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WEEKEND #14, 2016

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




During the summer, David Lynam, just one man, is responsible for emptying 125 trash cans on the beach in Dewey. For more than 25 years, well before he was required to do so, he started recycling and continues to do so without ever having received any grant money.

This is a business and he runs a tight ship. The more he can recycle, the less trash he will have to pay to have removed from his dumpster.

As part of the concession agreement he has with the town for chair and umbrella rentals, Lynam agrees to empty the beach trash bins.

Forcing him to handle the town's beach trash while running the beach rentals has him trying to constantly improve how he handles the waste. "I am in the position where I have to be smart," he states.

He admits he makes a few dollars from the aluminum, not much. And he dumps plastic, glass and whatever other recyclables he can in the 8-yard recycling dumpster the town rents.

It is in his best interest to recycle as much as possible, because ultimately he pays to dispose of the remaining trash which he stores in a dumpster. He pulls that dumpster along the beach on a trailer behind his truck four days a week to empty the trash containers.

He says more than half of the beach trash is recyclable. By far, the largest volume is consumed by plastic bottles.

Lynam takes pride with his efficiency and strategy. He typically deploys a set of five cans on either side of each of the town's street ends. Unlike Rehoboth, where cans are randomly distributed along the beach, Lynam targets these street ends where pedestrian traffic is the heaviest.

That is where he has the cans symmetrically lined in sets of five and they follow the same pattern at each street end. While busier locations have two sets, some may only have one. In the center is a can for aluminum, on either side of that is a pair of cans for plastic bottles, and on each end goes cans for trash. This, he says, encourages people to become more conscientious in deciding where to deposit their waste. People seem more inclined to recycle if the trash and recycle bins are in close proximity, he points out.

He also analyzes people's recycling behavior. Typically he leaves a layer of plastic bottles or aluminum cans in the respective barrel; never will he leave it empty. This provides a good visual cue to people who deposit trash without reading the label on the barrel, and makes them feel they are contaminating the barrel if they deposit the wrong item.

Lynam is known for his efforts in "smartening up the cans" (as he calls it). He frequently is seen wearing long rubber gloves to pick through the trash and further remove items that do not belong in the barrel.

Lynam invites officials from Rehoboth to spend the morning with him on the beach in Dewey. He has ideas to help. "If I did Rehoboth I would use three steel cans for the recycling and two plastic cans on the ends for trash. I'd use bags for the recycle and connect the two plastic ones to the metal ones so they don't blow down when empty," he states.

He says Rehoboth typically places individual cans along the dunes, even in areas which have little pedestrian traffic. Rehoboth does not recycle beach trash other than broken chairs and umbrellas which are collected by the trash wagon. The city uses plastic bags and lots of them in all cans.

Rehoboth's beach trash is sealed in plastic bags and taken to the landfill. Dewey does not use plastic bags. They might be necessary to handle Rehoboth's higher volume, but Rehoboth could still use them in a plan to separate trash from recyclables, he points out.

Lynam notes that Rehoboth had a grant for a beach recycling program. That grant purchased recycling bins, tipping dumpsters and an accompanying trailer. The program lasted about a year. The recycling cans were randomly distributed along the beach, often without any nearby cans for trash. The program failed.

The trailer was re-purposed by the maintenance shop and the trash cans eventually had the recycling logos removed or obscured and were turned into regular trash cans, many of which remain in service today.

Lynam says he never received any grant money for his efforts.

Another big difference is that Rehoboth has public works staff. Dewey has no public works, just the one town maintenance man who sometimes has an assistant.

How the beaches handle beach trash:

Ocean City

On the beach the town has more than 800 55 gallon plastic barrels, says Hal Adkins, public works director. These cans do not have bags in them. Ocean City uses two Broyhill Load and Pack trucks that drive along the beach at night and using a claw-arm reach out, lift and dump the barrels.

Empty barrels are placed back on the sand but at slightly a different spot, in case there is any spillage or excess trash. Later in the night a fleet of beach tractors with sifting machines clean the entire beach and pick up any spillage from the barrels. They do this every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

All of Ocean City's municipal solid waste -- commercial and residential -- is taken to the transfer station on 65th Street. There, Covanta hauls the material to either the company's Fairfax County or Chester, Pennsylvania incinerator facilities where it is used in the generation of electricity. According to the city's website, metals remaining from the incineration process are recycled.


