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    Millsboro bypass included in forecast

    Each year, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) develops a six-year Capital Transportation Plan (CTP) that identifies future projects and costs.

    The Council on Transportation, which is appointed by the governor, has already reviewed the proposed CTP for fiscal years 2017 to 2022, and the plan is now available for public comment, which included a Sept. 24 public hearing in Georgetown.

    The broad plan included the updated costs for a North Millsboro bypass, connecting Route 113 to Route 24, aimed at alleviating traffic in downtown Millsboro and replacing a previous proposal for a 16.5-mile Route 113 bypass. The proposed bypass was rated at 52 out of 94 statewide priorities (found online at

    Engineering and design are intended to continue through the 2021 fiscal year, when land acquisitions will begin. DelDOT estimated $3.7 million in State funding and $14.96 million in federal funding will be needed in the first six-year period, through 2022.

    If approved by state legislators and the public, construction is expected to begin in the 2023 or 2024 fiscal years. Overall, the entire project is estimated at $84 million in costs.

    (A Millsboro bypass public workshop will be held Oct. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Millsboro Town Hall. People can learn about changes to the Route 113 project that were announced in April. But that is not an official hearing. That will come later, once the project’s environmental impact statement is drafted.)

    Other projects in the six-year plan include improvements and renovations to bridges, pedestrian crossings, grading and intersections.

    DelDOT representatives also shared other topics for future planning, such as expanded bus service in Millsboro and Selbyville, and bicycle-friendly transit.

    Mable Granke of Rehoboth Beach said she found the public meeting on Sept. 24 to be “bedlam.” She was expecting “an honest presentation to a group that was listening all at once in the same ways.

    She, like many people, had attended to learn about proposed projects along Route 1 in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, including the controversial Overlook Town Center and a connector to New Road.

    “I’m not necessary against them. I just want to know, do they have accurate traffic counts? Do they know” in reality how this will work? Granke said.

    She also wants better bus schedules. Although public transit routes are getting better about servicing major employers, she said the schedules don’t align with the actual work shifts’ start and end times.

    People at the meeting got a glimpse at a number of projects already under way or coming soon. That includes: adding turn lanes and shoulders in front of Sussex Central High School; adding turn lanes to the intersection of Route 24 and Oak Orchard Road; and changing several Route 113 crossovers, near Millsboro Food Lion and Georgetown McDonald’s, allowing vehicles to turn at the medians, but not completely cross the highway without making a U-turn.

    DelDOT is also in the midst of streamlining traffic via reducing direct access to Route 1 by building a series of highway overpasses from Kent County to Lewes.

    According to DelDOT, Delaware law requires the CTP hearings “to ensure that the public has ample opportunity to participate in the planning process.”

    People were invited to write down their comments or recite them to a court reporter. Citizens are still being invited to express their views in writing, giving reasons to support or oppose the proposed projects, via mail to DelDOT Public Relations; P.O. Box 778; Dover, DE 19903, or email to

    Learn more online at For further information, contact DelDOT Public Relations at 1-800-652-5600 (in Delaware) or (302) 760-2080.

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    When it comes to the issue of allowing massage parlors in town, the Dagsboro Town Council is far from relaxed.

    During the regularly scheduled council meeting on Monday, Sept. 23, members of the council listened to the proposal from a potential business owner who is hoping that they vote to amend Chapter 275-17(A) to add subsection (23), the permitted use of “massage spas exclusively providing massage services performed by a professionally licensed massage therapist in the Highway Commercial District.” They ultimately voted to table the subject until the next council meeting, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 26.

    While the representative making the push to open a possible location in Savannah Square assured the council that, throughout their four current locations, they’re “always very quiet, very professional,” and that they were hoping to get approval so that they could open for the holiday season, the council was still skeptical.

    “I would just request that the council, at minimum, table it so I can get up to speed and be better versed,” said Dagsboro Chief of Police Floyd Toomey, citing a seminar regarding massage treatment centers and related criminal activity that he planned to attend on Oct. 10.

    Assistant Council Secretary Bill Chandler acknowledged the difficulty of the decision, noting that, while massage therapy is a legal business, the negative connotations sometimes associated with it are cause for concern.

    “The issue is that it’s not an illegal business,” Chandler explained after noting a massage therapist in Dagsboro that formerly operated on Swamp Road. “I’m ambivalent on the subject. It’ll be interesting to see what the Chief finds out in a month.”

    Vice-Mayor Brian Baull had similar thoughts on the subject.

    “It’s almost perception vs. reality,” Baull said. “Perception is what everybody’s seen in the paper recently,” he noted of some recent arrests of massage parlor employees in connection with suspected prostitution. “The reality is that it’s a perfectly legitimate business.”

    But while Chandler and Baull seemed to have confidence in the business making the proposal, the issue of precedent was also discussed, as council members noted that amending the ordinance for one business would mean that others could follow. Dagsboro Planning & Zoning commissioners were also concerned, voting against the amendment unanimously during their Sept. 15 meeting.

    “It had nothing to do with the applicant,” said Town Manger Stacey Long regarding a letter written by the committee explaining their decision. “Once it’s in there, it’s in there.”

    “They were concerned about setting a precedent,” added Mayor Norwood Truitt. “I would recommend following Chief’s advice, to give him more time to find out the impact on the town.”

    A vote is expected to take place at the next regularly scheduled town council meeting, on Monday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m.

    Council flushes toilet issue at Katie Helm Park

    With no public restroom facility at Katie Helm Park in Dagsboro, park users have been directed to a portable toilet when nature called.

    However, located just off the highway, the facility has seemed to become somewhat of a landmark for beach travelers and truck drivers, and some local residents, including Jim Thompson, said at Monday night’s town council meeting that they were tired of seeing it being abused.

    Addressing the council on the issue, Thompson claimed he had on the previous Friday seen five truck drivers stop and park, use the portable toilet and then drive away.

    “It’s turned into a Truck America public toilet, and we object with that,” Thompson said. “We’re talking about a children’s park.”

    While the council didn’t reject Thompson’s concerns, they explained that the issue had been discussed and that the toilet was to be removed next month. Truitt encouraged Thompson and park users to contact Furmore, the developers of the neighborhood, to raise funds to install a more permanent and less offensive facility.

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    Now in its second year, Ovation Dinner Theatre, based in the Bethany Beach/Ocean View area, is continuing to offer a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience throughout Delmarva.

    Coastal Point • File Photo Don Clamato works the floor during a murder mystery show last year in Ocean Pines.Coastal Point • File Photo Don Clamato works the floor during a murder mystery show last year in Ocean Pines.“It was launched with the idea of bringing culture particularly to Sussex County, although, with its popularity, it’s extended into Kent County, New Castle County and other surrounding areas,” said Lenne Sirasky, who founded Ovation Dinner Theatre with his partner, Carreen Kouts.

    “Being a transplant from the Baltimore/D.C. area with an extensive acting background, I saw the need for some culture — specifically live theater, and more specifically live dinner theater. I saw a void in Sussex County.”

    Sirasky said the void he saw was confirmed after they did surveys and asked people in the community.

    “They showed the area was in need of more live entertainment,” he explained. “Taking that lead, we ran with it, and my partner Carreen Kouts, she and I came up with a platform of creating a mobile dinner theater company. We take our show on the road — literally…

    “It was received with tremendous, tremendous response. This has been a long-awaited source of entertainment.”

    The traveling theater troupe offers various comedic murder-mystery performances at restaurants throughout Sussex County and beyond.

    “The venues where we perform are all offering a very, very fine three-course dining experience. That really sets us apart also, because it’s not just a theatrical entertainment platform, but also a very fine dinner.”

    Audience members are entertained by a cast of five or six professional actors, out of a company of 30 actors.

    “More importantly, it’s the audience members that are involved that make the performance,” added Sirasky, “the laughter, the camaraderie. Generally, the venues offer communal seating — tables of six, eight, 10. That creates a very friendly, high-energy type of environment, when they’re actually involved in this murder mystery. That’s what sets it apart from any other type of theatrical presentation… You, the audience member, are now a part of this production.”

    Sirasky said productions last approximately two and a half hours and allow for up to 15 audience members to participate in each performance, adding a fun element that other area theater performances do not have.

    “The audience turnout has been excellent. Many of our shows are sold-out. Even the reluctance of patrons when they realize what they’re getting into is diminished when they realize it’s a fun show. They feel the energy in the room, and they’re willing to participate and take a role in the show.

    With Ovation, the audience members are given a small script and are literally acting right along with the professional cast. It’s fresh, unique. There’s nothing else like it in the entertainment realm — especially with the audience interaction.

    “It’s not your typical situation … where you’re walking in and sitting for two and a half hours and watching a wonderful production. We take it to the next level, with involving our audience members in the production. So the energy is just elevated.

    Upcoming shows in Sussex County are Friday, Oct. 9, at the Salted Rim in Ocean View, with a performance of “’Til Death Do Us Part”; Friday, Oct. 23, at Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, with a performance of the Halloween comedy “Monster Mash Murders”; Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Salted Rim, with a performance of “Monster Mash Murders”; Tuesday, Oct. 27, at Bear Trap Dunes, with a performance of “Monster Mash Murders”; and Monday, Dec. 7, at the Penguin Diner in Bethany Beach, with a performance of “Dial ‘S’ For Santa.”

    Ovation has also performed at the Georgetown CHEER Center, Indian River Senior Center and the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. There is also an upcoming performance on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Pizzadili Vineyard & Winery.

    Sirasky said Ovation continues to be supported by the community, and he hopes that those who have never experienced a show will give it a try.

    “We actually have a following that will venture from one venue to another to see the different types of shows we offer,” he said. “It’s more evidenced by sold-out shows. Wherever we perform, all of our shows are sold out.” (A second Oct. 24 performance, at the Brick Hotel in Georgetown, is already sold out.)

    “The demand has been wonderful. We supply it and they’ve demanded, and it’s been a perfect fit.”

    Those who are interested in learning more about Ovation Dinner Theatre may visit or, or call (302) 500-1528. Reservations are required for all shows and may be made by calling the host venue/restaurant.

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    More than 50 local artists and craftspersons will gather at the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the annual Artisan’s Festival sponsored by the BBVFC Ladies Auxiliary.

    The free annual event promises to be even bigger and better this year, with creations ranging from unique jewelry, woodworking and sea glass to candles, textiles, glass, photography, painting and more being showcased.

