This Week's News
After two would-be Fenwick Island town council candidates were recently deemed ineligible due to confusion over the eligibility of trustees under the town charter, Councilwoman Julie Lee emphasized the importance of straightening out and clarifying the charter in the next year.
Proposed modifications to the Sussex County Rental Program were presented to the Sussex County Council on Tuesday, July 26, by Brandy Nauman, the County’s housing coordinator and fair housing compliance officer.
Disney World and McDonald’s aren’t the only places that have a brand.
Big and small towns take advantage of branding to create a central idea of what it’s like to visit them, and Fenwick Island officials are now deciding if that’s the right move for the town.
Lynch makes directorial debut
Local stars and flying cars headlined at the Possum Hall in Georgetown on Thursday, July 21, when the Possum Point Juniors debuted their summer show in a unique rendition of the Academy Award-nominated “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
Among them were rising Indian River High School senior and PPJ/Clear Space vet Kerrine Walls (“Bye Bye Birdie,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”), who starred as Truly Scrumtious opposite Seaford’s Sava Cook as protagonist Caractacus Potts.
“It was good to feel nervous,” Walls said of what was one of the largest roles to date in her young acting career.
“I was feeling nervous but also very excited, because I care a lot about it.”
From early in Act 1, Walls turned that nervous energy into showing audience members that she wasn’t their grandmother’s Truly Scrumptious.
The Bethany Area Repertoire Theater (BART) has been providing stage performances to the area for three years, and last week the theater company’s goal of funding scholarships for area students bore fruit.
BART awarded scholarships to three students, all recent graduates from Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, during a ceremony at BART’s home stage at the Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Friday, July 23.
Robert Ravida, chairman of BART’s scholarship committee, said BART’s intention from the beginning was always to fund arts scholarships with the proceeds from ticket sales for its plays, which are performed on the Dickinson Parlour Theatre stage by an ever-growing group of volunteers from within the community.
For the last year, 12-year-old Skye Best has wanted to become a police officer.
“I like them. They’re my friends,” she said.
“I told her she has to get through regular school first,” said her father, Terry Best, with a laugh.
Skye, who is autistic, even plays the part — wearing a police shirt, hat and belt as often as she can.
“She has a police belt and little handcuffs,” explained Terry Best. “She came out and wrote me a ticket for excessive grilling for making something on the grill. She’ll put the cuffs on me and send me to the bedroom and say I’m in jail.”
Taking note of her interest, Terry Best reached out on a locals’ Facebook page, hoping to have his daughter meet a local officer.
“I got all kinds of people replying back,” he said.
Ocean View Police Department Patrolman Brian Caselli reached out to Best and offered to set up a meeting at the OVPD with Patrolman Tyler Bare of the Dagsboro Police Department and Patrolman Josh Fulton of the Bethany Beach Police Department.
Softball fans from around the area can rejoice in the action that will be taking place at the Pyle Center starting this Sunday.
There are weeks when I sit down at my computer to start putting together this column and I come to the unnerving reality that I don’t have any idea what it is I’m going to write about this week.
Fenwick resident looks to new faces
I feel I must respond to the letter “Reader discusses Fenwick issues.” It is a shame that this reader decided to make baseless claims against an unnamed candidate. All of us in Fenwick Island should be happy that we have a choice of candidates this year.
In April 1861, newly-elected President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers proportioned from the loyal states to put down a rebellion of seven deep-South states that had seceded from the Union. The expectation in Washington was that the uprising would be quelled quickly, and the military enlistments would only last for 90 days.
Will Kenney is holding up a megaphone for rare diseases. The rising ninth-grader doesn’t just raise funds for any medical condition. He’s helping causes that don’t get much attention at all.
Kenney’s gearing up for the third annual Will’s Carnival for a Cause, on Saturday, Aug. 6. The family-friendly festival will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at ChickBerry Farms in Laurel.
Jennifer Wojcik knows fish.
Since moving to the area some 20 years ago, if she wasn’t working behind the bar, she had most likely gone fishing.
In fact, just last year, Wojcik and her crew on the Reel Passion even took first place in the Wahoo Division at the annual Poor Girl’s open in Ocean City, Md.