Bethany Beach

Brett J. Warner, public works director, says the town has 53 trash cans on the beach which are supplemented with 19 95-gallon recycling carts. Trash is bagged and removed using a small truck or UTV-type vehicle.


Dewey Beach

David Lynam has 125 barrels typically placed at street ends with separate containers for trash, aluminum and plastic. No plastic bags are used. During the season trash is collected four days a week and recycling is collected every day.


Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach currently has 133 trash cans distributed along the beach; all waste is bagged and hauled to the landfill. No attempt is made at recycling. Public works crews pull and tie full or partially full plastic bags throughout the day. The bags are typically collected by the trash wagon the following morning. The crew on the trash wagon does attempt to recycle chairs and umbrellas.

Some photos courtesy Tony Johnson Crivella, and William & Greg Seaby


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With 19 days to Dewey Beach election day, the candidates are staking their positions. About 60 people attended Saturday's candidate forum at the Dewey Beach Lions Club where candidate Gary S. Persinger discussed the issues with incumbent Commissioners Courtney Riordan and Gary Mauler.

Mayor Diane Hanson started the election season the previous weekend with brunch at her house, below, to introduce Persinger to people who had not already met him. She is backing Persinger and Comm. Riordan in this election. She has had a consistently successful track record when it comes to picking winning team mates, including herself.

The Cape Gazette has been reporting on the ongoing conflict between Mayor Hanson and Comm. Mauler, where he says his wife was told by the mayor he should not run again or face being sued. Comm. Mauler says he knows the mayor "has turned against" him because he is "not a go-along, get-along candidate. I fight. I ask the hard questions. I probe," he said.

Mayor Hanson, the Cape Gazette reported, has said she had been advised by an attorney not to comment on Comm. Mauler's accusations.

The three candidate's opening remarks are in this MP3 file.

Photo courtesy Brenda Schrier


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Last Wednesday's 'Celebration of Ed' was "truly a testament to what a tight-knit community Dewey Beach is," says Steve 'Monty' Montgomery, owner of The Starboard. "It was a who's who of Dewey Beach as most town commissioners, most all business owners and any and all property owners turned out to wish Ed Riggin well."

Montgomery estimated the crowd at more than 600 people. Senator Ernie Lopez and Speaker of the House Peter C. Schwartzkopf presented Riggin with a tribute from the Senate and the House of Representatives.

While intended mostly a celebration for the town to show its appreciation to Riggin, Montgomery said the event also raised funds for Riggin, who lost his restaurant during the height of the season.

Those attending were asked for a $20 donation at the door, but they got to enjoy lots of favorite Dewey Beach foods including crabs served on original Ed's picnic benches saved from the ruins of his destroyed restaurant, Jimmy's Grill chicken, Que Pasa tacos, Bethany Blues pulled pork and beef brisket, Starboard burger sliders, and of course, famous Woody's crab cake sliders!

The Starboard contributed T-shirts specially made for the event which were sold for $20 each. In addition, several Dewey Beach businesses gave generous checks to Riggin to say "Thank you!"

Riggin, Montgomery says, is still unsure of his future and "at this point in his life he will miss talking with all the people more so than standing over a crab pot managing young employees. But this night overwhelmed him in that he felt the love from so many that he may have not realized until this event he had coming his way."

After receiving the tribute from Senator Lopez and Speaker Schwartzkopf, Riggin was choked up and couldn't say much... but he did squeak out one shade of his humor in saying "folks, I gotta tell ya... it's a hell of a way to become popular!"

WBOC-TV reported live from the fundraiser. Click here for the WBOC report.

Photos courtesy Steve "Monty" Montgomery and Carol Everhart, RB-DB Chamber of Commerce, president


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Rehoboth Beach police received a tip late Thursday night when four teens were spotted pushing down this sign post in an attempt to steal it along with the STOP and street signs.