    As always, the event will also feature a gourmet food court, homemade soups and salads, and usual favorites, such as chili and hot dogs, but shoppers by can also enjoy snacks from the baked goods table — including the festival’s famous apple pies and apple dumplings donated by T.S. Smith Orchards in Bridgeville.

    New this year will be a “Chinese auction,” in which each artist will donate a piece of their artwork to be raffled.

    But even with all the new and returning features, the main attraction, of course, will be the artists themselves.

    Erick Sahler,
    hand-pulled serigraphs

    Coastal Point • Submitted: Erick Sahler in his studio. Sahler is just one of many artists who will be in attendance at the annual Artisan’s Festival at the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company on Saturday, Oct. 10.Coastal Point • Submitted: Erick Sahler in his studio. Sahler is just one of many artists who will be in attendance at the annual Artisan’s Festival at the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company on Saturday, Oct. 10.Erick Sahler’s array of hand-pulled silkscreen prints have depicted a variety of local towns, from 1960s downtown Salisbury, Md., to Berlin, Md., and more, but just in time for his Bethany show debut, he’s unveiling his Fenwick Island Lighthouse print.

    “It’s a fantastic demographic in the Bethany, Rehoboth, Fenwick and Lewes areas — it’s just people who have the culture and means to appreciate good art. Anything I’ve done over there has been a huge success for me,” said Sahler of his latest serigraph depicting the area.

    “I did the Lord Baltimore show in Ocean View, and I was talking about this Rehoboth print and everyone kept asking why I didn’t do a Fenwick print, so I went out and shot the lighthouse from every angle.”

    Sahler was just finishing his latest piece before the show but said that it is consistent with previous works in the series — demonstrating similarities to 1960s pop art, with its bright colors and hard graphic lines.

    While he’s been involved with art in various forms throughout his life, he’s now been pursuing his serigraphs as a full-time job for four and a half years and said that he’s never looked back on his decision to quit his day job.

    “My grandmother told me when I was a little fella that if you can do what you like doing for a living, that you’ll never work a day in your life. That kind of struck a chord with me,” he said. “It’s been great. I have a family to support, and everything has kind of exceeded my expectations in every way. The feedback on my work that I’ve gotten is just sort of reinforcement that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

    Even though he’s previously appeared at other shows in the area, Sahler is making his debut at the fire house on Saturday, where he’s looking forward to seeing some of the other artists.

    “Creative people, they feed on one another. Just being with people who make something out of nothing — that’s always inspiration,” he said. “It’s a new show for me, but you always just feel kind of jazzed from talking to other artists.”

    For more information on Sahler and his work, visit his website at

    Bev Harrington,

    Returning for her fourth Auxiliary Festival is Bev Harrington of Ocean City, Md., who draws inspiration from both her lifelong surroundings of local beaches and from her frequent travels, as well.

    “I started collecting shells in [Cape] Hatteras 40 years ago,” she explained. “I’m definitely inspired by the sea. We’re scuba divers and surfers and do charters on our boat — we’re just an ocean family. I collect shells no matter what country we’re in.”

    While she’s been involved in art shows of some kind for 40 years, as well, after adding sea glass collecting to the mix during a stint in the Caribbean, she began to incorporate a new element into her art forms.

    “I told myself as I got older that I would learn something new every year,” she explained of her various design concepts. “All of my life that’s been my philosophy, I would always just take a little night course one night a week and learn something new. My last course was Design in Welding.”

    But whether it’s jewelry, stained glass, driftwood, seashell mobiles or whatever else, she is also there for the artists.

    “I have several gals here that we just kind of do art shows all the time, so it’s a little comradery between local artists,” she explained. “Bethany seems to draw a really interesting crowd. It’s a good venue and a good quality show.”

    Be on the lookout for her at the show and at her new Cape Isle Studio when it opens up in Lewes.

    Barb O’Connor,
    fused and stained glass

    A veteran of both art and craft shows, including the Lord Baltimore show for three years, and running a show in Ocean Pines, Md., Barb O’Connor will make her first appearance at the BBVFC Auxiliary show on Saturday.

    Not only has she created a variety of valances depicting a variety of scenes, she’s also ventured into other glass fusing projects, including lighted wine bottles and cheese boards — some of which are even on display at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury.

    “I do a lot of different things, but no particular one thing,” she explained. “Right now, I’ve got a lot of fused bottles that I’ve done, a lot of candles. I do quite a bit of everything.”

    O’Connor originally got into it all after moving to the area from New York, which is when a friend of O’Connor and her husband mentioned that he’d like to learn how to do stained-glass windows and it sparked her interest.

    “I’ve always enjoyed looking at stained glass, and when I retired, that’s when I had the time to do it,” she explained. “It progressed into fusing glass.”

    Bringing her holiday-inspired creations and more to the Bethany show, O’Connor is looking forward to venturing back into Delaware.

    “The wealth of artistry that is in all these areas is just phenomenal,” she said. “I enjoy going and seeing what everybody else does. There’s so much talent in the Delmarva area.”

    Dana Smith, bags and jewelry

    While she’s been designing clothes since she was a teenager, Dana Smith has since ventured into making jewelry, as well, which for her is just what she loves to do.

    “Making jewelry is like taking a vacation. It’s a thrill,” she said. “Making things is just so satisfying. Then the next satisfying thing is for people to love them and buy them.”

    Since getting her start, Smith has seen no shortage of demand for her products, drawing interest from stores including South Moon Under and the Hecht Company, who had started carrying some of her handmade products. And considering her upbringing as a lifelong resident of Berlin, Md., many of those handmade products are inspired by the sea.

    “I use all kinds of marine things,” Smith noted. “Lots of pearls. It’s kind of thematic with me. I’ve never met a solid that I was completely comfortable with. I love texture patterns and marine themes — all of us are surfers, we’re water people.”

    While one of her more popular creations has been her handmade jewelry travel bags, Smith also ventures into items including wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses, and has even designed dresses for Miss Delaware contestants.

    Her latest venture, however, has been wire-wrapping and metal work, which she said is a future form that her creativity will take. More of her current items can be seen on her website at or purchased on Etsy at

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    The 26th Annual Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers’ Festival will take place Oct. 23-25 in Rehoboth Beach. Organizers announced that the 2015 festival will feature a lengthened parade route, as an additional block has been added to the walking-participant route, for enhanced spectator viewing.

    Coastal Point • File Photo: Entertainment is never in short supply at the annual Sea Witch festival.Coastal Point • File Photo: Entertainment is never in short supply at the annual Sea Witch festival.Additionally, they are offering enhanced satellite parking and shuttle service. Shuttles will provide transport between satellite parking and downtown Rehoboth Beach on Saturday, Oct. 24. By popular demand, they said, additional shuttles have been added to the 2015 route and a pick-up/drop-off location closer to the Rehoboth Boardwalk has been added.

    Two new activities will take place at the Atlantic Sands Hotel pool deck, on Saturday, Oct. 24, and Sunday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: fish printing and soap carving, which will include the change to learn how to carve a waterfowl decoy out of soap and create fish prints with the Ward Museum (no fee; donations appreciated); and the Touch Tank sponsored by Envirotech Environmental Consulting Services, where visitors can learn about the coastal ecosystem and experience it firsthand.

    The 2015 festival will also feature an expanded Fiddlers’ Festival, will now include both an adult and children’s age bracket for best mandolin.

    Festivalgoers can also stop by the Chamber of Commerce information table in front of the Rehoboth Bandstand on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 7 p.m., pick up a trick-or-treat bag and glow item courtesy of Apple Electric.

    And, in the Scaredy Cat Walk, young Sea Witchers can collect Scaredy Cat head-gear parts while walking through downtown Rehoboth Beach. Participants can begin their collecting at the information table in front of the Bandstand anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The cost is $5 and the weather-dependent activity it is geared toward children 3 or older.

    Convention center to host family-friendly activities

    Create! Studio for the Arts will host activities for children and families on Sunday, Oct. 25, in the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including pumpkin bowling, beanbag toss and other Halloween games.

    Participants can make and decorate their own masks, and then take pictures against a photo wall, from 11:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., there will be a Halloween Dance Party, with the chance to learn the “Monster Mash” and “Thriller” choreography. From 2 to 3:30 p.m., it will be a chance to make zombie self-portraits, as participants draw, paint and collage images of themselves as zombies, brains and all.

    The Family Pumpkin Decorating Contest invites festivalgoers to bring their decorated pumpkin based on your favorite movie or book. Decorated pumpkins can be dropped off at the Convention Center between 10 and 11 a.m. All are welcome to vote for their favorite pumpkin by completing an event evaluation. Voting is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and families can pick up their pumpkins until 3:30 p.m. (Abandoned pumpkins will meet a gruesome end, organizers warn.)

    Also at the Convention Center, the Pumpkin Olympics will have registration between 10 and 11 a.m. (space is limited), with the Olympics from noon to 2 p.m. Games will include: Pumpkin Pushers, using a broom to “sweep” a pumpkin across the finish line, relay style; Mummy Wraps, in which teams will use three rolls of toilet paper in order to successfully wrap a teammate with all three rolls, without breaking the strands of toilet paper; Spider Hunt, in which plastic spiders and other objects will be hidden, and the first team to find all the spiders and objects wins; Eyeball Relays, in which teams will have a bucket of “eyeballs” that must be transported by spoon to the bucket on the other side of room, and the first team to transport all of the “eyeballs” wins.

    The $5 fee for children includes admission and participation in all the Pumpkin Olympics activities. During the activities, Baked and Kick n’ Chicken will be providing concessions and ASAP Printing will be selling the official Sea Witch Festival event gear.

    The festival will also feature two trick-or-treating opportunities, in Dewey Beach on Friday, Oct. 23, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and with the Rehoboth Beach Downtown Merchants on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

    Bandstand entertainment for the festival weekend includes: The British Invasion Experience, Neon Swing X-perience, Jimi Smooth & HitTime, The Funsters and The PanTones, as well as new acts for the 2015 festival, including Nothing But Trouble, No Spare Time and Paul Zavinsky.

    Kids can also keep a lookout for strolling balloon artist Wes Holly and his twisted balloon creations.

    Friday’s kickoff events will include a Tyke Bike Race on the boardwalk, in which children 8 or younger are invited to dash down the Boardwalk on their trikes and bikes, from 3 to 4 p.m. The Choo Choo Express will be taking small children on a short ride through Grove Park on Friday, from 4 to 6 p.m. Children 8 or younger can ride in train cars powered by a John Deere lawn mower.

