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    One of the things most of our staff members mentioned when asked about the things they love about this area was simple: the ocean, the beach, nature. And that’s hardly a surprise when the coastal locale and all it offers is a major reason for people to visit the area for vacations, move here to live or to retire, or stay even after they’ve finished the adventure of college.

    Sunrise over the Atlantic. Sunset over the Little Assawoman Bay. Sitting on the beach under a sunny summer sky, or under the overcast and fog when a cold front moves in. It doesn’t matter what time of day you enjoy or where you enjoy it — the moods of nature are unique at Delaware’s coast but universally enjoyable.

    And while many vacation experiences can cost a pretty penny, the wealth of free and inexpensive options to enjoy nature in the area is priceless. Here are some of our favorite spots and pastimes:

    • Assawoman Wildlife Refuge — Located adjacent to Camp Barnes, southwest of Bethany Beach, the easy access to nature and wildlife, proximity to the beach and great recreational opportunities make this one of our favorite locations in the area.

    Many of us — visitors and residents alike — grew up crabbing, fishing or boating at one of the refuge’s “landings,” with their WPA-era features. Its very nature as a refuge means that wildlife is in abundance, offering a great chance to view herons, turtles, crabs, jellyfish and more in a relaxed and natural environment. Take your camera for a great opportunity to catch nature in action or family memories that will last for decades to come.

    • Bethany Beach Nature Center, Route 26, Bethany Beach — A relative newcomer to the area’s offerings, the former beach cottage that now sits just west of Grotto’s Pizza on Route 26 has now been refitted as an educational center, complete with state-of-the-art displays that inform visitors about the local environment and wildlife. Outside, 26 acres of conservation area — which includes 3 acres of forested uplands, 9 acres of freshwater wetlands and 14 acres of tidal wetlands — includes walking paths that offer a way to view that wildlife directly or just get a little exercise and fresh air.

    The nature center is also home to youth programs that are held every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon, rain or shine (more at, and this summer they’ve added programs with a “Mystery Guest” on Wednesdays and Tea Time on Thursdays, in addition to the Scavenger Hunt Snacktime on Fridays. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

    • James Farm, Cedar Neck Road, Ocean View — The 150-acre James Farm property was a gift to Sussex County from the late Mary Lighthipe, a descendant of the James family who had farmed the land for generations, with the condition that the property be used for environmental education and recreational activities.

    The ecological preserve now features more than 3 miles of marked hiking trails, three observation platforms, a boardwalk beach crossing, wildflower gardens, an amphitheater, an informational kiosk, rest areas and more than 4,000 trees planted as part of a reforestation effort.

    Whether you’re looking for a place to walk the dog (and yourself) or seeking knowledge and experience of nature, this hidden gem is a favorite of locals. (Just remember to bring the bug spray!)

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    Riding the wave of the popularity of the summer’s hottest craze, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation on Monday launched “Poké Park Adventure,” a contest for kids of all ages, in Delaware State Parks.

    The Poké Park Adventure uses the free smartphone game (or app), Pokémon Go, in which players try to capture different monsters from Pokémon, a Japanese cartoon, using a combination of GPS and other technologies built into smartphones, including location tracking and cameras, encouraging players to visit, in this case, Delaware State Parks, in order to nab virtual loot and collectible characters. The point of the game is to “catch ’em all!”

    “This new contest is a great way to get kids, families and all adventure-seeking Delawareans outside and into nature — a major goal of our Children in Nature Initiative,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “I want to thank Delaware State Parks for taking advantage of the extraordinary popularity of this new technology to help encourage physical activity and showcase our amazing state parks.”

    “We are so pleased to offer this new and fun way for kids and families to get out into nature in our state parks,” said Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens. “The contest is being run from today through the end of July to give people a chance to visit all of the parks if they can.”

    To win the Poké Park Adventure, players must take a screenshot of a view of their avatar in a park, and then take screenshots of each Poké Stop they visit. The screenshot must show that the player is in range of a Poké Stop. Then, players tag that park on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #pokeparkde.

    Whoever visits the most Poké Stops within any state parks (and park attractions) will receive a “legendary” prize pack, complete with Pokémon merchandise, a 2017 annual park pass, a Yeti rambler bottle and other prizes.

    The contest is open through July 31 to give everyone a chance to travel across the land, searching far and wide. The winner will be announced Wednesday, Aug. 3.

    To find out more about Poké Park Adventure, including rules, visit

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    Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The Delaware National Guard hosted a joint medical training exercise on Thursday, July 14.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The Delaware National Guard hosted a joint medical training exercise on Thursday, July 14.The Delaware National Guard hosted a joint medical training exercise last week at its Bethany Beach Training Site.

    The exercise was designed to help prepare federal and state agencies for airlift patient transfers. The Delaware Army and Air National Guard, the Maryland National Guard, members from their state partner of Bosnia, and the Department of Public Health participated in the exercise.

    During the week-long training, participants went from classroom training to a full-blown field exercise. The exercise scenario was a Category 4 hurricane that had caused considerable damage to the coastal community.

    The Delaware Air National Guard, 166th Medical Group set up and operated the Expeditionary Medical Support System (EMEDS) and the En-Route Patient Staging Systems (ERPSS).

    “It’s just like a regular hospital,” said 2nd Lt. Wendy Callaway, deputy public affairs officer for the Delaware National Guard. “If someone needed to have an operation, they could have an operation back there.”

    Inside, Callaway said, keeping everything sterile is of high priority in the field.

    “We have mats for sterilization,” she explained. “After they have a patient, they wipe down the bed and wipe down the floor, just to try to keep everything as sterile and as clean as possible.”

    Inside the EMEDS, or field hospital, an administration area, triage area, operating room and patient ward were set up.

    “It can be on larger scales, too. I’ve seen one where they have a lab and a pharmacy and an X-ray area, so they can be on a much larger scale than this,” said Callaway.

    Participants responded to a number of scenarios, including a woman going into labor and serious injuries.

    “We’ve had some live patients with mock injuries, like a kid who had something stabbed in his hand, so they had him wearing a glove with something sticking out of it. So they’re doing their best to make it as real as possible.”

    Once high-priority patients (mannequins were used) were identified and treated, they were prepped to be flown off-site.

    “They’re going to leave here and go to the Georgetown Airport, and then they have another tent set up there that’s a little different, and they have a C-130. They’ll prep them to get on the C-130. If they were in a deployed environment in theater, the C-130 would then take them to a hospital.”

    Having been able to see a similar training exercise recently, Callaway said it was great to share the training experience with colleagues and civilians.

    “I just was at training out in California, and they had a larger scale of this. That’s where I saw the X-ray, lab and pharmacy,” she said. “I never would’ve had any idea about it without seeing it or being in it. It’s cool to be able to get everyone out here and let them see it.”

    Callaway said the Delaware National Guard tries to hold the large-scale training every few years.

    “For us, it’s a big deal,” she said, noting there were approximately 75 people participating, including individuals from the Delaware Air National Guard, Maryland National Guard and Department of Public Health. “Everyone is working together as a team, electively.”

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  • 07/21/16--13:14: Agenda — July 22, 2016
  • Bethany Beach

    • Bethany Beach’s annual town council election will to take place Saturday, Sept. 10, from noon to 6 p.m. Anyone wishing to file as a candidate for the election must file a written Notice of Intention (Application for Candidacy) in the town manager’s office at town hall no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27.

    • The public can view on the Town website the presentation by Oasis Design Group to the Bethany Beach Town Council, soliciting input for preliminary concept development for the features and organization of “Central Park,” at the intersection of Routes 1 and 26. The URLs for the four presentation segments are (and 31, 32 and 33). In the coming weeks, the Town plans to send out a survey regarding specific design elements for the park.

    • Bethany Beach’s pay-to-park season resumed May 15 and runs until Sept. 15.

    • Prohibitions on dogs on the beach and boardwalk in Bethany Beach resumed on May 15.

    • The regular meetings of the Bethany Beach Town Council and Planning Commission are now being broadcast, with video, over the Internet via the Town’s website at, under Live-Audio Broadcasts. Both meetings are at town hall.

