Articles on this Page
- 03/31/16--09:40: _Dewey Beach Color R...
- 03/31/16--10:16: _Paws of Tomorrow of...
- 03/31/16--12:11: _Mentalist duo to ap...
- 03/31/16--12:12: _Coastal Camera Club...
- 03/31/16--12:13: _Will the athlete in...
- 03/31/16--12:14: _Short story and mem...
- 03/31/16--12:45: _Veteran services di...
- 03/31/16--13:37: _Plans now in hand f...
- 03/31/16--13:50: _Sussex Central is l...
- 03/31/16--13:53: _Community pulls tog...
- 03/31/16--13:54: _Weiss family rememb...
- 03/31/16--13:57: _Aquaculture still o...
- 03/31/16--13:58: _Freeman Stage annou...
- 04/04/16--11:22: _‘The chance to drea...
- 04/07/16--08:26: _Ocean to Bay Bike T...
- 04/07/16--08:28: _Delmarva Birding We...
- 04/07/16--08:43: _Skippers learn rule...
- 04/07/16--11:07: _Clear Space heads ‘...
- 04/07/16--12:10: _Pet Corner: ‘Cheep’...
- 04/07/16--12:12: _Beth’emian Rhapsody
- 03/31/16--09:40: Dewey Beach Color Run set for Sunday, June 5
- 03/31/16--10:16: Paws of Tomorrow offers rescue dogs a second chance
- 03/31/16--12:11: Mentalist duo to appear at Dickens Parlour Theatre
- 03/31/16--12:12: Coastal Camera Club to host photo-printing workshop
- 03/31/16--12:13: Will the athlete in your house need Tommy John surgery?
- 03/31/16--12:14: Short story and memoir classes to begin in April
- 03/31/16--12:45: Veteran services discussed in Sussex presentation
- 03/31/16--13:37: Plans now in hand for Selbyville water plant
- 03/31/16--13:50: Sussex Central is leading county to mock trial greatness
- 03/31/16--13:53: Community pulls together for Kramer
- 03/31/16--13:54: Weiss family remembers baby Carly Marie with paddle-out
- 03/31/16--13:57: Aquaculture still open to public comments
- 03/31/16--13:58: Freeman Stage announces lineup for ninth season
- 04/07/16--08:26: Ocean to Bay Bike Tour gears up for April 16
- 04/07/16--08:28: Delmarva Birding Weekend offers a flock of field trips
- 04/07/16--08:43: Skippers learn rules of the water in safe-boating courses
- 04/07/16--11:07: Clear Space heads ‘Into the Woods, Jr.’
- 04/07/16--12:10: Pet Corner: ‘Cheep’ feeders and seed are ‘for the birds’
- 04/07/16--12:12: Beth’emian Rhapsody
The third Dewey Color Run, a 2.8-mile non-competitive run-walk, will be held Sunday, June 5, 2016 at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach. A Ten Sisters of Dewey Beach Road Race Series event, it will include seven color stations on the route. (The color powder is manufactured in the U.S., and is made from food-grade cornstarch. It is non-toxic and biodegradable. Participants can wear glasses or goggles to protect their eyes.)
Same-day registration for the race opens at 8:30 a.m., with a 10 a.m. race start. Pre-event packet pick-up will take place Saturday, June 4, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Rusty Rudder. Participants can register online at http://www.races2run.com/events/color-dewey/ (online registration closes June 2 at noon) or by mail at Dewey Color Run, c/o Races2Run, P.O. Box 24, Montchanin, DE 19710 (make checks payable to Highway One Group). The entry fee is $35 until Feb. 1, $40 from Feb. 2 through June 2 at noon and $45 afterward.
The event will feature a flat course starting at the Rusty Rudder, with “color stops” at the Rusty Rudder, Ivy, Bottle & Cork, Jimmy’s Grill, Highway One at Andrews Street, and North Beach, and bonus color at the finish line at North Beach.
No strollers or dogs are allowed, and bibs are non-transferable. Registered participants (limited to 1,500) will receive an official Dewey Color Run T-shirt, sweatband, swag bag and color packs and will be able to attend a post-race party at Northbeach, with food and beer for those 21 or older and live music. Volunteer opportunities are available.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a brief sabbatical, Paws of Tomorrow, an area animal-rescue organization, is back in business, looking to help the local rescue-dog population find forever homes.
According to its website, Paws’ goal is “to rescue, provide sanctuary and rehome abandoned, stray and neglected animals within our local area.”
“We are a foster-based organization,” explained April Fels, who founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit. “All of our dogs go into foster homes. Basically, if someone is wanting to surrender an animal, they can call us or they can go on our website and fill out an owner surrender form. Then we contact them and try to figure out what would be the best foster situation for that dog, and then we move them into foster care. If it’s a stray, we try to help with those also.”
Paws of Tomorrow helps foster and adopt out strays, as well as dogs in area shelters.
“The shelters are so overpopulated that we are then able to help them,” Fels said. “We try not to pull the dogs that are the super-adoptable dogs. You can go to the shelter and anyone is going to adopt the cute fluffy little dog. We go in and take the dog that might be the snappy Chihuahua, or the dog that might need medical care, or the senior dog that’s never going to get adopted in a shelter.
“We go in and take the dogs that are a little bit more difficult, and then we turn them into the super-adoptable dogs. So, whether it’s they need some training or some vet care or some love, we try to be to people that take those dogs that would be unadoptable in a shelter and make them super-adoptable and appealing.”
In fact, Fels is so good at rescuing the more difficult dogs that she has been dubbed “the Chihuahua whisper.”
“Because if anyone gets an aggressive Chihuahua at the shelter, they call me. I got three this week, and within two days they’re just as sweet as can be. They were just super-scared. You put a Chihuahua in a shelter, and they’re just scared to death.”
Paws of Tomorrow was founded in 2008 by Fels, who had previously worked in rescue.
“I started learning about gas-chamber euthanasia and realized that down South they still use gas chambers. If you’ve ever been to one of those shelters or seen the videos, it’s just horrible. At that point, I felt I couldn’t just walk away — I had to do something.
“You can’t change the laws, so the only thing I could do was try to save some animals,” explained Fels. “We used to take a lot of dogs from down South, but now, obviously, Delaware is having enough problems with their animal control... So we’re trying to help the majority of animals from here.”
Between its inception and 2012, Paws of Tomorrow rescued 2,373 dogs; however, after holding a local adoption event, a pregnant Fels had her water break prematurely. She was placed on bedrest in Johns Hopkins Hospital at 20 weeks pregnant, for five weeks before her son was born. He then remained in the NICU for six months.
“So the rescue got put on hold for a while,” she said.
“I’m excited to be back… I think once you start rescuing, rescue is in your blood. You have to love rescue to keep doing it, because it’s very difficult to do. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love, besides parenting,” she said with a laugh.
Although previously the organization had had as many as 80 dogs being fostered at one time, Fels said she hopes to keep the number around 20 this time around.
“We are always, always looking for volunteers and most definitely fosters,” she said. “Fostering is super-difficult. People are afraid to foster because they’re afraid they’ll never be able to give them up, and that happens a lot.”
Fels is also working on putting together a foster-to-adopt program for volunteer fosterers and potential adoptive owners.
“It’s a win-win for everybody. We are able to save a dog, but at the same time you can foster that dog for a period of time before you have to decide whether or not you want to adopt it. That way, you don’t have to bring a dog blindly into your home to adopt; you can foster it first to see if it fits your home well.”
She added that Paws is always looking for willing volunteers who don’t necessarily want to foster.
“Even if it’s just to help take dogs to the vet, or helping hold animals at adoptions, or helping plan fundraisers — there are lots of ways to volunteer. We have a great group of volunteers,” she said. “We’re all volunteers. None of us are paid. We all do this just to help the animals.”
Earlier this month, Paws of Tomorrow opened up office space at Wags to Riches Pet Grooming in Selbyville. Community members will be able to meet their fosters there, by appointment only, learn more about the nonprofit and make donations.
Fels, who owns a number of area businesses with her husband, including Summer Salts Café, said she has experience organizing fundraisers through her work at the restaurant and hopes to plan similar events to raise funds for Paws of Tomorrow.
“I’m trying to figure out away, even though we’re nonprofit, that we can give back to the community. One of the things I’m trying to set up is a food pantry and the discount vaccine clinic,” she added.
“Basically, if someone is struggling to buy food for their animal, they can contact us, and we would be able to provide food for their animal so they don’t have to give them up. We would also help with vaccines. We’re hoping to every so often set up a clinic, say, where the first 50 people there we would help with low-cost vaccines.”
For now, Fels said, Paws of Tomorrow is working off of donations provided by the community, for which she is thankful. She said donations are welcome in a variety of manners, including monetary and goods.
“Donations are super-helpful,” she said. “All of our animals go to the Berlin Animal Hospital. If someone wants to donate directly to our vet care, they can call Berlin to do that as well.”
Fels said she is excited that Paws of Tomorrow is back in action and helping local dogs find the perfect home.
“It’s so rewarding. That’s why we keep doing what we do.”
For more information about Paws of Tomorrow, visit www.pawsoftomorrow.dog or www.facebook.com/pawsoftomorrow, or email email@example.com. Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 801, Ocean View, DE 19970. Wags to Riches is located at 36656 Lighthouse Road in Selbyville.
