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WEEKEND #13, 2016

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware



City trash trucks even dump blue recycling bins into garbage trucks

This is a second follow-up to this original article from three years ago, months before the Delaware Universal Recycling law mandated that all businesses recycle as of Jan. 1, 2014. Since the original article, we have received several requests to research and continue to track this issue.

State officials are quick to point out that lack of participation in the recycling process is a statewide problem not limited to Rehoboth. However, it is obvious on Rehoboth Avenue because so many smaller businesses rely on the city to discard their refuse which is placed on the curb at roughly the same time each weekday morning (excluding Wednesdays).

In Rehoboth Beach, piles of cardboard boxes, other recyclables and garbage are collected by the city from Rehoboth Avenue. It is all compacted into a city trash truck and despite the recyclability of these items, they ultimately find their way to a landfill.

Even the blue recycling bins along Rehoboth Avenue, associated with residential apartments and the few remaining homes, have been dumped by city public works crews into city trash trucks for many months now.

Furthermore, businesses that had relied on the recycling drop-off facility behind the firehouse must now either drive miles to reach an alternate site, hire their own hauler or simply dump their recyclables into the city's trash stream, the option of least expense and resistance.

State officials say the former Rehoboth recycling drop-off facility behind the firehouse will not return and the state will continue to close even more recycling drop-off spots. The number of recycling centers, says James Short, an environmental scientist with DNREC, has decreased dramatically in the last year, from more than 180 to around 45 today. "This programmatic change will magnify the need for comprehensive commercial recyclables collection services throughout the state," he points out.

While the City of Rehoboth Beach provides trash collection in both commercial and residential neighborhoods, recycling services are only provided to the residential customers using a contractor, Blue Hen Disposal, and only once a week during the season.

A representative from Blue Hen said Friday that his company is responsible for hauling the recyclables from the blue bins for all residential customers in the City of Rehoboth Beach. If the city is emptying the bins on Rehoboth Avenue, he said he is not certain why the city would.

Krys Johnson, Rehoboth Beach spokeswoman, would not specifically answer why the city public works crews have been dumping recyclables from the blue recycle bins on Rehoboth Avenue into trash trucks, nor would she speculate on why city hall had no recycle bin. Public works crews delivered one this past Friday. But which truck will empty it has yet to be seen.

"As you are aware we are in a transition period utilizing a third party vendor for city recycling," Johnson had stated. "The city is working with the recycling vendor to provide timely pick up to all customers." She also added that "The city is working on consistent and effective solutions that address all the items you have listed."

Despite additional e-mails and phone calls to her office, she has not yet provided any further comment about trash and recycling in Rehoboth Beach beyond the previous paragraph.

The city trash trucks have also been used to routinely empty those same blue recycle bins found in the city's parks, mostly in Grove Park, although Blue Hen empties them on Fridays.

Despite the Universal Recycling law requiring businesses to recycle, little has changed more than two years after the state law was implemented. State officials have made it clear that the individual businesses are responsible for complying with the state's Universal Recycling law, and the city is not obligated to provide recycling services.

"Every business that holds a State of Delaware business license was notified of the requirement to implement comprehensive recycling - ignorance is no excuse," Short told us in last year's report. But the problem continues to persist. The photos in this report, taken again this summer, demonstrate the lack of change.

According to Short, about half of all waste originates from the commercial sector and the remainder comes from the residential customers. To achieve high-diversion rates, the state implemented its comprehensive residential and commercial recycling programs.

By law, businesses that rely on the city for trash removal must seek other methods to handle their recyclables. But many businesses are finding it easiest, or even essential, to simply pile their refuse along Rehoboth Avenue around 9 a.m. knowing the city public works crews will haul it off. As one Rehoboth businessman noted, the Avenue has enough delivery trucks on it now. If each business contracts with a different recycling company, the truck traffic will only get worse.