    South Bethany

    • The Town of South Bethany will host a free showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Aug. 4 at 8:30 p.m. The movie will be show at South 3rd Street and South Ocean Drive, at the beach walkway. Guests can bring a chair, blanket, flashlight, etc. Kids can get glow sticks and other lighted giveaways. Beach wheelchairs will be available. Attendees are being asked to observe parking laws.

    • The Planning Commission will meet Friday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. for regular business, as well as a public hearing for Peter and Susan Trelenberg’s application to combine existing Lot 85 at 242 Bayshore Drive and 25 feet of Lot 86, which they have purchased, to change the lot size to 100 by 100 feet.

    • There will be no 2016 town council election, as only four candidates registered for the four available seats: incumbent Mayor Pat Voveris as mayor, incumbent Councilwoman Sue Callaway, and incoming council members Don Boteler and William “Tim” Shaw.

    • Recycling is picked up biweekly, continuing on Friday, July 15.

    • Yard waste is picked up biweekly, continuing on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

    • The town council’s next workshop meeting is Thursday, July 28, at 2 p.m.

    • The town council’s next regular meeting is Friday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m.

    • Town Hall is now open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., without closing for lunch.

    • The Cat Hill barricade hours have been changed to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for traffic turning from Kent Avenue onto Black Gum Drive, from May 15 to Sept. 15.

    • Yoga on the beach is held Wednesdays from 8 to 8:45 a.m. at S. 4th Street. Boot Camp on the beach is Mondays and Fridays from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Donations are accepted as payment. Bring water and a towel.

    • Parking permit requirements have resumed for the summer. Permits are available at town hall.

    • Prohibitions on dogs on the beach resumed on May 15 and run until Oct. 15.

    • The Town of South Bethany’s website is located at

    Fenwick Island

    • A second public meeting on the comprehensive plan will be Saturday, Aug. 13, at 9 a.m.

    • A community branding workshop has been scheduled for July 22 at 2 p.m. at Town Hall.

    • The town council’s next regular meeting is Friday, July 22, at 3:30 p.m.

    • Fenwick Flicks is set for Wednesday, July 27, on the beach at 8 p.m. Attendees can bring blankets, chairs, snacks, etc., for the free showing of “Inside Out” at Bayard Street and the beach.

    • The Charter & Ordinance Committee will meet Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 9:30 a.m.

    • The town council election is scheduled for Aug. 6. Three seats are up for election, each with a two-year term. Candidates include incumbent Gardner Bunting, Vicki L. Carmean, Kevin Carouge and Bernard H. “Bernie” Merritt Jr. Incumbents Diane Tingle and Bill Weistling did not file to run for re-election. Would-be candidates Charles W. Hastings and Marc McFaul were deemed not to be eligible.

    Eligible voters must be at least 18, and either a resident, property owner or a trust designee in the town by March 1. The voter registration deadline was June 30 in person and July 8 by mail. Details are available online and at town hall. Absentee voting is allowed. An affidavit must be signed and returned to Town Hall before a ballot will be mailed. Affidavits can be found online or obtained by contacting Town Hall. Absentee ballots must be returned by noon on Aug. 5.

    • The Fenwick Island Farmers’ Market has moved to Warren’s Station, at 1406 Coastal Highway, and will be open on Mondays and Fridays, until Sept. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon.

    • Recycling is collected every Friday from May to September.

    • Parking enforcement began on May 15.

    • The Fenwick Island town website is located at

    • The Town of Fenwick Island is now on Twitter, at or @IslandFenwick.

    Ocean View

    • The Ocean View Town Council will not meet in August. The next regular council meeting has been set for Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.

    • The Ocean View Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustments will not meet in August.

    • The next Concert in the Park will be held Saturday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m. in John West Park. Local group Glass Onion Band will perform.

    • The Town of Ocean View’s Facebook page can be found at

    • The Ocean View town website is located at


    • The Town of Millsboro will hold its monthly council meeting on Monday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Millsboro Town Center.

    • The Millsboro town website is located at


    • The town council’s next workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26, at 7 p.m.

    • Town Council’s regular meeting is for Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m.

    • The Millville Farmers’ Market has been canceled for 2016, due to the Route 26 road construction and last year’s low attendance. Organizers thanked the public for their continued interest and enthusiasm.

    • The Millville town website is located at


    • Envision Frankford will host its second “Movies at the Park” on Friday, July 22. Gates open at 7 p.m., with “King Fu Panda III” beginning at 8 p.m.

    • The Town of Frankford will hold its monthly council meeting on Monday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Frankford fire hall.

    • Curbside recycling is picked up every other Tuesday, continuing July 26.

    • The Town of Frankford website is located at


    • The town council’s next regular meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m.

    • Curbside recycling is collected every other Wednesday, continuing Aug. 3.

    • Bulk trash is collected on the first Wednesday of each month. Households may put out one bulk item, such as a television, each month.

    • The Town website is at


    • The Dagsboro Town Council will meet Monday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m., at Bethel United Methodist Church.

    • The Planning & Zoning Commission will meet Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m., at Bethel UMC.

    • There will be no town council election this year. All three incumbents re-filed for their seats, with no challengers.

    • The Town can now accept credit cards payments from citizens online. Instructions are on the Town website.

    • The Town of Dagsboro website is at

    Indian River School District

    • The Board of Education will meet next on Monday, July 25, at 7 p.m. at Indian River High School.

    • The district website is at

    Sussex County

    • The Sussex County Council will meet on Tuesday, July 26, at 10 a.m.

    • The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission will meet on Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m.

    • The Sussex County Board of Adjustment will meet Monday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m.

    • Agendas, minutes and audio, as well as live streaming of all County meetings, may be found online at

    State of Delaware

    • DelDOT’s reconstruction of the intersection of Route 26 and Powell Farm/Omar Roads has been largely completed, with a new traffic signal at the intersection converted to full stop-and-go operation. Traffic accessing Omar Road at the intersection must turn onto Powell Farm Road briefly in order to proceed onto or off of Route 26 at the light.

    • Continuing work on the Route 26 Mainline Improvements Project, DelDOT has now ended daytime lane closures for the summer, returning to only utilizing overnight lane closures, though lane shifts and brief lane closures for project logistics can still be expected during the day. Motorists are being encouraged to use detour routes to avoid delays when lane closures are in place. Manholes in the project area have been raised to meet the height of the upcoming paving, so motorists should take extra care when driving over them.

    Overall, the 4-mile-long project includes the reconstruction of Route 26 (Atlantic Avenue) from Clarksville to the Assawoman Canal and will widen the existing two-lane roadway to include two 11-foot travel lanes with 5-foot shoulder/bike lanes and a 12-foot wide continuous shared center left-turn lane. Construction is expected to be largely complete mid-summer and completed by the fall. George & Lynch is building the 4-plus-mile project from Assawoman Canal in Bethany Beach to St. George’s U.M. Church in Clarksville.

    Regular Route 26 project meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall. The public is being encouraged to attend or to get email updates from DelDOT via the project page for the Route 26 project at For additional Route 26 project information or concerns, residents and businesses can contact Ken Cimino at (302) 616-2621, or or at 17 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 2, in Ocean View.

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    Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Submitted Phillip C. Showell Elementary students gathered this spring to paint a rain barrel designed by Rachel Santos-Martinez (top left), with help from (clockwise) Hope Dill, Lanitra Wise, Alex Gonzalez, Kameron Brown and Dania Regalado.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Submitted Phillip C. Showell Elementary students gathered this spring to paint a rain barrel designed by Rachel Santos-Martinez (top left), with help from (clockwise) Hope Dill, Lanitra Wise, Alex Gonzalez, Kameron Brown and Dania Regalado.It took creativity, artistic skill and just enough votes to make Rachel Santos-Martinez a finalist in the 2016 Rain Barrel Painting Contest sponsored by DNREC’s Watershed Assessment & Management Section.

    This spring, Santos-Martinez finished her second-grade year at Phillip C. Showell Elementary and designed a barrel titled “Mrs. Minion” that has placed her among the five youth finalists.