So when Ocean View Seafood went up for sale this past spring, with owners Dave and Beth Long ready to retire, combining her love of fishing with her experience in customer service just made sense.
“It worked out perfect. The place found me,” said Wojcik, who has been the proud new owner of Ocean View Seafood since purchasing the business in May.
“I’m lucky enough that the Longs chose me. I want to make sure that I do the best I can. It’s a family-run business.”
Tripple Overtime: While often slow and dangerous behind the wheel, old people can still serve a purpose sometimes
(Penn State vs. Ohio State vs. Coach Ayers vs. the Brannons)
As a general disclaimer, this headline, or at least some form of it, was suggested to me by my good friend Jim Brannon at barbecue last Friday night.
After seeing 700 participants show up last August, the Athlete’s to End Alzheimer’s 5K Walk/Run is back for year two and looking to raise the stakes.
“Last year was a huge success,” said event coordinator and founder Michael Loftus of Loftus Wealth Strategies in Millville.
“This year, we’re way ahead. We’d like to get 1,000 people signed up, if we could.”
The event raised $18,000 through both the race and fundraising efforts throughout 2015, donating all proceeds to the Delaware Valley Alzheimer’s Association. That’s also a goal that Loftus said they were looking to improve upon for year two, aiming for $25,000 in 2016.
It started as a mission: Two friends determined to make it from Washington, D.C., to the Delaware shore by way of only their bicycles, in 1999.
Now, with the Bike to the Beach charity for Autism now entering its 10th year, B2B is expecting nearly 700 riders from both the D.C. and Baltimore areas to make the 120-plus mile trek to Dewey Beach this Friday, July 29.
“We have five destinations and six city starts now, but this is our largest one,” said B2B Marketing Communications Coordinator C.J. Cross.
Like many of the event’s regular riders, Cross started out not knowing many other participating cyclists. After seven years, however, that’s all changed.
As the Sea Colony Sharks close the door on their regular season and swim toward the Delmarva Swim Association’s championship meet this weekend, the team’s coaches proudly reflected on what head coach Janna Schneider called “a great season full of fun, friendships, team buddies, hard work and fast swimming.”
The Sharks finished their season with a 4-3 record after facing teams from across Delmarva.
Last weekend, 14 swimmers represented Sea Colony at the Platypi Plunge Invitational in Salisbury, Md. — a meet that is informally known across the league as “Junior Champs.” The meet is specialized for swimmers who either didn’t make the qualifying times necessary to compete at the league championships or had qualified in only one event.
The swimmers earned a total of 157 points overall, giving the team a fourth-place finish in the meet.
Fenwick Island’s town manager of four years will be leaving town hall to become CEO of the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR). Merritt Burke IV said he’s proud to have served Fenwick since March of 2012 but sad to leave a town that he likes.
Four Food Lion supermarkets in Sussex County, including one in Millville and one in Millsboro, have been purchased by Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets.
With Sussex County steadily growing, services need to expand as well. Beebe Healthcare CEO Jeff Fried spoke to the Sussex County Council on July 19 about the healthcare provider’s plans to respond to that growth.
“As the county grows, Beebe continues to look at opportunities to grow as well, to better serve our community,” said Fried.
Neighbors heard SOS calls for hours before calling 911
Alone in the dark water, a Maryland man was allegedly intoxicated this week when he capsized his boat in west Fenwick Island in the Big Assawoman Bay.
This summer, South Bethany’s election cycle saw the retirement of two active town council members: George Junkin and Tim Saxton.
“We need to thank them for hard work,” Mayor Pat Voveris said in May. “This is no easy gig sitting here.”
Last weekend, the Town of Fenwick Island held a public meeting regarding an update to its comprehensive plan — an official document intended to guide future development of a community in order to create and maintain a desirable environment and to promote health, safety and welfare.
The Ocean View Board of Adjustment this week unanimously approved a special exception for a physical therapy/rehabilitation facility, to be located at 111 Atlantic Avenue, Unit 3.
Robert Hammond, owner of Atlantic Physical Therapy, told the board that he and his family have six other locations — the closest being in West Fenwick.