"I would have no room to store a trash bin or dumpster," says Jeff Balk, owner of Snyder's Candy. "My store is roughly 600 square foot with the office/storeroom being 200 square foot of that space. There is no room to store one or two dumpsters, let alone maneuver it from the back of the storage room behind candy cases to get to the front door to place the dumpster outside," he points out.

"The city trash/recycle program has worked very well in the past when recycle was separated and picked up by a recycle truck on the scheduled Fridays," he added. "We would place our recyclables next to the blue can that the upstairs apartment had and it would be picked up by the recycle company." Although Balk says he continues to separate recyclable items from trash, he noticed it has been going into the same trash truck as everything else.

As potentially valuable recyclables continue to pour directly into the city's trash stream, Rehoboth waits for a solution.

Bethany provides commercial trash and recycling pickups every day during the summer.

Bethany Beach actually provides both trash removal and recycling services for residential as well as commercial customers. Brett Warner, public works director, says seven days a week during the season his crews remove trash and recyclables from all commercial customers with the exception of Grotto's, which has its own hauler.

Warner said Bethany Beach provides this service at a more competitive price than commercial haulers, so they do not have many complaints from the businesses. The fee is included in the tax bill. He said the town has been providing recycling service for several years to comply with the Universal Recycling law. The trucks have enough capacity to store recyclables over the weekend when the recycle facilities are closed.

Neither Lewes nor Dewey Beach, according to officials in those towns, is involved with commercial trash or recycling.

Although DNREC is the agency responsible for implementing and enforcing Universal Recycling, Short had said this was a "Rehoboth issue" because the city provides the collection service and needs to work with the generators on a collection system that works for everyone.

Last August, Sharon Lynn, Rehoboth Beach city manager, said "The Commissioner's and I have been studying this issue and hope to resolve it by the end of the year." But still no change has been seen on Rehoboth Avenue.

Funland, Blue Moon, among those Rehoboth Beach businesses making recycling happen

"Funland has had a recycling program for many years, and we feel it is important to do as a business," says Christopher Darr, personnel manager at Funland. "We try to have a recycling can next to each trash can or at least within a few feet. Not only do we recycle bottles/cans, but we have a lot of cardboard to recycle due to all of the stuffed animal boxes we use. Twice a week Waste Management dumps a 6 yard dumpster full of cardboard and twice a week Blue Hen Disposal dumps a 6 yard dumpster full of plastic bottles. This is the first year that we have contracted for bottles/cans because the city no longer offers a recycling option at city hall," he pointed out.

Darr agrees with most every business person interviewed for this article in that Rehoboth Beach public works crews do amazing work every day cleaning the beach, sidewalks and streets. They deserve recognition for their consistent efforts.

"We are the first to say that the city does a fantastic job keeping the city clean and collecting trash, but there is a missed opportunity for recycling. It would be nice to see recycling cans on the boardwalk, beach and main street because everything goes in the trash. If we are collecting 6 yards of plastic bottles twice a week at Funland, I can only imagine what the city would recycle. Although the city does offer a residential recycling program, I think there is a gap for businesses," Darr points out.

"Currently," he adds, "businesses have to go out of their way to recycle. The state mandates that businesses recycle, but no one is enforcing it, so I don't think very many businesses are doing it. Perhaps there is a way for the city to help with this issue by requiring each business to provide proof of a recycling contract to get a business license or offering a recycling program for businesses."

To complicate matters, there is still no recycling pickup on the weekends, says Randy Haney, comptroller of the Blue Moon. That is one of the challenges the smaller businesses face, what to do if they do not have frequent removal of recyclables as the recycling facilities are closed on weekends.

Haney expressed the same concerns three years ago about the haulers not offering weekend removal of recyclables. Businesses are often forced to place weekend recyclables in the regular trash, he says. Ironically, Haney said he cannot get recycling removed on weekends, unlike regular trash.