    The barrels will be displayed from July 21 to 30 at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, where festivalgoers can vote for their favorite in the DNREC tent. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 30.

    Many entrants used water, wildlife and nature for inspiration. Santos-Martinez went in a different direction, turning to pop culture and the movie “Despicable Me” for her inspiration.

    She turned her barrel into a full-sized yellow “Minion.”

    “All of my friends talk about Minions,” she told DNREC officials. “I know that everyone loves Minions, so that is why I drew ‘Mrs. Minion.’”

    After her design was chosen, Santos-Martinez got help from classmates Jonas Arias, Kameron Brown, Hope Dill, Alex Gonzalez, Dania Regalado-Lopez and Lanitra Wise.

    “We received the pre-primed barrel, and the ‘team’ of students began by painting a base layer of yellow acrylic on it.  After that dried, they started to sketch in the details, and Rachel did most of the fine details of the Minion,” explained their art teacher, Laurie Hall.

    It’s an honor for the artists just to get paint on their brushes. After all contestants submit an application describing their vision (at least 50 youth applicants this year), DNREC sends a fully assembled 55-gallon rain barrel to the top 10 youth and 10 adult contestants.

    At PCS, Hall submitted proposals for each of the second-grade classes. DNREC chose Santos-Martinez’s.

    The youth competition covers all grades, from elementary to high school.

    “I thought there was some pretty tough competition, so I was pretty excited that she got that far,” Hall said.

    Then they got five weeks to paint the barrel.

    In June, the public voted online to pick the adult winner and the five youth finalists.

    In the adult contest, Milton artist Nathan Zimmerman earned first prize with his “Early to Rise at Sundown,” showing a barred owl perched over water at sunset. It will also be displayed at Delaware State Fair before getting put to work at Woodburn, the governor’s residence in Dover.

    DNREC sponsors the contest to educate the community on the benefits of using rain barrels to reduce rainwater runoff and improve water quality.

    “It’s really cool. I’m pretty excited, too,” Hall said. “At the end of the contest, we get to have the rain barrel back.”

    Each year, the barrels are placed in public locations for educational purposes. Businesses, organizations and non-profit groups interested in displaying an artist’s rain barrel can contact Sara Wozniak at or (302) 382-0335.

    Rain barrels are a backyard method for saving water. The barrels capture and store water from roofs or gutter downspouts, which people can use thereafter for watering lawns and gardens, or cleaning outdoor equipment or cars.

    “An average rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house,” according to DNREC.

    That runoff can carry pollutants off the property and into area waterways, so reducing the flow and saving the water for later use can provide environmental benefits beyond saving water that might otherwise come from the tap.

    Rain barrels help to make that rainwater a little more useful before it returns to the earth.

    Contest details are online at

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    Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Pete ‘Pierson’ Roenke sits in his office while dealing with his business, Delaware Apparel.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Pete ‘Pierson’ Roenke sits in his office while dealing with his business, Delaware Apparel.He may be in California, but Pete “Pierson” Roenke’s heart will always be in southern Delaware; and he has just launched a new business to pay tribute to his roots in the First State.

    Delaware Apparel is an internet-based company that sells T-shirts, hats, jackets and stickers with Delaware-related slogans. The company has also been featured in “pop-up” displays at local stores, including the Lululemon outlet in Rehoboth Beach.

    Roenke, a 2007 graduate of Indian River High School, grew up a few yards from the ocean in Fenwick Island, with all that entails — surfing, bodyboarding and just enjoying the beach lifestyle. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011 and joined the U.S. Marines that same year.

    Now stationed with the Marines at Camp Pendleton, Roenke said it can be challenging juggling his new venture with his military responsibilities. He is a captain; his current assignment is as a logistics officer.

    “There have definitely been some frustrating times trying to balance work with the business, but you just accept that some things will take a little longer to get done since you can’t dedicate the whole day toward it. We are growing slowly, but that is just fine for us,” Roenke said.

    Delaware Apparel launched its website in June; Roenke’s family has been his “boots on the ground” in Delaware from the very beginning. His mother, Michelle, he said, is the “backbone” of Delaware Apparel.

    “She is really what lets me focus on my ‘great ideas’ while she keeps everything running in the background — inventory, shipping, keeping everything organized at our ‘headquarters’ in Fenwick and keeping us all grounded when ideas get a little too bold,” Roenke said.

    He said his younger sister Alex, meanwhile, is the “brains” behind the Delaware Apparel women’s collection. Roenke said Alex also “helps me make decisions in general — she is much more decisive than me, so when I’m on the fence on something, she is always there to help.”

    Roenke’s father, Peter, has been at the helm of his own business, Coastal Images in Fenwick Island, as long as the younger Roenke can remember. In fact, his parents still live above the “shop” on Coastal Highway.

    “I grew up watching my father run his own business and thought that someday I would like to do that myself,” he said. “So, when Delaware Apparel came to me, I thought I could start small and maintain it that way until the Marine Corps gig is over,” he said. “If and when I separate from the service, I could then take the ideas that had evolved and develop the business in a bigger, full-time way.”

    The inspiration for the clothing is the uniqueness of the “Delaware way of life,” he said. As much as that can be translated to clothing, Delaware Apparel’s simple designs and styles meant for comfort are intended to convey an ease and a design flair that Roenke said he hopes resonate with those who have lived in Delaware all their lives. The brand won’t be found between the Old Navy and Nike stores at the mall, won’t be sold at Walmart.

    Roenke said the clothing line, with its simple, strong graphics, is the result of a desire to create Delaware-centric attire that the transcends politics; appeals to outdoorsy folks and urbanites, business people and farmers alike; is “extremely comfortable”; can’t be found in chain stores; and can be enjoyed by “everyone that lives in, visits or has any connection to the First State.”

    Roenke credited photographer Jessica Nowacki with illustrating on the company’s website and Facebook page what makes Delaware special.

    “Sometimes, when I am having a tough time describing what the company is all about, I can refer someone to our social media accounts, and Jess’ work can show anyone why we all love Delaware… Pictures truly are worth 1,000 words,” he said.

    Nowacki’s work “has caught the attention of several retailers and offered us many opportunities,” he said. “I can say without a doubt that her work is the largest contributor to our success thus far.”

    Nowacki’s photographs show off some of Delaware’s most photogenic sights, with a decided emphasis on Sussex County. In her photos on the Delaware Apparel sites, pastel skies melt into luminous ocean and bay waters, and bright red barns are flanked by hay bales lined up like so many soldiers. And, of course, no company whose aim is representing the Delaware lifestyle would be complete without an artful photo or two of chicken houses.

    Startup has local irons in the fire

    Roenke, who has completed tours of duty in Japan and, most recently, the United States Embassy in Amman, Jordan, said he fits his Delaware Apparel duties in before and after work on the base and on the weekends.

    He said his time as a Marine “has provided me with opportunities I would have never had otherwise. Traveling the globe and helping people that are in need around the world has been very rewarding.”

    He said he hopes to continue to serve his communities, both local and otherwise. Through Delaware Apparel, Roenke has sponsored the sports-related endeavors of several Delawareans, including Rocky Whitely, whose Super Truck teams can be seen at tracks in Delmar, Georgetown and all over Delmarva this summer.

    Delaware Apparel is also working with bass fishermen and recent Wilmington University graduates Tyler Hawthorne and Anthony Pistoria as they compete in tournaments across the region. The company also sponsors Delaware native P.J. Barch, who now lives in San Diego and competes in jiu jitsu tournaments across the country.

    Also in the works is a partnership with duck-call maker Ian Thomas of Newark, for production of hand-made duck calls. Plans are to release them in the fall, just in time for hunting season, according to Roenke.

    Roenke said he hopes that as Delaware Apparel grows, the company can continue to serve the community, which he said “has been so good to me growing up and is a huge part of who I am. It is very rewarding to receive positive feedback throughout the process as we attempt to give back in some way.”

    He said that, while his military service has afforded him the ability to travel the world, he misses all that he grew up with in coastal Delaware.

    “We definitely don’t have the best hunting, the best fishing or the best surfing in the world,” he admitted, “but the fact that you can do it all in one day, and there is a huge part of the population that does, makes us different.”

