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WEEKEND #14, 2018

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




More than 60 people attended Saturday's candidate forum in Dewey Beach at the Lions Club. Current Dewey Beach Commissioner Gary S. Persinger, on the far right, will be facing newcomers David Moskowitz, center, and William J. Stevens (click on the candidate names for their latest bios). James Petruccelli announced last week that he has decided not to run.

Last year at this time, much of the attention was focused on the embattled town manager. This year the conversation has evolved into the latest hot issue, centering around the audit committee, and the need for better controls that surfaced after the police department's procurements of surplus military equipment.

Moskowitz said the most important issue arising from the discussion was that Dewey Beach needs to "do a better job of having internal control and the way to do it is to have a strong audit committee. Have them pass a package of rules. But the commissioners approve and the town manager implements and the commissioners can judge the town manager based on how he implemented those rules."

"By holding our leaders accountable and providing a platform of transparency, a successful commission can continue to move Dewey forward," says William Stevens. "There were many great topics," he added, "but at the heart of all of the questions is the need for effective communication, respect, and trust."

After the forum, Comm. Persinger said "People need to realize that we have had some problems. We are dealing with the problems in Dewey, but we need to move forward and we need to move forward in a positive way. There are some lessons from the past, but we cannot just focus on what has taken place and what the past is. There are some real positive steps I think we can make and we need to make it through the new town manager. We are going to invest him with the authority to do that and we are going to have to rely on him to move us forward."

Absentee ballots will be accepted starting today, August 27. For election/voting info, see the town's website.


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The bizarre drunk-driving accident trend continued this past week in Rehoboth Beach after a woman drove this Honda CR-V into a utility pole. It happened just before 5:30 p.m. last Monday at 3rd Street and Park Avenue.

The Honda sheared the pole off at the base, pushing it forward and then the pole fell on the vehicle. Amazingly, neither the driver nor passenger was injured.

Lt. Jaime Riddle, police spokesman, says the driver has been charged with DUI-alcohol, inattentive driving, driving on or upon a curb and no proof of insurance.


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A 20-year-old female bicyclist was injured just before 5 p.m. last Monday after she collided with a Jeep Cherokee on Coastal Highway at the entrance to the Rehoboth Cracker Barrel.

According to MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, state police spokeswoman, the crash happened on southbound Coastal Highway as the 2000 Jeep Cherokee was exiting the Cracker Barrel parking lot onto southbound Coastal Highway. The bicyclist had been traveling north on the southbound sidewalk attempting to cross over the Cracker Barrel entrance to continue north. That is where the two collided.

MCpl. Jaffe says the bicyclist was treated by EMS and later charged with failure to yield right of way to vehicle.


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As reported last Monday, multiple agencies spent that morning searching for a missing 43-year-old man who had disappeared in the choppy surf off Rehoboth Avenue around 1:30 a.m. A friend had reported that she saw him go into the ocean but never return. The search ended about 10 hours later when his body was discovered in the surf between Keybox and Towers roads in the Delaware Seashore State Park.

Photo courtesy Brian Hancock

Lt. Jaime Riddle, Rehoboth Beach police spokesman, identified the man as Timothy S. Toner of Lewes, and released this photo.

A forensic investigator from the Division of Forensic Science came to the scene and the body was removed. The death investigation is being conducted by Rehoboth Beach police with the assistance of the Division of Forensic Science and the Delaware State Police. At this time, police said, no foul play is suspected.


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Meanwhile, Gus continues to recuperate in local skilled nursing facility

"This has been a repetitive problem over many years and of which I have personally observed," reports Dr. Michael C. Trahos, who is Gus Svolis' first cousin. Because ketchup is expensive, and Thrasher's will only supply its patrons with salt and vinegar, Dr. Trahos pointed out, they often go to Gus & Gus demanding free ketchup!

Despite Gus & Gus posting signs stating that Gus & Gus ketchup is for Gus & Gus patrons only, Dr. Trahos says Thrasher's customers have been brazen enough to walk into Gus & Gus, go to an empty table, find a ketchup bottle, put a significant amount of Gus & Gus ketchup on their Thrasher's fries, and walk out!

"My understanding of the incident last night [Saturday] was that, again, Thrasher's patrons were demanding free Gus & Gus ketchup," he said. "The employee refused to give them free ketchup. A very heated verbal exchange, initiated by the Thrasher's patrons, then occurred. Because of the belligerence of the Thrasher's patrons, the Rehoboth Beach police were called by Gus & Gus employees [just before 6 p.m.]," he added.