    The Sussex Family YMCA’s fall fun and movie night will begin at 5:30 p.m. and include a haunted-schoolyard attraction, face-painting, crafts, costume contest, carnival-style games, food trucks and concessions, and it will take place rain or shine. “Hotel Transylvania” will begin at 8 p.m. indoors, free of charge, rain or shine.

    Dewey Beach will feature its own Haunted Bonfire & Graveyard on Friday, Oct. 23, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., featuring a D.J., dancing, ghost-story teller, snacks, refreshments and spooky fun for all ages, at Dagsworthy Street and the beach (weather dependent).

    Parade set for Sunday, Oct. 24

    Rehoboth Avenue will be closed to traffic on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to the end of the Costume Parade (approximately 2 p.m.), when festivalgoers can join the Woodland String Band mummers, thousands of costumed participants, local bands, decorated cars and the Nur Shriners for the 26th Annual Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers’ Festival Costume Parade.

    This year’s costume parade will kick off at 11 a.m. and will be led by the Sea Witch Clipper Ship and 2014 Business of the Year, Big Fish Restaurant Group.

    Walkers can begin registering at 10 a.m. at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, 229 Rehoboth Avenue, and then line up outside the hall in the parking lot. The walkers and balloon handlers will lead the parade, turning right out of the parking lot, heading West on Rehoboth Avenue. Walkers will cross into the eastbound lanes of Rehoboth Avenue at Christian Street. They will proceed east toward the bandstand, turning in front of the restrooms and continue westward, finishing at Village By the Sea.

    A limited number of accepted motorized vehicles (maximum 50), floats, bands, large walking groups and members of the Shriner’s Temples will begin lining up on State Street at 10:30 a.m. The accepted vehicles and groups will then follow the walkers but will then follow Rehoboth Avenue out of town to Route 1.

    “Sea Witch” masks will be available with donation for parade registrants. Parade judges will award trophies to Top 25 Walking, Top 10 Rolling/Motorized and Judge’s Favorite Band.

    (All motorized entries, bands and walking groups larger than 20 people must pre-register and submit an application for review, via the parade registration form available at

    In the event of inclement weather, the parade may be postponed until 11 a.m. on Sunday, in which case only the walking participants who can meet the limitations of the boardwalk’s size will be able to participate in the costumed walking parade on the boardwalk. (There is no rain date for floats or motorized vehicles.)

    Fiddlers’ Festival to entertain, award cash prizes

    The Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddler’s Festival is Delaware’s Official State Fiddlers’ Festival, and fiddlers can visit for the Fiddlers’ Festival registration form and complete program information.

    Both an adult and children’s competition for best fiddle, mandolin, banjo and bluegrass band will be featured, with cash prizes to be awarded. The Fiddler’s Festival is held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. Concessions will be available for purchase.

    Old Fashion Beach Games and more planned for Oct. 24

    Children are being invited to participate in the Old Fashion Beach Games held on the beach at Rehoboth Avenue on Saturday, Oct. 24, beginning at 2:30 p.m. All participants will be given participation ribbons. Games will include: Peanut on the Nose Race; beanbag Pumpkin Dash; a sword-balancing Slippery Swords race; and a Hula Twist Off hula-hoop contest.

    In addition to the games, the Broom Tossing Contest will allow participants in all age-based categories get a chance to toss their numbered broom on the beach, with the longest distance winning. All participants walk away with a ribbon, proclaiming them as an official “Sea Witch Broom Tosser.” The Broom Tossing Contest will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 24.

    Sea Witch Hunt

    The hunt for the Sea Witch is on, as the annual Sea Witch Hunt begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 24. Participants must check in with the official clue keeper and pick up a location list for the more than 100 clues (in no particular order). Hunters must turn in their best guesses by 5 p.m., and the earliest correct guess wins a cash prize. The winner will be announced at the bandstand on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 4 p.m.

    Hunters will visit the locations listed on their clue location list. Each location has a clue that helps locate the Sea Witch. Sample clues and answers include: “Blue Light Special,” with the answer of “Light on Police Car,” or “Not Dewey, But Close By,” with the answer of “Rehoboth.” When the answers are combined, they can guide hunters to where the Sea Witch is hiding (in this case, it would have been the Rehoboth Beach Police Department).

    Walk, and run

    The Sea Witch 5K Classic Run and 1 Mile Fright Walk begins at Grove Park at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. Packet pick-up for pre-registered runners will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Grove Park.

    Many of the 500+ runners, including entire families, will arrive in costume. Prizes are presented not only for time but also for the best costumes. Past winners have included cartoon characters, cheerleaders, various farm animals and monsters. (The event is weather-dependent. No rain date is scheduled.) To pre-register online or for more information, visit

    Those looking for a slower pace can take part in the 1st State Webfooter Walks. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the latest starting time is 2 p.m. (Walks begin at the Henlopen Hotel; visit the Webfooter registration starting point for walk information.)

    The Best Costumed Dog Contest is set for Sunday, Oct. 25. Dogs and owners will parade down the boardwalk. Past costumes have included lifeguards, Egyptians, chickens, cowboys, chefs, police and more. Participants should be prepared for a 1.5-mile walk including lineup, parade and return to Rehoboth Avenue from the Laurel Street exit.

    Registration begins at 2 p.m. Dogs and their owners will register on Lakeview Avenue, next to the Henlopen Hotel, where they will receive their entry number and parade ribbon. The registration fee is $5 per dog. Dogs will be judged immediately following registration. All registered participants will line up at the north end of the boardwalk and wag their way down the boardwalk beginning at 3 p.m. Winners will be announced at the bandstand at 4:30 p.m. and showcased on stage. (Floats, wagons, etc., may be used on the boardwalk but may not be brought on stage; only leashed or carried pets will be received on the stage. No livestock, wild animals or reptiles are permitted in the contest.)

    Scarecrows and ponies and hayrides — oh, my!

    In addition to the other festival activities, the event will feature scarecrow-making on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while supplies last; pony rides on both days, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and hayrides on both days, from noon to 5 p.m. (tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center located at 501 Rehoboth Avenue).

    Monster Art will take place on Saturday and Sunday in the Grove Park Pavilions from noon to 5 p.m. All artists will receive a participation ribbon. Artwork will be sent to U.S. troops overseas via Operation Gratitude. Jack Noel will perform magic in Grove Park on Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 3:30 p.m. each day.

    Horse shows will also take place on the beach both days, at 4 p.m., while Scales & Tales will feature wildlife on display on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon, next to the information table.

    For complete program information, visit

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    The Delaware State Legislature has made a number of changes to the Beach Preservation Act in past decades, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is now trying to put those changes into action by writing new regulations for beachfront building and use.

    The Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section held two public workshops in September to discuss proposed changes to Delaware’s Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches.

    The changes include both requirements from Delaware’s state legislature and changes DNREC officials said they felt were needed to protect structures built along the beach, as well as the beach and dune system itself.

    The Beach Protection Act was written in 1972 and amended many times, said Michael Powell of the Division of Watershed Stewardship at a May workshop. DNREC’s regulations have not officially included changes made from 1996 to 2006. When DNREC tried to make the regulatory changes in 2005, unresolved issues prevented the regulations from officially taking place.

    But DNREC has still enforced those provisions, as required by law. But the purpose of regulations is to “flesh out the law” into a fair and enforceable way.

    These workshops in Bethany Beach on Sept. 26 and Milton on Sept. 25 were just an opportunity for draft regulations review, a repeat of workshops held earlier this year.

    Official public hearings will likely be scheduled for later this autumn. Based on public feedback, the Secretary of DNREC could chose to adopt the proposed regulations, implementing them a few months afterward.

    “These regulations apply on both public and private beaches,” Powell said. “But there are certain departmental capacities which we can do only on public beaches.”

    A new housing zone

    Under the proposed regulations, the existing regulated housing zone would change. In the past, the regulated zone included everything between the beach and the first road parallel to the shoreline.

    For Dewey Beach, that meant the zone was up to six houses deep, east of Coastal Highway. Meanwhile, in South Bethany, that just meant the single row of houses east of Ocean Drive. Throughout the state the zone was considered either too broad, or too narrow, based on the road layout.

    The proposed regulation would extend the zone to the third buildable lot west of the ocean. So Fenwick Island would now have houses west of Bunting Avenue included in DNREC’s regulatory zone.

    “We would now have a permit process for these houses. They’re not affected by the building line. … It wouldn’t impact the size of a house by our regulations,” Powell said. “But say we have a major storm and sand washes back [to the third house]… We have a desire to return that sand to beach. … It gives us an opportunity to require that that material go back out to the beach.”

    The Building Line affects where houses may be built

    The Building Line generally coincides with back heel of the dune, but many homes were built before the line existed. There are, at present, no proposals to change the Building Line, which was first drawn around 1971. Such a change would need to undergo a public review process, and it would be based on changing natural phenomena, such as significant changes to the dune or beach.

    But officials have assured the public that the Building Line will never be loosened, as DNREC “heard loud and clear that people along the Atlantic coast” would not want neighbors to be able to build closer to the sea than the existing homes.

    Building a house or improvement

    If existing houses seaward of the Building Line are destroyed by an act of god, people may rebuild in the same footprint, if state or federal agencies have constructed and continue to maintain a beach and dune that conforms to coastal engineering standards of storm protection.

    At the September meetings, one citizen asked about that rule’s impact on private beaches that piggybacked on, but were not part of, state replenishment projects. DNREC officials promised to find and clarify an answer.

    But property owners must move the house landward, behind the Building Line, when other voluntary construction is proposed, such as a substantial improvement (improvements worth more than 50 percent of the market value of the physical structure).

    If the structure cannot be moved behind the Building Line during a major renovation, DNREC would follow a four-step process to minimize the house’s encroachment on the shore.

    The four-step process would require houses to do the following, until they were behind the Building Line: build to the edge of the front-yard setback; build to both side-yard setbacks; reduce the structure’s living area to the average of neighboring houses; and reduce the seaward encroachment over the Building Line to the average encroachment of neighboring lots.

    (When comparing to neighboring lots, that actually references the “smallest subset of lots,” which refers to the smallest identifiable group of subdivided, contiguous lots within a subdivision, separated by either roads or subdivision boundaries. For an oceanfront house, that could mean several lots north and south of it.)

    Since 1996, DNREC has followed the four-step process for about 60 properties, because the Beach Protection Act required the agency to do so. However, the process would now become official policy.

