WEEKEND #13, 2019
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
THE MAN WHO COULD BECOME PRESIDENT VISITS REHOBOTH
It's not that uncommon to have a fundraiser for a presidential candidate in the Rehoboth area. But what is unusual is for the candidate to appear in person! That's exactly what happened this past Friday when former V.P. Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attended the first Biden presidential campaign fundraiser to be held in Delaware!
Some people thought it was a wedding reception when they saw the line of guests start to arrive at the home of Peter Shields and Ace Werner on Norfolk Street. According to the News Journal, Shields is a managing partner at a Washington, D.C. law firm. The fundraiser was a low-profile event. There was no obvious police or security presence, no yellow police-line tape or traffic cones reserving VIP parking spaces and no threatening EMERGENCY NO-PARKING signs!
The event was scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. As guests packed the backyard, a handful of curious onlookers gathered and watched from a distance, wondering when the Bidens might arrive.
They were not disappointed. Around 6:08 p.m., a black Cadillac Escalade made its way down Norfolk Street and that is when the popular couple popped out of the SUV and prepared to make their entrance!
They greeted and spoke with the crowd in the backyard, estimated by news reports to be around 275. The minimum contribution was $1,000.
The Bidens posed for photographs with various guests. Here is Rehoboth Beach Comm.-Elect Edward Chrzanowski.
Many enthusiastic youngsters greeted guests as they arrived on the corner and at the house. Here are local volunteers Emily Copeland, Saylar McGuiness, Lee Elle Aboutboul, Stormy McGuiness and Baylan McGuiness at the end of the Bidens' visit.
"I was proud to co-host this event with U.S. Senator Tom Carper and Attorney General Kathy Jennings and others showing Delaware is behind Joe Biden," says Hon. Kathy McGuiness, state auditor. "Hundreds of supporters know that we need Joe Biden as our Democratic nominee," she added!
Photos courtesy Comm.-Elect Edward Chrzanowski, Hon. Kathy McGuiness and others
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SOME LOVE NEW SILVER LAKE FOUNTAINS, SOME DON'T!
Last month the City of Rehoboth Beach installed a pair of fountains, or mini-geysers, in Silver Lake on either side of the bridge.
Their primary function is decorative, says Kevin Williams, public works director. "But they also provide some limited water quality help for the lake with the aeration in the immediate vicinity of the fountains," he pointed out. He said the total cost to the city was about $30,000 and the city did obtain a permit from DNREC for the project.
"Not only do we think it is a nice year-round welcome to Rehoboth as you enter from the south," Williams said, "we also wanted to upgrade our holiday decorations there and provide a much safer alternative to our old lighted trees we would place near the bridge each year."
He says the new electrical configuration is better and safer than what the city had used in previous years. Workers also do not need to paddle out into the lake each fall to place them. The fountain light colors can be changed for any appropriate occasion from the panel adjacent to the bridge. The city selected red, white and blue for Independence Day, for example.
Photo courtesy City of Rehoboth Beach
The fountains have been getting mixed reviews on the Nextdoor social media site. "Love them best thing ever to keep circulation and avoid stagnation and bugs," writes Dan Voeltner. "They are lovely as you walk across the bridge. Better yet, if they have a practical purpose. Wonderful addition," Carol Tello added.
But not everybody is thrilled with the new fountains. "I live on another part of the lake, and I would not like to look at them every day. [It] takes away from the naturalness of the lake," Kathy Connelly wrote. Former commissioner candidate Mark Betchkal said he was "Not a fan" of the fountains and added he considers them a "poor choice if the intention was to aerate the lake."
Several property owners had contacted Save Our Lakes Alliance 3 (SOLA3) to express their concerns, assuming that SOLA3 had been involved with the project. SOLA3 is the organization which helps educate, research and promotes policies to protect, preserve and maintain Silver Lake, Lake Gerar and Lake Comegys. Sallie Forman, founder & president of SOLA3, said the board had no idea about the project until it had been completed.
The SOLA3 board has issued these comments stating that the fountains do little to improve water quality at Silver Lake, that the $30,000 spent on the fountains could have been better spent on other projects to improve the lake's water quality and that using solar power should have been a preferred choice over electric power as it's better for the environment and results in cost savings.
Tom Childers, who owns a home in the second block of Lake Drive, says he has been in touch with two of his neighbors who are also the residents closest to the fountain on the east side of the bridge. Among their biggest concerns is the spray from the fountains. "It dampens our docks if there is any wind from the south, and curtails our use of the docks. Not fair," he said. "On top of that, the water being sprayed is notoriously not healthful," he added, noting that it is generally taken as "good sense" not to swim in Silver Lake or eat its fish.