He may be in California, but Pete “Pierson” Roenke’s heart will always be in southern Delaware; and he has just launched a new business to pay tribute to his roots in the First State.
Delaware Apparel is an internet-based company that sells T-shirts, hats, jackets and stickers with Delaware-related slogans. The company has also been featured in “pop-up” displays at local stores, including the Lululemon outlet in Rehoboth Beach.
Roenke, a 2007 graduate of Indian River High School, grew up a few yards from the ocean in Fenwick Island, with all that entails — surfing, bodyboarding and just enjoying the beach lifestyle. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011 and joined the U.S. Marines that same year.
A group of area writers has teamed up to hold two book-launch parties, aiming to give residents and visitors a chance to meet the authors and learn more about their works.
Jackson Coppley, Walter Curran and Frank Hopkins will be hosting book parties on Saturday, July 23, at The Den at Bear Trap Dunes from 3 to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, July 24, at Touch of Italy in Ocean City, Md., from 2 to 5 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
“It’s an event for the area,” said Curran. “We’re going to continue to do that kind of promotion.”
“The public can make reservations and have dinner there,” explained Coppley. “And we encourage that.”
It took creativity, artistic skill and just enough votes to make Rachel Santos-Martinez a finalist in the 2016 Rain Barrel Painting Contest sponsored by DNREC’s Watershed Assessment & Management Section.
This spring, Santos-Martinez finished her second-grade year at Phillip C. Showell Elementary and designed a barrel titled “Mrs. Minion” that has placed her among the five youth finalists.
The barrels will be displayed from July 21 to 30 at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, where festivalgoers can vote for their favorite in the DNREC tent. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 30.
Many entrants used water, wildlife and nature for inspiration. Santos-Martinez went in a different direction, turning to pop culture and the movie “Despicable Me” for her inspiration.
She turned her barrel into a full-sized yellow “Minion.”
The population of Sussex County continues to grow. Stop us if you’ve heard this before.
And, yes, we have heard this for years, but the reason for this is clear — the population in Sussex County continues to rise, and there is no reason to believe that will really stop anytime soon.
Four score and seven years ago...
Sorry, I was working on an original speech and it just spilled into the beginning of my column here.
Coastal-Georgetown AAUW thankful for bill
Mary Custis of Virginia, Julia Dent of Missouri, Mary Todd of Kentucky and Varina Howell of Mississippi were raised according to traditional Southern custom. These women formed partnerships with men who became the presidents and military commanders of the United States and the Confederate States of America during the Civil War era.
The Friends of the Millsboro Library are preparing to host their annual book sale to support the children’s reading program at the library. This year, the sale will be held over the course of two weekends, beginning July 28 with a members-only preview night from 6 to 8 p.m. The regular sale hours will be July 29 and Aug. 5 from noon to 7 p.m., and July 30 and Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more than 20 years, Frank Raines — better known by many as “Dewey Elvis,” for his weekly Breakfast with Elvis mornings at the Starboard in Dewey Beach — has been performing around the world as the King of Rock-and-Roll.
Raines, who’s based in Silver Spring, Md., but spends most of his summer months at the beach, said that, while he has “played just about everything you could imagine over the years — country, rock-and-roll, funk” — it wasn’t until one fateful Memorial Day weekend that he realized his niche in Elvis Presley.
“It was the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and I was standing in front of the Starboard, waiting to get in, and two guy started screaming, ‘Hey, Elvis!’” Raines said.
The Delaware National Guard hosted a joint medical training exercise last week at its Bethany Beach Training Site.
The exercise was designed to help prepare federal and state agencies for airlift patient transfers. The Delaware Army and Air National Guard, the Maryland National Guard, members from their state partner of Bosnia, and the Department of Public Health participated in the exercise.
During the week-long training, participants went from classroom training to a full-blown field exercise. The exercise scenario was a Category 4 hurricane that had caused considerable damage to the coastal community.
The Delaware Air National Guard, 166th Medical Group set up and operated the Expeditionary Medical Support System (EMEDS) and the En-Route Patient Staging Systems (ERPSS).