Jeff and Tessa Evason are coming to Millville later this month to entertain with a demonstration of the “paranormal,” representatives of Dickens Parlour Theatre announced this week.
“Since 1983, the Evasons, who are based in Toronto and Annapolis, have astounded audiences the world over. Their performance is a mind-blowing repertoire of paranormal feats. Audiences react with wide-eyed wonder when Tessa and Jeff demonstrate their skills in ESP, telepathy, super memory, prediction, telekinesis and levitation.”
Described as a “slick blend of interactive demonstration, comic relief and spellbinding entertainment,” they said the Evasons’ show “is definitely not a magic show. There are no wires or hidden communication devices. Nothing is prearranged with secret assistants or audience members. In fact, the Evasons offer $100,000 to anybody who can prove otherwise. The experience defies explanation. And maybe that’s why the crowds go wild at every show.”
On NBC’s “World’s Greatest Magic V,” the Evasons were called: “The finest act of its kind in the world,” while their performance on Fox’s “Powers of the Paranormal” was touted as: “The most amazing mind reading act you’ve ever seen.” The Discovery Channel hailed them as: “A new generation of mentalists.”
Siegfried & Roy named The Evasons their favorite act, awarding them the SARMOTI Award at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas. They have also been named the Psychic Entertainers Association’s Performers of the Year.
“Many times during our show, people are totally speechless because they’ve never seen anything like this before.” said Jeff Evason. “One moment in particular is absolutely shocking. Afterwards, we ask how many people got goosebumps and a lot of hands go up!”
The Evasons said they think it’s good for people to be skeptical and to ask questions about things they don’t understand. “We often ask how many in the audience have called the TV psychic hotlines,” said Tessa Evason. “And when we ask if they called back a second time, very few hands go up.”
“Our main focus is to entertain and inspire our audience,” said Jeff Evason. “Hopefully, we give everybody an experience they will never forget!”
The Evasons will be appearing at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on March 31 and April 1 and 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets can be obtained by calling (302) 829-1071 or visiting dptmagic.com.
On the day before the fourth annual Photo Beach Bash, the Coastal Camera Club (CCC) will host a Photo Printing Workshop.
“Attendees will learn from one of the best in the field, Joe Brady, as he takes students step-by-step through the techniques and gear that make great prints fast, easy and repeatable,” organizers said. Brady is a nationally known photographer and will also be speaker at the Photo Beach Bash. He is also an X-Rite Coloratti and Sony Artisan of Imagery. For more information, see Brady’s website at www.joebradyphotography.com.
The workshop will begin at noon on Saturday, April 16, in the Osprey Conference Room on the second floor of the Atlantic Sands Hotel in Rehoboth Beach. The cost will be $59. Anyone interested in attending can send a check made out to the Coastal Camera Club, P.O. Box 458, Nassau, DE 19969. Cash will also be accepted at the door.
Baseball fever is setting in for all of us who love the game. The pros are at spring training and school teams and clubs are ready to take to the field. There’s something about hearing the words, “play ball” that gives me a thrill. Spring training is the time to get back into baseball shape and get the mechanics straight, but from spring training throughout the season, the risk of injuries are there as in any sport.
We’ve talked about baseball injuries before, but I’m going to have you focus on a big issue because it is often misunderstood and the numbers of pro and amateur athletes being treated with this kind of procedure have jumped dramatically over the last few years. Tommy John surgery is a hot topic in baseball, but do you really understand what it treats, how it works and the many misconceptions there are about it? If the athlete in your house might be considering it now or could be looking at as an option someday, it helps to get a reality check.
Usually, college and pro baseball players are the ones who have the kinds of injuries that lead to Tommy John surgery, but younger people sometimes require this kind of surgical intervention, too. Pitchers are especially prone to the type of injury that can cause consideration of this surgery. But, it’s important for you to know is that it’s not just baseball players who may need this surgery. Sports involving repeated, demanding use of elbows can make a variety of athletes candidates for Tommy John surgery. While baseball tops the list by a big margin, softball, tennis, soccer, football, gymnastics, and even cheerleading are all sports where athletes can be at risk.
Tommy John surgery is a procedure that is done to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which is located in the elbow. It’s a reconstructive surgery. During Tommy John surgery, the surgeon takes a tendon from somewhere else in the body like a wrist, a thigh, a knee, a hip or forearm and uses it to reconstruct the damaged ligament. It’s a big deal because before Tommy John surgery, was performed and proved to be so effective, players suffering this kind of UCL injury were done. It was the end of their playing days whether pro or amateur.
No surgery should be taken lightly and medical professionals are the last ones to do so. Before the surgery is performed, doctors carefully check the symptoms because it is tricky to diagnose a UCL injury. One of the more typical symptoms is pain on the inside of the elbow. There might be a feeling of numbness in the ring finger or the pinky, the small finger. This is usually caused by irritation to the ulnar nerve. There might also be a feeling of instability in the elbow. Some people will describe it as if their elbow feels loose. Very often, there’s a decreased ability to perform the sport related activities that require use of the impacted elbow. It’s important to know that it’s very unusual for UCL injuries to limit activities associated with daily living and activities like running. That said, it has been known to happen.
At the first sign of a problem, you know the drill. Get yourself or that athlete in your house suffering with a problem to a doctor. Write down the key facts. When did the problem start? What are the symptoms? Have you had a problem like this before? As I always tell you, write down any medications and supplements, as well, to give your doctor a complete picture.
Expect that your medical professional will want to perform a physical examination. There may be some tests that will be performed that can include X-rays and an MRI. The information gathered from a complete picture is critical to making a diagnosis.
Obviously, it would be great if surgery can be avoided. Typically, medical professionals try noninvasive treatment first. Treatments before surgery is selected can often include icing, anti-inflammatory medications and rest. It usually includes physical therapy as well because a physical therapist with the proper sports specialty training and experience in treating sports injuries becomes a partner with the doctor in trying to resolve the injury without surgery. Physical therapy typically focuses on building a program that will help strengthen surrounding muscles to offset the injured UCL. Those who don’t respond to non-surgical treatments and pro athletes or those looking to go pro who are going to have persistent, vigorous use of their elbow often wind up with Tommy John surgery.
When it comes to healing, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of listening to the doctor and the physical therapist. Whether it’s a noninvasive treatment approach or post-surgery, there’s a reason for the process. Healing can’t be rushed. The dangers of causing setbacks and further injury are huge. They are giving you the benefit of years of expertise and the knowledge the athlete in your house needs to recover.
There’s a big controversy around the issue of Tommy John surgery these days and you should understand it. A number of young pro and even amateur athletes who are taking many more risks than they should involving overuse and pushing the limits because they figure they can always have Tommy John surgery and it’s no big deal. Surgery is always a big deal. There are always risks and there are no guarantees that the surgery will work. This is not the attitude to have and that’s why listening to parents, advisors, and coaches should be job number one for any athlete.
Another important element is proper preparation and training. Warm-ups and cool downs are part of it. Proper training teaches proper mechanics and that is a key part of avoiding injury. Proper conditioning prepares the body for the strenuous activities that can cause injury and builds capacity. If you have questions about conditioning, you can talk to your doctor. Don’t be surprised if you are referred to a physical therapist with the know how and experience to evaluate your young athlete and create the kind of conditioning program that is appropriate to the specific needs of the athlete and the sport.
The other part of the equation is the need for your athlete to understand the importance of proper nutrition, hydration and rest as a part of their regular routine. Nutrition and hydration shouldn’t require further explanation. I put those in the no brainer category. The controversy that can be most frustrating for coaches, parents and medical professionals surrounds rest. Injury or no injury, every athlete wants to play and play as often as possible. The problem is that without the proper rest, the body is not able to heal properly. A good example of this is what happens to pitchers. Small tears in the tissue are a normal part of what happens with pitching. Those tears need to heal and they won’t heal without rest. I have these kinds of conversations with athletes all the time. They’re getting physical therapy because of an injury and they want to bargain over recovery time. My answer? It’s not going to happen.
I’ll leave you with the words of former pro pitcher Randy Johnson. He was the tallest player in big league history and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame last year. Known as “The Big Unit,” he was a dominating left-hander who had his share of injuries. His philosophy on injuries was, “Work hard. And have patience. Because no matter who you are, you’re going to get hurt in your career and you have to be patient to get through the injuries.” Nothing earth shattering about those words except good old common sense. They remind us what we all should know and remember.
Bob Cairo is a licensed Physical Therapist at Tidewater Physical Therapy He can be-reached by calling (302)537-7260.
The Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild is offering two new classes — one in fiction, one in creative nonfiction — both slated to begin the first week of April. Each class is being taught in a workshop method and is limited to seven participants per class, allowing writers ample time to read their work and receive constructive feedback. Registration is ongoing and is handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
In “Write Your Short Story in Six Weeks,” taught by Sarah Barnett, writers of all levels will write a short story, start to finish, using opening lines from “The First Line Journal” (www.thefirstline.com). The goal is for participants to have a completed story to submit to the journal at the end of the workshop.
Each week, the class will develop another aspect of the story, studying examples of well-known short stories for inspiration and guidance. “Ron Carlson Writes a Story” will serve as the text (copies available at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach).
“I’m not a short story writer, but I’ve taken Sarah’s class twice,” said writer and executive director of the guild, Maribeth Fischer, “and both times I’ve ended up with a story that I couldn’t have written without the class.”