Childers also noted that the fountain spray has landed on the surface of the bridge and that could pose a hazard if the fountains operate in freezing weather. Other neighbors, he says, complain that the fountain noise is intrusive and at least two of the three residents see no virtue in the fountains if they are not fulfilling a useful function for the lake. "Their aesthetics are negligible, at best," he said.
"I wonder why there was no attempt to contact responsible, potentially impacted property owners before the install order was placed," he added.
"Not to discount what anyone has to say, the fountains were placed there in good faith and there are many positive comments received," says Sharon Lynn, Rehoboth Beach city manager.
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SEVERAL COASTAL HIGHWAY OVERHEAD STREET LAMPS ARE DARK
After last week's pedestrian accident that left a local man dead after he was struck by a state police SUV on Coastal Highway, it became apparent that about a dozen overhead street lamps were dark along the section of Coastal Highway between Rehoboth Avenue-Extended and the Dewey Beach town limits. This stretch of Coastal Highway is known as the Forgotten Mile.
Another pedestrian was struck and killed on May 18 at Rehoboth Avenue-Extended. Louise A. Holt, DelDOT spokeswoman, said Friday that a DelDOT safety officer was on scene for both pedestrian fatal crashes.
She said he noted that the location where the pedestrian was struck by the state police SUV was lit, but the vehicle continued to this unlit portion of the highway. She said that the light outages have been reported for replacement.
Holt added that DelDOT expected to have a crew out there on Friday to investigate what the issues were and hoped to have them repaired early this week. In addition, she says that "a large number of lights are not DelDOT's responsibility and are leased lighting." The public can contact the local utility company or report problems through the DelDOT website.
Other pedestrian safety improvements have been completed or are in progress along the Forgotten Mile. This includes these rapid-flashing beacons at five crosswalks where there are no stop lights.
More improvements are underway including installation of sidewalk "bump outs" around utility poles, handicapped curb ramps and bike lanes.
See this WBOC report for details.
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DEWEY BEACH CAMPAIGN SEASON HEATS UP!
It is still not too late to run for commissioner or register to vote in Dewey Beach! The deadline for both candidate filing and voter registration is this Thursday at 5 p.m. The election is Saturday, September 21. Here is the election calendar with more info.
Joyce Pool said on Saturday that so far, only four candidates have filed to run for the three soon-to-be-open commissioner seats. Assuming there are no new candidates filing by Thursday, Commissioners Paul Bauer and Dale Cooke along with Mayor TJ Redefer will be challenged by newcomer Philip Rowe.
Former Mayor Diane Hanson hosted a private meet-and-greet for Rowe yesterday afternoon. Rowe says some of the most critical problems facing Dewey Beach include infrastructure especially as it relates to sea-level rise, the recent police department review and the town's finances. That's him in the white shirt.
Rowe's parents met on the beach in Dewey and his family has owned the property on Cullen Street since 1959. He and his wife, Leslie, live there year-round. "I think I offer a vision for the future that includes sound financial practices, accountability, viability to the community and alternate sources of revenue and improved revenue from the sources we have," he said. He hopes people bullet-vote for him since he is running against three incumbents.
He faces some tough competition. Here is Mayor TJ Redefer with Commissioners Paul Bauer and Dale Cooke after their election win two years ago.
Comm. Cooke is running independently of any other candidate while Mayor Redefer and Comm. Bauer are running as a team. "I think all of us would like the incumbents to win," Mayor Redefer said. "I sure do," he added.
Here are the candidate bios/fliers:
Stay tuned for more Dewey Beach campaign news in the coming weeks.
The Dewey Beach Civic League is hosting the annual candidate forum on Saturday, August 31, at 5 p.m. at the Dewey Beach Lions Club.
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WATER LINE BREAKS ON BALTIMORE AVENUE IN REHOBOTH
Rehoboth Beach Water Dept. personnel worked late into the night the previous Sunday after a water line ruptured in the second block of Baltimore Avenue.
Kevin Williams, public works director, said this past week that crews had successfully made a temporary fix on August 11 and will wait until after Labor Day to make a more permanent fix. He said it will require excavation across the width of Baltimore Avenue.
Photo courtesy Jhonny Cervantes
VULTURE IN DOWNTOWN REHOBOTH
Rehoboth Beach police had received a couple calls after this vulture was discovered on the brick wall in front of the Crest Condos on Virginia Avenue. It was first reported Friday night but was still sitting there at daybreak.
Dr. Raymond Bryant, a local Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research volunteer, says it is a black vulture. "They sometimes land in places and just hang out," he said. The bird was gone later in the day on Saturday.
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CAPTURING THE BEAUTY OF BEACH PHOTOGRAPHY
The best photography is when you are focused and always looking for the light and hold as still as possible, says Leah M. Reynolds, a Delaware artist who has done extensive beach photography.
