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WEEKEND #15, 2015

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware



Could change be coming this year to Rehoboth businesses?

This is a follow-up to this article from two years ago, months before the Delaware Universal Recycling law mandated that all businesses participate as of Jan. 1, 2014. 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.

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

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

Despite a state law requiring businesses to recycle, little has changed in two years along Rehoboth Avenue. Government 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," says James Short, an environmental scientist with DNREC. The businesses must hire a contractor or self-haul to the appropriate facility to be in compliance. But the problem persists. These photos, taken this summer, demonstrate the problem.

The Delaware Universal Recycling Law mandated that all businesses participate as of Jan. 1, 2014. The "diversion of these materials creates local jobs, conserves energy because it takes less energy to make products from recycled materials than it does from raw materials, conserves landfill capacity, and results in the production of mulch and compost locally that we used to have to import," Short says.

Rehoboth Beach Comm. Stan Mills points out that the separate collection of recyclables assists in achieving the objectives as stated within Delaware's Universal Recycling Law: "[R]ecycling conserves valuable natural resources, energy, landfill capacity, landfill disposal costs, greenhouse gas emissions and litter, creates jobs and promotes a conservation ethic."

Roughly half of all waste originates from the commercial sector and the remainder comes from the residential customers, Short says. "So to achieve high diversion rates you have to have a comprehensive residential and commercial recycling."

Roughly half of all waste, Short also points out, consists of recyclables. But in Rehoboth during the season, the residential recycling pickup takes place only once a week. Regular residential trash is collected twice a week during the summer. Businesses that rely on the city for trash removal must seek other methods to handle their recyclables. A few Rehoboth Beach businesses, however, have associated residential apartments with recycle bins which are collected by the city's residential contractor.

To be compliant with the state's Universal Recycling law, the businesses must either haul their recyclables to the public recycling bins, such as those behind the firehouse, or hire a contractor. Many, but not all, of the small shops along Rehoboth Avenue continue to discard potentially valuable recyclables directly into the city's trash stream.

Unlike the residential sector, Short notes that in the commercial sector there is no requirement on the hauler to offer both recycling and trash hauling. "We did not want to put recyclers out of business" he states, by requiring commercial trash companies to offer recycling services as well.

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 better 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.

Randy Haney, comptroller of the Blue Moon, provided this photo of the restaurant's recycling dumpster after closing on a Saturday night this summer.

"As you know, there is no recycling pickup on the weekends, so this is from Friday and Saturday," he states. That is one of the challenges the smaller businesses face, what to do if they do not have frequent removal of recyclables.

Haney expressed the same concerns two years ago about the haulers not offering weekend removal of recycables. The Blue Moon is often forced to place Sunday's recyclables in the regular trash, he says. The hauler will not empty a dumpster if the lids will not close. The Blue Moon is one of the many larger businesses in town that hire their own contractors for trash and recycling. Haney said he cannot get recycling removed on weekends, unlike regular trash.

"Once a week recycle pickup is not enough," states another Rehoboth shop keeper, who prefers not to be identified. He said many small stores have no room to store a recycle bin or to store boxes. If the city would end trash removal, that would be hard on small businesses that rely on the city trash service to keep costs down as it is priced by the stores' square footage.

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

Carol Everhart, Chamber of Commerce president, says the Chamber is "aware that while some businesses are relying on the City for pick-up of the trash, there are others who have hired private contractors. Those who have hired the private contractors report being very satisfied with the private service. There are also businesses who remove the trash and recycling themselves… and the Chamber encourages business participation in the program. The business community seems to be in various stages of recycling transition and Rehoboth is not alone in efforts to increase participation."

Rehoboth Beach city officials say they are trying to spark change. "The Commissioner's and I have been studying this issue and hope to resolve it by the end of the year," says Sharon Lynn, Rehoboth Beach city manager. "It's an important topic with many moving parts. I take recycling seriously and am very conscious of the fact the City has not been in compliance."

Although DNREC is the agency responsible for implementing and enforcing Universal Recycling, Short states that this problem is 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.

But he adds that "we'd prefer not to look at this issue so myopically with a pointed finger... Because it's everyone's issue. We all generate trash and recyclables and we're all responsible for managing our waste responsibly and we need to work together to find solutions that work for all stakeholders."

The state has just ended the first year of commercial recycling which has been considered the ramp-up period for all three phases of Universal Recycling implementation, Short notes. By now, every business should have implemented some form of recycling program, he says, noting that DNREC has enforcement authority to require the implementation of Universal Recycling if necessary.

"Where there's a will, there's a way and all of the recycling stakeholders need to work together to achieve the legislated intent of maximizing diversion of recyclable materials," Short adds.

"Hopefully this article will get those in the business community and city officials to focus on how to expand recycling programs and further encourage city officials to better promote recycling not only in the business – and residential – communities but also in-house," Comm. Mills adds.


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Two beach visitors nearly drowned in the Rehoboth surf this past weekend after lifeguards were off duty.