    Trying to describe that difference to those who aren’t from Delaware, he said, “is tough. I usually have to get past the ‘Dela-where?’ joke or the ‘Wayne’s World’ reference first, but then when I really try to describe why we’re so special, I still have a hard time putting it into words.

    “How do you describe an early morning scrapple-, egg-and-cheese [sandwich] on the way to a duck blind on a cold morning in December, or riding down Route 1 in the summer with the windows down on the way to the drive-on beach?” he pondered.

    Delaware Apparel’s early forays into the retail market have provided an opportunity to spread that experience to the world — starting last month with a “pop-up” store at the Tanger Outlets Lululemon store.

    “The company was less than a month old at the time, so working with a company as large as Lululemon seemed pretty daunting at first.” Roenke said. However, he added, the experience “couldn’t have been further from daunting” thanks to the support from the team at the store, and even “a couple shout-outs from (Lululemon’s) big corporate Twitter account leading up the event, which he said definitely helped to spark interest.

    “Everything about the experience was awesome, and we couldn’t have asked for a better place to officially unveil our products to the Delaware community,” he said.

    That opportunity has led to others for the startup company, including an invitation to the Bayside Town Center Market west of Fenwick Island, where Delaware Apparel will now set up on Thursdays.

    The company will have another pop-up event at Lululemon at Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth Beach in late August, at the height of back-to-school shopping, and another for holiday shoppers in December.

    In addition, look for Delaware Apparel at the Apple-Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville in October and at Punkin Chunkin in November.

    “We are currently working on our fall collection,” Roenke said. He added that he and his team have “some great ideas to celebrate autumn in Delaware,” and that there is another “small release” in production that is top secret, but he gave a hint: “Think scrapple.”

    For more information on Delaware Apparel, check out the company’s website at or their page on Facebook at or on Instagram at @delaware _apparel.

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    The Ocean View Board of Adjustment this week unanimously approved a special exception for a physical therapy/rehabilitation facility, to be located at 111 Atlantic Avenue, Unit 3.

    Robert Hammond, owner of Atlantic Physical Therapy, told the board that he and his family have six other locations — the closest being in West Fenwick.

    The Ocean View location, which would be in a 1,500-square-foot unit, would house one therapist and one receptionist. The hours of their businesses are typically 7 or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. At any one time, there would be two to three patients at that location, said Hammond.

    The board approved the special exception with a vote of 5-0.

    The two buildings on the property currently house a financial advisor’s office, café and the Coastal Point offices.

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    Last weekend, the Town of Fenwick Island held a public meeting regarding an update to its comprehensive plan — an official document intended to guide future development of a community in order to create and maintain a desirable environment and to promote health, safety and welfare.

    The Town is required by law to update its comprehensive plan every 10 years, and to review it every five years. For the update the Town is currently working on, the revisions need to be submitted to the State around August of 2017.

    Kyle Gulbronson of AECOM has been working with the Town on the update and at Saturday’s workshop noted that the Town’s first comprehensive plan was created in 2007.

    The mission statement of the Town, encapsulated within its 2007 comprehensive plan, states that Fenwick Island is “to be a quiet, family-oriented and walkable community that protects its natural beach and bay environment while including a desirable and sustainable primary residential area, as well as a mixed residential and commercial use area per zoning.”

    Gulbronson said a working group of 12 members started working on the plan update about five months ago. Revisions include updating Census data, deleting references to the Town being built-out by 2013, reviewing maps and pictures, and reviewing issues/goals/objectives for each section to ensure they reflect any new Town standards.

    The Planning Commission is seeking public input for the update and asked those in attendance to comment.

    Richard Benn asked if there would be any language added related to hotels. He also asked that the Town consider sending out a survey, as neighboring South Bethany does.

    “We’re a very small community,” he said. “People are reluctant to express themselves in an open forum.”

    Kevin Carouge asked the commission to consider creating a red-line version of the comprehensive plan revision once it’s further along.

    He added that the impact of Route 54 should also be addressed in the comprehensive plan as well.

    “I think that really needs to be identified in the comprehensive plan. Every month you drive out there, there’s a new development going up,” he said. “I think we need to take a step back and look and that… What, if anything, should we do? If this is a guiding document for the council to work from, to work toward, it should identify those … issues. And I think that’s a big one.”

    Gulbronson said the Town could address it in the plan by addressing how it plans to mitigate growth around it.

    Winnie Lewis, chair of the Planning Commission, thanked everyone who attended the meeting and encouraged residents to continue to participate and inform the Town as to what they hope to see in the plan.

    “I’ve learned a lot today about what people like and what they need,” she said.

    Information regarding the Town’s comprehensive plan update may be found on the Town’s website, at

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    This summer, South Bethany’s election cycle saw the retirement of two active town council members: George Junkin and Tim Saxton.

    “We need to thank them for hard work,” Mayor Pat Voveris said in May. “This is no easy gig sitting here.”

    The council officially honored Junkin and Saxton their hard work, diligence, reliability and “long hours of dedicated service to the Town of South Bethany.”

    Both men said they’ve enjoyed serving the Town.

    Junkin served on the council for six years, starting in 2010, including 3.5 years as secretary. Before joining the council, Junkin served the Canal Water Quality Committee (founded in 2007) for about five years. He chaired that and the Sea Level Rise & Storm Surge Committee (founded in 2013), to which he dedicated many hours of scientific study and grant proposal writing.

    After the completion of a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment this spring, the SLRSS Committee was disbanded, and its initiatives were moved to the Planning Commission.

    “I’ve enjoyed working with most of the people here,” Junkin joked, saying he’ll continue helping with water-related initiatives.

    “I will continue to be working on things, because I’m a Curious George and it’s in my nature,” he joked. “When Barbara says, ‘Where are you going?’ I say, ‘I’m going Curious George-ing.’”

    Junkin also brought the concept of building with freeboard to the Town of South Bethany.

    Saxton served four years, from 2009 to 2011 and 2014 to 2016, serving both times as council treasurer, as well as being the founder/chair of the Budget & Finance Committee.

    “I came back because there was unfinished business. I started things during a very rough time … made some difficult decisions,” Saxton said in May. “I came back because some things weren’t done that we started in those two years. I’m very pleased to say they’re done. So I feel I can walk away.”

    Besides keeping a tight eye on the budget, he finalized the policy and implemented funding and practical application of the Capital Asset Replacement and Maintenance (ARM) Reserve. He said he believes the Town is financially comfortable enough to not need tax increases for many years, depending on the will of future councils.

    “This town is fiscally sound. And it’s sound because the policies were put in place” that transcend individual town councils,” he said. “They’re what we are to live by, and that is very important to me. … You’re in good hands with the group that’s coming.”

    Residents and the council applauded the retiring council members.

    The two new council members, Tim Shaw and Don Boteler, ran uncontested in the 2016 election, as did Voveris to remain mayor.

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    Alone in the dark water, a Maryland man was allegedly intoxicated this week when he capsized his boat in west Fenwick Island in the Big Assawoman Bay.

    The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company responded to a call about the accident on Saturday, July 16, at 11:20 p.m. After several minutes of searching, the RVFC rescue watercraft found Jeffrey S. Collier, 54, of Bel Air, Md., clinging to his capsized 28-foot cabin cruiser in about 3 to 4 feet of water.

    Police said he was transported to shore, found to have no injuries and then released to the Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police.

    Collier was reportedly sailing alone, northward from Ocean City, Md., to the Treasure Beach RV park and campground, which is located north of Route 54. He apparently became lost and entered a dead-end channel south of Route 54. Believed to have been moving too fast for the water conditions, his boat struck a sandbar and capsized between Roosevelt Avenue in the Cape Windsor neighborhood and Bayberry Lane in Keen-wik on the Bay.

    “I’m told it was about 3 feet deep, and then there’s muck on the bottom,” said David Ferguson, RVFC’s public information officer, of the conditions there.

    Collier clung to the vessel for about two hours, in the dark.

    “Upon arrival, neighbors reported that they had heard a man yelling ‘Help’ and ‘SOS’ for one to two hours before 911 was called and the fire departments were alerted,” according to the RVFC.