    “It’s making use of all the possible buildable area on a lot,” said Jennifer Luoma, a DNREC environmental scientist. “We do these on a case-by-case basis, and we work with the applicant at the time.”

    But a process dictated by policy alone is prone to change and could be gone tomorrow, Powell noted. Regulations would be set down on paper.

    These are some other changes and clarifications in the proposed regulations:

    • Permits and letters of approval may not be extended more than three times, as this reduces public participation.

    • Cantilevered decks may not be enclosed into living space, and the area under the deck must be open, to allow dunes room to move.

    • In beachfront communities, some walkways may be widened to 5 or 6 feet, depending on the number of families that particular crossover serves.

    • Permits aren’t required for basic, non-structural maintenance, such as repainting, shingle replacement, window cleaning and more.

    • Approvals will be clarified for temporary structures, such as tents for special events.

    The full presentation from the May and September meetings can be found on the DNREC website at

    To obtain a copy of the draft proposed Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches, email, call (302) 739-9921 or write to Shoreline & Waterway Management Section, Division of Watershed Stewardship; 89 Kings Hwy.; Dover, DE 19901.

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    Deciding against using the results of a 17-year old report, which couldn’t include data for events such as Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has instead elected to pursue a new hydrodynamic study of the Ocean City Inlet to determine the cause of its constant shoaling.

    Last week, the Corps delivered a response to a July letter of intent from state officials, Maryland state Delegate Mary Beth Carozza and Maryland state Sen. Jim Mathias, the Worcester County (Md.) Commissioners and the Town of Ocean City, Md., endorsing action.

    First, the Corps acknowledged the scope of the issue.

    “From 1999 to 2011, the Corps dredged the inlet, harbor, Isle of Wight Bay and Sinepuxent Bay 24 times, for a total of 372,167 cubic yards of material,” the decision letter signed by Col. Edward Chamberlayne of the Corps, read.

    “In comparison, from 2012 to present, the same federal channels have been dredged 11 times, for a total of 676,578 cubic yards of material. We know a more comprehensive, long-term solution to the problem is needed,” Chamberlayne wrote.

    Chamberlayne acknowledged the need for continual dredging while the study is completed, as long as Congress continues to provide the federal funding.

    In the meantime, the Corps is pursuing a report to allow the study of the hydrodynamics of the area and how they contribute to the shoaling.

    If Congress approves the report, federal tax dollars pay for it.

    “Hydrodynamic models are an efficient, comprehensive approach to representing coastal water dynamics. These numerical models can be used to simulate currents, water levels, sediment transport and salinity,” Corps spokesman Chris Gardner said.

    That report would then be submitted to Corps headquarters for approval by the end of the calendar year. If such approval were granted, according to the letter, the Corps’ Baltimore District would then develop a project management plan once a non-federal sponsor is identified.

    Three non-federal sponsors — the State, by means of Carozza and Mathias; the County; and the Town of Ocean City — have already identified themselves in signing on to the earlier letter of intent, Carozza said.

    That is also where local money begins to figure into the picture.

    “Regarding the cost-share for implementation,” Gardner said, “should there be a recommendation from the [hydrodynamic] study, it would be 65 percent federal and 35 percent local.”

    It has not yet been determined if the local share could be achieved through in-kind donations, such as providing a site to dispose of dredged material.

    Carozza said the Corps’ letter, by acknowledging these issues, commits them to certain things.

    “They’re on record as recognizing the urgent need. We have them committed to the long-term while still in the short-term,” she said.

    “My follow-up is to touch base with everyone, starting with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources,” she said.

    Presupposing the outcomes are all favorable and this course of action is followed, a single recommendation from the 1998 report may be implemented: The inlet could be dredged to a depth of 16 feet and the harbor could be dredged to 14 feet, according to the letter. However, Chamberlayne warned, those actions would constitute separate actions and would need their own processes.

    Currently, the inlet is approved for a total depth of 12 feet but is often much shallower than that, forcing vessels to either wait for the tide or risk entry and potentially damaging their boats.

    Damaged boats have led to at least one commercial fleet, operated by Joe Letts, uprooting and moving their operations from Ocean City to New Jersey, and delays are commonplace.

    During the April meeting organized by Carozza and held at the Marlin Club, the issue was described by Merrill Campbell, the manager of the Ocean City dock for Southern Connection seafood.

    “This is just from my March 1 diary,” Campbell began, stating that a boat ran aground at 3 p.m. “carrying $12,000 in clams, trying to hit high tide. The Instigator, carrying $20,000 worth of fish, hit and slid at 3:30. The Starbright, sister to the Instigator, I believe made it at 4:30. The day before, the Ocean Gold carried in $40,000 worth of seafood and couldn’t get back out.”

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    While residents of Millsboro and the Plantation Lakes community won’t see a permanent clubhouse opening there until the spring of 2018, nine holes and a temporary clubhouse could be up and running soon.

    At the town council meeting held on Monday, Oct. 5, a representative from developer Lennar was present to propose that, until the project’s completion, a temporary clubhouse facility and temporary golf cart storage facility be implemented for golfers.

    “There’s a lot of thought of the community about how we’re going to approach this,” he stated during the meeting. “We’re really trying to make this blend in with the natural landscape.”

    He went on to explain that all of the colors of the temporary facilities will be painted in tans or beige colors, to exemplify that naturalistic tone. The motion to accept the conditional-use application was approved.

    The next regularly scheduled town council meeting is set for Monday, Nov. 2, at Millsboro Town Hall.

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    When an emergency strikes a town, from severe weather to a burst water main, town hall needs to contact residents in a timely manner. But what is the best system to do that?

    The Town of Selbyville will expand its notification system this fall to include telephone alerts, as the town council voted on Oct. 5 to try a trial year of the CodeRED automatic alert system.

    Officials at town hall or the Selbyville Police Department will be able use the system to send automated phone calls to all landline phones in Selbyville. All residents’ landlines will be automatically enrolled, since CodeRED contracts with the State and already has that information. Citizens can also add cell phones or other contact information, if they so choose.

    If an alert only affects a certain neighborhood, the Town can also specifically target residents of that street or area.

    If no one picks up the call the system will leave a message if possible, or retry the call if the line is busy or without an answering machine.

    At $2,000 for the first year, this is less expensive than similar services, since CodeRED already has the data, said Police Chief W. Scott Collins.

    Selbyville currently uses Nixle email alerts, but only 46 people have subscribed, Collins said.

    Modular models, maybe?

    The Town of Selbyville has received a request for approval for two display model homes to be located on Route 113. Brett Reilly of TAPA Homes is renting office space in the Sandy Branch shopping center on S. DuPont Boulevard. He requested to display two modular homes on the property.

    That would require a temporary foundation, electricity and temporary stairs. He said he does not want the houses to be lived in, so there will be no plumbing. Sheds and construction materials will not be stored there, either.

    TAPA Homes sells and assembles Pleasant Valley modular homes, which would be shipped to Selbyville in four truckloads, for a one-story and a two-story structure.

    The houses would likely remain on the site for 18 to 24 months at a time, until a homebuyer decided to purchase and move them. The house styles may change in that time, as manufacturers keep up with new trends and building codes.

    However, the Town needn’t fear his “jumping ship” in the middle of the night, Reilly said, since he’d rather sell the models and then leave.

    Reilly said TAPA had a Dagsboro outpost before the recession, but decided to “cut costs” at the time. But that didn’t include the model home setup he’s now proposing.

    “I’ve never done this before,” Reilly said.

    “We haven’t either!” Mayor Clifton Murray and Councilman Clarence “Bud” Tingle Jr. said simultaneously.

    Council members seemed open to the idea, but they must check zoning codes, signage, allowable uses and the tax structure to see if it is even allowed.

    In other Selbyville news:

    • The Selbyville Police Department is still short-staffed, as one officer was injured and another plans to move at some point in the near future. Collins is using some officers who were hired to cover Mountaire to help on night shifts.

    State Probation & Parole officers will also provide extra coverage on parade and trick-or-treat nights.

    • Collins gave an update on the perceived speeding problem on Gumboro Road. Last month, residents had voiced concerns about cars and tractor-trailers speeding on the residential road.

    When SPD monitored the street, Collins said, only five or six vehicles out of 130 were clocked at 10 mph or more over the speed limit.

    Although Mountaire-owned trucks aren’t supposed to use that road, Mountaire’s Jay Griffith said hired contractors can take any route they want. However, “When they’re pulling our trailers, then we can control it.”

    • Though it’s now on a very delayed schedule, Selbyville’s new water filtration system is still on the horizon. The design has taken a long time to get through the state approval process.

    “I understand the issues. I’m not happy about this,” said Jason Loar, the principal/engineer of Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc.

    The new building will contain towers that strip gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) from tap water. Council members noted that some aesthetics of the project may be on the chopping block as designers try to cut costs. However, the towers could be enclosed under a more attractive rooftop in the future.

    The project could go to bid in December, nearly one year later than the original target date.

    • The Town’s wastewater treatment center will be needing more repairs and upgrades in the coming months, from dealing with a corroding set of water gates to replacing the old disinfectant system with sodium hypochlorite (basically, bleach).

    • The Lions Club’s Selbyville Halloween Parade is scheduled for Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

    • The council voted to donate its usual amount of $400 to the Friends of Selbyville Public Library.

    The town council’s next regular meting will be Monday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m.

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    Fenwick Island’s Business Development Committee took a look at the summer season for past improvements and future ideas.

    Attendance at the Sept. 24 meeting was slightly sparse, as it was expected some business owners were finishing the end of summer with skeleton crews and couldn’t get away for the meeting, but businesses were definitely happy to use up to more sidewalk flags and A-frame signs this summer, reported Building Official Pat Schuchman.

    However, there are 12 vacant businesses now, which Mayor Gene Langan said doesn’t encourage visitors to visit neighboring shops. Some businesses even permanently closed their doors after just a few weeks.

    When businesses share parking, it makes the town look more inviting, said Tim Collins, owner of Southern Exposure. On the other hand, he questioned the purpose of businesses hanging signs warning that vehicles will be towed, even if the business closes at night, when restaurant business is in full swing at those hours. “Let’s cut the other businesses some slack,” he said.

    “The biggest issue with visitors is lack of parking,” confirmed Kristie Maravelli, executive director of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce. Although it’s only few months that parking is tight, “That’s when people make their money.”

    The committee discussed the lack of public parking.