The incident was reported around 11:55 p.m. at the corner of Country Club Drive and Hickman Street near State Road. A witness gave police suspect and vehicle info, including a license plate that belonged to a 2000 BMW 323i. The two occupants on the passenger side of the BMW attempted to hold onto the sign post holding it outside the car as they fled. But they ended up dropping it along the way.

The sign bandits probably thought they made a successful getaway. But when police matched the license plate to a BMW parked on Sandalwood Drive about 45 minutes later, occupants inside the house turned off the lights.

After surrounding the house, it took some banging at the door and the four teens, two males and two females, confronted the police.

One was arrested for drunk driving and the other three were arrested for underage consumption of alcohol. According to one source, police have been investigating a report that one or all of these teens had previously stolen other Rehoboth Beach street signs.


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Dewey Beach lifeguards this summer have been making use of a new UTV (utility task vehicle) purchased for them by Steve "Monty" Montgomery of The Starboard. The UTV cost about $14,000 which included emergency lighting and elegant DBP labeling. The donation was approved by the town manager.

The new UTV, explains DBP Lt. Christopher Muscara, has greatly enhanced the abilities of the Dewey Beach Patrol. While the patrol had two operational ATV (all-terrain vehicle) models, the new beach transport UTV is more sophisticated and allows them to load patients as well as more supplies, an important capacity since the patrol assists with medical emergencies throughout the town when they are on duty during the summer.

The new vehicle offers more versatile options than the other ATVs the DBP uses, Lt. Muscara points out. The UTV is categorized as a side-by-side all-terrain vehicle that allows the DBP to not only transport patients with various potential medical injuries ranging from spinal issues to lower body extremity injuries to more logistical issues of transporting rescue equipment to and from the beach, cones for event traffic control and any other jobs that utilize the large, rear flatbed. "The UTV truly gives our agency a more efficient way to respond to all the local situations we have been managing for close to 20 years since Captain Fritchman purchased our first ATV, 4-wheeler," Lt. Muscara adds.

"What's special about Monty is that whatever anyone needs," Lt. Muscara says, "he's one of the first people willing to step up and donate." That's Montgomery, on the left, with Lt. Muscara in front of DBP headquarters with the new UTV.

Photo courtesy Lt. Christopher Muscara, DBP


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It seems an increasing number of newspaper boxes -- including those used by beach guides and real-estate catalogs -- have been popping up in downtown Rehoboth Beach in recent seasons. "They have a strong 1st Amendment right to have their boxes in public spaces," says Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper. "A municipality can place restrictions, but like other 1st Amendment issues any restriction must be specifically tailored to serve a legitimate public purpose. Clearly permitted restrictions would be those that prohibited newspaper boxes from restricting the sidewalk or blocking the view of drivers. Beyond these sorts of restrictions it gets very tricky," he observes.

"When I have read court cases on this issue the standard seems somewhat subjective," he points out, noting that "Different courts seem to have different standards. Aesthetics can be a factor, but cannot restrict 'reasonable access.'"

Mayor Cooper noted that he has "heard of cities that install an attractive uniform box and then require the papers to utilize them. I believe that the number of boxes can be regulated, however, again there would need to be a reasonable public purpose articulated to do so."

Another interesting aspect is the idea of protected speech versus commercial speech, he said. "I have argued this point with city solicitors. Does a publication designed solely to sell a product allowed to occupy a public space the same as a newspaper? I understand the concept of a traditional newspaper occupying public space, but why should a Realtor's catalog of rental listings be allowed? They have a lesser right to occupy public space but still there has to be careful consideration before outlawing such commercial speech. Suppose they print the Declaration of Independence in the back. Is the publication now protected as an expression of free speech?"

Mayor Cooper says nothing in the city code currently specifically addresses newspaper boxes. Greg Ferrese, former city manager, had the city solicitor begin to draft an ordinance several years ago but it became "hard to tie restrictions to defensible public purposes. It could be an ugly spectacle to have to defend such an ordinance in federal court," Mayor Cooper added.


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NATIONAL -- EVEN INTERNATIONAL -- REACTION TO REHOBOTH BEACH HOME-ALONE ARREST--- It will probably go down as the most reported news story of the summer for Rehoboth Beach. The arrest of a mother from Olney, Maryland visiting Rehoboth Beach on August 16 has received quite a bit of discussion in the national media, on parenting forums and even in the foreign press. The arrest sparks the continuing debate: Just how old is old enough to leave your children alone?