    The boat was recovered Sunday morning by a commercial salvage company.

    Collier was cited by Natural Resources Police for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI), negligent operation of a vessel and failure to maintain a proper lookout. He was released, pending a future appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown. Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police were continuing their investigation into the accident this week.

    First-responders included the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company, Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, Ocean City (Md.) Volunteer Fire Company, Delaware State Police Aviation Unit and Coast Guard (Ocean City).

    Many local fire companies have marine rescue watercraft.

    “All the boating companies go out frequently … for boating incidents, for capsized boats, for people in trouble,” Ferguson said. “If someone thinks they’re in trouble and it turns out they’re not in trouble, well, that’s great.”

    Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) officials reminded boaters this week that operating a boat with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher is in violation of Delaware and federal laws. Boat operators found to be at or above the limit may face citations, fines and jail time. Their voyage will be terminated, and their vessels could be impounded. Boating rules are online at

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    With Sussex County steadily growing, services need to expand as well. Beebe Healthcare CEO Jeff Fried spoke to the Sussex County Council on July 19 about the healthcare provider’s plans to respond to that growth.

    “As the county grows, Beebe continues to look at opportunities to grow as well, to better serve our community,” said Fried.

    Beebe’s focus today, said Fried, is keeping people healthy and out of the hospital and their emergency department.

    “But, despite that, we can’t ignore that fact that there continues to be a great deal of growth in the county, so we need to prepare ourselves to handle that growth for a number of years to come.”

    Fried said they are looking to expand the number of beds in their Lewes campus and offer more private rooms. They also hope to improve traffic patterns to make traversing that campus easier for patients and staff.

    Fried said Beebe looked at building a brand-new hospital at its Route 24 location; however, the cost would be too great.

    “The cost of doing so would be about $150 million more than what it would cost to do what we’re going to do on the main campus, and that’s a lot of money.

    “Right now, it looks like before we get into the final design of this project, it’s going to be around $200 million. So it would be about $350 million to replicate everything we have on the Lewes campus out on Route 24.”

    Friend said that, when they looked at all the possibilities, expanding the Lewes campus made the most sense. If everything goes well, he said, they hope to begin construction around Jan. 1, 2019.

    Richard Schaffner, Beebe COO, told the council that the removal of the former Lewes convalescence center would create approximately 135 additional parking spaces.

    Part of the expansion would also include a five-story patient tower that would include three patient units (84 private beds), one shell unit for future expansion (28 private beds) and a full basement.

    The project would also include a two-story expansion and renovation of the clinical building/surgical pavilion. Two operating rooms and two shell operating rooms would be added, with one interventional room, plus shell space.

    Overall, the project would give Beebe a total of 231 beds, with approximately 197 private rooms.

    “If you can do it, you should,” said Councilwoman Joan Deaver.

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    Four Food Lion supermarkets in Sussex County, including one in Millville and one in Millsboro, have been purchased by Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets.

    The grocery chain has purchased 38 Food Lion stores in in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, according to an announcement by the company on Thursday, July 14. It is the largest acquisition in the company’s history. Of the 38 stores being purchased, 21 are in Maryland; 13 are in Virginia.

    “This transaction provides us the opportunity to expand into markets that are contiguous to our current trade area, particularly in Maryland, where we are adding 21 stores — essentially doubling our store count in a state where we have steadily grown in recent years,” said Weis Markets Chairman, President and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We’re also looking forward to expanding our operations into two adjacent states, with the addition of 13 stores in Virginia and four in Delaware.”

    Weis Markets expects to complete the conversion process for the majority of the stores in September and October. The company has expressed interest in hiring current Food Lion store employees for the purchased locations.

    “We look forward to interviewing and hiring team members who share our commitment to offering an industry-leading combination of value, quality and customer service,” Weis said.

    Local Food Lion store management referred all questions about the purchase to corporate officials, who did not return phone calls to the Coastal Point by press time this week.

    The acquisition comes on the heels of the merger of Food Lion’s parent company, Ahold, with the Delhaize Group, which owns Giant Food, and speculation about whether stores would be closed in areas where they are in direct competition with one another. In the case of the Giant and Food Lion stores in Millville, the two are directly across the street from each other.

    With the recent acquisition of the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia stores, Weis markets increases its total number of stores chainwide to 203. The Delaware Food Lion stores that have been acquired by Weis are located at 17232 N. Village Main Boulevard, Lewes; 24832 John J. Williams Highway, Millsboro; 36731 Old Mill Road, Millville; and 19287 Miller Road, Rehoboth Beach.

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    Fenwick Island’s town manager of four years will be leaving town hall to become CEO of the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR). Merritt Burke IV said he’s proud to have served Fenwick since March of 2012 but sad to leave a town that he likes.

    The new job is similar to the old, in that Burke will serve more than 1,500 real estate professionals, oversee a small office staff, be the face of the association and make reports to the board of directors.

    He will also advocate for property rights within Sussex County, coordinating special campaigns, keeping a watchful eye on legislative happenings around the state and country, and increase use of technology for communicating with members.

    “To lead a progressive and expanding real estate association in one of the largest counties in the country, that’s really exciting to me. To work in the real estate field is very exciting. I’ve spent four years in land development,” he noted, even earning a real estate license at the Ocean Atlantic agency, although he never sold real estate.

    “The position is also closer to home … which translates into more time for my family,” with his wife, Linda, and their four children in Milton, which he said is particularly important to him.

    His last day in the office will be at the July 22 Fenwick Island Town Council meeting. After that, he’ll still be on call, as he spends his remaining two weeks of vacation time with his family.

    Burke submitted his resignation on July 8, and he begins work with the SCAOR in Georgetown on Monday, Aug. 8, just after Fenwick’s 2016 town council election.

    Police Chief William “Bill” Boyden will serve as interim town manager until a replacement is hired. The Town began its official search this week.

    “Regarding the staff — they’re a hardworking, professional group. We’re very lean, but we accomplish a lot with the resources we’re given,” Burke said.

    “I’m always most proud to be part of a team that accomplished as much as we did over four years,” Burke said. “I didn’t do anything myself. It’s really true that we all — the building official, the administrative staff, police department, public works — we accomplished everything together.”

    On a personal note, he said he’s most proud of the projects that increased the quality of life in Fenwick, including the rain gardens, park expansion, informational rack cards, a new website, additional beach accessibility-enhancing Mobi-Mats, flower beds and more.

    “These are all projects that make life easier for visitors and residents. I’m leaving a legacy of projects here that add value to the community, but I didn’t do these projects by myself. We did these projects as a team.”

    And teamwork was the goal Burke shared with Coastal Point four years ago, when he first took the seat at the town manager’s desk.

    Fenwick is still a “small coastal town with a seasonal population of 5,000 and winter population of a few hundred,” Burke said of the town, which has about 800 properties.

    But he’s seen an increase in public participation, which he said is a good thing, as more people have attended meetings to share their opinions on zoning, freeboard, drainage and more.

    Discussions have increased on sea-level rise, emergency management and public safety. Fenwick’s team has upgraded the Town’s facilities and added a new playground, kayak launch and ADA-compliant handicapped access points, and Town equipment. They’ve had balanced budgets and won much grant money.

    “I think Fenwick will be fine. I think it’s well-positioned for the future,” Burke said.

    Burke thanked the community for their support over the years and said he’s enjoyed serving them.

    “I’ve enjoyed my time in Fenwick,” he said, making friends and memories in town. “I’ve enjoyed working with all the council members. I’ve enjoyed our spirited debates.”

    Burke is taking over a position with the SCAOR that was vacated in January by Ruth Briggs King.

    “The search committee and the board of directors conducted an extensive nationwide search before ultimately deciding on a highly qualified candidate right here in our own back yard,” stated Frank Serio, 2016 president of SCAOR.

    “Merritt’s qualifications are impeccable, and we think he’s a perfect fit for our association. All of us on the board of directors are excited for him to hit the ground running and begin making a difference right away.”

    In terms of his employment, Burke said it’s a coincidence that Serio is a Fenwick Island resident, and his wife, Audrey, was formerly the town’s mayor.