    “It is what it is. Fenwick was not a planned community,” Councilwoman Diane Tingle said.

    “No one thought it would be a year-round community,” Langan added.

    “When this town was set up in 1953, there was a commercial district set up,” Tingle said, so the Town must plan for it. “There are so many people who don’t want business. If they’re so against business, why didn’t they build” outside of town limits? she asked.

    Looking at one way to distinguish the town from neighboring Ocean City, Md., the committee discussed hanging decorative streetlights year-round, similar to those hung during the holiday season. However, the existing decorations aren’t meant for continuous use.

    As new lights would cost $650 to $2,100 apiece for nautical designs such as lighthouses and seashells, the committee will consider just purchasing a few for each end of town, as people enter or exit town limits. They’ll look into funding or potential grant money for the project.

    The committee will also invite representative from the County and State to do presentations on community business enhancement, such as coordinated approaches to marketing and branding.

    With previous mayor Audrey Serio having retired from the council this summer, “Nothing’s gonna change,” Langan concluded the meeting. “The town’s going to remain business-friendly, and we’re going to do all we can for them to be successful.”

    On a side note, Schuchman reported that the HGTV television series “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” would be filming nearby the following week.

    Monthly meetings of the committee have been changed to the second Wednesdays of each month, so the Business Development Committee will meet again Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.

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    In May 2014, after going through a plethora of tests, Tim Hill received a life-changing diagnosis: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    “I probably had this in excess of three years. It starts with cramping — very painful cramping anywhere. Feet, legs, hands, muscles twisting. Very, very painful,” recalled Hill. “It’s hard to diagnose. At first it was thought to be Parkinson’s. It’s a series of tests over a year to 18 months to get properly diagnosed. Oftentimes, it is first diagnosed as other neurological diseases… [There was a] series of tests until they narrowed it down to ALS.

    “That was a devastating shock, and then to be told that my chances of getting better was zero was even more so. We’re trying to give people hope, because although the outcome is generally not good, there are people who are getting better.”

    According to the ALS Association, ALS — more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease — “is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. … When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost.”

    Following his diagnosis, Hill was determined to stay active and not let the disease take over his life.

    “I was given no hope — zero hope — of any recovery. Then I started to go down very quickly. Then I started to do a lot of physical therapy and medications. For me, faith plays a lot into it, too, and I began to get better — much better. I’m able to continue working every day. I still walk unassisted,” said Hill. “There are struggles. I am not cured, but I am well. Unfortunately, most people do not get that outcome. It’s almost always fatal.”

    This Saturday, Hill will continue to defy the odds by skydiving 13,500 feet, falling more than 2.5 miles with five friends after taking off from the Laurel Airport, to raise money and awareness for his nonprofit organization, Ten Mile Miracle.

    “I was thinking of doing some type of physical [feat] this year, but I thought jumping out of a plane would be a good attention-getter. It’s fun. I went out to watch one of the jumps, and it’s exciting to watch,” he said, noting that everyone who is jumping with him has never skydived before. “Many, many people said they wouldn’t go with me, but I was able to find five volunteers. I probably had about 100 people turn me down.”

    Hill himself is afraid of heights, which makes the event that much more daunting.

    “My biggest fear is heights, so I thought skydiving would be something close to impossible for me,” he said. “We have a great crowd coming over to watch.”

    The skydive will take place on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. Following the jump, there will be an after-party at Grotto’s Pizza in Seaford, from 2 to 4 p.m.

    “People are welcome to come out and watch on Saturday,” he said. “We hope people will support us, and come out and see us. I think they’ll enjoy it and be donating to a good cause.”

    Hill created Ten Mile Miracle after his own miracle last November, when he walked 10 miles — from Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach — just six months after his diagnosis.

    “The symptoms are significant, leading to virtually being immobile, not being able to breathe. It attacks the nervous system, the lungs… I’ve felt since I have been able to get better I really needed to do something… I was quite ill last year and set a goal to be able to walk 10 miles from Dewey to Bethany Beach. I did that, after having only able to walk a block or two prior to that,” he said.

    “It was a very cold day… I set it at 10 because it was just not possible. It was tough, but I did make it from Dewey to my company’s office at Wilgus Associates. I was able to get here, and it was a big event here. There were a lot of people waiting for me, and we were able to raise a lot of money and awareness.”

    Ten Mile Miracle is a tax-exempt organization that is dedicated to helping ALS patients on Delmarva.

    “Most of the patients are associated with Peninsula Regional Medical Center. There is an ALS clinic there, and it is the only one on Delmarva, so we get most of the requests through their social worker, based on the number of individual patients need,” he said.

    “We give funds directly to the needs of the patients. We’re not there to find a cure. We just provide the patients with what they need. It might be a lift. It might be a Walmart card for medications or medical supplies. We’ll provide wheelchair ramps — anything they need to make their life a little more comfortable.

    “So, as we’re asked for equipment, we are able to get it to them quickly. We’ve been able to help many, many patients throughout the area. We don’t know who they are, usually. Some people we’re friends with, we do know who receives the help. There’ve been a few recently-diagnosed patients in the last few months. There are always more and more to help.”

    Hill said the organization is different from other ALS organizations in that 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to area ALS patients.

    “All costs are privately covered, so no costs come out of the fundraising, whatsoever,” he said. “And because of the ice-bucket challenge last year, there is more funds going into research and there’s been a lot of progress getting us closer to a cure.”

    Hill said he hopes his journey will encourage others battling ALS to keep fighting.

    “A lot of times, it’s because people aren’t given hope — they don’t try. To keep moving, even if you can’t move well, is the most important thing,” he said. “I stay busy and moving and walking and doing whatever I can to be active is much better. I’ve been told that is not necessarily correct, but it has been for me, and it has been for others.

    “Just move what you can, and you will stay active longer. For some people, that may be a short period of time, and others like me, it could be for a longer period of time… That’s been the biggest thing for me. I do a lot of physical therapy, which has been very effective.”

    For more information about Ten Mile Miracle or to donate, visit Donations may also be sent to Ten Mile Miracle, P.O. Box 1262, Bethany Beach, DE 19930.

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    The Town of Frankford will be receiving a forensic audit, according to Councilman Marty Presley, who made the announcement at the Town’s monthly council meeting earlier this week.

    “The good news is, we’re higher on the [Delaware State Auditor’s] radar list. They’ve given me a verbal commitment that they’ll be getting in contact with us soon,” he said. “She assured me we’re at the top of the list so, hopefully, it’ll be sooner rather than later.”

    Last month, Presley said the Town had submitted a request to the DSA office for a forensic audit.

    “The council has already started gathering the information they’ll need, which is extensive. We’re trying to get ahead of the game… They’re going to take a look at it, and it’ll be wrapped up in two or three months.”

    Council President Elizabeth Carpenter told those in attendance at the Oct. 5 meeting that the Town’s current CPA firm, since 2003, has been Jefferson, Urian, Doane & Sterner P.A. She said audits and management letters dating back to 1996 are in town hall and available to those who are interested.

    “If any of you have questions about that, you are welcome to come to town hall and review any of that.”

    “Throughout the last couple of months, I think our accounting firm has taken it on the chin at some of the council meetings,” added Presley. “I would say, from our conversations with the accounting firm, I think they’re doing a great job. I think they’re doing everything that has been asked of them and then some. I think their recommendations have been spot-on… As far as an accounting firm goes, I think they’ve done a great job for us from what we’ve found out so far.

    “I think that some of the things that come out in the media, snippets that have been said at the meetings, have been taken the wrong way. They aren’t the only relationship that the Town of Frankford has that has taken it on the chin,” Presley noted.

    “I can tell you, a lot of times when Liz goes into town hall, she spends a lot of time putting out fires from relationships that have been burned over the years. She’s spending a lot of time trying to mend those relationships and get back what options we have to us, instead of being stuck with one provider.”

    Water was a big topic of discussion at this month’s Frankford Town Council meeting. Carpenter said that, two weeks ago, a level transmitter went bad in the Town’s water tower, which caused the water tower to drain.

    “The level transmitter went bad, and from what I understand, it sends an emergency signal to what they call an ‘auto-dialer,’ and the auto-dialer did not alert Artesian in time to get down here in time. And what happened is it drained the tower. When they got down here, there was 6 feet of water left in the tower.”

    Following the transmitter being repaired, the Delaware Department of Transportation broke a water main while digging on Honolulu Avenue, which also impacted the tower.

    “I appreciate everyone’s patience in those two unplanned, unforeseen interruptions in service,” she said.

    Earlier this year, the Town sought updated proposals for water-tower maintenance and repair from two national companies based on the East Coast.

    In March, representatives of Southern Corrosion, based in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., visited the town and inspected the water tower. The company handles maintenance and repair for all Artesian tanks. Their estimated cost was $111,000, which includes pressure washing the exterior of the tank, cleaning rusted areas, painting it and sterilizing the tank’s interior.

    Pittsburg Tank & Tower Maintenance Co. of Henderson, Ky., also provided a refreshed bid of more than $180,000 for work to the tank; however, they did not visit the site.

    Steven Lewandowski of CABE Associates had given a presentation at the council’s July 6 meeting, before the council makeup changed, regarding the differences between the two bids.

    Carpenter said she had been in contact with representatives from Delaware Rural Water, which recommended proactive, yearly maintenance inspections.

    Resident Jerry Smith said the Town should be asking if those inspections need to be done on a yearly basis, or if they could be done every three years. He also asked why the Town only had two proposals, instead of three or more from other companies.

    “My understanding, there’s not a lot of companies that do this… These are the only two that were willing to supply proposals,” said Presley.

    Resident Bernard Lynch said he didn’t believe $9,000 was a lot of money for water tower maintenance.

    Carpenter added that she had recently learned that fluoride was not being added to the Town’s water — a requirement mandated by the State. She said Artesian is under direction to begin adding it by Dec. 1.

    She said a public notice posted in town hall, dated 2011, said that fluoride would be added to the Town’s water.

    Resident Skip Ash asked if the Town had budgeted or expended monies to purchase fluoride, but the money had never been given to Artesian.

    “We can certainly check the bills, because they give us an itemized list of what we were charged for,” said Councilwoman Joanne Bacon.

    Resident Greg Welch said that, at the time of the mandate, the council was against putting fluoride in the Town’s water.

    Travis Martin of Chesapeake Plumbing & Heating said that, if the Town was still against putting fluoride it its water, it could probably protest to the State.

