Financial concerns dominated Tuesday night’s meeting of the Ocean View Town Council, as council members wrangled with falling revenue, an increasing need for space for town operations and questions about how much value to place on a public safety program championed by the town’s police chief.
The Ocean View Historical Complex was buzzing with excitement last Friday, as all five fifth-grade classes from Lord Baltimore Elementary School were able to tour the facilities.
“It’s important, I think, for the kids to see physically what life was like in the past, what people had to deal with,” said Richard Nippes, president of the historical society.
Students were able to tour the Tunnell-West house, furnished with period furniture and artifacts; an 1800s outhouse; the town’s first post office, built in 1889; and an exact replica of Cecile Steele’s first chicken house.
While in the Tunnell-West house, students were given a tour and then sent on a scavenger hunt to find objects that they wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with today, such as a chamber pot.
They would also go outside to use a period water pump — to understand that indoor plumbing was not available when the house was built in the late 1800s.
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.
Three seats on the South Bethany Town Council will be up for election on May 23. Voters have their pick of six candidates: Elizabeth Baker, Don Boteler, Joel Danshes, Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber. None of the incumbents ran for re-election this year.
Each council term is two years.
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.
Chris Bason, executive director of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) spoke to the Sussex County Council earlier this month about their master plan for James Farm Ecological Preserve.
The CIB’s mission is “to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and their watersheds,” in a variety of ways, including restoration, scientific research and educational outreach.
“A big part of our educational program is the James Farm,” said Bason.
James Farm covers 150 acres, located on both sides of Cedar Neck Road, just outside of Ocean View. Bason said it’s a unique preserve in that it has a wide variety of ecosystems that are characteristic to the area.
The Indian River School District will begin using a new payment system in all cafeterias, starting June 1.
Currently, parents can prepay for their children’s meals online with the PayPAMS system. However, that payment system will be deactivated on May 27 and replaced later this summer.
Four local students are capping the school year with a June trip to Anaheim, Calif. After earning gold and silver medals at the state leadership conference, the Indian River High School students will represent Delaware at the national conference of HOSA: Future Health Professionals.
Formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, HOSA lets students learn and become leaders as they approach careers in the health field.
At state compeition in March, Meghan Paulus won first place for the Pathophysiology event; Taite Daisey won first for the Nutrition event; and Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush took second for the Health Career Display event. Coaches Shelly Robinson and Shirley Townsend led the team.
Paulus and Daisey demonstrated their expertise on paper at the state competition. Paulus won for pathophysiology, “the study of disease and functions in the body,” she said. That ranged from the stomach to the brain.
The Dagsboro Town Council this week announced that the 2015-2016 annual assessment list had been posted at Dagsboro Town Hall and throughout town, giving residents the opportunity to appeal their tax assessments.
“Now’s the time that people would appeal their taxes,” said Town Manager Stacey Long in Monday’s meeting, which was held a week earlier than usual, due to Memorial Day.
Those who visit Camp Barnes these days may notice a few changes to its facilities. This past spring, the Fenwick Island Lions Club was able to fund a complete renovation of the camp’s two bathhouses.
“Our club just feels this is such a huge asset to the entire state. Our club feels it deserves our full support,” said Bruce Schoonover, president of the club. “We feel very blessed to have this facility in our back yard.”
Over the years the club has helped the Delaware State Police camp financially, and this past year was no different.
“Last summer, I was chatting with [Cpl.] Shawn Hatfield, who manages Camp Barnes for the state police, and asking him in terms of what were his priorities.
“Without any hesitation, he indicated the bathhouses and restrooms needed major renovations.”
Schoonover said the Fenwick Island Lions decided they would take on the renovations as a project and went full-speed ahead.
“We hired an architect and a mechanical engineer to translate the ideas the state police had about the deficiencies,” he said. “That was put into a set of plans and specifications that were sent out to bid last November.”
In December, the club chose a builder, and on Feb. 2, demolition was begun on the existing facilities.
The annual Artisans Fair will return to Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View on Saturday, bringing along with it some of the area’s top artisans, as 49 exhibitors from the local area and beyond will put their work on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., showing off and selling their hand-crafted paintings, sculptures, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and other unique creations.
Ocean City moviegoers returning to Fox Sun & Surf on 143rd Street this summer will discover that the theater has upgraded its seating to luxury recliners designed for ultimate comfort, with retractable armrests to facilitate cuddling and electronic controls to recline the seat back, which instantaneously raises the foot rest.
“The goal is to make going out to the movies a more desirable, luxurious experience,” said Don Fox, president of Fox Theatres. “The upgrading of the Fox Sun & Surf with luxury power recliners will offer Delmarva moviegoers a level of comfort and immersion unmatched by any other movie experience.”
The $1.5 million project began on Feb. 17, starting with a complete interior reconstruction of four auditoriums, which included new walls, ceilings, floors, carpeting, lighting and — most significantly — seating.