    Burke’s long history of service includes interning for former Delaware Gov. Thomas R. Carper Jr., as well as work with the Delaware and Maryland state legislatures.

    Burke earned a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington College. He’s worked in education, tourism, sales, traffic safety and real estate development. Before Fenwick, Burke was town manager for the Town of Bridgeville for a year and a half.

    “I’m excited to draw on my past experiences in real estate, as well as in management and education, to really make a difference at SCAOR,” Burke stated. “I’m looking forward to this new opportunity, and I thank the board of directors for the confidence they’ve placed in me to get the job done.”

    For more information, visit

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    Will Kenney is holding up a megaphone for rare diseases. The rising ninth-grader doesn’t just raise funds for any medical condition. He’s helping causes that don’t get much attention at all.

    Kenney’s gearing up for the third annual Will’s Carnival for a Cause, on Saturday, Aug. 6. The family-friendly festival will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at ChickBerry Farms in Laurel.

    After two successful years, Kenney said he is convinced his annual fundraiser for the Sturge-Weber Foundation can do even better, so this year, funds will be split between SWF and Dysautonomia International.

    “We need to bring awareness to both causes. The first year, we had a lot of people come up who didn’t know [about Sturge-Weber]. We knew we would reach a lot more,” said Kenney, who lives in Gumboro and is an Indian River School District student.

    He said he knew he could build momentum for the event. So, after raising $5,000 in year one and $10,000 in year two, this year’s goal is $15,000.

    Admission is free. People can pay for a wristband to enjoy the games and rides, or purchase tickets for individual activities.

    There are 30 games, pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, hayride and the popular “duck train,” in which a four-wheeler drives children around in small barrel cars shaped like ducks.

    D.J. Whisper will keep music flowing, with John Syphard performing on the steel drums and a juggling act at 4:30 p.m.

    Food stands include Vinny’s Pizza, plus ice cream by Vanderwende Farm Creamery.

    People can shop at the silent auction, craft vendors and other product vendors.

    “Kids can enjoy it, along with parents. Everybody just has a happy time to support great causes,” Kenney said.

    ChickBerry Farms is located at 32099 Jestice Farm Road, Laurel.

    “Come out and support us!” Sandy Kenney said.

    Donations are welcome up to a week beforehand, including prizes for children’s games and silent auction items. Cash donations would also be greatly appreciated, Kenney said.

    It takes about nine months of planning to hold the festival, said Kenney, who began working on this year’s edition almost as soon as the last one ended. He and his dad build most of the games, Sandy Kenney said.

    “It’s great to see all the families enjoying their time with each other, coming out and having fun with their families to support a great cause,” Kenney said.

    Volunteers run the whole carnival.

    “I recruit fellow kids … and fellow adults I know and people that know me through the community of dysautonomia and Sturge-Weber,” Kenney said.

    His efforts won him the Prudential Spirit of Community Award for 2016, which included a four-day trip to Washington, D.C.

    “It was great,” he said. “I really enjoyed talking with the other winners around America and seeing what they did … and bringing awareness to causes they were supporting.”

    To learn more or contribute to Will’s Carnival for a Cause, visit the Facebook page “Will’s Cause,” or email

    Two causes to share this year’s proceeds

    Both foundations benefitting from a 50/50 split of the proceeds aim to improve research, awareness, patient support and more.

    Inspired by a young local girl his mother knew from the community, Kenney chose the Sturge-Weber Foundation for his first two fundraisers. It helps individuals and families affected by Sturge-Weber Syndrome and port-wine birthmark-related conditions. The syndrome can be characterized by facial birthmarks, glaucoma, seizure disorders, neurological abnormalities, sometimes including eye, endocrine and organ irregularities, or developmental disabilities.

    “I knew I wanted to add more causes this year. I didn’t know exactly which ones needed awareness,” Kenney said.

    But he was inspired by family friends who live with the challenge of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). That’s the most common diagnosis under the dysautonomia umbrella, which includes many conditions affecting the autonomic nervous system, “which controls everything, like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, temperature control, stuff that you don’t think about that your body’s supposed to automatically control,” said one young woman, Crystal Caldwell. “My body has a hard time controlling that.”

    As she previously told Coastal Point, Caldwell’s own symptoms veer between lightheadedness, fainting, fatigue, headaches, heat rash, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, nausea and rapid heart rate.

    Learn more about the causes benefitting from this year’s Will’s Carnival for a Cause online at and

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    The Indian River School District is continuing to produce new episodes of its “IRSD Spotlight” podcast. The episodes can be accessed free of charge through iTunes,, the district website at and several mobile podcast apps.

    “IRSD Spotlight” is designed to provide parents, students and community members with insight into the inner workings of the Indian River School District and offer useful information about the programs, events and accomplishments occurring throughout the district, while occasionally highlighting important topics impacting public education.

    Current episodes are as follows:

    • Episode 8: School Safety Monitors — Preston Lewis, district administrator of Student Services, and Douglas Hudson, school safety monitor at Indian River High School, discuss the impact of the district’s groundbreaking school safety monitor program, which was implemented in 2013.

    • Episode 7: Student Mental Health Services — Belinda Waples, retired director of Special Education, and Kim Taylor, Special Outreach Services coordinator, discuss student mental health services in the Indian River School District.

    Previous episodes are also available for listening and download. They include an overview of the district’s Spanish immersion program; a discussion about the use of instructional technology in the classroom; an interview with Lori Hudson about her role as a teacher recruiter and mentor for the Indian River School District; and conversations with Superintendent Susan Bunting, Board of Education member James Hudson and Teacher of the Year Melissa Grise.

    New episodes featuring teachers, students and district officials will be posted periodically throughout the year. Check the district’s Facebook page for notifications of when new episodes are available. To access IRSD Spotlight, go to and click on the “Podcast: IRSD Spotlight” link under the Discover IRSD tab. The podcast is also available on iTunes, and through several mobile podcast apps.

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    Online volunteer registration opened this week for the 30th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 17. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC), the cleanup spans the First State’s 97-mile eastern coastline and includes river and ocean shorelines, as well as wetland and watershed areas. This year, more than 50 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties are targeted for volunteers to scour and make cleaner.

    Volunteers are being strongly encouraged to preregister at the Delaware Coastal Cleanup webpage ( on the DNREC website to ensure enough supplies are packed for each site. Preregistration will close at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

    At last year’s Coastal Cleanup, 1,492 dedicated volunteers from civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and families collected 7.8 tons of trash from 50 sites along Delaware’s shorelines and tributaries. About a quarter of that trash — mostly aluminum cans and plastic bottles — was recycled.

    Volunteers’ more unusual finds included a raincoat, a hair dryer, a wig, a perfume bottle, a can of Sterno, a tent, two propane tanks, a bow and arrows, a bike pedal, a dog leash and more than 20 bags of dog waste, a smoke detector, a recliner, a metal bed frame, light bulbs, a paint roller and paintbrush, ceiling tiles, a mop head, trash cans, a sink, a toilet seat, carpet pieces, batteries, a rusty fire pit, a microwave, plastic and wood fencing, a teacup, chopsticks, tiki torch holders and four shot glasses, one of which was still full.

    Delaware’s Cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines and lakes by volunteers. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world help each year to rid the environment of marine debris and collect detailed information on the types and quantities of refuse they find.

    The information is recorded on data cards and forwarded to the Center for Marine Conservation, which compiles data for all of the cleanups held in the country and around the world. The information helps identify the source of the debris and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing it.

    For more information about the Ocean Conservancy and the International Coastal Cleanup, visit For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, call Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, at (302) 739-9902.

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  • 07/29/16--10:29: Agenda — July 29, 2016
  • Bethany Beach

    • The Bethany Beach Charter & Ordinance Review Committee will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 9:30 a.m. at town hall. The agenda includes discussion, consideration and a possible vote on a proposed exterior residential lighting ordinance that attempts to reduce problems associated with residential outdoor lighting by regulating both the intensity and location of outdoor lighting; discussion of possible revisions to Chapter 530, Signs, town code; discussion of the remainder of Part I of the town code; and discussion of possible agenda items for future meetings.

