mayor Cooper is "wasting yet again another $500,000 on a study. The study in 2007 was wasted as Mayor Cooper decided to shelve the Tevebaugh study!"

McGlone added that in this letter to the editor of the Cape Gazette on Friday, James Tevebaugh states that "Rehoboth Beach needed a strategic plan in 2007 and still needs one today.

"Mayor Cooper does not believe in strategic planning," McGlone charged, and "I [if elected] will halt the spending of another $500,000 and will immediately reach out to property owners in Rehoboth Beach."

"My idea," says McGlone, is a "four-story parking [garage] and police station as [an] alternative to [the proposed] $17 million McMansion city hall."



Rehoboth Beach police arrested this man, Stephen L. Quinn, 41, of Millsboro, after he allegedly broke into the Planet X Café just before 1:30 a.m. Thursday and was in the process of preparing crab cakes while in possession of a bottle of alcohol, both belonging to the restaurant.

Police had received a call that a nearby hotel guest heard a loud crash and noticed that a man had broken a window to gain entry into the restaurant at 35 Wilmington Avenue.

Less than two minutes later, police surrounded the café while noting that the front door had been broken. A minute later, Quinn attempted to flee by breaking through the rear door and police held him briefly at gunpoint while making the arrest in the rear of the restaurant.

Lt. William Sullivan, police spokesman, said Quinn was charged with Burglary, Theft under $1500, Criminal Mischief, Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct. Quinn was committed to Sussex Correctional Institute in default of $2000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in the Court of Common Pleas for a preliminary hearing on August 8, 2014.

Lt. Sullivan said this was similar to a 2009 burglary where another bandit was caught by police preparing food in another Wilmington Avenue restaurant.


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The Cellar Door, a new restaurant in downtown Rehoboth Beach, held its ribbon-cutting ceremony late Friday afternoon. Pictured are Justin Damiani, sales manager, Arnold Laspina, manager, Tim Lewis, food & beverage director, Carol Everhart, RB-DB Chamber of Commerce, Barbara Brewer, sales & marketing director, and Michael Ludden, general manager.

If some of them look familiar, they are! The complex is owned and run by the Lankford family, co-owners of the Atlantic Sands.

The Cellar Door has opened the door to a new delightful restaurant which promises to charm the most spoiled customer for fine food and drinks with pleasant surroundings.

It is small, intimate and yet has the conveniences of an upscale restaurant in a cozy, elegant surrounding.

Tim Lewis, food & beverage director, says they recognize that the Rehoboth crowd is a knowledgeable foodie base, so the goal of this establishment is to cater to the fine dining experience with a simple (single page) dinner menu that offers them quality southern-style wood-fired foods with a Cajun flair.

Friday's samplers were enticing and promising with variety. Ityre Eley, executive chef, displays some of his work in the kitchen along with Lewis.

Lewis says the goal was not to reinvent something great. The restaurant, he adds, features great food, great wine and platinum-level cocktails in pleasant surroundings. The drink menu has some surprises such as Petite in Pink, Platinum Cosmo, Sour in the Rough and Baltimore Breeze, along with an exciting wine and draft/bottled beer selection.

Entertainment will soon include quiet blues or jazz music, but Lewis says it won't over-take your dinner table conversation.

The Cellar Door is the basement of the old Epworth United Methodist Church at 20 Baltimore Avenue, home of the former Debacle Restaurant.

Guests who find the 13 steps to the basement door too steep can use the elevator inside the main church.

The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. every day but is closed on Tuesday. Lunch is expected to come soon. It seats 100 customers inside and 24 on the outdoor patio.

Reservations are suggested, but not required. For more information visit www.CellarDoorOnBaltimore.com.


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The party was packed Saturday night at the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society's 9th annual Beach Ball!

Around 300 people enjoyed a break in the rain while they danced and feasted on the buffet held at the King's Creek Country Club.

The famed Flippy & Flora, the official Beach Ball flip flops, greeted guests as they arrived. Dignitaries from the state and the city were there, including Mayor Sam Cooper, who drew winning raffle tickets at the event.

Photos courtesy Hoyte Decker



Saturday's rain did not stop the 36th Annual Sandcastle Contest at Fisherman's Beach in downtown Rehoboth Beach.

As usual, the event brought sand artists from all over.

Robert Hedden from Catonsville, Md., led the team that built "Just Chill," which won one of the "Top 10 Judge's Favorites" awards.

Hedden said he was looking for something with a multimedia feel. He also noted that his other designs were not feasible because of the rain. They started at 9:30 a.m. with about 15 workers.

Hedden is an experienced sand sculptor, having participated four times in the past five years. He didn't want anybody to think he was complaining, but he said the Rehoboth Beach sand is granular with more broken shells and rocks, which does not stick well despite the rain and otherwise damp conditions. The sand in the Outer Banks, where he has also built, is finer and allows for better designs.

Sheri Miller of Boyertown, Pa. shows the sketch she used to design "It's A Jungle Out There." Her team consisted of about 20 workers; the youngest was just four years old. Each worker on her team had a specialty: water carriers, carvers and shovelers. When they started building at 7 a.m., they were the third group building while it was still raining.

Miller has been building sand sculptures here since 1996. Despite the wet sand, they used lots of water, she said, to get it to stick together. She also expressed frustration with the sand, noting that the sand in Brigantine, NJ, is softer, finer and sticks together better.

Miller's team also won the "Top 10 Judge's Favorites" award.

"Putin on the Blitz" is a political work by David O'Brien, Shai Segall, Patricia Joo, Dewan Clay and Devon Clay. It too won one of the "Top 10 Judge's Favorites" awards.

Downloadable photos from this contest will be available on the Chamber website -- www.beach-fun.com -- later today.






UPDATE ON TODDLER BITTEN BY ROTTWEILER LAST SUNDAY--- Lt. William Sullivan, police spokesman, says according to the witnesses and officers, the incident began around 5:30 p.m., July 27, as the small child was petting the properly leashed Rottweiler. At some point during the interaction, the dog turned and nipped the boy's right ear causing a tear to the outer portion. The boy was initially taken to Beebe Hospital and later to A.I. DuPont for further evaluation and by a plastic surgeon. The dog was turned over to the Delaware Animal Care and Control for further investigation.



Coast Guard announces summer deaths by drowning on the rise

Oceanfront lifeguards prepare for national championship (Va Beach)

Sea level rise increasing U.S. coastal flooding

Sea levels drive up flooding

Troopers investigate crash near Prime Hook Beach

Theft suspects stole purse from outside a Rehoboth area daycare

Woman, three teens arrested for underage drinking outside Rehoboth

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce candidate forum

Spinal injuries spike in Rehoboth

Dewey Beach shop owner loses First Amendment fight

What happens when Dewey Beach tries to grow up? (Washington City Paper)

Go Go Gadjet reigns supreme at Dewey Beach (Washington Post)

Fatal sport-fishing accident off Ocean City coast (previous weekend)

Credit card scam affects Ocean City businesses and citizens

Beach pumping's impact on currents, waves discussed: OCBP captain reports research shows no link

1,000 pound shark spotted in Ocean City, Md. bay

How cool is this? GPS tracks shark along coast and through Isle of Wight Bay (Ocean City)

Berlin looks to limit fire siren hours; mayor, council backs request



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