Interestingly, in Montgomery County, the woman's home county in Maryland, the county government's own website suggests this could be acceptable if it is for short periods of time as long as the parent can be contacted.

Rehoboth Beach PD also issued this "additional comment" to the original news release explaining the mother's arrest.

Here is a roundup of relevant news reports:

This chart tells you exactly when your kids can be left home alone (Woman's Day)

DC Urban Moms and Dads blog

Mother arrested in Delaware for leaving her two kids home alone while she picked up dinner (DailyMail.com)

Mom arrested for leaving kids alone in the house while she went out for food (Reason.com)

Mom arrested for leaving her kids, ages 8 and 9, alone at home for 45 minutes (San Francisco Chronicle)

Mother arrested for leaving primary school-aged children at home while picking up takeaway dinner (Essential Kids, Australia)

Maryland mom arrested for leaving her 8- and 9-year-olds alone to go get food (Woman's Day)

Why are we so irrationally afraid of leaving our kids alone? (Disney's babble)

Mother charged after leaving kids home alone for 45 minutes (WHTM-TV, Harrisburg, Pa.)


DEWEY BEACH TO HOST CELEBRATION FOR MAINTENANCE SUPERVISOR--- Alvin Huffman, Dewey Beach's maintenance supervisor, is retiring. The public is invited to celebrate and show their appreciation this coming Tuesday, August 30, between noon and 2 p.m. at town hall, 105 Rodney Avenue. Food will be provided from Bethany Blues.


THE WEEKLY MERR REPORT--- Suzanne Thurman, MERR Institute executive director, says her organization investigated the death of another loggerhead sea turtle Sunday at Herring Point in the Cape Henlopen State Park. She said it appears to have been the victim of an apparent collision with a boat propeller or dredge. Other than that, there was no other MERR-related news to report from the past week.



Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City make Top 10 U.S. beaches (U.K., The Independent)

DelDOT announces lane closure suspensions for holiday weekend

Corporate menhaden harvesting off coast raises concerns for local fishermen

New maps quantify seismic testing's impact on marine life

Joe Biden visits Lewes, chats with neighbors (last Sunday/Monday)

The Lewes lighthouses

Neighbors concerned over proposed Gills Neck Village Center (near Lewes)

Sussex County approves bid for Rehoboth EMS facility (Medic 104/EMS 100)

Amid 'prevailing' criticism, bid accepted for county-owned Medic 104/EMS 100 quarters

Rehoboth Foodie featured in Delaware Today

Rehoboth Beach hasn't changed much over time. That's what vacationers count on. (Washington Post)

Charles E. Moore, Sr., retired Rehoboth police officer, dies at 78

This beach has the clearest, most pristine water in Delaware

Recycling law for stores ignored in Rehoboth

Rehoboth's Murray Archibald profiled in Washington Blade

Rehoboth Beach introduces plans for trees

Disagreement between motorist and pedestrian leads to physical altercation (previous Saturday, Rehoboth Beach)

Rehoboth Beach Museum featured on local A&E Report

Motorist who crashed into Dewey Beach eatery could face more charges

Ed's Chicken DUI suspect's trial going to higher court

The best beachcombing beaches around the USA (Delaware Seashore State Park)

Tests to begin for underwater wind power cable into Delaware

Troopers arrest Millsboro man after drug investigation

Probe results in 2 human trafficking arrests

OCPD investigating afternoon bank robbery (Wednesday)

Sunfest 2016 free entertainment schedule

Applications being accepted for Ocean City University

Beyond the Bay Bridge: Fisher's Pop Corn is a family affair (WTOP)

New O.C. transit director to explore expanded bus system

Monitoring O.C. buses 'A video game you never win'

No summer issues reported on sensitive bird-nesting islands in the coastal bays

'Beach Ball' tower takes shape; Ocean City's logo will soon appear

Ocean City Beach Patrol scaling down stand coverage

Worcester County to consider body piercing changes

Pocomoke company makes bulletproof doors for NYPD vehicles



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