Dr. Trahos says Gus, who suffered a serious stroke while working at the iconic boardwalk restaurant on June 22, is now alert and continues to recuperate. He has been moved once again to a skilled nursing facility in Lewes where he is undergoing physical therapy. Gus started his restaurant in Rehoboth Beach during the summer of 1956, making it one of the longest continuously-run family businesses in town.



Police were called to the Henlopen Square shopping center on Rehoboth Avenue outside of town around 9:25 p.m. Saturday after a fight erupted while an illegally parked car was being towed. This is the same shopping center where Casa DiLeo, Murph's Beef & Ale, Java Jukebox, Joe Maggio Realty and several other businesses are located.

Some thought it was a bar brawl. But according to a witness, Coastal Towing had just hooked the Kia Soul which had been parked unoccupied in the yellow zone. As the truck operator attempted to drive off, he was confronted by at least one angry customer. Somebody called 9-1-1 stating that there was a fight and the driver was trying to run over the pedestrian.

State police had no troopers in the area, so Rehoboth Beach police responded. Eventually, state troopers arrived as well. No injuries or arrests were reported.



About a dozen protesters showed up around 2 p.m. Sunday for a surprise protest at the Rehoboth Avenue traffic circle. They held signs that read: I stand with Planned Parenthood. The protesters were monitored by police.

The protesters, who say they come from upstate, were here since August 26 was the "National Day of Action" to oppose the President's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. "Kavanaugh would be dangerous to reproductive rights in this country," one of them stated.


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Has Rehoboth neglected its memorial at the bandstand honoring American POWs and MIAs?

Dave Henderson, the City of Rehoboth Beach's first information technology (I.T.) director, will be inducted into the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame at a ceremony this fall. The Hall of Fame was established to honor the state's aviation greats and to promote public recognition of the role of flight in the progress of The First State and in defense of the country. It is the highest award given in aviation in Delaware outside the military.

As a child, Henderson was destined for a career in aviation. His first airplane was built from scraps of wood. When he was about 10 years old, a family friend took him for a flight in a Piper Cub. "The flight brought him such amazement and awe that it would be forever remembered and for a young man it erased any doubt he would pursue aviation as an adult," says Amanda Fichter, who is serving as Henderson's "wingman" for the induction ceremony. She is also the chair of the DAHOF selection committee.

Henderson's aviation career started in the U.S. Air Force as an electronics expert in Vietnam. He held five other duty positions including taking part in the effort known as "Operation Eagle Claw" during the Iranian hostage crisis. When he returned home he went through flight training to become a pilot, purchased an 80-acre airport in Kent County that still bears his name, and began his true passion, restoring Piper Cub airplanes. He also engineered a replica of the Piper Cub that could be purchased as a home-built kit.

His business was soon a booming enterprise that extended worldwide and he was able to travel the globe. All this traveling had allowed Henderson to amass more than 9,000 flying hours. He has restored more than 150 aircraft including this famous plane, the actual aircraft built for and used in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!

He also met the Prince of Thailand, Prince Tang. This friendship led to a six-year relationship where Henderson helped develop a civil aviation program in Thailand.

In Delaware, Fichter points out, Henderson introduced a bill that became law to protect airports from development encroachment. This law protected airports from construction of any kind, from homes to trees, which would obstruct an aircraft from landing safely.

Delaware Today selected him as one of the 50 people to watch in Delaware and George Freibert's book Delaware Aviation History features a chapter on his amazing career.

Henderson joined the Civil Air Patrol more than 40 years ago where he became a major. He served most of his time as a search-and-rescue mission pilot and became qualified as an Incident Commander (IC2). He has received many honors, accolades, and medals. He was even presented an American flag by then-Senator Joe Biden honoring his service in Vietnam and to the Civil Air Patrol.

Later, working for the City of Rehoboth Beach, Henderson tackled numerous computer projects for the town and was instrumental in hiring the current I.T. staff. It was then when Henderson was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. Possibly caused by his exposure to toxins while in Vietnam, it was deemed service connected. He is now a 100-percent disabled vet and lives in a bedroom the Department of Veterans Affairs installed in his home. The VA also purchased a new handicap van and a motorized wheelchair for him.