    • Prohibitions on dogs on the beach and boardwalk in Bethany Beach resumed on May 15.

    South Bethany

    • A town council workshop meeting was scheduled for Thursday, July 28, at 2 p.m.

    • The Town of South Bethany will host a free showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Aug. 4 at 8:30 p.m. The movie will be show at South 3rd Street and South Ocean Drive, at the beach walkway. Guests can bring a chair, blanket, flashlight, etc. Kids can get glow sticks and other lighted giveaways. Beach wheelchairs will be available. Attendees are being asked to observe parking laws.

    • The Planning Commission will meet Friday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. for regular business, as well as a public hearing for Peter and Susan Trelenberg’s application to combine existing Lot 85 at 242 Bayshore Drive and 25 feet of Lot 86, which they have purchased, to change the lot size to 100 by 100 feet.

    • Prohibitions on dogs on the beach resumed on May 15 and run until Oct. 15.

    Fenwick Island

    • The Charter & Ordinance Committee will meet Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 9:30 a.m.

    • The Environmental Committee will meet Aug. 11 at 2:30 p.m.


    • The Town of Millsboro will hold its next monthly council meeting on Monday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Millsboro Town Center.


    • A town council executive session will be held on Friday, July 29, at 6 p.m. to interview police officer candidates.

    • The Town of Frankford will hold its monthly council meeting on Monday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Frankford fire hall.


    • The town council’s next regular meeting will be held Monday, Aug. 1, at 7 p.m.


    • The Dagsboro Town Council will meet Monday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m., at Bethel United Methodist Church.

    • The Planning & Zoning Commission will meet Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m., at Bethel UMC.

    Indian River School District

    • Committee meetings are scheduled for Monday, Aug 8, at the Indian River School District Educational Complex

    • The Board of Education will meet next on Monday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. at Sussex Central High School.

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    Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Skye Best shows off her love of law enforcement.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Skye Best shows off her love of law enforcement.For the last year, 12-year-old Skye Best has wanted to become a police officer.

    “I like them. They’re my friends,” she said.

    “I told her she has to get through regular school first,” said her father, Terry Best, with a laugh.

    Skye, who is autistic, even plays the part — wearing a police shirt, hat and belt as often as she can.

    “She has a police belt and little handcuffs,” explained Terry Best. “She came out and wrote me a ticket for excessive grilling for making something on the grill. She’ll put the cuffs on me and send me to the bedroom and say I’m in jail.”

    Taking note of her interest, Terry Best reached out on a locals’ Facebook page, hoping to have his daughter meet a local officer.

    “I got all kinds of people replying back,” he said.

    Ocean View Police Department Patrolman Brian Caselli reached out to Best and offered to set up a meeting at the OVPD with Patrolman Tyler Bare of the Dagsboro Police Department and Patrolman Josh Fulton of the Bethany Beach Police Department.

    “We got to do a ride-along in Brian’s car. We got a grand tour of the Ocean View Police Department. Dagsboro and Bethany both let Skye sit in their cars and ask any questions that she could come up with.”

    Having the opportunity to meet with the officers for about an hour, Skye was able to ride in the Ocean View patrol car, sit in the other department’s cars, tour the police department, run the radar and simply interact with the officers.

    “I think it was very entertaining for her,” said Bare of Skye. “She came prepared, with all her gear on.”

    While there, Skye also received gifts from the officers, including a flashlight, challenge coin, junior badge and hats.

    Best said it was good to have his daughter interact with the officers and become comfortable around them.

    “There’s good and bad apples with everything. I think, in general, police get a bad rap. They have to deal with the crappy end of society all the time. People are quick to make a judgment when everything’s happening in a fraction of a second.”

    Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin said his department has had a long history working with Special Olympics, which serves autistic people, among others.

    “It’s the main organization we support here at the police department. Brian is one of our newer officers but has really picked up the torch for Special Olympics and has involved himself both at the local and state level.”

    McLaughlin, who was also around to meet Skye during her visit, said it was a wonderful experience for all involved.

    “I think she had a pretty good time. She was all smiles when she was here with me.

    “We do tours of the facility all the time. We encourage people to come in and do ride-alongs with the officers — especially when it comes to anyone in our special-needs population,” he said. “We enjoyed having Skye here. It was a great experience for us.”

    “It was really nice,” added Bare. “You deal with so much stuff on a normal basis… When you get the opportunity to help someone like that, it puts the community policing back in the circuit. With everything going on recently, it definitely shows we’re still good guys.

    “It makes it worth it. You’re on the road 10, 12 hours, taking care of paperwork. Just the hour we were all together, watching her being able to interact… nothing else in the world mattered.”

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    Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The Bethany Area Repertoire Theater (BART) recently awarded scholarships to, from left, Marissa McCloy, Aaron Latta-Morissette and Morgan Hurlock.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The Bethany Area Repertoire Theater (BART) recently awarded scholarships to, from left, Marissa McCloy, Aaron Latta-Morissette and Morgan Hurlock.The Bethany Area Repertoire Theater (BART) has been providing stage performances to the area for three years, and last week the theater company’s goal of funding scholarships for area students bore fruit.

    BART awarded scholarships to three students, all recent graduates from Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, during a ceremony at BART’s home stage at the Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Friday, July 23.

    Robert Ravida, chairman of BART’s scholarship committee, said BART’s intention from the beginning was always to fund arts scholarships with the proceeds from ticket sales for its plays, which are performed on the Dickinson Parlour Theatre stage by an ever-growing group of volunteers from within the community.

    “Once we realized there was some black ink, we sat down to decide what to do with it,” Ravida said. The group came up with the goal it calls “20 by 20” — funding scholarships for 20 local students by the year 2020. The scholarship committee received applications from all over Sussex County, but ultimately the three winners were all graduates of one school — Cape Henlopen High School. Each winner received $1,000.

    The winners are all pursuing college degrees in different areas, though — one will study theater, one will major in journalism and one is pursuing a degree in music education.

    Aaron Latta-Morissette will head to the New York Film Academy in the fall. Although he is just beginning his formal education in on-camera acting, Latta-Morissette is already a veteran actor with an IMDb (Internet Movie Database) entry.

    Having appeared in every play the Cape Henlopen theater program has produced during his high school years, Latta-Morisette said theater teacher Martha Pfeiffer instilled in him a sense of professionalism.

    Plays he appeared in included “The Crucible,” “Of Mice and Men” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Last year, Latta-Morissette won Most Outstanding Performance by an Actor in Delaware for his role in Cape’s production of “The Zoo Story.” He said he considers himself “really, really lucky” to have had the chance to learn the craft of acting in Cape Henlopen’s program.

    On-camera work appeals more to Latta-Morissette than stage work, he said, because it will allow him to bring joy to more people. The son of a therapist, he said his mother’s work has inspired him to help people.

    “It’s really important to me that my life has an impact as well,” he said.

    Marissa McCloy will be heading to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., this fall to pursue a degree in journalism and graphic design. McCloy worked on Cape Henlopen’s school newspaper, Viking Ventures, for most of her high school career, eventually taking the helm as editor.

    McCloy said she enjoys the team effort of working on a newspaper, but that she particularly enjoys the editing process itself.

    “I like taking something and improving it,” she said, admitting, “I’m a perfectionist.”

    She said she feels her experience on Cape’s newspaper staff have prepared her well for college. She has written, edited and designed the paper, as well as serving as photographer. Although she enjoyed all those jobs, McCloy said her favorite job was editor.

    “I like organizing the whole thing,” she said. The newspaper also has its own website, so McCloy already has experience in multimedia journalism.

    In addition to her journalism experience at Cape, McCloy was also captain of the school’s dance team, and a member of a competitive dance team and of the school’s tennis team.

    Morgan Hurlock has sharpened her musical chops as a high school student and is looking forward to further study at the University of Delaware in Newark to follow in the footsteps of those who have fostered her own love of music.

    Hurlock said she is particularly grateful Cape band director Chris Burkhart, who introduced her to jazz music. A saxophone and clarinet player, Hurlock said she is particularly drawn to jazz from the 1940s, counting Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and Johnny Hodges as her favorites. “Johnny Hodges is, like, my man,” she said.

