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WEEKEND #13, 2013

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




State inspectors from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) were in Rehoboth Beach last Tuesday investigating a trash pit that city workers have used for years to temporarily hold trash dumped by city trash trucks and the beach tractor.

The pit is in the city's maintenance yard on Lincoln Street, near the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. Trash vehicles regularly dump their loads in the pit. The trash is eventually scooped by a front-end loader and placed into construction dumpsters. The city hauls the dumpsters when they are full.

The process is helpful and efficient because it keeps trash vehicles in town without the need for each vehicle to be taken to the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) landfill near Georgetown or the transfer station in Harbeson. Some trucks would potentially be traveling there to simply empty a partial load and return to town or face starting the following day with a vehicle partially loaded with trash.

But nearby property owners have expressed concern regarding recent odors and the fear that unknown liquids, sometimes called "dumpster juice," are seeping from the construction dumpsters into the canal.

This photo shows "dumpster juice" as it flows to a nearby storm drain. This drain is adjacent to the shop's fence near the canal.

In addition, plastics and other solid debris mixed with sewer water are removed from the city's sewer plant. That smelly mix is routinely hauled by a front-end loader to these dumpsters -- adjacent to the pit -- for disposal.

"I had always thought that it was not the best idea to dump trash and [dumpster] juice this close to the canal," says one nearby property owner who did not want to be identified. One owner provided several photos showing the debris on various days along with fluids leaking from the dumpsters. These fluids seep into the ground or drain into the nearby storm drains and into the canal. Despite signs warning the public to stay out, the public and even contractors have been entering the yard to dump trash and observe these activities.

According to personnel at the DNREC Solid & Hazardous Waste Section, the city has no permit for such a transfer station. Few Delaware municipalities have permission to operate such facilities and they require an extensive permitting process including a public hearing, according to DNREC.

The majority of the transfer stations in the state are run by the DSWA. One municipality which has a valid transfer station is Newark, whose existing transfer station had been grandfathered.

On Wednesday, Dave Perrego, DNREC senior environmental compliance specialist, confirmed that DNREC investigators had "observed a few potential violations" and DNREC would pursue enforcement action after the completion of a compliance report. He added that this is still an open investigation with open issues still to be examined. "Any information will remain confidential until term of enforcement," Perrego added.

A property owner in the area of the city yard also questioned why it has taken DNREC so long to investigate the situation, noting that DNREC often parks its own vehicles in the city maintenance yard. DNREC personnel are routinely in the yard for inspections of the fuel tanks, etc. The situation, he said, has existed for years. Greg Ferrese, Rehoboth Beach city manager, agrees. He said DNREC has never reported a problem regarding the situation and DNREC vehicles and personnel have been down there "all the time."

Ferrese said Friday that the city has been using the transfer pit to move trash for probably 40 or 50 years, well before he started. He said the city is not aware of any complaints regarding the pit and is frustrated this was never brought to his attention. A nearby property owner says the public works director had been aware of nearby property owner's concerns since he started.

Ferrese said he wants to know why Newark's transfer station was grandfathered and why Rehoboth Beach is not extended the same consideration. "Why does Newark have it and not us?" he asks.

For now, Ferrese says the city has barricaded the front of the pit. The trash trucks will deliver every load to the DSWA transfer station or landfill, although he said he was told the trucks may store the contents in the vehicles for up to 24 hours.

He said he is not aware of any trash vehicles designed for collecting beach trash. So the beach tractor that empties the beach cans will have to have its load removed to a front-end loader which will transfer it to a dumpster.

"We take the environment seriously," Ferrese said, "but if we can improve, tell us what to do to improve." He added, "Whatever we have to do, we'll do."



Funland will be closed Tuesday to celebrate the life of Jean Elizabeth (Walmer) Fasnacht, one of Funland's founding matriarchs and a constant since the amusement park opened more than 50 years ago.

"We have been truly overwhelmed by the response and outpouring of kindness. We have heard so many great stories from former Funlander's and people that have had a connection with Jean. We have always strived to make our summer employees feel as though they were part of our family and Jean certainly was thought of as the mother figure to so many during their summers at Funland. We are grateful to the community for their support of our decision to close for a day to remember her," says Christopher Darr, Funland personnel manager.

"Aside from hurricanes," Darr states, "this will be the first time in 52 years that we have closed the park for an entire day during the summer months."

Her obituary is on the Pennlive website.

Photo courtesy Funland/Christopher Darr



It is every animal lover's worst nightmare... seeing an animal in distress and unable to do anything to help.

A family from Potomac, Maryland was coming down Sussex Street late Sunday afternoon and noticed this dog caught in-between the railings on the second floor of a balcony of this home.

They called police around 4:10 p.m. Two Rehoboth Beach police officers came promptly, gained entry to the unoccupied residence and freed the dog moments later.




This past week Rehoboth Beach PD Chief Keith Banks announced the addition of Patrolman Jeffrey Bixler to the department. Bixler, originally from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, was chosen from a pool of 62 applicants who were tested and interviewed in December, 2012.

Bixler has been in the Delaware State Police Academy since being hired in March. He graduated on August 2, 2013, along with 19 municipal recruits and 29 state police recruits. He received the Delaware State Police Academy Physical Fitness Award at the graduation ceremony. According to department policy, Officer Bixler will be working alongside his field training officer (FTO) for the next eight weeks. He and his family will now reside in Milton.

Photo courtesy Rehoboth Beach PD



"I was at Rehoboth last week and saw this plant (with the small purple flowers and sturdy small leaves) many places along the boardwalk. I'm from New Hampshire and I don't think it's a plant we grow here," writes Molly Williams.

Indeed, William McAvoy, a DNREC botanist, has identified this plant as Vitex rotundifolia, beach vitex, a "very dangerous, highly invasive plant," he states.