Barnett, who leads the guild’s weekly Saturday Free Writes, was the winner of the inaugural Beach Reads contest and has published a number of short stories in literary reviews. The class will take place Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., April 6 to May 18 (no class May 4), at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior (behind Big Fish Grille in Rehoboth). The cost is $225 for RBWG members and $255 for non-RBWG members.
In the eight-week class “Telling True Stories: Writing Creative Nonfiction,” taught by Judy Catterton, an award-winning essayist and 2015 recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts fellowship for Creative Nonfiction, writers interested in writing a memoir or essays, or those who want to memorialize the events of their life for children or grandchildren, will explore how to write about their lives truthfully but in a creative and interesting way.
Participants will look at how incorporating literary techniques such as dialogue, detailed descriptions of scene, research and questioning can move pleasant anecdotes or family stories into evocative essays. The class will be held on Thursdays, April 7 to May 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Catterton’s home in Kings Creek. The cost for RBWG members is $360, and the cost for non-RBWG members is $400.
For more information about these classes or others (starting later in the month) information about either teacher, or information about the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild, which offers a number of Free Writes each week, as well as a monthly Night of Song & Stories, go to www.rehobothbeachwritersguild.com. To register for these classes or to inquire about any of the guild’s programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sussex County Advisory Committee on Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities held a presentation on veteran services in Sussex County on March 21.
Laurie Corsa, a veterans’ service officer for the Delaware Commission on Veterans Affairs who presented to those in attendance said the number of veterans in Sussex County have now surpassed that of Kent County.
Corsa said she helps with a variety of services, including filing service-connected claims for veterans, claims for widows of veterans, and get individuals enrolled in the healthcare system.
She added that the community-based outpatient clinic, CBOC in Georgetown would be expanding next year and offering more services including a hearing and eye clinic, as well as X-ray services.
“The VA does provide transportation up to Wilmington Monday through Thursday. The bus leaves at 7:30 in the morning. The only thing is, you have to have an appointment up in Wilmington to get on the bus that day,” she said. “It’s an all day affair.”
Corsa said she realizes 90 miles away is a haul, especially for a disabled veteran, and hopes the new facility will help.
“I will do everything I can no matter what your questions or concerns are. I do not have a problem calling my director and I do not have a problem calling a United States Senator’s office. As far as I’m concerned, they work for me.”
“Why aren’t all veterans in Sussex County given the Choice Program,” asked Patrick J. Moonan, a Vietnam veteran who received a Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for his service. “I consider traveling 100 miles one way burdensome.”
Corsa said the Choice Program was the VA’s response to what was happening in Phoenix, Ariz. when veterans were being placed on a waiting list to be seen by a VA doctor.
“And they were dying while waiting on the list,” she said. “So they came up with this Choice program. The bad thing about the Choice Program is, everything has to be pre-approved prior to you going to an outpatient doctor.”
Moonan said he has been in the VA system since 1969, and little has been done for veterans, stating Sen. Tom Carper “not cosponsored one veterans bill.”
Corsa encouraged everyone to contact their elected officials to advocate for more veterans’ services.
“My problem with Delaware is, our Vice President [Joe Biden] is from Delaware. We should not be having these problems,” she added.
“I want to know what the people in this room have done for the veterans in Sussex County,” said Moonan. “Nothing…. It’s disgusting, it’s dishonest, it’s repulsive what’s being done to the veterans in Sussex County.”
Walter Kooppman, a Korean War veteran, said he volunteered to serve in the military three days out of high school at the age of 17.
“If you’re not a veteran… It’s hard for somebody who’s not had this experience to understand our feelings and our thinking about our fellow veteran, “he said. “We all had a job to do no matter what branch of the service we were in — whether you were home duty or combat.”
Koopman said Corsa does great work for people, and “gets the job done.”
Corsa said many veterans prior to the Gulf War are unaware of the benefits offered through the VA.
“I was in the Army and we weren’t told squat,” she said. “We’re trying to change that attitude as far as the benefits the veterans and their families are entitled to.”
Things such as schooling, housing, life insurance and more is eligible to veterans. Corsa encouraged veterans to visit her office to find out what programs and services they are eligible to receive.
Veterans weren’t the only persons in attendance at the meeting. Barbie McDaniel. Physician Representative at Delaware Hospice, Inc. spoke to the group stating Hospice has a program called Sharing My Story.
“A lot of veterans don’t share their story with their family because they don’t want to burden them with what they’ve struggled through,” she said. “But at the end of life we find that they want to share that story. We can put on a video or a CD what their story is and a lot of them are leaving that behind as their legacy.”
Anthony DelFranco of CHEER was also in attendance, said the organization is focusing more of their activities to veterans because they are becoming a large part of the Sussex County population.
Linda Forte of Easter Seals said as the wife of a Vietnam veteran, veterans’ services is an issue close to her heart.
“Whatever we can do at Easter Seals, we would love to help you.”
Selbyville made headway on the new water filtration system that will fill a whole building.
Town Council approved the winning bid for a system intended to strip gasoline additive MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether) from town tap water.
They got four bids, ranging from $2,221,000 low to $2,765,000. Council voted on March 14 to award the contract to apparent low bidder M2 Construction of Landisville, Pa.
The price-tag is within the expected range. In a 2013 referendum, residents approved a $2,526,300 loan from Delaware Drinking Water Revolving Fund. With zero-percent interest and principal forgiveness upon project completion, this is basically grant money.
Bidding occurred about one year later than originally expected, since design and state permitting took longer than expected.
Fortunately, the digging of new town wells has already improved Selbyville’s water source in the last year. Resident Lucille Creel told Town Council the water has tasted better lately. That’s because the water is better quality and needs fewer chemicals, said Councilmember Rick Duncan Sr.
This is a one-year construction contract, whenever it begins. There’s still paperwork to do, and actual construction could begin, at the very least, in two months.
Town budget approved
Town Council unanimously approved a budget for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2017.
“It’s just a guideline we go by to kind of keep us in line,” said Councilmember Clarence “Bud” Tingle Jr..
Budgeted income and expenses both equal about $3.89 million, an increase from last year’s $3.6 million.
Compared to last year’s budget, some major income increases include Realty transfer taxes, expected to jump by about 50 percent to $225,000, and licenses and permits increasing by about 40 percent to $230,000.
Between increases in sewer billings, licenses, permits and commercial user fees, total sewer income will increase by 18 percent to $1,579,620. That’s about 41 percent of Selbyville’s income.
Water Department income will increase by about 10 percent to $697,000.
Selbyville will continue to receive $57,000 in Municipal Street Aid from the State of Delaware.
Town salaries cost about $1,135,300. Police wages are about $489,900, which is a similar number for all other police-related expenses.
The sewer system (not salary-related) costs about 30 percent of the budget. That $1.155 million is up by about 30 percent from last year.
Water expenses (not salary) also increased to $468,000.
The budget is posted at Town Hall, where detailed financial statements are available for public viewing.
In other Selbyville news:
• Selbyville Public Library is completing a Needs Assessment Study. The public survey can be completed online at www.selbyvillelibrary.org or in person.
A public brainstorming session will be held April 4 at 6 p.m.
“This is the time to dream big,” said Director Kelly Kline of potential expansions. “Anything on the wish list could be considered. So please come out.”
• The new police officer is patrolling the streets and doing well, said Chief W. Scott Collins. A new vehicle is about to come into service, too.
• The Youth Art Month reception was another successful event. Creel told the story of a little boy, years ago, who was “walking taller than ever” because he got to meet the mayor at the show. “So you don’t think you’re very important, but you are,” Creel told council.
• Because Selbyville is participating in the state program, people and sub-divisions can request spraying by Mosquito Control Section to reduce bugs and larvae. Just call Town Hall.
• Planning and Zoning has some action as a developer revamps some old plans.
Selbyville Town Village annexed into town years ago, but the housing project never began on Route 54. Now that Selbyville has new zoning options, the developer intends to re-draw its plans for a more interesting land concept (Town council will vote on the new plans later). Construction would happen in phases.
“The good news is we’re moving forward on that project,” said Councilmember Jay Murray. “It’s been around here a long time.”
The developer is asking for a change in zoning to reduce the 30-acre neighborhood businesses zone to about 6 acres. Town council had a straw vote of approval, but will ask the town solicitor’s input before voting officially.
• With state approval, Town Council passed a resolution to annex land on Cemetery Road into town. It’s currently owned by Eugene R. Parker, formerly owned by the O’Neal family. Council also voted to amend the Comprehensive Plan to place this in the R-4 Residential District, rather than the commercial district in which the area was originally envisioned.
• The next regular Selbyville Town Council meeting is Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m.
Sussex Central High School has proven that public schools can lead the state in a prestigious academic competition. This year, SCHS won second place in the 2016 Delaware State Mock Trial Competition.
That’s the highest a Sussex County team has ever advanced in the competition’s 25-year history.
Mock trial puts students in a real courtroom to argue either side of a fictional, but realistic, case.
This year’s fictional criminal trial involved a police officer accused of murder. During two days at New Castle Courthouse, the goal isn’t to win the actual case, but to prove mastery of courtroom proceedings, as judged by real attorneys and justices.
Every team has the same cast of characters, and they compete by arguing different sides of the case against other schools, before an actual Delaware justice. Each student attorney questions one witness from each side.