The most serious incident was around 6:05 p.m. Sunday when a man was discovered by beach goers floating face down off Rehoboth Avenue. Breigh Strazzella from Newark, Delaware, witnessed the incident and called 9-1-1 while Jeff Van Eiken, Jr. had gone in for the rescue. They said the man had been floating face down about 20 to 30 feet from shore. At one point the victim had raised his arm and people did not know if he were joking. That is when Van Eiken came to the rescue. He says he grabbed the victim under his shoulders and pulled him to shore along with a couple other bystanders.

Once on shore, the man, estimated to be in his 40's, was initially unresponsive but breathing. According to one report, he had water in his airway and possibly suffered a spinal injury. EMS personnel decided to fly him to a trauma center but ended up taking him by ground to Beebe Hospital to better stabilize and manage his breathing.

Around 6:20 p.m. Saturday, a 10-year-old girl was pulled from the water off Baltimore Avenue. She reportedly swallowed some sea water but was conscious when taken to Beebe Hospital by ambulance.

Man removed from Ocean City surf collapses in cardiac arrest

The ocean, probably fueled by remnants of Erika, packed a punch Saturday, especially in Ocean City.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Capt. Butch Arbin reports that the patrol made 357 rescues on Saturday.

Capt. Arbin says a 45-year-old man collapsed in cardiac arrest after being rescued at 139th Street around 5 p.m. Lifeguards performed CPR and the man was taken to Atlantic General Hospital. But Capt. Arbin said he is unable to provide an update.


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The four candidates running for the three Dewey Beach commissioner seats addressed about 70 people at the Lions Club this past Saturday.

The candidates are all passionate about their town. Seated from the left are: Mike Dunmyer, Dell C. Tush, Mayor Diane Hanson and Dale H. Cooke.

Here are audio clips from the candidates' opening remarks followed by the Q&A.

The Dewey Beach election is in 19 days!

Also, Dunmyer and Tush provided their flyers which were not included in last week's report.


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While headed to a Boy Scout meeting, professional photographer David Koster stopped to offer assistance after he found this Mitsubishi that had crashed into a tree just before 5:45 p.m. Friday. The accident happened outside Rehoboth on Warrington Road near Old Landing Road.

"I pulled over to the side then turned around to see if they were OK," Koster says. "The boy was holding his head. I pressed my OnStar emergency button to call for help and proceeded over to the people while my wife spoke to OnStar. I talked the boy into sitting down. Most of the bleeding had stopped from his head, but it did have a chunk out of his skin and what appeared to be a dent in his head. He held a bandana on it until the ambulance arrived. The airbags deployed in the front seats so I think the driver and passenger were mostly alright," he adds.

According to Cpl. Gary E. Fournier, state police spokesman, "It appears that Felipe Ramos Machic, 32, of Rehoboth, was charged with Inattentive Driving and Driving without a Valid License after he crashed his 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse into the tree. He was also charged with one count of Offensive Touching against his 31-year-old wife when he punched her in the leg while he was driving, causing him to be distracted while driving. He was cited and released. The 9-year-old boy was treated and released with non-life-threatening injuries."

Photo courtesy David Koster, Portraits in the Sand.com



This was probably the most serious accident Rehoboth Beach has had all summer. A Toyota collided with a motorcyclist at the awkward intersection of Christian Street and Rehoboth Avenue just before 3 p.m. Sunday.

The 25-year-old motorcyclist suffered compound fractures to his elbow and tibia-fibula. Police impounded both vehicles for investigation. No word yet on charges.


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Delmarva Power has a contractor inspecting its utility poles in the Rehoboth area. Workers from Osmose Utilities, says Matt Likovich, Delmarva Power media relations manager, check the integrity of the pole and assign it a condition rating that may or may not necessitate replacement.

The cycle for this inspection is 10 years, so they do not check every pole every year. "This year," Likovich says, Delmarva Power "added an overhead line inspection to their tasks while at the pole. This is used to look for other non-pole deficiencies."

Among other duties, inspectors replace older number plates, check for dry rot or insect damage, particularly around the base.

This Maryland Coast Dispatch article reports that Delmarva Power is also using a low-flying helicopter for inspections there.


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by Dagmar Kirchner Henney

The Philip Morton Gallery brings us yet another brilliant artist this summer, John Whitney, who was accompanied by his charming wife and lovely paintings. Shown with me above is his oil painting, A Stopped Passerby.

He, like so many of the great artists featured by Eric Davison of the Morton Gallery, is another childhood prodigy who was influenced by a talented family. His father, William Whitney, had been the supervisor of the arts and crafts division of WPA in Kansas, displaying his work at the 1939 New York World's Fair. He also worked with Eleanor Roosevelt as an advisor for a WPA arts project - called the Reedsville Project in Arthurdale, West Virginia.

