Bethany Beach News

Town of Bethany Beach, DE

Population:

  • 1,077 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • Third Friday of the month, 3:30 p.m., Town Council Chambers

Elections:

  • First Saturday in September, alternating slate of four and three seats, two-year terms; mayor/council president chosen from among the council, with a one-year term

Town office:

  • 214 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Jack Gordon, Mayor
  • Lew Kilmer, Vice-Mayor
  • Jerry Dorfman, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Joseph Healy
  • Rosemary Hardiman
  • Chuck Peterson
  • Margaret Bogan Young

Town Manager:

  • Cliff Graviet

Town Clerk:

  • Lisa A. Kail

Director of Finance:

  • Janet Connery

Building Official:

  • Susan Frederick

Public Works Director:

  • Brett J. Warner

Standing committees:

  • Audit Committee, Board of Adjustments, Board of Assessment, Budget & Finance Committee, Charter and Ordinance Review Committee, Cultural and Historic Affairs Committee, Design Review Committee for C-1 & C-2, Planning Commission,

Police:

  • Mike Redmon, Chief

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 539-1000

Town Office:

  • (302) 539-8011

Beach patrol:

  • Joe Donnelly
  • The Beach Patrol is on duty beginning Memorial Day weekend (on Saturday) and each day thereafter until Labor Day Monday, and each weekend through September.

Trash pick-up:

  • Every Monday during the offseason and every Monday (Zone 1) & Tuesday (Zone 2)based on two zones during the Summer season.

Curbside recycling:

  • Every other Wednesday in the offseason, and every Wednesday (Zone 1) & Thursday (Zone 2), based on two zones during the Summer season.

ACTION group upset with County not appealing AT&T decision

Ocean View resident Kathy Vengazo recently spoke before the Sussex County Council on behalf of the Allied Communities to Improve our Neighborhoods (ACTION) to voice their upset at the council regarding the council’s decision to not appeal the Superior Court ruling in the case of AT&T v. Sussex County Board of Adjustment.

Bethany Boathouse casts off with grand opening

Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark: Brent Poffenberger, Tom Neville, chamber members and patrons celebrate at the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Bethany Boathouse on June 18. Bethany Boathouse is located across the street from their other venture, The Cottage Cafe.Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark: Brent Poffenberger, Tom Neville, chamber members and patrons celebrate at the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Bethany Boathouse on June 18. Bethany Boathouse is located across the street from their other venture, The Cottage Cafe.The sun was out, the live music was playing, and all hands were on deck when one of the area’s most unique venues held its official grand opening near Bethany Beach last Thursday.

“We wanted to build something that we thought would fit into the community, something that really matches the nature of this area,” said Brent Poffenberger, co-owner of Bethany’s newest watering hole, Bethany Boathouse.

The latest venture from Poffenberger and Tom Neville — who also own the Cottage Café, located across from Boathouse on the west side of Route 1 — the family-friendly restaurant and bar was designed to resemble a historic lifesaving station, and features both an indoor bar and the outdoor Gazebo Bar, in addition to both outdoor and indoor seating.

“People have been looking for something like this in the area, waiting for it,” said Boathouse General Manger Rich Beaney. “This is gonna be a destination.”

Firecracker 5K returning to benefit Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade

Coastal Point • File Photo: Runners and walkers take-off during last year’s Firecracker 5K.Coastal Point • File Photo: Runners and walkers take-off during last year’s Firecracker 5K.The Firecracker 5K has enjoyed steady success since it launched seven years ago, and this Sunday the 5K run and 3K walk looks to be just as popular as ever.

“It was started to celebrate the great Fourth of July traditions in Bethany Beach,” explained race director Greg Mavraganis. “Now in year seven, I think it’s one of Bethany’s signature events.”

Starting out with 200 participants, the race grew to encompass 425 registered runners last summer, and Mavraganis said that they’re hoping to see an even larger turnout this Sunday, with the possibility of upwards of 500 racers.

“We’ve enjoyed steady growth in participation during our first six years,” he said. “Our goal is to host an event that’s enjoyable for people of all ages.”

Former Ravens cheerleader pleads guilty to rape charge

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Molly Shattuck, center, walks out of the Sussex County Courthouse behind her attorney, Eugene Maurer.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Molly Shattuck, center, walks out of the Sussex County Courthouse behind her attorney, Eugene Maurer.Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck, 48, pled guilty to one count of Rape in the Fourth Degree earlier this week.

The plea took place in Sussex County Superior Court on Tuesday, June 16, before Judge E. Scott Bradley. During the “plea by appointment,” Bradley asked Shattuck a number of questions.