    “There’s a wave of controversy sweeping across the country regarding fluoride,” he said. “Fluoride is wonderful topically, but it’s poison to your body… Google it. It’ll come up everywhere about how places are getting fluoride out of their water systems.”

    Wesley Hayes Jr. of the Delaware Avenue Association spoke to the council regarding the street’s occupants’ efforts to get connected to Town water for years.

    Hayes, who lives on Delaware Avenue, said that clean water is a basic need to which all should be afforded access.

    “We are here to get water. The sleeve is there. We don’t have water yet. But the thing is, we need to solve this,” he said. “In the Clean Water Act, which was developed in 1948… We still don’t have things dated from that far back — clean water — which is something simple that everyone deserves. There’s a deserving group of people that deserve a solution.”

    Hayes said he had been in contact with various governmental agencies and even read a letter from the USDA, which noted they could potentially be a source of funding for up to 75 percent of a total project cost for expanding the system to serve the neighborhood.

    “‘The USDA Rural Development has been working with residents in this community for several years and in coordination with Sussex County to obtain a draft preliminary engineering report, which recommended the Town of Frankford would be the most cost-effective means to provide a central water system to the residents of Delaware Avenue.’”

    Hayes said he’s aware that the Town is concerned about the possibility of missing funds, but he said adding Delaware Avenue to the Town’s water system, and even annexing the properties into the town, could add to its tax base.

    “We know you have to have upgrades; we know there’s monies that have been missing. This here can be a solution to help in one area. I just wish that someone would take the time. The sleeve is there, the Town was paid, received money to put the pipe in that sleeve so we could have access to water. We were told, ‘We’re not buying no pipe,’ to our faces, in here.”

    Jean Holloway, circuit rider at Delaware Rural Water Association, said she’s been involved in the issue for approximately five years, since the USDA paid for the preliminary engineering study.

    “I believe at that time, part of the impasse was — and I’m just giving this as history at this point — the Town said if they want the water, they need to be annexed into town, and the residents didn’t want to be annexed … under the circumstances that existed then.”

    Holloway said that recently she was part of a team that went to Delaware Avenue properties to take water samples.

    “We don’t have the results of them yet,” she said. “I can tell you, as someone who has taken water samples before, almost every house we went to reeked of sulfur. So I know that’s an issue. What the samples will show, I don’t know yet, but the State is paying for the test.”

    Holloway added that the council could look at the situation as an opportunity for the Town to get funding to fix its water tower.

    “It may be a win-win for both sides. Just a suggestion.”

    Holloway noted that the USDA would require mandatory hook-up to ensure there would be enough customers to service the loan.

    Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson added that there is funding available and discussions going on at the state level regarding providing water to residents in non-municipal communities like that.

    “And there’s funding on both the state and federal level. There’s an opportunity — at least on paper right now — to have this done. It’s a lot of paper, obviously, but there is an opportunity.”

    Lawson told the council that the USDA did provide $30,000 to the County to administer a project review to extend water down Delaware Avenue. He said the feasibility study showed that running water from Frankford down Delaware Avenue was found to be cheaper than running it up there from Selbyville.

    “On January of last year, 2014, the county engineer at the time, Michael Izzo, sent a letter to Ms. Truitt, town administrator, basically stating that the USDA and the County had partnered together to provide Frankford options to extend water down Delaware Avenue, and we stand ready to assist the residents of Delaware Avenue.”

    Lawson said a response letter from the Frankford Town Council, signed by Truitt, was received in April 2014, outlining the Town’s proposal if they were to proceed.

    “Which basically states what the annexation requirement would be, what the cost would be. It even has a per-parcel lot expense for those parcels located on Delaware Avenue,” he said. “From that point on, the County did not have any further correspondence with the Town until we were invited to come to tonight’s meeting.”

    The proposal, created by CABE Associates, estimated construction would cost $204,000, with an overall cost of $315,142. The proposal covers all 11 parcels on Delaware Avenue. The parcels include residential homes, Trinity Holiness Church and Chesapeake Plumbing & Heating.

    Carpenter said she doesn’t disagree that the residents deserve water and personally would vote to give them water.

    “I would ask that you give us the opportunity to have this audit complete before we incur any more debt for this town,” she said. “I have no problem giving you what you want, personally.”

    Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett said that he and the County are ready and willing to help the Town.

    “Because, in the end, your lives do matter, your water does make a difference and we have to do what we have to do to work together, to partner with one and other to make that happen.”

    Town charter changes proposed

    Presley said at the Oct. 5 meeting that, if the Town wants to make Charter changes for this year a top priority, residents need to volunteer, and the Charter Committee needs to hold more meetings.

    “The charter revision is probably going to be the biggest thing we undertake this year and in my opinion the most important thing we’re going to undertake,” he said.

    “My estimate, you’re looking at 40, 50, 60 hours in that committee, involved in getting this done. You’re looking at four, five meetings with the Charter Committee. Then we’re looking at getting an attorney on board who has never done this before, and we have to fit that into his schedule, and he has to put it into legislative language. Then, after that’s done, you have to get it to a legislator to approve it, to put it on the agenda before it even goes to the Legislature.”

    Presley said he believed all the work would need to be completed by the Charter Committee by Dec. 1 if the changes were to be up for approval by the state legislature in the upcoming session, which begins in January.

    “If we are serious about doing this, it’s going to be a lot of work,” said Presley. “We need a firm commitment from people who want to be on the committee.”

    “Realistically, with all of the other things that the town council has to become familiar with in the next few months, I don’t see how trying to do that whole charter by December is going to happen,” said Janet Hearn. “If you’re going to go through the whole charter and try to get it up to speed like you want it, six weeks is not long enough.”

    In other Town news:

    • The Town is still working on an employee pension plan, which would be a defined contribution plan with a set IRA. Presley said the Town would be contributing 5 percent of the employees’ salaries, with the employees having the option to contribute to it also, if they so choose.

    • The Town extended an offer to Georgetown attorney Chad Lingenfelder to be its new town solicitor. Lingenfelder accepted the offer; however, the Town must review his contract.

    “He is very expensive, so I would request that if you have anything for him, send it to one of us ahead of time, so that we’re not burning $200 an hour,” said Carpenter, noting that he would most likely be in attendance at the Town’s November meeting, for introduction purposes.

    • The Fall Festival is slated for Oct. 31, beginning with costume contest at the town hall parking lot. Registration will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., with a parade to follow at 11:30 a.m. The festival will continue in the park at noon.

    • A tree-lighting ceremony will be held on Nov. 28, at 6:30 p.m. Area church choirs will sing during the event, and every Wednesday following, from 6 to 8 p.m., Santa’s house will be open for kids to visit. Those attending will be able to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies in the park. Each Wednesday will be sponsored by a different church.

    • The council also held an executive session that was added to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting; however, they failed to meet Freedom of Information Act requirements.

    Delaware Code Title 29 § 10001 requires that: “All public bodies shall give public notice of their regular meetings and of their intent to hold an executive session closed to the public, at least 7 days in advance thereof. The notice shall include the agenda…” and requires that the agenda include, “a statement of intent to hold an executive session and the specific ground or grounds therefore…” requiring that “the purpose of such executive sessions shall be set forth in the agenda.”

    After coming out of executive session, council voted unanimously to hire a part-time police officer for approximately 25 hours a week, on a 4-0 vote. Councilman Charles Shelton was not present.

    Prior to entering the executive session, Presley made note of Shelton’s absence from the meeting.

    “If anybody sees Charles Shelton out in the community, tell him that he is welcome back here with open arms, that we miss him. He has a duty and obligation to serve the people that put him in office. He’s welcome back with open arms,” said Presley.

    Shelton had broken with the other two remaining council members on the issue of appointing Presley and Carpenter after the resignation of the council’s fourth and fifth members this summer, as well as related issues that have since ensued.

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    Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Jack Bauer and the Lord Baltimore Club Lions Club are offer a variety of free medical equipment usage for those in need.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Jack Bauer and the Lord Baltimore Club Lions Club are offer a variety of free medical equipment usage for those in need.When fictional Los Angeles is in trouble on the hit television series “24,” they call Jack Bauer. And when lower Sussex County is in trouble in real life, they do, too.

    Ocean View’s Jack Bauer may not be an FBI agent, but he is a board member of the Lord Baltimore Lions Club and leading the cause to meet one of the area’s growing issues: rising demand from those in need of medical equipment but without the means to pay for it. And even though the club’s been offering the service for almost 70 years, it’s never been at the level it is now.

    “The club has been doing this since it was formed in 1946 in some capacity, but not like what we do today,” explained Bauer. “There’s absolutely a big need for it.”

    “There’s people that come out of the hospital and can’t afford things, so we loan them,” added LB Lions Club 1st Vice President John Monahan. “Jack finds out what they need and delivers it to people.”

    After stockpiling through donations an inventory of hospital beds, wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs, walkers, canes and other medical devices, Bauer and the club have been donating them to those in need, free of charge. And in some cases, they’ll even deliver.

    “We do not charge anything,” added Bauer. “Even if they can get something through Medicare, they still have to pay for it. People sometimes can’t afford that monthly charge.”

    Since he took over as chairman of the project in March of 2007, Bauer said, the Lions Club has loaned out approximately 2,450 items, and members have volunteers more than 3,400 service hours to the cause. However, even with the time and effort put in, none of it would be possible without donations from the community.

    “People are very generous in donating equipment when they’re done with it,” Bauer explained. “That’s how this program continues and has grown over the years.”

    Another local community member stepping up to assist the Lions mission is Gerald Hocker, who lets the club store at one of his facilities a growing stockpile of inventory waiting to be loaned out.

    “The mission is service, but not every Lions Club handles medical equipment, because primarily they wouldn’t have a storage facility,” Bauer said. “Gerald Hocker has been very generous with our club over the years.”

    “I was a Lion in New York. We didn’t have anything like this there,” added Monahan.

    But not only do they offer wheelchairs to those who need them, the Lions will even go the extra mile to build a ramp so that it can be put to use. It’s another demand so pressing that, since the ramp program began in 1988, the committee has built approximately 400 of them.

    Between the medical equipment program, ramp construction program, getting involved at national disaster relief efforts, as they did with Haiti in 2010, and everything else the Lions Club takes on, Bauer said that the doors are always open for those interested in joining the cause.

    “We’re always looking for new members,” he said, noting that anyone who’s interested should check it out themselves at one of their introductory dinners at Magnolia’s in Ocean View. “That kind of a dedication to help others is what being a Lion is all about.”