After three rounds, SCHS was named to the final four. Heading into the championship round against Wilmington Friends School, Sussex Central was briefly in first place.
Students used the school year to create plan of attack, with help from coaches Helen Elliott and Tom Murphy. Acting as attorneys, students must wring the most information from each witness, attacking and defending with just the right questions and objections.
Given only a witness statement, students also acted as witnesses, learning to withstand direct and cross-examination.
“I had to be prepared for really tough questions,” said Derya Sen, portraying a key witness who served as an alibi, despite being drunk and suffering short-term memory loss during the fictional incident.
Meanwhile, Daniella Furtado played a forensics specialist/expert witness (“We had to teach ourselves the forensics of it,” she said.).
Sussex Central’s personality helped set them apart from other teams. They brought character to the witnesses, wanting to do more than just recite the witness statements, word-for-word. Four years ago, they thought that was a winning strategy.
But with a background in theater, many of the students wanted to create a fleshed-out character.
“We can’t just be saying monotonous stuff. We have to give it something, and I think that’s what set us apart from a lot of teams this year,” said Devon Lynch. “It just makes it more believable for the jury.”
“I think we’ve really learned a lot. I think we also brought something new to the competition,” Megginson said. “When I started, at least, there weren’t many teams who had witnesses with a lot of character. It wasn’t until we started kind of walking the line and re-defining the role of attorney and witness, we started seeing it [elsewhere, too].”
“As a witness, it’s really important to get relevant information out,” said Nathan Greenlee, “especially when a lawyer will only take part of your statement and use part of your sentence against you. It’s your job to … say, ‘Yes, that’s true, but let me tell you what the rest of my statement says.’”
That also helps burn time in the competition.
Attorneys have to find the right balance to lead the questioning, without coaching their witness or being too aggressive on cross-examination.
Although they don’t develop characters, the attorneys have different styles of approaching a case. One likes to improvise, while another is an “ice queen” who isn’t easily derailed.
Megginson likes to play on emotions, making the witness angry, then tugging on the fishing line when the witness finally takes the bait.
Hailee Smith is the team’s evidence expert.
“When we get an objection that were not expecting, it’s better to know the rules of evidence so you’re better prepared for it,” Smith said. “[If] you can cite a rule for that, it gives you points for your team. A lot of the objections I got for my witness, I was prepared for because I knew the rules of evidence, so it made it a little bit easier to defend my witness.”
“Coming to mock trial, you don’t know how to make a hearsay objection,” said “attorney” Holly Williams, who learned how to phrase a question and how to pick apart witness statements. “You have to look so deeply at things.”
SCHS students have all learned a lot since the team formed six years ago.
Two attorney coaches have also brought professional expertise: Ashley Bickel, Esq., of the Gonser & Gonser law firm, and Eric Hacker, Esq., of the Morris James law firm.
“Without them and attorneys across the state who volunteer to coach at the various schools, this exceptional educational opportunity would not exist for students,” Elliott stated.
The first year is always a challenge for newcomers, said attorney coach Ashley Bickel. “But instead of not coming back, like so many schools do, I think it just lit a fire” under the SCHS students to learn more and do better.
Their dedication has continued for six years, with three-hour practices after school and on weekends.
“I think there was a class and a professionalism that Sussex Central brought to the competition that was not expected, and I think that was evident in the response when they announced the schools for finals,” Bickel said. “They deserved to be there, and they did an excellent job.”
The annual competition is sponsored by the Delaware Law Related Education Center (DLREC). Only one-third of the 25 entrants were public schools, said SCHS students, which seems intimidating at first.
But SC’s team proved their ability to make adjustments, even between rounds. A judge, who criticized them early on, later complimented the team for taking his advice, for adding questions and objections.
“They were all willing to learn new little tweaks to improve their skills,” said attorney coach Eric Hacker.
SCHS plaintiff team included attorneys Charlie Megginson IV, Hallie Smith and Holly Williams, plus witnesses, Daniel Keenan, Daniella Furtado and Derya Sen. The defense team had attorneys Bryce Molnar, Anya Klimitchev and Charlie Megginson IV; witnesses Devon Lynch, Nathan Greenlee and Daniel Keenan; and time keeper Faith Kinsler.
“From a coaching perspective, they did everything they should have done,” said coach Tom Murphy. “Everyone was a major contributor. There were no weak spots.”
SCHS also brought home ten gavel awards on Feb. 26 and 27. Holly Williams won a Best Attorney gavel; Charlie Megginson IV won three Best Attorney and one Best All-Around Attorney gavel; and Danny Keenan won three Best Witness, one Best All-Around Witness and Best Witness award of the championship round.
Some of the seniors will miss the program, but may join their college mock trial team.
Coach Helen Elliott is proudest when her alumni return to visit, and they want to study political science, intern at a law office or help advise the SCHS team (like J.T. Tober and Jacob Orledge).
“I feel that’s the success of the program: that the skills we’re sharing with the students are life skills that they’re going to carry with them,” Elliott said.
Elliott also thanked SCHS administration and Indian River Board of Education for their support, both in time and money.
Sussex Central has moved past the term “rebuilding year,” said Anya Klimitchev.
“Last year was supposed to be a ‘rebuilding year.’ When we placed sixth, after they placed 11th the previous year, it was a whole new ball game,” she said. “It wasn’t a rebuilding year. Every year’s a step up, no matter what, because we have people coming back. We’re all learning just so much. We all have a finesse [that we’ll seek in new teammates]. I don’t think it will be a rebuilding year next year. I think we’ll do just as well.”
Two organizations are holding fundraisers next weekend to help the family of Trevor Kramer, a local teen who died last month, with medical and funeral expenses.
The After-School Club of Hearts in Millville will sponsor a Quarter Auction on Saturday, April 9, to benefit the family of Kramer, an Indian River High School student and baseball player. Kramer attended the Club of Hearts as a younger child, according to Britney Fitzpatrick of Club of Hearts.
Fitzpatrick said that as a friend of Kramer’s family it has been heartening to see the support the community has given them in the months since Kramer’s brain cancer, which he had beaten 9 years earlier, aggressively returned. Kramer, a junior at IRHS, had been hospitalized at A. I. du Pont Hospital for Children following a brain bleed in January, caused by the new tumor.
The April 9 quarter auction will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Millville Fire Co., with doors opening at 5 p.m., Fitzpatrick said. Tickets will be available for $10 each at the After School Club of Hearts, behind Casapulla’s in Millville, from 2:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays, or $15 at the door the day of the event.
Participants will have the opportunity to bid on dozens of items and gift cards for restaurants as well as services donated by local businesses. Food such as hot dogs, pizza and baked goods will also be available.
Fitzpatrick said she fully expects the community to come out and support the family, including Trevor’s mother MaryJo and his stepfather, Gerald Brinson, just as they have in the past. “You see how the community pulls together at times like this,” she said. “It’s nice for the families to feel that.”
On Saturday, April 10, the Millville Fire Co. will set up for a second fundraiser for Trevor’s family – a benefit breakfast. Volunteers from the fire company and the community will be cooking and serving pancakes, eggs and scrapple from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to Velicia Melson, administrative assistant at the fire company.
Gerald Brinson, Trevor’s stepfather, is a truck lieutenant for the fire company, Melson said, and company wanted to support him and his family during the difficult days ahead, by helping to ease the burden of Trevor’s hospital and funeral expenses.
Local grocery stores Hocker’s Supercenter, Food Lion and Giant have donated food for the event. No tickets will be required; donations of $8 per adult and $5 per child 8 and under will be taken at the door, Melson said.
The breakfast will be served buffet style. Melson said the food will be prepared by “fire company members, Ladies’ Auxiliary, anybody who wants to show up and help out.”
“If you can’t take care of your own, then who can you take care of?” Melson said.
For more information on the Club of Hearts quarter auction, call Britney Fitzpatrick at 302-249-5789, Kristina Hassler at 302-449-9810 or stop by the after-school program on weekday afternoons from 2:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For more information on the breakfast, call Velicia Melson at the Millville Fire Co., 302-539-7557.
Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.
After experiencing a loss so great — the death of their three-month-old baby Carly Marie — the Weiss family is choosing to take their grief to the ocean and hold a paddle out in their daughter’s honor.
“She was three months old. She was a happy, beautiful baby girl,” said Mia Weiss, Carly’s mom. “She was born on Dec, 4. She was 6 pounds, 13 ounces, just the perfect little baby, hardly ever cried. She was so happy and she gave so many people joy. People you never would have thought would touch a baby were holding her and loved her.
“She touched so many peoples lives in the three months she was here, she was absolutely amazing.”
The Paddle Out for Carly Marie will be held this Sunday, April 3, beginning at 9 a.m., on the north side of the Indian River Inlet. Weiss said all are invited to join the family in the water or on the beach to celebrate Carly’s life.
“Come and celebrate her life, because it wasn’t a miserable life. She had an amazing life. She never ever was once harmed in any way… She wasn’t even teething. The only time the girl ever felt pain was when she had her vaccines,” Weiss said. “She was an amazing, amazing girl, and we miss her so much.”
Weiss has been surfing for two-and-a-half years with the encouragement of her husband Dalton who has been surfing since he was a young boy.
“We both surf around here, all year long. Even when it’s snowing out we’re in the water. A lot of people know us out in the water,” said Weiss, noting that the beach has always been a family affair.