Haney included this photo of the Blue Moon's 6-yard recycling dumpster from this past Friday night. This will not be removed until today (Monday). Everything from Saturday and Sunday they had to throw into the regular trash since they are unable to find any company to remove recyclables on weekends!

DNREC to host discussion this Wednesday

"Both the City of Rehoboth and DNREC are well aware of the issues you've brought up," says Short, "and they are not exclusive to Rehoboth." For this reason, DNREC's recycling program within the Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Section has invited all public and private waste haulers that offer recycling services in Delaware to a meeting this Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 1:30 p.m. at DNREC's R&R building auditorium, 89 Kings Highway in Dover to discuss the problematic issues reported throughout the state with recycling services.

DNREC announced this past week that the agency will offer a second round of recycling grants to help schools, businesses and institutions start recycling programs or expand programs that are already in place.


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Rehoboth Beach lifeguards including Capt. Kent Buckson along with police confronted a man whose daughter was accused of killing a seagull. The incident was reported around 1:40 p.m. this past Wednesday near Wilmington Avenue after witnesses said a group of kids had dug a ditch near the waterline where they lured seagulls with bait. The man's 13-year-old daughter allegedly swung at the birds with a plastic shovel, killing one of them.

Witnesses told police that while the teen swung at the seagulls, her father, Christian Lesieur, 48, of Quebec, laughed. According to this RBPD news release: "One witness told police that he approached Lesieur and told him that his daughter should not be attempting to hit the seagulls and he laughed at him. When police contacted Lesieur on the beach he was drinking alcohol."

Police have charged Lesieur, the man wearing the Orlando, Florida, USA T-shirt, with endangering the welfare of a child after allowing his daughter to bait and kill the seagull. Police say he discarded the dead bird in a nearby trash can.

Police walked the father and daughter to a boardwalk bench to obtain their information. Officers later took both to the police department for further investigation. DNREC, police said, was contacted to investigate the killing of the seagull. While in custody, police said Lesieur made multiple jokes in regard to the incident. While his daughter was crying, he made comments in regard to her spending the night in jail, causing her to become even more emotionally upset, police said.

Lesieur was arrested for one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor offense and released on $500 unsecured bail to a sober co-signer, police said. The daughter was not charged by DNREC officials for killing the seagull, a violation of federal laws and regulations pertaining to migratory birds. Police said they did "educate the teenager in regards to her actions."


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Rehoboth Beach police arrested this man Friday evening after he struck another moving vehicle and drove off. It was reported around 6:30 p.m. on 1st Street near Rehoboth Avenue. The suspect had been driving a Ford Taurus with Pennsylvania tags when he allegedly struck another moving vehicle and started arguing with the other motorist, which prompted a bystander to call for police.

At first, arriving officers could not find either motorist when they arrived in the area. But about six minutes later, police received a report that he and the other motorist were arguing in the area of the Avenue Inn on Wilmington Avenue. A witness also stated that the man had been drinking. After the officer gave him a sobriety test, he was cuffed and taken to the police station.


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The Starboard is hosting a fundraiser for Ed's Chicken this coming Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. "It is likely that Ed will not be rebuilding as he has one year left on the ground lease and is 83 years young," says Steve "Monty" Montgomery, owner of The Starboard. "He knew there were not many years left for him to work as hard as he does... just did not expect it to come to an abrupt end like this."

The business community in Dewey Beach is special, Montgomery says, "everyone supports and respects each other. It's not fair for Ed Riggin to end his 38 phenomenal years without a celebration. Therefore we hope to have everyone join us at The Starboard this Wednesday to celebrate how much he has meant to so many in this community over the years."

Montgomery says they will ask for a $20 contribution to Ed and his employees at the entrance. There will be plenty of food catered from many local restaurants and proceeds of 25 percent of all drinks purchased will also go to Ed and his staff to help with the fact they lost their income during the peak of the season.