    For more on the Lord Baltimore Lions Club, visit their website at To inquire about medical equipment, call Jack Bauer at (302) 537-5175.

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    Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The cast of ‘Complicity’ rehearses for opening night at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville. Pictured, from left, are: Anthony Chiffolo, Veronica Bona, Mike Mall. Lori Ingram, Carolyn Robinson (on the couch) and Emily Abbott.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The cast of ‘Complicity’ rehearses for opening night at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville. Pictured, from left, are: Anthony Chiffolo, Veronica Bona, Mike Mall. Lori Ingram, Carolyn Robinson (on the couch) and Emily Abbott.

    ‘Complicity’ is the latest play from local playwright Bob Davis

    It’s a murder mystery four years in the making, but when “Complicity” finally debuts at Dickens Parlour Theatre on Monday, Oct. 26, more than just the killer will be unveiled.

    “It’s a very complex plot. It touches a current theme in the U.S. right now that has a lot to do with acceptance of certain people,” said playwright Bob Davis, without giving away the plot’s major twist. “We had a reading of this play maybe four years ago and we asked at intermission if people could pick out the murderer - and no one could.”

    The play will be the second Davis murder mysteries to debut, but it was actually the first he ever wrote, even though it has yet to take the stage, despite an initial reading in 2011. However, with Halloween approaching, and the undisclosed plot twist now more prominent in American pop-culture than ever, the performance seems to be right on cue.

    “It’s just very strange how things come around,” Davis explained. “I had no idea when I wrote this a couple years ago how pertinent it would end up being.”

    While both the murderer and the plot twist will, of course, remain a mystery for now, Davis said the play revolves around the untimely and mysterious death of Sir Charles MacGregor — an affluent Main Line Philadelphian whose death is investigated by Inspector Cummings, played by BART veteran Mike Mall.

    However, with the plot’s complexity and delicate subject matter, Davis has stepped aside as assistant director and handed over the reins of the production to Rusty Hesse.

    “Because of [the plot], it’s been a real challenge for me to get the actors to get into these roles,” Davis explained. “They certainly have a lot of fun with it, but it’s not an easy play to direct because of it.”

    The cast is currently rehearsing at the Bethany Bay clubhouse but will move to Dickens Parlour Theatre as opening night approaches on Thursday, Oct. 29. That’s where Davis said that dynamic begins to change.

    “The beauty of that little theater is that the people are right there with you,” he explained. “In the big theater, you sort of get lost in the crowd. Here, you are actually part of the action.

    “The actors interact with the audience, so you kind of never know what’s going to happen when they get on the stage. We have people come back to see the same show because it’s different —almost every night it’s different.”

    After wrapping up their production of “Hate Mail,” BART will be putting on six performances of “Complicity,” starting on Oct. 29 and spanning through Saturday, Nov. 7. Tickets cost $25 and the doors open at 7 p.m.

    “We just felt that maybe this would be a chance to do something over the holidays that would be a little more fitting,” Davis said regarding the schedule, which includes a performance on Halloween night. “Most of the stuff that I’ve done have been light comedies. It’s always interesting to venture out into some other area and try to expand your horizons and bring other stories.”

    For tickets, or to find out more about “Complicity” and future productions, call (302) 829-1071 or visit

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    Coastal Point • Submitted: Cupola Park has been dressed up a bit this year, with new paths and more.Coastal Point • Submitted: Cupola Park has been dressed up a bit this year, with new paths and more.Cupola Park is rather stony-faced this year. But that’s a good thing, with new hardscaping to dress up Millsboro’s town park after the Garden Club of Millsboro won a $5,000 community improvement grant through state Rep. Rich G. Collins.

    State legislators get a certain amount of money to do community improvement, said club member Jamie Doane. The Millsboro Garden Club wanted to add some gravitas to the park, laying paver paths in two areas of the park.

    “We felt the park needed a little facelift, and it’s really perfect timing,” Doane said.

    She expressed gratitude to Collins for pushing for Millsboro to get that grant funding.

    They expanded the concrete pad around the flagpole and added some pathways, which lead to the existing memorial garden and benches.

    “We’ve opened it up now, and it gives the flag more grandeur, I think, and what it deserves,” Doane said.

    The contractors finished the stonework just before a ribbon-cutting and memorial event on Sept. 11.

    “I was honored to be a part of this event,” Collins stated. “The Garden Club of Millsboro was formed to beautify the town. This project is their latest successful effort in furthering their ongoing mission. We’re blessed to have such a dedicated group of volunteers who want to do nothing more than improve the quality of life for all the residents of our community.”

    “We’re just trying to dress up the park. We’d love to get another grant next year … to keep it beautified for the future,” Doane said.

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    Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Members from Gardeners by the Sea help senior citizens arrange flowers at the Roxana Cheer Center. This is one of the many community outreach programs in which the club participates.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Members from Gardeners by the Sea help senior citizens arrange flowers at the Roxana Cheer Center. This is one of the many community outreach programs in which the club participates.In their 10th year as an area garden club, Gardeners by the Sea have expanded their membership from 45 to 55, to allow more community members to join.

    “We decided we would increase our membership this year, because I think there are many people out in the public who have moved here and have no idea that we even exist,” said Lisa Arni, founder of Gardeners by the Sea and first-vice-president of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs. “I think it was a good opportunity for newcomers who have the time and interest to join a garden club.

    “We started in 2004, and we advertised to the public by putting out flyers. We had 33 people come to the very first meeting at the library; it was surprising. I knew then there was a reason for this because people wanted to join. The reason why I started it — there was no club you could join in the area as a newcomer to the area. There just wasn’t a club that had open membership like this.”

    There is no application process to join, she said. It is simply first come, first served.

    Arni said if there was a great interest in the club that would exceed the new membership limit, they would look into possibly starting a second club.

    “I’m looking for people who are new to the area, perhaps, who have an interest in gardening. We are an active club, we work a lot, we do a lot in the community, so we want an active member,” she said. “It’s educational; We do a lot of programs, so they don’t have to have a background in gardening per se, but they will learn.”

    Members must be active on at least one committee, attend five out of 10 monthly meetings (the club doesn’t meet in July or August) and pay yearly dues of $35. The club meets the second Friday of each month at the Ocean View Presbyterian Church Hall.

    The club does a great deal of community outreach, such as participating in annual beach clean-ups, sponsoring and working at a home for the Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, landscaping at Lord Baltimore Elementary School and decorating a tree with handmade ornaments for the Delaware Hospice’s Festival of Trees.

    “We work with Habitat for Humanity. We’re going to be planting at a home that will go to a veteran,” said Arni. “We have a Sunshine Committee that makes little cards and notes to be put on the Meals for Wheels trays before they are sent out. And this year we’re trying to get a volunteer to help decorate at the White House at Christmastime.”

    The club also offers garden therapy at the Cheer Center in Roxana.

    “The committee does flower arranging with the seniors there. They bring their arrangements back to their homes or rooms. They always make something to take with them, which they love doing. We’ve been doing it for a long, long time. We have the same people coming every time.”

    The club is also working on starting a new youth program, through which they hope to go into area elementary schools and work with the children.

    “We’re going to work with the National Federation of Garden Clubs on their Frightened Frog project. The frogs are the early signs of environmental mishap, so we’re going to be starting a new youth program this year,” she said. “We’ve already contacted the local elementary schools, and they’re open to us coming in and doing a program with them.”

    The club also offers an annual scholarship for students studying horticulture, with this year’s award to be $2,000.

    “Right from the beginning, year one, that was my president’s project, to have scholarships, because I thought that would be one of the most beneficial projects we could do — to support a student who had the desire but maybe not the financial support to go into some form of horticulture,” said Arni. “We’ve had the scholarship every year since the beginning of time and it’s only gotten bigger. We started out with $100 and now we’re up to $2,000 a year.”

    Over the years, the scholarship program has benefitted 17 students, with approximately $14,000 awarded.

    “It’s amazing when you think about it.”

    To support all of their efforts, the club holds various fundraisers throughout the year. Their annual Baby Hydreangea sale on Mother’s Day has been a hit in the last few years. Arni said that, to change it up, the club is planning a Downton Abbey Tea in the spring.

    She said the club has been active in the community because of its members.

    “We’ve all been busy in our professional lives, and it’s time to give back now. I think that’s sort of where we are. This is such a nice area, and we’re happy to be here,” she said.

    Arni noted that it’s also because of their association with the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs.

    “They’ve been in existence for over 60 years. They have different programs and awards to the individual garden clubs for some of these achievements we do in the community. I think when you belong to an organization like that, it makes you a better club, because they have a history, a background of what you might do that you may not even think about yourself.”

    Arni said one of the biggest assets of having the club form through open membership was the mixture of membership they were able to acquire.

    “This whole group would never have come together and met… We never would’ve known each other, ever, because it wasn’t formed from friends of friends. Since it was open to the community, when we have varying levels of gardeners … we’ve got an eclectic mix of people.”

    She said those who have an interest in gardening and want to be an active member should consider filling one of the club’s open spots and make a few friends, as well.

    “I think the biggest impact was, if you were new and you didn’t know anyone, you could come here. I think that was the biggest asset at the time. I know there are people out there now that are in the same position. They don’t know anybody; they don’t know where to go to find people to be friends with. This just opens up an avenue for friendship. In the end, ultimately that’s what came to be.”

    To learn more about Gardeners by the Sea or for inquiries regarding membership, call (302) 537-6238.

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    A selection of the area’s musical talent will be on display this weekend at Big Chill Surf Cantina, for CoChilla — a unique event that showcases local songwriters while raising money for the Georgetown SPCA.

    “CoChilla has grown bigger and better with each event, since the first in 2013,” said Melissa Alesi, a local musician who created the event. “Having dogs come out with their owners really makes the event feel different from other fundraisers. It’s a fun, inviting atmosphere, and we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback in the past.”

    The event will be held this Sunday, Oct. 18, at the Big Chill in Rehoboth Beach, from 4 to 8 p.m. Humans and their dogs are welcome to attend, with pups receiving a free dog treat to enjoy that evening.

    “Ideally, the event will be outside on the stage,” said Alesi. “The Big Chill has an amazing outdoor space that’s perfect for listening and also for owners to bring their dogs. Dogs are welcome and encouraged. We have a fun time socializing with the dogs and they enjoy it, too!”