After John Brown died, Henderson took over the cleaning and maintenance of the Civil Air Patrol monument and created and installed the MIA monument at the bandstand that is now almost completely hidden by hydrangea and rose bushes. "Please never forget," Henderson states, "that inside the footing for the MIA marker is hidden a very special item... I placed it there myself so a special person would never be forgotten!"

That special person was USAF Major Gerald Ayers, a pilot of AC-130 gun-ships in Vietnam. "He was KIA and I wore his bracelet from around 1975 till around 10 years ago," Henderson recalls. "I would love to see it removed, a little story written and put on display somewhere least we forget our fallen. His family now lives in Wilmington and do not know it is there. If nothing else, I want to leave the memory of those who lost their lives fighting for this madness that goes on today," he adds.

"If he can help someone else or spark passion in others for aviation that he has, then to him, it's all the reward he needs," Fichter says. "Henderson is exactly the kind of person who deserves to be honored in the Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame. I am proud to be his wingman and honored that this has allowed me to now know him as my friend."

Graphic courtesy Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame


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Last week's report featured details on FOIA requests made to the Town of Dewey Beach. Last week, the City of Rehoboth Beach provided this spreadsheet listing FOIA requests the city has received since switching to its new FOIA software in January, 2017.

The data shows the significant differences between FOIA requests received in Dewey and those made in Rehoboth. For example, Rehoboth Beach has more requests with more than 100 so far in 2018, and 144 in 2017. Dewey had received only 90 since January 1, 2016. Unlike Dewey, the requests are rarely intrusive. The top FOIA filer in Rehoboth appears to be agents from Jack Lingo Realtors who have made more than 20 requests in this database. They are followed closely by the real estate attorney firm of Hudson, Jones, Jaywork & Fisher, then Foresight Services surveyors and Long & Foster Real Estate.

For details on filing a FOIA request in Rehoboth Beach, see the city's FOIA website.



Rehoboth's Heidi Lowe Gallery opened its latest exhibition, Subtle Fictions, works by Alexandra Hopp and Lydia Martin, this past Friday.

Most of Hopp's work deals with obsessive-compulsive disorder. For this exhibition she has targeted bibliomania which involves the collecting or hoarding of books. All of her jewelry in this show is made from books. She'll take a book, pull out all of the pages, glue them all together into a brick and then carve them into interesting jewelry pieces.

Shown over her shoulder are pieces she made entirely from books, usually older ones! "Jewelry can be more than just gold and silver and the sum of its parts," Hopp points out, noting that she has spent 30 years working as a goldsmith. Hopp says she often hears people ask "What's it worth?" But she is concerned that is a limited thinking process. "Even something as simple and fundamental as paper can be jewelry, even fine jewelry," she adds.

Martin works mostly with sterling silver and 18-karat gold but notes that her jewelry is mostly about process and one is not really sure what type of material she is actually using. She makes use of a coloring process known as heat patina. "Ultimately it is jewelry and it is meant to be worn," she adds.

Hopp's and Martin's show will remain on display at the gallery through September 28.


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Jim Cook, Rehoboth's primitive-sand artist, has been keeping busy this summer at his usual spot off Rodney Street in downtown Rehoboth Beach. Here he is with Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony.

Cook has done 19 sculptures so far this season. He said he lost more than two prime weeks because of weddings and rain, but he usually tries for 25 over a summer. He is done for the season now. "Mornings are too cool now," he points out, "so I took my things home last week."

Photo courtesy Jim Cook




JEANETTE MARDERWALD, MOTHER OF VETERAN LIFEGUARD "WOODY," PASSES AWAY--- Jeanne G. Marderwald, 92, is being remembered by friends and family. She died on August 21. As one family friend stated, she was the "bedrock of Dodd's Addition" just outside of Rehoboth since 1982. She was an incredible woman who defied Nazi occupation in Paris. She had two sons, Dr. George Marderwald (deceased in 1980) and veteran Rehoboth lifeguard Mark "Woody" Marderwald. More details are in the Cape Gazette.


BICYCLIST SERIOUSLY INJURED IN CRASH, FLOWN TO TRAUMA CENTER--- A 50-year-old male bicyclist was seriously injured just before 8 p.m. Sunday after he was initially reported as unresponsive after getting struck by a vehicle on Fenwick Island Shoals Boulevard near Bills Pizza, just west of Fenwick. The man was flown to Christiana Hospital with a possible head injury.