The Beach Vitex Task Force is committed to controlling the spread of this plant that the group says poses a threat to native dune plants and animals.

Photo courtesy Molly Williams


by Dagmar Kirchner Henney

To see Al Lachman's thoughtful and colorful paintings makes one appreciate a peaceful beautiful world. His colors are deep and provoking. His landscape paintings in brilliant color are interspersed with his signature barns. His works are as comforting as his soft voice and yet he knows the difficulties of the world.

He has been an artist for more than half a century with an impressive bio to match. In 2001, his art was selected in Canada to represent the homeless population. His paintings were chosen and shown across the country because he depicted homeless people as human beings rather than downtrodden individuals. No matter who or what you are, Al tells me, we are all unique. Sharing art, he notes, is his way of sharing our uniqueness.

This is his acrylic painting on canvas, "Homage to Giacometti," currently on display at the Morton Gallery.

He likes to make that soul-to-soul connection. It is not intellectual, Al says. "Either you feel it or you do not."

He is a brilliant painter and also a philosopher. "Life is about steps," Al states... "To get to the next step... The goal is reachable... You can do what you want to do... It takes time... Do not be discouraged." His work conveys his philosophy.

Al grew up in the Bronx. It is amazing to see how much artistic beauty arose from this urban setting. His father was a tough union organizer. But Al's dad had a soft side too. Al remembered his youth when he was about 9 years old and his father called him in from playing stickball to encourage him to draw. That fostered his interest in art.

This tough guy also encouraged Al to visit museums and galleries. That made the world colorful and enjoyable. Al could have taken an easy job when he was 18 years old working for the union for $75 a week. But his dad encouraged him to become a messenger in an art studio for $35 a week. "That shaped me," he says.

Al explained his signature barn series. He says barns are like jazz to America. Each region has its unique barn style. He lived in Chicago and became interested in the barns along the Ohio Turnpike. He wants to preserve them, if not physically, in his paintings and impressed in our minds. Al explains that he sees his barn paintings as a vehicle to communicate emotion.

He calls his work the "love affairs of the moment," noting that he works on a single piece at a time until the "magic is there."

His wife, Arlene, describes him as an emotional painter who is most focused and disciplined. He paints inside, in a controlled environment. The couple comes from New Hope in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She says he wakes up in the morning and paints... when he is most creative.

Al's show appears at the Philip Morton Gallery in downtown Rehoboth Beach through Sept. 17.



PEZtography, Terry Isner's photography exhibition mentioned last week, runs through Sept. 10 (not August 10) at CAMP Rehoboth, at 37 Baltimore Avenue in downtown Rehoboth Beach.




Local author Nancy Sakaduski will sign copies of her new children's picture book, A Rehoboth ABC, starting at 10 a.m. this Thursday, August 22, at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach. The book, published by Cat & Mouse Press in Lewes, is a full-color 8.5" x 8.5" paperback book with rhymed text accompanied by original illustrations by Emory Au. Sakaduski says the book highlights the most popular activities children enjoy during the summer at the beach.

Browseabout Books is at 133 Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. The book sells for $12.95. For details check www.catandmousepress.com or follow the book on Facebook.






Please click here for...




MAN CHARGED WITH HOMICIDE AFTER TODDLER KILLED IN ACCIDENT--- A 2-year-old was killed in an accident on John J. Williams Highway west of Lewes around 9:20 p.m. Saturday. Police have charged a man from Georgetown with vehicular homicide. See the state police news release for details.

BOY ACCUSED OF KILLING SEAGULL; BUT NO PROOF--- Rehoboth Beach police investigated reports that a child was accused of killing a seagull with a football around 5 p.m. Thursday. Detective William Sullivan said an officer spoke with a lifeguard who had a third-party report of the incident. There were no witnesses and no signs of any dead or injured seagulls. An officer spoke with the child and warned him not to throw anything at the birds. No charges were filed.

SUSPICIOUS MAN ASKING FOR GAS MONEY--- Rehoboth Beach police had two reports of a man riding a small bike this past weekend asking for gas money, ironically similar to a previous incident earlier this month. This weekend it was reported around 7:30 p.m. Friday on 6th Street and again just before 5 a.m. Saturday on Maryland Avenue. He is described as a white man maybe in his 40's with a gray baseball cap, scruffy beard, short-cut hair, gray/white shirt, gray pants or jeans.

WEEKEND WATER INCIDENTS--- Around 12:40 p.m. Saturday, a person was reported seen clinging to a kayak about a half-mile from shore off South Bethany south of Logan Street. About 30 minutes later, rescuers determined it was probably dredge equipment being used for beach replenishment which had been mistaken for a kayak and person in the water. Around 1:25 p.m. Sunday, rescuers responded to the Point in the Cape Henlopen State Park for two persons seen in the water near the orange lighthouse. One returned safely to shore and the other went to the dock near the lighthouse. They had reportedly been kite-boarding and were not injured.

MERR ON ALERT FOR DOLPHIN DEATHS--- Since Friday, the MERR Institute has investigated a dead loggerhead sea turtle and two dead dolphins, one on Woodland Beach and one in South Bethany. Suzanne Thurman, MERR executive director, said "Our stranding statistics are still typical for this time of year and I hope it stays that way. The dolphins MERR has seen "are presenting with some of the same symptoms as those elsewhere, so we shall see how it unfolds," Thurman added.


Enjoy fresh art and tango at...




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The most expensive home you can buy in every state (Dewey Beach home #40)

Filing deadline approaches for upcoming Dewey council election

Nothing goes herey (Washington Post article on Fisher's Popcorn)

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Maryland drowning deaths double 2012 rate

35 drown as heat wave grips Europe



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