“Bradley’s a little boogie boarder,” she said of their 3-year-old son. “Dad got him out on the surfboard when he wasn’t even a year old. He’s been out in the water forever. We’re beach people. We love to surf. My husband and I got married at Assawoman, right out on the bay. Then we went to the Outer Banks for our honeymoon. We camped and surfed the whole week.”
Weiss said she even surfed for most of her pregnancy with Carly Marie.
“She was born Dec. 4 and the first time she went on the beach was Dec. 6. We’d been to the beach probably 20 times in the three months. The girl was a beach bum. She went to sleep to ocean music every night. This is why I feel this is the perfect way to send her out.”
Carly Marie passed away peacefully on March 21, at her home.
“She passed away peacefully in her sleep,” said Weiss. “We don’t know… it’s probably SIDS. They told us it would probably take five weeks to find out and most of the time it’s inconclusive. It’s just something that happens…”
Weiss said she is good friends with Alexa Shoultes and Kyle Prettyman, who lost their little girl Alana Rose this past to Leukodystrophy.
“If anyone wants to give donations, they could give them to the Alana Rose Foundation,” said Weiss. “If people really feel they want to do something, give to their foundation. I really feel for them, too. And I know how they feel now, and I would never want anyone to feel the way we do. If my experience can help them out a little bit, I would love that.”
As for Sunday’s paddle out, Weiss said it’s the best way they would think to honor their little girl.
“I’m never going to be able to throw her her first birthday party or her sweet 16. This is so important to me, that I can do this for her, and send her off with a bang. I just want everyone in the community to come out and celebrate her life, because she had so much life.”
Weiss said people should remember that the water will be cold — around 50 degrees — and should be prepared for those conditions.
“Don’t come out in the water unless you have a wetsuit because I don’t want anyone getting hypothermia,” she said. “Be aware that the water is going to be very cold. You don’t have to be on a surfboard. We welcome anyone on anything — paddleboards, kayaks, boogie boards, skim boards, whatever. Any way you want. If you want to come out and just swim in the water. Anyone can come out. We’re going to have some things going on on the beach who want to come out… There’s probably going to be more people on the beach than out in the water.”
Having moved to the area four years ago from Dover, Weiss said she has been blown away by the support shown to her and her family.
“Dover’s not the nicest area; it’s not a small town like here. I didn’t know if I would like a small town…
“My husband was in an ATV accident in August, and the support I got from the community was outrageous. There was so much support,” she said. “Even now, there’s so much support. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. The support we get here in this community is just amazing and I would love to see that support out on the beach. Because that’s why we all live here — we love the beach!”
Weiss said she is antsy to get out in the water and to feel its healing powers, as it brings their family so much joy.
“It’s hard to explain,” said Weiss of her love for the ocean. “It teaches you valuable lessons about life, to me. It teaches you that, when you get out there, you can get really beat up but you can overcome that and you can be stronger than those waves. You can be the boss. You can control your life and do what you want to do. You can’t control nature, but you can try and go with it.”
She added that anyone and everyone in the community are welcome to attend the paddle out to help them in celebrating Carly Marie’s life.
“I just want everyone to be there and to be supportive, and to be in good spirits. I don’t want people there mourning, I want them celebrating.”
Now is the time to submit final comments about the creation of commercial shellfish aquaculture in the inland bays.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that it only seeks to include 343 acres as “Shellfish Aquaculture Development Areas” (SADA) in the inland bays, instead of the 442 acres originally proposed.
Currently, public comments are being accepted for the Statewide Activity Approval permitting process, being reviewed by the Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section. The SAA would facilitate the issuance of permits for commercial shellfish aquaculture activities on public subaqueous lands in Delaware’s Inland Bays.
A public hearing will not be held unless DNREC Sec. David Small decides to, or he receives a written meritorious objection to the application. “A public hearing request shall be deemed meritorious if it exhibits familiarity with the application and provides a reasoned statement of the action’s probable impact,” states the public notice.
One group calling for a public hearing may be homeowners along the Little Assawoman Bay.
“There are a number of issues still pending … that we’ve been bringing up for a year and a half that weren’t addressed by this process,” said Diane Maddex of the Water’s Edge neighborhood.
“We may have been behind the scenes, but we’ve still been talking,” Maddex said of the Coalition for Little Assawoman Bay, a group of nine Little Assawoman developments opposing aquaculture as proposed in 2014.
“We think what the secretary and DNREC have done is a good thing because it shows they’re recognizing all the things people have been bringing up for the past year and a half,” Maddex said.
The owners of Coastal Kayak were afraid they’d have to eliminate their Little Assawoman sailing program, with aquaculture plots to the north and south.
“They had always left a small gap for us right in front of our beach,” said co-owner Jenifer Adams-Mitchell, but that didn’t seem enough for sailboats to enter or exit the beach at an angle. She was pleased, but shocked when DNREC completely eliminated the northern site. But she’s concerned about the shallow water.
“The south is still problematic for us. The easternmost plots are so incredibly shallow. Kayaks can’t even get through there at low tide,” said Adams-Mitchell. Due to southern winds, she typically recommends that kayakers paddle south in summertime.
Delaware State Legislature passed the shellfish aquaculture bill in 2013, seeing this as a way to create economic growth and help clean the bays (oysters are known to filter water impurities). DNREC was given the authority to create regulations and pick the sites for development.
“Having a smaller number of plots allows DNREC to go forward with aquaculture in the Little Assawoman Bay, but it will be a test of whether the oysters are viable there,” Maddex said.
But the coalition and Coastal Kayak aren’t completely satisfied with DNREC’s recent announcement. They’ll still submit public comments to DNREC this month. Maddex wasn’t ready to reveal the coalition’s official opinion yet. But coalition members have cited a number of concerns: the negative visuals of PVC markers and (potential) floating cages; loose debris that could wash ashore after storms; noise and water pollution from the fishing vessels; and an unknown impact on wildlife.
“We’re not totally persuaded the bays are clean enough to grow enough oysters,” and the shallow bay still freezes in winter, Maddex said.
The number of sites and proximity to shore were just two of their many concerns that have been addressed.
The 20-day public comment period runs until Tuesday, April 12.
Comments are due to Gayle Calder, DNREC; Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section; 89 Kings Hwy.; Dover, DE 19901.
Maps of the shellfish aquaculture areas suggested in the Statewide Activity Approval permit can be found in the SAA Shellfish Aquaculture Package online at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fisheries/Pages/ShellfishAquaculture.as... or by calling (302) 739-9943.
DNREC did not confirm a timeline for Statewide Activity Approval or when aquaculturalists might begin application process.
Before it can accept lease applications, DNREC must complete the expedited federal permit process from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
But “there has been no action by our office,” said Corps biologist Ed Bonner.
The Corps had previously suggested DNREC remove Beach Cove from aquaculture plans, based on public desire to maintain vessel access across the center of the waterway which links opposite sides of the cove, especially during low tide.
In reality, individuals could apply to lease subaqueous lands anywhere in the state. However, the applicant bears the full burden of demonstrating that the proposed aquaculture site is compatible with navigation, commercial and recreational fishing, public water access and local ecology.
Much of DNREC’s permitting process was meant to streamline the application process, so individuals can pick aquaculture sites faster and easier.
“Maybe this will bring about a real debate or discussion about how we can truly clean up the bays,” said Adams-Mitchell. “I know they’re touting this as a way to clean up the bays, even though they’re putting the aquaculture part in the portion of the bays that are already cleanest, which they have to for consumption.”
But she hopes this leads toward a non-edible shellfish program in the tidal creeks, or reduction of septic systems and chemical fertilizers.
After a great deal of anticipation, the Freeman Stage at Bayside announced its 2016 summer season.
The season includes more than 70 performances, with 51 at the Stage in Selbyville. The lineup feature a diverse offering of dance, theatre, children’s performances and live music — including 13 National Recording Artists.
This year’s performers include three Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and, combined, have nearly 40 Grammy Awards and over 60 Grammy nominations; one Academy Award and two Oscars nominations; and three Country Music Association awards and nine CMA nominations.
The national acts include Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson on June 29; Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes on July 2; The Band Perry on July 3; Justin Moore on July 7; Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge on July 13; The Beach Boys on July 14; Cherry Poppin’ Daddies on July 16; Huey Lewis and The News on July 27; The Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma on Aug. 10; Gladys Knight on Aug. 19 and the Wailers on Aug. 27. Tickets for the performances will go on sale April 4 at 10 a.m.
Those returning to the stage include the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the First State Ballet, Clear Space Theatre and the Bronx Wanderers. Tribute acts include Hotel California — A Salute to the Eagles; ABBA the Concert: A Tribute to ABBA; Classic Albums Live: David Bowie and A Temptations Revue featuring Bo Henderson. “Locals Under the Lights,” where local artists have their moment in the spotlight, will also be back this summer.
“Our progress is a result of a movement in the region to weave the arts into the fabric of this region. This is occurring because of you. Because you have joined us on our journey to bring the arts to everyone,” said Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation.
The Freeman Stage is a program of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. The program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant support is also provided by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, the Sussex County Council, and the state of Delaware.
The Freeman Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit was created in 2007, to honor Josh Freeman, who lost his life unexpectedly.