    During the event, 10 percent of the total sales at Big Chill will be donated to the Georgetown SPCA. Additionally, that evening there will be a silent auction items from the Cultured Pearl, Concord Pets—Rehoboth, Casa DiLeo’s, Midway Fitness & Racquetball, Good News Natural Foods, Pineapple Princess Swimwear, 16 Mile Brewery, Oasis Wellness Spa and Mark Stoehr for pet acupuncture sessions. All proceeds from the silent auction, as well as a 50/50 raffle, private donations and a wine grab-bag, will go to the local SPCA.

    “Atlantic Liquors has donated wine for our Wine Grab-Bag,” explained Alesi. “The bottles will be concealed in a bag, and for a donation of $10, you get to choose a bag. So you walk away with a bottle of wine, but it’s a surprise which bottle you’ll get.”

    The event was created by Alesi, a local musician and songwriter, three years ago, as a way for local musicians to showcase their original music.

    “This area has a great music scene, but when I spoke to some of my musician friends that are gigging in the circuit, they also felt as if they had to stay confined within the ‘cover band’ box. There are really great singer-songwriters right here in our back yard that are writing music that should be heard!

    “I am also an animal lover, and when I realized that the Big Chill was regularly hosting fundraising events for local organizations, I saw an opportunity to bring people out to raise money for the animals and feature local artists at the event.

    “The attendees really enjoyed hearing different music from their favorite local artists, and the artists really enjoyed getting to play their own songs in a place where they felt encouraged to share them. To raise money for the Delaware SPCA, and be able to do it in such a way that’s very personal and fun for the musicians and attendees, is something that I am very proud to be a part of.”

    Alesi thanked the event’s sponsors, Oasis Wellness Spa and Alesi Construction, who have helped her get the word out.

    “[They] have generously donated to cover the expense of radio advertisements on 93.5. We will also be talking about the event live on 98.1 and all the details this Friday, Oct. 6, at 6 with D.J. BK.”

    Along with Alesi, local musicians scheduled to perform include Bryan Russo, Taylor Knox, Tyler Greene, Jodi Lynn Cohee and Honey Queen.

    “It’s important for local artists to have an outlet to perform original material, because this is our passion! These songs are from within us, and to have a place that encourages original material gives us a chance to break out of that cover-material box and share another side of us.

    “And the audience enjoys the original material just as much as we enjoy playing it. It’s a refreshing and magical experience for both the audience and musicians, to have other people getting into a piece that you wrote.”

    Alesi said she hopes the event will continue to grow in the coming years, in attendance and support.

    “A big thanks to the Big Chill Surf Cantina for holding the event. I hope we can continue to expand and get more donations for silent auctions, more and more attendees coming out with their dogs, and more musicians eager to donate their time,” she said.

    Big Chill Surf Cantina is located at 19406 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach. For more information, call (302) 727-5568, or visit

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    Delaware State Police this week were continuing their investigating a fatal crash that occurred last week just outside Frankford.

    The incident, which occurred around 5:15 p.m. on Oct. 7, involved a 17-year-old Frankford boy who was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe. Police said the 17-year-old was traveling southbound on Pepper Road, approaching the intersection of Gum Road with the intention of turning left onto Gum Road. At that same time, Toyana S. Knight Jr., 20 of Seaford, was driving a 2003 Suzuki GSXR600 motorcycle northbound on Pepper Road, approaching the intersection of Gum Road.

    According to police, the 17-year-old failed to perceive the motorcycle approaching and turned left directly in front of it. Although Knight applied his brakes, he was unable to avoid striking the right side of the Tahoe.

    DSP said that Knight was wearing a Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Knight was removed from the scene by EMS and transported to Atlantic General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from multiple traumatic injuries.

    The 17-year-old male, whose name is being withheld due to his age, was properly restrained and was uninjured, police said.

    “No charges have been filed at this time, as the investigation is still ongoing,” said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier, DSP public information officer, this week.

    Officials said Pepper Road at Gum Road was closed for approximately 3.5 hours while the crash was investigated and cleared. As of mid-week Fournier said DSP had no updates on the investigation.

    “When the investigation is completed, the entire case will be presented to the Sussex County Department of Justice for determination on charge(s) to be filed. This could take between two to three months, depending on the completion of the following; reconstruction, forensic mapping, additional interviews, report writing, toxicology reports, phone records/analysis, etc.

    “There are times when an immediate arrest occurs in fatal crashes. Usually, the immediate arrests occur in extremely egregious cases, where enough evidence is immediately known to meet the criteria for felony level crimes, such as manslaughter, vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal crash, or the identity and possibility of flight are in question.

    “Regardless of whether charges occur immediately after the crash or following the completion of the investigation, that decision is made by the Department of Justice,” he said.

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    As part of the Route 26 Mainline Improvements Project, Railway Road will have a one-week detour this coming week. Railway Road will remain completely open in Millville, except where it intersects with Route 26. The intersection needs to be rebuilt. Weather permitting, the closure will occur from Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct. 23.

    Drivers can detour from Route 26 using Club House Road or Whites Neck Road, both of which intersect with Old Mill Road, which connects to Railway Road.

    “It’s going to be very similar to the West Avenue closure. You’ll be able to get all the way up Railway to get to homes, but you won’t be able [to reach] Route 26,” reported Ken Cimino, resident engineer with AECOM.

    Meanwhile, West Avenue in Ocean View is halfway through its nearly-seven-week closure, scheduled to end Nov. 6. That project is on scheduled, Cimino said at the Route 26 construction advisory group’s public meeting on Oct. 13.

    It “was a learning day” when that road first closed, he said, but things have calmed down, and with more signage and traffic barrels, fewer drivers are cutting through the business parking lots.

    At the western edge of the project, near St. George’s U.M. Church in Clarksville, the new road configuration is visible, as Route 26 will curve to become the dominant road there. Omar Road will “T” into Powell Farm Road, which will “T” into Route 26.

    Expansion is mostly done from Central Avenue to Old Mill Road, with sidewalks, drainage and widening. New striping will be painted so drivers can start using a shared center turn lane and bicycle lanes. The very final layer of pavement and striping will be done at a later date.

    The builders and construction managers are taking advantage of good weather, still looking to reduce the project end-date from Sept. 7, 2016, he said.

    “We’re looking for ways to pick up some of the time we lost due to weather over the last two years now. We’ve allowed [contractor] George & Lynch, after Labor Day … to have early-morning lane closures, stating at 9 a.m., to get out there and continue,” Cimino said. “I do believe we’ve seen some benefits of that in picking up some lost days … we’re going to continue to look for every available day that we can get.”

    To reduce flooding during recent heavy rainfall, the team had removed sediment bags from the drainage systems. Like a towel under a faucet, the sediment bags prevent clogging of the pipes below, but they were hauled out completely so water could exit the roads as quickly as possible. Meant to reduce erosion, the bags are replaced after storms.

    Two traffic signals that were installed for the detours on Central Avenue were meant to be temporary, until the Town of Ocean View requested permanent signals to control traffic at Cedar Drive and Windmill Road.

    The project team was instructed to study the temporary signals with summer and fall traffic.

    “There’s different warrants they have to meet. Cedar and Central met some warrants during summer traffic. In fall, I don’t think either signal met the warrants,” said Chief Engineer Jill Frey of Century Engineering.

    DelDOT’s Traffic Section will make the final decision about whether to leave the signals in place, remove them or study the intersections again in springtime.

    Next to Lord Baltimore Elementary School, well-worn Old School Lane got a slight upgrade. It’s not part of the Route 26 project, but the builders laid some extra pavement anyway, from the school entrance to Route 26.

    This August, children got to visit the construction site near their school, as Cimino and other project team members talked about the sidewalk construction and answered questions.

    Ken Cimino responds to all public questions and complaints regarding Route 26 construction. People can contact him at (302) 616-2621 or email

    The next public meeting will be Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall.

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    Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Scott McCurdy, owner of North Bay Marina, receives recognition from Special Olympics Delaware for North Bay’s donation of a pontoon boat to the organization for the last two years.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Scott McCurdy, owner of North Bay Marina, receives recognition from Special Olympics Delaware for North Bay’s donation of a pontoon boat to the organization for the last two years.For the last 15 years, Delaware Special Olympics athletes from all over the state have been able to attend an annual summer camp at Camp Barnes. Campers are given a traditional overnight summer camp experience, including fishing, crafts and a dance.

    One of the highlights of the camp for the athletes over the last few years has been a pontoon boat cruise on the Little Assawoman Bay.

    “It’s a long day; eight cruises,” said Paul Daisy, who captains the boat.

    “They really, really enjoy it. If you ever watch these athletes while we’re cruising down the water, they’re just smiling,” added first mate Tony Gough.

    The pontoon boat has been donated by North Bay Marina for the last two years. To show their appreciation for the business, Special Olympics Delaware recently presented owner Scott McCurdy with a plaque.

    “He sends us the best pontoons, the nicest pontoons. The one we had this year was brand new,” said Marie McIntosh, a coach for the Sussex Riptide and Special Olympics Delaware volunteer. “[The athletes] love this part. They look forward to it. They ask us about it. Some of the athletes, this is their first time on a boat. It’s something they’ve never been able to do before, and it’s different.”

    Daisy said that not only is the boat donated for the day, but North Bay Marina preps and cleans the boat, fills it with fuel and provides a truck to tow it to the water.

    “All the life jackets are in there. It’s all ready to go when we get here,” he added.

    Daisy’s son Justin is an athlete who has attended the camp for years and said he likes “having fun” on the pontoon boat when it’s at camp.

    Having grown up on the water, Daisy, an athlete on Sussex Riptide, added that his favorite part about being on the water is fishing.

    “I’ve caught sailfish in Florida before,” he added.

    McCurdy said donating the pontoon boat to the camp has been an easy decision for him and his business.

    “We’ve always supported Camp Barnes. They came to us and asked us if they could have a boat to use, and we said, ‘Sure!’ It’s a no-brainer. It was so easy,” he said.

    Although McCurdy has been to Camp Barnes lots of times over the years, he hasn’t been to the Special Olympics camps, yet.

    McCurdy said he plans to continue to donate a boat to the camp in the years to come and support great organizations in the community.

    “We’ve been in this community for 35 years, in the same place. Camp Barnes has been a part of the community for years. We’ve always tried to support the different types of activities they do there. This is one of many worthwhile, positive activities that go on at camp,” he said.

    “In all the pictures, everybody’s smiling — that’s what counts.”

    For more information about Special Olympics Delaware, visit

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