    Hurlock played lead alto sax for the Delaware State Jazz Ensemble. She also was named outstanding soloist at a Temple University competition. Among her professional experiences at such a tender age was a chance to play an improvised solo alongside drummer and recording artist Sheila E. at the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival.

    She said she is looking forward to furthering her passion at U.D. “I’m already studying with [U.D. saxophone professor] Todd Grimes,” she said.

    All three students received warm applause at the Dickens Parlour Theatre presentation.

    “The fine arts are in good hands if these young people are a representation of what’s coming,” Ravida said.

    0 0

    Disney World and McDonald’s aren’t the only places that have a brand.

    Big and small towns take advantage of branding to create a central idea of what it’s like to visit them, and Fenwick Island officials are now deciding if that’s the right move for the town.

    What is branding? “It’s taking an image and … developing it into a system” of multiple images, particular fonts and color scheme that reflect the town, said Diane Laird, state coordinator of Downtown Delaware, at a July 22 presentation in Fenwick.

    “We very much believe in the concept of proactive planning, because your downtown district is going to change” over time, Laird said.

    Fenwick is an affiliate of the program, created by the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) as a resource center for all downtown revitalization. That is less commitment than being a full-blown Main Street town, which requires paid staff and a downtown revitalization committee.

    In May, the Fenwick council considered approving a $5,000 matching grant to hire a branding designer/consultant, but council members wanted first to hear what the program entails.

    Since 2009, towns that have tried the program have included Millsboro, Newark, Georgetown, Bridgeville, Delaware City and more. “Historically happening” became a tagline for Dover tourism ads as a result of their branding efforts.

    Laird compared it to shopping malls, which have a unified brand so there’s continuity throughout the whole visitor experience.

    For a town, it’s continuity in the visual experience, so visitors have a unified feeling of how property owners feel about their town.

    “If you’re satisfied with the way your town is, there’s no need to invest any more,” Laird said. “If you feel you would like to unify the look, beautify the experience driving through here,” she said, consider the program.

    What does Fenwick Island get for $5,000? With the State’s matching grant, Fenwick would get a professional designer who’s worked with more than 400 communities nationwide. He would review the whole community and create a branding system in three days.

    On Day 1, the designer would host a public meeting to ask what residents, property owners and other stakeholders like or don’t like about town. On Day 2, the designer would meet with the town council and the Business Development Committee. He would take hundreds of photographs of the town to get a feel for the atmosphere and create a color scheme based on actual scenery.

    Day 3 is the big reveal, where the designer would present the new logo, color scheme and font for the town. He would give Town Hall a computer file of about 300 photos — variations on the logo and other graphics — ready to promote the town.

    Town Hall can use it however they want, even giving access for the business community to pull images.

    The investment isn’t just a flat $5,000. Fenwick would pass a resolution promising to implement the program within six to eight months. That’s a good-faith promise “to implement on some level, at least on the website, or in some small capacity, the investment we are making,” Laird said.

    The marketing materials could be placed on the Town website, or used in local restaurant ads or tourism magazines.

    Residents on July 22 debated the true cost, as some towns do web marketing, while others plaster the logos on letterheads, water towers and trash bins.

    “Who pays for this?” is an important, but secondary question, Laird said. First, “You have to be in unison that the idea of proactive planning within the visual is an important route to follow.”

    “How important is the buy-in from the businesses?” asked Councilwoman Julie Lee.

    They’re one of many stakeholders, including citizens, residents, historians and the council, Laird said.

    “Everyone that has made an investment in the town is a stakeholder. It’s a shared vision, and that’s why such community input is sought in the process,” Laird said. “If the businesses don’t want to buy signs, that’s fine. If they want to put it on a website, that’s good. As much as you can promote something like this, it’s good. It just helps unify the town.”

    Ultimately, “If you want to get the value of a branding system, people have to see it” when paying a bill or walking around, “because it’s presenting an image of the town you’re trying to reflect,” Laird said. “When you see a brand, there’s an expectation” of whether the town is historic, forward-thinking, diverse, etc. “You’re trying to give people a visual of what it’s going to be like when they come to a town, or an emotion they might feel.”

    For instance, she said, Laurel is using the river as an eco-tourism driver, so they’re promoting a natural, recreational vibe.

    “You would tell the branding expert what the town wants,” which is different from what Milford or Milton would want, Laird said.

    Even in this preview meeting, citizens said they were conflicted about what the town wants. Some would even prefer Fenwick stop attracting visitors — a goal the business community would probably oppose.

    However, business owner Tim Collins said he had met a new property owner last year who didn’t understand why people kept talking about Fenwick as a quaint town.

    “This town has absolutely no charm,” compared to spaces like Bethany Beach, he recalled her saying.

    Collins suggested that Fenwick try to improve bit by bit, and not wait for perfection before improving the perception of town.

    Fenwick is already a coveted space, said Laird, who has seen tears of pride flow at brand reveals in other places, where people weren’t always proud of their hometown. But that doesn’t mean Fenwick doesn’t need branding.

    “I wouldn’t say you don’t have need for a visual system that creates beauty, unity and consensus and understanding for what is Fenwick Island all about,” Laird said.

    Some people said Fenwick already has a brand, even if it’s not in official town limits: the Fenwick Island lighthouse, which is already used on the Town’s logo.

    Program details are online at

    The Business Development Committee is expected to discuss the program and make a recommendation to the town council soon.

    Laird said Fenwick needs to make a grant decision in the next 30 to 60 days, due to a new budget year and new administration.

    Downtown Delaware only has an annual budget of $25,000, so helping Fenwick obtain a $5,000 matching grant is a big deal.

    Fifteen lighthouses

    The Business Development Committee has sought to distinguish Fenwick even before a consultant was considered, and holiday pole lights are the first step in their effort to distinguish Fenwick Island from its three-lane-highway neighbor.

    “We’re trying to help the business, trying to identify Fenwick from Ocean City, [Md.],” Councilman Gardner Bunting told the Coastal Point. “People see these lights at night — maybe they slow down, see some of our places of business, maybe come back and frequent the businesses.”

    During the holidays, Fenwick has in recent years always hung nautical — instead of Christmassy — designs. That has meant conch shells instead of silver bells. Decades ago, a lighthouse pole light was custom-designed for Fenwick, Gardner said. It was so popular that the company kept the design in their catalog.

    This spring, the Town got 15 more lighthouse-style pole lights (discounted after the holidays at buy-two/get-one-free).

    “[We’re] trying to make the town stand out, help the business community, and they, in turn, wanted to help us by buying the lights,” Bunting said.

    Donations also came from an individual in memory of loved-ones and from businesses in the unincorporated zone.

    “They thought enough of Fenwick Island to buy one of those lights,” Bunting said.

    But three businesses that originally volunteered to donate funding still haven’t written a check to the Town. Bunting said that he’ll visit those individuals this month to get the last payments.

    In May, Bunting stated that the Town had collected $5,483 of the $8,940, plus shipping.

    “These people had volunteered to contribute, and we took them at [face value],” he said.

    He hypothesized that the slow, rainy early season meant that funds were low, and maybe now the commitment had fallen through the cracks of a busy summer season.

    According to Business Development Committee minutes from April, “The new lights were all purchased by the business community. The only cost to the Town is the labor for installation/setup and removal of the old lights.”

    But the Town hasn’t recouped the costs yet. Outgoing Town Manager Merritt Burke and Bunting, as council treasurer, co-signed the check for the purchase.

    A few citizens scolded that method of purchasing the lights without having a dedicated funding source.

    “Mayor Gene Langan added that, if there is a shortfall, the Town Council is committed to approving additional funds,” according to the Business Development Committte’s February minutes.

    On July 22, Councilman Richard Mais suggested that the Town just pay the shortfall, but the motion came during a non-voting portion of the meeting, and Bunting said he would just go talk to the businesses.

    Meanwhile, the other, older lights won’t go to waste, possibly hanging in the town park or over movie nights on the beach.

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