"We have made up T-Shirts that say THANK YOU ED! to sell in addition to plenty of gift cards and packages from local businesses which we will raffle off," Montgomery adds. "It's much more of a celebration and an evening for Ed to sit back and yuck it up with so many long-term friends. But raising a few dollars for him to take care of his employees can only help with this devastating fire and loss of income. Ed is loved by so many... we hope many of his friends can join us Wednesday to give him a proper salute!"

Photo courtesy Google



Snyder's Candy is taking a less serious look at the presidential primaries by selling chocolate bars with the faces of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, says Jeff Balk, owner of the Rehoboth Beach candy store. The Clinton bar, in the look of a $3 bill, says "Trust Me" across her profile while the Trump bar, also picturing the nominee, is a $1 billion bill that says: "Because I'm Richer Than You."

Snyder's has been selling the bars since before the conventions and plans to continue selling them through the November election, Balk says, if the shop can keep them in stock. The largest order was for 30 Trump bars for shipment to a hotel near the Republican convention, he noted.

Trump is definitely outselling Clinton, Balk points out, by at least a two-to-one ratio. "Although their straw poll is unscientific," Balk says that it has been "a lot of fun hearing the comments from customers. He says that most people buying the Clinton bars are her supporters, while many that buy the Trump bar are buying them as a joke for their Democratic friends or to stomp on Trump's face."

The bars are available at his Rehoboth Beach candy store, 60 Rehoboth Avenue or online at SnydersCandy.com.

Photo courtesy Jeff Balk


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A joint exhibition featuring two artists popular with locals, Ward Ellinger and Sondra N. Arkin, opened last weekend at Gallery 50 in downtown Rehoboth Beach. The show is called Conception, Arkin points out, because it is about how ideas get started. "I wanted to bring a variety of pieces that show how the ideas get started," she said.

Arkin is exhibiting two different kinds of prints she has created, silkscreen and encaustic monoprints. The silkscreen prints she created in conjunction with Dennis O'Neal, a master printmaker in Virginia. "I love the fact that you can see a variable addition of silkscreens where... each piece is not the same. So one addition really has enough variety that they are almost monoprints," she explains. "But they share a lot of similar parts of the matrix. So you can see how they are built and constructed... They are like little atmospheric moments in time and I am very pleased with it."

Silkscreening is use traditionally in commercial applications, she points out, for things such as T-shirts and posters. But her prints are each individual works, she explains, much like monoprints because she uses the silkscreen as the vehicle of putting the ink on the paper. When you make a print, she notes, you transfer from one thing to another. So in the case of silkscreening, you are pushing the ink through silk and that is what makes a silkscreen.

She also has several encaustic monoprints on display which are created by pulling the wax off a heated plate. So it is another type of printmaking on paper but not particularly by pushing the ink through a screen, she notes.

There is a big connection with Ellinger's artwork, Arkin points out. This triptych, Molten Grid, between her and Ellinger's work, is a traditional encaustic wax piece. "But I think you really get to see the idea of how Ward's work and my work is connected," she observes. "Its bold orange monochromatic pieces which relate much more to the kind of color work that Ward does and they show the connection to my work because they are modular. They are three pieces that could be hung vertically, they could be hung horizontally, they can be interchanged and rotated."

Now that he no longer has the daily burden of running his own gallery, Ward Ellinger says he now has more time to use his creative talents. Ellinger says his work has taken on a new, minimalistic style. "This is a... new experience for me," Ellinger observes. "The colors are minimalistic, they are layered very thinly and the application is mostly pleasing because there is a lot of comfort in the style."

This is one of his latest works, Beginning, acrylic on canvas. "Blues are a serenity color and when a serenity color is mixed with a fiery color, it makes the combination and the continuity of the painting much more pleasing to the eye," he explains. "So it is just the simplicity of the painting. It is my new style. It is not a lot of layers."

Without the daily burden of running the gallery, he says this has allowed him to paint things he wants to paint instead of what is pleasing to someone else. "I paint for what is pleasing to me and what makes me happy and that is the biggest benefit of not having a gallery," Ellinger noted. "I can paint basically things that make me happy instead of the consumer. No pressure!"