A couple highlights include new ceilings designed to block out noise on rainy days and an angled front row that is far enough back to make it potentially the most desirable part of the theater.
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.
It’s time to see what Delaware has come up with to become more resilient to climate change.
The Governor’s Cabinet Committee on Climate & Resiliency (CCoCAR) has written 159 recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases, minimizing flood risks and increasing resilience to climate impacts (such as changes in temperature, precipitation or sea level).
Delaware State Parks has scheduled events to mark Memorial Day at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park on May 22 and 23.
Fort Miles was considered a pivotal part of the nation’s coastal defenses during and after World War II. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 2004.
The traditional Sussex County Memorial Day Service will be held on the Circle in Georgetown on Sunday, May 24, at 1:30 p.m. The co-sponsors are the Georgetown Kiwanis Club and the Korean War Veterans Association.
The Friends of the Millsboro Library are gearing up for their annual book sale. The 2015 sale will take place on Friday and Saturday, July 17-18, with a preview night for members on Thursday, July 16.
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.
“America?s Got Talent” finalist Cirque Zuma Zuma will be performing at the Freeman Stage at Bayside on May 23 at 7 p.m. Known as the “ultimate African circus,” the show is filled with action and African culture, including dance, acrobatics, tumbling and music.
Tens of thousands of blacks served on both sides during the Civil War. More than 200,000 African-Americans joined the military as Union soldiers and sailors, and an estimated 120,000 mostly black slaves performed a variety of support functions for the Confederate military.
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.
The 10th Annual Baywood Golf Classic tournament will take place on Wednesday, June 3, at the championship golf course of Baywood Greens. The event raises funds for Beebe Healthcare’s Tunnell Cancer Center, furthering the mission of providing hope and wellness to its patients.
Something took hold of Butch Martin while he was traveling in his RV through Arizona — now almost 10 years ago — that would change his life forever. To him, it was something new, something different, and something that he couldn’t help but try for himself.
And ever since he did, he’s been hooked.
“I heard the noise, the popping,” Martin recalled of what initially drew his interest to the increasingly popular sport of Pickleball. “So I went over to see what it was and they invited me to play. I’ve been playing ever since.”
From there, Martin quickly learned the game and the rules: serves must be underhand; play to 11; win by 2 — oh, and don’t go in “the kitchen,” the game’s notorious area designated in front of the net.
Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court, with paddles that are slightly larger than ping-pong paddles. The ball used is similar to a whiffle ball, but slightly smaller and, combined with a lower net, offers opportunities for players of various skill levels to play in a low-key social setting or with some serious competition in mind.
Late-night work is getting a little later this summer on Route 26. The Delaware Department of Transportation was already scheduled to begin a second year of overnight work on the road construction project, from May 15 to Sept. 30, in a schedule designed to accommodate summer traffic.
The Indian River School District will remain in the hands of incumbent school board members for another year. In the May 12 election, three candidates kept their seats on the Board of Education. The unofficial results were posted within an hour of the polls closing.
Based on a request made by the Town of Ocean View, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) will keep in place past May 15 the two temporary traffic signals at the intersections of Windmill Avenue and Cedar Drive with Central Avenue.
This week, the Sussex County Council was presented with a proposed budget for the fiscal year 2016, at $128.6 million.
As it stands, there is no change in the County property tax rate or general fund fees in the proposed budget.
“That makes 26 years in a row that the County will not raise property taxes,” said Todd Lawson, county administrator.
As she makes her way up the stairs of John M. Clayton School near Frankford — stopping every so often for an enthusiastic hug hello, careful not to miss one and unable to even if she might have — it doesn’t take long to tell that counselor Jan Bomhardt is... well, kind of “the bomb.”
That notion was made official on March 27, when Bomhardt was named the 2015 Elementary School Counselor of the Year for the state of Delaware and garnered some well-deserved recognition in the process.
“We knew she was going to be so excited,” said John M. Clayton Principal Charlynne Hopkins, who got the news a week before it was officially announced at a counselor’s luncheon in Dover. “So deserving. She’s part of our heartbeat every day. [We] couldn’t do it without her.”
While her colleagues were somehow able to keep the booming news a secret, Bomhardt still had her suspicions when both Hopkins and Vice Principal Allisa Booth accompanied her to the luncheon.
The Beta Sigma Phi sorority will host its 6th Annual Cornhole Tournament, benefitting the Russell White Scholarship Foundation, next month in Millville.
“We do it to keep Russell’s memory alive,” said Emily Harne, a member of Beta Sigma Phi, “and to give back to the community.”
Selbyville’s Railroad Avenue is at the first stage of collapse where it crosses the Sandy Branch tax ditch. Town Manager Bob Dickerson reported that a small hole had formed where the road fell in. The weakness was discovered, and the road closed on Saturday, May 2.