“As many of you know, this journey began after the death of my husband, Josh Freeman, in 2006, and was a way to channel my grief and to honor one of his passions and mine — the arts,” said Michelle Freeman, president and chairman of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. “Life, especially when you loose people, life is made up of small moments — really small moments as you get older. One of my most favorite moments, we had brought the symphony to Bear Trap, it was Father’s Day. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I looked over, and Josh Freeman was listening to music, holding our son Ben and it was a perfect, perfect moment. After he passed away, what I wanted more than anything, was to create a place where other people could have and share perfect, perfect moments.”
The mission of the Stage is “to present memorable performances and provide inspired arts education for all.”
“It’s more than a venue for concerts, it’s more than a venue for young kids to come to,” said Delaware’s First Lady Carla Markell. “I love that their mission here is to expose young people who don’t have the opportunity, the advantages we all have, to be exposed to the arts. It’s transformative. Art changes lives. “
Markell said she has seen first hand the the difference the arts can make in a child’s life through mentoring.
“When you work together in an artistic capacity with young kids and you give them opportunities, they learn to take healthy risks. They learn to be a part of a team that’s bigger than just themselves, they see other people put themselves out there for healthy risks, and you expose them and get them out of a world that have become very confining to them.”
Kelly Hageman supervisor of instruction for the Seaford School District, said her district has a diverse student population ethnically, linguistically, and culturally.
“Seaford leads Sussex County School Districts in both demographic diversity and in poverty,” said Hageman. “Our schools are full of students with disadvantaged backgrounds, students who are English language learners, and students with disabilities who would not normally have the opportunity to experience the arts, except for limited arts education provided in school.”
Hageman said she was raised by an immigrant father and a mother who grew up in foster homes in rural New York. She attended four different elementary schools in three different states, and in second grade was encouraged to participate in a school play, which “ignited a passion for theater.”
“Through experiences in the arts, I was presented with a world beyond the reality that was created by my circumstances. I know the arts has helped shape who I am, what I am, and what I stand for today,” she said. “The Freeman Foundation has partnered with the Seaford School District to help aid in filling those gaps for student access to the visual and performing arts. As students are exposed to the arts, their background knowledge and capacity for critical thinking increases.”
Through transportation grants, students in her district were able to watch such performances as the Washington National Opera. Most recently, the Seaford Middle School participated in a mural installation highlighting the theme respect.
“Nearly 1,000 individually-painted masterpieces now line the walls of the Seaford Middle School cafeteria. Our students took this visual arts opportunity seriously. They’re eager to share the depth of meaning of their artwork and tell their story,” said Hageman. “The smallest action can have potential for great impact.”
Since its opening season, the Freeman Stage has had more than 260,000 patrons, including 62,000 children.
“This we believe, is progress — we are enriching lives,” said Freeman. “Economically, we have generated over $7.8 million in additional spending in the area, not including the cost of the performance tickets. Together, we are adding both economic and social value to the community.”
“We are very blessed to have you in the community, in the county, in the State overall,” added Todd Lawson, Sussex County administrator. “We really did have a desert before Freeman Stage was here. Think about the impact it has had on these children that have come to the stage and seen cultural arts and performing arts, and taking away something from that experience. It can only be described as significantly impactful.”
For more information on this season’s events, or to find out how to volunteer at The Freeman Stage, call (302) 436-3015 or visit www.freemanstage.org.
The sky’s the limit for Selbyville Public Library. Now people just need to say if they want the sky.
People are encouraged to complete a library survey to share how the library can best serve its patrons and community for the next 20 years.
This is part of a Needs Assessment Study, which might lead to a construction project, so every opinion is important.
“I want people to know that it’s their voice and it’s their time to say if something is really special to you about the library, now is the time to come out and say,” Kline said. “Anything we do in the future will be based on this study. That’s why it’s important for people to give their input.”
The survey is available in English and Spanish online at www.selbyvillelibrary.org. Paper copies are also available at the library. The deadline is April 4.
People can also join the discussion on Monday, April 4, at 6 p.m. at the library.
The public session will get people thinking and talking about the library’s strengths or areas to improve. They’ll discuss what features are important: the book collections? Technology? Meeting space? A café?
“We want to know what people want to see, in terms of growth and entertainment, and there’s a lot more to the library than the books,” Kline said. “This is really a chance to dream big. You can say the library really needs a skate park … or some outdoor spaces … or a planetarium.”
From there, the Board of Directors will decide what the library needs to best serve its citizens.
The library must balance future needs with a building that also deserves its spot in the sun: the historic Sen. John. G. Townsend house, built in 1906. Kline couldn’t say what future construction might look like, since this study will determine the next step.
But Selbyville really needs room to stretch its wings.
A new wing opened in 2004 to hold the children’s area, activity room and offices, “But we are really having trouble with our meeting space,” Kline said. “We can only seat 35 [in the meeting room]. We have had 20 people in there and it is really full. We’re a community centered building, but we can’t really have community evens because we’re just so small.”
Selbyville Pubic Library could make due with what it has, Kline said. “But we could be better, so why not just take that first step? And that’s really what this is.”
The 27th Annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour presented by NVHomes/Ryan Homes will take place on April 16 beginning at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Bethany Beach. In the event hosted by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, cyclists region-wide will complete 30-, 50- mile, metric century or century courses travelling throughout the scenic beach and bay locales of Southern Delaware.
Registrants will receive access to exclusive gifts and amenities, including a long-sleeve tech T-shirts and a swag bag. Rest stops will be open along each of the routes, with restrooms, food and beverages. SAG wagon support will be available from 7:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m.
“The 2016 Ocean to Bay Bike Tour is the signature outdoor event of the Quiet Resorts and is certainly not to be missed whether a social or serious cyclist,” said Chamber Executive Director Kristie Maravalli. “In fact, the number of registered cyclists for this year surpassed the total number of participants in 2014.”
The ceremonial start for the show-and-go tour will be held at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Bethany Beach.
After the main event, participants are being invited to the Continue the Tour Post Party Tent, with live entertainment featuring Monkee Paw Duo, as well as food, beverages, vendors and prizes. All registrants will be entered to win special prize packages, awarded through a drawing of bib numbers.
Cyclists and their families and friends can tag #OceanToBay on social media in pictures, specials or highlights. In addition, the Ocean to Bay Voler jerseys are also available to anyone for purchase, with to-your-door delivery.
“The partnerships with all of our sponsors and businesses have grown the event into a weekend affair,” added Maravalli, “With the majority of our cyclists coming from outside of Sussex County and the state, people come to enjoy the Quiet Resorts for the entire weekend.”
For those looking to stay overnight, participants who mention the Ocean to Bay Bike Tour will receive a 10 percent discount on their Holiday Inn Express reservation when staying two nights or more and will be privy to vouchers and specials to be used at many participating local businesses throughout the Quiet Resorts.
Registration is open, and current registration prices will increase on April 1 and then again at on-site registration. Individual and team registration can be completed by mail, email or in person at the Chamber; online registration is available through April 13. Visit www.oceanttobaybiketour.com to register and for complete information, or call 1-800-962-7873 toll-free or (302) 539-2100 for local residents.
April 21-24 weekend is set to host hundreds of birders for an exciting variety of events
The 2016 Delmarva Birding Weekend is set to bring hundreds of nature enthusiasts to the shore April 21-24 to enjoy the full complement of Mid-Atlantic birds as the region welcomes warblers, tanagers and other spring migrants and prepares to bid adieu to its loons, falcons and waterfowl as they head northward. Registration for the event is now open at www.delmarvabirding.com.
Birders can register for just one field trip, or multiple field trips each day of the four-day event. On Thursday, they can get an early start to the weekend with shorebirds along the Delaware Bayshore at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the Mispillion Harbor.
On Friday, they can start the morning searching for rails by kayak on Delaware’s inland bays, and enjoy a songbird and shorebird spectacle at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in the afternoon.
Exploring the bald cypress swamps by kayak around Snow Hill, Md., on Saturday morning will add several warbler species to watchers’ lists, and a boat trip behind Assateague and Ocean City in the afternoon can increase the tally for the weekend to more than 100 species.
Participants may also choose to take an all-day boat trip to Smith Island on Saturday to welcome back breeding pelicans and herons, and enjoy a slice of Smith Island cake with lunch.
Several field trips have sold out, so interested birders are being encouraged to register soon. Guided by local birders with decades-long experience on the peninsula, the walking tours, boat trips, and canoe and kayak paddles will accommodate visitors from the curious nature lover to fowl fanatics. Every year, birdwatchers from surrounding states flock to the event, organizers noted.
“This is one of our biggest nature-oriented weekends,” said Lisa Challenger, tourism director for Worcester County, Md. “People go crazy over the number of eagles and herons, but they will see a lot more than that birding with our guides around Assateague Island and our cypress swamps near Snow Hill.”
New trips will feature jaunts around Laurel and Maryland’s Chincoteague Bay, through some of the most pristine habitats on the East Coast. For the first time, the Delmarva Birding Weekend is co-hosting a showing of the bird documentary “The Messenger” with the Rehoboth Beach Film Society. The film will be shown on Friday, April 22, at the Cinema Art Theater in Lewes.
“The April weekend is spectacular,” said Southern Delaware Tourism Director Scott Thomas. “Picture slinking around a bend in your canoe on Trussum Pond, to be met with one of the most beautiful yellows you’ve ever seen… in the form of a prothonotary warbler. Or spend a Friday afternoon at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge or boating around Lewes and the Delaware Bay, followed by craft beer and a movie. That’s what the weekend is all about.”