Their exhibitions run through September 6. Please see the Gallery 50 website for details.



Eric Davison of Gallery 50 has a way of finding top-notch artists like Arkin, Ellinger and now, this man, Eli Polite, a master wood artist.

Currently from Harrington, Polite works in granite, marble, wood, paint or almost "anything with my hands," he says. But there is something about woodwork that he says he enjoys the most.

He and his wife, Andrea, on the left, have been regular visitors to Rehoboth galleries. She encouraged him to take some of his woodwork to Gallery 50 one day and Davison decided to put it on display. "My heart and my soul is really into the woodwork. That is where I really thrive," Polite added.

"There are a lot of people who do woodturnings," Polite points out, "but not many people are willing to do the complicated pieces." This incredible wooden vase he created with the Greek ring at the top includes almost 200 pieces of wood -- including zebra wood, walnut, wenge, mahogany and maple -- all glued together. "And that is why people do not do it," he says, "because it is very time consuming. They look at it, and they do not realize that all of those are individual pieces of wood that are put in there, piece by piece."

What's his secret? "I don't draw a picture. I don't use a computer program. I just look at the wood and make a decision and just kind of build on it until I end up with a finished product," he said. This bowl he created from a single piece of cedar taken from a firewood pile.

Polite got started in a vocational high school where he took carpentry classes in 1995 and learned how to use a lathe, a machine that holds a piece of wood or metal and makes it move around so that you can cut and shape it evenly. Check out his work at Gallery 50.



Cat & Mouse Press in Lewes announced the winners of the 2016 Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest this past Thursday at Browseabout Books, the contest sponsor. The contest, now in its fourth year, invites writers to submit short (500-3500 word) "beach reads." A panel of judges selects the winning entries which are then published in an anthology.

This year's book, "Beach Nights," will be published later this year.

The top-three award winners for the 2016 contest are:
1st Place ($500): "Flight of the Song Bird," Kathleen Martens (Rehoboth Beach)
2nd Place ($250): Tower 16, Phil Giunta (Allentown, Pa.)
3rd Place ($100): The Vampire Surf Club, David Strauss (Bel Air, Md.)

Browseabout Books store manager Susan Kehoe says "Residents and visitors alike love the clever stories, high-quality writing, and local settings. The books just fly off the shelves from the moment they are published."

Additional information is available on the Cat & Mouse Press website and on the contest Facebook page. The company also publishes this free weekly newsletter for writers, Writing is a Shore Thing.



This little guy was running around what was left of the sand dune just north of the Henlopen condo...


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BIDENS COMING TO TOWN TODAY, MONDAY?--- We are receiving early indications that Joe Biden and/or family may be headed to Delaware today. Keep that camera handy and please let us know if you see anything!


REHOBOTH POLICE INVESTIGATE OFFENSIVE TOUCHING--- Rehoboth Beach police had received a report just before 9 p.m. Saturday that a woman was attacked and had her phone stolen while in the parking lot between the VIA building and Rail Road house near Lake Gerar. Police later said the incident was going to be an "offensive touching" and not a robbery. The suspect was described as a heavy-set white man with dark hair, maybe wearing a green shirt. He had two other men with him. They were last seen running toward the lake.


BOY STILL CRITICAL AFTER NEAR-DROWNING IN O.C. MOTEL POOL--- A boy was pulled from the pool at the Flamingo Motel on 30th Street in Ocean City around 8:25 p.m. Friday. He was reported in cardiac arrest and CPR was being performed by bystanders. More info is posted on WGMD.com.


2 MORE COASTAL HIGHWAY SCOOTER ACCIDENTS THIS PAST THURSDAY--- The most notable was caught on Rob Jones' security camera around 1:40 a.m. Thursday when two men -- neither wearing a helmet -- had been riding a scooter that was run-over by another vehicle, leaving one of them in serious condition. It happened on Coastal Highway at Clayton Street. The video is posted on Delmarva Now.