Growing up in a family of artists he was exposed to art at an early age and started painting as a boy. Whitney explained how as a child he would often go out with his aunt, who was an artist, into the plains of the Midwest. That is where he learned how beneath a smooth surface there would be so much structure. For example, a stream bed offers a peak at the structure that is beneath the surface, he points out. There is a war going on, he says, with a seemingly quiet plain surface but with such complicated foundations below.

He transfers this struggle in his expressionist-style work through vivid color and emotion to express what is happening. "It is not what you see, it is what you feel," he points out.

He is multi-talented and his beautiful wife appears often to be a model for his lovely paintings. Here is Tight Rope, on the left, and Rainbow Horses, on the right.

He does oil on canvas as well as mixed-media works on paper using a complex process.

There needs to be schools, he says, to teach painting, an art form that he fears is being threatened by the computer animators. An artist struggles with the physical limitations, such as paper texture and paint, something which the computer artists never had to deal with. As a result, he says this impacts the quality of the paints (or ink) they use and how it is applied to the paper and type of media. "When you apply things by computer it is all flat." Computer color is synthetic and cannot last like real paint, he says.

His exhibition will remain on display at the PMG through Sept. 15. See the Cape Gazette for more info.


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Many of those attending Friday's opening at the Rehoboth Art League struggled to find the right words to describe the exhibition. The foundations for these artworks were actual masks used to treat cancer patients. It provided a deeply thoughtful reaction from gallery visitors.

The masks will be for sale through an auction to be held at the Rehoboth Art League on Sept. 19. If you wish to attend the auction and/or learn more about the exhibition, please visit courageunmasked.org. If you wish to contribute to the fund, please visit 9114hnc.org. The funds raised from Courage Unmasked Rehoboth Beach (CURB) mask sales and admissions will support HNC patients and survivors at Beebe's Tunnel Cancer Center.

More info is on the RAL website.




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REHOBOTH COMMISSIONER KATHY McGUINESS TO RUN FOR LT. GOV.--- Rehoboth Beach's very own Comm. Kathy McGuiness is running for Delaware Lieutenant Governor. Here is her website. We hope to hear more from her as she formally announces her campaign.


MAN TAKES WOMAN'S PURSE IN DOWNTOWN R.B.--- A woman who was with a baby in a stroller had her purse stolen by a man around 3 p.m. Sunday in the area of Funland. According to one report, the man picked up the stroller with the baby inside and dropped the stroller as he fled with her purse. The suspect was described as a skinny white male about 6+ feet tall, no shirt, khaki shorts, in his 20's. The child was not injured.


O.C. MEDEVACS--- EMS crews in Ocean City flew three trauma patients to hospitals this past week. On Monday, around 5:18 p.m. at 119th Street on the beach, a man suffered a neck/back injury while in the surf. On Tuesday, around 10:52 a.m., a Coast Guard helicopter transferred a man to a Maryland State Police helicopter after he suffered a crushed hand aboard a fishing boat about 70 miles off the coast. Details are on the CG website. On Saturday, around 5:30 p.m., a man was discovered unconscious after suffering a head injury at Seacrets.


2nd TODDLER SHOT THIS MONTH IN SUSSEX COUNTY--- For the second time this month, a toddler has been shot in Sussex County. The most recent incident happened early Sunday morning in the outskirts of Ocean View. See this WGMD report for details. The previous incident was this August 9 shooting in the Lincoln area.


POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING (STOLEN?) CAR--- Rehoboth Beach police spent Sunday investigating a missing 2014 Chevrolet Sonic that disappeared from Country Club Drive. It was a leased car, red with Florida tags and was last seen Saturday night. Police later found the car just before midnight Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is under investigation.



Delaware roads dangerous for pedestrians, scooters and bicyclists

DNREC workshops on regulations governing beach protection and the use of beaches set for Sept. 25 and 26

Delaware state record 22-pound blueline tilefish caught in Baltimore Canyon by Pennsylvania angler

Delaware Democrats Jamboree with the VP at Cape Henlopen

Uber drivers in Delaware told to get business licenses

Acme to purchase Rehoboth Superfresh

Brittingham, Richards retain Henlopen Acres seats

Rehoboth commissioner announces run for lieutenant governor

Dogfish Head's Rehoboth "Restaurant Campus" to open in 2017

Petition halts Rehoboth zoning ordinance

Petition calls for referendum on Rehoboth Beach zoning ordinance

Repeal or referendum on deck for Rehoboth zoning law

Rehoboth ok's debt funding for city hall, ocean outfall

Dewey Beach sees $250,000 surplus for FY15

Dewey Beach to clarify roles of town employees

Rumblings of trouble in Dewey Beach town hall

Uber drivers in Dewey, other towns told to get license

Fire at Ocean City's Atlantic Hotel classified as accidental (4 a.m. last Monday)

OCPD animal control rescues stolen puppy

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program scheduled to begin in October 2015

Applications being accepted for Ocean City University

Baltimore police officer arrested in Ocean City

"Jeeples" roll into O.C. for "Jeep Week"

Ocean Pines Assoc. looks to sell home to collect unpaid assessments


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