Social events for new and experienced birders are scheduled throughout the weekend. The “Tally Rallies” are held at local breweries, bars, and restaurants, and provide participants to add to the species checklist and swap birding stories with new friends.
Organizers said participants recount the event in terms of experiences rather than simply observing birds — a majestic bald eagle soaring over the marsh, a loon in breeding plumage catching fish, or the eerie hoot and shadow of a barred owl at dusk. An outdoor experience is the true draw, they said.
The Delmarva Peninsula is one of the country’s premier birding areas, they noted, thanks to an extensive variety of habitat protected by its coastal parks, refuges and wildlife management areas. More than 400 bird species have been recorded in the region and previous Weekend tallies have topped 200 species.
If boasting that many species isn’t enough, participants can feel even better knowing that they’ve helped Delmarva’s birds by promoting birding and habitat conservation.
“Birders, both novice and experienced, make an important statement about the economic value of birds and their habitats through the money they spend in local hotels, restaurants, and shops. Participants are encouraged to remind local businesses that they are here to enjoy Delmarva’s natural areas and the birds that inhabit them.
“It’s our vast shallow bays and large tracts of protected marshes and bald cypress forests that make the Delmarva Peninsula one of the finest birding regions in the nation,” said guide and organizer Jim Rapp. “During the Weekend, our guests will hike on private farmland and woodland that are normally off-limits to birders, and our waterborne trips go where the birds are.”
Co-organizer Dave Wilson added that none of the trips are physically taxing and that the event provides a rare opportunity to tally 100 species in a day in places that are normally inaccessible to the public.
Sponsors for the events include Worcester County Tourism, Southern Delaware Tourism, the Boardwalk Hotel Group, the Delmarva Almanac, Hodges Taylor Art Consultancy, the Town of Snow Hill, Md., the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Somerset County (Md.) Tourism, the Howard Johnson’s Oceanfront Plaza Hotel, Days Inn Ocean City, the Atlantic Sands Hotel and Conference Center, Fager’s Lighthouse, the Breakers Hotel and Suites, the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin and The Avenue Inn.
Additional sponsor and registration information, field trip descriptions and other resources for Delmarva Birding are available at www.delmarvabirding.com. To become a sponsor or for additional information, contact Jim Rapp (443-614-0261) or Dave Wilson (443-523-2201) at Conservation Community Consulting, also at email@example.com.
Driving a boat isn’t just a matter of turning the key. So that boaters can get official training to safely and comfortably ride Delaware waters, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will host one-day boating safety courses at locations throughout the area in the coming months, helping boaters meet the state requirement for mandatory boating education, at a cost of $10 per person.
“It’s kind of like a highway out there, but people have to understand the guidelines,” such as meeting other vessels or understanding buoys. “It’s amazing how many people don’t know what they’re doing,” said instructor Robert “Bob” Adams.
Successful completion of a “State Approved Basic Course” is mandatory for anyone born in or after 1978, in order to legally operate a motorized boat on Delaware waters. (Personal watercraft, including JetSkis, are classified as boats.)
Upon successful completion of the course, people will receive a State of Delaware boating safety certificate, which they must carry when operating a motorized watercraft.
“Our job as instructors is to give them the information they need to pass the class,” said Adams.
The majority of all boating fatalities are people who have never had a boating class, he added.
Local courses are scheduled for:
• April 9 at Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island;
• April 23 at South Bethany Town Hall;
• April 30 at the Millville fire hall;
• May 21 at Treasure Beach Campground near Fenwick Island;
• June 4 at Indian River Marina; and
• June 18 at Gulls Way Campground in Dagsboro.
“Anybody can take the class, and I encourage people who have been boating for years [to participate], even if grandfathered in — especially if you’re from another state,” said John McDerby of the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Office of Boating Education. “We may have some local laws that are different from the state you came from.”
The training can be a family affair, as a refresher for parents and learning experience for kids. It’s also suitable for people embarking on boat ownership for the first time. Recommended ages are 12 and up, due to class length. But parents can discuss details with Adams.
The course includes getting to know your boat; rules of the waterways; launching and sailing courteously; navigational aids and water depths; weather and water conditions; state regulations; boating safety and emergencies; and more.
“It is a pretty complete introduction to boating. People that have never been on a boat are amazed at how much information is dispensed,” Adams said.
Even people who have boated for decades can use a refresher, he said, especially as rules have changed over the years.
“There are many things that have changed. I thought I knew boating,” said Adams, who’s been on the water since childhood. “I learned more in the first year in the Auxiliary than I did in the 50 years of boating before that. Just because we’ve been on the water, we think we know, but if you’ve never had a course, you don’t.”
“It’s never too late to take a boating safety class,” said McDerby, recommending the course for anyone on the water — even those who don’t anticipate driving — in case of an emergency.
These local springtime courses are hosted by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Division 12, Fifth District, Flotilla 12-01, based in South Bethany. But auxiliary units teach water-safety courses nationwide. The auxiliary is the civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard, dedicated to educating the public in boating safety.
A dead motor inspired Adams to join the auxiliary. After fearing that he would have to stay on his boat overnight in the Atlantic Ocean, Adams got a jump-start from the Coast Guard. He was so impressed at their responsiveness that he joined the auxiliary immediately.
“They let the Coast Guard focus on the important stuff, protecting the country,” Adams said. “We [the Auxiliary] can focus on educating the public.”
This is a NASBLA-approved course, meeting the standards of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Delaware accepts any NASBLA-approved certification, even from other states, without extra testing, said McDerby. Other states in the region that have a reciprocal NASBLA certification may accept Delaware’s boating certification without requiring another test, or perhaps only a shorter test.
Delaware also has specific laws for individual watercraft, including JetSkis, as well as age-specific rules. Those 16 or older can ride alone, while 14- and 15-year-olds can steer if an adult is onboard supervising. (In that case, both riders should have a boating safety card.)
Course preregistration is required and can be done by contacting Robert “Bob” Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or (610) 507-7526. Class fees are paid at the door.
Course details are also online at the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary website, at http://a05312.uscgaux.info. Details are under “Public Education Boating Classes.”
The DNREC Boating Education Office can be reached at (302) 739-9915. More information about Delaware boating safety, including the handbook and statewide class calendar, is online at http://de.gov/boatsafety.
Theatergoers can join members of Clear Space Theatre Company’s Spotlight on Young Performers troupe the weekend of April 15 as they explore “Into the Woods, Jr.”
During evening performances on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, at 7 p.m., and matinees on Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, at 3 p.m., a Baker (Devon Lynch) and his wife (Lauren McLane) set off on a journey to break the Witch’s curse that prevents them from having a child. Along the way, they meet Cinderella (Rose Slavin), Little Red Riding Hood (Grace Morris), Rapunzel (Jamie Ditzel) and Jack (of beanstalk fame; Kyle Atkinson-Steele), all on quests of their own.
“Into the Woods, Jr.,” adapted from Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical, intermingles familiar fairy tales and their characters. The Baker’s tale serves to tie the unlikely collaborators together, as the baker and his wife seek to supply the Witch with the ingredients she needs to concoct a potion: A slipper as pure as gold, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a cow as white as milk. As in many a fairy tale, the characters’ wishes are granted — but “Into the Woods, Jr.” does not end there, instead looking beyond the “happily ever after.”
“Into the Woods, Jr.” is being directed by Clear Space Artistic Director David Button and choreographed by Shondelle Graulich; Melanie Bradley is musical director.
“‘Into the Woods, Jr.’ allows us to journey — in unexpected directions — with the fairytale characters we’ve known since childhood. It’s great fun — and a perfect fit for our Spotlight on Young Performers program,” said Button. “The characters of ‘Into the Woods, Jr.’ learn valuable lessons from their escapades. And our young performers learn voice, music and dance as they bring those characters to the stage. It’s definitely a win-win!”
Slavin (Cinderella) enjoyed those lessons, reporting that “Playing this role has been so much fun because there are so many variations of Cinderella to be played. I like to think of the character that I’ve created as the exact girl who deserves as happy an ending as she receives.”
Additional cast members for the production of “Into the Woods, Jr.” include Hannah Weilminster, Sambina Anthony, Lauren McLane, Grace Morris, Danny Keenan, Dominic Anthony, Kerinne Walls, Evan Hartnett, Liza Moore, Ally Ibach, Julia Starla, Abbey Ruark, Claire Marshall, Chris Jones, Morgan Whittam, Gavin Connor and Wade Stout.
Tickets for all shows cost $15 and may be purchased on-line at www.clearspacetheatre.org, or by calling the box office at (302) 227-2270.
In one of my last columns, I spoke of the fact that I got a “new to me” motorhome. Well, I took my first trip in it. Due to the fact that I have never had my own RV, and that I have only stayed with friends in theirs just a few times, I didn’t know too much about how everything functions on them.
The first trip I had planned was from a Tuesday through the following Sunday at a dog show in York, Pa., so for a few days prior to that, I went and “camped out” in my friends’ front yard so they could teach me about the RV. So, this took me away from home for about 10 days.
I took the two dogs, Bo the bloodhound and Noel the bichon, with me. My cat, Bootsie, and my daughter’s cat, Nala, that lives with me, stayed home, and my daughter and son-in-law took care of them while I was gone. However, they all forgot to fill my outside bird feeders that my grandson and I have put up.