Shattuck acknowledged that by pleading guilty she understood she was waiving her rights to a trial, which had been scheduled to begin June 22.

“Did you commit the offense you are pleading guilty to?” asked Bradley of Shattuck.

“Yes,” she replied.

Rape in the Fourth Degree is a Class C felony, and Shattuck faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. One of Shattuck’s attorneys, Eugene Maurer, stated in court that she has no prior convictions. She will be registered as a Tier II “moderate-risk” sex offender. She is to not have contact with any minors, with the exception of her three children.

In November 2014, a Grand Jury charged Shattuck with two counts of Rape in the Third Degree for performing oral sex on a minor who was 15 years old at the time. She was also charged with four counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Second Degree, and three counts of Providing Alcoholic Liquor to a Minor. At that time, she pled not guilty and was released on $84,000 bond.

FOSCL preparing for annual summer book sale

The Friends of the South Coastal Library (FOSCL) will be hosting their semi-annual book sale in August to support programming at the South Coastal Library. The sale features all types of books — from children to teens, non-fiction, fiction, cooking, gardening and more.

BREAKING NEWS: Rehoboth man believed to have drowned at IR marina

The DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police mid-week were investigating the apparent drowning Tuesday afternoon of an 86-year-old Rehoboth Beach man who reportedly fell overboard while working on his docked boat at the South Shore Marina on the Indian River.

South Coastal unveils summer reading programming

The South Coastal Library is inviting community members to “Escape the Ordinary” this summer, with a wide array of summer programming that offers everyone in the family something fun to do at their local library.

Bethany kicks off summer season with ribbon-cutting

Coastal Point • M. Patricia Titus: From left, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper cut the ribbon on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project.Coastal Point • M. Patricia Titus: From left, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper cut the ribbon on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project.It was a day more than a decade in the making, as Bethany Beach town council members were joined by state and federal officials last Friday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the Town’s long-planned and, now, completed Streetscape project.

The redesign of a little more than two blocks that make up the town’s primary commercial district included the removal of overhead utility lines and the related poles; new lighting; reorganization of streetside parking, swapping angled parking to the exteriors of the street and parallel parking to the median; redefined bicycle lanes; wider sidewalks, free of the obstruction of utility poles; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curbs and crosswalks featuring inlaid brick; and changes aimed at calming traffic in an area with some of the heaviest pedestrian traffic in the state.

The idea behind Streetscape arose in 2001, with the Town’s beautification subcommittee. Numerous design ideas were floated over the years, with a mixed response from the council and the public. After considering public input on a series of initial designs, the committee did come up with a set of goals for the project:

Bethany’s Loop Canal gets ‘au naturel’ wetlands restoration

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : To the left is the narrow Loop Canal, to the right, log barriers that will slow the wave action in Salt Pond and help build up this protective strip of land.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : To the left is the narrow Loop Canal, to the right, log barriers that will slow the wave action in Salt Pond and help build up this protective strip of land.A new project along Bethany Beach Loop Canal could see the marsh there slowly restoring itself.

The Delaware Center for Inland Bays has brought the Living Shorelines program to a small chunk of wetlands near the canal, just north of Route 26. By installing pine logs in the shallow water, the CIB hopes to preserve and even rebuild the marsh, naturally.

The goal is to avoid “hardening” shorelines with bulkheads, riprap and seawalls, all of which diminish wildlife, said Sally Boswell, CIB education and outreach coordinator.

In the shallow water, 10- to 20-foot logs were staked in the Salt Pond shallows in a herringbone pattern. It creates a breakwater, so the water is calmer behind the logs on a tiny strip of land that delineates the canal and protects the mainland.

Memorial Day service to be held on Bethany bandstand

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 will host a Memorial Day service at the Bethany Beach bandstand on Monday, May 25. The free service begins at 11 a.m., and the entire community is being invited to attend.

In case you missed it, there have been some changes here

Plenty has happened around the community over the off-season. In case you’ve been out of town, or have just been too busy to stay on top of things, here are some of the items that could most affect your summer season.

Farmers’ markets in Bethany, Sea Colony set to kick off season

Bethany’s two homegrown farmers’ markets are set to reopen in June, sharing many of the same growers in a producers-only showcase of local fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show set for June 6

The 11th annual Seaside Craft Show will be held in downtown Bethany Beach on Saturday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sponsored by the Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee, the juried fine crafts show will feature more than 100 fine crafters along the boardwalk, bandstand area, Garfield Parkway and Parkwood Street.

Bethany Beach prepares for annual Independence Day fun

The Bethany Beach Fourth of July Parade Committee is in the process of planning its 32nd annual event and is seeking volunteers. The event will take place on Saturday, July 4. The 2015 grand marshals will be Phil and Mary Rossi, in recognition of their years of dedicated service to making the parade what it is today.