About 12 hours later, another scooter also with two riders was involved in an accident with a vehicle on northbound Coastal Highway near Old Landing Road north of Rehoboth. Neither wore helmets. They were both taken to Beebe Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


DEWEY POLICE STOP WOMAN WITH NO PANTS WALKING ALONG YELLOW LINE ON HIGHWAY--- A Dewey Beach police officer came across a woman walking along the yellow fog line on Coastal Highway around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. She wore nothing below the waist. They took her to where she was staying.


MAN RETURNS TO CLAIM LOST WALLET, GETS ARRESTED--- Rehoboth Beach police arrested a man who had left or lost his wallet Monday night in the Delaware Avenue restrooms. When he returned to claim it, police knew he had an outstanding capias out of New Castle County Court of Common Pleas and placed him under arrest.


SWEET BOY ID'ed ONLY AS JACK--- "I am the mom of Sean from the ''CUTE KID' GETS iPOD FROM COMPLETE STRANGER' [article from last week] "... just wanted to let you know that the sweet boy's name was Jack. He was with his sister, Emma. Thought they deserved their names on the piece," writes Jen Saunders-Palmer. "I would just like to say that I was genuinely blown away by his generosity and kind deed... I can only hope that my son will pay it forward from the example Jack's act of kindness has set. Thanks."



Walt Palmer, WGMD general manager, interviewed by DCRTV.com

Sussex County Council candidate, Mark Schaeffer, arrested (WGMD)

House Speaker Schwartzkopf faces opponent from his left, Don Peterson, from Rehoboth

Visiting Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park

No Coastal Highway bike deaths at Delaware beaches this year

Bike shop owner and employee claim 'war on bikes' in Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach police arrest Olney, Md. woman for leaving children, ages 8 and 9, home alone (Tuesday)

Suspect arrested following death of Penn State professor w/Rehoboth connection (Daily Collegian)

Penn State professor killed after push from cliff (Rehoboth connection)

Sunrise over Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (time-lapse YouTube video)

Rehoboth debates overturning St. Lawrence parking ban

Amane Solomon is first black female lifeguard in Rehoboth Beach's history

Rehoboth residents oppose Beach Walk development

3 places in Delaware where you can still catch a movie on the beach

Filmed entirely on location in Dewey Beach and they call it "Rehoboth Beach 2016?"

3 file for 2 Dewey Beach commissioner seats; election Sept. 17

Amtrak PD chief under investigation; was romantically involved and owned Dewey Opal condo with contractor

Amtrak PD chief under investigation for fraud, ethical violations related to Dewey property

Amtrak Police Chief Polly Hanson under investigation for fraud, conflict of interest with Dewey property

Changes in lifeguard hours at Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks announced (DNREC)

Nanticoke Indian Chief Little Owl has greeted Bethany Beach visitors for almost 40 years

Concerns in Frankford after Mountaire drills well

Boy killed in O.C. boating accident on Wednesday; disturbing trend of incidents in bay this summer

Maryland delegate, Richard Impallaria from Baltimore County, charged with DWI in O.C. (Thursday)

OCPD reminding citizens to walk smart after 2 weekend pedestrian collisions (previous weekend)

2 pedestrian accidents over (previous) weekend in O.C.

O.C. Council passes emergency ban against 'chumming or blood-baiting from the beach'; City cites growing problem with big sharks brought ashore

New chumming law in Ocean City

O.C. likely to follow fed's lead on looser drone regs

Area religious leaders draft anti-racism statement following O.C. riots

O.C. councilman's role with international student rentals questioned; long-time builder believes Hartman overstepped ethical boundary

2 Worcester bidders among those pre-approved for medical marijuana licenses

3 newcomers elected in Ocean Pines

Plane makes emergency landing on Assateague Island (Thursday)



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