MAN RESCUED AFTER RIDING BIKE OFF PIER--- A 77-year-old man had to be rescued after he fell head-first off a bicycle from a pier and into Pebble Creek around 11 a.m. Sunday. That is off Baywinds Court in the Dagsboro area. He was stuck in the mud and rescuers spent about 30 minutes getting him safely removed. He was taken to Beebe Hospital complaining of back pain.


PARAMEDICS RESUSCITATE SUSPECTED DROWNING VICTIM--- Sussex County paramedics resuscitated a 74-year-old man who lapsed into cardiac arrest after he jumped into a pool around 5 p.m. Saturday. It happened at the Cripple Creek pool house off Cripple Creek Drive in the Dagsboro area. After about 20 minutes of CPR, he started breathing on his own while en route to Beebe Hospital. At the time it was unclear if he suffered a medical problem or had drowned after suffering a head injury.


SNAKE ON BEACH IN BETHANY--- Police in Bethany Beach came to the rescue after a garden snake was found around 6:30 p.m. this past Thursday in the surf near Central Avenue. At first they tried to get DNREC to handle the situation, but the agency could not get there until much later, so police caught the snake and moved it to a safe location away from the beach!


MERR REPORT--- This past week was a busy one for members of the MERR Institute. Suzanne Thurman, the group's executive director, says MERR investigated the death of a loggerhead on the north side of the Indian River Inlet, a dead leatherback at Tower Road, another possible loggerhead not yet located at Broadkill and unidentified remains of a sea turtle also at Broadkill. On Sunday, she said they had a dolphin near the Lifesaving Station. Two of the turtle deaths were reported in the News Journal.


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WBOC/Fox21 owner (Draper Media) to acquire Delaware NBC affiliate WRDE

Opioid crisis in Delaware continues

International student J-1 visa exchange program report

Numerous PNC cards compromised in Delaware beach area

Man arrested for an assault on a state trooper near Milton (last Thursday)

Woman charged in Nassau Bridge flag incident accepts plea agreement

Is there a parking problem on Lewes Beach?

Lewes examines beach parking woes, solutions

Possible parking solutions for Lewes

World's largest Viking ship stops in Lewes, now in Ocean City thru August 29

Rehoboth Kmart will be one of three left in Delaware

Grocery delivery service Shipt to launch in Rehoboth Beach next month

Beach Nomad releases gluten-free beers in Rehoboth Beach

Delaware tag "20" sells for $410,000 at Rehoboth Beach auction

Low-numbered license plate sells for $410K at auction

From Rehoboth to Antarctica, seashell hunter says he's collected 1 million

Scam Alert: Rehoboth Beach rental on Craigslist

Rehoboth man charged in altercation after resisting arrest (August 18)

Rehoboth police need help to identify assault suspect (Tidal Rave, August 13)

Rehoboth Beach Parking Committee report to Commissioners

The new tasting room and kitchen at Dogfish Head

In the name of love: The story behind Sundance

New Rehoboth restaurant launches 'Let's Make History' campaign

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Video: A Dewey Beach Summer (2018) [shot partly in Rehoboth from Austin Aguilar]

Judge upholds First Amendment rights of Dewey resident

Dewey report recommends formal accounting policy, creation of whistle-blower policy

Dewey officials lead press tour of equipment left out of financial probe

Fresh Dewey Beach drone video

Building under renovation starts to collapse in Long Neck (Saturday, 11:30 a.m.)

Driver of pick-up truck seriously injured in crash with tractor trailer near Millsboro (7 p.m. last Tuesday)

Selbyville lowers speed limits due to public safety issues

Swimming advisory lifted at Fenwick Island beach

OC volunteer firefighters vote no confidence in the fire chief by majority vote

Volunteer firefighters look to talk concerns with Ocean City fire chief

Jellyfish Music festival to draw headliner acts in Ocean City

Ocean City Council approves expanded beach volleyball event

Ocean City aircraft landing ban moves ahead

Replica Viking ship begins eight-day stay in Ocean City

Sea lice provide latest Ocean City, Assateague beach irritant

Major solar project for Ocean City breaks ground in Berlin area

Progress slows on Berlin fire services contract

'OC Shark Hunter' arrested for unauthorized shark fishing off Assateague



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