Abyss, mystery, absolute darkness, absolute light, matter, spirit, ultimate hope and silence are words she uses to describe elements of her work. "Sunset for primordial reasons can stir our hearts profoundly," she points out, "and this deeply felt emotion is indispensable if we are to go beyond the dread and drudgery the world sometimes offers."
Reynolds uses both Nikon and Canon cameras. "I will tell you," she warns, "asking a photographer what kind of camera they use is akin to asking a chef what the brand of oven is after a terrific meal!"
Reynolds' work is soulful, self-assured and soaked with light. Her subjects include landscapes of the beach and shoreline, ocean waves, rolling hills and the flora and fauna that she encounters in her many adventures. She favors the rising and setting sun-scapes in Delaware as well as the charming historic town of New Castle where she resides.
A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF REHOBOTH VISITS FROM THE EARLY 1900's
This coming Thursday, August 22, the Rehoboth Beach History Museum will present a pictorial look at a summer vacation in the early 20th century in Rehoboth Beach. Jo Ann Gardner, a historian with the Historical Society of Cecil County in Maryland, uncovered a treasure trove of photos and documents from the O'Brien family in their museum.
Theodore Alexander Hamilton O'Brien was a circuit-riding Methodist Episcopal minister who was among the preachers who came to the Rehoboth Methodist campgrounds to "minister" to the summer visitors. After eloping with his sweetheart, M. Cornelia Smith, daughter of a prominent Wilmington couple, O'Brien started his Methodist ministry in Chesapeake City, Maryland. During his career, Rev. O'Brien served throughout the eastern seaboard, always returning with family to Rehoboth Beach for summer holidays.
The family owned a home on Delaware Avenue at Surf Avenue and vacationed there until the storm of 1920 wiped out many of the seaside homes. In 1909, daughter Annie purchased a camera, and so began her creation of a pictorial history of the O'Brien family. Gardner has done extensive research and has put together an engaging pictorial essay of life at the beach in the early 1900's. Sailing parties, crabbing, fishing expeditions and relaxing on the sand are all part of the activities. She has many stories to tell about Rev. O'Brien, who she says was somewhat of a "rock star" to campground attendees.
Space may be limited so reservations are required. Please call (302) 227-7310 to ensure your space. The program is free for members. A $5 donation is suggested for non-members. Further info on this and other programs of interest can be found on the museum website.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
It's always nice watching the boats come in at the Indian River Inlet Bridge...
Photo courtesy David Koster, PortraitsInTheSand.com
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YET ANOTHER HEATED DISCUSSION OVER BEACH TENT IN REHOBOTH--- Rehoboth Beach police had to be called twice to the beach at Deauville on Sunday after a man became outraged when he was told to take down his tent. It started around 1 p.m. when the RBP compliance officer told him that his tent was much larger than allowed by the town's ordinance. That resulted in a heated -- even threatening -- discussion. In his defense, he pointed to Sport Brellas that had skirts as well as other tents that had not yet been taken down. He said he had been "singled out" and the compliance officer was rude. So he started to erect his tent a second time and that is when police were called once again. Officials did go after the other non-compliant tents and the man eventually complied as well after officials smoothed things over.
DRUNK DRIVER CRASHES CAR ON COASTAL HIGHWAY CANAL BRIDGE, CATCHES ON FIRE--- a 36-year-old Frankford man was charged with DUI after he drove his 2012 Ford Fusion into the rear of a front-end loader in the construction zone on the Coastal Highway canal bridge outside Rehoboth around 1:40 a.m. last Monday. The Fusion burst into flames and quickly became fully engulfed. MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, state police spokeswoman, says he was also charged with driving a vehicle at an unreasonable speed and following a motor vehicle too closely. The roadway was closed for about 50 minutes. There were no injuries. Photos are in the Cape Gazette.
BICYCLISTS CHARGED IN CRASHES ON COASTAL HWY--- Last Monday, police charged bicyclists in two unrelated accidents on Coastal Highway. Around noon a 16-year-old girl was struck by a Chevy Silverado at Holland Glade Road. MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, state police spokeswoman, says she was issued a citation for "ride a bicycle on sidewalk or crosswalk where prohibited." Almost six hours later, a 21-year-old woman was struck by the Ferry bus near the Seashell Shop and was charged with "carry parcels which hinder steering." Both bicyclists had only minor injuries but were taken to the hospital.
5 INJURED IN ROLLER COASTER MISHAP--- Four children and an adult were taken to the hospital after a car on the Wildcat roller coaster collided with another car around 8:20 p.m. last Friday at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park. None were seriously injured.
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