My 2-year-old grandson, Samuel, loves to watch the birds, so he and I have five bird feeders that we have put up so far, plus we also place some seed on the ground for other types of birds. We already have two hummingbird feeders purchased and cleaned, ready for us to fill when the time is right. We also have some mealworms that we haven’t started feeding yet but hope to place out soon so we can start attracting bluebirds.
Currently, we fill one red and one green feeder (that’s how Samuel identifies them) with finch food, another red-and-green one with what is called cardinal seed, and the wooden feeder with what the seed bag calls “chickadee food.” We then sprinkle a woodpecker seed, some peanuts and a wild bird seed on the ground in a clearing area.
For the first couple of weeks after we put up our feeders, not much happened. Then, slowly, the birds started discovering them. So, the last several weeks, we have generally needed to fill them weekly. However, now the birds are telling all of their friends that they have located an easy meal, and we sometimes need to fill some of them twice a week. Probably in a few more weeks, we will need to fill them even more often.
So, needless to say, the birds were glad I came home.
I know that some people say you should only feed birds in the winter months, but I do not agree with that. I think you should feed them year-round. I also enjoy watching to see the different kinds of birds that come at the different seasons.
I don’t know all of the different kinds of birds, but I do enjoy trying to match them to pictures in bird species books and figure out what kinds they are. So far, a few of my favorites that we have visiting us are cardinals, mourning doves, red and yellow finches (at least that’s what I call them), mocking birds, red-winged blackbirds, blue jays, sparrows, chickadees and many others, and many that I can’t identify yet.
Learning to identify the species of birds also helps to determine what types of seed and what types of feeders to put up. Some birds are ground-feeders; some prefer hanging feeders. Then there are many different types of hanging feeders, too. There are not only different styles for decorative looks, but there are different ones that are designed to hold different types of seeds and are designed for different types of birds.
While it is true that you can buy “wild bird seed” in many different places, such as pet stores, hardware stores, grocery stores and even those big-box stores, you have to be careful where you buy it. Bird seed gets bugs very easily and very quickly.
If bird seed is not stored properly, it will quickly get bugs. If the seed sits on the store shelf for long periods of time, it will get bugs. It is true that the bugs, in general, will not harm the birds, but do you really want those bugs in your car and in your home? Also, the seed can get moldy, and this will harm the birds.
Wild About Birds at 19 Atlantic Avenue in Ocean View (302-537-7180) is an excellent resource for all of your bird supplies and advice. They can help you choose the correct feeders and seeds to attract the different types of birds. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable and are always willing to answer all of your questions. Their seed is good-quality seed.
Yes, it costs more than the bag of seed you can buy in the local grocery store, but the less expensive seed has a lot of filler and garbage in it that often just gets wasted anyway. The seed you buy from a specialty store is a better quality food, designed for a specific type of bird and does not have a bunch of stuff in it that the birds are just going to waste. And a lot of that wasted seed, falls onto the ground around your feeder and then germinates, and usually grows into weeds that you don’t want growing in your yard.
Now, it is true that you can go into some of those big-box stores and buy an inexpensive plastic bird feeder for a lot less money than the nice glass or wooden one that you would buy in a specialty store, but take it from someone who knows from experience — that plastic one may make it through this season and maybe, if you are lucky, might even last a year. But it cannot be cleaned properly. It usually breaks or falls apart within the first year or, maybe, if you are very lucky, it might make it to the two-year mark, but usually not.
It is simpler to just go ahead and pay a little more upfront now and save yourself the heartache and hassle of constantly having to replace the cheaply-made ones.
Hummingbird feeders are even more important to go ahead and buy the better-made glass ones. They need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and there is no way to properly clean and disinfect those cheap plastic ones. If you do not keep them properly cleaned and the birds do feed from it, they can become sick and die. Also, the cheaper ones fall apart very quickly, and they do not hold up to the weather. The sun bakes them, and they crack and break very easily. (Again, been there, done that!)
So, drop by Wild About Birds, tell them where you live and what kind of birds you are trying to attract. They will guide you to the correct feeder and seed. But, be prepared, it does become an addiction very easily and you will be returning there often to get more and more feeders.
Then stop by Bethany Beach Books at 99 Garfield Parkway, and pick up a book on birds of the area so you can start identifying all of the different species of birds that start visiting your feeders. And, most importantly… Relax, enjoy and have fun!
Cheryl Loveland is a semi-retired dog groomer. Her pet menagerie has shrunk to Bo, her bloodhound; Noel, her bichon frisée and Bootsie, her cat. She currently resides between Keymar, Md., and Millsboro and Selbyville. She is currently not doing rescue work but hopes to resume that when she returns to a more permanent residence. She is a member of Colonial Bloodhound Club and membership chairperson for Misspillion Kennel Club in Milford. She also still helps out at a local boarding kennel in the Bethany Beach area. She has been working with all varieties of pets since she was a child growing up in Montgomery County, Md. She may be reached at email@example.com.
It just kind of worked out.
The space for her store of 10 years in Rehoboth Beach was being renovated. There was a divorce that was winding down. And an oceanfront spot right on the Bethany Beach boardwalk had just opened up.
Factor in that her partner — a Bethany legend who goes by the handle “Bodji” — knew the landlord, and that she padded by the spot on her stand-up paddleboard (SUP) every morning anyway, and Lili Oller didn’t have to think twice about opening up her new store, Water Lili, as everything else seemed to fall into place.
“This is the rebirth. This is the new beginning,” said Oller, who had previous owned Tiger Lili in Rehoboth. “I was like, ‘Alright, I’m just gonna dive into this, because I so believe in this.’ This is not work. This is my life.”
An avid SUP-er and ocean advocate, with a worldly travel résumé and off-the-wall passion for fashion, Oller opened up shop last week, aiming to introduce Bethany Beach to her signature — yet always changing — bohemian beach style.
An array of versatile clothing options, ranging from beachwear to casual and evening wear, as well as jewelry, eyewear, handbags, footwear, accessories and vintage T-shirts, flannels and even a few garments without universal classifications, are just a slice of the lifestyle that can be typically found at the newest hotspot on the boards. And, according to some of the locals turned already-loyal Water Lili customers, it’s exactly what the area has been waiting for.
“Some of the stores have a lot of old-lady stuff, and this store does not,” said Ocean View resident Cindy Timmerman with a laugh. “Without question, we needed something like this. I think the store is fabulous. I think there’s a lot of just really interesting, different stuff. It’s the kind of thing I like.”
While she’s originally from Panama and frequently still drops out for fashion-related travels to the West Coast and down to Rincon, Puerto Rico, to visit her daughter, Oller is a long-time local with roots firmly entrenched in the Bethany Beach area — which her store reflects from the merchandise all the way down to the motifs.
Behind her vision and Bodji’s craftsmanship, each display case, table, shelf and accent wall has been designed and forged out of local repurposed materials, such as old barn wood, Puerto Rican sea glass, threadbare denim and even a retired Bethany Beach lifeguard chair with the names of past guards still carved into the grain.
Also present around the shop are photos of trips gone by and outings with “The Mermaid Mamas” — Olley’s SUP group, which never misses a sunrise paddle during the summer months. Along with the actual Atlantic only 100-some-odd yards away, it’s just another way to remind Oller of her new chance to share her way of life with the area by way of the store she’s come to reverently refer to as “the baby.”
“That’s what I’m selling, is the lifestyle,” said Oller. “This is my life and Bodji’s life — we live for the water. We want everybody to experience and have a taste of our lifestyle, and that’s what I’m projecting here at ‘the baby.’
“We used to come to the beach every day to look at it, before we had the store. Now we get to look at the water every day. I can never take this for granted. I park miles away so that I can walk the boardwalk and look at the water — it’s awesome.”
While what’s on the shelves is typically inspired by what’s in the water, Water Lili is by no means the average T-shirt shop. In fact, not only does Oller look to bring in items off the beaten path, but once they’ve been in the store once, chances are they probably won’t be again.
“Expect the unexpected. I’m all about the fashion. Whatever’s on fire, I’m jumping on it,” Oller said. “I don’t want to sell what everybody has — it has to have something special.
“I go everywhere, and I buy with passion. I’ve always been known to have totally different — it’s very edgy. It’s very bohemian. There’s a lot of lace. There’s a lot of flowy, earthy stuff. If it’s not moving… I’m moving it.”
Right now, Oller is carrying several exclusive items — including some she’s even designed herself. Water Lili is currently the only brick-and-mortar store to purchase anything from the SUP Mermaid line from SUP Life, and soon to arrive will be a line of Puerto Rican-designed bikinis, special for the store, to go along her own “sari shorts” from India.
Then, of course, there’s all the hot-selling items, including the three-way top called “The Best Top You’ll Ever Have,” a select line of “bralettes” and other hip favorites, such as patchouli oils and Indo Boards. But, no matter what’s in stock, Oller is just glad to be back in business and doing what she loves.
“I love it. I love what I do,” she said. “I can’t punch a clock. That’s not me. I’m here in front of what I love. This is not work… this is home.”
Water Lili is located in the Blue Surf building, at 98 Garfield Parkway, #101, on the Bethany Beach boardwalk and is open every day at 10 a.m. The store phone number is (302) 539-1110, and Oller encourages people to check them out on Facebook and on Instagram, @waterlilibethanybeach.