EMS Day returning to Bethany Beach on Saturday, May 16

People can peek behind the scenes and pick up safety tips at the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company on EMS Day 2015.

Gardeners by the Sea to hold annual Adopt-a-Hydrangea sale for Mother’s Day

Coastal Point • File Photo: The Gardeners by the Sea will host their third annual hydrangea sale on Saturday, at York Beach Mall in South Bethany, offering a choice of ‘toddler’ and ‘teen’ hydrangeas in baby-boy blue and baby-girl pink, complete with adoption certificates for the new plant parents and gift-recipient moms.Coastal Point • File Photo: The Gardeners by the Sea will host their third annual hydrangea sale on Saturday, at York Beach Mall in South Bethany, offering a choice of ‘toddler’ and ‘teen’ hydrangeas in baby-boy blue and baby-girl pink, complete with adoption certificates for the new plant parents and gift-recipient moms.The Gardeners by the Sea club will hold its third annual hydrangea sale this Mother’s Day weekend. The sale will be held on Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in front of McCabe’s Gourmet Market in the York Beach Mall in South Bethany. If the club does not sell out of plants on Saturday, they will be selling the remainder on Sunday, May 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At this year’s sale, “toddler” and “teen” hydrangeas will be sold to the public — offering a gift-shopping opportunity for plant-loving mothers.

“We have different sizes this year. They start at $8, and the larger ones will be a little bit more, but not to exceed $16,” said Lisa Arni, who created the sale three years ago. “We have the chemicals to make the hydrangeas ‘pink for girls’ and ‘blue for boys,’ and we’re going to wrap them in pink or blue, and will give out an adoption paper.”

New this year to the sale will be the attendance of a Master Gardener, who will answer any questions those attending may have.

“We’re going to have a Master Gardner at the sale to answer any questions about the hydrangeas or any other gardening questions, which we haven’t had in the past. They can really ask anything when they come,” said Arni, who is a Master Gardener herself.

Delaware has nearly 300 Master Gardeners — who collectively volunteer more than 20,000 hours per year to the Delaware Cooperative Extension’s home horticulture program.

As Streetscape is completed, Bethany eyes parking lots

Town Manager Cliff Graviet announced on April 17 that the long-planned and long-running Streetscape project in Bethany Beach was officially complete — except for a few “punchlist” items.

A look at striping Streetscape

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Road workers  put in some care on the striping project.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Road workers put in some care on the striping project.Newly constructed roads and sidewalks need hours, if not days, to set properly. But after that, the painted white lines can dry in just three minutes, noted road workers putting the finishing touches on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project on April 17.

Yet, that high speed also needs high heat.

Ben Villegas used a blowtorch to heat a handcart of melted white thermoplastic to about 400 degrees. That’s much hotter than regular asphalt, and it’s not something one wants to touch.

“You only do it a couple times,” Brett Johns said ruefully. “Then you learn your lesson.”

They had already completed the striping for the parking spaces and were creating “pavement markings,” including the arrows and text for the Garfield Parkway turn lanes.

Although he could draw the arrows free-hand, Mark Johns opted to stencil a quick outline with spray paint, to ensure uniformity on identical arrows so closely placed on the roadway.

Put something friendly in the ground: CIB Native Plant Sale returns with cocktail party

Coastal Point • File Photo: Gardeners galore shop the native plants at a previous sale at the James Farm Ecological Preserve off Cedar Neck Road.Coastal Point • File Photo: Gardeners galore shop the native plants at a previous sale at the James Farm Ecological Preserve off Cedar Neck Road.Native plants are the best of both worlds; they bring natural beauty and wildlife to the back yard, but they were also meant to live in coastal Delaware, so they are less likely to need extra water or nutrients.

Their popularity accounts for the 11th year of the Gardening for the Bays Native Plant Sale, on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The nighttime cocktail party also returns on the eve of the sale.

Organizer Sally Boswell of event sponsor the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays called this the “one-stop-shop for going native in your garden,” hosted annually at James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.

“The big stores, for the most part — they have not gotten into native plant offerings in their nurseries. So it’s our small, local, independent nurseries that are leading the way in that,” said Boswell.

Five nurseries will sell thousands of flowers, shrubs, grasses and trees.

Feds seek input on deep-water permitting

Mid-Atlantic survey first step in oil/gas drilling
Two Texas companies have requested permission to perform surveys off the Delaware coast for potential oil and gas reserves. GX Technology Corporation and Spectrum Geo Inc. applied for permits to do deep-penetration seismic surveys on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.